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Sham Recount Process on Diebold E-voting Machines

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AmerDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 08:31 PM
Original message
Sham Recount Process on Diebold E-voting Machines
Berkeley, CA - A close proposition referendum will come under court examination in a case that highlights major problems with conducting a recount using Diebold electronic voting machines. Berkeley Measure R, the Patient's Access to Medical Cannabis Act of 2004, lost by only 191 votes after the regular election on November 2, 2004. Under the law, the proponents were entitled to seek a recount, which they did.

Instead of attempting to ensure that the votes were counted correctly, however, Alameda County election officials engaged in a "going through the motions" exercise where they merely ran the same electronic vote data through the same counting machines and, predictably, reached the same result. They did not consult the machines' audit logs, redundant memories, or any other relevant materials. Yesterday, the county announced that the recount had failed to change the result. They altered the final margin of defeat to 166 votes, attributing the change to absentee and provisional ballots -- the electronic voting machine count remained the same.

Measure R proponents Americans for Safe Access filed a lawsuit on December 30 challenging the actions of county election officials in handling the electronic voting machine portion of the recount. This suit now awaits a hearing.

"California law guarantees every voter the right to a recount and requires election officials to produce for public review all materials relevant to that recount," said Gregory Luke, attorney at the Santa Monica firm of Strumwasser & Woocher, which represents the plaintiffs Americans for Safe Access, and three individual Berkeley voters. "Because the Diebold machines purchased by Alameda County do not retain any ballots for the purpose of a recount, election officials must, at the very least, look at the information produced by the system's existing security features to give voters some circumstantial evidence that the machines performed properly and that vote data was not damaged or altered. Alameda County's refusal to allow the public to examine the audit logs and redundant memory renders the so-called 'recount' they conducted utterly meaningless."

http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid... /


This is great news. It's happening in California and they have a March 2 2005 hearing in Alameda Superior Court. Many imporant results could come from this case.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. Great article! Thank you so much for posting it!
Folks pay attention. This is very important!

Thanks again for posting this. :thumbsup:
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AmerDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. np
with all the total bullshit that has been allowed to go on here by a few, very important articles like this sink. It's a shame
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The mods won't stop the weedsist that have planted themselves
and are determined to discourage folks. I find myself torn between trying to force them to show their true colors and just ignoring them.

I have just decided to ignore them and continue to respond to posts like this!
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NationalEnquirer Donating Member (571 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
13. Yup. This is the key.
Recounting fudged data will still give you fudged results.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. This is a good one.
If you also post it on the Voting Issues Forum, it will be easier to find. That's a much slower moving forum (not that there's anything wrong with that).
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I thought Skinner was going to shut down that forum.
I am glad it is still active.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 10:42 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I looked for the Voting Issues Forum but I can't find it.
Will you look and let me know where to find it? Thanks
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 03:14 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. Looks like it's gone.
Too bad. I posted something there that I wanted to follow.
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Check the activism thread
I read that the voting forum was merged into the activism thread.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-27-05 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Thanks nt
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. Kick n/t
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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. kick!
Folks pay attention, please!
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Der Blaue Engel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks for posting this AmerDem
Medical marijuana law not passing in Berkeley? The smoking doobie!
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 03:00 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. The "smoking doobie" indeed!!
I'm glad the Electronic Frontier Foundation is the consultant in this case. Those folks HATE these new black boxes everyone is having to vote on.

Besides, Alameda County defied the order by the Sec. of State, Kevin Shelley, that they couldn't use these blasted vapor vote machines. They used 'em anyway, and now they're going to have to deal with it in court. I hope the court impounds the damn machines, so someone can finally investigate how they've rigged the darned things.

:kick: :kick: :kick:
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WeHoldTheseTruths Donating Member (143 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 02:48 AM
Response to Original message
10. Kick, and . . .
I reformatted it to help sink it into my slow brain:

Berkeley, CA - Jan 13

A sham recount using Diebold e-voting machines will come under court examination.

Berkeley Measure R, the Patient's Access to Medical Cannabis Act of 2004, lost by only 191 votes. Under the law, the proponents were entitled to seek a recount, which they did.

Alameda County election officials engaged in a "going through the motions" exercise.

They ran the same electronic vote data through the same counting machines and, predictably, reached the same result. They did not consult the machines' audit logs, redundant memories, or any other relevant materials.

"California law guarantees every voter the right to a recount and requires election officials to produce for public review all materials relevant to that recount," said Gregory Luke, attorney at the Santa Monica firm of Strumwasser & Woocher, which represents the plaintiffs Americans for Safe Access, and three individual Berkeley voters.

"Because the Diebold machines purchased by Alameda County do not retain any ballots for the purpose of a recount, election officials must, at the very least, look at the information produced by the system's existing security features to give voters some circumstantial evidence that the machines performed properly and that vote data was not damaged or altered."

"Alameda County's refusal to allow the public to examine the audit logs and redundant memory renders the so-called 'recount' they conducted utterly meaningless."

Yesterday , the county announced that the recount had failed to change the result. They altered the final margin of defeat to 166 votes, attributing the change to absentee and provisional ballots -- the electronic voting machine count remained the same.

"Recounts are one of the most important ways we detect vote fraud and error," said Matt Zimmerman, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is consulting on the case. "Even after Californians have voter-verified paper trails in 2006, it will be important to ensure that audit logs, redundant memory, and other security measures are checked during a recount, along with the paper trails. Banks and credit card issuers use these measures to make sure our financial transactions are safe. Our votes deserve at least as much protection."

A hearing in Alameda Superior Court is currently set for March 2.

http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid ... /
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tex-wyo-dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-26-05 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
15. Thanks for this article!
Yes, very important point...recounting a database is meaningless. I can do that with Excel and get the same count every time (amazing how that happens).

The only way recounts can be meaningful is to have redundancy built into the voting process; redundancy that is isolated and not simply electronically connected to the rest of the system; redundancy that is hard and difficult to alter, like paper ballots that are checked and signed by the voter and then matched with voter log books.
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