A New York Times article has reported an acknowledgment by John Kerry that the 2004 presidential election may have been stolen. Kerry implicates the type of election fraud which happens at the machine vote-counting level, which election integrity activists have been warning about for years.
Referring to the machine count of the paper ballots in the controversial
swing state of Ohio election results, Kerry told Brian Lehrer on WYC radio's
Brian Lehrer Show last September that his campaign had asked for, but was denied, the opportunity to examine the software which counts the votes on the paper ballots as they are fed into the machines.
“We were told by the court that you were not able to get that
algorithm to check it, because it was proprietary information,”
The "algorithm" refers to the tabulation program which is supposed to accurately add votes as candidates receive them. The same type of machine involved in the Ohio controversy was used in a demonstration of machine hacking in the 2006 HBO documentary Hacking Democracy. Rather than simply add the votes, the machine was programmed, in short order, to subtract rather than add votes from targeted candidates.
One way to discover malicious instructions would be to examine the software code
after each election. Kerry was pointing out that most of US vote-counting machine software is secret.
Three companies dominate the US elections market: Election Systems & Software (ES&S), Hart InterCivic and Sequoia Voting Systems.
Had Kerry won in Ohio in 2004, he would have won the presidential election. As a result of being declared the victor, George W. Bush was able to escalate the war in Iraq from 120,000 to nearly 170,000 US combat troops. That period coincided with the highest number of US casualties in the war.
Complaining about the proprietary, secret software used in 80% of the U.S., Kerry said that most US elections were held under:
“the purview of privately owned machines, where the public doesn’t
have the right to know whether the algorithm has been checked or
whether they’re hackable or not. And we now know they are hackable.”
In the same New York Times article, "The Crisis of Election Security," it is revealed that machine vote-count hacking may have played a large role in determining the 2000 election between Bush and Al Gore as well.
The article notes:
"Everyone remembers the dangling chads that led to a landmark Supreme Court decision and a nation divided over who won. But another election mishap occurred that night that got less attention, despite the fact that it played a significant role in pushing the presidential race into the hands of the justices. This one involved a memory card in Volusia County."
In the wee hours of the morning, as the counting for Florida and thus the presidency proceeded, bizarre and impossible results were reported out of Volusia County. Bush pulled impossibly ahead after the election was being called for Gore, as Volusia showed negative votes for Gore which alarmed election officials. The problem was later attributed in the media to a "faulty memory card," but internal Diebold memos subsequently revealed suspicions, even on the part of Diebold officials, that an "unauthorised" source may have uploaded a second memory card.
As Volusia county again began to report mathematically possible numbers, Bush pulled ahead in other counties at the last minute. That is when Gore began to ask for manual recounts.
It is little known generally that Gore had initially conceded the election late on election night, but then "unconceded" it in the wee hours of the morning. In the book “Too Close to Call," journalist Jeffrey Toobin reports that Gore called Bush on the phone, at 2:30 a.m. Gore said:
“Circumstances have changed dramatically since I first called you...The state of Florida is too close to call.”
Bush then asked “Are you saying what I think you’re saying? Let me make sure that I understand. You’re calling back to retract that concession?”
Gore responded “you don’t have to be snippy about it."
The election of Bush in 2000 was the antecedent to the bloody 2003 invasion of Iraq. Bush linked the Iraqi dictator Saddam to 9/11 by saying on May 1, 2003:
"With those [9/11] attacks, the terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States. And war is what they got."
In all nearly 5,000 American soldiers died over the course of the Iraq invasion and occupation. The US still maintains a 5,000 troop presence and the largest embassy on the planet in that country.
Potentially history-changing possible election fraud is not new in recent American politics, although for many years such scenarios have been relegated by the mainstream media to the realm of "conspiracy theories." The staunchly Democratic website DailyKos still forbids the posting of any blogs questioning the Ohio 2004 results as "conspiracy theory." This is even after citizen activists such as attorney Cliff Arnebeck sued the Ohio Secretary of State for election rigging. Arnebeck suddenly lost the key witness in his case Republican IT guru Mike Connell, when Connell's small plane crashed in December of 2008.
In 2012 some of the election results of a stoutly anti-war Republican primary candidate, Ron Paul, were studied by mathematicians, and found to exhibit signs of machine vote-count hacking. The type of analysis used, cumulative vote tally (CVT) charting, also has been applied to other races since, with similarly unexplained results.
In short, a statistical law called the Law of Large Numbers says that, absent any demographic bias, votes as they accumulate tend to start averaging out to the final result. This is why races are often called before 100 percent of all precincts have reported: because the chances of a wide spread reversing itself increase astronomically as most of the votes have been added.
The type of results in CVT charts for some crucial Ron Paul results are, absent a good explanation, extremely unlikely. In the charts below, a normal CVT distribution is shown alongside results for Ron Paul in some important primaries, including "first in the nation" primary New Hampshire, which usually follows party contests in Iowa, which is a caucus.
