Voting Fraud Sleuth Bev Harris Reveals Latest Scandals

The nationally prominent voting accuracy investigator Bev Harris is warning that even simple caucus votes are subject to gross miscalculation -- and so voters should fear result-changing error and fraud in remaining elections this year.

Harris, below, is a guest Feb. 23 on my radio show Washington Update. She will describe serious flaws in the recent Maine GOP caucus. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.State officials announced as the winner Mitt Romney by a margin of fewer than 200 votes over Ron Paul. The totals didn't add up by the standards of elementary school math, Harris maintains. This underscores vastly more serious problems that arise, she says, when unverifiable electronic voting machines are used in elections.  

In 2002, Harris authored Black Box Voting: Ballot-Tampering in the 21st Century, a pioneering book on how electronic voting can enable enormous mistakes and outright fraud that change results in major races. Two years later, she founded Black Box Voting, a non-partisan, non-profit voting watchdog group. It provides practical advice for voters around the nation who fear wrong results -- and the traditional media's reluctance to cover the topic.

I can confirm her concern. A reporter for a national newspaper assigned to cover the topic told me privately last summer that his editor spiked his research on allegations of electronic fraud in 2004 Presidential vote tallies because the paper, in fear of alarming readers, shouldn't report anything unless it had stone-cold proof of fraud. By that standard, a newspaper could barely report anything on any controversy. 

On Feb. 23, listeners have a chance for questions. Join her, co-host Scott Draughon and me at noon (ET) on the show heard live nationwide on the MTL (My Technology Lawyer) radio network Scott founded a decade ago. To ask a question, call toll-free to (866) 685-7469 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The show is available by archive shortly after its end. Mac users need “Parallels.”

We begin the show with commentary on national news, including the GOP debate in Arizona and Scott's column -- You Must Be Kidding,  Right? -- blaming for focusing excessively on contraception as an election issue.

Regarding vote-counting, the Justice Integrity Project has reported extensively on the topic of election machine fraud and other election manipulations. Cutting Through Hype, Hypocrisy of Vote Fraud Claims last August, for example, summarized the important books and articles in the field over the previous decade. "Recent events," we reported, "show why election theft deserves much more scrutiny than it receives from either government officials or news reporters."

Rick Santorum

Election day problems also encompass vote tabulation. Harris is alleging that GOP Maine officials miscounted the votes in the recent statewide caucus. She notes that one county with more than 6,000 registered Republicans was initially listed as having no one voting in the caucus. Machines will be used widely in Feb. 28 voting in Michigan and Arizona. Polls show candidate Rick Santorum, left, reaching parity with Romney nationally. The polls show Santorum, a former Republican senator from Pennsylvania, trailing in Arizona and slightly ahead in Romney's home state of Michigan.

Harris began writing on the subject of electronic voting machines in October 2002. Her investigative journalism has since been cited in The New York Times, and on CBS, Fox News, and CNN. The mission of Box Voting is to restore citizen "ability to see and authenticate each step of our public elections." Black Box Voting investigates election problems, communicates the problems to the citizenry, and teaches citizens how to manage their own government -- which means teaching citizens how to identify elections problems and providing citizens with the tools to oversee elections. Each of the four crucial steps in a public election must be something the public can see and authenticate, without need for special expertise.

Bev Harris Black Box Voting CoverHarris spent over two thousand hours researching voting machines, and interviewed hundreds of witnesses including many election officials and even voting machine programmers who work directly for the firms that build these machines.

During the course of writing Black Box Voting, Harris discovered that one of the largest voting machine companies, Diebold Election Systems, had committed a massive security breach, leaving thousands of sensitive voting system program files on an unprotected Web site. These files have now triggered a national investigation and activism movement to restore clean, trustworthy voting systems.

BlackBoxVoting.org suggests the following ideas for local reporters and concerned voters to research across the nation:

1. Latest elections problems
2. Four crucial steps in elections
3. Can the machines be hacked?
4. Absentee and mail-in voting: Is it better or worse?
5. Voting rights and vote suppression
6. What protects your personal information in the election system?
7. Solutions
8. Top Ten Strangest Election Problems

Contact the author Andrew Kreig or comment
 

 

Editorial Recommendations on Elections

Update:

Reuters via Huffington Post, Rick Scott Plans To Resume Voter Purge Effort In Florida, Aug. 5, 2013. Florida Governor Rick Scott is planning a new effort to purge non-U.S. citizens from the state's voter rolls, a move that last year prompted a series of legal challenges and claims from critics his administration was trying to intimidate minority voters. Voter protection groups identified a number of errors in the state's attempt to identify people who are not American citizens on Florida's voter lists months ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November 2012. The search also sparked several lawsuits, including one by the U.S. Justice Department, which claimed the effort violated federal law since it was conducted less than 90 days before the election. "We were recently informed that the State plans to continue their efforts to remove non-citizens from Florida's voter rolls," Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor Penelope Townsley said in a statement.

