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Who Counts Your Vote?
Only The Shadow Knows

By Judith Moriarty
"An electronic voting system is to a mechanical one what a nuclear bomb is to a hand grenade. If someone manages to sabotage it, the results can be catastrophic" unknown
Gosh, what a bummer, all the polls predicted a blowout for Obama 49/29.  Huh?  Seems that only Hillary saw a sudden surge.  "Old Dems" (women) coming out to vote - her tears - Whites deciding not to vote for a Black, etc, are just some of the cartoon sound bites used to describe the "most stunning upset in the history of politics."
The Diebold optical -scan system is used across NH. Approximately 25% of NH votes are hand counted. Only if the paper ballots are properly audited by hand in some fashion, can the results of the op-scanners be trusted in any way, shape or form. The machines used in NH (also Vermont, Conneticut, Massachusetts) are the same ones seen being hacked in HBO's documentary 'Hacking Democracy' (shown across NH in 2004). A single private company, with a very bad record, LHS Associates, Diebold's distributor and technical contractor in New England, runs the elections and CONTROLS the vulnerable memory cards for the voting systems across the state. Diebold's opti-scan (paper ballot) voting system uses a curious memory card design, offering penetration by a lone programmer such that standard canvassing procedures cannot detect manipulation. This method is the equivalent of having a little man living in the ballot box, holding an eraser and a pencil. With an executable program in the 'memory card', no Diebold opti-scan ballot box can be considered empty at the start of an election! This company has an horrendous record of lax security policies and has admitted to having replaced memory cards, on a whim, on their own, in the middle of past elections. Jan 9 -2008, Bev Harris expert in computer hacking states: "NH is the exact opposite of Iowa. NH used one of the worst systems in America and then handed the programming of EVERY memory card in NH over to a PRIVATE (LSH Associates) OUTFIT run by John Silvesto." So much for the "Live Free or Die" state- when you entrust the people's most treasured asset to a corporation!
Truth be told, when voting today, you'd do better putting a quarter in a bubble gum or slot machine ! Voter fraud expert Bev Harris has warned that NH's electronic voting machines are wide open to fraud and that even modestly skilled programmers were able to identify key vulnerabilities. The contract for programming all of NH's DIEBOLD voting machines, which combined count 81% of the NH vote, is owned by LHS Associates. It's not like NH politicians are unaware of this travesty against NH citizens: In Sept 2007 - hearings in Concord showed (see video clip) the duplicity and chicanery! This was not reported on our local news.
"It's who counts the votes" that matters. Who can forget Lieberman in Conneticut? Hell he can't make up what country he represents let alone party? In 2000 the candidate running against Lieberman got 448,077 votes. In 2006 the candidate (Lamont) who ran against Lieberman got the exact same number of votes, 448,077. Huh, I wonder what the 'chances' are for this? Looks to me like they just keep the machines programed in CT for Lieberman? Suspicious me - why can't I just conform and mooove with the herd?
Yawn - the more things 'change' the more they remain the same. "Once during the time when days were darker, I made a promise. Thanks New Hamphire!" President -elect George Bush, Nov 8, 1988 victory speech. Bush senior needed NH or he was out of the race. He'd come in third in the Iowa caucus 19% to Dole's 38%. The computers that spoke in Nov 1988 held in their inner workings small boxes that contained 'secret codes' that only the sellers of the computers could read. The programs or 'source codes' were regarded as 'trade secrets'. The sellers of the vote-counting software zealously guarded their programs from the public (voters) fearful that someone would steal their 'ideas'. You may ask: What secret is needed to count something as simple as ballots? Can they be more complex than an ATM or grocery receipt? Only the Shadow knows!
We know nothing about the people programming these machines and even less about LHS Associates. People like to say 'but we can use paper ballots! They can always be counted by hand!' But they're not. They're counted by DIEBOLD. Only a candidate can request a hand recount. Nobody in NH (across the country) except the programmers at LHS Associates and Diebold Election Systems knows. Why hasn't our Attorney General/ Secretary of State and legislators put the vote in the 'live free or die' state back into the hands of the people? That's what we'd all like to know? Checks and balances, required by the FEC standards to catch unauthorized changes, have not been implemented by Diebold - yet the system was certified anyway? Never trust a machine!
