A big piece of news I've had to sit on since $#%$# NOVEMBER!!!


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Jim March
July 9, 2004, 11:14 PM
First, here's the press release:

--------------

BLACK BOX VOTING LAUNCHES FIRST PUBLICLY FUNDED CONSUMER PROTECTION ORGANIZATION FOR ELECTIONS

California lawsuit unsealed seeking restitution from Diebold for fraud - may fund Black Box Voting organization

There are no other groups fulfilling the role of consumer investigation in elections.

Trust in our voting system is the element that keeps us from taking to the streets every time we disagree with something our government does. Perceived lack of integrity in the voting system can cause a whole country to quit cooperating, or lose interest in voting. It is only because our representatives were chosen by our own voice that we agree to abide by the laws they vote upon, on our behalf.

Black Box Voting, a new, nonpartisan, publically funded organization, was founded by investigative writer Bev Harris, who began investigations into election procedures in 2002, uncovering story after story with journalistic integrity by providing solid documentation for her discoveries.

14 stories broken by Harris - http://www.blackboxvoting.org/bev-harris.htm

Private donations provided start-up funds for Black Box Voting. Potential funding may come from a lawsuit filed against Diebold Election Systems in California. Unsealed on July 9, 2004, it will, if successful, provide additional funding for the organization.

"Qui Tam" is a term for a whistleblower suit seeking to recover government funds spent based on fraudulent claims. The Qui Tam suit filed by Bev Harris and Jim March seeks to recover funds for the state of California from Diebold Election Systems. As part of the Qui Tam action, a bounty for the whistleblowers is paid, and Diebold will be asked to pay this to Harris and March as part of additional damages, which in turn will help fund Black Box Voting.

This case was originally filed back in November of 2003, and the existence of the case was held under seal by the courts while various government attorneys decided whether or not to "join in the case". When it became clear that the seal would still be intact through the California primaries (March 2nd), Harris, March and attorney Finley "split out" elements of the case that could be made public immediately in an attempt to improve the security of the primaries. That attempt via preliminary injunction failed, although those weaker case elements are still in play, but now the other shoe has dropped: the much stronger "financial fraud-based" elements of the case are now public.

The state and county attorneys are still officially undecided as to whether to join in or not. Should they do so, the plaintiffs and their attorney will split a 15% "bounty" on all funds recovered -- should Harris and March have to prosecute the entire matter without government legal assistance, the state and county will still get their money back but the "bounty" jumps to 30%. Note that when fraud can be proven in a Qui Tam action under California state law, damages are subject to triple damage penalties. In Alameda County alone, this would cost Deibold $42 million, which would go towards restitution to the taxpayer.

As a result of this Qui Tam action, ALL California counties attempting to use Diebold's equipment now have the option of joining in the Qui Tam action and recieving up to triple their costs for the fraud committed against them. Taxpayers in any county trying to remain with Diebold while this option is now publicly on the table should be asking harsh questions of their local officials.

Harris opposed using Qui Tam suits in most cases for fraudulent claims against voting machines because Qui Tam generally requires keeping evidence secret from the public, under seal. The case against voting machines is time sensitive and evidence is critical to the public interest. Attorney for Harris and March, Lowell Finley, found legal precedent in California showing that in cases of overriding public interest, Qui Tam succeeds without withholding information from the public. Both Harris and March insisted on and have continued activism for clean voting during the sealed phase of this particular case, bringing to light critically important information including locating and taking delcarations from Diebold technician James Dunn, who was instructed by Diebold to install uncertified patches on machines for California and Kansas before the March 2 primary election, and locating criminal documents of convicted felons who had access to the Diebold system.

Harris and March were not inhibited one iota in continuing activism for clean voting or in continuing research on Diebold Harris and March's attorney, Lowell Finley, believes case law supports their position. In cases where a compelling public interest is served, precendence exists for allowing plaintiffs to recover Qui Tam claims without keeping evidence secret. Whether or not Harris and March prevail, the State of California is likely to recover funds spent on Diebold equipment as a result of fraudulent claims, claims in large part investigated and proven by Harris and March. If Harris and March prevail, they will apply a significant portion of the settlement to fund the Black Box Voting consumer protection group for elections Black Box Voting is the only organization focused on investigating local election procedure to find out what’s going on and make the public aware of specific problems to improve electoral integrity.

All elections, even national elections, take place at the local level. The Federal Elections Commission consists of six people who set broad national policy guidelines but generally do not investigate specific, local complaints. The newly formed Election Assistance Commission (EAC) publishes policy guidelines and may help set standards but is not staffed or funded for investigation of local problems. The Carter Center monitors elections only in foreign countries.

Black Box Voting investigates elections in the real world, in the field. It has attracted thousands of citizen volunteers who will assist in monitoring elections and catching problems. Two full time staff investigators (Bev Harris and Associate Director Andy Stephenson) visit and interview local election officials, candidates, poll workers, national ITA certifiers, and the programmers who design the software used in today's election systems.

Why do elections need an independent consumer organization? Election procedures have changed.

- Modern-day voting systems have largely been privatized. Key functions are run by private for-profit corporations. These corporations have a habit of hiring their own regulators.

- “To err is machine” — Voting machines have been found to miscount. Some miscounts are ridiculous (i.e. Allamakee County Iowa, 2000 national election, counted 4 million votes though just 300 voters showed up to vote). Many miscounts, if they are less obvious, are never flagged at all.

- The certification system for voting machines is so fundamentally flawed that it allows machines to miscount and lose votes. Four studies in a row spotted serious errors that passed through certification without a hitch.

- Voting software has been found to contain hidden “back doors” that allow end runs around the voting system.

- Recent changes in voter registration systems may bring new problems with voter roll accuracy. Outsourced voter roll verification has resulted in wrongfully purged voters

- Ballot production, performed by private companies, can cause certain kinds of votes to be omitted from the count. This applies to optical scan ballots (fill in the dot) and punch card ballots.

- New systems are designed to replace the poll book sign in with a computerized, digital system made by private companies, using proprietary software that the public is not allowed to examine. Such a system, improperly used, would enable whole cemeteries to sign in and vote.

- Certified and sworn election officials now outsource — even during live elections — to technicians employed by private manufacturers. Private vendors, in turn, outsource election support to temporary employees hired by third parties.

- Redistricting software, also produced by private companies who hold it proprietary, now allows instant and precise data designed to manipulate districts for political gain.

- Election officials are often appointed, not elected. In many states there is no requirement for election officials to disclose personal financial information, inviting conflict of interest.

- Election checks and balances have eroded: Voter Verified Paper ballots have been removed in as many as 20 percent of all voters in the U.S. Paperless touch screen machines do not permit recounts. Even when paper ballots exist, in many states it is now illegal to compare them to computer counts, even in a recount.

- Absentee voting: In most locations, there is no way to know whether all the ballots mailed in were counted. At no point is there a comparison of the count received by the Post Office with the count received by the elections division.

- Polling place results used to be compared with the overall totals, to make sure each polling place result was correctly reported when all votes are added up. This key audit has been eliminated in most locations, opening the door for tampering by replacing memory cards and/or tampering with the central server at the county level. We have independent consumer protection organizations for toasters. You can read about problems with baby car seats in consumer publications. But until now, no independent, publicly funded consumer protection organization has existed for the most fundamental piece of democracy we have: Elections.

Who runs Black Box Voting?

Board of directors:

- Linda Franz (Washington state), with knowledge of HAVA and pending voting machine legislation;

- Jim March (California), with expertise in lobbying and computer programming. March has been heavily involved in analysis of the Diebold software, and testifies regularly at California Voting Systems Panel hearings;

- Joseph M. Bailey III (Washington state), founder of an electrical workers union for people of color

- Thalia Dudley (Washington state), a member of the Dudley family, an African-American family who has fought for the right to vote every generation for five generations;

- Vickie Karp (Texas), who is also chairperson for the Coalition for Visible Ballots, and recently made the news with a billboard campaign about the need for paper ballots - Agrippa Williams (Washington state), renowned for his work keeping black history alive, and the recipient of many awards for outstanding citizenship (he once gave a kidney to a complete stranger in order to save his life.)

