May 3, 2016 in News by RBN Staff

Source: Black Box Voting | By


Coming evening of May 3, 2016
New report: Fraction Magic
by Bev Harris and Bennie Smith


On June 27 2001, programmers for one of America’s leading vote-counting systems changed the data definition file for vote counting. Instead of counting each vote as a whole number, every vote is instead counted as a decimal. This allows each vote to be counted as more than one or less than one. Fractional totals, when they exist, are rounded off by default in results reports so decimals can’t be seen by observers, candidates, or election officials.

– Watch this space for publication of first “Fraction Magic” report during the evening of May 3, 2016. –


The results of this study demonstrate that a single person with access to the GEMS central tabulation system, which controls approximately 25 percent of all votes in the U.S., can use a fractional vote feature to alter election outcomes. This fractional vote counting feature is embedded into every jurisdiction that uses GEMS.

Counting votes as fractions instead of whole numbers enables the pre-setting of chosen vote percentages, in such a way that tampering can radically change election results and  is unlikely to be detected by auditing or canvass procedures.

Current trends in election administration remove exactly the records and transparency needed  to check for evidence of tampering through fractionalization of votes. Removal of key data fields from results reports, elimination of poll tapes for absentee, early, and consolidated vote centers, delays in publishing precinct results, assigning election database functions out to private middlemen, and failure to account for key portions of election accounting make it impossible for candidates or the public to detect that fractionalized counts have been used.


Counting votes as fractions enables the weighting of results using political intelligence. Pre-setting results in a race by assigning a percentage of votes to each candidate will typically create votes that are not whole numbers, thus, a system must be enabled to process fractional votes for such tampering to work.

For example, pre-set percentages can be chosen such that Candidate A is to receive 25 percent of votes cast (regardless of what the real votes were), and Candidate B will get 75 percent. However, since no one knows how many voters will cast votes, if 99 votes are cast the vote totals will not be not whole numbers and must be counted as fractions along with a function to round off the total in published results reports.

The most crucial key to being able to successfully weight a race is to configure the counting mechanism to count votes as decimal values, a feature that was placed into the GEMS central tabulation system in 2001, certified, and brought into wide usage in the U.S. and Canada in 2006.


The GEMS system has operated under five different trade names (Diebold, Premier, Election Systems & Software,  Dominion Voting Systems, and Global Election Systems). Currently GEMS operates under “Election Systems and Software” and “Dominion Voting Systems,” as well as a handful of regional contractors. Vendors for voting system software have a history of close, sometimes even family relationships. For example, two brothers founded Election Systems and Software; one then went on to run Global Election Systems, then Diebold Election Systems, which was later purchased by Election Systems and Software and then split with Dominion Voting Systems. Whether fractionalized counting mechanisms  are used by the other voting system vendors is not yet known. Certainly the various election software companies are close enough to exchange at least a kiss of knowledge between designers.

– More on May 3, 2016, including proof of concept demonstration –