December 22, 2004

President of Triad Present During Montgomery Co. Recount; "Handled Glitches"; Recount Precincts Pre-Selected by BOE Staff

Report by Recount Volunteer:

Note: Brent Rapp, Pres. of Triad, was present at the Mont. County recount on Tuesday and personally handled any "glitches" that occurred in the computer recount of the county's punch card votes. Whether he had advance knowledge of which precincts were to be hand counted, I cannot say. BOE staff had selected the 21 precints to be hand counted prior to our arrival. The hand count did produce a change of 8 total votes.

I asked for Mr. Rapp's card and he advised he didn't have any, so I requested he write down his tel.# which he did, plus address.

Dep. Dir. Harsman advised that Triad is a small family firm that maintains all of Mont. Co.'s election equipment and does the programming for each election for less than $25,000/yrs. He further advised the county plans to pay Diebold over ten times that when it switches to electronic voting equipment within the next two years. (Conspiratorial minds might wonder how or why Triad could do this so cheaply.)

I called to Mr. Rapp's attention Congressman Conyer's previous concerns, and asked him if, hypothetically, a program could be developed that would change a program's vote totals and be undetectable. He acknowledged it could, but pointed out that it took two keys to access the software in the server, one held by a D and one by an R. He also said the programmer must sign in each time a change is made in the program and indicate the purpose of the change, and then sign out when the change is complete. (Again, conspiratorial minds might wonder, if someone was going so far as to rig the system, would they have any qualms about falsifying their reason for changing it.)

As some of us watched all of the voters' ballots being carted about during the recount, each precinct separated only by a rubber band, we came to the conclusion that that was about all there was holding our democracy together -- rubber bands.

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