Author Topic: UPDATE - Durham Election - Fraud or Fiction... You Decide  (Read 1121 times)

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citizensscience

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Re: UPDATE - Durham Election - Fraud or Fiction... You Decide
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2017, 12:46:02 PM »
#Gerrymandering #Voterfraud #ElectionFraud


Did you know...   - The #NCSBE allows county Board of Elections to utilize inconsistent voter roll systems?  Why not one system for the entire state? 

Optics or Obvious?




Voting software that’s been under a cloud for months can be used in elections next week.

The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement is appealing an administrative law judge’s decision Friday allowing counties to use software from a company called VR Systems that checks voters’ registration information.

Durham was using VR software on Election Day last year when a malfunction forced the county to switch to paper poll books. The glitch halted voting in some areas, and eight precincts extended voting hours.

The state elections board doesn’t want counties to use the software. The board hasn’t certified it, as required by law. In a court complaint, VR Systems said the elections board improperly revoked its license, and that some counties still want to use its product.

The company’s court complaint said Mecklenburg County used VR software in the September primaries, and Nash County used it in October, without problems and despite the state prohibition.

Last summer, The Intercept published a top-secret National Security Agency report that said VR was the target of a Russian cyberattack days before the election. The Department of Homeland Security told North Carolina officials a few months later that Russian hackers had not targeted the state. Still, the state elections board is examining laptops used in Durham for evidence of hacking.

Ben Martin, chief operating officer with VR Systems, said in a statement that the company was pleased with the administrative law judge’s ruling, and that Durham’s problems were not the company’s fault.

“On the Durham issue, an independent investigation and report, commissioned by the Durham County Board of Elections, concluded that VR Systems was not in any way responsible for issues involving a small number of check-ins at the beginning of Election Day in November 2016,” Martin said. “As for the hacking issue, there was a phishing attempt at VR Systems, but it was unsuccessful and no customers were impacted, including our customers in North Carolina. The judge had all of this information before him while ruling in our favor."

Durham is using state software this year. Wake uses paper poll books.

Counties that have used the VR software in the past are ready to use authorized alternatives, the state board said.

Twenty-one counties used VR software last year.

“While we understand the vendor’s desire to continue to operate in North Carolina, it is our responsibility to the public to ensure that our elections are secure and compliant with North Carolina law,” Kim Westbrook Strach, the state elections board’s executive director, said in a statement.

Via N&O

Lynn Bonner: 919-829-4821, @Lynn_Bonner
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citizensscience

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VR Systems and the Durham Election
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 11:47:56 AM »
9/24 - Update - More on Durham County's third party software...








Interesting DHS didn't rule out software...




 


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Re: UPDATE - Durham Election - Fraud or Fiction... You Decide
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 10:28:43 AM »
#durhamelection




The calls started flooding in from hundreds of irate North Carolina voters just after 7 a.m. on Election Day last November.

Dozens were told they were ineligible to vote and were turned away at the polls, even when they displayed current registration cards. Others were sent from one polling place to another, only to be rejected. Scores of voters were incorrectly told they had cast ballots days earlier. In one precinct, voting halted for two hours.

Susan Greenhalgh, a troubleshooter at a nonpartisan election monitoring group, was alarmed. Most of the complaints came from Durham, a blue-leaning county in a swing state. The problems involved electronic poll books — tablets and laptops, loaded with check-in software, that have increasingly replaced the thick binders of paper used to verify voters’ identities and registration status. She knew that the company that provided Durham’s software, VR Systems, had been penetrated by Russian hackers months before.

“It felt like tampering, or some kind of cyberattack,” Ms. Greenhalgh said about the voting troubles in Durham.

There are plenty of other reasons for such breakdowns — local officials blamed human error and software malfunctions — and no clear-cut evidence of digital sabotage has emerged, much less a Russian role in it. Despite the disruptions, a record number of votes were cast in Durham, following a pattern there of overwhelming support for Democratic presidential candidates, this time Hillary Clinton.

