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|(CO) 7/09 - PUEBLO: NOT TRUSTING MAIL...
Post Number: 10644
Best of Black Box?
Votes: 4 (A keeper?)
|Posted on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 - 4:48 pm: ||
They're right. Polling place voting takes place under more public scrutiny than mail-in voting.
Furthermore, I've been scrutinizing court transcripts pertaining to the signature verification software, and according to one of the key programmers for VoteRemote software, a fundamental change was performed in the way the signature verification software works. As I see it, this change makes it easier for an insider to pre-vote mail-in or Internet ballots.
According to court records from the Tae Kim vs. Jeffrey Dean case (litigation in which programmers for mail-in signature authentication software were arguing about who should get paid how much for their work), a programmer named Brian Clubb testified that Jeffrey Dean ordered fundamental changes to the software for a rush job in Colorado, and perhaps King County (WA).
Since 2001, both Colorado and the state of Washington have expanded mail-in voting, and as you'll see from the article below, are trying to force everyone to vote by mail, at least in some elections.
ALTERATIONS IN SIGNATURE VERIFICATION PROGRAM
Here is an illustration of the original Vote Remote program and the change made to it on Jeff Dean's orders (if you're receiving this by e-mail, or on the home page and can't see the graphic, click through to the link at bottom of this article; we have a timing issue with our forum software, so if some images fail to load just right-click and choose "show picture" and they'll appear):
Here is a transcript of the portions relevant to this issue:
(full transcript: http://www.blackboxvoting.org/1-10-06-04kim-v-dean.pdf - 1,007 KB)
Tae Kim vs Jeffrey Dean
October 6, 2004
CLUBB - Direct
DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. KEMPER:
Q Good morning, Mr. Clubb. Would you state your name, please, and spell it for the record.
A Brian Clubb, C L U B B.
Q Mr. Clubb, what do you do for a living?
A I'm a systems analyst with Diebold Elections systems.
Q How long have you been a systems analyst?
A Going on three, three-and-a-half years now.
Q Prior to being a systems analyst, what did you do?
A Prior to that I had worked at Spectrum and Global Election Systems in the capacity of a programmer, printing operator, code writer.
Q What year was it that you actually went to work for Jeff Dean?
A That would be 1998.
A We had two projects that had started at the beginning of that year. One was an envelope scanning program where we would take the absentee envelopes that returned and run them through a scanner to pick up a bar code to call up a signature so the county could side-by-side verify to make sure that the voter who signed it was indeed the voter.
Q So you came back to this project regarding Colorado, and how did that progress?
A It was coming along fairly well. We were getting into a preliminary testing phase, and then I started getting a lot of phone calls concerning VoteRemote for Colorado. They had been told that they could upload -- the program works where you upload just the voters you're printing envelopes for, and then as you have subsequent uploads, you just upload that group of voters you're printing more envelopes for.
Colorado had been told that they would be able to upload their entire voter registration system data base into the system. They would then be able to do in their uploads not only add new voters, but also be able to get a report back out saying, okay, if this voter showed up in the subsequent upload, then I need to find where he appeared in the first upload, tell them what envelope number, what ballot number he was assigned so they can pull it back out. It was a fundamental change in the way the program worked. And it was -- they were expecting it to be online any day.
Q When you say Colorado was told that, do you know who told them that the program was capable of doing that?
Q At that point in time was the program capable of doing that?
Q So how did you work it out?
A A lot of hours and a lot of coffee. It was fairly complex, had a special -- if you logged in as one of the Colorado users -- it wasn't the entire state, there were four, maybe two or three counties using it. If you logged in as a Colorado voter, the code would look -- or a Colorado county employee, it would see that you were from Colorado and run a switch to go to a completely other set of code that was trying to feed the same reports and the same output.
Here's an example of the alteration in the program, first for a voter who is mailed an absentee ballot and next, for a voter who was not sent an absentee ballot (instead, an elections office insider pre-voted for them):
Signature Comparison Examples: In the examples below, both Jeff Dean and Deborah Dean would have a registration card, and therefore a scanned image of each of their signatures will be in the main database (now the statewide voter registration database). However, only Jeff requested/was mailed an absentee ballot; Deborah did not request an absentee ballot. Look at the difference in how the program functions before and after the change programmer Brian Clubb was ordered to implement:
As we are seeing, the shift to mail-in voting is systematically being implemented in states that are Democratic strongholds and in swing states. It goes like this:
1) "No fault" or "no excuse" absentee voting is authorized.
