Category "Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting"

Democracy Denied: So-Called ‘People’s House’ Now The Speakers Dominion

September 2nd, 2006 by Andy in Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting

If you haven’t been paying attention (which isn’t surprising considering the almost total lack of coverage of this), the recent special House seat election in San Diego has been hijacked and usurped by decree from Dennis Hastert.

This action shows that your vote does not count - anywhere. If they (in this case and most cases Republicans) want to take your vote, they will.

In the simplest of terms, this is a new low for America. Yes, I know, it seems like we’ve bottomed out thousands of times already in recent years. I have to account for the paradigm shift this news has brought me. Consider, for the past two and a half years I’ve been writing and saying to all who can read and hear that there is no basis for confidence in the reported results of American elections. In a quote featured on the back cover of my book, “We Do Not Consent”, Lehto says the “no basis for confidence…formulation approaches scientific certainty.” When votes are counted in secret, the conditions of the election guarantee inconclusive outcomes that will not meet unanimous public acceptance.

It is a pathetic state of affairs when this crisis information gets more coverage in New Zealand than our own nation.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Yuri Hofmann rendered his decision in the election challenge in California’s 50th Congressional District. He dismissed the request for a recount and for discovery of the facts of the Busby-Bilbray election stating specifically that “Once the House asserts exclusive jurisdiction and selects a candidate, the court no longer has jurisdiction” (emphasis added). The judge argued that the June 13 swearing in alone was sufficient to establish Bilbray’s “election.” The event had the power to take away any and all citizen rights and immediately rescind authority over their own elections.

“If they can do that, they can do anything. Why even have an election? They could just swear in whoever they want because the election need not be final.”
- Paul Lehto, Attorney for Plaintiffs Aug. 25, 2006

Read these excellent overviews on this disturbing story Here and another Here.

Read more on this court decision and Attorney Paul Lehto’s comments on Brad Blog

Ohio Voting Problems Deemed Severe

September 2nd, 2006 by Andy in Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting

We can’t say we didn’t see it coming…

Problems with elections in Ohio’s most populous county are so severe that it’s unlikely they can be completely fixed by November, or even by the 2008 presidential election, a report commissioned by Cuyahoga County and released Tuesday says.

Read The Full Article Here

The Stain of Secrecy On Our Elections

August 6th, 2006 by Andy in Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting

The Stain of Cunningham Is the Stain of Secrecy, Now On Our Elections
By Paul R Lehto
For The San Diego Union-Tribune
August 4th, 2006

As one of the attorneys (along with Ken Simpkins) investigating the June 6 Busby/Bilbray election in California’s 50th Congressional District, it’s interesting to see such clear parallels between the criminal convictions of Congressman Cunningham and the issues regarding electronic voting. The problems with both grow out of secrecy, because secrecy makes impossible the checks and balances our system relies on.

On July 24, 2006, an independent investigation found that imprisoned former Cong. “Duke” Cunningham specifically took advantage of the secrecy surrounding the House Intelligence Committee panel to slip in items that would benefit him and his associates. “The lack of oversight” of the Intelligence committee’s secret processes is the secrecy that enabled $2.4 million in bribes.

Secrecy creates and allows unaccountable government. Whether you call what’s missing in overly secret government “transparency” or “safeguards”, our system of government is not designed to work on trust, it’s designed to work on checks and balances — a form of distrust and of “power checking power.”

When checks and balances are incomplete like in the San Diego Registrar’s office, systems are riddled with loopholes and opaqueness. These holes in checks and balances are papered over by setting high prices to obtain basic information about elections (like charging $150,000 for a recount, and 30 cents/page for copies) and by stonewalling records requests.

Today, secret and invisible computerized vote processing renders ballots into invisible electrons the voters can never see, and then counted secretly and unaccountably on corporate hard drives using processes that are claimed as proprietary, confidential or “trade secret.” Totals just pop out of these secret vote processors; we’re required to take them on faith.

Given this invisibility, the simple reason that computers are so dangerous in the context of elections is that computers do precisely as they are told to do, without any regard for law, morality or ethics, or fear of going to jail.

