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The Votescam investigation began in 1970, in -- surprise! -- Dade County, Florida, where Ken ran for Congress (with Jim as his campaign manager). Ken was rigged out of the election through a vote scam, which the Colliers later discovered was used throughout the country for decades. It went like this: The local newscaster would announce during the broadcast of election returns that the election "computer has broken down." Instead of giving official returns from the county courthouse, the networks would be running vote "projections" for the rest of the night.
Jim and Ken, who had garnered 30 percent of the vote, noticed that when the vote totals came back on the screen after the announcement, they had mysteriously lost 15 percentage points. They didn't get another vote for the rest of the night. When they examined the "official" election results from for the September primary, October run-off and November final election in Dade County, the record listed a total of 141,000 votes cast for the governors race in each election. The exact same number of total votes were cast for three elections with a different number of candidates running each time. The same identical figures were listed for the Senate race in the primary, run-off and final election. This, of course, is a statistical impossibility.
When they compared the "official" vote results with a print-out of the vote "projections" broadcast by the TV networks on the final election night, they found that channel 4 had "projected" with near perfect accuracy the results of 40 races with 250 candidates only 4 minutes after the polls closed. Channel 7 came even closer; at 9:31 pm, they "projected" the final vote total for a race at 96,499 votes. When the Colliers checked the "official" number . . . it was also 96,499.
The networks then made the astonishing claim that the results from a single voting machine somewhere in Dade County were run through a computer program in order to get these vote projections. Elton Davis was the computer programmer responsible for the magic formula that could convert one machine's vote results into near perfect projected vote totals for 40 races and 250 candidates. When Jim and Ken confronted Davis in his office at the University of Miami, he responded: "You'll never prove it, now get out."
Finally the networks claimed that members of the League of Women Voters were out in the field on election night, calling in vote totals to channels 4 and 7. When the Colliers confronted the head of the League, Joyce Deiffenderfer, she admitted that there were no LWV members out in the field that night. She broke down crying, saying "I don't want to get caught up in this thing.
When the TV networks claimed that the courthouse computer had broken down, and they would no longer be reporting actual vote totals, they were lying. They had never been reporting actual vote totals. The final shoe dropped months later when an official press release appeared from Dade data processing chief, Leonard White, which stated emphatically: The county computer at the courthouse was never down, and it was never slow.
This was the beginning. The Collier brothers had slammed their boat into the tip of a giant iceberg. As they continued to investigate, they were horrified to discover vote fraud collusion among key individuals in every branch and on every level of the American political system. Those who were not benefiting from the fraud were too afraid to fight it. Their search for justice led to dead-ends. Their lives were threatened. They were vilified as conspiracy theorists by the mainstream press . . . and yet they persevered.
The next quarter century was spent compiling a wealth of FBI documented evidence proving that elections in the United States have come under the tight control of a handful of powerful and corrupt people. Jim and Ken both died young during the 90's, as heroes to many thousands who heard them speak on the radio and at political meetings across the country. They helped to guide individuals and groups working for clean elections in their communities. The Collier's last hope was that Votescam would be used as evidence in a serious Congressional investigation into election fraud.
Many people still in power have yet to be held accountable for their role in aiding and abetting vote fraud. I'll give you two important examples. Famous Miami lawyer Ellis Rubin brought the original Votescam evidence to the Florida assistant State Attorney at the time, Janet Reno. The evidence included the shaved wheels of lever voting machines, forged canvass sheets, and pre-printed vote tally sheets. Reno refused to prosecute, claiming falsely that the statue of limitations had run out on the crime. Years later, Rubin would tell my father that behind closed doors Reno had stated that she could not prosecute. Why? Because she would bring down many of the most powerful people in the state.
Another notable Votescam criminal can now be found sitting on the bench of the highest court in the nation. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, while still a Federal Appeals Judge, single handedly destroyed what would have been an historic lawsuit filed against Justice Department lawyer Craig Donsanto, who had refused to prosecute the extensive vote fraud evidence brought to him by the Colliers. The evidence included videotape of the League of Women voters tampering with ballots in a close door vote "counting" session. The women were illegally punching holes in already cast ballots.
I'd like to offer a brief list of important lessons learned from twenty-five years of fighting vote fraud in the trenches.
Secret vote counting is illegal. Counting faster is not a justification for counting secretly.
Lever machines were the first to appear, and they were riggable in a number of ways. One could rig the lever machine itself, or the electronic scanning machines that counted the ballots. (See the Votescam video for footage of ballot rigging).
Computerized voting machines are the easiest to rig. Their software is not open to public scrutiny, or the scrutiny of Election Supervisors. There are nearly infinite ways to program the machines to count votes fraudulently. Since they are accessible by modem, they can be controlled from a remote, centralized location.
Voting machine companies operate with no federal oversight, certification process, standards or restrictions. Just two companies -- Election Systems and Software (ES&S) and Diebold Voting Systems -- now control about 80% of the vote count in the U.S.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties have been complicit in vote rigging for decades, to their mutual benefit. Vote rigging is NOT a partisan issue.
The corporate major media networks play a vital role in perpetrating and covering up vote fraud.
Election Day media polls are untrustworthy at best.
The gravest error of judgment these days comes from those vote reformers who honestly believe that the answer to the butterfly ballot and hanging chad problems in the 2000 election is to embrace the ballot-less computerized voting machine. With the ballot-less computer, there is no way to recount, no way to prove any discrepancy, inaccuracy or fraud. Just the fact that companies like ES&S and Diebold would even make a ballot-less machine should be cause for a Congressional investigation. (There are also many other reasons to investigate them. For a detailed examination of these sinister corporations, check out http://www.blackboxvoting.com )
A most grave error of judgment also comes from those who think that returning to a hand-counted paper ballot system is somehow impossible. An MIT/Cal Tech study done in 2001 shows that manually counted paper ballots are the most accurate system out of the 5 systems used in the last 4 presidential elections. They are totally verifiable, and first-world nations across the globe still use them, including Canada which counted their last presidential election in four hours.
The bottom line is that a computerized vote count is a secret vote count, and that's illegal. Technology cannot supercede the constitutional and mandatory provisions of election law, which require open and verifiable elections. There is no way to do a public vote count with computers. The count must be done by hand, in public, video-taped, aired live on television, and the results posted on the precinct wall -- just like they used to be. Ballots should be counted on the same day as the voting takes place, making it much more difficult to alter ballots. Hand counted paper ballots and eternal vigilance are the only hope left for us.
A long time writer and political activist, Victoria Collier continues to educate the public on the subject of vote fraud in place of her father and uncle. She is the editor of http://www.votescam.com Victoria is available for interviews and can be reached at 1-866-280-9090 and at firstname.lastname@example.org
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