Staff:

- Bev Harris - executive director. An investigative journalist who has been profiled in Vanity Fair, Time Magazine, and has provided stories to most major news outlets in the U.S.

- Andy Stephenson - associate director. Stephenson was one of the original and most productive of the researchers who have worked with Bev Harris. He recently resigned his candidacy for Washington secretary of state and will work on the national level with consumer research and education with Black Box Voting.

Funding

Black Box Voting is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) organization. Funding comes from private donation, public citizens, nonpartisan house parties, town meetings, and other venues.

Public funding for Black Box Voting is raised through private donors, and public citizens through nonpartisan house parties and town meetings. Harris donated her rights to the “Black Box Voting” book, and its proceeds, to the nonprofit group. All proceeds for the Talion Publishing version of the book were gifted to Black Box Voting, the nonprofit.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jim again.

What does it all mean?

:)

It means Viacom and Diebold are now engaged in a race to see who can make ol' Jim a millionaire first :D:D:D.

OK, the backstory:

I first got involved in this whole electronic voting thing in late June of '03, after seeing a Craigslist (www.craigslist.com) posting (in the political forums) on Bev Harris's early work taking apart the Diebold "GEMS" vote-tally software, based on her posts on the New Zealand "Scoop" website. I was interested out of general principles, plus I had experience with both the California Public Records Act and as a former professional computer techie, I had the skills to recreate and fine-tune some of Bev's "lab results".

By October of '03, I'd been in heavy contact with Bev and had made some breakthrough finds of my own; not quite on par with Bev but still some pretty good stuff.

Attorney Lowell Finley came to me in Octobet offering to be my lawyer for a Qui Tam suit, explaining how much massive potential "bounty" was at stake. I refused to get involved unless Bev was a co-plaintiff, getting as much money out of it all as I got. Bev was initially against the idea because it wasn't the first Qui Tam approach she'd gotten; the difference with Lowell's approach is that under California rules and court precident, people who were "initial information generators" (which includes both Bev and myself) did NOT have to "completely seal up" what they were doing. They'd have to keep quiet about the Qui Tam suit itself, but they could still dig up new data and share it with the public. Which we've done, in spades...finding and getting a declaration from James Dunn for example cost Diebold four counties in late April of '04.

In other states or the Federal Qui Tam systems, plaintiffs probably have to go "totally stealth" to maintain standing. Which is one possible reason so many early activists have "dropped off the radar"; Bev and I remain convinced there's a veritable feeding frenzy of Qui Tams quietly sneaking up on Diebold and possibly other vendors (ES&S and Sequoia are definately vulnerable)...ours is just the first one to go public.

So anyways...the profit potential here is just crazy. If the various Sheriffs and PD Chiefs think I've been a nuisance while running on a shoestring, wait'll they get a load o' me and a couple million bucks to toss around :evil:.

I don't think buying a whole town would be a good idea though. Too easy for legislation to screw us.

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fjolnirsson
July 9, 2004, 11:19 PM
Jim, you're my hero.:p
I wish I could see the look on Warren Rupf's face as he pulls out handfuls of hair while reading your latest adventures.:D

Harry Tuttle
July 9, 2004, 11:34 PM
i knew there was a reason i paypaled you 20 bucks

let me know when the west coast range opens

:D

Kingcreek
July 9, 2004, 11:46 PM
Jim, you deserve a payback for your hardwork. I'll bet there are some Diebold folks with bowel issues about now. I wish you the best and look forward to toasting your victory.

4570Rick
July 10, 2004, 12:03 AM
http://www.handykult.de/plaudersmilies.de/coolman.gif

http://www.handykult.de/plaudersmilies.de/user.gif

http://www.handykult.de/plaudersmilies.de/deal.gif

Jim March
July 10, 2004, 12:12 AM
Can somebody who has post-access to Democratic Underground go do me a favor?

Cross-post this link over at this DU thread:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x1960084

What "Eloriel" over there doesn't understand is the following:

* The first few lawyers who tried to get Bev roped into a Qui Tam were all clear that she'd have to stay SILENT in all future activism in order to retain standing. She was loudly, vocally against doing so. By that time (oct/nov of '03) a number of prominent activists had "dropped out of sight" and yes, Bev suspected it was about Qui Tams. I have no idea whether or not she was correct about any given persons BUT with the amount of money at stake, I for one am dead certain that some of the "dropouts" went the "secret Qui Tam" route.

* I (Jim March) liked the idea of doing a *California* Qui Tam under the rules Lowell Finley laid out for this state: I could still be an active, public activist sharing new research with the public, the California SecState's office, etc. The only thing I had to "shut up about" was the Qui Tam suit's existance. Even then, I wouldn't do it without Bev and I had to argue and plead and practically drag her kicking and screaming in :D because she'd had such bad experiences with other lawyers.

* Bev knew there was going to be some PR hell from some circles because yes, she was indeed vocally against Qui Tams at one point. That was because she was under the initial impression that to go that route required ceasing public activism, which would have crippled any possibility of reforms before November.

* Because Bev and I did NOT "go quiet", a number of very positive things happened, the biggest being contacting and documenting the James Dunn info (he EMailed Bev, she bounced him to me because I was local to him, I recorded his declaration and put him in touch with the right people). Dunn's testimony was THE key element in getting Diebold thrown out of four California counties by the Calif SecState on 4/30/04.

Upshot: Neither Bev nor myself have anything to feel guilty about here.

Standing Wolf
July 10, 2004, 12:27 AM
Well done! Very well done!

Das Pferd
July 10, 2004, 01:10 AM
<------------------ needs cliff notes or abridged version please.

Jim March
July 10, 2004, 01:22 AM
Diebold sold about $114 million bucks worth of crappy, substandard and easily riggable voting systems in California. They advertized it as being secure - they lied. They said it was legal to use (fully certified). They lied on that point too...along with a lot of other points :rolleyes:.

Bev and I are going to try and get the state and various counties their money back, possibly triple if we can prove fraud and Diebold doesn't settle.

For doing all this, Bev and I are due to split a cut of the winnings (a "bounty"). It'll vary between "bigtime fun money" each to "retirement-level" loot, depending on how it all shakes out.

Condensed enough for ya?

Bruce H
July 10, 2004, 02:04 AM
Jim not only is this a big feather in your and Bev's hat for voter fraud, it lets people in Sacramento know you are to be taken very seriously. Well done sir, very well done.

Ellery Holt
July 10, 2004, 02:27 AM
Cudos and Bravo!

Jim, that's no small sum of money; is personal safety an issue with suits so large, or perhaps the it's gone so far that no amount of 'hushing people' would do Dumballs any good?

Jim March
July 10, 2004, 02:52 AM
I'll be making inquiry re: CCW soon.

On a comical note: go check out the horrendous squabbling over this that's broke out on DU:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x1960084#1961419

A big part: the various "commies" over there are choking over the idea of profit getting wrapped up in activism.

It's genuinely hilarious.

Me?

I'm a gun nut, remember? Call me a "bounty hunter" and I'll say: yup!

:neener:

Silly commies.

Pendragon
July 10, 2004, 03:43 AM
This is great new Jim.

I hope you take them for a good eight figures.

Oh the misery you could cause with that kind of money :)

Jim March
July 10, 2004, 04:05 AM
Eight figures in my pocket is...unlikely, almost bordering on impossible. Diebold would have to be REALLY dumb to let it go that far. More likely they'll settle to avoid tripplers.

We found out recently that the STATE'S payments to Diebold (their portion from helping the counties out) totals somewhere between $8mil and $12mil. Any settlement on that might be managed through the California AG's office.

Now let's remember two things:

1) Democrat Kevin Shelley (SecState) roundly condemned Diebold circa April 30th 2004. He recommended both criminal and civil charges be investigated by State Attorney General Lockyer (also a Dem).

2) This puts the ball both practically and politically into Lockyer's hands.

3) Both Shelley and Lockyer are considered contenders for Governor in '06.

4) This Qui Tam suit gives Lockyer a big ol' club to hold over Diebold's head. A Qui Tam has more of a "guaranteed" (close to it, anyhow) damage tripler than anything Lockyer could come up with on his own.

