Monday, December 31, 2007

REMEMBER THOSE 2004 OHIO STICKERED BALLOTS FOR JOHN KERRY... WHICH BECAME VOTES FOR GEORGE W. BUSH?


REMEMBER THOSE 2004 OHIO STICKERED BALLOTS FOR JOHN KERRY... WHICH BECAME VOTES FOR GEORGE W. BUSH?

By Paddy Shaffer
Director, The Ohio Election Justice Campaign

December 31, 2007

It seems that on this final day of 2007, that a stiff drink might be needed for some who have been following the Ohio Election Theft fiasco from 2004. I rarely drink, but recommend a stiff one now for those of you that can be responsible consumers. Compliments of a reporter, I was just sent the following article:

This link is for a Saturday August 11, 2007 Cincinnati Enquirer blog titled "Clermont County's ballots.
http://frontier.cincinnati.com/blogs/gov/2007/08/clermont-countys-ballots.asp

From the article:
Brunner had no firsthand knowledge about the two stickered ballots, but said her staff is committed to painstakingly examining any lingering questions or concerns about 2004, while working to improve future elections.

Please make note that on August 6th, 2007 I was in Secretary Brunner's office with Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips photographing those very ballots. We were in room 1706, on the 17th floor. We went to the 16th floor via elevator, to the office of Secretary Brunner and in person made a request (which I had done hours earlier via phone as per the suggestion of Doug Miller) to Bobbie Gilbert, Jennifer Brunner's Executive Assistant that we were inviting Secretary Brunner to come to room 1706 to view the stickered ballots. This is the actual physical evidence of the theft of the 2004 Presidential Election, which was right there in her office, in a room where Doug Miller her Manager of Security was overseeing our photographing of these election records. We told Bobbie that if we even only had 20 to 30 seconds of the Secretary's time, we just thought it very important that she see the actual ballots. Bobbie Gilbert said that Secretary Brunner was too busy that day. I then requested that she come herself or send other staff, Chris Nance, Kellye Pinkleton, Kathy Spinelli, Brian Green, or other top staff. Just send someone to come and see the stickered ballots while they were there.

Richard and I went back to room 1706, and spent the next several hours continuing to photograph Clermont, Delaware, and other county ballots. Not one of Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner's staff, nor Brunner herself showed up to look at these stickered ballots. Doug Miller, Manager of Security did see it, as did several other staff members that came into the room to speak to or to help Doug. One lady that was having a job interview got to see one of the ballots when we took it to Doug's personal office to have natural light with which to photograph it by his window. The conference room we were working in had a yellowish light to it. Richard and I wanted to show everyone, tell everyone in the office we could the story. So there are a few people there that have seen stickered ballots. We hope their jobs are safe. But why would the leadership people avoid this?

I must question this... Brunner had no firsthand knowledge about the two stickered ballots, but said her staff is committed to painstakingly examining any lingering questions or concerns about 2004, while working to improve future elections.

How does ignoring and avoiding any look at the 2004 election (with the slight exception of some changes in Cuyahoga County... though still no one has gone to jail there, or anywhere for the many documented election crimes) count as being, "committed to painstakingly examining any lingering questions or concerns about 2004...."?

It has now been 146 days since she was asked to meet with what has become The Ohio Election Justice Campaign, and there has been no meeting. It is the last day of the year 2007. Not one person has served time in jail for this election theft, the largest crime in the world. Brunner has in her possession over 2200 boxes of 2004 ballots and election records, which they refuse to investigate, including the stickered Clermont County ballots. The Attorney General also has not investigated, although he and his office have Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips book full of detailed information and statistics on those ballots. Brunner has many chapters of the book. Both offices have a large amount of information that I have provided, and information from Tim Kettler and Paul Harmon Esq. They both have all the information in the King Lincoln lawsuit. Both offices have Sherole Eaton's whistleblower lawsuit regarding the Triad technician switching out the hard drive on the voting machine tabulator prior to the recount.

Just when does this nation see justice? When do the people paid to enforce our laws actually enforce them and represent the people, and not these corrupt election officials and employees of the voting machine company's? How much can we as the public allow them to ignore, and for some of us, how much can we ignore because it's just not comfortable to deal with the magnitude of the lies. So if this has all been illegal, and this constitutional crisis blows out, what part must the average citizen play? What does that mean to us individually. What if you voted for or against these election thief's...? Will you let it continue for your kids? I've had people say... "My guy won so why should I care". Wow... you are the folks with the biggest "enabler" burden to carry. I hope those stones are heavy on your shoulders, I hope one day you hurt like this country is hurting, this is just NOT allowable. Please put some deep thought into this.

For those of you that say, it couldn't have happened there were both Democrats and Republicans there. I have an important observation to share with you, both parties were involved. This may be a reason the current Attorney General and Secretary of State don't want to deal with it. Would such scandal help the Democrats win a presidential year? No, it won't help anyone. This is terrible, treasonous, rotten issue for everyone. The Republicans as the beneficiaries own much of it. Then there is the Ohio State Democratic Party, and the National Democratic Party, who have both allowed this to happen. I do mean allowed, they know. Then there is John Kerry and John Edwards, who have both been provided with documents on the election fraud. Both also have neglected to take on the issue. I gave them to Kerry; my brother provided them to Edwards.

At this point I don't bother to ask what party the election officials represent because we have mountains of evidence that both deserve credit. Lets start where my investigation started, it was Delaware County Democrat and Deputy Director of the Board of Election Kim Spangler, along with Delaware County Democrat and Board of Election member John Myers who stepped up to block the 2004 recount. John claimed such a high level of poverty for that BOE that they couldn't afford to plug in the tabulators for the recount, thus the temporary injunction to stop the recount, which they were taking to court to make permanent, which then blocked the full state. I asked John Myers if they needed a 220 outlet like a clothes dryer, or a regular wall outlet? John said a regular wall outlet. I then told him to unplug the coffee pot. The budget for the Delaware County BOE for 2004 was over $900,000.00 and they can't afford to plug into a wall outlet in the Rutherford B. Hayes County Building. Oddly enough, the building is named for a former US President that also stole his election. Go figure.

In just under 7 hours it will be 2008, another Presidential Election Year. Whoopee... the same alleged criminals run everything. Please to all the Americans out there that read this, this is not a partisan issue. This is national security, treason, the blatant arrogant trashing of democracy. Join us and take a stand, make your voice heard. NEVER AGAIN!!! All the "Looking Forward" that the Secretary of State has been doing is leaving us totally unprepared for the upcoming elections, with the same alleged criminals in place. How is this preparing? Now she plans to give them 15 days to run elections, let them know which precincts will be the ones to be audited for a recount, close the small precincts for super precincts which destroys the usage of historical data on how an area votes, and more. This is dire. Plus we can spend more money on more crap machines to tabulate our votes, machines that Colorado just decertified. And what about those Clermont County ballots that Brunner should have learned about as a candidate, or when we went to her office to invite her to see them, which in the below article she claims to have no firsthand knowledge about. Plausible deniability doesn't work. We all know about those ballots, and Secretary Brunner should be embarrassed to claim ignorance of them.

Please read the below article, and access the above link to see it in its original format. Thanks to Carl Weisner for writing this blog article.


________________________________________________________________

Saturday, August 11, 2007
Clermont County's ballots


Jon Craig brings you the sage of the missing ballots in Sunday's Enquirer. You can also read it here.


Meanwhile...


The groups behind the lawsuit say they have uncovered evidence of possible tampering in Clermont County, a traditionally Republican-leaning county where Bush won easily.


For example: oval-shaped stickers were inexplicably found on at least 10 ballots in Clermont County, for several state and local races as well as president and the same-sex marriage ballot issue.


