February 14, 2006

CASE OHIO Newsletter


Editor note: In Ohio, the Republican dominated government passed HB3, which effectively disenfranchised up to 3 hundred thousand eligible (and mostly democratic) voters, while at the same time making a recount unaffordable, prohibiting a legal challenge to the election result, and…believe it or not…removing the requirement for post election audit of electronic voting machines.

Ohio’s HAVA: make it Harder for Americans to Vote Act

From the CASE Ohio press release: In summary, the worst features of HB 3 are in the recent version and include:

Restrictive ID requirements (Sec. 3505.18)
Deletion of the recount as machine audit (Sec. 3506.20)
Unaffordable recount cost (Sec. 3515.03)
Prohibition of election contests (Sec. 3515.08)
CASE Ohio, Ohio Vigilance, and the J30 Coalition strongly opposed HB3, in addition Common Cause listed additional groups opposed:

Common Cause/Ohio
League of Women Voters of Ohio
People for the American Way Ohio
Ohio Conference of NAACP
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Ohio Citizen Action
Greater Cleveland Voter Coalition
League of Young Voters OHIO
Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)


Scott+Scott, LLC to File Lead Plaintiff Motion in Class Against Diebold This Monday

Saturday, February 11, 2006, Finanzen.net

Excerpt from the article:

COLCHESTER, Conn., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ — Scott+Scott, LLC (http://www.scott-scott.com/), which initiated on December 13, 2005 the first securities fraud class action against Diebold, Inc. ("Diebold" or the "Company") and certain of its officers and directors, will file a Motion for Lead Plaintiff and Lead Counsel this Monday, February 13, 2006.

According to the complaint, Diebold "remained unable to assure the quality and working order of its voting machine products."

"It is further alleged that the Company's false and misleading statements served to conceal the dimensions and scope of internal problems at the Company . . culminating in false representations of astonishingly low and incredibly inaccurate restructuring charges for the 2005 fiscal year . . ."

"The complaint also alleges over $2.7 million of insider trading proceeds obtained by individual defendants during the Class Period."

The action is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (No. 05CV2873). The Class is defined in the complaint drafted by Scott+Scott as those who purchased Diebold securities between October 22, 2003, and September 21, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").


Free Press: Did the NSA help Bush hack the vote? January 9, 2006

(excerpt from a longer article http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/3/2006/1294 )

Would a president who believes he has spy powers, the right to torture, the ability to wage illegal wars based on bogus, manufactured intelligence reports, simply refuse to spy on Kerry and rig an election electronically? In Ohio, two burglaries occurred against the Democratic Party in Lucas County and Franklin County just prior to 2004 election involving computer theft.

Congress must investigate whether Bush used the NSA for partisan political gain during the 2004 election, and whether any NSA Bush operatives or other members of the security industrial complex had access to e-voting machines, central tabulators or the communication lines that delivered the voting results.


Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Gore Vidal Delivers State of the Union: "Let the Powers That Be Know There is Something Called We the People of the U.S. and all Sovereignty Rests in Us."

(excerpt http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/01/31/1532246 )

And now here we are planning new wars, ongoing wars in the Middle East. And so as he comes with his State of the Union, which he is going to justify eavesdropping without judicial warrants on anybody in the United States that he wants to listen in on. This is what we call dictatorship. Dictatorship. Dictatorship. And it is time that we objected. Don't say wait ‘til the next election and do it through that. We can't trust the elections, thanks to Diebold and ES&S and all the electronic devices which are being flogged across the country to make sure that elections can be so rigged that the villains will stay in power.

In Martin Luther King Day address, Gore compares wiretapping of Americans to surveillance of King

RAW STORY Published: January 16, 2006

(excerpt http://rawstory.com/news/2005/Text_of_Gore_speech_0116.html)

And one result was the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA), which was enacted expressly to ensure that foreign intelligence surveillance would be presented to an impartial judge to verify that there was indeed a sufficient cause for the surveillance. It included ample flexibility and an ability for the executive to move with as much speed as the executive desired. I voted for that law during my first term in Congress and for almost thirty years the system has proven a workable and valued means of affording a level of protection for American citizens, while permitting foreign surveillance to continue whenever it is necessary.

And yet, just one month ago, Americans awoke to the shocking news that in spite of this long settled law, the Executive Branch has been secretly spying on large numbers of Americans for the last four years and eavesdropping on, and I quote the report, "large volumes of telephone calls, e-mail messages, and other Internet traffic inside the United States." The New York Times reported that the President decided to launch this massive eavesdropping program "without search warrants or any new laws that would permit domestic intelligence collection."


Election Integrity News - January 23, 2006

This Week's Quotes: "If there is some way to slip in interpreted code, then we have no way to control what the machine is executing." Michael Shamos, Carnegie Mellon University

"You have to admit these systems are vulnerable and act accordingly," Harri Hursti, computer programmer

"More troubling than the test itself was the manner in which Diebold simply failed to respond to my concerns or the concerns of citizens who believe in American elections, I really think they're not engaged in this discussion of how to make elections safer." Ion Sancho, Supervior of Elections, Leon County, Florida

- New legislation will take the state of Virginia a long way toward giving the voters in the state confidence that their vote is being correctly counted. As reported by VoteTrustUSA both HB 1243 and SB 424 would require that electronic voting machines be equipped to produce a paper record of each vote that can be verified by the voter and used in audits and recounts. They further mandate a 5% random post election manual audit of 5% of the voter-verified paper records. In the case of a discrepancy between the paper and electronic totals, the paper record shall take precedence in a recount unless the court finds clear and convincing evidence that there is reason to do otherwise. VoteTrustUSA has joined Virginia Verified Voting and The New Electoral Reform Alliance for Virginia in an Action Alert encouraging Virginia voters to send an email to their legislators to urge them to pass this legislation.