5) Lockyer could TRY and kick Bev and I out (try and argue we don't have standing) but first our legal position is pretty dang good and second we've got ourselves one heck of a fine little PR machine going - read tomorrow's http://www.oaklandtribune.com for an example :).

Upshot: it's a damned good thing Bev and I didn't have to "shut up". As it is, our continued activism has created a "perfect storm" whereby Lockyer in particular can't risk being seen as a roadblock on this issue. Diebold's credibility is so far in the toilet they've got less brand name credibility than Enron. Shelley has been having a FIELD DAY beating up on them (justifiably). Lockyer now has the same opportunity and he's liable to drag Bev and I along on a VERY profitable (kaCHING!) ride :D.

RevDisk
July 10, 2004, 04:51 AM
Congrads, Mr March. Diebold has done some seriously shady dealings with their system. I've read some of the internal memos and as a geek, I was horrified of the flaws admitted. (No internal audit trails? Orya!) I would expect a better product from a team of CS students at any college or university.

I imagine you're gonna hear from a lot of honked people about *gasp* profitting from legal action against slime like Diebold. My thoughts? Cool! :D

Just one request... if you buy any nice pretty toys, can we come over to play? :neener:

Best of luck in the bounty hunting career. Good luck, and good hunting.

twoblink
July 10, 2004, 05:40 AM
Jim, you millionaire, this means dinner's on you next time we meet right?

:evil:

Great job.. Give them hell!!

Diebold down... Next on the menu, Boxer and Feinstein!

4570Rick
July 10, 2004, 06:45 AM
Jim...Ya ever think of running fer office? You could be getting a campaign contribution.:D

fallingblock
July 10, 2004, 07:59 AM
Persistence certainly paid off.:D

Keep 'em hoppin'.;)

Kharn
July 10, 2004, 08:50 AM
Good luck.
Maybe winning this will buy you a meeting with ARnold, so you could try to get in a short briefing on CCW. :D

Kharn

Ellery Holt
July 10, 2004, 08:58 AM
http://www.oaklandtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,82%257E1865%257E2264641,00.html

Suit alleges Diebold led county astray

E-voting firm falsely claimed its touchscreens were secure, activists say


By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER

In a lawsuit unsealed Friday, electronic voting critics charge that Diebold Election Systems Inc. gained its first major West Coast sale by misleading Alameda County about the security and legality of its touchscreen voting systems.
The case seeks millions of dollars under California's False Claims Act and is thought to be the first application to the elections arena of a class of high-stakes, whistleblower actions more common in health care billing, construction and defense-contract frauds.

It could be the leading edge of a nationwide legal assault that, if successful, could drive the income of e-voting sales back into the coffers of government -- and create a cash windfall for activists seeking voting reform.



In California, e-voting activists Jim March of Sacramento and Bev Harris, the Seattle-based founder of BlackBoxVoting.org, sued Diebold Election Systems and its parent, Diebold Inc. of Canton, Ohio, on behalf of Alameda County and the state of California, which supplied three-fourths of the $11.8 million that the county spent on Diebold touchscreens.

March and Harris allege that Diebold officials falsely claimed their touchscreens were secure

against tampering and knowingly supplied Alameda County with uncertified voting software, contrary to the purchase contract and state law.

"Diebold said that their voting system had state-of-the-art security. It wasn't. It was kindergarten-level security," said March, a former programmer and an e-voting activist on the board of BlackBoxVoting. "They used uncertified, illegal software in Alameda elections when their contract with Alameda said they shouldn't do that."

Diebold officials could not be reached for comment.

So far, the California Department of Justice and Alameda County have not said whether they will join in the lawsuit. A spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer said the state is "continuing its investigation" of the merits of the False Claims Act case.

Lockyer's office already is evaluating potential criminal and civil actions against Diebold, on the recommendation of Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who accused the nation's leading e-voting vendor of breaking California election law and lying to state election officials.

Alameda County officials dressed Diebold representatives down last spring after a string of failings.

The firm was late delivering printed ballots. Its core vote-tabulating software tended to give thousands of optically scanned votes to the wrong candidates in certain circumstances. In the March primary, Diebold shipped hundreds of hastily assembled and barely tested voter-card encoders that broke down in the early hours of Election Day at about a third of the county's polling places, temporarily shutting down electronic voting there.

Alameda County Counsel Richard Winnie could not be reached Friday. But in an earlier interview, he said the county is focused on getting Diebold to live up to its contract and supply a fully approved, fully functional voting system.

"We continue working with Diebold and this contingency of whether we have electronic voting or not. The time is approaching when we have to make a choice," Winnie said.

County officials haven't ruled out switching to a new voting-system supplier.

"We don't have our eyes closed to other possibilities but they are the contractor that we have a contract with," Winnie said. "In the end we're going to have some problems with them if they don't produce."

Diebold lately is meeting the county's demands. New voting and vote-counting software has passed national testing and California's testing of its electronic-voting functions. The state hasn't tested its handling of high volumes of optically scanned ballots, a problem that cropped up in the October gubernatorial recall in Alameda County and in the March primary in San Diego County.

March, Harris and other Diebold critics say the county should join their suit, which offers damages of up to three times the original contract value to both the county and the state if they prevail.

"This puts the onus on them to justify to the taxpayers of Alameda County why they are using a flawed system when they could get all their money back and then some," Harris said.

If the county and state choose not to join the suit, the governments still would reap a portion of any damages awarded, but March, Harris and their attorney, Lowell Finley, a longtime elections lawyer in Oakland, would garner a larger, 30 percent share.

"It's common for governments not to want to admit they've been taken. They have a lot of professional and political capital invested in these decisions. That's the reason why there's the 30-percent option, so citizens can get their money back," March said.

Diebold caught wind of the lawsuit soon after it was filed and hired Daniel McMillan, a senior litigator and false-claims expert at the Los Angeles office of Jones Day law firm.

McMillan sent a legal budget to Diebold, suggesting it spend at least $35,000 to $50,000 a month preparing for the false-claims case and developing defenses. One argument is that Alameda County and California checked out Diebold's products and knew what they were getting.

Gray Peterson
July 10, 2004, 09:05 AM
Jeez, with that kind of money, you could buy yourself a legislative seat. :)

Harry Tuttle
July 10, 2004, 09:54 AM
NAh, don't send good money after bad

Set up an RKBA foundation and buy 1000 22lr Bushmasters for training the children

gp59
July 10, 2004, 10:49 AM
Way to go Jim. I'm glad someone is taking on this kind of fraud. never did trust computers, and i fix them for a living. go figure. good luck and keep up the fight.

:D :D :D :cool: :cool: :cool:

Jim March
July 10, 2004, 01:04 PM
As I can't post to the DU thread, I have to reply to things there over here, hoping they're tracking it.

Zan_of_Texas: The reason Bev used the term "may fund Black Box Voting organization" is that she has no control over how I spend my chunk. Or how attorney Lowell Finley spends his, for that matter...Lowell will get a 25% cut of any pre-trial settlement, 33% (same as myself and Bev each) if it goes to trial.

Mind you, Lowell is a very effective voting rights activist in his own right, he's not just in this for the money. I've seen him do things in this field that he didn't get paid for and that were unconnected with the cases, such as attend and give testimony at the various California SecState voting system panel meetings.

I'm a voting rights activist too...have been for just about a year now. BUT for the last six years, I've been fighting to end racism, corruption, nepotism and cronyism in the handling of California's gun control system, esp. where "Carry Concealed Weapons" permits are concerned.

This lawsuit started LONG before Bev started assembling a 501(c)(3). Will I kick in some of my share into that? Sure. Guaranteed. But I'm also going to go hunting crooked sheriffs :D. Bev's known that from the get-go.

Hence the phrasing of the press release.

Chipperman
July 10, 2004, 01:56 PM
This is putting a big smile on my face.
See? ---------------> :D

Jim March
July 10, 2004, 10:17 PM
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/the_valley/9126338.htm?ERIGHTS=2189894558469672287mercurynews::anonymous@aol.com&KRD_RM=1ikkkinnimlihhhhhhhhijolmm|????|N&is_rd=Y

Posted on Sat, Jul. 10, 2004

Electronic voting critics sue company under whistle blower law

RACHEL KONRAD

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - Electronic voting critics are suing Diebold Inc., alleging that the hardware and software company's shoddy equipment exposed California elections to hackers and software bugs.

