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DNC Chair Out Amid Hacks, Protests; Plus: Fox After Ailes: 'BradCast' 7/25/16
Eric Boehlert on the firing of FNC's founder, propaganda mastermind: Also: Deadly heat; Trump 'bump'; Clinton taps Kaine as Veep...
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Guest: Longtime GOP campaign adviser, 2012 Presidential candidate, 2016 Cruz booer, Fred Karger from Cleveland...
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It's a pretty big birthday over here. Not that we'll much be able to enjoy it all that much this year, unfortunately. But you can help!...
'Green News Report' 7/19/16
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GOP Presidential historian, adviser Doug Wead; Also: More bad poll news for Clinton...
'Green News Report' 7/14/16
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Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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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
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DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
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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...

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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
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CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
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RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Sec. of State, Formerly an ES&S Supporter, 'More than Upset About Broken Promises' by Country's Largest E-Voting Company
By John Gideon on 5/10/2006 7:38pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Just hours ago Betty Ireland, the Secretary of State of West Virginia filed a formal complaint against ES&S with the federal Elections Assistance Commission. A story in the State Journal quotes Secretary Ireland:

"I am more than upset that or county clerks and their staffs and county commissions had to withstand stress and anxiety over the broken promises and delays ES&S put them through".

"And, Ireland says, now that the election is over, strategy talks about the problems with Election Systems and Software will begin...but, "We will not and cannot discuss publicly our legal strategy. As before, we continue to work with the Attorney General's Office to address our options"."

"The state's selection committee chose ES&S because of it's past service in the state and it's knowledge of West Virginia election deadlines and procedures. Ireland says, "Unfortunately, we now feel ES&S let West Virginia down"."

There have been failures all over the state. A small sampling of problems gives us:

  • Taylor County's votes could not be counted last night because the main computer would not read tabulators from individual voting machines.
  • Upshur County's counter was in such bad shape that as of midnight the county was trying to get a similar machine from a neighboring county
  • Mineral County's optical scan ballot counter was producing skewed results
  • Ohio County could not count about 800 absentee votes because it was not given the equipment to do so
  • - and ?

  • Clay, Gilmer, Greenbrier, Putnam, McDowell and Webster that all violated provisions of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 when they were not able provide any voting machines for their voters with disabilities.
  • The national media? Mums the word for them, it seems.




    Questions the Media Should Ask of All Elections Officials
    By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2006 4:45am PT  

    A blogger who has been obsessively tracking the growing number of electronic voting horror stories around the country --- stories largely ignored by the national media --- offers an annotated list of questions to help election officials learn from others' mistakes.

    "Obsessively?" Me? (He says as he writes this at 4:39am) Well, maybe. But someone's gotta.

    So begins the editor's intro to a piece I was invited to submit to the Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for Journalism's Watchdog site. The invitation came from Deputy Editor, and Washington Post columnist Dan Froomkin, so I was honored to accept.

    I was asked to submit questions for mainstream media folks to ask of Elections Officials about our current Electoral Train Wreck-in-Progress in hopes that someone in the MSM might actually do so. These are the tough questions which, frankly, ought to be asked of every damn Election Official in the country by every damn responsbile media person.

    Several questions were edited out by Dan before posting for reasons that I don't completely understand. But as I consider him one of the good guys (who occassionally even links to BRAD BLOG from his WaPo page) I won't hold it against him.

    So here's the piece as posted at Nieman Watchdog. (Including a swell pic of yours truly!)

    And for the hard-cord Election Reform junkies, read on for the extra bonus questions which didn't make the cut. Who knows? Maybe someone in the MSM may one day want to know what they completely failed to ask about...

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




    By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 3:55pm PT  

    The word "glitch" takes a rest, as the AP uses "hiccups" instead to minimize what happened in Ohio's Primary Election mess last Tuesday.

    Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, who was on the Republican Primary ballot for the Governor's race, refuses to step down from the investigation which is just now beginning since manual hand-counting of ballots in Cuyahoga County was just completed yesterday (Sunday), after Diebold machines failed to be able to read 17,000 absentee ballots...

    CLEVELAND (AP) --- The Ohio Democratic Party on Monday called on Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to remove himself from investigating what went wrong with the primary election in Ohio's largest county, saying the Republican gubernatorial candidate faces too many conflicts of interest to properly oversee the probe.

    More...




