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'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
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The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

Reality: Hundreds Dead, including 68 U.S. Troops in 11 days.
By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2004 11:39am PT  

While Rush Limbaugh told his listeners this morning about the "really great news" in Fallujah, some folks may see it differently.

In case you haven't been paying attention (and the media, as usual, hasn't much helped), we've now lost 1189 1194 U.S. troops in Iraq since the who charade began. 68 died in the 11 days following the election alone at the rate of nearly 7 dead U.S. troops per day.

So far this month, troops are dying at a higher rate than any since the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003.

As to the "really great news" in Fallujah, Bilal Hussein, a photographer from AP didn't see it quite that way. The story of his harrowing escape from Fallujah is recounted in this AP report. Here's a highlight of some of the "really great news" from that report, like the incident where U.S. forces shot a family of five as they tried to escape the onslaught:

"Destruction was everywhere. I saw people lying dead in the streets, wounded were bleeding and there was no one to come and help them. Even the civilians who stayed in Fallujah were too afraid to go out," he said.

"There was no medicine, water, no electricity nor food for days."

By Tuesday afternoon, as U.S. forces and Iraqi rebels engaged in fierce clashes in the heart of his neighborhood, Hussein snapped.

"U.S. soldiers began to open fire on the houses, so I decided that it was very dangerous to stay in my house," he said.

Hussein said he panicked, seizing on a plan to escape across the Euphrates River, which flows on the western side of the city.

"I wasn't really thinking," he said. "Suddenly, I just had to get out. I didn't think there was any other choice."

In the rush, Hussein left behind his camera lens and a satellite telephone for transmitting his images. His lens, marked with the distinctive AP logo, was discovered two days later by U.S. Marines next to a dead man's body in a house in Jolan.

AP colleagues in the Baghdad bureau, who by then had not heard from Hussein in 48 hours, became even more worried.

Hussein moved from house to house — dodging gunfire — and reached the river.

"I decided to swim ... but I changed my mind after seeing U.S. helicopters firing on and killing people who tried to cross the river."

He watched horrified as a family of five was shot dead as they tried to cross.

Yes..."Liberty is spreading". And it's all "really great news", isn't it?

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(Published by Tom Tomorrow on 11/2/04!)
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2004 10:19pm PT  

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'Keep Your Jesus...'
Cause even I need a break...
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2004 8:00pm PT  

Windows Media Player Version · QuickTime Version · Other Versions...

May not be safe for work...though it depends where you work.

(Via Oliver Willis)

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'New Ruling' in Cuyahoga County Rejects Ballots Without Date of Birth
Also...19,000 unexplained votes added in Bush-heavy Miami County, OH
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2004 1:21pm PT  

According to an article in the Columbus Free Press, perhaps thousands of valid provisional ballots in the Buckeye State are now being rejected due to a "new ruling" in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

A new rule for counting provisional ballots in Cuyahoga County, Ohio was implemented on Tuesday, November 9 at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon, according to election observer Victoria Lovegren.

The new ruling in Cuyahoga County mandates that provisional ballots in yellow packets must be “Rejected” if there is no “date of birth” on the packet. The Free Press obtained copies of the original “Provisional Verification Procedure” from Cuyahoga County which stated “Date of birth is not mandatory and should not reject a provisional ballot.” The original procedure required the voter's name, address and a signature that matched the signature in the county's database.

Lovegren described the clerks as “kind of disturbed” after the new ruling came down. She said that one of the clerks told her, “This is new. This just came down. They just changed it in the last thirty minutes.” According to Lovegren, 80 yellow-jacketed provisional ballots piled up in the hour and 45 minutes she observed. By Lovegren's tally, three provisional ballots were rejected because the registered voters' registration had been “cancelled.” The rest, she said, were being discarded because of no date of birth.

The margin separating Bush and Kerry in Ohio was approximately 136,000 with some 155,000 provisional ballots still to be counted, along with absentee and U.S. overseas votes as well.

