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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:02 PM
Original message
DEADLINE for letters to Calif. Election Panel re: Diebold coup-Thurs. 3/10
Edited on Wed Mar-09-05 06:31 PM by Peace Patriot
**Letters Needed on the Diebold-McCormack attempt to destroy California's tough electronic voting machine standards**

The deadline for public comment to the California Voting Systems and Procedures Panel-VSPP (which makes recommendations to the Sec of State), for their March 17 meeting is tomorrow, Thurs., March 10, by 5 p.m.

The panel's agenda for March 17 has some vague items on it regarding "grandfathered" voting systems, "federal qualification process" and "other business," that could be stealth items in a campaign by Connie McCormack (pro-Diebold L.A. county elections chief) to "bulldoze" exemptions from California's strict electronic voting machine standards, now that she and others have successfully "bulldozed" our elected Sec of State Kevin Shelley out of office. ("Bulldoze" is her word for what she wanted to do to the Sec of State's office, while Shelley was there, to obtain these exemptions.)

(Shelley had decertified and sued Diebold for their lies about the security of their machines, and provided Californians with a paper ballot option--and was then driven from office on trivial and unproven charges. He did not have the money to defend himself, which tells you something about Shelley's honesty. McCormack, on the other hand--a leader of the campaign to drive Shelley out of office--wines, dines and vacations with--and is close friends with--Diebold's chief sales rep in Calif., Deborah Seiler. Which tells you something about Connie McCormack's honesty.)

Below is my letter to the Voting Systems and Procedures Panel. Feel free to use any part of it as a basis for your own letter--either to the Panel (due tomorrow, March 10) or to state and federal officials and media. (This matter may well end up in the Legislature.)

The notice for the meeting says to contact Michael Wagaman at (916) 657-2166 or mwagaman@ss.ca.gov, if you want to provide public comment. Michael is not in the office today. I was referred to Debbie Parsons and she wasn't in either (I left her a message, and will post here with any further info.).

I would suggest both a fax to the Sec of State's fax no. (916) 653-3214, AND an email to Michael Wagaman (mwagaman@ss.ca.gov ). Tel. no. for both Sec of State and Michael Wagaman: (916) 657-2166). (Of course, going in person, or snail mailing, are best, if possible.)

I talked to Michael yesterday. He assured me that the L.A. electronic voting system exemptions is not on the agenda (nor any touchscreen matter). But others say that this Panel OFTEN changes its meeting notices, to the detriment of the public.

My letter therefore tries to cover what they MIGHT do with the current agenda, what they might do if they play agenda games, and general grave concerns about electronic voting (especially given the 2004 evidence).

--------

RE: the cut-off DU urls in my Attachments list

I will return here shortly and post a list of urls (for the referenced docs in my letter, below) that doesn't do this cut-off thing that DU software does (forcing you to go to the actual page for the full url). I have a "tiny url" list of most of these, that someone here did for me a few weeks ago. See my next post here.

Note: In the Steven Freeman and USCountVotes quotes provided below in the Attachment list to my letter (attachments #2 and #3), the added material in parenthesis (..) is intended to be bracketed as inserted material, but DU software won't let me use brackets for that. If you want perfect accuracy, convert the parenthesis to brackets (except for the partentheses that indicate page numbers in the USCountVotes quote--which are in the original quotes).

--------

DISCUSSION FORUM: a full rundown on the situation (& contact info)

Here is JunkYardDogg's discussion forum that has all essential information (the full story, links to VSPP agenda & SoS, all officials' contact info. or links to it, etc.):

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

See Post #70 for L.A. county supervisors contact info. See Posts #80 and 82 for links to all elected officials. A good one: www.vote-smart.org .

--------

My letter... (4 pages in 10 pt. Times font including attachments list in 9 pt.):

-------

Name, address and tel. no._____
Date____

Bruce McPherson
California Secretary of State-Designate
and Voting Systems and Procedures Panel
Office of the Secretary of State
1500 11th Street 5th Floor
Sacramento, California 95814
via fax to (916) 653-3214

RE: Voting Systems and Procedures Panel Meeting, March 17, 2005

Dear Secretary of State-Designate McPherson and VSPP:

I was born in California, and have voted here for 40 years. I have never missed an election. I feel that voting is my most sacred duty as a citizen. I am writing to you to express my grave concern about the integrity of our election system, which I feel is in serious jeopardy from recent events, and may be further jeopardized by your actions today.

Numerous experts have questioned the integrity of our nation's voting system during the 2004 election, including many Ph.D's in statistics and mathematics from leading universities, who have called for an investigation. They report strange, suspicious discrepancies between exit polls and official tallies, with odds of 1 in 10 million against the official tally being correct; and including inexplicable discrepancies between electronic voting machine results and other methods of voting.

The 2004 election was characterized by new and widespread use of electronic voting machines and vote tabulators with truly alarming security problems, among them: secret, proprietary programming code, easily hackable machines, partisan conflicts of interest in executives of the companies that create, sell and service the electronic voting systems, and often no paper ballot or record of any kind for use in recounts and audits.

California has the strongest standards in the country on electronic voting systems, due to the aggressive and vigilant action of our former Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. I hope and trust that the Voting Systems and Procedures Panel, and the new Secretary of State, will live up to Secretary Shelley's standard of vigilance. The fact that the new Secretary of State, Bruce McPherson, was not elected but rather appointed by the Governor does not inspire confidence. The fact that the voters elected a Democrat for Secretary of State and have somehow ended up with a Republican gives further pause. Kevin Shelley, upon taking office, stated that he was "the new sheriff in town." That's the kind of attitude citizens want, to protect the integrity of our votesa tough sheriff. I also note that one of Shelley's chief attackers, L.A. elections chief Connie McCormack, is seeking exemption from Shelley's strong standards for electronic voting (including exemption for paperless Diebold machines), has stated that she wants to drive a "bulldozer" through the Secretary of State's office to get her way, and furthermore has a highly questionable close relationship with Diebold sales representative Deborah Seiler.

This is the context in which you are meeting to make recommendations to the new Secretary of State on four unexplained agenda items: 1. Sequoia Voting Systems a. EMS/AERO central tabulation software b. Optech 400-C optical scan system c. Optech Eagle optical scan system d. Optech Insight optical scan system 2. Grandfathered Voting Systems a. Datavote b. InkaVote c. Mark-A-Vote d. Optech Eagle e. Optech IV-C/400C 3. Federal Qualification Process Report 4. Other Business

Your agenda does not make clear what recommendations are being contemplated. But let me try to be clear on what I would like you to do, as best I can, given this circumstance. I urge the following:

1. No categorical exemptions or general "grandfathering in" of voting systems that are out of compliance with California or federal election standards. Such exemptions are a bad precedent, and may well lead to further effortssuch as those planned by McCormackto evade the standards in even more sweeping and detrimental ways. Exemptions should be rare, temporary, and only granted on a case by case basis.

2. Strict enforcement of all current standards and timelines for compliance.

In addition to strict enforcement, I believe that protection of the integrity of our vote requires you to

1. Get rid of the secret, proprietary programming code in all electronic voting machines and tabulators, now. There is no excuse for private control over vote countingespecially by companies with a partisan interest. Open source code is cheaper, and is possible and doable. Do it!

