AMONG the most disturbing evidence was presented by Steven Freeman, founder of Election Integrity, senior lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of the book Was the 2004 Election Stolen? Freeman has documented compelling evidence and statistical data to indicate that electronic voting machines can-and have-been rigged in American elections-and that San Diego’s voting machines are far from secure.
“Any first-year programming student could tell the machines to delete and change a couple of lines of code, and change the results of an election,” he said. High costs of recounts and judicial decisions have made it virtually impossible to overturn results even when evidence of tampering exists, he added.
ECM editor Miriam Raftery once earned a national journalism prize from the American Society of Journalists & Authors for reporting on potential hacking/rigging problems with electronic voting machines nationally and locally. She has also interviewed a whistleblower inside the Diebold voting machine company who revealed that he was convinced elections were intentionally tampered with by the corporation, and disclosed details of how tampering was accomplished through insertion of software “patches.” (A day after that story ran in a national publication, Diebold CEO Wally O’Dell resigned; two days later shareholders filed a lawsuit and the company sold off its elections division soon after.)
One chart displayed by Freedman proved compelling. In a national study, he revealed, “where votes were cast on paper and counted by hand, there was virtually no disparity” between exit polls and election results. But when votes were counted on machines, a seven per cent disparity was found nationwide.
San Diego presently uses primarily optical scan voting machines, in which paper ballots are fed through a central tabulating machine to be read, both for ballots cast at polls and mailed-in absentee ballots. Some local election reform groups are now calling for a return to paper ballots hand-counted at precincts-even if that means drafting citizens to count ballots on election night in much the same way that citizens are currently called for jury duty.
“Without your right to vote, all your other rights can be taken away,” Freeman concluded. “Those who control elections can and will plunder the nation.”