The tiny white stickers would have blocked an optical scanner from counting a vote for the pencil mark that’s visible below. Two of those ballots from Pierce Township were preserved and observed by Enquirer reporters Thursday.


Brian Green, an elections attorney at Brunner’s office, confirmed that the stickered presidential ballot – which negated a vote for Kerry – is perplexing and that the Bush oval above it clearly has a darker, wider pencil mark. None of the other ovals marked on the two-page ballot are as dark or outside the oval to the same extent.


Clermont County elections officials said they no longer use stickers to remake spoiled or mismarked ballots. The county has since purchased newer optical scanners that would not count stickered ballots.

Clermont County Board of Elections Director Mike Keeley, who became director in March 2006, said he is unaware of anyone misusing stickers during the 2004 election. The county’s newer optical scanning equipment would not count votes if stickers were placed on ballots today, he said.


“That would show as an invalid ballot,” he said Thursday. “That was old equipment, old procedures, old process.”

The county’s former Board of Elections director, Daniel Bare, did not return phone calls for comment, but Bob Drake of Anderson Township, a mathematical education professor at the University of Cincinnati, signed a sworn affidavit saying Bare and other county election workers acknowledged stickers were used to cover stray marks on ballots during the 2004 election.


In an interview with The Enquirer, Drake said he and others “noticed some ballots had stickers completely covering (a) Kerry vote. A different shade of pencil where the Bush bubble was filled in. ... There should’ve been an investigation. There was criminal activity.”

Brunner attributed the sticker problems more to inconsistencies in county procedures statewide, something she aims to iron out.

The checkmark present next to the Issue 1 oval is of concern to her, she said, because if it was there before the paper ballot was run through an opti-scan machine, that vote would not have been counted.

Brunner had no firsthand knowledge about the two stickered ballots, but said her staff is committed to painstakingly examining any lingering questions or concerns about 2004, while working to improve future elections.
posted by Carl Weiser at 8/11/2007 03:16:00 PM
(If you go to the link, there are 24 comments.)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Now, do we get our money back??

Project Everest Commentary from Victoria Parks

 

In my last commentary, I stated that is just plain "wrong to assume." And now we know. The Secretary of State of the great State of Ohio just released her long awaited tests results in Project Everest, Secretary Brunner's plan to determine once and for all where vulnerabilities lie with Ohio's voting machine hardware and software. I just want to say that on the one hand the results of the Project Everest testing were brilliant—so revealing and so damning. I feel vindicated.  Long time election justice activists everywhere have indeed won the argument on the DRE voting machines. The touchscreen voting machines have proven a danger to democracy. It is just one more nail in the coffin of lies and deceit. Whew, that was a long haul. Though I am pleased and feel vindicated I have to ask, was it worth 1.9 million dollars to prove this again? Just because something is really, really expensive does that mean it is worth what you paid for it? On the other hand, Secretary Brunner has no plans to decertify the touchscreens. Why not? Even more rigorous testing was done in California which found even more vulnerabilities which resulted in the unprecedented action of California's Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertifying the all three voting machine vendors in that state. Even with the findings, yesterday's news from the Secretary of State didn't produce what most of us in the Ohio Election Justice Campaign were hoping for. Surely, she would do the same, and decertify the machines, we thought. And just look at those test results.  Why, it is as if the vendors designed the machines to fail! hmmm. That's getting my blood pressure up. I also want to know, how was that 1.9 Million in HAVA money spent? Blood pressure is going even higher now. To whom did it go? ...higher...  Why did it pay for testing which resulted in conclusions that have already been established? ...pop.  So many questions, so few real answers. Now, I hear Project Everest managers and observers had to sign a non-disclosure agreement that shuts them up until 2017. So, complain all you want public, "you have no right to know what we are doing." "Just trust us." That is the message. No transparency, still no trust.

 

The fact that so many holes were poked in vendor claims of voting machine security is absolutely another victory for long-time election justice activists who have long claimed this. For that I am grateful and congratulate the Secretary of State for looking into this critical matter even though it came at a price of 1.9 million to taxpayers way too late. Voters have long awaited official confirmation of these allegations.  The fact remains though that the primaries are only two months away and that is unsettling. We all remember what a mess the last election turned out to be. We expect it will be again in '08. Will we just hear more overtures of "everything went just fine" in '08? The tests are better late than never but where will that put us in two months? I only wish this testing had been done early in the year after we had given Secretary Brunner all the ammo in the world to decertify. To her credit she did take action in Cuyahoga County. And, now she has tested the machines and confirmed what we all suspected—that these voting machines are like crack houses. The door is always left unlocked and you may not know who is inside at any one time, but, you do know that crimes are being committed while the criminals are inside. Enforcing the rule of law is now long overdue.  I know Secretary Brunner has a huge task ahead of her in 2008 and I will try to take that into consideration, but I also must say that essentially nothing has changed. The same group of officials are still in place who botched the last general election so badly. What is worse, many of the Project Everest observers were Ohio BOE officials who defied a Federal Court Order to preserve '04 election records. What does that say? They should be held in contempt of court. So, what were they doing observing Project Everest? Was it meant as part of their learning curve? And what was a registered lobbyist for ES&S doing picking the observers for Project Everest? I am worried indeed. 

 

I must ask the Secretary of State, why not decertify the machines?? Because the state doesn't have the money to go to a hand-counted paper ballot system? The answer could be "well, yes, we're broke. We just blew our HAVA wad on machines that  went for about five thousand dollars a pop." That's all the more reason to get our money back. Or, does the Secretary of State's reasoning not to decertify reflect the view that "we already spent so much money on them, we have to continue spending money with these vendors to try to make electronic voting work!"? That reasoning is so flawed. Like I said, putting good money after bad is not only illogical, it is stupid. Secretary Brunner you know this. You also know we don't have the money. Heck, we've already spent 1.9 million to prove something we activists, and the California SoS already knew. That is why it is so troubling that you choose NOT to decertify the machines as California's Secretary Bowen so wisely chose to do. I am bewildered. Proving your independence of judgement apart from that of Calfornia's Debra Bowen, will not score political points for you. This will not wash with voters. I guarantee it.

 

Madame Secretary, don't you think we should get our money back??

 

I've said previously, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results", a saying from our great founder, Ben Franklin who had little respect for lightning but much respect for scientific process. OK, Project Everest did not reveal results any different from those in California, Of course. that was an easy assumption to make. Now, can we move on and get our money back because we all know what landfill these machines turned out to be? Respectfully, there is something else that bothers me and it has nothing to do with you, Madame Secretary. The Help America Vote Act which forced these voting machines on us in the first place, was written in Bob Ney's office with the help of Jack Abramoff and two-hundred-seventy-five thousand dollars from the Diebold corporation. Yes, our tax money went to vendors who finance people like Bob Ney (Federal Prisoner #28882-016) and Jack Abramoff (Federal Prisoner #27593-112). If Bob Ney and Jack Abramoff are both convicted criminals, what does that make HAVA?

 

Brunner's recommendations long on money, short on transparency

 

Secretary Brunner enjoyed a great coup at her press conference on 14 December when she revealed her damning Project Everest findings. For a politician to get press like that in front of a 30 foot Christmas tree is a slam dunk. Good on her.

 

Nevertheless, one could conjecture that absolutely nothing will change in Ohio for the primaries. Her recommendations will not be implemented because there isn't the cash, nor the time now, to put her recommendations into place for '08. We will keep using the DRE's, certainly in every other county save Cuyahoga perhaps. Her recommendation may not be enough to solve the great challenges that lay ahead for Ohio voters in '08. If the past is any indication, the primaries are guaranteed to be a mess when once again we expect to be told by elections officials that everything went "just fine", "just trust is" and "move along. There is nothing to see here." However, as Bev Harris of Black Box Voting pointed out recently, appeals of "just trust us" don't wash anymore with voters. This is not about "just trust us." This is "prove our vote count is correct beyond a doubt by implementing the proper checks and balances." Harris is spot on. We the people are entitled to full transparency in our elections and we are just not there. We are angry and we are still waiting for genuine election integrity by means of genuine transparency.

