Maturin42's Blog

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Letter to Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann

Mr. Olberman:
I heard you opine that since the margin of victory is so high, that the voter irregularity story is a "local" story.

Take a look at the technology and the corporations involved. ES&S and Diebold are virtually the same company - founded by brothers, the Urosevich brothers, Bob and Todd. and those two companies are involved in the counting of 80% of the ballots cast. And it isn't just the touch-screen machines, it is also the optical scanners that count the paper ballots. Did you read Thom Hartmann's article on the pattern that shows big variances in Florida counties where Kerry lost support from Democrats in huge numbers - but only in those counties counted by optical scanners?

Put the patterns together and you can easily figure out that if you are counting 80% of the vote, you could throw a percentage of the votes in every race in every jurisdiction to the President above what he earned, and come up with a popular vote lead, then concentrate on the swing states to ensure enough to put you over in electoral college. By simply reversing a percentage of the votes for one candidate to the other in small enough numbers so that suspicion was not likely to be aroused, it could reverse a lot of votes.

I am not saying that is what happened (although it fits the facts), but you can't pretend, when you see these patterns and look at exit poll data where the exit polls are wrong only where you can't check the results that it doesn't stink to high heaven. You would only have to fudge the number a little over 3% to get the results we now are looking at. It also tracks with the exit poll data. Exit poll data is almost always dead on, and the inconvenient fact that you left out of the analysis tonight is that it would be much harder to fake, because it exists in black and white and it can be easily audited. Not so our ephemeral vote on electronic equipment with no paper trail.

I believe it was Stalin who said that he didn't care who voted as long as he got to count the votes. I think that is the attitude of the Republican party, who seemed hell-bent on setting up the conditions that led to this debacle, often with the cooperation of Democrats.

No country in its right mind would turn its vote over to a corporation - but we did, in the face of the warnings that Bev Harris and several other groups have been putting out for over a year now and that have been studiously ignored by the mainstream media, in favor of the latest on the Scott Peterson trial or travails of Michael Jackson.

I appreciate you continuing to cover this mess, but PLEASE don't minimize the abuse potential. And for God's sake, put Bev on to discuss it. Nobody knows it like her. Or Thom Hartmann. From his appearance tonight, my guess is that Alterman couldn't find his ass with a map.

Also, wouldn't you think that some Republican somewhere would be the least bit concerned about this abuse potential? If they had not won, would they? Would they have any grounds to protest? Democrats have been beside themselves with worry over the issue for most of this campaign. Republicans kept the bill to require paper trails bottled up in committee. Doesn't that tell you SOMETHING!


Saturday, November 06, 2004

Letter to Sen Mikulkski

Sen. Mikulski:
Congratulations on your victory last Tuesday. It was a bright spot in a very gloomy day. Your yard sign graced my lawn, and was replaced once after it was stolen.

I am writing you to urge you to support in any way you can an investigation into the electronic voting discrepancies in Tuesday's election. The theft of the election by the exploitation of voting machines without a paper trail is the only rational explanation for the discrepancy between the exit polls and the reported results that averaged +5% for Bush in swing states that used those machines. In other states, such as Maine and New Hampshire that do not use unverifiable voting means, exit polls were very accurate. It is my understanding that in no case did a discrepancy between exit polls and machine totals break in favor of Sen. Kerry. It was also mysterious that those discrepancies did not hold in states that were not closely competitive. I also find it suspicious that media outlets apparently changed their models for exit data during the post-election coverage in order to make it more compatible with the reported totals.

In my mind, this issue dwarfs any other facing our country, and places the viability of democracy in doubt. Based on what I know now, I shall regard this election as stolen until I am proven wrong. I urge you to take whatever measures you have at your disposal to fight for a full and complete investigation.

Thank you,

Shelton F. Lankford
LtCol. USMC (Ret.)

If you liked paperless voting...

News Flash:

Bouyed by the spectacular success of paperless, no-audit-trail voting machines in the November 2nd Presidential election, Diebold has decided to remove all paper receipts from their ATM machines, since it is obvious that they are not needed, and are an unnecessary expense.

On Thursday, Wally W "Wally-boy" O'Dell, Diebold's CEO, was quoted as saying "Diebold has earned the trust of the American people to such an extent that the expensive printing of receipts - pieces of paper recording transaction details that depositors and ATM users could produce in case of a dispute - can be avoided, increasing profit margins for the bank. The low error rate in our voting machines - under 10% in many cases - has inspired the confidence in the company's products that makes this all possible. Most bank customers are content to just let us handle their money and tell them how much they have."

"We showed those fancy-pants exit-poll junkies last Tuesday, when we recorded vote totals that showed exit polls to be wildly inaccurate, except for those backwards states like New Hampshire, who cling to the archaic notion that paper audit trails are required. Or Maine, where (snort) PAPER ballots were used. In those rare instances, exit polls were dead-on accurate, but luckily, Ohio went without a paper trail, and there the exit polls and pre-election polls were WAY off", said Mr. O'Dell. "Who knew that people would lie to a pollster about their vote like they obviously did?"

"Our engineering staff has conducted experiments, and have conclusively proven that presence of our machines will actually skew exit polls toward liberals and cause those polls to under-represent the conservative candidate's supporters. While they have not been able to pinpoint the cause for this, or how it happens, the effect was dramatically demonstrated in Tuesday's election."

Mr. O'Dell also took the opportunity to announce his intention to run for Senate in 2006, emulating Senator Chuck Hegal, (R) of Nebraska, who was famously elected on the voting machines his company made. "Chuck's success in the Senate has proven that voting machine executives have the right stuff, when it comes to political office. He even won a substantial number of black votes in Nebraska - something that Republicans had found difficult in past elections. That proves the confidence people have in the technology"

According to some experts, within 6 years, 25% of the Senate, some governorships, and perhaps other higher offices, could consist of former voting machine executives, clearly a talented group with untapped political skills.

Diebold announced that, in further cost-cutting measures, they also intend to phase out the cameras that record who uses the ATM, since it is well known that only the account holder could possibly access accounts through the layers of security they have installed. "Our security is based on Microsoft's best, most secure, 1997 version of their Windows Mee operating system, and can't be hacked, unless you are proficient in the use of ctl-alt-del, and the ordinary person just isn't that computer literate", said Mr. O'Dell. "Plus, the screens have the great primary-color graphics, popular with the younger people."

Asked to comment, several ATM users expressed some doubts about the move. Mr. Herman Fretzer, of Columbus, Ohio, said "Well, votes are one thing - it's only politics and democracy after all, but my money is valuable, and I am not sure I want to trust it to a black box that doesn't give me a receipt or anything to show what happened inside the machine."

In a separate news release, Bank of America stated that they would be installing the new machines in all their branches, and that monthly detailed statements would be discontinued. Mr. Eumus Trussme, Bank of America spokesman said "The statement will be replaced by a monthly e-mail telling each depositor how much money he or she has. It really saves them time, when they don't have to worry about pesky details, like cancelled checks and running balances, or reconciling at the end of the month. People appreciate that kind of convenience. The revolution of automation in the voting process has ushered in a new era of infallibility for automated processes, and we consider it a mandate to make changes that will improve our bottom line."

A sampling of Bank of America depositors were surveyed, and most just wanted to know whether they would still be offered a choice between a toaster and a blender for opening a new account with at least $100.