Monday, April 03, 2006

Bruce Funk is an American Hero

Support Emery County Utah Clerk Bruce Funk. Click Here To Send an Email to the Emery County Commissioners.

Mr. Bruce Funk, Emery County Clerk, should be thanked, not attacked, and his story told accurately.

Bruce Funk is a responsible elected official who has paid attention to problems in other states, he recognized the danger to democracy if we depend on the accuracy of machines that break down easily or can be hacked into, altering votes. That is why he brought in the Finnish computer security specialist Harri Hursti, and an expert from Security Innovation, Inc., a company whose clients include McAffee Security, Symantec Security, the Department of Defense, and Microsoft to examine the Diebold TSx voting machines that his county had been required to purchase by the state of Utah.

Currently, there is an effort to strong-arm Mr. Funk out of office. Last week, following Mr. Funk's announcement that he would not use the Diebold machines, Lt. Governor Herbert's Chief of Staff Demma, Utah elections officer Cragun and legal counsel from Utah Attorney General's office flew into Emery, accompanied by a representative and a tech man from Diebold who threatened the county with punitive actions for testing their equipment.

No one seemed concerned that the integrity of Utah voting is at risk.
The Utah State officials, along with the County Sheriff, County Commissioners, and County Attorney - and Diebold representatives - met behind closed doors - especially closed to Funk - and then told him they were sticking with Diebold. When he told them he was not comfortable with this decision, he was told he should consider retiring. Exhausted and fed up, Funk agreed to think about it for May 1 or June 1, but they pushed for April 1, paid through June 1. Funk said he'd sleep on it. That's all.

The next morning the County claimed that Bruce Funk had resigned, which he immediately denied. When I called there on Friday, I was told, rather gruffly, that Bruce Funk resigned in a public meeting (I guess they call it that because after their private meeting they opened the doors to tell Funk their decisions), and that his resignation is in the minutes to be posted after the next meeting!

Bruce Funk is not the first victim of Diebold's punitive response to being hacked. In December, Ion Sanchez of Leon County, Florida also filmed a demonstration of a mock election in which 2 "yes" and 6 "no" votes on a Diebold were altered by Security Innovation hackers from a short distance to 7 "yes" and 1 "no". That same day the infamous Republican Ranger CEO and Chairman of Diebold promptly resigned.

Since then, Ion Sancho has been blacklisted by the voting machine companies which refused to furnish machines in time for upcoming elections. A rally of support and evidence of the companies' collaboration has resulted in the announcement this week of the Florida Attorney General's investigation into Diebold Election Systems, Inc., Election Systems & Software, Inc., and Sequoia Voting Systems, Inc., their marketing, and their joint refusal to sell to Leon County.

Meanwhile, Maryland and New Mexico are moving away from touchscreen voting machines, and primaries in Illinois and Texas have revealed lost tabulation memory cards and impossible totals. Evidence is building nationwide that these private corporate voting machines will lead to more questionable elections, false mandates, and leaders who do whatever they want.

That is not what this country is supposed to be.