The article also gives an excellent description of rules involved in any potential recount procedures in Ohio. Given the Green/Libertarian Party's efforts to demand a recount there (latest reports show that as of Sunday morning, they have so far raised $121k of the $150k they are now seeking to fund the effort) that information may be useful in understanding how such a recount may unfold.

As well, the article also gives some interesting information on anomaly related to the late-reported vote totals in Miami County, OH. It refers to a report earlier in the week pointing out some 19,000 votes added to the totals after "100% of the precincts" had reported in:

In Miami County, with 100% of the precincts reporting at 9am EST Wednesday, Nov. 3, Bush had 20,807 votes (65.80%) and Kerry had 10,724 (33.92%). Miami reported 31,620 voters. Inexplicably, nearly 19,000 new ballots were added after all precincts reported, boosting Bush's vote to 33,039 (65.77%) to Kerry's 17,039 (33.92%). CASE is investigating why the percentage of the vote stayed exactly the same to three one-hundredths of a percentage point after nearly 19,000 new ballots were added. CASE members speculate that it's either a long-shot coincidence with the last three digits remaining the same, or that someone had pre-set a database and programmed a voting machine to cough up a pre-set percentage of votes. Miami County uses an easily hackable optical scanner with the central counter provided by the Republican-linked vendor ES&S.

Whether those 19,000 additional votes were absentee ballots added later to the Election Night totals --- as had been the reason given for a similar case of more votes than voters in Cuyahoga County --- I'm not able to determine. The identical percentages of those votes to the earlier tallies, however, is notable to say the least. One would think that percentages would change by at least a few hundreths or tenths with the addition of a full 19,000 votes to the tally!

UPDATE: An item in yesterday's Cincinnati Enquirer speaks to the matter of the provisional ballots rejected for missing date-of-birth:

There was some confusion, but Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's office has ordered that lack of a date of birth on a provisional ballot can't be used to throw it out. "There is a place on the paperwork for a provisional ballot for voters to write in date of birth. It is optional, and it does not nullify a ballot," said James Lee, a Blackwell spokesman.

Let's hope that's the definitive word on that particular matter!

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Some Legal Assistance Requested
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2004 7:27pm PT  

BlackBoxVoting.org has issued the following items on their website today:

  • Fraud audit launched in Florida.
    "...will initiate hand counts on selected counties that have not fully complied with our Nov. 2 Freedom of Information request by Monday (Diebold counties) or Tuesday (other counties)."
  • Fraud diagnostics implimented in New Mexico.
    "Information we recently received is indicative of widespread vote manipulation. We are not going to publicize the specifics here."
  • Legal assistance requested in specific county in Georgia.
    "Indications of corrupt voting processes, with possible criminal actions by local officials."
  • Fraud investigation launched in Pima County, Arizona.
  • Fraud investigation launched on state of Nevada.
    "Pro bono legal help certified to practice in Nevada, needed immediately. Multiple irregularities. Need people to take affidavits from election workers, statewide."
  • See their website for more info, explanations, and if you are able to help in either Georgia or Nevada as requested.

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    And Counts All the Republican Ones!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2004 4:59pm PT  

    According to The Albuquerque Tribune, in one Bernalillo County, New Mexico precinct, the judge assigned to determine the validity of provisional ballots, has determined that all the Democratic ballots cast in that precinct are invalid, while declaring that all of the Republican provisionals cast there may indeed be counted!

    From what I am reading, the "standards" for determining acceptance/rejection of provisional ballots across the countries, seems haphazard at best. If anyone wishes to provide more info in comments on how validity is determined in various areas, it would be most welcome.

    The current difference in the popular vote for President in New Mexico, according to AP, has George W. Bush leading John Kerry by just 6,061 votes. The total number of rejected provisional ballots in Bernalillo County now stands at 6,600.

    (Thanks again to tipster Ryan for this one!)