 

Secretary Brunner made it clear that in-precinct vote tabulation audits using optical scanners against hand-counts are gone. She, in doing so, has eliminated the most critical opportunity to achieve election transparency. Her move towards strict central tabulation effectively shuts down transparency at the precinct level. Secretary Brunner, we need MORE transparency in the precinct, not LESS. But you know that. No, Secretary Brunner, We the People would demand a mandatory, truly random, ten percent in-precinct hand count audit against the optical scanners on election night. We the people will not let another elections official, politician or bogus legislation, eliminate every avenue to transparency that was once available to us. A real paper ballot provides us that one chance to make sure the vote count is right on election night and you understand this. We will achieve this through a process called citizen oversight.  So let's not make it a paper trail. Let's make it a paper ballot. Give us that in our precincts.

 

I am dreading the March primary. Ohio doesn't have the money for the Secretary's recommendations to shift to optical scanners and paper ballots for '08. Where will we ever find the money? Even if we did have the money, are we to understand her recommendation would be to continue rewarding the vendors— the vendors who sold taxpaying voters a bill of goods in the first place and whose only punishment will be?.... drum roll please...  A BRAND NEW CONTRACT for the manufacture of 2 billion-dollars-worth of NEW ELECTRONIC Voting machines!? Oh, that again. I can see it now just as clearly as a train coming down the track and guess who is tied to the tracks? The voters are. The taxpayers are. That is just not going to wash with us anymore. We are tired of spending billions for questionable elections. We want verifiable election results. Anything less than total transparency is unacceptable. We want our money back so we get get back on track—that is, on the train, not the tracks. Methinks it is not only time for real transparency but that it is time for some hefty lawsuits filed against the vendors for the biggest democracy-killing taxpayer rip-off in history. Vendors shouldn't be rewarded, they should be decertified, then they should be sued. 

 

If we ever do get our money back, which I doubt, we should spend it on hiring randomly selected independent auditors to conduct in-precinct random 10% hand-count audits against the optical scanners counting our precious, real paper ballots. Now THAT would prevent the cheaters from cheating. Yes.  It would offer genuine checks and balances by the people, for the people offered the freedom to verify their own election results. That's real transparency. Remember, it's not about "just trust us" anymore. Accustomed to disappointment once again though, voters get coal for Christmas. We have been duly informed that in-precinct audits are off the table by Secretary Brunner.

 

Though some of Brunner's recommendations on the surface appear to be actually quite good, like the 12-day window voters would be given to cast their ballot in "Super-precinct polling stations", the recommendations do nothing to address  the urgent need for real transparency. Consider for example, what might happen if some unscrupulous individual counted super-precinct ballots early and was able to use the early results like an exit poll that could be used to fine-tune a rig? The possibilities for fraud are stunning. For another example, weak links in the chain of custody exist for the transport of millions of paper ballots to an ill-conceived "Central Tabulation" point in each county. Without polling station audits with citizen oversight, we still won't know if our vote truly counted.

 

Transparency is the key word in verifiable elections and we still have none of it. What Secretary Brunner has proposed guarantees voters will have solved some old problems but will gain an entire boatload of new ones—more than we had during the Office of Secretary of State under Blackwell. If anything, voters fear we will feel the noose again in '08 amidst the chaos and desperation of voters who fear their vote, and perhaps their voter registration as well, will be manipulated again. The election of '08 may well become just another fake election that "went just fine." Prove me wrong, Oh please, prove me wrong. In the meantime, can we get our money back?

 

 

FW: Invitation to Attorney General Meeting, Monday, 12/17, 2 p.m.

The OEJC is meeting with members of the Ohio Attorney General's Office tomorrow, Monday, December 17th, at 2:00 p.m.
 
We will be meeting at Victorian's Midnight Cafe, 251 W. Fifth Avenue (at Neil), at 11:45 a.m. for preparation.  Car pools to the Attorney General's Office will be leaving from Victorian's at 1:00 p.m.
 
For those of you who prefer to travel separately, please plan to arrive in the Attorney General's reception area no later than 1:30 p.m. tomorrow.
 
The Ohio Attorney General's office is located at 30 E. Broad Street, in the Rhodes State Office Tower, on the 17th Floor.  Ask to be directed to the Main Conference Room to meet with Christopher Geidner and Michael Deemer, that you are a member of The Ohio Election Justice Campaign.   
 
Convenient parking is located under the Ohio Statehouse in the underground parking garage. 
There is an underground tunnel that will take you directly from the garage to the state office tower.
The state office tower is directly across Broad Street from the Ohio Statehouse.

 

If you are not already scheduled as a speaker, and we have several, and you are able to attend,  please know that you come in as a witness.  Be prepared that we have only a short amount of time that they scheduled for.  We must stay on topic, for what we have set up.  Please hold your comments until the end, and if time allows, we want them to hear from many of us, that they begin to know us as a group.  We also don't want to frighten them away, but to begin to work to resolve these issues.  We must succeed, our nation needs us.

 

Dress professionally, and lets impress them with our integrity.

 

Make it a Powerful Day,

 

Paddy Shaffer

Director, The Ohio Election Justice Campaign
paddy@columbus.rr.com
(614) 761-0621

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Ohio Voting Machines And The Potential Of Product Liability Lawsuits For Recall, Refund

Sample Lawsuits Delivered by Ohio Election Justice Campaign
to the Secretary of State and other Elected Officials on November 30, 2007

By Patricia “Paddy” Shaffer
Director, OEJC
December 2, 2007

A Voting Machine Jingle:
It was the final day of testing and all through the state, voters were praying that the machines would just go away, up on the tables they saw with a grin, a package of real paper ballots and pencils and pens, hand counted at the precincts, by locals they knew, and the outcome was auditable, no longer would the voters be screwed.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2970925220524280238&hl=en


OEJC Holiday Jingle for the Project Everest testing.11-30-2007





On November 30, 2007, the final day of the testing of Project Everest, the 1.8 million dollar HAVA taxpayer funded testing of Ohio’s Voting Machines by Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, hopeful packages from The Ohio Election Justice Campaign were delivered in the capital city of Columbus Ohio. The deliveries were to Governor Ted Strickland via a staff member named Peg; the Ohio Senate and the Ohio Controlling Board who approved the money for this project; to Attorney General Marc Dann via Assistant Chief Damian W. Sikora; and to Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, via Executive Assistant Bobbie Gilbert who said the package was on her own desk.


...........Paddy & David Sikora.....Paddy and Strickland Staffer ................................

David Sikora, Assistant Chief for Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann and a staffer of the office of Governor Ted Strickland, are handed packages of sample product liability lawsuits on the last day of Project Everest testing.

Marj Creech, Victoria Parks, and Paddy Shaffer assembled and delivered these packages including two product liability lawsuits: one by Paul Lehto for Washington, one by Patricia Axelrod for Nevada.
Product liability interview is at this link:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2641535466633314591&hl=en
In delivering the packages, it was explained that the purpose of us providing these packages to them is to raise awareness that Ohio can request it’s money back, to have a recall and refund on the voting machines. These lawsuits can serve as a sample or a template for what Ohio may need to do after the testing of our voting machines. Now that these elected officials have the sample product liability lawsuits, the topic has been raised for recall and refund. Plausible deniability is no longer a reason to continue to keep machines, if the only strong reason given after the testing reports have been viewed is because we have such a large financial investment in them, and that we must keep them. In this case the deciders of the fate of our voting machines will be fully aware they could ask for a recall and refund. The flawed reasoning of throwing good money after bad is devoid of good fiscal judgment. These vendors have been decertified in California after exhaustive testing by the Secretary of State Debra Bowen. Why then should we expect different results in Ohio? They are the same vendors being tested. One only hopes that the testing Brunner conducted will have proven just as rigorous. One recalls the words of our founder Benjamin Franklin who said, "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." He was a wise man.


