Hacking Ohio?

• Company allied with Romney gets contract to count votes in key election state

By Mark Anderson

For years AMERICAN FREE PRESS has warned about America’s dangerous dependency on electronic voting machines, since the secretive software that operates these machines can be quietly manipulated to “flip” the vote and override the will of the electorate. A journalistic duo now says that business associates linked with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney appear positioned to steal the election in Ohio.

According to researchers Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, “Hart InterCivic [Inc.], on whose machines the key votes will be cast in Hamilton County [Ohio] . . . was taken over last year by HIG Capital.” This was confirmed by HIG.

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“Prominent partners . . . on the HIG board [such as managing partner Tony Tamer] hail from Bain Company or Bain Capital, both connected to Mitt Romney,” the duo wrote, in an excerpt from their ebook, Will the GOP Steal America’s 2012 Election? “HIG employees have contributed at least $338K to Romney’s campaign. HIG directors John P. Bolduk and Douglas Berman are major Romney fundraisers, as is former Bain and HIG manager Brian Shortsleeve.”

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A convenient narrative is already being hyped.

“Kelly O’Donnell reported for NBC’s ‘Today Show’ [Oct. 8] that Ohio’s Hamilton County is ‘ground zero’ for deciding who holds the White House come January 2013. [N]o candidate has won the White House without carrying Ohio . . . [and] no Republican has ever won the White House without Ohio’s electoral votes,” reported Fitrakis and Wasserman. “George W. Bush got a second term in 2004 thanks to the manipulation of the electronic vote count by Ohio’s then-Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell.” Blackwell was able “to electronically flip a 4% Kerry lead to a 2% Bush victory. . . . It was engineered by Michael Connell—an IT specialist long affiliated with the Bush family. Blackwell gave Connell’s Ohio-based GovTech the contract to count Ohio’s votes, which was done on servers housed in the Old Pioneer Bank Building in Chattanooga, Tenn.”

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Connell died in a December 2008 plane crash after he was subpoenaed in a federal lawsuit about how the 2004 election was decided. Fitrakis, a political science professor, was an attorney in the suit. Journalist Wasserman was a plaintiff.

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Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. Listen to Mark’s weekly radio show and email him at [email protected].