NBC affiliate WBCD reports, inaccurately, that state's ES&S touch-screen voting machines include 'independent paper back up'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2010, 8:16pm PT  

The local Charleston, South Carolina, NBC affiliate, WCBD, was hoodwinked by someone; apparently it was the SC Election Commission. In the following report, WCBD's Larry Collins says that he has checked on the claim that "there is no independent paper back up from [South Carolina's] touch machines." He then goes on to inaccurately report, presumably from information given to him by the state election commission, that "there is a paper trail" on the state's ES&S iVotronic voting systems...

Collins' reporting is patently inaccurate.

The pieces of paper seen hanging in the background behind him are end of the day reports or possibly some "poll tapes," printed out after polls close, showing the purported tallies from each machine or precinct. They are not auditable "paper trail" records of voters' votes, and they are not verified in any way, shape, or form by the voter.

Those printouts can say absolutely anything, as printed, including the actual vote counts, erroneous vote counts due to machine malfunction or misprogramming, or, as seen in the following Fox "News" clip, vote counts that have been purposely manipulated by tampering and/or the inclusion of a virus implanted on one of the voting machines' memory cards...

The example of the hack/virus seen above was on a Diebold AccuVote TS system, one that was given to VelvetRevolution.us by a company whistleblower and passed on to Princeton for their study. We broke the story of that hack back in 2006. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is co-founder of VR.]

The 100% unverifiable voting machines used in the SC Democratic primary were ES&S iVotronics, made by the "Nebraska company" referred to in WCBD's report, not Diebold. Both machines, however, are Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, touch-screen) systems which do not offer a "Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail" (VVPAT). Even if they did offer a VVPAT, they would still be 100% unverifiable, but we'll save that explanation for another day.

For now, suffice to say, WCBD was apparently hoodwinked by the SC Election Commission. There are no "paper trails" on SC's e-voting machines, and there is no way for anyone to prove that a single vote cast on them was recorded as per the voter's intent, as we've been trying to point out for years.

In the meantime, as we reported earlier today, Vic Rawls has filed a formal protest against last week's primary election for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination said to have been won by candidate Alvin Greene who had no job, no campaign website, and ran no campaign. Among the concerns Rawl outlined in announcing his protest is his correct assertion of "the well-documented unreliability and unverifiability of the voting machines used in South Carolina."

He also mentioned in his statement today that the campaign has received reports of "poll workers who had to change program cards multiple times" on Election Day.

Given what can be done with one of those "program cards," as seen in the demonstration on Fox posted above, there is every reason to be very concerned about the reported results of the election, and we hope that Rawl's campaign has ensured those cards are securely quarantined for investigation by computer scientists and security experts.

Rawl's formal protest will be heard by the South Carolina Democratic Party's executive committee on Thursday, where, Washington Post reports, the "burden of proof" will be on Rawl to prove that the unprovable election "victory" by Greene was illegitimate. Good luck with that.

In the meantime, if anybody out there has proof that Alvin Greene actually won the election we'd be delighted to see it. Unfortunately, none exists.

Rawl appeared on tonight's Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. Olbermann was woefully uninformed about the election systems used in South Carolina. We were happy to see that Rawl was much less so, and repeated his concerns that the results were due to some form of software or hardware malfunction or tampering.

Here is that interview, followed by links to The BRAD BLOG's previous coverage of this story to date. Hopefully someone at MSNBC bothers to read one or more of those detailed articles on this mess. Please feel free to Tweet the links to any of them to either @KeithOlbermann, @MaddowBlog or any other mainstream media outlet you know of. They may contact us via email or even via Twitter for more information, including actual facts and stuff...

Previously related at The BRAD BLOG:

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