Thursday, October 11, 2012

Is this why military not getting ballots?

Absentee vote requests strangely down by staggering numbers

by Aaron Klein / WND
scytlvoting

During one of the most hotly contested elections in recent U.S. history, the number of military absentee ballot requests is strangely down by staggering numbers compared to the 2008 election.

The information comes as WND confirmed today that SCYTL, an international firm headquartered in Spain, has been contracted by seven states to provide secure online ballot delivery for overseas military and civilian voters for the upcoming presidential election.

Michelle M. Shafer, SCYTL’s director of communications and government affairs, told WND that her company has been contracted by New York, Arkansas, Alabama, West Virginia, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Mississippi to provide the overseas ballots.

She said the ballots will be delivered via online PDF files by SCYTL and not by the company’s U.S. subsidiary, SOE Software. In January, SCYTL purchased SOE Software, the leading U.S. electronic voting firm.

Next month’s election marks the second time SCYTL will provide overseas balloting. During the 2010 midterm elections, the company was contracted by the Defense Department’s Federal Voting Assistance Program to support overseas military and civilian voting in nine of the 20 States that agreed to participate in the program. SCYTL was the provider with the highest number of participating states during that election.

The Defense Department has been coming under fire after reports of an exponentially low number of requests for military absentee ballots this year compared to the 2008 election.

The Military Voter Protection Project last week released the results of a study listing the number of requests in key states such as Virginia, where military absentee ballot requests are down 92 percent compared to 2008. In Ohio, only 9,700 absentee ballots have been requested as of late September compared to more than 32,000 in 2008.

Florida so far has 37,953 requested ballots as of last month as opposed to 86,926 in 2008 – a difference of 48,973. North Carolina only has 1,859 requests listed compared to 13,508 in 2008.

Just this week, a Military Times survey of military forces showed Republican nominee Mitt Romney with a 26-percent lead over the president. The Times survey follows an earlier Rasmussen poll that showed a 59 to 35 percent lead for Romney among military service voters.

The low number of military requests perplex Republican lawmakers who in 2009 pushed and passed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, which was supposed to make it easier for overseas military personnel to vote.

The law required a voter assistance office at every military installation. It also automatically provides military voters with an opportunity to update their voter information during the check-in process at their duty stations.

However, last month the Defense Department’s Inspector General reported that the Pentagon was not complying with the 2009 law, citing information that only about half of overseas locations had functioning voter assistance offices.

Pam Mitchell, acting director of the Defense Department’s Federal Voting Assistance Program, the same program that contracted SCYTL in 2010, said at a briefing last month that voting assistance “has never been better.”

She further claimed the Inspector General may have had trouble reaching voting assistance offices because “in a military environment, times change.”

National security concerns

In January, SCYTL, based in Barcelona, acquired 100 percent of SOE Software, the leading software provider of election management solutions in the United States.

The press release announcing the acquisition noted that SCYTL is a portfolio company of leading international venture capital funds Nauta Capital, Balderton Capital and Spinnaker.

With the purchase of SOE Software, SCYTL has increased its involvement in the U.S. elections process. SOE Software boasts a strong U.S. presence, providing results in over 900 jurisdictions.

In 2009, SCYTL formally registered with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission as the first Internet voting manufacturer in the U.S. under the EAC Voting System Testing and Certification Program.

Also that year, SCYTL entered into an agreement with another firm, Hart InterCivic, to jointly market a flexible and secure electronic pollbook purportedly to allow U.S. election officials and poll workers to easily manage the electoral roll on Election Day in an efficient and convenient manner.

SCYTL’s ePollBookTM already replaced the paper precinct roster in Washington, D.C.

During the midterm elections in November 2010, SCYTL successfully carried out electoral modernization projects in 14 states. The company boasted that a “great variety” of SCYTL’s technologies were involved in the projects, including an online platform for the delivery of blank ballots to overseas voters, an Internet voting platform and e-pollbook software to manage the electoral roll at the polling stations.

The states that used SCYTL’s technologies during the 2010 midterms were New York, Texas, Washington, California, Florida, Alabama, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Just prior to the midterms, Washington, D.C., tested its own new electronic-voting system and discovered it had been hacked.

As a program security trial, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics reportedly encouraged outside parties to hack and find flaws in its new online balloting system. A group of University of Michigan students then hacked into the site and commanded it to play the school’s fight song upon casting a vote.

This is not the first time SCYTL’s systems have been called into question.

Voter Action, an advocacy group that seeks elections integrity in the U.S., sent a lengthy complaint to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in April 2010 charging the integration of SCYTL systems “raises national security concerns.”

“Foreign governments may also seek to undermine the national security interests of the United States, either directly or through other organizations,” Voter Action charged.

