The co-authors of this book, who died in the 1990s, were James and Kenneth Collier, two brothers who, from 1970 onwards, carried out a comprehensive examination of the American voting system, resulting in their book, which alleged that corporate America had been manipulating the voting system over a number of decades.
In 1970, Ken ran for Congressman in Dade County, Florida against the then-representative Claude Pepper. The Colliers became interested in the projections television networks, particularly in how they were incredibly accurate. When the computers malfunctioned and shut off for some time, Ken had lost 15 percentage points. The networks claimed that he courthouse computer malfunctioned, which caused them to lose access to the official voting tally. This claim was proved false by the Dade County data processing chief, who asserted that county computer had never been down or slowed.
As they researched further, they found that the official results released by the Secretary of State's office for the September primary, October runoff, and November final vote were mathematically impossible. For the governor's race and the senate race in Florida, an identical number of vote had been cast in all three elections.
The Colliers then found that one of the local news stations had predicted with almost complete accuracy the results of 40 elections with 250 candidates four minutes after the polls closed. Another station predicted, accurately, the vote total at 96,499.The networks claimed the accuracy came from a formula programmed by an employee at the University of Miami, Elton Davis. When the brothers approached Davis to question about the suspicious perfection of his formula, he allegedly responded, "You'll never prove it, now get out."
Because members of the League of Women Voters were reported to have called in votes on election night in November, the brothers also approached the head of the League, Joyce Deiffenderfer, who admitted there were no League members in the field that night. She began crying and said, "I don't want to get caught up in this thing."
Investigation of fraud
Arrest of Jim Collier
The Colliers themselves caught one poll worker running the same stack of punch cards through the same stack of punch cards through a tabulating computer repeatedly. Jim obtained several bank election tally sheets, along with confessions from precinct officials who signed the blank sheets days and weeks before the election. The Colliers took the evidence to the Dade County state attorney and future Clinton-era attorney general, Janet Reno. She ignored the evidence of fraud by the system, but instead had Jim arrested for stealing blank tally sheets.
Acquiescence of fraud
In 1980, amidst the growing evidence of the unreliability of the League of Women Voters, the Colliers released a CIA report that stated: "The responsibility for the administration of elections and certification of winners in the United States national election rests with a consortium of private entities, including 111,000 members of the national League of Women Voters"
Investigation of Justice Department
The Colliers filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department lawyer, Craig Donsanto. Donsanto refused to prosecute the members of the League of Women Voters who had been videotaped tampering with the ballots by the Colliers during a closed-door counting session. When the brothers confronted them, they claimed they were trying to remove hanging chads, and they had the brothers removed from the building. Future Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, ruled that the case should move forward to the Supreme Court. The case was stopped by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's memo that supported the prosecution and case dismissal.
News Election Service
The News Election Service (NES), now Voter News Service (VNS), was a service created as a consortium to severl major news outlets, such as the Associated Press and Washington Post to compile and disperse information from computer voting results. The Colliers questioned the NES and led efforts to stop computerized voting. The same CIA memo the Colliers brothers leaked that admitted governmental reliance on the League of Women Voters in elections stated:
The formal structure of election administration in the United States is not capable of providing the major TV networks with timely results of the presidential and congressional elections. In the case of counting actual ballots on national election night, public officials have abdicated responsibility of aggregation of election night vote totals to a private organization, News Election Services of New York (NES)... This private orgnization perfroms without a contract: without supervision by public officials. It makes decisions concerning its duties according to its own criteria... [The NES] uses the vast membership of the network-subsidized League of Women Voters as field personnel whose exclusive job is to phone in unofficial vote totals to NES on election night.
Resumption of investigation
After the Collier brother passed away in the 1990s, Victoria Collier, Jim's daughter, continued the investigation into wide scale voter fraud. She had attempted to enter their offices when she was younger, claiming to be the sick child of one of the employees, but she was not permitted inside. In May 2000, she attempted to contact somebody at the VNS (the new name for the NES). After the conversation, she explained how the VNS worked:
All of the precinct vote results aggregated and tabulated in each county, mainly by privately owned and serviced computers, are transferred to the VNS where they are again aggregated and tabulated, and finally the totals are disseminated to the individual media networks, and then to the public, who accepts them without question.
On May 18, 2000, Collier's coworker, a reporter with the Ashville Global Report, called the press sectary for VNS, Lee C. Shapiro. The reporter asked if there was a citizen watchdog group to oversee the VNS on election nights. Shapiro responded: "I'm not going to get into this with you."
Collier and Headline interview
Two days later, Collier contacted the VNS, requesting that any available information regarding the VNS be mailed to her. She was put on hold for a long time until the executive director of VNS, Bill Headline, answered the phone. He claimed there was no literature, only a fax sheet in the process of being made, but claimed it was not ready for distribution. He said the VNS had no website or volunteers, only some people from around the country hired to do their exit polling. Headline also claimed the New York City police department to be the "official vote counters in New York". Collier brought up the alleged voter fraud scam in the Iowa caucus, brought to light by Pat Buchanan's supporters. Headline acted as though he were vaguely familiar with the case, but then claimed to have reviewed and denied the evidence of fraud in the case.
Headline told Collier the location of the VNS National Input Center changed every year but was never disclosed. Collier argued that information pertaining to and affecting vote was a public issue, and should be done in view of the citizens' eyes. She pointed out the secrecy and needless complexity of the vote counting by the VNS, and claimed it showed the VNS was hiding something.
On June 12, Collier and Headline had a follow up conversation. She stated that she did not trust major media and worked in alternative press. Headline responded that this meant the nature of the conversation had changed, and refused to speak with her further.
National Election Pool
The VNS closed in 2003, and was replaced by the National Election Pool. In 2004, Ronnie Dugger, a journalist, wrote in The Nation that
Some 98 million citizens, five out of every six of the roughly 115 million who will go to the polls, will cosign their votes into computers that unidentified computer programmers, working in the main for four private corporations and the officials of 10,500 election jurisdictions, could program to invisibly falsify the outcomes...The four major election corporations count votes with voting-system source codes. These are kept strictly secret by contract with the local jurisdictions and states using the machines. That secrecy makes it next to impossible for a candidate to examine the source code used to tabulate his or her own contest.
The brothers lives were threatened. The mainstream press told their investigation into voter fraud as the Colliers were wrong to do so. Dell Publishing revoked their contract for a book deal.
- Corruption in the United States
- Electoral fraud
- Electoral integrity
- Florida Central Voter File
- Voter News Service
- Vidal, Gore (2004). Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia. Clairview Books. pp. 33–38. ISBN 1-902636-56-2.
- Kellner, Douglas (2001). Grand Theft 2000: Media Spectacle and a Stolen Election. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 47. ISBN 0-7425-2103-6.
- Shannon, Paul (1983-06-09). "VOTESCAM: THE CRUSADE THAT WILL NOT END" (fee required). The Miami Herald. Retrieved 2008-04-25.