2. Mandatory audits of election results (manual counts), of at least 10% of the vote chosen at random, in addition to other audits and recounts required by law.

3. Replace the language "Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail" with "Voter Verified Paper Ballot," and retain language that the VVPB takes precedence over electronic tallies in all recounts and audits.

4. State funded independent exit polls to verify the election and check for fraudby companies with no connections to, or contracts with, any TV news network or other news organization, or any other conflicts of interest.

If you cannot accomplish these minimal and reasonable safeguards of our right to vote, then you mustI repeat, you mustdiscard these electronic voting systems and return to a system that ordinary human beings can understand and monitora system in which a ballot is a ballot, and not a collection of electrons that can vanish without a trace, a system that counts ballots in a way that the human eye can see, and at human speed.

I am citing numerous experts in this letter, but I want to put in a word for ordinary citizens and voters--the people whose consent is required for government to be legitimate. In response to a question by L.A. City Beat, regarding 40,000 votes that were put at risk in the 2003 Recall election, due to uncertified Diebold software changes--a charge made by election reform advocate Kim Alexander--Connie McCormack said the following: "That woman has absolutely no credentials in elections. Its almost laughable."

Well, I myself have "no credentials in elections," except for being one of the "governed" whose consent is required for legitimate government. I have a right to understand and observe how my vote is counted. If I cannot do so, then I do not really have a right to vote. Vote counting should not be something that only "experts" and "professionals" can understand. McCormack's remark that someone questioning her judgment has "no credentials " and is "almost laughable" is very revealing. Is this what Connie McCormack and her friends at Diebold think of my concern and that of other ordinary citizens that our right to vote is at riskthat it's "laughable"? That we have no "credentials"? This is one more reason why these electronic voting systems should be held in great suspicion, stringently regulated and thrown out if necessary. They foster a cavalier and contemptuous attitude toward voters, and pose a serious threat to the sovereignty of the people.

Finally, these electronic voting machine companies and how they sold their expensive and shoddy wares to this state cries out for investigation. I believe they sold us a 'lemon.' Their insistence that no paper trail is necessarywhen even an ordinary ATM transaction gives a receipt, and when their voting machines routinely break down, fail tests, give wrong results, require costly servicing, and have been proven to be extremely insecure and hackableamounts to a case of false advertising. Those who sold us these machines, and the officials who bought them, may have cost us more than money. They may have cost us our democracy. We have a right to know how that happened, and to hold them accountable. And this should include investigation of the "revolving door" between these private companies and the government officials who supposedly regulate them. If the Voting Systems and Procedures Panel is acting in the public interest, it will recommend such an investigation.

Following are some of the expert reports on the 2004 election, and on electronic voting and related matters. Anyone purporting to protect the public's interest in honest elections should be thoroughly familiar with these documents:

I hereby attach and incorporate in their entirety the following documents including all web page contents at the referenced urls:

1. Dr. Ron Baiman: Economist/Statistician - senior research specialist, Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago; teaches at the Univ. of Chicago. http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/99...

"I conclude that, based on the best exit sample data currently available, neither the national popular vote, or many of the certified state election results, are credible and should not be regarded as a true reflection of the intent of national electorate, or of many state voters, until a complete and thorough investigation." Dr. Baiman

2. Dr. Steven Freeman: "The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy," and "Hypotheses for Explaining the Exit Poll-Official Count Discrepancy in the 2004 US Presidential Election." Dr. Steven Freeman: Professor, Center for Organizational Dynamics, Univ. of Penn.; Karel Steuer Chair for entrepreneurship, Univ. de San Andreas, Buenos Aires; Professor of Management, Central Amer. Inst. of Business Administration (INCAE). Reports: http://www.appliedresearch.us/sf/epdiscrep.htm . Article: http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/1970

" As much as we can say in social science that something is impossible, it is impossible that the discrepancies between predicted and actual vote counts (for Kerry) in the three critical battle ground states (OH, FLA, & PA) of the 2004 election could have been due to chance or random error." Dr. Freeman

3. US CountVotes Report "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report"

The US CountVotes report dismisses random chance as an explanation for the strange skew to Bush in the exit polls vs. the official tally (in 7 of 50 states): "The binomial probability that 7 of 50 should be so skewed is less than one in 10,000,000. A full comparison of the exit polls with the null distribution (blue curve) via a Shapiro-Wilk test yields a probability that is astronomically small."

"The report (by exit pollsters Edicon/Mitofsky) shows differences in WPE ("within precinct error") for different types of voting equipment (p. 40). Precincts with paper ballots showed a median WPE of 0.9, consistent with chance, while all other technologies (touchscreen, optiscan, punchcard & mechanical) were associated with unexplained high WPE."

"The Edison/Mitofsky report confirms there were large differences between their exit polls and the official results of the 2004 presidential election much more so than in previous elections. The national exit poll indicated a 3 point victory for Kerry; whereas the official election results indicated that he lost by 2.5%, a difference of 5.5%.

"The Edison/Mitofsky report assert(s) without supporting evidence that (p. 4), 'Kerry voters were more likely to participate in the exit polls than Bush voters.' In fact, data included within the report suggest that the opposite might be true.their report ignores the alternative hypothesis that the official election results could have been corrupted.

"The Edison/Mitofsky report states (p.12), 'We need to do more investigation into the causes of the statistical skew in the exit poll data for the general election.' USCountVotes agrees, and we suggest that that investigation extend to the official vote count tallies."

Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D. - Temple University Statistics Department
Kathy Dopp, MS in mathematics - USCountVotes, President
Steven F. Freeman, PhD - Center for Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania
Brian Joiner, PhD - Prof. of Statistics and Director of Statistical Consulting (ret), University of Wisconsin
Frank Stenger, PhD in mathematics - School of Computing, University of Utah
Richard G. Sheehan, PhD - Department of Finance, University of Notre Dame
Elizabeth Liddle, MA - (UK) PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham
Paul F. Velleman, Ph.D. - Department of Statistical Sciences, Cornell University
Victoria Lovegren, Ph.D. - Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University
Campbell B. Read, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Statistical Science, Southern Methodist University
Also Peer Reviewed by USCountVotes core group of statisticians and independent reviewers.
Press Contact: Bruce O'Dell, USCountVotes, Vice President bruce@uscountvotes.org
Report: http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_...
Interview of Dr. Joiner, "'Voting Glitches Haunt Statistician," 3/4/05, Capital Times: http://www.madison.com/tct/news/index.php?ntid=30826&nt...

4. Dr. Michael Haut, & U.C. Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team:

"irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000 - 260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods. Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance the probability is less than 0.1 percent." Dr. Haut and U.C. Berkeley Research Team

"UC Berkeley Study Questions Florida E-Vote Count: Research Team Calls for Immediate Investigation"
Thursday November 18, 1:23 am ET - BERKELEY, Calif., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ --
Press release: http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/1118-14.htm . Study: http://ucdata.berkeley.edu
Dr. Haut is a nationally-known expert on statistical methods and member of the National Academy of Sciences and the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center.

5. Johns Hopkins report on insecurity of electronic voting: "Analysis of Electronic Voting System" http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0307/S00196.htm#...
by Tadayoshi Kohno, Adam Stubblefield, and Aviel D. Rubin of the Information Security Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and Dan S. Wallach, Department of Computer Science, Rice University.

