2000: Rs block manual recount after memory card is found to have inexplicably deleted 16k votes from Gore’s total on a Diebold machine in Volusia county; no other races were impacted. Bush declared victorious by 537 votes. History forever altered. 1/
Bev Harris later shows that a convicted embezzler had joined Diebold as its Sr VP & largest shareholder in Sept 2000. His crimes involved sophisticated computer tampering. Media yawns. 2/
Harri Hursti later shows that Diebold memory cards can be hacked without detection by subtracting votes from one candidate and adding the same number of votes to the other candidate. Documentary featuring the Hursti hack is nominated for an Emmy. Media yawns. 2/
Clint Curtis later testifies to the House Judiciary Committee that Rep. Tom Feeney (whose district included Volusia a former running mate of Jeb Bush, had asked him to design a vote flipping program for the 2000 election in Florida. Media yawns. 3/
2002: Congress passes Help America Vote Act, providing billions of dollars for new voting machines to replace punch card systems. The Bill allies money to be spent on expensive new paperless touchscreens, which make manual recounts impossible. 4/
Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer are the only two senators to oppose HAVA. Bill passes. 5/
2002: Georgia becomes first state to use paperless touchscreen voting machines statewide. The election results in several devastating & unexpected Democratic losses, including the US senate and governorship. A manual recount is impossible bc machines are paperless. 6/
2002: Alabama’s popular Democratic Governor, Don Siegelman, runs for re-election. He is declared victorious but then loses after 6k votes are subtracted from his total in a Republican county in the middle of the night. 7/
Siegelman is told that the earlier total had been inflated due to a “glitch.” Siegelman requests a recount of the one precinct, but Rs seize the ballots and illegally certify the result. 8/
2004: The DHS issues a bulletin warning that Diebold machines can be hacked remotely. The media yawns. 9/
2004: Hillary Clinton introduces a bill requiring voting machine paper trails. It doesn’t pass.
She warns that Republicans cld use paperless machines from Republican-controlled companies to hack elections without detection. Media yawns. 10/
2003: Diebold’s CEO, a Bush donor, promises in a fundraising letter to deliver Ohio to Bush in 2004. Media reports, but moves on quickly. 11/
12/ 2004: Bush defeats Kerry in Ohio. Before the election, Ohio’s Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell, tried to block exit polls, but was overruled in court. The US at thus time was funding an exit poll in Ukraine to confirm the legitimacy of a crucial presidential election there.
13/ Although reported totals showed that Bush had won in 2004, the exit polls showed that Kerry had won. The greatest discrepancies were in the swing states, especially Ohio.
14/ Ohio attorneys later discover that Blackwell had secretly routed Ohio’s results through a backup server hosted by a company called Smartech in TN. Smartech was also hosting the servers for the Bush Administration’s private emails.
15/ The Smartech server kicked in at 11:14 pm. The routing of results through Smartech remains a mystery. It was designed as a backup server for use only if the official server (designed by a Republican IT guru named Mike Connell) failed.
16/ The Ohio attorneys filed a lawsuit that accused Rove of orchestrating election fraud in Ohio 2004. Connell was deposed (he had objected to the subpoena, but was overruled in court). He testified that, as far as he knew, the official website didn’t fail.
17/ At this point, Ohio had a new SOS, Jennifer Brunner (D). She produced an architecture map which suggested that the majority of Ohio counties had sent their election night results to the Ohio SOS website in 04. These are the results that wld have been re-routed to Smartech.
18/ Brunner said her office been unable to determine how many Ohio counties, if any, had sent their results directly from the county central tabulators, as opposed to using separate computers to protect the totals on the county central tabulators.
19/ The House Judiciary passed a resolution to subpoena Blackwell to testify in person, as he had refused to do so voluntarily. As far as I can tell, they never followed through on the subpoena. Pls let me know if u think I’m wrong.
20/ Brunner also told the media that, according to employees, the Blackwell administration had shredded documents before leaving office.
21/ As for Kerry, despite promising his supporters to make every vote count, he had conceded the election. The Green Party requested a recount. Under Ohio law, the recount compared a manual 3% count to a 3% scan. It wld proceed to a full recount only if the partial didn’t match.
