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Nirvana! Automated Voting Fraud!

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Filius Nullius Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-05 04:17 PM
Original message
Nirvana! Automated Voting Fraud!
To change the vote count in the Diebold GEMS central tabulator, you don't have to manually go into the database or even use a modem or wireless access point.

1. Since GEMS is a Microsoft Access program, anything you can do in the GEMS user interface or manually in the .mdb file, you can do programmatically through Visual Basic for Applications. GEMS is even capable of self-modifying code that can erase itself after it executes.

2. According to the RABA Technologies report, the software is not secure, including the audit log. You can erase the evidence in the audit log of changes you make in the tables that count the votes.

3. The certifying agencies have admitted to Bev Harris that they only test voting machines and central tabulators for functionality. They don't have the manpower to check every single line of code in a program that has hundreds of thousands of lines. In fact, I am not even sure they have access to the code since it is considered to be a proprietary trade secret of the voting machine vendor.

4. Diebold has previously had a convicted felon Jeffrey Dean in charge of software development. His conviction was for embezzlement that involved the manipulation of sophisticated accounting software and the insertion of back doors in the programs that allowed him to secretly access and manipute the data.

5. Dean inserted a two-character switch that decouples the two vote tables in GEMS so that the front-end table, from which the elections supervisor takes interim election reports, will not show anything amiss, while the back-end table, from which the final vote counts are taken, can be altered without affecting the other table.

4. That means that a programmer on the take (who could be Jeffrey Dean or one of a couple of other felons that Diebold has had on its payroll) can insert malicious code in GEMS that is self-executing after the polls close. The machine arrives at the elections supervisor's office with this code already installed.

5. Shortly after the polls close, it can check the vote tables to see who won the election and, if the difference is below a certain percentage (after all, it might be a little obvious in a county where your opponent won by a landslide), it can decouple the vote tables (so that nothing seems amiss to the supervisor when checking on a precinct-by-precinct basis), flip the votes, delete the audit log entries, send the results to the state capitol and, finally, delete the malicious code itself. Of course, you may not want to delete the code right away if you believe that you may need to reproduce the altered results later.

You have just corrupted an election at the local level. It took maybe a second or two and is completely unnoticeable from the GEMS user interface. Of course, you don't have to flip the results, you can also add votes to your candidate's total if he is leading in that county. The trick there is to subtract from the other candidate what you add to yours. Otherwise, you will be reporting too many votes for your county.

Finally, if this software is in all the voting machines sold by the vendor in that state, you can do this in key voting districts throughout the state, and no one had to go near any of the polling stations or district headquarters.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-05 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. There are better ways to do it than that.
Edited on Sun May-08-05 05:09 PM by Bill Bored
I saw that on TV once. I think the show was called "This Old Hack!" :)

This old hack could be easily detected by comparing precinct counts to the central count in GEMS. This may not be done in all jurisdictions, but it's certainly possible to. And this old hack would NOT result in the within-precinct errors found in the exit polls. (Not that I'm a huge fan of the exit polls, but it would be nice to come up with a Grand Unified Fraud Theory, wouldn't it? Sorry to say that this ain't it.)

I am surprised that this one hack gets so much attention, and also the fact that Accuvote TS uses a different remote access protocol than the Op Scans. Bev should tell us something we DON'T know for a change. And she should PAY ANDY STEPHENSON THE MONEY SHE OWES HIM TOO!

Thanks for raising public awareness of the problems of e-voting in general though. That helps, but you have to try to maintain some credibility in the process or the people will lose interest.

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Filius Nullius Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-05 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. This old hack? Hey, that's really clever, BillBo, m'boy!
Actually, I think you inadvertently hit on part of the answer. You acknowledged that, although it is possible to detect this kind of fraud "by comparing precinct counts to the central count in GEMS," not all jurisdictions may do this. The failure of some counties to corroborate election results by tallying the votes on voter data cards from the individual precincts and comparing those totals with those in the summary reports produced by GEMS can occur for a number of reasons. Some poorly trained or computer-challenged elections supervisors may not comprehend the importance of such checks and balances, believing that computers do not lie and that the totals in the summary reports are therefore practically "fool proof." Others may simply be too lazy to double-check in counties with large numbers of precincts. Still others may have ulterior motives for not checking the results (or ignoring them).

I believe the latter scenario is what is happening in large numbers of heavily Republican counties in swing states. When you rely on human "checks and balances" and "procedures" in areas that are overwhelmingly partisan, the temptation to cheat is apparently irrestible to some. The portion of the uscountvotes.org report <http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/Exit_Polls_20... > debunking the so-called "Reluctant Bush Voter" explanation given by Edison-Mitofsky for the discrepancies between exit polls and election results in swing states reveals what is actually going on. I have quoted extensively from it (pp. 10-11) to put this matter in perspective:

"It has been suggested that the Bush supporters participated at high rates in precincts where they were surrounded by other Bush supporters, while Bush supporters in predominantly-Kerry precincts were more reticent than their counterpart Kerry supporters voting in predominantly Bush precincts. This 'reluctant Bush exit poll participant in predominantly Kerry precincts' hypothesis is also inconsistent with the E/M data.