The package also contained several items including information on other lawsuits in the US and documents from Leonard Samuelson, an Electrical Engineer and software developer for thirty years. Leonard covered a variety of important topics regarding electronic voting machines, including:
Voter verification
Count auditing required.
Testing only validates expected behavior.
Hidden capability is easy to prepare.
Hidden capability is easy to use.
It’s possible to limit access to hardware.
Paper and pen are very reliable.
Testing cannot prove “no tricks.” (OEJC's favorite)

All offices were informed that we shall follow up in about a week to make sure the package was reviewed, and will be seeking comments.

At the office of the Attorney General Marc Dann, we supplied the package to Assistant Chief Damian W. Sikora. In the past, Damien has done defense work on behalf of J. Kenneth Blackwell regarding election justice cases such as Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless v. Blackwell, and the League of Women Voters v. Blackwell. He is listed on the papers as being in the Constitutional Offices Section.

These packages were delivered on the final day of testing for Project Everest, for which The Ohio Election Justice Campaign has repeatedly requested both verbally and in writing, to have observers for. All requests heretofore had gone unanswered. We were told permission would have to come from Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Nance. Christopher never returned our phone calls or letters regarding our request. Sadly he was unable to come out and speak with us while we were there at his office. He was said to be in a meeting with the SOS at that very moment. While there, we were told that he was writing us a letter, and would send it soon. That was Friday November 30, 2007, and the letter arrived via email on Sunday afternoon, December 2, 2007 at 4:06 p.m. This is that letter:

November 30, 2007

Dear Ms. Shaffer:

Thank you for your recent correspondence and request to have observers from the Ohio Elections Justice Campaign observe the EVEREST testing process.

While I understand your interest in observing the testing process, I am respectfully denying your request to observe the testing process.

In a recent email (dated November 22, 2007), you also made numerous requests of information. Please note, that any specific public record requests you made are being addressed and Brian Green, Elections attorney for our office, will be sending you information shortly.

If you have any questions, you may contact my office at 614-644-0764.

Sincerely,

Christopher B. Nance
Assistant Secretary of State

cc: Jennifer Brunner
Kellye Pinkleton
Brian Green

Election transparency denied again. It is now day 117 since the OEJC has requested a meeting with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General.
The OEJC was informed that members of the Voting Rights Institute who were invited to go to the facility where the testing is taking place were asked to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. This forbids them from talking about what they witnessed until the year 2017. Two members went, many others declined, not willing to sign the agreement. The OEJC has requested public records, including all non-disclosure agreements that the SOS has asked anyone to sign in 2007, including for Project Everest. These are mentioned in the above letter.


At the office of Ohio Secretary of State we had the pleasure of speaking to Secretary Brunner’s Executive Assistant Bobbie Gilbert. We spoke of what was in the package, and on the subject of plausible deniability. We also addressed several other items, including Clermont County's RC-3 form (a “certificate of records disposal”) that I had personally provided Bobbie to give to the SOS on August 6, 2007. The form was proof that Clermont County Board of Elections Director Mike Keeley was still in July of 2007, destroying the 2004 election records that Judge Marbley had ordered protected and safeguarded under the threat of a fourth degree felony and contempt of court charges. I wanted them to do something about it, and to remind all the counties to safeguard the records, and for the SOS to request an inventory of what still existed. While we were there talking to Bobbie, I let her know that my continuing research of this very week had revealed that the Poll Books and Tally Sheets mentioned on that RC-3 form, are regarded as election records with a six year record retention schedule, not a 22 month retention schedule, like the ballots. (The Ohio Auditor of State, Mary Taylor’s office approved the destruction of these records according to the stamp on the form in July 2007). The Clermont County poll books in question were destroyed along with the ballots.


Ms Gilbert, Victoria, and myself went around and around until she appeared exhausted with us, never gaining satisfaction that we activists will go comfortably back to sleep and stop paying attention to that man behind the curtain, we fear that might be the guy doing the testing of our voting machines? After requesting to speak with Chris Nance we were told he was busy and that Kellye Pinkleton would speak to us. After having waited for Kellye for a half an hour, we'd like to thank Ms. Gilbert for stepping up to the plate to speak with us. When these SOS employees are unable to resolve our problems, they along with us must feel frustration.

It was addressed to Bobbie that having the same people running the 2008 elections, who ran and committed alleged election crimes in 2004, did not appear to be getting ready for 2008, but rather appeared to be simply repeating the same types of past behaviors; for example, the destruction of public records without consequence. As the counties are preparing for 2008 in the current situation, we have no reason not to expect massive record destruction of election documents once again. Now, that is a problem. Records destruction is an addictive behavior, like alcoholism. First one has to admit the problem before effectively handling the addiction. Looking forward won't do a darn thing until we all look back to figure out how we got here.

For the many alleged crimes and alleged criminals we spoke of, we were repeatedly told that, “We are looking forward to 2008, we are getting ready for 2008, Secretary Brunner knows what needs done, we are looking forward to 2008", again and again and again. A mantra that plays over and over from the mouths of elections officials at the office of the Secretary of State (and previously at the office of the Attorney General), but doesn't play well with Ohio voters who want corruption out of our BOE's and out of our elections for good. The days of "just trust us" elections are over. We want transparency and accountability and we want it now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It is wrong to assume

It has been said that to "assume" is to make an "ASS Out of You and ME." Fair enough. That being said, I believe it also fair to say that there are certain things in life that one is reasonably allowed to assume, like if it can go wrong, it eventually will—a saying attributed to a guy named Murphy; that absolute power corrupts absolutely, for example. There are other universal laws like what goes up must come down, like Bush's disasterous approval ratings; that waterboading is in fact, torture, no matter what one calls it; that if voting machines are tested for reliability in one state and fail miserably, that they would perform similarly in another state—like, say Ohio?—especially when HAVA funds to the tune 1.8 million dollars have been spent to prove otherwise regarding the exact same voting machines?

The People's elections are supposed to be transparent and accountable, therefore, is it unfair to assume that when the results of the Project Everest testing are published on the Secretary of State's website on December 14th, that the machines will have failed miserably like they did in California? Is this presumptuous of me? No, it could be assumed. Was it not our Founder Ben Franklin who said, "Insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting different results"? He was a wise man.

Therefore, to assume that the Project Everest will prove that the machines are OK is illogical. If these tests, the testers and the Voting Rights Institute observers, do in fact find the machines are OK, for the sake of the truth then, it is necessary that one talk about the actual tests that have been performed.

What everyone is talking about:

So far, no one is talking about the tests. In fact, folks involved in Project Everest are also not talking about the non-disclosure forms all Project Everest observers were required to sign which (legally?) keeps them from talking about what they observed until 2017. Wow. Mum's the word. That must have something to do with that "secret source code" that vendors say they can't talk about with the People. They are also not talking about Aaron Ockerman, a registered lobbyist with ES&S, being charged with choosing those who got to observe the Project Everest testing in the first place.

