Fw: from Pete Johnson

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Tue Aug 16 2005 - 09:36:10 CDT

I'm forwarding this FYI. His response was "Wow!" What do you suppose he meant by that?

I've re-attached the letter.

Alan D.

----- Original Message -----
From: Allen County BOE
To: Alan Dechert
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 6:24 AM
Subject: RE: from Pete Johnson

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Alan Dechert [mailto:alan@openvotingconsortium.org]
  Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 4:25 PM
  To: allen@sos.state.oh.us
  Cc: pete johnson
  Subject: Fw: from Pete Johnson

  Dear Mr. Cunningham,

  Please see the attached letter to you.

  Alan Dechert
  President, Open Voting Consortium
  9560 Windrose Lane
  Granite Bay, CA 95746

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: pete johnson
  To: alan dechert
  Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 5:02 PM
  Subject: from Pete Johnson

  ALAN, I know I am not doing much for OVC in Ohio, I am letting too many supporters of HCPB (hand counted paper ballets) influence me. My efforts to lobby BOE supervisors have been interesting; BUT I AM NOT SURE WHAT I AM LOBBYING FOR? Given that open source is not an option, and given that the OVC ballot language is an issue for the legislature not the BOE, and given that I believe electronic vote fraud may have occurred under their noses, what can I ask them to do? Answer might be POST ELECTION AUDIT? Your thoughts?

  Is Laura still working for OVC? I have not heard from her since 4th of july.


  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Allen County BOE
  To: pete johnson
  Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 5:30 PM
  Subject: RE: from Pete Johnson

  In Allen County we engage in extensive testing of every Precinct Counter. Each ballot position is tested for correct reading of votes and over vote detection for every rotation on each scanner. Once testing is complete files are locked down and no changes are made. The software is double password protected with myself having one and my Democrat Deputy Director the other...thus no single individual has access to the system including ES & S. It is important to note that ES & S does not have the passwords...we put them in and provide them access when needed. Additionally, the system is not on line and in order for ES & S to "come in" the system literally must be connected physically before that can happen. It is then immediately disconnected following their work. ES&S never comes in following testing! If changes were to be made everything would be tested again prior to going to field. The testing and the related materials are considered "public." Not only could see the material, you could watch the testing if you desired. (although it is a little like watching paint dry)

  I will not bother myself addressing anything asserted by BlackBox. Suffice it to say I believe they are Conspiracy Terrorists.

  Pete, my job and our jobs at the Allen County Board is and are to insure fair, secure, and honest elections. I have been been in the public sector for 20 years and have been doing this for 8 years and most of my staff for 10 years +. We consider ourselves professionals and conduct our business accordingly. If an election administrator tells you he wouldn't be able to detect tampering then he is not doing his job. However, you and I both know, if someone is hell-bent on doing something illegal they usually can succeed with the appropriate amount of will. That said, I believe we must be realistic about the general security of elections and I firmly believe they are secure. That does not mean they are without flaws and we all must continually stand guard against potential threats. Threats cannot be considered in a vacuum though. As with all things they must be weighed against actual potential vs. the cost to mediate. As a taxpayer, how much are you willing to pay?

  In closing let me say that hand counting ballots carries the greatest flaw potential of all methods. It is the least secure and least reliable. That's why we count with machines and computers. Anyone with election experience shudders at the thought. The single most prevalent flaw in elections is voter error. I would suggest if you have a true interest in improving elections you help us educate voters better.

  I will send the materials I mentioned to you in the next couple of days.

  Best regards,

  Keith Cunningham
    -----Original Message-----
    From: pete johnson [mailto:pjohnso6@insight.rr.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 3:14 PM
    To: Allen County BOE
    Subject: from pete johnson

    Mr. Cunningham,

    Thanks for your response,any materials would be greatly appreciated. Please send to
    Pete Johnson
    8305 Falling water ln
    Columbus, Ohio 43240

    I am lobbying the statehouse to include this language in HB3, although HB3 does not address any technology concerns, so is not easily inserted. Possibly I can convince someone to introduce it as separate legislation. My question for you is, if this language was in the legistlation, would it be problematic or are you already in compliance? If I were to ask for the testing documentation from you, could I get it?

