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Bev Harris: Gap In King County Election Audit Logs

Are We Insane? Voting Without Auditing?

Three hours missing from King County audit log:
By Bev Harris
Click To Donate To BlackBoxVoting.Org's Investigations

OK folks. We now have what everyone keeps saying no one can come up with. We now have evidence that certainly looks like altering a computerized voting system during a real election, and it happened just six weeks ago.

Decide for yourself who's telling the truth.

We obtained these documents through a public records request. The video was taken at a press conference held by the King County elections chief Friday Oct 29. The audit log is a computer-generated automatic record similar to the "black box" in an airplane, that automatically records access to the Diebold GEMS central tabulator (unless, of course, you go into it in the clandestine way we demonstrated on September 22 in Washington DC at the National Press club.)

The central tabulator audit log is an FEC-required security feature. The kinds of things it detects are the kinds of things you might see if someone was tampering with the votes: Opening the vote file, previewing and/or printing interim results, altering candidate definitions (a method that can be used to flip votes).

Three hours is missing altogether from the Sept. 14 Washington State primary held six weeks ago.

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Here is a copy of the GEMS audit log. (.PDF)

Note that all entries from 9:52 p.m. until 1:31 a.m. are missing.

One report that GEMS automatically puts in the audit log is the "summary report." This is the interim results report. We obtained the actual Sept. 14 summary reports, printed directly from the King County tabulator GEMS program, because we went there and watched on election night and collected these reports. These reports were also collected by party observers, candidates, and were on the Web site for King County.

Here are summary reports which are now missing from the audit log. (.PDF)

Note the time and date stamps on the reports. Note also that they are signed by Dean Logan, King County elections chief. We have the original reports signed in ink on election night.

What does all this mean?

We know that summary reports show up in the audit log.

There are other audit logs, like the one that tracks modem transmissions, but this audit log tracks summary reports.

Dean Logan held a press conference Friday morning, Oct. 29. Kathleen Wynne, a citizen investigator for Black Box Voting, attended the press conference and asked Dean Logan why three hours are missing from the audit log.

LINK: Here is a video clip (.MOV)

Logan said the empty three hours is because no reports were printed. OK. But we have summary reports from 10:34 p.m., 11:38 p.m., 12:11 a.m., 12:46 a.m., and 1:33 p.m. These reports were during the time he said no reports were run. Either the software malfunctioned, or audit log items were deleted.

Perhaps there are two of this particular kind of audit log? Perhaps this is an incomplete one?

Bev Harris called King County elections office records employee Mary Stoa, asking if perhaps there are any other audit logs at all. Mary Stoa called back, reporting that according to Bill Huennikens of King County elections, the audit log supplied to us in our public records request is the only one and the comprehensive and complete one.

Perhaps it is a computer glitch?

The audit log is 168 pages long and spans 120 days, and the 3 hours just happen to be missing during the most critical three hours on election night.

Reporters: Diebold will lie to you. You have a responsibility to the public to get at the truth and report it.

Diebold says altering the audit log cannot be done. Of course, we know a chimpanzee can't get into an elections office and play with the computer, but to demonstrate how easy it is to delete audit log entries, we taught a chimpanzee (Click for .MOV video) to delete audit records using an illicit "back door" to get into the program, Diebold told reporters it was a "magic show." Yet, Diebold's own internal memos show they have known the audit log could be altered since 2001!

Here is a Diebold memo from October 2001, titled "Altering the audit log," written by Diebold principal engineer Ken Clark:

LINK: "King County is famous for it" [altering the audit log] (HTML)

Reporters: Some election officials won't be telling the truth on election day.

Here is Dean Logan, telling a Channel 5 King-TV News reporter that there were no unexpected problems with the Diebold programs. This was at the "MBOS" central ballot counting facility in King County in the wee hours of Sept. 15, on Election Night.

LINK: Dean Logan lying to the public on Election Night, Sept 14 2004 (.MOV Video)

Note that he says there were no problems with modem transmission.

