Was the Special Election in Massachusetts 1/19/2010 Accurate and Secure?

Why did Voters receive Pre-Inked Ballots for Scott Brown on 1/19/2010?

Why did Voters receive Pre-Inked Ballots for Scott Brown on 1/19/2010?

Ballots Pre-Marked for Scott Brown Reported in January 19th Election

Scott Brown seemed to have won the Massachusetts Special Senate Election by over 100,000, but did he really win it by that large a margin? Did Secretary of State Galvin fully investigate some unusual reports about already pre-inked ballots for Scott Brown given to voters as they went to cast their vote on 1/19/2010?


What’s up with the pre-inked ballots for Scott Brown that showed up in at least 3 different cities in Massachusetts–Boston, Cambridge and Beverly–on January 19, 2010 during the heat of the special election for the Senate seat formerly held by Senator Edward Kennedy?

Secretary of State Galvin downplayed the problems of voters receiving pre-marked ballots for Scott Brown.

The election is over and Scott Brown has been sworn into the Senate. However, there are still unanswered questions regarding why poll workers were lax in possibly distributing already cast ballots to new voters. Or, if there is another explanation regarding how and why some voters received pre-marked ballots for Brown.

Mmmm. It’s interesting that some Republicans were accusing Democrats of potential election fraud before the election, but the irregularities that showed up included pre-marked ballots for Republican Scott Brown in privacy sleeves to prospective voters in Beverly, Massachusetts. According to an explanation from the Secretary of State’s office, the poll worker claims that somehow a “used” ballot was incorrectly placed in the privacy sleeve and handed to a new voter. This might have occurred but it is highly unlikely given the fact that voters must put their ballots in a locked box before leaving the polls.

Are Massachusetts Elections Safe and Secure? Better Check Twice!

Are Massachusetts Elections Safe and Secure? Better Check Twice!

According to this article that minimizes the pre-marked ballot issue: Beverly, Massachusetts City Clerk Fran McDonald claims that “an election worker grabbed what he thought were blank ballots but what he took instead, were ballots that had already been cast.” McDonald said only “three” ballots marked for Scott Brown were involved at the Centerville Elementary School polling location in Beverly, MA.  Apparently police “went to city hall to notify McDonald of the problem” when it was reported to them at 4:48 pm on 1/19/2010 by a concerned voter who had received a ballot already marked for “Scott Brown.”

Unanswered Question: If the ballots were already cast, why weren’t they put into the scanned locked box?

How would a cast ballot in a locked box be given to a poll worker who then automatically hands it to a new voter? Also, were these errant ballots saved for reference? According to the Mass. Secretary of State’s election procedures, all ballots, cast, spoiled or unused are supposed to be kept as part of checking the tally at the end of the election.

If this happened once, then maybe it would be just a fluke, but pre-marked ballots for Scott Brown were reported at least five times in three different cities. Something does not smell right here.

Kitty Reporter recommends that Secretary of State Galvin seriously investigate the cause of these irregular pre-marked ballots to protect the integrity of Massachusetts elections.

Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org Statistics on Hand Count Precincts vs. Electronic Voting Machine Precincts:

Beverly Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org has listed some interesting statistics regarding tallies from precincts that were hand-counted vs. those that used electronic voting machines that scanned ballots onto a memory card.

Harris points out that the combined 71 hand count locations revealed results where Coakley was ahead overall by a margin of “3.35%.”

The Electronic Voting Machines in Massachusetts:

According to Harris,

  • There are 91 locations with ES&S Electronic Voting Machines
  • 187 locations with Diebold Electronic Voting Machines
  • 2 locations with “mystery” electronic voting machines

Harris claims in her article on 1/20/2010 that:

“The greatest margin between the candidates was with ES&S machines — 53.64% for Brown, 45.31% for Coakley, a margin for Brown of 8.33%.”

“Diebold’s results are 51.42% for Brown, with 791,272 Republican votes counted by Diebold, vs. 47.61% for Coakley, with 732,633 Democratic votes counted by Diebold, for a spread of 3.81% favoring Brown.”

What Does It All Mean?

Is it unusual that all of the electronic voting machine precincts combined favored Scott Brown and all of the combined hand counted precincts favored Coakley? Perhaps a panel of statisticians should review if this is normal or indicative of a larger problem with this election.

Random hand-counting of precincts recommended:

Based on the variance in overall results between the hand-counted precincts and the electronically scanned ballots from mostly ES&S & Diebold machines, wouldn’t it be a good idea for Secretary of State Galvin to have done some random hand-counts of ballots, especially in those precincts that seemed to supposedly mistake cast ballots with uncast ballots?

Also, if the story is true that some poll worker mistakenly gave a cast and scanned ballot to a new voter, how did that happen? What kind of training do poll workers receive in Massachusetts and what is the chain of custody of all election materials – before, during, and after the election?

Harry Hursti Proves that Scanned Electronic Ballots Can Be Hacked!

Harry Hursti has widely demonstrated that having a paper ballot scanned into an electronic scanner does not guarantee that the scanner will properly count the ballots, either at the precinct level or in the central tabulation systems. He testified in New Hampshire regarding the insecurity of the voting machines used in that state and serviced by LHS Associates. LHS Associates also services Massachusetts ES&S and Diebold electronic voting machines.

BlackBoxVoting.Org and Harri Hursti Proves E-Voting Machines Can Be Hacked

German High Court Outlaws Electronic Voting Machines March 2009

Some people think it’s OK to use electronic voting machines as long as you have a paper ballot that can be scanned. However, computer expert, Harry Hursti, has proven that even having a paper ballot is only accurate when it is hand-counted. Why? Because memory cards that carry information from the scanned ballot can be manipulated through insertion of malicious vote-rigging code. If just one memory card is compromised, it can potentially change the results of an entire election once the code is downloaded to the central tabulation machine.

And that is only one possible way to manipulate electronic voting machine results. There are many other ways to change the votes…That’s why the German High Court Outlawed Electronic Voting in March 2009, according to an article by Michael Collins in Scoop Independent News.

The Justices of the German High Court decided on March 3, 2009 that electronic voting machines were unconstitutional because they counted votes in secret out of public view. In their decision they wisely stated that:

Electronic voting machines do not allow citizens to “reliably examine, when the vote is cast, whether the vote has been recorded in an unadulterated manner.”

Mid-Term Elections in the U.S. November 2010

Is the Massachusetts Special Senate Election of January 19, 2010 the canary in the mine shaft for upcoming elections around the United States?

Americans deserve to have elections that are accurate, safe and secure where all votes are counted as cast without any manipulation or fraud. However, if election officials gloss over problems in their election to get it over with in the most expedient manner without real attention to whether the election was accurate, then voters are in trouble. Regardless of party affiliation, all Americans deserve to have elections that reflect the truth.

State and local election officials must be held accountable by voters in order to protect democracy in this country.

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