Bob Fitrakis

When you are lazy, ignorant and not willing to do research – accuse your more-informed opponents of being “conspiracy theorists.” A recent Columbus Dispatch editorial utilized this technique in its defense of Ohio’s antiquated and easily hacked voting apparatus.

  The Dispatch, with few facts or statistics, stated that, “Secretary of State Jon Husted claims ‘…Ohio’s current voting equipment should be in fine shape through the 2016 election.’” In a subhead, the Big D also claimed “Transparent bipartisan approach should head off conspiracy theorists.”

  Here are some points to consider.

  In 2005, highly-regarded scholar Tracy Campbell published Deliver the Vote: A History of Election Fraud, and American Political Tradition 1742-2004. The book makes a solid case detailing that election fraud is the norm throughout U.S. history.

  Campbell echoes what Robert Goldberg wrote as a chapter in an election book by the Brookings Institute in 1987. He called his writing “Election Fraud: An American Vice.” What Goldberg noted is that in most parts of the United States there is not a genuine bipartisan presence at the polling stations. This makes election fraud easy. In rural areas there are few dedicated hardcore Democrats, and in urban areas there are few Republican partisans.

  Computerized voting machines with software programmed by partisan for-profit corporations, makes 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 in 1971, my junior year in high school, “an error in programming” caused a levy to pass by 1000 votes in my 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.

  We live in a world where hackers can get into the Pentagon, CIA and major corporations, but we’re to believe they are stymied by antiquated, vulnerable computer voting machines programmed with secret proprietary software. If I’m a conspiracy theorist saying our voting machines are hackable and democra