But months later, for Ms. Greenhalgh, other election security experts and some state officials, questions still linger about what happened that day in Durham as well as other counties in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Arizona.

After a presidential campaign scarred by Russian meddling, local, state and federal agencies have conducted little of the type of digital forensic investigation required to assess the impact, if any, on voting in at least 21 states whose election systems were targeted by Russian hackers, according to interviews with nearly two dozen national security and state officials and election technology specialists.

The assaults on the vast back-end election apparatus — voter-registration operations, state and local election databases, e-poll books and other equipment — have received far less attention than other aspects of the Russian interference, such as the hacking of Democratic emails and spreading of false or damaging information about Mrs. Clinton. Yet the hacking of electoral systems was more extensive than previously disclosed, The New York Times found.

Susan Greenhalgh, at her home in Amityville, N.Y. When she monitored complaints at an election call center last year, she was alarmed by disruptions reported in the swing state of North Carolina.

Beyond VR Systems, hackers breached at least two other providers of critical election services well ahead of the 2016 voting, said current and former intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is classified. The officials would not disclose the names of the companies.

Intelligence officials in January reassured Americans that there was no indication that Russian hackers had altered the vote count on Election Day, the bottom-line outcome. But the assurances stopped there.

Government officials said that they intentionally did not address the security of the back-end election systems, whose disruption could prevent voters from even casting ballots.

That’s partly because states control elections; they have fewer resources than the federal government but have long been loath to allow even cursory federal intrusions into the voting process.

That, along with legal constraints on intelligence agencies’ involvement in domestic issues, has hobbled any broad examination of Russian efforts to compromise American election systems. Those attempts include combing through voter databases, scanning for vulnerabilities or seeking to alter data, which have been identified in multiple states. Current congressional inquiries and the special counsel’s Russia investigation have not focused on the matter.

“We don’t know if any of the problems were an accident, or the random problems you get with computer systems, or whether it was a local hacker, or actual malfeasance by a sovereign nation-state,” said Michael Daniel, who served as the cybersecurity coordinator in the Obama White House. “If you really want to know what happened, you’d have to do a lot of forensics, a lot of research and investigation, and you may not find out even then.”

In interviews, academic and private election security experts acknowledged the challenges of such diagnostics but argued that the effort is necessary. They warned about what could come, perhaps as soon as next year’s midterm elections, if the existing mix of outdated voting equipment, haphazard election-verification procedures and array of outside vendors is not improved to build an effective defense against Russian or other hackers.

In Durham, a local firm with limited digital forensics or software engineering expertise produced a confidential report, much of it involving interviews with poll workers, on the county’s election problems. The report was obtained by The Times, and election technology specialists who reviewed it at the Times’ request said the firm had not conducted any malware analysis or checked to see if any of the e-poll book software was altered, adding that the report produced more questions than answers.

Neither VR Systems — which operates in seven states beyond North Carolina — nor local officials were warned before Election Day that Russian hackers could have compromised their software. After problems arose, Durham County rebuffed help from the Department of Homeland Security and Free & Fair, a team of digital election-forensics experts who volunteered to conduct a free autopsy. The same was true elsewhere across the country.

Software that resulted in polling problems in the county was supplied by a company hacked by Russians months earlier.

“I always got stonewalled,” said Joe Kiniry, the chief executive and chief scientist at Free & Fair.

Still, some of the incidents reported in North Carolina occur in every election, said Charles Stewart III, a political scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an expert on election administration.

“Election officials and advocates and reporters who were watching most closely came away saying this was an amazingly quiet election,” he said, playing down the notion of tampering. He added, though, that the problems in Durham and elsewhere raise questions about the auditing of e-poll books and security of small election vendors.

Ms. Greenhalgh shares those concerns. “We still don’t know if Russian hackers did this,” she said about what happened in North Carolina. “But we still don’t know that they didn’t.”

Disorder at the polls.

North Carolina went for Donald J. Trump in a close election. But in Durham County, Hillary Clinton won 78 percent of the 156,000 votes, winning by a larger margin than President Barack Obama had against Mitt Romney four years earlier.

