Sunday, March 30, 2008

Black Box Voting Founder Barred from Democratic Underground

Interesting development in that Bev Harris the founder of Black Box Voting had herself been banned from the site known as Democratic Underground according to a Wired article. Way back when...

The Wired article links to Democratic Underground and a letter of explanation is included on the referenced site.

Interesting commentary here.

See Keith Olbermann's blog here.

More discussion on DU than you ever may need to know

Apparently there is a site tagged not affiliated with Bev Harris

David Allen and Plan 9

An editor speaks
Wednesday, July 21, 2004 7:23 am
Bev Harris, “Black Box Voting” and the public trashing of reputations
Filed under: Black-box voting — Lex @ 7:23 am

BlackBoxVoting Investigates NH Recount: 3-28-08: Chain of Custody Investigation: Ballot washing?

videos linked

(Net the Truth Online)

Site Bars Black Box Voting Head
Joanna Glasner

Democratic Underground, a political discussion site that has been a popular forum for debate on the reliability of computerized voting machines, has barred one of its most prominent and outspoken contributors on the topic from further posting.

In a written statement, site administrators said Friday that they barred Bev Harris, founder of Black Box Voting, because her postings on the site "have made positive discussion of verified voting increasingly difficult."

Democratic Underground said Harris' postings have been belligerent at times to other members of the forum and that she used the website to threaten its operators with lawsuits.

"We no longer believe that it is productive to allow her to use DU as a platform to promote herself while simultaneously trashing us, our moderators and others who have been previously supportive of her cause," site administrators wrote in the statement.

Excerpt continued:

Last week Olbermann criticized Harris for not publicly releasing film footage said to reveal questionable vote-tabulating practices in Volusia County, Florida. The footage, which was filmed by a documentary crew that has been following Harris for a year, is said to show paper voting records from a bag of garbage that Harris obtained after scuffling with Volusia County election officials outside their offices. Harris has implied on her website and in other public statements that the records indicate actions that "are consistent with fraud."

Olbermann originally wrote that Harris should release the footage to back her claims and said that when his staff spoke with her after his initial blog entry about it, she was "belligerent, threatening and demanding" with them. Some members of Democratic Underground have speculated that Harris wants to hold onto the footage so the filmmakers can release it in their documentary and make a bigger publicity splash.

But Harris said she did not receive calls from the television program asking for the footage and is not able to release it to the TV station because it is being used in a lawsuit against the county. She also said the charge that she threatened Olbermann's staff is untrue.

But some members of Democratic Underground have noted that Olbermann's description of Harris' behavior is consistent with their experiences with her. And others have questioned whether she is the best public representative for the voting activist movement.

"No one denies she's done great work," wrote one forum member who goes by the name AmyCrat. "It's her PR skills that are potentially hurting the whole effort (and her own efforts). Good intentions aren't an excuse for unprofessional behavior."

Democratic Underground Statement on Bev Harris situation

Over the past two years Bev Harris has received a great deal of support from the members of Democratic Underground, in her research, publicity efforts, and fundraising. In return we have played host to an 18 month-long squabble between Ms. Harris and other verified voting activists, and have even been threatened with lawuits by Ms. Harris herself. Despite this, we have publicly remained mostly silent on the verified voting squabbles.

We believe verified voting is a topic of crucial importance, and have been uncomfortable taking sides on an issue which, frankly, we should all be on the same side of anyway. Therefore we have kept most of our correspondence with the various factions private and attempted to cool things down behind the scenes. Like all issues discussed at DU, we have tried to focus the discussion of verified voting on the topic at hand, and not on the personalities of the participants. However, in light of the recent troubles, we feel compelled to make a statement.

In 2003 Bev Harris, along with a few other verified voting activists, were banned from DU for engaging in personal squabbles on the message board after they were repeatedly instructed to stop. Around that time, Ms. Harris threatened us with a libel lawsuit, claiming that we could be held responsible for comments made by other message board members who doubted the credibility of her project. She never followed through on this threat and we never heard from her lawyers.

Ms. Harris was reinstated shortly afterwards, after agreeing to put an end to the problems that got her banned in the first place. Nonetheless, those problems periodically recurred after her reinstatement. A few weeks ago, Ms. Harris again used our website to threaten DU with lawsuits, in her postings, in private messages to other members, and in rude alerts she sent to the moderators.

We sent a message to Ms. Harris telling her to stop hassling our moderators and members, and informing her that if she had a legal concern, she needed to contact us directly. We also let her know that her continued participation on this message board was dependent upon her behavior. The legal threats stopped, but we received no response from either Ms. Harris or her lawyers.

