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OK, DU sleuths, I need help -- Have at it on ES & S, please!

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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-14-05 01:43 PM
Original message
OK, DU sleuths, I need help -- Have at it on ES & S, please!
Edited on Wed Dec-14-05 01:50 PM by demodonkey
With the HAVA deadline approaching fast, Pennsylvania looks like it's going down to slick and sleazy ES & S salesmanship and heaven knows what all else they are pulling. We might still have a chance, but if we don't want to be voting on paperless iVotronics here for the next 10 years we have to move fast.

I need all the down and dirty information about ES & S I can get -- please help! Looking for info on "interesting" company practices, machine problems (especially the iVotronic), lawsuits, software version switches, any and all dirt you guys can dig up.

Please don't send me to common sources like VotersUnite, etc. we have all that -- We need the deep dish dirt that you DUers are so famous for finding! Please have at it and have fun. ;-)

THANK YOU -- If we can stop ES & S from gobbling up 40 counties here with paperless DREs, it would be the best Christmas present the Keystone state will ever get!

MB

PS -While you are at it, we can use any stuff you have on Sequoia, Hart, and AVS WINvote who also MIGHT be in the running. The state seems to be on to Diebold's shenanigans, but if anyone is seriously considering them I think I can hold my own to convince them that a county would be insane to buy Diebold with all that has been happening lately. But ES & S and their paperless iVotronics are pulling out all the stops and coming off very legit here with a lot of counties.
:scared:
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kansasblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-14-05 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. ok.. then try Bradblog and his interviews with a programmer who...
Edited on Wed Dec-14-05 01:54 PM by kansasblue
was asked to write code to change election results.

or send them to Leon County where they just tossed Diebold out.

www.bradblog.com

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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 11:12 AM
Response to Original message
2. We have them already... I need deeper dirt! ES & S can't be THAT clean!
Thanks but I already know both Brad and Clint, they are great (as is Ellen and John and VotersUnite.)

I'm looking for really off the beaten path stuff... we all know that Diebold's really crappy stuff, but where is the real dirt on ES & S? Here's some ideas of where to start and what information to vet:

-- We know that Bob Urosevitch had a big hand in founding both ES & S (orig. American Information Systems) and Diebold Election Systems (began as I-mark in 1995, bought up by Global Election Systems in '97, which was bought up by Diebold and became Diebold Election Systems in 2002.)

-- We know that Diebold and ES & S share similar software architecture, which came originally through the parent company I-mark, and apparently rely on Microsoft Access as part of it. If the Diebold GEMS central tabulator has more holes than a swiss cheese (documented by the Howard Dean video), there must be documentation of problems / holes with ES & S!

-- Did any of the felon programmers from Diebold ever work at their "brother" company ES & S? Or any other felons?

-- Money connections by ES & S, parent companies, or affiliates.

-- Contributions by ES & S or its bigwigs, and by its parent companies and affiliates -- how much and who got them?

-- Stock problems with ES & S, parent companies, or affiliates.

-- Questionable practices by ES & S, parent companies, or affiliates (sales, employment, business practices, etc)

-- Connections between ES & S, its parent companies, and its affiliates to bigwigs and government officials, or connection to ANY scandal ANYwhere.

-- RECENT documentation / news articles about ES & S machine failures and other problems with ES & S (most sources are not updated much past the 2004 election, so documenting this would be a HUGE help to everyone). Someone who wants to work on this one might try wading back through all John's Daily Voting News articles on VotersUnite, looking for ES & S, and of course Google for any reports that might have been missed.

-- Google, Dogpile, Yahoo, Newsgroups, etc -- look for ANYTHING on ES & S ANYWHERE.


Do the same on Hart, and AVS (WINvote) if you can -- ES & S is the biggest and most important right now.

I'm doing everything I can -- running all over my state through ice storms and whatnot, trying to fire people up to make a last ditch stand before we go down to paperless DREs. I NEED HELP. If ANYone out there who isn't traveling and has a little time can help with this work, you will be doing the whole movement a service because there are people in other states who are facing the same thing my state is.

Think of this board last November and December -- that's the kind of help I need now, if it even remotely still exists. This is crunch time again folks, THIS IS WHERE THEY ARE LAYING THE FOUNDATION TO STEAL 2006 and 2008, in my state and others.

PLEASE HELP! (and please K & R)
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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #2
23. Hey. VotersUnite is already sorted by vendor -- messups!

www.VotersUnite.org :

"Malfunctions and Miscounts, Sorted by Vendor,"

http://www.votersunite.org/info/messupsbyvendor.asp

very handy!
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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. And then there was that little prosecution
I've never been able to find all the details, but maybe someone has them.

Is there better news about ES&S, the remaining company of the Big Three? Sorry. On February 2, 2002, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported, "Arkansas Secretary of State Bill McCuen pleaded guilty to felony charges that he took bribes, evaded taxes and accepted kickbacks. Part of the case involved Business Records Corp., a Dallas company that sold Arkansas computerized systems for recording corporate and voter registration records. Arkansas officials said the scheme involved . . . then-BRC employee Tom Eschberger . . . . Eschberger got immunity from prosecution for his cooperation. Today, he's a top executive for ES&S."

Authors: Freddie Oakley is the Yolo County, California Clerk/Recorder. John Oakley is a Professor of Law at King Hall School of Law, UC Davis.

<http://www.yoloelections.org/homepage/snews/SD106910900... >

ELECTRONIC VOTING - CAN WE TRUST IT?
by Freddie Oakley & John Oakley

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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-16-05 02:17 AM
Response to Reply #24
37. link didn't work -- any way to fix it? thx.
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Zan_of_Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #37
44. Sorry about the link. Here it is, correct.
They must have changed it since I last used it.

Is there better news about ES&S, the remaining company of the Big Three? Sorry. On February 2, 2002, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported, "Arkansas Secretary of State Bill McCuen pleaded guilty to felony charges that he took bribes, evaded taxes and accepted kickbacks. Part of the case involved Business Records Corp. , a Dallas company that sold Arkansas computerized systems for recording corporate and voter registration records. Arkansas officials said the scheme involved . . . then-BRC employee Tom Eschberger . . . . Eschberger got immunity from prosecution for his cooperation. Today, he's a top executive for ES&S."

Freddie Oakley is the Yolo County, California Clerk/Recorder. John Oakley is a Professor of Law at King Hall School of Law, UC Davis.

http://www.yoloelections.org/news/snews/PO1131035703

ELECTRONIC VOTING - CAN WE TRUST IT?
by Freddie Oakley & John Oakley


By the way, Freddie Oakley seems to be a very competent election official. I've spoken with her. She has been a computer programmer, and a state regulator before, as well.
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:35 AM
Response to Reply #44
46. thank you!
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
3. Kick
:kick:
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Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. Here: http://www.whoscounting.net/
Compilation of great dirt on ES&S and all the other companies.
and here:
http://www.publicaccountability.org/election.html
havent looked here for a long time but don't have time for more than this right now.
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. Kicking to greatest
MB - try not to seem so desperate. Of course it is understandable and justifiable that the situation is considered desperate, but catch your breath for a moment and think about what it looks like to the people who must be convinced by the case you are trying to make.

Now, that said, perhaps you can rely on the "deep dish dirt" a little less than you imagined. Think of or search for some of the great semantic discussions in this forum led by the likes of Land Shark and autorank. Look at how our community's best thinkers are pulling together arguments that are absolutely compelling and bullet-proof, without discussing fraud or even details of specific voting systems. Basically, look at the Voter Confidence Resolution. The only way that I've seen elected officials get around this is to put their heads back in the sand and ignore it. There is no refuting it. So now, as with the recently launched CA campaign, I suggest you challenge any of your local/state officials who will not concede to common sense:

"If you are resigned to the status quo, please resign your position and make way for people determined to improve election conditions."
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. I am rarely desperate, but right now I DO need specific help & info, ASAP.
DB (I won't call you GW, lol),

I am well aware of Voter Confidence Resolution and other strategies, but we don't have time for that right here, right now in my state. Pennsylvania is in the last stages of choosing voting systems -- choices will be made within days, if not sooner. We are fighting a specific vendor who is making a grab, pulling out all the stops (some unethical, IMHO), and pushing their paperless DREs.

People sounding "desperate" was what made DU such a great force in all that ruckus that went on after the 2004 election. I've been on here long enough, and I believe I am known for being sensible enough, for people to be able to know when my need for help is real.

If my state doesn't act RIGHT now to fight these DREs, I'm afraid we won't have much luck EVER passing a Voter Confidence Resolution or anything else on paperless iVotronics.

MB

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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. No offense intended
I know your credentials and didn't mean to be condescending. I'm just talking about what types of arguments might be better than others. From the range of choices it seems you are facing, all of them will ensure inconclusive outcomes. I know people can be convinced of this rather easily. If they can still knowingly act to create such conditions I believe the last recourse available is to focus on removing them from office. This may not be what you are looking for, but it is the best advice I have.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. Kick
:think:
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RazzleDazzle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
7. Start here
This is some very basic info every voting rights activist should either know or have at their fingertips:

http://www.ecotalk.org/VotingMachineCompanies.htm
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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. Maybe you can contact ...
the whistleblower:

A mainstream media voice and an ES&S whistleblower
http://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2004/12/mainstream-media...

ES&S Project Manager Resigns Over Voting Machine Problems
8http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1857668
?May 11, 2004


http://www.flcv.com/mahonts.html
Mahoning County
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
9. A top Florida election official just dissed ES&S in the Miami Herald.
Edited on Thu Dec-15-05 12:52 PM by Peace Patriot
The article is mostly about Diebold, and how it failed recent tests, but the election official (Ion Sancho, the state capitol's elections supervisor; Leon County), who is dumping Diebold, takes the opportunity to voice his concern about ES&S as well.

Here's the article:

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/state/1341006...

Posted on Thu, Dec. 15, 2005

"New tests fuel doubts about vote machines

"A top election official and computer experts say computer hackers could easily change election results, after they found numerous flaws with a state-approved voting-machine in Tallahassee.

"BY MARC CAPUTO AND GARY FINEOUT
mcaputo@herald.com

"TALLAHASSEE - A political operative with hacking skills could alter the results of any election on Diebold-made voting machines -- and possibly other new voting systems in Florida -- according to the state capital's election supervisor, who said Diebold software has failed repeated tests....(more)

Here's what he said:

"Sancho agrees that good security is key, but said he's not sure he won't also have problems with the $1.3 million ES&S system, which he'll also test."

--------------

You should follow up with Sancho. Call him. Ask him for more info on ES&S. When will they testing be? Can you get a copy of the results?
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
11. I agree with GuvWorld. Stick mostly with the basic insecurity of these
machines. That is very provable and demonstrable. (Lots of good, current quotes about this in the Miami Herald article--Sancho and several experts).

Be careful with dirt, especially if it's just dug up. Don't want to make wild charges (even if they are dirty rotten far rightwing nutballs). The connection between Diebold and ES&S would be good to make, though--expose their ties, similar architecture, etc. And any good evidence of PARTISANSHIP by CEOs, board members or others--that would okay, even excellent. Partisan companies should not be counting the votes (in secret, no less).

COST. A big factor with decision-makers. On-going costs of upgrades and servicing. Frequent breakdowns. Maybe Sancho can give you ES&S on-going costs. Breakdowns cause even more insecurity; unauthorized personnel roaming around.

And the basics: "TRADE SECRET," PROPRIETARY software and firmware. SO OUTRAGEOUS! The voters are eventually going to rebel against this, and THEN where will they be, as to costs? TRADE SECRETS IN VOTING ARE NOT OKAY. Russ Holt's bill HR 550 forbids undisclosed software. What are they going to do, if that bill gets passed? Buy a whole new system?

-----

"Revolving door" employment, AND partisanship: Sequoia.

The former Repub CA Sec of State Bill Jones, and his chief aide, Alfie Charles, now WORK FOR Sequoia. "Revolving door" employment (election officials going into the electronic voting companies they bought products from) should be OUTLAWED, and no company who engages in it should be permitted in your state's election system. We allow this in elections public office (although we shouldn't) because we ELECT them. They are at least beholden to the voters. But private companies should be clear of partisanship. They shouldn't be in our election system at all, but if they are--bottom line--no private partisans.

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
12. Wow! I just Googled "ES&S campaign contributions." On first glance, it
looks like it might be a gold mine. (ahem) I'll start checking it out.
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kansasblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
13. try the book on www.blackboxvoting.COM
Edited on Thu Dec-15-05 01:19 PM by kansasblue
See the online book for a chapter about ESS and Sen Hagel worked for them, didn't disclose this ownership, elected with unusual results, Someone told me Omaha Weird Herald had ties to ESS.

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dzika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
14. Kick!
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
16. Hart InterCivic
Edited on Thu Dec-15-05 02:00 PM by starroute
Hart InterCivic originated in 1999 as a spinoff of a long-time commercial printing business in Texas known as Hart Graphics. It is owned by Chairman David Hart and by outside investors, several of whom are also represented on Hart's board of directors. Those investors place Hart squarely at the heart of Texas crony politics. The primary names are:

- Triton Ventures, a subsidiary of Amerada Hess.

- RES Partners of Austin, representing Richard Salwen. Salwen is a former Dell Computer vice president who is a heavy contributor to the Republican Party and George W. Bush.
http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?city=AUS...

- The CapStreet Group (formerly Summit Capital Group) of Houston.

- Stratford Capital Partners of Dallas, the investment firm of Tom Hicks.

- The Texas Growth Fund, an entity of the state of Texas that invests state pension funds in local (and frequently high-risk) companies.

All of these except RES Partners are clients of the law firm of Vinson & Elkins, which has also represented Enron, Alcoa, and many Bush supporters.


For Tom Hicks, see
http://www.publicaccountability.org/election.html
http://www.utwatch.org/utimco /
http://www.utwatch.org/utimco/hicks.html
http://www.makethemaccountable.com/tax/SaleOfBaseballTe...

Hicks is the billionaire investment banker who purchased the Texas Rangers from George W. Bush and his partners in 1998 for three times what they'd paid ten years earlier. Bush's share of the deal was $14.9 million, nearly a 25-fold return on his original investment.

Prior to that, in 1994, Hicks had donated generously to Bush's first gubernatorial campaign. Soon afterwards, Hicks and lobbying firm Vinson and Elkins managed to push through a bill creating the University of Texas Investment Management Co., and Bush appointed Hicks as its first chairman. UTIMCO, which is in the unique position of being a private company with control over public state funds, distributed contracts to private investment firms to manage $9 billion of the UT endowment. A scandal blew up when it turned out that many of these firms were tied to Hicks himself, to Bush, or to Bush cronies like Ed Bass and Charles Wyly. UTIMCO also managed to lose large amounts of state money on its investments, in part because of its ties to Enron and WorldCom.


The Texas Growth Fund is similar in many ways to UTIMCO, with which it sometimes works. See:
http://www.publicaccountability.org/election.html
http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2003-12-...

TGF is a private venture capital firm charged with investing money from two large public pension funds -- the only such arrangement in the country. Its major investment in Hart came in the summer of 2000, while Bush was governor. The TGF investment played a major role in turning Hart Graphics, the commercial printer, into Hart InterCivic, the major voting machine supplier. Since the Republican Party currently controls everything in the state of Texas, it also controls Hart by way of TGF.


The CapStreet Group was founded by Frederick Rice Lummis II, who is also a director of Hart InterCivic. See:
http://www.publicaccountability.org/election.html

Lummis is closely connected with the Bush family and their friends through a complex web of Houston marriages and business partnerships. As nearly as I can figure out, he is the son of William Rice Lummis, a former law partner of James Baker III. Lummis and Baker are both from old Houston families that go back together for many generations. William Lummis has contributed generously since 1987 to both the elder and the younger Bush:
http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?st=&zip=...

However, the connections get more complex than that. William's mother was the sister of Howard Hughes' mother, and when Hughes died in 1976 without a will, William led a legal battle on behalf of his mother and siblings. The Lummis family ultimately inherited a substantial portion of the Hughes fortune.

In addition, William Rice Lummis's grandmother was Minerva Rice, from the family which endowed Rice University. Minerva's brother David was married to the daughter of Walter Browne Botts, cofounder of the law firm which is now Baker & Botts. One of David Rice's daughters was briefly married to Howard Hughes in the 1920's. Another married William Stamps Farish, who got into trouble for dealing with the Nazis. Their grandson, William Stamps Farish III (who, if you've been keeping track, is the third cousin of Frederick Rice Lummis II) is an extremely close friend of George H.W. Bush and was George W. Bush's ambassador to Great Britain.

In other words, family ties, cronyism, and obscene amounts of money all play a role in the funding and control of Hart InterCivic.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
17. ES&S and Pivot International
It seems that the manufacture of ES&S's machines is outsourced to sweatshop labor in the Philippines and China.

http://kcsmallbiz.com/2001/january/KCE_0101.htm

Douglass and an eminently successful Philippine real estate and theme park developer, Emilio Ching, own Pivot International, a collaborative new product design, development and manufacturing company headquartered here in the Kansas City area. . . .

Searching for new customers to replace those lost to the fitness industry slump, Pivot made contact with Election Systems & Software in Omaha. A major player in election services and systems, the company had a big contract it couldnt fulfill. ES&S needed several thousand machines for voting in Venezuela, needed them absolutely, positively onsite by November 1998, and asked if Pivot could help with a necessary optical scanning component. Douglass said yes, but then delays in ES&S/Venezuelan negotiations threatened the deal.

