Rockford – Prec. 36 ……. 2

Rockford – Prec. 36 ……. 2

By It was 1970 in Florida. Claude Pepper, already a veteran congressman, was up for re-election. Two investigative reporters, Jim and Ken Collier, launched a grass-roots campaign aimed at unseating Pepper and putting Ken in Congress.

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

It was 1970 in Florida. Claude Pepper, already a veteran congressman, was up for re-election. Two investigative reporters, Jim and Ken Collier, launched a grass-roots campaign aimed at unseating Pepper and putting Ken in Congress.

On election night the two hopeful young campaigners were in front of their television set watching the returns. The numbers were flashed on the screen every 20 minutes. Ken’s percentage of the vote stood at 16 percent and moved no farther.

Then, about 9 p.m. or so, the percentage abruptly jumped to 31 percent. The two were ecstatic. But wait, the news director of the television station suddenly appeared on screen and announced the county’s computer had broken down, and the station would use “projections” until it was restored.

When the next “projection” was reported, some 20 minutes later, Ken Collier’s vote percentage had dropped back to 16 percent and it never went any higher for the rest of the count. No other candidate’s percentage had changed, just Collier’s.

The next day, the two brothers went to the Board of Elections in Miami and asked to inspect the tally sheets. After inspecting the tallies, Ken’s brother Jim commented that it appeared there were more votes than voters. At that point the election supervisor told them to get out, that they were causing a nuisance. When the two insisted the tallies were public record and refused to leave until they saw them all, the supervisor called the police and had them arrested.

The two brothers kept wondering how they got that 31 percent of the vote. Jim and Ken got hold of the readout sheets used by the Miami television stations to report their projections. They discovered the totals from -ONE voting machine had been used to forecast the fate of 250 candidates!

The readouts showed that at the time the “projections” were made, there were no actual votes tabulated. Yet the sheets projected 7,100 votes for Ken Collier and 46,000 votes for Claude Pepper. At 9:21 p.m. the sheets showed Ken Collier’s 31 percent, yet between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., no actual votes had been reported, only predictions.

Most of the vote had been counted by 11 p.m. The question that echoed in Jim and Ken Collier’s heads was: how could the television station give exact totals on 40 races and 250 candidates based on the totals from only one voting machine and do it in 24 minutes? One other tv channel did it in just four minutes!

The brothers did some more checking. They discovered the total votes in the primaries, the runoff election and the final election all were identical. What’s more, they matched exactly with the television stations’ “projections.”

When the brothers inquired how this all worked, they were met with stonewalling by the man who had programmed the television station’s computer. They next learned that the precinct totals reportedly were called in to the stations by members of the League of Women Voters. These were supposed to be phoned in from sample precincts. The Collier brothers went to the president of the Miami League and asked for a list of League members who were working the precincts. They were astounded to learn there were no women of the League there. Told the television station said it got its numbers from the League, the president of the League burst into tears and said she “didn’t want to get caught in this thing.”

The Colliers took their story to the press and their evidence to the FBI. A year later absolutely nothing had been done about any of it.

Much more followed as the brothers pressed their investigation. It would span 25 years. They

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put it all in a book titled Votescam: The Stealing

of America.

Fast forward to the election of November 1998. On the Monday before election day ABC News, on its website, reported the final results of the vote. Sam Donaldson quickly materialized on the tube to explain that the totals were just “a sample page,” presented to see how it would look. Nonetheless, on election night the vote totals reported were almost identical to the “samples.”

Now we’re just past, or trying to get past, election 2000. Again, the sticking point is the state of Florida. Citrus country is notorious for vote fraud. About two years ago, the Miami Herald won a Pulitzer prize for exposing massive vote fraud in the election for mayor of Miami. The courts threw out the “winner” and installed the other guy as mayor.

Well, folks, that’s nothing compared to what’s really going on. This whole charade, including the cliffhanger race and the whole recount scenario, was decided and programmed months ago. In fact, an anti-fraud group, called Network America, predicted last August that that is exactly what would happen, and that George W. Bush had already been chosen by the ruling elite as the winner.

But how could all this fraud be possible and who is doing it? It began about 1970 with the advent of computerized voting. It was then that elected officials, charged with tabulating the votes in each election, abdicated their statutory responsibility and stepped aside.