This fact reveals the folly of the government’s talking points about the testing and certification they sometimes do. The ONLY thing that matters is what the computers were asked to do under Election conditions and on Election Day. Because voting computers can store commands for later execution, voting machine “sleepovers” multiply risk exponentially. In any event, it takes only two minutes by a single person on a single machine to tell a voting computer to alter an entire election even on a non-networked computer, allowing a single person to cheat on levels never before possible.

This inappropriate faith required for electronic results flies in the face of anomalous June 6 canvassing returns, where voter turnouts in many absentee precincts are thousands of percent higher than the number of registered voters for those precincts. After we stated this on the radio, the ROV’s website went down, and it came back up without the conveniently formatted 288 page official canvass report showing those impossible absentee precinct results, but readers can still find it at No matter what, the number of voters is not being reconciled with the number of votes for both polling place and absentee voters - a critical check and balance against ballot box stuffing.

San Diego County changes as planned to 100% touchscreens this fall, which makes the secrecy total. At that point, voters won’t get to see their votes recorded, much less counted properly. Because it’s not a solution to have the government determine its own power and money via secret elections, the only solution is to open up the process to complete transparency, using sunlight as disinfectant.

The only way we can lose something as precious and popular as Lincoln’s government “of the people, by the people and for the people” is by letting checks and balances be falsely redefined as “sore loser.” As voters, we’re all either winners or losers in every political race. Winners can’t sue themselves, so if losers are shamed into not challenging, democracy is left without defenders. The numerous groups already defending democracy would love your support.

Secret vote counting, shuttled in undemocratically without debate, is a form of absolute power. It’s quickly asserting control of our elections nationwide, and it is too late to safely put checks and balances in place when the tyrants are fully in power, re-electing themselves electronically. Soon, the stain made possible by secrecy with Cunningham will set in as the stain on democracy.

Ask yourself: “O Say Does That Star-Spangled Banner Yet Wave, O’er The Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave?” A land of free and brave citizens will never allow their elections to disappear behind walls of secrecy and unaccountability, stripped of public oversight. When both soldiers and civil rights activists over the years have chosen democracy over life itself, can we just let a real, verifiable democracy slip away on our watch?

A Call To Investigate The 2004 Election

July 8th, 2006 by Andy in Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting

This must be done. Not because people have an inability to ‘get over it’ or ‘move on’ with life, but because where the heck are we ‘moving on’ to? Or is this something that is indeed ‘over’, if we don’t fully come to accounts with why these statistical improbabilities took place, and why the results of these past elections were so egregiously skewered.

We’ve all heard the story. Nov. 2, 2004, was shaping up as a day of celebration for Democrats. The exit polls were predicting a victory for Senator John Kerry. Many Americans, including most political observers, sat down to watch the evening television coverage convinced that Kerry would be the next president.

But the counts that were being reported on TV bore little resemblance to the exit poll projections. In key state after state, tallies differed significantly from the projections. In every case, that shift favored President George W. Bush. Nationwide, exit polls projected a 51 to 48 percent Kerry victory, the mirror image of Bush’s 51 to 48 percent win. But the exit poll discrepancy is not the only cause for concern.

Read the complete report, along with Zachary Goldfarb’s report for The Washington Post on how people have shown that an entire election could be thrown by a single person.

USA Today also does an expose here on the vulnerabilities of e-voting machines.

African-American Voters Scrubbed By Secret GOP Hit List

June 23rd, 2006 by Andy in Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting

More disturbing news from one of the world’s preeminent investigative journalists Greg Palast, whose work is often featured on USTV. Palast was the journalist working for the BBC who broke the story of the illegal voter purges in Florida executed by the Katherine Harris and the Jeb Bush administration, which tipped the balance in favor of George W. Bush for Florida and thus the presidency.

The Republican National Committee has a special offer for African-American soldiers: Go to Baghdad, lose your vote.

A confidential campaign directed by GOP party chiefs in October 2004 sought to challenge the ballots of tens of thousands of voters in the last presidential election, virtually all of them cast by residents of Black-majority precincts.

Files from the secret vote-blocking campaign were obtained by BBC Television Newsnight, London. They were attached to emails accidentally sent by Republican operatives to a non-party website.