In July, ES&S/Venezuela/Pivot settled on 7,000 machines by November. "We had essentially 100 days to build the 7,000 machines," Douglass said. Pivot met its promise, and the machines arrived on time despite a tortuous path that included air shipment from Manila to Los Angeles, truck transport from Los Angeles to Miami and another air shipment from Miami to Caracas. "That was our first major foray outside the fitness business," Douglass said. Based on the success of their first venture together, Pivot completed all voting equipment for Chicago in the Cook County elections this past year.


http://www.pivotint.com/articles_new/media/ustech.html

Enter Pivot International, a fast-track new product development and contract manufacturing firm. We're headquartered in Kansas City, sourced in Taiwan (the largest electronics market in the world) and we manufacture off-shore, in our plant in Manila, the Philippines.

Pivot offers a unique one-source design-to-delivery solution that allows OEMs to turn ideas into products without adding staff, equipment or absorbing large risks. When there's an opportunity in the marketplace, Pivot can produce the innovation. By outsourcing manufacturing, an OEM doesn't have to tie up its own production lines or invest in new ones. The OEM can be busy cultivating clients so that when the product is ready for market, it has a better chance of being a success.


http://www.industryweek.com/CurrentArticles/asp/article...

"If you go into almost any plant in the non-developed countries of the Far East, you're going to see things that OSHA or EPA would shut down tomorrow," says Kirk Douglass, CEO of Pivot International. Headquartered in Lenexa, Kan., Pivot is a contract product development and manufacturing company that owns manufacturing facilities in the Philippines and frequently subcontracts work to China.

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MissWaverly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
18. See this pdf for evaluation of ES & S
http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/voting_systems/021705_1a...

See remark on unacceptable audit from San Francisco, they have actually used ES & S for
a year.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
19. kick!
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
20. I haven't seen this mentioned here, but....

I assume you know about Todd and Bob Urosovitch who are privately endorsed by Ahmanson company, and Howard F. Ahmanson trust fund which is linked to both Diebold and ES&S.

Supposedly there are ties to the CNP and a list of campaign contributors that implicates specific members of the Council of Foreign Relations. This is rumored to implicate Sen. Dodd, among others, who as you may recall argued with Sen. Kerry as to whether election 2004 had been stolen:

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/04/153...

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
21. Have you seen this pamphlet, "The Business of Elections"?
available in pdf, at

http://electionline.org/Publications/tabid/86/Default.a...

The Business of Elections
electionline.org's eighth election reform briefing provides the first nonpartisan and non-advocacy look at the political activities of election machine companies.
Released August 2004

-----------

I'm just giving it a review. It's about the companies and the money. It appears to be a whitewash. This is from p. 5.

" Previously dominated by a handful of companies, the market for electronic voting machines has expanded to 19 known vendors competing for multi-million dollar state and local contracts. 3 electionline.orgs analysis suggests that as the manufacturers joust for market share around the country, there is no industry-wide partisan trend to political contributions. And, in fact, these contributions might not have been that significant in the burgeoning election machine market that has developed in the last three years."

---

They even whitewash Diebold, after admitting its huge contribution to Republicans. They say it's distributed over all their business sectors, not focused on voting machines (--but what does THAT tell us about Diebold, that all their business in dependent on Republican good will?)

---

In their charts of voting machine company contributions to political campaigns, they have ES&S about 50/50 Dem/Repub, overall.

Jeez. Will dig further to see if they any useful info.

But my server is very, ve-e-e-e-ry slow today, and I also have probs with incomplete pdf downloads. Will scan what I can, and see if it's helpful.

-------

Still working through that Google list... Found this:

http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/bill/sen/sb_0001-0050/sb_11_...

(In Calif, ES&S contributed $10,000 to state office campaigs in 2001-2002)

2.Are Voting Equipment Vendors Making Campaign
Contributions? According to a report from
electionline.org in August 2004, the main electronic
voting equipment manufacturers (Diebold, ES&S, Hart
InterCivic, and Sequoia) contributed $656,120 between
2001 and 2003 to candidates running for office across the
country, including four candidates for Secretary of
State. In California, Sequoia donated $8,000 to
candidates for state office in 2001-02, while ES&S made
$10,000 in contributions to candidates for state office
in 2001-02.

and this...

http://www.nwanews.com/story.php?paper=adg§ion=News...

Arkansas Sec of State Charlie Daniels awarded ES&S a $15 million contract, even though Diebold's scored higher on the bid, and even though the Daniels-appointed committee could not decide between the companies, then it turns out ES&S contributed $712 in-kind food to Daniels campaign, and ES&S hired a friend of Daniels, lobbyist Andy Crawford of Little Rock, to work on its behalf.

Daniels opponent said, "When it comes to decisions made by the secretary of state and the management of the off ice, there are definite questions of trust and ethics.

From the article:

"Crawford registered as a lobbyist for ES&S on Oct. 15, 2003, and removed the firm from his list of clients on his lobbyist registration on July 21 of this year, according to the secretary of states office. The office issued a request for proposals for new voting machines on July 11 of this year, according to the committees report. But Ken Fields, a spokesman for ES&S, said the firm hired Crawford under an agreement that expired in March of this year. Crawford 'has not been subsequently engaged,' he said. Crawford said ES&S hired him to learn who the decisionmakers are in Arkansas and about the process. He introduced the firms officials to Daniels and Daniels aide Harris. 'I worked with them through the voter registration
"In January, Daniels decided to award a separate $ 4. 9 million contract for a new statewide voter registration system to ES&S...."

--even though the competing bid was lower. The Daniels-appointed committee agreed with this decision.

Daniels admits to being friends with both the ES&S and Diebold lobbyists. All in all, it's a picture of over-coziness between public employee purchasers and the corporations, with a bad smell to it--like we've seen elsewhere. (--in Los Angeles, for instance; boy, does that situation smell!)
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
22. I assume you have articles on the 3 famous 18181 totals in Texas
Edited on Thu Dec-15-05 07:46 PM by nicknameless
(3 repug candidates, in the same County, on the same day). In the same article, election officials doubted a repug landslide, had a new chip delivered, and the recounted totals revealed that the Dem had won.
http://www.pww.org/article/articleview/4642/1/197

(Too late to nominate, sorry)
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freedomfries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. could this help you demodonkey?
County Reaches $2M Settlement with ES&S
http://www.wishtv.com/Global/story.asp?s=3653888
Election Worker Refuses to Lie for Voting Software Company
http://www.wishtv.com/global/story.asp?s=1806520
Johnson County:Election Worker Fired
http://www.wishtv.com/global/story.asp?s=1689859
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. These links look very good, but you should maybe reply to the OP.
:shrug:
She's probably reading the whole thread, but just in case.
FWIW, I think they're great -- especially the last one! :)
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
26. Some electionline stuff (they are highly prejudicial in general--they even
Edited on Thu Dec-15-05 08:55 PM by Peace Patriot
whitewash the $4 billion HAVA boondoggle--downplay it as a "gold rush," call it "the gold rush that wasn't". But here are a few tidbits...

On ES&S

"Case Study in Influence: California's Bond--P. 6

"There have been instances where political activity by voting machine vendors has had an impact on policy. The 2002 effort to secure public funding for the purchase of voting systems to replace punch cards in California attracted the attention and support of two of the big five voting machine companies: Sequoia and ES&S. The Voting Modernization Bond Act of 2002, or Proposition 41, would allow the state to secure a $200 million bond for the purchase of new voting systems. Nearly twothirds of voters had previously been using punch-card machines. Sequoia and ES&S were the top two contributors in the effort to pass Proposition 41, donating $100,000 and $50,000 respectively. Their efforts which funded advertisements, a Web site and other activities helped to nudge the Act over the top in the March 2002 primary. It won with 51.6 percent of the vote on the strength of strong majorities in just a few populous counties, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Marin. 9 But the influence that voting machine companies buy with their contributions is not at all clear. "

"Lobbying --P. 6

"ES&S employed the most lobbyists at the state level with lobbyists registered in 14 states from January 2001 to June 2003. ES&S spent a total of $100,000 on compensation and expenditures for federal lobbying activities."

(P. 8. They say Seq & Diebold have suffered losses in the voting machine biz, but don't mention ES&S in that regard.)

--------

On Sequoia - P. 10 ("revolving door employment" - my title)

"Alfie Charles, a spokesman for Sequoia Voting Systems, joined the company in 2002 after working for seven years as press secretary in California Secretary of State Bill Jones office the same office which spearheaded the passage of a $200 million bond measure to replace punch cards in the state. Sequoia also hired Jones himself as a consultant in 2003 one month after the Mercury News reported that he wrote letters to Santa Clara Countys Board of Supervisors assuring them the companys DREs were reliable. 25 A company press release also noted Charles joined Kathryn Ferguson, the companys vice president of governmental relations and public affairs. "

(Note: I'm not sure what "joined" means in the above last sentence.)

On ES&S - P. 10 (revolving door...)

"Nebraska-based Election Systems and Software (ES&S) hired Sandra Mortham, a lobbyist who, in 2002 sold the companys touch-screen voting systems to Florida counties. She served as secretary of state from 1995 to 1999 and also split time between her ES&S lobbying duties and those she performed for the Florida Association of Counties, reported The Associated Press in The St. Petersburg Times in 2002. Mortham told the paper she was not involved in the decision by the association to endorse the ES&S touch screens, which are now used in two of Floridas most populous counties, Miami-Dade and Broward. "

Also on P. 10 - connections between former punchcard companies and current electronic.

Starting on P. 17: hard to read tables on lobbying and campaign contributions

--Diebold-huge amounts in Ohio all to Repubs, '01: $126,137, '02: $179,233, '03: $108,450. And $60,000 in Fed lobbying in '03.

--ES&S--about even Dem/Repub: '01: $10,000, '02: $86,660. Fed lobby '01-'03: $100,000

--Seq--'02: $121,500

--Vote Here - Fed lobbying only listed: a whopping $620,000 in '01-'02

-------

6 DRE makers banded together in '03 to throw PR BS into the newstream The "Election Technology Council," under the umbrella of Information Technology Association of America. The companies: Advanced Voting Systems, Diebold, ES&S, Hart, Sequoia, Unilect. This could stand investigation.

I also wonder about this huge amount paid for Fed lobbying by Vote Here ($620,000). (And ES&S, $100,000.)

These things--lobbying, political contributions, coziness with regulators, corporations banding together to to lie about their products--have come to be accepted political/corporate interaction (though it shouldn't be). But when VOTING RESULTS are the "product," it's a entirely different matter!

We must not let standard corporate practice and political corruption get applied to VOTING SYSTEMS without LOUD and FREQUENT objections. It must NOT be ACCEPTED.
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sean in iowa Donating Member (49 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 08:57 PM
Response to Original message
27. Have you heard of Lynne Landes?
I just recently discovered her site so-DISCLAIMER- I don't know enough about her to vouch. But she has posted a wealth of information on all of the vendors, which does seem very well-researched.

Her voting machine company info here.

The linked page is long, and a visual riot. There is a section called COMPANIES about a fifth of the way down the page. The ES&S background there is as thorough as I've seen.

More experienced folks here: Does Landes check out? Thanks.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Landes is great. She's been on this issue a LONG TIME, knows it inside
out, and is a tenacious investigator, who understands the big issues of our democracy that are at stake as well as the details, and writes very well. No problem vouching for Landes. She's a treasure!
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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
30. Some articles of interest
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ES%26S

http://www.bestoftheblogs.com/2003_02_05_bestof.html

http://benalexandra.com/cool_stuff/diebold_ess.htm

http://www.projectcensored.org/publications/2005/6.html

http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/04280...

http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles/Landes_Ambush.ht...

http://www.votersunite.org/info/ES&Sinthenews.pdf

http://www.onlisareinsradar.com/archives/000895.php

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=589188

http://starbulletin.com/2000/06/07/news/story3.html

http://www.votetrustusa.org/index.php?option=com_conten...

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0307/S00147.htm

http://www.opednews.com/lang_071304_voting_dinner.htm

http://www.ballotintegrity.org/DCForumID78/1.html

http://www.wired.com/news/evote/0,2645,62206,00.html

http://www.evoting-experts.com/index.php?p=81

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles...

http://www.votingindustry.com/TabulationVendors/1stTier...

http://www.cjrdaily.org/politics/high_stakes.php

http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/feb04/208610.asp

http://www.newtimesbpb.com/Issues/2004-07-01/news/norma...

http://www.madcowprod.com/RussIlene.html

http://www.sequoiavote.com/article.php?id=26

http://www.sequoiavote.com/article.php?id=24

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090204K.shtml

http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/st...

http://www.republicandictionary.com/article_republican_...

How ES&S counts our votes: http://nesara.insights2.org/Votes.html

http://www.fairelections.us/article.php?id=104

Ohio has from my understanding, narrowed their choices down to Diebold and ES&S. Of course you know about Walden O'Dell promising to deliver Ohio's electoral votes to Bush in 2004, O'Dell is also a member of the elite "Pioneers and Rangers" Bush fundraising organization and recently held a fundraiser in his home for Dick Cheney in July, 2003 raising $500,000 for Bush/Cheney in 2004. ES&S is connected to Diebold and have given bribes and kickbacks
to election officials in both Arkansas and Louisiana. Former AR Secretary of State Bill McCuen was indicted, and imprisoned. The salesman that bribed him was promoted to Vice President of ES&S after testifying against the former Secretary of State for immunity. Ensminger has now departed ES&S and has gone to Shoup. Another racketeer convicted of bribery. Of course, now France wants to prosecute Cheney on bribery charges associated with Halliburton. How Diebold could even be considered as a possible vendor based on Walden O'Dells declaration of August 14, 2003 to the RNC fundraiser is mind boggling. ES&S vice president is the brother to the Diebold President Bob Urosevich. The Urosevich's were fronted monies to start ES&S and then what is now Diebold by extreme right wing financier Howard Ahmanson. Mr. Ahmanson was behind the California recall of Govenor Gray Davis and believes that slavery is a 'biblical right.' There is a serious problem here that must be corrected immediately.

In Louisiana, 22 election officials were indicted and 9 charged with taking bribes and kickbacks totaling $8 million dollars from then Sequoia salesman Phil Foster--who also testified against their Election Commissioner ,Jerry Fowler for immunity. All charges against Foster were dropped and he was promoted to Vice President of Sequoia Pacific. Sequoia Pacific was recently acquired by De LaRue, British owned company that is a member of the Carlyle Group. Does this get any worse? Absolutely. There is no conspiracy theory involved with evm vendors, the facts are indisputable.

http://www.satyamag.com/oct03/pascarella.html

Former Florida Secretary of State Sandra Mortham (R) and Former State Election Supervisor of California Lou Dedier (R) both have ties to Election Systems and Software (ES&S), one of our nations leading voting machine manufacturers and tabulators. Sandra Mortham was a lobbyist for ES&S and the Florida Association of Counties during the same time period. The Florida Association of Counties made $300,000 in commissions from the sale of ES&Ss voting machines.

In Georgias most recent election, William Wingate, a lobbyist for ES&S, contributed $7,000 to Gov. Roy Barnes (D), $1,000 to Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor (D), and $500 to Secretary of State Cathy Cox (D).

Michael McCarthy is the Chairman of the McCarthy Group, of which ES&S is a subsidiary. According to Federal Elections Commission (FEC) filings, McCarthy is also the Primary Campaign Treasurer for Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who (according to FEC filings) is also financially tied to the McCarthy Group by substantial investments (valued between one and five million dollars). According to officials at Nebraskas Election Administration, ES&S machines tallied around 85 percent of votes cast in Hagels 1996 and 2002 senatorial races.

Bill McCuen (D), former Arkansas Secretary of State, pled guilty to felony charges that he took bribes, evaded taxes, and accepted kickbacks. Part of the case involved Business Records Corp. (now merged with ES&S) for recording corporate and voter registration records.

http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Nov2003/solo1103.html

To adjudicate these competing claims a look at real world experience may help. In August 2002, the results of at least 18 suburban Dallas County elections were delayed through vote-counting problems using ES&S software. The Dallas Morning News report on the glitch referred to Election Systems & Software, the company that sold the previously trouble-free equipment to the county four years ago.

Trouble free? Heres what the Venezuelan national electoral authority had to say about ES&S in May 2000. We say ES&S has not been sufficiently efficient in testing what it was supposed to have supplied...the National Electoral Council cannot accept such a failure of responsibility by this North American company. So the Venezuelan elections scheduled for May 28 that year were cancelled. In November 1998, faulty ES&S voting machines used in Hawaii on election day led to Hawaiis first ever statewide election review and a first in the history of the United States.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2005...

Election Systems & Software agreed to pay cash and provide voting equipment for problems dating back to 2003, shortly after it signed an $11.1 million contract with the county. The action could set a precedent for 32 other counties under contract with ES&S as election officials scurry to have polling sites in compliance with the Help America Vote Act by 2006.

Problems first surfaced in 2003 when ES&S provided software that was not fully certified by the Indiana Election Commission for the optical scan machines. Also, officials discovered ES&S had installed uncertified software on the touch-screen machines. The company replaced the software, but that new software was incompatible with software that compiles the results.

In fall 2003, more than 9,000 absentee ballots for the City-County Council election had to be hand-counted over two days because ES&S had not obtained certification for software on a central counting machine.

more ...

http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/8458.html...

Tom Eschberger, of ES&S, got a little taint spilled on him in an Arkansas voting machine case scandal. He accepted an immunity deal for cooperating with prosecutors in a case against Arkansas Secretary of State Bill McCuen, who pleaded guilty to taking kickbacks and bribes in a scheme related to computerized voting systems. (4)

Eschberger is listed in the May 2005 Louisiana document on behalf of ES&S

(1) The New Orleans Times-Picayune, 23 July 2000: "A DIFFERENT KIND OF GATED COMMUNITY"

(2) Saturday State Times/Morning Advocate, 29 April 2000: "Judge frees Bankston case figure"

(3) The Baton Rouge Advocate, 15 January 1997: Civil Court Records

(4) Baton Rouge Advocate, 2 Feb. 2002: "Bill McCuen, guilty plea to charges of bribery, tax evasion, and accepting kickbacks."