2) The number of polling places is reduced
3) The option/recommendation for "permanent absentee" status is authorized
4) Internet voter registration is authorized, removing the physical copy of the registration card signature
5) Forced mail-in voting is implemented, beginning with city and special elections and then, with small counties, then moving to statewide forced mail-in. Mail-in voting removes the physical record of who actually showed up at the polls to vote (the poll book), leaving only the ballot envelope itself. It is possible to determine how many envelopes were mailed, but not necessarily how many of the mailed envelopes were returned by the actual voter.
6) Internet voting is authorized, first for city and local issues, while cooperating secretaries of state do a sales job to persuade us to try it for larger elections. This removes the physical evidence of who showed up at the polls, and also removes the evidence of how many ballots were sent, and in addition removes the physical evidence of the votes themselves.
As we move through the progression, observe how the ability to skip the middle step (comparing signature only with ballots actually mailed) helps insiders who wish to pre-vote some of the real voters.
DO THE SIGNATURES BELOW MATCH?
Why yes, they would be considered a match by most handwriting people.
And they should. That's the same computer file, with a stretch and a hue change, something that can be done automatically by the computer. In fact, scanned signature pictures in any selected bloc can be stretched and seem to have different ink -- and even different stroke width -- using simple graphic techniques. And ALL scanned images can be imported and exported, to make sure incoming voted envelopes will always match the voter reg cards. Using variable printing techniques (much like "mail merge"), these colorful images can even be printed directly onto envelopes, by insiders.
The council members in the article below are right. The public (and candidates, and political parties) don't even have a good grasp of the attack vectors available to insiders with mail-in voting. What I haven't addressed yet is this sentence from the transcript:
"if this voter showed up in the subsequent upload, then I need to find where he appeared in the first upload, tell them what envelope number, what ballot number he was assigned so they can pull it back out. "
Read carefully. This statement contains a pointer to the feature that opens the gate for removal of political privacy.
Pueblo Chieftain - July 27, 2009, by Peter Roper
Council wants voting machines for mayoral vote
Fearing that mail-in ballots aren't secure, City Council will ask the Pueblo County commissioners Tuesday to conduct this November's election the old-fashioned way - with voters going to polling places to decide whether the city will adopt a mayoral system of government.
The commissioners have already endorsed a mail-in ballot for this November, so council will be asking commissioners to reconsider that decision.
Most of council's work session Monday night was devoted to hearing from Interim City Manager Jerry Pacheco on the city's financial condition, but council members knew the basic facts: The city is facing a continuing slump in sales tax revenues that could force deeper budget cuts next year.
Pacheco repeated his forecast that cuts in city staff are likely, but softened that news by saying cuts would come from leaving some of the 41 vacant city jobs empty.
"Right now, I don't anticipate having to look any farther than that," he said after the work session. Council also endorsed Pacheco's request that his job be made permanent, along with that of Interim Deputy City Manager Lara Barrett and Interim Assistant City Manager Jenny Eickelman. All seven council members agreed the top city administrators needed the authority of permanent jobs as they hired senior department heads and negotiated contracts with the city's police, firefighters and general service employees.
"We can't afford to just sit on our hands waiting to see what happens in November," Pacheco said, referring to the citizens group that is petitioning to put a question on the November ballot asking voters to approve a new mayoral form of government.
Which brought council to the question of how to conduct that election.
City Clerk Gina Dutcher explained the city could conduct a mail-in election for about $140,000 or let Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz include the city's candidates and issues on the county's planned mail-in ballot. That option would cost the city about $65,000. Dutcher
noted the commissioners had already endorsed the mail-in election for November -
news that immediately worried council.
Several council members made it clear they didn't trust mail-in elections.
"For an historic election such as this one, I would like voters to make their decision by going to a polling station and casting their vote," Council President Vera Ortegon said.
Dutcher said the city doesn't have the voting machines to do polling stations and that Ortiz cannot loan out the county's state-certified voting machines. That leaves the city with the choice of finding a vendor who will provide voting machines to the city or persuading the county to use its voting machines this November, a more costly election.
At the request of council, Ortegon agreed to meet with the commissioners today.