    Voting Machine Printout Reports Zero Votes for Several Candidates, All Bond Measures Received Zero YES Votes...
    Reasons for Problem 'Unknown', But Sound Remarkably Similar to Recent Leon County, FL Hack on Same Diebold Machines
    By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 7:18pm PT  

    Our Electoral System Meltdown continues as more and more reports come in on epidemic Electronic Voting Machine failures around the country. It's neck and neck right now as Diebold and ES&S battle it out for the prize of Worst Company, Worst Service, Worst Technology and Best Excuse Maker. But we've got a long way to go in this Election Year, so it's still anyone's contest. (Anyone's but the voters, that is.)

    A "glitch" --- that's the magical word that was used no less than three times in WOOD-TV's coverage --- in the Diebold optical-scan system used for the first time in Barry County, Michigan's election yesterday forced Elections Officials to count all ballots by hand. Since it was an optical-scan system --- which uses paper ballots --- they were able to do so. That would have been next to impossible had a similar disaster befallen a touch-screen system with "paper trails" and completely impossible on a paperless touch-screen machine.

    All seemed fine throughout the day on Barry County's new voting machines until the optical scanner printed out the final results at the close of the election. The report was found to have had all matter of inexplicable totals including 0 votes for some candidates and no YES votes for any of the bond issues on the ballot.

    Sound familiar?

    The Barry County mess, as it's being reported by WOOD-TV, sounds almost identical to the situation in Leon County, FL last December where "hackers" had exploited a security vulnerability in Diebold's optical scanner memory card causing it to print results that were virtually the opposite of the true results on the paper ballots. The "hackers", who were computer security experts, had hidden all traces of their "crime" in that mock election test, so it would likely never have been discovered.

    The problem affected 15 out of 16 townships in Barry County on machines which cost $4000 a piece and were purchased because County Officials claim the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) forced them to do so.

    WOOD-TV covers the story, "glitch" after "glitch", with both text and a video reports. Here's a few details from their text report...

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




    Voting Machines Refuse to Power Up, No Paper Ballot Backups, 17,000 Absentee Ballots Must be Counted by Hand
    Voters Pay the Price, Investigations Are to Come...
    By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 11:20am PT  


    The meltdown continues.

    Cuyahoga County Election Director (and former Diebold proponent), Michael Vu, described Diebold's performance yesterday as "unacceptable" after problems were revealed all across the county in the state's Primary Election.

    The panoply of problems included failed Diebold machines, lack of working power outlets and three-prong adapters for them, machines unable to start up, voters unable to vote, paper jams on the "paper trail" printers, and 17,000 absentee ballots that must now be counted by hand because they don't work with the Diebold optical scanners.

    All of it now leading to investigations, as called for by Elections Officials. And, of course, there was the 61-year old voter who destroyed two Diebold machines out of apparent frustration.

    With all of that, who even knows yet if the tallies acquired by the machines that did "work" are actually accurate?

    WKYC covers with a video report here.

    Below is just some of the extraordinary litany of problems revealed during elections in just that one county yesterday according to WKYC. We wish someone had warned them of the possibility of such problems in advance...

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




    By David Edwards on 5/2/2006 1:13pm PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


    Video in Streaming Flash format...
    Video in Windows Media format...
    Audio in MP3 format...

    After his major role in the theft of the 2004 Presidential Election, Secretary of State Kenneth J. Blackwell should be in jail instead of on today's primary ticket for Ohio Governor. If Blackwell wins in the primary today it will largely be because of the illegal use of religious organizations to manipulate the opinion of voters.

    The latest edition of PBS Now maps out how the Republican National Committee and Republican operatives are using "patriot pastors", mega-churches, polarizing rhetoric and tax exemptions to create an illegal and unfair advantage against their competitors.

    Due to complaints from more established liberal churches, the Internal Revenue Service is now investigating the illegal activities being conducted by the Republicans who have hijacked the beliefs of many Christian's for corrupt political purposes. The IRS has promised to step up its' prosecution of these abuses.




    Company Technician Uses Old Version of Software To Program Voting Machines
    By John Gideon on 4/27/2006 8:20pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon

    On top of Brad's earlier report today on the ES&S meltdown in Texas, and loads of other states, we find out that still more problems with ES&S have been encountered in West Virginia.

    On Thursday the Associated Press reported that a software "glitch" has delayed testing in 11 counties. The reason?

    Though electronic ballots on the ES&S iVotronic Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines are programmed and seem to recorde votes accurately during testing, it's taking six hours or more to tabulate all the results. That is a huge problem for machines sold on the premise of accuracy and speed.

