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virus: FW: exit polls: the smoking gun?
« on: 2004-11-11 16:26:15 »
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--------------------------------snip--------------------------------

Election night, I'd been doing live election coverage for WDEV, one of =
the
radio stations that carries my syndicated show, and, just after =
midnight,
during the 12:20 a.m. Associated Press Radio News feed, I was startled =
to
hear the reporter detail how Karen Hughes had earlier sat George W. Bush
down to inform him that he'd lost the election. The exit polls were =
clear:
Kerry was winning in a landslide. "Bush took the news stoically," noted =
the
AP report.=20

But then the computers reported something different. In several pivotal
states.=20

Conservatives see a conspiracy here: They think the exit polls were =
rigged.=20

Dick Morris, the infamous political consultant to the first Clinton =
campaign
who became a Republican consultant and Fox News regular, wrote an =
article
for The Hill <http://www.thehill.com/morris/110404.aspx> , the =
publication
read by every political junkie in Washington, DC, in which he made a =
couple
of brilliant points.=20

"Exit Polls are almost never wrong," Morris wrote. "They eliminate the =
two
major potential fallacies in survey research by correctly separating =
actual
voters from those who pretend they will cast ballots but never do and by
substituting actual observation for guesswork in judging the relative
turnout of different parts of the state."=20

He added: "So, according to ABC-TVs exit polls, for example, Kerry was
slated to carry Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Iowa, =
all
of which Bush carried. The only swing state the network had going to =
Bush
was West Virginia, which the president won by 10 points."=20

Yet a few hours after the exit polls were showing a clear Kerry sweep, =
as
the computerized vote numbers began to come in from the various states =
the
election was called for Bush.=20

How could this happen?=20

On the CNBC TV show "Topic A With Tina Brown," several months ago, =
Howard
Dean had filled in for Tina Brown as guest host. His guest was Bev =
Harris,
the Seattle grandmother who started www.blackboxvoting.org
<http://www.blackboxvoting.org/>  from her living room. Bev pointed out =
that
regardless of how votes were tabulated (other than hand counts, only =
done in
odd places like small towns in Vermont), the real "counting" is done by
computers. Be they Diebold Opti-Scan machines, which read paper ballots
filled in by pencil or ink in the voter's hand, or the scanners that =
read
punch cards, or the machines that simply record a touch of the screen, =
in
all cases the final tally is sent to a "central tabulator" machine.=20

That central tabulator computer is a Windows-based PC.=20

"In a voting system," Harris explained to Dean on national television, =
"you
have all the different voting machines at all the different polling =
places,
sometimes, as in a county like mine, there's a thousand polling places =
in a
single county. All those machines feed into the one machine so it can =
add up
all the votes. So, of course, if you were going to do something you
shouldn't to a voting machine, would it be more convenient to do it to =
each
of the 4000 machines, or just come in here and deal with all of them at
once?"=20

Dean nodded in rhetorical agreement, and Harris continued. "What =
surprises
people is that the central tabulator is just a PC, like what you and I =
use.
It's just a regular computer."=20

"So," Dean said, "anybody who can hack into a PC can hack into a central
tabulator?"=20

Harris nodded affirmation, and pointed out how Diebold uses a program =
called
GEMS, which fills the screen of the PC and effectively turns it into the
central tabulator system. "This is the official program that the County
Supervisor sees," she said, pointing to a PC that was sitting between =
them
loaded with Diebold's software.=20

Bev then had Dean open the GEMS program to see the results of a test
election. They went to the screen titled "Election Summary Report" and
waited a moment while the PC "adds up all the votes from all the various
precincts," and then saw that in this faux election Howard Dean had 1000
votes, Lex Luthor had 500, and Tiger Woods had none. Dean was winning.=20

"Of course, you can't tamper with this software," Harris noted. Diebold
wrote a pretty good program.=20

But, it's running on a Windows PC.=20

So Harris had Dean close the Diebold GEMS software, go back to the =
normal
Windows PC desktop, click on the "My Computer" icon, choose "Local Disk =
C:,"
open the folder titled GEMS, and open the sub-folder "LocalDB" which, =
Harris
noted, "stands for local database, that's where they keep the votes." =
Harris
then had Dean double-click on a file in that folder titled "Central
Tabulator Votes," which caused the PC to open the vote count in a =
database
program like Excel.=20

In the "Sum of the Candidates" row of numbers, she found that in one
precinct Dean had received 800 votes and Lex Luthor had gotten 400.=20

"Let's just flip those," Harris said, as Dean cut and pasted the numbers
from one cell into the other. "And," she added magnanimously, "let's =
give
100 votes to Tiger."=20

They closed the database, went back into the official GEMS software "the
legitimate way, you're the county supervisor and you're checking on the
progress of your election."=20

As the screen displayed the official voter tabulation, Harris said, "And =
you
can see now that Howard Dean has only 500 votes, Lex Luthor has 900, and
Tiger Woods has 100." Dean, the winner, was now the loser.=20

Harris sat up a bit straighter, smiled, and said, "We just edited an
election, and it took us 90 seconds."=20

On live national television. (You can see the clip on www.votergate.tv
<http://www.votergate.tv/> .) And they had left no tracks whatsoever, =
Harris
said, noting that it would be nearly impossible for the election =
software -
or a County election official - to know that the vote database had been
altered.=20

Which brings us back to Morris and those pesky exit polls that had Karen
Hughes telling George W. Bush that he'd lost the election in a =
landslide.=20

Morris's conspiracy theory is that the exit polls "were sabotage" to =
cause
people in the western states to not bother voting for Bush, since the
networks would call the election based on the exit polls for Kerry. But =
the
networks didn't do that, and had never intended to.=20

According to congressional candidate Fisher, it makes far more sense =
that
the exit polls were right - they weren't done on Diebold PCs - and that =
the
vote itself was hacked.=20

And not only for the presidential candidate - Jeff Fisher thinks this =
hit
him and pretty much every other Democratic candidate for national office =
in
the most-hacked swing states.=20

So far, the only national "mainstream" media to come close to this story =
was
Keith Olbermann on his show Friday night, November 5th, when he noted =
that
it was curious that all the voting machine irregularities so far =
uncovered
seem to favor Bush. In the meantime, the Washington Post and other media =
are
now going through single-bullet-theory-like contortions to explain how =
the
exit polls had failed.=20

But I agree with Fox's Dick Morris on this one, at least in large part.
Wrapping up his story for The Hill, Morris wrote in his final paragraph,
"This was no mere mistake. Exit polls cannot be as wrong across the =
board as
they were on election night. I suspect foul play."=20

Thom Hartmann (thom at thomhartmann.com) is a Project Censored =
Award-winning
best-selling author and host of a nationally syndicated daily =
progressive
talk show. www.thomhartmann =
<http://www.thomhartmann.com/commondreams.shtml>
.com=20

--------------------------------snip--------------------------------

=20



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First, read Bruce Sterling's "Distraction", and then read http://electionmethods.org.
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Re:virus: FW: exit polls: the smoking gun?
« Reply #1 on: 2004-11-11 19:32:34 »
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Re:virus: FW: exit polls: the smoking gun?
« Reply #2 on: 2004-11-12 16:34:16 »
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Re:virus: FW: exit polls: the smoking gun?
« Reply #3 on: 2004-11-14 23:54:03 »
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