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2003Dec/01...

Miami-Dade County election officials have hired the head of a computer firm that served as a subcontractor for Election System & Software Inc., the vendor for the county's touch-screen voting system.Michael Johnson, former president of M. Johnson & Associates, topped 65 other applicants to become Deputy Supervisor of Elections. His job: overseeing electronic voting.

But controversy doesn't end with Diebold alone. Rival voting machine company ES&S also came under scrutiny when it surfaced that it was run by Chuck Hagel until two weeks before his own election. Senator Hagel won by the biggest landslide in Nebraskan history; a victory the press characterized as a "stunning upset". His company, ES&S, counted 83% of the votes.

Hagel left out details of his ES&S involvement in his SEC filings, and, when the discrepancy surfaced, two days after a closed-door meeting with Hagel SEC legal counsel Victor Baird resigned and the matter was dropped. And Hagel, who prior to his stewardship of ES&S was head of the Private Sector Council for George H.W. Bush, has bigger plans: Harris says the domain name "Bush-Hagel2004.com" was purchased last year but subsequently released and the Senator has already bought the rights to "hagel2008.com" and "ChuckHagel2008.com".

Meanwhile Hagel campaign manager Michael McCarthy owns over 30% of ES&S's parent company, and even the Senator hasn't fully divested himself of ownership -- he still has a $5 million stake in ES&S parent company the McCarthy Group.

http://www.votefraud.org/News/2000/10/102700.html

Whether it was the Precinct Ballot Counter 2100 (PBC), the Optech Eagle III, the Model 100 Optic Mark Reader (OMR), or the Votronic touch-screen system that counted your vote, these machines have something in common: they are all designed and operated by Elections Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) -- and they each contain a two-- way modem, allowing them to communicate - and be communicated with - while they are in operation. What is particularly troubling about these machines is the fact that they contain an internal modem, which enables anyone with a modem-equipped computer, -- from hackers and vendors to telephone company personnel and politicians, -- to potentially access and alter the computers tally of the votes.

ES&S is the largest company in the world focusing solely on automating the election process. The company provides specialized systems and software to automate the entire election process for local, state, and national governments worldwide. ES&S is a reorganized company that was given a new name in November 1997 after combining two of the largest election machine companies: Business Records Corp. (BRC, formerly part of Cronus Industries) and American Information Systems, Inc. (AIS). ES&S is a privately held company owned by unknown investors and headed by Aldo Tesi, who refers to the democratic franchise as the election industry. The company is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska and supplies thousands and thousands of machines being used across the country to more than 2,200 U.S. jurisdictions in 49 states. Cook County bought nearly 5,000 PBC machines from ES&S at a cost of $25 million for the suburbs and the city of Chicago in what a company spokesman called a huge contract.

ES&S FIASCO IN VENEZUELA

ES&S supplied Model 100 ballot-counting machines (through a Madrid-based company called Indra Note the use of pagan deity names) for the elections in Venezuela. It was reported (in the Omaha World Herald, whose publisher, John Gottschalk is one of the directors of ES&S) that the head of Venezuelas National Elections Council, Etanislao Gonzalez, placed the blame for the technical difficulties during the election on the Nebraska-based ES&S. Gonzalez said, the firm flagrantly failed to meet its commitments and the failure had destabilized the countrys electoral process.

A Venezuelan air force jet flew to Omaha to fetch experts to salvage the election. It was reported that more than 6 percent of the 7,000 voting machines broke down during the Venezuelan election and that there were major technical glitches. ES&S said that the rate of failure in the Venezuela election was "slightly higher than we would expect."

http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0916-04.htm

ES&S partners with contract manufacturers like Ricoh Electronics Inc. in Tustin, CA, for the ES&S AutoMARK and with Pivot International in Kansas City, KS, for large demand quick turn final assembly. No matter where each unit is produced, all final products are processed through the Omaha facility, explains Schmidt. The units are shipped from the contract manufacturer back to us. Here we take the unit through the final configuration and quality assurance steps to insure it has the correct hardware configuration and certified firmware version for the destination state. It is of the utmost importance that every unit is configured to the certified version for the state where it will be shipped. Because of that importance, we feel it is necessary to conduct that final step ourselves.

As far as we know, some guy from Russia could be controlling the outcome of computerized elections in the United States. In fact, Vikant Corp., a Chicago-area company owned by Alex Kantarovick, formerly of Minsk, Belorussia (also known as White Russia, formerly U.S.S.R.), supplies the all-important 'control cards' to Election Systems & Software (ES&S), the world's largest election management company, writes reporter Christopher Bollyn. According to ES&S, they have "handled more than 40,000 of the world's most important events and elections. ES&S systems have counted approximately 60% of the U.S. national vote for the past four presidential elections. In the U.S. 2000 general election, ES&S systems counted over 100 million ballots."

Getting back to Kantarovich, he would not disclose where the control cards are made, except they aren't made in America, writes Bollyn. Nor would he discuss his previous employment. Bollyn says he got some not-too-thinly-veiled threats from Kantarovich. Kantarovich sounds more like the Russian mafia, than a legitimate businessman.

But the really big deal is this....all of ES&S's touch screen machines contain modems, "allowing them to communicateand be communicated withwhile they are in operation," reports Bollyn. That communication capability includes satellites. "Even computers not connected to modems or an electronic network can still be manipulated offsite, not during the election, but certainly before or after," says voting systems expert Dr. Rebecca Mercuri. ES&S supplied the touch screens for Miami-Dade and Broward counties where the worst machine failures occurred. But the debacle was nothing new for ES&S. Associated Press (AP) reporter Jessica Fargen wrote in June 2000, "Venezuela's president and the head of the nation's election board accused ES&S of trying to destabilize the country's electoral process. In the United States, four states have reported problems with equipment supplied by the company. Faulty ES&S machines used in Hawaii's 1998 elections forced that state's first-ever recount."

http://www.opednews.com/ebbets_neocons_have_determined_...

Prior to Florida's outrageous September 10, 2002 primary election, poll data showed heavy support for Janet Reno in Broward County, but election results from one Broward precinct alone revealed an impossible 0% turnout among more than 800 registered voters. Reno requested a recount of eighty precincts containing 31,375 registered Democrats because they reported only 1,952 votes. Her request was immediately turned down by the State Elections Board. According to an AP analysis, if those precincts matched the average county turnout, they should have produced 10,260 votes, more than five times the number recorded by the Election Systems & Software (ES&S), iVotronic touch-screen voting machines.

Almost two months later on election night, November 5th, 2002, tens of thousands of Floridians experienced difficulties using the iVotronic machines. Voters called in to Neil Rogers AM radio talk show the day after the election and complained of broken voting machines, and machines that voted multiple times for Bush when McBride was selected. Electronic voting expert, Rebecca Mercuri told American Free Press, Numerous severe voting system problems occurred throughout Florida electronic voting on November 5th, but none of the major news networks are covering these problems, On November 6th, David Host, spokesman for the Florida Secretary of State, declared the elections, "an unqualified success", and the Associated Press reported, The closely watched contest for governor in Florida was decided without a hitch. This propaganda might have been believed if 103,222 ballots in Broward County alone had not been misplaced.

Katherine Harris is infamous for using her position as Floridas Secretary of State during the 2000 election to unjustly purge over 90,000 predominantly black and Hispanic Democratic voters from the rolls. People remembered how Harris had taken away their civil rights when she prevented them from voting. On November 5th, 2002, most of the Democratic electorate of 3.7 million people turned out to vote for Jan Schneider who ran against Harris. Although registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 340,000, it was too late, the new ES&S iVotronic machines had already been installed in eleven key Florida counties. On November 5, 2002 Jeb Bush became governor of Florida again, and Katherine Harris was given a seat in the House of Representatives with only 138,940 votes, defeating Democratic opponent Jan Schneider's oddly low 114,618 votes.

This wasnt the first Republican victory involving Election Systems & Software (ES&S). Former right wing radio talk-show host and CEO of ES&S, Chuck Hagel, decided he would run for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska with his own ES&S machines counting the votes. Hagel failed to mention that he had been both CEO and Chairman of ES&S on his disclosure documents, or that he was an owner in the company that installed, programmed, and operated the voting machines used by most of the citizens of Nebraska. In 1996, Republican Hagel won the race in Democratic Nebraska for the U.S. Senate easily carrying both the primary and general elections. According to Bev Harris of blackboxvoting.com, Hagel scored lopsided victories in almost every demographic group, including Black communities that had never voted for a Republican. With the widest margin of victory in state history Hagel became the first Republican in 24 years to win a Senate seat in Nebraska. On November 5, 2002 Hagel ran against Democrat Charlie Matulka and was re-elected to his second term in the United States Senate by an unreal 83% of the vote. Again, the votes were counted by computer-controlled voting machines built programmed and installed by Hagels company Election Systems & Software.

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?sid=18549

Landis just confirms what is already known about "sketchy" electronic voting and how it invites vote tampering. Her connection between election machinery, vote totals and the AP, however, has not previously been made.

She goes on to explain that, "AP spokespeople would not give out information on who sits on their board, however AP leadership appears quite conservative."

Landis continues: "Burl Osborne, chairman of the AP board of directors, is also publisher emeritus of the conservative The Dallas Morning News, a newspaper that endorsed George W. Bush in the last election. Kathleen Carroll, senior vice president and executive editor of AP, was a reporter at The Dallas Morning News before joining AP. Carroll is also on the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME)'s 7-member executive committee. The APME "works in partnership with AP to improve the wire service's performance," according to their website. APME vice president, Deanna Sands, is managing editor of the ultra conservative Omaha World Herald newspaper, whose parent company owns the largest voting machine company in the nation, Election Systems and Software (ES&S)."

It's a cozy relationship considering that ES&S voting machines count 50% of all the votes in the country. The second largest company, Diebold, is also tied to the Republican Party and promised (in a comment by Wally Diebold that got widespread attention on the internet) to "deliver the vote" in Ohio to President Bush.

http://www.corpwatch.org/print_article.php?id=11518

The controversy in Maryland subsequently caused Ohio, who was in the midst of contract negotiations to purchase electronic voting machines, to investigate the security software of all four major vendors. The December, 2003, report to the Ohio secretary of state found Diebold machines possessed 15 security risks, while ES&S machines had 17, Sequoia machines had 15, and Hart InterCivic machines had 10. Of those risks identified, Diebold machines had five that the report considered "high." The report also found a number of "high" risks among the other DRE manufacturers: four for Hart Intercivic, three for Sequoia, and one for ES&S.

Among the high security risks was Diebold's policy of providing "supervisor cards" that allow the voting session to be started or terminated, which had the same security PIN code nationwide. ES&S machines had a function, intended to retrieve votes from a broken machine, which could add votes multiple times to the overall tally without any warning. Also, the process of opening and closing the entire polling station on ES&S machines was controlled by a supervisor function that did not require a password, and provided no warning to a worker that the poll was about to be closed. Sequoia polling stations could be closed by flipping a switch on the back of the DRE that was accessible to all voters.

...

The other three major DRE manufacturers, while still contributing heavily, tend to cultivate both major parties. In 2001, ES&S and its executives gave $21,900 to Republicans and $24,550 to Democrats, Sequoia and executives gave $3,500 to Republicans and $18,500 to Democrats, and Hart InterCivic and executives donated $3,750 to Republicans and $2,500 to Democrats.

All four major electronic voting manufacturers are actively engaged in lobbying. Between 2001 and 2003, the latest year for which data is available, the four companies had lobbyists in at least 21 states, mostly seeking to procure funding for the purchase of their machines. One such lobbying effort was that launched to pass California's Voting Modernization Bond Act of 2002, or Proposition 41, that allowed the state to secure a $200 million bond to purchase DREs. The two largest contributors in favor of the proposition were Sequoia and ES&S, contributing $100,000 and $50,000 respectively. After a flurry of television ads, the proposition passed with a bare 51.6 percent majority.

more ...

ES&S product manuals: http://www.verifiedvoting.org/article.php?id=5189

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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-15-05 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
31. More articles of interest.
http://mcwahtdesign.com/election2eConn.htm

http://www.bradleyreport.net/commentary/VotingCure.htm

http://www.onlinejournal.com/evoting/042804Landes/04280...

http://www.doublestandards.org/floyd4.html

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/110704V.shtml

http://www.nightweed.com/3_november_2004.html

http://www.pastpeak.com/archives/2004/11/ultrarightwing...

http://www.fairelections.us/article.php?list=type&type=...

http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=683

Florida problems:

http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2002/11/05/voting_mac...

http://www.ejfi.org/Voting/Voting-88.htm

More on "Does ES&S really want VVPB?":

http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/New...

How votes are counted in Hawaii: http://www.swans.com/library/art10/mgc138.html

http://www.bartcop.com/110904votes.htm

FACT: The two largest companies that make the machines and write the software to count votes in the U.S. (ES&S, and Diebold
who between them count 40% of the vote) were originally financed by hard right wing Christian Reconstructionist money channeled
through the Ahmanson family. This is a group whose avowed aim is to take over the U.S. government and convert it into a theocracy
based on biblical law. The group is closely tied to the Republican Party through surrogate Christian front groups. As with any group
who believes they have an exclusive on the truth, their guiding ethical principle is: The ends justify the means.

FACT: (Quoted from Air America Radios Mike Malloy in his November 3, 2004 program): "The American vote count is controlled
by three major corporate players, Diebold, ESS, Sequoia, and a fourth, SAIC, Science Applications International. All four are
hard-wired into the Bush power structure, the Bush crime family...The four companies are interconnected; they are not four "competitors."
Ahmanson has large stakes in ES&S, whose former CEO was Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. When Hagel ran for office,
his own company counted the votes, and his victory was considered "an amazing upset." Hagel still has a million dollar stake in ES&S.
Sequoia is the corporate parent of a private equity firm, Madison Dearborn, which is partner in the Carlyle Group. SAIC is referred
to a "shadowy defense contractor." They have gotten into the vote count game both directly and through spinoffs by its top brass,
including Admiral Bill Owens, former military aide to Dick Cheney, and Carlyle Group honcho Frank Carlucci and ex-CIA chief
Robert Gates. (Note: it is pertinent that Gates is quoted as saying that a major focus of CIA activities in the past twenty years has
been developing the techniques and technology to influence foreign elections in furtherance of U.S. foreign policy.)

Malloy continued: Diebold's Walden O'Dell, a top Bush fundraiser, publicly committed himself to delivering his home state Ohio's
votes to Bush. At Diebold, the election division is run by Bob Urosevich. Bob's brother, Todd, is a top executive at "rival" ES&S.

Finally, on this point, it is important to note that the source code for the vote counting software for Diebold and ES&S is the same
source code. It was developed by the Urosevich brothers when they started their original company. They later split up into two
companies, and Diebold bought up one of them while the other became ES&S. But the source code for the software remained the same.

more ...

http://www.bethemedia.org/2004/11/votergate_media.html

"And a new state with a new voting nightmare, Nebraska, home of Election System and Software company (ES&S). Sarpy Countythats where Offutt Air Force Base ishas at least 10,000 extra votes in its returns; 32 of the 80 precincts there still do not have their numbers figured out. Thats thanks to election equipment borrowed from Election Systems and Software. One candidate for Papillion City Council said he was stunned to see that 3,342 people had voted in his ward, when less than 3,000 people were registered there."

http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/2004Q2/cow.html

At $3.7 billion, New York's state contract may be the Holy Grail. Late last year, "though neither a mechanism for awarding a contract nor specification for an acceptable voting terminal have been agreed to yet, lobbyists for (e-voting) manufacturers have been gearing up," reported the New York Times. To boost its chances, Sequoia Voting Systems hired two in-state lobbying firms - a Republican firm with ties to Governor George Pataki and an influential Democratic firm steeped in local politics. Diebold Election Systems hired lobbyists with connections to former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Election Systems & Software (ES&S) hired a firm with ties to another former NYC mayor, John Lindsay.

Californians saw a rapidly spinning revolving door between e-voting interests and government. The former secretary of state who pushed for new voting machines and, in 2002, successfully sponsored a $200 million bond measure to fund counties' voting system upgrades is now a paid consultant for Sequoia Voting Systems, as are two of his former statehouse colleagues. The official who developed California's e-voting machine certification process now directs state operations for ES&S. The company also hired the former mayor of Sacramento to contact Sacramento County supervisors on its behalf, according to the Los Angeles Times. Deborah Seiler, a Diebold employee and former California chief of elections herself, remarked, "There's no question these contacts are helpful."

In Florida, ground zero for election problems, ES&S retained the services of a former secretary of state and one-time running mate of Governor Jeb Bush. In 2001, Global Election Systems (Diebold's predecessor) hired the former chair of Florida's Republican Party, the former running mate of a previous governor, and a former environmental advisor to Jeb Bush, according to the Miami Herald. The lobbyist trying to win the $24.5 million Miami-Dade contract for ES&S was a top GOP lawyer who worked against the recount in 2000. The Votomatic punch-card machines at the center of the 2000 Florida election debacle were, ironically enough, also manufactured by ES&S.


http://www.interventionmag.com/Secondary/modules.php?fi...