California's attorney general on Friday unsealed the lawsuit, among the first e-voting cases to rely on an obscure legal provision for whistle blowers who help the government identify fraud.

Computer programmer Jim March and activist Bev Harris, who filed the case in November, are asking the state and counties to join the lawsuit. They're seeking full reimbursement for Diebold equipment purchased in California.

Alameda County has spent at least $11 million on paperless touchscreen machines. State election officials have spent at least $8 million.

Because the lawsuit relies on an obscure provision called "qui tam," March and Harris could collect up to 30 percent of any reimbursement.

"This is about money now - a case of the capitalist system at work," said March, a Sacramento computer enthusiast. "The laws on voting products and processes are unfortunately unclear. But the law on defrauding the government is really, really clear. Going after the money trail is cleaner than going after proper procedures."

Diebold spokesman David Bear said Saturday the company has not been served with the lawsuit and would not comment until it reviewed the case.

Election officials have until Sept. 7 to decide whether to join the lawsuit, said Tom Dresslar, spokesman for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. Dresslar said the state would decide whether to participate after it completed an investigation.

Elaine Ginnold of the Alameda County registrar of voters said the county has not decided whether to participate. She said Diebold has been "extremely responsive" in addressing problems with decoders used in the March primary, which forced at least 6,000 of 316,000 voters to use backup paper ballots.

"I think we avoided a major crisis - it would have been much, much worse had we not had those paper ballot backups," Ginnold said.

Lawmakers from Maryland to California are expressing doubts about the integrity of paperless voting terminals made by several large manufacturers, which up to 50 million Americans will use in November.

In the March primary, 573 of 1,038 polling places in San Diego County failed to open on time because of computer malfunctions. In North Carolina's 2002 general election, a software bug deleted 436 electronic ballots from six paperless machines in two counties. Earlier this year, California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley banned one Diebold system after he found uncertified software that "jeopardized" the outcome of elections in several counties.

Qui tam - often used to find fraud involving Medicare or defense contracts - is a provision of the Federal Civil False Claims Act. Some states have similar acts.

Individuals tip off the government to embezzlers or shoddy contractors - and the whistle blowers get up to 30 percent of the reimbursement.

Qui tams are usually sealed for at least 60 days, and whistler blowers cannot discuss them. California allows individuals to publicize details of cases, but whistle blowers can't mention the existence of the lawsuit.

Contents of March and Harris' case have been widely publicized - including Diebold's use of uncertified hardware and software, and modems that may have published election results online before polls closed. It's unclear whether individuals have filed e-voting qui tams elsewhere.

Qui tam is an abbreviation from a Latin phrase meaning, "someone who sues on behalf of the king and on behalf of himself." The idea originated in 13th century England but wasn't used much until 1986, when rampant procurement fraud convinced U.S. regulators to boost whistle blowers' share of payments. Whistle blowers filed 33 cases in 1987 and 326 cases in 2003.

In June 2003, pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca agreed to pay $355 million after it set the average wholesale price for Zoladex higher than prices physicians paid - but failed to report discounts to Medicare. A vice president for sales at a rival filed the suit and received $47.6 million.

Federal qui tams totaled $7.8 billion through 2003. Whistle blowers collected $1.3 billion, according to San Jose, Calif.-based Bauman & Rasor Group, Inc.

The government declines to participate in about 70 percent of all qui tams filed, said Bob Bauman, a private investigator and former government consultant.

Some say qui tams are little more than hush money. Voting problems should be widely publicized - not kept under seal - before the November election to discourage more counties from switching to paperless systems, critics say.

"I would like to see people support a real solution rather than just try to cash in," said Alan Dechert, founder of Open Voting Consortium Inc., whose voting system relies on nonproprietary software. "There are a lot of people who could be a tremendous asset, but they're grandstanding and reveling in the expose."

Warren
July 10, 2004, 10:32 PM
WOW.

Kick 'em the balls so hard they puke money!


Then get yourself elected sheriff somewhere.....

XLMiguel
July 10, 2004, 10:48 PM
This is just soooooooooo Cooooooooooooooool:D

I wish you all the best of luck, justice prevails and you are well rewarded for all your hard work!:cool: Kick booty, mon, kick megabooty!!!

gunsmith
July 11, 2004, 01:01 AM
Last april or may I bartered a run down motorcycle to Jim in return for some computer upgrades,He also fixed me up with some handy CCW holsters which I have used when entertaining my girlfriends heavily Democrat dad,the whole time we were in the living room and I was singing the praises of John F Kennedy (you gotta start somewhere) I was packing heat and her dad never noticed.

Anyway at the time I was in a long running battle with many of the so called "progressives" on the political forum at www.craigslist.org.
Like many of us they would often accuse me of advocating violence simply because I advocated self defense (with firearms if they were called for)
They really hate me because I base my voting on how well a politician advocates gun rights,yet I wouldn't back dean which at the time they were all so sure was going to get the nomination.

I showed Jim the political forums and asked him for help with posting pictures,which really increased the level of hate filled threads about me.

I had gotten tired of the many death threats and of being told that I am compensating for the size of my manly attributes.

I started flaming back and consequently got kicked off. The left wing violence mongers and bigots are fine for craigslist. if a conservative takes the bait be prepared to get kicked off. A few years ago they were pretty good but now they are a cross between Yahoo and Dem underground...
Jim took my side and convinced them to let me post again but by then I was like a cat that had been in a fight and was going to bite every hand that came near me and I started doing very mean spirited flaming. I tried apologizing but they were glad to get rid of a conservative.

At the same time Jim introduced me to THR!
So I started annoying you guys with my "insane pro gun rants" and seemed to fit right in,
Saving me from spiraling down the road of trying to teach pigs to sing...
at the same time Jim started posting on the wopofo as the craiglisters refer to the political forum and he was alerted to the diebold stuff!!!

BTW Jim fixed up my computer way more then what he got for my tired old motorcycle.
I have a strong feeling Jim has helped (and continues to help) alot of people without expecting anything in return. If anyone deserves to get a bounty it's Jim.
Jim and Bev are saving our Democratic Republic and they fully deserve a sizable chunk of cash for their efforts.
Jim is going to defeat the racist class oriented ccw system in CA,I have no doubt.

I am gleefully awaiting the chance to rub the anti gun idiots face in their own disgusting racism.

So often they accuse us gunnies of being racist yet they are the ones sending tens of thousands of young black and latino men to Federal prison for their Constitutional right to KABA...

I think there is an awfull lot of angry gunnies out there who need good news,and many minorities who need to protect their lives without having to worry about doing Federal time

SteelyDan
July 11, 2004, 01:18 AM
I'm smiling for you, Jim, and hoping everything works out. At the same time, and I know you know this, don't start spending the money yet. Our legal system can be very, very slow, and sometimes you run into weird surprises. But I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Jim March
July 11, 2004, 03:28 AM
There's a guy over on DU name of "TinfoilHatProgrammer" who is the long-time critic of Bev and the entire "BlackBoxVoting" election reform movement. He's been calling us "conspiracy theorists" and worse for a year now, so it's no surprise that this latest twist has made him go nuts.

This message is mainly for him:

There is NO situation possible where Bev and I could get paid and the government NOT recover at least their actual investment in Diebold gear.

WE can't get paid until THEY do. And that's how we like it.

As to the rest: sorry if you don't like how "playful" I get with descriptions. Ask me whether or not I care about your opinion.

The sad truth is, the courts have been acting insane in this entire area of law. BEV HARRIS IS AFFECTED BY ALAMEDA COUNTY ELECTIONS FRAUD, because they're pulling this crap in presidential elections. The courts on the other hand consider failed candidates to be the people with primary standing to sue over elections fraud; even then, if they can PROVE fraud, prove violations of election law, it doesn't matter unless they can also prove that the fraud would have overturned the race. This is almost always impossible. In one recent case in Napa, Lowell Finley proved that somebody had taken optical scan paper ballots and looked for situations where somebody didn't vote in that race, and "filled it in correctly". Ink analysis proved it. But they weren't able to find enough in the time they had available to prevail in court.