In October of 2007 before the Project Everest testing began, SoS Brunner spoke at a lobby day at the Vern Riffe Center at which time she requested those attending submit their questions to her on paper. Unfortunately my question was not chosen but we were all promised her office would commit to answering all questions submitted. Well, I have called Secretary Brunner's office to get an answer to the question I submitted that day, "Will Certified Ethical Hackers" be performing tests in Project Everest?" Sadly, no one from the Secretary of State's office has called me back, and now, the testing is over.

I ask the Voters of Ohio, is it fair to assume the testing has been rigorous? Fair? We will all know on December 14, 2007. If the machines are not found infallible then it is fair to question the tests and those who conducted those tests. I await the results of the Project Everest tests with eager anticipation.

Victoria Parks
Ohio Election Justice Campaign

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fwd: ES&S technician Sam Hogsett Manipulates Tabulators at 2004 Recount, also works in Michigan, and more...

The fate of the nation and the world can depend on Ohio...

Ohio Elections Outcomes Are Determined by people who

Manipulate Tabulators and do Butt Busting during a Recount such

as Sam Hogsett:

 

The two letters at the bottom of this article are but a window into the chilling thoughts of one man, authorized by multiple Ohio counties and Michigan to be counting our votes.  These letters were found in 2006 as Letters to the Editor from Sam Hogsett with a Crown City, Ohio address. Dr. Richard Hayes Phillips and myself found these while researching some of the colorful characters involved in the alleged theft of the United States Presidential 2004 Election in Ohio.

 

Crown City is on the southeastern boarder of Ohio, next to the Ohio River and West Virginia.  Sam Hogsett has shown up in several Ohio counties where there is a strong need for legal investigation and it would likely follow with the need for prosecution of alleged violations of election laws. 

 

 Delaware county is just one, and I was an actual witness of alleged illegal behavior during the 2004 recount, which involved election officials Kim Spangler and Janet Brenneman and was done in front of Chris Betts who is a Delaware County Prosecutor.  Hogsett was allowed to manipulate the keyboard for the computer on the tabulator, load the punch card ballots, and call out the precinct totals, all during the final few hours of the recount.  This happened after Janet had a precinct where she had trouble getting the numbers to work, and had spent time crunching numbers on her old fashioned adding machine. 

 

I spoke with Kathy Spinelli, at the Ohio Secretary of State's (SOS) office earlier this year about my concerns with Sam Hogsett.  That they should become aware of where he was working and what he was doing, and to let Michigan officials know that he is also in their state.  A 9-25-07 record request I sent, asking to know all the Ohio Counties that ES&S technician Sam Hogsett has worked in, and the dates, went to the SOS office.  On 11-5-07 Election Council Brian Green's reply states that, "This office does not maintain the information you seek.  Please direct your inquiry to ES&S or the county boards of elections."  It is my understanding that as ES&S is a private company, their records are private, another form of outsourcing our elections.  If the things that have happened regarding this man are an alleged violation of the law, an investigation is needed.  The first thing that would be needed would be to know where he has worked.  Kathy Spinelli left me feeling confident that it would be looked into early in the year... I don't feel confident they are looking at all now, and I don't understand how this fits into the picture of "we are getting ready for 2008", the statement we have repeatedly been told as to why no one in a position of authority on Ohio elections will turn their heads and look any other direction... other than forward.  Sometimes it is very wise to look to the side, and even behind oneself to know where you are and what stinky stuff you are standing in.

 

Back to Delaware... The Director of the Delaware County Board of Elections, Janet Brenneman was so pleased with Sam Hogsett that during the 2004 recount, she was butt busting with him... where you swing your hips back and forth like dancing, and both people bump repeatedly into one another.  Now really, is that appropriate with a big audience made of citizens, election observers, BOE workers, the County Prosecutor Chris Betts, all in attendance watching?  Not to sound prudish, but it really seemed like something more appropriate for a private time.  It also made me wonder just how well Janet the BOE Director and Sam the technician knew each other?

 

 Additional research I have done shows that Sam Hogsett also works for ES&S as a technician in the state of Michigan.   

 

According to the ES&S contract with Michigan...

I found Sam Hogsett, page 113

2004 ES&S contract with Michigan (third sending)

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/E_S_&_S_Cost,_Training,_and_Project_Mgt_Summary_89497_7.pdf

"Sam Hogsett has over fifteen years of Technical Field Service experience, and has served as Field Service Technician for ES&S for more than twelve years.  His current responsibilities include implementation, maintenance, and support of all ES&S hardware and software installed in ES&S's global customer base.  In addition, Sam coordinates scheduling to conduct Field Service maintenance visits with customers. 

 

And now the letters... please read and decide for yourself if this is someone you would want to be programming your voting machine? 

 _________________________________________

 From:  www.herald-dispatch.com

Voice of the people
Scheer way off about gun lawsuits

I recently read in this pitifully left-leaning
editorial section that the spineless, thoughtless,
moral less, useless, left-wing liberal America hater
Robert Sheer is unsuccessfully attempting to use an
apples-to-oranges comparison to wrongfully attack our
Second Amendment rights. What a loser.

Does he actually think, which obviously is very
difficult for him and his ilk, that if I took a Ford
and purposely ran over him, that his family should be
able to sue Ford or the dealership which sold it to me
for damages?

Unbelievably, he must, because he also believes that
if I were to take a Smith & Wesson and blast his
little pea brain to bits, that his family should be
able to sue the manufacturer and the gun dealer who
sold it to me. He just doesn't get it.

As he sits around groveling and talking to himself in
the pathetically miserable world he often describes, I
imagine he needs his dribble bib changed between each
sentence he ekes out on his word processor.

Sam Hogsett
Crown City, Ohio
__________________________________________
Letters to the editor  (second letter)

Apply drug laws to government landlords

The editorial opinion given by The Herald-Dispatch on
cracking down on landlords and confiscating their
property is totally correct as long as the same rules
apply to city, county, state and federal housing
authorities.

Imagine every time there is a drug bust in a Section 8
housing property, we the people will be able to evict,
confiscate and, according to a recent Supreme Court
decision, develop the property into something useful
and profitable.

We can't just arrest, evict and rent the property out
again. Forfeiture is the only answer, since our
government won't do background checks on their tenants
or more importantly, random drug test on all Section 8
residents and welfare recipients.

Why should we expect more out of private landlords
than we expect out of our tax-supported welfare
landlords?

Sam Hogsett
Crown City, Ohio

Monday, December 3, 2007

ES&S connection - CIA Operation "Pliers" Uncovered in Venezuela

For more on ES&S and Venezuala look at the following link http://www.votersunite.org/info/ES&Sinthenews.pdf
 
According to this link...
 
Remember, AIS, precuresor to ES&S, was founded by two brothers, Todd Urosevich, currently ES&S Vice President of Customer Support, and Bob Urosevich, currently President of Diebold Election Systems.
 
it reads in part, on page one... 1998, However, during the same election season, the Dallas devices initially failed to count 41,000 votes.  And two years later, massive breakdowns and technical difficutlies with ES&S systems rocked the Venezuelan national elections, causing the vote to be suspended.  Pres. Hugo Chavez and Venezuelan election officials accused the company of "trying to destabilize the country's electorial process," while protesters chanted "Gringos go home!" at ES&S technicians.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

ES&S connection - Re: [ei] CIA Operation "Pliers" Uncovered in Venezuela and the

ES&S is in Venezuela (Read the below letter too)

In the 2004 Recount in Delaware County Ohio, the ES&S technician, Sam Hogsett that was allowed and encouraged to run the keyboard for the tabulator computer, load ballots, and call out precinct totals for several hours.... told me something during our lunch break.  (I repeatedly read the law to the group, including Chris Betts, a Delaware Prosecutor, and let them know they could not legally do that)  Everyone else involved in the recount left the building for lunch, I stayed to watch the Sheriff watch the ballots.  Sam stayed also.  We talked.  I asked where else his company did election work.  Canada and Venezuela were both mentioned.  Sam said he had not worked in Venezuela, but I later learned that he does work in Michigan also.  Many of the places where Sam shows up, things seem to get tinkered with.  If he has been in your state, you want to know this, and I want to know also.  The address he gave was a PO Box in Crown City, Ohio, which is along the West Virginia boarder.