Burks continues to say that there are shenanigans aplenty. Heres just one. A local printer I spoke to told me that he was told to print infrared sensitive numbers on the backs of ballots, not by election officials, but by the vendors. ES&S in our case. We have their machines in 55 of our 75 counties. That printer knew I was active on the voting machine issue and asked me why they would have him do such a thing. He said he questioned the infrared numbers being printed on the backs of the ballots, but did it because they told him to. He did this for a period of time, did not say how long, then the vendors suddenly told him to stop doing it. Burks states that she could find no one related to the elections who knew what the infrared numbers were used for.

Remember, in 2002, Arkansas Secretary of State Bill McCuen pleaded guilty to felony charges that he took bribes, evaded taxes, and accepted kickbacks. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, Part of the case involved Business Records Corporation, which has now merged to become Election Systems & Software. Arkansas officials said the scheme involved Tom Eschberger, an employee of BRC. Eschberger got immunity from prosecution for his cooperation. Today, hes a top executive of ES&S.

http://www.tabletnewspaper.com/politics/73_tftgk.html

Theonomic Reconstructionism is a belief that the only true authority is God's, that allegiance to biblical laws trumps that of civic law and that the Kingdom of Heaven needs to be built on Earth before Jesus will come again. In addition to that, homosexuals should be put to death, women should be banned from civic office, apostates and heretics should be stoned to death and there is a great need for more Christian politicians.

Not content to philosophize about such things, the TR movement sprang into action. Funded by billionaires such as Howard Ahmanson and the Coors and Hunt families, Reconstructionists formed think tanks such as the Chalcedon Institute and the Rutherford Institute (the friendly guys that funded Paula Jones' lawsuit against Clinton) to give the Christian Right a philosophical base to draw from, and political action committees to finance their elections. One such PAC, Allied Business of California, can credibly claim successful elections for over 30 state lawmakers, not to mention being the powerhouse behind initiatives to scuttle affirmative action, provide vouchers for private schools and ban public employee's unions from participating in trustee elections for public employees. This success was not enough for our plucky fundamentalists. No matter how hard they tried, there seemed to be one serious impediment to enacting God's will on Earth: democracy. Those godless heathens kept on insisting on their right to vote. What would Jesus do in a situation like that?

According to the Reconstructionists, Jesus would do what Howard Ahmanson did. Ahmanson inherited his money from his father, owner of Home Savings & Loan (during the S&L scandal of the Reagan years, Home's investors, mostly small family investments, lost over $150 million dollars. No one went to jail). In addition to funding PACs and think tanks, Howard Jr. parlayed his fortune into the majority stock of a business called American Information Systems (AIS) started by two enterprising brothers, Todd and Bob Urosevich. AIS later merged with Business Records Corporation (BRC) and became Election Systems & Solutions (ES&S). ES&S is the number one provider of touch-screen voting machines. Their website claims that their products were used in collecting 56% of the national vote in the last presidential elections.

Todd Urosevich is now Vice President of ES&S. Strangely enough, brother Bob moved on to head the second largest computerized vote-counting business, Global Election Systems, recently purchased by ATM and security giant Diebold. (They now have both the Ohio and Georgia contracts.) In a round table swap of incestuous patronage the previous executives of Global moved on to head the third largest vote-counting company in the nation, Advanced Voting Systems. Combined, these three corporations will process nearly 80% of the next nationwide elections. Is it that bad? No, it's worse. Since the 2000 "elections" and all that hubbub about chads, Congress has enacted legislation requiring states to update their vote-counting infrastructure. That translates to computerized touch screen voting. In addition, the Voter News Service, a conglomeration of exit-pollers from the major news networks has disbanded. On top of that the systems pushed by Diebold and ES&S are paperless - backup ballot versions can be purchased, at a substantial mark-up from the paperless kind, but one can only imagine which choice cash-poor states will opt for when forced to invest in expensive technology. Compounding this mess is the code for vote counting software is considered proprietary property of the corporations involved, there can be no public review of the process by which votes are counted.


http://www.dos.state.fl.us/press/oss/hood_anomaly.html

Secretary of State Glenda E. Hood announced today that the Division of Elections has issued certification for the new ES&S system designed to solve the recent anomalies found in Miami-Dade county. ES&S has committed to assist with statewide installation of the system at no additional cost to the counties or to the state. The new system may be installed and used immediately. The old version will not be certified after the new system is installed in the eleven counties that use the now-obsolete system. The decertification will take place no later than July 30, 2004.

On May 7, 2004, the Division of Elections learned that Miami-Dade county had experienced an anomaly in their voting system. The condition, which first appeared in a North Miami Beach Election in May of 2003, intermittently caused system audit files to record incorrect serial numbers for touch screen devices in precincts. It is important to note that the anomaly was rare and all votes were counted as the anomaly did not affect the vote itself but rather the audit after. Since the Division of Elections became aware of the anomaly, employees have been investigating the issue. As a result, ES&S of Omaha, Nebraska, has developed a solution in time for the August Primary Election.

http://mcwahtdesign.com/election-2004-6a.htm

Election Systems & Software (ES&S):

* 1. Company founded by: Brothers Todd and Bob Urosevich. The brothers now run competing election companies (Todd is with ES&S, Bob is with Global Election Systems, now part of Diebold.) Together, these two companies count about two-thirds of the votes in America.

* 2. Vested interests: ES&S was given its grubstake (while operating under the name American Information Systems) in 1984 when the billionaire Ahmanson family injected enough cash to get ahold of a 68 percent ownership. (2) This wealthy family has been instrumental in making the Republican Party take a hard right turn pouring money into conservative Christian candidates and right-wing agendas.(3)

They were instrumental in getting at least 24 conservatives into the California legislature; launching prop. 209, California's successful anti-affirmative action law; financing Prop. 22, California's effort to ban gay marriages; financing efforts to remove evolution from school curriculi; and financing the Chalcedon Institute, which reportedly believes in the death penalty for homosexuality and other "sins." The Ahmansons are heirs to the Home Savings of America fortune, which was the largest savings and loan association in the world during the rollicking 1980s (while the S&L scandals were taking place.) Howard Ahmanson is a major benefactor of the Christian reconstructionist movement, whose followers wish to turn certain tenets of the Bible into national law.

* 3. Skating too close to criminal prosecutions and kickbacks...02/05/2002, The Baton Rouge Advocate reports that Arkansas Secretary of State Bill McCuen pleaded guilty to felony charges that he took bribes, evaded taxes and accepted kickbacks. Part of the charges related to election systems. Tom Eschberger, who became a Vice President for ES&S, took an immunity deal and testified against McCuen. And in Florida, Jeb Bush's first choice as running mate in 1998 was Sandra Mortham. According to the Tallahasee Democrat (10/6/2002) Mortham, was a paid lobbyist for ES&S and received a commission for every county that bought its touch-screen machines. Mortham says there was nothing improper about the deals, but Broward County Commissioner Ben Graber disagreed, alleging conflict of interest. And let's look at Alex Sheshunoff, from the BRC merger: He was sued by the SEC for manipulating the stock price of BRC using a technique called "marking the close."
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-16-05 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. Chuck Hagel was CEO with AIS--- not ES&S---
Sequoia is no longer controlled by MAdison Dearborn-- Smartmatic bought -- IIRC 85% of Sequoia, back in the spring of 2005. IIRC Smurfit owns the other 15%.

------------------

I votronic-- in NJ- Sussex county is dumping them--- but they have a not too recent version. The Ivotronic has recieved many up grades in 2005 and looks to be 2002 certfied.

The I votronic was purchased by ES&S -- its not a new DRE-- TO be able to have an audio ballot- AKA -for the voter to use headphones- for the sight impaired-- ES&S had to put in a 2nd processor, because the primary cpu was incapable of the added task of providing for the audio ballot.


SUSSEX

County Clerk
Hon. Erma Gormley
4 Park Place
Newton, NJ 07860-1795
Phone: (973) 579-0900
Fax: (973) 383-7493

Commissioner of Registration
Mr. Joseph Kelso
18 Church Street
Newton, NJ 07860-9965
Phone: (973) 579-0950
Fax: (973) 579-0955

Board of Election
18 Church Street
Newton, NJ 07860
Phone: (973) 579-0950
Fax: (973) 579-0955

web: http://www.sussexcountyclerk.com

-----------------------
NJ certification:

Election Products, Inc.
P.O. Box 321
Urbanna, Virginia 23175
(804) 758-0095
 EP Votronic DRE Touch Screen Voting System (purchased by ES&S)
(now called the iVotronic) - 08/28/98

Election Systems & Software
200 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 600
Chicago, IL 60601
(312)419-0270 - - (800) 800-0270
 AIS Optical Mark Reading System Models 150 & 550
(absentee ballots only) - 07/24/96
 ES&S Model 100 Precinct Ballot Counter - 08/28/98
 VT-2000 Electronic Voting System - 12/10/98
 V-2000 (Certification Not Required - Same as VT-2000) - 4/27/01
 iVotronic DRE Voting System (same as EP Votronic)
(Certification Not Required) - 8/17/01
------------------------------------------

SO as you can see the I votronic was originally produced by ELection Products.
Probably around 1997, or earlier?
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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-16-05 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. AIS is ES&S.
In 1999, American Information Systems (AIS), purchased Business Records Corporation (BRC) to become ES&S.
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-16-05 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. 1997 , not 1999, DOJ action spilit up BRC, ES&S bought PART of BRC
Edited on Fri Dec-16-05 12:54 AM by FogerRox
IIRC HAGEL was never CEO of ES&S
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-16-05 01:44 AM
Response to Original message
35. My all time favorite from the state of PA:
Edited on Fri Dec-16-05 01:45 AM by Bill Bored
<http://www.cumberlink.com/articles/2005/11/11/news/news... >

The reason why this story is huge is:

ES&S Op Scans reversed the outcome of the election due to incorrect/bogus ballot definition programming.

The screw up favored Republicans, but voters of BOTH parties were disenfranchised.

The problem was fixed by hand counting of the paper ballots.

I don't know who did the programming, but it doesn't matter. It proves that races can be decided incorrectly by programming errors that ANYONE can make (not to mention deliberate malfeasance).

It just happened to be ES&S but because there were paper ballots, the voters' true intent was discovered.

A recount on paperless DREs would have simply regurgitated ANY programming-induced ballot errors the voters didn't notice. And only a 2-vote error would have changed the outcome of this race. The actual error was over 100 votes.

And it happened in your state!

It doesn't get any better than this. The only problem with this story, is that it was probably a central op scan -- not precinct count, but if this election was held on paperless DREs, or even with VVPATs, chances are the 2-vote margin that correctly decided this race would have been reversed as well. You can't expect every voter to notice every machine-induced error.
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emlev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-16-05 01:57 AM
Response to Original message
36. All that gets compiled here should go to Research forum
Is anyone up for doing that?
Is there a way to get the thread moved there when we're done with it here? Others will need this info, and Research might be a good way to archive it.
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-16-05 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
38. THANKS guys, I am on the road, but learned more that ES & S in PA is...
...gobbling up counties here right NOW like a pig in a slop trough. I have three requests for help for help to fight ES & S and AVS from counties this afternoon alone -- I am going to refer them right to this thread in addition to the other info we have to send them.

The stuff you guys have dug up is incredible. Actually I remember seeing some of these, but to have someone like 'yall' be able to pull it up and organize it is worth its weight in gold!! And yes, as Emlev says, we need to preserve this thread.

:loveya: :loveya: :loveya: :loveya: :loveya:

PLEASE keep going and post more if anyone finds more on ES & S, Hart, or AVS WINvote (which it looks like AVS WINvote is getting to be a player here though I can't for the life of me figure out why any county would want to buy this scary wireless machine.) Well I guess all three are pretty scary, hmmm.
;-)

THANK YOU again -- will keep checking in as I can,
MB



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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #38
56. AVS
AVS isn't federally certified to any kind of recent standards. They haven't even tried to certify their product, but most of their customers don't seem to care.

Check Fairfax county, VA from last year's primaries (at least I think it was last year's primaries -- pretty sure). They actually just lost a bunch of votes with AVS equipment, but it was mostly kept quiet.

Also AVS has no voter-verified paper audit trail. They haven't even tried to build one; they're actually the only vendor who's refused to supply one. Every other vendor either has one available or has one in development.

Neil
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-16-05 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
39. kick.nt
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-16-05 11:57 PM
Response to Original message
40. ES&S is a Good voting machine company - NOT like Diebold
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 12:07 AM by sunshinekathy
Digging up dirt on ES&S is not a sound tactic if you want the best available voting systems on the market.

Just for SOME of the ways that ES&S is different than Diebold include:

1. Tight secure operating system as a base (unlike Diebold, Sequoia, and some others).

2. INDEPENDENTLY auditable DREs because they use an open source bar code on their paper rolls and make an open source system that any geek can build to audit the paper rolls (OK I still hate DREs because the majority of voters never take the extra step to verify a stupid paper roll)

3. They put their money into R&D rather than lobbyists and have responded to the criticisms of voting activists by improving their systems.

4. ES&S sells a really good optical scan system that is easier for election officials to use and their AutoMARK ballot printer is ideal for disabled (in fact much more disabled friendly than DREs) and it is ideal for foreign languages so no extra ballots need to be pre-printed in foreign languages.

Note: It is not logically correct to say that just because my brother works for one company and I work for another company, that means that the ethics and products of the two companies must be similar.

Note: Just because some suspicious election results patterns have occured in counties using ES&S optical scan machines does not indicate that the vendor had anything to do with it. It is easy for local election officials to mess with any paper ballot optical scan counts by doing things like:

a. not counting all the ballots or destroying some ballots

b. putting extra marks on some of the ballots - thus causing overvotes to invalidate votes

c. setting the precinct-based optical scan machines not to detect and tell the voters about overvotes in precincts which they fear might vote "incorrectly"

d. adding extra premarked ballots to the pile with the "correct" votes.

e. substituting valid voter ballots with premarked ballots (and this was proven to be the case in precincts in Arizona in the November 2004 election)

Every electronic DRE will make at least occasional errors in counting and every system has a way to hack it - if you are an insider and know enough about it. ES&S can be no different than any other voting machine vendor in that respect.

The only way to ensure accuracy is to implement measures to detect and correct miscounts.

I have spoken with the chief engineer and one of the developers at ES&S and they were even considering joining the open voting consortium and making their source code open source but the open voting consortium demanded that they phase out the paper rolls and they decided that they couldn't phase out a product that already has a widespread customer base.

You are attacking the wrong entity to go after ES&S. There never has been, and never will be a perfect voting system, so the only way to ensure accurate vote counts is:

1. independent routine audits of voter verified paper ballots

2. public reporting and analysis of detailed vote count data that is currently not yet being publicly released by any of the over 3300 separate counties, but which we have a legal right to under every state's freedom of information act.

See http://electionarchive.org for more information (we need the funding to hire full-time programming persons to build the national public data archive system which may be the only tool to detect and correct vote miscounts in many locales in the next election).

Both measures must be taken prior to any candidates' conceding any election. I know of no other way to ensure that vote counts accurately reflect voter intent, other than these two measures above. And yes, to do independent audits, the voting system must be independently auditable, which many DREs are not today.

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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. Kathy -- please call me -- you don't know what they are pulling here!
Bad stuff going on here in the Keystone State -- please believe me, it is BAD!

We need help here or we are going to be 100% paperless DREs, no audits -- ever, and no data for you and USCV. This is serious.
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. I'm totally on your side - Against Paperless
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 12:26 AM by sunshinekathy
I am totally against any voting system that is inauditable.

I can't think of anything stupider than a paperless voting system because vote count errors are guaranteed that way, from innocent error at the least and it's an open invitation to tamperers - by saying - "We'll never check these counts by doing independent audits because we've selected a voting system that is inauditable".

However, ES&S optical scan systems with the AutoMARK ballot printers are the best system I've seen on the current market given that no one has yet built the Open Voting Consortium's system since they haven't been funded. See http://openvoting.org

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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #42
45. Well, we're not going to get Op-Scan / AutoMARK...
...if ES & S has their way, except in a tiny handful of counties. Unless we really fight this, most of PA is going to be "steered" onto paperless DREs, many of them ES & S paperless iVotronics.

Please check your PMs.

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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #41
43. There will be data for USCV - even with paperless


The detailed vote count data is available because it is merely the vote counts themselves broken out by precinct and by type of vote that gives us the clues to detect where votes were significantly miscounted.

It is not ideal, but it may be the only tool available to detect and correct vote miscounts with paperless systems.

You might try passing out this doc for a real low-key way to avoid paperless systems:
http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/paper-audits/Pap...

Please read/see these documents which explain and show how you can help USCV to obtain the data for your county and state:

http://uscountvotes.org/ucvData/US/How2CollectData.pdf

and

http://electionarchive.net/public/ucv_select_info.php

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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 03:12 AM
Response to Reply #40
47. that's wrong on almost every possible level
Your post is alarming in the sheer amount of disinformation it contains. Please check a few facts before posting... USCV's propensity for publishing incorrect data is bordering on embarrassing.

1. Tight secure operating system as a base (unlike Diebold, Sequoia, and some others).


That's a pretty gross misstatement of fact. ES&S does actually use Windows for almost all of its important software, including everything related to election definition and setup, result tabulation and reporting. ES&S touchscreens don't use Windows (Diebold's use Windows CE, while Sequoia's use Linux) but it's hardly an issue. ES&S optical-scan machines do use custom firmware, but so does Diebold's optical scan machine. Sequoia's optical-scan machine is actually the same as the ES&S machine -- they won the rights to the technology several years back when ES&S was sued by the government over violating anti-trust laws with their monopolistic, non-competitive business practices. (But they're much better now. :eyes: )

As for the characterization of their operating system as "tight" and "secure"... that's entirely subjective. With all due respect, I'll lay ten to one odds that you don't actually know what operating system is used, or what's especially "tight" or "secure" about it relative to the operating systems used by other vendors.