22/ The recount was rigged by election workers who were caught having preselected and counted the ballots to be used, rather than selecting them randomly. They were indicted for it.
23/ A Triad contractor was also reported to have had remote access to county tabulators in at least two counties.
24/ The Triad contractor also handed out cheat sheets to help election workers ensure the manual and machine recounts matched.
25/ It wasn’t until many years later that Kerry admitted that his own campaign had been suspicious of the voting machines. He told Brian Lehrer that they had gone to court to review the machines’ algorithms, but were thrown out due to the proprietary nature of the software.
26/ Some have speculated that Kerry had conceded bc he didn’t want to be called a “sore loser.” In 2000, Republicans called the Gore/Lieberman campaign “Sore Lieberman” for contesting the results.
27/ After Connell testified in deposition, the Ohio attorneys subpoenaed him to testify at trial. They hoped he would say more than what he had said in his deposition where he had denied knowledge of election fraud. But Connell died in a private plane crash before the trial.
28/ Even before he was deposed, an IT expert named @Spoonamore
, who had known Connell for years, had declared in an affidavit that Connell was a devout Catholic who had once admitted to him that, in his zeal to save the unborn, he may have turned a blind eye to election rigging.
29/ In 2008, Obama ran against McCain. Again Ohio was predicted to be crucial. By this time, Ohio had a new SOS, Democrat Jennifer Brunner, who told McClatchy that she had terminated all outside contracts (eg, the contracts with Mike Connell and Smartech).
30/ Manafort at this time had an IT company called 3EDC. 3EDC’s website said the company had a strategic alliance with New Media (a Mike Connell company) and Airnet (Smartech’s parent company). Under pressure from staffers, McCain terminated the contract with 3edc.
31/ The litigation over the 2004 election was active during the 2008 election as well. In fact, Connell finally submitted to his deposition the day b4 the 2008 election. Even Rove predicted that Obama wld win. And he did. Unlike 04, the polls had correctly predicted the winner.
32/ In 2012, Ohio was again predicted to be a crucial swing state. Right b4 the election, Bob Fitrakis, who had litigated the 04 election-fraud case (until Connell died) received a tip that voting machine vendor ES&S had installed uncertified software patches throughout Ohio.
33/ I forgot to mention that Diebold had installed uncertified patches throughout Georgia before the 2002 election.
34/ Fitrakis went to court to try to inspect the patches but it was the day before (or thereabout) and the court said no. The judge did, however, say she’d be happy to take the case after the election if he saw reason to come back.
35/ The polls had consistently showed Obama in the lead, so Rs began claiming the polls were skewed. A website called Unskew the Polls gained popularity w/ the GOP. Rove was among those who insisted the polls were bunk & that Romney wld win.
36/ At 11-something pm, the Ohio Secretary of State’s website froze. When it went back up, it showed Obama had won the state. Rove, who was live on Fox News, objected when Fox News called the state for Obama.
37/ Rove was so freaked out that Megan Kelly and the camera crew walked back stage to consult with the normally offstage decision desk. The decision desk affirmed the call. Obama had won.
38/ White hat hackers from the collective anonymous later claimed to have blocked an attempted hack of the 2012 election by minions of Karl Rove. But they provided no proof. In the end, they were no more transparent than the voting machines themselves.
39/ As in 2008, the polls had correctly predicted the winner of the 2012 presidential election.
40/ With Obama having won two elections, Democrats (who had previously prioritized election-security reform) stopped prioritizing election-security reform. As a result, they were caught with their pants down when Russia attacked America’s election infrastructure in 2016.
41/ In an attempt to reassure the public, people in positions of trust provided false assurances. They told us our system was too decentralized to allow an outcome-altering attack (which was false).
42/ They told us that remote hacking wld be almost impossible bc voting machines supposedly never connect to the internet, which was also false. Plus, hacking by corrupt insiders (whether funded domestically or by a nation state) was also a threat.
43/ Although Russia was attacking the election to help Trump, the Obama administration underplayed the concerns, and Trump claimed the election wld be rigged against HIM.
44/ In response to Trump’s accusation, Obama and Hillary claimed the election was secure, even though it wasn’t. God this is depressing to write.
