Dale Tavris -- World News Trust
June 11, 2018
Election Fraud in the United States: 2004 to Present
Part I. Vulnerability of Electronic Vote Counting in U.S. Elections
The United States is ranked last among the 47 long-established democracies by the Election Integrity Project founded by the Kennedy School of Government. There are many reasons for this. One of the most important reasons is the vulnerability of our electronic vote counting process to election fraud -- i.e. electronic manipulation of the vote.
Direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines
DRE voting machines are those that directly record the voter’s vote electronically, without the necessity for any paper evidence of the vote. As of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, 28 percent of registered voters lived in DRE only jurisdictions and another 19 percent lived in jurisdictions where both DRE and optical scan voting systems were in use.
What do you think would be the reaction of most U.S. citizens if they were told that a law had just been passed that gave the Party in power the right to count the votes and determine the winner of elections in private -- without any oversight? Outrage, I would hope. And yet, today we find ourselves in a situation where many of our votes are counted by computer software that is written in secret and made inaccessible to the public, with the rationale that the machines and software that count our votes are “proprietary.” Just as bad, they leave no record of the vote counting process, making recounts impossible. Is that situation different than giving one Party a box of paper ballots and allowing them to count them and determine the winner in private? And yet, where is the outrage?
The privatization of our elections
Both the running of our elections and the registering of voters have to a large extent been turned over to private for-profit corporations in recent years. These corporations have displayed great resistance to any laws or policies that would make their voting systems more transparent or less susceptible to fraud.
All election experts agree and frequently comment that these machines are very unreliable because they can be hacked and rigged to produce a desired outcome. That doesn’t concern me as much as the fact that the voting machine companies themselves can easily program their machines to produce their desired outcome. All of the electronic machines that count our votes are produced and run by corporations that are very right wing and have ties to the Republican Party. Worse yet, they do not allow government officials to even inspect their machines to identify fraud, on the excuse that their machines are private and “proprietary.” And our government lets them get away with that excuse and continues to hire them to run our elections! Such systems are often referred to as black box voting because the American people have no way to ensure that the votes counted by such machines are done honestly. The final results produced by most of these machines cannot be verified by any means. How can we justify the use of such machines? Michael Parenti writes:
"Companies like Diebold, Sequoia, and ES&S that market the touchscreen machines are owned by militant supporters of the Republican party. These companies have consistently refused to allow election officials to evaluate the secret voting machine software. Apparently, corporate trade secrets are more important than voting rights. In effect, corporations have privatized the electoral system, leaving it susceptible to fixed outcomes."
According to a report by electionline.org on campaign donations by voting machine companies:
"The largest share -- $411,320 from 2001 to 2003 -- came from Diebold, given to Republican candidates and party coffers…. Diebold and its board members gave mostly to Ohio candidates and office holders, and President George W. Bush. CEO Walden O'Dell vowed in a fundraising letter last year (2003) to "deliver" Ohio's electoral votes to Bush."
The utter inadequacy of our system for electronic vote counting
Verified Voting, a non-partisan, non-profit organization has this to say about the electronic machines that are so commonly used in our country today to count our votes:
"Far too many states use unreliable and insecure electronic voting machines, and many states have made their situation worse by adding some forms of Internet voting for some voters, which cannot be checked for accuracy at all. Even in states where verifiable systems are used, too often the check on the voting system’s function and accuracy is not done."
A book by Andrew Gumbel, “Steal this Vote,” talks at great length about why DRE machines in the United States today are unfit to count our votes. Here is a general statement by Gumbel as to why these machines should not be used in our elections:
"… there were two fundamental problems with the touch-screen DREs. First, as computer scientists had been warning for years without anyone paying much attention, they were inherently unsafe because of their vulnerability to software bugs, malicious code, or hack attacks. Even in the best-designed system, removing votes from the physical world and storing them exclusively in electronic form was a risky proposition, because there was no way of being sure that the data put into the machines during an election would be the same as the data later spat back out….
"The second problem with the new-generation DREs is that they are often poorly programmed by their manufacturers and inadequately tested by government-contracted laboratories charged with their certification. This was a well-kept dirty secret… Because of the proprietary nature of the software, state and county officials had to take assurances about security almost entirely on trust. And take those assurances they did…."
Gumbel expands upon these general concepts by discussing a 1988 survey of voting systems written by Roy Saltman of the National Bureau of Standards. That survey identified four problem areas with computerized elections:
Saltman noted that current DRE systems suffer from all of those problems. The risk, he wrote, was that those problems would be tantamount to an “abdication of control over elections to vendors.”
Gumbel talks about how Bev Harris came upon files of code for Diebold machines on the internet. Harris copied these files and made them available to computer scientists so that they could examine the files and ascertain their potential. Here is what Avi Rubin and his associates at Johns Hopkins University found:
"What they found left them so incredulous.… (they) describe the Diebold code as amateurish, stunningly inadequate, and downright scary…. Every single Deibold machine was crackable.... A malevolent developer could easily make changes to the code that would create vulnerabilities to be later exploited on Election Day. Specifically, it was possible through a variety of techniques to alter the outcome of an election without leaving a trace."
Gumbel notes that many of Diebold’s internal e-mails were leaked. Some made a big point of the need for them (Diebold) to have access to vote counting codes from outside during an election. He notes that there is great resistance of at least some DRE manufacturers to include auditable paper trails (i.e. where voters are given a paper receipt that denotes their vote, which they deposit in a ballot box for a later potential recount) in an election. Both of these things -- access to the machines from outside during an election and the absence of paper trails -- are recipes for election theft. Allowing access to the machines from outside during an election facilitates electronic manipulation of the vote. The absence of paper trails precludes the possibility of a recount of the vote. We should ask why voting machine companies insist on these things, and why they are allowed in our elections.
What does all this mean?
Although our national corporate news media is willing to acknowledge, when pressed, that our voting system is vulnerable to fraud, they make every effort to assure us that it rarely if ever actually occurs, or that it hasn’t changed the results of our elections if and when it has occurred. Indeed, they refer to people who believe that election fraud in a national election actually changed the results of an election, as “conspiracy theorists,” which they mean in a derogatory sense. They want us to believe that it is unthinkable that such a thing could happen in this country or that a sane and sensible U.S. citizen could believe such a thing.
Yet there is a great deal of evidence that, in the 21st century, election fraud has determined the winner of U.S. Presidential elections and myriad Congressional and Gubernatorial elections. It is difficult for me to fathom how the national corporate news media can get away with ridiculing those who suspect foul play under these circumstances as crazy “conspiracy theorists.”
In Part II of this series I will examine the evidence found in discrepancies between exit polls and official election results for pervasive and widespread election fraud in the United States, in Presidential and Congressional elections since 2004.
Dale Tavris has worked as a public health physician/epidemiologist for 40 years, with state departments of public health, the U.S. Air Force, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Food and Drug Administration. In that capacity, he has authored 39 publications in peer-reviewed medical or public health journals.
Since 2004 he has been actively involved in the national election reform movement, serving in a volunteer capacity with the Election Defense Alliance for a few years as their data coordinator. He has written dozens of online articles about election fraud. In 2007 he co-authored a journal article on election fraud: “Fingerprints of Election Theft: Were Competitive Contests Targeted.” He has written and published three books, including two of a political nature: “The Unfulfilled Promise of the American Dream: The Widening Gap between the Reality of the United States and its Highest Ideals,” 2011; and “Democracy Undone: Unequal Representation, the Threat to our Election System, and the Impending Demise of American Democracy,” 2012.