Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane report at Raw Story that high-level Republican consultant Mike Connell has been subpoenaed in a lawsuit alleging tampering with Ohio election results in 2004.
Connell has refused to testify or produce documents and is seeking to quash the subpoena. The case had been stayed, but it recently received new momentum with the testimony of whistleblower Stephen Spoonamore, a Republican information-technology expert. Attorneys in Ohio who brought the lawsuit are attempting to move forward to ensure the integrity of the 2008 election.
Connell is associated with a firm called GovTech, which was hired by Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to set up an official 2004 election Web site at election.sos.state.oh.us.
The plot thickens from there, Raw Story reports:
Connell is a long-time GOP operative, whose New Media Communications provided web services for the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Republican National Committee and many Republican candidates. This in itself might have raised questions about his involvement in creating Ohio's official state election website.
However, the alternative media group ePlubibus Media further discovered in November 2006 that election.sos.state.oh.us was hosted on the servers of a company in Chattanooga, TN called SmarTech, which also provided hosting for a long list of Republican Internet domains.
"Since early this decade, top Internet 'gurus' in Ohio have been coordinating web services with their GOP counterparts in Chattanooga, wiring up a major hub that in 2004, first served as a conduit for Ohio's live election night results," researchers at ePluribus Media wrote.
A few months after this revelation, when a scandal erupted surrounding the firing of US Attorneys for reasons of White House policy, other researchers found that the gwb43 domain used by members of the White House staff to evade freedom of information laws by sending emails outside of official White House channels was hosted on those same SmarTech servers.
Given that the Bush White House used SmarTech servers to send and receive email, the use of one of those servers in tabulating Ohio's election returns has raised eyebrows. Ohio gave Bush the decisive margin in the Electoral College to secure his reelection in 2004.
Spoonamore provides insight into possible problems with the SmarTech servers:
IT expert Stephen Spoonamore says the SmartTech server could have functioned as a routing point for malicious activity and remains a weakness in electronic voting tabulation.
According to Spoonamore's Sept. 17 affidavit, the "computer placement, in the middle of the network, is a defined type of attack." Spoonamore describes this as a "Man in the Middle Attack" or MIM.
"It is a common problem in the banking settlement space," he writes. "A criminal gang will introduce a computer into the outgoing electronic systems of a major retail mall, or smaller branch office of a bank. They will capture the legitimate transactions and then add fraudulent charges to the system for their benefit."
"Any time all information is directed to a single computer for consolidation, it is possible, and in fact likely, that single computer will exploit the information for some purpose," he adds. "In the case of Ohio 2004, the only purpose I can conceive for sending all county vote tabulations to a GOP managed Man-in-the-Middle site in Chattanooga before sending the results onward to the Sec. of State, would be to hack the vote at the MIM."
Mark Crispin Miller, a national elections-security expert, reports on an extensive interview with Spoonamore at Velvet Revolution.
How important is this interview? Spoonamore reveals that Republican hackers have plans to ensure that John McCain gets 51.2 percent of the vote and a three electoral-vote victory in November.