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Todays update on the Black Voter history erasures and outside software that modifies/manipulates how the Diebold vote machines/software handle voting.

State Sen. Jim Kyle of Memphis joins US Rep. Steve Cohen D-Memphis in calling for formal investigations.

NASHVILLE — State Sen. Jim Kyle of Memphis asked the Tennessee secretary of state today to conduct a “formal investigation” into allegations that the voting histories of 488 Shelby County registered voters were deleted from Election Commission records.

Critics are concerned that such deletions could pave the way for the purging of those voters’ names from the official rolls.

The Senate Democratic leader’s letter, released today, follows a similar request by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, for investigations by U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and Tennessee Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins into the allegations originally made by voting rights activist Bev Harris, whose Black Box Voting website monitors irregularities with voters nationwide.       Memphis Commercial Appeal - Sen. Kyle of Memphis seeks state probe of voter issue

The blowback story is trying to blame the whistle blower (Black Box Voting in this case), even though the Shelby County Administrator of Elections has already admitted to problems: "He said the question may arise from the information provided to the public requesting such data."
Elections administrator Richard Holden has responded to this article by pretending that this problem does not exist. To be absolutely clear: The crux of Mr. Holden's rebuttal is that documents he has released to the public do not match documents on the internal Shelby County system.

Now imagine this scenario: You do a public records request for a budget. You receive a budget which omits a sensitive set of expenditures. When you point out that the expenditures were somehow deleted, the official tells the media, "Well that is just the budget report given to the public; in my own budget, the expenditures show up in my own internal report."

Public records must provide a true and accurate copy of what is in the government's own records. Clearly, that is not the case in Shelby County.     Update on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - By Bev Harris

It seems like to me they always kept a back up, more accurate, file - just in case they got caught (in my humble opinion). Their story fails on the simple test - who benefits and who loses.  Now they claim it is only the information that was available to the public that was wrong.

Meanwhile, on the Diebold software breach (same county, same administrator of elections, started in 2007!, actual process revealed in 2012):

THE WORK ORDER

Richard Holden was on the Election Commission when the work order was put through, and is currently the chief elections administrator for Shelby County.

The work order, attached in the next post below, was executed with Cathi Smothers representing Diebold.

Based on memos between Shelby County elections IT guy Dennis Boyce and the programmer for this, the work order appears to have been carried out by Curt Wolfe, who lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Unbeknownst to Shelby County's 600,000 voters, one man, who doesn't even work in the elections division, has almost unprecedented access over what is now an uncertified voting system. Not since Jeffrey Dean had his way with King County's voting computers have I seen such a high level of access by one outside contractor.

Curt Wolfe may be a lovely man and honest as a preacher, but what Shelby County has done to order up these changes is inexcusable.       SHELBY COUNTY PERFORMED UNAUTHORIZED ALTERATIONS IN ITS (NOW UNCERTIFIED!) VOTING SYSTEM

A private person now writes instructions (the software) that tells the Diebold machines and how to handle voting.
The alteration to Shelby County's system inserts an entirely different program called ESM, originally written by Accenture and later customized to act as a go-between amidst GEMS and the voting machines.

The system normally works like this:

GEMS -> VC Programmer -> Voting machine

- GEMS is used to configure the election, assigning candidate names, Party IDs, Precinct Identifiers and so forth.

- GEMS sends information to VC Programmer, which creates a voter card.

- You put the card created by VC Programmer into the touchscreen voting machine. The card tells the voting machine which ballot to show on the screen and you cast your vote.

SHELBY COUNTY'S PROGRAM NOW WORKS LIKE THIS INSTEAD:

GEMS -> ESM software created by someone else -> VC Programmer -> Voting machine

- GEMS sets the party identifiers, precincts, candidates etc

- ESM takes this information from GEMS, and in ESM the party identifiers are changed from one county-wide set to hundreds of precinct-specific party codes, which can be changed precinct by precinct by whoever has access to ESM

- The information from ESM then goes to VC Programmer, which creates each voter card

- VC Programmer's voter cards then provide instructions to the touchscreen     SHELBY COUNTY PERFORMED UNAUTHORIZED ALTERATIONS IN ITS (NOW UNCERTIFIED!) VOTING SYSTEM

California decertified the entire Diebold system after a similar program to Shelby Counties was blamed for directly disenfranchising over 40,000 California voters in California's 2004 presidential primary.

Let me say that again so that it's impact can be clear: California decertified the entire Diebold system after a similar program to Shelby Counties was blamed for directly disenfranchising over 40,000 California voters in California's 2004 presidential primary.

VC Programmer happens to be a component that's been in trouble. It has proven dangerous enough for some states (Florida) to disallow its use at all, and other states (California) to decertify the whole Diebold touchscreen system when Secretary of State Kevin Shelley caught Diebold making unauthorized program changes to it. One internal memo written by Diebold programmers frets that "If people find out" what they are doing with VC Programmer, "We'll find ourselves on the front page of USA Today."