6. "Myth Breakers: Facts About Electronic Elections" (2nd edition): www.votersunite.org

7. Easy demo of how insecure voting machines are, by Republican hacker Chuck Herrin:
http://www.chuckherrin.com/hackthevote.htm

8. Ohio vote suppression: http://www.bpac.info

9. Documentation of widespread machine fraud and dirty tricks in over 20 states: http://www.flcv.com/ussumall.html

10. 57,000 machine malfunction/vote suppression complaints to Congress:
http://www.votersunite.org/article.asp?id=3961

11. TV networks alteration of the Exit Polls to fit the "official tally" (& Zogby prediction of Kerry win):
http://www.exitpollz.org /

12. Compendium of election fraud/election reform information:
http://www.solarbus.org/election/archives.shtml

13. Democratic Underground (TruthIsAll): "To believe Bush won, you have to believe"
(Part 1)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
(Part 2)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
(Part 3)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

14. Democratic Underground (ignatzmouse):
(North Carolina: absentee ballot vs. electronic, inexplicable 9% edge to Bush in electronic:)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

15. "Connie McCormack," by Andrew Gumbel, L.A. City Beat, 5.24.04
http://lacitybeat.com/article.php?id=942&IssueNum=51

16. "Election Official Rips into Shelley," 2/4/05, by Dan Smith, Sacramento Bee (registration required)
www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/12235225p-1309922...

17. "Many lobbyists for electronic voting companies are ex-election officials," by Tim Reiterman and Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 10, 2003. http://www.unknownnews.net/031117comvot.html

18. Open source electronic voting system: http://www.openvotingconsortium.org

Sincerely,

xxxxx
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kevinmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Done, Thank You for Doing this
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Fabulous, kevinmc! And thank you, too! n/t
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. Tiny urls and other conversions, Re: the attachments to the letter...
(some need conversion, some don't - here's the whole list, to avoid confusion...)


1. Dr. Ron Baiman: Economist/Statistician - senior research specialist, Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago; teaches at the Univ. of Chicago. http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/99...

(url conversion - the last part should read "display/19/2004/997"--just add a 7)

"I conclude that, based on the best exit sample data currently available, neither the national popular vote, or many of the certified state election results, are credible and should not be regarded as a true reflection of the intent of national electorate, or of many state voters, until a complete and thorough investigation." Dr. Baiman


2. Dr. Steven Freeman: "The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy," and "Hypotheses for Explaining the Exit Poll-Official Count Discrepancy in the 2004 US Presidential Election." Dr. Steven Freeman: Professor, Center for Organizational Dynamics, Univ. of Penn.; Karel Steuer Chair for entrepreneurship, Univ. de San Andreas, Buenos Aires; Professor of Management, Central Amer. Inst. of Business Administration (INCAE). Reports: http://www.appliedresearch.us/sf/epdiscrep.htm . Article: http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/1970

" As much as we can say in social science that something is impossible, it is impossible that the discrepancies between predicted and actual vote counts (for Kerry) in the three critical battle ground states (OH, FLA, & PA) of the 2004 election could have been due to chance or random error." Dr. Freeman


3. US CountVotes Report "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report"

The US CountVotes report dismisses random chance as an explanation for the strange skew to Bush in the exit polls vs. the official tally (in 7 of 50 states): "The binomial probability that 7 of 50 should be so skewed is less than one in 10,000,000. A full comparison of the exit polls with the null distribution (blue curve) via a Shapiro-Wilk test yields a probability that is astronomically small."

"The report (by exit pollsters Edicon/Mitofsky) shows differences in WPE ("within precinct error") for different types of voting equipment (p. 40). Precincts with paper ballots showed a median WPE of 0.9, consistent with chance, while all other technologies (touchscreen, optiscan, punchcard & mechanical) were associated with unexplained high WPE."

"The Edison/Mitofsky report confirms there were large differences between their exit polls and the official results of the 2004 presidential election much more so than in previous elections. The national exit poll indicated a 3 point victory for Kerry; whereas the official election results indicated that he lost by 2.5%, a difference of 5.5%.

"The Edison/Mitofsky report assert(s) without supporting evidence that (p. 4), 'Kerry voters were more likely to participate in the exit polls than Bush voters.' In fact, data included within the report suggest that the opposite might be true.their report ignores the alternative hypothesis that the official election results could have been corrupted.

"The Edison/Mitofsky report states (p.12), 'We need to do more investigation into the causes of the statistical skew in the exit poll data for the general election.' USCountVotes agrees, and we suggest that that investigation extend to the official vote count tallies."

Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D. - Temple University Statistics Department
Kathy Dopp, MS in mathematics - USCountVotes, President
Steven F. Freeman, PhD - Center for Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania
Brian Joiner, PhD - Prof. of Statistics and Director of Statistical Consulting (ret), University of Wisconsin
Frank Stenger, PhD in mathematics - School of Computing, University of Utah
Richard G. Sheehan, PhD - Department of Finance, University of Notre Dame
Elizabeth Liddle, MA - (UK) PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham
Paul F. Velleman, Ph.D. - Department of Statistical Sciences, Cornell University
Victoria Lovegren, Ph.D. - Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University
Campbell B. Read, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Statistical Science, Southern Methodist University
Also Peer Reviewed by USCountVotes core group of statisticians and independent reviewers.
Press Contact: Bruce O'Dell, USCountVotes, Vice President bruce@uscountvotes.org

Report: http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_...

(url conversion for the above: the last part, after "Re...," is "_Mitofsky-Edison.pdf" --just remove ellipses--"..."--and any spaces, and add it on.)

(or, another type of conversion-just use this tinyurl: http://tinyurl.com/6e2yu )

Interview of Dr. Joiner, "'Voting Glitches Haunt Statistician," 3/4/05, Capital Times: http://www.madison.com/tct/news/index.php?ntid=30826&nt...

(url conversion for the above: the last part should read "index.php?ntid=30826&ntpid=1".)



4. Dr. Michael Haut, & U.C. Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team:

"irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000 - 260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods. Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance the probability is less than 0.1 percent." Dr. Haut and U.C. Berkeley Research Team

"UC Berkeley Study Questions Florida E-Vote Count: Research Team Calls for Immediate Investigation"
Thursday November 18, 1:23 am ET - BERKELEY, Calif., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ --
Press release: http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/1118-14.htm . Study: http://ucdata.berkeley.edu
Dr. Haut is a nationally-known expert on statistical methods and member of the National Academy of Sciences and the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center.


5. Johns Hopkins report on insecurity of electronic voting: "Analysis of Electronic Voting System" http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0307/S00196.htm#...

(url conversion for the above: just add "5" after "htm#," thus, "htm#5.")
(or, tinyurl: http://tinyurl.com/6fwug )

by Tadayoshi Kohno, Adam Stubblefield, and Aviel D. Rubin of the Information Security Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and Dan S. Wallach, Department of Computer Science, Rice University.