While only a fraction of voters were turned away because of the e-poll book difficulties — more than half of the county cast their ballots days earlier — plenty of others were affected when the state mandated that the entire county revert to paper rolls on Election Day. People steamed as everything slowed. Voters gave up and left polling places in droves — there’s no way of knowing the numbers, but they include more than a hundred North Carolina Central University students facing four-hour delays.

At a call center operated by the monitoring group Election Protection, Ms. Greenhalgh was fielding technical complaints from voters in Mississippi, Texas and North Carolina. Only a handful came from the first two states.

Her account of the troubles matches complaints logged in the Election Incident Reporting System, a tracking tool created by nonprofit groups. As the problems mounted, The Charlotte Observer reported that Durham’s e-poll book vendor was Florida-based VR Systems, which Ms. Greenhalgh knew from a CNN report had been hacked earlier by Russians. “Chills went through my spine,” she recalled.

The vendor does not make the touch-screen equipment used to cast or tally votes and does not manage county data. But without the information needed to verify voters’ identities and eligibility, which county officials load onto VR’s poll books, voters cannot cast ballots at all.


The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

Details of the breach did not emerge until June, in a classified National Security Agency report leaked to The Intercept, a national security news site. That report found that hackers from Russia’s military intelligence agency, the G.R.U., had penetrated the company’s computer systems as early as August 2016, then sent “spear-phishing” emails from a fake VR Systems account to 122 state and local election jurisdictions. The emails sought to trick election officials into downloading malicious software to take over their computers.

The N.S.A. analysis did not say whether the hackers had sabotaged voter data. “It is unknown,” the agency concluded, whether Russian phishing “successfully compromised the intended victims, and what potential data could have been accessed.”

VR Systems’ chief operating officer, Ben Martin, said he did not believe Russian hackers were successful. He acknowledged that the vendor was a “juicy target,” given that its systems are used in battleground states including North Carolina, Florida and Virginia. But he said that the company blocked access from its systems to local databases, and employs security protocols to bar intruders and digital triggers that sound alerts if its software is manipulated.

On Election Day, as the e-poll book problems continued, Ms. Greenhalgh urged an Election Protection colleague in North Carolina to warn the state Board of Elections of a cyberattack and suggest that it call in the F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security. In an email, she also warned a Homeland Security election specialist of the problems. Later, the specialist told her Durham County had rejected the agency’s help.

When Ms. Greenhalgh, who works at Verified Voting, a nonprofit dedicated to election integrity, followed up with the North Carolina colleague, he reported that state officials said they would not require federal help.

“He said: ‘The state does not view this as a problem. There’s nothing we can do, so we’ve moved on to other things,’” Ms. Greenhalgh recalled. “Meanwhile, I’m thinking, ‘What could be more important to move on to?’”

An Interference Campaign

The idea of subverting the American vote by hacking election systems is not new. In an assessment of Russian cyberattacks released in January, intelligence agencies said Kremlin spy services had been collecting information on election processes, technology and equipment in the United States since early 2014.

The Russians shied away from measures that might alter the “tallying” of votes, the report added, a conclusion drawn from American spying and intercepts of Russian officials’ communications and an analysis by the Department of Homeland Security, according to the current and former government officials.

The most obvious way to rig an election — controlling hundreds or thousands of decentralized voting machines — is also the most difficult. During a conference of computer hackers last month in Las Vegas, participants had direct access and quickly took over more than 30 voting machines. But remotely infiltrating machines of different makes and models and then covertly changing the vote count is far more challenging.

Beginning in 2015, the American officials said, Russian hackers focused instead on other internet-accessible targets: computers at the Democratic National Committee, state and local voter databases, election websites, e-poll book vendors and other back-end election services.

