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Excerpt: "Computerized voting machines, with software programmed by partisan for-profit corporations, make election fraud easy."

An election worker resets a voting machine as a voter waits in 2008. Many of the country's machines were replaced after the 2000 election, but are now reaching the end of their useful lives. (photo: Rob Carr/AP)
An election worker resets a voting machine as a voter waits in 2008. Many of the country's machines were replaced after the 2000 election, but are now reaching the end of their useful lives. (photo: Rob Carr/AP)

New Hampshire: The Birthplace of Electronic Election Theft

By Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News

08 February 16


s the New Hampshire primary lurches toward the finish line, the reality of electronic election theft looms over the vote count.

The actual computer voting machines were introduced on a grand scale in New Hampshire’s 1988 primary. The godfather was George H.W. Bush, then the vice president. As former boss of the CIA, Bush was thoroughly familiar with the methods of changing election outcomes. The Agency had been doing it for decades in client states throughout the world.

In the Granite State, Bush was up against Bob Dole, long-time senator from Kansas. Dole was much loved in hard-core Republican circles. But Bush had an ace-in-the-hole. For the first time, the votes would be cast and counted on electronic voting machines, in this case from Shoup Electronics.

Governor John Sununu, later Bush’s White House Chief of Staff, brought the highly-suspect computer voting machines into New Hampshire’s most populous city, Manchester.

The results were predictable. Former CIA director George H.W. Bush won a huge upset over Dole and the mainstream for-profit corporate media refused to consider election rigging.

Here’s the Washington Post’s account of the bizarre and unexplainable election results when touchscreens were first used: In 1988, H.W. Bush was trailing Dole by 8 points in the last Gallup poll before the New Hampshire primary. Bush won by 9 points. The Washington Post covered the Bush upset with the following headline: “Voters Were a Step Ahead of Tracking Measurements.”

Was it a late surge of Bush devotees who reversed all reasonable expectation? Or was it the kind of electoral manipulation that had been perfected by the Agency over the decades, this time with an electronic assist?

While the mainstream for-profit media tried to explain it away, the Manchester Union Leader had been suspicious of the former CIA director going back to his first presidential bid in 1980.

“The Bush operation has all the smell of a CIA covert operation … strange aspects of the Iowa operation [include] a long, slow count and then the computers broke down at a very convenient point, with Bush having a six percent bulge over Reagan,” according to the Union Leader.

In the next presidential election, in 1984, Bush’s rival, President Reagan, signed National Security Directive Decision NSDD245. A year later, the New York Times explained the details of Reagan’s secret directive: “A branch of the National Security Agency is investigating whether a computer program that counted more than one-third of all the votes cast in the United States in 1984 is vulnerable to fraudulent manipulation.

In 1987, Gary Greenhalgh resigned as director of the Election Center to become vice-president of operations for the R.F. Shoup Company. The company’s founder, Ransom Shoup, had been convicted in 1979 for conspiring to defraud the federal government in connection with a bribe attempt to obtain voting machine business, according to the Memphis newspaper Commercial Appeal. His machines were known as Shouptronics. Under the name Danaher they were used in the disputed 2004 election in Columbus, Ohio, where numerous voters complained that their vote for Kerry “faded away” on the screen.

Computerized voting machines, with software programmed by partisan for-profit corporations, make election fraud even easier. We have known about this for four decades. Roy G. Saltman’s work at the National Bureau of Standards has documented the vulnerability of computer voting since the 1970s.

Saltman issued a report for the Bureau numbered NBSIR-75-687 documenting the lack of computer security in vote tallying and the potential for election tampering. He traced the use of computers to tally vote results from September 1964 through his 1975 report. He found that in 1971, Bob’s junior year in high school, “an error in programming” had caused a levy to pass by 1000 votes in Bob’s hometown, Redford Township, Michigan, rather than failing by 100.

A follow-up report by Saltman in 1988 pointed out other problems with computer voting. In 1986 in Stark County, Ohio, a recount programming error reversed the correct election results. There’s a question on whether this was a real error, since a special programmer was brought in to write the code for the recount.

The ultimate implication for this year's primary has yet to be played out. This year in New Hampshire, we have Bernie Sanders rolling into Election Day with a very strong lead. Barack Obama did much the same (though with far smaller margins) in 2008, and emerged the loser. Could a similar outcome follow for Bernie?

