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Offline Lando Lincoln

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« on: September 28, 2013, 01:04:42 PM »
Wayne Allyn Root
The Blaze
September 28, 2013

It is increasingly clear that the 2012 elections, both presidential and senate, were stolen by Obama, the Democratic Party, the IRS, and government employee unions. It’s right out of a mob movie like “The Godfather.”

The Obama Crime Family could give the mob lessons. Don Obama plays for keeps. The Don gets what he wants and when he found himself in danger of losing his power and control, Obama went to his enforcers – the IRS.

In a story reminiscent of the mob fixing union elections, the IRS enforcers conspired to destroy Don Obama’s main competition – the Tea Parties and other conservative fundraising groups.

Lois Lerner was only one of many IRS big shots in DC who gave orders to IRS offices across the U.S. to “kill” the Tea Parties and other conservative groups. Their goal – steal the election. As if only days ago, the “fall gal” retired from the IRS. We can only guess what kind of massive payoff she received from Obama’s donors.

The 2010 elections were the biggest embarrassment suffered by a U.S. President in modern history. The power, energy and passion of the Tea Party won the GOP an amazing 63 House seats, six Senate seats, six Governorships, and 680 seats in state legislatures. It was an historic landslide. Obama’s entire agenda was threatened.

Yet, the mainstream media expects us to believe that only two years later (2012) that Tea Party energy and passion was gone…overnight. Or, perhaps they changed back to fans of Obama and the Democratic Party. What a fairytale.

The real story is that the Obama administration ordered the IRS to delay, distract, hound, harass, and intimidate Tea Party groups across the U.S. Without IRS attacks and interference, Tea Parties would have had the same influence and momentum as 2010 – when their raging energy and passion led to a shocking landslide defeat for Obama and his allies.

There is no need to question or debate any longer. We now have emails from IRS officials stating exactly that – the Tea Parties had to be stopped if Democrats wanted to win the election.

And, conservative donations had to be stalled if Democrats wanted to retain control of the U.S. Senate.

Instead of massive Tea Party rallies and record-setting fundraising for conservative candidates, Tea Party groups were busy being distracted, hounded, harassed, and intimidated by the IRS. They were busy being asked about the names of their members, names of their speakers, content of their Facebook posts, and even the content of their prayers.

Conservative media personalities (like yours truly) were attacked with IRS audits, as were Pro-Life, Pro-Israel, and Pro-Constitution groups. The tax-deductible status of Tea Party groups was purposely stalled so they could not raise money for the 2012 election.

What the biased liberal mainstream media refuses to do is connect the dots. None have the courage to state that “the fix” was in. That a fraud perpetrated by government employees handed control of the United States of America to Obama, a politician who supports government employees and their unions.

What did the IRS get out of this? The answer is pure bribery. Republicans, and especially Tea Parties, believe in limited government, smaller budgets, fewer government employees, and cutting bloated salaries, obscene pensions, and early retirement for government employees. Another Tea Party landslide would have threatened the power of government employee unions. Many government employees would have been laid off.

Does anyone believe it a coincidence that Obama met with IRS union boss Colleen Kelley at the White House the day before the targeting of Tea Parties by the IRS began? If you do, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

Barack Obama was fraudulently re-elected. Our country was hijacked by government employees protecting their cushy lifetime jobs, bloated salaries, obscene pensions, and powerful unions.

Think I’m wrong? Evidently IRS officials don’t. Several of them have been busy hiring famous and expensive law firms to defend themselves.

Where are they getting the money? Is Obama arranging for big Democratic donors like George Soros, or union political funds, to pay their legal bills? Is Obama scared to death of what these IRS bosses will say under oath? Could their testimony end his Presidency and destroy his legacy?

In the end it’s clear to anyone who hasn’t been brainwashed by government schools or bribed by government checks that the 2012 election was fraudulently stolen by Barack Obama.

What did Obama, Democrats, and the IRS gain?

1. The right to continue to loot the treasury with bailouts, stimulus, corporate welfare, and government contracts to his friends, donors, loyal media lackeys, and corrupt union bosses.

2. The right to continue to redistribute income from the business owners (who vote Republican) to Obama’s voters (the poor, unions, and government employees).

3. The ability to save Obamacare and unionize 15 million healthcare workers – thereby raising $15 billion in union dues to elect Democrats. And of course to overwhelm middle class families with $20,000 annual health insurance bills they can’t pay, thereby addicting them to government handouts.