One group of voters wrongly identified by the Republicans as registering to vote from false addresses: servicemen and women sent overseas.

Here’s how the scheme worked: The RNC mailed these voters letters in envelopes marked, “Do not forward”, to be returned to the sender. These letters were mailed to servicemen and women, some stationed overseas, to their US home addresses. The letters then returned to the Bush-Cheney campaign as “undeliverable.”

The lists of soldiers of “undeliverable” letters were transmitted from state headquarters, in this case Florida, to the RNC in Washington. The party could then challenge the voters’ registration and thereby prevent their absentee ballot being counted.


The BBC obtained several dozen confidential emails sent by the Republican’s national Research Director and Deputy Communications chief, Tim Griffin to GOP Florida campaign chairman Brett Doster and other party leaders. Attached were spreadsheets marked, “Caging.xls.” Each of these contained several hundred to a few thousand voters and their addresses.

A check of the demographics of the addresses on the “caging lists,” as the GOP leaders called them indicated that most were in African-American majority zip codes.

Ion Sanco, the non-partisan elections supervisor of Leon County (Tallahassee) when shown the lists by this reporter said: “The only thing I can think of - African American voters listed like this - these might be individuals that will be challenged if they attempted to vote on Election Day.”

These GOP caging lists were obtained by the same BBC team that first exposed the wrongful purge of African-American “felon” voters in 2000 by then-Secretary of State Katherine Harris. Eliminating the voting rights of those voters — 94,000 were targeted — likely caused Al Gore’s defeat in that race.

Go Here for the rest of this important report, including copies of the GOP scrub sheets and transcripts of his interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! regarding this report and his latest book “Armed Madhouse”.

Was the 2004 Election Stolen? - Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

June 21st, 2006 by Andy in Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting

Still wondering what all the talk about electronic voting fraud and political suppression of voting is about, and why these ‘rumors’ just won’t go away? Then this is a must read.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. writes about how in the 2004 election Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted - enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.

Like many Americans, I spent the evening of the 2004 election watching the returns on television and wondering how the exit polls, which predicted an overwhelming victory for John Kerry, had gotten it so wrong. By midnight, the official tallies showed a decisive lead for George Bush — and the next day, lacking enough legal evidence to contest the results, Kerry conceded. Republicans derided anyone who expressed doubts about Bush’s victory as nut cases in ‘’tinfoil hats,'’ while the national media, with few exceptions, did little to question the validity of the election. The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as ‘’conspiracy theories,'’(1) and The New York Times declared that ‘’there is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale.'’(2)

But despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad(3) never received their ballots — or received them too late to vote(4) — after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations.(5) A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states,(6) was discovered shredding Democratic registrations.(7) In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes,(8) malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.(9) Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment — roughly one for every 100 cast.(10)

This really is an excellent piece of investigative legal work and journalistic reporting by RFK, Jr. here, and why this isn’t front page news on every newspaper and the lead story on every evening newscast is in itself an indictment of the nearly total corruption of our corporate media system today.

Read the full report in Rolling Stone Here

Mark Crispin Miller weighs in as well by taking Salon to task for its pooh-pooing of the whole issue, and weak and illogical attack on RFK’s well-researched piece.

And Here is a follow up interview in PRWeek with RFK, Jr. with more details and explanation regarding his recent bombshell report.

Will Major Media *Finally* Cover E-Voting Fraud?

June 18th, 2006 by Andy in Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting

Will the major media finally cover the electronic election fraud issue?

Bob Fitrakis, editor of The Free Press, Green Party candidate for governor of Ohio and past guest on UnCommon Sense TV, presents this report with his colleague Harvey Wasserman.

That the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004 were stolen has become an article of faith for millions of mainstream Americans. But there has been barely a whiff of coverage in the major media about any problems with the electronic voting machines that made those thefts possible—until now.

A recent OpEdNews/Zogby People’s poll of Pennsylvania residents, found that “39% said that the 2004 election was stolen. 54% said it was legitimate. But let’s look at the demographics on this question. Of the people who watch Fox news as their primary source of TV news, one half of one percent believe it was stolen and 99% believe it was legitimate. Among people who watched ANY other news source but FOX, more felt the election was stolen than legitimate. The numbers varied dramatically.”

