FEC probes rapper P. Diddy, not Blackwell; VIDEO – Diebold admits GEMS defects


On Oct. 17 2005, an ordinary citizen in Cleveland, Mr. Wright, asked 

what may turn out be the most important question of the year. What 

is Diebold’s explanation, he wanted to know, for the VBA Script hack 

of the GEMS central tabulator performed by Dr. Herbert Thompson? 

Here is the videotape showing Diebold Election Systems Chief Engineer 

Pat Green admitting that Diebold knew of the defect since 2004: 

http://www.bbvdocs.org/videos/GEMSDefect.mpg (8,860 KB) 

Black Box Voting has learned that the August 18, 2004 

CompuWare Report was hidden from the public by Ohio Secretary 

of State Ken Blackwell). Here is the tampering risk assessment, 

which Blackwell had in his hands BEFORE the Nov. 2004 election, 

but withheld from both the public and the Election Assistence Commission 

(the federal oversight committee charged with ensuring the security of 

elections in all states, not just Ohio: 


(full report: http://www.bbvdocs.org/reports/diebReasses081804.pdf)

This leads to the crucial question: If Diebold knew, and if Ken 

Blackwell knew, why wasn’t the Election Assistence Commission told, 

why were no other secretaries of state told, why didn’t Blackwell tell 

the Ohio election officials using GEMS, and why weren’t the mitigations 

deemed necessary by CompuWare ever implemented? 


But Ignores Blistering GAO Report on Insecure Voting Machines 

— No Scrutiny of Election Violations — 

According to a press release 


)issued by the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a conservative 

“ethics” watchdog group that specializes in filing complaints against 

progressive politicians and groups, the FEC has notified the NLPC 

that it will take up a complaint against rapper Sean Combs for his 

2004 “Vote or Die Campaign.” The NLPC Web site says the case 

has been assigned “Matter Under Review number 5684.” The 

NLPC hypes the so-called investigation, though the FEC letter itself 

appears more tepid, almost a form letter: 


Black Box Voting, a minority-governed nonpartisan elections watchdog, 

says the FEC has better ways to spend its time and your dime. The FEC 

claims they are not staffed for many investigations. If that’s the case, 

why is a P. Diddy investigation on their priority list at all? 

The FEC is not investigating Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell 

who withheld critical security information. Public records requests

submitted by Black Box Voting have revealed that neither Blackwell nor 

Diebold corrected the GEMS defects before the 2004 election. These

defects remain uncorrected in nearly 800 jurisdictions. 

The FEC is not investigating the findings of the General Accounting 

Office voting system security report, released Oct. 21, 2005, which 

cites multiple security problems with the voting systems currently in 

use. Among the problems cited by the GAO Report: flaws in voting 

system security, access, and hardware controls, weak security 

management practices by vendors, and multiple examples of 

failures in real elections.  Full GAO report:


The Help America Vote Act allocated $4 billion to buy voting machines 

that taxpayers never asked for, many of which have turned out to be 

defective. The FEC is not investigating. 

A false claims lawsuit filed by Black Box Voting founder Bev Harris 

and investigator Jim March recovered $2.6 million for California taxpayers 

from Diebold Election Systems because of its poor voting machine 

security and improper testing and certification. The FEC never investigated 

whether such false claims affect any of the other 31 Diebold states, 

even after the California secretary of state requested a criminal investigation, 

citing Diebold’s lies to state authorities. More on false claims suit:


In October 2005, Black Box Voting revealed documents showing that

 in 2002, Diebold made misrepresentations to the Georgia secretary of 

state. (http://www.bbvdocs.org/diebold/GA-falsehoods.pdf)

In August 2005, Diebold submitted a letter to the Arizona secretary of state


which contained serious misrepresentations pertaining to a security 

problem called “the GEMS defect.” One would think that making false 

claims to three secretaries of state in four consecutive years (2002, 

2003, 2004, and 2005), might represent a concern, but the FEC is not 

investigating this. 

(full Georgia sales presentation:


The FEC is investigating Sean Combs for allegedly flying in a private 

jet while conducting a “get out the vote” drive. The complaint alleges 

that people who spoke at his rallies made statements beneficial to a 

candidate (John Kerry). What the FEC has never investigated is 

Republican Senator Chuck Hagel’s $5 million stake in Election Systems 

& Software, the company that counted Hagel’s votes 


when he ran for office in 1996 and 2002. Nor has the FEC investigated 

Wally O’Dell, the Diebold CEO who promised to “deliver the votes to 

Bush in 2004.” 


