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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
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COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
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RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By John Gideon on 11/15/2005 4:54pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The little town of Bluffton, SC will decide to cease hand tallying their paper ballots after an election today. They have always had a town meeting after the polls close in which the votes are read off and tallied on chalk boards with the audience yelling “tally” after each group of five slash marks is put on the board. Now some feel the town is getting too big and they will go to DREs in the future. ...

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By John Gideon on 11/14/2005 5:09pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

It was a relatively slow news day today. There are a few races, across the nation, that have still not been decided and at least one may end up being re-voted. In Louisiana it has been recommended that any New Orleans election be delayed for awhile. ...

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By John Gideon on 11/13/2005 4:36pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today gives us a good article on the GAO report and great editorials from New York and Ohio. The man who sold Mobile, AL their Shouptronic machines opines and misinforms in the Mobile Register. And from Arizona we have more on the state senate hearings scheduled for early next year....

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By John Gideon on 11/12/2005 6:51pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Beside the articles discussing the failures in last week's election we also still have lawsuits playing out in some states. In Arizona the SoS has spoken out about the suit she is fighting. Her opinion, as printed in the Arizona Republic, she is less than factual and completely ignores the reason for the lawsuit; op-scan tabulation problems. In New Mexico the counties are doing all they can to keep the plaintiffs in a lawsuit from looking at the voting machines in question. We also hear complaints from Texas and Ohio regarding DRE voting machines not allowing voters to vote in private....

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Elections in the Weeds...
By John Gideon on 11/11/2005 6:17pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today, amongst the reports of failures in elections across the country, there was good news from Wisconsin where their Assembly voted nearly unanimously for a vvpat. One newspaper in New Jersey reported that Sequoia Voting still had to verify the election before it could be certified. Have they really turned over their elections administration to a private company? And, election poll printouts have reportedly been found in the weeds outside a gas station in Lucas Co., OH. Is this a sign of a problem? Something illegal? Just a human error?...

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The Day After...
By John Gideon on 11/9/2005 6:32pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today was a typical "day after an election day" news day. Though many claim that everything went well, a look at the list of counties in Ohio, and elsewhere, proves that everything did not go well. Of course elections officials and the vendors are claiming that all of the problems were caused by the voter or poll workers. The problems are never the result of using the machines. Already a candidate is calling for a recount in Virginia after complaints that voters would vote for him and the votes would register for his opponent. And there are 45,000 questionable votes in Montreal, Canada...

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Election Day!
By John Gideon on 11/8/2005 6:09pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of Voters Unite.org

(NOTE FROM BRAD: I've asked John to post VotersUnite.org's excellent "Daily Voting News", a comprehensive list of the day's major election and voting related stories, directly on BRAD BLOG each day. He's agreed to do so. And today's busy Election Day seems a great day to start. The articles that John chooses to include in the DVN are not necessarily opinions that we agree with, but rather, they're meant as a comprehensive listing of the each day's major Voting-related news, no matter which side of the political aisle they may fall on. I'd like to thank both John and Ellen Theissen, of VotersUnite.org for agreeing to share the listings each day with BRAD BLOG readers!)

Today has been a normally busy election day. There have been spotty problems reported in the media all over the country. Of course, almost every machine failure/error has been blamed on the voter or poll worker...

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His Machines Are Allowed to Count Millions of American Votes, But He's Not Allowed to Visit
By John Gideon on 10/17/2005 9:36pm PT  

{Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org}

The CEO of Smartmatic Inc., Antonio Mujica, has been denied a tourist visa by the US embassy and will not be allowed to return to the United States according to a recent report in VCRISIS, a Venezuelan news source.

Smartmatic Inc. is the Florida-registered, Venezuelan-owned parent corporation of Sequoia Voting Systems, one of the leading voting machine companies in the US. Its ownership has also been tied to Hugo Chavez and other shadowy multi-national organizations.

No reason is given for denying renewal of Mujica's visa in the VCRISIS article which describes an agitated confrontation with US Embassy officials. According to the story, Mujica "argued that he was legal, that he had an important company in the USA and that he had to travel with urgency to that country."

Sequoia Voting Systems was recently purchased by Smartmatic from a UK firm for $16 million. The surprisingly small sale price has brought into question the stability of Sequoia Voting Systems, which would seemingly stand ready to make millions of dollars in sales of voting systems around the United States as money from the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) continues to pour out to counties and states. However, the company's ability to provide technical support to their customers has now come into question as this blogger was recently told by a high level official at a competing American-owned voting machine company.

Sequoia is also involved in a lawsuit filed by attorney Paul Lehto in Snohomish County, Washington. The suit calls for the county's contract to be voided with the company due to the proprietary "trade secret" software used by the company. Lehto has published a report detailing a number of disturbing irregularities found in Snohomish's general election last November.

The Smartmatic company slogan is "All Things Connected". Setting aside whether all things being connected in an election system is a good thing (it isn't), their website has the following text on the front page:

�Smartmatic is the device networking company.
We envision a world where everything will be connected.
And we're making it happen... here and now.

The irony here...and now...of course, is that the entire situation demonstrates how utterly dysfunctional the election administration in America has become. While US law allows a Venezuelan man to control the secret counting of America's votes, the US State Department doesn't consider him fit to enter the country, even temporarily.

