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I know it's late on a Friday, but this story at The Raw Story is extremely disturbing.  It's hard to be outraged with the weekend just around the corner, but after all, our democracy is at stake!

During the 2002 senatorial election the CEO of Diebold himself flew in from Texas and applied a patch to two and only two voting machines.  Those machines went to Democratic stronghold counties:

Spoonamore received the Diebold patch from a whistleblower close to the office of Cathy Cox, Georgia’s then-Secretary of State. In discussions with RAW STORY, the whistleblower -- who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation -- said that he became suspicious of Diebold's actions in Georgia for two reasons. The first red flag went up when the computer patch was installed in person by Diebold CEO Bob Urosevich, who flew in from Texas and applied it in just two counties, DeKalb and Fulton, both Democratic strongholds. The source states that Cox was not privy to these changes until after the election and that she became particularly concerned over the patch being installed in just those two counties.

If this was a legitimate patch then why was it only applied to machines from two counties?  Why did the CEO of the frickin' company need to fly from Texas to apply it himself?  Is he one of those amazing Hacker/CEO types?  I doubt it.

The other red flag?   The "patch" didn't fix the problem it was designed to fix:

The whistleblower said another flag went up when it became apparent that the patch installed by Urosevich had failed to fix a problem with the computer clock, which employees from Diebold and the Georgia Secretary of State’s office had been told the patch was designed specifically to address.

As far as I can tell by reading the story there is not yet solid proof of election tampering, but if the shoe fits:

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Max Cleland, who was five percentage points ahead of Republican challenger Saxby Chambliss in polls taken a week before the vote, lost 53% to 46%. Incumbent Democratic Governor Roy Barnes, who led challenger Sonny Perdue in the polls by eleven points, lost 51% to 46%. However, because the Diebold machines used throughout the state provided no paper trail, it was impossible to ask for a recount in either case.

Interestingly enough, this story is being broken by a GOP security expert and former McCain campaign adviser!  Sometimes even Republicans have brief outbreaks of genuine morality, I guess.  Still, I guess he couldn't resist breaking it on a Friday for minimal outrage.

Now I've heard people around here say "if it isn't close they can't steal it," but an 11 point lead isn't close.  If you have the opportunity to observe election equipment in November, be vigilant!  If you have the chance to eliminate electronic voting machines in your area then do it!  This is terrifying stuff!

<bold>H/T to MotleyPatriot for a few corrections and clarifications</bold>

Originally posted to n8gray on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 06:37 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is potentially the most important story (11+ / 0-)

    Everything else depends on the elections: from global warming to the economy and national security. I cannot understand why open source code and a verifiable paper trail has not been instituted for voting. If you allow proprietary code to compile the votes in secret you might as well privatize the government.

  •  As the election draws near this subject (5+ / 0-)

    becomes more alarming.  The frustration is when it is raised the media acts like it's some out of there conspiracy theory or ignores it.
    After 8 years, shouldn't this problem have already been taken care of instead of still a subject of debate?

    •  Dare I hope this time will be different? (4+ / 0-)

      Hopefully a right-winger (and a McCain adviser no less) sounding the alarm will be a little more "newsworthy".

      But sadly, probably not.

      "Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be." -- HRC

      by n8gray on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:06:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  worse... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nowness, blueintheface

      is the fucking spectacle some HERE create...

      CONSPIRACY THEORY! EXTRAORDINARY CLAIM! WHERE'S YOUR PROOF!!!  DON'T YOU SEE WHAT THIS IS DOING FOR OUR CREDIBILITY!!!! OMFG!!!! HOW COULD YOU???? BLACK HELICOPTERS BLACK HELICOPTERS!!! TIN FOIL HATS!!!

      The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

      by MotleyPatriot on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:12:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There was a huge controversy here after the 2004 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        farbuska

        elections. Kos didn't and still doesn't want the site to turn into a conspiracy theory hangout. I believed then and still believe the rat bastards stole the election. It's hard not to be cynical about the whole process.

        •  and there is a difference (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nowness

          between aliens at Area 51 and election fraud.

          The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

          by MotleyPatriot on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:40:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, that depends (0+ / 0-)

            Statements about election fraud range from "verifiably true" to "at least as weird as aliens at Area 51."

            I admit to distrusting people who complain when they are asked to provide evidence proportionate to their claims.

            •  uh huh... (0+ / 0-)

              that's why we have 4 different levels in our own legal system:

              - reasonable suspicion - probable cause - beyond a reasonable doubt - and tort/civil

              because, you know, if you don't have concrete evidence, you can't do shit in America.

