Compare to photos of me at the last page of: plus at or this example: among many others...

This is long, yes, but with supporting documents...proof will be noted some of the links.

There’s a small group of activists and computer geeks who have been following election problems since 2003. I’m one of them. We’ve had our successes but honestly, things are getting worse. The latest trend scares me: people in “closed primary” states (where you have to be a Dem to vote in the Dem primary for example) are finding themselves switched from Dem to something else without their permission and often with very crude at best signature forgeries on the false voter registration documents. This is new – it tells us that election manipulation has been going on too long, not enough people care and now we’re seeing “in your face” examples. I’m going to go into the history of the issue and what we need to do to change things.

If it takes me a week or a month or whatever I’m going to answer every question in this thread!

Urgent: one of the people I’ve worked with over the years is John Brakey based in Tucson AZ. The AUDIT-AZ election oversight group he founded is now in the thick of it as Arizona now has two election challenge lawsuits going, one filed by John and one by the DNC (Democratic National Committee). John’s suit seeks to overturn the Arizona election and have a do-over while the DNC wants the court, as a cheaper remedy, to throw out all the Arizona delegates to the convention. John and AUDIT-AZ need funding immediately – more about their lawsuit and donation info (via PayPal) is at: - I'm pictured in there, look for the big guy with the fanny pack with the peace sign on it.

Now let me fill you in on some history of this problem...some of it stuff I was directly connected to.

I’ve been involved since mid-2003. I was brought into this movement as a former IT guy (already turned activist by then) by the work of Bev Harris and I still sometimes refer to myself as one of her earliest lieutenants. Bev was the first one to turn up serious proof of misconduct in vote counting software and systems when in January of 2013 she found an open-access FTP site (online repository of stuff) maintained by Diebold Election Systems and copied all 40,000-ish files off it over three days. This, in my opinion, really jumpstarted the debate over bad voting systems. By 2005 I spent a year in the Seattle WA area working with Bev on election investigations and reporting. Bev and I still talk and collaborate frequently.

Important: the single biggest fallout from Bev’s first reporting, still very relevant today, is that at each county running Diebold voting gear there’s ONE computer where all the precinct and mail-in votes are added up – the “central tabulator”. Bev showed (with basically stolen copies of the Diebold “GEMS” central tabulator software that as long as you deal with the election database with “GEMS” everything appears secure, but once you open the data in an off-the-shelf copy of Microsoft “Access” (a crappy database app included with MS-Office) all the security basically vanishes: you can edit every aspect of the election with no password required, no audit trail entry left and you can even edit the audit trail. When I’ve been involved in forensic exams of voting systems after an election I very, very often find evidence that MS-Access is loaded on there. In a few cases we’ve found proof it was used. Voting system software has to be approved and “certified” ahead of time and MS-Access has never been approved, at all, by any state or at the federal level. When you see that bad boy on allegedly certified voting systems it’s basically a burglary tool for elections.

At one point Diebold denied this, saying that “no human being” can alter the data in this Bev knew somebody with an honest-to-God chimpanzee and we taught HIM to do it: – behind the scenes note, this was possible because the dang thing was addicted to Menthos[tm].

My reddit username originally matched my real name: James “Jim” March. In 2013 I married another political activist hellraiser, Jill Simpson and took her last name. Jill is somewhat well known as the formerly Republican whistleblower who put a hurt on Karl Rove:

Jill and I met doing election monitoring in 2012 for the Obama campaign. This report on the risks of manipulation of overseas and military voter’s intent got a fair bit of coverage and remains of concern, although we don’t think it’s a top avenue of election management misconduct this year: – note that pics of myself and Jill are in there, part of my proof...

In the summer of 2005 I was arrested in San Diego California for trying to observe the counting of the vote as per California law:

I was released a week later with felony election tampering charges dropped: – if you scroll through the comments you’ll see that I was controversial among some Dems as I was previously best known as a gun rights activist and 2002 I was thrown out of the California NRA because I was exposing how sheriffs were selling gun carry permits for campaign contributions and the NRA told me to stop complaining about Republican sheriffs doing that. I refused. Yes, I’m still a “gun nut” of sorts. As you can see, some of the folks on Democratic Underground had...issues with all that :). They had issues with Bev Harris for another reason I’ll get to in a sec.

Back to election stuff :).

In 2006 I moved to Tucson AZ and immediately started working with John Brakey who had been tracking election problems since 2002 when he was threatened with assault by pollworkers in Pima County when he realized they were shaving votes. John and I did a LOT of work exposing Pima County’s election problems (2nd biggest county in AZ, where Tucson is) and in Maricopa County (the biggest by far, centered on Phoenix). To give one good example of how shady Pima’s election process is, check out this videotaped deposition of the head election tech for Pima County during most of the last decade and decide for yourself if he’s hiding anything: and – trust me, he doesn’t usually twitch like that :).

In 2010 John and I did some digging into election misconduct in Maricopa County: which became the basis for a lawsuit trying to reform at least some parts of the process. This report in turn was mentioned in an appellate court decision awarding fees to, among others, John and I by name:

This was one of the few times this insanity paid anything - $8k each if I recall right? (I’ll have John chime in on this thread if possible...he’s usually not a redditor.)

The main reason I’m posting is that while I’m no longer in Arizona (I moved to Jill’s place in Alabama in early 2013), John is still fighting and in the recent Arizona primary election a whole lot went wrong that John is now suing over. One of Arizona’s problems was a pattern also seen in other closed-primary states where people’s voter registration database entries were altered to deny them the right to vote in the Democratic Party primary. You can see examples from other states here:

Specifically in Arizona, Anonymous is claiming the statewide voter registration database is hackable - vulnerable to SQL Injection along these lines: - and that Anon was able to actually test-hack the data:

We also know that the number of sites where a voter could in fact vote were radically reduced from previous elections in Maricopa County, from almost 400 four years ago to about 60 now. John has evidence of misconduct at some of those voting locations (for technical reasons, not really “precincts”). We also find it very suspicious that on election day Bernie won the polling place vote by 60% to 40% Hillary but in the mail-in voting the pattern was exactly opposite – 40% Bernie, 60% Hillary. We know there’s enough security holes for Maricopa County election staff to have manipulated it and they have a long infamous history of deliberately subverting security enough to pull it off.

The Democratic National Committee has announced that they too are filing suit in Arizona. They’ll be in federal court. John’s lawsuit is in state court and because he’s challenging the actual outcome of the election (requesting the whole thing be done over!) he is “fast tracked” with his first hearing on the 19th of this month(!). He needs financial support immediately for that case.

John’s lawsuit has a lot more details at: - he is for real and I’d like you to consider hitting the “Donate Now” button. He has a real attorney who we’ve worked with before in Maricopa County. Any help appreciated and win or lose, any and all information he gathers in his suit will be shared ASAP with the public and with the lawyers for the DNC as they follow behind in federal court on a slower timescale (because they’re challenging future procedures, not necessarily the actual outcome. John’s affidavit gives a decent starting point as to his case:

One other thing...I mentioned controversies regarding Bev. This relates to a problem I’ve seen ever since the debate over voting machines and processes started. In 2004 (a presidential election year) Bev got flooded with donations from people on the left who hoped she’d be able to “save the election”. Yeah...didn’t work exactly although blaming Bev was dumb. Reason being, if you want to save, well, let’s say the 2020 election from fraud, you need to start NO LATER THAN early 2017. It takes time to figure out where the weaknesses are, predict how the next round of hacks will go down and sue over them. Those of us in the election integrity community never EVER get funding in advance. John’s lawsuit in Arizona is very important but what’s really needed is strategic investigation and litigation intended to go to the US Supreme Court. I can tell you for a fact that when the US gun rights lobby went to the Supreme Court twice in 2008 and 2010, the planning for those cases began in 2000 with funding and resources from major organizations and budgets starting at half a mil. The US election integrity movement has never, ever been as well funded and the money that does come in happens in “pulses” every four years.

You can’t protect an entire national election in 2016 when you start in 2016. Ain’t gonna happen.

We need to switch to crowdfunded support and we need to get this idea of well-planned long-term action established. That said, among the “quick and necessary” suits this year that DO have results that can be built on, John Brakey’s case via the group AUDIT-AZ has the best chance of quick action that will in turn support suits across the rest of the election cycle. If you can support his work please consider it

Thanks and AMA!

(I’ll be answering in two-hour-at-a-time blocks at least twice a day – my finances forced me to become a long-haul trucker of all things...)

EDIT: I'll be up again at 9am EASTERN tomorrow (Sunday) for at least a couple of hours...then more across the day.

Comments: 244 • Responses: 100  • Date: 

Shadow_Banned_Why33 karma

What decision do you regret the most?

JimMarch57 karma

Man. Where do we start...?

None of us in this movement have been able to convince "rich progressives" (yes, they exist!) to fund election monitoring and litigation between election years. That's the real disaster to all this...the "money pulse" problem.

We haven't been able to push for a coherent, national litigation plan.

