Your Vote is Not Secret: Government Using SmartPhone Barcodes to Trace Ballot to Voter
by Susanne Posel
August 23, 2012
In Chaffee County, Colorado, the voter ballots for the 2012 Republican Primary election contain a smartphone data matrix barcode that ties the voter to the ballot. Both the ballot number and data matrix are on the ballot stub.
Using a smartphone and a free downloadable program called Barcode Director , the data matrix can be scanned and will produce a corresponding number to the one found on the ballot. The, with access to the county records through open-record laws, the ballot can be traced to the individual who voted by cross referencing the corresponding county.
Since the ballots containing the data matrix barcode are filed with the Chaffee County clerk, the information is obtainable by anyone – including campaign officials who might be interested in knowing who voted for which candidate.
The Colorado State Constitution says that ballots cannot have markings that would indicate the voter’s identity printed on the ballot and/or provide that the ballot be able to be traced back to the voter. However, that is exactly what the data matrix barcodes do.
Smartphone apps for the Obama For America and Mitt’s VP are data mining with the use of software. The app user’s name, address, home phone number, and Facebook information is given over during the account process and turned over by the app software. GPS location and access to the phone’s camera, along with audio recording abilities are accessed as well. The software can also extract the smartphone’s contact numbers, call logs and SD Card contents.
According to Joyce Reno, Chaffee County clerk, the reason the ballots contain a data matrix barcode is to prevent double voting and forgery.
The Election Protection Smartphone App has made data mining easier with direct access to “information and resources” just in time for the 2012 elections. With the app, a user can verify:
• Where the voter registered
• Where they voted
• Key rules and regulations for their state
• What type of machine the voter used
The ballot machines being used in Chaffee County are manufactured by Hart Intercivic Systems .
Gregg Burt, the Chairman of (HIS) is the former CEO of BuildForge, Inc., and a start-up enterprise software firm that was purchased by IBM in 2006. More employees of HIS have questionable backgrounds:
• Neil Tuch, managing director, a former Goldman Sachs employee who worked in Mergers and Acquisitions
• Jeff Bohl, principal capital, former JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo employee in mortgage-backed securities, M&A transactions and consultant for small businesses
• Amanda Kalin, associate capital, former private equity and investor of banking capital for CitiGroup Banking
Taylor v. Pile , a 1964 Colorado court case ruled that: “An election wherein ballots are numbered in such a manner that the vote of any person thereafter may be determined by comparison with the number on the ballot and poll registration book is contrary to constitutional and statutory guarantee of a secret ballot and results in a void election.”