Thursday, October 26, 2006

Election Rigging 101

There are mid-term elections coming up on November 7th. According to most current analysis, the Republicans are in deep trouble and will probably lose control of both the Senate and the House. However, we have seen a similar situation before. Most of the smart money and exit polls predicted that the criminal and moronic W. would have been dumped after the last Presidential election. This did not happen.

Since that time, a good deal of research has been conducted into how that 'upset' could have come about. If the Republicans suddenly, 'magically', do better than expected in the mid-term election, the mechanism by which this could have happen will be revealed here.

There has been a good deal of concern about the paperless, electronic voting machines that have become increasingly common. This is a red herring. There are simply too many individual voting machines for these to represent a realistic method of rigging the election. All the discussion on this topic though serves to distract attention from the most likely method.

Once votes have been cast, they need to be tabulated. That is to say, all the individual results need to be collected together and counted. These tabulating devices are the best place for those with dubious intent to exercise their craft.

One system of tabulating votes is the GEMS system, from the Diebold company. On this system, election data is stored in a Microsoft Access database. Although the GEMS software requires a password and has some logging capabilities, the Access database can be easily changed without using this software.

Each candidate is assigned a unique number within the Access database. By simply changing the assigned numbers of candidates, the votes cast for one, appear in the tally total of the other and visa versa. To make this change takes under 30 seconds.

The change is made from within Access, software that can easily be carried on a thumb drive. The change made in Access leaves no evidence trail. A single change in a tabulator database can mean that a Republican candidate who lost against their Democratic opponent can suddenly get the previously Democratic votes, leading to a surprise win.

There is some evidence that this mechanism was used during the last Presidential election, in addition to the more traditional methods, like voter intimidation, 'fortuitous' distribution of voting machines and the like. Motivated partisan Republican zealots may resort to these methods again. So, if the upcoming election does not turn out the way it should, and most people expect, then you should suspect the tabulating machines, not any highly motivated voting block. Remember, you heard it here first, before it even happened!

The CP

1 Comments:

Anonymous Tim K. said...

A while ago, I found a web site that describes in detail how this kind of tabulator manipulation can take place. The process is illustrated with pictures too. See http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~isb9112/election/.

Tim

2:41 PM  

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