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    Presidential, Senatorial Totals Appear Out of Line with Rest of Election Numbers
    By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2004 3:04pm PT  

    As I've previously mentioned, I'm currently a bit snowed-under working on some background stuff related to all of this mess. So my ability to report the latest here is somewhat hobbled for the (hopefully) very short term. I hope it'll soon prove to have been worthwhile however.

    I am still keeping an eye on everything however, and will report the most notable stuff as it comes up.

    That said, lemme just throw out a raw link to this Democratic Underground posting which presents a potentially very troubling analysis of the results data in regards to the North Carolina Presidential and Senatorial races there.

    I highly recommend you give it a look. It's a detailed post and analysis, demonstrating some disturbing results. I have gotten into the habit of waiting to report such analysis until all the "debunkers" have had there go at things, just to make sure the analysis is solid, and then have attempted to summarize the key pieces.

    For now though, since the story is holding up for the moment, and I'm pulled over to related work, I'm just giving you the link to look at without my own analysis for now. I hope to have some, along with a summary, later for you.

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    Punch-card counter drops straight-party ballots from initial totals!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2004 1:43pm PT  

    From The Salt Lake Tribune:

    Voters in Utah County had more than a one in five chance that their ballots did not get counted in the initial, unofficial tally from Election Day.

    A programming glitch in the punch-card counter dropped 33,000 ballots from the totals - all of them straight-party ballots. That was more than 22 percent of the 145,769 ballots cast in the Republican stronghold.

    "The card readers were fine; it was just the way it was programmed initially," Utah County elections coordinator Kristen Swensen said Friday. "It was just off by one letter."

    The ballots were recounted Wednesday and the 33,000 missing votes were distributed to the candidates for whom they were cast.

    I should note that this is the first story of it's kind that I've come across, where such an error actually seems to have hurt the Republicans more than it did Democrats. While, for now, this error does seem to be just a "glitch", it adds to the growing body of evidence that our counting systems and software in this country is a pure and unadultered mess which needs strict reform and oversight by non-partisan, non-political officials!

    (Thanks reader Katrina W. for the heads-up on this one!)

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    The most 'Conservative' of papers admits the truth!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2004 12:43pm PT  

    This story has been percolating in the blogosphere for some time, but I've yet to report it here as I've been trying to look into it to make sure that it held up first.

    It's big. And now that The Washington Times(!) --- the Bush Administration's #1 mouthpiece in the print media, in other words, the Fox News of newspapers --- has admitted and reported the problem via this breaking UPI report, I'm happy to take that as confirmation of the huge and hackable security hole smack dab in the middle of Diebold's proprietary vote-counting software source code that those "reckless conspiracy-theorists (American citizens) in the blogosphere" have been reporting for some time!


    Washington, DC, Nov. 12 (UPI) - The voting machine controversy likely will linger after a look at the systems source code software from Ohio-based Diebold yielded reports of numerous bugs.
    ...
    Computer Science Professor Avi Rubin of John Hopkins University analyzed Diebold's 47,609 lines of code and found it uses an encryption key that was hacked in 1997 and no longer is used in secure programs.
    ...
    The Digital Encryption Standard 56-bit encryption key used can be unlocked by a key embedded in all the source code, meaning all Diebold machines would respond to the same key.

    Rubin, his graduate students and a colleague from Rice University found other bugs, that the administrator's PIN code was "1111" and that one programmer had inserted, "This is just a hack for now."

    The implication is that by hacking one machine you could have access to all Diebold machines.

    The story also notes that "Diebold has said it repaired the security flaws in subsequent programs, but that the company has not produced the code for analysis." In other words, they claim that they've fixed the software they said was secure in the first place, but wouldn't allow anyone to verify it. The security hole was only discovered in the first place when BlackBoxVoting.org discovered thousands of Diebold's "secret" source-code files sitting out in the open on a publically-accessable internet file-transfer site. Somehow or another, they are legally allowed to keep their source-code secret and unverified by any oversight committees!