Well the courts can't play these kind of subjective games with money. The law is much more clear on government contracting...you can't sell something as being one thing (like, say, "secure") when in fact any bright 10 year old can hack the bejeezuz out of it.

Attacking Diebold this way is a lot like nailing Al Capone for tax evasion - Diebold SHOULD be nailed for violating elections law but because the law (both state and Fed) haven't kept up with the realities of electronic voting, well, we're going to have to try something else.

Yes, there's a possibility that this "something else" will leave Bev and I millionaires. I can assure you that when Lowell Finley first presented this concept to me in October, I was dumbfounded...this was never my intent or Bev's.

Still...BMW will be shipping a new motorcycle soon. I think I'd look good on one with a custom plate that says:

LIEBOLD

Message to Bumbler: thank you for the support. Note that the California rules Lowell has us operating under are based primarily on California case law (court decisions). ANYBODY who wants a piece of Diebold in other states or whatever is free to contact myself (jmarch@prodigy.net) or Bev and we'll hook you up with Lowell. The principles the California courts have found can be applied elsewhere. A key is that it works for people who are "new information generators"; it might NOT work for folks who are solely involved in regurgitating the work of others. In the latter case, Qui Tam could fail altogether. For more details, talk to Lowell or another elections law and/or Qui Tam specialist (google "qui tam" for a start).

This tie-in to "information generators" means there's liable to be squabbling over who discovered what first. This doesn't have to happen though. A number of people have made enough original discoveries to "spread the joy" (and Diebold's pain!) just nicely.

The Undertoad
July 11, 2004, 04:14 AM
Jim, that is too cool! :cool:

Way to go, man. :D

Warren
July 11, 2004, 04:26 AM
I read that DU thread Jim,

The Tinfoil dude is going on about how you have lost every time you have gone into court.

Can we get a little background on that? Is it true?

If so what makes you think you will win this time?


Enquiring minds and all that....

RevDisk
July 11, 2004, 07:10 AM
As to the rest: sorry if you don't like how "playful" I get with descriptions. Ask me whether or not I care about your opinion.

Okey doke. "Whether or not I care about your opinion?" :neener:

(I love rising to the occassion.) :evil:

Jim March
July 11, 2004, 03:24 PM
Here2Learn:

We (meaning Bev, Lowell and I) have only "been to court" once...and not all the way.

Arright. Here, attached, is the original court filing from back in November.

The first 12 pages describe what this is all about.

Starting on the bottom of page 12, we have the "causes of action" - basically a statement of which laws we're operating under.

The first two causes of action are under the California False Claims Act - there's two because the majority of the money came from two different sources, the county and the state. Those are what had to be sealed.

The third cause of action we threw in there but it's basically kinda weak...it's a claim that Diebold's fraudulent actions harmed the competitiveness of other companies. It's...well, it's something unique to California law. WE don't get any money out of that one, but Diebold can be ordered to stop competing unfairly.

This case in it's entirety was supposed to be uncorked in January, which would have let us do preliminary motions in time to affect the California Primaries on 3/2/04. But the California AG's office put a 90-day stall on. :banghead: That left us with some bad options.

We did the best we could: we cancelled the third cause of action in the Alameda case and re-filed it in Sacramento Superior Court on it's own. We didn't do that out of profit motive, in fact there was extra expense on Lowell Finley's part - we did it so that we could do a motion to tighten up security prior to the California Primaries.

Well that motion failed. Calif SecState Shelley did his own set of "security enhancements" in a letter to the counties that use touchscreens. The court didn't think we had enough evidence to override Shelley's own attempt at security enhancements and at that time, based purely on the weak "Unfair Competition Law" claim and with no discovery yet, well...OK, we lost that motion. That CASE isn't dead, we can still do discovery with it and pursue it as it's own thing.

But the MAJOR attention now switches to Alameda County and the heavy-duty claims in progress there (causes of action one and two).

----------------

There's been one prior electronic voting lawsuit in California, the one Susan Marie Weber brought two years ago in Riverside County against that county and their ES&S touchscreen system. She lost because she was arguing that no-paper-trail touchscreen systems were unsecure without having *details* to present to the court as to how or why they're unsecure. She was, in effect, acting based on the "theoretical" concerns of computer security professionals, etc. Subsequent events have proven her 100% correct; after Diebold's code "escaped" as facilitated by Bev, somebody else found a one-rev-back set of Sequoia code which was as stenchful as anything Diebold has come up with...and California law does require the ability to do recounts which the paperless touchscreens can't...but her judge was chicken :rolleyes:.

The court in that case wasn't going to order a voting system thrown out based on "theoretical" concerns.

Bev and I have *way* more than theory, folks!

Back in January of '03, Bev Harris was the one who found 40,000 Diebold files on an open FTP site and downloaded them in three sleepless days non-stop. Everything we know about how sucky Diebold's security is, owes itself to that haul. And THEN, once the real fury started as people examined that stuff, an insider released 15,000 internal Diebold EMails (from their tech support and marketing list-servers) in which they gloat over the poor security.

For a brief intro primer on how bad the situation is, see also:

http://www.equalccw.com/sscomment.html

http://www.equalccw.com/sscomments2.html

If you want to download your own set of executable, installable Diebold vote-tally software "GEMS" and run it through it's diseased paces yourself:

http://www.equalccw.com/dieboldtestnotes.html

NOTE: it helps to have MS-Access v.2000 or above - the Diebold central vote-tally database is basically an Access application :eek: and Access can be used as a "hack tool" to edit the data any way you want WITHOUT NEEDING A PASSWORD - you can edit actual vote data and even the audit log without leaving footprints.

MS-Access doesn't need to be on the actual "GEMS" machine at each county HQ - there is remote access into that box available to Diebold and they can run the Access application on the remote machine that's dialing in.

Anyways.

Point is, Bev and I have evidence for miles that Susan Marie Weber lacked.

Jim March
July 11, 2004, 06:14 PM
I'm watching the DU thread in disbelief. They're clearly monitoring this thread, so consider this a general message:

I'm not going to apologize for who and what I am. The "Viacom" comment...well, that's a very long story :). Go google:

crossballs "Jim March"

...with the quotes like that.

Ponder for a second:

IF I had discussed what was coming with certain other activists to discuss strategies and "territories" so we didn't stomp all over each other in the same freakin' courthouse, and discussed tactics and timing as far back as November, that would be against court rules so IF I had done any such thing, I couldn't talk about it online had I theoretically done that.

:scrutiny:

What I can definitively say: I acted honorably every step of the way.

Bruce H
July 11, 2004, 06:22 PM
Jim don't let the naysayers get you down. They are just whining because they didn't have anybody smart enough to go the route that your team took. Now with the posibility of a payoff for your team and them with nothing, they are complaining. What is really cool about your team being in front is you initially went after a fradulent voting system strictly on that basis. Your team did it on your own nickle too. How many of these other activists wanted contributions so they could fight.

Warren
July 11, 2004, 08:17 PM
So you and this Bev person have not actually been to court?

So you and her have not had anything thrown out?

So Tinfoil dude is lumping you in with others who have attempted this sort of action?

So Tinfoil is confused or malicious?

Okay.


What about these other people saying Bev is launching character attacks on people who were doing the same sort of thing she is doing now?


If true it does not seem right.

Don't get me wrong I want Diebold to lose and all but is this Bev a stable person? Will she drag you down if she goes off the rails?



And OT what is with DU? So many posts have been deleted and people kicked off. What the Hell?

Matt1911
July 11, 2004, 09:03 PM
Jim,
This is just too cool! I'll be smilin' for ya for a while,:D

Cool Hand Luke 22:36
July 11, 2004, 09:36 PM
Qui tam - often used to find fraud involving Medicare or defense contracts - is a provision of the Federal Civil False Claims Act. Some states have similar acts.

