How safe are your local elections? Lets face it, we all vote locally, no matter if it is for local, state or national representatives.
Stalin, a man with an irrefutable understanding of power, put it this way:
“He who casts the vote decides nothing. He who counts the vote decides everything.”
Discover how easy it is to rig an election and what you can do to protect yourself from the rigging, whether it be new voting type equipment, or old, the song remains the same….
A Brief History of Computerized Election Fraud in America
By Victoria Collier
History has taught us that to seize political power in a country, one has only to control the army and the police. That was before television. Today everyone knows that a country belongs to those who control communications. However, 99% of Americans do not know that those who control our communications also control our vote. Quite literally. In other words, we control nothing. Our vote is not even a meaningless piece of paper, because the paper ballot is being replaced by the electronic one. There is only the Kafkaesque reality of the computer voting machine, and the Major Media. The following information is for those who are ready to learn the facts about the theft of the American vote: how, when and why it became the property of corporate America. Here is a more up to date video on the latest. The other video, while it is an old video, we just wanted to show you how far back it goes and how it is getting harder and harder to verify your vote actually counts.The third video is of Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, discusses election fraud in the 2000 and 2004 national and state election.
Bev Harris, who is considered one of the top experts on modern voting methods also discusses voting issues in New York. She discusses many topics , including actions voters have taken in their local areas to ensure honest elections.
In today’s modern America, squadrons of shiny new touch screen Trojan horses are being rolled into precincts across America. Not, as we are told, to make voting easier or more accurate. The real reason America is being flooded with billions of dollars worth of paperless computerized voting machines is so that no one will be able to prove vote fraud. These machines are not just unverifiable, they are secretly programmed. Their software is not open to scrutiny by election officials or computer experts. They are also equipped with modems accessible by computer, telephone, and satellite. There are older versions of voting equipment which is just as prone to tampering just like other public records, whether electronic or paper.
If you’re one of the 40% of Americans who still bother to cast a ballot, it’s because, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, you think you can vote the bastards out. You retain this faith in the elections system for one reason: you believe your vote is counted fairly. Otherwise you would join the growing number of citizens regularly taking to the streets in massive protests against the government. That day may yet come. As a die-hard voter, you have yet to ask yourself why, in a democratic republic, should it be necessary to take to the streets at all? Why, in a society of, by and for the people, are citizens faced with police- state brutality when demanding their Constitutional right to gather and to speak freely?
Refusing to abandon hope in the system, you vote, then rush home to get on with your life, trusting your vote is counted fairly by the government with citizen groups keeping a close watch. And like the majority of voters, you never bother to check how your vote is counted. Why should you?
So my question to you is this: Who counts your vote?
You cannot answer because you cannot know how your vote is counted. An easier question is, who stole your vote? That answer has two parts.
Part One: Hand counted paper ballots, the only completely verifiable vote counting system, have been nearly eradicated in the United States over the past thirty years. This wasn’t an accident, or the benevolence of progress. The new punch-card system widely instituted across the country was remarkably easy to rig. But documented evidence of massive vote fraud– shaved wheels, pre-printed internal voting results, forged canvass sheets, broken ballot boxes with replaceable seals– created the need for a more subtle approach. Now the punch-card is being replaced by the computer voting machine–the most unverifiable, riggable voting system ever created.There is no longer a paper trail, no way to go back and recount if fraud is suspected. All the workings of the machine are hidden from the public eye, and the eyes of election officials. The corporations that write the vote-counting software don’t consider themselves accountable to the public and refuse access to the source codes that program the machines, claiming they are “trade secrets.” These corporations are paid big bucks pedaling their wares to compliant elections officials who willingly step aside, abdicating their responsibility to oversee the safety of the vote count.
According to Dr. Howard Strauss, Princeton University computer scientist, “The computerized voting machine is not a door with no locks, it’s a house with no doors.” No candidate or voter can get in, and the possibilities for rigging an election are as varied as the programmer’s skills. Where the punchcard system is still in use, the cards are counted by computer. Citizens who, for the past thirty years, have attempted to videotape the punch-card counting process in their counties have been threatened with arrest. In many counties new election officials are trained to believe it is illegal for citizens to watch the vote count!
We are locked out. We now have no way of knowing how our votes are tabulated, we must simply take the word of these corporate computer programmers that they’re not accepting bribes to program their software to commit vote fraud– a temptingly simple process, impossible to detect, impossible to get caught. We must, in other words, trust them.
Do you trust them? Do you know who they are? Would it surprise you to learn that Ransom Shoup, the owner of “Shouptronic,” a major voting machine company, was twice convicted of vote fraud in Philadelphia? He’s one, who are the rest?
