Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld will resign, reportedly
to be replaced by former CIA director Robert Gates. Did you know that Robert
Gates was involved in the voting machine industry?
Gates was on the Board of Directors of VoteHere, a strange
little company that was the biggest elections industry lobbyist for the Help
America Vote Act (HAVA). VoteHere spent more money than ES&S, Diebold, and
Sequoia combined to help ram HAVA through. And HAVA, of course, was a bill
sponsored by convicted Abramoff pal Bob Ney and K-street lobbyist buddy Steny
Hoyer. HAVA put electronic voting on steroids.
for copies of the VoteHere lobbying forms.
I can't get them to save to pdf, perhaps you can. Enter
search terms in both "registrant" and "client" fields and
put in terms "Rhoads" "Livingston" and "Votehere"
(one at a time.). Then look at the gravy train while it was in the process of
derailing American democracy.
I first became acquainted with VoteHere when I met a source,
Dan Spillane, who is the wonderful guy that identified the Diebold source code
modules for me after I found the Diebold files. He is the person who introduced
me, and subsequently everyone else, to the odd role of The Election Center and
R. Doug Lewis in the elections industry.
Spillane filled me in on The Livingston Group, VoteHere
lobbyists, run by Bob Livingston -- the fellow that Hustler publisher Larry
Flynt outed during the Bill Clinton blow job days. Larry Flynt offered a
million dollars to anyone who could out a Republican congressman for adultery,
and out popped peccadillos by Livingston.
Livingston couldn't live that one down, so he resigned his
post as House Speaker-elect and became a lobbyist -- but that's not all! He
also launched a group called "Center for Democracy" which was going
to "monitor elections." This group also featured several good old
boys from the tobacco industry and some mining companies.
Former VoteHere test engineer Dan Spillane was looking into
all this because he had been fired after he questioned the certification
process on a touch-screen system in which he had identified 250 flaws. It was
way back in November 2002 that Spillane told me, "The voting machine
industry is a house of cards. And the certification and testing process is the
bottom card in the house of cards."
But don't run out of the room to take a shower yet.
VoteHere, a company shilling cryptographic solutions and
filled with NSA types (another director was Admiral Bill Owens), for some
reason claims they were unable to prevent themselves from being hacked. In this
alleged hack, VoteHere claims that someone stole their source code. Said source
code was offered to me, an obvious attempt at entrapment which I refused to
touch with a 10-foot pole.
Nevertheless, VoteHere claimed to the newspapers that they
had supposedly "tracked" the hacker and had identified the hacker as
an activist in the election reform community.
For some reason, it was decided that I should be
investigated for this "hack" of VoteHere -- nevermind that I can't
remember how to change the password on my own laptop. Therefore I was
interviewed by the Secret Service several times about this. Curiously, they
never seemed to ask any questions about VoteHere, only my role in finding the
Diebold files and publishing the Diebold memos.
This nonsense eventually culminated in a gag order and a
letter from the U.S. attorney to appear in front of a federal grand jury with
information on all the visitors to the Black Box Voting Web site. (As if they
couldn't get that in less dramatic ways in post-PATRIOT Act America).
Attorney Lowell Finley went to bat for me on this. A
reporter named George Howland from the Seattle Weekly got wind of it. When it
hit the press, the investigation stopped.
VoteHere never sold any voting machines that I can find, but
apparently did set up some deals to embed its cryptography into some voting
systems. We found memos in the Diebold trash about VoteHere's crypto-crap, and
Maryland Director of Elections Linda Lamone shows up in VoteHere-related
letters. Sequoia Voting Systems signed an agreement with VoteHere, but it's not
clear to me whether they ever did anything about it.
Robert Gates stepped away from VoteHere shortly before he
showed up in Chapter 8 of my book, Black Box Voting, in a short bit about the
VoteHere company history.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather use a paper, pencil,
and count by hand at the polling place than have former CIA director Robert
Gates fooling around with my vote.
that's just me.