4. The IRS itself gains tremendously. They are now in charge of policing Obamacare – a huge, new bureaucracy. It also adds thousands of new IRS agents, thereby greatly enriching the IRS union.

5. The opportunity to pass immigration amnesty, thereby producing 10 to 20 million new loyal Democratic voters.

6. The opportunity to bankrupt business owners and permanently weaken the private sector, thereby drying up donations for conservative candidates and causes.

7. The opportunity to weaken American influence internationally (see Egypt, Libya, Syria).

Obama’s re-election also means he may serve long enough to appoint one or two more Supreme Court justices, whose radical leftist views will ensure America is permanently transformed to a big government socialist nation.

This wasn’t just any theft, folks. It was a trillion dollar theft. The Obama Crime Family (so far) has gotten away with the greatest and most daring act of fraud in world history. They stole the election.

Embedded links in the original --->
For the progressive, there is very little to love about the United States. Washington, Jefferson, Madison? A bunch of rotten slaveholders, hypocrites, and cowards even when their hearts were in the right places. The Declaration of Independence? A manifesto for the propertied classes. The Constitution? An artifact of sexism and white supremacy. The sacrifices in the great wars of the 20th century? Feeding the poor and the disenfranchised into the meat-grinder of imperialism. The gifts of Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Morgan, Astor? Blood money from self-aggrandizing robber barons. Nat Rev

Offline Olivia

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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 01:16:10 PM »
I read this entire article and don't mind saying how infuriating it made me to think it actually happened. 
I don't even understand why the electronic votes are counted in Spain.  Does any one have a good explanation for that?  Seems to me it should be against the law to sent our votes out of the country!
Truthfully, the most important thing in life is knowing what the most important things in life are, and prioritizing them accordingly.   Melchor Lim

Offline olde north church

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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 01:30:54 PM »
Sorry but it didn't have to be this Rube Goldberg.  You had the names from the voter rolls from 2008.  People need only show up with fake ID, if even that were necessary.  How many states swung the election?  4?
Question is, what do you do now?  Shrug?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2013, 03:26:58 PM by olde north church »
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline Rapunzel

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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 03:09:59 PM »
All of this is why we need voter ID and why Holder is blocking it at every turn - even though you need ID to do just about anything but vote in this country.

I also think everyone should refuse to vote with an electronic machine, do it on paper and in person, not by mail.   The way Chavez kept winning elections in Venezuela was he programmed his machines to win.. the machines we use in most states were manufactured by the same people.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline flowers

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« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 03:16:01 PM »
the machines we use in most states were manufactured by the same people.
No way?

Offline Rapunzel

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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 03:27:02 PM »
Long read... but one everyone should read.......

 On Heels of Diebold/Premier Purchase, Canadian Firm Also Acquires Sequoia, Lies About Chavez-Ties in Announcement

Monday, 21 June 2010 14:22 By Brad Friedman, Bradblog | name.

"Intellectual Property" of voting systems still owned by firm linked to Venezuelan President, despite press statement to the contrary

PLUS: The election official/e-voting company revolving "oversight"door continues to turn...

Canadian-based Dominion Voting Systems has quietly announced its second acquisition of a major U.S. voting machine company in as many months and, right out of the gate, they've lied about it. Not an auspicious beginning for the company which may now, virtually overnight, have become the dominant private e-voting machine company in this country.

In our recent breaking coverage detailing the SEC's fraud lawsuits filed against Diebold and a number of their top executives --- including their former Chief Financial Officer who, as we reported exclusively back in 2007, was the top earner from an apparent insider sell-off at the company just days before its stock would plummet from its all-time high on the announcement of spinning off their troubled election division to a "new" company renamed Premier --- we noted that Diebold/Premier's assets had recently been purchased by a small Canadian firm by the name of Dominion Voting. But Dominion hasn't stopped there.

Their purchase of Diebold/Premier's assets was actually made from ES&S, the world's largest voting machine company, who was forced to divest of the assets they'd purchased from Diebold (previously, the second largest voting machine company in the country) for $5 million last year, as part of an anti-trust suit settlement with the DoJ.

In our coverage, we noted the comment of Dominion CEO John Poulos who, in the company's press release [PDF] announcing the Diebold/Premier asset acquisition, stated ominously: "We are extremely pleased to conclude this transaction, which...will allow Dominion to expand its capabilities and operational footprint to every corner of the United States."

