Monday, December 22, 2008

GOP cyber-security expert explains how Ohio was stolen in 2004

"I don't care if my candidate wins as much as I care about being in a democracy. Either I am or I am not in a country that elects its leaders - that's what I want - and if my party is elected, great - and if my party is not elected, great - I still live in a democracy." - Stephen Spoonamore, Cyber-Security Expert and Republican - from Fifty ways to steal an election

Wow! YES! A cyber-security expert who is a Republican and speaking out about the threat to democracy posed by electronic voting! My hero!

In the Fifty ways to steal an election video, Stephen Spoonamore talks about how, while it is true that individual machines can be hacked, greater vulnerabilities exist when tabulated results from individual princincts are transferred over networks to centralized tabulating machines.

Since November of 2004, I have been trying to tell just about anyone who would listen that the 2004 election had been stolen. I was certain of this because I had been following the polls closely, had expected a Kerry win, and the exit polls did not agree with the final outcome. Many people I spoke with were surprised that GWB had been re-elected, but had not questioned the result (most people don't ever use USA and banana republic in the same sentence), accepting that this must have been what most Americans wanted. At every opportunity I would express my strong view that the result was not a real one - that the election had been stolen by electronic tampering - but this view was usually met with what I perceived as a kind of quiet skepticism, and only rarely did anyone immediately agree with me or appear to want to discuss the issue further.

I really believe that electronic voting machines pose the greatest threat to democracy everywhere. You can bet that if these machines do finally become accepted throughout the USA, the rest of the world will be the next frontier for the voting machine companies.

If you have any doubts about the dangers of electronic voting, listen to Stephen Spoonamore. He is a cyber-security expert and knows what he is talking about and, what's more, he is a Republican, so why would he lie? Did I really just say that? What I mean to say is, he is a Republican, so he has not got any kind of liberal or leftist agenda.

There are actually a number of Stephen Spoonamore videos that can be found at Velvet Revolution (page down about a third of the way to "Featured Video - GOP Cyber Expert - 2008 Will Be Stolen - Voting Machines Are National Security Threat"). The sound quality is not so great, but what he has to say is truly riveting. It is a rather long video, but underneath the main video there are additional links to the highlights from it, my favorite of which were:
It’s a network, people.
Electronic voting machines are a national security threat.
Fifty ways to steal an election.
The Rapp Family: Ohio election cover-up.
Evangelicals and voting machines.
Paper ballots please.

It doesn't seem like the results of the 2008 Presidential election (not sure about Senate and House races) were tampered with electronically in a significant way, although vote flipping was reported to have occurred in some precincts, and recounting of the same batch of ballots produced different results with each recounting in at least one place (see The Brad Blog for a lot of good information about these 2008 issues, as well as a wealth of other info about the dangers of electronic voting). However, even though the 2008 Presidential election does not appear to have been fiddled with, the threat of electronic tampering still exists and must be eliminated if true democracy is to survive. If you care about democracy, urge all public officials to get rid of electronic voting and return to paper ballots that can be recounted and audited if there are any questions about the results.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems strange that Obama has an 80% approval rating, when supposedly 45% of the voters voted for McCain/Palin. Maybe there was some electronic fiddling going on? Maybe the margin by which Obama won was in reality much greater? Maybe the percentage of people who voted for the opposition was in reality more like the mid-20% approval rating of GWB? I agree that we must return to paper ballots and even hand counting of votes! I don't care how long it takes to know the final result, as long as those who are declared the victors are those for whom the majority of people voted.