Look, the "gun nuts" back in 2000 said "OK, we need to take a case to the Supreme Court establishing the 2nd Amendment as a personal right, then we'll go after the 2nd limiting state actions as well as federal, then we'll go after carry rights, the "sporting use" concept in certain regulations, etc.". They didn't just say "we need to go to court", they planned out what cases, what kinds of plaintiffs in what jurisdictions and in what order they want the cases to be. Knowing this was a multi-decade effect.

I mean, no matter where you stand on guns, you gotta respect that.

We haven't been able to do the same.

2oosra3 karma

I want to know more about why we have not been able to succeed. Having rich progressives so central to your strategy might have been a mistake. Maybe there people are not progressive on the issues that matter to you. Think of Sanders campaign. He could have tried to get money from Wall Street liberals or he could have done it $27 at a time.

JimMarch6 karma

Yeah, probably. But even then the money comes in spurts. The cash that funded Bev and BlackBoxVoting through mid-2006 came mostly from the 2004 "spurt".

Naphtalian-15 karma

George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg. Need I go on? Whoever claimed there weren't rich progressives? Now I detect bias coming from you.

JimMarch7 karma

Yeah, probably guilty. :) We all have our biases.

Rate_hacists26 karma

Why are you doing an AMA in the middle of the night?

JimMarch29 karma

I figure I'll let it stew for about six hours or so, get up, work on it some. I just finished my shift...typing this in the parking lot of a beer plant :). Can't go anywhere for nine more hours...

Cakiery1 karma

parking lot of a beer plant

How much free beer do you get and is it anything like this?

JimMarch5 karma

I don't get free beer. Beer gets loaded in my trailer...and sealed. I don't get loaded personally :). Not and drive 80,000lbs of rolling chaos.

I don't drink regardless, never have.

Cakiery3 karma

You replied to me twice, I like your style.

JimMarch2 karma

Crap. :) I'm starting to lose track. Sorry.

JimMarch2 karma

Oh hell no. Beer in the CAB is strictly forbidden. Easy for me, I hate the taste of alky anyways. It's in the trailer under seal.

MidnightToker321 karma

As a volunteer, do you think you might have gotten in over your head?

JimMarch32 karma

Wow...good question.

Well first, it's always been broken down into a series of parts, and I've usually not been the top guy. I almost want to say "never" but I kinda doubt that.

Examples...well Bev was the leader when was going at our peak. And we'd do, an honest election official in Utah or Florida would get a bad feeling about the election gear they'd bought and allow us to come in and test-hack it. That happened. I was part of the technical and documentation team for the Utah tests.

Something else that happens a lot is, some politician will either think they got screwed or have a bad feeling about the process in general...if we're lucky we're called in before election day, more likely after. I usually end up as part of the support team for a lawyer, helping draft public records request (or legal discovery requests if it's gone that far) and then help analyse what documents we do get back.

I was called into Memphis TN for one such case in...hmmm...2006 I think? Biggest thing we found was, on the central tabulator the Windows Event Log showed references to a program called "JD Secure", running on election night at crucial times just before results were released. A bit of digging showed that to be the software half of an encryption program packaged with Lexar USB memory sticks with security features that were actually being used. So somebody was bringing data in or out of the central tabulator, and encrypting it so even if caught with it nobody can tell what's going on.

This is part of the frustration. Any number of times we've caught election officials doing sketchy stuff but...until you PROVE votes were flipped, nothing can be done.

Gawd...worst case of "sketchy" was in Pima County AZ. There was this huge bond measure in 2006, couple billion dollars involved. John and I got a fair number of records out of that after the fact and John spotted something interesting: in some precincts the memory packs from the precinct voting machines that get loaded into the central tabulator had been uploaded multiple least two, some as much as six. Huh? So we got access to the polltapes...the precinct-level voting machines spit out a paper tape of vote totals that pollworkers sign. Well a whole bunch were missing, and there was almost a perfect correlation between "precincts without polltapes" and "precincts with multiple uploads". Well in 2005 Bev had done a report showing that a company that makes systems for monitoring crop moisture levels had a card reader for their system that could also read Diebold precinct-level memory cards - it was some weird format, basically an ancestor of PCMCIA except it was pre-flash so there was a watch battery keeping the RAM alive. So Bev reported that these "Cropscanners" could burglarize an election. Pima County promptly went and bought one. So in 2006 they had a tool that could alter precinct memory packs, they were proven to be uploading memory packs multiple times and they threw out any signed polltapes that conflicted with the altered results. I's like a game of "Clue", you could see all the pieces.

Doesn't matter. Bond passed in 2006, they did all kinds of things to help the housing boom along...which of course went tits-up in 2007-2008...

Ask me why I spent most of 2010 in a tent at OccupyTucson :).

Yeah. It gets frustrating :).

That's why, longer term, I want court cases designed to get us certain basic rights to oversee elections properly, ban hidden code or processes and overturn elections that are obviously bogus. Ain't gonna happen unless things get way worse.

On edit: can't say it's all been bad. I got a really cool wife out of one project :).

anti_orthodox11 karma

As an Indian, I find it shocking to believe that you and your job is not a part of the Government itself.

We have an Election Commission that is a constitutional body. They are above the politicians and their offices. The integrity of the data from the electronic voting machines (we are 100% electronic for the big elections now) is thoroughly audited and kept secure by the department.

We do have independent observers but the role of the Election Commission is very important and the whole department is quite bold and aggressive against any malpractices. None of the money used by the EC is paid by private entities as donations.

By when you think the US can conduct transparent and free elections?

JimMarch2 karma

I didn't discuss this much but there IS an election oversight system...of sorts.

It's about as dysfunctional as a rock star on crack trying to conduct a symphony.

Most of it is privatized. There's an actual federal agency, sure, but when voting machines are submitted for "certification" a private test lab is hired to review the innards of the machines - software and hardware, allegedly.

Well first off, of the four test labs ever certified, three have been thrown out for poor performance and let back in once they (allegedly) cleaned up their acts.

Two of the worst are Metamor (formerly Ciber) and Wyle, both based in Huntsville AL. Why there? Because their usual software testing work is checking out military aerospace software/firmware at the Redstone National Arsenal. I hope to Christ those idiots check out nuclear missile control systems better than they check out voting machines!

The one lab that consistently tried to do a decent job was iBeta. They quit in disgust in 2010. Their normal software test area: video games.

I'm not making any of this up.

Ready for worse? The Diebold internal Email traffic leaked in mid-2003 contained examples of Diebold employees being told to lie to the test labs by Diebold managers. At least twice. Excerpts of those conversations can be found at:

Those two documents above should have caused a massive re-think of how the US deals with voting machines.

Comedy bonus: at one point Diebold tried to do a DMCA take-down notice of my website where I was publishing these excerpts and more:

Here's my counter-notification under the's...well, a little bit epic:

MidnightToker36 karma

I hope you get a book deal, or movie deal, or something.

JimMarch15 karma

One other moment, in 2005 Bev and I had sued Diebold in the California courts on behalf of the state, to get the state a recovery of all the money they'd spent on that crap. The AG's office settled it out from under us for $2.6mil, paid to Cali by Diebold. We were pissed because it didn't go to discovery but, oh well. We each collected 6.5% of the take - a $76,000 payday each (for two years of hard work mind you). Should have been 6.5% of $106mil but...oh well.

So anyways...I bought my self a decent motorcycle for once ('97 Buell S3 Thunderbolt), put the following on the gas tank:

Paid for by LIEBOLD Faster Than

...and parked it out front of the California Secretary of State's office when Diebold was having a meeting there.

They was pissed.


JimMarch6 karma

Heh. Yeah...cameras make me nervous as hell after this...

Sigh. Not my finest hour, that.

It's my wife who needs a book written...she used to work for Karl Rove's team, turned on them in truly spectacular fashion, on "60 Minutes" and in a congressional hearing under oath...

MidnightToker35 karma

, after one of the unsuspecting guests, James March, threatened to sue Comedy Central.

I can only imagine.

JimMarch2 karma

It was bad. Right around the time I figured out that the thing I'd been handed on national TV was a penis pump my brain basically blue-screened.

In case anybody is wondering why I threatened to sue: to make this work they had me sign a "release" (contract) that was full of lies as to the name of the show, where it was going to play, etc. Contract law 101: you can't lie before the fact and expect the contract to be valid. So if the contract ("release") was no good, I let them know they had no permission to show me on TV.

It worked, they caved in without a fight.

MidnightToker31 karma

So, if they had used the "Borat" release contract, it would have held, but the question is, would you have signed it.

JimMarch1 karma

would you have signed it

I'd have "noped" so fast I'd have been three counties away before they blinked.

The Borat release was likely influenced by what happened to me. Crossballs was partially inspired by "The Ali G Show"...

david2323232320 karma

How much are you paid? Who finances the movement?

JimMarch16 karma

Right now, nothing. I've gotten small paydays from a couple of lawsuits ($8k twice) and one big one ($76k in 2005 after two years of hard effort). A grand or two here and there on specific monitoring projects. Oh, and for a bit over a year solid in 2005-6 I worked for when we had some money and an office. Didn't last - we didn't yet understand the "money spurt" problem (cash only shows up in an election year).

