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Gov. Jeb Bush, S.o.S. Sue Cobb threaten Leon Co. election takeover!

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Steve A Play Donating Member (638 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:28 AM
Original message
Gov. Jeb Bush, S.o.S. Sue Cobb threaten Leon Co. election takeover!
First it was Steven Heller in California, now it's Ion Sancho. :mad:


"You could steal the election and no one would ever know," Leon County
(FL) supervisor of elections Ion Sancho says.

Sancho arranged for an independent study by Black Box Voting with
security experts Harri Hursti and Dr. Herbert Thompson, discovering
critical security flaws in the Diebold voting system. These flaws were
confirmed in a study ordered by the California Secretary of state.
Today the state of Florida issued a security alert bulletin to all
Supervisors of Elections based on these findings.

And today, Sancho received a letter from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and
Sec. State Sue Cobb, threatening action by the state of Florida to
take over Leon County elections, ousting him from his job.

Ion Sancho is one of the most highly respected elections officials in
the nation. He stood up to the state of Florida, refusing to cooperate
with purging voters who are not felons from the voters list, working
from lists provided by the state of Florida erroneously claiming they
were felons.
Felon Disenfranchisement: Purging the Minority Vote

It is Sancho who was chosen to lead the Florida hand count in the
contentious 2000 Bush v. Gore race. The U.S. Supreme Court nixed the
hand count.
Scarcely begun, recounts halted in 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling

And it is Sancho who has provided the most convincing evidence of the
utter failure of both the federal testing labs and Florida's state
voting machine testing. Neither the federal labs caught the defects
which are referred to in the Hursti Reportas "the mother of all
security holes" and "an unlockable revolving door."

Diebold knew

Yet after the findings in Leon County were published in May 2005,
Diebold responded by attacking and smearing the messenger (Ion
Sancho), denying the problem instead of fixing the system.
Diebold letters to officials

Instead of warning other elections officials so they could improve
security by taking countermeasures, Diebold sent hundreds of letters
to elections officials throughout the U.S. smearing Sancho for being
"irresponsible" and denying that the flaws exist.

Diebold's denials didn't work in Pennsylvania. The state of
Pennsylvania, after independent testing by Carnegie-Mellon computer
scientist Michael Shamos, refused to certify the system.
Pennsylvania declines some Diebold...

The state of California commissioned its own independent study
(Berkeley Report), which confirmed the results from Leon County:
quote:"Harri Hursti's attack does work: Mr. Hursti's attack on the
AV-OS is definitely real. He was indeed able to change the election
results by doing nothing more than modifying the contents of a memory
card. He needed no passwords, no cryptographic keys, and no access to
any other part of the voting system, including the GEMS election
management server."


"Memory card attacks are a real threat: We determined that anyone who
has access to a memory card of the AV-OS, and can tamper it (i.e.
modify its contents), and can have the modified cards used in a voting
machine during election, can indeed modify the election results from
that machine in a number of ways. The fact that the the results are
incorrect cannot be detected except by a recount of the original paper


"Successful attacks can only be detected by examining the paper
ballots: There would be no way to know that any of these attacks
occurred; the canvass procedure would not detect any anomalies, and
would just produce incorrect results. The only way to detect and
correct the problem would be by recount of the original paper ballots,
e.g. during the 1 percent manual recount."

Diebold issued written statements to the Arizona Secretary of State
and to elections officials throughout America claiming that passwords
were needed, and also that the vulnerabilities did not exist.

Meanwhile, Ion Sancho has been blackballed by the vendors.

Three vendors make it impossible to buy

Diebold punished Leon County elections chief Ion Sancho by breaching
its contract, refusing to provide upgrades that Leon County had
already paid for. Without the upgrades, Leon County could not stay
HAVA compliant.

When Sancho went to Election Systems & Software (ES&S) for a
replacement system, ES&S led him on for weeks, then on the eve of the
Florida deadline, refused to sell to him.

Sancho went to the only remaining authorized vendor, Sequoia Voting
Systems (a system that revealed over 100,000 errors in its voting
system computer logs during the 2004 presidential election), but
Sequoia stalled the talks and failed to provide Sancho with an offer.

The companies seem to be tag-teaming with the state of Florida, which
has given Sancho just a few weeks to purchase a system. If all three
companies stall just long enough, they can effectively oust Sancho.

The state of Florida knew

In July 2005, Black Box Voting sent a certified copy of the Hursti
Report to then-Florida secretary of state Glenda Hood and to
then-Florida voting system chief, Paul Craft. In addition, Paul Craft
received a letter from world-renowned M.I.T. security expert Ronald
Rivest warning that the Hursti findings were a serious concern.

Yet the state of Florida did no additional study or testing. Glenda
Hood and Paul Craft resigned suddenly in November 2005, with Sue Cobb
and David Drury taking over -- but no studies of the critical security
flaw identified in Leon County were ordered by either the former or
the current secretary of state, nor were any studies done by either
voting system examiner.