No longer is your neighbor, your grandmother, you or your brother able to take part in the essential democratic process of counting paper ballots and tallying the votes. Even this process has historically been rife with attempted fraud, such as “stuffing” the ballot box. But fraud on this human level is foreseeable and community oversight, if not easy, is certainly possible. Not with computers. We can no longer even watch the vote count, let alone count it ourselves. Because of this, the results are rendered immediately suspect and worthless. But a surprising number of Americans are willing to accept the corporate computer take-over of our voting system as easily as they accept the technological take-over of everything else. The rest of us will have to do better. Let’s follow our vote to the next step.
Part Two: Once the vote is cast and counted by computers, the unverifiable results are then transferred to Voter News Services (VNS). This little-known private media conglomerate located on 34th street in New York is one of the most powerful corporations in the world. Comprised of all the major networks– NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, AP, plus the New York Times and the Washington Post– VNS is the only entity tabulating the nation’s votes and disseminating the results to the public. This means that that the dramatic election night “competition” among the Networks to be first with the results is nothing but show business. They all get their numbers from the same place, including the vote “projections” supposedly based on enterance and exit polls also conducted by VNS, though hardly anyone has ever seen VNS pollsters in action. Those vote projections allow the Networks to declare a winner before the polls even close, with an accuracy approaching the metaphysical. Most people watch television on election night simply until they hear the projected winner. That’s enough to convince them and they go to sleep. The trust of the public is unprecedented. So let’s take a closer look at VNS.
VNS has co-opted the American vote count with no public knowledge, no public bid, and remains totally exempt from anti-trust laws. They have absolutely no literature, no brochure, no fax-sheet, and most astoundingly, no Website. They have changed their name three times, yet retained the same public relations secretary. Her name is Lee C. Shapiro. The Executive Director of VNS is Bill Headline, and indeed, headlines are his specialty. But the most interesting thing about VNS is that they will not tell you anything about what they do. They are so scrupulously secretive that they might easily have been formed behind the doors of the KGB, or for that matter, the NSA. They are so powerful that they make no pretenses. No, you cannot watch their operation. No, you cannot get in the door on election night. No, you cannot work for them. You also can’t get a straight answer from them over the telephone as to exactly how they count the vote, where they do it, and who does it for them.
They do not expect to be questioned. A simple telephone call requesting information evokes immediate suspicion. They become hostile and surprisingly nervous. They stammer, stutter and mumble vague contradictions. Then, if your question become too pointed, (example: “Can I bring a videotape to your headquarters on election night to watch you count the vote and tabulate exit polls?”), they will simply hang up on you.
Somewhere, Stalin is laughing.
In light of the World Bank, the IMF, and the WTO, it shouldn’t surprise us that the vote, like the rest of the world, is in the hands of a few. The major media has carte blanche to manipulate it at will, and the computers guarantee no paper trail. The media for at least half a century has functioned as an effective mouthpiece for corrupt government, for the prison-industrial complex, for the corporate elite, vigorously censoring vital information on ecological destruction and social injustice. We know now that when it comes to elections, despite their “competitive” front, they are truly one organism. If there was any fraud in the VNS vote count, who would report on it? Who is the watchdog? There are none. Not even the alternative press can get their hands on information regarding the count, because VNS simply will not let anyone in the door on election night. It is a secret ballot count.
A number of well known independent investigators have been courageously exposing massive, nation-wide fraud for the past thirty years, including rigged voting machines; an epidemic of corrupt elections officials, League of Women Voter members, and state and Federal judges; and a treasonous Attorney General Janet Reno, who won her long-held powerful post by single handedly burying vote fraud evidence for over 25 years. But the iron curtain of the major media has slammed down on these investigations despite the FBI documented evidence, making it impossible to bring the truth to the public. The only thorough, reliable source of information has been a book titled “Votescam: The Stealing of America,” by James and Kenneth Collier. Published in 1992, the book has been banned by all major book chains. Nevertheless, it has sold over 30,000 copies by word of mouth. The Collier’s, America’s lead investigators into vote fraud, were not afraid to name the thieves and shed light on a black moment in history: when the government gave up the right to count the vote.
Often told by Barnes and Noble that Votescam is out of print, many have had to search long and hard to find it, until now. The Internet, largely responsible for the success of Seattle and Washington D.C. protests, has emerged as the people’s most powerful weapon; free press. Global and instantaneous. All of the vote fraud evidence has been recently posted on two important Websites: www.votescam.com and www.votefraud.org. These are the Websites of two very different groups. One is a liberal publishing company and the other a conservative political organization, illustrating that fair elections are everyone’s responsibility, there are no party lines in this battle. Both these groups are deeply involved in vote fraud investigations, and demand the return to the paper ballot and citizen control. These new sites are already receiving hundreds of visitors each month. Every day more Americans are learning the truth: That the vote count is kept under lock and key by a small group of arrogant people who can be brought down.