But mainly this is a hobby from hell.

leelasavage1 karma

Maybe you can ask George Clooney for some. Like he said, he's pulled in "an obscene amount" from his crony Hollywood pals. Being smirky and proud of something like that from his cringe-fest fundraiser makes it hard to call his crowd true progressives. But, perhaps it would be better if we honest leftists began calling ourselves populists in the tradition of FDR's better actions. I always did like Woody Guthrie and hard-working people.

Personally, the whole posse of Hollywood elites could benefit from being dressed down a few notches by the masses. I doubt that will happen with our first-world +100 year love affair with celebrity. Our full-belly jadiousity is contemptible, at best.

JimMarch2 karma

"Team America: World Police" was one of my favorite movies. Sigh. Yes, including the unrated version :).

Best parody of Hollywood elites ever.

UtyerTrucki11 karma

I have a couple of questions:

1) Would it be possible/easier to use mobile devices to vote?

I know the software and verification of the person linked to the device may be an issue but good software can be made and in my country (South Africa) we are required to link our cell numbers to our IDs. Maybe this sort of system would be more appropriate for minor issues that need a popular vote.

2) Would changing to the Alternative Vote make a positive change compared to the system we have now?

As far as my limited understanding goes I dont see any more significant downsides to it than compared to the existing system. It also does away with the inevitable two party system (CGP Grey does a great job at explaining the AV system)

JimMarch2 karma

As far as my limited understanding goes I dont see any more significant downsides to it than compared to the existing system.

Congratulations, you've just turned control of the world's most powerful country to a bunch of high-tech spies such as found by busload in the NSA.

FuguofAnotherWorld1 karma

How would AV allow spies to gain control in a way that FPTP doesn't? That seems like an entirely different issue.

JimMarch2 karma

US voting systems are supposed to be "air-gapped" - no external data connections. At all. No way for evil remote exploits.

What you're proposing has "remote exploit" written all over it in big flaming letters the size of an elephant.

scufferQPD8 karma

You're given control of the voting systems, how would you reform it? What would you do? What sound be your perfect, unbreakable system?

JimMarch19 karma

GREAT question.

1) Ban fully electronic (touchscreen) voting. Ain't no way to make that shit right.

2) Limit mail-in voting to just those who need it - people traveling on voting day, people in hospitals, nursing homes, etc.

3) Make the election day a Saturday so it's easier to vote!

4) You vote on paper and it's scanned twice by pollworkers. One system does nothing but scan the ballots to graphic files, the other "knows" what the candidate names are and such and does the tally. The graphic images are made public on the web - any election looks funky, we'll figure it out right quick by counting the scanned images.

5) The actual paper ballots can be reviewed and counted by candidates, the media or political parties, under watch.

That would be hard to hack.

xavyre6 karma

The graphic images are made public on the web

The system hosting the graphic files could easily be manipulated.

xxxssszzz2 karma

/u/jimmarch I'm interested in how you would mitigate this risk in your hypothetical system.

JimMarch1 karma

The reason that kind of approach is being taken seriously is because of pessimism on my side.

Basically, the craptasktic voting systems are already bought and paid for and likely aren't going away without a fight. So you put in a dead simple open source "doublecheck" on.

BUT!!! You also make sure the laws are reformed for easy access to the original paper if everything still looks sideways, and yet more laws absolutely mandate external oversight of the election processes by political parties, community groups, etc.

An open-source double-check on it's own won't cut it.

JimMarch1 karma

Well not if the scans are also handed out to party reps on election night. Maybe.

Hell, I don't have all the answers :(.

Taylor_Jordan1 karma

Ban mail in voting? I know two states right now where that would be a fight. Oregon I belive is 100% mail in. Washington has maybe 2 counties that are not mail in. I am 100% mail in and haven't been to a pooling station since I lived in California.

JimMarch2 karma

Well, there's a lot of protections that are supposed to happen at a polling place. We need to think carefully about giving those up.

ctn07267 karma

Do you think it is fair for the federal government to fund the primary elections for the democrat and republican parties?

Even with the electronic polling systems in place how can election be rigged in favor of a certain candidate winning?

JimMarch10 karma

OK....there's a few ways to rig a vote.

  • Geographic or demographic tampering with the mail-in or precinct vote: make it harder for "the wrong kind" of voter to vote by reducing precincts, making precincts (voting locations) harder or slower to get to, or in processing the mail-in votes you mess up the outgoing ballots in the mail.

  • Swapping paper ballots with fakes. Low-tech, old-school attack.

  • Ever heard of "check washing", where scammers take a paper check and use acetone or other solvents to erase the ink on the money parts and re-write new amounts? on ballots too.

  • Attack the voter registration database, mess up the ability of the "wrong kind" of voter to vote.

  • Electronic fraud at the polling place: rig the precinct machines to internally flip votes between candidates. There's several possible defenses; one is to scan the ballots into machines that do nothing but take pictures of them and publish the pictures for a croudsourced hand count after; another way is hand-counted spot-checks to a meaningful degree.

  • Electronic fraud at the central count location: potentially the most dangerous, where a single attacker can flip votes at the one computer per county where they're added up. The design of the Diebold and successor voting machines is particularly dangerous when it comes to counting mail-in votes, because the ONLY tally of the totals happens in the central tabiulator so unless you spot-check against hand-counted ballots there's no proof of anything...and many county procedures takes steps to make sure hand auditing is impossible.

gw2master7 karma

Any thoughts on the voting machine anomalies in Kansas (from 2012 or 2013, I believe)?

JimMarch7 karma

Well, you're likely talking about the statistical analysis from wazzername...Beth Clarkson? She's solid and wants to do something really simple: count the ballots to see what happened, even if it's legally too late to do anything about it if the elections were as wonky as her statistics suggest.

If this is correct she's going after polltapes - signed totals printed by precinct-level machines. Well John and I (and AUDIT-AZ got to that point in Pima County AZ by 2008. And we found a whole bunch missing in an election that looked particularly bad (the 2006 "RTA" ballot measure, a transportation-and-other-stuff $2bil municipal bond measure).

So we wanted to count actual ballots...yeah...that ain't gonna happen, at least not properly.

Backstory: Beth seems to be assuming that the polltapes are going to be accurate. I wouldn't count on it for certain! It is possible to cause a hacked precinct-level machine to print a fraudulent polltape, depending on the precinct-level machine in question of course. But Beth has a good point in that once the precinct data is uploaded into one central PC running windows, vote totals are laughably easy to tweak. So the odds are hacks are happening there as opposed to the precincts. So yeah, if she had the polltapes, signed by pollworkers and they don't match

If the polltapes even exist by now, or haven't been re-printed and had forged pollworker signatures on ''s just a cash register printer, you can buy those as USB standalone devices for PCs...

Justagreewithme1 karma

Why don't we takes video at polling locations. At each entryway to polling places, then when something is questionable, we know for sure exactly how many people showed up. That seems pretty simple. At least you can't control that there are the correct amount of votes.

JimMarch2 karma

You'd have way too much data with current tech. Once we have software and databases that can auto-scan everybody's faces and record who was there then it's at least possible to do this...but yet again, can it be hacked?

crumbbelly6 karma

What's your opinion on the current election?

JimMarch10 karma

Somebody is hacking things against Bernie. Not sure who but I suspect they're allied with Wall Street and the big banks. Now, having just typed that you're going to assume I'm making a reference to, I'm not. I actually suspect she's not in on it personally.

sworeiwouldntjoin6 karma

Why haven't we been able to overhaul the system? As a cybersec guy, this is so far beyond unacceptable it boggles my mind.

This wouldn't be allowed to stand anywhere else, and I mean anywhere. I've been auditing government systems for years, and even the worst (which were usually local education departments) haven't had this many pervasive issues.

So my question is - what's the justification being given for allowing something so critical to remain so broken? And whose job is it to maintain these systems (as in - what federal department is in charge of deciding how the software gets written, what the standards are etc.)? Because I would think that's who we need to overwhelm with angry phone calls and shit, right?

JimMarch8 karma

Why haven't we been able to overhaul the system? As a cybersec guy, this is so far beyond unacceptable it boggles my mind.

This wouldn't be allowed to stand anywhere else

Yup. You ain't kidding. "Fiasco" doesn't even start.

We haven't even gotten into how many execs or high-level managers at voting machine companies have criminal records. Ye Gods.

fishhookdick5 karma

I just read Jimmy Carter's latest book and he had a whole section on vote fraud when he was running for office in Georgia. Is there any chance his Carter Center foundation would "observe" an election here in the USA? Here is a website about what they do Http://

JimMarch6 karma

Heh. Carter himself has criticized US election procedures fairly often. We've been trying to get the Carter Center involved domestically for years.

JimMarch1 karma

Heh. Carter himself has criticized US election procedures fairly often. We've been trying to get the Carter Center involved domestically for years.