On the Republican side, it's anyone's guess.

But whatever happens, remember that for decades the Granite State has set the tone for the general election, and could do so again on Tuesday. It remains to be seen whether we get a legitimate outcome, or another strip and flip selection, with ultimate control of the government still at stake. But the whole world had better be watching.

Harvey Wasserman’s “Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, AD 2030” is at Wasserman is senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and the Nuclear Information & Resource Service, and writes regularly for He and Bob Fitrakis have co-authored four books on election protection, including “Did George W. Bush Steal America’s 2004 Election?,” “As Goes Ohio: Election Theft Since 2004,” “How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election & Is Rigging 2008,” and “What Happened in Ohio? your social media marketing partner


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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

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+14 # PaulK 2016-02-08 13:17
Insider vote rigging depends entirely on the insider party, which in New Hampshire was traditionally the Republican Party. In 2008 underdog Hillary unexpectedly won the New Hampshire primary, but that might simply have been the Republicans rigging the New Hampshire vote in order to extend the Democrats' primary season and to financially exhaust both candidates. On the Republican side the insider candidate won.

This year a Democrat, Maggie Hassan, is governor. Somehow I don't expect a Republican-domi nated voting machine company to commit a felony rigging the vote in cooperation with a Democratic governor. I expect that these two particular sets of combatants will be incapable of realizing that they're actually on the same side, because the Republicans would be fearing a possible sting operation.

I may be wrong.
+17 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2016-02-08 17:00
The fact that New Hampshire's governor is now a Democratic woman does not console me at all. Chances are very strong that she's a Clintonista, probably even a superdelegate already committed to Hillary. With Sanders having a big lead in the polls (like Dole in 1988) and expected to win handily in NH, a Clinton "upset" would be monumental.

We'll see.
+29 # MsAnnaNOLA 2016-02-08 17:22
You are very naive indeed. A great number of different manipulations are possible on completely unverifiable electronic voting machines. The exit polls were never wrong before electronic voting.
+18 # nice2bgreat 2016-02-08 13:41
Even reliable exit polling is too late. However, exit polls are the only polls of value to elections.

Eyes open and sharp at polling locations -- look for "technicians".

Set up scrambling devices near polling locations.

Expect more shenanigans in Hillary/Republi can controlled regions.
+5 # janla 2016-02-08 17:45
What is a scrambling device?
+64 # bmiluski 2016-02-08 14:15
Get rid of electronic voting machines and the electoral college.
+32 # REDPILLED 2016-02-08 14:31
But that would be two steps toward true democracy!

Are you some kind of rabble-rouser?
0 # Brian Flaherty 2016-02-08 18:47
to "redpilled". . .She ain't no rabble-rouser. . .She's a US Senator! [Am I correct? Or, did I misinterpret your misspelled name? ]
+7 # nice2bgreat 2016-02-08 18:13
Quoting bmiluski:
Get rid of electronic voting machines and the electoral college.


Calling for getting rid of electronic voting machines and the electoral college one day before New Hampshire Primaries.

Practical advice from Hillary's goons -- sloganeering their way into "progressive" credibility, no doubt.

All right everybody, take it and run with it, the Primaries are tomorrow -- "Get rid of electronic voting machines and the electoral college." Chhhaaaaarrrrrr rrrge ... and don't forget to vote, and let's get out the vote, and vote for Bernie Sanders...

0 # tswhiskers 2016-02-09 10:47
I've heard it said that the Electoral College will never disappear because it keeps voting manageable. Politicians and media (and the public too) like having immediate results. Even in this computer age surely this would not be possible. It would require the counting of individual votes in each state. Think of the room THEN for political fraud and even voter fraud. Considering the huge size of the U.S. the Electoral College keeps voting on a manageable scale and, if voting machines can be kept honest, keeps the vote honest too.
+6 # Doc Mary 2016-02-09 00:13
Getting rid of electronic voting can be done via the legislature and laws, perhaps via the executive in some states. For primaries, it is up to the parties unless the state has a law about it.

Getting rid of the electoral college will take a constitutional amendment.

While I admire and agree with the goal to get rid of the electoral college, it's not possible to do it before November.


