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<nettime> HACKED! High Tech Election Theft in America
Joseph Nechvatal on Mon, 30 Oct 2006 20:40:05 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> HACKED! High Tech Election Theft in America


I think the list should know about this issue of hacked elections, if 
you have not already discussed it. I am relatively new to the list, 
again. I'm sure you remember that the chickenhawk neocons were never 
elected - the elections were stolen in 2000, 2002 and 2004. But the US 
allowed that to happen, so the corruption of Bush/Cheney cabal rests 
solidly upon the American peoples shoulders.

Joseph Nechvatal



Q & A with Abbe DeLozier and Vickie Karp
the Editors of "HACKED! High Tech Election Theft in America"

After nearly a year of effort, editors Abbe Waldman DeLozier and Vickie 
Karp have compiled an astounding and weighty treatise on the issue of 
electronic vote fraud, its implication to the loss of our democratic 
process, and why Americans must start TODAY to reclaim their elections.

Q: The thing that is most remarkable about your backgrounds is that 
neither of you are what one might consider political animals, but 
rather just truly concerned citizens who chose to bring this book to 
the forefront. Why was it so important for you to get this word out?

Abbe: I've been a Realtor for over 20 years and have become very 
concerned about my country. I love America and value so much the 
freedoms we have here - that's why I've become so concerned that our 
elections are not safe. Our whole tenet of freedom (deleted "and fair 
elections") has been shattered because we no longer have fair 
elections: Something so cherished by all of us in America.

Vickie: I've also been a Realtor for over 20 years, (which is how Abbe 
and I met,) and was not working on anything political lately.  But when 
I learned about electronic vote fraud something struck me in my core:  
The whole essence of our country is supposedly built on the foundation 
of fair elections.  The implications of those elections being stolen 
rocked my perception of our democratic republic and I knew I had to do 
something. And the more I've learned about it, the more fearful I've 
become. One of the most alarming things I've learned is that the 
average American still has no idea that elections are likely being 
stolen with these electronic voting systems.

Q: And was that what compelled you to tackle this issue, because you 
felt it wasn't being talked about and people were not getting the real 
information?

Abbe: Absolutely. We both realized that if elections are being stolen 
it doesn't matter what other areas of political activity we worked on 
or were (delete: being) passionate about because elections are central 
to everything else. So it was the best place to put our energy. Most 
people don't even understand the gravity of what is going on and they 
don't believe this information when they hear it.  We realized that 
there just has not been enough coverage and we wanted to educate people.

Q:  Who are some of the experts who contributed to your book?

Abbe:  We were quite fortunate to receive for the book the works of 
some of the most dedicated and knowledgable people in the country on 
this issue:  Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, who has helped deliver to 
the public the most clear-cut evidence backed by computer experts that 
these voting systems can be hacked; Lynn Landes, a journalist from 
Philadelphia who has been studying and writing about the issue for 
years; Victoria Collier, daughter and niece of James and Kenneth 
Collier who documented over 25 years of election fraud history in their 
book, Votescam:  The Stealing of America; Kathleen Wynne, Associate 
Director of Black Box Voting who has helped Bev Harris with research 
and investigations and videotaped many incriminating moments of their 
findings; Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, who have been researching 
what happened in Ohio in the 2004 election and have already written 
dozens of articles on vote fraud (freepress.org) and compiled two books 
on the topic of stolen elections, including the threat of electronic 
voting; Jeremiah Akin, a computer programmer from California who 
discovered the software of the Sequoia voting systems and details many 
of its vulnerabilities in his chapter; we also have a chapter from Rep. 
Cynthia McKinney about why the current attempts at legislation to fix 
this issue will not work; and a chapter from a 30-year election worker 
named May Schmidt about why hand-counted paper ballot elections worked 
so much more smoothly and efficiently than electronically executed 
elections.  Vickie and I each contributed a chapter also.

Q: What is the most misunderstood thing about this issue?

Vickie: Two things.  FIRST:  The idea that computers are the solution 
to our election process.  Computers are fallible and crash and lose 
data every day. And that is true even if no one is TRYING to hack them. 
  Because we are in the computer age, everyone assumes that high-tech is 
the logical solution to everything.  But in the case of elections, 
nothing could be further from the truth!  SECOND: That adding printers 
and conducting 2% audits will solve election fraud.  It's just not 
going to happen!

Q: What do you hope people will do after reading this book?

Abbe: We hope that they will take action. We hope they will understand 
that it is not a partisan issue and all of us on both sides of the 
aisle, and of all political persuasions are losing if we continue using 
the electronic voting systems. We must go back to hand-counted paper 
ballots.  While not a perfect system, the potential for fraud is much 
lower than any electronically executed election.