Dr. Howard Strauss, a Princeton computer science professor stated: "The presidential election, without too much difficulty and with little chance of the felons getting caught, could be stolen by computers for one candidate or another. The candidate who can win by computer has worked to rig the election by getting his 'consultants' to write the software that runs thousands of vote -counting computers from coast to coast. There are so many computers that use the same software now that a presidential election can be tampered with - in fact, may already be tampered with. Because of the trade secrecy, nobody can be the wiser". I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but what legtimate representative democracy entrusts its citizen's most precious asset (their vote) into the hands of corporate predators?
Computers in voting machines are effectively immune from checking and rechecking. If they are fixed, you cannot know it, and you cannot be at all sure of an honest tally. In the 1988 Republican primary in New Hampshire, there was no panel of computer experts who worked for the people and throughly examined the source codes before and after the voting. It is quite possible that the notorious collection of "Shouptronic" computers "preordained" voting results to give George Bush his "Hail Mary" victory in NH? Yes Virginia there are unscrupulous people in this world - sorry.
Nobody save a small group of computer engineers, like Republican Governor John Sununu, (genius engineer - 3 degrees from MIT) would be the wiser? Recall that back in 1988 your perception of who won or lost was not based on the honest visible marks on paper ballots that were checked and rechecked by all concerned parties or their chosen representatives. You learned about George Bush Senior's astounding victory in NH from TV - which learned it from a computer center into which other computers fed information. Just like this year's NH Primary. TV is my teacher far into the night! TV wouldn't lie?
Was the NH Primary scenario a modern classic in computerized vote manipulation? The Bush campaign of '88, saw George Bush standing to lose the Republican nomination. He had suffered a terrible political wound when Dole won by a BIG show of hands in the Iowa caucus. Every TV and newspaper poll had Bush losing by up to eight points just before balloting. When election day was over the following headline appeared in the Washington Post: NEW HAMPSHIRE CONFOUNDED MOST POLLSTERS. The poll was wrong by 17 points!
Some believe that such a wild reversal of form would have been subject to an immediate inquiry? Any horseplayer would have nodded sagely, put a finger up to his eye, pulled down the lower lid, and signaled: "Fix". In NH there was wonderment in the press, and little more. There was no rechecking of the computerized machines, no inquiry into the path of the vote from the voting to the central tallying place (Voter News Service - New York) etc. No longer in business.
Nothing was said in the press about the programmed computer chips inside the "Shouptronic" Direct Recording Electronic voting machines in Manchester. These 200 lb systems were so easily tampered with that the integrity of the results they gave - will forever be in doubt. The "Shoutronic" was purchased directly from a company whose owner Ransom Shoup, had been twice convicted of vote fraud in Philidelphia. It bristled with telephone lines that made it possible for instructions from OUTSIDE to be telephoned into the machine without anyone's knowledge. It completely lacked an AUDIT TRAIL, an independent record, that could be checked in case the machine 'broke down' or its results challenged.
The concept is clear, simple and it works. Computerized voting gives the power of selection, without fear of discovery, to whomever controls the computer.
If you ask your friends to describe how their vote (if they vote) is counted, they are unlikely to get much further than the polling booth and the rudimentary requirements to operate the machine. Beyond that they are probably ignorant. Most people expect that the Democrat and Republican poll watchers will watch out for their interests. During a little publicized trial in West Virginia, it was revealed that there were ways to stop the computers during a count, while everyone watched. Simply fiddle a few switches, turn the computer back on again, and thereby alter the entire vote, or parts of it. If anyone asked questions, the fixer could make any number of plausible excuses. With voting machines attached to telephone lines it was possible to meddle with the actual vote from a telephone miles away. Getting caught was NOT possible - not with SECRET source codes.