Election Integrity News - January 16, 2006

This Week's Quote: "The denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic traditions and it is democracy turned upside down." Martin Luther King, Washington D.C., 1957

- The story that I hate to relate is the betrayal of Leon County, Florida and Ion Sancho by ES&S. VoteTrustUSA reports that after agreements and handshakes by Mr. Sancho and ES&S a message was left on Mr. Sancho's cell phone from ES&S telling him that there would be no deal and that ES&S would not be able to provide any voting system to Leon County. According to the Tallahassee Democrat Mr. Sancho is now looking to the lawyers to see what actions can be taken against ES&S for their betrayal.

Election Integrity News - January 9, 2006

We are always happy to announce that another state has joined the growing list of "Green States" which require a voter verified paper audit trail. The list became 26 strong this week with the addition of Wisconsin when Governor Doyle signed Assembly Bill 627 into law.

Election Integrity News - January 2, 2006

A National Action Alert was put out this past week with the revelations of Diebold software problems and the admitted presence of federally banned 'interpreted' code on their voting machines. The Action Alert asks citizens to send an email to the Election Assistance Commission commissioners and the Independent Test Authority Secretariat to demand that they do their job and insist that the ITA does its job in decertifying the Diebold software until such time as the banned software is removed.

OH: Cuyahoga County - Leaders split over electronic voting

OH: Ottawa County - County cuts precincts to save money; others add polling places

OH: Tuscarawas County - County to Diebold: About our machines?

OH: Warren County - Warren Co. pick has baggage. Elections board candidate had violation in '04 run

OH: Lawrence County - A Vote for Change


Forum: Computers and voting -- a dangerous mix

Computer scientists Daniel Sleator and David Eckhardt say that Allegheny County should delay buying newfangled machines until there is no doubt about them

Excerpt from http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06036/649848.stm Sunday, February 05, 2006

The future of our voting is up for grabs. Allegheny County is about to upgrade our voting machine infrastructure to dramatically increase accessibility to the blind and the disabled -- without causing a local budget crunch. At the same time, we're risking the integrity and fairness of every vote we'll cast for the next decade. Concerned voters -- and we hope that means you -- should speak up right now to protect your voting rights.


Verifiable voting system imperative

Excerpt from Pelican Press, Sarasota Fla, 2/12/06:


Transparency and verifiability of electoral processes are essential to our system of representative democracy. Not only must election results be both accurate and not subject to clandestine manipulation, but voters also need to have confidence that their ballots are being cast and counted in accordance with their wishes.


Instant runoff voting (IRV) on the move, from FairVote.org
In our work on IRV we had our best state legislative season ever, building on advocacy from national figures like Howard Dean and senators Barack Obama and John McCain and on San Francisco’s successful implementation of IRV in 2004 and 2005. There were stand-alone IRV laws passed in Arkansas (requiring IRV absentee ballots for all overseas military voters in runoff elections), Vermont (giving Burlington the green light to implement IRV in its March 2006 mayoral elections) and Washington (authorizing IRV in three major cities – Spokane, Tacoma and
Vancouver). We saw serious attention paid to IRV in many other states, including a bill to establish an IRV pilot program that passed North Carolina’s house. Takoma Park (MD) voted overwhelmingly for IRV with
84%, and there is serious talk of IRV for Vermont’s 2006 statewide elections.IRV may be on the ballot in several cities next year, including Cincinnati (OH), Gainesville (FL), Aspen (CO) and Minneapolis (MN). With our support we anticipate new successes, given that every IRV campaign since the San Francisco victory (including efforts in
Berkeley, CA, Burlington, VT, Ferndale, MI and now Takoma Park) has won by a landslide. IRV also keeps advancing on campuses, with successful new uses in student president elections in 2005 at schools like
Dartmouth and the Universities of Oklahoma and Virginia and with runaway victories at schools like the University of Minnesota, U.C. - Chico and Portland State. The use IRV and choice voting at UC-Davis already has had a direct impact on governmental elections: Davis students persuaded a charter commission to recommend these voting
methods for city elections and are poised to convince the city council to place them on the June 2006 ballot.
Read the complete election reform report, FairVote’s Campaign for Free and Fair Elections in America, at:



Take local action via Democracy for America:


Support Congressman Holts HB550 "THE VOTER CONFIDENCE AND INCREASED ACCESSIBLITY ACT OF 2005" http://holt.house.gov/display2.cfm?id=6282&type=Home

Election Reform Activists are discussing various ways to improve the integrity of the election process, including Post Election Audits, Parallel Elections, Exit Poll support, pre-election voter registration verification, and other initatives. Volunteers will be needed….see future newsletters for details.

This newsletter edited by Pete Johnson. Please submit comments and articles for the next newsletter to pjohnso6@insight.rr.com.

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