News 21, Comprehensive Database of U.S. Voter Fraud Uncovers No Evidence That Photo ID Is Needed, Natasha Khan and Corbin Carson, http://votingrights.news21.com/article/election-fraud/
Aug. 12, 2012. A News21 analysis of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 shows that while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal, and in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tough voter ID laws, is virtually non-existent.  In an exhaustive public records search, News21 reporters sent thousands of requests to elections officers in all 50 states, asking for every case of fraudulent activity including registration fraud, absentee ballot fraud, vote buying, false election counts, campaign fraud, casting an ineligible vote, voting twice, voter impersonation fraud and intimidation. Analysis of the resulting comprehensive News21 election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation. With 146 million registered voters in the United States during that time, those 10 cases represent one out of about every 15 million prospective voters. “Voter fraud at the polls is an insignificant aspect of American elections,” said elections expert David Schultz, professor of public policy at Hamline University School of Business in St. Paul, Minn.

OpEd News, Election Integrity's Victoria Collier Speaks Up, Joan Brunwasser, March 21, 2012. My guest today is Victoria Collier. Welcome to OpEdNews, Victoria. You're the daughter and niece of James and Kenneth Collier, authors of the book Votescam: The Stealing of America, a chronicle of their 25-year investigation into how elections are rigged by computerized voting machines. Victoria is the editor of www.votescam.org. I've run across a number of your most recent OpEd pieces including What To Do When They "Let" Us Win Elections and Why Americans Viciously Protect Their Hub Caps But Not Their Ballots: A Thoughtful Exploration of Modern Democracy. I guess you're not too happy with the state of our nation these days: 

We know the machines that count our votes -- including Optical Scanners and Touchscreens -- are controlled by a small cartel of corporations that manufacturer them and program their software. Their owners, stockholders and key staff share, not only extensive criminal histories, but also alliances with the extreme right-wing. Currently I'm compiling the best of the Election Integrity work together onto one webpage: http://www.votescam.org/the_evidence. This will narrow the field of research for people new to the issue, and show what an amazing body of evidence we have that our votes are regularly stolen through centralized computerized rigging. So, with the caveat that people who care need to start exploring that body of evidence themselves, I will point to some highlights about the crooks who manufacture our vote counting machines. Lynn Landes explains on her website that there is no government oversight of our elections, or the elections equipment industry:  "There are no government standards or restrictions on who can sell and service voting machines and systems. Foreigners, convicted criminals, office holders, political candidates, and news media organizations can and do own these companies. . . Many voting machine companies appear to share managers, investors, and equipment which raises questions of conflict-of-interest and monopolistic practices." The two biggest corporations, Diebold and ES&S, were originally owned by two Russian brothers, Todd and Bob Urosevich. They took over other manufacturers until they were the major election equipment suppliers. In 2009, Diebold was sold to ES&S. Currently, the only other company of any significance is based in Canada.

Scott DraughonMy Technology Lawyer, You Must Be Kidding -- Right? Scott Draughon, left, Feb. 22, 2012. The notion that contraception is a key issue in the 2012 Presidential race is insulting to the American people. Unemployment is over 8%, but the Administration wants to debate contraception? Iran is about to obtain nuclear weapons but instead of a serious policy pressuring Iranians, the Administration wants to beat-up on Catholics? Escalating debt is pushing America toward a 90% debt threshold that will make the riots in Greece look like a Sunday school picnic, and the Administration is morally outraged over the issue of free birth control pills? What in the hell is wrong with President Obama, The White House and the Democratic Party? If ever there was an analogy to re-arranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic, this is it!

NPCNational Press Club, ACLU and Heritage Foundation speakers clash over voter identification laws, Lorna Aldrich, Feb. 23, 2012. Laura Murphy of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation clashed repeatedly over the effects of state laws that require voters to show government-issued photo identification at a Feb. 23 National Press Club Newsmakers news conference. Both speakers are portrayed at right in a photo by Noel St. John of the Press Club including also moderator Tejinder Singh.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 15 states now require voters to show photo IDs before voting. In 2012, 31 states have legislation pending that would add or strengthen voter-ID laws, according to the state legislatures conference. pakovsky opened by saying that the key principle of any election is to make sure who is voting by requiring identification and determining citizenship. “Those kinds of requirements also increase public confidence in our election process,” he said. Voter-identification requirements not only prevent fraud by individuals but also prevent double voting and voting in the names of dead people still on the rolls," Spakovsky said. Murphy responded that the statistics were flawed because they did not account for African-American migration to Georgia and Indiana. She added that the statistics could only count people who voted and could not address the number of people prevented from voting because of the laws. Minorities, low income people and rural people faced hardships acquiring photo IDs even in states that issue them for free, Murphy said. She reasoned that many people do not have a birth certificate or other required documentation to support issuance of a photo ID. They may not have the money, time off from jobs, or transportation to acquire the supporting documents, she added. “There are hundreds of polling places but there are not hundreds of places issuing photo IDs,” Murphy said.