Yes, brought down. Like the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank, like any system contrived without us, run by a handful of criminals. Indeed, until we take control of our own election system, the above mentioned global organized crime rings will have to be fought by very unpleasant means. Strikes, shut-downs, lock-downs, protests, brute force, and the gassing, beating, jailing, and possible imprisonment of thousands of Americans. This, at the very least, is what any radical progressive movement can expect. Because as long as the control of the democratic machine in America is in the hands of the corporations, we the people will have NO ACCESS to the workings of the system. We will not be able to elect our own representatives who will clean up the mess the corporate criminals have created. We will be forced to gather outside their gates and scream for justice at our own expense. How long can we continue to do this, and where will it end?
Even after Seattle, it’s busines as usual at the WTO. China is in, despite the rallying of hundreds of thousands of American workers to oppose the trade deal. Our “elected” representatives certainly aren’t worried about not getting enough votes the next time around. Let’s free ourselves from the paralyzing confusion of believing we asked for our problems by reelecting the same corrupt leaders who caused them. We’ve got to take the system back. Let them know we’re not going to sleep through the elections any longer, we’re going to start organizing. We’re going to be running our own candidates, we are not going to accept candidates who are financed by multinational corporations, and we are not going to accept the results of an election counted by corporate computers and the major media. We are going to hand count our own recycled paper ballots. And it’s going to take a good goddamned long time to count them, and we won’t worry about making the seven o’clock news, because that’s the only way we’ll know it’s fair. Come on, let’s vote the bastards out!
We the People are responsible for taking back the control of our democratic process. No one else will do it for us. We cannot afford to be naive, or uneducated at this time in history. In order to fully understand the extent of the corruption we are dealing with, and to avoid making dangerous mistakes based on ignorance, we must understand the history, and the power structure, behind vote fraud in America.
I grew up with two men who spent twenty-five years investigating vote fraud in America: James and Kenneth Collier, my father and uncle. Their book, Votescam: The Stealing of America was published in 1992 and immediately banned by the major book chains, which listed the book as “out of print” and actively worked to prevent its sale. Votescam chronicles the Collier brother’s groundbreaking investigation into America’s multi-billion dollar election rigging industry, and the corporate government and media officials who control it. [First eight chapters available free online]
The Votescam investigation began in 1970, in — surprise! — Dade County, Florida, where Ken ran for Congress (with Jim as his campaign manager). Ken was rigged out of the election through a vote scam, which the Colliers later discovered was used throughout the country for decades. It went like this: The local newscaster would announce during the broadcast of election returns that the election “computer has broken down.” Instead of giving official returns from the county courthouse, the networks would be running vote “projections” for the rest of the night.
Jim and Ken, who had garnered 30 percent of the vote, noticed that when the vote totals came back on the screen after the announcement, they had mysteriously lost 15 percentage points. They didn’t get another vote for the rest of the night. When they examined the “official” election results from for the September primary, October run-off and November final election in Dade County, the record listed a total of 141,000 votes cast for the governors race in each election. The exact same number of total votes were cast for three elections with a different number of candidates running each time. The same identical figures were listed for the Senate race in the primary, run-off and final election. This, of course, is a statistical impossibility.
When they compared the “official” vote results with a print-out of the vote “projections” broadcast by the TV networks on the final election night, they found that channel 4 had “projected” with near perfect accuracy the results of 40 races with 250 candidates only 4 minutes after the polls closed. Channel 7 came even closer; at 9:31 pm, they “projected” the final vote total for a race at 96,499 votes. When the Colliers checked the “official” number . . . it was also 96,499.
The networks then made the astonishing claim that the results from a single voting machine somewhere in Dade County were run through a computer program in order to get these vote projections. Elton Davis was the computer programmer responsible for the magic formula that could convert one machine’s vote results into near perfect projected vote totals for 40 races and 250 candidates. When Jim and Ken confronted Davis in his office at the University of Miami, he responded: “You’ll never prove it, now get out.”
Finally the networks claimed that members of the League of Women Voters were out in the field on election night, calling in vote totals to channels 4 and 7. When the Colliers confronted the head of the League, Joyce Deiffenderfer, she admitted that there were no LWV members out in the field that night. She broke down crying, saying “I don’t want to get caught up in this thing.