Now, Black Box Voting is very concerned about modems, because we have now discovered exactly how insecure the modem setup to the Diebold central tabulator really is. County officials are proud to tell you they do not connect their central tabulator to the Internet. They also typically do not apply the Windows patches on their central server. This can be determined by examining the time and date stamps on certain files. (We asked for screen shots in public records requests, and found file time and date stamps very interesting.)

Diebold uses a "DigiBoard" device that cannot be configured to transmit unless the security is left wide open. Anyone can find this out, because information on the Diebold "Digiboard" setup with Diebold was contained in the files Diebold left on the FTP site found by Bev Harris in January 2003.

OK. Hit the web site for DigiBoards, check out the user and troubleshooting manuals, and those of you who are computer buffs will see that any county official who uses the Diebold RAS setup on their unpatched Windows central tabulator on election night together with modems and the DigiBoard, is pretty much inviting the world to take control of the election while sitting in their living room.

No, we are not talking about just replacing memory card information, the electronic "ballot box" data. We are talking about taking total control of the central server.

This is invisible to the county supervisor. Party observers cannot see the intrusion at all. It leaves no record, even in the audit log, if you take advantage of back doors like VBA vote-shaving scripts, which cannot be disabled in Windows 2000 and Windows XP, the system used with Diebold central tabulators.

Yes, we are very concerned about modem use. All modems should be disabled on Election Night. Dean Logan told the Seattle Times and KING-TV Channel 5 reporter Linda Brill that he was not going to use modems. That was a good decision.

Except that, too, was a lie: We observed at least 24 modems hooked up to the DigiBoard on Sept. 14, and in a public records request, found instructions to the poll workers to use the modems from depot locations.

Thus, the only thing protecting King County from electronic rape via remote access on Election Night was the so-called secrecy of the access phone number. No one has that, we've been told.

So imagine our surprise, when we obtained the trouble slips, in a public records request -- documentation that indeed the modems were not working fine, as Logan said while starring in our Election Night videotape. Well, in these modem trouble slips, we were accidentally given the access phone number for King County.

Congratulations, King County. Were we so inclined, if we had simply kept this under our hat, we could take control of your central server on election night from our living room. Thank you for handing over the access numbers in the public records request.

LINK: Here are the trouble slips showing problems with modems (PDF).

Note that King County generously provided us with the "secret" information needed to hack in by remote access. We did redact the specific information that gives this information to you.

LINK: Here are more trouble tickets. (PDF)

Our personal favorite: "OK to format memory card?" This will wipe out the votes in the electronic ballot box.


Election officials: Disconnect those modems NOW. If you don't: You gotta be replaced.

Reporters: Some election officials will lie to you. Show your kids what bravery looks like. Be courageous. Report the truth.

Citizens: Please help us by joining the Cleanup Crew. For now, e-mail to join, since our signup form has been taken out.

Candidates: Make a statement. Do not concede on Election Night. Wait until audits and records can be examined.

# # # # #

Now, there is a film crew who has been brave enough to capture what's really going on:

THIS IS THE ONE: Here's the film that's breaking new ground on voting machine investigations. Includes never before seen footage and information:

LINK: download 30 minute preview of the upcoming feature film. (HTML)

NOTE: Please give your attention to the real film by the real investigators: Russell Michaels, Simon Ardizzone, and Robert Carrillo Cohen -- they are the real deal. (Someone who ran off with a portion of the proprietary footage has been pitching a similarly named, inferior production which is missing most of the good stuff.) By the way, we've worked with most of the documentary producers out there, and Russell Michaels, Simon Ardizzone and Robert Carrillo Cohen are in a class by themselves -- In my opinion, they are the only filmmakers who have been doing real, in-depth, long-term in-the-field investigations on this issue -- Bev Harris.


- Don't concede: Candidates, make a statement about voting without auditing. Hold off on your concession until the canvass is done

- Gotta be replaced: If your county melts down into litigation, hold officials accountable if they chose to ignore warnings and failed to mitigate risks with preventive actions (like disconnecting telephone modems).

Note that most voting machine problems will be found between Nov. 3-12, during the canvass, and a few weeks later, when public records requests are obtained.

### ENDS ###

Bev Harris is author of Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering In The 21st Century … See
Read The Book…Support The Cause - Order Your Copy 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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