Q: Why on earth would anyone consider going back to hand-counted paper 
ballots?

Abbe: The answer is clearly detailed in our book. May Schmidt, a 30 
year veteran election judge, describes how easily and effectively paper 
ballots are hand-counted throughout the day at the precinct level with 
bipartisan teams of election judges. It is called citizen oversight, an 
important part of our democracy taken away with the use of computerized 
voting. A well-designed paper ballot can be accurately counted, and 
election tallies posted at the precinct levels. We need a return to 
this simple, cost-effective, accountable way to vote in America.

Vickie: Millions of taxpayer dollars have been spent and are still 
being spent on computerized voting equipment that requires expensive 
maintenance contracts, special storage facilities, and replacement.  
Counties could go bankrupt supporting these systems!

Election Day should be a holiday. Like jury duty, we should develop a 
system to have ample bipartisan citizen participation to volunteer on 
election day to work the election and count the votes. Cameras should 
record the hand-counting at the end of the day, shown to the public on 
community access channels to ensure public scrutiny.  We need a return 
to citizen run elections, and according to an August 2006 Zogby poll, 
92% of Americans support their right to view vote counting and obtain 
information about it.

Q: What do you expect the book will impact or initiate?

Vickie: People must understand this, as one of the Founding Fathers 
said:   The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. This is not a quick 
fix. And yet we're in a very real race, because of the upcoming 
election, to help people totally "get" that their votes are likely 
being stolen.  WE, the PEOPLE, have to get up off our couches, turn off 
"American Idol", and DO something!

Abbe: We want this issue to become front page news as it should be. 
We're on a limited timeframe for people to take action and we want our 
readers to understand that. It's a very serious situation-- it took a 
book of this depth to explain what is really going on and how all the 
various components have brought us to this point.

Q: What comments have you heard on the book?

Abbe: We've really kept the book under wraps until completion, but 
we've had early readers already say that though they had seen stories 
here and there on this issue, this is the first book that really puts 
all the pieces together for a comprehensive understanding. We've heard 
people of all political persuasions say they are truly alarmed at this 
potential permanent loss of everyone's right to have their votes 
accurately counted. Electronic voting systems have taken away that 
right.

Q: What about naysayers that will claim this is a partisan issue?

Vickie:  Not true.  People of all parties are losing their right to 
accurate elections.  Why wouldn't everyone be concerned that hackers 
can easily tamper with election results? We see the vulnerability of 
our computer systems every day in the news as Microsoft and others 
release ongoing patches for their software. Electronic voting systems 
are no different. Consider what's happened with hackers who have 
accessed the Veterans Administration data, and the data of major banks 
and credit card companies.

Abbe: We welcome those who make the "partisan" claim. We invite them to 
go out and investigate beyond the information in our book.  They will 
find evidence that speaks to the devastation of what the electronic 
voting push has created. Anyone who is concerned about having fair 
elections restored should be very interested in this book.

Vickie:  We simply ask people to read "HACKED!" before they claim we 
are making unrealistic accusations. We printed the facts as relayed by 
foremost experts on this issue. Even the GAO (Government Accountability 
Office) released a scathing 107 page document last October (2005) 
detailing the dangers of electronic voting.  The Brennan Center for 
Justice issued a report this past June (2006) stating that electronic 
voting was highly vulnerable to fraud.  Unfortunately, they believe 
that the fix is regular audits.  We strongly disagree with that 
solution, as we detail in our book.  We are quite certain that the 
solution is HAND COUNTED PAPER BALLOTS, all the way!

Q: And is time running out for this?  Why is it so important to get 
this out now?

Abbe:  We know we're in critical mass right now. This is the boondoggle 
of the century:  Taxpayers are paying for the very systems that are 
likely stealing their votes! Over 80% of the votes in the 2004 election 
were electronically recorded or counted, and this is going to increase 
in upcoming elections. We're already seeing on the local, state and 
national level how these electronic voting systems are being 
corrupted-- misreporting votes and creating havoc.

Vickie: Unfortunately, states are still rushing to purchase these 
electronic voting systems utilizing, as Abbe says, millions of taxpayer 
dollars through the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Many computer experts 
have issued reports detailing the dangers and vulnerabilities of this 
equipment, while it is operating with secret software which only the 
private vendors can access. We, the citizens, are voting on 
computerized equipment and we have no idea how it's being programmed 
nor how our votes are being recorded. This is totally unacceptable!!

Q: Can people hit your site for information on how to order the book? 
And things to do to take action?

Abbe:  Absolutely, they will find actionable steps to take today to 
help fight this loss of our voting rights. The web site address is 
http://www.hackedelections.com


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