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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-20-08 10:00 PM
Original message
Don't Vote Straight Ticket? Looking for some answers...
Friends, Snopes says this is true

I know how many of you feel about Bev Harris, but this goes far beyond personality issues and
needs to be answered clearly and immediately.

Bev Harris of black box voting says straight party ticket voting can be hacked!!

You may have read about this, and Black Box Voting has sent an ELECTION ALERT about this. Here are the details and what to do about it:

*THE PROBLEM: "Straight party voting" on voting machines is revealing a bad pattern of miscounting and omitting your vote, especially if you are a Democrat.

Most recently (Oct. 2008), a firm called* Automated Election Services* was found to have mis-coded the system in heavily Democratic Santa Fe County, New Mexico such that straight party voters would not have the presidential vote counted.

*Straight party voting is allowed in 15 states. Basically, it means that you can take a shortcut to actually looking at who you are voting for and instead just select a party preference. Then the voting machine makes your candidate choices, supposedly for the party you requested.

Additional details follow, but first: PROTECT THE COUNT

*1) NEVER CHOOSE THE STRAIGHT PARTY VOTE OPTION, because it alerts the computer as to your party preference and allows software code to trigger whatever function the programmer has designed.

*2) SEND THIS INFORMATION OUT TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN, blog it, root n' toot it out there to get the word out.

*3) ESPECIALLY GET THE WORD OUT TO PEOPLE IN THE FOLLOWING STATES, which have straight party voting options:

- Alabama
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kentucky
- Michigan
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- Oklahoma
- Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Texas
- Utah
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin

(Missouri and New Hampshire had straight party voting in earlier years, but have cancelled the straight party option for the Nov. 2008 election; however, the Straight Party software is still on Missouri and New Hampshire election management computers.)

*4) DEMAND COMPLETE AND CAREFUL TESTING OF THE STRAIGHT PARTY OPTION IN LOGIC & ACCURACY TESTS*. Bring copies of the citations in this article to buttress your case for why this is needed, if you have to. Witnesses for L&A tests in the straight party option states should specifically watch for and note whether (a) the tests were done and (b) the results were accurate.

*5) LOOK FOR UNDERVOTES* (high profile races with lower-than-average number of votes cast) and flag them, post them, bring them to the attention of others for additional scrutiny.

Undervotes may reveal straight-party programming fraud after the fact, but can never be reconstructed to know who the voter would have voted for. Such programming malfeasance, when found, disenfranchises voters.


*October 2008 :* In Santa Fe, New Mexico the machines were NOT counting straight party ballots correctly, and now it turns out that voting machines have been caught giving straight party votes to the other party's candidates, omitting the counts for some straight party votes, and generally creating mischief.

Most recent news on this can be found here:
More on that here:
_ P3iUqc8P3UU_
with archive copy and commentary on the claims made in the article here:

California citizen Judy Alter discovered a high number of undervotes in the New Mexico presidential race in 2004. She traced these back to straight party votes that skipped counting the presidential race. Here is Alter's write-up on what she found:

(46 KB)

This is the short version of Alter's study of the 2004 Presidential Election of Santa Fe, New Mexico; It shows how Alter figured out that the straight party voting option did not contain a vote for president (or defaulted to Bush). She explains that the straight party option created the huge under-vote in NM and the other states with straight party voting.

According to Alter, most of the biggest exit poll shifts occurred in the straight party states.

Alter also has a long long version of the article, with charts and graphs as well as examples of the evidence she has from the hand filled out paper ballots counted on Sequoia scanners for early voting and absentee voting and the internal memory tapes of the Sequoia pushbutton DRE.

Her study in also posted on my website:_ http://www.protectcaliforniaballots.org_


Alter provides evidence from the absentee and early voting reports from Sequoia optical scan machines (paper ballots) that the straight party option for minor party candidates omitted votes. Two votes for straight Green party showed no votes for Cobb (the 2004 Green Party presidential candidate) next to his name.

According to articles archived on_ Voters Unite_, straight party votes have been caught miscounting straight party votes in Wisconsin and Alabama as well.

ES&S Optical scan system: In* Medford, Wisconsin*, ES&S ballot scanners failed to count straight-party votes at all. About 27 percent of all votes cast in Medford during the Nov. 2004 election were not counted by voting system computers. --_

ES&S optical scan system: In* Baldwin County, Alabama*, the ballot programming for straight ticket voting went awry in November 2006 by identifying one Republican as a Democrat._

It's not just ES&S: The following overly cryptic Diebold Product Advisory does not reveal what the "issues" are that cause unexpected results from certain straight party voting programming methods:_
(17 KB)

Something happens. Something unexpected. Quietly now, "call Diebold" it says, for more information.


In North and South Carolina voters a straight party ticket does not include any vote for president. Yes, it's the law there. Voters need to also vote separately for president.


Instead of creating two different systems, voting machine vendors put the straight party software into ALL voting computers, and just turn it "off" in states that don't allow straight party voting.

Both kinds of straight party voting -- with the presidential race included and with presidential votes omitted -- are actually on the election management computer that programs the ballots. It's up to the programmer to to choose whether to use straight party voting and, if so, whether it will register a vote for president or not. While it's true that systems like the Diebold GEMS Election Management system provide a drop-down menu where election programmers can choose their state system, they can also opt to choose some other state's system, or the generic "US" system (whatever that is), thereby enabling a giant OOPS excuse if caught.


New Mexico's recent problem has been attributed to Automated Election Services, a firm that programs memory cards for New Mexico's ES&S M100 voting machines and also prints the ballots and provides election support services.

New Hampshire, which now prohibits use of the Straight Party function, uses LHS Associates to program their voting system. Therefore, whatever switches LHS flips on the election management system will be in effect, regardless of whether voters and New Hampshire election officials "see" a straight party option.