Further pointing out the absurdity of it all, in a media release published earlier today at VoteTrustUSA, Ellen Theisen, Executive Director of VotersUnite.Org says, "It's ironic that when we take vote-counting to Iraq, we take it in the form of paper ballots deposited into clear plastic ballot boxes, but in our own country, vote-counting is in the form of electronic ballots and secret software controlled by a man our government has declared ineligible to set foot in the country."

Just another day in the decline of American democracy...

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Defends Baker-Carter Report With Her Uncanny Nonsense
By John Gideon on 10/11/2005 7:52pm PT  

Guest blogged by John Gideon of Voters Unite dot Org

Soon after the release of the much awaited Baker-Carter Report, and after the immediate, loud, and overwhelmingly negative response from voting activists, bloggers, some MSM, and even some members of the Baker-Carter Commission, the reactionaries on the far right have finally let their opinion be known.

In a clear attempt to bolster sagging public opinion on some of the Baker-Carter Report's 87 points, Phyllis Schlafly has joined the fray with a new column called Thanks, Jimmy Carter.

Ms. Schlafly lauds the commission for including a verifiable paper trail as a solution. Actually, Ms. Schlafly is wrong. The commission report suggested that a voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) should be provided. A VVPAT is a voter verified paper ballot combined with a random, robust audit using those ballots. This is a far-cry from Ms. Schlafly's 'verifiable paper trail'.

But it seems the whole reason for Ms. Schlafly's diatribe is really to bolster the conservative agenda item that would require a voter ID before anyone can vote. On the way to her goal, Ms. Schlafly took the opportunity to sling mud at Tom Daschle, who was a dissenting voice on the panel with regards to the voter ID issue. Ms. Schlafly, of course, didn't mention that Mr. Daschle was joined in his dissent by fellow commissioners Raul Yzaguirre and Spencer Overton.

Ms. Schlafly says:

They are responding to the widespread public realization that we do not have a system of "one man, one vote." Voting in the United States can be more accurately described as "one man, many votes" or as "dead or illegal man, one vote."

She fails to quote directly from the report where it says:

There is no evidence of extensive fraud in U.S. elections or of multiple voting…

In fact, some commissioners have called this "issue" a solution in search of a problem.

In a fit of obfuscation, Ms. Schlafly says that 24 states require voters to prove their identity at the polls and 12 other states are considering it. She forgets to mention that voter registration cards, driver's licenses, utility bills, and library cards are all acceptable identification in most of those 24 states.

In what seems to be a page from the "conservative reactionary handbook", Ms. Schlafly proceeds to scare the reader with stories of far-right politicians who only lost because hundreds of illegal aliens somehow voted against them. She forgets that Bob Dornan was a loud-mouthed bully that no one liked, especially his constituents.

Ms. Schlafly seems to forget that the GOP is supposed to be small-government and balance the budget. Voter ID is another big government proposal that will take someone to oversee it (a position for a Bush cronie) and may cost over $4 billion. The state of Georgia wants to charge $30 per voter ID card. There are over 142 million registered voters in the United States.

Ms. Schlafly has also decided to ignore the fact that not everyone has a photo ID and not everyone can get a photo ID. Not everyone drives or has a drivers license; certainly not the poor, disabled, or elderly. Not everyone even knows where to go to get a birth certificate to prove they are an American citizen. I guess Ms. Schlafly would like to just forget about the people in the Gulf States?

So let's be honest about all of this. Our elections are not controlled by illegal aliens whose only wish is to defeat conservative candidates. The present identification requirements are just fine, thank you. Give the states a chance to institute the Help America Vote Act state-wide registration data bases and clean those lists of felons and dead voters and those who have moved away. Let's give Carter and Baker a pat on the back and tell them both, "Nice try, guys, but we can take it from here". After all, it is our democracy and our voting system. It certainly does not belong to Ms. Schlafly or her ilk and it does not belong to either Jimmy Carter or James Baker.

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Further Disenfranchises Democratic Voters, Doesn't Guarantee Accuracy of Results...
Clint Curtis: 'Feeney Trying to Protect His Fixed Voting System'
By John Gideon on 10/5/2005 12:09pm PT  

Guest blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.Org

In a move that some people found amazing and others expected, Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) has filed a new elections bill. HR-3910 ? Verifying the Outcome of Tomorrow's Elections Act of 2005 does nothing to verify the outcome of "tomorrow's" elections, but it does further the RNC's wish to keep as many poor, elderly, disabled, and people of color (in other words ? normally Democratic voters) away from the polls as they possibly can.

And who is this Rep. Feeney? If you recall, he was the person alleged to have asked for a programmer to write software to switch the touch-screen votes, undetected, in Florida. Clint Curtis, whose story was originally broken here at BRAD BLOG, was the programmer. When asked about this latest step by Feeney, he responded via email simply: ?Appears that Mr. Feeney is still trying to protect his fixed voting system?.

Around the water coolers on ?The Hill?, there has been talk that Rush Holt's Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (HR 550) would be going to mark-up sometime in October. It is timely that suddenly Rep. Feeney would produce a bill that will now allow the House leaders to blend the two bills and make one bill that represents their view of privatization of elections.

This bill provides for a voter verified paper audit trail but it leaves to the states how that audit trail will be used, if at all. No verification there.

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