HirosProtagonist5 karma

I am 30 years old and have never, nor ever plan to, vote. This is for many reasons (electoral ballet, piggy backing bad measures on good ones, ballet corruption, ect.) but I don't discuss politics because I feel I don't have the right to, because I don't vote.

My question is: Am I wrong in this line of thought? Should I be voting and to hell with these reasons that I don't?

JimMarch14 karma

Voting still matters. There's a limit to how much they can shave votes.


The goal of people like me is to make it riskier for cheaters. Bottom line, that's it. Sometimes we pull off a win :).

Comical and cool example: in 2012 a lawyer my wife knew name of Cliff Arnbeck was suing in Ohio, very late in the election season. At issue was a set of last-minute illegal changes to voting systems across the state that the top Ohio election guy (office of the Secretary of State) wanted to push out. Cliff's "crew" is based out of Columbus Ohio (members and supporters of the Columbus Free Press mainly) and while they've got lots of lawyers they don't have any geeks - computer guys. My crew based out of Tucson did - myself and better yet, a retired NSA programmer name of Mickey Dunahoe. So I did an affidavit on why last-minute changes are a problem and Mickey actually testified.

The result: the Ohio judge let the changes happen, but in noting that they weren't really kosher he mandated hand-counted audits of the actual ballots if anything funky happened.

What happened next was legendary: whoever planned to hack the Ohio vote was pretty obviously tied to the GOP power structure and Karl Rove in particular. They didn't bother to tell him they were calling off the hack, so on election night when Fox News called Ohio for Obama, Rove lost his shit on live TV:

One of our best wins, right there.

pathofexileplayer61 karma

What happened next was legendary: whoever planned to hack the Ohio vote was pretty obviously tied to the GOP power structure and Karl Rove in particular. They didn't bother to tell him they were calling off the hack, so on election night when Fox News called Ohio for Obama, Rove lost his shit on live TV:

Oh my god THANK YOU!!!! I am a Columbus Ohio-ite and I have been trying to explain this to people FOREVER.

JimMarch1 karma

Yeah. It was actually Jill (my now-wife) who knew Cliff Arnbeck (the attorney in that case) and Bob Fitrakis (ringleader of the Columbus Free Press). Jill connected Cliff to me, I helped some but mainly connected Cliff to Mickey Dunahoe, the retired NSA guy in Tucson. He really nailed it hard.

See...election integrity has so far been a series of "clusters" of people. There's a Boston crew, there used to be one in Austin, there's the Ohio bunch, Bev has people local in WA state, etc. A big challenge is to keep us all coordinated or at least exchanging info.

brandstone8 karma

Refusing to vote encourages the things that you state as reasons not to vote. If more people vote in an election. Then more vote manipulation is required to effect that election, and more risks must be taken by the manipulators. Gerrymandering and electoral abuses become less effective as voter turnout increases. Piggybacking is a tough issue to address, but elected officials will feel more pressure as voter turnout increases.

Also, getting involved in the political process can have as much effect as voting. The political process needs more involvement from its citizens so that elected officials are held accountable for their actions.

JimMarch1 karma

You are absolutely correct. I want to make a comment on...


In certain circumstances, gerrymandering has actually been mandated by the Feds.


It surrounds what it means to "protect minority voting". have "Nation X" with a 20% minority population who are green (actual green skin here). They live in two counties. Each county is split 50/50 between the greenskins and the purple skins...everywhere else is mostly purple.

You got two choices: option one, you can pile the greens into one artificially created area and basically guarantee there will be a greenskin delegate to the legislature. Call this the "gerrymandered approach".

OR you can leave them spread 50/50 "naturally" in two counties so that there's a possibility they'll get two greenskin delegates, a possibility they'll get one or maybe none.

At times, the US government has mandated states do option one. Not even kidding.

I would argue that option two would be better for the greenskins. Why? Because even if they don't get greenskin delegates, the politicians from those areas will have to pay attention to greenskin issues if they want to get re-elected! Follow?

Option one, in my view, limits the political power of the hypothetical greenskins.

Minority political movements such as the NAACP have to wrestle with this concept.

brandstone1 karma

I like ranked systems better. Separating voters by arbitrary things like geography seems obsolete in comparison.

JimMarch1 karma

We may have to pick between Hillary and Trump. That'll be a rank choice.

sworeiwouldntjoin1 karma

A lot of people will likely comment telling you that you should vote. What those people are missing is that your vote might literally not count if the system is rigged.

JimMarch7 karma

It isn't about "not counted", it's more about "shaved". There's a limit to what they can do. There's NO stopping a blowout.

Derpese_Simplex5 karma

Would you say one party or the other is more prone to rigging the vote?

JimMarch6 karma

I think it started out as a GOP thing...but it ain't confined to them any longer.

Kalepsis5 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA, Mr. March.

When and if the proof of voter fraud and suppression is uncovered this year, how likely is it that the perpetrating candidate will be meaningfully punished?

Do you think Hillary (and Bill) should be dealt with by the criminal courts for blatantly violating federal election laws by campaigning within polling locations on multiple occasions, even after being expressly told not to do so?

What is your opinion on the Electoral College?

JimMarch8 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA, Mr. March.'s now Simpson :). I know, I'm a dude with a "maiden name". Sigh.

When and if the proof of voter fraud and suppression is uncovered this year, how likely is it that the perpetrating candidate will be meaningfully punished?

Ummm...don't assume that a candidate is doing it. I'm no fan of Hillary personally but while I think some things are happening that benefit her I have no reason to believe it traces all the way to her...or Karl Rove or anybody else.

One guy we DO suspect of being an election hacker was a techie for the GOP name of Mike Connell. Connell was questioned by attorney Cliff Arnbeck in...2004 I think it was. He didn't spill all the beans but he also didn't take the fall. He was supposed to do a second deposition but died in a small plane crash. He was an experienced pilot in clear weather...

Anyways. Back to your questions...election hacking could come from any number of sources. I have my suspicions regarding some of the bigger banks...

Now, Bill for example campaigning at a polling place, that's a problem's not the sort of thing people like me can chase down. And honestly, I doubt it's the worst thing going on. Was he wrong? You bet. Should he be punished? Sure, with whatever the rules say.

Will he? Fat chance...

What is your opinion on the Electoral College?

This may surprise you but...I think it was part of the original deal forming the country in which the power of the bigger states was balanced against some power given to the smaller states. The Libertarian in me likes it. The election integrity movement isn't "mostly Libertarian" (at all!) but we do have a few others. John Washburn in Wisconsin was awesome, a professional software tester I recruited on a gun rights forum :) but he died of natural causes not too long ago...

MeFigaYoma1 karma

He was supposed to do a second deposition but died in a small plane crash. He was an experienced pilot in clear weather...

Wow /r/conspiracy

JimMarch2 karma

Yeah, I know. But here's the kicker...Connell knew dirt on various Republicans that were the same bunch my wife blew the whistle on in 2006-2007. She survived at least one verifiable assassination attempt around that time and her house also blew up in suspicious (and downright spectacular) fashion.

She knew Connell back in the days when both worked for elements of Rove's network.

So...yeah, it's very plausible they killed Connell. My wife isn't a pilot and didn't have anything to do with small airplanes...if she had she'd have been dead years before I met her in 2012, in my opinion.

As it was, I was hired in part as her bodyguard. I'm one of the very few people in the election integrity movement who's also a gun nut :).

justhereforacomment11 karma

There isn't a single federal law of any import on polling places. Elections are completely a power of state law.

JimMarch1 karma

Yup. Except for constitutional guarantees on equal's rare but, that stuff can matter at times.

exosequitur4 karma

Thank you for your service to the United States of America, without what you and people like you do it is not possible to have a functional democracy.

My question is threefold. Do you see a potential block chain based, publicly auditable voting solution as viable?

How, from your perspective, could a verifiable technological solution be implemented, from a practical perspective?

Do you see value in a secondary, parallel (grass roots grown) voting system using a publicly auditable mechanisms implemented as a technological solution to pinpointing voting fraud pain points and forcing institutional change through public awareness?

JimMarch3 karma

See my post here regarding your last question as "scan only" systems are a quasi-technical solution I'm in favor of:

The problem with all of the "crypto solutions" is, they don't allow non-technical people to audit the results. And monitoring elections is everybody's job. If your granny can't be functionally involved, in my view her civil rights have been violated.

Second, crypto can be done wrong. Witness the recent SSL fiasco. We also know the NSA is actively subverting crypto - do we turn all future elections over to them, as a practical matter?

NightPhoenix354 karma

Do you think the election is rigged for someone to win? If so, for whom and why?

JimMarch9 karma

Well I think it's rigged for Bernie to lose, this year. He threatens to stop or expose too much corruption by the major banks and Wall Street. Those guys have serious, serious cash (duh) and could be doing all kinds of stuff.

This latest trend where potential Bernie voters in New York, Arizona and elsewhere are finding themselves changed without their permission to something other than Dem is new, at least on this scale. Suggests to me a new player in the game...somebody with bucks and an in-your-face attitude (or desperate as hell). Sounds like Goldman-Sachs or the like to me.

