Black Box Voting Board Member Arrested VIEWING THE DIEBOLD
VOTE-TALLYING SCREEN PROHIBITED
(Wake Up -- When a representative of the Non-Government connected Voters
Can't monitor the Vote collection and tabulation ! -- Then The FIX IS IN
Jim March, a member of the Black Box Voting board of directors, was
arrested Tuesday evening for trying to observe the Diebold central
tabulator (vote tallying machine) as the votes were being counted in San
Diego's mayoral election (July 26). (- online discussion:
According to Jim Hamilton, an elections integrity advocate from San
Diego, he and March visited the office of the registrar of elections
earlier in the day. During this visit, March made two requests, which
were refused by Mikel Haas, the San Diego Registrar of elections.
1) March asked that the central tabulator, the computer that tallies up
the votes from all the precincts, be positioned so that citizens could
observe it. According to Hamilton, this would have required simply
moving a table a few feet.
2) March also asked for a copy of the ".gbf" files -- the vote tally
files collected during the course of tabulation – to be provided for
examination after the election.
During the tallying of the election, the Diebold computer was positioned
too far away for citizens to read the screen. Citizens could not watch
error messages, or even perceive significant anomalies or malfunctions.
Unable to see the screen, March went into the office where the tabulator
was housed. Two deputies followed him and escorted him out.
According to Hamilton: "He was not belligerent, not at all. After he
went inside the tabulator room he came [was escorted] out and he said
clearly 'I'm not resisting.' They handcuffed him, took him out of the
building. They put him in a squad car. They're going to take him to the
police station, book him and take him to jail," said Hamilton. "He's
getting charged with a felony, 'interfering with an election official.'"
March's actions are the culmination of two years of increasing
frustration with the refusal of election officials to respond to
security deficiencies in the voting machines. The software that tallies
the votes in San Diego is made by Diebold Election Systems, a company
that has already paid the state of California $2.8 million for making
false claims, due to a lawsuit filed by March and Black Box Voting
founder Bev Harris.
On July 4, a report was released by European computer security expert
Harri Hursti, revealing that the Diebold voting system contains profound
architectural flaws. "It is open for business," says Hursti, who
demonstrated the flaws on Leon County, Florida Diebold machines. He
penetrated the voting system in less than five minutes, manipulating
vote reports in a way that was undetectable.
Despite the critical security alert issued by Hursti, San Diego County
sent 713 voting machines home with poll workers, increasing the risk
that the "memory cards" housed in the machines could be hacked, and
removing the argument that "inside access" was carefully safeguarded.
The arrest of Jim March underlines a fundamental problem facing
Americans today as, increasingly, they lose the ability to monitor,
verify, or watch any part of the counting process.
The San Diego registrar of elections knew of the security flaws in the
voting system. Diebold has never denied the vulnerability identified in
Hursti's report, found at
Despite knowledge of the increased risks, Haas made the decision to
create additional vulnerability by sending the machines home with
hundreds of poll workers.
While San Diego officials will no doubt point to a small seal on the
compartment housing the memory card (the component exploited in Hursti's
study), Black Box Voting has interviewed a former San Diego poll worker,
who reported that all that is necessary to dislodge and then reaffix the
seal is a small pair of pliers.
IN A NUTSHELL:
- The machines have been demonstrated to be vulnerable to undetected
- The San Diego registrar of voters chose not to take appropriate
- The main tally machine was placed in a location that was impossible
for citizens to observe
- Many voting integrity advocates have come to believe that voting
machine reform now rivals the urgency of the Civil
Rights movement in the 1960s.
Jim March acted on those beliefs.
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If you share the feelings that Jim March has expressed about voting
system secrecy, please forward this message to your lists and to online
blogs as appropriate. Permission granted to reprint, with link to
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