I'm serious. Do we start with a petition? How do we do it? NOBODY has any ideas???
+22 # moonrigger 2016-02-08 14:27
What was Sununu doing business with Shouptronics when the company had been convicted of frauding the US Government ten years earlier? Like he didn't know?

It's time to make serious changes to our election system. First of all, get rid of the electoral college. Then we've got to get rid of for-profit companies handling the popular vote. As nice2bgreat put it, exit polls, sharp eyes, and scrambling are but a few ways to curtail or end this meddling.
+48 # Jim Rocket 2016-02-08 14:30
It's actually bizarre that the people of the United States tolerate such third world election standards.
+42 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2016-02-08 16:44
The US is like a third world country in many other ways as well -- extreme wealth inequality, a ruling oligarchy, high degree of gun violence, emerging police state, use of torture, privatized healthcare, polluted water systems (e.g. Flint), etc.

So it's no surprise that we have a lot of political corruption as well, including rigged voting.
+1 # Brian Flaherty 2016-02-08 18:44
"They" [the voting Public] can not be bothered!
+19 # djnova50 2016-02-08 18:01
So, how do we change a rigged voting system?

Washington state went to all paper mail-in/drop-of f ballots which has worked out fairly well.

Which candidates from either party would support moving to paper ballots? It seems to me that a paper ballot voting system would cost less to maintain and would give states/precinct s the paper trail.
+21 # Doc Mary 2016-02-08 18:24
Canada uses paper ballots and doesn't seem to have any problems with it.

It could be put into effect immediately.

So why isn't my email inbox brimming with ways to help get this changed NOW? What can we do NOW?
+8 # reiverpacific 2016-02-08 18:37
Democracy anyone?????
+14 # Brian Flaherty 2016-02-08 18:37
No one over the years has been able to convince me that electronic voting machines are an "improvement" over the old hand-counting method! Hire more vote-counters. . .And, the system will continue to work quite nicely as it has for over a century!!!!

And, there is a "paper trail" available for re-counting!. . .And, you can forget about "hanging chads, too!!!!!
+7 # Lowflyin Lolana 2016-02-08 18:41
Nobody is listening. It makes me really sad.
+6 # davehaze 2016-02-08 19:39
The Republicans aren't the only party that switches votes in the polling machines. Obama in 2008 had the most votes when the paper ballots were counted by hand and Hillary was ahead by the same amount of votes when they were counted in the machines.

Kucinich thought that the voting machines were fixed so put up $50,000 for a recount. Eventually the state wanted another hundred thousand so Kucinich dropped it. You can follow all of this on black box voting online.
+10 # Robbee 2016-02-08 19:48
says - # djnova50 2016-02-08 18:01 "So, how do we change a rigged voting system?

"Washington state went to all paper mail-in/drop-of f ballots which has worked out fairly well.

"Which candidates from either party would support moving to paper ballots?"

and says - # Lowflyin Lolana 2016-02-08 18:41"Nobody is listening. It makes me really sad."

bernie has proposed various reforms, not including paper ballots - i pray he joins the paper ballot, only, proponents! - go bernie!

Why We Must Now Adopt the "Ohio Plan" to Prevent the "Strip & Flip" of American Elections, Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, Reader Supported News, 21 January 16

As the 2016 election approaches, we must remember that our electronic voting system as it currently stands is thoroughly rigged. The entire outcome can be flipped with a few late night keystrokes, as was done in Ohio 2004.

This year, at least 80% of the nation’s votes will be cast on electronic machines whose outcome can be altered by a governor and secretary of state with just a few keystrokes, and without detection.

There is a way – we call it “The Ohio Plan” – by which we can attain a fair and reliable vote count.

The Ohio Plan is this:

1. Voter registration must be universal and automatic for all citizens as they turn 18.

2. Electronic poll books are banned, with all voter registration records maintained manually.
+11 # Robbee 2016-02-08 19:51
ohio plan, pt. 2

3. All elections happen over a 4-day weekend – Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – which together comprise a national holiday, preferably around Veterans Day in November.