6. "Myth Breakers: Facts About Electronic Elections" (2nd edition): www.votersunite.org


7. Easy demo of how insecure voting machines are, by Republican hacker Chuck Herrin:
http://www.chuckherrin.com/hackthevote.htm


8. Ohio vote suppression: http://www.bpac.info


9. Documentation of widespread machine fraud and dirty tricks in over 20 states: http://www.flcv.com/ussumall.html


10. 57,000 machine malfunction/vote suppression complaints to Congress:
http://www.votersunite.org/article.asp?id=3961


11. TV networks alteration of the Exit Polls to fit the "official tally" (& Zogby prediction of Kerry win):
http://www.exitpollz.org /


12. Compendium of election fraud/election reform information:
http://www.solarbus.org/election/archives.shtml


13. Democratic Underground (TruthIsAll): "To believe Bush won, you have to believe"
(Part 1)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
(Part 2)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
(Part 3)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

(url conversion for all three urls above:

Part 1 http://tinyurl.com/4pucs
Part 2 http://tinyurl.com/4gqg5
Part 3 http://tinyurl.com/6okrm )

or, after "duboard.ph...," in each one, add the following:

Part 1: add "p?az=show_topic&forum=132&topic_id=1316010"
Part 2: add "p?az=show_topic&forum=132&topic_id=1358806"
Part 3: add "p?az=view_all&address=203x197878"


14. Democratic Underground (ignatzmouse):
(North Carolina: absentee ballot vs. electronic, inexplicable 9% edge to Bush in electronic:)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

(url conversion: http://tinyurl.com/52dzk
or, after "duboard.ph...," add "p?az=view_all&address=203x45003".)


15. "Connie McCormack," by Andrew Gumbel, L.A. City Beat, 5.24.04
http://lacitybeat.com/article.php?id=942&IssueNum=51


16. "Election Official Rips into Shelley," 2/4/05, by Dan Smith, Sacramento Bee (registration required)
www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/12235225p-1309922...

(url conversion: add, "3c.html"--end of string should read "story/12235225p-13099223c.html"


17. "Many lobbyists for electronic voting companies are ex-election officials," by Tim Reiterman and Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 10, 2003. http://www.unknownnews.net/031117comvot.html


18. Open source electronic voting system: http//www.openvotingconsortium.org
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-05 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. Letter re-tooled for Legislators and others
Here's a re-written version of this letter for CA state legislators, which can easily be converted for federal representatives, media and others. For the ATTACHMENTS (the list of docs and urls, see Main Post or the Comment, above, with url conversions--EXCEPT FOR THE US COUNT VOTES listing (item #3 of the Attachments) for which I've written a better intro text (below).

-------

Name, address, tel.____
Date:____

To: Name, address____

RE: Voting Systems and Procedures Panel Meeting, March 17, 2005

Dear (Senator, or Assemblyperson, or other):

I was born in California, and have voted here for 40 years. I have never missed an election. I feel that voting is my most sacred duty as a citizen. I am writing to you to express my grave concern about the integrity of our election system, which I feel is in serious jeopardy from recent events, and may be further jeopardized by actions of the Secretary of State's Voting Systems & Procedures Panel today.

Numerous experts have questioned the integrity of our nation's voting system during the 2004 election, including many Ph.D's in statistics and mathematics from leading universities, who have called for an investigation. They report strange, suspicious discrepancies between exit polls and official tallies, with odds of 1 in 10 million against the official tally being correct; and including inexplicable discrepancies between electronic voting machine results and other methods of voting.

The 2004 election was characterized by new and widespread use of electronic voting machines and vote tabulators with truly alarming security problems, among them: secret, proprietary programming code, easily hackable machines, partisan conflicts of interest in executives of the companies that create, sell and service the electronic voting systems, and often no paper ballot or record of any kind for use in recounts and audits.

California has the strongest standards in the country on electronic voting systems, due to the aggressive and vigilant action of our former Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. I hope and trust that the Voting Systems and Procedures Panel, and the new Secretary of State, will live up to Secretary Shelley's standard of vigilance. The fact that the new Secretary of State, Bruce McPherson, was not elected but rather appointed by the Governor does not inspire confidence. The fact that the voters elected a Democrat for Secretary of State and have somehow ended up with a Republican gives further pause. Kevin Shelley, upon taking office, stated that he was "the new sheriff in town." That's the kind of attitude citizens want, to protect the integrity of our votesa tough sheriff. I also note that one of Shelley's chief attackers, L.A. elections chief Connie McCormack, is seeking exemption from Shelley's strong standards for electronic voting (including exemption for paperless Diebold machines), has stated that she wants to drive a "bulldozer" through the Secretary of State's office to get her way, and furthermore has a highly questionable close relationship with Diebold sales representative Deborah Seiler.

This is the context in which the VSPP is meeting today to make recommendations to the new Secretary of State on four unexplained agenda items: 1. Sequoia Voting Systems a. EMS/AERO central tabulation software b. Optech 400-C optical scan system c. Optech Eagle optical scan system d. Optech Insight optical scan system 2. Grandfathered Voting Systems a. Datavote b. InkaVote c. Mark-A-Vote d. Optech Eagle e. Optech IV-C/400C 3. Federal Qualification Process Report 4. Other Business

This agenda does not make clear what recommendations are being contemplated. But let me try to be clear on what I would like the VSPP to do, as best I can, given this circumstance. I urge the following:

1. No categorical exemptions or general "grandfathering in" of voting systems that are out of compliance with California or federal election standards. Such exemptions are a bad precedent, and may well lead to further effortssuch as those planned by McCormackto evade the standards in even more sweeping and detrimental ways. Exemptions should be rare, temporary, and only granted on a case by case basis.

2. Strict enforcement of all current standards and timelines for compliance.

In addition to strict enforcement, I believe that protection of the integrity of our vote requires

1. Getting rid of the secret, proprietary programming code in all electronic voting machines and tabulators, now. There is no excuse for private control over vote countingespecially by companies with a partisan interest. Open source code is cheaper, and is possible and doable. Let's do it!

2. Mandatory audits of election results (manual counts), of at least 10% of the vote chosen at random, in addition to other audits and recounts required by law.

3. Replacing the language "Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail" with "Voter Verified Paper Ballot," and retaining language that the VVPB takes precedence over electronic tallies in all recounts and audits.

4. State funded independent exit polls to verify the election and check for fraudby companies with no connections to, or contracts with, any TV news network or other news organization, or any other conflicts of interest.

If the state cannot accomplish these minimal and reasonable safeguards of our right to vote, then we mustI repeat, we mustdiscard these electronic voting systems and return to a system that ordinary human beings can understand and monitora system in which a ballot is a ballot, and not a collection of electrons that can vanish without a trace, a system that counts ballots in a way that the human eye can see, and at human speed.

I am citing numerous experts in this letter, but I want to put in a word for ordinary citizens and voters--the people whose consent is required for government to be legitimate. In response to a question by L.A. City Beat, regarding 40,000 votes that were put at risk in the 2003 Recall election, due to uncertified Diebold software changes--a charge made by election reform advocate Kim Alexander--Connie McCormack said the following: "That woman has absolutely no credentials in elections. Its almost laughable."

Well, I myself have "no credentials in elections," except for being one of the "governed" whose consent is required for legitimate government. I have a right to understand and observe how my vote is counted. If I cannot do so, then I do not really have a right to vote. Vote counting should not be something that only "experts" and "professionals" can understand. McCormack's remark that someone questioning her judgment has "no credentials " and is "almost laughable" is very revealing. Is this what Connie McCormack and her friends at Diebold think of my concern and that of other ordinary citizens that our right to vote is at riskthat it's "laughable"? That we have no "credentials"? This is one more reason why these electronic voting systems should be held in great suspicion, stringently regulated and thrown out if necessary. They foster a cavalier and contemptuous attitude toward voters, and pose a serious threat to the sovereignty of the people.