This is our personal experience with Ms. Harris. We cannot confirm or deny the veracity of claims made by others, including many former colleagues, her former publisher, and Keith Olbermann. But we can confirm that the claims made by others about Ms. Harris are not inconsistent with our own experiences...

On Harris' Black Box Voting Forum in a thread entitled, 3-20-08: Is ballot alteration possible on a massive scale?, recently Harris posted a warning to a poster March 28, 2008, and closed the thread stating it was "overlong."

The original posting Harris made can be viewed on the Black Box Voting site, and is linked here


Voter fraud watchdog has selective bite

...But this kind of effort to connect Republicans with organized efforts at manipulating voting machines is flagrantly partisan and disgusting, especially with all its purporting "independence" and "objectivity". Um, no, Bev and Steve and Lynn. I think it's pretty clear where your agenda lies. And the VoteWatch site seems more a way to advance the Democratic agenda while bringing publicity to a (watch carefully now) publicity firm than any kind of public service. In fact, I'd call it a rank public disservice...

It's all Republican fraud?

can this really be true: diabolic diebold
September 3, 2004


No Doctored DRE
Democrats use computer hysteria to get out the vote.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT
John Fund

BOSTON--You don't have to go far here to find a Democrat who says the 2000 election was stolen.

...The leading crusader against DREs is Bev Harris, a journalist from Seattle, who has co-authored a book called "Black Box Voting." But she suffered a blow to her credibility this month when it was revealed that last year she had joined computer programmer Jim March in filing a "whistle-blower" lawsuit in California that seeks monetary damages from Diebold for machine failures there. The lawsuit, known as a qui tam because it rewards those who help the government identify fraud, would allow Ms. Harris and Mr. March to collect up to 30% of any award. "This is about money now--a case of the capitalist system at work," Mr. March told the AP.
Their lawsuit has touched off a firestorm of criticism from other anti-DRE activists. They note that last year Ms. Harris wrote on the Web site Democratic Underground that she and her colleagues "came to the conclusion that doing this for money was the wrong thing to do . . . we aren't soiling ourselves with Qui Tam money." David Allen, Ms. Harris' co-author and publisher, is deeply disappointed she has allowed critics to question her motives. A liberal Democrat, he thinks she and others exaggerate the danger of hackers stealing an election. "I think this whole debate has been cast too much in partisan terms," he says. "The incompetence of the voting machine companies is real enough. We would never guard our currency at the U.S. Mint the way we guard the currency of democracy--votes."

Ms. Harris responds that she has legal disputes with Mr. Allen and believes other Internet activists have filed qui tam lawsuits that are under seal. She says any money from a settlement with Diebold would go to a non-profit foundation investigating electronic voting. She is employed by that same foundation.

Michael Shamos, who was the official examiner of electronic voting systems for Pennsylvania and Texas for 20 years, says there has not been a single verified incident of tampering with an electronic machine. For six years, he's posted a challenge on the Internet offering $10,000 to anyone who can tamper undetectably with a DRE machine under real-world conditions. No one has claimed the money. "The worst thing we could do is listen to some of the activists, abandon the new technology and return to means of voting that are even less safe and accurate," he says.

Fixes for the real problems with DREs are in the works. Woefully inadequate federal standards for testing voting machines are being toughened. A system is being developed in which each voter would receive a record of his choices that would be put into a code only decipherable by election judges. After the polls closed, all receipts would be posted on the Internet. Voters could use their serial number to find the image of their receipt, and make sure it matched the one they got at the polls.

Related (Is the term black box voting exclusive to one or another non-profit or for-profit organization?) (How about the term "clean up crew?"

Black Box Notes

search cleanup crew bev harris

org vs .com

Black Box Voting dot com postings and info (Dan Rather link report transcript)

How the Grinch stole the White House . . . again
By Alan Waldman

Related Clint Curtis

Black Box Voting

Update on Clint Curtis story, SATURDAY, DEC 11, 2004

Update THURSDAY, DEC. 9, 2004: Update on Black Box Voting actions

Update TUESDAY, DEC. 7, 2004: Why the Feeney vote-rigging story sounds like disinformation -- as Madsen writes it. UPDATED: BradBlog is more credible, but a few questions remain.


VotePA group discusses Clint Curtis favorably

Voice of the Voters

Archived Voice of the Voters! shows are available here.

No comments: