Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Black Box Voting Needs Your Help

To preface this, I suggest you download the following four videos. each is about 20 minutes in length and, at 2 to 6 MB, will take a little time to download (If you don't have it, the shareware version of "Flashget will speed up your downloads tenfold, BTW):

UNPRECEDENTED -- the Trailer

Greg Palast

Votergate -- the Movie

The most chilling testimony I've ever heard

Incidentally, it was these very concerns that led us to begin this blog, after four years of writing about the dangers of evoting. Samples:

Diebold at it again

With a little help from my friends

Three eyeopening editorials are here and here and here. Oh, and of course, there's this and this. And, while I won't swear to its veracity, an engineer once told me one of these will take out a vote machine instantly.

At any rate, this arrived in my mail from Bev Harris, author of "Black Box Voting" and the impetus behind the national drive to fight back against paperless, demonstrably hackable vote machines. If you do nothing else in your life to help save your country and to stand by the prinicples of what made America great, I urge you to help out now:

This has national implications. For the first time ever, we have the opportunity to subpoena key voting industry witnesses to get them under oath in front of a senate hearing to investigate what the Sam Hill they were doing when they created and recommended tamper-friendly voting systems.

We're sure by now you're aware that Calif. did an about face and certified Diebold's entire line of products -- hackable touch screens, hackable optical scanners, and extremely hackable GEMS tabulators -- despite 100% public opposition and numerous attacks proving the sytems' fatal flaws and insecurities.

But this isn't just California. Get these people under oath in California,
and you get them questioned for the whole nation.

Everything is at stake.

We are putting some very important phone numbers and emails here along with simple instructions for what we all need to do.

We have everything to lose if we don't all take a few simple steps immediately. EVERY STATE is experiencing issues with secret, privatized voting equipment examined by mysterious private contractors who won't answer any questions at all about what they do.

Here is the most efficient, easiest strategy to counteract shoving illegal and insecure systems that we never asked for down our throats. This action is the culmination of years of hard-core work by Black Box Voting and others. JUST DO IT.

Here are the simple, painless suggestions. See below for why they are so important.

This comes down to only FIVE emails, FIVE faxes, FIVE calls.

Do you have one good excuse for not being able to make five contacts? On second thought-- don't think one up. Just do it, please.

Remember; your tax dollars are paying not only for this equipment, but for the voting machine examiners who refused to answer any questions in last week's Calif. Senate Elections Committee hearing.


1) All we need is three out of five senators.
2) All five are interested and willing to listen
3) This is the FIRST time Black Box Voting has issued a call to action.

We believe grass roots calls to action lose their punch when overused. We have waited until now because, like the Black Box Voting Hursti project, we know THIS effort is highly strategic and can create real change, quickly.


California Senate Rules Committee. Only they have the power to authorize subpoenas.


Key voting industry witnesses, including all federal testing lab personnel, chickened out of Calif. Senate Election Committee's Feb. 16 hearing on how this stuff got certified in the first place. They don't want to answer questions.

Subpoenas will legally compel them to show up so they can be questioned under oath. Black Box Voting believes that perjury will follow. A plan is in the wings for what to do if/when key witnesses perjure themselves.

By the way, documents can also be subpoenad - like the NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS signed by voting system examiners, which reportedly have prevented them from telling what they know. And like the documents requested under Calif. public record law by the Senate Elections Committee which the current secretary of state -- in violation of the law -- has failed to answer or provide.


Urge support for subpoenas of election industry and certification insiders. (Among those who chickened out of testimony on Feb. 16: Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic; Ciber labs, Wyle labs, and voting system examiners).


Senator Don Perata (Chair) D
(916) 651-4009
District office (510) 286-1333
Fax (510) 286-3885 Perata

Senator Jim Battin (Vice-Chair) R
(916) 651-4037
Fax: (951) 653-9524 Battin

Senator Roy Ashburn R
(916) 651-4018
Fax: (661) 323-0446 Ashburn

Senator Debra Bowen D - She is on the rules committee and
is also the chairperson of the Senate Elections Committee.
(Ms. Bowen is mounting this case and will be busy preparing,
emails are welcomed-- See below*)
Fax (310) 318-6733 Bowen

Senator Gilbert Cedillo D
(916) 651-4022
Fax (916) 327-8817 Cedillo

This is about volume of calls logged, emails sent.
Make the contacts and make sure this goes out to your list.



Be concise, be polite, be professional. Here's your message:

You want Rules Committee support for subpoenas of election industry and certification insiders to answer the Elections Committee's questions about voting machine programming, examination and certification.

A sample letter is provided below. That's it. Short and simple. Polite, professional, firm. Short clear message.



Diebold head programmers, federal testing labs (Ciber, Wyle) that repeatedly certified flawed systems, voting system examiners who took taxpayer money, spent hours on so-called "security exams" on systems a 12-year old can hack, repeatedly recommending for certification.


The Calif. Secretary of State's office decided to certify Diebold -- again -- despite the new UC Berkeley report.


"Harri Hursti's attack does work: Mr. Hursti's attack on the AV-OS (Optical scanner)is definitely real. He was indeed able to change the election results by doing nothing more than modifying the contents of a memory card. He needed no passwords, no cryptographic keys, and no access to any other part of the voting system, including the GEMS election management server."

-- (Comment from Black Box Voting: Note that Diebold has lied repeatedly to election officials and secretaries of state about this. We have videotape and documents from Diebold documenting this posted at our Web site) --


"Interpreted code is contrary to standards: Interpreted code in general is prohibited by the 2002 FEC Voluntary Voting System Standards, and also by the successor standard, the EAC's Voluntary Voting System Guidelines due to take effect in two years. In order for the Diebold software architecture to be in compliance, it would appear that either the AccuBasic language and interpreter have to be removed, or the standard will have to be changed."

-- (Comment from Black Box Voting: Note that California can only run software certified by the Federal ITA process, by state law. The "Berkeley team" is saying flat-out that such certification was not done correctly. It follows that the entire
Diebold product line should be illegal under state law.)



The Feb. 16 California Senate Elections Committee hearing on certification was hit with no-shows by ALL FOUR major vendors (Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic). Representatives from Wyle and Ciber testing labs also declined to appear. The Secretary of State's office is now "legally late" on a series of public records requests made by California Elections Committee Chairperson Debra Bowen.

Sen. Bowen has to get permission from the California Senate Rules Committee to have subpoenas issued.

Only three of the Rules Committee Senators are needed to invoke port subpoenas.



Senator ____,
California Senate Election Committee

Dear Senator ____,

I urge you to take a courageous stand to issue port subpeonas to key representatives and officials from Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart Intercivic, as well as Wyle and Ciber Testing Labs and state voting system examiners who fail to appear for your hearings on this matter.

I also urge you to subpoena documents as needed, including the non-disclosure agreements signed between examiners and vendors, and all other documents needed to assess the integrity of the certification process.

Voters must be able to ensure that voting systems are secure from tampering, either by outsiders or by insiders. If the citizenry cannot see for itself that elections are secure, that our votes are being counted as we cast them, it is only a matter of time before the very fabric of our nation is torn to pieces.

Flawed, hackable systems have been approved that violate FEC guidelines. Some of these systems are so deeply flawed that they defy common sense. It is imperative that the elections industry insiders who were party to the design, examination and recommendation of these systems appear before California's Senate Election Committee in open hearings under oath to answer questions and address these serious concerns.





"We are going to need an enormous amount of people power in the next couple of weeks. Together we can change this whole pathetic mess. Let's stand up for our democracy RIGHT NOW."

"Email is great because it is easy for us to log and report -- and we can actually prove how many emails we've received!"

"Please email me in support of issuing subpoenas rather than calling you will save my staff a great deal of time logging calls, and you know what kind work we have to do right now. You can always call and fax later!"

Debra Bowen


Black Box Voting will work with any who volunteer to send customized public records request letters. We will help you learn the ropes, will suggest strategic records to start collecting NOW to protect Election 2006.

This year, it is all about mentoring individuals to regain their power as citizens. It takes no more effort to write a public records letter than to write your congressman -- but when you write for public records, you end up with something tangible: Evidence.

To participate in the 2006 Election Cleanup Crew, email Please allow a few days to respond, due to our heavy schedules -- this is a one-on-one, personalized project, and we are so very proud of the many citizens who are stepping up to the plate.

We are quietly developing leaders in "cells" throughout the country, helping citizens learn the skills to oversee their own government.

Black Box Voting is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501c(3) organization that is teaching citizens how to take back oversight of our own electoral process. We do not accept funding from any vendor or anyone associated with any corporation that stands to benefit from electronic voting. We are funded solely by citizen donations.

To donate by credit card:
To donate by check:
Black Box Voting
330 SW 43rd St Suite K
PMB 547
Renton WA 98055

Quotes of the Day: "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." -- Josef Stalin


"It's already over. The Election's over. We Won."

"How do you know that?"

"(laughing)It's all over but the counting. And we'll take care of the counting." -- Congressman Peter King to author Alex Pelosi at a White House function before the 2000 election results had been tallied)

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