Well just when you thought things couldn’t get any stranger….they did….
I saw this story last month and I was hoping there would be more media coverage and outrage on the situation but clearly I was wrong. The media is dead silent on this mega-situation: the 2012 US Presidential election votes will be counted in Spain!
The Spanish company Scytl has purchased a major US software company that counts election results: SOE. We learned in the 2004 election that vote fraud is a very real threat to Democracy and not only has the problem not improved since then, its become progressively worse and the media coverage has become progressively non-existent. In fact, ironically the media insists vote fraud does not exist because there statistics tell them so. Of course we have clear evidence that fraud did happen in the 2004 Presidential election, we even have people that went to jail for it. And simply because people haven’t been prosecuted for vote fraud does not mean it isn’t happening.
Here is the company’s website. Looks like someone is aiming to be the global purveyor of Democracy, tallying elections all over the globe. I’m not really sure how that makes sense.
Again, this is a story that should be all over the news. Can you imagine a newscaster coming on and saying “top story: looks like our Democracy is now in the hands of foreign companies who will be tallying our votes and determining our political leaders from here forward.”
Here are the even eerier press releases on their website.
So, am I the only one that thinks this is a problem or that this is newsworthy?
Bev Harris of blackboxvoting.org is an expert on voting systems in the United States. Bev contends that the combination of SOE Software and Scytl is going to make it much more difficult for observers to independently verify the integrity of the voting results in many jurisdictions. The following is an extended excerpt from a recent article by Bev Harris addressing these concerns.
In a major step towards global centralization of election processes, the world’s dominant Internet voting company has purchased the USA’s dominant election results reporting company.
When you view your local or state election results on the Internet, on portals which often appear to be owned by the county elections division, in over 525 US jurisdictions you are actually redirected to a private corporate site controlled by SOE software, which operates under the name ClarityElections.com.
The good news is that this firm promptly reports precinct-level detail in downloadable spreadsheet format. As reported by BlackBoxVoting.org in 2008, the bad news is that this centralizes one middleman access point for over 525 jurisdictions in AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, KY, MI, KS, IL, IN, NC, NM, MN, NY, SC, TX, UT, WA. And growing.
As local election results funnel through SOE’s servers (typically before they reach the public elsewhere), those who run the computer servers for SOE essentially get “first look” at results and the ability to immediately and privately examine vote details throughout the USA.
In 2004, many Americans were justifiably concerned when, days before the presidential election, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell redirected Ohio election night results through the Tennessee-based server for several national Republican Party operations.
This is worse: This redirects results reporting to a centralized privately held server which is not just for Ohio, but national; not just USA-based, but global.
A mitigation against fraud by SOE insiders has been the separation of voting machine systems from the SOE results reports. Because most US jurisdictions require posting evidence of results from each voting machine at the precinct, public citizens can organize to examine these results to compare with SOE results. Black Box Voting spearheaded a national citizen action to videotape / photograph these poll tapes in 2008.
With the merger of SOE and SCYTL, that won’t work (if SCYTL’s voting system is used). When there are two truly independent sources of information, the public can perform its own “audit” by matching one number against the other.
These two independent sources, however, will now be merged into one single source: an Internet voting system controlled by SCYTL, with a results reporting system also controlled by SCYTL.
With SCYTL internet voting, there will be no ballots. No physical evidence. No chain of custody. No way for the public to authenticate who actually cast the votes, chain of custody, or the count.
This is a situation we will keep our eyes on…
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