These are my personal opinions...

swagboisiu1 karma

How about the GOP?

JimMarch3 karma's hard to say exactly but Trump of all people might have fraud-buster tendencies too. Hard to say, guy is random as hell. Rand Paul did for sure but he's out.

Greypo4 karma

Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or one hundred duck-sized horses?

JimMarch8 karma

A duck sized like a horse might turn out as mean as the average goose but a hell of a lot bigger. NOPE!

Edit: damn cellphone put "cost" instead of GOOSE like I meant.

Imagine a goose the size of a horse. You could re-edit Jurassic Park with those fuckers instead of velociraptors and the terror factor would go UP!

Ardatirion3 karma

Absolutely fascinating. Are there any long form articles you can link to where can learn more about what you're fighting against?

More importantly, if I have the choice between a physical ballot or digital, does it matter which I use?

JimMarch5 karma

Hold on because you asked a MUCH more detailed question than you realized. Which is fine. I'll get back to it, likely tomorrow, OK?

Ardatirion1 karma

Sure! I'm just glad you're answering at all!

JimMarch1 karma

Absolutely fascinating. Are there any long form articles you can link to where can learn more about what you're fighting against?

OK...lemme start by taking you back to 2003, the year the exposure started.

Bev Harris was writing a book on the theoretical problems of closed-source election systems (privately owned and run voting systems that nobody can see inside of due to copyright). January 23rd 2003 she finds a Diebold FTP site (online stash of stuff) with no password needed to get in. By Jan. 26th she's got it all - 40,000 files. This remains our best look into WTF is going on.

I jump into the fight in mid-2003 after seeing some of Bev's early reporting.

By late summer somebody else released 13,000 internal Emails from within Diebold Election Systems (and a lot dating back to before Diebold bought out Global Election Systems not that long before).

That's when shit started getting real.

We've learned a LOT since then but really, we knew enough (and damned well published enough!) that we should have gotten political traction to change this stuff all the way back then.

So...turns out, my personal fairly primitive website from before I officially joined BlackBoxVoting as staff is still available, basically "frozen in time" from that critical period. (I can't edit it anymore.)

"PRAR" stands for "Public Records Act Request", the California version of an FOIA. I suggest looking at the "Howard Dean demo" pages and the three letters to the California Secretary of State (in the yellow background table, right side).

Ponder those then drop me a line, I'll tell you where to look next once you've recovered.

stardawgOG3 karma

I just learned we lost Mayo de la Rocha in August of 2015. Did you ever work with him? He's Zachs uncle from Rage against the Machines and is credited with writing People of the Sun. He was the greatest professor I've ever had but his passion in life was monitoring electronic and paper votes in Mexico around chihuahua. His work extended into Ventura and Santa Barbara California. He always begged us to get active as he swore tampering was rampant.

JimMarch1 karma

No, never met him. I think I've heard of him.

too_long_didnt_read3 karma

Dude. Fuck off. How are people like me ever expected to hold elected office if we have to rely on the will of the people alone?

Seriously though, I'm glad there are people out there like you trying to keep the government honest. Have you been able to make a living out of this or has this always been a side project to your "real job"?

JimMarch3 karma

Have you been able to make a living out of this or has this always been a side project to your "real job"?

Always a side job except for a few spurts during elections, and one year (most of 2005) working for Black Box Voting.

Right now I'm driving a semi :(.

Drathrul3 karma

John’s suit seeks to overturn the Arizona election and have a do-over while the DNC wants the court, as a cheaper remedy, to throw out all the Arizona delegates to the convention.

Why does the DNC need to go to court to achieve that? Can't they it? Isn't the DNC is it's own private entity?

JimMarch3 karma

(scratches head)

You know...that has me stumped. I know they're doing more than that though. I'll try and come back to this point tomorrow.

UsernameAlrTaken3 karma

What's your position on compulsory voting?

JimMarch8 karma

Not a fan. Basically, the folks who don't want to vote generally also don't want to gather info on who to vote for. Making them vote if that's still the case is going to be like what happens when a five year old finds daddy's loaded gun...random badness.


"Do yo want the next Mussolini? Because that's how you get the next Mussolini..."

SideshowKaz3 karma

What systems do you think should be put in place for the disabled and blind?

JimMarch5 karma

AH! GREAT question, because there's a...history here.

See, when Diebold and the other big E-vote vendors were pushing this stuff, disability access was supposed to be a big win with these. Diebold already had a long-standing relationship with one of the blink advocacy groups in regards their ATM machines. Blind folk would sue banks over ATMs that didn't have good disability access, funded by Diebold, and the solution would be to put in Diebold ATMs.

This partnership transferred over to E-voting. In the debates over this stuff in California back in 2003-2004 when I was first getting started I recall frustration caused by the "doggy brigade" (sorry!).


The best solution I've seen is to slide a paper ballot into a "holder" that has Braille instructions on where to make paper marks, sometimes accompanied by an audio-track explainer on headphones. It's simple, cheap and is no more hackable than any other vote. The resulting paper is the same as everybody else's.

SideshowKaz1 karma

I actually can agree with that. Will you be adding large print as well?

JimMarch3 karma

Large print has a problem: what if the blind guy was the only one like him in the precinct? You now know how he voted! Ooops.

Gotta make everybody's ballots look the same, 'cept for language I guess. (And yes, I know, that issue can arise there...)

SideshowKaz1 karma

Ok. Have you thought of adjusting a tablet computer so there's enough memory for one app and the camera? Not even leaving the hardware for wifi or sending data or having the room for pictures? That way if set up on a frame it works as a magnifier that can be adjusted by the user.

I've had this idea for a wile.

JimMarch2 karma

Well that's what Diebold claimed they did with their second-gen touchscreen. Opening one up and finding a hidden SD memory card slot was a surprise. Then with the back case off and the critter running, we inserted a freshly formatted/blank SD card from somebody's camera and got the standard Windows "ba-BEEP" tone meaning "new hardware recognized. So the damnthing was set to take new data in, auto-recognize it and yes, "autorun" was enabled.

I dunno. It's a messy problem.

AlCzervik13 karma

Do you believe that the Democrats in certain metropolitan areas have skewed election results by having people vote multiple times using different names including those of deceased perople?

JimMarch4 karma

Not on any kind of large scale. Maybe a few here and there but nothing organized. It's too dangerous, too many people involved. Technical term is "too high an attack team size".

rusty_mancouth3 karma

Why was this ama removed?

JimMarch1 karma

I didn't have proof covered well enough right away. No biggie.

curioustree3 karma

In you opinion was the presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush rigged?

JimMarch6 karma

Yup. Definitely.

In fact, in the "obvious hack is obvious" department, Volusia County had a situation where one precinct of less than 1,000 people had NEGATIVE 16,022 votes for Gore. Say what? This alone almost caused Gore to concede on election night - somebody spotted it just seconds before he was going to pick up the phone. That was probably the intent.


Other stuff was altered too but that particular one we know about.

gu1d3b0t1 karma

Is there anything that can be done in a situation like that? When manipulation is detected after the election is complete?

JimMarch3 karma

Under current US law?


That's a key change we need to get through the courts.

Baseproduct2 karma

Well, you can take it to the Supreme Court...

memelissaann2 karma

Well, it was the Supreme Court that ruled for Florida to stop counting the ballots and awarded the Presidency to GWB. It is an utter disgrace for only 9 votes to count in the choosing of a President of 350mil people.

Baseproduct1 karma

That's the joke.

JimMarch2 karma

If Bill Clinton's vice president ever learns to play the drums he'll be a fantastic computer programmer.

He'd literally be an AlGoreRythm...

breadtower3 karma

Do you think that voters will be able to vote from home (online) in the near future?

JimMarch5 karma

GOD I hope not.

Just one scenario for ya: malware that infects your router and does re-directs from the voting page to a fake, you vote there, your vote is either dumped or re-transmitted after alteration.

There's tons of others.

breadtower1 karma

I agree that there are lots of possible problems with it.

I wish there was a better way to make voting more accessible to people.

JimMarch3 karma

I wish there was a better way to make voting more accessible to people.

Change election day to a Saturday.

KingFairley3 karma

What is your opinion of the First Past the Post System? What about the Alternative Vote?

JimMarch1 karma

I don't know that any of those are the answer.

Look...part of the drive towards e-voting is that US ballots are huge. Most areas we vote for issues too (initiatives, etc.) plus we vote on a LOT of downticket races. Our ballots are huge, so hand-counting them becomes trickier.

Alternate voting types aren't going to affect that.

oddark1 karma

First of all, I want to thank you for everything you're doing. It's something I would love to be a part of, but I'm not sure where I would start. Anyway, I wanted to ask a similar question (sorry this is so late).