2. INDEPENDENTLY auditable DREs because they use an open source bar code on their paper rolls and make an open source system that any geek can build to audit the paper rolls (OK I still hate DREs because the majority of voters never take the extra step to verify a stupid paper roll)


ES&S doesn't actually have an independently-auditable DRE at all, since they don't have a VVPAT unit that's been certified either federally or in any state. Nor have they sold a single DRE with a VVPAT unit anywhere. ES&S is actually the only major vendor without a voter-verified paper-based unit in production, and ES&S is the slowest vendor to respond to the demand for one. Sequoia was the first to sell and deploy such a unit, in New Mexico. Diebold has actually sold the most DREs with a voter-verified paper audit trail, with sales exceeding those of all other major vendors combined.

Ignoring all of that, your statement is disingenuous in the extreme. Any DRE with a voter-verified paper record of the votes is independently auditable regardless of the type of bar code printed on that paper record, because you can simply read the text on the paper. For you to imply that the ES&S vaporware paper-trail unit can be audited better than real units from every other vendor on the basis of its bar code, of all things, (which, incidentally, can't even be used in several states including California) makes one question your motives, especially in light of the overall tone of your post.


3. They put their money into R&D rather than lobbyists and have responded to the criticisms of voting activists by improving their systems.


With all due respect, Kathy, you just made that up. ES&S is a privately-held company, and as such they don't publish (nor are they obligated to publish) what they spend on R&D versus other areas. Consequently you have no idea how much they spend on R&D. You can find out what Sequoia, Diebold, even poor, bankrupt AccuPoll spend on R&D because they're publicly-traded and they have to report on their expenditures.

And for what it's worth, you'd clearly be surprised to know that ES&S actually spends more on lobbyists than any other vendor. There's a reason they're the largest vendor of election equipment in the United States.


4. ES&S sells a really good optical scan system that is easier for election officials to use and their AutoMARK ballot printer is ideal for disabled (in fact much more disabled friendly than DREs) and it is ideal for foreign languages so no extra ballots need to be pre-printed in foreign languages.


ES&S actually sells a very old optical scan system that's widely regarded in the industry as inferior to both the Diebold and Hart units. Its scan engine is based on 1980s fax machine technology, and it operates like one. Watching it scan a ballot at the rate of an inch or two per second is almost painful to watch when you compare it against competitors' offerings (and I have experience with all of them, unlike most "experts" who post things on the internet). Despite what's usually reported here and elsewhere, the state of Florida is mostly run with ES&S equipment, and most of the problems there have been with ES&S equipment. Sequoia's optical-scan machine is the same as ES&S' unit, and the main reason there aren't more reports of problems with it is that they haven't really sold it anywhere (Cook County and Chicago purchased it last year, but I don't believe it's actually been used there yet.)

With all due respect, AutoMARK is no more "ideal" than your typical DRE for the disabled and is certainly not "much more disabled friendly than DREs". You simply made that up, like your earlier assertions. Unlike you, I'm not advocating either type of device. I'm simply basing my statements on claims made by actual disabled people, and in general the disabled community appears to be equally satisfied with either option (I can dig up the studies if necessary).

And for whatever trivia value it's worth, AutoMARK is currently the basis of a pending lawsuit in at least one state.


Note: Just because some suspicious election results patterns have occured in counties using ES&S optical scan machines does not indicate that the vendor had anything to do with it.


That's just... I don't even know how to respond to that, except maybe to ask "how much has ES&S actually donated to USCV and/or Kathy Dopp?" Are you serious? In almost every election Diebold is accused of rigging election results, even if hand recounts show the original results were correct. Triad technicians were repeatedly accused of rigging Ohio election results after last year's presidential election, even though none of the recounts supported it. (I'm not interested in debating Triad's or Diebold's alleged election-rigging activities. The point is that every other vendor is automatically suspect, but you'd like people to believe that ES&S is somehow above the same level of suspicion? Just because you like their AutoMARK device? Please. That's an insult to our collective intelligence.)

Fun trivia fact: ES&S bought Triad after the 2004 election, and currently employs all the former Triad people in Ohio. But I guess they're all better now. Right? Uh huh.

Fun trivia fact #2: In the last two elections in California, ES&S machines miscounted the absentee votes, and in fact subtracted the absentee totals from the correct totals in some counties. That hasn't been reported because the secretary of state's office has hushed it up to avoid causing more public outcry there after the recent, raucous public meetings over Diebold TSX certification. Better yet: my inside source has seen the actual video of ES&S machines miscounting votes in California. There's video of voters selecting a candidate in the top left corner of the touchscreen, and a different candidate in a different race being selected down in the bottom left of the screen. Or better: there's documentation of ES&S machines failing parallel-monitoring tests in California on election day. Parallel monitoring: that means they randomly take some machines out of service right before opening the polls, and process some test ballots on those machines independently at the SoS office to make sure they count votes correctly. And the ES&S machines didn't. Take a 5-minute breather from shilling for ES&S and file a public records request for this information with the California secretary of state's office instead. Ask for the video, if you like. Then come back here, post it, and then tell us again how we should all be pushing our election officials to run out and buy ES&S equipment. :eyes:


I have spoken with the chief engineer and one of the developers at ES&S and they were even considering joining the open voting consortium and making their source code open source but the open voting consortium demanded that they phase out the paper rolls and they decided that they couldn't phase out a product that already has a widespread customer base.


Well one of you is lying, and out of respect I'll assume it's the ES&S guy. ES&S never seriously considered joining the OVC, and any decision not to join them certainly wasn't based on their inability to phase out a product that actually has zero customers, isn't certified or deployed anywhere, and (as of July) was still mired in development.


Your other points about no system being perfect, and about all systems having attack vectors by knowledgeable insiders with access to the system are true, and they're not pointed out nearly enough. And I agree that routine independent audits of voter-verified ballots would be a big improvement to the electoral system. But your endorsement of ES&S on what amounts to almost entirely fabricated grounds is naive at best and deceptive at worst.

Neil
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 03:44 AM
Response to Reply #47
49. Best rebuttal ever
Great work Neil. Welcome to DU.
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #49
61. ES&S negotiated w/ the Open Voting Consortium & has VVPAT
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 01:12 PM by sunshinekathy
ES&S did negotiate with the Open Voting Consortium and does make a VVPAT for its DRES that is far superior to Diebold's VVPAT (and I have seen and tested both) and ES&S does make a demonstrated system to recount them.

I have personally seen a demonstration of not only the ES&S VVPAT paper rolls he claims do not exist because he says they are not certified (BTW each state certifies independently, plus there is a NASED certification and ITA testing and he doesn't specify), but I have also personally, with my own eyes, seen the system for counting their paper rolls.

I personally spoke with two of the technical developers at ES&S and I personally arranged with them to speak to the president of the Open Voting Consortium. And I personally spoke with the President of the Open Voting Consortium both before and after his conversations with ES&S.

Despite your admiration for his "rebuttal", he is not all-knowing and omnipotent and his "facts" are NOT EVEN CLOSE TO REALITY. His "information" is pure invented nonsense from inside his own head or from other such invented sources, and he doesn't cite any sources for the things he's purely invented to justify his incorrect position.

I have worked with the scientists and computer scientists on this issue since early 2003, and his inventions of financial gains for me from ES&S are despicable lies as I am sure he is fully aware.

His false allegations against me are slanderous and should be removed from DU immediately. He obviously does not have any respect for the truth or for dedicated honest election activists.

I would also doubt the truth of any of his other statements, given that he doesn't back any of them up with a source and given that so much of what he said is obviously invented garbage just to support his own position. He needs to get a grip on reality and be more open minded to the actual facts and stop being deliberately destructive in such dishonest ways to the productive honest efforts of dedictated hardworking sacrificing election activists who value the truth.
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #47
52. UUuuhm

For you to imply that the ES&S vaporware paper-trail unit can be audited better than real units from every other vendor on the basis of its bar code, of all things, (which, incidentally, can't even be used in several states including California) makes one question your motives, especially in light of the overall tone of your post.


Jusy a hint Neil, I understand where you are coming from-- & Tend to agree, but in the past some DU members have used this language, and it doesnt go over too well.

---makes one question your motives----

Kathys post is quite clear. I would suggest that the line about motives is redundant. And thusly not really needed.
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #52
54. thanks for the lecture
I do question the motives of any poster who shills for a particular vendor or product on the basis of a bunch of made-up data, and admonishes election reform activists not to investigate that vendor at all and just blindly lobby their local election administrators for it instead. So should you. Especially when that poster solicits donations in the same post, and when the vendor in question has a long, documented history of paying people off. It's unseemly.

Sorry if that offends, but so did Kathy's original post.

Neil
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #54
57. Didn't mean to lecture-- a poor welcome on my part
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 12:06 PM by FogerRox
I do question the motives of any poster who shills for a particular vendor or product on the basis of a bunch of made-up data,


excellent point-

and admonishes election reform activists not to investigate that vendor at all and just blindly lobby their local election administrators for it instead.


again- well said


So should you. Especially when that poster solicits donations in the same post, and when the vendor in question has a long, documented history of paying people off. It's unseemly.

Sorry if that offends, but so did Kathy's original post.

Neil


Your post does not offend-- not me-- Let me try to dance around this issue,
without naming names-- in the past-- a DU member, or 2, that frequented the Election fraud section, used that sort of language-- particularly the "motivation" word. Mods deleted posts and threads were locked.

TO me, and I might assume, to you, Neil, its quite logical to read Kathy's post about ES&S, and have a number of questions pop into ones minds. You can assume that you & I, have probably, the same list of questions.

In fact Kathys pronouncement is on the daily thred-

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #57
64. I did not "shill" for any vendor.
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 01:35 PM by sunshinekathy
You completely mischaracterize my post.

I did not "shill" for any vendor. I stated FACTS because the facts are being misrepresented by many election activists regarding the particular vendor's products.

I never would and obviously never did "admonish election reform activists not to investigate that vendor". That is a GROSS misrepresentation. I do admonish you to INVESTIGATE THE ACTUAL FACTS and stop misrepresenting and inventing stories to suit your position. You are very eager to misunderstand and misrepresent what I meant to say. Election activists ARE going the wrong direction when they misrepresent the facts because it only makes them seem like irrational "nuts" and fits the stereotypes of how election activists are already misportrayed.

I am sorry that the facts offend you so much that you feel a need to invent misrepresentations of my actual words to suit your position.

I suggest that you stick to the facts and read my other posts just now on this list.

The fact IS that ES&S is a far superior voting system to Diebold and that much of what is posted on this discussion thread right now is pure invented BS which makes it difficult to tell the difference between the true problems (and there are many of those too) that people have had with ES&S.

As I reiterate, there is no such thing as a perfect voting system and never will be - The Open Voting Corsortium design comes closest, but no one has built it, although I suppose Accupoll comes the closest. The ES&S optical scan w/ AutoMARK is one of the best systems available on today's market, and voting systems will ALWAYS need to be:

1. independently audited

and

2. vote count data reported publicly in more detail than any county currently does and analyzed prior to any candidate conceding.

Now stop the idiotic personal attacks just because you don't like someone speaking the truth whenever it contradicts your previous opinions.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #64
67. "Digging up dirt on ES&S is not a sound tactic..."
"...if you want the best available voting systems on the market."

Kathy, it may seem strange to you that someone would interpret this as "admonish(ing) election reform activists not to investigate that vendor," but I'm not sure how else you would expect it to be interpreted.

I'm sure you didn't "shill," but it was a pretty enthusiastic endorsement of the equipment and the company ("a Good voting machine company").
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #67
76. Good point OTOH
Kathy- you have a PM--

Neil-- you dont have enough posts for you to be PMed. Please Emial me roger@51capitalmarch.com

This should be toned down-- right now
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #67
95. If you think THAT was enthusiastic,
wait til you see what the Election Sciences Institute has to say!

I can see the ES&S ads now:
http://www.publicopinionpros.com/advertise/2005/dec/adv...

"Tin foil hat election fraud investigators and exit poll debunkers alike agree: ES&S makes the best damn voting systems on the planet!"

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #64
69. oh - perhaps I misunderstood?
You completely mischaracterize my post.

I did not "shill" for any vendor.


Really? OK. Maybe I just misunderstood what you were saying. Let's review:


ES&S is a Good voting machine company - NOT like Diebold


"ES&S is a Good voting machine company." Sounds like an endorsement to me. But maybe I misunderstood.


Digging up dirt on ES&S is not a sound tactic if you want the best available voting systems on the market.


"Best available voting systems on the market." Sounds like an endorsement to me. But maybe I misunderstood.


ES&S sells a really good optical scan system that is easier for election officials to use and their AutoMARK ballot printer is ideal for disabled (in fact much more disabled friendly than DREs) and it is ideal for foreign languages so no extra ballots need to be pre-printed in foreign languages.


"ES&S sells a really good optical scan system that is easier for officials to use and the AutoMARK ballot printer is ideal for disabled..." Wow. "Really good". And "ideal". Sounds like an endorsement to me. But maybe I misunderstood.


Just because some suspicious election results patterns have occured in counties using ES&S optical scan machines does not indicate that the vendor had anything to do with it.


Suspicious election results on ES&S optical scan machines don't indicate that ES&S had anything to do with it... they are above reproach, on your undocumented say-so. Sounds like an endorsement to me. But maybe I misunderstood.


You are attacking the wrong entity to go after ES&S.


Because they're so good, right? Sounds like an endorsement to me. But maybe I misunderstood.


The fact IS that ES&S is a far superior voting system to Diebold...


"Far superior system." Sounds like an endorsement to me. But maybe I misunderstood.

Actually... no, I didn't misunderstand. Your posts read like a marketing brochure. You are either shilling for ES&S, or you are utterly incapable of expressing what you're really trying to say. You seem pretty well-spoken (aside from your propensity to use ALL CAPS FOR EMPHASIS a little too often), so I'm going with "shilling".

And you've actually been shilling for ES&S for quite some time. Even Lt. Governor Gary Herbert of Utah claims it. He wrote earlier this year that "since my election, the Elections Office and I have met with only one advocate on any voting equipment issue: Kathy Dopp of Utah Count Votes" in an editorial responding to your own editorial in which you clearly shill for (there's not really much suspense, now, is there?) ES&S.


I never would and obviously never did "admonish election reform activists not to investigate that vendor". That is a GROSS misrepresentation.


No? Let's review:

Digging up dirt on ES&S is not a sound tactic if you want the best available voting systems on the market.


Translation: don't investigate ES&S.

How about this?

You are attacking the wrong entity to go after ES&S.


Translation: don't investigate ES&S.

Express all the moral outrage you like, but don't deny your own statements when they're right there on the same freaking web page. :eyes:


As for the rest:

As I reiterate, there is no such thing as a perfect voting system and never will be - The Open Voting Corsortium design comes closest, but no one has built it, although I suppose Accupoll comes the closest.


You keep referring to "FACTS" (usually in all upper-case). I "suppose" it was probably just an oversight that you left out any actual "FACTS" to support either of these statements.


Neil
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #52
63. Independent Audits ARE Better than Proprietary Audits
There is a HUGE difference between being able to audit a system "independently" of insiders within the system and having to use proprietary audit procedures which cannot be checked by outsiders.

The developers at ES&S (and I have spoken with their lead developer) has assured me that their bar codes are "open source" as opposed to the bar codes of Diebold and other DRE vendors, and that they make available all the open source programs to any county or state who requests them to have their local geeks of choice build a system to INDEPENDENTLY audit their paper rolls.

I do not create the facts, and if you do not like the facts that, if what ES&S developers say is true, their DRE system IS BETTER than any other that is NOT independently auditable (as awful as paper rolls are in general), that is not a reason to make personal attacks against me or question my motives or invent untrue stories about me to win people to your position.

I am sorry that I seem to understand the concepts of computer science and voting systems better than some of you and have spent the time to not only obtain that knowledge, but have worked with computer scientists for years on this issue and have spent the time to investigate the ES&S system because it was being considered by Utah, but my hard work and dedicated effort do not call for you to "question my motives".

I like the TRUTH and I WILL speak the TRUTH and try to teach you the honest facts despite your personal attacks which are clearly inappropriate.
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #47
60. Wow - so much disinformation - it is staggering
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 01:44 PM by sunshinekathy
Your personal attacks and invented stories about me are uncalled for and your outrageous post should be removed from DU. I don't know where you got your "information" but you certainly don't cite anything and as far as I am aware, the majority of what you say is flat wrong.

I have personally seen a demonstration of not only the ES&S VVPAT paper rolls you claim do not exist, but I have also personally, with my own eyes, seen the system for counting their paper rolls.

Your outrageously false allegations are slanderous and should be immediately removed from DU.

I personally spoke with two of the technical developers at ES&S and personally arranged with them to speak to the president of the Open Voting Consortium. And I personally spoke with the President of the Open Voting Consortium both before and after his conversations with ES&S.

Despite your delusions, you are not all-knowing and omnipotent and what you imagine inside your own head as the facts are NOT EVEN CLOSE TO REALITY. You seem to have no qualms about inventing all sorts of "facts" to support your position.

Please stop iventing lies to defame me just because I do not agree with your position and discipline yourself mentally to be a little open minded to facts which may inform and alter your opinions slightly.
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #60
65. wow - so much belligerence - it is staggering
I don't know where you got your "information" but you certainly don't cite anything and as far as I am aware, the majority of what you say is flat wrong.


You don't cite anything either, Kathy. I do believe that "as far as you are aware" the majority of what I say is flat wrong, but my entire point is that you aren't actually "aware".