Hold on! Aren’t computers supposed to be

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very accurate, very high-tech and all that? What’s going on? Here’s what one alternative newspaper-The Spotlight-had to say about that: “Across the United States, in precincts from coast to coast, computers equipped with cellular telephony and two-way modems count the votes. These machines, designed and operated by private companies, and the laws that ushered in their use, have essentially disenfranchised citizen election judges from the vote-counting process and relegated them to insignficant roles as public servants working for private business on election night.”

Tests of computer-counted vote systems in Illinois, between 1983-1987, showed substantial errors in counting in more than 20 percent of the tests. Yet, nobody in the Illinois State Board of Elections, before the current election, was at all concerned about vote fraud. A 25-year member of the board, Rick Fulle, who is assistant director of voting systems, admitted: “You can’t secure any computer system.” That means you can’t verify that any election tabulated by computer-based machines is honest and accurate.

Fulle said the error rate today with these ballot counting machines in Illinois is 16 percent. He expected a large number of machines to fail on election night. Michael Harty, who used to have Fulle’s job, said he can’t understand why nobody in the state’s election machinery cares. “At one point,” Harty said, “we had tabulation errors in 28 percent of the systems tested, and nobody cared.” Fulle responded by saying that nothing in the Illinois Election Code requires the count to be accurate (or honest).

The basic role of election judges then, which is to count and verify the accuracy and fairness of the vote, has been taken away and compromised with tabulating machines operated by private companies answerable to no one. Election judges are only required to tally the number of ballots used and make sure their totals match the machine’s figures. They count NO votes.

Rockford, for the first time this year, used machines built by Elections Systems & Software, Inc. of Omaha, Nebraska. Winnebago County used a tabulating system supplied by Fidlar & Doubleday of Moline. Rockford officials made much of the fact that their new machines used an optical scanning device which, supposedly, made an accurate count almost a certainty.

So what’s wrong with that? Here’s The Spotlight again: “What is particularly troubling about these machines is the fact that they contain an internal modem, which enables anyone with a modem-equipped computer, from hackers and vendors to telephone company personnel and politicians, to access and alter the computer’s tally of the votes.”

In Winnebago County’s case, the software is provided and operated by Fidlar Doubleday, and has been for several years. They are the only ones who know the access codes and what they do. Neither the county clerk, his chief deputy or any member of his staff knows specifically what that software is doing. Fidlar and Doubleday answers no questions.

Back in 1988, George Bush, Sr. ran against Sen. Robert Dole in the Republican primary in New Hampshire. Going into the election the polls showed Dole leading by 8 percentage points. The voting was done with the use of a 200-pound monster called the “Shoupatronic ,” the product of a company owned by Robert Shoup.

It had all sorts of telephone lines connected to it and a hidden computer chip inside.

Votescam alleges that Bush promised John Sununu, then governor of New Hampshire and a computer engineering whiz, that if he could deliver the state for Bush, he would make Sununu White House Chief of Staff. Lo and behold, there was a computer breakdown. Remember the Colliers’ 31 percent? When the machines were back on line, Bush had won the election by nine percentage points. Sununu got the post.

On Friday, Nov. 11, 2000 ABC News featured Mr. Shoup on its 20/20 magazine program. He was touted as the savior of the electoral process because he has developed a new computerized voting machine in which the voter casts his ballot simply by touching the candidate’s name on the screen. Oh this would be the greatest thing since money! What ABC did not bother to tell us was that Mr. Shoup, sometime after the New Hampshire vote, was convicted of two counts of vote fraud in Philadelphia. Further, his new machine contains a modem that makes it highly susceptible to tampering. Winnebago County is looking at these touch-screen machines.

Are you still ready to bet the family fortune that these employees of private voter machine companies are beyond the temptation of bribery and would never do anything dishonest to jeopardize the sanctity of your vote?

Elsewhere on page 4 of this edition , columnist , Ed Henry talks about the television networks propensity for trying to be first or claiming to be first with the returns. The whole thing is a farce. All the networks plus some newspapers and a wire service get their numbers from the same source. It is called the Voter News Service or VNS, and it is located on 34th Street in New York City’s Manhattan borough.

Voter News Service is a consortium of the five major networks-ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and FOX-plus The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Associated Press. It is a secretive, operation that shuts out the public and says nothing about what it does or how it does it. It puts out the “exit poll” projections within minutes of the polls closing and sometimes before, even-sometimes—before the election.