The document notes that SCYTL was founded in 2001 as a spinoff from a research group at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, which was partially funded by the Spanish government’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

SCYTL’s headquarters are in Barcelona with offices in Washington, D.C., Singapore, Bratislava and Athens.
Project Vote noted that in 2008, the Florida Department of State commissioned a review of SCYTL’s remote voting software and concluded, in part, that:

  • The system is vulnerable to attack from insiders.
  • In a worst case scenario, the software could lead to (1) voters being unable to cast votes; (2) an election that does not accurately reflect the will of the voters; and (3) possible disclosure of confidential information, such as the votes cast by individual voters.
  • The system may be subject to attacks that could compromise the integrity of the votes cast.
Still, the Florida Department of State provided SCYTL with a Provisional Certification valid for two years certifying the company was “deemed compliant with the functional and security requirements.” SCYTL’s voting system was used during the 2008 presidential election.

Voting through Google, Apple?

As WND reported, in May announced the successful implementation of technology that allows ballots to be cast using Google and Apple smart phones and tablet computers.

SCYTL unveiled a platform that it says encrypts each individual ballot on a voter’s Google or Apple mobile device before the ballot is then transmitted to an electronic voting system.

Using this technology “Scytl is now able to guarantee end-to-end security – from the voter to the final tally – not only for computer-based online voting but also for mobile voting,” stated a press release by the company.

“By leveraging its pioneering security technology with Google and Apple’s mobile device platforms, Scytl has become the premier election technology provider to offer an online voting system that guarantees the highest standards in terms of both voter privacy and ballot integrity both on personal computers and mobile devices,” said Gabriel Dos Santos, Scytl’s vice president of software engineering.

The U.S. currently does not utilize voting platforms using mobile devices. SCYTL sees such methods as the future of electronic voting.

Report: Duke professor confirms Arabic on Obama ring

'It is the first part of the Islamic Shahada'

WND Exclusive


WND’s report that Arabic-language and Islamic experts claim the gold band Obama has been wearing on his wedding-ring finger for more than 30 years is adorned with the first part of the Islamic declaration of faith naturally was met with skepticism in some circles, but Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com news service published a report citing a Duke professor who confirmed the WND experts’ assessment.

Earlier today, before it published the report, four members of The Blaze editorial team, including Editor-in-Chief Scott Baker, cautiously discussed the Obama ring story in their “Blazecast Rewind” Internet broadcast, without mentioning WND.

Baker, noting he had been inundated with links to the WND article, said he approached the story as he does other “memes” that float around the Internet and need to be either debunked or verified.

TheBlaze.com reporter Billy Hallowell told Baker he spoke with a professor from Duke who read the article, examined the photos and affirmed the conclusion of the WND experts.

“Based on what he saw, he said that this is, essentially, Arabic script on the ring and that it is the first part of the Shahada,” Hollowell said.

Hallowell pointed out the professor, who declined to be named, also cautioned that there is Islamic teaching that forbids wearing gold.

In WND’s report, Egyptian-born Islamic scholar Mark A. Gabriel, Ph.D., explained that despite prohibitions in Islamic law, many Muslim men wear gold rings, even in strict Muslim countries, particularly if they contain a religious message.

The Duke professor told Hollowell that it is, indeed, common for gold jewelry of that sort to be worn in the Middle East but often for superstitious reasons.

“Outside of the religious realm, it’s more about warding off bad spirits or protecting people from snake bites,” Hollowell said, citing the professor.


Later, TheBlaze.com posted a story by Hollowell reporting the WND article “has been making its way across social media and the blogosphere.”

In addition to citing the Duke professor who confirmed that the script appears to be Arabic and includes the first part of the Shahada, Hollowell reported he spoke with Harvard University’s Ali Asani.

Asani, a professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, said that the images of Obama’s ring were not clear enough to make a determination.

“I’d actually have to see it much closer to see exactly what it says,” Asani told TheBlaze.com

Like the Duke professor, Asani believes that the first half of the Shahada is a statement that any monotheist, including a Christian, could accept, that there is only one God. Only the second part of the Shahada is exclusive, he said, declaring Muhammad is his prophet.

Meanwhile, a posting at the blog Irregular Times by JClifford compared photographs of Obama’s ring to examples of Shahada rings on the Web and concluded Obama’s ring “looks like it’s got some decorative swirls on it, and nothing more.”

However, Joel Gilbert, who was first to conclude that the ring bears the Shahada, has issued a more detailed follow-up report he prepared with the assistance of Yousef Shehadeh, a native Arabic speaker from Nazareth who studied Arabic for 13 years in the Holy Land and now works as a graphic artist in Los Angeles.

Gilbert, who has studied Arabic himself, told WND he sent close-up photographs of the ring to Shehadeh “cold,” without offering any opinion, and asked Shehadeh to evaluate them.

Shehadeh replied to him that the script on Obama’s ring is Arabic, and it is the first part of the Islamic declaration of faith.



