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January 10, 2008
Diebold Voting Machine Contractor Executive Has Criminal Background
It has been revealed that a high ranking executive at the company that was contracted to program all of New Hampshire's Diebold voting machines has a criminal record and has previously defended the illegal act of "swapping out" memory cards for the machines during live elections.
The revelations, which were uncovered by investigative journalist and vote fraud expert Bev Harris of Blackboxvoting.org and announced yesterday on the Alex Jones show, once again plunge Diebold and the controversial electronic voting systems into the spotlight.
Harris reports that Ken Hajjar, the Marketing and Sales Director at LHS Associates was arrested, indicted, and pleaded guilty to "sale / CND" (sale of controlled narcotic drugs) and sentenced to 12 months in the Rockingham County Correctional facility, and fined $2000. As things go for the politically connected, he was then given a deferred sentence and $1000 of his fine was suspended.
LHS Associates is a private company that counted over four fifths of the New Hampshire vote with no oversight whatsoever and also holds Diebold contracts for Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
Harris exclusively revealed some of the details on the Alex Jones show yesterday as she was still awaiting triple confirmation on the information and a full copy of the criminal record from a source who was investigating Hajjar regarding a separate matter.
"They program every single voting machine in New Hampshire, Connecticut, almost all of Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine." Harris comments. "But did state officials in five New England states ever do a criminal background check on this company's executives? Do the laws of these five states even ALLOW them to hire convicted criminals for services paid for by the state? What about over 500 local towns and municipalities?"
The story becomes even more compelling given comments made by Ken Hajjar himself in a recent interview as he revealed that he totes memory cards around in the trunk of his car and defends the concept of swapping out memory cards during live elections!
Other LHS staff members we spoke with, including Mike Carlson and Tom Burge, provided similar comments. They said they would open machines up during an election and swap memory cards as needed. This is illegal under Connecticut law and Deputy Secretary Mara told us she has since informed LHS that such actions were in violation of Connecticut election laws.
"In 2006, as Hajjar argued in favor of their policy to change cards during elections, I asked him about about the laws which govern chain of custody issues. His response: "I mean, I don't pay attention to every little law. It's just, it's up to the Registrars. All we are is a support organization on Election Day".
He said he had three memory cards in the trunk of his car and, in the event they had to be used, the chain of custody issues wouldn't matter since, "once you run the [pre-election] test deck through, you're golden"."
Bev Harris has also asked for complaints filed on a threat allegedly made in recent years to a New Hampshire woman, and any other reports for Hajjar or LHS owner John Silvestro. The pair grew up together in Lawrence, Massachusetts before moving to Londonderry, New Hampshire.
As we detailed in our report on Tuesday, John Silvestro has been at the center of a long-running public dispute in trying to deflect accusations made by hacker Harri Hursti that the voting machines are wide open to tampering and can easily be rigged.
Video of John Silvestro as he tangles with Harri Hursti recently surfaced on the web:
The Hursti/Silvestro saga formed the centerpiece of the recent 80 minute HBO film "Hacking Democracy".
The new revelations concerning LHS may prove even more explosive in the wake of Tuesday's New Hampshire results vastly differing from the pre-election polls and the emergence of clear widespread evidence of vote fraud involving the machines.
If the allegations are accurate, it won't be the first instance of Diebold employing a convicted felons to run its ballot printing operations.
Harris previously revealed that an embezzler named Jeffrey W. Dean, who specialized in sophisticated alteration of records of computerized systems, was a programmer of voting systems.
Dean was the senior vice president of Global Election Systems and a director of the company previous to Diebold's takeover in 2002. Despite Diebold's claim that Dean left the company when they took over it was later revealed that they retained Dean as a consultant.
Dean and his prison buddy John Elder, who did five years for cocaine trafficking, ran a ballot plant on the West coast and were also responsible for writing vote tallying software. Harris' research has further shown that Global Election Systems/Diebold vote machines were specifically built to allow tampering.
"It's weird, these guys are not even allowed to vote because they are convicted felons!" Harris commented yesterday.