Here, from that poll, are the stations listed as first choice by respondents and the percentage of respondents who thought the election was stolen: CNN 70%; MSNBC 65%; CBS 64%; ABC 56%; Other 56%; NBC 49%; FOX 0.5%.

With 99% of Fox viewers believing that the election was “legitimate,” only the constant propaganda of Rupert Murdoch’s disinformation campaign stands in the way of a majority of Americans coming to grips with the reality of two consecutive stolen elections.

That the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post finally ran coverage of problems with electronic voting machines this week is itself big news. It says the scandals surrounding computer fraud and financial illegalities at Diebold and other electronic voting machine companies have become simply too big and blatant for even the bought, docile mainstream media (MSM) to ignore.

Read The Complete Report

Rage Against The Machine

May 3rd, 2006 by Andy in Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting

Deibold voting machine is destroyed by irate voter.

The last line of this story says it in that the report claims it is ‘unclear what caused him to become upset’. I can easily see how there is certainly no shortage of potential reasons.

Thanks to Brad Friedman for the heads up on this. He has been an indispensable stalwart in rooting out the truth behind the utter scam of electronic voting.

Our Constitution and Our Democracy Are Not Negotiable

April 21st, 2006 by Andy in Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting

Our Constitution and Our Democracy Are Not Negotiable
By Paul R. Lehto, Attorney at Law

Is Democracy in danger though newfangled computerized electronic vote counting using trade secret vote counting software, when citizens never get *any* information about the count and its processes, much less see the ballots or the count of them? Where we have to take election results on pure faith? Where even the government officials don’t have access to the underlying computer code used to process and count votes? And even if they did, it’s a simple thing to add a virus or additional code? I’d like to show that democracy “in danger” is an understatement, as is democracy “under attack”. Our Constitution has been partially *eliminated* and our Democracy has been *totally eliminated* simply by contracts to purchase electronic voting machines. I’d like to ask a favor that you allow me a couple minutes, a bit more than a typical email, to show why this is not mere rhetoric on my part. Like I say again below, I’m a lawyer and I’m in litigation on this subject, so I am subject to enormous pressure to choose my words accurately and carefully, so as not to either undermine my own credibility in the end, or to create potential for misunderstanding.

Here’s my argument:

First, democratic elections consist only of Substantive results and Procedural processes. Note well that the substantive RESULT of an election need not be just, and quite often isn’t, because Hitler can be legitimately elected (for example). That is, it is absolutely not required that the most just candidate or issue win an election. WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT “DEMOCRACY” HAS NO MORAL, POLITICAL OR ETHICAL CLAIM TO LEGITIMACY UNLESS IT IS VERY STRONG IN THE AREA OF **PROCEDURAL** INTEGRITY.

So let’s look at the procedural integrity issue, regarding today’s elections.

At the heart of democracy is elections, and then further at the heart of elections is vote counting, which is the corest of the core government functions, and regular elections are absolutely indispensable in a real democracy. The counting of the vote governs the transfer of 100% of all legitimate political power and tax authority in the world’s sole superpower. That core democratic function of vote counting is then delegated VIA MERE CONTRACT (*abdicated* via contract would be a more accurate word than “delegated”) to an incestuously friendly private corporate crony of the elections officials who are supposed to be the *servants* of the public.

The primary and immediate effect of this delegation/abdication via contract to electronic voting vendors is that the COUNTING OF THE VOTE IS NOW IN SECRET BECAUSE OF TRADE SECRET SOFTWARE………… Under such conditions of unverifiable secret counting where only totals are reported, Democracy is not “in danger”, democracy is literally **nonexistent**.

I say “nonexistent” not as overheated political rhetoric but in the sense of a lawyer (which I am) choosing his words for accuracy. Choosing them for fairness, even. Nonexistent: Because if you can’t prove that something exists like a real valid vote count with integrity, it’s fair to say that it’s nonexistent. Nonexistent democracy is a quantum leap more than “democracy in danger”.

It’s not just *democracy* that can’t be proved to exist (on the whole), but also the Constitution which is being downsized and renegotiated.