"If the polls were faulty because Bush voters were shy in the presence of Kerry voters and less likely to cooperate with pollsters, then the polls should be most accurate in those precincts where Bush voters were in the overwhelming majority and where exit poll participation was also at its maximum.

"What we find is just the opposite: in fact, the mean exit poll discrepancy was dramatically higher in Bush strongholds than in Kerry strongholds (-10.0 versus 0.3). In precincts with 80-100% Bush voters, where exit poll participation reached its highest level (56%), there was a full 10% mean difference between official vote tallies and the exit poll results.

"Alternate hypothesis: Bush Strongholds have more Vote-Count Corruption (Bsvcc) An alternative hypothesis that is more consistent with the data is that corruption of the official vote count occurred most freely in districts that were overwhelmingly Bush strongholds.

"If Edison/Mitofsky would release the detailed results of their poll to the public then much more could be said about this hypothesis, and the suspicious precincts could be identified. If E/M does not release its list of sampled precincts, US Count Votes believes it will still be possible to rigorously test the hypothesis that the vote counts were corrupted by assembling and analyzing a precinct-level nationwide database containing detailed election results, voting equipment information and demographic data. Higher exit poll response rates and higher exit poll discrepancies occurred in Bush strongholds.

"E/Ms own data contradict both the rBr and the rBrmpc hypotheses and support the Bsvcc hypothesis."

So, what is the bottom line? Well, I believe it can all be boiled down to these two sentences:

"[T]he mean exit poll discrepancy was dramatically higher in Bush strongholds than in Kerry strongholds (-10.0 versus 0.3). In precincts with 80-100% Bush voters, where exit poll participation reached its highest level (56%), there was a full 10% mean difference between official vote tallies and the exit poll results."

In other words, there is little or no cheating going on in heavily Democratic districts and a ton of it in heavily Republican ones, or, to put in uscountvotes.org terms, "Bush Strongholds have more Vote-Count Corruption (Bsvcc)." When you are dealing with (i) determined partisans without scruples, (ii) people who have been paid off and/or (iii) practically non-existent opposition parties, cheating is easy, especially when you have machines that do most of the cheating for you. All you have to do is look the other way.

O.K., the preliminary results are in and, contrary to what you say, the "Within Precinct Errors" dovetail nicely with this theory. I am confident that uscountvotes.com is going to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt when they assemble their election database and crunch the numbers. The reason Edison-Mitofsky is not cooperating is that they know their "Reluctant Bush Voter" explanation is a lie.

There are lots of ways that voting machine fraud can be committed. I am only trying to demonstrate that a talented programmer doesn't have to do it on an individual machine-by-machine basis. Instead, the process can be automated through the use of Visual Basic. This makes it possible to commit fraud on a grand scale, it is true. As for a "Grand Unified Fraud Theory," that sounds sort of like something Albert Einstein would have pursued. Oh, right, that was the "Unified Field Theory," wasn't it? I'm not interested in that.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-05 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. Agree on some points.
I agree that there are many ways to do it.

But the hack you are describing (at least the one Bev demonstrated) has nothing to do with within-precinct error. It involved altering of vote totals that were already tabulated at the precinct level and then fed into GEMS. These were added up in the Access database and the aggregate totals of the precinct counts were then altered. The precinct totals remained intact as far as I know, ergo, with that particular hack, there would be no within-precinct error.

What the exit polls show, according to the incomplete data we have, is that the errors occurred within the precinct, i.e., on individual machines. There is nothing to prevent this from occurring on a large scale however since many machines are actually programmed from a single server before the election.
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Filius Nullius Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Bill, I think we should agree to agree
Here is the definition of "Within Precinct Error" from the uscountvotes.org report:

"Definition of WPE: "Within Precinct Error" is the average of the difference between the percentage margin between the leading candidates in the exit poll and the actual vote for all sample precincts in a state. The sign of the WPE gives the direction of the error. A negative number means that the exit polls were more favorable to Kerry than the actual election results, while a positive number means the exit polls were more favorable to Bush than the actual election results. WPE can be roughly thought of as the percentage discrepancy between election results and exit poll results within sampled precincts."

So "Within Precinct Error" is the average of how far the exit polls were off from actual vote totals in all sampled precincts in a state. I don't believe you differentiate between different "hacks" in making this determination. After you confirm that the exit polls varied from the actual vote totals by a margin that exceeds the margin of error, you simply have a reason for investigating why the difference occurred.

I am not trying to draw an actual correlation between any particular method of altering the vote totals and the variances that statisticians have detected between the exit polls and actual votes in certain states. At this point, we don't know the exact method or "hack" Republicans used in any particular jurisdiction to change the vote totals. I am just saying that the automated method I have described, which requires no access to the voting machines or central tabulators after the polls close, is as viable a method of undermining the election results and thwarting the will of the people as (a) gaining actual physical access to the machine shortly after the conclusion of the election and (i) manually changing the results in the tables in the .mdb file, (ii) excuting a script file within Windows to change the results in the data file or (iii) using some other method to change the results or (b) using a wireless access point or modem to gain access and then changing the vote totals.

