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By John Gideon on 12/16/2008 4:28pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

A large majority of the news today is from Minnesota where they are still trying to count the votes and figure out just who is the man going to DC. ...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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By John Gideon on 12/15/2008 4:38pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The news has not been written yet but I am hearing from New Jersey that the bill that would have forced the state’s voters to continue to use Sequoia Advantage DREs with no paper audit trail was defeated in one house of the state legislature and the bill in the other house never went to the floor for a vote. Now the state needs to decide whether to wait and hope Sequoia can get a vvpat printer certified or do the right thing and change over to a paper-based voting system....

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By John Gideon on 12/14/2008 5:10pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Another check of the accuracy of Diebold/Premier voting machines has found that they fail in that department. While performing a state mandated audit Montgomery Co, Ohio, elections officials found that a memory card from one DRE voting machine read five more votes when read a second time during the audit. The county and state are investigating.

What does Diebold/Premier have to say? "We have not seen this particular condition anywhere else in Ohio or anywhere else in the country,” according to spokesman Chris Riggall. Clearly Riggall is joking. Of course they haven’t seen this condition in Ohio because Ohio has not done these audits in the past and the lack of audits across most of the rest of the country would ensure that no problems would have been found in the past.

Where there are audits that may have found this condition, the condition is ignored or just shrugged-off. What they ignore is that there is a federal law that dictates accuracy of voting systems and even the loss of these 5 ballots in a county that saw over 280,000 ballots cast is a violation of that law. ...

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By John Gideon on 12/12/2008 4:19pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Three years ago, the New Jersey Legislature passed a law requiring voter-verifiable paper records by January 2008. Then twice in 2008, the Legislature extended that deadline, first to June 2008, then to January 2009.

Now verifiable voting in New Jersey will be delayed indefinitely unless you act. The bill S2380, and its companion A3458, would undo the the requirement, and establish a "pilot program" for voter-verified paper records. If enacted, S2380 and A3458 could well mean that New Jersey voters will not have verifiable voting in time for the next election for Governor in 2009. The only reasonable course of action now is to require the deployment of a better voting system to meet New Jersey's legal requirement for voter-verified paper records --- paper optical scan ballots --- as soon as feasible, but not later than the gubernatorial election.

New Jersey has had many problems with their Sequoia voting machines in the past. There is still a court case that is not complete. Why, in the face of the history of Sequoia in New Jersey, would the state legislators even think to change the law to allow the status quo? What action has been taken in the state by any vendor to make this happen? One can only wonder.

Below are links to a statement on the legislation made by Congressman Rush Holt and an action page that can be used by New Jersey voters, and others, to make their voices heard about this step backwards. We hope you will take action....

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By John Gideon on 12/11/2008 4:26pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Long time Harris Co. Texas registrar, Paul Bettencourt ran for re-election recently and won that race. Before even being sworn into office again, he resigned to take a job in the private sector, or so he claims.

In today’s featured articles from the Houston Chronicle there is information that may answer the question as to why he resigned. It seems that a lawsuit was filed today in state district court by J. Goodwille Pierre who unsuccessfully ran for a judicial position. He lost by 230 votes. His lawsuit echoes a lawsuit brought against the county elections office in federal court. One of the issues brought forth is evidence that the chairman of the county ballot board had reported that some ballots, after being processed by Bettencourt’s staff, had information obscured by correction fluid. About 5,800 ballots were denied, according to Bettencourt’s office, because the voters had not been properly registered. We will follow both lawsuits....

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By John Gideon on 12/10/2008 4:18pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today’s line-up of news is varied. Enjoy....

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By John Gideon on 12/9/2008 4:31pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

This evenings DVN includes more from Humboldt Co. plus a video of the outrageous arrest of an Election Integrity Advocate in Broward Co. Florida. And why is it that many in the New Jersey legislature don’t want any transparency in their elections? ...

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By John Gideon on 12/8/2008 4:27pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

There is not a lot of election’s related news today. The discovery that Premier/Diebold allowed counties to use software that they, the vendor, knew was not accurate is still in the news. There are two blog items leading tonight’s short list that discuss this recent discovery in Humboldt Co California....

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Bush/Cheney '04 Co-Chair Claims He Stopped 'Voter Fraud' in '04 Election, Revives GOP's ACORN 'Voter Fraud' Hoax as Way to Win future Elections...
By John Gideon on 12/7/2008 7:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Disgraced former Ohio Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell believes he's qualified to be the next Chairman of the RNC and is in the process of pitching himself to that end.

Among the qualifications offered by Blackwell --- who may someday find himself facing conspiracy charges for his part in overseeing the criminally mis-administered 2004 Presidential Election in the Buckeye State --- is the rather imaginative claim that he "prevented voter fraud from overturning the results of a U.S. presidential election and fought the left in federal court more times than you can imagine."