 

Paddy Shaffer

Director, The Ohio Election Justice Campaign
paddy@columbus.rr.com
(614) 761-0621

 

More on Sam Hogsett... from this website http://www.democratictalkradio.com/wordpress/?p=422 (lots more interesting reading about Sam here).

 

This is part of a letter I wanted to share with all of you, a letter that Sam wrote, which Richard Hayes Phillips and I found very late one night, while wondering and researching who Sam Hogsett is:

 

Sam Hogsett is more than an ES&S technician according to Shaffer and
others who investigated him, who have found his letters to the editor
quite alarming. Voting rights activists troubled by Hogsett’s role in
the recount found letters posted under the name Sam Hogsett, Crown City,
at the southeastern Ohio newspaper website www.herald-dispatch.com. One
of the letters begins as follows: “I recently read in this pitifully
left-leaning editorial section that the spineless, thoughtless, moral
less useless left-wing liberal America hater Robert Sheer is
unsuccessfully attempting to use an apples-to-oranges comparison to
wrongfully attack our Second Amendment rights.” Hogsett goes on to
write: “… He [Sheer] believes that if I were to take a Smith and
Wesson and blast his little pea brain to bits, that his family should be
able to sue the manufacturer and the gun dealer who sold it to me.” 

 

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 7:22 PM

Subject: [ei] CIA Operation "Pliers" Uncovered in Venezuela

 

An internal CIA memorandum has been obtained by Venezuelan counterintelligence from the US Embassy in Caracas that reveals a very sinister - almost fantastical, were it not true - plan to destabilize Venezuela during the coming days. The plan, titled "OPERATION PLIERS" was authored by CIA Officer Michael Middleton Steere and was addressed to CIA Director General Michael Hayden in Washington. Steere is stationed at the US Embassy in Caracas under the guise of a Regional Affairs Officer. The internal memorandum, dated November 20, 2007, references the "Advances of the Final Stage of Operation Pliers", and confirms that the operation is coordinated by the team of Human Intelligence (HUMINT) in Venezuela. The memo summarizes the different scenarios that the CIA has been working on in Venezuela for the upcoming referendum vote on December 2nd. The Electoral Scenario, as it's phrased, confirms that the voting tendencies will not change substantially before Sunday, December 2nd, and that the SI (YES) vote in favor of the constitutional reform has an advantage of about 10-13 points over the NO vote. The CIA estimates abstention around 60% and states in the memo that this voting tendency is irreversible before the elections.

Officer Steere emphasizes the importance and success of the public relations and propaganda campaign that the CIA has been funding with more than $8 million during the past month - funds that the CIA confirms are transferred through the USAID contracted company, Development Alternatives, Inc., which set up operations in June 2002 to run the USAID Office for Transition Initiatives that funds and advises opposition NGOs and political parties in Venezuela. The CIA memo specifically refers to these propaganda initiatives as "psychological operations" (PSYOPS), that include contracting polling companies to create fraudulent polls that show the NO vote with an advantage over the SI vote, which is false. The CIA also confirms in the memo that it is working with international press agencies to distort the data and information about the referendum, and that it coordinates in Venezuela with a team of journalists and media organized and directed by the President of Globovision, Alberto Federico Ravell.

When Steven Freeman was writing Was the 2004 Election Stolen? I offered what little help I could, far less of which found its way into the final product.  Hard facts unearthed by Greg Palast proved malicious intent from Bush & Co. in Florida 2000 to rig the presidential election by hiring CIA-linked Database Technologies on a $4,000,000 contract -- instead of the prior contract of $5,000 which its predecessor had -- in order to scrub minorities from the voting lists, but the book had to smear a lot of Vaseline over the ugly particulars that proved such scheming intent.  We may be the victims of electoral fraud, but that doesn't mean that we have to be rude.

 

At one point, Steven asked whether there were evidence of the CIA attempting to influence foreign elections.  I provided many, but I do not think that any made it to print.  America wasn't ready for this kind of prime time news.

 

Eva Golinger, an American attorney, used FOIA documents to learn details of the CIA-backed April 2002 coup against Hugo Chavez that is memorialized in the documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, a movie that ran briefly in the States but no longer has any US distributor.  Golinger wrote The Chavez Code: Cracking US intervention in Venezuela (2006).  The book details CIA and USG military participation in the coup with the Venezuelan generals it had trained, but especially vast funding of anti-Chavez organizations from unions through newspapers to political parties to destabilize his government, all with the active participation of both the Venezuelan private media and our own CNN:

At 2:15 p.m. [April 11, 2002], the high military command was broadcast on national television, attempting to diffuse rumors of violence that were circulating throughout the country.  Earlier that day, in the eastern part of town, ten high-level military officers had summoned CNN correspondent Otto Neustald to a residential location to record a prepared statement for subsequent broadcast.  Read by Vice Admiral Hector Ramirez Perez, who was subsequently named Minister of Defense by the Carmona coup government, the testimony deplored the massacre of innocent civilians, announcing that a macabre conspiracy had been implemented by Chavez resulting in the death of six Venezuelans, killed at the hands of government forces.  [NOTE: Both the book AND the video documentary prove that the innocent civilians were shot by the coup plotters.]  Ramirez Perez called for military insurrection, citing the violence as justification.  Neustald had to do two takes of the vice admiral's testimony.  It was recorded before any violence had erupted in the opposition of pro-Chavez demonstrations.  [NOTE: BBC & CNN announced the collapse of WTC7 20 minutes before it collapsed.  The BBC woman announcer is seen against a backdrop of NYC with WTC7 still standing.  When someone notices the premature announcement, the woman is pixelled out as though a transmission failure occurred and a switch to another topic occurs.  When the error became public 5 years later the networks said that it was an innocent error.  I am going from memory that it was BBC and CNN, but these tapes are now well known.]

 

A few months later, Neustald, participating in a forum entitled "Journalism in Times of Crisis" at the Bicentennial University of Aragua in Venezuela, revealed that:

On the 10th, the night they called me on the telephone and said, Otto, tomorrow the 11th there will be a video of Chavez, the march will go toward the presidential palace, there will be deaths and then 20 military officials of high rank will appear and pronounce themselves against the government of Chavez, and will request his resignation.  They told me this on the 10th at night.

Neustald affirmed that at the time of the recording, which specifically cites deaths caused by Chavez forces, no violence had yet appeared.  The US media had in effect been in the service of the coup. (pp. 68-69)

I am very thin-skinned and the prospect of being called "our own fring nut case" is too much for my refined sensibilities, so I do wish to state for the record that no such complicity between the media and the covert operations branches of the USG and ruling class ever occurs in the United States, despite there being a classic example of one in my essay,

 

I wish that Skull and Bones were all that we had to worry about, or even the Illuminati, but it is much more concrete and unmysterious than that.  By the way, the Global Research URL outlines the "help for democracy" provided by the CIA and its front office affiliates, all of which is detailed in Golander's book.  The GR outline follows:

 

How is this to be done?

