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Bev Harris: New Diebold Snafu In Georgia

BULLETIN: Election put up for sale on E-Bay? New Diebold snafu in Georgia...


- Georgia governor puts secretary of state in hot seat over voting machines
- Election put up for sale on E-Bay
Tuesday, 19 August 2003 (PDT)
By Bev Harrisblackboxvoting.org


http://www.blackboxvoting.com
Read The Book…Support The Cause - Pre-Order Your Copy Today

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CONTAINED IN THIS BULLETIN:
1. Governor puts Secretary of State on hot seat over voting machines
2. Were Diebold machines certified by smoke signals? Sign language? Documents go missing. . .
3. Ohio may ask counties to buy uncertified Diebold system
4. New Diebold TSx system may be easier to hack than ever
5. Election put up for sale on E-Bay
6. Sonny Perdue centerfold in Diebold parody ad in August Hustler magazine
7. Diebold documents indicate few changes in new system - Were Hopkins flaws fixed at all?
8. Voting machine evaluator SAIC has financial ties to electronic voting industry

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1. GOVERNOR PUTS SECRETARY OF STATE ON HOT SEAT OVER VOTING MACHINES

AUG 19 2003 - According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Governor Sonny Perdue called for an investigation of charges that Georgia's $54 million system of Diebold voting machines is vulnerable to tampering. "If turn out to be not reliable or can be tampered with, then they're -- frankly -- useless junk," he said.

In Atlanta on Monday, Secretary of State Cathy Cox expressed "total confidence in Georgia's new electronic platforms." The governor said he would ask Cox, a Democrat often mentioned as a candidate for governor in 2006, to re-examine the system.

Last month, a study released by Johns Hopkins University computer researchers cited "significant security flaws" in the system designed by Diebold Election Systems and used in Georgia and 18 other states.

Diebold, who has nearly a quarter of a billion dollars at stake in three key sales ($53m,Maryland, $31m,San Diego and $150m,Ohio) and election officials (who know diddly about computer security issues like wireless remote access but can explain that poll workers are trained to stand “watch” over the machines) have disagreed with the Hopkins study. To date several Diebold public relations people, but no Diebold programmers, have vouched for the system.

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RELATED NEWS

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2. DID GEORGIA CERTIFY DIEBOLD WITH SMOKE SIGNALS? SIGN LANGUAGE? A PSYCHIC HOTLINE?

Certification documents remain at large for 22,000 machines. That's right, Georgia doesn't seem to be able to locate the certification letter for the Diebold machines. Wait -- new answer -- they just announced they are not sure what is meant by "certification" documents.

Diebold and its proponents point to the certification process as proof of their honesty, in lieu of allowing public examination of its source code.

On March 19, 2003 a Georgia citizen filed an Open Records Act request for a copy of the certification letter from the lab (certifying the version of the Diebold software which was used on election day) and received this reply:

Clifford D. Tatum - Assistant Director of Legal Affairs - Election Division

"In response to your second category, we have determined that no records exist in the Secretary of State's office regarding a certification letter from the lab certifying the version of software used on Election Day.

On, August 6, 2003, the Georgia Libertarian Party asked for the written certification documents pertaining to all Diebold voting systems used in recent elections, including the version numbers of the software."

Reply: from Gary Powell

”While I am not sure what you mean by the words ‘please provide written certification documents,’ GTA does have the official procurement file for the procurement which is the subject of your request.

Are we speaking in tongues? A foreign language?” Is it so hard to understand that we'd like to see the certification letter for Georgia?”

Georgia law clearly requires certification documents; for a copy of the applicable law, please scroll down on http://www.blackboxvoting.org.

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3. AND WHILE WE ARE SPEAKING OF CERTIFICATION (OR LACK OF):

OHIO may ask counties to purchase an uncertified Diebold system. According to an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer by Julie Carr-Smyth, Diebold has decided to sell its new TSx touch screen system to Ohio. Problem is, the counties must buy the machines in four weeks. No worries, Diebold says it hopes it will have it certified in 4-5 weeks. (Huh?)

