New York Times Finally Exposes E-Voting Flaws
Three years ago, we launched our Divestiture for Democracy Campaign against the major vote machine manufacturers demanding, among other things, paper ballots, open source code, transparent audits and independent oversight. Not a single one of the companies complied and so we did what promised--we exposed the problems with their products, we helped initiate lawsuits against some of them, we sent tens of thousands of petitions and letters protesting their conduct, we urged states and counties to boycott and sue the companies, and we worked behind the scenes to convince officials to investigate the companies. This methodical campaign, which our members and affiliates helped with, has had dramatic results. For example, Diebold’s stock dropped over 30% and its CEO Wally O’dell was fired after one of our lawsuits was filed against the company for stock fraud and now it is being investigated by the SEC. States across the country are banning and decertifying the machines and suing the companies for fraud and breach of contract. And finally, the mass media is reporting on this “train wreck.”
Today, in a massive 8000 word article on the cover of NYT Magazine, the Times finally comes around to where we were three years ago warning that the evote machines could be a threat to democracy and our country’s elections. The Clive Thompson article, titled "The Bugs in the Machines," is quite chilling. After the 2000 election," it opens, "counties around the country rushed to buy new computerized voting machines. But it turns out that these machines may cause problems worse than hanging chads. Is America ready for another contested election?" One key passage: "The earliest critiques of digital voting booths came from the fringe --- disgruntled citizens and scared-senseless computer geeks --- but the fears have now risen to the highest levels of government. One expert says that "about 10 percent" of the devices fail in each election.
One interesting point in the article is where Princeton computer scientist Ed Felten states that an “anonymously donated” Diebold machine was used by his team to prove that a malicious virus could be inserted into a machine to infect all the machines in an election and change the results. Well, that is not true--we at VR loaned that Diebold machine to Princeton after getting it from one of our whistleblowers who worked for Diebold. Professor Felten knows this and why he won’t give credit where credit is due is really beyond us.
Another note is that for years we have been hounding reporters at the Times to investigate and report on the problems with the machines but we were met with derision, silence and outright hostility. Now, although the article vindicates much of our work, it does not admit how culpable and wrong the Times has been for not taking this story seriously when we first broke it after the 2004 election. At that time, the Times called us a bunch of sore losers and whiners. So we would have liked to see this article written as a mea culpa like the Times did when it admitted that it was wrong on Iraq when it bought into all the lies of the Bush White House??? But better late than never, and let us be clear, there is more to the story of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections that has not yet been reported by the New York Times (a hint Mr. Intrepid Reporter: not just dirty tricks, but outright illegal conduct when a small cadre of Bush Family loyalists took over the computer systems used to tabulate the votes and thereby manipulated those elections and yes, this is also coming to us from our whistleblowers. If you care to investigate before three years passes, drop us a line).