Individuals tip off the government to embezzlers or shoddy contractors - and the whistle blowers get up to 30 percent of the reimbursement.

Qui tams are usually sealed for at least 60 days, and whistler blowers cannot discuss them. California allows individuals to publicize details of cases, but whistle blowers can't mention the existence of the lawsuit.


If the CA election officials who purchased these systems had full access to thier particulars prior to paying for them, where's the fraud. How are you going to prevail as a Qui Tam relater if the CA government either knew or should have known the systems were crap?

The CA government set the specs for this procurement contract, if they specified crap and got crap where's the fraud or non-performance on the contract by Deibold et al.?

Diebold sold about $114 million bucks worth of crappy, substandard and easily riggable voting systems in California. They advertized it as being secure - they lied. They said it was legal to use (fully certified). They lied on that point too...along with a lot of other points

Were the State and the Counties given evaluation copies of the Diebold software to evaluate prior to letting the purchase contract?

(BTW, Good luck. I hope you do prevail.)

Jim March
July 11, 2004, 11:42 PM
Cool Hand Luke 22:36:

If the CA election officials who purchased these systems had full access to thier particulars prior to paying for them, where's the fraud.

The California gov't agencies didn't have access to the "full story". In particular, they didn't have access to the "source code" - only the Federal testing labs had such access, and Diebold deliberately *withheld* key pieces of their system from Federal scrutiny. The entire Windows CE system was one example, along with the software used to generate "smartcards". In another case, one of the testing labs actually CAUGHT a major problem, but we have Diebold's internal mails showing they passed it off as a non-issue while assuming they wouldn't be able to get away with it!

Swear to God, the internal EMails are often as bad as the "Enron audiotapes" making the rounds.

Again:

http://www.equalccw.com/sscomment.html

http://www.equalccw.com/sscomments2.html

Those are small SAMPLES of what we've got.

How are you going to prevail as a Qui Tam relater if the CA government either knew or should have known the systems were crap?

The "core issue" here is the fraud carried out against the Federal testing labs.

California elections law says that a voting system can't be used unless it passes the Federally regulated testing system. We can prove Diebold defrauded the Federal system.

Can you say "whoops"?

Now, after ALL of the complaining Bev and I (and others!) did, y'all should check out what the California SecState's office finally decided in April of '04:

In sum, Diebold:

1. marketed and sold the TSx system before it was fully functional, and before it was federally qualified;

2. misrepresented the status of the TSx system in federal testing in order to obtain state certification;

3. failed to obtain federal qualification of the TSx system despite assurances that it would;

4. failed even to pursue testing of the firmware installed on its TSx machines in California until only weeks before the election, choosing instead to pursue testing of newer firmware that was even further behind in the ITA testing process and that, in some cases, required the use of other software that also was not approved in California;

5. installed uncertified software on election machines in 17 counties;

6. sought last-minute certification of allegedly essential hardware, software and firmware that had not completed federal testing; and

7. in doing so, jeopardized the conduct of the March Primary.


http://ss.ca.gov/elections/touchscreen.htm - that was in the first part of the "Diebold Investigation - Staff Report".

BUT back in November, the SecState's panel was still treating Bev and myself as conspiracy theorists! It was the declaration of James Dunn that REALLY turned things around:

http://www.equalccw.com/dunndeclaration.pdf

Were the State and the Counties given evaluation copies of the Diebold software to evaluate prior to letting the purchase contract?

The state was, but since they assumed the Feds had properly evaluated the security, they didn't "kick the tires" anywhere near hard enough.

As one example: if you had a complete Diebold setup in front of you, it wouldn't be obvious that if you load MS-Access or connect to it with a PC running that app, then all security basically evaporates. One of the Federal labs DID discover this, but were too stupid to understand what they were looking at.

Jim March
July 11, 2004, 11:52 PM
Here2Learn:

TFHP is a nut. Probably an employee of one of the voting systems vendors.

David Allen is Bev's original book publisher. He has severely ripped her off - I've seen the financial statements.

A number of other people denied Bev access to her own website for months. It's a long bloody story but there was definately fraud and theft of materials committed against her. The ONLY thing that makes sense is that there was an attempt to slow her down by people doing Qui Tams. Bev basically has more Qui Tam standing than *anybody*, myself included. Bev has strong suspicions as to which people were involved. I'm not going to comment on that because I don't have access to her server logs and the like.

BradN
July 12, 2004, 12:15 AM
I just heard a report about this lawsuit (no names mentioned) on KCBS (a big N. Cal radio station) so it must be big news!

six 4 sure
July 12, 2004, 02:27 AM
You the man Jim. After you clean up California, would you consider taking on Chicago as your next project?:D

WilderBill
July 12, 2004, 09:22 AM
Give 'em hell, Jim! :D

sch40
July 12, 2004, 11:32 AM
Great job, Jim!
We're all rootin' for ya'! :D

gunsmith
July 12, 2004, 02:23 PM
So Tinfoil is confused or malicious?

Democrat Underground only lets confused malicious people on their website!

Zedicus
July 12, 2004, 08:30 PM
Looks like Oleg Gets to sue somone, they used one of his captioned pics without giving appropreate credit & claim Jim made it....:rolleyes:

S_O_Laban
July 13, 2004, 02:58 AM
Wow Jim, great work, I'm truly happy for you and the voters of CA. You have definetly made the world a better place with your recent work. I'm proud to say I post on the same board as you do... very impressive.... then again most "gun" people are:D

Azrael256
July 13, 2004, 03:16 AM
Even slashdot is carrying the story (http://yro.slashdot.org/)

Diebold Sued (Again) Over Shoddy Voting Machines


Posted by timothy on Monday July 12, @08:35PM
from the can-we-postpone-the-election-for-bugfixing dept.
icypyr0 writes "Computer programmer Jim March and activist Bev Harris have filed suit in California state court against Diebold under a whistle-blowing statue. This is another in a series of blows dealt to the ailing company. March and Harris allege that Diebold 'used uncertified hardware and software, and modems that may have allowed election results to be published online before polls closed.' They are seeking full reimbursement for all of the voting machines purchased in California. March and Harris could collect up to 30% of the reimbursement, under the whistle-blower statute. In an interesting turn, the two are requesting that the state of California join the lawsuit. State officials have spent millions on the paperless touch screen machines; Alameda County has spent at least $11 million alone."


The reader comments seem to be quite positive so far.

Justin Moore
July 13, 2004, 03:41 AM
Oooooooo man, I've been waiting a long time for Diebold to get hosed. I heard Bev on the radio talking about these issues well over a year ago. Way to go!

For those in doubt, everything that Jim says about their database being unsecured is true. MS Access is a joke as far as security goes.

Isn't it interesting that when you use a DIEBOLD ATM machine to get cash, you get a paper receipt of your withdrawal, and at the same time Diebold doesn't think its necessary for you to get a receipt of your VOTE? Hrmm......

Jim March
July 13, 2004, 03:56 AM
And CNN :)

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/07/12/electronic.voting.laws.ap/

(Same Rachel Konrad article as prior...)

Check this out:

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&edition=us&ie=UTF-8&scoring=d&q=Diebold+%22Jim+March%22&btnG=Search+News

This is google's news service with a search of:

Diebold "Jim March"

113 hits, baybeee! :cool:

Some o' these..."Voice Of America"? :p

As to the DemocraticUnderground nay-sayers...

Some are taking this thread on THR as "proof" that I was "in it for the money" the whole time :rolleyes:. That's ridiculous. I started out back in July, Lowell Finley first discussed this kind of suit in late October. The FIRST thing I did was cut my "take" in half by dragging Bev in.

Do I have a slightly warped sense of humor? Heck ya. I'm a professional gun rights activist in CALIFORNIA, if I didn't keep my sense of humor in this commie hell-hole I'da gone nuts ages ago.

I ain't gonna tame down, I ain't gonna sheeple up, I ain't gonna meekly promise to turn over all "evil profits" to "the good of all as the DU community sees it".

I *will* however act honorably, and with a determination to deliver as much pain to a corrupt company like Diebold as possible within the realm of what's legal and moral.

If that ends up making me rich, so be it.

