What’s Up With Ohio Vote-Counting Machines?

This might just be a wild-ass rumor, or it might be something to look into. Apparently new software is being installed on Ohio’s vote counting machines, just before the election and without the testing and approval that is required.
This is not about the voting machines, that is an entirely separate story. This is a new story about the vote counting machines. These machines have a different function, and this is a different company from the one that the Romney associates purchased.
Please read this at Brad Blog, Why Was Uncertified ‘Experimental’ Software Installed on ES&S Tabulation Systems in 39 OH Counties Just Days Before Presidential Election?

… text said to be from a November 1 memo sent from the OH SoS Election Counsel Brandi Laser Seske to a number of state election officials confirming the use of the new, uncertified software on Ohio’s tabulator systems. The memo claims that “its function is to aid in the reporting of results” by converting them “into a format that can be read by the Secretary of State’s election night reporting system.”

“Said to be from” is a warning bell that this might just be a wild-ass rumor right before the election. On the other hand, if they are installing new software in the vote-tabulating machines this is a very big deal. IF they are changing the software in Ohio’s vote-counting machines just before the election, the public needs to know what is going on.
But then it gets interesting:

According to Pam Smith, President of the non-partisan watchdog group VerifiedVoting.org, her organization also sought explanations for the last minute software changes from the Sec. of State’s office.
She tells me that she was told that “the Secretary of State team installed the EXP tool” themselves in the counties that use the ES&S system. “It was not left to the counties to figure out the installation or the configuration.”

So apparently the Ohio Sec State IS confirming that new software is being installed on the machines.
Before going on, this is not a “conspiracy theory” or a charge that vote-rigging is taking place. This is honest questions about some disturbing reports. I and others would like to know what is going on. That does not make us kooks.
Is voting machine company ES&S in Ohio suddenly installing new tabulator software to “improve” the counting that takes place tomorrow, and if so why now, and why without the proper approval process? This is supposed to require the approval of a state board, which has not been given.
Please read this at Huffington Post by Art Levine, >As Ohio Faces Vote-Rigging Lawsuit, Are Dems, Liberals, Election Officials Ready to Safeguard Votes?

Those worries about a rigged election were given new urgency today as The Ohio-based Free Press editor-in-chief Robert Fitrakis, also a Green Party candidate for Congress, announced plans to file a lawsuit later today seeking an immediate injunction against Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and the ES&S manufacturer to halt the use of secretly installed, unauthorized “experimental” software in 39 counties’ tabulators in an alleged violation of state election law. His attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, has also referred the case to the Cincinnati FBI for a criminal investigation. Arnebeck says, “It’s a flagrant violation of the law. Before you add new software, you need approval of a state board. They are installing an uncertified, suspect software patch that interfaces between the a county’s vote tabulation equipment and state tabulators.”

Art’s post asked the key question,

As one progressive election protection leader told me privately, “Who is watching the election officials [on voting machines]? That’s a good question. Where are the boots on the ground? We don’t have watchdogs on election officials.”

Here is what I want to pin down:
1) Did Ohio allow this company to install new software on the vote counting machines? It looks like this happened.
2) Will all the votes in Ohio be hand-checked against what the various machines report? And if so will this happen before the election is “official?”
If #2 happens, things are fine. If not we have a serious problem as far as being sure about the election results.
All I want to know is, are enough of the election results double-checked against the PAPER that shows how each voter voted? If they are, then it does not matter about the machines. If they are not — or especially when there is no paper that the voter either marked or checked — then there is obviously a problem and the “results” should not be trusted.
It is essential that every voter demand that their county double-checks the paper against the reported results. This is as simple and basic as checking to be sure the ballot box is empty before you open the polling places.
It is not a “conspiracy theory” to say all you have to do is check the results against the paper.
Finally, please visit No More Stolen Elections