19 January 2006

Political Machines

Was the 2004 Election Fixed?

Paul Craig Roberts

[...] The non-partisan US Government Accountability Office (GAO) in response to congressional request investigated a number of complaints regarding the electronic voting machines.

Here are some of the problems noted in the GAO's September 2005 report:

* Some voting machines did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without being detected.

* It was possible to alter the machines so that a ballot cast for one candidate would be recorded for another.

* Vendors installed uncertified versions of voting system software at the local level.

* Access was easily compromised and did not require a widespread conspiracy. A small handful of people is sufficient to steal an election.

Curiously, the media has shown no interest in the GAO report. In my opinion, a free press has proven to be inconsistent with the recently permitted highly concentrated corporate ownership of the US media.

The electronic voting machines leave virtually no paper trail and their use involves private potentially partisan corporations tabulating the votes with proprietary software that is not transparent.

[...] Other reports claim that the under-sampling by pollsters of Democratic voters creates a percentage bias that exaggerates the number of Republican voters by as much as 5 percent, thus providing cover for vote fraud. If hard-to-reach Democratic voters, such as the working poor, are less likely to answer telephones, polls can create the illusion that there are more Republican voters than in fact exist. If the electronic voting machines are then rigged to shift 5 or 6 percent of the vote to the Republican candidate, the result is not at odds with the expected result and can be used as "evidence" to counter the divergence between exit polls and vote tally.


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