:neener:

Warren
July 13, 2004, 03:59 AM
Hey Jim,

Did you see that bit I wrote about you running for sheriff with the money you get?



That way you could swear in all the class 3 deputies you wanted. :D

Don Gwinn
July 13, 2004, 03:59 AM
Jim, did you know you're a neo-con?

Didja know this picture is your website's "motto?"
http://www.equalccw.com/happiness.jpg

:scrutiny:

Jim March
July 13, 2004, 04:25 AM
:rolleyes:

OK, forget DU. Let's have some fun.

Most of the media reports are regurgitated AP...but not all.

Shelby County TN (with the city of Memphis) in it has a rich history of the blues...election blues.

They run a bizarre mix of a crude old electronic system from '86 called the "Shouptronic" which was NEVER scrutinized by the Feds or the Federally approved testing labs (too old, that started in a pathetic fashion in 1990), and now Diebold spliced into that. Election hacking is widely suspected. Mayoral candidate John Willingham (county official and BBQ guru - http://willinghams.com) had a campaign staffer do an exit poll at one precinct showing 42 votes his way in about an hour and a half; the official tallies afterwards showed he'd gotten 14 votes TOTAL at that polling place.

In his challenge to his loss, he wasn't allowed by the court to do discovery :scrutiny: and wasn't allowed to present evidence of how screwy the Diebold system was. Poor guy flew me out there, the court wouldn't let me speak. Classic.

So the local Memphis paper did their own story on local election issues as it relates to the "California money suit" by Bev and I. Note the part in bold my emphasis where a Diebold spokescreature is quoted...y'all know what a "double negative" is? :scrutiny:

-------------
http://www.wreg.com/Global/story.asp?S=2028956

Maker Of Shelby County Voting Machines Sued In California

Updated July 12

By Andy Wise

MEMPHIS -- The Shelby County Election Commission stands by its use of Diebold voting machines despite a California lawsuit that alleges the company's machines exposed that state's elections to hackers and viruses.

The lawsuit, filed by California computer programmer Jim March and community activist Bev Harris, alleges Diebold's system uses uncertified software that is not secure. In April, California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley banned the Canton, Ohio company's touch-screen TSx system in four counties -- Kern, San Diego, San Joaquin and Solano -- because of what he called "fraudulent actions by Diebold" and mandated the other 10 California counties that use touch-screen voting to either install a verifiable paper trail for electronic votes by November or meet 23 security measures before their systems would be allowed to run.

Shelby County Election Commissioner Maura Sullivan says Diebold had problems in California because its touch-screen systems there were Internet-based systems, an online network wide open for fraud. She insists the Diebold machines used in Shelby County's early voting are stand-alone machines.

"They're not even hooked together at your early voting site," says Sullivan. "So it's just a stand-alone machine that you vote at, and your vote stays right there in that machine."

Shelby County's other voting machine, the Shouptronic, has been the county's election day machine since 1986. In 1998's primary, the Shouptronic's software crashed. Election commission employees hand-counted 800 to 900 absentee ballots misplaced in a computer meltdown.

Sullivan says since then, the commission has installed new redundancy systems and hired independent auditors to review every Shelby County vote, in both the Shouptronic and the Diebold machines.

"All of that is then reviewed again with the other internal voting tabulation mechanisms inside of each one of the machines, and they're all reviewed by the auditors the next day," she says.

Diebold spokesperson David Bear disputes the allegations against his company.

"There has never been not one factual security issue with (our touch-screen machines)," says Bear. "Even in California, during the Super Tuesday primary in March, we ran 55,000 touch-screens. The secretary of state did parallel monitoring and showed our touch-screens were 100 percent accurate." [Ed. note by Jim: he's a liar.]

Early voting for the 2004 federal and state primaries starts Friday, July 16, at the election commission's downtown office at 157 Poplar Avenue. For a complete schedule of early voting times and locations, go to www.shelbyvote.com
----------------

Warren
July 13, 2004, 04:28 AM
That's a freaking funny picture! :D


Don't tell me the DUDUs take it seriously.

Jim March
July 13, 2004, 04:30 AM
PS:

NO I'M NOT RUNNING FOR SHERIFF!

:rolleyes:

I may have a warped sense of humor but I'm not SICK!

:eek:

Besides, I can't - ya can't run for that office without being a cop for two years. I won't do that either. I'd rather do something honorable, like say...vaccine tester in a Honduran biotech lab :scrutiny:. Or making an honest living giving sick zoo elephants enemas :barf:. Or...you get the idea :rolleyes:.

JohnBT
July 13, 2004, 10:54 AM
Some of those folks on DU don't like you very much. :scrutiny:

Interesting thread though. Not. :)

I was going to post a few thoughts, but all I got for my trouble was "ERROR: Your posting privileges have been revoked." Shucks. Me?

Keep up the good work and if they don't enjoy your sense of humor, well...

John

waynzwld
July 13, 2004, 06:51 PM
Way to go JIM! :D

You my hero!

Jim March
July 14, 2004, 11:24 AM
On the off chance that DUers are still reading this thread (I hope they are), I'm going to respond to the latest from David Allen (Plan9) regarding me:

in the last year. I am quite proud of what we have accomplished.

I find it amusing that one of Bev's comments was about how we need money to fight our well-financed opponents. Actually, despite their money, we have been giving them a serious ass-kicking.

EFF brings up a very good point about the law suit. Several attorneys I spoke to say Bev has no standing in California and will be removed from the case, leaving Jim March.

Which makes me wonder that if March did win, would he share the spoils with Bev and her foundation?

First, Lowell's opinion is that Bev *does* have standing in California. The issue behind False Claims Act cases isn't that Bev was hurt by Diebold's actions in ripping off this state. Rather, her "standing" comes by way of generating information that is helping the state get their money back.

Compare this to the minor revival in the 14th Amendment "Privileges And Immunities" clause. We had a resident of another state come into California and get welfare payments lower, tied to what they would have gotten in the state they came from. This was struck down by the USSC on the basis of California not being able to discriminate based on origins in another state. In this case, Allen is suggesting that despite Bev's providing a service to the state of California, Bev can be discriminated against because she's not from here? :scrutiny: That makes no sense whatsoever and I'll bet Lowell would agree: we could go to Federal court and raise a discrimination issue in that event. Without Bev's initial work, there's NO way the state could ever have gotten their money back.

Second, should this unlikely scenario happen, I told Bev a long time ago and I'm telling the world now, half of anything I get would still go to Bev regardless. The only negative impact from such a thing involves taxes: the money Bev got would be hit by the IRS twice :(. (In other words, say I get...I dunno, we'll use $5mil as a ballpark round number. The IRS (and California income tax) hits that for roughly half. I send half of what's left to Bev in WA state. WA has no state income tax but the IRS nails Bev's incoming money.

The situation is overall better if Bev is involved: my $2.5m gets hit by Feds and Calif, Bev's same gets hit by Feds. No single dollar gets taxed twice.

Sigh.

Back when I was trying to convince Bev to join in, this was part of my argument to her :).

Again: anybody can ask Lowell how early in our first conversation in October '03 I mentioned bringing Bev in, knowingly cutting my share in half.

Snide remarks notwithstanding.

Black Snowman
July 14, 2004, 12:31 PM
Wow Jim, with folks like you out there maybe California actually has a chance of me stepping foot in it one day :) If we can save California, we should be able to save the country.

Here's to giving the power back to the people!

Also, you definately deserve the money more than anyone who's ever sued McDonalds. ;)

gunsmith
July 14, 2004, 04:54 PM
That they can't let Jim respond on the DU website?
Are ideas that do not conform with their own dangerous some how?

If they were not so mean spirited I would feel sorry for them.

Anyway,good luck Jim.

Stebalo
July 14, 2004, 06:31 PM
Way to go Jim!

Congrats and good going.

fix
July 14, 2004, 06:51 PM
Making waves here in GA now as well. Heard you on the radio here. Good job.

Frohickey
July 14, 2004, 06:56 PM
Congrats, Jim.

Give 'em hell!

