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Event

 
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: 

http://www.blackboxvoting.org 

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 
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/BBVreport.pdf 

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 
tampering 

- The San Diego registrar of voters chose not to take appropriate 
precautions 

- 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. 
* * * * * 
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 
http://www.blackboxvoting.org 
* * * * 
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Black Box Voting
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.