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jhgatiss Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:13 PM
Original message
NC Transfer Error Misses 12,000 Votes
I just ran across this in Google. I hadn't seen this PARTICULAR NC error yet.

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/local/101923...

I find it interesting that the county pays a Diebold technician to run the system on election day.
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. could you provide a snip? 4 paragraphs? that's a site you have to
register for.
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WestHoustonDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Here's the whole thing
Gaston investigates election tally errors

Maker of vote-counting machinery asked to check equipment

BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

Staff Writer

GASTONIA - Gaston Elections Director Sandra Page said for the first time Monday that her office is investigating why more than 13,000 votes were excluded from the county's unofficial election results.

Page said the investigation so far pointed to an interrupted download as the likely cause of the exclusion of about 12,000 early votes. She said human error by poll workers probably resulted in the omission of 1,200 votes from a Dallas precinct.

The Gaston elections office has faced mounting criticism for its initial failure to count the votes and because almost a week passed after the Nov. 2 election before the errors were corrected. The errors were caught before the county submitted its official results to the state, and they did not change the outcome of any local race.

Monday was Page's first day at work since last Tuesday -- she has been home sick -- and she said she moved quickly to find out what went wrong.

Page said she has asked the company that manufactured Gaston's vote-counting machines, Diebold Election Systems of McKinney, Texas, to review the operation of its equipment. A spokesman for Diebold confirmed that the company is doing so.

The county pays a technician from Diebold to operate its systems on Election Day. That person was in charge of transferring early votes from electronic storage to the counting computer. Diebold believes the transmission was interrupted, said spokesman David Bear.

"It's understood that it was an interruption, and now the question is why didn't we" catch it, Bear said.

Page said she was also planning to speak with poll workers at the Dallas precinct about the possibility that they transmitted their votes incorrectly to the elections office on Election Day.

The laptop computer used to transmit results from the Dallas Civic Center recorded only a single vote from each of the precinct's voting machines, Page said.

The votes are transferred from the machines to the laptop by disk. Page believes the error occurred because poll workers removed the disks from the laptop too quickly.

"These aren't computer people," she said.
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CAcyclist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. A Technician From Diebold Operated The System on Election Day
"The county pays a technician from Diebold to operate its systems on Election Day. That person was in charge of transferring early votes from electronic storage to the counting computer. Diebold believes the transmission was interrupted, said spokesman David Bear."
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NewYorkerfromMass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. and I believe democracy was interrupted
it's ludicrous how much more prone the vote counting now is to error with these computers. and that is just an objective viewpoint.
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. thanks! Sometimes I just get registered out.
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Lil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
20. kick
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Streetdoc270 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. use this
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
5. "These aren't computer people," she said.
Great...
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Then have the election on PAPER ballots
and count them by hand publicly!
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milkyway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
7. WTF?! A Diebold guy running the machines on election day? Great find!
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. and the fact the county PAID the Deibold tech is adding insult to injury.
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StephanieMarie Donating Member (642 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:41 PM
Response to Original message
8. I signed up and copied the whole thing. What a pile of crap!!!

Posted on Tue, Nov. 16, 2004

Gaston investigates election tally errors

Maker of vote-counting machinery asked to check equipment

BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

Staff Writer


GASTONIA - Gaston Elections Director Sandra Page said for the first time Monday that her office is investigating why more than 13,000 votes were excluded from the county's unofficial election results.

Page said the investigation so far pointed to an interrupted download as the likely cause of the exclusion of about 12,000 early votes. She said human error by poll workers probably resulted in the omission of 1,200 votes from a Dallas precinct.

The Gaston elections office has faced mounting criticism for its initial failure to count the votes and because almost a week passed after the Nov. 2 election before the errors were corrected. The errors were caught before the county submitted its official results to the state, and they did not change the outcome of any local race.

Monday was Page's first day at work since last Tuesday -- she has been home sick -- and she said she moved quickly to find out what went wrong.

Page said she has asked the company that manufactured Gaston's vote-counting machines, Diebold Election Systems of McKinney, Texas, to review the operation of its equipment. A spokesman for Diebold confirmed that the company is doing so.

The county pays a technician from Diebold to operate its systems on Election Day. That person was in charge of transferring early votes from electronic storage to the counting computer. Diebold believes the transmission was interrupted, said spokesman David Bear.

"It's understood that it was an interruption, and now the question is why didn't we" catch it, Bear said.

Page said she was also planning to speak with poll workers at the Dallas precinct about the possibility that they transmitted their votes incorrectly to the elections office on Election Day.

The laptop computer used to transmit results from the Dallas Civic Center recorded only a single vote from each of the precinct's voting machines, Page said.

The votes are transferred from the machines to the laptop by disk. Page believes the error occurred because poll workers removed the disks from the laptop too quickly.

"These aren't computer people," she said.