              The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

              by MotleyPatriot on Sat Jul 19, 2008 at 10:44:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  awwww... darn it... you beat me to it! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, blueintheface

    but great catch!!!!

    I just finished a diary on it myself, so, won't post it later.

    The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

    by MotleyPatriot on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:09:31 PM PDT

    •  Wish I'd known... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      I didn't particularly enjoy writing this, but I felt I had to.  If I'd known someone else was on it I would've had a nicer Friday...  :-)

      "Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be." -- HRC

      by n8gray on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:55:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and you have a few mistakes... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, farbuska

    it wasn't two machines, but, in two counties.

    The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

    by MotleyPatriot on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:10:40 PM PDT

  •  and by my count... the points went (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    to a 12-16 point shift in days.

    The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

    by MotleyPatriot on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:14:17 PM PDT

    •  True (0+ / 0-)

      That's right, but I was talking about the 11 point lead, not the point shift.  It's a good point though.

      "Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be." -- HRC

      by n8gray on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:38:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What if 'voter frustration' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    early in the day on election Day 2008 led to the 'disabling' of electronic voting machines? Old peopel accidentally knocking over unis and such.....

    What if electronic machines were found to be damaged beyond use early on election day EVERYWHERE and jurisdictions were FORCED to go to paper ballots?

    Wouldn't the mere threat of such 'civil disobedience' - apparently now the ONLY way to remove questionable machines from use (since Congress has refused to act) force alternative plans?

  •  I saw this earlier at a different diary. (3+ / 0-)

    Reposting my main comment here:

    According to the article, the main problems were in two counties: DeKalb County, and Fulton County.

    The Georgia SOS website has the complete election results, down to the precinct. Anyways, results were:
    DeKalb County:
    Barnes (D) - ~125,000 (74%)
    Perdue (R) - ~40,000 (23%)

    Cleland (D) - ~124,000 (73%)
    Chambliss (R) - ~45,000 (26%)

    Fulton County:
    Barnes (D) - ~126,000 (62%)
    Perdue (R) - ~70,000 (35%)

    Cleland (D) - ~118,000 (58%)
    Chambliss (R) - ~81,000 (40%)

    Overall results:
    Barnes - ~933,000 (46%)
    Perdue - ~1,039,000 (52%)

    Cleland - ~929,000 (46%)
    Chambliss - ~1,069,000 (53%)

    Now, compare this to the results of, say, 2004:
    Kerry - ~1,366,000 (41%)
    Bush - ~1,914,000 (58%)

    Majette - ~1,288,000 (40%)
    Isakson - ~1,864,000 (58%)

    DeKalb:
    Kerry - ~201,000 (73%)
    Bush - ~73,000 (26%)

    Majette - ~192,000 (71%)
    Isakson - ~73,000 (27%)

    Fulton:
    Kerry - ~199,000 (59%)
    Bush - ~134,000 (40%)

    Majette - ~183,000 (55%)
    Isakson - ~139,000 (42%)

    Now, 2006 results:
    Taylor - ~797,000 (38%)
    Perdue - ~1,206,000 (58%)

    DeKalb:
    Taylor - 107k (66%)
    Perdue - 47k (29%)
    Fulton:
    Taylor - 100k (52%)
    Perdue - 82k (43%)

    Analysis:
    There doesn't seem to be too much of a discrepancy in turnout between the two elections. The important things are the vote totals.
    And I have to say that it's strange at the very least for Cleland and Perdue to receive about the same support as Kerry did in DeKalb, and Cleland to even underperform Kerry's numbers in Fulton - despite running better than him by at least 5-6 points statewide, and presumably having far more appeal to the average Southern white. Not a smoking gun, obviously, but strange.

    Could this have turned the election? Let's suppose that 5% of votes were 'tampered' with and put in the Republican instead of Democratic column (it seems reasonable in my opinion for Cleland and Barnes to have performed at least 5% better than Kerry did.)

    This would create a net swing of ~30-40,000 votes. Not nearly enough to cost either the election. So color me suspicious about this story - if they wanted to steal the election, the 'smartest' way would be to steal a few votes from each county, small enough to avoid detection but with a significant effect overall. But two counties alone - even large ones such as DeKalb and Fulton - simply can't make that much of a difference in an election that was decided (at least officially) by 6 points or so. To tamper with enough votes in those counties would make the results suspicious enough to be noticed. So, my conclusion is that the story can't be right. It's still possible that the elections were tampered with - but probably not in the way described in the article.