Indeed, the DoJ-scuttled ES&S merger with Diebold/Premier had been legally challenged since, among other reasons, the merger of the largest e-voting company with the country's second largest would have given a single company control of at least 70% of all votes cast in the nation.

What we had replaced for length, however, with the ellipses in Poulos' quote above, was this [emphasis added]: "We are extremely pleased to conclude this transaction, which will restore much-needed competition to the American voting systems market and will allow Dominion to expand its capabilities and operational footprint to every corner of the United States."

How much is Poulos actually interested in "restor[ing] much-needed competition" for "the American voting systems market"? Apparently not so much, as according to a company press release [PDF] quietly issued late in the afternoon on Friday, June 4th, Dominion has now also acquired what had previously been the third largest voting machine company in the U.S., Sequoia Voting Systems.

Not surprisingly, that late Friday announcement didn't say anything at all about "competition".

Worse, as The BRAD BLOG has confirmed, the new press release from Dominion simply lied about what the company has and hasn't purchased from Sequoia, a company which had lied themselves, for years, about the real ownership of its proprietary voting systems...

America's New E-Voting Goliath

Given the enormous share of the U.S. voting "market" now potentially controlled by Dominion --- and the now-customary revolving door between public and private officials in the "election industry" which now places former Diebold/Premier officials, former Sequoia officials, and even former state election officials at the helm of the private, little-known Canadian firm --- it comes as no surprise that Dominion would hope few in the public actually noticed their sudden acquisition of e-voting assets from some 50% of the U.S. "voting market".

Prior to ES&S' doomed purchase of Diebold/Premier last September, there were essentially four major election firms divvying up ownership of the U.S. voting market. The very rough breakdown of voting jurisdiction control by those four corporations was as follows:

    40% ES&S
    30% Diebold/Premier
    20% Sequoia
    10% Hart Intercivic

Following Dominion's May acquisition of Diebold/Premier's assets from ES&S and their subsequent purchase of the entirety of Sequoia Voting Systems announced June 4th, the very rough private ownership of public elections in the U.S. may now stack up as follows:

    50% Dominion (Diebold/Premier, Sequoia)
    40% ES&S
    10% Hart Intercivic

We're using "very rough" percentages above for a number of reasons. Among them, there are different ways to determine market share here, such as number of jurisdictions vs. number of voters vs. contract worth, etc. Also, many of Diebold's former customers had already determined to move their contracts to ES&S during the long interim while the DoJ dithered following ES&S' initial, now-scuttled, acquisition of Diebold/Premier.

As one e-voting industry insider explained to The BRAD BLOG, Dominion purchased the remaining hardware and software assets and potential customer base of Diebold/Premier, but they purchased the actual customer contracts, as well as the hardware and software, in their acquisition of Sequoia.

Dominion's spokesperson, formerly of Diebold, formerly the Press Secretary for the Secretary of State of Georgia, the unfortunately named (at least for a voting-machine company spokesman) Chris Riggall, confirmed the insider's take to The BRAD BLOG, responding to our queries by noting Dominion "did not purchase any existing contracts, thus market share," in their agreement to buy the Diebold/Premier assets.

"Under the agreement," Riggall explained via email, "jurisdictions operating Premier equipment are given the choice to either continue their existing relationship with ES&S or assign their old contract to Dominion. It's going to take some time to see how that plays out and what decisions jurisdictions make in regard to their future needs (if any) for support, maintenance, warranties, etc."

But no matter how the numbers eventually shake out, Dominion is now a serious power-playing Goliath in the U.S. e-voting industry, and potentially even the biggest kid on the block --- all in a matter of weeks, with virtually nobody in the public or media paying attention, and even fewer seeming to give a damn about what it all means, and what it all actually amounts to.

Little wonder their press release on the Sequoia purchase mentioned nothing at all about "competition", just two weeks and change after touting the "restor[ation of] much-needed competition to the American voting systems market" after they'd purchased the assets of Diebold/Premier for $5 million.

Just another day in our bought and paid-for, fully privatized system of "public" elections in the world's once-greatest democracy.

But wait --- the story gets still worse...

Whose IP Is It Anyway?

    Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is still tied to a huge percentage of U.S. Elections, as now overseen by a Canadian firm.