    But the larger concern? "Version control". Apparently an ES&S engineer programmed the machines using outdated software. The company seems to not bother to ensure the correct version of software is being used and installed on the machines. And counties are not watching to ensure ES&S is keeping their machines current.

    Ben Beakes, the chief of staff for WV Sec. of State Betty Ireland, explained:

    "All the votes on the paper trail are correct. All the votes inside the machines are correct. It will just not recognize them when it's time to tabulate the results," Beakes said.

    That said, was the software version used federally qualified with the hardware and firmware version being used by those 11 counties? Do the states or counties even care? Maybe not but they should because not all versions of software will work with all versions of firmware. That's why there are version numbers.

    And that's just one more reason why we're headed for an electoral train wreck.




    Summit County, Ohio Elections Director Says He Can't Assume Anything Else
    By John Gideon on 4/19/2006 8:08am PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon

    If you recall The BRAD BLOG has reported on the Summit County memory card failures in the recent past; most recently on April 4. Summit County's memory card (PCMCIA) failures have not gotten any better according to an article in this morning's Akron Beacon Journal...

    Now, in what is clearly a show of "No Confidence" in their voting machine vendor ES&S, the county elections director is predicting failure with the system in the May 2 Ohio state primary.

    Summit County Board of Elections Director Bryan Williams is predicting Election Day failures with the memory cards in the county's new optical scan voting system.

    ``I don't think we can assume anything else,'' Williams said at a meeting Tuesday, where the elections board reviewed the latest list of troubles.

    This seems to be a complete melt-down of everything provided to the county by ES&S. The Beacon-Journal goes on to report the problems...

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




    Says Company Activity Could be in 'Significant Violation of State Election Law'
    NOTE TO MSM: Nothing to read here. Move on.
    By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2006 4:08pm PT  

    The E-Voting Train Wreck continues...

    This from a statement released today by the Indiana Secretary of State (to get just a tiny idea of what this statement is in reference to see the "Train Wreck" article linked above...and just about every other damn thing we've been running here at BRAD BLOG for the last God-knows-how-many weeks/months/years)...

    Today Secretary of State Todd Rokita announced his intention to bring an enforcement action against the Nebraska based voting system firm, Election Systems and Software. Secretary Rokita will personally conduct a public hearing to determine whether election law violations have occurred, and whether the company should be fined. County sequencing errors and paper ballot problems, noted by Rokita's office this week, have combined to quickly escalate already disturbingly poor service at the county level into what could be a significant violation of state election law. "I have ordered our legal staff to immediately set hearing dates and subpoena company officials," Rokita said.

    The Indianapolis Star begins their coverage this way:

    The Indiana secretary of state's office is investigating possible law violations by two voting machine companies, as doubts continue about possible hitches in next month's primary elections.

    "To protect the voices of Hoosier voters, I intend to hold hearings on these matters to determine whether Indiana law has been violated, and if so, to hold the appropriate parties accountable," Secretary of State Todd Rokita said in a statement today.

    "Hoosier taxpayers, voters and county officials deserve voting systems that comply with the high standards mandated by Indiana law."

    Rokita said his office, which administers elections across the state, would bring an "enforcement action" to determined whether Election Systems and Software, a Nebraska voting system company, should be fined.

    NOTE TO NATIONAL MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Please pay no attention whatsoever to any of the above. It's just a small local story. Nothing of interest. No pattern here here that effects our country as a whole in any way. All is well. Please enjoy your Easter Holiday break! Thank you.




    Our Elections are Now Officially 'A National Disaster in the Making'
    A MUST READ GUEST EDITORIAL BY JOHN GIDEON OF VOTERSUNITE.ORG
    By John Gideon on 4/9/2006 5:24pm PT  

    By John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

    Normally this space is taken with my ideas of what are the "Top 5" voting news stories for the week. Today I am going to use this space to talk about what I see as the beginning of a disaster in the making with our elections. This isn't the election fraud that some point to when they talk about the vendors and some elections officials. It's not about recounts or audits. This is a real, get your hands around it, happening problem that will disrupt our election process if we do not do something about it now. While we have been involved in all of our issues about Direct Recording Electronic (DRE or "touch-screen") voting machines or paper ballots the electronic voting machine vendors have been wreaking complete havoc across the country.