In the memo, the CIA proposes the following tactics and actions:

  • Take the streets and protest with violent, disruptive actions across the nation
  • Generate a climate of ungovernability
  • Provoke a general uprising in a substantial part of the population
  • Engage in a "plan to implode" the voting centers on election day by encouraging opposition voters to "VOTE and REMAIN" in their centers to agitate others
  • Start to release data during the early hours of the afternoon on Sunday that favor the NO vote (in clear violation of election regulations)
  • Coordinate these activities with Ravell & Globovision and international press agencies
  • Coordinate with ex-military officers and coupsters Pena Esclusa and Guyon Cellis - this will be done by the Military Attache for Defense and Army at the US Embassy in Caracas, Office of Defense, Attack and Operations (DAO)

To encourage rejection of the results, the CIA proposes:

  • Creating an acceptance in the public opinion that the NO vote will win for sure
  • Using polling companies contracted by the CIA
  • Criticize and discredit the National Elections Council
  • Generate a sensation of fraud
  • Use a team of experts from the universities that will talk about how the data from the Electoral Registry has been manipulated and will build distrust in the voting system

The CIA memo also talks about:

  • Isolating Chavez in the international community
  • Trying to achieve unity amongst the opposition
  • Seek an aliance between those abstentionists and those who will vote "NO"
  • Sustain firmly the propaganda against Chavez
  • Execute military actions to support the opposition mobilizations and propagandistic occupations
  • Finalize the operative preparations on the US military bases in Curacao and Colombia to provide support to actions in Venezuela
  • Control a part of the country during the next 72-120 hours
  • Encourage a military rebellion inside the National Guard forces and other components

Those involved in these actions as detailed in the CIA memo are:

  • The CIA Office in Venezuela - Office of Regional Affairs, and Officer Michael Steere
  • US Embassy in Venezuela, Ambassador Patrick Duddy
  • Office of Defense, Attack and Operations (DAO) at the US Embassy in Caracas and Military Attache Richard Nazario

Venezuelan Political Parties:

  • Comando Nacional de la Resistencia
  • Accion Democratica
  • Primero Justicia
  • Bandera Roja

Media:

  • Alberto Federico Ravell & Globovision
  • Interamerican Press Society (IAPA) or SIP in Spanish
  • International Press Agencies

Venezuelans:

  • Pena Esclusa
  • Guyon Cellis
  • Dean of the Simon Bolivar University, Rudolph Benjamin Podolski
  • Dean of the Andres Bello Catholic University, Ugalde
  • Students: Yon Goicochea, Juan Mejias, Ronel Gaglio, Gabriel Gallo, Ricardo Sanchez

Regards,

 

Michael Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Friday, November 30, 2007

Cleveland video on broken paper tapes and machine...

Really great footage and coverage of Diebold hardware problems. 
I'm hoping soon the citizens will start to ask for their money back
from defective product they were sold.

http://www.wkyc.com/video/player.aspx?aid=49066
Watch the video!  Jam printers, unreadable tapes, crashes.

http://www.wkyc.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=78881

Paulson said,"I think most people admit they bought the wrong system. You don't want to be a laughingstock because your equipment doesn't work.

Board chairman Jeff Hastings said, "It looks like a hardware issue, not a training issue. We need to go to the vendor and say we have a problem with your equipment. Why do we have a problem."





--
Posted By nation.of.gandhis to Neocon Panic Attacks at 11/30/2007 02:56:00 PM

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

2008 Voter Suppression Tactics Pursued By The Right on NOW

In other news, Democracy Campaign Director David Becker will appear on PBS's NOW this Friday. David sat down with NOW host David Brancaccio in October to discuss the current state of voting in this country and challenges voters face as we approach the 2008 elections -- particularly in terms of voter suppression tactics pursued by the Right. The entire half-hour show will be devoted to David's interview. Check your local listings at http://www.pbs.org/now/sched.html and set your Tivo now!
 
culled from PFAW email

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ohio Election Theft Kills

This is an important video, titled "More Dead Cause of Ohio" that ties in the theft of the Ohio Election with the many soldiers now dead... because of what has happened in Ohio.  The ripples in this dark pond water are rolling around the world, and the dead are buried. 

 

This Video is based on a Neil Young song, and it includes scenes from the new David Earnhardt movie "UNCOUNTED".  David is a supporter of The Ohio Election Justice Campaign, and we recommend the movie.

 

 

 


Friday, November 23, 2007

Multiple requests - SOS - Observers for testing of Voting Machines, Project Everest, OH Sec. Of State

Jennifer Brunner, Ohio Secretary of State
Chris Nance, Assistant Ohio Secretary of State
Kellye Pinkleton, Director, Voting Rights Institute
Brian Green, Elections Council

Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2007

Dear Secretary Brunner, Christopher Nance Brian Green, and Kellye Pinkleton,

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and the staff at the Ohio Secretary of State's office.

The Ohio Election Justice Campaign (OEJC) writes to you this evening about the growing concern of many of the members of the OEJC regarding the multiple written and verbal unanswered requests we have made to be observers of your Project Everest testing of the Ohio voting machines. As we understand it, according to Kathy Spinelli of the Secretary of State's office, the testing finishes at the end of this month, with a report due out in mid December.

As we have repeatedly asked to be observers of the testing, we have continually been told that someone will get back to us, or we get no answer at all.

That leaves us now with a maximum of 6 day's left to observe, and this 6 days would include the Friday after Thanksgiving... which for many is still part of the holiday. So that takes us on a more practical level to 5 days of testing remaining.

Has any member of the public gotten to observe? As this 1.8 million dollars is taxpayer HAVA money (our money), used to do the testing, should not we as taxpayers get to take a look?

We understand that the members of the Voting Rights Institute (VRI) that were offered a chance to view the testing of the voting machines, on November 14th were also offered a dilemma. It is our understanding that to view the facility where the testing was, with the possibility that they might see some of the testing, they were informed they must agree to silence. It is our understanding that they would have had to sign a non disclosure agreement, to not speak about what they saw until the year 2017, ten years in the future. Do we understand this correctly? Could you please explain why this was a condition of observing the testing.

We request a copy of the form that you asked them to sign, please send it and the other documents we will now be requesting to our contact person, Paddy Shaffer. We request to know what they were told, verbally and in written form. Did any of them observe the testing? We request the forms of any VRI members that signed such a form.

What if they saw something that really troubled them, something that did not show up in your report. Do you really think they should not tell the public what they saw?

Who else was asked to sign a non disclosure agreement regarding Project Everest? If there are other versions of non disclosure forms that your office has asked people to sign this year, we request to have copies of these records.

Please send copies of all non disclosure agreements that you have asked any member of the Voting Rights Institute to sign, or for them to even consider signing this year in regards to anything having to do with interaction with the VRI, the office of the Secretary of State, or Ohio Elections. We request these items as part of the Ohio Public Records Laws, ORC 149.43

If there have been other verbal requests to "keep quiet" or not share information either verbally, photographically, audio, video, or other means from members of the VRI, or the public in their interaction with any County or State Ohio Election Officials, with venders of Ohio election machines, silence requests that in any way have come from the Ohio Secretary of State's office, from any member of the SOS staff, we request to know the details, and what and when things were agreed to. If this is in writing please provide it, if it is all been verbal, please write it down, that we may know what our tax dollars are paying for in the way of public servants.

It is known that Brian Green, who sends out the record requests from the SOS office likes to only provide paper records, but this topic is so very important and for our fragile democracy to survive, and for us to trust what we now see as non trustworthy voting machines, that we feel it is necessary to know about it all, and to know about it now. We hope that if the requested information has only been verbal up until this time, that it will be deemed necessary to put it in writing, and provide it to us.

If we can schedule observers in for watching the testing during the final week, we are interested. If we would also be asked to sign a non disclosure agreement to do this, we would of course, need to see what it says.

Sincerely,

The Ohio Election Justice Campaign

Contact Person:

Paddy Shaffer
Director, The Ohio Election Justice Campaign
paddy@columbus.rr.com
(614) 761-0621

Cc: All of The Ohio Election Justice Campaign
Mark Niquette
Jon Craig
Ian Urbina
Brian Rothenberg

P.S. Below you will find a previous request to view the testing, it was never resolved.