When the TV networks claimed that the courthouse computer had broken down, and they would no longer be reporting actual vote totals, they were lying. They had never been reporting actual vote totals. The final shoe dropped months later when an official press release appeared from Dade data processing chief, Leonard White, which stated emphatically: The county computer at the courthouse was never down, and it was never slow.
This was the beginning. The Collier brothers had slammed their boat into the tip of a giant iceberg. As they continued to investigate, they were horrified to discover vote fraud collusion among key individuals in every branch and on every level of the American political system. Those who were not benefiting from the fraud were too afraid to fight it. Their search for justice led to dead-ends. Their lives were threatened. They were vilified as conspiracy theorists by the mainstream press . . . and yet they persevered.
The next quarter century was spent compiling a wealth of FBI documented evidence proving that elections in the United States have come under the tight control of a handful of powerful and corrupt people. Jim and Ken both died young during the 90’s, as heroes to many thousands who heard them speak on the radio and at political meetings across the country. They helped to guide individuals and groups working for clean elections in their communities. The Collier’s last hope was that Votescam would be used as evidence in a serious Congressional investigation into election fraud.
Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, discusses election fraud in the 2000 and 2004 national and state election.
Many people still in power have yet to be held accountable for their role in aiding and abetting vote fraud. I’ll give you two important examples. Famous Miami lawyer Ellis Rubin brought the original Votescam evidence to the Florida assistant State Attorney at the time, Janet Reno. The evidence included the shaved wheels of lever voting machines, forged canvass sheets, and pre-printed vote tally sheets. Reno refused to prosecute, claiming falsely that the statue of limitations had run out on the crime. Years later, Rubin would tell my father that behind closed doors Reno had stated that she could not prosecute. Why? Because she would bring down many of the most powerful people in the state.
Another notable Votescam criminal can now be found sitting on the bench of the highest court in the nation. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, while still a Federal Appeals Judge, single handedly destroyed what would have been an historic lawsuit filed against Justice Department lawyer Craig Donsanto, who had refused to prosecute the extensive vote fraud evidence brought to him by the Colliers. The evidence included videotape of the League of Women voters tampering with ballots in a close door vote “counting” session. The women were illegally punching holes in already cast ballots.
I’d like to offer a brief list of important lessons learned from twenty-five years of fighting vote fraud in the trenches.
- Secret vote counting is illegal. Counting faster is not a justification for counting secretly.
- Lever machines were the first to appear, and they were riggable in a number of ways. One could rig the lever machine itself, or the electronic scanning machines that counted the ballots.
- Computerized voting machines are the easiest to rig. Their software is not open to public scrutiny, or the scrutiny of Election Supervisors. There are nearly infinite ways to program the machines to count votes fraudulently. Since they are accessible by modem, they can be controlled from a remote, centralized location.
- Voting machine companies operate with no federal oversight, certification process, standards or restrictions. Just two companies — Election Systems and Software (ES&S) and Diebold Voting Systems — now control about 80% of the vote count in the U.S.
- Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been complicit in vote rigging for decades, to their mutual benefit. Vote rigging is NOT a partisan issue.
- The corporate major media networks play a vital role in perpetrating and covering up vote fraud.
- Election Day media polls are untrustworthy at best.
The gravest error of judgment these days comes from those vote reformers who honestly believe that the answer to the butterfly ballot and hanging chad problems in the 2000 election is to embrace the ballot-less computerized voting machine. With the ballot-less computer, there is no way to recount, no way to prove any discrepancy, inaccuracy or fraud. Just the fact that companies like ES&S and Diebold would even make a ballot-less machine should be cause for a Congressional investigation. (There are also many other reasons to investigate them. For a detailed examination of these sinister corporations, check out http://www.blackboxvoting.org)
A most grave error of judgment also comes from those who think that returning to a hand-counted paper ballot system is somehow impossible. An MIT/Cal Tech study done in 2001 shows that manually counted paper ballots are the most accurate system out of the 5 systems used in the last 4 presidential elections. They are totally verifiable, and first-world nations across the globe still use them, including Canada which counted their last presidential election in four hours.
The bottom line is that a computerized vote count is a secret vote count, and that’s illegal. Technology cannot supercede the constitutional and mandatory provisions of election law, which require open and verifiable elections. There is no way to do a public vote count with computers. The count must be done by hand, in public, video-taped, aired live on television, and the results posted on the precinct wall — just like they used to be. Ballots should be counted on the same day as the voting takes place, making it much more difficult to alter ballots. Hand counted paper ballots and eternal vigilance are the only hope left for us.