Election Defenders

Courageous whistleblowers, investigators, and journalists have stood up to the forces that are warping American democracy. They turned the spotlight on the election industry when it was needed most.


Whistleblowers

SEQUOIA VOTING SYSTEMS

Seven employees of Sequoia Voting Systems testified that prior to the 2000 election they were instructed to misalign the punch-card ballots cards that were used in Florida, and halt quality assurance testing. Sequoia had also recently switched to inferior paper stock.

These fraudulent Sequoia ballots resulted in tens of thousands of spoiled votes, primarily in minority communities, with high overvote and undervote rates.

The hanging chad fiasco led to "selection" of George W. Bush as president by the right-wing Supreme Court. Spun as a crisis in election technology, the 2000 election enabled passage of the Help America Vote Act, a $3.9 billion subsidy for the voting industry. HAVA encouraged widespread adoption of unverifiable and fraud-prone touchscreen voting machines, many of them poorly made in foreign sweatshops.

Watch the Dan Rather exposé, "The Trouble with Touchscreens."


CLINT CURTIS

Software programmer Clint Curtis testified before Congress that Rep. Tom Feeney asked him to write a vote-flipping program.

The program Curtis wrote was intended to rig an election and then erase itself. Feeney's program was designed to benefit the Republican Party. West Palm Beach, the intended target, infamously used fraudulent punch-card ballots in the 2000 elections.

Curtis explained that the software could be used in any electronic tabulation machine or scanner. For his whole story, watch Murder, Spies & Voting Lies.


DIEBOLD

Diebold contractors have stepped forward to describe how illegal software was covertly applied to voting machines prior to the Georgia 2002 election.

Chris Hood was hired as a Diebold contractor during its deployment of paperless touchscreen voting machines in Maryland and Georgia. Hood says that Diebold President Bob Urosevich was directly involved in circulating illegal software that was covertly applied to Georgia voting machines with no public oversight. He says Diebold had complete control over the entire election in Georgia and that security was routinely compromised. Hood’s parents fought for civil rights in the South.

Watch Chris Hood's full interview on YouTube:

Rob Behler was a Diebold contractor during the 2002 rollout of touchscreen voting machines in Georgia. Behler told Bev Harris of Black Box Voting that he and others used insecure servers to download and install uncertified versions of voting machine software. These illegal changes were hidden from Georgia officials.

To read more on Behler, see Black Box Voting, Wired, The Nation, and Salon.


THE CASE OF DON SIEGELMAN

Jill Simpson was a Republican operative tasked with opposition research on Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. Karl Rove instructed her to pry into Siegelman's personal life, but she found nothing of reproach. Simpson attended a conference call during which it was revealed that Siegelman’s opponents were conspiring to derail his candidacy by indicting him on spurious charges. Karl Rove directed the prosecution from behind the scenes. Simpson has testified under oath regarding this case.


Ohio 2004 Recount

"In Hocking County, deputy elections director Sherole Eaton caught an employee of Triad—which provided the software used to count punch-card ballots in nearly half of Ohio's counties—making unauthorized modifications to the tabulating computer before the recount.

"Eaton told the Conyers committee that the same employee also provided county officials with a ''cheat sheet'' so that ''the count would come out perfect and we wouldn't have to do a full hand-recount of the county.

"After Eaton blew the whistle on the illegal tampering, she was fired.

"The same Triad employee was dispatched to do the same work in at least five other counties. Company president Tod Rapp—who contributed to Bush's campaign—has confirmed that Triad routinely makes such tabulator adjustments to help election officials avoid hand recounts.

"In the end, every county serviced by Triad failed to conduct full recounts by hand.

"In at least two counties, Fulton and Henry, Triad was able to connect to tabulating computers remotely via a dial-up connection, and reprogram them to recount only the presidential ballots."

*** Excerpt from "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?" by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in Rolling Stone.


Iowa 2012 GOP Primary

Mitt Romney was initially reported as the winner of the 2012 Republican primary in Iowa, but watchful citizen Edward True noticed that Rick Santorum was in fact the true winner—the Iowa GOP had misreported the vote count by enough votes to flip the caucus in Romney's favor

Whether accidental or deliberate, this incident highlights the fact that elections are wide open manipulation when results are tabulated and reported electronically. The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets covered True's revelation, but only after Romney had been portrayed as having electoral momentum.