There are a few more points concerning Dominion's purchase of Sequoia worth flagging here for now. The first, and perhaps most disturbing, concerns the following announcement in Dominion's press release upon the purchase of Sequoia [emphasis added]:
As part of the transaction, Dominion has acquired Sequoia's inventory and all intellectual property, including software, firmware and hardware, for Sequoia's precinct and central count optical scan and DRE voting solutions, including BPS, WinEDS, Edge, Edge2, Advantage, Insight, InsightPlus and 400C systems.

That statement is an out-and-out lie --- one which continues to propagate a years-long deception of the public, the media and election officials by Sequoia themselves.

As long time readers of The BRAD BLOG will recall, the matter of the true ownership of the intellectual property (IP) of Sequoia's voting systems wasn't at all what the company had represented to the public, to media, to election official customers, and even in courts of law.

As part of a detailed investigative exposé series in 2008, as we broke the story of Hart Intercivic's quietly attempted hostile takeover of Sequoia, we revealed the fact that --- despite representations to the contrary, possibly even to U.S. government investigators --- the IP for the vast-majority/near-entirety of Sequoia's voting systems was actually secretly owned by the Hugo Chavez-tied, Venezuelan-based firm, Smartmatic.

The continuing control of the IP was discovered by The BRAD BLOG long after the (largely) Rightwing outrage which had forced a federal investigation into Smartmatic's control over American elections had died down. The initial concern had coming following revelations that Smartmatic seemed to be directly tied to the Venezuelan President Chavez. Angry sentiment led by CNN's Lou Dobbs and some members of Congress (including NY's Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney) led to an investigation by the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), subsequently forcing Smartmatic to divest of Sequoia. Sequoia was then supposedly purchased away from Smartmatic by a team of its U.S. executives, in order to make it fully independent from the Chavez-tied parent company.

But that divestiture was a lie.

Sequoia hadn't publicly disclosed that Smartmatic still retained legal ownership of the IP used in all of their voting machines, a fact that wasn't publicly revealed until our exposé which forced a subsequent admission by Sequoia's then CEO and President Jack Blaine. Blaine admitted --- in what he thought was a "confidential" company-wide conference call convened to explain the attempted Hart takeover to employees after they'd read the news on The BRAD BLOG --- that the company hadn't actually acquired the the IP from Smartmatic in their deal.

We subsequently detailed how Blaine had utterly dissembled on that point, in writing, while under very specific questioning about it from one of Sequoia's largest clients, the City of Chicago and Cook County, Illinois.

So who now owns the IP for Sequoia's voting machines used in some 20% of the U.S.? If you believe Dominion's press release, which states "Dominion has acquired Sequoia's inventory and all intellectual property", that would be Dominion.

But that is simply not true.

Dominion's Riggall admitted directly in a follow-up reply email to The BRAD BLOG, after we'd sent a direct query on this point [emphasis his]: "Smartmatic IP was not included in the Sequoia transaction, since Sequoia did not own it."

Despite Dominion's asserted belief in "transparency" (the front page of their website boasts "Welcome Transparency", and their announcement of the purchase of Diebold/Premier cites "Dominion's culture of transparency"), Riggall was unable to share the company's two purchase agreements with us due to "non-disclosure provisions in both" of them. "Legally," he wrote, "neither can be shared."

Nonetheless, the answer is clear: Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is still tied to a huge percentage of U.S. Elections, as now overseen by a Canadian firm.

When we asked Riggall for the company's explanation for their misleading press release announcing that the Sequoia transaction included "all intellectual property" when it actually didn't, he offered this Hoytian response:
The Smartmatic IP is Smartmatic IP. Sequoia did not own it, and thus it was not part of the transaction. Dominion purchased all of the IP that Sequoia owned. That's what was reflected in the news release.

According to the Dominion press release, if the rest of it can be believed, the Sequoia purchase was "reviewed by the U. S. Department of Justice and nine state attorneys general," and "also reviewed in detail and received approval by the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)."

Unfortunately, federal CFIUS investigations are held entirely in secret, so we are unable to find out from them whether the federal body was informed of Smartmatic's continuing ownership of the Intellectual Property, and all the legal rights and privileges that go with it, as employed to conduct some 20% of U.S. elections.

