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security measures used by the county, the practical consequences of the logic and accuracy tests, and the complexity inherent in altering a significant but reasonable number of votes.” Still, the state’s inquiry conceded that “it is technically feasible to fraudulently influence the outcome of an election by means of computer software modification,” that “a dormant rigging routine may not be discovered unless all software is audited,” and that a knowledgeable member of the county’s data processing division “could accomplish the fraud acting alone.” During a talk Varni delivered at the Stanford Research Institute in the spring of 1970 he positioned CES on this controversy that was threatening it. Speaking of the Intellectron-sponsored scientists, he said: “They claim to have purchased a program which will transfer the votes of one candidate to another. The fact that a computer would do such a thing is merely evidence that it performs exactly as instructed. If it is instructed to transfer votes, it will, and, if it is instructed to count votes correctly, it will do just that. The reason for a thorough test of the computer before and after an election is to insure that the count is correct. . . . “One must question why,” Varni continued, “a company such as Intellectron International, engaged in the business of selling computer services, would . . . be so active in an attempt to discourage prospective users of computerized vote tally equipment. The answer can be found upon examining the 1969 annual report of Macrodyne-Chatillon Corp. . . . Both the Shoup Voting Machine Corp. and Intellectron International, Inc., are divisions of Macrodyne. Is this a coincidence or the result of a long-range plan?” SUSPICIONS OF FRAUD UNEASE ABOUT computerized counting crept into the 1972 Presidential campaign of George Mc Govern. According to a brief article in Computerworld, Eli Segal, an official with the campaign, said: “We were especially worried about the large computerized counties. . . . There was a fear that the programs that had been developed for votecounting had already been tampered with.” A section was formed in the campaign to deal with possible computer frauds, but too late to do much. A Los Angeles county supervisor who was elected in 1972, Baxter Ward, was not satisfied that doubts he had about the votecounting there could be put to rest by the random precinct recounts. In at least 34 cases, complained the winning candidate, identical vote totals for candidates had been reported by the computer in successive precincts. One four-in-a-row series, he said, was “a million to one.” Possibly Ward’s suspicions gave the idea to a certain computer fraud investigator in Los Angeles for a bizarre challenge to computerized-punchcard results in El Paso in 1975. The late Woodrow Bean, a canny and audacious, but also outrageous character many Texans will well remember, had been defeated for mayor of the West Texas city by several thousand votes out of about 50,000 cast. Bean thereupon hired the Los Angeles investigator, whose special claim to distinction was his theft of a million dollars’ worth of telephone equipment. This fellow looked into the election and declared that identical vote totals reported by the CES system in three precincts for a certain candidate were a 5,000-to-1 shot and indicated the computer might have been fixed, causing Bean’s defeat. Bean and another local politician took the question to federal court. One reporter, watching the controversy from the Bay Area, all but “There is absolutely no way fraud can occur in this system.” wrung his hands in a news story in the San Francisco Examiner. “The implications of the charges are tremendous,” he wrote. “The dangers are obvious. For example, could a computer voting machine company, in financial trouble, allow a candidate to buy an election without having to approach one precinct worker?” CES hired its own expert to controvert Bean’s. Then, the anticlimax: a hand recount was granted and confirmed the election results with trivial variations. The Berkeley company had three leading programmers, although several others played lesser roles. In an episode his former colleagues still regard as weird and comic, Hazlett quit CES in the fall of 1970 because he liked to have dinner at a regular hour and objected to Varni’s having kept him in a meeting one night until 8:30. He gave Varni his letter of resignation the next morning. This meant, as the other three founders well realized, that Hazlett had to turn in most of his CES stock at its par value of ten cents a share, and “Varni and Chowning weren’t about to let him off the hook,” McLeod recalled. Gerbel said that he offered Hazlett a chance to change his mind, but that he quit anyway. In 1972 CES went public at $12 a share, meaning that Hazlett had foregone several million dollars, so, as Gerbel said, evidently “as far as he was concerned, when he ate was more important than money.” Married to an heiress of the W. T. Grant fortune, Hazlett was well fixed. “He was Charley Potatoes he didn’t have to do anything,” said Dunbar, who succeeded Varni as the president of C.E.S. P. J. Lyon, whom Hazlett had been training, became the principal programmer then, and after 1974 CES also turned to C. Stephen Carr, who held a doctorate, unusual for that time, in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Utah and who had just set himself up in northern California as an independent programming consultant. Gerbel was a friend of Stanley Cusper, who was to become the county clerk of Cook County, and Cusper had told him, Gerbel said, that there and in Chicago, “Nobody’ll believe anything except results at the precinct.” When Hazlett’s life changed \(the income from the Grant trust declined, for own he designed for CES the precinct ballot punchcard ballots to be counted in the precincts. This then enabled Gerbel to sell the Votomatic system to Cook County. \(Gerbel, in the interview in Albany, New York, said very little about this accomplishment except to quote officials in Chicago as having said: “If it’s that good, let’s go during an interview at his apartment in Corvallis, Oregon, he was paid about $250,000 for the PBC. P. J. Lyon worked for a while directly for Carr, and Hazlett returned to the CES payroll, but if these ins and outs are taken account of, one may say that the key CES programmers were Hazlett, Lyon, and Carr. A publicly listed company since 1973, CES had about 1200 stockholders, but because its revenues, keyed as they were to election-year rhythms, were unusually cyclical, the price of its stock had remained improbably low, in 1977 about half the initial offering price, and this pattern reduced the gains that were being realized by the company’s insiders. Varni had also concluded he showed his colleagues a graph illustrating it that the market for the company’s products would be flattening out not very far in the future. He had been offered a chance to buy half of the 24-story Portola Towers on Nob Hill, for which he needed ready cash. He was looking for a buyer. CALIFORNIA GLITTERATI p RENTIS COBB HALE declined to be interviewed on his eight years in the computerized vote-counting field. His secretary, Barbara French, explained: “He really isn’t much interested in doing interviews and that sort of thing, to be frank with you. He really wasn’t involved in the day-to-day operations.” Hale declined to be interviewed on his eight years in the computerized votecounting field. His secretary, Barbara French, explained: “He really isn’t much interested in doing interviews and that sort THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15