    I asked a BOE supervisor from another county about catching vote fraud if inititated by the voting machine company. I won't tell you who he was, but his answer was "If ES+S has been switching every third vote for the past few years, I wouldnt be able to detect it". A frightening thought.

    A larger question is, does pre-election testing guarantee an accurate result? You may be aware that BlackBox voting was able to hack into Leon county, Fla, as a test, by gaining control over a single removable optical card. Admittidly this was an "inside" job...no one is claiming that a high school kid could duplicate this...but they are saying (have proved?) that someone within the voting machine company could gain access to the software, after pre-election testing was completed.


     Diebold's opti-scan (paper ballot) voting system uses a curious memory card design, offering penetration by a lone programmer such that standard canvassing procedures cannot detect election manipulation.

     The Black Box Voting team proved that the Diebold optical scan program, housed on a chip inside the voting machine, places a call to a program living in the removable memory card during the election. The demonstration also showed that the executable program on the memory card (ballot box) can easily be changed, and that checks and balances, required by FEC standards to catch unauthorized changes, were not implemented by Diebold -- yet the system was certified anyway.

    I will close by saying that all BOE's need to be able to prevent highly sophisticated computer fraud, on the level perpetuated by Jeff Dean (programmer for Diebold) which resulted in 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree. At the risk of being labeled a Conspiracy Realist, you need to be able to prevent vote fraud at the highest level of technical difficulty (think:CIA). Whether you believe this is a far fetched conspiracy theory or a real possibility, I am asking you to ensure that I can never happen. If I were a BOE supervisor, I would use the equipment but I would want to hand count the Presidental ballots after the election, just to be sure.

    Again, thanks for your response and thanks for taking the time.

    Pete Johnson
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Allen County BOE
      To: pete johnson
      Sent: Tuesday, August 09, 2005 12:16 PM
      Subject: RE: thank you

      sorry it has taken me so long to respond...Whom do you want to report the information you're asking for in the text below? Certainly, local boards do not have that kind of information at hand. Please remember, the testing of voting machines in advance of elections is performed by every board. It is also a public function and can be witnessed. Keep in mind, it is a week to 10 day routine and is similar to watching paint dry. But if you want to see it in any BOE, just make the request.

      I have several reports you need to read. I would like to forward them either by mail or fax if you're interested. I do not have them in electronic form sorry.

      Keith Cunningham
      Allen County BOE
        -----Original Message-----
        From: pete johnson [mailto:pjohnso6@insight.rr.com]
        Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 1:25 PM
        To: allen@sos.state.oh.us
        Subject: thank you

        Keith Cunningham,

        Mr Cunningham...thanks so much for speaking with me this morning. I appreciate hearing your point of view, so much gets lost in email communications and faxes (lobbying without listening).

        I am lobbying to have this wording included in HB3. I wondered if you might be willing to comment on this?

        ***** begin proposed expanded
        language for bill
        Before a voting system is used in an election, all test plans, all automated
        and manual scripts, test results, and all information needed to reproduce these
        test results, documentation, bug tracking database, and other records used to
        plan, execute, and record the results of the testing and verification,
        including all material prepared or used by voting system testing laboratories
        or independent testing authorities or other third parties, shall be made part
        of the public record and shall be freely available via the Internet and paper
        copy to anyone.
        ****** end

        This language comes from Open Voting Consortium http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/

        On the subject of Exit Polls, I respect the fact that we can disagree. I would be very interested in anything you may have that would convince me. The document below is the most recent detailed study that I have seen.

        I am a 50 yr old Pharmacist and have not been politically active in the past. You may think that I am a conspiracy realist...I admit to that. Unless you believe Oswald killed Kennedy you might be as well. So when it comes to Presidential elections...with so much at stake....I do believe that powerful people are willing to take specific actions to affect the outcome. They are not going to watch the election like I watch a football game. I do believe that the technology exits that would enable vote switching to occur which would not be detected by honest BOE supervisors. You have the resources to be confident in your results, but for me the only real double check is the exit polls. When the results and the polls differ by the margin of victory, and when Edison Mitofsky refuses to release raw exit poll data at the precinct level... of course I am going to be suspicious.

        again, thanks for speaking to me this morning...

        pete johnson
        8305 falling water ln
        columbus, ohio 43240

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Received on Wed Aug 31 23:17:26 2005

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