Op-ed:

Blood on his hands
By: Diane Sori

 
Addressing yesterday’s Libya hearings, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "This is a moving picture," referring to the murders in Benghazi, stating that previously released statements were "based on the facts we knew at the time," and that information has “changed over time.”

In a word...bullsh*t...as Carney’s ‘in-your-face’ aiding this administration in covering up its knowledge of the terrorist aspect behind the attack in Benghazi is outright appalling and in my opinion borders on the criminal.

This attack was carefully coordinated, brutal, and pre-meditated, yet only after continued pressure by critics did Barack HUSSEIN Obama finally reluctantly say that this was indeed a terrorist attack, yet before the UN General Assembly just a few short weeks ago he still kept insisting the violence in Benghazi was a spur of the moment protest over a YouTube video about the so-called ‘prophet’ mohammad.

Now with the election drawing near, the State Department, speaking through their puppet Carney admitted there never was a protest over the video in Benghazi at all.

And to make matters worse, Carney, appearing not unlike a deer caught in the headlights, reiterated the White House rhetoric that they had NO reason to suspect that an attack in Benghazi was imminent.

LIAR!

Ambassador Stevens sent an official request stressing the need for security personnel months ago and that request that was dismissed as irrelevant and unfounded and went unanswered by both Barack HUSSEIN Obama and Hillary Clinton, directly resulting in his and the others deaths.  

And with Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R, Utah), the Chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, who recently returned from a fact-finding mission to Libya, stating that both this White House and the State Department did NOT meet basic minimum standards required for this facility, Carney had the audacity to bloviate with a straight face the words, “we didn’t know at the time how really dangerous the situation was.”  

LIAR!

Fact: when any intelligence information is officially gathered, or the need for help like Ambassador Stevens asked for is recorded and sent, it’s sent NOT just to the State Department but it goes directly to the White House as well.  So, Obama’s claim of ignorance about the possibility of trouble in Benghazi is absolutely not true, and is yet another LIE in a series of calculated LIES. 

And while Republicans on the committee are trying to draw up a specific timeframe for when Obama knew there never was a protest in Benghazi over a video, Carney again had the audacity to say that Barack HUSSEIN Obama is committed to following the facts of the Benghazi attack "wherever they may lead," and that he is awaiting results of accountability review.

“We’ve been clear all along that this was an ongoing investigation” Carney said.

LIAR...LIAR... LIAR!  

This ‘dog and pony show’ put on by Carney yesterday was nothing but about buying time for the ‘perfect’ cover-up story to be put into place to pull Obama’s butt out of the fire for he has blood on his hands.

Blood on his hands heading into the election...

And so with his words, Carney tried to deflect blame off Obama and lay it directly on Hillary, who by the way is just as guilty as Obama, because Carney knows that Obama cannot afford to have this inquiry or its possible findings hanging over his head on Election Day.  After all, this is the same man who was caught on mike this past  March saying to now former Russian President Medvedev, “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space. This is my last election.  After my election I have more flexibility.”

To which Medvedev replied in English, “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

TRAITOR...Barack HUSSEIN Obama is a TRAITOR!

And now with the testimony of Eric Nordstrom, our State Department's security officer in Libya, describing how he was given NO guidance or leadership from Washington, repeatedly denied resources, and left to fend for himself in a country crawling with dangerous jihadists, the blood on Obama’s hands runs deep red.

Deep red NOT the yellow of BIG Bird’s feathers as Obama tries to make this week’s prime election issue a puppet bird and NOT about the blood on his hands.

Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is busy stonewalling any questions or their implications about the murder of our ambassador and the others as ‘outrageous’ and ‘political,’ while basking in the glory of last week’s phony jobs numbers and the just released this morning report that under the Obama administration’s immigration policies the US has seen its highest rate of ILLEGALS captured and returned in 40 years. 

And if Obama thinks we believe or buy that, especially right before an election that appears he very well might lose, our media anointed 'savior-in-chief’ is not only a TRAITOR but a delusional one at that. 

What Obama and crew, and especially his mouthpiece Carney need to realize is that what’s truly outrageous is that the murders of our diplomats, despite ample warning and numerous requests for help went ignored and unanswered by this administration.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said it best,

“...The mixed messages and facts from the Obama administration on this attack are troubling to say the least, and it’s important that we have a full accounting of how this attack was made possible so that we can prevent others like it in the future. It’s the least we can do to honor the memory of Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three Americans killed last month, and it’s what all our diplomats around the world deserve...and I hope similar oversight hearings are held in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Intelligence Committee BEFORE the election.”

With ‘BEFORE the election’ being paramount, because this is one of but many incidents that ‘We the People’ demand an answer to before this ‘TRAITOR with blood on his hands’ has a chance of being elected yet again.