How Many Felons Does It Take to Count a Vote?

Submitted by Sarah Gonzales on November 17, 2005 - 2:55pm. ::

During the 2004 elections, approximately 65% of the counties in in the country employed the use of electronic voting machines. Of the 65% of total counties to use electronic voting machines, roughly 80% of those machines were made by Diebold. Here's a report from Black Box Voting on the kind of individuals who are employed at Diebold who are directly responsible for the programming of the Diebold voting machines.

Just for a moment, consider that we don't even allow convicts to scan our BAGS at the airport, but apparently, it's no problem getting a job programming voting machines.

How Many Felons Does It Take to Count a Vote?

Excerpt from report by Black Box Voting

In King County, an individual named Jeffrey Dean obtained a contract to program the voter registration system. According to the Diebold Memos, and a source within the King County Elections Office, Dean urged upgrades to new uncertified software, sometimes right before elections.

Jeffrey Dean was reportedly given 24-hour access to the building and the computer room, and had direct access to both the personal information in the King County voter registration database and to the GEMS vote tabulation program itself. He has been allowed access to our personal information and he has had access to the programs that count 800,000 votes, but what he is not allowed to have is access to handling any checks. That is because he was sentenced to twenty- three counts of Theft in the First Degree, and according to the (felony) findings of fact in case no. 89-1-04034-1:

“Defendant’s thefts occurred over a 2 1/2 year period of time, there were multiple incidents, more than the standard range can account for, the actual monetary loss was substantially greater than typical for the offense, the crimes and their cover-up involved a high degree of sophistication and planning in the use and alteration of records in the computerized accounting system that defendant maintained for the victim, and the defendant used his position of trust and fiduciary responsibility as a computer systems and accounting consultant for the victim to facilitate the commission of the offenses.”

While in prison, Jeffrey Dean met and became friends with John Elder, who did five years on a cocaine-dealing conviction. Elder is still on Diebold’s payroll; in fact, he manages a division and oversees the printing of both ballots and punch cards for several states.

Elder’s division prints and mails the absentee ballots, and when voters mail their absentee ballots, they are brought to the King County Elections office in trays. A PSI Group truck picks up these ballots, takes them away, sorts them, and then returns them to King County. According to the officials I spoke with, John Elder also manages this process.

Jeffrey Dean was released from prison in August, 1995 and Elder was released in November 1996. In their prison release documents, both wrote that they had lined up employment at PSI Group Inc.

Jeffrey Dean, when released from prison, had $87 in his inmate account. He was ordered to pay $385,227 in restitution for his embezzlements. For most of us, this would be a crushing financial blow, and we would find it difficult to bankroll a printing and graphics business, yet somehow Dean (and his wife, Deborah M. Dean) managed to become the owners of Spectrum Printing and Mailing. This Seattle-area firm, which was founded in Mountlake Terrace in 1995, was incorporated registered in Canada, and was purchased for $1 million by Global Election Systems.

 “Defendant shall be required to notify anyone for whom he works, either as an employee or an an independant [sic] contractor of his convictions, and shall not be allowed possess or have control over money or checks belonging to another person,” his sentence read. But when Diebold bought Global Election Systems in January 2002, Jeffrey Dean was a director of Global Election Systems and also its senior vice president.

So here we have the absentee ballots for 500,000 voters being handled by a firm that hires people straight out of prison; the printing of the ballots and punch cards for King County and several other states managed by a former drug dealer; the voter registration system for King County voters programmed by a 23-count embezzler, the central count tabulator that adds up and creates reports for 800,000 King County votes made available for after-hours programming by the embezzler.

This, after Norton Cooper, who had been in jail for defrauding the government, marketed the original company that became Global Election Systems, and Charles Hong Lee, who was ordered to pay $555,380 in restitution over allegations of fraudulent stock transactions, was its director. Global Election Systems later installed Michael K. Graye on its board of directors. Graye misappropriated $18 million from four companies before taking a seat on the board of Global Election Systems during 1991 and 1992;  when he was apprehended for the theft, his bail was set at $1 million. Unable to come up with all of it, a Hong Kong-based shell company was set up and unwitting investors put money into it, which went to pay Graye’s bail. However, he was not able to complete his legal proceedings in Canada because he was arrested in the U.S. for stock fraud, where he spent four years in jail. In April 2003, Graye was returned to jail in Canada after admitting to tax evasion and the theft of $18 million.

Graye, Cooper and Lee helped to bring down the Vancouver Stock Exchange. In part due to their activities, Forbes Magazine wrote that the VSE was “the scam capital of the world.” While these three men have been absent from the elections company for a decade, it did not completely clean up its act. Global Election Systems CEO Bob Urosevich wrote to welcome embezzler Jeffrey Dean into “a key position in senior management.” Urosevich is now president of Diebold Election Systems, Dean apparently ceased working with King County after it became Diebold, and Elder is still managing a national division for Diebold Elections Systems. So we’ve got the state election director misstating when versions were certified, somebody at the secretary of state’s office signing off on software with no NASED number, and when we try to find out what software is actually authorized, we get the buffalo shuffle. We’ve got a convicted felon printing our ballots, an embezzler programming our voting system, and our absentee ballots are being funneled through a private company that hires people right out of prison. Can we please audit?

Memo to the King County Council: Can we do a public hearing on this?

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