45/ Hillary declared that, unlike Trump, SHE was prepared to accept the election outcome, no matter who won.
46/ The pre-election polls and exit polls had predicted that Hillary would win. But the reported electronic results showed that Trump had won instead. Experts begged Hillary to seek a recount, but she refused.
47/ The experts then asked the Green Party (Jill Stein) if it would request a recount, as it had done in 2004. Many Ds didn’t trust Stein bc she had been photographed dining with Putin and Michael Flynn in Moscow, but there was no one else with standing to go to.
48/ Allies of Trump opposed the recount, and the courts & election officials effectively derailed it. In Wisconsin, most large counties refused to conduct it manually. In MI, it excluded machines w/ broken seals & precincts where the # of voters & the # of votes didn’t match.
49/ The MI recount was also shut down after three days. The PA recount never got off the ground. Trump would be America’s next POTUS.
50/ In 2017, the DHS admitted that it had conducted no forensic analysis of voting equipment and said that it didn’t intend to do so later.
51/ In June 2017, the Intercept published a classified NSA report that had been leaked by a young veteran and NSA contractor. The report showed that Russia’s attack was more serious than the public had been led to believe, altho it did not indicate that vote tallies were attacked
52/ The Intercept did not protect the identity of the woman who leaked the report whose name is #RealityWinner
. She was arrested and sentenced to 5 years in prison where she remains to this day.
53/ In 2020, the book Rigged reported for the first time that, according to 4 senior members of the Obama administration, Russia had been in a position to edit actual vote tallies in 2016.
54/ Before Rigged came out, former Senate majority leader Harry Reid had speculated that Russia had in fact changed vote tallies and this was why the vote totals were off.
55/ The 4 senior members of the Obama administration scoffed at Reid’s remarks, with one crucial caveat. They couldn’t rule it out. They “saw no evidence,” but without robust manual audits and/or a forensic analysis, this absence of evidence was not exactly compelling.
56/ But Senator Ron Wyden appears to have been the only member of Congress to balk at the Senate Intelligence Committee’s similar assertion that it had “seen no evidence” of edited vote tallies in 2016. If u don’t look, why wld u expect to see evidence?
57/ The DHS in 2016 did apparently have permission from most or all state election offices to monitor their systems (whatever that means), but did NOT have that permission or ability for the vast majority of the many thousands of local election offices in charge of vote tallying.
58/ In the run up to the 2020 election, Wyden wrote the #SAFEAct
, which wld have required robust manual election audits and banned internet connectivity to voting systems. It passed the Democratic-led House, but the GOP-led Senate killed it.
59/ The polls predicted that Trump wld lose in 2020, & Ds prepared for a blue wave down ballot too. Months before the election, the CNP and other allies of Trump prepared in secret to call the election illegitimate, but @JamieMCorey
got the tapes and published them.
60/ As predicted, Trump lost. So he claimed w/o proof that the election was rigged against him. He and his attorneys used messaging that mixed real vulnerabilities—which the GOP had refused to address before the election—w/ fake experts and a firehose of falsehoods.
61/ Although Biden won (consistent with the polls), the Democrats suffered poll-defying down ballot losses. There was no blue wave. But Ds did nothing to investigate those unanticipated losses.
62/ In response to Trump’s claim that the election was rigged, Ds claimed it was secure, even though the GOP had ensured that the much-needed fixes in the #SAFEAct
were not in place.
63/ Meanwhile, Trump worked his supporters up into a murderous frenzy with half/truths and lies about the election. Thousands of them stormed the Capitol. People died.
64/ Trump eventually left the White House but continues to claim the election was rigged. In response, Ds continue to claim it was secure, even though we still don’t have the much-needed reforms in the #SAFEAct
65/ HR1 and SR1 are not strong enough on election security (altho they are crucial on other issues). They would fund robust manual election audits, but not require them, much less require them for all races on the ballot. The midterms will be here before we know it.
66/ The end.