    So far this year two states have conducted primary elections. In Texas there is at least one candidate who has stepped forward and has challenged the election because of anomalies in vote counts and known voting machine failures. One county's machines counted some votes up to 6 times which resulted in approximately 100,000 more votes being counted than were cast. Though the vendor, Hart Intercivic, initially blamed the problem on human error, they finally had to admit that it was a programming error and not poll workers or voters who had erred. In Illinois some county officials are threatening to withhold final payment of funds on contracts with Sequoia Voting Systems because of failures with their machines that ended with results in the primary not being known for over a week after the voters went to the polls. In both states the involved vendors were very successful in the media with deflecting the blame from their machines to "human errors" or "glitches". However, when you listen to people who were there and who saw and worked through the problems you get a very different picture...

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




    VR 'Not Fit to Wipe Ass of Noble & Wonderful Bush' Writes 'Catholic Patriot'
    While the Bushies Move Ahead Planning to Use Nukes on Iran as VR Tries to Help Stop Them...
    By Brad Friedman on 4/9/2006 5:17pm PT  

    We haven't been able to cover it at all until now with so much going on, but the latest ad by VelvetRevolution.us which ran a couple of weeks ago in the Op/Ed section of WaPo hit such a chord we were able to raise the money to run a similar version of the ad in last week's NY Times.

    (DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR)

    The ad, which focuses on Bush's recent drumbeating and chest thumping for a War on Iran in light of his plummeting poll ratings (haven't we seen this bad movie before?), brought still more interesting reaction in it's second incarnation. More on that in a second.

    We're kind of tired, at VR, of being out in front of so many of these issues (Election Reform, Media Reform, Downing Street Memos, getting Out of Iraq, Accountability for Bush/Cheney) before the media and the politicians figure it out. But now it seems that's where we are again. For an example, see Seymour Hersh's New Yorker article just out, which reports the Bush Administration "has increased clandestine activities inside Iran and intensified planning for a possible major air attack."

    As if that's not disturbing enough, Hersh's article, as well as another report today from WaPo points out such an air attack is being planned to include the use of tactical nuclear weapons! Hello?!

    Rather than waiting until after it's a done deal, as with Iraq, the time to push back is now. Especially since Fox "News", as David Edwards reported this morning, is already back in their reliable embedded position for the Bush Administration and this morning were all too happy to smear Hersch on the air.

    Most of the reaction to VR's ads on Iran have been extremely supportive. And then there was this postcard we received late last week...

    FRONT:

    BACK:

    Oh, well. Can't please 'em all. (And we're still trying to figure out that "ADL ISLAMIC" comment which seems a tad oxymoronic to us, but what do we know about Christianity?)

    If you'd like to piss off other good "Christians" like our big fan above, please donate generously to VR so we can continuing spreading the love --- and getting the word out to the public about what's really going on here! --- through more such campaigns in the future.




    By David Edwards on 4/9/2006 11:11am PT  

    Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


    Video in Streaming Flash format...
    Video in Windows Media format...

    In a recent article, published by the New Yorker, Seymour Hersh presents Bush Administration plans to take military action against Iran. According to Hersh, high ranking members of the Administration are advocating the use of nuclear weapons in an initial air strike on Iran.

    This morning, Fox News anchors attempted to trash Hersh's reputation and defended the use of nuclear weapons on Iran.




    'This is a Really SCARY Threat to Democracy'
    By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2006 8:26pm PT  

    Tom Tomorrow (real name, Dan Perkins, by the way) of This Modern World was a guest of mine on ThursdayThe Peter B. Collins Show where I was Guest Hosting. (Audio archives posted here.).

    After complimenting him on his keen ability to reflect the current zeitgeist well ahead of anyone else, I asked him how he chooses his topic. His answer, paraphrased, whatever he happens to find funny. I asked if he found anything funny about Electronic Voting Machines.

    Apparently he did. And, as usual, long before most of us understood the true nature of the threat to democracy posed by these god-awful machines. He pointed me to this Halloween strip originally published on 10/23/03 (notice the name on the computer monitor)...

    No wonder he calls himself Tom Tomorrow...




    Warns That 'None of the Vendors Have a System That Voters Can Trust'
    ALSO: Paper Ballot Printing Problems Stop Early Voting In Several States
    By John Gideon on 4/7/2006 8:07am PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon

    Yesterday our friends at OpEdNews.Com featured an article that includes an interview with the former CEO of AccuPoll, a voting machine vendor that recently went bankrupt. In the article by Sean Greene of electionline.org the CEO, Dennis Vadura is quoted as saying:

    "I am not happy about the outcome, or the state of the industry. I think that something needs to be done. I'm not sure what it is, it probably doesn't include AccuPoll at this point, but I do not feel that any of the vendors has a system that voters can trust. I think that vendors outright misrepresent the robustness, stability, and security of their systems. You just have to look at the litany of problems and it points at one thing, bad fundamental design, and not enough checks and balances. I also wonder why the other vendors were so adamant in fighting a VVPAT system requirement. They spent much more in fighting it than in implementing it."

