view from mars

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

Monday, February 20, 2006

more on diebold/miller rottenness

Brad is my hero:
Kevin Zeese is an independent candidate running for the U.S. Senate in Maryland. His following "Open Letter to the Maryland Media" comes on the heels of Thursday's news of Republican MD Governor Robert Ehrlich's letter announcing, amongst other things, that he "no longer [has] confidence in the State Board of Elections’ ability to conduct fair and accurate elections in 2006." In the letter, Ehrlich expressly singles out Democratic Election Administrator Linda Lamone, charging that she and the SBE have been "working primarily on behalf of partisan legislators and their interests" and questions her claims that Diebold's paperless touch-screen voting machines -- deployed across the state in 2002 as part of Diebold's "showcase" roll-out of their new system -- could not be replaced by voting devices with voter-verified paper trails in time for the 2006 election. Ehrlich called for paper ballots in his letter.

It was also revealed on Thursday, that Lamone had allowed uncertified Diebold voting machines to be used in elections in Maryland in both 2002 and 2004. Diebold's election equipment has since been show to be hackable, prone to massive failure, and has lost votes in recent elections according to a recently released non-partisan GAO Report, a recent "hack test" in Leon County, FL, and scores of other confirmed reports, studies and analysis from around the country. Lamone is also the curent President of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED).
Amazing, especially when you realize Ehrlich himself was elected on these machines in 2002. It was the first time Maryland elected a republican governor in 40 years.

From Mr. Zeese's letter:
Maryland is sitting on a major voting scandal -- a scandal with national implications. has documents demonstrating a three year history of a consistent partnership between the SBE and Diebold to tell the media and public that all is well when in fact there are consistent serious problems with the Diebold election system. In looking through the non-confidential documents that Linda Schade has received in her litigation it is obvious there have been three years of SBE covering for Diebold. The truth, as far as we know it, is:

  1. Diebold provided uncertified election equipment and the SBE discovered it in December 2003. The equipment was not completely certified until the summer of 2004. (There was a March presidential primary during that time and it may also have been uncertified for the 2002 elections as well.) Using uncertified election systems is illegal under Maryland law. Lamone said nothing to anyone and in fact sung the praises of Diebold. Ms. Schade has in her possession a year's worth of correspondence between Lamone and Diebold discussing this situation, from 12/03 to 12/04.
  2. Uncertified software was used in the March 2004 primary -- described in the RAW Story article and in my article yesterday (links above). We provide links to the evidence. Again, nothing said by Lamone.
  3. People have complained about Senate, State Delegate and school board candidates not being on the ballot to the SBE and to TrueVoteMD -- which we provided to SBE. Yet Lamone said it didn't happen.
  4. Machines have frozen, crashed in mid-vote during elections. Again, Lamone says this does not happen.
  5. Machines have lost votes with blank memory cards and corrupted audit logs -- again Lamone denied anything went wrong.
  6. The machines are insecure -- shown by three studies -- again Lamone denies there are security problems.

Ummm, yeah remember that guy who wants to be the next Senator from the Great Commonwealth of Virginia? He's all up in that shit:
In addition, ITAA has its own political action committee -- the Information Technology Association of America's "NET" PAC. The address, phone number, main contact (Harris Miller), and registered lobbyists for ITAA's "NET" PAC are identical to those of ITAA itself. The ITAA "NET" PAC focuses on computer industry and telecommunications legislative issues, according to ITAA's "NET" PAC spending on political campaigns (a mere $10,000 or less over the 2004, 2002 and 2000 election cycles) does not reflect its political influence, though a vast majority of those funds (87% or higher) went to Republican candidates in 2002 and 2000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. "Absent campaign [finance] reform, the information technology industry needs to give money to maintain its accessibility, serve as educators, sell its case. No question the industry must take part in the political process," explained Marc Pearl, ITAA Senior Vice-President of Government Relations.
Oh god it gets worse (same source):
The more than 350 member companies listed on ITAA's website include such major computer manufacturers, defense contractors, electronic voting machine manufacturers, internet-based companies and other major corporations as: Accenture Ltd.,, AOL Time Warner, AT&T, Boeing Company, ChoicePoint, Dell Inc, Diebold Election Systems, Earthlink Network Inc, eBay Inc, Gateway Inc, Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM (Corporation and Global Services), Intel Corporation, Lockheed Martin (Federal Systems and NE & SS Surface Systems), MCI, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman IT, Oracle Corporation, PepsiCo, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Raytheon Company, Science Applications International Corporation, Sequoia Voting Systems Inc, TiVo Inc, Verizon, VoteHere Inc and Xerox Corporation.

Cool you guys! We get to vote for a guy who is in bed with every major "election industry" corp, and who at the same time whored it up for major corps that happily supply or make up the military-industrial complex. Miller Miller Miller!

More goodness (same source):

ITAA has also tried to help its electronic voting machine manufacturer members combat an onslaught of negative publicity from technical problems, faulty security measures, concerns raised by computer scientists and security experts, and perceived conflicts of interest of company executives (especially Diebold Election Systems). It drafted a proposed PR plan for e-voting companies to "generate positive public perception.", Draft of PR plan (PDF)
ITAA has opposed one of the more modest demands of e-voting critics -- a paper receipt verifying each vote. ITAA president Harris Miller was quoted in the May 2004 issue of Congressional Quarterly's Governing Magazine: "I think that the paper verification system is kind of giving people a false sense of security... I can give you a receipt, but if I started out the day by stuffing the ballot box with 50 ballots for Bush, I haven't actually done anything to make the system secure." In the same article, the Election Technology Council is identified as a new trade group within ITAA for voting machine manufacturers. This stands in contradiction to Harris' earlier remarks at the December 2003 press conference announcing the launch of the Election Technology Council, the e-voting machine manufacturers' trade group: "The customer is always right. If the state and local election officials want paper ballots, the industry will provide those," he remarked.

Just, yeah. What have we learned today?
  • Diebold has a nasty habit of courting loony partisan state officials so that they can flood the market with their insecure, hacktacular pieces-of-shit machines.
  • Maryland is facing a huge scandal, as it was the "showcase" state for Diebold's alleged awesomeness, ease of use, and general future-y image.
  • ITAA, for which Harris Miller (the guy who wants to be the freshman Senator from Virginia) is tighter with Diebold (and, incidentally every other major election corp and assorted military-industrial conglomerates like Lockheed, Xerox, and MCI among others) than Dick Cheney's arteries.
  • Miller whored it up for years, spewing falsehoods and bad logic to defend his corporate ass-handlers. Honestly, paper ballot box stuffing? What is this, Iraq? (As if e-voting systems aren't immensely easier to hack, and do so without leaving a trail.)

Curiouser and curiouser.

special thanks to for doing all that dirty work


  • At 9:51 AM, Anonymous steve smith said…

    I think Harris Miller and ITAA changed their position on this quite awhile ago:

  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger mar said…

    steve smith,

    can you find a quotation? that link is wonked.

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