Downsized Constitution??? More overblown political rhetoric on my part?? No. My Constitutional Law professor attended the forum I did with Bev Harris and Richard Borkowski last night (Richard is a computer expert) and gave me the ConLaw Good Housekeeping seal of approval on this general argument below. Here’s precisely why these contracts (as do all privatization contracts of core governmental functions) gut our Constitutional rights:

(1) With rare exception like the amendments outlawing slavery, the Constitution ONLY limits the **government’s** power and provides rights assertable only against the government, it does not provide us with protection against private power or corporate power.

(2) Thus, when a privatization contract transfers, delegates or abdicates a core government function like vote counting away from the protective Constitutional umbrella in the public sector, and into the non-protection of the private sector, the Constitutional rights of each and every member of the public have literally and immediately been *downsized*. Their rights have been terminated, in significant part.

(3) Publicly minded lawyers then often sue under various theories amounting to the idea that the Constitution must go along with the function if it is to be transferred into the private sector. They then have mixed success, sometimes the Constitutional rights of citizens *will* be assertable in private prison contexts (for example) sometimes they will not be. It’s a mixed bag. So AFTER LITIGATION TAKING YEARS, part of our constitution lives on perhaps, part definitely does not.

(4) The end result of the privatization of core functions via contract, then, is the RENEGOTIATION OF OUR CONSTITUTION VIA CONTRACTS AND THEN THE COURTS.

(5) But that CAN NOT be right. Why? Because the constitution is only changeable by AMENDMENT. And the rights of citizens can only be increased or decreased, if at all, by an act of the Legislature or by Constitutional amendment. A contract can only affect the parties who SIGN it.

(6) So our complaint regarding Sequoia, after pointing out that certainly we would not accept the “offer” of a foreign nation to forsake control of our ports, cities and factories in exchange for the MERE right to count our votes in secret, states as follows: “The plaintiffs will not abide a conquest by contract”. That’s what this election privatization of our vote counting is: A conquest of our Constitution and our Democracy by contractual means. An “extreme takeover” of government with a techno-makeover to baffle us with bullshit. It’s war by contractual means. And it’s dirty pool since a contract can never affect the rights of *non*-parties. To unite all anti privatization forces with lovers of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and to defend our democracy, I think our rallying cry should be:



And maybe:


Last week I attended a speech by an incredible leader, Holly Jacobson of, an organization well worth supporting. During that speech she shared her feeling that this election integrity fight is for all the marbles, that “it’s all at stake” or some other similar expression. I don’t know precisely what Holly’s reasoning is, but she too uses the phrase “election privatization” to describe her motivations in this fight. I obviously agree, this is extremely serious, possibly the most serious fight regarding democracy in our history, because while many have been denied the right to vote wrongfully, never has the very possibility of democratic legitimacy been destroyed. This can not stand, and will not stand. Americans have never lost a battle for democracy on their own soil, when they understood what was at stake.

Please write to me and tell me I’m wrong and why I’m wrong at All debate is respected. I don’t want to go on wild goose chases. I have two fairly young children, and bills to pay.

But, if in the end I am right, then it would be more important than anything else to fight this, and to leave no stone unturned in doing so, and to ask you to do your part to do the same.

For complete details in regards to this lawsuit against Sequoia Voting Systems, Inc….

Paul R Lehto
425-422-1387 (cell)
(c) 2006 by Paul R. Lehto
(may forward or republish on not for profit basis in whole with attribution intact, if copy to author provided)

How To Steal An Election (and Threaten Those Who Expose It)

April 5th, 2006 by Andy in Elections & Electronic Black Box Voting

Here is a handy dandy little picture guide report by The Washington Post on how America protects its ability to engage in vice (ie slot machines) better than it guards the integrity of its liberties through voting rights.

And for those who are calling attention to the shady dealings of companies like Diebold, they don’t get rewarded as the American heroes that they are. They get threatened by the machinery of ‘justice’. Bob Koehler reports here in his column “Whistling Diebold” about this disturbing case in California.

As election-reform advocate Peter Soby wrote on Huffington Post: “So in a nutshell, Diebold was defrauding the state government and taxpayers of California, and disenfranchising the voters of California. And the documents prove it.”

Read The Full Article

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