During the recent election night coverage, ABC analyst Mark Halprem let the whole game slip out. “We have a consortium…We do it faster than the Secretary of State’s office…,” Halprem said. When

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speaking of the general election process, Halprem said there was “some fraud in most cases, some human error in almost every case.”

If you’ve ever wondered who counts your vote and how do they do it, Voter News Service has the answer, at least as far as votes for president, vice-president and Congress are concerned. Every county using a vendor for tabulation, and that’s about all of them, has a direct line to VNS in New York.

The arrogant and blatant manipulation of elections by this outfit and the networks and some other media has reached such a point that it has attracted the attention of Congress. The script this time may have gone a bit too far. Rep. Billy Tauzin, Republican of Louisiana, who chairs the House Telecommunications Subcommittee, plans to hold hearings on the networks’ involvement in possible election rigging. Ironically, Tauzin’s home state is notorious for election fraud and there have been allegations there about this election.

Other accusations of vote fraud have been heard in Texas, Arizona, California, Washington, Idaho, New York, Wisconsin and several other states. It is penny ante stuff compared to what the networks have been pulling off every election with the complicity of the two major parties.

The celebrated exit polls are a joke. First of all they are few and far between. Apparently CNN did conduct one poll this time in Loves Park. The pollster works for all the networks through VNS. What polling there is often is done between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., thus missing the bulk of the voters. In order to produce the kind of projections aired by the networks in so brief a time after the polls close, there would have to be a great many more poll takers in many, many more precincts. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

In the 1992 primaries, VNS claimed they polled 3,800 voters, using 38 precincts. They reported the outcome at one minute after the polls closed. Simple math shows that is an impossibility. Voters would have to be lined up every hour during the day for interviews in order to report the voting patterns of several thousand voters.

The central fact is that all the television networks reported exactly the same figures at 7:01 p.m. that day. Did they all use the same sample precincts for their exit polls? The answer is they all got their figures from Voter News Service (it had a different name at that time).

Let’s go back to the voting machines for a moment. The voting machine known as the Precinct Ballot Counter 2100 was designed right here in Rockford, Illinois by Elections Systems & Software, Inc. of Omaha, Nebraska. The machines we just used in the city were programmed in Chicago at the company’s offices there.

The company makes several other voting

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machines as well.

Cook County bought almost 5,000 of the machines for $25 million to use in Chicago and its suburbs. ES&S supplies machines to some 2,200 jurisdictions in 49 states. They also supplied tabulating machines to Venezuela. The head of that country’s elections council charges the company did not meet its commitments and, because many of its machines failed, has destabilized the country’s electoral process.

The PBC machines contain a modem made by Novatel Wireless, a company based in San Diego, California .A company spokesman said the machines are at risk for hacking and that they can be accessed anytime they are turned on, providing an individual has the Internet Protocol or the access code.

In 1988 the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Computer Systems Laboratory issued a report for the U.S. Commerce Department, dealing with the security and reliability of computerized voting systems. It documented numerous instances of fraudulent changes in the computer program or in computer cards that manipulate the program. It also documented that false voting summaries had been introduced through changes in data stored in removable storage units that had been used in precinct-located, vote-counting machines.

Rockford’s voting machines use removable storage units or “memory packs” and they have control cards. The cards were supplied to ES&S by Vikant Corp., a Chicago company owned by Alex Kantarovich of Minsk, in the former Soviet Union. Kantarovich won’t say where the cards come from or who made them. He says only that they weren’t made in this country. The cards tell the machine what to do.

A Rockford spokesman for ES&S defends the voting machines and claims they are not subject to fraudulent manipulation. He said that on the day we learned Microsoft’s computers and source codes had been “hacked” for a week.

A computer is only as good as the operator and the individuals that set them up. There is no such thing as 100 percent security with computerized voting systems. It is true there have been few convictions for tampering with automated ballots, and there likely won’t be any, barring gross stupidity on the part of the perpetrator. The reason is the machines leave no audit trail. They erase all evidence of vote fraud as soon as the totals are altered. In other words, fraud may well occur, but the system makes it nearly impossible to prove.

Still, what we know about the workings of these machines seems to bear out the observation of candidate Pat Buchanan that “American elections are a fraud and a scam.”

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