That aside, I have personally seen a demonstration of not only the ES&S VVPAT paper rolls you claim do not exist, but I have also personally, with my own eyes, seen the system for counting their paper rolls.


I didn't say "they don't exist". Pay attention. They do not have a certified product. Not federally. Not in any state. As a result their unit is not actually available. Their unit is not currently for sale, and (to the best of my knowledge) hasn't been part of any RFP. As a result they have not sold a single VVPAT unit. They are last of the big vendors to come out with one, which I said. They may have a system for counting the paper rolls, as you say. In fact I'm sure they do. It's not certified. And it doesn't have any customers either. Diebold demonstrated a VVPAT unit back in July of last year -- but it wasn't certified or available until spring of this year. So while you may have "personally seen" a "demonstration" of something from ES&S, get it right when you post about it on the internet. It's vaporware until it's actually available for purchase. And your contention that it's more independently-auditable than other vendors' similar products because of a bar code is just ridiculous for reasons I already pointed out.


Your outrageously false allegations are slanderous and obvious lies.


I haven't made a single allegation, "outrageous", "false" or otherwise. Nor have I lied, not even once. Your own post is full of misinformation, as I have pointed out. My information is easily verified by anyone actually inclined to bother. Your belligerence doesn't actually make your case any stronger, just obnoxious.


Despite your delusions, you are not all-knowing and omnipotent and what you imagine inside your own head as the facts are NOT EVEN CLOSE TO REALITY.


OK, Kathy. Whatever. :eyes:


You seem to have no qualms about inventing all sorts of "facts" which are obviously untrue to support your position.


I'll avoid the temptation to post a bunch of links to the since-retracted revisions "1 through N" of various USCV papers as my ironic rebuttal to accusations of 'inventing all sorts of "facts" which are obviously untrue to support (my) position'.


Please stop iventing lies to defame me just because I do not agree with your position and get a grip on reality.


My only "position" is that it's extremely irresponsible for you to tell a bunch activists not to investigate a particular vendor and to just blindly lobby their local officials to adopt that vendor's products. Especially when the vendor in question is as demonstrably problematic as ES&S. Obviously you disagree, since you're the one doing the shilling. *shrug*


(And if you don't want anyone to question your motives, don't pander for donations while shilling for a vendor. It's too easy for people to associate the two. Better to separate the posts.)


Neil
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #65
66. I would rather be TRUTHFUL than tactful - You can Learn More
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 02:46 PM by sunshinekathy
And you are neither. Your posts are full of untrue inventions and deliberate defamations, and should be removed from DU IMO.

Please re-read my posts, this time with an open mind to the true facts.

Sometimes we must change our opinions to reflect the truth. And sometimes just because a majority of election activists agree, it does not mean that everything that they agree on is correct.

Stop being a bully and be a little bit open minded to learning new facts. Again, vote miscounts will ALWAYS occur with a system that is not independently auditable and is not independently audited to detect and correct errors. And it is fact that just because vote miscounts occurred, it does not always mean that the voting machine vendor was involved - especially if there were paper ballots which could have been tampered with. A good election and vote counting system needs several checks and balances and routine independent audits.

Try to remember that we are on the same side - wanting to ensure that vote counts accurately reflect voter intent.

Your venom would be better directed at the enemies of democracy - the folks that support voting systems that give insiders complete freedom to tamper and are not independently auditable, and the folks that want to keep vote count data secret so that we cannot analyze it to detect exactly where vote miscounts occur.

Keep in mind also that you may be new to this issue and that others may have studied computer science and mathematics and voting systems for years, and so be able to inform you.

For example, I will repeat that, contrary to your posts, there is no such a thing as "federal certification" of voting systems. Such a claim is incorrect. The feds do not certify voting systems - although the EAC will be taking over the NASED "certification" of voting systems to the VOLUNTARY federal guidelines. The U.S. constitution gives authority to the states over their selection of their own officials and to the state legislatures over the selection of electors for the U.S. presidential race. The only exception is the Voting Rights Act and now HAVA requirements which states must meet. Each state decides on their own certification procedure. Any state is free to completely ignore, or not, the NASED or EAC certification, or require certification to the 1998 or the 2002 guidelines or whatever they want to do. Each vendor must apply to each state to certify their system in that state, depending on each state's individual requirements.


Imagine what you are saying when you claim that there is "federal" certification of voting systems! Would you really want the Bush administration in charge of which voting systems could be certified?

There is no excuse for inventing things and proclaiming that they are factual in order to support a position. I find dishonesty in any form to be highly offensive.
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #66
74. just more of the same
Your post is once again full of distorted inventions


No it isn't.


...and your posts should be removed from DU IMO.


Because they disagree with yours?


Sometimes we must change our opinions to reflect the truth.


Yes, try that.


Stop being a bully and be a little bit open minded to learning new facts.


OK. Post an actual fact and I'll keep an open mind. Your opinion that ES&S is a "good company" and has "the best voting systems available on the market" and has "a really good optical scan system" and etc. doesn't constitute fact.

Seriously. You spoke to an ES&S guy and he told you their system is great?

Breaking news! I just called up Ken Clark at Diebold and he told me their system is way better. Do you see how silly you sound?


Keep in mind also that you may be new to this issue and that others may have studied computer science and mathematics and voting systems for years, and so be able to inform you.


With all due respect, Kathy, I suspect that I have quite a bit more knowledge and experience about the election industry and voting systems than most people here, including you. Which you can believe or disbelieve, it doesn't matter either way to me. *shrug* How about you keep in mind that some people may have years of actual hands-on experience and information that you couldn't possibly have, and I'll keep in mind that some others may have studied computer science and mathematics. Deal?


Neil
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #74
77. Computer Scientists reallly DO understand voting systems
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 03:28 PM by sunshinekathy
Your self-assurance that you do not need to consult or listen to or learn from computer scientists who are knowledgable about how voting systems work, is exactly the attitude that so hugely exascerbated the problems with U.S. voting and election systems when fully ignorant election reformers like Common Cause passed the horrific Help America Vote Act without consulting any independent computer scientists who could have made sure that the bill contained reasonable requirements for voting systems which had the ability to detect and correct miscounts and be audited for accuracy independent of insiders within the system.

Such attitudes that shun the advice of computer scientists on this issue will continue our problems, not solve them.

I'm glad that you have self-confidence, now add some wisdom to know when you need to consult with expert mathematicians and computer scientists who are independent of voting system vendors and do not accept any funds from those vendors.

Is it mere fact that ES&S voting systems are not, as you claim, built on a Windows OS, and are not as flawed as Diebolds with respect to security. It is also mere fact, that ES&S optical scan are superior to Diebold optiscans and that the combination of ES&S optical scan with AutoMARK is one of the very best voting systems available today. I in no way, deserve all your personal slanders and invented untrue attacks for merely reporting the facts. It is also mere fact that ES&S uses a better paper roll system than Diebold's, at least when they demo'd both systems in Utah - unless Diebold has radically changed their system and to my experience, Diebold's strategy is to hire more lobbyists rather than fix anything about its systems. It is mere fact that in Utah, ES&S hired NO lobbyists and Diebold hired 5 full-time lobbyists, even misleadingly hiring the same lobbying firm as the Salt Lake Mayor to fool the Governor's office and the legislators into thinking that the Mayor supported Diebold. Diebold also employed numerous unethical tactics like spreading false rumours about optical scan ballots, etc. and ES&S was not dishonest and did not misrepresent the facts. I cannot speak for ES&S sales reps in other states - who may very well be misrepresenting the facts. I am only reporting to you on the ES&S voting systems from a scientific standpoint as far as I know it, not the ethics or tactics of some of its sales force or representatives.

In Utah, ES&S honestly tried to sell the optical scan and AutoMARK systems but in PA I've been told that their sales reps are only trying to sell the DREs, which is very bad.

Your posts are not offensive because they disagree with me, but because they dishonestly and wrongly defame me and spew mere fabrications as if they are facts - which is not an honest way to support any position. If you chose to disagree with me, at least do so honestly and with facts, not inventions.

The politics of a voting machine vendor becomes irrelevant if their voting systems are independently auditable and are independently audited. I happen to care much more deeply about the integrity of our vote counts than politics, so I get to the heart of the matter which is "Is this voting system independently auditable so that errors in vote counts can be routinely detected and corrected in every election for every race?"

I also do not know where you got your story about Sequoia voting machines not being built on a Windows platform. I do know that Sequoia dRE voting machines were involved in (in November 2004):

1. the suspicious undervotes in the New Mexico 2004 presidential election (along with Danahar)

2. in the highly suspicious Snohomish county Washington State vote counts where Sequoia DREs outperformed for Republican candidates in the Governor's race and presidential race in the same precincts with same demographics to an extent that is highly statistically improbable, and

3. in the Nevada election, where Kerry won according to exit polls, Bush according to Sequoia counts, which was not independently audited as the SOS claimed because I called several county election officials to double check the SOS's story. In fact, the Green party gave up on hand recounts in NV when it learned that a private vendor recommended by Sequoia had to be hired to recount the paper rolls - not an "independent" count at all.

To learn more about the history of this issue, please read:

http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/Presidential-...





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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #77
79. I'm trying to broker some calm here-- are you listening Kathy?
Kathy- you have a PM--

Neil-- you dont have enough posts for you to be PMed. Please Emial me roger@51capitalmarch.com

This should be toned down-- right now
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #77
85. well, some of us certainly do
Your self-assurance that you do not need to consult or listen to or learn from computer scientists who are knowledgable about how voting systems work...


Never said that, you just made it up. No point debating the false premise that follows.


I'm glad that you have self-confidence, now add some wisdom to know when you need to consult with expert mathematicians and computer scientists who are independent of voting system vendors and do not accept any funds from those vendors.


Sure. At least on the computer scientists part. Heck, I am an "expert computer scientist". So there you go.


Is it mere fact that ES&S voting systems are not, as you claim, built on a Windows OS, and are not as flawed as Diebolds with respect to security.


It's not "mere fact" at all. Almost all of ES&S' election management software runs on Windows. End of story. The alleged flaws recently claimed in Diebold's products are in their GEMS software (i.e. the election management software, which runs on Windows like ES&S' election management software) and in their AccuVote-OS optical scan machine (which doesn't run on Windows at all). Agreed that ES&S' touchscreen software doesn't run on Windows, and Diebold's runs on Windows CE. But there's no recent security issues about Diebold's touchscreen unit, and certainly none relating to the underlying operating system.


It is also mere fact, that ES&S optical scan are superior to Diebold optiscans and that the combination of ES&S optical scan with AutoMARK is one of the very best voting systems available today.


Well, according to you. But you're a shill for ES&S, as pointed out earlier. It's not "fact" just because you say so. Lots of people with a lot more use-experience than you will suggest that Diebold's optical scan is superior to ES&S' unit, largely because it is (in my opinion). ES&S used to be a virtual monopoly. Global Election Systems (now Diebold Election Systems) became the number two election system vendor on the back of the AccuVote-OS unit, which sold like hotcakes in the industry because of its widely-regarded superiority to ES&S' unit. But "superior" is subjective. If you believe that ES&S' unit is superior, then great. For what it's worth, I think Hart's new unit is superior to both. *shrug*


I also do not know where you got your story about Sequoia voting machines not being built on a Windows platform. I do know that Sequoia dRE voting machines were involved in (in November 2004):

1. the suspicious undervotes in the New Mexico 2004 presidential election (along with Danahar)

2. in the highly suspicious Snohomish county Washington State vote counts where Sequoia DREs outperformed for Republican candidates in the Governor's race and presidential race in the same precincts with same demographics to an extent that is highly statistically improbable, and

3. in the Nevada election, where Kerry won according to exit polls, Bush according to Sequoia counts, which was not independently audited as the SOS claimed because I called several county election officials to double check the SOS's story. In fact, the Green party gave up on hand recounts in NV when it learned that a private vendor recommended by Sequoia had to be hired to recount the paper rolls - not an "independent" count at all.


I got my information on the Sequoia machine when I reviewed their system.

It's interesting (and highly amusing) that you link a bunch of "suspicious" results to Sequoia. Why, it was just last night that you wrote:

Note: Just because some suspicious election results patterns have occured in counties using ES&S optical scan machines does not indicate that the vendor had anything to do with it.


So... by that logic, "suspicious" results counted on Sequoia machines don't indicate that Sequoia had anything to do with it. So what's your point about Sequoia? Or does the exemption from blame apply only to ES&S? ;)


Neil
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #85
88. The ES&S optiscan machines do not run on Windows
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 05:32 PM by sunshinekathy
The ES&S central and precinct optiscan ballot counters do not run on Windows. No doubt about that.

If the ES&S uses a Windows computer central counter to add up precinct counts, then I would not buy it - might as well just use your own computer at the county office to add up the precinct counts which could be input manually anyway since there is only one count per race per precinct of election day voting - plus provisional votes as well.

I am openminded but skeptical of your claims that their central count machine runs on windows. You could be right. Where did you obtain your information? There would only be one count from each precinct per race or issue, not one for each machine like the DREs, for the ES&S optical scan system and I saw no such piece of equipment listed in the bid proposal - but perhaps I missed it. It's been a long time.

Again, as I said in my first post, I am against DREs, unless they are designed similar to the Open Voting Consortium model and the Accupol is getting closer to that as time goes on I hear.

I recommended the ES&S optiscan precinct count system with a central count optiscan counter as well - that way you have the option to run each ballot twice for an automatic check on your precinct count totals - run them at the precincts - then run them again on the central counter (yes I know that is not "independent", but it doesn't hurt either) - neither of those systems use windows, and I never saw any "central counter" like you mention in the bid proposal, but I could go back and study it again to see if I missed something. Perhaps I did. I never saw that piece of equipment demonstrated it is true, and you are right, it does make sense that they may sell such a central count on a windows machine with their DRE machines.

However, it is true that ES&S is a lot more knowledgable and concerned with security than Diebold, and that ES&S puts its money into R&D and improving its systems, whereas Diebold seems to hire more lobbyists, the more its security problems are revealed. Diebold sales people I've run into seemed totally clueless about any issues surrounding security or auditability of voting systems, whereas the ES&S folks I've met are very knowledgable and take an interest in discussing those issues.

My understanding is that all the Diebolds, even the individual voting machines run on Windows. Is that not true, or are we only talking about the central counters here?

We seem to have been talking about different things. I can doublecheck by calling the ES&S developers I koow. I haven't spoken with any of them in a very long time.

I'll check their central count system when I obtain more info re. the "open source" or not of their VVPAT counting system.


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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #88
90. Kathy- I checked the current and some older NASED lists
I could not find an entry for ES&S that listed what Operating system they used.

In my notes (all from the NASED web site) I did find:

DANAHer still uses windows 98 2nd edition. & Internet Explorer.

Hart uses Windows 2000, as does Truvote.

Accupoll uses XP pro 2002, 2000 and Redhat in the DRE.

Diebold uses MS CE in the TSx DRE

Avante uses Windows 2k pro



here you see that ES&S still sells the old BRC optech eagle scanner-
http://www.nased.org/ITA%20Information/NASEDQualifiedVo...


Sequoia Tabulators run WinEDS, of course.

Considering the links between Diebold and ES&S, it may be they actually share the same Windows platform and even application. I dont know, though. But it sure looks like e-voting vendors love that MS Windows.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:06 AM
Response to Reply #90
102. ES&S builds their own operating system, Diebold modifies Windows CE
We have been through all kinds of crap in NC.

Diebold got permission to evade our legal requirements to turn over all source code,
saying they couldn't cause they have a Windows operating system.

We got that overturned in court on 11/28.

Then our Democrat dominated State Board of Elections certified Diebold anyway.

No source code at all was escrowed or reviewed as per S223.

On the other hand, ES&S agreed to comply with all parts of the law,
but since Diebold was given a free pass by our State Board of Elections,
no vendor was ordered to comply with full reqs of the law.

Diebold uses Windows CE, that is what they were patching in Georgia pre 2002 election.

Diebold plans to dismantle our VVPB law, by offering a bar code reader to
take the place of hand counting paper ballots on their @*&$% little toilet paper roll.

So, right now, I am highly angry at Diebold and the Democratic Chair of the State Board of elections and the other 2 democrat members on the State Board of Elections for allowing Diebold to skirt
the law.

Further, it is our democratic majority State Board of Elections who assaulted our verified voting bill in the first place.

Our Democratic speaker of the state legislature is under investigation related to our ethically
challenged lottery deal, it gets worse and worse.

You can't get verified voting in a state where the democrats are in the majority if they
dont want you to have verified voting.

What you should be doing in PA is calling the head of ES&S and telling them that you
are highly *&@(+$ with their crappy representatives and that you will fight them every step of the
way as long as they push their crappy little DRES.

AccuPoll lists some Windows operating systems for part of their system, check the NASED list.

Still, I would find AccuPoll to probably be a good option.

They offered to turn their source code over to a computer scientist at Duke U who has been advising
us.

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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #102
114. builds their own operating system?
ES&S builds their own operating system, Diebold modifies Windows CE


Such incomprehensible stubbornness, it simply boggles the mind. I have repeatedly posted that all of ES&S' election management software runs on Windows. And it does. Every single time, someone who has clearly never used the system and who is clearly unfamiliar with it posts that according to their information, ES&S software doesn't run on Windows. It's tiresome. Obviously your research doesn't even extend as far as, say, ES&S' own web site.

Once and for all:



This list encompasses 100% of ES&S' election setup, management and reporting software, as well as their entire voter registration system and all their hardware-programming applications. So with all due respect, if you don't know what the hell you're talking about then consider deferring to the people who do. Or at least consider giving us the benefit of the doubt.


On the other hand, ES&S agreed to comply with all parts of the law, but since Diebold was given a free pass by our State Board of Elections, no vendor was ordered to comply with full reqs of the law.