To me, there are two big problems with American election systems. The first is the implementation side, where things like electronic voting make election fraud too easy. The second is they theory side with our first-past-the-post system which does a much poorer job than many other systems of reflecting voters' preferences, and according to Duverger's law tends toward two-parties over time. Range voting has a lot of nice properties (e.g. it doesn't suffer from Arrow's impossibility theorem!) and I would love to see it implemented. However, the obvious problem that you've already pointed out is that counting becomes much harder and electronic counting is obviously a bad idea. First-past-the-post works because it's so simple. I could see approval voting as an acceptable compromise. I guess my question is, from your perspective, what do you think of our voting system (on the "interface" rather than the implementation side)?

And another question I just thought of (sorry): If you had to implement a voting system to be as automated as possible (i.e., voting and counting electronically), how would you design it to minimize the possibility of fraud?

JimMarch3 karma

First, I don't have a dog in the fight on things like rank choice voting or the like. I know, there's issues but...I got my hands full and so does everybody else I know seriously into this.

And another question I just thought of (sorry): If you had to implement a voting system to be as automated as possible (i.e., voting and counting electronically), how would you design it to minimize the possibility of fraud?

OK. Here's the part you're not thinking about yet...and trust me, you aren't alone!

The right question is, how do we vote in a way that is verifiable to EVERYBODY who wants to be an election observer, from age 18 to 100+, with no technical ability?

Because remember, we have a basic civil right to oversee the counting of the vote.

THAT in some ways is a more difficult challenge than adding crypto-based security or whatever. And the two goals (electronic security with total transparancy) may not be mutually compatible.

Of the two, transparency is more vital. You cannot comprehend the number of times I've walked into an election facility, seen something wonky, asked to inspect whatever it is wonky and been told "no".


So what happens when your super duper crytographically sound system gets subverted by some maniac of an election office staffer?

Think about it: how many crypto systems could withstand deliberate subversion by an authorized user? Hell, Hillary Clinton clearly managed to do it to some of the highest security systems in the world.

And she's a non-technical grandma.

What happens when a county IT guy does it on the sly?

oddark1 karma

Thanks for the answer! For the first part, I was mainly wondering what someone with your knowledge and experience thought on the issue, but not having an opinion is perfectly understandable. Election fraud is definitely a more important issue and I appreciate that your hands are too full to worry about the theoretical stuff.

The second question was meant to be theoretical. I'm in no way suggesting that electronic systems are preferable. Automation is a great feature, but transparency is far more important to me. Let me rephrase the question: If some theoretical voting system was required to be implemented electronically, what measures could be taken to minimize fraud, maximize transparency etc.?

Maybe that's a little off-topic, but I thought it was an interesting thought experiment.

JimMarch2 karma

Sure. But...really, my position hasn't changed since 2003: "what we're going now is deeply and horribly wrong, we need to STHAPP! and do something else.

Hazelstone373 karma

I find all this information very disheartening. How do you keep living to fight another day?

JimMarch3 karma

Ain't easy. It's also hard on relationships...I have friends who "married outside their species" and their spouses just do not understand activists. At all. I got REAL lucky and married another.

xxxssszzz3 karma

I love what you do and what you are doing here in this AMA. Two questions:

  1. As an IT person, how can I help and or get involved?
  2. I know and understand your reluctance to go to online/electronic voting. However I'd be very interested to hear what your thoughts are on using technologies built around mutual mistrust like a blockchain voting system?

JimMarch2 karma

Your first is VERY important and will have to wait until tomorrow. Unicorn (word I'll search for later to find this).

JimMarch2 karma

OK, a longer follow-up...

Second question you asked, I answered here:

First question is the more interesting one :). What can IT guys do?

Well, in my own case I started out looking at reports of what was wrong and was shocked - I had no idea if it was true or not. I already had a history of using California's FOIA law (called the "Public Records Act") to dig up bad stuff. Managed to kill off an entire crooked non-profit with one request.

So my first idea was to do records requests to dig into what California counties were doing with the Diebold software that had been analyzed for the first time by people outside of the election infrastructure.

This was mid-2003.

I was stonewalled in my requests to a degree I'd never seen before, and I'd dealt with some bad stuff. So I went back to the people complaining (mainly Bev Harris) and started helping her analyze the stuff she'd obtained plus what continued to leak out.

So basically I do:

  • Security analysis and writeups of potential threats.

  • Examination of physical and electronic security in various election offices.

  • I create public records requests designed to get to various audit log and similar files to see what's going on inside of voting systems, especially central tabulators.

  • I do election observation.

  • I sometimes testify in court...example:

A background in systems administration type stuff is nice, a decent knowledge of networking helps, technical writing a plus. A pentester would rock - I'm not really qualified there well enough, though I've picked some up here and there. Database knowledge including SQL would be useful too.

PortalForChange2 karma

What you do is incredibly important, but if I'm understanding you about the need for a long term plan I have come up with a system that crowd sources the planning portion and benchmarks politicians on those plans through a simple ballot format.

If you have two minutes I'd love to hear what you think?

JimMarch6 karma

Well...just in connection with election reform, the problem here is that you are tying together a whole bunch of policy issues.

This election mess (one wag called it "electile dysfunction") has to be seen as non-partisan. The fact that it's been seen as a "left wing issue" is a problem in and of itself. We ought to have support from the Cato Institute and other "right wing" sources too. But because it's been mixed up with "lefty issues" to a degree, that hasn't happened.

I mean...I've been at election integrity conferences or other events and heard behind my back "hey, there's that gun nut that's on our side" in shocked tones. It shouldn't be a surprise.

This is part of what has to change.

PortalForChange2 karma

Absolutely, Portal For Change seeks to make the decision making from the non-partisan standpoint, by discussing and agreeing on important issues.

There is some concern of the possibility of the userbase being very 'left' or 'right' as you say, but I think trying to have this dialogue is the most helpful thing to our current political process. Because the reality is there are a lot of thing politicians don't believe that the majority of American do, like climate change.

How much of these election integrity problems do you think are driven by 'first past the post'?

JimMarch4 karma

The problem is, you're discussing electronic voting along with a bunch of other stuff.

How much of these election integrity problems do you think are driven by 'first past the post'?

Very few. In fact, one of the problems with "rank choice voting" is that it gets so complex in many cases it tends to push for electronic solutions.

Show me a GOOD electronic solution and we'll talk. Until then...

(Then again, to me "rank choice voting" would include having to pick between Hillary and Trump. That would definately qualify as a "rank choice". Downright stenchful in fact...)

JimMarch2 karma

I’m posting this to everybody who wrote to ask about “rank choice” voting or “instant runoff” or any of the other alternatives to standard elections like we have now.

So don’t take it personally when I get harsh, m’kay?

By October of 2003 we knew a lot about what Diebold (one of the biggest e-voting vendors) were doing. We had the stash of files Bev Harris scored in January 2003 (and had studied that a fair amount), we had 13,000 leaked internal Emails and more.

We knew they had subverted the security of their own systems and we knew they had lied to various federal regulatory bodies – there’s a whole system for voting machine “certification” involving test labs and some of the internal Email traffic had Diebold managers ordering underlings to withhold critical stuff from the labs. I wrote two letters to the California Secretary of State that outlined all this and if you read any of the links I’ve posted, read these:

Those should have had a major impact. That info should have caused massive, immediate change. Instead we were ignored, at every level of government, and still are despite finding all kinds of nefarious crap more in the years since.

So here’s the deal. It’s as if me and a few others are basically acting as volunteer firefighters trying to save a nice house. We have inadequate gear but we’re working our asses off. And you are coming up, tapping me on the shoulder and asking “excuse me but wouldn’t the garage look nicer painted a pale green to match the house? Can you get right on that please?”

This is me looking at you like “motherfucker, the house is on fire, ain’t nobody got time to worry about no paint.”

OK? I don’t have a position on instant runoff or rank choice or whatever. ’Cuz the house is on fire.


n60storm42 karma

What do you think about the voter fraud that is happening in state legislatures? Can we stop it?

JimMarch3 karma

Are you talking about state legislators voting on behalf of other state legislators? I'm aware that happens sometimes....haven't been involved in that mess yet.

ih8dolphins2 karma

Access is a crappy program?

JimMarch5 karma

Low security, not "crappy". It's not something you run a high-security app on.

Gnashtaru2 karma

Holy shit this is a lot of information to take in!

So what is your take on the shenanigans being reported against clinton/the DNC? You may have covered that above but its 6am and I haven't gone to sleep yet so I thought I'd ask. If it's covered please just reply that it is.

Thanks for all you do!

JimMarch11 karma

My personal suspicion is that Hillary herself isn't involved. Neither is the DNC to any strong degree.

Somebody appears to be raiding information out of VAN (the voter database used by both Hillary's and Bernie's people) to figure out who Bernie voters are and screw with their registrations. Raiding VAN is the single best way to know which registrations to attack, and the info is available to both other words, a Hillary volunteer can get access to Bernie's data (which is something the DNC needs to fix ASAP).

This attack on registrations in the closed-primary states is new, especially on this scale. Suggests to me a new player has entered the game...Goldman-Sachs or somebody similar. Same fuckers that rigged LIBOR or commodities markets on a mass scale are not at all above rigging elections.

kyracantfindmehaha2 karma

What can we as regular citizens do to prevent voter fraud?

what_no_wtf_10 karma


JimMarch4 karma


VACWS2 karma

What is the most egregious thing you have ever seen?