Finally, these electronic voting machine companies and how they sold their expensive and shoddy wares to this state cries out for investigation. I believe they sold us a 'lemon.' Their insistence that no paper trail is necessarywhen even an ordinary ATM transaction gives a receipt, and when their voting machines routinely break down, fail tests, give wrong results, require costly servicing, and have been proven to be extremely insecure and hackableamounts to a case of false advertising. Those who sold us these machines, and the officials who bought them, may have cost us more than money. They may have cost us our democracy. We have a right to know how that happened, and to hold them accountable. And this should include investigation of the "revolving door" between these private companies and the government officials who supposedly regulate them. If the Voting Systems and Procedures Panel is acting in the public interest, it will recommend such an investigation. I urge the Legislature to investigate!

Following are some of the expert reports on the 2004 election, and on electronic voting and related matters. Anyone purporting to protect the public's interest in honest elections should be thoroughly familiar with these documents.

--------

SEE ABOVE for the full Attachments list (#1 thru #18). Attachment #3 (USCountVotes) has new intro text, thus (only the first paragraph is different)...

3. US CountVotes Report "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report"

Nine Ph.D's from leading universities say, 1) Kerry won the Exit Polls (by 3%); 2) the Exit polls were skewed to Bush (with odds against it of 1 in 10 million), so Kerry's margin was likely even higher; 3) there is evidence of electronic fraud at the precinct level, and 4) calls for investigation of the 2004 Election:

The US CountVotes report dismisses random chance as an explanation for the strange skew to Bush in the exit polls vs. the official tally (in 7 of 50 states): "The binomial probability that 7 of 50 should be so skewed is less than one in 10,000,000. A full comparison of the exit polls with the null distribution (blue curve) via a Shapiro-Wilk test yields a probability that is astronomically small."

"The report shows differences in WPE ("within precinct error") for different types of voting equipment (p. 40). Precincts with paper ballots showed a median WPE of 0.9, consistent with chance, while all other technologies (touchscreen, optiscan, punchcard & mechanical) were associated with unexplained high WPE."

"The Edison/Mitofsky report confirms there were large differences between their exit polls and the official results of the 2004 presidential election much more so than in previous elections. The national exit poll indicated a 3 point victory for Kerry; whereas the official election results indicated that he lost by 2.5%, a difference of 5.5%.

"The Edison/Mitofsky report assert(s) without supporting evidence that (p. 4), 'Kerry voters were more likely to participate in the exit polls than Bush voters.' In fact, data included within the report suggest that the opposite might be true.their report ignores the alternative hypothesis that the official election results could have been corrupted.

"The Edison/Mitofsky report states (p.12), 'We need to do more investigation into the causes of the statistical skew in the exit poll data for the general election.' USCountVotes agrees, and we suggest that that investigation extend to the official vote count tallies."

Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D. - Temple University Statistics Department
Kathy Dopp, MS in mathematics - USCountVotes, President
Steven F. Freeman, PhD - Center for Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania
Brian Joiner, PhD - Prof. of Statistics and Director of Statistical Consulting (ret), University of Wisconsin
Frank Stenger, PhD in mathematics - School of Computing, University of Utah
Richard G. Sheehan, PhD - Department of Finance, University of Notre Dame
Elizabeth Liddle, MA - (UK) PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham
Paul F. Velleman, Ph.D. - Department of Statistical Sciences, Cornell University
Victoria Lovegren, Ph.D. - Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University
Campbell B. Read, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Statistical Science, Southern Methodist University
Also Peer Reviewed by USCountVotes core group of statisticians and independent reviewers.
Press Contact: Bruce O'Dell, USCountVotes, Vice President bruce@uscountvotes.org
Report: http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_...
Interview of Dr. Joiner, "'Voting Glitches Haunt Statistician," 3/4/05, Capital Times: http://www.madison.com/tct/news/index.php?ntid=30826&nt...
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-05 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
5. Kick for deadline..........nt
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-05 03:29 AM
Response to Original message
6. Kick through tomorrow (deadline Thurs. 3/10)! n/t
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-05 05:23 AM
Response to Original message
7. Kick some more! n/t
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-05 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
8. That's today, folks! n/t
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Helga Scow Stern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
9. See new info in other thread
Edited on Thu Mar-10-05 02:38 PM by Ojai Person
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-05 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
10. Yup, I was just gonna say that. Just got new info on deadline.
Edited on Thu Mar-10-05 03:09 PM by Peace Patriot
March 10 deadline (today) is for inclusion in binder to VSPP members, BUT...

Late letters (after today) WILL BE SUBMITTED--by Sec of State aide Michael Wagaman, at the meeting (Mar. 17)

What you lose is VSPP members won't have time to read prior to meeting (Mar. 17).

See my current post on this new deadline (and some other new) info:**

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

See JunkYardDogg post for full story:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Re: my "new information" post (1st link above), clearly we will have to review SoS background docs for this VSPP meeting that are not on line yet, and submit late comment on them.

See this post (right here) for new sample letter info later today. (I'll be posting a short-short version of this letter--much more effective!--and maybe improved version of the long one.)

**Note**: Letters CAN be submitted by email to Wagaman today, or later! See my new info post. If today, he will print out and put in their binder.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-05 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. A further implication of letters being submitable after today...
Edited on Thu Mar-10-05 03:06 PM by Peace Patriot
...and up to Mar. 17, is that contact with legislators and media is not so urgent for today. If, by chance, we interest a legislator to do something, or media, or other citizens, they can still do input before 3/17. One thing we might want legislator help with is untoward changes of agenda or meeting day, or stealth items on the agenda.

I still don't fully understand the "grandfatered" systems agenda item. These systems are already "grandfathered in" (some time ago). The question before the Panel is, if and when they have to meet Fed standards? And I'm not sure what to think of this, if Fed standards require pouring more money into electronic voting machine companies. The stealth item: getting delayed compliance deadlines? Might the precedent be used by others (even if they're NOT "grandfathered in" right now)?*

Wagaman said again that any exemption for the paper trail audit requirement would take an act of the Legislature, and is not on the Panel agenda.

*...but there's no reason we can say we're TERRIFIED of what might come of this, lay it all out, put them on notice (as I sort of do in this letter). (I'm revising the letter, by the way, and will send VSPP the revised version, and will post it here, later today. Not a huge revision--just trying to make it more efficient.)
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-05 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
12. NEW VERSION OF MY LETTER (long version)
Edited on Thu Mar-10-05 04:53 PM by Peace Patriot
See posts above for complete urls--re the Documentation list in this letter. If you use the documentation list, use it as it appears in this version of the letter. The list is annotated. I've done some editings of the annotations, for accuracy and clarity. Use these annotations.

I'm going to hold this letter until 4 pm today--FOR COMMENT AND SUGGESTIONS FROM OTHERS HERE. I think it's clear we're going to have to do a followup letter--when the VSPP agenda background docs get on line (next week?). But I think we should get this content into their bound book for the meeting, so they have time to read and review, especially the document list, and be on notice that THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING.

