“Those new machines are known as the “ImageCast Precinct” optical scan tabulators. They are manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems.”
Two of the largest news media outlets in New Hampshire could only manage shoddy, half-baked, propaganda-style reporting of the Windham Board of Selectmen meeting held on March 1st to quell the concerns of Windham voters following a partial recount of three down-ballot contests.
We’d like to thank Sarah Ibanez for this op-ed. If you have an Op-Ed or Letter you would
like us to consider please submit it to Skip@GraniteGrok or Steve@GraniteGrok.com.
The hand recount held on November 12th revealed an “across the board” three-hundred vote increase for all four Republican State Representatives. This seemingly formulaic result spurred the justified concerns of voter integrity groups across the state who had been heavily immersed in the national reporting of complex software coding which can render the antiquated OS AccuVote machines capable of redistributing votes.
Specifically, GEMS software has received notoriety having undergone years of software analytics which clearly demonstrate that “a fractional vote feature can be embedded within which can be used to invisibly, yet radically, alter election outcomes by pre-setting desired vote percentages to redistribute votes,” as reported by Black Box Voting.
“Fractionalizing” abrogates the principle of “one person, one vote.”
New Hampshire citizens drove from remote areas of the state through freezing rain and 70 miles per hour high gale winds to exercise their First Amendment rights–in person. They wanted to warn the people of Windham that their votes may have been subjected to the concept of “weighting and/or fractionalization.”
The Union Leader apparently assigned reporter Ryan Lessard via Zoom because he erroneously referred to the meeting as “raucous” and applied corresponding fault to audience members as opposed to the constant hollering and gaveling of an overzealous (in control) moderator who enjoyed his elevated position on the auditorium stage seated in a place of prominence.
From Lessard, those audience members received descriptors (in varying grammatical form) including “attackers,” “unruly,” and “theorists.”
With clear bias, the CEO of LHS, Jeff Silvestro, was portrayed as the victim of the unruly “auditorium crowd.” Lessard then went on to refer to New Hampshire resident, Dr. David Strang, as an out-of-towner.”
Dr. Strang was not allowed to speak because he wasn’t a Windham resident.
Not one person questioned the legal residency of the insulated gentleman from LHS whose company is domiciled in Boston.
The Windham Board provided Silvestro full reign of the meeting replete with a PowerPoint slideshow. Audience members were forbidden to even gasp when the word “Dominion” popped up on the screen. They were forced to remain obedient while Silvestro spewed one questionable fact after another.
The citizens who had driven to Windham were powerless. A three worded sentence, “There it is” (spoken firmly, not shouted) was enough to categorize them as “unruly” in the state’s most renowned newspaper.
WMUR was slightly kinder and altogether ignored the once-coveted rule in journalism known as “objectivity.” Their coverage, provided by Cherise Leclerc, simply omitted all traces of concerned citizens present at the meeting but did address “conspiracy theories” by cherry-picking that term from an otherwise profoundly informative speech given by one Windham citizen.
Her reporting featured edited clips of speakers’ comments which combined amounted to a confirmatory portrayal of an incredibly affable, cooperative effort translating into a meeting of the minds. Unfortunately, her viewership would remain in a state of blissful ignorance.
Neither the Union Leader nor WMUR made mention of the mistreatment and borderline bullying thrust upon nervous citizen, Marylyn Todd, who walked to the microphone to stand and speak directly to the CEO of LHS, Jeff Silvestro.
As Mrs. Todd attempted to refute Silvestro’s information, she was repeatedly gaveled and spoke down to by the moderator who continually claimed she was not staying on topic when she cited nationally known investigations that disprove Silvestro’s claim that our machines cannot be accessed by hackers or internet connection.
The moment she cited the investigation of another state, like Texas, she was gaveled.
After several attempts, she reverted to a more emotional plea and began the statement, “The vote is freedom. That’s exactly what it is.”
Again, she was interrupted by the moderator retorting, “No one disputes that. Talk about the Windham issue! Please!”
In the end, she frustrated the gavel man and instructed the audience to go online and have a look for themselves.
“Nice job,” one audience member assured her.
Mrs. Todd had bravely given voice to the New Hampshire citizens she represents in her group “NH Voter Integrity Group” comprised of 632 members on social media. It is her contribution that should have garnered the lead in this story.
The crux of the matter isn’t about all the election officials wringing their hands and trying to devise “next steps.” It’s not about LHS providing “conflict of interest” pats on its own back for a job well done for all the “successful” elections it has generously offered to the state of New Hampshire. It isn’t about committees, forums, meetings, and butterflies.
Election integrity is an issue that could cost our state its coveted and historical standing as the “First in The Nation” primary.
If New Hampshire continues to pretend that LHS doesn’t use GEMS and Dominion, it’s over.
If 10,006 ballots cast in the small town of Windham can’t be counted by hand four months following the election, then Texas will inherit the “First in The Nation” and rightfully so. You see, Texas rejected Dominion products after careful consideration involving an exhaustive technical investigation.
Houston, we have a problem. (Sorry, Gavel Man. Not sorry.)
Speaking of problems, let’s delve into Mr. Silvestro’s slick presentation since WMUR and The Union Leader lack the curiosity to do so.
I don’t have those answers
Jeff Silvestro introduced himself as the president and CEO of LHS.