    I should also note that while the fact that their vote-counting software could be hacked, it doesn't necessarily mean that it has been hacked. However, the disturbing admission now in the Mainstream Media --- confirming what so many have been "running around with their hair on fire" warning people about for so long --- that the private, Ohio-based corporation and huge Republican supporter Diebold, Inc. has created hackable software to manage the bulk of our country's electoral system, and all without governmental and/or nonpartisan oversight is a startling milestone in this matter.

    For data-heads interested in more of the actually geeky background details on this gaping, hackable, security hole in Diebold's software, please see this discussion over at DailyKos where they've been reporting, discussing and examining it for some time.

    This is now --- officially --- very major and very notable news!

    (Thanks Desi for the tip on the UPI/Washington Times breaking news report on this!)

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    Get on board! Make some signs! Stand up for your Democracy!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2004 5:17pm PT  

    The great Freeway Blogger strikes again this weekend with an all-out effort to bring the issue of voter irregularities in Ohio and Florida to the attention of the American people on November 13th & 14th.

    Please check out this page for how you can help raise awareness for the issue over the weekend, have a bit of guerrilla fun and do something positive for your country --- wherever you may live in America! Whether it be Red, Blue or Purple!

    It's your country! And your democracy! And it's not gonna save itself!

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    Filers of Original Suit call it 'Peanuts', 'Premature'
    Company admits Security Needs Strengthening
    By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2004 3:18pm PT  

    Sorry...had been meaning to report this here previously...(Thanks reader Ryan for the reminder!)

    From AP yesterday:

    Diebold Inc. agreed to pay $2.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by California alleging that the electronic voting company sold the state and several counties shoddy voting equipment.
    ...
    According to the settlement, the North Canton, Ohio-based company must also upgrade ballot tabulation software that Los Angeles County and others used Nov. 2. Diebold must also strengthen the security of its paperless voting machines and computer servers and promise never to connect voting systems to outside networks.

    "There is no more fundamental right in our democracy than the right to vote and have your vote counted," California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said in a statement. "In making false claims about its equipment, Diebold treated that right, and the taxpayers who bought its machines, cavalierly. This settlement holds Diebold accountable and helps ensure the future quality and security of its voting systems."
    ...
    The original lawsuit was filed a year ago by Seattle-based electronic voting critic Bev Harris and Sacramento-based activist Jim March, who characterized the $2.6 million settlement as "peanuts."
    ...
    "This settlement will shut down a major avenue of investigation before evidence starts trickling in," March said. "It's very premature."

    A Diebold executive said the settlement would allow the company to spend more money on improving software and avoid "the distraction and cost of prolonged litigation."

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    Helping to Organize, 250 Million to 1 Odds on the Exit Polls, other odds and ends.
    By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2004 2:22pm PT  

    I'm working on a few different things at once for the moment, and thus, posting today has been a bit quieter than usual. Hopefully I'll have more information on some organizational efforts I'm trying to pull together soon...

    To that end, if you happen to be or know Attorneys, Web Design/Management organizations, Fundraising groups, PR groups and/or Political/Activist organizations who are interested (and/or aggravated) by everything that has been going on concerning the various Voting Irregularities issues, and who may be willing to invest time, resources and/or energy into the effort for positive change --- and quickly --- please have them contact me by email right away.

    For the moment, only seeking folks and/or organizations with serious credentials in any of the above areas, as opposed to citizen do-gooders who want to help out. If we're able to move things forward as I hope, we'll much need all the citizen do-gooders! But for the moment, I need people or organizations with the above creds who might like to come onboard in building a centralized effort for so much of what is going on. I can discuss further details via Email if you contact me.

    In the meantime, here's a quick round-up of a few notable items from the last 12 hours or so...

  • Via BuzzFlash, a university professor has published a study showing that "the odds of those exit poll statistical anomalies occurring by chance are 250,000,000 to one."

