Ohio SOS Jon Husted: Uncertified “Experimental Software Patches” & Provisional Ballot Controversies

Election Protection Cat is working to protect the Ohio election by monitoring all electronic voting machines. Photo Credit: Dewey by angela n on flickr cc

Election Protection Cat is working to protect the Ohio election by monitoring all electronic voting machines. Photo Credit: Dewey by angela n on flickr cc

Is this a deja vu? It seems that current GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted in 2012 is taking a page from former Ohio GOP Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell’s playbook from the disastrous 2004 Ohio election. In the Ohio 2004 Presidential election, votes mysteriously changed in the middle of the night from Kerry to Bush. Thousands of voters in primarily democratic strongholds were forced to cast provisional ballots. Thousands of provisional ballots were never counted in Ohio.

Ohio Provisional Ballots: Will they be Counted in Time or at All?

Did Kenneth Blackwell and Jon Husted compare notes? It seems like the policies of Republican Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell from 2004 were handed down directly to Republican Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted in 2012.

Ari Berman of The Nation, published the article: “Eleventh-Hour GOP Voter Suppression Could Swing Ohio”:

“Once again Husted is playing the voter suppression card, this time at the eleventh hour, in a controversial new directive concerning provisional ballots. In an order to election officials on Friday night, Husted shifted the burden of correctly filling out a provisional ballot from the poll worker to the voter, specifically pertaining to the recording of a voter’s form of ID, which was previously the poll worker’s responsibility. Any provisional ballot with incorrect information will not be counted, Husted maintains. This seemingly innocuous change has the potential to impact the counting of thousands of votes in Ohio and could swing the election in this closely contested battleground.”

Another problem: Ohio provisional ballots don’t have to be counted until 14 days after the election. FOURTEEN DAYS. OK, so if there are 100,000 or more provisional ballots and the election is close and they aren’t counted until 14 days after November 6th, how will that affect the Ohio election?

This is a recipe for another disaster unless the candidates, or at least the Democrats, have the backbone to call for hand-counted ballots through recounts. That’s right. It is time in 2012 to not just give up the election like Kerry did in 2004 despite rampant voter suppression from long lines where voters in Democratic strongholds waited in line in Ohio for as much as 9-11 hours, and outright election fraud. President Obama should take a lesson from how now Senator Al Franken never gave up seeking the truth from his election even though many people said he should. Franken won by a slim margin, but he stuck it out until all votes were properly hand-counted. Bravo Al Franken!

Then There are the Untested Uncertified “Experimental Software Patches” inserted into voting machines in 39 Ohio Counties by Republican SoS Jon Husted

As if the voter suppression tactics of GOP SoS Husted isn’t enough where he cut early voting hours for Ohioans and changed provisional ballot rules, he now has the gall to skirt Ohio state law by deciding to insert “experimental software patches” into ES&S (Election Systems and Software) electronic voting machines in 39 Ohio counties. Why would GOP Ohio SoS Husted decide to suddenly do this? It is totally astounding especially since this software has not been seen by anyone who has the responsibility of testing and certifying the election software. Is Husted deliberately undermining the security of the Ohio vote and voting rights of its citizens?

Here is a report about the possible Man In The Middle attack that occurred during the Ohio 2004 election. Kenneth Blackwell hired Mike Connell of GovTech Solutions and its subcontractor Smartech. The story of what happened in 2004 is still being pieced together. However, what is fact is that Triad GSI, another IT company hired by some Ohio counties in 2004, is on record for switching out hard drives from voting equipment in the midst of the 2004 election–which looked suspiciously like they were covering their tracks for electronic manipulation of ballots. Also, through a lawsuit the computer configuration set up by GovTech and Smartech showed a classic Man In The Middle configuration where someone changed ballot total data coming from the counties to the Ohio Secretary of State website. According to GOP computer security expert Stephen Spoonamore, after looking at the architecture of the way Smartech & GovTech set up the computer connections to the web, it was likely that data was changed.

Is There A Plan to Steal the Ohio Election through Multiple Means?

Now suddenly within a few days before the Nov. 6, 2012 election, GOP Ohio SoS Husted decided to put “experimental software patches” into voting machines. As Harry Hursti showed in the “Hursti Hack.” It is easy to change vote totals through altering software on memory cards or inserting software into electronic voting machines.

In a new article published in The Free Press by Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, the writers say the “uncertified” software could possibly corrupt votes and have security flaws open to “man in the middle” attacks:

“This uncertified and untested software could easily malfunction and corrupt votes on the central tabulation machines, thus destroying any electronic record of the actual votes by citizens. This “experimental” software, as outlined in the contract, has no security protocols. A “man in the middle” attack, like the one that stole the Ohio election for George W. Bush in 2004, could be directly facilitated by this untested and uncertified software installation.

The Secretary of State’s office has used every legal contortion to avoid the use of science and the possibility of public scrutiny of this possibly illegal software. The Free Press will continue to report on this story as it develops.”

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3 Responses to Ohio SOS Jon Husted: Uncertified “Experimental Software Patches” & Provisional Ballot Controversies

  1. We must make sure we’re not lulled into complacency by the decent election results in 2012. We need to be on top of all the voter suppresion tactics in future elections. We might not be so lucky next time, and the suppression tactics and the big money might work for the GOP.

  2. Aleta says:

    This should be reported to the Dept. of Justice (1-800-253-3931 or 202-337-2767) for investigation.

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