And in a 2016 Democratic primary race between incumbent congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and challenger Tim Canova in the 23rd district in Florida, Canova said that statistical analysis indicated that an examination and manual recounting of the paper ballots was justified, but the paper ballots in the race were illegally destroyed by Wasserman-Schultz's ally, Broward County election supervisor Brenda Snipes, right after Canova had requested to see the ballots in a state court.
The criminal penalties in Florida for prematurely destroying paper ballots is "not more than $1,000" or imprisonment for up to five years, or both. To date no law enforcement action has been taken against Snipes, although Canova continues to call for same.
Citizen election activists have long denounced the present widespread system of vote-counting, which either runs paper ballots through optical scan vote-counting machines without posting digital images of the ballots publicly for count verification, or which employ touch-screen devices. Hand-marked, paper ballot vote counting machines of the present generation all automatically make digital images of the hand-marked paper ballots as they are fed into the slot. Election activists such as Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, and the author of a book by that title, say that these images should be publicly posted.
Activists say touch-screen machines of any kind are prone to hacking, including those which produce printed "receipts" which the machine makers say qualify as a "paper trail."
Election activists disagree with the machine manufacturers, and say that any kind of touch-screen device can be programmed to appear to be registering the correct vote on-screen and on the printed receipt, but actually manipulate the vote illegally according to the machine's internal instructions.
The issue of election fraud, which is one of the three major forms of election-day election manipulation, has come to the fore recently in congressional contests. The two other areas of fair elections are voter fraud and voter suppression. Election-day fraud is distinct from gerrymandering.
Voter fraud is when unqualified or non-existent voters' ballots are used to stuff the ballot box. Voter suppression is when qualified voters are denied the opportunity to vote, either by inadequate polling stations and staff, or tampering with registrations on official voter databases, or both. Of the three forms of fraud, activists say machine vote-tampering is the most insidious and the hardest to prove, but ironically also the easiest way to steal elections.
In Racine County, Wisconsin, in the 2016 general presidential election, CVT analysis performed by VoteSleuth.org shows a stark deviation from the Law of Large Numbers, favoring Donald Trump. And in New York State in the 2016 presidential primary, Hillary Clinton seemed to benefit from a puzzling, unexplained, tendency to get higher margins over Bernie Sanders as county population increased, in a manner which may betray possible election totals hacking.
In the North Carolina 9th Congressional District, the North Carolina State Board of Elections recently ruled for the first time in recent history that a congressional election must be held over again. An apparent election fraud scheme on the part of consultants for Republican candidate Mark Harris was noticed by his opponent and election officials, whereby large numbers of mail-in ballots suddenly appeared which swung the election to Harris, and away from his Democratic opponent Dan McCready
The New York Times reported last week: Mr. Harris won 61 percent of the received absentee ballots, even though registered Republicans accounted for only 19 percent of the ballots submitted.
This and other irregularities prompted the state officials to refuse to certify the election, and to refer the matter to law enforcement. The actions stand in stark contrast to Tim Canova's battle in Florida to prompt officials to take prosecutorial action against Brenda Snipes. Florida Judge Raag Singhal, of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County, has ruled that Snipes "illegally destroyed" the paper ballots in the 2016 primary in which Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was declared the victor. Judge Singhal also wrote that Snipes' claim that it was an accident did not constitute a defense:
"defendant's lack of intent to destroy evidence while this case was pending is irrelevant."
Citizen election integrity activists have recently, as a result of intensive research and discussion of the part of the activists at national conferences and elsewhere, reached a remarkable level of consensus on what a hard to hack, honest election system would look like. Though numerous "reform" bills are wending their way through Congress, including Tulsi Gabbard's Secure Elections bill , none yet contain all of the elements which long-time activists consider necessary to produce sound elections which enjoy high levels of public confidence.
These requirements are:
- Voter hand-marked paper ballots, except for disability, either counted by hand, or counted by late-generation optical scan vote-counting machine which takes a digital image of each ballot, automatically, as it passes through the machine.
- The digital images of ballots should be posted publicly for easy verification of the vote counts.
- Limited use of touch-screen devices, only for disability.
- Limited use of mail-in ballots, only for "excuse" such as house-bound or deployment.
- Secure chain of custody of paper ballots with strict sign-off rules for ballot transfer and camera surveillance of ballot holding rooms
- Strictly enforced criminal penalties for any violation of the law.
- A legal standard which presumes the bar for ordering new elections in all or parts of district be that the previous election was "tainted." This replaces current common bar that plaintiffs be able to show that election outcomes would have been different.
Contending that even the best laws are meaningless unless they are enforced, Florida candidate Tim Canova is continuing his efforts to force law enforcement authorities to address Broward County election supervisor Brenda Snipes illegal destruction of the ballots in his 2016 primary, which made impossible any verification of that election.