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12.11.20

Six-term Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney on Election Fraud

Diebold is, in various corporate cloaks, the biggest maker of U.S. voting machines but it is best known for the automatic tellers that many of use visit every other day. An ATM offers you a receipt and keeps an audit trail that you can access online. Why do Diebold’s voting machines not do that?

Diebold Nixdorf – Bank Innovation – Retail Technology
Is it an oversight or by design that its voting machines and software cannot do the same thing that its ATMs and checkout machines can do?

A staunch opponent of the Patriot Act and the war in Iraq, Cynthia McKinney was forced out of Congress after serving six terms by an unknown Georgia county commissioner.

McKinney fell victim to the first state to use electronic voting machines, Georgia, in 2006, with no paper backup and thus no way to verify results.  She experienced vote flipping, in which the machine shows a different candidate to that selected. She was warned that machines were not calibrated and set to zero. Her ballots showed up in districts where she was not even running. 

In court Georgia state officials actually said that she would just have to trust them when they declared the winner. She later discovered Diebold would not allow election officials access to its proprietary software in order to check or calibrate it. Later she discovered through experimental hacking that the software could be easily manipulated. Diebold, a classic American corporate lobbyist, won business through connections and not necessarily quality.

The Forces Working Against Cynthia McKinney

McKinney She recalls the late Athan Gibbs, an accountant who came up with an electronic voting machine that offered redundancy, reliability, accountability and privacy. Gibbs was an accountant. He asked a simple question: Why would you make a voting machine that does not provide a paper trail and cannot be audited?

Diebold which is the biggest maker of U.S. voting machines is, first and foremost, a maker of ATM machines. Every ATM gives you a receipt and keeps an audit trail. 

Why do their voting machines not do that?

Maybe there is a clue in the words of Walden W. O'Dell, the chief executive of Diebold Inc., reported in the New York Times in 2003. He told a Republican Party fund-raiser, to be held at his home in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. ''I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

Gibbs the accountant came up with his own electronic voting machine, TruVote, that offered redundancy, reliability, accountability and privacy. His concept was that you should be able to verify your vote the same way you verify the money you take out of an automatic teller machine. As the vote is counted, the ballot is dropped into a box.If there is a challenge, the paper ballot is available to be counted.

His machine began to win accolades. He got the attention of Microsoft. His machine began to win accolades. He got the attention of Microsoft. But he was already feeling pressure from lobbyists who were able to promote the much bigger Diebold. Athan Gibbs urged a journalist Dr. Robert Fitrakis to help publicise the issue. In Feb 2004, Fitrakis' article came out:

Diebold, Electronic Voting and the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, by Bob Fitrakis, Free Press, Columbus, Ohio, Feb 25, 2004. Fitrakis wrote a follow-up article in Mother Jones.

Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was due to speak in California and wanted Gibbs to come and demonstrate his machine. On her way to the meeting she heard of his terrible accident.

One week after the newspaper articles, Gibbs died when his car veered in front of a truck and he was killed, in March 2004.

Uncounted - The Tragic Story of Athan Gibbs

 

Remembering Mr. Athan Gibbs On the Occasion of His Death, Mar 2004


Diebold's machine had no paper backup and was observed 'flipping votes' in which after you select your choice, the machine would flip away from that candidate. Many books have been written on fractional voting machines being used to fix elections.

Machine Politics In the Digital Age - NYT, 2003

In mid-August [2003] Walden W. O'Dell, the chief executive of Diebold Inc., sat down at his computer to compose a letter inviting 100 wealthy and politically inclined friends to a Republican Party fund-raiser, to be held at his home in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. ''I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year,'' wrote Mr. O'Dell, whose company is based in Canton, Ohio.

That is hardly unusual for Mr. O'Dell. A longtime Republican, he is a member of President Bush's ''Rangers and Pioneers,'' an elite group of loyalists who have raised at least $100,000 each for the 2004 race.

But it is not the only way that Mr. O'Dell is involved in the election process. Through Diebold Election Systems, a subsidiary in McKinney, Tex., his company is among the country's biggest suppliers of paperless, touch-screen voting machines.

NYT: Machine Politics In the Digital Age By Melanie Warner, Nov. 9, 2003

In the event, McKinney could not afford the legal challenge. She now campaigns for election reform #unrigged

Cynthia McKinney talks to Robert David Steele





 

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