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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, August 30, 2014
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring the GOP's Photo ID voting restrictions in Wisconsin? Let us catch you up quickly with the latest...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
Republicans Call Ferguson Voter Registration 'Disgusting'
Rightwingers decry effort 'to register Democratic voters' following the killing of Michael Brown...
Seriously, Ferguson Police?
The front page of the Post-Dispatch reminds again how ridiculous the era of post-9/11 Wars has become; Plus: another comparison to the Bundy Bunch...
'Green News Report' 8/19/14
OR nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
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...


Seems Headed to Get it Wrong Again, However, by Calling for 'Paper Trails'
State Election Director Linda Lamone Still Not Yet Fired...
By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2006 7:02pm PT  
Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said last week that he plans to support a bill requiring that e-voting machines provide a paper trail, just months after opposing a similar measure.

...begins a report today in ComputerWorld. Miller, of course, is the one who allowed a bill calling for paper ballots to die in the Democratic Maryland Senate just prior to the '06 Election even after both MD's Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich and the Democratic House approved the measure (by a 137 to 0 vote!)

Miller seems on course to screw it all up again for the state by calling for paper "trails" (versus ballots) in Maryland, the first state, along with Georgia, where Diebold was allowed their initial mis-adventure in e-voting by blanketing the state with shitty, unreliable, hackable, inaccurate paperless touch-screen voting machines as early as 2002. Then, of course, both Diebold and the state's Democratic Election Director, Linda Lamone, went about lying and covering up the fact that the machines didn't work and were hopelessly vulnerable.

Miller attempted to spin his way beyond his pre-election failure to the voters and towards not being so horribly wrong with this incomprehensible statement as quoted by CW...

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

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Previously Unreleased 200-Page Report Said to Document Some 180 Security Flaws and Recommendations Made to Diebold and the State
Still Unclear as to Who Made Changes, Additions, Redactions to Publicly Released 40-Page Version of Report…
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2006 7:02pm PT  

On Friday night, we broke Rebecca Abrahams's exclusive story concerning the long-sought yet never-released complete "Risk Assessment Report" of Diebold's electronic voting systems as commissioned by the state of Maryland from the Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in 2003.

Tonight, The BRAD BLOG is releasing that report exclusively in full as given to us by Abrahams, who says she obtained it from a source described to us as "a patriotic high-level state official." She says the source is "someone very close to this situation" in the Maryland government.

The original, never-before-released SAIC report was nearly 200 pages in all, and details a number of extraordinary security vulnerabilities found in Diebold's AccuVote-TS (touch-screen) voting systems as deployed by the state of Maryland initially in 2002. The version of the SAIC report that was eventually released to the public, after extreme redaction, was a mere 38 pages long.

It was reported by Abrahams that neither the full MD State Board of Elections, nor even the Governor himself, was ever allowed to see the full report.

Regarded by many in the computer science, security, and election integrity community as "The Pentagon Papers of E-Voting," the report as released by MD's State Election Administrator, Linda Lamone, was edited, changed, and, of course, highly redacted by someone.

To this date, it remains unclear whether or not Diebold itself was responsible for the changes, edits, and redactions, but according to several computer scientists and security experts with whom we discussed the matter today, the company currently seems to be the leading candidate responsible for changing and removing information from the independently commissioned SAIC report. Those with whom we spoke questioned the propriety of Diebold having such final control over an independent report concerning its own systems. Systems, we might add, that will be used across the state and indeed across the entire country this November 7th, despite the information withheld from the public in this 2003 report.

Also unclear --- since the state and virtually the entire computer science and security community have been unable to review the complete, original report until now --- is whether or not any of the various 180 or so recommendations for changes contained in the report have ever been addressed and corrected by either Diebold or the state of Maryland.

Myriad independent reports on Diebold systems have shown, over the last several months and years since the SAIC report was completed, that scores of serious security vulnerabilities still remain on Diebold's voting systems --- including their paper-based optical-scan voting machines, touch-screen voting machines, and even their central tabulator software.

Reports of these serious vulnerabilities have now been documented by Finnish computer scientist Harri Hursti, the computer security firm Security Innovation, and BlackBoxVoting.org in both Leon County, FL and then in Emery County, UT; by a team of scientists at UC Berkeley commissioned by the CA Sec. of State; by Princeton University; and even by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team (as The BRAD BLOG originally reported in September of 2005 after a tip from a Diebold insider).

Whether or not the vulnerabilities revealed in those subsequent studies --- made mostly over the last year or so, but some, such as the Dept. of Homeland Security's CERT alert came even prior to the 2004 Presidential Election --- were discovered previously in the full 2003 SAIC report has been widely questioned until now.

If, in fact, such vulnerabilities were indeed found in 2003 by SAIC but subsequently kept covered up by Diebold or their allies within the MD State Elections division, such as longtime booster Lamone, the question of accountability --- and even the specter of malicious out-and-out fraud --- has been raised.

During an interview with Abrahams and Stephen Spoonamore, the CEO of computer security firm Cybrinth Inc., on a radio program we co-hosted yesterday, they suggested that an FBI investigation may currently be under way in Maryland concerning several events surrounding the use of Diebold machines in the state.