    In the full 11-page report, which can be downloaded here in PDF format, Dr. Steven F. Freeman of the U. of Penn. speaks of:

    "As much as we can say in social science that something is impossible, it is impossible that the discrepancies between predicted and actual vote counts in the three critical battleground states [Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania] of the 2004 election could have been due to chance or random error."
    ...
    "Systematic fraud or mistabulation is a premature conclusion, but the election's unexplained exit poll discrepancies make it an unavoidable hypothesis, one that is the responsibility of the media, academia, polling agencies, and the public to investigate."
  • MSNBC's Countdown continues to be the preeminent voice amongst the Mainstream Media organizations actually giving this story the coverage that it deserves. You can watch Olbermann's latest report on video here at "Crooks & Liars" (where all of this week's previous reports are also available if you scroll down).
  • Raw Story reports that as of this hour, the Green Party has received donations totalling $48,000 of the $113,000 they will require by Monday (earliest) to fund their demand, in concert with the Libertarian Party, for a full Ohio recount.
  • As usual...more to come...

    UPDATE: 11/15/04 Green/Libertarian Party Ohio Recount fundraising goal has been met! Now seeking funds for "mobilization" costs and also volunteers to serve as "recount witnesses"! Click here for more info...

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    Party Hackery Games the System
    Helps Deliver America to Bush
    By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2004 8:21am PT  

    With the very real possibility of an Ohio recount as announced yesterday by the new coalition of the Green and Libertarian Party candidates, I hope you'll take a look at this excellent article by David S. Bernstein in The Portland Phoenix. It's one of the best, most comprehensive overviews I've read of the situation, as it stands for the moment, on the ground in Ohio.

    It pulls together the bulk of the most troubling reports of mistabulation, voter intimidation and suppression and potential chicanery in the registration, voting and counting processes.

    Bernstein may have buried the lead though, because it's not until page 2 that he gets to the most scandalous nugget at the heart of the entire stinking mess there, and the systematic way in which the man in charge with regulating Ohio's election, Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell (who also just happened to serve as the Bush/Cheney '04 Campaign Chair in Ohio!) suffocated the minority vote through the invidious gaming of voter management and supression at the precinct by precint level.

    Ohio received some $133 million from the Federal Government's "Help America Vote Act" earmarked to pay for new electronic machines in state.

    To pave the way for these machines, which, the theory goes, were to have been more efficient (and more expensive), the state narrowed down the number of voting precincts. Closing and consolodating many of them largely, of course, in minority areas.

    But at the last minute, after the precincts had already been gerrymandered, Blackwell decided the technology in the E-Voting machines was not proven secure.

    So the $133 million stayed in the bank, but the plan for the reduction of the number of polling sites in minority areas stayed in place! Game over.

    And what do you think happened next? Bernstein explains...

    HERE'S THE rub: a Phoenix analysis shows that the precinct reductions disproportionately hurt Ohio's Democratic turnout.

    Of Ohio's 88 counties, 20 suffered a significant reduction — shutting at least 20 percent (or at least 30) of their precincts. Most of those counties have Republicans serving as Board of Elections director, including the four biggest: Cuyahoga, Montgomery, Summit, and Lucas.

    Those 20 counties went heavily to Gore in 2000, 53 to 42 percent. The other 68 counties, which underwent little-to-no precinct consolidation, went exactly the opposite way in 2000: 53 to 42 percent to Bush.

    In the 68 counties that kept their precinct count at or near 2000 levels, Kerry benefited more than Bush from the high turnout, getting 24 percent more votes than Gore did in 2000, while Bush increased his vote total by only 17 percent.

    But in the 20 squeezed counties, the opposite happened. Bush increased his vote total by 22 percent, and Kerry won just 19 percent more than Gore in 2000.

    If the reduced number of precincts in those counties accounts for the difference, it cost Kerry about 45,000 votes.

