Voting Machines Picking Candidates Other Than Those Selected

Reports have been circulating abroad that voters in many states have had issues with selecting Mitt Romney via the computerized voting machines and the machine actually placing a check beside Barack Obama. This has happened in several states, including Ohio, North Carolina, and Kansas. Now a voter from Pennsylvania demonstrates that he attempted to vote for Barack Obama and the voting machine was casting his vote for Mitt Romney.

The video was uploaded Tuesday morning to YouTube by ‘centralpavote’ and the following was put into the description:

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My wife and I went to the voting booths this morning before work. There were 4 older ladies running the show and 3 voting booths that are similar to a science fair project in how they fold up. They had an oval VOTE logo on top center and a cartridge slot on the left that the volunteers used to start your ballot.

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I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney’s name and started tapping very closely together to find the ‘active areas’. From the top of Romney’s button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama’s name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein’s button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.

I asked the voters on either side of me if they had any problems and they reported they did not. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said “It’s nothing to worry about, everything will be OK.” and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded this video.

There is a lot of speculation that the footage is edited. I’m not a video guy, but if it’s possible to prove whether a video has been altered or not, I will GLADLY provide the raw footage to anyone who is willing to do so. The jumping frames are a result of the shitty camera app on my Android phone, nothing more.

There is no doubt that voting machines are a huge security problem. Many have been tested and demonstrated the ability to be hacked. Fox News reporter Ben Swann did a recent Reality Check on voting machines in the Ohio area and even discovered a tie to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Though Swann is not saying that the Romney campaign will be cheating, he does point out the ties between Romney and former Bain & Co. employees who are now HIG Capital directors which, a month after Romney formally entered the presidential race, acquired Hart Intercivic, the company that manufactures the voting machines used in two counties in Ohio, specifically Hamilton County. Hamilton County is a key county in Ohio in this year’s election.

Swann goes on to report that the Secretary of State’s office in Ohio conducted a study of three voting machines called ‘Everest’, including those manufactured by Hart to determine just how trustworthy the machines are. And the results put the electronic voting machines on incredibly shaky ground. According to the Project Everest Report:

“The researchers concluded that virtually every ballot, vote, election result, and audit log is ‘forgeable or otherwise manipulatable by an attacker with even brief access to the voting systems.”

The report also went on to state that the Hart voting system “violates a basic isolation tenet of security engineering… Compromise of a single precinct provides materials to compromise any precinct and election headquarters….Auditing features are ‘vulnerable to a broad range of attacks that can corrupt or erase logs of election activities.”

This story is not isolated. It has been picked up by Forbes, the Brad blog, The Christian Science Monitor, and Free Press.

The real issue here is that voting machines are incredibly easy to manipulate, thus making them untrustworthy for elections. It’s not just an issue of what you see when voting, it’s what you don’t see once you are done voting that is even more alarming, especially when we know both the Democrats and the Republicans have demonstrated a willingness to ignore how voters vote in favor of their own agenda.

Watch the report from Ben Swann below:

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