(USA) 1/12 – GLOBAL INTERNET VOTING FIRM BUYS U.S. ELECTION RESULTS REPORTING FIRM – By Bev Harris
Permission to reprint granted, with link to www.blackboxvoting.org
In a major step towards global centralization of election processes, the world’s dominant Internet voting company has purchased the USA’s dominant election results reporting company.
When you view your local or state election results on the Internet, on portals which often appear to be owned by the county elections division, in over 525 US jurisdictions you are actually redirected to a private corporate site controlled by SOE software, which operates under the name ClarityElections.com.
The good news is that this firm promptly reports precinct-level detail in downloadable spreadsheet format. As reported by BlackBoxVoting.org in 2008, the bad news is that this centralizes one middleman access point for over 525 jurisdictions in AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, KY, MI, KS, IL, IN, NC, NM, MN, NY, SC, TX, UT, WA. And growing.
As local election results funnel through SOE’s servers (typically before they reach the public elsewhere), those who run the computer servers for SOE essentially get “first look” at results and the ability to immediately and privately examine vote details throughout the USA.
In 2004, many Americans were justifiably concerned when, days before the presidential election, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell redirected Ohio election night results through the Tennessee-based server for several national Republican Party operations.
This is worse: This redirects results reporting to a centralized privately held server which is not just for Ohio, but national; not just USA-based, but global.
A mitigation against fraud by SOE insiders has been the separation of voting machine systems from the SOE results reports. Because most US jurisdictions require posting evidence of results from each voting machine at the precinct, public citizens can organize to examine these results to compare with SOE results. Black Box Voting spearheaded a national citizen action to videotape / photograph these poll tapes in 2008.
With the merger of SOE and SCYTL, that won’t work (if SCYTL’s voting system is used). When there are two truly independent sources of information, the public can perform its own “audit” by matching one number against the other.
These two independent sources, however, will now be merged into one single source: an Internet voting system controlled by SCYTL, with a results reporting system also controlled by SCYTL.
With SCYTL internet voting, there will be no ballots. No physical evidence. No chain of custody. No way for the public to authenticate who actually cast the votes, chain of custody, or the count.
SCYTL is moving into or already running elections in: the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, India and Australia.
SCYTL is based in Barcelona; its funding comes from international venture capital funds including Nauta Capital, Balderton Capital and Spinnaker.
Here is the link to the press release regarding SYCTL’s acquisition of SOE:
quote:”In 2007…the top 250 companies in the world had sales in excess of $14.7 trillion…an amount exceeding the GDP [Gross Domestic Product] of the United States or the European Union, $13.2 trillion and $13.7 trillion, respectively…combined sales of the top five (Wal-Mart, Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and General Motors) was nearly $1.5 trillion — larger than the GDP of all but seven countries.” — Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making, by David Rothkopf
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(USA) – 1/12 – WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON IN IA, NH, AND SC – by Bev Harris
Despite what you see about who “won” Iowa and who “won” New Hampshire and who “won” South Carolina, that’s not the main function of these very early contests. What they are really about is culling down the field, promptly, and this is not really based on who wins.
New Hampshire, and to a lesser extent Iowa and South Carolina, play a disproportionate role in removing your choice of candidates in the primary. While you watch the horse race in these three states, understand that if you live in any other state, you are going to have fewer candidate choices, or no chance to vote on the candidate of your choice at all.
IT’S ABOUT EXPECTATIONS, NOT WINNING
If a candidate “exceeds expectations” built by TV punditry and whichever poll is being quoted at the time, three things happen:
1. TV pundits start the drumbeat, building public expectations about “inevitability” of the candidate who did “better than expected”;
2. Donor money reroutes itself, pouring dollars into the newly inevitable candidate;
3. Media then reports on the candidate’s prowess in fund raising, citing this newly found skill as reason to believe the candidate is even more inevitable.
The reverse (fewer votes than “expected”) creates an even more definitive result:
1. Media speculates repetitively on when the candidate will drop out;
2. Donor funds for the candidate dry up;
3. Media cites weaker donations as evidence that the candidate cannot win;
4. The party begins pushing the candidate to get out of the way;
5. Articles begin focusing on the cost of primaries in states where people have not yet had an opportunity to vote (underlying message: why do these primaries?);
6. Pundits begin the new drumbeat: “The longer it takes for candidates to get out of the way, the more damage to the party’s prospects of winning the general election in November.”
This is why Iowa and New Hampshire are not really about winning. They are about pushing candidates out of the way citing failure to meet expectations, or surprise in exceeding them.
South Carolina, usually the third state to hold a primary contest, serves as the clean-up round, so that by Super Tuesday (when lots of big states have primaries) only a few candidate choices remain. Non-frontrunners still in the game get so strapped financially that they can’t muster a fight.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH “BLACK BOX VOTING”?
The Iowa Republican caucus turned out to be impressively transparent, though of course TV pundits did exploit Iowa to tell people what to think for the next round.
NEW HAMPSHIRE IS ANOTHER STORY
New Hampshire uses Black Box Voting for over 90% of its votes (Black Box Voting = concealed vote-counting machines. This violates New Hampshire’s own constitution which states that the votes must be counted “in public meeting”).
I will publish a detailed, point-by-point description of several quite bad choke-points in New Hampshire election integrity tomorrow. Here’s the short version, and a preview:
– All New Hampshire voting machines are programmed by a Massachusetts-based sole source no-bid contractor with a convicted narcotics trafficker at its helm;
– A crafty change in NH law now makes it illegal for the public to examine the real ballots under right to know law;
– A change in NH law in 2008 now makes most recounts impossible;
– New Hampshire does not follow its own legally required vote-stuffing safeguards.