    Mission accomplished. Infuriating. Our own electoral systems --- the very basis of our democracy --- are now officially and systematically gamed to within an inch of their life for the pure maximum partisan advantage of those in charge.

    So when will we see reform of the electoral system so it's run by Nonpartisan Elections Boards instead of Partisan Party Hacks? As long as those who've benefited from the hackery are still in charge and entrusted with regulating the system, I'm guessing that day may not come any time soon.

    Unless, of course, you're in the mood for a velvet revolution.

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    Another Error Counting AGAINST Kerry!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2004 5:10pm PT  

    Democrat votes given to the Libertarians in Franklin County, Indiana.

    Can someone please explain to me how not one of the scores of counting errors discovered so far has benefited Kerry? Every single error that I've seen has taken votes away from Kerry. What are the odds?

    From the Indiana Star:

    Election equipment counted straight-party votes for Democratic candidates as Libertarian votes, an error that could affect election outcomes in as many as nine counties, the Richmond Palladium-Item reported today.

    Democrats discovered the error in Franklin County, where ballots will be counted again tonight.

    ReddIt this story!



    Need $113,000 to pay for it!
    Paging Mr. Soros...Paging Mr. Soros...
    By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2004 4:10pm PT  

    In a bit of exciting news (which also tends on personal-level to give me some confidence that I I voted correctly), Green Party presidential candidate, David Cobb --- who was on the ballot in all 50 states, I'm sure you're surprised to learn --- and Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik will likely be calling for a full recount in the state of Ohio!

    KPFK (90.7 FM in Los Angeles) broke the news yesterday in an interview with Mr. Cobb...

    Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb declared that in all likelihood he would demand a recount of all the votes in the Presidential election in the state of Ohio. Since David Cobb's name appeared on the Ohio ballot, it is his legal right to ask for a statewide recount.
    ...
    In order for a statewide recount to proceed in Ohio, candidate Cobb will have to raise approximately $113,000; or ten dollars per precinct. The deadline to demand a recount occurs after the State's results are deemed official by Ohio's Secretary of State, which won't take place for a few days.

    The full radio interview can be heard here...

    They have issued a Press Release on the matter this morning with further details.

    Well, this could be it folks! As a presidential candidates in Ohio, Cobb and Badnark are within their rights to demand a recount! And I'd hope that there's enough folks with a few dollars left in their pockets to cover those costs for the Ohio recount!

    This is big (and very encouraging) news for a number of reasons, the least of which will be the ability to give all of the many punch-card ballots in the state a fresh look.

    One of the stories I haven't covered here, while many others have, is Greg Palast's "Kerry Won..." article. Palast discussed the sizeable number of potentially "spoiled" ballots that were not counted for Kerry in Ohio during the initial count. A recount, and I don't know yet if that means it'll be a "manual" recount or not, may likely shake out as many as 93,000 possible new Kerry votes (by Palasts reckoning anyway). It's unlikely that all of the spoiled ballots would go for Kerry, of course, many are likely for Bush, or have no vote or more than one vote on them and "spoiled" for good reason. But the idea of a carefully monitored recount is good news by any definition.

    (Perhaps we'll even get to figure out what the hell went on in Warren County on Election Night!)

    On this blog, I've mainly been focusing on the many computer-related counting errors and/or possible cases of fraud, since those are the issues that I find most haunting as the country moves towards its mandated 2006 deadline for all-electronic voting. So, I've not bothered to point out the more speculative nature of reports like Palast's until now, because until a re-count possibility came into play, his theory was mostly unprovable speculation. That may all now be changing...

    DONATIONS can be made for the recount to either of the following sites. They're working together...Can you imagine that?!:

  • David Cobb's website: www.votecobb.org
  • Michael Badnarik's website: www.badnarik.org
  • Third parties are good for America...don't ya think?

    UPDATE: 11/15/04 Recount fundraising goal has been met! Now seeking funds for "mobilization" costs and also volunteers to serve as "recount witnesses"! Click here for more info...

    ReddIt this story!



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