The North Carolina Conservative.com
Jan 02, 2006
VOTING MACHINE DIRT AND THEN SOME
By Ann Ryder
The chairman and CEO of Diebold resigned the middle of December, following many complaints of their voting machines over the last few years. One complaint is that their machines are inaccurate. It looks like what finally did him in was a recently filed stockholders’ lawsuit. Among other things, the suit alleges that the Company remained unable to assure the quality and working order of its voting machines. The suit alleges that the Company concealed the scope of internal problems, leading to false representations of astonishingly low and incredibly inaccurate restructuring charges for the 2005 fiscal year. And a couple of days before Christmas, Diebold pulled out of the bidding to sell their machines in North Carolina. How did they get in such a sad position? Let’s take a look at what our Board of Elections tried to sell us:
In 2002, Diebold bought Global Election Systems, which then became Diebold Election System. Global was founded by three men, one of whom spent a year in prison for fraud against the Canadian government and was part of the collapse of the Vancouver stock exchange. He was first convicted in 1974 for political corruption. Another of the founders was jailed for stock fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering. The last of the trio defrauded Chinese immigrants and sold the real estate that had been posted as bond to bail out one of the jailed partners.
The staffer who handled the ballot printing for Global was a convicted cocaine trafficker. He brought into the company a fellow former inmate who had been in the slammer for computer-aided embezzlement. This embezzler became the lead programmer for the Global Election Systems’ vote-tally product that is still in use. By late 2000, Global’s voting system contained the first double set of books problem where all votes are recorded twice internally and don’t need to match. It appears to hide some forms of vote fraud. The guy quit when Diebold took over, but was then hired right back as a consultant.
There are lawsuits galore in other states regarding Diebold voting equipment..such as, the machines are prone to glitches, software flaws, and are vulnerable to hackers. Leon County, Florida (Tallahassee) election officials recently conducted tests using Diebold equipment in which hackers were invited to take their best shot. Eight votes were put into the computers…Yes: 2 No: 6. After the hackers did their thing, the results came out Yes: 7 No: 1. Apparently the equipment needed to hack and change votes can be easily purchased off the internet . Also, temporary employees with brief access to memory cards can have all kinds of fun messing things up. According to BlackBoxVoting.org, a great site if you want the nuts and bolts of fraudulent computer voting, memory cards are held in a compartment protected by a small plastic seal. But the memory cards can be reprogrammed without disturbing the seal simply by using the telephone modem port on the back of the machine. It is possible to enter the computer, alter election results, and exit the system without leaving any physical record of the action. The test demonstrated that false information or instructions could be placed on the memory card.
Is it any wonder that the Board of Elections (Chairman Larry Leake [see NCC Feb 05,”Honest Elections?] is himself under investigation) selected Diebold as one of the three voting machines from which the counties must purchase? The BOE hired a former Diebold employee to “assist them in picking voting machines.” Leake’s buddy to whom he had contributed campaign funds, former state senator Steve Metcalf, who resigned his senate seat after he had disgraced himself, is a lobbyist for Diebold.
Now we have Superior Court Judge Ripley Rand’s ruling against Joyce McCoy (North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting) in her suit that complained the BOE approved voting machines that did not jibe with the law. Rand, of course, is the son of Senate Majority Leader Tony Rand, who is Senate President Pro Tem Boss Marc Basnight’s right-hand man…the man who determines which bills go to the floor of the senate for debate, and one of the original Gang of Seven (Liston Ramsey and Billy Watkins [who referred to themselves as the two little governors], Martin Nesbitt, Tony Rand, Jimmy Green, and a couple of others I can’t remember). Among other committees, Senator Rand is Chairman of the Rules and Operation of the Senate, Chairman of the Select Committee on the Lottery, Vice Chairman of Commerce. The feds are currently focusing on the lottery and the Department of Commerce. Apparently, Governor Easley covered all the bases in 2002, when he assigned Judge Rand to handle both civil and criminal cases in any judicial district in North Carolina. He can go anywhere, do anything.
To bring you up-to-date in Leake-run Madison County, I hear that Sam Parker is getting ready to be sworn-in as head of the county Board of Elections. Back in the 1980s, Parker was chairman of the Housing Authority. It was corrupt from stem to stern and the citizens were screaming. Leake told the county commissioners, “Rather than finding fault with Sam Parker, the Executive Director of the Housing Authority, or the Housing Authority itself, I would instead have to extend to them my congratulations for a well-run program.” The feds showed up and took a close look at this “well-run program”. Among many other things they reported, “We are extremely concerned about the poor operation of this PHA [Public Housing Authority].” The entire Section 8 program had to be completely over-hauled. The books could not be balanced…etc., etc., etc. The feds forced Parker to resign after which he laid low for two or three years until Leake put him on with Probation/Parole. The county can go to hell, but he always takes care of his boys. Now, Parker is going to head up the board of elections. Diebold or not, Madison’s elections will still be questionable at best.
02 Jan 2006 by Editor
The North Carolina Conservative
PO Box 305
Linville NC 28646