By the way, the "hack" I am describing is not the one Bev described. She was talking about gaining actual access to the central tabulator after the close of the polls and manually altering the tables in the .mdb file.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. OK, I agree.
Not to dispute USCV (esp. on this board!) but I'd say their definition is really the Average WPE. If they say WPE is based on an average, what do they call a discrepancy within an individual sample precinct?

Also, I wonder if this is the same definition of WPE as Edison-Mitofsky uses. This is the first time I've heard it referred to as an AVERAGE of anything.
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Skarbrowe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-05 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
2. Well, whatever it all ends up being, it's Rove's "indivisible" voter base.


Yeah, right. They can steal any election and Rove will just say.."That was my indivible base coming through." Damn, we've got a stupid country. About half, that is. The other half, what do we do about it?
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Skarbrowe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-05 06:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. OK, I won't post while on pain meds again. I meant "INVISIBLE" voters.

Geez. I apologize. That was truly a major brain fart.

Rove and his invisible voter base.
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libertypirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-05 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. How many lines of code does it take for a list of questions?
This has always bothered me. To need 100,000 lines of code for a survey; that seems excessive. If I can write a basic survey application in less then 100 lines of code what else are these machines doing?

The number of lines always seemed way too high for this sort of application. I am wondering if anyone else had a similar thought.

And just for shit's and giggles anyone ever here of "Quality Testing" which did not included all functionality of an application?
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-05 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. This is an excellent point.
I just read an article in the New Yorker about global warming that made a point that one of the computer models used had over 200,000 lines of code. It took a MONTH to run the program once.

So how in the hell could a simple survey require anything even close to half that?
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libertypirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-05 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I know it can't use that much code....
That is simply how you hide something, you burry it under a pile of crap.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-05 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
6. Nirvana, indeed.
And who's to know? With the thousands of lines of unexamined code, factory installed, who would ever know?

They must be laughing their asses off at us.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-05 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Yeah, that's my read on it, too! They've laughing their asses off at the
Democrats (if not at us DU types--I think they may be a little worried about us). It's a no-brainer that they stole this election electronically. They set it up that way, with great effort and deliberation (and at least $4 billion in HAVA bribe money). They executed it brilliantly, right under the DNC's nose. It wasn't enough--because this was a Kerry and ABB landslide. Thus, the blatant, highly visible operations against minority and other Democratic voters in Ohio and Florida (Plan B). They didn't have to use the "terrorist alert" operations (Plan C)--so well prepared with newsbites prior to the election--except in Warren County. And now they can say: you don't have a "smoking gun" --because, ha-ha on you, we used self-destructing computer code that nobody will ever get to see, no paper trail, no gun. Wildly evil laughter, but secretive, behind the wood shed, out in the forest, where they think nobody can hear.

Just remember, though, what happened to Rumpelstiltskin.
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Blue Shark Donating Member (225 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-05 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I am firmly convinced that you have it nailed...
...The good news is, we have better hackers by far than the RNC crowd. We have to take it, flip it, play by their rules, and win electronically.

...Wouldn't it be nice for a dozen Senate races and 3 dozen House races to inexplicabbly flip from a slight republican lead the night before the election to a democaratic rout on election day?...We can then sit back as the other side cries foul and say:

...All together now people...

..."AH...JUST GET OVER IT"
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I hope you are correct...
.... if we can't reform the vote from the outside, somehow, someway, we can reform it from the inside.

'Twould leave a bitter taste, but not so bitter as the one I now chew.

In fact, the revenge might even be sweet. But I'd much rather we had a higher form of justice. Paper Ballots would do just fine.
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-05 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #10
16. Or we hack the vote then admit same anonymously, throwing the entire
2006 election into chaos and bringing full national attention to our really fucked up election systems.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-05 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
15. KICK
:kick: Recommend

"Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated...by me." autorank
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Filius Nullius Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-05 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Who is that masked man?
What kind of name is autorank? What does it mean?
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-05 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Otto Rank the shrink or 'autorank' ranking software for web sites.
I know about the second one since I did a search on it just wondering. Mostly 'naughty' sites too, I might add.

:hi:

"Rumors of my departure are greatly exaggerated...by me." autorank
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adolfo Donating Member (525 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-05 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
18. Florida Precincts
Edited on Wed May-11-05 03:40 PM by adolfo
There have been a few posts regarding anomalies in some Florida counties regardless of the voting machine used. Some precincts were found with either matching party ratios or margin differences with their neighbor. The anomaly seems to come in pairs and could be evidence of automated vote manipulation.

It is still being investigated and nothing is conclusive. Ill post the links once I find them.

Florida Precinct Results

http://www.recountflorida.com/ufed /
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adolfo Donating Member (525 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-11-05 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Link
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