NJ: Questionable practices – Questioning courts and watchdogs

Update: All four parts of the series are now complete in one <.pdf>

Significant that the Judge ordered a redo of the election. For the reasons stated, that may not be the best solution when the voters’ intentions are clear.

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Rigged election or three human errors – we may never know for sure.  Freedom To Tinker: NJ election cover-up <read>

The Court: The 2011 New Jersey Primary Election was held on June 7, 2011. In District 3 of Fairfield Township, Cumberland County, four individuals ran for two open seats on the Democratic Executive Committee. Following the election, the County Clerk certified the results as Vivian Henry, 34 votes; Mark Henry, 33 votes; Ernest Zirkle, 9 votes; and Cynthia Zirkle, 10 votes…

[Administrator of the Cumberland County Board of Elections] Ms. Hernandez claimed that she has programmed the voting machines in Cumberland County since June of 2008, to avoid the cost of the County of hiring a programmer. She further claimed that she mistakenly placed the position for Vivian and Mark Henry onto the position of Cynthia and Ernest Zirkle, and vice versa. This information was then put into the voting machine cartridge and sent to the warehouse for testing. The voting machine technicians inserted the cartridge into the voting machine and began the necessary testing. Ms. Hernandez then claims that the voting machine technicians did not catch her error in the programming…

On August 17, 2011, an expert retained by the Plaintiffs, Dr. Andrew W. Appel, made an inspection of the voting machine and the laptop, pursuant to the Order following the July 11 hearing. In conducting this inspection, Mr. Appel found certain concerns with the security procedures which the Administrator had put in place.

He also discovered that his ability to examine the Administrator’s WinEDS laptop was seriously compromised by what appeared to be an action that someone performed on the computer on August 16, 2011, which erased a number of files which Dr. Appel wanted to examine…

In response to the August 22, 2011 Order to Show Cause, the Attorney General filed a Certification of Jason W. Cossaboon, Sr., a Computer System Analyst employed by Cumberland County. Mr. Cossaboon, in his Certification, states that on August 16, 2011, he was asked by the Administrator to determine the date the hardening process was applied to the laptop used to program the voting machines. [editor’s note: I’ll explain “hardening” in the sequel article]

 

He apparently was not able to find a log file for the laptop to indicate the date the hardening was done. However, he states that while working on the laptop, he noticed the computer was running very slowly. As a result, he deleted certain “temporary files.” He also, for some reason, deleted the event view logs…

I do not know and may never know exactly why this election was defective. I have suspicions that something happened here that was improper and I even question whether something happened here that may have been criminal. And I strongly encourage the Attorney General to turn this over to the Attorney General Division of Criminal Justice, so that appropriate criminal investigators can conduct a full and complete investigation of this matter, to assure that criminality did not take place.

Although the Board of Elections and the Administrator maintain that human error was all that was involved here, for me to believe that I have to believe that three independent errors, human errors, occurred here, and that somewhat stretches my belief of common sense and reality, but it’s possible.

Accordingly, I am ordering a new election to be conducted on September 27, 2011.

To be continued. This is part one of four blog posts promised.

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