Good thing, too. No vendor, including your beloved ES&S, is able to comply with the law because they can't supply the source code to "all" components of the election system, which clearly includes Windows and a bunch of other third-party components. If ES&S said they could comply then they were lying in order to make the sale, or interpreting the law on their own to not include the third-party elements. Diebold sought actual clarification from a judge instead of interpreting it themselves. The SBE eventually resolved the situation by explicitly declaring that they're giving vendors a pass on the specified third-party components. And only the third-party components. ES&S and Diebold both agreed to supply the source code to their own software, and for you to suggest otherwise means (charitably) that you're misinformed. Sequoia and Hart-Intercivic are the only ones to withdraw from NC on the basis of compliance with the law, and there are indications that it's actually not the real reason for their withdrawal (e.g. Sequoia was unable to obtain the required 2002-compliant federal certification). But you can interpret their withdrawal however you like.


Diebold plans to dismantle our VVPB law, by offering a bar code reader to
take the place of hand counting paper ballots on their @*&$% little toilet paper roll.


It's doubtful that Diebold "plans to dismantle" any laws at all and even more doubtful that they have any actual legislative ability. Occam's Razor suggests that they probably just want to generate more revenue by selling a bar code reader unit to recount the VVPB records.


AccuPoll lists some Windows operating systems for part of their system, check the NASED list.


Every vendor "uses some Windows operating systems" for part of their system. And I am completely mystified why people like you and Kathy are so irrationally obsessed with Windows. I'll bet you're probably running Windows right now.

An operating system is complicated: you probably want your voting equipment vendor to stick to writing voting system software and not writing new operating systems.

(And just for the sake of argument let's say that ES&S does write their own custom operating system. That's fine... except that it's not certified and has never been reviewed by anyone. And past performance suggests you're not going to believe me anyway, so go ahead and check for yourself. If you're right that ES&S did write their own operating system, then it follows that most people running their system are probably breaking some kind of law because it's not certified.)


Neil
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #102
117. Chet from Accupol has been responsive to our (NJ)emails and
phone calls. 2 Of my Task Force (engineers, both) got invited to the Avante factory, last spring. to take pictures of the Vote Trakker DRE- with the case open-------
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onthebench Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #117
119. Chet is their lobbyist guy
He has experience (he is always glad to tell you) in lobbying congress. I fear that he does not have the local state level connections were this stuff has to be made.
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #88
91. last reply
The ES&S central and precinct optiscan ballot counters do not run on Windows.


I never said they did. Their optical scanners have custom firmware, which is what I did say, if you feel like going back and reading it.

Like I also said, Diebold's optical scan units don't run on Windows either. And Sequoia's optical scan machine is the same as ES&S' machine. So your contention that ES&S' units are somehow better because they don't run on Windows is just absurd: none of them run on Windows, and Sequoia's actually run on the same thing as ES&S'.


If the ES&S uses a Windows computer central counter to add up precinct counts, then I would not buy it - might as well just use your own computer at the county office to add up the precinct counts which could be input manually anyway since there is only one count per race per precinct of election day voting - plus provisional votes as well.


Thank you for providing this excellent example of why mathematicians often aren't consulted about voting system design and implementation. The almost total ignorance of the sheer, overwhelming complexity of real-world election result breakdown and reporting exhibited in this statement illustrates the point perfectly.

(And what exactly would you manually input these results into, anyway? I trust you've developed some super-secure custom application for this purpose and aren't planning to just plug the numbers into, say, Microsoft Excel or something.)


However, it is true that ES&S is a lot more knowledgable and concerned with security than Diebold, and that ES&S puts its money into R&D and improving its systems, whereas Diebold seems to hire more lobbyists, the more its security problems are revealed.


Repeating something over and over again doesn't magically transform it into fact. I'll make you a deal: post some documented R&D expenditures by both Diebold and ES&S over, say, the last 3 years, and if they support your claim I will humbly acknowledge it.

Claiming that ES&S is "a lot more knowledgeable and concerned with security than Diebold" (or anyone else) is silly. It's just an unfounded statement with nothing to back it up. How about this: I'll give you that one, if you'll agree that Diebold is a lot more knowledgeable and concerned with, say, adding up the votes correctly. I say that on the basis that there's no actual documentation of miscounts by any Diebold machines in recent memory (point of fact: recent recounts in NH, WA, and CA have all been more or less spot-on) but you can call up Bruce MacDannold at the California Secretary of State's office and ask him for the video of ES&S machines miscounting real votes in the last election there. Of course I'm being facetious here. The point is you can't just make some blanket statement that "ES&S is more knowledgeable than X" or "ES&S is a lot better than X" or "ES&S is a lot more concerned with X" without anything to back it up.

As for ES&S' lack of lobbyists, maybe you should have spent some more time in OH this year. Or maybe you'd like to visit NY right now.


My understanding is that all the Diebolds, even the individual voting machines run on Windows. Is that not true, or are we only talking about the central counters here?


Diebold's election management software runs on Windows. Diebold's touchscreens run on Windows CE. Diebold's optical-scan hardware runs on custom firmware, so does various smaller products like its voter card encoder unit, etc.

All of which is almost entirely uninteresting, I'm not really sure where the obsession with the operating system comes from.

Listen, I totally get that your contacts at ES&S have told you everything you've said, and if you want to you can go and clarify certain points with them as you've suggested. But all I'm saying is consider the source. Geesh.

The point remains that ES&S is not inherently better than any of the other big two vendors just because someone at ES&S told you they are, and promoting them here on that basis is doing a grave disservice to serious-minded election reformers.


Neil
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #91
92. Neils info dovetails perfectly with what I lknow-
And what can be found at the NASED site.

Kathy- please consider this- in the current environment of HAVA driven purchases, the Automark, paired with the ES&S opscan is a viable alternative to DREs for Jurisdiction who need to purchase one handicapped accessable voting machine per polling place as per Title III, section 301, of HAVA.

I view the rest of your "view" on ES&S as hyperbole & quite rash.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #91
96. Woot!
Edited on Sun Dec-18-05 01:22 AM by Bill Bored
But, would you buy a voting system from this man?:
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #66
93.  how about some vitriolic on your DRE?
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 07:57 PM by FogerRox
And you are neither. Your posts are full of untrue inventions and deliberate defamations, and should be removed from DU IMO..


Kathy- I think you have that backwards.

There is no excuse for inventing things and proclaiming that they are factual..


Like saying ES&S is a good company?


For example, I will repeat that, contrary to your posts, there is no such a thing as "federal certification" of voting systems. Such a claim is incorrect. The feds do not certify voting systems - although the EAC will be taking over the NASED "certification" of voting systems to the VOLUNTARY federal guidelines.


Kathy-- You want to argue semantics or the definition of Bill Clinton defining sex, or whatever crap he pulled? DO YOU HAVE NO SHAME Everyone reading Neils post knew exactly what he was refering to. this is an example of going after a fellow member of DU, with a wee bit of an attitude.

I would ask you, Kathy, if you cant control your vitriolic, dont post here anymore. AS far as I am concerned you are no longer welcome here.
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #60
75. those are not personal attacks-- not exactly-- not yet
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 02:47 PM by FogerRox
I suggest this gets toned down-- now

Kathy-- you have a PM

Neil-- email me please-- you dont have enough posts to PM

roger@51capitalmarch.com
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 01:55 AM
Response to Reply #47
97. Nice
:toast: :thumbsup: :yourock:

:applause: :applause:

:applause: :applause:
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:36 AM
Response to Reply #47
104. can you source the information on ES&S software?
Please advise what links you might have to information on ES&S software
as you describe in your post.

We have a legal case going on in NC,and I could use some additional info on
ES&S. I have researched both ES&S and Diebold -these are the only options being
offered in NC.

Everything I see indicates that ES&S does not use Windows in it's
essential voting equipment, but does have it in a laptop that is non-essential.

I just would like to be able to be more specific.

I looked everywhere, and I referred to
the Ohio Compuware Report on ES&S and Diebold:

DIEBOLD - Ohio Compuware report on Diebold Assessment
Page 10 Hardware Configuration
Page 11 Software Configuration
Pages 17 and 18 talk about the third party software
http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/hava/diebAsses041505.pdf

ES&S - Ohio Compuware report on ES&S Assessment
No mention of Windows operating system, only their Unity operating system.
Page 9 Hardware and Software Configuration
Page 14 talks about the third party software
http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/hava/ess110405.pdf

The information about Diebold Op Sys at Doug Jones website
Article that explains how Diebold alters the Microsoft operating system:
Part of the Voting and Elections web pages
by Douglas W. Jones THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA Department of Computer Science
Furthermore, it is emerging that the version of Windows CE used by Diebold is both heavily customized and full of dynamically loaded libraries. As a result, there are strong grounds for the conclusion that the operating system is not unmodified commercial off the shelf software (COTS), and that with this extensive use of dynamic linkage, we cannot even tell if the system being run on a particular voting machine resembles the system that was disclosed in the configuration documents submitted with this system when it went through the FEC/NASED approval process.
http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/voting/dieboldftp.html


ES&S told the NC media that their voting system did not use Windows,
about complying with NC's verified voting law:
"Election Systems and Software, another voting-machine maker,
has no problem with the law as written because the company
writes its own software for its touch-screen voting machines, a
spokeswoman said Monday."
http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2...

In this California SOS link, also have seen information that there is a laptop
that ES&S uses but that is not essential, that is used to more rapidly upload
precinct results.
http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/090904_2_consultant_reda...

We are in the situation of having only two choices.

I would rather have the choice that offers to turn over ALL source code
and that did not try to get permission from a judge to evade the law.

For more on the nightmare NC has been going through, thanks to the Democratic
Majority State Board of Elections, see
http://www.ncvoter.net/dieboldnews.html
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #40
59. Help PA & I Will Investigate "Independent Auditability"
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 01:37 PM by sunshinekathy
I had a long conversation with the wonderful Marybeth Kuznik of PA who informed me that her understanding is that the ES&S barcode is proprietary and that I was misled.

While I have seen the system for recounting ES&S barcodes (on its paperroll) demonstrated, I have not yet seen the alledged web site where they make the bar code and programs open source.

I will contact ES&S and demand to see the actual source code and bar code source and if they refuse or are unable to show it to me, will assume that I was lied to and let you know.

I still heartily support the ES&S optical scan and AutoMARK systems - DREs are virtually inauditable, even with paper-rolls and are 100% unacceptable without them.

Apparently Pennsylvania now needs a LOT of help, particularly in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties because the Voter Verified paper ballot audit legislation does not look like it is going to pass the PA legislatures, the Philedelphia county election official is supporting the paperless Danahar (the pushbutton Danahar has no decent system for the disabled and showed highly suspicious very high undervote rates in the 2004 presidential election in New Mexico (the only state where we've obtained the detailed state-wide data). And all of the PA counties are publicly releasing their vote count data by conglomerating it together to hide evidence of vote miscounts.

PA's situation is dire right now and we need the help of activists there who can join the effort by going to:

http://www.votepa.us /

and also by sending an email to election_pa-subscribe@uscountvotes.org

Thanks,

Kathy
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #59
68. thanks to "the wonderful Marybeth Kuznik of PA"
And thanks to Kathy for actually listening.

I had a long conversation with the wonderful Marybeth Kuznik of PA who informed me that her understanding is that the ES&S barcode is proprietary and that I was misled.

While I have seen the system for recounting ES&S barcodes (on its paperroll) demonstrated, I have not yet seen the alledged web site where they make the bar code and programs open source.


Barcodes, right? Is that legal? I heard the arguments that it is not legal. ALso, since the "cut & Drop" method seems to be the current trend, and may be mandated by some state VVPB law-- what good is a paper roll VVPB device? When it may be illegal in many states?

I recently attended a meeting with the American AVM Reps from Liberty (NEDAP). They have a VVPB printer prototype-- its "cut & Drop". The AVM/Liberty lawyer stated that that Cut & Drop is the way to go because states are mandating it.

And the ES&S opscans are indeed an old design, dating back to before the days when BRC was broken up by a DOJ action, in IIRC 1997. The BRC opscan most likely goes back to at least 1990, that was called the OpTech III P Eagle IIRC. The ES&S opscan is very slow, newer designs can process up to 360 ballots/ hour.

- It may be that with the ES&S Paper roll VVPB printer, ES&S cannot sell it, becuase its not legal.
- It may be that the Barcode makes the ES&S VVPB printer illegal.
- It may be that the ES&S Automark & ES&S opscans are a mixed blessing. IIRC the Paper ballots used in the Automark, cannot be used in other, more modern and faster opscans, from other vendors.
- It may be that ES&S flat out has played you, Kathy. I see that, after talking to Marybeth, you understand that. This is good.

And thanks to NEIL for pointing out that ES&S aint all that nice. Nice work, Neil.

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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #68
71. can someone explain a bit about the bar code? n/t
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #71
73. I'll take a shot
The ES&S VVPB printer works like a reel to reel taperecoder from the old days. Which sucks because most want the cut and drop type- because the dropping action randomizes the individual VVPB papers. this is done for legal reasons-- IIRC. what ES&S has done is to put an Indentifying barcode on the individual VVPBs, this also may be illegal.

Kathy-- does the ES&S barcode enable each VVPB to be associated with the voter who cast it?

It may be that the ES&S VVPB system is not legal in many states-- which might explain why it hasnt been sold-- IIRC.

Many states VVPB law -- Im not exactly sure-- may mandate the "Cut & Drop method". And certainly being able to connect the VVPB to a voter is a no - no, Under current law, IIRC
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Febble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #73
78. And as it should be, IMO
"And certainly being able to connect the VVPB to a voter is a no - no, Under current law, IIRC".

What really worries me about this whole audit business is the potential loss of the principle of the secret ballot.

I think Neil B Forzod and others have finally convinced me that hand counted paper ballots won't work in the US, which is such a shame as potentially the system unites the principle of the secret ballot with the principle of transparency and accountability (although even then, in the UK, we have identifiers on our ballots to improve "security", which I think is the thin end of the wedge).

There is a fundamental tension, it seems to me, between transparency of the count and secrecy of the ballot, and it also seems to me that the more complex the system the more one or the other has to be compromised. So all this post is trying to say is:

Secret ballots are important. They always were. We forget that now because they have been secret for so long. But if you introduce a system that sacrifices secrecy for auditability, you will find out sooner or later why secret ballots are important. It's also why postal voting is not a good option: already, in the UK, there are stories of husbands insisting on overseeing their wives votes (probably vice versa, but that's the one that is making the headlines).

You need transparency AND secrecy!

My two pence.
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #73
80. on the subject of bar codes and cut-and-drop
Avante uses a "cut and drop" approach.

Sequoia, Diebold, Hart-Intercivic and ES&S use a reel-to-reel design.

Cut-and-drop randomizes the individual printed records, but isn't all that manageable -- picture a giant warehouse full of plastic bags full of loose VVPB records. It's a logistical nightmare unless you print the VVPB record on a full-size, stackable piece of paper or (better) a card. That's why (at least partly why) none of the major vendors implement the cut-and-drop approach: there's no way you could sell it to most election administrators (they'd probably die from sheer terror at the thought of the warehouse visual above). In addition to the storage problem, recounts are nightmarish -- imagine trying to individually (and accurately) count, say, a million grocery store receipts, either by hand or by some device that operates on the individual VVPB records. It's mostly perceived to be logistically impossible.

Reel-to-reel is more manageable: you can store the paper records efficiently, and you can build a reel-to-reel device for examining/recounting those records. But it obviously poses privacy issues since the ballots are stored in sequential order on the reel. Privacy is addressed here partially through procedure. Picture a precinct with 5-10 voting machines. When a voter signs in, he or she is directed to one of the machines at random. Because nobody records what actual machine any individual voter actually used, there's some measure of randomness/privacy introduced. Of course there's the (probably remote) possibility that poll workers will surreptitiously record what voter used what machine in what order. That's why there are hardware privacy elements as part of the reel-to-reel approach as well. The Diebold system, for example, uses a privacy canister into which the take-up reel is locked. VVPB records are taken up into the canister, and the paper can't be pulled back out of the canister. If/when the canister is eventually opened (for recount purposes, or whatever) it's by election officials, not the poll workers who worked at the precinct, so the people who see the paper aren't the ones who could have tracked the voters. So it's a compromise. I don't know what the ES&S unit provides in the way of hardware privacy -- I haven't actually seen their prototype since July. But each vendor's product can (and should) provide some hardware to protect the privacy of the printed tape. Most certifiers have taken the position that privacy of the printed records must be ensured by either physical (e.g. cutting into a bag) or procedural (e.g. the lengthy example above) means, and that either approach is acceptable. That standard may change in the future, it's mostly unofficial (because existing voting equipment standards make no reference to VVPAT requirements).

As for the subject of bar codes.

There are two ways to recount a VVPB: either by hand, or electronically. One is inefficient, labor-intensive, expensive, and potentially error-prone. The other is faster, automated, and more reliable. HOWEVER: the electronic method requires a machine-readable version of the ballot selections to be printed on the paper record. That typically means some form of bar code. Which is great, except that the voter can't interpret it. So you have a VVPB -- and you have it ostensibly because you don't trust the voting machine software to accurately record your vote -- but then you recount the VVPB not using the printed text (that was verified by the voter) but using the bar code that the voter can't interpret. See the problem? And in all likelihood you recount it using equipment and software provided by the vendor who supplied the voting machine... because really, who else is going to provide it?

