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Michael Collins: The Long Road to Democracy

The Long Road to Democracy

December 11, 2006 *** Published every Monday
The Election Fraud News weekly comment on key news in the public media.
Michael Collins

See "The Long Road to Democracy Part 2" for links and comments on these weeks’ top stories.

FLORIDA FRAUD … a redundancy

The latest Disinformation Campaign

Short and sweet. 17-18 thousand people didn’t vote for congress in the former district of Katherine Harris. That’s not a surprise since everything Harris touches turns to a disaster area (which fortunately includes her campaign against Democratic Senator Nelson in Florida who retired the proud show horse of Republican election fraud).

People know what they’re voting for in big elections, particularly when they are hot local elections. Many don’t like Harris much in Sarasota.

But now we are to believe that the problems there were due to “ballot” and “human error.” Someone from MIT said that the ballot was confusing. If confusing ballots prevented voting in Florida, there would be very little voting. With some outside cover, the Florida Secretary of State floated the "ballot confusion" - human error theme.. And now its making the rounds in order to dismiss this outrage. When you go to vote in a big election, you find your candidate or issue. We don't need a PhD in the obvious to know that.

This is just a replay of the nonsense told about the undervotes in Duval County in 2000. They blamed the loss of 20 thousand votes there on Democratic instructions to the voters. They were wrong then. They’re wrong now.

Same old same old. Shame on them.


Question: How stupid does the management of
The National Institute of Science and Technology
think we are?

Answer: Well, maybe to them we look something like this…


On December 1, 2006, the NIST Staff Report was released and it was a stunner. Look at this:NIST and STS Determinations. Draft by Staff Charged with Telling the Truth. 12.01.06

A software-dependent approach such as the DRE provides no independent capability to detect whether fraud has not caused errors in the records. In principle, a single clever, dishonest programmer in a voting machine company could rig an entire statewide election if the state uses mainly one kind of system (only 4 voting system vendors have a significant US market share

... a single clever, dishonest programmer…rig an entire state wide election.

Now that’s frightening because there are lots of clever programmers around and there’s lots of money to buy influence in Washington and around the country.. Why not drop a stack of Franklins on a few programmers.

But it gets much worse. The NIST staffers, bless their hearts, went on to make the intellectually and technically honest statement: “If a software-dependent voting system such as the DRE cannot be tested to determine whether malicious code exists on the DRE or whether fraud has occurred, then one can't make the argument that it hasn't occurred and that election procedures are effective at preventing it.” In other words, it’s the “ unverifiability” standard – if you can’t prove something is false, then you can’t prove it’s correct. Good lord. These guys are well schooled given this is a reference to Karl Popper.

The staffers drop the hammer here:

This leaves more approximate estimates of whether fraud has occurred, such as pre- and post-election polling compared with election results. But what if the results differ? If there is no recourse but to recount the electronic records of the DRE, there simply is no recourse. However, elections should not have to rely on approximate estimates of accuracy such as these.

There may be those who argue the point of the Staff report but this is clear – NO DRE’s, none, zero…out to pasture

But then management intervened and straightened things out.

We are to believe that the Staff report was issued on 12/01/06 and that the management report was written on 12/01/06. Please, that’s a little hard to believe unless you look at the quality of the “management” report. It’s pathetic.

It’s done in question and answer style:

Fact Sheet from the NIST: Questions and Answers on the Staff Report: "Requiring Software Independence in VVSG 2007: STS Recommendations for the TGDC," have. 12.01.06

Does the draft software independence report conclude that there is no audit capability whatsoever in DREs? .

The draft report says that DREs are auditable but not independently auditable. In other words, the DRE audits itself which is less preferable than an independent audit capability.

Well, actually the staffers correctly pointed out that there is no independent “audit capability” since Voter Verified Paper Ballots are basically a joke. Staffers 1, Management 0.

Did the draft software independence report conclude that current DREs are highly vulnerable and a single programmer could “rig” an election?

Some statements in the report have been misinterpreted. The draft report includes statements from election officials, voting system vendors, computer scientists and other experts in the field about what is potentially possible in terms of attacks on DREs. However, these statements are not report conclusions.

Thou shall not lie. Do you know what a Cardinal Sin is? Those are the sins that get your “chestnuts roasted over an open fire.” Have they hired former Pravda writers for to produce this garbage? What part of the Staff statement didn’t they understand: “ If there is no recourse but to recount the electronic records of the DRE, there simply is no recourse? However, elections should not have to rely on approximate estimates of accuracy such as these.

This is a “bait & switch” operation run by the Keystone cops. NIST Staffers are true heroes of democracy. They knew what they were doing from a systems evaluation standpoint and they certainly knew what they were doing politically. This is a new form of whistle blowing…tell the truth publicly, boldly, and then dare “management” to look stupid. NIST management took the dare but will face some real oversight. Can they spell CHAIRMAN WAXMAN?



Rush Holt, D, NJ and sponsor of HR 550 Says Hang on to those Touch Screens for a While, why don’t ya. Rush, we actually use the internet here in the DC area. Did you think we wouldn’t notice?

I support two of the three voting rights bills Rush Holt has before the House of Representatives. They concern intimidation and election fraud through deception and misleading practices. However, I simply can’t understand why Hold insists on these loser Voter Verified Paper Ballots. The NIST staff staid it so well, I don’t need to repeat why these are a simply awful idea.

Democracy is on the line in the next election. If we think that the republicans are going to hide out for long, we’re wrong. Therefore, we have just a little time to get to real, verifiable voting systems which means paper ballots. That’s the best option right now and that’s what the public wants.

What does Holt do? According to reporting from NorthJersey.Com (Herald News, 12/02/06). Holt was very clear.

As for the Ocean County situation, Shafer said it was an isolated incident. Sequoia audited its machines in the county to assure officials' confidence in the results.

"They got the results that they expected to get," she said.

To Stuart Hutchison of Wayne, who was in the audience, there was an easy solution to all of the digital complications.

"We ought to look at doing away with the machines and have paper-only balloting," Hutchinson said.

But Holt said that now was "not a time to switch to paper balloting" due to the millions of dollars counties had already spent on electronic voting systems.

This is typical. Those who have sincerely sought a solution for digital disruption of our elections system are so into the “bits and bytes” they can’t climb out. The audience members know – dump the lousy machines. The cost of converting to paper is a lot cheaper than another Katrina or Iraq War.

Why don’t the politicians know that?


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