4. All voting happens on paper ballots, using recycled or hemp paper.

5. All vote counting is done manually, with ballots preserved at least two years.

6. Polls are run and ballots are counted by the nation’s high school and college students, who will get the days off and be paid a “scholarship” for their work at $15/hour.

an excellent proposal!

also i strongly recommend as follows -

1) election day registration of every voter bearing any form of state ID, expired or unexpired, showing precinct address - although not shown, on precinct rolls, as registered - it shall be a felony crime to vote at more than one precinct

2) each poll remains open until all voters, arriving in line before closing, have voted

3) volunteer poll watchers, one for each party listed on the ballot, to oversee that each ballot gets accurately counted

4) real time transparency in recording, by secretary of state staff, of each precinct count - so that every alleged discrepancy will immediately be checked

5) voting by mail, supplemented, of course, by precinct voting in person

doubtless this disgusting congress will not be taking up any reforms

obama should proceed by executive order to implement reforms!
+6 # Robbee 2016-02-08 19:52
ohio plan, pt. 3

when gops sue to block the prez order, and courts block his order, scotus should rule for or against democracy months before november, 2016!
+4 # spenel334 2016-02-08 21:46
Pease tell me why nothing has or can be done. Many have offered suggestions as to what we need to do, but requiring paper ballots doesn't seem possible. Isn't there some way to counter basic cheating? Can't there be all night guards watching over the machines in Republican states? Obviously I don't know the answer, but I keep hearing about it and nothing is done about it.
What kind of response do Republicans offer to the public when refusing to consider paper ballots? This just seems so bizarre.
One would think that since G.W. Bush's disastrous presidency, we could find a way. Unfortunately I fear, relying on the Supreme Court is not exactly dependable.
+6 # ahollman 2016-02-08 23:35
"Throughout this world I've rambled,
And seen lots of funny men.
Some rob you with a six gun,
Some with a fountain pen."

From Pretty Boy Floyd, by Woody Guthrie
+7 # iris.1 2016-02-09 02:13
the U.N. should be monitoring this election!
+2 # GDW 2016-02-09 02:58
You cast your ballot electronically and by paper also. The results must match.
Exit polls are optional but helpful and insightful.
Ballot tampering will always go on and we need a strong, diligent and meaningful oversight system.
+7 # ApprehensiveCanuck 2016-02-09 04:57
Dear "'spennell334"; It is impossible to prevent electronic voting machines from being programmed to give any result that the programmer or a hacker wants.The ONLY way to prevent vote tampering is to use PAPER BALLOTS, as we do in Canada. Each candidate has a scrutineer/s at each polling station who checks that voters are properly registered, given a paper ballot and that it is put into the correct ballot box. After voting closes, the scrutineers record each ballot as it is taken from the ballot box. If their totals aren't the same as the poll clerk's total, the ballots are recounted until everyone agrees with the result. It takes about 30 minutes to count and check 500 ballots. It can't be falsified. Don't be duped into accepting electronic voting machines!
+8 # Susansis 2016-02-09 12:07
I was a poll watcher for the Democratic Party in the 2004 election and I saw, with my own eyes how the vote can be controlled simply by the number of machines allocated to each polling place. We had a very long ballot that year with lots of citizen initiatives, and right away we noticed how long it was taking for each person waiting in line to walk up to the machine, initiate the program, read through the whole thing and walk away, leaving it for the next person -- a little more than eight minutes per machine. There were paper ballots available for people to vote on, but the election workers warned us NOT to tell the many people who were in line that that was an alternative. So, with only three machines people stood in line for a while and left, not voting. I went to the alternative press, and a group of citizens from other precincts in the county, that had experienced similar problems initiated a study group. We linked up via email with similar groups concerned about this issue, and the electronic machine fixing issue, and went to see the state's (Democratic) Attorney General. Long story short, the entire state now uses paper ballots, and everyone in the state may elect to vote via mail-in ballot, which eliminates long lines at the polling places, and allows EVERYONE the opportunity to vote.
So the answer is, PAPER PLUS OPTIONAL MAIL-IN BALLOTS! This will work, unless the Republicans take the White House this year. They have vowed to privatize the Post Office!
0 # EternalTruth 2016-02-09 15:54

I love absentee voting.
0 # 2016-02-10 00:13
Hi All,... When will we the voters have
our "30 Full Voting Rights" placed in our
constitutions and election laws...??? Our
full voting rights will bring the above
posted concerns to an end. Thanks and Good
Luck,.... Frank Henry,.... Full Voting
Rights Advocate,.... Tel: 928-649-0249,
.... e-mail:

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