JimMarch6 karma

This is close to the top of the list - 16,022 negative votes? Really?

The Pima County AZ RTA election (transportation bond measure) of 2006 is the nastiest I've personally seen.

rangeDSP2 karma

I am not familiar with US politics, are dem/rep primaries bound by the same laws around 'real' elections?

If not, what are the main differences? I.e. what's the biggest no-no, and what's considered ok, or normal, which would be unacceptable in general election?

JimMarch3 karma

I am not familiar with US politics, are dem/rep primaries bound by the same laws around 'real' elections?

Mostly, yes, although some states use "caucuses" run entirely by the parties themselves. Those vary all over the map in how they're run but they're often in-person. Study the Iowa caucuses for an example.

BFGfreak2 karma

There's a lot of talk about election fraud on the democratic side, is there anything fishy going on in the Republican side this election?

Kind of in the same vein, is there one side that's more likely to skew votes?

JimMarch2 karma

There's talk on the Dem side THIS election. That's...actually, kinda new.

There's been a lot of connections drawn between the people who make voting machines and various Republicans. That's been a trend for some time..."CEO of this company hangs out with politician X" (who's GOP). But we're now seeing some of that on the Dem side too.

Elections are not supposed to turn into hacking contests. That's what the Black Hat conferences and such are for.


ahmenrah2 karma

What can I do about this aside from donating?

JimMarch2 karma

Volunteer as a pollworker, study the issue, watch what's going on from the inside.


If you have technical or legal chops, PM me.

leelasavage2 karma

What types of election fraud did you find from the Obama team during the primary/caucus season of his first (and second, for that matter) presidential run? I find, as an independent social democrat/socialist who was actively involved in this and most elections since 1972, that an honest answer to this question gives me most of the information I need to determine the integrity of the election fraud activist responding to it. Thanks in advance for your answer.

JimMarch3 karma

Hang tight, this one is complex.

In 2012 my now-wife and I were hired to monitor voting systems ahead of the 2012 general election. We scoped out a lot of things including very very shady looking stuff related to processing military and absentee voting. You'll find our report on this (regarding the "MOVE Act") in my initial set of links.

A lot of that connects to a company called Scytl based in Barcelona Spain with a shady-looking US subsidiary run out of some dude's house in Virginia. Scytl is also a big proponent of online voting and has run systems for such in various places in Europe: - a sketchy as hell concept if ever there was one...

We didn't figure out until AFTER we published that report that Scytl ties into the left, not the through (coughSOREASScough). We almost immediately got tossed to the curb by various left-leaning orgs known to connect to (coughSOREASScough). We think we stumbled on a lefty hack ring and didn't realize it at first. We'd still have published mind you...

leelasavage1 karma

Thanks for a great response. I trust snopes almost as much as I trust Soros. The betrayal runs deep in this country. Money is a powerful drug.

JimMarch2 karma

You bet.

thekyledavid2 karma

Do you believe that Voter ID laws should be in place? Why or why not?

Do you believe that a birth certificate should be considered an acceptable form of Voter ID?

JimMarch2 karma

Well here's the sad part. This new trend of externally attacking the voter registration data, if the Anon claims are to be believed, becomes a new reason to do voter ID.

And it appears those attacks are coming from the Dem side.


OCogS2 karma

If we pretend that Sanders and Trump and up losing out to Clinton and Cruz - their supporters will have a fairly legitimate grievance about the presidential system. Two people from outside the two party system forced inside, and then beaten by the system even with support of the people.

Assuming enough public motivation, what is the roadmap to a fix? Do we need a federal law about the election of the president based on direct preferential voting? Or does it start down in the weeds of each state getting their own processes in order?

JimMarch3 karma

We have to go to court and start with basic confirmed rights: a right to oversee the election in meaningful ways would be a start, a ban on closed-source systems to run elections, a few more. We can do more with a smaller pool of money and resources in court than anywhere else.

Krapqer2 karma

It's the 21st Century, a very large percentage of US citizens have home internet or easy access to internet.

We can conduct all sorts of secure financial transactions online (even very large ones), pay taxes, open bank accounts, sign up for health insurance, buy products, renew state drivers' licenses and ID cards - all of which require us to verify our identity. We have pretty decent biometric validation on our phones, all manner of PINs and passwords and photographic methods to confirm that it is in fact us doing something online.

How fucking hard could it POSSIBLY be to implement secure, legitimate, third-party-verifiable (as well as individual-who-voted verifiable) online voting?

Would you say the "Establishment" is institutionally opposed to this, because they then would be unable to covertly influence outcomes? Or is it because they are mostly Luddites who lack a sense of current technological capabilities?

JimMarch2 karma

How fucking hard could it POSSIBLY be to implement secure, legitimate, third-party-verifiable (as well as individual-who-voted verifiable) online voting?

You're asking the wrong question.

The right question is: how hard would it be to keep the gorramn NSA out of the vote hacking biz if you take it all online?

I for one DO NOT welcome our new spook overlords.

nonamenoslogans2 karma

You didn't mention that you are particularly concerned with this in your post, but you seem to know how the process works so I'll ask because I've always genuinely wondered with the uproar over voter ID.

So, we do know that fraud in regards to voter registration does exist. It is well documented that people have registered their dogs to vote.

I live in a state that now requires voter ID. My question is, if you have a voter registration for a fake person and you use it to vote, how do you get caught if all you need to be is registered, and don't need ID to prove you are that "person?" The registration is "valid," but even though the identity doesn't exist, how do they later on prove that it was voter fraud?

When people say it is a non existent issue, I wonder, how can they catch people who use fraudulent registrations to vote?

JimMarch1 karma

They run any submitted voter registration papers past standard databases plus match signatures up.

BB-brits2 karma

What can we as voters realistically do to combat the current voter registration switching that has been happening? Will the DOJ investigation into Arizona's primary cover the switched registrations?

JimMarch2 karma

What can we as voters realistically do to combat the current voter registration switching that has been happening? Will the DOJ investigation into Arizona's primary cover the switched registrations?

It needs to be investigated in multiple states.

The thing that gets me is, this is new - at least on this scale. Thousands of reports, maybe a LOT more affected, and in key states?

I think there's a new player in the game - one with resources and money but fairly new to election fraud to pull off something this crude and in-your-face.

It also tells me there's desperation in the air.

I think it's some person or group from the financial sector - one or more major banks maybe. It kinda matches the "style" of those guys...the way Goldman-Sachs trucked aluminum around to manipulate the market:

It's "in your face" again. LIBOR and other frauds, same deal...they think they're so badass they don't even try and hide their shit, or not very well.

No, this ain't proof of anything. But...again, at a minimum I think I'm on solid ground saying "new player".

And man, would Bernie ever mess up the megabanks (and their repeated frauds).

BaconicSynergy1 karma

Any possibility of mandating the electronic voting infrastructure to use free and open-source software?

JimMarch2 karma

That's been a goal of some for a very long time. Google "Open Voting Consortium" started by Alan Dechart.

An alternative is to let the counties keep their "black box" systems and run a "white box" in parallel. The latter just does scans of paper ballots. True touchscreens have to go though.

Boonaki1 karma

Why do we have to register to vote?

JimMarch1 karma

To avoid situations where the number of voters at each polling place is unpredictable, and the same people can be swapped around at each polling place to vote multiple times.

Such a scam is very likely what killed Edgar Allen Poe: - item two here. Whether "cooping" happened to Poe is still debated but there's no question it DID happen.

Voter registration is a barrier to that stuff.

pipof20101 karma

What country has the best voter process?

Looking for a place to move to and take my money.

JimMarch2 karma

IF freedom falls in the US we're all screwed worldwide. Better to stay and fight.

MxMarkov1 karma

How much do you think voter fraud could count, considering the electoral college?

JimMarch2 karma

Not that much. To do it on a large scale needs a huge attack team size.

BlackbeardDiscount1 karma

Do you think there were signs of election fraud in the 2014 Brazilian presidential elections?

JimMarch1 karma

Haven't studied it. Sorry. I know there's controversy down there.

Chronoraven1 karma

At the moment, errors in voting and falsely reported votes are preventing accuracy and obfuscating democracy. In the future when retinal and fingerprint scanning become standard ID for voting, do you think voter fraud will decrease?

JimMarch3 karma

Who controls the databases that know everybody's eyeballs? Seriously. If one guy can be paid to tweak that stuff, at a minimum he can make it harder for the "wrong people" to vote.

The smaller the "attack team size" the more likely the fraud. If an attack can be pulled off by one guy....that's bad. Attacks involving fake voters out in the field have very high attack team sizes and are hence more dangerous to the fraudsters. It's been done of course - Tammy Hall in New York between 1866 and 1913, the "Know-Nothing Party" in Maryland before the Civil War (that killed Edgar Allen Poe most likely), etc. But you need really systematic corruption to make that work.