In terms of future plans for the RNC, the one-time-Democrat-turned-unapologetically-far-rightwinger says: "Voter registration must be a major emphasis for the Republican Party. Of course, we start at a competitive disadvantage with the Democrats and ACORN since we are strictly limited to registering people who actually exist."

This has got to be a joke. I'm afraid, however, that it isn't.

For much more on the GOP's ACORN 'voter fraud' hoax, see this BRAD BLOG Special Coverage page.

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By John Gideon on 12/7/2008 4:32pm PT  

More news is coming out on the lost votes in Humboldt Co California as well as the expected obfuscation and misinformation from Diebold. They aren’t denying the fact that their voting system doesn’t correctly count the votes but they are making excuses as to why they didn’t recall the software that is to blame. Those excuses don’t hold much water. This story is not going away any time soon....

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By John Gideon on 12/5/2008 4:34pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today we have three articles about an amazing story of transparency in elections and what can happen when that transparency exists.

With the assistance of Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich, the Humboldt Co elections office partnered with local advocates to duplicate all paper ballots after they were originally counted. The images of those ballots were then put on line for research by the public. In conjunction with the “Humboldt Election Transparency Project” software was written that allowed researchers to recount the ballot images. This recount was just completed after the election was certified. The results of that recount were the discovery that a batch of 197 ballots that had been fed into the county’s Diebold optical scan machines were deleted after the totals were input on the GEMS software.

The county went back and checked and verified this problem. It then took the county several phone calls to Diebold/Premier to discover that the vendor knew about this problem and had known about it since 2004. It is reported that they neglected to notify the county and, according to one article, the state was never notified of this problem.

Carolyn Crnich and the advocates of Humboldt Co are to be congratulated for excellent work. Diebold/Premier, on the other hand, needs to be investigated for violations of the Help America Vote Act Section 301(a)(5) by the Dept. of Justice....

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Humboldt County's First-of-Its-Kind Citizen Oversight Program Finds 197 Ballots Dropped, Miscounted by Voting System in One Precinct
Company Knew About Software Flaw, Failed to Notify County...
By John Gideon on 12/5/2008 5:21am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

First I think congratulations are in order for Humboldt County California Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich. Crnich worked with local voters and began the "Humboldt Election Transparency Project". The Eureka Times-Standard describes the program like this:

The basic idea behind the first-of-its-kind transparency project is fairly simple: every ballot cast in an election is passed through an optical scanner after being officially counted and the images are then placed online and available for download.

Software, created by volunteer Mitch Trachtenberg, then allows viewers to sort the ballots by precinct or race to conduct recounts at their pleasure.

Crnich also deserves a big thank you, along with Trachtenberg, from the voters of Eureka Precinct 1E-45 because if not for the project and Trachtenberg's software their votes in the recent general election would not have been counted. The Times-Standard explains:

The first of its kind Humboldt Election Transparency Project has uncovered a glitch in the county election's software that resulted in almost 200 ballots not being counted and the county certifying inaccurate election results.

And this "glitch" in the Diebold/Premier GEMS central tabulator software has been known to the company since 2004, or so Crnich learned after exchanging several calls with the vendor...

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By John Gideon on 12/4/2008 4:30pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) was signed into law in Oct. 2002. Amongst other things HAVA required the formation of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and provided some mandates, in Title III of the law, for federal elections including some standards for voting systems. Those standards include, but are not limited to, accessibility for voters with disabilities and accuracy in the vote count. Testing by experts in accessibility has shown that none of the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems presently in use meet the requirements for accessibility for disabled voters. Failures in testing and vote counting in real elections have also proven that, at times, the voting systems presently being used across the country do not meet the federally mandated requirements for accuracy.

So what guidance has been provided by the EAC to the states with regards to Title III? Well, actually none. In fact even though voting systems presently in use do not meet federal law the EAC is just now getting around to issuing guidance to state and local election officials and, according to the draft of the plan ‘featured’ below, it is going to take another two years before the EAC can complete the guidance.

Why can’t they just tell the vendors and the states that the law is clear and, if they fail to follow that law, violations will be referred to the DoJ? The fact that the vendors misrepresent their products as being accessible is a clear violation of the law. It is time they are held responsible and it doesn’t take two years of studying Title III of HAVA to make that clear....

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By John Gideon on 12/3/2008 4:04pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Here is the news for the day. ...

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By John Gideon on 12/2/2008 4:19pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Other than a report of problems in one Georgia county with their electronic voter database the news has been quiet. Results of this election should be known this evening and reports of counting problems, if there are any, will dribble out over the next couple days.

The recount in Minnesota is still ongoing. One county found 171 previously uncounted ballots. Reports are that the vote count is getting closer.

It appears that the battle over House District 105 and the Dallas Co. Texas recount has been joined as the county has hired a law firm to represent their interest against the Democratic party in court....

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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