I haven't seen this posted on DU yet, Sorry if it's a duplicate...I love the last line "We Have Truth"
SATURDAY NOV 13 2004:
What is a fraud audit?
A fraud audit is not the same as a recount. It does not presume innocence. It does not make the assumption that if there is an anomaly with a benign explanation, it's okay to stop investigating. Any embezzler (or vote manipulator) worth his salt will build in an explanation that makes it sound like it could be an honest mistake, or a "glitch." Any investigator worth his salt knows you have to look deeper.
Forensic auditing begins with indicators, like oddball statistics, mismatched records, or secretive, obstructive behavior. The next step is to obtain diagnostic documents. Later steps may include pulling all the ballots for hand recounts.
Bev Harris, founder of Black Box Voting, has interfaced with law enforcement, including the FBI, state attorneys-general, the IRS, local police, and banking authorities, in several previous investigations during her work as an investigative writer. Her methods for isolating fraud have resulted in convictions or settlements from embezzlers and financial fraudsters. Black Box Voting is the first publicly funded, independent consumer protection group to investigate this election using forensic auditing methods.
You may have seen recent stories in the media (ABC News, Salon.com), and at other voting integrity Web sites like VerifiedVoting.org, telling you there is no reason to believe suspicions of fraud in the 2004 election. In fact, no member of the media nor any organization has done any real forensic auditing to determine whether there was or was not fraud. Trust in our electoral process is critical to our democracy. We need the right kind of investigation into anomalies, using appropriate methods.
"Feel-good" statements, dismissive of real concerns into voting integrity, are not responsible. The truth is what it is. We might see something very uncomfortable unfold during these investigations. Or, maybe not. It's still too early to tell, but the evidence is mounting.
Snoopy 50-year-old women
Think of this like an assets investigation in a bad divorce: One party may have things to hide, the other party (we, the voters) wants to find out the truth. If you are looking for hidden assets owned by your ex, you don't call in a computer scientist from a university. You enlist the help of private investigators, accountants, lawyers, and your plain old common sense. In fact, snoopy 50-year-old women have proved invaluable in investigating voting machines.
This is not a computer problem. It is not something a reporter who spends four hours researching a story can pronounce judgment on. We have been surprised to see prominent scientists announcing "results" before the data is in. We don't know what happened on Nov. 2. We will find out.
Here's what Black Box Voting is doing to investigate appropriately:
We are doing forensic analysis of the available evidence. We are targeting specific locations based on criteria indicative of fraud.
Why we can't disclose our documents yet
Initially, we hoped to have everything public all the time. This resulted in butt-covering behavior on the part public officials, which hampered our investigations. Therefore, we adjusted our methods to keep critical investigations under wraps. That's just the way it has to be right now.
Isn't it too late?
We are dealing with well financed people who are trying to run out the clock. They probably will succeed in that. However, we probably will succeed in proving fraud. What we have going for us is this:
- Public outrage: We read your letters and hear your anguish on the phone. Do not let go of those emotions. Your job is to focus those emotions into stubborn, relentless, nonstop pressure to make sure that there will be consequences for any and all electoral fraud.
- Law enforcement. There are still plenty of honest cops. Also, in our experience, different law enforcement agencies don't always get along, and where one fails us, another may not.
- We have the courts. (Somewhat.) Not all judges are unfriendly. They vote too. We can follow the example of tobacco industry lawsuits, launching many lawsuits, then sharing discovery and strategy until at last, we prevail.
- We have the media (barely). Network TV has not yet been able to get its brain around the story of electoral betrayal in a 2-minute news byte. For the time being, you must be your own "network TV." Don't count on TV to spread the word. Instead count on America's spirit of self reliance. We will prevail. Be the media.
- We have the Internet. Use it to share information at every level -- instant messaging, e-mailing, listservs, blogs, forums, Web sites, announcements, online media, online documents, film and video clips, audio clips, and any way that you can imagine to use it effectively. The Internet allows us to respond without boundaries, quickly, in unpredictable ways.
- We have truth.