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4. AND ON THE TOPIC OF SELLING NEW SYSTEMS: THE NEW DIEBOLD SYSTEM MAY BE EASIER TO HACK THAN EVER.

According to an article in the Akron Beacon Journal (http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/6538203.htm) by Erika D. Smith, with the new TSx system, Diebold is switching to WIRELESS transmission of the voting data. Understand the implications of hacking during transmission of the vote: You can overwrite the ORIGINAL VOTES in the precinct this way, destroying the value of the memory card as a backup system.

Smith, a tech writer, asked Diebold about the risk of hacking the new wireless transmission system. Diebold did not deny that it could happen. No worry, says Mark G. Radtke of Diebold -- hackers wouldn't get the official results, only the unofficial results. It takes several days to make the results official, he says.

And to make results official they do what? They look at the memory card (which can be hacked during the wireless transmission) and/or the GEMS database (which can be hacked during the wireless transmission). (In fact a hacker could hit both at the same time, during the upload). Do we feel secure now?

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5. ELECTION FOR SALE ON E-BAY:

The 2004 presidential election was put up for auction on E-Bay, with the asking bid set at $99,999,999.99. The election-for-sale had received 17 bids before it
was shut down by E-Bay, and not all bidders were satisfied. “I tried to bid, but my $100 million bid freaked out their software,” reports Karl Schneider.

The auction lasted three days before E-Bay removed it; its original web address was
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3622585798&category=367 -- the page has since been replaced by “Rob” who says he was the one who tried to auction off the presidential election, at: http://rawb.rh.rit.edu/tempDL/eBayStuff.html.

“I'm just a college kid. I don't know my left from my right, whether right-left or politics,” says Rob.

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6. SONNY PERDUE THE CENTERFOLD ON LARRY FLYNT AD PARODY:

http://www.larryflynt.com/ad_parodies_gallery/source/vote-machine-parody.htm
Perhaps Perdue didn’t appreciate being featured in the August issue of Hustler Magazine…

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7. MORE ON DIEBOLD:

One of the folders found on the now infamous Diebold web site was labeled "final certification" documents for the new TSx system. In these documents is the very interesting statement under "change log," stating that Diebold DID NOT SUBMIT a change log because the system is based on a previous submission.

So...were there changes, since the security flaws were exposed by the Hopkins team, or weren't there? In fact, has Diebold ever produced a lick of evidence that they changed a goll-durn thing to remedy the flaws found in the Hopkins report?

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8. OHIO DELAYS DECISION TO PICK VOTING MACHINE VENDOR

Ohio delays decision to pick voting machine vendor, until defense contractor SAIC gives Diebold a clean bill of health. The selection of the SAIC by Maryland and Ohio to evaluate the voting machines is a curious one. The SAIC has not one, not two, but THREE ties to the electronic voting industry:

1) Built voting machines for Diversified Dynamics
2) Marketed electronic voter registration system
3) Two former directors of SAIC are now directors of VoteHere, a voting machine company.

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BONUS NEWS BYTE

9. Where's Bob? Bob Urosevich developed the architecture of the Diebold software, and has been running Diebold Election Systems for some years now. Haven't heard hide nor hair of him lately. Urosevich always comes into news interviews as the President of Diebold Election Systems, but as of the end of July, it seems someone else is using that title. Meet Tom Swidarski, President of Diebold Election Systems. Not a peep anywhere in the news media about where Bob is.

A Black Box activist called Urosevich’s office and spoke with his assistant. Urosevich is still working for the company, she assured him, and no, he has not changed positions. If this is true, does Diebold Election Systems have two people named “President” now?

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Bev Harris is author of Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering In The 21st Century … See http://www.blackboxvoting.com/ and it's activist arm http://www.blackboxvoting.org/


Pre-Order your copy of Black Box Voting today…

For more background and live news links on this news subject see also Scoop's Special Feature – A Very American Coup…

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