----- Original Message -----
From: Paddy Shaffer

Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 4:45 PM
Subject: SOS - Observers for testing of Voting Machines, Project Everest, OH Sec. of State,


Chris Nance, Assistant Ohio Secretary of State
Kellye Pinkleton, Director, Voting Rights Institute

November 7, 2007

Dear Chris Nance,

Dear Assistant Secretary Nance,

I write today to request to be able to place observers from The Ohio Election Justice Campaign to witness the Project Everest 1.8 million dollar tax payer supported testing of the Ohio Voting Machines. I wrote you about this previously in a letter about several subjects, and did not get a response. As I now wonder if my request was overlooked, I thought it was important that I repeat it.

It is my understanding that the testing is to be complete on Thursday November 15th, 2007. Is this correct? As there are only a few days before that date, please send me details on how to have observers in to watch some of the testing, and the location for which they would need to go.

Please let me know what the anticipated date is for your Project Everest Report on the findings to be complete.

Thank you so much for your assistance Chris and Kellye.
Sincerely,

Paddy Shaffer
Director, The Ohio Election Justice Campaign,
paddy@columbus.rr.com
(614) 761-0621

cc: Bev Harris
Victoria Parks
Dan Stanton
Tim Kettler
Sheri Myers
Jon Craig
Mark Niquette
Nancy Tobi
Ian Irbina
Paul Lehto Esq.
Brad Friedman
Greg Palast
Stephen Caruso
Jamia Sheppard
Ray Beckerman Esq.
Blair Bobier, Esq.
Tim Kettler
Paul Harmon, Esq
Michael Collins
Joan Quinn
Jo Anne Karesek
Jane Schiff

Thursday, November 22, 2007

LOBBYISTS HACKING YOUR ELECTIONS?


LOBBYISTS HACKING YOUR ELECTIONS?
The Case for Voting Systems Recall, Return, and Refund (Part I)

photo collage by Victoria Parks, 2007




Ohio Election Justice Campaign Press Conference of November 21, 2007.
This is 107 days after a meeting was requested with Jennifer Brunner, The Ohio Secretary of State, and Mark Dann, The Ohio Attorney General to begin the discussion of dealing with the need for investigation, prosecution, and a way for the public to follow the progress. So far, they have not agreed to meet with this growing national group, and their main comment for every question is "We are looking forward to 2008, we are getting ready for 2008", yet we have noticed that while they do this they also ignore a very troubling past.

As today is Thanksgiving, November 22, 2007... we have only 39 days until it is 2008, a presidential election year, and according to Secretary Brunner, absentee ballots go out in January. The continuing research by The Ohio Election Justice Campaign shows that more needs investigated now, not less. It seems Secretary Brunner has now inserted lobbyists of the voting machine companies into the picture. We hope that many things can be worked out for the benefit of the people, with Secretary Brunner and Attorney General Dann.

Artists Creating Justice members... Paddy Shaffer and Victoria Parks sculpted a large roasted turkey sculpture to help get the points of the Ohio Election Justice Campaign out to the world... The OEJC asks to "Toss Out These Turkeys" in reference to the Diebold, ES&S, and Hart Intercivic Voting Machines.


Thanks and Blessings to Progress Ohio for hosting our Press Conference!

Many Thanksgiving "Thanks" to Peace General Bruce for the below video of this press conference.

OEJC Press Conference, Columbus, Ohio, USA >11-21-2007 (part-1-)
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2329730873176308759&hl=en

OEJC Press Conference, Columbus, Ohio, USA >11-21-2007 (part-2-)
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8852338345804631566&hl=en


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A blog article by Columbus Dispatch reporter Mark Niquette (who was out of town on holiday and not at the press conference, but did give us some coverage - thank him) is in the below link. This has a place below for comments. Please add one.

http://blog.dispatch.com/dailybriefing/

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lobbyists Hack Your Elections: The OEJC Calls for Voting Systems Recall, Return, and Refund (Part I)

The OEJC is calling for the recall, return, and refund of Ohio's electronic voting systems, widely documented as unreliable, inaccurate, and subject to manipulation, and subject of several product defect suits nationally. Lobbyist suggested elections officials to current review of Ohio 's voting systems. Selected officials include representatives from counties plagued by election irregularities such as failing to preserve 2004 ballots as ordered by federal court. Voting systems purchased pursuant to HAVA, co-authored by former Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), met with lobbyist Abramoff during drafting, both serving prison terms for convictions related to bribery and corruption of public officials, respectively.

Columbus, OH (PRWEB) November 21, 2007 -- In a press conference today, The Ohio Election Justice Campaign (OEJC) is calling for the recall, return, and refund of voting systems used in Ohio, the state that clinches presidential elections. Representatives from Boards of Elections (BOE) plagued by election irregularities, such as failing to preserve their 2004 ballots in violation of federal court order, are now sitting in review of the state's electronic elections systems, courtesy of a lobbyist.

According to the Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's answers to the State Controlling Board, which approved $1.8 million in Help America Vote (HAVA) funds to review Ohio's elections systems, the final recommendations will be the "responsibility of the Secretary of State's Office working with a representative group of the state's election officials."

Brunner's letter to this same board, dated Sept. 20, 2007, states, "The list (of election officials) was compiled with Aaron Ockerman who met with me this morning and suggested the names of those to be involved."

Aaron Ockerman, of State Street Consultants, is a registered lobbyist for the Ohio Association of Election Officials (OAEO), a corporation that promotes the business interests of Ohio election officials. He was a registered lobbyist for Election Systems & Software, ES&S, (ESS) in 2003.

Neil S. Clark and Paul Tipps, founders of State Street Consultants, were registered lobbyists for ES&S, 2002-04, and for Diebold (DB), 2004 and 2005. Clark is currently a registered OAEO lobbyist.

Ockerman, also a registered lobbyist for ACS (ACS) State and Local Solutions, Inc., formerly Lockheed (LMT) Martin IMS, co-hosted a reception for the Ohio SOS and others during the winter 2007 OAEO conference.

Of the twelve election officials, nine come from BOEs that disposed of 2004 election records protected by court order in King Lincoln v. Blackwell (S.D. Ohio), http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/electionlaw/litigation/klbna.php, four of the nine serving as BOE Director in 2004. Two of the nine disposed of their records before certification of the 2004 election; and another three have not submitted the requested explanation to the SOS for their missing records.

As of this date, almost half come from counties with various alleged recount irregularities, and one from a county with alleged voter suppression, King Lincoln v. Blackwell (S.D.Ohio). Although Ohio does have many BOEs secure from these problems, only two are represented on the list.

HAVA earmarked $3.9 billion in tax payer money to implement electronic voting systems. Former Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) co-authored HAVA, meeting with lobbyist Jack Abramoff during its drafting. Ney and Abramoff are now serving prison terms for convictions related to bribery and corruption of public officials, respectively.

The electronic elections systems have been widely documented as unreliable, inaccurate, and subject to manipulation. California decertified its electronic voting machines, Florida tossed them out, and New York has not even introduced them.

Lawsuits alleging breach of warranty, Lehto v. Sequoia (King County, Washington) and Axelrod v. Sequoia (Washoe County, Nevada), have been filed in state court. A complaint naming the Ohio SOS was filed in U.S. District Court, Schulz v. State of New York (N.D.N.Y.), seeking an injunction until elections are open, verifiable, and transparent.

To support the OEJC, donate at www.electiondefensealliance.org/OEJC. For background information on the failure to preserve the 2004 ballots, see http://www.prnewsnow.com/TextNews/168067.html.