Monday, December 20, 2004

TRUTH LEFT OUT: Triad President Denies Vote Rigging But isn't Asked About "cheat sheet" Comment

Ohio Fraud Smoking Gun
Wired News just posted a pretty good follow-up article to the possible vote-rigging story (with the suspicious Triad computer technician). See the original post here. However, they missed an important detail in this story, as I'll point out below.

In the Wired News article, Brett Rapp, the president of Triad, commented about the December 10th incident.

He said that when the computer experienced "a CMOS error," indicating that the rechargeable battery on the motherboard had died, the computer had lost stored information about the hard drive's specifications, which it needed to make the computer boot up. No other data on the machine was lost.

He said Barbian took the case off the computer to identify the hard drive's make and model.

"He called our office, told us the model and we obtained the hard drive parameters by looking them up on the internet," Rapp said. "That's the information we gave him over the phone. He installed no patches on the computer system. He did not tamper with it. He simply fixed a piece of equipment that was broken." He said that Eaton must have misheard Barbian say he was going to put a patch on the machine.

However, Eaton adamently denies that she misheard the computer technician. She states:

"I wouldn't just come up with that. I don't use that term or know what it means," she said. She added that Barbian used the same word with the 70-year-old chair of Hocking County's elections board, who she said also wouldn't have come up with the term on his own.
The president of Triad also had a answer for why he thought the technician asked about where specifically the recounting would be taking place:
Rapp said he believed Barbian asked about the hand-counted precinct because he was trying to make sure the election officials, who had never conducted a recount before, understood what they were doing and which precinct they were going to count.

"He was trying to help them make sure the process went smoothly," Rapp said.
Now, wasn't that nice of the computer technician?! Let's not forget that the computer technician asked that question and then went back into the computer room to make some final adjustments.

No comment was made by Brett Rapp about an important additional comment made by the technician, as written in Eaton's affidavit about the incident:
He advised Lisa and I on how to post a "cheat sheet" on the wall so that only the board members and staff would know about it and and what the codes meant so the count would come out perfect and we wouldn't have to do a full hand recount of the county.
A little bit of damning "truth left out" by Wired News, wouldn't you say? Even still, Eaton still believes that no wrong-doing occurred:
Still, she does not believe that Barbian tampered with the machine.
"I have had, and still do have, complete trust in Triad," Eaton said. Eaton, who is 65 and by her own admission not computer-savvy, did not understand much of what Barbian did, and said that when he asked if he could take apart the computer, he had to ask for a screwdriver from one of the office workers. "He brought no tools with him," Eaton told Wired News, "which indicates to me that he wasn't planning on working on the machines."

She also said that Barbian's office visit wasn't out of the ordinary since Triad "ran" the county's primary and general elections this year.
Bless her soul for alerting everyone about this incident, but doesn't Sherole Eaton strike you as being a bit naiive?
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