- Manipulation technique found in the Diebold central tabulator
- 1,000 of these systems are in place, and they count up
to two million votes at a time.
- "By entering a 2-digit code in a hidden location,
a second set of votes is created. This set of votes can be changed, so
that it no longer matches the correct votes" !!!
- The voting system will then read the totals from the
bogus vote set. It takes only seconds to change the votes, and to date
not a single location in the U.S. has implemented security measures to
fully mitigate the risks.
- This program is not "stupidity" or sloppiness.
- It was designed and tested over a series of a dozen version
- Public officials: If you are in a county that uses GEMS
1.18.18, GEMS 1.18.19, or GEMS 1.18.23, your secretary or state may not
have told you about this. You're the one who'll be blamed if your election
is tampered with. Find out for yourself if you have this problem: Black
Box Voting will be happy to walk you through a diagnostic procedure over
- Whether you vote absentee, on touch-screens, or on paper
ballot (fill in the bubble) optical scan machines, all votes are ultimately
brought to the "mother ship," the central tabulator at the county
which adds them all up and creates the results report.
- These systems are used in over 30 states and each counts
up to two million votes at once.
- The central tabulator is far more vulnerable than the
touch screen terminals.
- Think about it: If you were going to tamper with an election,
would you rather tamper with 4,500 individual voting machines, or with
just one machine, the central tabulator which receives votes from all the
machines? Of course, the central tabulator is the most desirable target.
- The GEMS central tabulator program is incorrectly designed
and highly vulnerable to fraud. Election results can be changed in a matter
of seconds. Part of the program we examined appears to be designed with
election tampering in mind.
- We have also learned that election officials maintain
inadequate controls over access to the central tabulator. We need to beef
up procedures to mitigate risks.
- Much of this information, originally published on July
8, 2003, has since been corroborated by formal studies (RABA) and by Diebold's
own internal memos written by its programmers.
- Not a single location has yet implemented the security
measures needed to mitigate the risk. Yet, it is not too late. We need
to tackle this one, folks, roll up our sleeves, and implement corrective
- In Nov. 2003, Black Box Voting founder Bev Harris, and
director Jim March, filed a Qui Tam lawsuit in California citing fraudulent
claims by Diebold, seeking restitution for the taxpayer. Diebold claimed
its voting system was secure. It is, in fact, highly vulnerable to and
appears to be designed for fraud.
- The California Attorney General was made aware of this
problem nearly a year ago. Harris and Black Box Voting Associate Director
Andy Stephenson visited the Washington Attorney General's office in Feb.
2004 to inform them of the problem.
- Yet, nothing has been done to inform election officials
who are using the system, nor have appropriate security safeguards been
- In fact, Gov. Swarzenegger recently froze the funds,
allocated by Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, which would have paid for
increased scrutiny of the voting system in California.
- On April 21, 2004, Harris appeared before the California
Voting Systems Panel, and presented the smoking gun document showing that
Diebold had not corrected the GEMS flaws, even though it had updated and
upgraded the GEMS program.
- On Aug. 8, 2004, Harris demonstrated to Howard Dean how
easy it is to change votes in GEMS, on CNBC TV.
- On Aug. 11, 2004, Jim March formally requested that the
Calfornia Voting Systems Panel watch the demonstration of the double set
of books in GEMS. They were already convened, and the time for Harris was
already allotted. Though the demonstration takes only 3 minutes, the panel
refused to allow it and would not look. They did, however, meet privately
with Diebold afterwards, without informing the public or issuing any report
of what transpired.
- On Aug. 18, 2004, Harris and Stephenson, together with
computer security expert Dr. Hugh Thompson, and former King County Elections
Supervisor Julie Anne Kempf, met with members of the California Voting
Systems Panel and the California Secretary of State's office to demonstrate
the double set of books. The officials declined to allow a camera crew
from 60 Minutes to film or attend.
- The Secretary of State's office halted the meeting, called
in the general counsel for their office, and a defense attorney from the
California Attorney General's office. They refused to allow Black Box Voting
to videotape its own demonstration. They prohibited any audiotape and specified
that no notes of the meeting could be requested in public records requests.
- The undersecretary of state, Mark Kyle, left the meeting
early, and one voting panel member, John Mott Smith, appeared to sleep
through the presentation.
- On Aug. 23, 2004, CBC TV came to California and filmed
- On Aug 30 and 31, Harris and Stephenson will be in New
York City to demonstrate the double set of books for any public official
and any TV crews who wish to see it.
- On Sept. 1, another event is planned in New York City,
and on Sept. 21, Harris and Stephenson intend to demonstrate the problem
for members and congress and the press in Washington D.C.
- Diebold has known of the problem, or should have known,
because it did a cease and desist on the web site when Harris originally
reported the problem in 2003. On Aug. 11, 2004, Harris also offered to
show the problem to Marvin Singleton, Diebold's damage control expert,
and to other Diebold execs. They refused to look.
- Why don't people want to look? Suppose you are formally
informed that the gas tank tends to explode on the car you are telling
people to use. If you KNOW about it, but do nothing, you are liable.
- LET US HOLD DIEBOLD, AND OUR PUBLIC OFFICIALS, ACCOUNTABLE.
- 1) Let there be no one who can say "I didn't know."
- 2) Let there be no election jurisdiction using GEMS that
fails to implement all of the proper corrective procedures, this fall,
to mitigate risk.
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