Apart from the Russian influence campaign intended to undermine Mrs. Clinton and other Democratic officials, the impact of the quieter Russian hacking efforts at the state and county level has not been widely studied. Federal officials have been so tight-lipped that not even many election officials in the 21 states the hackers assaulted know whether their systems were compromised, in part because they have not been granted security clearances to examine the classified evidence.

The January intelligence assessment implied that the Russian hackers had achieved broader access than has been assumed. Without elaborating, the report said the Russians had “obtained and maintained access to multiple U.S. state and local election boards.”

Two previously acknowledged strikes in June 2016 hint at Russian ambitions. In Arizona, Russian hackers successfully stole a username and password for an election official in Gila County. And in Illinois, Russian hackers inserted a malicious program into the Illinois State Board of Elections’ database. According to Ken Menzel, the board’s general counsel, the program tried unsuccessfully “to alter things other than voter data” — he declined to be more specific — and managed to illegally download registration files for 90,000 voters before being detected.

On Election Day last year, a number of counties reported problems similar to those in Durham. In North Carolina, paper roll incidents occurred in the counties that are home to the state’s largest cities, including Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville and Charlotte. Three of Virginia’s most populous counties — Prince William, Loudoun, and Henrico — as well as Fulton County, Georgia, which includes Atlanta, and Maricopa County, Arizona, which includes Phoenix, also reported difficulties. All were attributed to software glitches.

Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, argued for more scrutiny of suspicious incidents. “We must harden our cyber defenses, and thoroughly educate the American public about the danger posed” by attacks,” he said in an email. “In other words: we are not making our elections any safer by withholding information about the scope and scale of the threat.”

In Durham County, officials have rejected any notion that an intruder sought to alter the election outcome. “We do not believe, and evidence does not suggest, that hacking occurred on Election Day,” Derek Bowens, the election director, said in a recent email.

But last month, after inquiries from reporters and the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, Durham county officials voted to turn over laptops and other devices to the board for further analysis. It was not clear which government agency or private forensics firm, would conduct the investigation.

Ms. Greenhalgh will be watching closely. “What people focus on is, ‘Did someone mess with the vote totals?’” she said. “What they don’t realize is that messing with the e-poll books to keep people from voting is just as effective.’”

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/09/01/us/politics/russia-election-hacking.html?referer=https://www.google.com/


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« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 10:32:34 AM by citizensscience »
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citizensscience

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UPDATE - Durham Election - Fraud or Fiction... You Decide
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 09:24:50 AM »
- Just released by #NCSBE. 





Yet, still no explanation on how multiple electronic poll books go down  simultaneously, and are reported at the exact same time (6:45AM) but are all at seperate locations / precincts?

#fishy
 




11/13/2016 - Durham County Board of Elections responds...










A "Crack in the Case"?

Citizens Science has "Grave" Concerns with the below statement...





Again - How do Six "separate and apart" "Voter Poll Book Systems" go down that just so happen to be "Used to Verify Voter Registrations"?

This occurrence forces the Durham County Board of Elections to resort to the use of "Paper Poll Books" vs "Electronic Poll Books"

Why is this occurrence of fact so important?  Let's look to the "Intent" of the Electronic Voter Rolls and their stated "Purpose"...











So HOW is it, that six seperate precincts "Electronic Poll Books" all just happen to go down and are reported at the "Exact" same time...  6:45 AM??  Yes AM...

What other similar patterns can the State Board of Elections illustrate with other precincts with any such patterns?  Remember, Durham County Board of Elections was and remains under SBI Investigation for Election Tampering resulting in hundreds of ballots "Missing"...

What was the % of "Same-day Registered Voters" that were later found to be "Ineligible" after the statutory mailings were returned "Nondeliverable" for these same Durham precincts?

What exactly does "Nondeliverable" really mean...

The USPS defines "Nondeliverable" below...



https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/507.htm


Summary -  What a wonderful way to willfully commit #voterfraud in North Carolina, as it's near impossible for any US Attorney to prove the required elements, for example "Knowingly", to secure a criminal convection for such.

This is a significant deficiency in the election processes.



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« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 11:41:08 AM by citizensscience »
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