New Hampshire will produce an anointed candidate who will “do better than expected” to become “inevitable.” Some of the other frontrunners will be hammered down firmly with “worse than expected”; all week long before South Carolina we will get treated to a persuasive TV pundit parade telling us what we should think.
It’s only gotten worse since 1988, when author Joan Didion wrote: “…those inside the process had congealed into a permanent political class, the defining characteristic of which was its readiness to abandon those not inside the process.” (Political Fictions)
In South Carolina (where, as you may recall, the paperless ES&S iVotronic touchscreens gave us Alvin Greene in the 2010 Democratic primary), the counting process is not only entirely concealed, but the original record — the voters own verified ballot — is unrecoverable, and chain of custody on the count is unascertainable. By the way, it also violate the South Carolina constitution to conceal the vote counting process from the public.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
I know, I know. People will write me and say “What should we do?” I always hear that just days before the election, when it’s too late.
What you can do that might make a difference is this:
1) Think for yourself and ignore the pundits. Stop letting yourself get persuaded by a politicized media machine. Give your money to the candidate of your choice and vote for the candidate of your choice, and do not let any wonk who was invited onto a TV s…More
(USA) 1/12 – TRAP DOORS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE ELECTIONS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT – By Bev Harris
Permission to excerpt or reprint granted, with link to www.blackboxvoting.org
See below for details in this article:
SIX TRAP DOORS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE ELECTION PROCESS
1. Removed safeguards for its same-day registration system.
2. Ignores the law on ballot-stuffing safeguards
3. Breaks the chain of custody
4. Conceals vote-counting from the public, in violation of Article 32 of its own Constitution
5. Removed candidate recount rights (2009)
6. Made it illegal for public citizens or members of the press to examine the ballots after the election is over (2003)
TWO THINGS YOU CAN DO
1. Get involved with Protect the Count NH
2. Monitor the trap doors
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT NEW HAMPSHIRE’S FIRST-IN-NATION PRIMARY?
Like the Iowa caucus system, it forces candidates to answer real questions from actual people. Political strategists like their candidates to plan their media (setting up media ops that are nothing short of laughable; placing their candidates in cornfields, in tanks, on factory assembly lines, donning catcher’s mitts and plaid shirts and baseball caps.) Unscripted moments are forced on candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire, where locals won’t vote-ya if you hide behind photo ops.
WHAT’S BAD ABOUT NEW HAMPSHIRE’S FIRST-IN-NATION PRIMARY?
Unlike the impressively transparent public process in Iowa this year (where the public could spot errors or malfeasance so well that mistakes actually saw the light of day), New Hampshire is currently the Decepticon of transparent elections. For each transparent election procedure, they’ve built a trap door.
If you control who or what gets on the ballot, you control the outcome. This is the arena for ballot access fights. If you dominate public persuasion, you can (usually) control the outcome. This is the arena where campaign finance is fought. If you draw your own playing field, you control regional outcomes. This is the arena where redistricting take place. All this happens before the election. Now we move to control points for the voting process itself:
1. WHO CAN VOTE: Where voter list stuffing and purging play out;
2. WHO DID VOTE: The ringside seat for ballot-stuffing;
3. CHAIN OF CUSTODY: Magician’s territory: When real ballots leave public view, substitutes may appear;
4. THE COUNT: Voting machine program and the tally process.
HERE ARE NEW HAMPSHIRE’S TRAP DOORS:
TRAP DOOR #1 – (WHO CAN VOTE): Democrats have been clamoring for same-day registration, and we saw Republicans take advantage of it in Iowa’s 2012 Caucus. A keen idea, but not when you remove its safeguards.
The safeguard for same-day registration is the ability for any person to see and authenticate same-day registration applications. New Hampshire allows same-day registration, but excludes the registration applications from public inspection. What you’re left with is a checklist (New Hampshire’s name for a poll list) which contains a list of names appended to it by a poll worker.
In 2008, the presidential primary checklist for a northern New Hampshire town called Woodstock was spotted on the floor of a white cargo van by an alert citizen. This van was speeding around southern New Hampshire, driven by file clerks Peter “Hoppy” Falzone and Butch Dubois. Ballot pickup schedules showed that they hadn’t been to Woodstock. Appended to the Woodstock checklist were a motley list of hand-written names, lacking addresses, purporting to be same day registrants.
Susan Pynchon, the citizen who spotted the checklist and later examined it, asked to examine the Election Day registration forms that must accompany same-day registrants. But in New Hampshire, that’s against the law.
No member of the public or the media can examine any of the documents which authenticate same-day registrants. No one knows if the names appended to the checklist are real or copied from a phone book during lulls in voting.
TRAP DOOR #2 – (WHO DID VOTE): A telltale sign for ballot box stuffing is when votes exceed voters. Here are voter/vote totals from Swanzey in New Hampshire’s 2008 presidential primary:
1,591 votes – 1,333 voters = 258 impossible Democratic votes
1,092 votes – 951 voters = 141 impossible Republican votes
The total number of impossible votes in Swanzey alone were 258 + 141 = 399
The “Swanzey Stuffing” does have a positive side: At least Swanzey reported their impossible numbers promptly to the Secretary of State. A citizen caught it, and (one would hope), the secretary of state had an opportunity to investigate the incident. But they didn’t.
In 2010, though it is required by law to report to the secretary of state the number of votes and voters, towns did not report it. An alert public citizen, Deborah Sumner, noticed the absence of this required ballot-stuffing safeguard and brought it to the attention of the secretary of state, the… More
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