Viewpoint: Election fraud–poll watchers & exit polls needed

Viewpoint: Election fraud–poll watchers & exit polls needed

By Joe Baker

Election fraud—poll watchers & exit polls needed

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

Last week, we talked about the newer computerized voting machines which use optical character scanners (OCRs). We noted some of the problems with these machines.

Since then, some observers have declared the entire notion of election fraud is “just theory.” If that is true, then why is the public, the voter, frozen out of the process? Why are public elections run by private companies?

These election results are verified by county clerks across the state of Illinois. How are they verified? How do these clerks know, beyond a doubt, that these totals are true and correct? They did not tabulate them as the law prescribes, and they are not allowed to examine the software program that did. So how do they know?

If they don’t know, then the certification constitutes election fraud. As we said last week, these machines leave no audit trail; there is no way to tell what was done or how the totals were reached.

Howard Strauss of Princeton University is an expert on computerized voting. He comments: “When it comes to computerized elections, there are no safeguards. It’s not a door without locks, it’s a house without doors.”

Just theory? Consider this case.

Last month, a circuit court judge in Cook County ordered four jurisdictions in that county to use an OCR voting machine to tally the vote in the Feb. 27 primary. The machine is called a Precinct Ballot Counter 2100, and it contains a two-way modem.

The Illinois State Board of Elections was unhappy with the judge’s order and did not approve or sanction the machines.

One of the jurisdictions, Hoffman Estates, had three candidates for mayor on the ballot. One of them was Christopher Bollyn. Another was the son of the former mayor, and the third was a village trustee, William McLeod.

There was only one vote to be cast on the brief ballot. Chicago media, on election night, reported Bollyn and McLeod were the top choices of the voters and would face each other in the April general election.

When the final totals came out, however, the county clerk announced Bollyn had only

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11 percent of the vote. Under Cook County election law, he can’t run in the April election as a write-in because he lost the primary.

That in itself doesn’t prove election fraud, of course. But the fact remains no one knows, except possibly the county clerk, how that 11 percent total was reached.

Further, when Bollyn requested a hand recount to verify the accuracy of the total, his request was denied. No explanation, just denied.

The clerk in Cook County told Bollyn the state election law really didn’t matter, it is the court’s rulings that are followed. Bollyn had argued that the use of the OCR machines was a violation of state election law. Bollyn also pointed to the lack of security with these machines.

He also cited the law’s provision that authenticating the tally is mandatory for election judges. Case law on the subject says “judges cannot delegate the duties of canvassing.”

The legislature requires machines that furnish absolute secrecy and prevent anyone from seeing vote totals for any particular candidate.

Manipulation of the machine, however, takes place inside the unit and cannot be observed or detected. In Bollyn’s election, the program card that tells the machine what to do was programmed by the vendor, Election Services & Software, at its loop offices the week before the vote.

The cards had to be reprogrammed when the State Election Board found a number of errors with the cards and the machines.

ES&S furnishes these machines to thousands of political jurisdictions across the country. They answer no questions. In fact, when one reporter started asking too many questions, his life was threatened.

In Hoffman Estates, the control card failed to record the vote, and in another precinct there, the machine failed to transmit any data.

Twenty years ago in Florida, when Ken Collier ran for Congress against Claude Pepper, he was leading in the vote count on election night up until about 9 p.m. Then there was a computer “malfunction.” When the computer came back on line, guess what, Collier’s total had not advanced from earlier, while Pepper’s had surged ahead.

It is more than theory; election fraud in this country is fact. So long as the public refuses to believe this is happening and cares only about beer, basketball, phony wresteling and info-mercials, the more freedom will be taken away—we can be sold anything.

Ballot sanctity is a core value of a democratic republic, and it is being stolen even as you read this. Soon your vote will have no value, except to give the corrupt political establishment some raw numbers to play with.

If you would like to be a poll watcher, contact your favorite candidate. If you would like to help with exit polls, call 964-9767 and leave your name and number.

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