The problem was first reported by Black Box Voting in May 2005, with
formal reports going out by certified mail in July 2005. After no
action by Florida officials, a full fledged demonstration of hacking
the election in Leon County took place on Dec. 13, 2005

At this time, Gov. Jeb Bush promised to look into the problem, but
commissioned no studies and did nothing to decertify the system after
its flaws were confirmed in other states.

Volunteers ready and willing to hand count Leon County; Florida says
it's against the law

When news of Leon County's blackballing spread across the nation,
volunteers from as far away as New Hampshire and Texas began plans to
step in and hand-count the next two Leon County elections.

Jeb Bush isn't having any part of that: No hand counts can take place
in Florida. It's the law.

The state of Florida has not only continued to demand officials to
purchases unauditable paperless touch-screens, but actually
accelerated the schedule. Whereas most states require HAVA-compliant
systems by the first federal election in 2006, Florida moved the
compliance date up to January 2006.

Florida has declined to certify the AutoMark, a device that enables
election supervisors to comply with a Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
mandate for the disabled, forcing county officials to use only
paperless touch-screen machines for disabled voters.

Florida missing a key protection for county election officials

Privatization of public necessities into the hands of for-profit
companies does not work unless certain safeguards are in place. In
Florida, voting system suppliers must be authorized by the state. The
state has approved only three suppliers.

There are other industries which are limited to a few suppliers --
power companies, telecommunications providers, cable networks.
However, in order to become authorized suppliers these vendors MUST
agree to sell to willing buyers.

In other words, "You can only buy from this limited pool of vendors,
but they, in turn, MUST sell to you."

The business model doesn't work if you don't force the limited
supplier pool to sell to willing buyers. Florida's failure to properly
structure the elections business model has created an impossible
situation in Leon County.

Requiring vendors to sell to willing buyers is a KEY SAFEGUARD in
cases where the government limits the supplier pool for a public

- The state of Florida failed in its duty to ensure secure voting
systems. It's testing failed to spot critical security flaws.

- The state of Florida failed to enact a provision requiring voting
system supplier to sell to willing buyers, while at the same time,
limiting the pool of suppliers to just three vendors who can refuse
service at will.

- Diebold Election Systems failed to warn its customers of known
security problems, denied the problems, and punished the county
elections official who discovered the problem by refusing to perform
on its paid-in-advance contract.

According to the Associated Press, Sancho plans to fight!

"We will be talking to our lawyers over the weekend," Sancho said.
"Somebody is going to pay for it."

State orders security safeguards for voting machines


Steven P. :kick:
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:36 AM
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. I hope Democrats are prepared in Florida.
I'd love to see a huge voter canvassing effort, independent of the Republican machine, but backed by notarized affidavitts. It is imperitive for citizens to either validate the results or prove, once and for all, that the system is corrupt.
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ellenfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
3. i hope sancho doesn't back down. looks like jebbie
is looking to insure his election win in 2008. we sure need sancho and everyone else who is fighting the cheaters. i am worried about 2006. our new election chief doesn't look like he is doing anything about our machines. i had high hopes for him too.

ellen fl

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bostonbabs Donating Member (465 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
4. kick
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simonm Donating Member (386 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
5. Vote-PAD is a better alternative to DRE and HAVA compliant!
Edited on Sat Mar-04-06 01:16 AM by simonm
It doesn't need Federal certification. Does anyone know if there is a required state certification process?

"Vote-PAD is little more than a plastic sleeve which is fitted to an existing paper ballot, allowing voters with disabilities a number of ways to mark and verify their ballots without additional assistance. It is used along with an audio prompt and an electronic "verification wand" to further assist blind voters."

Vote-PAD: The Simple Voting Device that May Save American Democracy!
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Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:42 AM
Response to Original message
6. AP picked up this story: Link:

Published Friday, March 3, 2006
State orders security safeguards for voting machines

Associated Press Writer
The state has recommended on Friday that elections officials across Florida enhance security safeguards for all voting systems after tests in California and Tallahassee exposed weaknesses.

Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho called the technical advisory a vindication of his findings last year that some Diebold optical-scan voting machines can be hacked by election office insiders to change results.

"In other words, you could steal the election and no one would ever know," Sancho said.

More about Sancho:
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Pale_Rider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-07-06 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
7. Kick-a-poo ...
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Einsteinia Donating Member (645 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-08-06 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
8. Jeb Bush is above the law, too?
"And today, Sancho received a letter from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and
Sec. State Sue Cobb, threatening action by the state of Florida to
take over Leon County elections, ousting him from his job."

What if Schwarzenegger didn't like our SoS and he just fired him?

Uh, I guess that what he DID do to Shelley. But at least he had the decency to cover it up with a smear campaign so unbearable and torturous that Shelley finally just resigned.

Is a worrisome pattern developing? Nay!
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