67/ Apologies for lack of links; normally I never post without sources. This was kind of an experiment, as I’ve been going back over past elections for a project. Here’s an article where I discuss the Volusia error and felon at Global/Diebold w/ links. https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/11/05/voting-machines-what-could-possibly-go-wrong/
68/ This is a link to the Emmy nominated documentary Hacking Democracy, which discusses the @HarriHursti
hack, which was demonstrated at the invitation of @Ionsancho1
, who served as Leon County, FL’s election supervisor for many years. http://www.hackingdemocracy.com/
69/ Here I discuss the Georgia 2002 and 2017 elections, as well as the Help America Vote Act, with citations. https://link.medium.com/IKkpw6CEffb
70/ Here I discuss the Alabama 2002 election with citations. https://link.medium.com/eRyn12NEffb
71/ / “Only Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer of New York voted against HAVA.” https://prospect.org/features/2000-sequel/
72/ In 2004, Hillary warned that paperless voting machines could enable Republican-leaning vendors to steal elections. https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/how-they-could-steal-election-time/
73/ Here I discuss the 2004 election and re-routing of results through Smartech with citations. https://link.medium.com/z05ZJceFffb
74/ Here I discuss the corrupted 2004 recount with citations (mostly to the House Judiciary report). https://link.medium.com/TQLu9plFffb
76/ Death of Mike Connell who had been subpoenaed for trial in the case alleging election fraud in 04. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/republican-it-guru-dies-in-plane-crash/
77/ Source: in 2008, Ohio had a Democratic SOS who terminated contracts with outside consultants (eg, Mike Connell & Smartech) before the 2008 election. https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article24508330.html
79/ 2015 interview of John Kerry by Brian Lehrer where Kerry says his campaign was suspicious of the voting machines & went to court b4 the election to inspect the machine algorithms, but they were turned down due to the proprietary nature of the code. https://www.wnyc.org/story/john-kerry-reflects/
80/ Karl Rove’s election night melt down in 2012 over Ohio.
81/ In 2018, in response to an inquiry by Senator Wyden, ES&S finally admits, despite prior denials, that it sold systems with remote access software between 2000-06. It refuses to ID it’s remote access customers. by Kim Zetter https://www.vice.com/en/article/mb4ezy/top-voting-machine-vendor-admits-it-installed-remote-access-software-on-systems-sold-to-states
82/ In 2015, ES&S began installing wireless modems in ballot scanners. The modems connect to the internet, but ES&S had claimed they didn’t. By Kim Zetter https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/elections/online-vulnerable-experts-find-nearly-three-dozen-u-s-voting-n1112436
83/ ES&S is America’s largest voting machine vendor. It accounts for at least 40% of US election equipment. https://trustthevote.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/2017-whartonoset_industryreport.pdf
84/ ES&S acquired Diebold in 2009. The companies were already related. Diebold’s President for many years, Bob Urosevich, had founded ES&S with his brother, who remained at ES&S as a Senior executive.
85/ The DOJ forced ES&S to dissolve Diebold in anti-trust grounds, but ES&S kept most of Diebold’s contracts.
86/ Georgia in 2018 when it still used Diebold/ES&S touchscreens. 127k missing black votes. https://www.theroot.com/exclusive-thousands-of-black-votes-in-georgia-disappea-1832472558
87/ Poll tapes showed that Diebold:ES&S touchscreens in Shelby County, TN had also last black votes in 2015, as reported by Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-voting-technology/
88/ The Republican election administrator in Shelby County, TN abruptly resigned soon after the Bloomberg story broke.
discovered the vanishing black votes in Shelby County, TN, as reported by Bloomberg. He is now an election commissioner in Shelby County, TN. I interviewed Bennie here.
90/ Shelby County is largely Democratic but has a Republican-led county election commission due to TN state law. That commission has been champing at the bit to replace the state’s Diebold/ES&S touchscreens (bought in 06) w/ controversial new ES&S touchscreens.
91/ The Democratic-led funding commission has pushed back and called for #handmarkedpaperballots
(exception for voters w/ disabilities). The Republican-led election commission has threatened to sue over this standoff.
95/ Correction post 3. Curtis did not say it was for the 2000 election. He said the request was made in September or October 2000. It cld NOT have been for 2000 bc the alleged request was for touchscreens. FL didn’t use touchscreens until 2002. Started moving that way in 2001.
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