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The Coalition for Visible Ballots
The Coalition for Visible Ballots
The Coalition for Visible Ballots

From the Coalition Chairman, Vickie Karp
August 19, 2004

Yesterday (August 18th)  Bev Harris and her team of experts, including a brilliant computer programmer, Dr.Hugh Thompson, did the Diebold hack for members of the California Sec. of State's Voting Panel in Sacramento .  They (the State) carefully rearranged her meeting from last week, (after she had driven 10 hours from Washington state to be there), when all eight members of the panel were present, to this week, when only three members were present.  (Bev guessed that they did this so they wouldn't have a quorum present.)  They had other guests there, too, at Bev's requests:  an accountant, since she uses the analogy that running an election is essentially bookkeeping, and that all records for an election should be kept in the same responsible way as a good set of books is kept; and their own computer programming expert from the state's side (who is also one of the Voting Panel).  ;Also present was one of the attorneys from thei r AG's office.

Bev and Hugh Thompson clearly demonstrated her latest bombshell finding:  that the Diebold GEMS software, in most versions or maybe all that are currently in use around the country (this I would have to doublecheck with her) has a hidden, second set of books on the central tabulator that can be accessed from a "back door" where, to use one of Bev's earlier phrases, "any hacker with a laptop" could jump right in and change the final vote totals.  Hugh Thompson also demonstrated that even a hacker who didn't have Microsoft Access on their computer, the program necessary to run an election on the GEMS software, could write a simple 7 LINES of code and still hack in anyway.  He affirmed that "hundreds of thousands" of people out there had the level of expertise to do just that.

Also present was Andy Stephenson, former candidate for Secretary of State for Washington, with evidence that one of Diebold's programmers named Jeffrey Dean (now in jail) had also been in jail prior to being hired by Diebold for 23 counts of felony theft, including charges of embezzling using sophisticated software programming methods to commit his crimes.

The invisible "second set of books" appeared on the GEMS program versions that came out just after Jeffrey Dean was kept on as a consultant for Diebold after they purchased Global Election Systems (GES) a few years ago.

Probably the most notable thing about this event was the lack of any clear outrage or shock on the part of the Sec. of State's witnesses, or any commitment to take any particular action based on what they had just seen.  They thanked Bev for coming in and said they would "take the information under consideration" or some such BS language.  No one on "our" side believes they will do anything with the information.  We all hope we are wrong.

Meanwhile, "60 Minutes", who wanted to tape that event but was denied access to the meeting, will be flying Bev, Andy, and Hugh up to Toronto, Canada next week to film the hack on real election equipment in one of Canada's (or maybe THE ONLY in Canada) election center.  Bev commented on the irony of going to Canada to prove election fraud in the US.  Canada also has considerable usage of Diebold touchscreens.  The 60 Minutes reporter says the show will air on September 29th.

The invisible "second set of books" is present on Diebold's optical scan counting software as well, not just the DRE's.  This is pretty bad stuff!