DU is essentially an echo-chamber for liberal mush-headed thought. If you are a conservative, or a liberty-loving constitutionalist, and you are outed, your account is pretty much toast, even if you have not done any personal attacks. Also, they treat liberals and conservatives differently, where a liberal foul-mouth post will be overlooked while a conservative post will be scrutinized.

Seems that they do not like having their arguments challenged, because having them challenged means that their arguments are seen as weak and wanting. Not something the liberals like to have done to their emotional arguments.

Brrlgrrl
July 16, 2004, 02:57 PM
LOL Frohickey, you're right on target with your comments.
I hope to see the day where Californians can actually control our employees, I mean our "elected" officials, instead of being simply dumbfounded by their idiotic stunts.

braindead0
July 16, 2004, 04:12 PM
Hey Jim, if you need any help with reviewing code.. let me know.. I've been programming since I was very young.. and ..uh.. have been know to uh.. disassemble .exe's for fun and other purposes ;-)..

I've also got a very good background in security and encryption, both network and OS ;-)

Amish_Bill
July 16, 2004, 09:52 PM
That they can't let Jim respond on the DU website?
Are ideas that do not conform with their own dangerous some how? Heck - did you notice all the deleted posts where the body, subject, and even poster name were expunged from the entry? I guess it's not good enough to remove content, they have to leave an obvious reminder that they can do it at will. ?? At least the boards I frequent leave the poster's name and mention what the edit was for most times.

Jim March
July 16, 2004, 10:08 PM
http://www.berkeleydaily.org/text/article.cfm?issue=07-16-04&storyID=19250

Berkeley Daily Planet

Edition Date: Friday, July 16, 2004

Private Parties File Lawsuit Against Diebold Systems

By JAKOB SCHILLER (07-16-04)

As Alameda county races to meet new re-certification standards for its touchscreen voting machines, critics say they are still not satisfied with the machines’ security and are trying to give the county one last opt-out option before the November election.

In a complaint unsealed last week, Bev Harris, the Washington State-based founder of BlackBoxVoting.org, and California resident Jim March—represented by their Berkeley attorney Lowell Finley—alleged that touchscreen voting machine maker Diebold Systems, Inc, violated the False Claims Act on two counts: first, by selling the county machines that Diebold knew were insecure and second, by providing the county with uncertified software.

If successful, the case could force Diebold to reimburse Alameda County up to three times what the county paid for the machines, providing the county with ample money to invest in a different and more secure system, re-train poll workers, and meet any other additional costs.

Diebold spokesman David Bear said the company had not been served with the lawsuit and couldn’t comment until they had.

Even with new security upgrades, said Harris, the touchscreens can—and, she asserts, probably will—repeat the “meltdown” experienced in Alameda County and across the state in the primaries last March. In San Diego County during that election, 573 of 1,038 polling places opened late because of problems with Diebold machines. In Alameda County, faulty Diebold equipment also caused major delays in voting.

Harris and March, while ultimately trying to hold Diebold responsible for what they call faulty equipment, said the suit can and should act as a stopgap in the upcoming election and allow counties an easy out.

Instead of Diebold touch screens, they say the county should rely on other vote recording and counting systems such as paper ballots run through optical scan machines, or even the old-fashioned hand count.

Currently, however, Alameda County has declined to sign onto the case. The plaintiffs are also waiting for word from officials of the State of California, which could also sign on because the state reimbursed the county for a majority of the money spent to buy the machines.

Contrary to what the plaintiffs allege, says Alameda County Registrar of Voters Brad Clark, the lawsuit should not affect the upcoming election. With November just a few months away, Alameda county’s options have been severely narrowed, limited to a choice of Diebold voting machines of one type or another. Even if the county won its money back from the company, Clark said, there would not be enough time to invest that money in another system.

The deadline to sign a contract with another touchscreen vendor passed this summer, according to Clark. At this point, the county is focusing almost all of its attention on securing firmware and software certification for the Diebold machines that should satisfy the mandates set forth by the Secretary of State.

“I don’t know if any vendor at this late date would be able to serve us,” said Clark. “I don’t anticipate that happening.”

And if the county is not able to re-certify their machines the only other option, according to Clark, are Diebold optical scan machines. Currently the county has a couple of those on hand, but would have to rush to buy enough to handle the vote.

According to Harris, March and their attorney Finley, however, the county has had the option to opt-out of the Diebold contract for months because county election officials knew about the lawsuit before it became public. The complaint was originally filed last November and was supposed to be under seal until the state of California makes its decision about whether to sign on. According to Finley, Alameda County Counsel Richard Winnie has attended closed hearings concerning the case. The case became public before the state decided because Harris and March won a special decision from the court that allowed them to unseal it.

“[Clark] may have decided in his own mind that the county is going to use Diebold, but the fact is as of today the secretary of state has decertified that equipment and has not made a decision about whether they are going to re-certify,” said Finley. “Clark has known about this litigation in his own mind before this year and could have made a decision then to take advantage of what we believe is a very strong claim.”

Finley explained that this action by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters would have allowed the county to “free itself from the grip of a company that has a very checkered history and switch to an entirely different system. To date they haven’t done that, but it doesn’t mean that it’s too late.”

About the county’s claim that it is too late to turn back, Harris said “That’s just so stupid. If they need to they can print paper ballots and hand count the whole dang thing.”

When questioned, Alameda County Counsel Winnie said the county has not closed out all their options. “We’re not proceeding completely dependent on this electronic equipment,” he said. “The time constraints are so limited and the importance is so great that we can’t afford to simply accept promises or rely on one system. We’re going to reach a conclusion in the next three or four weeks really committing ourselves to how we are going to conduct the election. We are pretty far down the road right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t switch.”

But when asked about whether Clark’s characterization of the county’s options was correct, Winnie said it was.

Both Harris and March say Clark’s actions lead them to believe that he is pushing for a touch screen system.

“Brad’s position seems to be that he wants to stick with Diebold. Why? I couldn’t tell you,” said March.

When asked about the possibility of recounting paper ballots by hand as an alternative option, Clark said that could be an option for Alameda County “if you didn’t want election results until next summer.” He also said a hand re-count is the most inaccurate way to count, especially when there are multiple items on the ballot.

Harris, in her critique of Clark’s apparent support for touchscreens, downplayed Clark’s reasons for dismissing a hand recount, saying the option is out because the county “didn’t organize in time and because [people] want to use the machines by hook or by crook.”

According to James Hale, a media relations officer for Vote Canada, which runs Canada’s national elections, Canada was able to count 13,489,559 votes by hand during the last election on June 28. The votes, cast at 58,000 polling booths, located at 18,000 polling stations in 308 electoral districts, were counted in half an hour. Unlike the upcoming Alameda county ballot, however, which will have tens of items, Canada’s only had one.

After review, the Canada performed re-counts in three different areas, affecting about a dozen of the 13 plus million votes, according to Hale.

redhead
July 16, 2004, 10:57 PM
What is DU afraid of, That they can't let Jim respond on the DU website?

Frohickey is correct, DUers can't allow their viewpoints to be challenged. I know some folks that are conservative, and got their accounts cooked by flamethrowers because they presented arguments contrary to the DU viewpoint. What a shame.

redhead
July 16, 2004, 11:04 PM
DU's rules for posting (http://www.democraticunderground.com/forums/rules.html#welcome)

The link just goes to the section of the rules where it explains that the board is for "progressives" and Democrats. If you are generally supportive of conservative ideals, you will be banned. How's that for a springboard for discussion? I noticed that there were an awful lot of deleted posts on that thread.

LoneStranger
July 17, 2004, 09:22 PM
Stupid Me!

Split your paper ballots into minimum of 3 piles, 5 would be better, and label A,B,C.
Hand to three separate groups/individuals and have them only count one item on ballot. They then submit a written statement of total for that one item in an envelope to a supervisor.
Rotate the stacks of ballots, A>B, B>C, C>A, and have the same item counted again. If you do not allow communication between the counting groups and they accurately count the ballots the numbers should be the same. If not then restack and resort and start over. Should not take to many times around the room to get that one item accurately counted.

Repeat for next item on ballot.

If you keep track of total # ballots in each stack you can easily error check.

But what do I know, IANAL with infinite knowledge of the world!:rolleyes:

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