The big "Oops" they dropped on this needs more perspective, a new frame of reference. For example:

You are counting the cash for a fund raiser. Somehow, it's discovered that $500 didn't make it into the count and someone put it in their pocket. They say "Oops" and tell you it was a mistake.

Really? Will you let them count the cash again? Probably not. Automated Election Services, and every other vendor that incorrectly programs voting systems such that they effectively steal people's votes should never be allowed to program the system again. Consequences! Where are they?


From voting rights attorney Paul Lehto:

"One may breathe easier after November, if their favored candidate wins, but even if mine doesn't, I'll say it now: It will still be an illegitimate election, as a function of the secret vote counting ALONE, without the need for even an allegation of fraud, much less proof.

"The incumbents in office make all of our election law even those governing their own re-elections. Unless, of course, we uphold what I so often speak about, our own inalienable rights. Without those, we are all at the mercy of whoever is in power.

Being at the mercy of whoever's in power is not a definition of freedom, if I may seize on the power of understatement."

* * * * *

Now is a good time to consider keeping Black Box Voting in business:
Donate -_
Black Box Voting
330 SW 43rd St Suite K
PMB 547
Renton WA 98058

The repugnicans are already starting their usual last-minute shenanigans.

*Misleading Voter Information *

* *There is a FALSE rumor going around by e-mail telling people

that if they vote Straight Democratic Party, they must also cast

a vote specifically for Barack Obama in order to have an Obama

vote registered. THIS IS FALSE INFORMATION.* *

*Josh Taylor, Obama Texas Communications Director, released the

following statement :*

* "This email is a fraud and not authorized by the Obama campaign.

Every election cycle, we see cynical attempts like this that aim

to drive up voter confusion. We strongly encourage voters to

freely exercise their right to vote for a straight Democratic

ticket to return common sense government to Texas working families

concerned about their future in this slowing economy."*



*Vote Early And Vote A Straight Democratic Ticket!*



*If you wish to vote for all candidates of a particular party :*

*When you mark "Straight Democratic" then cast your ballot,_ your

vote will count_ for Barack Obama and/ all/ the Democratic

candidates, including all congressional, state and local Democrats

on the general election ballot.*



/*BUT*/* A separate vote for an individual candidate is

required _only_ in a special election, such as Senate District 17

where Chris Bell is running to replace Republican Kyle Janek who

resigned last June. SD 17 is in the Houston-Galveston area.


*If you do not wish to vote a straight party vote, you must mark

each individual candidate for whom you wish to vote, and then cast

your ballot.*





*Then be sure to carefully read the review screen after marking

your selection and before casting your ballot. If you have any

questions at the polls, ask an election judge for assistance. *

* The address on your driver's license* does not* have to match

the address where you are registered in. In fact, you do not

need to have a driver's license to vote.This rumor is aimed at

causing confusion and suppressing the vote, especially among

students and other people who move often. A voter registration

certificate is enough on its own to allow you to vote.

* *Frequently Asked Questions *

*When Do I Vote? *

* *Early Voting :* October 20, 2008 - October 31, 2008 - call your

_*County Elections*_

< > office

for exact days and hours

* *Election Day :* November 4th - all poll locations are open from

7am to 7pm

* *Ballot by Mail :* applications accepted (received, not

postmarked) by September 5, 2008 - October 28, 2008

TIP: Peak Voting hours are 7-9am, 11am-1pm, and 5-7pm. To avoid long lines, try voting during off-peak times.



*Do I need my driver's license to vote?*

* A voter registration certificate is enough on its own to allow

you to vote. If you have lost or misplaced your certificate, you

must show another form of identification. Acceptable forms of

identification include:

* A driver's license or personal identification card issued by the

Texas Department of Public Safety

* A similar document issued to you by an agency of another

state, regardless of whether the license or card has expired

* A form of identification containing a photograph

* A birth certificate

* U.S. citizenship papers

* U.S. passport

* Official mail addressed to you from a government agency

* *A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement,

government check, paycheck, or other government document

that shows your name and address*

* Any other form of identification presented by the secretary

of state's office.

*Can I wear Obama gear when I go to vote?*

* No one is allowed to campaign within 100 feet of a polling

location, so anyone with any campaign shirts, buttons, hats, or

other campaign material will be asked to remove the item or

cover up the shirt. No one will be DENIED the right to vote, you

will simply be asked not to have campaign material inside the

100 feet boundary. You are allowed to bring candidate

literature, like push cards.

*Can I bring a sample ballot or notes to help me mark my official ballot?*

* Voters may bring written materials such as sample ballots,

notes, pamphlets, even campaign flyers to assist them in marking

their own ballot. Voters who bring in these types of materials

may not share them with other voters or leave them behind in the

voting booth after casting their ballot.

*Can I use my cell phone while at my polling location?*

* No. Voters may not use cell phone while in the polling location.

*Why are Republican candidates listed first in each race on the ballot?*

* Statewide, the order of candidates by party affiliation is

determined by the number of votes received by each party's

candidate for governor on the most recent gubernatorial general


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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-20-08 10:04 PM
Response to Original message
1. Safest way is to hit each individually -
otherwise you have to know your state rules. In Texas you can vote dem straight ticket and it will include Barack. But if you hit straight ticket, and then hit Barack separately it will cancel out his vote.

Here's the link for Texas:
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-20-08 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. What Voters Unite says about this >
A fellow DUer posted this site in anther forum relative to this question:
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-20-08 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. In WI it's right on the ballot
you can vote straight party only on local and state candidates, national or independent races have to be done seperately....we have optic scan, so we use paper ballots...
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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-20-08 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. locking
It's DU policy to lock threads on Bev and her bidness, particularly threads that contain donation links.


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