    Now, finally, an industry insider and 'mover-and-shaker' has stepped forward to echo what many of us have been saying for the past two or three years. The remaining vendors are doing all they can to prove that Mr. Vadura is right. That fact is borne out by the following two stories:

    In Nebraska, home state for Elections Systems and Software (and home of one of the owners of this private corporation, Omaha World-Herald), 69 of 93 counties do not have their paper ballots for early voting even though early voting began on Monday. Nebraska joins Indiana and other states that are not able to conduct elections because ES&S cannot provide the ballots that they are contractually responsible to deliver. In defense of it's partially owned subsidiary, the World-Herald misinforms it's readers with this gem:

    "A new type of ballot is necessary to comply with a federal law, the Help America Vote Act. A portion of the law took effect Jan. 1, requiring local governments that use paper ballots to use a standardized form that can be read by an optical scanner."

    There is no new type of ballot required by HAVA and there is no standardized form for optical scanners. This is all just hype to cover-up for the failure of ES&S to do its job.

    In another indication of a vendor's failure to meet its contractual duties, the Richmond (IN) Palladium-Item reports that Fidlar Elections, a mid-west representative for Diebold, has failed to deliver paper ballots to 11 Indiana counties that can be read by optical-scanners. The state's mandated absentee voting (early voting) began on Monday and the bad ballots were not reported until Tuesday so all voters who voted on Monday are now being given an opportunity to vote again, when good ballots are received.

    Quality control? Apparently not, after all its just elections. As Mr. Vadura correctly states, "You just have to look at the litany of problems and it points at one thing, bad fundamental design, and not enough checks and balances".




    Meanwhile: Paper Ballot Printing Problems Stop Early Voting In Some States
    By John Gideon on 4/7/2006 8:06am PT  

    Yesterday our friends at OpEdNews.Com featured an article that includes an interview with the former CEO of AccuPoll, a voting machine vendor that recently went bankrupt. In the article by Sean Greene of electionline.org the CEO, Dennis Vadura is quoted as saying:

    "I am not happy about the outcome, or the state of the industry. I think that something needs to be done. I'm not sure what it is, it probably doesn't include AccuPoll at this point, but I do not feel that any of the vendors has a system that voters can trust. I think that vendors outright misrepresent the robustness, stability, and security of their systems. You just have to look at the litany of problems and it points at one thing, bad fundamental design, and not enough checks and balances. I also wonder why the other vendors were so adamant in fighting a VVPAT system requirement. They spent much more in fighting it than in implementing it."

    Now, finally, an industry insider and 'mover-and-shaker' has stepped forward to echo what many of us have been saying for the past two or three years. The remaining vendors are doing all they can to prove that Mr. Vadura is right. That fact is borne out by the following two stories:

    In Nebraska, home state for Elections Systems and Software (and home of one of the owners of this private corporation, Omaha World-Herald), 69 of 93 counties do not have their paper ballots for early voting even though early voting began on Monday. Nebraska joins Indiana and other states that are not able to conduct elections because ES&S cannot provide the ballots that they are contractually responsible to deliver. In defense of it's partially owned subsidiary, the World-Herald misinforms it's readers with this gem:

    "A new type of ballot is necessary to comply with a federal law, the Help America Vote Act. A portion of the law took effect Jan. 1, requiring local governments that use paper ballots to use a standardized form that can be read by an optical scanner.

    There is no new type of ballot required by HAVA and there is no standardized form for optical scanners. This is all just hype to cover-up for the failure of ES&S to do its job.

    In another indication of a vendor's failure to meet its contractual duties, the Richmond (IN) Palladium-Item reports that Fidlar Elections, a mid-west representative for Diebold, has failed to deliver paper ballots to 11 Indiana counties that can be read by optical-scanners. The state's mandated absentee voting (early voting) began on Monday and the bad ballots were not reported until Tuesday so all voters who voted on Monday are now being given an opportunity to vote again, when good ballots are received.

    Quality control? Apparently not, after all its just elections. As Mr. Vadura correctly states, "You just have to look at the litany of problems and it points at one thing, bad fundamental design, and not enough checks and balances".




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