Monday, November 08, 2004

Allegations of Voter Fraud Begin to Surface

Some interesting voting irregularities have begun to show up. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: If there has ever been a perfect application for open source technology, it is voting technology. How can a company like Diebold not be considered a conflict of interest, when the CEO of the company said himself that he will do whatever it takes to get Bush re-elected?

This is a matter of common sense. Build a complete open source electoral solution and standardize it across the board. Put the source online, so that every Slashdot nerd will take there own sweet time digging through the code, making sure that there are no bugs, vulnerabilities, or backdoors available. Publish an MD5 hash to make sure that nobody can manipulate the source code after it is distributed. And...You're done. It's that simple.

This should be a matter of intense public interest and scrutiny. It does look like there is a grass roots effort taking place with the Open Voting Consortium, although it does not look like they have picked up much steam yet.

So, in the mean time, I would like to show you a few cases that clearly demonstrate the need for a transparent electoral process:

LaPorte County, Michigan somehow lost 50,000 votes in a computer glitch. There were 77,000 votes originally registered, but the computer only tallied 22,000 votes. A computer glitch was blamed.

"Maybe there was a power surge," LaPorte County Clerk Lynne Spevak said. "Something zapped it."

Spevak said workers at the clerk's office thought a computer correction could be done once they received a software patch from Election Systems and Software, the Chicago company that provided the tabulation software. However, the patch did not work.

Palm beach counted 88,000 more votes than voters. Shouldn't this raise some eyebrows? 542,835 ballots were cast for a presidential candidate while only 454,427 voters turned out for the election (including absentee). This leaves a discrepancy of 88,408 votes cast for the presidential candidates.

#3. Palm Beach Post

Voting machines in Broward County mysteriously began counting backwards once they reached 32,000 votes. (This one really makes me laugh -- a 16-byte signed integer can only store 32,676 values -- this is a mistake only a freshman college student could possibly make -- If this quality of software design used for our national elections, we are in pitiful shape. Please join the Open Source Voting Consortium to make sure this never happens again:

(If you'll recall, Broward County was in the news a couple weeks ago. Broward County had the highest democratic turnout in Florida in the 2000 election, and suspicions were raised when 58,000 absentee ballots went missing:


(Some alarming trends have been found when analyzing voter turnout by machine type in Florida Counties. Somewhat surprisingly, Diebold is not involved. Analysis was performed by comparing republican and democratic voter turnout compared to expected voter turnout, based on the number of registered democrat's and republicans per county. The expected voter turnout was determined by multiplying the % of registered party members x the total voter turnout. This method should provide numbers which are reasonably close to the final voter numbers. The alarming trend was that the numbers were extremely skewed in favor of the republicans in counties that used optically scanned paper ballots. In some counties, as much as 400% of the expected Republican vote was registered, while the democratic turnout was 60-70% lower than expected. The important thing to notice is that these anomalies were only exhibited in counties using Optical Scanning technology.

Additional Sources on Optical Scanning Technology Fraud:

Actual Florida Voting Results by County


In New Mexico, it is estimated that as many of 10% of the ballots casted were provisional ballots. The difference between Bush and Kerry on the CNN Site is a mere 8,366 votes, yet they have already called the state for Bush. How can they do this when somewhere around 70,000 votes have yet to be counter? And they call themselves journalists.....

A computer glitch was discovered to have accidentally given 3,893 extra votes to George W. Bush. Currently, Bush has a 136,000 ballot lead in Ohio, but as many as 270,000 absentee and provisional ballots remain to be accounted for. If additional irregularities are found in the Ohio Election, the margin may become slim enough that a full recount should be considered.

Overall, over 1,100 problems were registered nation-wide with electronic voting machines.