Note: In the Documentation list, the parentheses within my quotes of documents #2 and #3, should be converted to brackets for perfect documentation. (I've added explanatory notes--which require brackets, not parentheses, but the DU software won't allow me to use brackets) --except for the page numbers within parentheses in the US CountVotes quotes (those are original to their document).

-------

From: xxxx
Date: March 10, 2005
To: California Secretary of State Voting Systems and Procedures Panel
Via email to: mwagaman@ss.ca.gov
Total pages (formatted-attached): 6 pages
RE: Voting Systems and Procedures Panel Meeting, March 17, and related matters

Dear Voting Systems and Procedures Panel Members:

I am writing to you to express my grave concern about the integrity of our election system, which I feel is in serious jeopardy from recent events, and may be further jeopardized by actions of the Voting Systems & Procedures Panel, and by the Secretary of State, with regard to the current VSPP agenda items (for March 17) and related matters.

Numerous experts have questioned the integrity of our nation's voting system during the 2004 election, including many Ph.D.'s in statistics and mathematics from leading universities, who have called for an investigation. They report strange, suspicious discrepancies between exit polls and official tallies, with odds of 1 in 10 million against the official tally being correct; and including inexplicable discrepancies between electronic voting machine results and other methods of voting.

The 2004 election was characterized by new and widespread use of electronic voting machines and vote tabulators with truly alarming security problems, among them: secret, proprietary programming code, easily hackable machines, partisan conflicts of interest in executives of the companies that create, sell and service the electronic voting systems, and often no paper ballot or record of any kind for use in recounts and audits.

California has the strongest standards in the country on electronic voting systems, due to the aggressive and vigilant action of our former Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. Upon taking office, Shelley stated that he was "the new sheriff in town." That's the kind of attitude citizens want, to protect the integrity of our votesa tough sheriff. I hope and trust that the Voting Systems and Procedures Panel, and the new Secretary of State, will live up to Secretary Shelley's standard of vigilance. The fact that the new Secretary of State was not elected but rather appointed by the Governor does not inspire confidence. The fact that the voters elected a Democrat for Secretary of State and have somehow ended up with a Republican gives further pause. In addition, one of Shelley's chief attackers, L.A. elections chief Connie McCormack, opposes strong standards on electronic voting systems, is known to be seeking exemptions for paperless Diebold machines, has stated that she wants to drive a "bulldozer" through the Secretary of State's office to get her way, and furthermore has a highly questionable close relationship with Diebold's chief sales representative in California, Deborah Seiler.

This is the context in which the VSPP is meeting on March 17 to make recommendations to the new Secretary of State on four agenda items that, as of this date--the public comment deadline of March 10--remained unexplained: 1. Sequoia Voting Systems a. EMS/AERO central tabulation software b. Optech 400-C optical scan system c. Optech Eagle optical scan system d. Optech Insight optical scan system 2. Grandfathered Voting Systems a. Datavote b. InkaVote c. Mark-A-Vote d. Optech Eagle e. Optech IV-C/400C 3. Federal Qualification Process Report 4. Other Business

The agenda does not make clear what recommendations are being contemplated, and no background documents are currently available. But let me try to be clear on what I would like the VSPP to do, as best I can, given this circumstance. I urge the following:

1. Strict enforcement of all current standards, certification requirements, and timelines for compliance with regard to any and all electronic voting machines, vote tabulators and other components of electronic voting systems. No exceptions.

2. If you recommend that the voting machines in Agenda item #2 (already "grandfathered in") be placed on a time-line for Federal compliance that is less stringent than for other systems, make clear that you are not setting a precedent for any other systems.

3. No categorical exemptions or categorical relaxed timelines for any component of California's election system. Categorical exemptions are a bad precedent, and may well lead to further efforts to evade the standards in even more sweeping and detrimental ways--such as those planned by Connie McCormack in her efforts to "bulldoze" the Secretary of State's office. Exemptions should be rare, temporary, and only granted on a case by case basis.

In addition, I believe that protection of the integrity of our vote requires

1. Getting rid of the secret, proprietary programming code throughout the election system. There is no excuse for private control over vote countingespecially by companies with a partisan interest. Open source code is cheaper, and is possible and doable. Let's do it!

2. Mandatory audits of election results (manual counts) of at least 10% of the vote chosen at random, in addition to other audits and recounts required by law.

3. Replacing the language "Accessible Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail" (AVVPAT) with "Voter Verified Paper Ballot" to insure precedence of the visible, tangible vote.

4. State funded independent exit polls to verify the electionby companies with no connections to, or contracts with, any news organization, or any other conflicts of interest.

If the state cannot accomplish these minimal and reasonable safeguards of our right to vote, then we mustI repeat, we mustdiscard these electronic voting systems and return to a system that ordinary human beings can understand and monitora system in which a ballot is a ballot, and not a collection of electrons that can vanish without a trace; a system that counts ballots in a way that the human eye can see, and at human speed.

The Electronic Voting Machine "Expert" vs. the Voter

I am citing numerous experts in this letter (see below), but I want to put in a word for ordinary citizens and voters--the people whose consent is required for government to be legitimate. In response to a question by L.A. City Beat, regarding 40,000 votes that were put at risk in the 2003 Recall election, due to uncertified Diebold software changes--a charge made by election reform advocate Kim Alexander--Connie McCormack said the following: "That woman has absolutely no credentials in elections. Its almost laughable."

Well, I myself have "no credentials in elections," except for being one of the "governed" whose consent is required for legitimate government. I have a right to understand and observe how my vote is counted. If I cannot do so, then I do not really have a right to vote. Vote counting should not be something that only "experts" and "professionals" can understand. McCormack's remark that someone questioning her judgment has "no credentials " and is "almost laughable" is very revealing. Is this what Connie McCormack and her friends at Diebold think of my concern, and that of other ordinary citizens, that our right to vote is at riskthat it's "laughable"? That we have no "credentials"? This is one more reason why these electronic voting systems should be held in great suspicion, stringently regulated and thrown out if necessary. They foster a cavalier and contemptuous attitude toward voters, and pose a serious threat to the sovereignty of the people.

Call for Investigation

The many experts cited below, Barbara Boxer, John Conyers and other federal legislators, and numerous citizens, have called for an investigation of the 2004 election. In addition, we need an investigation here in California of how these electronic voting machine companies sold their expensive and shoddy wares to this state, and of possible conflicts of interest among officials who purchased them (including the 'revolving door' of employment). I believe they sold us a 'lemon.' Their insistence that no paper trail is necessarywhen even an ordinary ATM transaction gives a receipt, and when their voting machines routinely break down, fail tests, give wrong results, require costly servicing, and have been proven to be extremely insecure and hackableamounts to a case of false advertising.

Such an investigation should include a survey of ordinary voters on the alphabet soup gobble-de-gook that these electronic voting machine "experts" use. Do ordinary voters understand how their votes are counted? And if not, what are the implications of having a voting system that many voters cannot fathom?

Those who sold us these machines, and the officials who bought them, may have cost us more than money. They may have cost us our democracy. That is how serious this situation is. I urge you to investigate it.

Documentation

Following are some of the reports by experts who have studied the 2004 election results and called for investigation, and related information:

1. Dr. Ron Baiman: Economist/Statistician - senior research specialist, Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago; teaches at the Univ. of Chicago. http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/99...

