Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Yet again, the fix may be in . . .

Yesterday, we reported that according to Indiana's own figures, 1.1 million voter registrations had been cancelled, one-quarter of a million of those in just two counties. Another researcher, Steve Rosenfeld, began tracking back through data from the Election Assistance Commission, finding that the cancellation quantities didn't jive with the numbers you'd expect. According to Rosenfeld, after talking with the office of the Indiana Secretary of State the explanation is that "cancelled" does not mean "cancelled registrations" it means "changes" to registrations.


Because Indiana is implementing an ID requirement, and this will require that voters name and address match when the voter registration database is compared with their ID, an unscrupulous data entry person would no longer need to PURGE registrations in order to knock people off the voting rolls. All that's required is CHANGING the registration slightly, to introduce typos.

Many locations are now enamored of using "electronic pollbooks" instead of the paper printouts. We all know what happens when you enter a name with a typo: The computer says "can't find".

Try it. Use any computer program you have, and enter your name with a typo. Then do a search for your name. If I typo "Ben Harris" and search for "Bev Harris" I won't find it. Now, with the paper pollbooks, a pollworker might see that it's a typo, if my address is the same. Whether they accept that Bev Harris is Ben Harris is open to how flexible they feel at the moment.

With electronic pollbooks, they may not find the typo-name at all. And if an unscrupulous political hack enters "changes" or "updates" that introduce a typo into the address, or name and address, it may be impossible to find you at all. Example: I alter "Bev Harris" to make it read "Ben Harris" and then change "973 SW 43rd St" to "793 SW 43rd". Gone. Poof.

Some say the problems with the Florida 2000 election have now been codified into federal law nationwide. In terms of the now-mandatory statewide voter lists, that's true. These centralized records allow changes to be introduced from either your county or the state, and a single person can cook the list.

When you add voter ID into the mix, it allows very subtle attacks that will produce mismatches. Mark my words, the new watchword for 2008 will be "human error." Add "human error" to the term "computer glitch" for meaningless and unacceptable terms that introduce voter disenfranchisment without accountability.


If your name is not found on the voter rolls, you are entitled to vote on a provisional ballot. However: The networks will call the race, engaging in their traditional journalistic malpractice of saying who "won" when they mean who they "project WILL win". NO PROVISIONAL BALLOTS ARE CONSIDERED AT ALL when the networks "call the race." They are taking their projections from called and faxed-in reports of the voting machine results tapes -- and no provisional ballots are in those results.

Provisional ballots are also "second class" ballots because:
- They are not counted until many days later
- Some of the rules applied to which ballots count or don't count actually disenfranchise voters based on pollworker errors. For example, in Volusia County Florida, citizen extraordinaire Susan Pynchon fought to get a whole set of provisional ballots counted that they were about to deny, based on the reason that "the poll worker didn't write the REASON it was a provisional ballot" on each one.


The word "cancelled" is the one chosen by the Indiana election officials and their computers. They say it doesn't mean "cancelled." Here is a picture of Porter County from their report. Cancelled means cancelled, or cancelled means changed, but something happened in Porter County and there is no explanation as to what:

Here is a link to the original Indiana document containing voter registration information:

According to this document, here is a map with the percentage of voter registrations cancelled or changed, along with the quantities.

If you try to vote and they can't find you on the list, please report it to us for data collection and public records actions.


You can post and discuss the Indiana and North Carolina 2008 primary elections here.

Here is a compendium of links that you may find helpful when tracking incoming results. Some of them are live already, others will go live as results come in:


Thanks to JOHN HOWARD, a valuable Black Box Voting participant, for compiling the links for detailed precinct-level analysis.

Original article posted here.

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