Were the DoJ or any of those "nine state attorneys general" made aware of Smartmatic's continuing ownership of the IP? Do any of the "26 million U. S. voters, including the City of Chicago and Cook County, Illinois, the State of Louisiana, the State of Nevada and the majority of counties in California," who use Sequoia's systems, according to the Dominion announcement, know about it? Do they even care? How about the folks on the Right who were so outraged before?

Deafening silence continues on all fronts.

Two inquiries to Riggal, on whether CFIUS, DoJ or the nine state attorneys general were informed of Smartmatic's continuing ownership of Dominion/Sequoia's IP were sent. Neither was answered. The last query was sent on June 12th (we had to hold publication of this story as South Carolina U.S. Senate Primary E-Vote Mystery broke two weeks ago), and neither Riggall nor anyone else from Dominion has bothered to answer the simple question.

The Revolving 'Election Industry' Door

    Think the oil industry's corruption of federal regulatory commissions was bad in light of the BP disaster? 'Big Oil' has nothing on 'Big Elections' - but because the U.S. media hasn't bothered to notice the gusher of corruption spewing into the American election system, neither has the U.S. public.

One last point worth noting, for now, on all of this. The appalling revolving door of U.S. electoral control and administration continues to spin, along with the compromise of federal and localized oversight.

Think the oil industry's corruption of federal regulatory commissions was bad in light of the BP disaster? "Big Oil" has nothing on "Big Elections" --- but because the U.S. media hasn't bothered to cover the gusher of corruption spewing into the American election system, neither has the U.S. public.

When we had questions about Dominion's acquisition of Sequoia, we called the contact phone number given "for information", as offered on their press releases.

Happy to find we wouldn't be charged for an international call to Canada, we wondered why the number had a 404 area code in Atlanta, GA. When we called it, we found out as we reached Riggall's answering machine. With the exception of the very important point about whether Dominion had informed CFIUS, the U.S. DoJ and the nine state attorneys general about the true IP ownership of their voting systems, Riggall was very helpful and quick to respond.

However, as mentioned, Riggall had formerly served as press rep for Diebold and, prior to that, as the Press Secretary to GA's Democratic Sec. of State Cathy Cox until she left the post. In 2002, long before she left office following an unsuccessful primary bid for her party's Gubernatorial nomination in 2006, Cox infamously brought Diebold's horrendous touch-screen voting system to the entire state of Georgia. The Peach State, along with Maryland, was the first to adopt state-wide use of Diebold's infamous, oft-failed, easily-manipulated, 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems. Chicanery with the systems has been the subject of much controversy --- fueled in part by a company whistleblower, as detailed by Bobby Kennedy Jr. at Rolling Stone in 2006 --- in regard to the declared upset victory of Republican Saxby Chambliss over then incumbent Democratic Sen. Max Cleland.

Cox also took the opportunity, along with her state's acquisition of Diebold systems, to grace the cover of Diebold's sales brochure, as seen below, to help the company sell more easily-hacked, often-failed, always-unverifiable e-voting systems to an unsuspecting, uninformed nation...

Surprisingly, Cox does not now work for a voting machine company now (she is President of Young Harris College in Georgia), as so many other election officials do so immediately upon leaving office --- the most recent being PA's Sec. of State Pedro Cortes who suddenly resigned a few weeks ago to become Executive Vice President at the ironically-named Internet voting company Everyone Counts. That company already boasts the name of Chief Operating Officer Paul DeGregorio, who took the job upon leaving his post as George W. Bush's Chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). As The BRAD BLOG reported in 2009, DeGregorio immediately used his former position as "America's Chief election official" in a cheesy video sales pitch for the firm, to help push their insecure and un-overseeable Internet Voting scheme to a still-unsuspecting, and still dreadfully under-informed American public.

Meanwhile, last year Dominion had already hired away Sequoia's VP Edwin Smith. Readers of The BRAD BLOG may remember the woeful Smith as the one who'd first sent threat letters to Princeton computer scientists, promising legal action if they independently reviewed Sequoia's voting machines after the systems had been found to have miscounted in a New Jersey election. He then upped the public blunder by hiring his own buddy and long-time Sequoia contractor/bag-man to carry out an "independent, third party" review instead.

Smith's "independent" hire, in addition to being anything but independent, was subsequently revealed by The BRAD BLOG to have had a, um, somewhat unsavory (if very amusing) background. After we revealed all of the chicanery, the hire was fired and Smith was disciplined by the company. But apparently he's still welcome at Dominion, now one of the largest e-voting firms in the U.S. (and maybe even in Venezuela!)