"I conclude that, based on the best exit sample data currently available, neither the national popular vote, or many of the certified state election results, are credible and should not be regarded as a true reflection of the intent of national electorate, or of many state voters, until a complete and thorough investigation." Dr. Baiman

2. Dr. Steven Freeman: "The Unexplained Exit Poll Discrepancy," and "Hypotheses for Explaining the Exit Poll-Official Count Discrepancy in the 2004 US Presidential Election." Dr. Steven Freeman: Professor, Center for Organizational Dynamics, Univ. of Penn.; Karel Steuer Chair for entrepreneurship, Univ. de San Andreas, Buenos Aires; Professor of Management, Central Amer. Inst. of Business Administration (INCAE).
Reports: http://www.appliedresearch.us/sf/epdiscrep.htm .
Article: http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/1970

"As much as we can say in social science that something is impossible, it is impossible that the discrepancies between predicted and actual vote counts (for Kerry) in the three critical battle ground states (OH, FLA, & PA) of the 2004 election could have been due to chance or random error." Dr. Freeman

3. US CountVotes Report "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report"

Nine Ph.D.'s from leading universities say, 1) Kerry won the Exit Polls (by 3%); 2) the Exit polls were skewed to Bush (contrary to news reports), so Kerry's margin was likely even higher; 3) the official tally is skewed to Bush with odds against the skew of 10 million to one; 4) there is evidence of a skew to Bush in the electronic tallies (vs. other voting methods) at the precinct level, and 5) the 2004 Election needs to be investigated.

The US CountVotes report dismisses random chance as an explanation for the strange skew to Bush in the exit polls vs. the official tally (in 7 of 50 states): "The binomial probability that 7 of 50 should be so skewed is less than one in 10,000,000. A full comparison of the exit polls with the null distribution (blue curve) via a Shapiro-Wilk test yields a probability that is astronomically small."

"The report (by exit pollsters Edison/Mitofsky) shows differences in WPE ("within precinct error") for different types of voting equipment (p. 40). Precincts with paper ballots showed a median WPE of 0.9, consistent with chance, while all other technologies (touchscreen, optiscan, punchcard & mechanical) were associated with unexplained high WPE."

"The Edison/Mitofsky report confirms there were large differences between their exit polls and the official results of the 2004 presidential election much more so than in previous elections. The national exit poll indicated a 3 point victory for Kerry; whereas the official election results indicated that he lost by 2.5%, a difference of 5.5%.

"The Edison/Mitofsky report assert(s) without supporting evidence that (p. 4), 'Kerry voters were more likely to participate in the exit polls than Bush voters.' In fact, data included within the report suggest that the opposite might be true.their report ignores the alternative hypothesis that the official election results could have been corrupted.

"The Edison/Mitofsky report states (p.12), 'We need to do more investigation into the causes of the statistical skew in the exit poll data for the general election.' USCountVotes agrees, and we suggest that that investigation extend to the official vote count tallies."

Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D. - Temple University Statistics Department
Kathy Dopp, MS in mathematics - USCountVotes, President
Steven F. Freeman, PhD - Center for Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania
Brian Joiner, PhD - Prof. of Statistics/Director of Statistical Consulting (ret), U. of Wisconsin
Frank Stenger, PhD in mathematics - School of Computing, University of Utah
Richard G. Sheehan, PhD - Department of Finance, University of Notre Dame
Elizabeth Liddle, MA - (UK) PhD candidate at the University of Nottingham
Paul F. Velleman, Ph.D. - Department of Statistical Sciences, Cornell University
Victoria Lovegren, Ph.D. - Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University
Campbell B. Read, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Statistical Science, Southern Methodist University
Also Peer Reviewed by USCountVotes core group of statisticians and independent reviewers.
Press Contact: Bruce O'Dell, USCountVotes, Vice President bruce@uscountvotes.org
Report: http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_...
Interview of Dr. Joiner, "'Voting Glitches Haunt Statistician," 3/4/05, Capital Times: http://www.madison.com/tct/news/index.php?ntid=30826&nt...

4. Dr. Michael Haut, & U.C. Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team:

"irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000 - 260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods. Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance the probability is less than 0.1 percent." Dr. Haut and U.C. Berkeley Research Team

"UC Berkeley Study Questions Florida E-Vote Count: Research Team Calls for Immediate Investigation"- November 18, 1:23 am ET - BERKELEY, Calif., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ --
Press release: http://www.commondreams.org/news2004/1118-14.htm .
Report: http://ucdata.berkeley.edu
Dr. Haut is a nationally-known expert on statistical methods and member of the National Academy of Sciences and the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center.

5. Johns Hopkins report on insecurity of electronic voting: "Analysis of Electronic Voting System: http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0307/S00196.htm#...
by Tadayoshi Kohno, Adam Stubblefield, and Aviel D. Rubin of the Information Security Institute, Johns Hopkins Univ.; Dan S. Wallach, Dept. of Computer Science, Rice University.

6. "Myth Breakers: Facts About Electronic Elections" (2nd edition): www.votersunite.org

7. Easy demo of how insecure voting machines are, by Republican hacker Chuck Herrin:
http://www.chuckherrin.com/hackthevote.htm

8. Ohio vote suppression: http://www.bpac.info

9. Documentation of widespread machine fraud and dirty tricks in over 20 states: http://www.flcv.com/ussumall.html

10. 57,000 machine malfunction/vote suppression complaints to Congress:
http://www.votersunite.org/article.asp?id=3961

11. TV networks alteration of the Exit Polls to fit the "official tally" (& Zogby prediction of Kerry win): http://www.exitpollz.org /

12. Compendium of election fraud/election reform information:
http://www.solarbus.org/election/archives.shtml

13. Democratic Underground (TruthIsAll): "To believe Bush won, you have to believe"
(Part 1)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
(Part 2)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
(Part 3)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

14. Democratic Underground (ignatzmouse):
(North Carolina: absentee ballot vs. electronic, inexplicable 9% edge to Bush in electronic:)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

15. "Connie McCormack," by Andrew Gumbel, L.A. City Beat, 5/24/04.
http://lacitybeat.com/article.php?id=942&IssueNum=51

16. "Election Official Rips into Shelley," 2/4/05, by Dan Smith, Sacramento Bee (registration required): www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/12235225p-1309922...

17. "Many lobbyists for electronic voting companies are ex-election officials," by Tim Reiterman and Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 10, 2003. http://www.unknownnews.net/031117comvot.html

18. Open source electronic voting system: http://www.openvotingconsortium.org

Sincerely,

xxxx
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-05 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
13. SHORT VERSION OF MY LETTER. Pithier, hits the main points.
SHORT VERSION (shorter by about 1/3)

From: xxx
Date: March 10, 2005
To: California Secretary of State Voting Systems and Procedures Panel
Via email to: mwagaman@ss.ca.gov
Total pages (formatted-attached): 6 pages
RE: Voting Systems and Procedures Panel Meeting, March 17, and related matters

Dear Voting Systems and Procedures Panel Members:

I am writing to you to express my grave concern about the integrity of our election system, which I feel is in serious jeopardy from electronic voting systems, from the loss of our vigilant Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, and from the efforts of L.A. County elections chief Connie McCormack on behalf of paperless voting systems, particularly those of the Diebold company. I am concerned that items on the VSPP March 17 agenda will not be judged by the high standard of vigilance set by Secretary Shelley, that certification standards might be relaxed, and that actions with regard to "grandfathered" systems might be used as precedents for a dangerous weakening of election system safeguards.