2005 elections, casting doubt on Ohio and Detroit elections and revealing 

civil rights violations in Los Angeles. 

On Nov. 8, 2005 in Texas, new touch-screens could not choke out a 

result, so technicians for a vendor “manually retrieved” the votes from 

inside the computer. The FEC has asked no follow up questions about 

why a vendor’s technicians are handling votes at all, since they are not 

certified or sworn elections officials, nor has the FEC inquired how touch-

screens with no paper ballots that can’t find their own votes managed to 

pass testing and certification, or how a technician can reach into a touch-

screen to “retrieve” votes. 


In Ohio, the Nov. 8, 2005 election produced staggeringly impossible 

numbers, but the FEC is not investigating why more votes showed up 

than voters, nor why the election reform ballot issue voting machine 

results were exactly opposite of the pre-election polls. 


In Detroit’s Nov. 8, 2005 election, procedures broke down in 26 precincts 

causing nine electronic ballot boxes to go missing. These were not all 

recovered until two days later. At that time, thousands of other bogus 

votes were counted. However, the FEC is not investigating. 


Los Angeles citizens aren’t permitted to watch their votes being 

counted, a clear violation of California law. Black Box Voting was 

told the results “came out the same as expected” so we should not 

be concerned. Regardless of whether the votes “come out right,” 

hiding crucial vote-tallying processes is a civil rights violation, and 

powerful Los Angeles County Elections Registrar Conny Drake 

McCormack has a history with minority vote suppression and rights 


Before taking the position in Los Angeles County, Registrar 

Conny Drake McCormack was the target of a Texas legislative 

effort referred to as the “Get Conny Drake bill,”(See footnote 1) 

an unsuccessful effort to find a way to fire elections officials who 

engage in voting violations targeting minorities. She had allegedly 

been withholding ballots in African-American districts. On another 

matter, regarding voting machines, she was found by the Department 

of Justice to have violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. She was 

also subjected to a two-year election fraud probe by Texas attorney 

general Jim Mattox on another matter. While still under investigation 

in Texas, Conny Drake McCormack took over elections in San Diego

(replacing Ray Ortiz after he was indicted), then became elections 

chief in Los Angeles County, where she has arranged for votes to 

be counted on a customized, home-brewed tallying system, hidden 

from public view. 

On Nov. 8, Black Box Voting observed Los Angeles County election 

workers conducting a bait and switch. 


While the press and the public were instructed to look in a window 

to a room containing optical scan machines, results actually came out 

of a different set of computers in another room, which was hidden from 

view. The press was told that the system is certified and tested, but Black 

Box Voting cannot find that the Los Angeles tallying system, customized 

under Conny Drake McCormack, was ever examined by federal testing 

labs or the state of California as required by law. Though she is now 

the most powerful elections official in California — and one of the most 

influential in the nation — the FEC is not investigating Conny Drake McCormack. 

For more information on things the FEC is not investigating, see investigations


and News (http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/8/114.html)

at Black Box Voting (.ORG) 

(Footnote 1) Dallas Morning News, Mar. 31 1987: Elections Chief Resigning 

After Troubled Tenure 

…"bumpy roads … include Attorney General Jim Mattox’s continuing 

investigation into vote-fraud allegations … Ms. McCormack weathered 

investigations by the U.S. Justice Department, the Texas secretary of state’s 

office and the Dallas County district attorney’s office … legislation dubbed

the "Get Conny Drake (her maiden name) bill’ … Top Democratic officials 

called for her ouster. Roy Orr, a commissioner at the time, called her "a jerk 

at the wheel’ and "a typical bureaucrat.’ John Wiley Price, now a commissioner, 

called her a liar and a racist. 


Black Box Voting is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501c(3) elections watchdog. We 

are fighting for your right as a citizen to view and oversee your own voting

process. Our focus is on increasing your access to the elections process,

obtaining crucial public records to document what is going on in elections, 

and exposing procedural problems that corrupt the integrity of the election.

Black Box Voting is supported entirely by citizen donations. You can support

this important work by clicking here: http://www.blackboxvoting.org/donate.html

or by sending to 330 SW 43rd St. Suite K, PMB 547, Renton WA 98055

———–Black Box Voting

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