More than fifty millions American citizens, one fourth of the US constituency, are going to use e-voting machines for the November presidential elections. Approximately 80% of these machines have been bought by numerous states from two companies, Diebold and ES&S (Electronic Systems and Software), which are both famous for their close and incestuous links with the Republican clan. The large part of these machines, some 80%, will not produce any paper trail when votes will be cast.
Therefore, dozens of millions of votes will not be able to be checked and the regularity of results will depend on the ethics of private corporations which have, furthermore, contractually forbidden the states to examine the software used, even in the case of suspicious results.
A study done by John Hopkins University of Baltimore has highlighted the total absence of guarantee of the machines sold by Diebold and the ability for hackers to falsify the results and to modify them from afar.
The only answer from Diebold to this report was to accuse its authors of being "conspiracy theorists" doing their best to prevent the modernization of the US electoral system.
Conspiracy or not, it is particularly troubling to learn that Diebold's CEO has published a fund-raising letter in favor of the Republican Party, in which he promises to help George Bush win Ohio State in the 2004 elections. This letter was sent in 2003, just before Diebold obtained, with two other private corporations, the lucrative market of the e-voting machines in various states.
In order to ensure that a maximum number of states adopt these new machines before the November 2004 elections, the Bush administration has passed a law (Help America Vote Act 2002) which makes a total of 4 billion US$ available to be shared among those states which decide to get rid of the old electoral paper system. These funds are granted only to states that proceed to a general clean up of their electoral rolls. This clean up is curiously always entrusted to private companies, including Diebold.
Just before the 2000 elections, Diebold had been mandated by the state of Florida, whose governor was Jeb Bush, the brother of the future President, to clean-up Florida's electoral rolls. The result of such an "ethnic cleansing" was the illegal removal of more than 50,000 Black voters registered as Democrats from the rolls. In the state of Florida, as in only a few other US states, the race and the party to which the person votes for in Primaries are mentioned in the electoral rolls. We also remember that Al Gore is supposed to have lost the presidency by 600 votes (We understand better why the Supreme Court decided not to proceed with the recount !.
As a reward to this loyalty to the Republican Party, Diebold received the e-voting machine market in numerous states for the 2004 elections.
The Bush administration has also put in place a system of e-voting for the armed forces based abroad (more than 300,000). Once more, the management of the votes has been entrusted to private corporations, including a Saudi investment group and Accenture.
Based on past behavior of the Bush administration, we can legitimately doubt that the next presidential elections will be fair and balanced.
A double fraud could help guarantee Bush the next elections :
- a fraud carried out during the cleansing of the electoral rolls (eradication of Black votes on erroneous pretexts, without the possibility for the persons deprived of their rights to challenge an administrative decision taken by a private corporation in court) ;
- a fraud during the counting of the votes (no possibility to check that the software used have not been manipulated).
Nothing seems to stop this undemocratic path. Several prominent US personalities have sounded the alarm and have published texts questioning the use of the machines : Howard Dean, Paul Krugman, Greg Palast, Michael Moore...
All these warnings have not produced any effect on the US public opinion for the moment.
Only a "preemptive civil action" against the Bush administration could prevent a repeat of this clan's dubious winning of another presidential election in 2004 as they did, four years ago, defeating the principles of what was then the greatest democracy in the world.
Some sources :
- Vanishing Votes, by Greg Palast, in The Nation, 29 April 2004 ;
- All President's Votes ? by Andrew Gumbel, in The Independent, 13 October 2003 ;
- Hold Up on E-Voting, by Howard Dean, in The Daily Camera/Colorado, 3 Jun 2004 ;
- How to Hack an Election, by Paul Krugman, in The New York Times, 31 January 2004 ; Fear of Fraud, by Paul Krugman, in The New York Times, July 27 2004 ;
- Voting Chaos looms for American election, by Steve Connor, in The Independent, 16 February 2004 ;
- US Citizens Revolting Against Paperless Voting, by Marty Logan, in Inter Press Service, 5 Jun 2004 ;
- E-Voting Oversight Overwhelms US Agency, by Rachel Konrad, in Associated Press, 4 May 2004 ;
- Michael Moore Attacks E-Voting, by Andrew Donoghue, in ZDNet, 10 November 2003 ;
- E-Vote Machines Drop More Ballots, by Kim Zetter, in Wired News, 9 February 2004 ;
- Diebold, Electronic Voting and the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Bob Fitrakis, in Free Press, Colombus, Ohio, 25 February 2004 ;
- by L'Idiot du Village (In French) : Le coup d'Etat du 9 décembre 2000.
Im not going to comment, as i know absolutely nothing about the subject.
They are buying voting machines with no paper trail, produced by a company who's CEO has told Bush he will "Deliver" States... and who's company disenfranchised 1000's of voters in Florida in 2000 as a track record as to how impartisan they are....
And people wonder why they are accused of fixing elections?
Get next years conspiracy today