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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

'Arti-factual' Election Results in SC

From the BradBlog:

'Arti-factual' Election Results in SC; And a Brief History of Recent ES&S E-Vote Failure in Advance of Thursday's Democratic Primary Protest Hearing

JUST IN: Protest hearing to be streamed LIVE Thursday @ 3pm ET...

Posted By Brad Friedman On 16th June 2010 @ 19:54

First, some very good news just in: The hearing for the protest to the results of last week's SC Democratic U.S. Senate primary will be streamed [1] live on Thursday at 3pm ET via Live.VicRawl.com [2].

The protest will be heard by the Executive Board of the South Carolina Democratic Party to consider Judge Vic Rawl's protest to last week's bizarre election.

Second, I'm happy to say that I have finally been able to make contact with the campaign of former state legislator and Circuit Court Judge Vic Rawl [3]. I had a somewhat lengthy conversation earlier today with his campaign manager Walter Ludwig, and continue to be happy to report that it seems they have a very good grasp of the issues at stake --- in relation to the horrific ES&S e-voting system --- in their challenge to the 100% unverifiable election of Alvin Greene in SC's recent Democratic U.S. Senate primary race.

As I noted last night [4], in discussing Rawl's interview yesterday on Fox, given the sharp learning curve for those unfamiliar with the complex issues involved with e-voting and Election Integrity, they've done an excellent job of getting up to speed, at least inasmuch as possible in the short time they've been forced to become "experts" on the topic.

That, of course, is just another pitfall of using insanely complicated rocket science instead of common sense and eyeballs to add one plus one plus one in our current electoral system. Most candidates with questions about their election results simply can't afford the resources and computer scientists and time needed for the forensic investigation of these systems --- that's if they're even allowed access to the often proprietary trade-secret hardware and software --- following an election and prior to the date by which they must file and argue a legal challenge. That, as opposed to simply examining paper ballots and chain of custody procedures, as would be the case with sane, paper ballot elections.

Ludwig seems to understand just how bad the voting system is that voters were forced to use in SC's recent election, the same system used in dozens of other states despite The BRAD BLOG's [5] best efforts over the past six years to warn of the dangers.

"These machines are incredibly frail and subject to manipulation. They don't work very well." In short, Ludwig told me, "They're crap."...

'Arti-factual' Results

The case he'll present tomorrow to the state Democratic Party's executive committee does not include evidence of direct manipulation, but rather, a three-pronged case combining the known problems and historical failures of the ES&S iVotronic system, in combination with the statistical and political improbabilities that Greene, an unemployed, unknown candidate who did no campaigning whatsoever, could have legitimately received some 60% of the total vote.

"The results appear to be artificial, or 'arti-factual', as some people might say. As we've done our analysis, it just doesn't hold up," said Ludwig.

Speaking to the oft-cited fallacy being forwarded in the media that both candidates were equally unknown entities, who each did little or no campaigning, Ludwig re-iterated what Rawl has been saying in his recent media appearances [6]. "There is an inherent presumption that these were equivalent campaigns. We campaigned, the other guy just simply didn't."

Rawl has said he'd raised hundreds of thousands of dollars during the campaign, appeared at some 80 campaign events all across the state since March 1st, and had hundreds of campaign volunteers. By way of contrast, Greene didn't have a campaign website, had no volunteers, no campaign literature, and doesn't even own a computer or a cell phone.

I pointed Ludwig to a number of academic findings in regard to the state's Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems which he hadn't yet known of, and discussed my concerns about the sensitive memory cards used in those systems for both programming the ballot and recording votes.

As manipulation of the memory cards are one of the direct ways to potentially manipulate the machines, I've been very troubled by reports received by the campaign that some pollworkers were said to have been repeatedly accessing and swapping out memory cards throughout Election Day. Ludwig says that the cards have yet to be examined or quarantined. I strongly advised, as I have since first reporting this story [7], that someone get a court order for that immediately.

Read more at the BradBlog @ http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7899#more-7899

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