 

OpEd News, Has America's stolen election process finally hit prime time? Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman, Dec. 29, 2011. The theft of our elections has finally taken a leap into the mainstream of the American mind. Whether that leads to concrete reforms before another presidential election is stolen remains to be seen. But after more than a decade of ignorance and contempt, it's about time something gets done to restore a semblance of democracy to the nation that claims to be the world's oldest.

Washington Post, Virginia’s ballot-access laws turn tables on GOP, Ezra Klein, Dec. 29, 2011. Of the seven candidates still in serious contention for the Republican nomination for the presidency, only two of them — Mitt Romney and Ron Paul — will be appearing in the Virginia primary on March 6. Republicans are furious. Some of them blame the candidates who failed to qualify. But other Republicans — and most of the candidates — have turned their fire on Virginia. But it runs counter to the efforts Republicans have mounted in dozens of states to make it more difficult for ordinary Americans to participate in the 2012 election. Thirty-four states have introduced — and seven have passed — strict laws requiring photo IDs. It’s not just photo ID laws, of course. Thirteen states have introduced bills to end same-day and election-day voter registration. Nine states have introduced laws restricting early voting, and four more have introduced proposals to restrict absentee voting. Two states have reversed decisions allowing ex-convicts to vote, and 12 states have introduced laws requiring proof of citizenship. Nationally, House Republicans voted to do away with the Election Assistance Commission.

Other News

Associated Press / CBS, WikiLeaks publishes emails on private Intel firm, Feb. 27, 2012. WikiLeaks said Monday it was publishing a massive trove of leaked emails from the geopolitical analysis firm Stratford, shedding light on the inner workings of the Texas-based think tank that bills itself as a leading provider of global intelligence to a range of clients. The online anti-secrecy group said it had more than 5 million Stratford emails and it was putting them out in collaboration with two dozen international media organizations. The small selection so-far published to WikiLeaks' website gave a rare look at the daily routine at a private Intel firm: One described a $6,000-a-month payment made to a Middle Eastern source, another carried bits of gossip dropped by a retired spook, and many were filled with off-color office banter.

Legal Schnauzer, Is Bob Riley Finally About to Come? Roger Shuler, Feb. 27,2012.  Is Bob Riley Finally About to Come Under Scrutiny? Former Alabama Governor Bob Riley is under investigation by the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, according to a new report from The Montgomery Independent.  The news comes as defendants in the federal bingo trial have stated they will not call any witnesses, meaning closing arguments are expected tomorrow and Riley will not be called in the case. That comes as no surprise to those of us who have watched Riley give new meaning to the term "Teflon governor."  But Ellen Brooks, who has been Montgomery County DA since 1993, might try to put a few scratches in Riley's protective coating. We have only one question for Ms. Brooks: What took you so long?  On the premise that late is better than never, let's take a look at the The Montgomery Independent's report:

New York Times, Justice and Open Files, Editorial Board, Feb. 27, 2012.  Prosecutors have a constitutional duty to disclose significant evidence favorable to a criminal defendant. But too often that duty, as laid out by the 1963 Supreme Court decision Brady v. Maryland, is violated. To help ensure compliance, some prosecutors, criminal defense lawyers and legal scholars have sensibly concluded that prosecutors’ files, as a general rule, should be made open to defendants. In cases where turning over evidence might endanger a witness, for example, a judge could allow an exception. A small number of state and local governments have adopted open-file policies that require prosecutors to make available well before trial all information favorable to the defense, without regard to whether such information is likely to affect the outcome of the case. North Carolina and Ohio and places like Milwaukee have found that such policies make prosecutions fairer and convictions less prone to error. The Justice Department should join this movement and set a national example. But instead, it continues to take half-measures in response to its own failures to meet disclosure requirements. It responded to several cases of Brady violations by its attorneys — including egregious misconduct in the case of the late Senator Ted Stevens — by providing more training and by directing each United States attorney’s office to set forth clearly its version of the department’s Brady policy, which is to turn over favorable evidence only if it is “material,” meaning likely to make a difference in the case’s outcome.