_esophagus1 karma

Do you know anything about the electronic voting system in Brazil? The issue of reliability has not ever been discussed here, and I don't even know where to start...

JimMarch2 karma

I know it's been an issue but I haven't studied it in detail. I know y'all have a general corruption scandal going on right now...

tabascotazer1 karma

What voting machines are you mostly looking at during elections? I work as a voting machine tech for a state but mostly work on AVC Advantage. I'll be getting trained on Edges next. Is there any way I can look at my programming for the MS-Access?

JimMarch1 karma

MS-Access is mostly an issue with Diebold-based elections. On some Sequoia setups there's a data import tool called the "Bridge Tool" that stores data in a format Access can screw around with.

More here:

chromecarz001 karma

The need for voter ID laws I agree with. However, the process for a lot of lower income people to get an ID is tough. What are your thoughts?

JimMarch11 karma

"Voter fraud" (one bad voter at a time) isn't near as common as "election fraud" (mass scale hacking) and nowhere near as dangerous.

Mycockisgreen1 karma

I'm Australian and over here we have compulsory voting at all levels. What are your personal thoughts on compulsory voting?

JimMarch3 karma

Bad idea. If somebody doesn't care enough to educate themselves on what's going on they're no safer than a five year old that just found daddy's gun.

Tactical_Wolf1 karma

What do you want to be done about election problems?

Also, if money was not an issue, what would you do?

Thanks Mr Simpson!

Kuromimi5051 karma

Has there been any demographic analysis of the closed democrat primary instances of "Oh I have listed here that you are not infact a democrat"?

Would be really interesting to see who is being targeted if any. If it's intentional (fake signatures, yah) then certain voters would have been targeted by demographic to choose who to "edit".

Young voters? Newly registered?

JimMarch2 karma

Would be really interesting to see who is being targeted if any. If it's intentional (fake signatures, yah) then certain voters would have been targeted by demographic to choose who to "edit".

Young voters? Newly registered?

Well if Bernie's people are being targeted this way, there's only three ways to reliably spot possible Bernie votes:

1) Newly registered Dems (on the assumption that they're jumping in for Bernie - likely independent, socialist or green prior).

2) Demographic analysis: look for young white lefty hipster types?

3) Raid the other side of the Democratic Party's tracking system for supporters. Hillary and Bernie (and others of course) each had their own "section" of a larger pool of data. We know there were breaches. If those breaches guided illegal activity, and it can be proven, then...yeah, shit just got real.

KindOfBlue1231 karma

Do you think that the DNC is stepping on John Brakey's toes with their lawsuit? I know that I saw the announcement of Brakey's AZ lawsuit before I saw the announcement of the DNC's AZ lawsuit.

Also, what is your opinion of Stephen Spoonamore?

Have you heard of a man named Richard Charnin?

Lastly, do you think that the current registration changes we're seeing in states with closed primaries are related to the firewall drop that occurred in December with NGP-VAN?

JimMarch1 karma

Do you think that the DNC is stepping on John Brakey's toes with their lawsuit? I know that I saw the announcement of Brakey's AZ lawsuit before I saw the announcement of the DNC's AZ lawsuit.

NO! The two are not in conflict. They're going slightly different places.

Worst case of a "conflict" is, the DNC suit gets the AZ delegates blocked BUT John and AUDIT-AZ manage to reverse the election and force a do-over. At that point the DNC could easily reverse course. No biggie.

The nice thing is, the DNC suit is in Federal court, AUDIT-AZ is in state court. The two can't be easily merged and hence we basically have two chances here.

The AUDIT-AZ suit is trying to get more done and due to a quirk in AZ law is on a fast-track. Worth supporting! Please toss 'em some cash :).

Also, what is your opinion of Stephen Spoonamore?

He's for real. Cliff Arnbeck (crucial Ohio attorney in all this) thinks the modern debate on voting machines starts with Spoonamore. I kinda agree, but Bev's role in getting actual internal data from the worst of the companies was I think an even bigger deal.

Have you heard of a man named Richard Charnin?

Yup. OK guy. Not...well, not a team player exactly :).

Lastly, do you think that the current registration changes we're seeing in states with closed primaries are related to the firewall drop that occurred in December with NGP-VAN?

GREAT question. Basically, the whole idea that one campaign could get into the nitty gritty of the other campaign was just...well, a conflict of interest to start with. Hopefully we won't see this problem again...with any party.

KindOfBlue1231 karma

Thanks for your answers! Regarding that last one, if that was the case, or regardless of how the registration changes were done and who was responsible for it - do you think there is anyone that can determine this? And if so, is it possible this information would come out before the end of the primary?

JimMarch1 karma

Depends on how the Democrat's software was set up. Did they have audit trails to a banking standard?

Look, if you're running a computer at a bank, and you do something, it's tracked. In detail. And recorded someplace where you can't tamper with it and damned few people can. That's an audit log. Did the Dems implement anything similar?

I honestly doubt it!

Now, if people were submitting fake papers...hrm...did they leave actual fingerprints on the paper? DNA evidence? Thinking out loud here...I'm guessing this would be pretty hard to track weeks or months or even years after the actual crime is committed.

Somebody knew that and exploited that weakness.

sheepbassmasta0 karma

What are your thoughts on Lottocracy?

JimMarch1 karma


Basically draft our "leaders"? Not...well, the craziest idea I've ever heard. Not sure it's constitutional...?

sheepbassmasta1 karma

If your biggest area of concern is preventing voter fraud to create fair representation, do you think Lottocracy is something we should experiment with as it removes the possibility of fraud?

JimMarch1 karma

Don't know if drafting politicians would be constitutional?


What is your favorite type of bread? Brand and style.

When was the last time you went fishing, if ever?

What elections have had confirmed voter fraud without anyone being punished?

Did bush really steal Florida in 2000?

Do you believe in aliens?

Was 9/11 an inside job?

You rock.

JimMarch1 karma

What is your favorite type of bread? Brand and style.

At a Subway it's the white with cheese on it, if that helps?

Plus I have a rye sense of humor...

When was the last time you went fishing, if ever?

Late teens. My dad was a major grade fisher, owned small boats we took way too far out into the Pacific ocean (coastal California south of San Francisco - Half Moon Bay and Pacifica if you know that area.)

What elections have had confirmed voter fraud without anyone being punished?

Here's an example of what you're talking about.

2004, governor's race, WA state, King County (where Seattle is - biggest county in the state, dominates the vote the way Chicago dominates Illinois). Not actually my story, Bev Harris personally spotted this one.

On election night the election officials regularly print out the "who's winning" documents once the polls close, at regular intervals. Normal so far. Bev keeps the whole stack. Each printout is timestamped.

The results look sketchy as fuck when all is said and done.

A few days later Bev gets the audit log from the central tabulator (central system that counts the vote). This is a Diebold-based setup so we know it inside and out...hell, we have our own copies of most of the apps and know how to run it as well as they do by this point.

There's a three-hour block of audit log material flat-out missing - just "nothing happened" in that critical time hours after polls close. The official story: "nothing happened during that time that would get logged by the system - so sorry".

Just one problem...remember the printouts she kept? That are time-stamped? Each time that software generated one, it created an audit log entry. And some were clearly in the "Bermuda Triangle" missing section of the audit log.

The fuckers had gone in, tampered, then deleted the audit log entries that would show whatever the fuck it was they did. And forgot about the results printouts.

So yeah, we knew they cheated. Couldn't do jack about it of course...

I could give you, personally, at least six other similar examples. Memphis TN's election office is a criminal organization. Pima and Maricopa in AZ are shady as hell. San Diego and Los Angeles counties in Cali are nutsos. What else...OH GOD, Cuyahoga County in Ohio...ghaaa. Houston TX had a suspicious fire in their election system storage area at a key moment when people wanted to check 'em out. All of Georgia is skullfucked, early adopters of Diebold touchscreen machines backed by "security experts" at a university down there...damn, can't recall which. But, we got one of 'em on the stand as an expert witness for the opposition in a Pima County election case and he was spotted crying in the hall outside after. So we have some good moments.


Lots more, that's just a sample.

Did bush really steal Florida in 2000?

Well there was one major hack in Volusia County - do a CTRL-F search for "volusia" in this thread, you should find it, lemme know if you can't.

Do you believe in aliens?

Don't know either way.

Was 9/11 an inside job?

I think the Saudis had something to do with it...well, more specifically, I think there's factions within the Saudi royal family and some of 'em are pro-terrorist. That's something the US is hiding (28 pages worth at least).

You rock.

Meh. I try. It's either fight or cry.

Now go give John some cash, willya?


pdmcmahon-2 karma


JimMarch1 karma

Because this is an insanely complex mess. That's part of why it ain't got fixed yet.

Danither-7 karma

Seeing how devoted (pun intended) Il ask a hard question, that you have to answer even if it takes weeks: "whats the answer to life, the universe and all lifes questions, if it's not 43?" Mmmwwhahahahahahahahahahahh

JimMarch3 karma

It's clearly 42. HEATHEN!!!