Friday, October 17, 2003

Blackboxvoting.com Suspended Once Again

For some odd reason, blackboxvoting.com has once again gone blank. The website has been suspended by the hosting company. This website has provided some very important information about the dangerous inconistencies of the electronic ballot boxes. This is not the first time this website has been put out of commission, and I am convinced there's some very powerful parties that could not stand to see what blackboxvoting.com had exposed.

In the meantime, there's an excellent article in the UK Independent entitled All the President's Votes:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=452972

Here's a few choice paragraphs:

Last November, (Georgia) became the first in the country to conduct an election entirely with touchscreen voting machines, after lavishing $54m (£33m) on a new system that promised to deliver the securest, most up-to-date, most voter-friendly election in the history of the republic. The machines, however, turned out to be anything but reliable. With academic studies showing the Georgia touchscreens to be poorly programmed, full of security holes and prone to tampering, and with thousands of similar machines from different companies being introduced at high speed across the country, computer voting may, in fact, be US democracy's own 21st-century nightmare.

In many Georgia counties last November, the machines froze up, causing long delays as technicians tried to reboot them. In heavily Democratic Fulton County, in downtown Atlanta, 67 memory cards from the voting machines went missing, delaying certification of the results there for 10 days. In neighbouring DeKalb County, 10 memory cards were unaccounted for; they were later recovered from terminals that had supposedly broken down and been taken out of service.

It is still unclear exactly how results from these missing cards were tabulated, or if they were counted at all. And we will probably never know, for a highly disturbing reason. The vote count was not conducted by state elections officials, but by the private company that sold Georgia the voting machines in the first place, under a strict trade-secrecy contract that made it not only difficult but actually illegal - on pain of stiff criminal penalties - for the state to touch the equipment or examine the proprietary software to ensure the machines worked properly. There was not even a paper trail to follow up. The machines were fitted with thermal printing devices that could theoretically provide a written record of voters' choices, but these were not activated. Consequently, recounts were impossible. Had Diebold Inc, the manufacturer, been asked to review the votes, all it could have done was programme the computers to spit out the same data as before, flawed or not.

Astonishingly, these are the terms under which America's top three computer voting machine manufacturers - Diebold, Sequoia and Election Systems and Software (ES&S) - have sold their products to election officials around the country. Far from questioning the need for rigid trade secrecy and the absence of a paper record, secretaries of state and their technical advisers - anxious to banish memories of the hanging chad fiasco and other associated disasters in the 2000 presidential recount in Florida - have, for the most part, welcomed the touchscreen voting machines as a technological miracle solution.

Be sure to read the rest of the article at:
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=452972

Pay very close attention to this issue, as it WILL be a very important issue in the 2004 elections.

Hopefully, we'll see the return of
http://blackboxvoting.com.

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UPDATE:

According to my friend Em, there are 2 Black Box sites. The first one to be attacked was blackboxvoting.ORG. The other, blackboxvoting.COM is run by someone else and that one did not contain the supposed copyrighted materials which caused the shutdown of the .ORG one.

Bookmark these URLS:

http://blackboxvoting.org

http://www.talion.com/blackboxvoting.org.htm.

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E.P. Friday, October 17, 2003