And even more shamefully, last December Smith was even be welcomed onto the U.S. Election Assistance Commission! As we reported late last year, Smith, now "VP of Compliance and Certification" for Dominion, was disgracefully appointed to the EAC's "Technical Guidelines Development Committee" as one of their new "Technical and Scientific Experts". As we wrote at the time: "This would be the equivalent of appointing the sitting Vice President of Exxon Mobil to an EPA advisory committee."

What could possibly go wrong?

As we explained: "So Smith went from voting machine company Hart Intercivic to voting machine company Sequoia Voting Systems and is now at voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems, where he is a VP, selling e-voting systems to jurisdictions around the country that receive federal money doled out by the EAC. And now he'll also sit on an advisory board at the EAC helping to advise which one of those companies sees their systems certified for use in U.S. elections by the EAC. Just amazing."

Now, of course, Smith's power is even more concentrated as his new firm Dominion has acquired his old firm, Sequoia.

Around and around they all go. Where it stops, the voters never need know...

Brad Friedman is an investigative journalist/blogger and the creator/publisher of The BRAD BLOG, which has been focusing for some years on the many issues involved in election integrity. He can currently be seen in a number of documentaries on the topic, now in release around the country, including David Earnhardt’s Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections, and the just-released Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story, by documentarian Patty Sharaf.

“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline Rapunzel

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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 03:27:20 PM »

This from Salon - not a conservative publication by any means

 Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011 05:01 AM -0700
Diebold voting machines can be hacked by remote control
Exclusive: A laboratory shows how an e-voting machine used by a third of all voters can be easily manipulated
By Brad Friedman
It could be one of the most disturbing e-voting machine hacks to date.

Voting machines used by as many as a quarter of American voters heading to the polls in 2012 can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education, according to computer science and security experts at the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. The experts say the newly developed hack could change voting results while leaving absolutely no trace of the manipulation behind.

“We believe these man-in-the-middle attacks are potentially possible on a wide variety of electronic voting machines,” said Roger Johnston, leader of the assessment team “We think we can do similar things on pretty much every electronic voting machine.”

The Argonne Lab, run by the Department of Energy, has the mission of conducting scientific research to meet national needs. The Diebold Accuvote voting system used in the study was loaned to the lab’s scientists by, of which the Brad Blog is a co-founder. Velvet Revolution received the machine from a former Diebold contractor

Previous lab demonstrations of e-voting system hacks, such as Princeton’s demonstration of a viral cyber attack on a Diebold touch-screen system — as I wrote for Salon back in 2006 — relied on cyber attacks to change the results of elections. Such attacks, according to the team at Argonne, require more coding skills and knowledge of the voting system software than is needed for the attack on the Diebold system.

Indeed, the Argonne team’s attack required no modification, reprogramming, or even knowledge, of the voting machine’s proprietary source code. It was carried out by inserting a piece of inexpensive “alien electronics” into the machine.

The Argonne team’s demonstration of the attack on a Diebold Accuvote machine is seen in a short new video shared exclusively with the Brad Blog [posted below]. The team successfully demonstrated a similar attack on a touch-screen system made by Sequoia Voting Systems in 2009.
The new findings of the Vulnerability Assessment Team echo long-ignored concerns about e-voting vulnerabilities issued by other computer scientists and security experts, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (an arm of the Department of Homeland Security), and even a long-ignored presentation by a CIA official given to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

“This is a national security issue,” says Johnston. “It should really be handled by the Department of Homeland Security.”

The use of touch-screen Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems of the type Argonne demonstrated to be vulnerable to manipulation has declined in recent years due to security concerns, and the high cost of programming and maintenance. Nonetheless, the same type of DRE systems, or ones very similar, will once again be used by a significant part of the electorate on Election Day in 2012. According to Sean Flaherty, a policy analyst for, a nonpartisan e-voting watchdog group, “About one-third of registered voters live where the only way to vote on Election Day is to use a DRE.”

Almost all voters in states like Georgia, Maryland, Utah and Nevada, and the majority of voters in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Texas, will vote on DREs on Election Day in 2012, says Flaherty. Voters in major municipalities such as Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Pittsburgh will also line up in next year’s election to use DREs of the type hacked by the Argonne National Lab.