From that standpoint, an open specification of the bar code contents is valuable because (theoretically) a third-party can build a reader and/or write some code to read the bar code contents and compare them to the printed tape for verification purposes. Kathy claims ES&S has an open specification for the bar code information. To my knowledge, neither Sequoia nor Diebold has published the specs for theirs (although it's possible that they have, I don't know for certain and can't easily check on a Saturday afternoon). Sequoia uses a two-dimensional PDF417 bar code. Diebold uses a series of standard CODE-128 bar codes. In the Diebold case, printing of bar codes is optional and specified when you set up the election. Don't print the bar codes and all you get is text, and your only option is to count by hand. I'm not sure whether it's an option on the Sequoia unit, but I can check that if anyone cares.

Mostly it doesn't matter in practice, because in all likelihood no third-party is going to build, certify, market and sell a recount machine for Sequoia or ES&S or Diebold VVPB records. And most vendors will probably respond to accusations of "we don't trust your bar codes or your bar code reading software!" with a shrug and a suggestion to just recount the VVPB records by hand. But in theory, at least, an open specification for the bar code format is a useful thing from a transparency standpoint.

California has actually mandated that no bar codes can be used, at least as far as the Diebold TSX unit is concerned. (I can't say for other vendors, since Sequoia has only a provisional certification of their VVPAT unit in California because they don't meet all requirements, and nobody else of consequence has a VVPAT unit there). Other states (e.g. New Mexico, Utah, Ohio) don't have the same restriction.

Neil
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #80
82. gheese Neil-- great post
I'm in NJ and have seen the Avante demonstrated by Dr Chung hinself. And have seen the Liberty Prototype, both cut & drop. Neil you have really summarized the pros & coms of both reel to reel and cut & drop very well, thanks.

I have a story to tell you-- privately-- a story that may clear some things up.
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #80
83. Good Post - Now here's a Neil post that is Informative
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 03:45 PM by sunshinekathy
I agree with the vast majority of this post. Good one Neil.
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OnTheOtherHand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #80
84. thanks, exactly what I wondered
plus a fair amount of stuff I wasn't smart enough to wonder about. The bar codes can be scanned very reliably (I've worked with PDF-417 myself), but voters can't verify them.
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #84
89. The Bar Codes would have to be Independently Audited
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 06:02 PM by sunshinekathy
For this open source bar code independent audit to work, randomly selected ballots or votes would have to be independently audited to check that the bar code matches the humanly readable writing.

It is a workable but clunky awkward system - and since fewer than 30% of voters bother to verify the paper rolls, the entire system is lousy.

That said, it is far better, as we all seem to agree, when the bar codes and programs to count them are provided open source free of charge along with the DRE system as ES&S folks told me that they would do - but I have not seen the actual posted open source information yet, that I recall.

ES&S developers are also talking about moving from their tight proprietary OS to LINUX but such projects tend to get pushed to the back burner when not mission critical and they did negotiate with the Open Voting Consortium.

I have heard that they have not been actively pushing their optiscan system and have not gotten it certified in PA yet, and that is not good.

I am just trying to communicate that ES&S is not in the same ballpark as Diebold for "badness", and makes one of the best voting systems on the market in its optiscan/AutoMARK system - being the most independently auditable, easy to use, shorter lines on election day, VVPBs that are verified by the voter and one of the best systems for the disabled.

However, that does not mean that unethical sales person are pushing ES&S DREs instead of their much better voting system to make more money for themselves.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #80
98. Not happy about bar codes myself.
Edited on Sun Dec-18-05 02:10 AM by Bill Bored
Even if they're open source, you still have security issues. Whatever precautions should be taken with DREs would have to apply to the bar code hardware and software too. That's 2 systems to have to worry about.

And is there bar code management s/w to set up each election too, or does the reader just read the VVPAT?

I think it's absurd to optically scan a VVPAT that was printed by the DRE in reponse to a voter's intent entered on the screen. Why not just let the voter mark the ballot, scan it and hand count when desired?

This Touch Screen/DRE/VVPAT/Bar Code/Scanner model is something that Rube Goldberg would envy!:
http://www.rube-goldberg.com/html/pencil_sharpener.htm
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sunshinekathy Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #68
81. Legality is different for each state
I do not know all states' election laws, nor, I think does anyone, although the EAC currently has a project going that has researchers collecting all the states' election laws and procedures.

Again, I will reiterate that I do not like DREs, never liked DREs, never said I liked DREs, ...

Just trying to point out that if DREs ARE used, they need to be independently auditable, and I have been led to believe that ES&S's are, or that they are willing to make their bar codes and programs to recount their paper rolls open source for any state that requests it.

Cut and Drop, while promoting better privacy, would be even more impossible to independently audit in any reasonable way. I agree that Accupol is probably the superior choice if you select a DRE because it prints a standard paper ballot that is sortable, more durable, has the final ballot choices on it, and is therefore infinitely easier to hand recount.

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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #81
108. yes- well said-"Legality is different for each state": Kathy
It may be that the ES&S VVPB system is not legal in many states-- which might explain why it hasnt been sold-- IIRC.

Many states VVPB law -- Im not exactly sure-- may mandate the "Cut & Drop method".


Much better than my febble attempt above
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onthebench Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #108
111. The ESS VVPB is going to violate a patent
They basically stole it from Avante. When Avante's patent is granted, then ESS will have to pay Avante. Lou Dedier stole it while he was SOS tech guy for California. Then ESS bought Dedier's services and he supposedly came up with the idea himself.

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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:19 AM
Response to Reply #68
103. Liberty the machine that Ireland has warehoused, right?
Hey, isn't the liberty the machine that Ireland has mega millions
and it is sitting in the warehouse, they are afraid to use it?

And for the bar code on the printout, in Pennsylvania, I don't think
Professor Shamos is going to allow that.

He addressed the issue of non human readable markings on ballots, including
the proprietary bar code on the ballot on a reel.

So, in PA, this probably won't be allowed.

Still DRES suck, except I think maybe the AccuPoll
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 03:33 AM
Response to Original message
48. miscounting and price-gouging in california
(see my reply #47 to Kathy Dopp's post for more info on ES&S)

In the last two elections in California, ES&S machines miscounted the absentee votes, and actually subtracted the absentee totals from the correct totals in some counties. That hasn't been reported for political reasons, but the RoVs have all been made aware of it and you should be able to get the information via FOIA request.

California also has video of ES&S machines actually miscounting votes in California. There's video of testers selecting a candidate in the top left corner of the touchscreen, and a different candidate in a different race being selected down in the bottom left of the screen. There's documentation of ES&S machines failing parallel-monitoring tests in California on election day, where they randomly take some machines out of service right before opening the polls, and process some test ballots on those machines independently at the SoS office to make sure they count votes correctly. The ES&S machines didn't, but they don't want you to know about it. Again, the RoVs have seen it, and you should be able to get the information via FOIA request (contact the CA secretary of state's office).

South Carolina chose a statewide ES&S touchscreen deployment last year, but the initial purchase decision was cancelled after evidence that some state officials had effectively been bribed. The officials in question were suspended, the purchase went back to tender, after which ES&S was selected again. :eyes:

There's lots of information on Sequoia if you look around as well. Sequoia's big on price-gouging practices. Check out their recent statewide Louisiana sale. Sequoia was the highest bidder by far, charging upwards of $6,000 per touchscreen (comparable prices from other vendors is closer to $3,000) with an additional $1,500 per unit for a VVPAT unit, and assorted other costs. A few counties already had older Sequoia equipment, and Sequoia offered a trade-in allowance of $50 per unit (yes, that's FIFTY dollars per unit for machines that are just a few years old). But somehow they were selected over every other vendor, despite offering comparable products to much lower-priced offerings from ES&S and Diebold and others. Or check Riverside County in California, where Sequoia charged upwards of $6 million just for a VVPAT retrofit to their touchscreens there -- that's over $1,000 per unit, when other vendors are charging between zero and a few hundred dollars. *shrug*

There's lots of information on all three major vendors, you just have to look and/or ask around.

Neil
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #48
51. Welcome to DU, Neil. Nice rebuttal, just the facts
In defense of Kathy, she does say (my words) that in the current enviroment-- (I'll read that as the HAVA enviroment) Paper ballots scanned by opscans are the best (cough- choke) bet.
By getting a ballot marker like the Automark, your system is "HAVA compliant".

And I would like to see Avante, Accupol & Liberty get some sales. Even if they sell DREs. Just to break the strangle hold of the big 3.

Neil- Sequoia uses Linux?

IRRC the 400C ballot counter uses WinEPT, Windows based tabulation -- yes?
And the Edge & Advantage tabulators use WinEDS, also Windows based tabulation.

And you are so very right about the old BRC opscans. Those units go back hmmm maybe -- what 14 years, at least? The Op tech III Eagles-- LOL
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #51
58. optical scan
Paper ballots scanned by optical-scan machines probably are the best way of voting. It's reliable and it has a built-in audit/verification mechanism -- you can always just go back to the paper ballots.

On the other hand, it's also way more complicated to administer for a non-trivial election, it's way more expensive than people realize, and it's hard to accommodate disabled voters with the currently-available products (and that includes AutoMARK). As long as election administrators have limited resources in terms of staff and budget, technologies like DREs are going to remain an attractive option for them.

Funny that you mention AccuPoll. They actually have made some sales in several Texas counties, but they'll probably never deliver on them because the company's basically insolvent. Word on the street is that they're praying for a buyout from one of the big vendors, but it's unlikely that potential buyers will want to absorb $30-million or more in accumulated debt to acquire them (compare last year's purchase of Sequoia for around $16 million, total).

Neil
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Yellow Horse Donating Member (462 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #58
62. AccuPoll HAS delivered the goods and run election in Texas
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #58
72. very good point Neil-- comparing
Accupols debt to the Purchase of Sequoia, makes one wonder if Sequpoia is worth very much/viable, or are they close to Chapter 11?
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #72
86. sequoia's viability
Sequoia is extremely viable. SmartMatic bought them for next to nothing; it would have probably been smart for ES&S or (smarter) Diebold to buy them up first just to consolidate market share. Sequoia had some rough times last year, but they've rebounded very nicely on major sales in California, New Jersey, Cook County and Chicago IL, and a statewide sale in Louisiana. I think Sequoia, ES&S and Diebold mostly split the election revenue pie around equally this year, which is a big deal for Sequoia (being the smallest operation of the three the same revenue goes further).

Personally I think Sequoia's probably the best-run of the three biggest election system vendors. They're leaner and faster to market. They've also had some operational problems in recent elections, like ES&S, but they've managed those problems well from a PR standpoint. Ironically Diebold's actually had the fewest operational election problems since the middle of last year, but you'd hardly know it because they can't do any effective PR to save their life.

Neil
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #86
87. Neil-- what do you think of Sequoia selling so many Advantages
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 05:10 PM by FogerRox
-- IE-- that old machine with the Z-80 processor- Sequoia does not have a version of the Advantage that is both-
-FEC 3.2.1 certified
-the aux. CPU that drives the Audio-- certified


NJ sales ehh-- I dont think they have delivered much in NJ yetCape May, Cumberland, Essex, Sussex, Monmouth counties were looking to buy. IIRC Monmouth signed a deal for the Advantage earlier this year, and may have recieved shipment.

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onthebench Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #87
106. Small correction on Sequoia sales in NJ
They were the first to sell the "Dis-Avantage" to Middlesex (over 700 machines). They also have Hunterdon and a few other counties that you failed to mention. They use the wine/dine/sleep method of sales...
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #106
107. NO--
I'm refering to 2005 sales Only.

IIRC Bergen bought the 1st DIS-Advantages about 14 or 15 years ago. Good title by the way-- "DIS-Advantages". NJ is over 62% DIS-Advantages, nearly 7000 of them, as of the start of 2005-- And will maybe end up with another 1500 to 2000 of them by the HAVA 1-1-06 deadline.

This list is of 11-4-04


Atlantic---Shouptronic -230
Bergen-------Advantage-1200
Burlington----Advantage-520
Camden------------lever-715
Cape May------Advantage-168
Cumberland--------lever-110
Essex------------lever- 695
Gloucester----Advantage-520
Hudson--------Advantage-600
Hunterdon-----Advantage-127
Mercer--------Advantage-600
Middlesex-----Advantage-662
Monmouth----------lever-757
Morris--------Advantage-805
Ocean---------Advantage-704
Passiac---------V-2000- 420
Salem--------------Edge-160
Somerset------Advantage-290
Sussex--------Ivotronic-361
Union--------Advantage--500
Warren--- opscan--------110


Sussex will replace their Ivotronic with Advantages, Warren is getting the Avante VOte Trakker DRE.
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onthebench Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #107
110. Well the story is muddy now but
I remember that Middlesex was going to be the first one but it took a year for the deal to take place. If you ever want to hear some good vendor stories, try hanging out at the local bar of an IACREOT meeting or a NASED meeting. The real scoops occur at 3AM at hotel bars/lobbies during these conferences.

Is it illegal for county officials to have free drinks and cigars at bars paid for by vendors?
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #110
112. heh heh
Would figure, really.

IACREOT is a name we don't see much about here. Perhaps a door on which we might be knocking.


Is it illegal for county officials to have free cookies and coffee at cafe's, paid for by election reformers?

:shrug:

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onthebench Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #112
113. From my experience...
Scotch is the preferred drink.

The next annual conference is in SF, CA - see here http://www.iacreot.onlinecommunity.com/cgi-any/calendar...

Tony is the president so good luck getting in. He is a Hart guy that considers us to be the "enemy". I have had my talks with him and he is pure stupid and evil put together.

I have been to three IACREOTs and they were all fun. Billings was the most fun - ESS sponsored a rodeo.
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #112
115. IACREOT
IACREOT is the yearly meeting of clerks, recorders, election officials and treasurers. There's a trade show associated with it that's dominated by election vendors. It's the best place to get a look at various election equipment and talk to different vendors.

It's also a great place to talk shop and compare notes with other election officials. (A lot of the note-comparing is about who got the best swag from the trade show: pins and light-up pens are always popular; this year Sequoia's foam statue of liberty was a favorite. But there's lots of actual shop-talk too. ;) )


Neil
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #110
116. "free drinks and cigars" very possibly -- in NJ- legal
The County Offical who goes to a NASED meeting-- sure. Deputy Attorney GeneraL Donna Kelly went to the big party in California this summer.

But In NJ the Attorney General runs elections-- and he would decide wether to procesute said county offical-- LOL
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onthebench Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-19-05 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #116
118. I have been to several afterhours parties
The last big one had an ESS sales guy plunking his card on the bar and lucky me I did not have to pay for anything that night. He even paid the bartender a few bills to keep us past the 1AM closing time. Some of of the highest ranking SOSs were there as well as their staff.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 03:50 AM
Response to Reply #86
105. is this an endorsement for Sequoia? Smarter leaner?
Sequoia bowed out of bidding on voting machine business in NC.

Could be any reason.

The reason they gave was that they would not have their 2002 fed cert
by end of this month.

Diebold has had the fewest operational election problems?

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Yellow Horse Donating Member (462 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
50. Example of ES & S Propaganda
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 09:56 AM by Yellow Horse
This is what an (apparently ES & S -influenced) County Election Director told a Pennsylvania activist:

<<" Concerns about hacking with the iVotronic are not valid since the system is closed. Bad programming is eliminated by the pretesting of the machines prior to election night and the fact that voters can verify their vote as described above. A broken machine will also be exposed through these safeguards and the pretesting.">>

(my note: the voter verification they are talking about is simply the review screen on the DRE -- no paper.)
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Neil B Forzod Donating Member (64 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #50
55. that's semi-valid
You're actually likely to get the same story from any election director, regardless of their voting system. It's a semi-valid argument.


Hacking the actual voting machines themselves really is a pretty minor concern, regardless of the vendor, for two reasons:

a) The system really is theoretically closed, if you follow any kind of halfway-intelligent procedures at all, and

b) That attack is extremely inefficient, particularly in the case of DREs, just because there are so few votes recorded per machine and you'd have to hack a lot of them to influence anything in a significant way. If you have enough inside access that you actually have an opportunity to hack a lot of DREs, you certainly have enough inside access to perpetrate much more efficient attacks instead.


On the other hand, bad programming isn't "eliminated" by pre-testing the machines, at best it's "detected". The on-screen voter verification (without a physical copy of the ballot, like a printout) only verifies that the machine interpreted the voter's selections correctly, it doesn't verify that the machine actually recorded those selections faithfully.

Neil
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #55
99. Neil, tell us how VVPATs verify that selections were recorded faithfully?
Edited on Sun Dec-18-05 02:57 AM by Bill Bored
Seriously.
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onthebench Donating Member (88 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
53. A couple of interesting tactics
1. In California, ESS bought the services of Lou Dedier who was the voting machine techincal person for the state. Lou sat on a VSS meeting that was considering certification while he knew that he was taking the job for ESS. Also, CA law requires state employees to not work for their industry in the private sector for one year after leaving office. He skirted that law by far. He was investigated and the investigation was buried. This was in 2002.

2. Also in 2002, ESS offered the Florida State Association of Election Officials (not sure official title of group) a 5% "donation" for every contract that they received in the state. That is about as kickback ish as it gets.
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #53
70. OK-- Kathy & Neil --- drop it
Kathy- you have a PM--

Neil-- you dont have enough posts for you to be PMed. Please Emial me roger@51capitalmarch.com
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-17-05 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #70
94. I give up-- no one wants to calm down-- go ahead-- but in the long run
Edited on Sat Dec-17-05 08:45 PM by FogerRox
I predict Neil will win, I got 50 cent, says so. Anybody want a piece of the action?
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #94
100. .
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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 02:46 AM
Response to Reply #94
101. I'll bet you are right, but
whos on first?
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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-18-05 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #101
109. WHATS ON SECOND--------------------
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