A 1980 U.S. electoral study by the Air Command and Staff College reported: "The US government has NO elections office and does not attempt to administer congressional elections. In the case of counting actual ballots on election night, public officials have abdicated responsibility of vote totals to a private organization, Voter News Service" (now regrouped)
" This private organization performed without a contract: without supervision by public officials. It made decisions concerning its duties according to its own criteria. The question and accountability of Voter News Service was never reported in the nation's press because the responsibility of Voter News had in counting the nation's votes was assumed gradually over a lengthy period without ever being evaluated as an item on the public agenda". Britney Spears wasn't employed there!
Your Vote: Once the vote is cast and counted by computers, the unverifiable results were then transferred to Voter News Services. This little- know private media conglomerate located on 34th street in New York was one of the most powerful  corporations in the world. Comprised of all the major networks - NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, AP plus the New York Times and the Washington Post - Voter News Service was the ONLY entity tabulating the nation's votes and disseminating the results to the PUBLIC. This means that the dramatic election night 'competition' among the Networks to be first with the results in nothing but show business! They all get their numbers from the same place. Note: Jan 14-2003, Washington Post: "The major TV networks & AP decided to dissolve the Voter News Service exit poll consortium. They have not yet reached an agreement on a replacement." Though Voter News folded the networks were reported as regrouping to form a new consortium with some of the Voter News Service employees. Since this entity is so secretive (changed names) it's next to impossible to track down any information of their current activities? Reports are that it is now identified as the National Election Poll?
This is a rare photo of the Voter News Service Exit poll box. Perhaps these were abandoned because of the polling results being so far out of alignment with the desired results? Couldn't tell you - only the Shadow knows.
Be it the defunct Voter News Service or its replacement - these consortium's have co-opted the American vote count with NO public knowledge, and no public bid. They remain exempt from anti-trust laws. They have NO literature, no brochure, no fax sheet, and no Website. They have changed their name approximately three times? They will not tell you anything about what they do. No, you cannot watch their operation. No, you cannot get in the doors on election night. No, you cannot work for them. You also cannot get a straight answer from them on how the count the vote, where they do it, and who does it! It shouldn't surprise anyone that the vote is in the hands of the few. Who is the watchdog? There are none. A reading of Votescam: The Stealing of America, by James and Kenneth Collier, published in 1992, has been banned by all major book chains. You can purchase it online (cheap).
It's pretty safe to say that there has not been an honest election - at least not an important one - since the late 1960s, and its possible that there has never been an honest election at all. And Governor Sununu? Bush the greater, appointed this man, who he didn't (until NH primary - 1988) know from a cow pie, as his Chief of Staff. Pretty powerful position for a nonentity. What a great thank you! Can't prove anything (no paper trail) its just these pesky aberrations (like NH's supposed blowout for Obama) with the polls that keep popping up, and things like computers that go down in the middle of an election, and then come back up with different results - entirely different - than before.
Ohio Voting Machines readied for 2004: See http://www.freepress.org/departements/display/19/2007/2553 ; which never made the national news. The only part I take exception to, is that the lust for power, is not exclusionary to one party - This voting debacle is truly a non-partisan issue. Otherwise you'd hear some outrage (besides Edwards & Kucinich) on the part of candidates running for office.
Ah but if you should question the integrity of corporate hucksters controlling our nation's vote - you'll be named the fruit loop! But we can have observers in Third World Countries. Huh? Today's explanation that is being given by the 'news' for such an aberration in the NH polls? "White people lie!" And guess what ? The majority of people will buy this goofy clap trap. The Corporate Clowns with Hatchets are destroying the American midway. Denis Kucnich has sent a letter to the NH Secretary of State asking for a recount of NH's votes because of 'unexplained disparities between hand counted votes and Diebold votes.' U.S. Congressman Kucnich isn't interested in challenging his votes. He says " This is about establishing whether 1005% of the votes counted are exactly as the people cast them. None of the other candidates seem concerned that corporate voting machines are the final authority!
"Under a democracy one party always devotes its chief energies in trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commondly succeed, and are right."  --Henry Mencken
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