    It's suspicious, of course. But those patches alone wouldn't have been enough to steal the election. They would need to work with a lot more than two counties to create a swing of around 10% (comparing pre-election polls to results.) It may be that the source is simply wrong and the patches were applied to more than the two counties - or even that the patches served a completely innocuous purpose. But the election couldn't be stolen through just those two counties alone.

    •  my bet is that he KNEW that those two counties (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, Mike Taylor, farbuska

      received the "patch"... but, it was in more counties.

      But, we KNOW it was applied directly to TWO DEMOCRATIC STRONGHOLD COUNTIES at the last minute.

      The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

      by MotleyPatriot on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:29:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There were obviously other hacks made (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, Mike Taylor, farbuska

      in other counties already. Probably ALL of the machines were already rigged to be begin with.

      But the reason this was done in a hurry was because the original "patch" wasn't enough, and more votes had to be given to Chambliss to offset the strength in Cleland's support in those two counties.

      It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure any of this out.

      "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

      by shpilk on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:37:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Still... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth

      Thanks for sharing the numbers and your analysis.  Even if we accept that fiddling with those two counties alone didn't cost the election, I'm sure you'll agree that the actions taken by the Diebold CEO should be investigated further.  As you point out, the actions are fishy and so are the results from those counties.  After all, you shouldn't be let off the hook for trying to steal an election just because you didn't succeed.

      "Life is too short, time is too precious, and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been. We have to work together for what still can be." -- HRC

      by n8gray on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:53:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  also what the diarist doesn't bring out is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, farbuska

    that the "patch" held TWO parallel sets of programs that appear to be EXACTLY alike right down to the handicap codes.

    Now... WHY would a PATCH have THAT much code?

    The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

    by MotleyPatriot on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:31:28 PM PDT

  •  What motivates a GOPer to expose this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, farbuska

    An out break of morality? Maybe so. But I think it's the same thing that always motivates GOPers. Fear! I think this republican whistleblower is genuinely afraid of what the GOP will do, if they're allowed to steal another election.
    Breaking this information about the controversial defeat of Max Cleland is going to ruffle some feathers. Also, the defeat of Max Cleland was one of the big excuses "democrats" used for their continued support of the Bush "war on terror" agenda. And why haven't "democrats" in Washington even breathed a word about outlawing privately controlled E-Voting(Diebold etc.)?
    This all smells to high heaven. The whistleblower could have been motivated by a burst of morality, but I think it's simple survival instinct stuff(fear).

  •  The link to the Raw Story article (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    doesn't seem to work any more.

  •  vote counting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    farbuska

    To quote Uncle Joe Stalin" it isn't who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes".

    There's so many people livin out there, they don't even have a clue.-Jimmy Buffett

  •  Interesting developments (0+ / 0-)

    "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

    by shpilk on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:53:25 PM PDT

    •  There is a 'stay'??? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      farbuska

      WHY??

      "lift the stay in the case [and] proceed with targeted discovery in order to help protect the integrity of the 2008 election."

      Christ on a cracker, this is the Democratic Secretary of State of Ohio that has a stay on this?

      What ever the hell for?

      "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

      by shpilk on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:56:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  protect the institution at all cost... (0+ / 0-)

        lest the public lose confidence in it.

        The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

        by MotleyPatriot on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 07:57:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  keep in mind... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        farbuska

        that our politics today, no matter Party, knows that they are going to get MILLIONS tossed their way by lobbyists for their vote.

        And they made that LEGAL... despite it being bribery.  How else to make SURE you CAN get bribed?

        It's a gravy train...

        And if the public doesn't believe in it... they are flipping burgers...

        The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

        by MotleyPatriot on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:06:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rove is implicated in this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    http://www.opednews.com/...

    No wonder the filthy pig left the country.

    "You know what the real fight is? The real fight is the definition of what is reality." Bernie Sanders

    by shpilk on Fri Jul 18, 2008 at 08:00:28 PM PDT

  •  And I read in some article that the machines (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    were seized and scrubbed almost immediately. In addition, I quite possibly found the company that provided the military grade scrubbing software, headquartered in Atlanta. The CEOs of the company are personal friends of the Bush family and were the official photographers for the Bushes and at various times for the RNC.

  •  Demand a Paper Ballot and Sue if they Don't Give (0+ / 0-)

    You One. Take a Video Camera along for documentation.Paper Paper Paper. Write your State Reps if they haven't revised state law to mandate paper already

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