Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bradblog: Whistleblower Warned Texas, Ohio of E-Voting 'Fraud' Concerns in 2004! (SOSs ignored him.)

100,000+ Votes Were Errantly Added by Hart Machines in a Single County in Last Tuesday's Primary via Flawed, Paperless 'eSlate' Touch-Screen System!
Former Hart Employee, Tarrant County TX Election Worker Notified State, Legal Authorities in 2004 About Serious Voting Machine Problems, Procedures...All Warnings and Complaints Ignored

Continuing in an exclusive BRAD BLOG series on Voting Machine Vendor and Election Fraud whistleblowers, another insider, from yet another voting machine company, has now come forward to reveal a myriad of known problems inside both the company and in several states and counties with whom they do business.

During last Tuesday's Primary Election in the state of Texas, scores of "computer glitches" -- as voting officials and electronic voting machine vendors like to refer to them -- were revealed occurred across the state. Many of those "glitches" occurred on electronic voting equipment manufactured and supplied to various counties in Texas by the Hart InterCivic company.

One such "glitch" occurred in Texas' Tarrant County, which encompasses Fort Worth. That "glitch" resulted in some 100,000 votes being added to the result totals across the county's paperless Hart-Intercivic "eSlate" touch-screen voting system.

Letters sent by William Singer of Fort Worth, a former Hart InterCivic "technical specialist" and current Tarrant County election worker, to state officials back in July of 2004 warned of exactly such problems. The letters, obtained and published on The BRAD BLOG (link below), reveal that there were serious problems and concerns of possible election system meltdowns that were already apparent with the Hart machines in Tarrant County long ago. However, the warning letters were all but ignored by both election officials and even state law enforcement officials.

In Singer's July 29, 2004 letter to Texas Secretary of State, Geoffrey S. Conner, Singer listed the following problems, which Conner ignored:

  • The audit trail for Hart's election generation software (BOSS) had invalid entries. Hart was aware of this and declined to fix it, and Robert also declined to fix it. I informed him that I had developed a simple, reliable, and effective method to remove the invalid entries (while at Hart), but he still refused to fix the information in the audit database.
  • The public test was fake. We ran a public test but discovered a series of problems with the election we were setting up, and in the course of resolving those issues had substantially different election databases to be used in the actual election. I had inquired about rerunning the public test, but was told it was unnecessary, troublesome, and pointless. ... There was also no record of adjustments made for each new iteration of the election databases.
  • The Hart technician that arrived onsite in Tarrant County admitted to being untrained, the company declined my offer to help, and instead allowed their untrained technician to make changes to Tarrant's election computers. The work was done improperly and had to be fixed twice, and was only finally completed because I intervened and corrected several problems so that the county could continue preparing for the next election.
  • Hart admitted to Tarrant County that votes are sometimes lost when using the disabled voting units
  • ES&S was pressuring Tarrant County into using unapproved software for election day, and told the staff there that they were also pressuring other jurisdictions to do the same thing. ... Tom Eschberger, a vice-president for ES&S, was the person who actually came onsite and tried to apply this pressure, and also asked what kind of deal they could offer to get Tarrant County to stop using Hart Intercivic's products.
  • There was a computer used to combine results from two separate vendor systems which did not have a password. I attempted to add one, but was ordered by Robert not to, on the grounds that it was a "change". ... This computer was the final reporting machine which would be used to generate reports for, among others, the SOS office, the press, and the parties, so the lack of a password was a real concern.
  • In my work area, where there were several computers used to program the elections, there was no physical security of any kind. I didn't have a closed office much less a lockable door
  • Anti-tamper devices provided for some of the computers were used improperly or not at all.
  • Hart did not release bug lists to Tarrant County for their software, and ES&S did so only intermittently and did not respond when I asked for updates
  • Tarrant County had no organized backups nor any procedure for doing so, nor any regular or safe way to maintain such backups.
  • During several Tarrant County elections Hart performed on the fly report fixes during elections, even while results were coming in.
Singer concludes his letter to Connor by noting; "As you, and other election officials must be aware, running a complex election is never as simple or easy as the law allows or we would like to believe. And I have recognized these realities in my consideration of the behavior and choices of others, and tried to judge them only on the more severe issues of which I am allowed, under confidentiality agreements, to speak."

The letter to Blackwell describes a number of alarming concerns about the electronic voting systems of Hart Intercivic, their gaming of the testing procedures, as well as the conduct of their highest-level officials.

Among the complaints and concerns contained in his letter to Ohio SoS J. Kenneth Blackwell are both "Fraudulent Acts" and "Fraudulent Claims":
  • The computer submitted to the examiners in Ohio for security testing was setup specifically for this test. Since I was the person who actually designed and setup the current configurations I was the only one who could have setup such a computer for the review. Not only was I not permitted to do so, I did not even discover Hart had shipped a computer to the state until after the review had started.
  • Hart sales staff has claimed to the Ohio SOS office that results are not transmitted over public networks. This is untrue, and indeed, absurd," wrote Singer. "Unofficial results are transmitted through public phone lines, and even mediocre 'hackers' can access such networks via the internet.

Read the complete article and see the documents at http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00002542.htm


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