Numerous experts have questioned the integrity of our nation's voting system during the 2004 election, including many Ph.D.'s in statistics and mathematics from leading universities, who have called for an investigation. They report discrepancies between exit polls and official tallies, with odds of 1 in 10 million against the official tally being correct; and including inexplicable discrepancies between electronic voting machine results and other methods of voting.

The 2004 election was characterized by new and widespread use of electronic voting machines and vote tabulators with truly alarming security problems, among them: secret, proprietary programming code, easily hackable machines, partisan conflicts of interest in executives of the companies that create, sell and service the electronic voting systems, and often no paper ballot or record of any kind for use in recounts and audits.

California has the strongest standards in the country on electronic voting systems, due to the aggressive and vigilant action of our former Secretary of State Kevin Shelley. I hope and trust that the VSPP and the new Secretary of State will live up to Shelley's standard of vigilance. But I am disturbed by the fact that our new Secretary of State was appointed rather than electedand that the voters elected a Democrat to this position and have somehow ended up with a Republican. I am also extremely concerned about the intentions of L.A. elections chief Connie McCormackone of Shelley's chief attackerswho is known to be seeking exemptions for paperless Diebold machines, has stated that she wants to "bulldoze" the Secretary of State's office to get her way, and furthermore has a highly questionable close relationship with Diebold's chief sales representative in California, Deborah Seiler.

This is the context in which the VSPP is meeting on March 17 on four agenda items that, as of this date, March 10--the public comment deadline--remained unexplained, and without documentation. Given all of this, I urge the following:

1. Strict enforcement of all current standards, certification requirements, and timelines for compliance, with regard to all electronic voting machines, vote tabulators and other components. No exceptions.

2. If you recommend that the voting machines in Agenda item #2 (already "grandfathered in") be placed on a time-line for Federal compliance that is less stringent than for other systems, make clear that you are not setting a precedent for any other systems.

3. No categorical exemptions or categorical relaxed timelines for any component of our election system. Exemptions should be rare, temporary, and only granted on a case by case basis.

In addition, I believe that protection of the integrity of our vote requires

1. Getting rid of the secret, proprietary programming code throughout the election system. There is no excuse for private control over vote countingespecially by companies with a partisan interest. Open source code is cheaper, and is possible and doable. Let's do it!

2. Mandatory audits of election results (manual counts) of at least 10% of the vote chosen at random, in addition to other audits and recounts required by law.

3. Replacing the language "Accessible Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail" (AVVPAT) with "Voter Verified Paper Ballot" (VVPB) to insure precedence of the visible, tangible vote.

4. State funded independent exit polls to verify the electionby companies with no connections to, or contracts with, any news organization, or any other conflicts of interest.

If the state cannot accomplish these minimal and reasonable safeguards of our right to vote, then we must discard these electronic voting systems and return to a system that ordinary human beings can understand and monitora system in which a ballot is a ballot, and not a collection of electrons that can vanish without a trace; a system that counts ballots in a way that the human eye can see, and at human speed.

The Electronic Voting Machine "Expert" vs. the Voter

In response to a question by L.A. City Beat, regarding 40,000 votes that were put at risk in the 2003 Recall election, due to uncertified Diebold software changes--a charge made by election reform advocate Kim Alexander--Connie McCormack said the following: "That woman has absolutely no credentials in elections. Its almost laughable."

McCormack's remark is very revealingnot about Kim Alexander who is actually very knowledgeable about electronic voting systemsbut rather about the cavalier and contemptuous attitude toward ordinary voters that may be fostered by electronic voting due to its esoteric nature and to the interpolation of private interests, and even private control, in what should be a strictly public and accessible matter. Vote counting should not be something that only "experts" and "professionals" can understand. This is one more reason why these electronic voting systems should be held in great suspicion, stringently regulated and thrown out if necessary.

Call for Investigation

Barbara Boxer, John Conyers and other federal legislators, the many experts cited below, and numerous citizens, have called for an investigation of the 2004 election. We also need an investigation here in California of how these electronic voting machine companies sold their expensive and shoddy wares to this state, and of possible conflicts of interest among officials who purchased them (including the 'revolving door' of employment).

Those who sold us these machines, and the officials who bought them, may have cost us more than money. They may have cost us our democracy.

Documentation (see Posts above)

(Note: One way to shorten the documentation is to eliminate the USCountVotes quotes, and just use the short summary at the beginning of that item (documentation item #3). Another way is to pick and choose among the documents--but be careful to include the ones you need to support your statements in the letter.)
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-05 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
14. VSPP meeting POSTPONED! SEE...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

CA Voting Systems & Procedures Meeting POSTPONED!

Just got word from Don Goldmacher. The March 17 meeting WILL NOT TAKE PLACE. The agenda has been postponed to April 21. (See the postponement notice after each agenda item, below.)

Here's the notice: http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections_vs.htm

VOTING SYSTEMS AND PROCEDURES PANEL MEETING (POSTPONED) AGENDA LOCATION
Office of the Secretary of State 1500 11 th Street 1 st Floor Auditorium Sacramento, California 95814
MEETING DATE AND TIME March 17, 2005 10:00 a.m.
Pursuant to Elections Code section 19204, notice is hereby given that the Voting Systems and Procedures Panel will meet on the above date to consider the following items:

1. Sequoia Voting Systems (Postponed; Tentatively Rescheduled to April 21, 2005)

a. EMS/AERO central tabulation software b. Optech 400-C optical scan system c. Optech Eagle optical scan system d. Optech Insight optical scan system

2. Grandfathered Voting Systems (Postponed; Tentatively Rescheduled to April 21, 2005) a. Datavote b. InkaVote c. Mark-A-Vote d. Optech Eagle e. Optech IV-C/400C

3. Federal Qualification Process Report (Postponed; Tentatively Rescheduled to April 21, 2005)

4. Other Business (Postponed; Tentatively Rescheduled to April 21, 2005)

ALL ITEMS MAY BE RE-ORDERED TO BE HEARD ON ANY DAY OF THE NOTICED MEETINGS. THE ORDER OF BUSINESS MAY BE CHANGED WITHOUT NOTICE. The VSPP encourages the public to submit written comments on agenda items. Persons wishing to address the VSPP at these meetings, including any matter that may be designated for public hearing, are asked to notify the VSPP Office (see telephone/e-mail numbers below). Comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday preceding the meeting to ensure their delivery to the VSPP members prior to the meeting. If you wish to provide information or present an oral statement at any meeting, please contact Michael Wagaman at (916) 657-2166 or mwagaman@ss.ca.gov . In all cases, the presiding officer reserves the right to impose time limits on presentations as may be necessary to ensure that the agenda is completed.

------

See these posts for past discussions, background...

JunkYardDogg (comprehensive background)
Calif Fight Against McCormack's Assault on Election Protection
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Peace Patriot
Urgent! New info on CA Voting Systems & Procedures Panel meeting (Mar. 17)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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