“My main goal today is not to give you answers. Sorry. I don’t have those answers,” he began, and later stated that “it’s important that we all know the correct information and that’s why I’m here to try to dispel some of the misinformation out there.”
After subjecting the audience to a history of his company established in 1972, he framed it as a family-run local business dedicated to serving New England with accurate and secure services. He mentioned several other states but was not gaveled.
He discussed the cyber-security training and annual background checks of his employees and his security protocol in its entirety.
Butterflies. Thousands of butterflies.
Finally, the screen clicked to reveal his “Hardware Overview” content upon which the final bullet point addressed that the “AccuVote OS Model A” which New Hampshire uses has been “exclusively supported by LHS since 1998. No other vendor, including Diebold/Premier, ES&S, or Dominion have programmed or serviced this system in New Hampshire.”
Problem: Dominion owns the intellectual property within the machines. Though it is semantically and technically correct that Dominion hasn’t serviced the machines “as a vendor,” we needed to hear that they also do not manufacture the actual software and firmware that LHS installs.
The LHS Website
LHS’s website touts its strong partnership with Dominion.
Silvestro stated that the annual service and calibration of the machines are done under the watch of town clerks in their offices. (This is reassuring since we know that all town clerks in the state of New Hampshire are cyber-security experts capable of conducting forensic analytical audits.)
Another interesting affirmation provided by Silvestro was that GEMS are not used as an accumulation software. “The town of Windham nor any other town in New Hampshire uses GEMS for the means of accumulating all of their memory cards, consolidating their memory cards, and generating a single report,” he said.
“It doesn’t happen,” he added. “All results that come off those tabulators are manually added together for the main total. No town in New Hampshire uses GEMS for the means of accumulating all of their memory cards consolidating their results.”
Problem: Someone at The New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office thinks otherwise as does LHS’s own website.
A response by LHS to a questionnaire from the State of New Hampshire was submitted April 30th, 2019, and posted to the Secretary of State’s website.
On page 21, Question #43, the state framed its question as follows:
Many New Hampshire towns and cities currently use an Accuvote Optical scanner to count ballots and the GEMS election management system software. If your proposed ballot counting device is approved in New Hampshire, is your device compatible, can it be programmed using the output of the GEMS election management system?
Beyond that troublesome document for Silvestro’s testimony, LHS’s website touts the use of GEMS noting, “the AccuVote OS Tabulator accurately processes ballots at precincts on election day and transmits its result to a host computer at “Election Central.”
Well, what in the hell is “Election Central”? And how do our election results get to the National Media that report our results in real-time?
That’s a serious question. (Really, it is.) Who “manually adds them up”? That’s a really important job.
When asked how often the software was upgraded, Mr. Silvestro said, “The last software upgrade that was approved was April of 2010. With the age of the system, we are upgrading the actual firmware that’s inside the machine that recognizes the software that’s used to program the machines themselves.”
In the auditorium, people only heard that old familiar lie that the systems haven’t been upgraded with software since 2010. Politicians and election officials have put in writing that our systems are so old, they don’t even have software. It’s old firmware, they say.
A cursory search of the term “firmware” reveals that firmware IS software for less complex devices. Firmware can literally act as the device’s complete operating system performing all control monitoring and data manipulation functions.
“There it is.”
This internet connection fixation…is just another butterfly.
Finally, Mr. Silvestro was granted praise for his statement, “LHS as a vendor…we are completely in favor of a 100% audit of this election.”
Problem: “As a vendor” is a qualifier. Silvestro hasn’t the authority to proffer the intellectual property of software and firmware that Dominion claims. The people want a forensic audit. His statement was an empty promise—whether or not he knows it.
Now’s the time to bring your attention back to that questionnaire posted on the Secretary of State’s website. (Please re-read that question.)
LHS has proposed a new “ballot counting device” which the state is considering to approve in its acceptance of LHS to contract with New Hampshire towns and cities.
Those new machines are known as the “ImageCast Precinct” optical scan tabulators. They are manufactured by Dominion Voting Systems.
Assistant to the Secretary of State Elections Legal Counsel, Bud Fitch stated that no decisions have been made regarding the questionnaire submitted by LHS and pointed out that there are three other vendors who submitted their responses to the same set of questions. The three other contenders include Clear Ballot, Election Systems and Software, and Hart InterCivic.
Interestingly, LHS’s complete company name as listed on the SOS’s site is “LHS Dominion.”
When asked how he feels about the state’s use of Dominion and when we might venture to make a choice for new machines, he declined to comment citing the Deputy Secretary of State, Dave Scanlan as a more suitable source.
We can only pray our leaders will strongly consider the will of the people with respect to this choice and abide by the petition that was delivered to the State House yesterday in which the petitioners and signatories “firmly demand that the Dominion system be eliminated and replaced by Hart InterCivic or another comparable/reputable system prior to any and all upcoming state and/or national elections.”
“We demand that all considered replacement voting machine companies and their derivatives/subsidiaries be exhaustively examined to ensure integrity; demonstrate practicable security from hacking and other electronic intrusions; are owned, and under the explicit care, custody, and control of a nonpolitical American entity impervious to lobbyists; and that the will of the people is protected.” (Conservativechange.org DEMAND FOR FULL AUDIT/RECOUNT OF NH ELECTION)
If we don’t get this right and do it soon, it’s goodbye “First in The Nation” for New Hampshire.
Texas will have earned it fair and square because Texas cares about election integrity as does the entire United States of America.