Binyamin Appelbaum: (704) 868-7749; bappelbaum@charlotteobserver.com



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aprillcm Donating Member (168 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is how we know
The fact that Main Steam Media the big three news people have ingored all the voting problems in my state is as we say around my house proof that They are NOT NOT NOT going to cover any election day fraud or error in any real way!
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jhgatiss Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
13. Sorry all...
I found this on Google and I wasn't prompted for a registration. I wouldn't have registered. I get registered out too. It is interesting though!
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Blue in the face Donating Member (210 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Gastonia
I have a friend that lives in Gastonia, NC. Does anyone think that a FOIA request would be helpful? I'll do it, but I would like to be able to get some feedback from some on the board that are more knowledgable about what to look for.
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milkyway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
15. Wow. One of the infamous Diebold memos from 2001 mentioned Gaston.
It's hard to believe that even after this internal Diebold memo became public, Diebold is allowed to operate the machines on election day in 2004. Were the Gaston officials unaware of this?

Also interesting is the reply from Finberg. He says that Metamor (Ciber), who certifies the machines, restricts the server password to authorized staff in the jurisdiction. Diebold people are not in the jurisdiction (by this I assume Metamor restricted access to only government officials of a particular jurisdiction). I wonder if this is still the case.

(The bold emphasis was added by me).

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0309/S00150.htm

__________

Reply from Ken Clark, principal engineer for Diebold Election Systems

RE: alteration of Audit Log in Access

To:
Subject: RE: alteration of Audit Log in Access
From: "Ken Clark"
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 09:55:02 -0700
Importance: Normal
In-reply-to:

Its a tough question, and it has a lot to do with perception. Of course everyone knows perception is reality.

Right now you can open GEMS' .mdb file with MS-Access, and alter its contents. That includes the audit log. This isn't anything new. In VTS, you can open the database with progress and do the same. The same would go for anyone else's system using whatever database they are using. Hard drives are read-write entities. You can change their contents.

Now, where the perception comes in is that its right now very *easy* to change the contents. Double click the .mdb file. Even technical wizards at Metamor (or Ciber, or whatever) can figure that one out.

It is possible to put a secret password on the .mdb file to prevent Metamor from opening it with Access. I've threatened to put a password on the .mdb before when dealers/customers/support have done stupid things with the GEMS database structure using Access. Being able to end-run the database has admittedly got people out of a bind though. Jane (I think it was Jane) did some fancy footwork on the .mdb file in Gaston recently. I know our dealers do it. King County is famous for it. That's why we've never put a password on the file before.

Note however that even if we put a password on the file, it doesn't really prove much. Someone has to know the password, else how would GEMS open it. So this technically brings us back to square one: the audit log is modifiable by that person at least (read, me). Back to perception though, if you don't bring this up you might skate through Metamor.

There might be some clever crypto techniques to make it even harder to change the log (for me, they guy with the password that is). We're talking big changes here though, and at the moment largely theoretical ones. I'd doubt that any of our competitors are that clever.

By the way, all of this is why Texas gets its sh*t in a knot over the log printer. Log printers are not read-write, so you don't have the problem. Of course if I were Texas I would be more worried about modifications to our electronic ballots than to our electron logs, but that is another story I guess.

Bottom line on Metamor is to find out what it is going to take to make them happy. You can try the old standard of the NT password gains access to the operating system, and that after that point all bets are off. You have to trust the person with the NT password at least. This is all about Florida, and we have had VTS certified in Florida under the status quo for nearly ten years.

I sense a loosing battle here though. The changes to put a password on the .mdb file are not trivial and probably not even backward compatible, but we'll do it if that is what it is going to take.

Ken

__________

Reply by Nel Finberg

RE: alteration of Audit Log in Access

To:
Subject: RE: alteration of Audit Log in Access
From: "Nel Finberg"
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2001 14:48:16 -0700
Importance: Normal

Thanks for the response, Ken. For now Metamor accepts the requirement to restrict the server password to authorized staff in the jurisdiction, and that it should be the responsibility of the jurisdiction to restrict knowledge of this password. So no action is necessary in this matter, at this time. Nel
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milkyway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
16. The more you learn about Diebold, the more they seem like Enron.
The same business culture. Do whatever you can get away with.
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
17. Oh, how naive!
Expecting the votes cast to actually be counted!

What do they think this is -- a democracy?
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TexasLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
18. A Great Summary of NC Voting Problems
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-17-04 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Hi TexasLawyer!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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robicat Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 04:22 AM
Response to Original message
21. 12,000 votes
Multiply that seemingly small glitch by 300 (assuming it happened in 300 precincts and you get a massive ....3.6 million.....

Any "glitch" or "fraud" that is exposed has massive significance.
A 300 vote error duplicated 500 times across the country = 150,000 votes.

Every error is important. Every one is a potential act of frauud.
Every one is potentially duplicable. There has to be an audit. And that can only mean a full recount by hand of ever race. If you can't overturn the result ypu aty least have to put the machines on trail.

I actually think this is the most marketable demand that this movement can make - for a full audit of electronic voting, so that there can be a real assessment of the worth of the machines.
That said i bet that one side of politics argue like hell against an audit.

2000 election, Enron, S11, WMD, Abu Gharib, job losses, the deficit and now this.....

Amazing what a government can get away with with a docile public and press. Great to see you dudes organising and mobilising.



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The Flaming Red Head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-04 07:42 AM
Response to Original message
22. kick
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