VC Programmer was blamed for directly disenfranchising over 40,000 California voters in California's 2004 presidential primary. Diebold's attorneys, from the Jones Day law firm, submitted a perjured interrogatory to the California secretary of state claiming that VC Programmer was not programmed by Diebold, and was "commercial off the shelf software." Imagine the panic when Sec. State Kelley paid a surprise visit to the plant where technicians were installing custom-coded VC Programmer patches. Diebold hastily sent all the technicians home, but one of them, James Dunn, showed up with a signed affidavit at a hearing and it was all over. Shelley decertified the system and banned its use in California in 2004.     Shelby Co Black Box Voting Story

Recent Links:

blackboxvoting.org
FOX13 Memphis -40,000 Voter Records Erased?
Channel 5 Memphis - Major inconsistencies found in Shelby County voting rolls
Cohen questioning alleged voter roll inconsistencies
Memphis Flyer - "Erased Voters' Gaffe May Force Changes by Election Commission  
Cohen questioning alleged voter roll inconsistencies
Channel 3 Memphis - Black, Democrat Voter History Erased
Channel 13 Memphis - Blog Shows Potential Purged Voters
Memphis Commercial Appeal - Sen. Kyle of Memphis seeks state probe of voter issue
SHELBY COUNTY PERFORMED UNAUTHORIZED ALTERATIONS IN ITS (NOW UNCERTIFIED!) VOTING SYSTEM - Documents and article
Election chief disputes voting histories claim
SHELBY COUNTY'S VOTING SYSTEM ALTERATIONS MAKE IT UNCERTIFIED AND UNAUTHORIZED UNDER ANY FEDERAL STANDARDS   In May 2007, Shelby County executed a work order to alter the way Shelby County's voting system works
Unbeknownst to Shelby County's 600,000 voters, one man, who doesn't even work in the elections division, has almost unprecedented access over what is now an uncertified voting system. Not since Jeffrey Dean had his way with King County's voting computers h
The alteration to Shelby County's system inserts an entirely different program called ESM, originally written by Accenture and later customized to act as a go-between amidst GEMS and the voting machines.

Here is the link to detailed diary Saturday, PART I, with the Story of how   TN-09 Black Dem Voters in Memphis Illegally Stripped of Voting History

On Sunday this diary, PART II, added press and party links:
TN-09 Black Memphis Voter History Erased, Shelby County uses different system to count votes by race

Monday Article PART III
TN-09 Black Voters History Erased? - up to 40,000 black voters in Shelby County

Tuesday Article PART IV
TN-09 The Diebold Voting System has Been Tampered With PART IV

Originally posted to ca democrat on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by Three Star Kossacks.

Poll

Just Because CA decertified Diebold after 40,000 voters were disenfranchised, for software similar to what Shelby Co is now using, doesn't mean that voter disenfranchisement would ever happen in Shelby County.

21%3 votes
71%10 votes
7%1 votes

| 14 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  tipjar: Let me say that again so that it's impact (7+ / 0-)

    can be clear:

    California decertified the entire Diebold system after a similar program to Shelby Counties was blamed for directly disenfranchising over 40,000 California voters in California's 2004 presidential primary.

    Photobucket

    Tired of hearing crazy voices? turn off FOX News. Single Payer: healthcare for all of God's living creatures in America.

    by ca democrat on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:12:15 PM PDT

  •  Thankfully (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ca democrat, PhilK

    It's been damn near a lifetime since I lived in Memphis/Shelby Co.   I would not have been surprised by this type of corruption 20 years ago, and am not surprised by it now.  

    The short version, it's really irrelevant which party is in control of which government (city vs. county).  What little tax revenue there might be is not spent improving the lives of those who inhabit Memphis/Shelby Co.  The bulk of it is spent pitting the City vs. the County, and lining the pockets of the cronies of whoever is in charge of each government entity.  

    "There's gotta be a pony under here somewhere!!"

    by patterson415 on Wed May 30, 2012 at 11:51:33 PM PDT

    •  Cronyism, for sure! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ca democrat

      As in Cook County, Illinois and the city of Chicago, it's not a matter of Dem vs. Rep. -- it's a matter of insider vs. outsider. And who better illustrates the nature of the Memphis machine than its most odious and most notorious product, Harold Ford Jr?

      Steve Cohen is about as much of an outsider to this machine as one can possibly be, and still get elected. The machine hates him, and is always trying to stir up ethnic resentment against him.

      I read the online version of that famous Memphis paper every day, and I assure you, there is never any coverage of these issues, except in the comments. Disenfranchising thousands of AA voters? That's not news in this paper!

  •  There is a Facebook group . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ca democrat

    . . . called Occupy Rigged Elections, that publicizes this type of issue, and makes it easy for FB users to spread awareness to their friends.

    Unfortunately, there is a lot of static on this group from Ron Paul supporters complaining about irregularities in Republican primary and caucus systems, which are irrelevant to the issue of stolen elections, except to the extent that they illustrate the total arrogance of those in power. Nonetheless, I think the group is worth the attention of anyone concerned about privatized election systems and the stolen elections they make possible.

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