Voting machine companies and election officials have long sought to protect source code and the memory cards that store ballot programming and election results for each machine as a way to guard against potential outside manipulation of election results. But critics like California Secretary of State Debra Bowen have pointed out that attempts at “security by obscurity” largely ignore the most immediate threat, which comes from election insiders who have regular access to the e-voting systems, as well as those who may gain physical access to machines that were not designed with security safeguards in mind.

“This is a fundamentally very powerful attack and we believe that voting officials should become aware of this and stop focusing strictly on cyber [attacks],” says Vulnerability Assessment Team member John Warner. “There’s a very large physical protection component of the voting machine that needs to be addressed.”

The team’s video demonstrates how inserting the inexpensive electronic device into the voting machine can offer a “bad guy” virtually complete control over the machine. A cheap remote control unit can enable access to the voting machine from up to half a mile away.

“The cost of the attack that you’re going to see was $10.50 in retail quantities,” explains Warner in the video. “If you want to use the RF [radio frequency] remote control to stop and start the attacks, that’s another $15. So the total cost would be $26.”

The video shows three different types of attack, each demonstrating how the  intrusion developed by the team allows them to take complete control of the Diebold touch-screen voting machine. They were able to demonstrate a similar attack on a DRE system made by Sequoia Voting Systems as well.

In what Warner describes as “probably the most relevant attack for vote tampering,” the intruder would allow the voter to make his or her selections. But when the voter actually attempts to push the Vote Now button, which records the voter’s final selections to the system’s memory card, he says, “we will simply intercept that attempt … change a few of the votes,” and  the changed votes would then be registered in the machine.

“In order to do this,” Warner explains, “we blank the screen temporarily so that the voter doesn’t see that there’s some revoting going on prior to the final registration of the votes.”

This type of attack is particularly troubling because the manipulation would occur after the voter has approved as “correct” the on-screen summaries of his or her intended selections. Team leader Johnson says that while such an attack could be mounted on Election Day, there would be “a high probability of being detected.” But he explained that the machines could also be tampered with during so-called voting machine “sleepovers” when e-voting systems are kept by poll workers at their houses, often days and weeks prior to the election or at other times when the systems are  unguarded.

“The more realistic way to insert these alien electronics is to do it while the voting machines are waiting in the polling place a week or two prior to the election,” Johnston said. “Often the polling places are in elementary schools or a church basement or some place that doesn’t really have a great deal of security. Or the voting machines can be tampered while they’re in transit to the polling place. Or while they’re in storage in the warehouse between elections,” says Johnston. He notes that the Argonne team had no owner’s manual or circuit diagrams for either the Diebold or Sequoia voting systems they were able to access in these attacks.

The  team members are critical of election security procedures, which rarely, if ever, include physical inspection of the machines, especially their internal electronics. Even if such inspections were carried out, however, the Argonne scientists say the type of attack they’ve developed leaves behind no physical or programming evidence, if properly executed.

“The really nice thing about this attack, the man-in-the-middle, is that there’s no soldering or destruction of the circuit board of any kind,” Warner says. “You can remove this attack and leave no forensic evidence that we’ve been there.”

Gaining access to the inside of the Diebold touch-screen is as simple as picking the rudimentary lock, or using a standard hotel minibar key, as all of the machines use the same easily copied key, available at most office supply stores.

“I think our main message is, let’s not get overly transfixed on the cyber,” team leader Johnston says. Since he believes they “can do similar things on pretty much every electronic voting machine,” he recommends a number of improvements for future e-voting systems.

“The machines themselves need to be designed better, with the idea that people may be trying to get into them,” he says. ” If you’re just thinking about the fact that someone can try to get in, you can design the seals better, for example.”

“Don’t do things like use a standard blank key for every machine,” he warns. “Spend an extra four bucks and get a better lock. You don’t have to have state of the art security, but you can do some things where it takes at least a little bit of skill to get in.”


The video demonstration and explanation of the Diebold “Man-in-the-Middle” attack, as developed by Argonne National Lab’s Vulnerability Assessment Team, follows below. Their related attack on a Sequoia voting system can be viewed here.

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Investigative journalist and broadcaster Brad Friedman is the creator and publisher of The BRAD Blog. He has contributed to Mother Jones, The Guardian, Truthout, Huffington Post, The Trial Lawyer magazine and Editor & Publisher. More Brad Friedman.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline olde north church

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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 03:30:03 PM »
It's remarkable what a motivated patriot could do potentially if so inclined.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

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