We've not yet had time to review the entire unredacted report as posted below. However, given the importance of this never-before-released information --- and after close consultation with Abrahams and several others --- The BRAD BLOG feels the national public interest in the information contained in this report requires full and immediate release and disclosure.

The report, therefore, is released here for the first time...

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

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Long-Sought Document Finally Surfaces Showing America's Largest Voting Machine Company, MD State Election Director, Hid Major Flaws From State, Country!
Original 200-Page Security Report --- Said to be 'The Pentagon Papers of Electronic Voting' --- Previously Released Only in 38-Page Highly Redacted Form…Until Now…
By Rebecca Abrahams on 11/2/2006 7:16pm PT  

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Guest Blogger and Freelance Network News Producer, Rebecca Abrahams

In September, 2003 Linda Lamone, the Administrator of Maryland's State Board of Elections and President of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) hands over a critical study on the security of the Diebold Election Systems machines that count all of Maryland's votes.

Between the time that the State of Maryland commissioned the highly respected Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to evaluate the effectiveness and security of their electronic voting machines and the time that the study is made public, critical pieces of information have been edited, omitted and, in some cases, words added, to fundamentally alter the original meaning of the report's conclusions.

The original SAIC report, coming in at nearly 200 pages, was reduced, redacted and altered such that the only version the public --- or even state officials including the Governor and the full State Board of Elections --- would ever be allowed to see was a wholly sanitized 38-page version of the report.

Until now.

For the first time, we've been able to review the complete, much sought-after, unredacted version of the SAIC report which has been kept at bay from Maryland state officials…as well as the computer science and security community…as well as the election integrity community and public at large since it was originally completed in 2003.

It has been called "The Pentagon Papers of Electronic Voting Systems" by some members of the computer science and security community.

Our EXCLUSIVE access to that document --- which we will be releasing in full shortly --- was made possible by a patriot whistleblower. The information, some of which is detailed below, could be explosive in the final days before the Midterm Elections.

UPDATE: The complete, unredacted SAIC Report is now available here for downloading.

As well, a transcript of an EXCLUSIVE unaired network interview that I carried out with Lamone --- in which she tore off her microphone and cut off the interview after I dared to confront her on some of these issues --- will follow below as well…

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

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By John Gideon on 10/28/2006 1:22pm PT  

Blogged By John Gideon, 28 October 2006

Still over a week from election day and already the problems are piling up. Meanwhile the vendors and their shills are making excuses and attempting to sell the voting public a line of garbage. Among the shills is a federal agency, the Election Assistance Commission, that is supposed to assist the voter and, instead, has sent their chairman out on the road to defend the vendors.

In a blog posted yesterday, Brad said it well:

"The U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) is a complete and utter failure. The current commissioner, Paul DeGregorio, has done nothing to instill confidence in elections or provide a lick of oversight in the deployment and use of these voting systems across the nation in the Midterm Election. In his latest interviews and editorials, he is reprehensibly doing nothing but echoing Voting Machine Company propaganda and Election Officials who choose to be apologists for them."

In a rebuttal to DeGregorios' opinion piece in the Tallahassee Democrat Avi Rubin, Johns-Hopkins Professor, computer scientist and author of "Brave New Ballot" had this to say in his blog:

"I have not seen any reason to trust our nation's voting equipment. Trusting it just because an election official says we should is not good enough for me. I want to trust a system because I don't believe it can be compromised, not because someone implies that not trusting it is not patriotic."

In The Mean Time Across The Nation...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2006 12:51pm PT  

An absolute mess on the ground.

In Ohio, Cuyahoga County's attempts to change the way poll workers are trained in light of their Primary Election Day disaster seem clear, from the startling USA Today coverage, to be a disaster in the making in and of themselves. Read it, and be amazed at the unbelievably complex gyrations now required to address the 300+ recommendations made to the county after their Primary Day meltdown. It's amazing. "Election Cliffhanger: Will it all Work?"

In Maryland, the Republican governor warns of a "crisis in the wake of Diebold revelations."

In Colorado, Sequoia has fucked up the Absentee Ballots so that 30,000 of them must be re-copied by hand by pollworkers.

UPDATE: By John Gideon 4:15PM: Today the county announced that they had awoken from their day dream of duplicating 30,000 ballots. They have decided to do the smart thing and just set up another machine to count the incorrect ballots.

I'm on the road, and haven't been able to follow closely for the last 12 or 24, so there is much more out there that is not covered here (keep an eye on John Gideon's 'Daily Voting News' each day for all the frightening stuff and the utter mess that we simply can't cover in detail), but clearly the links above are just the tippy-top of the tip of the iceberg.

Buckle up.

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The November Train Wreck Begins To Pick-Up Steam...
UPDATE: Multi-Partisan Group of Maryland Candidates Call for Use of Emergency Paper Ballots instead of the Machines in Wake of 'Lack of Confidence' After Latest Reports of Diebold Touch-Screen Chaos!
By John Gideon on 10/25/2006 10:39pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

And so it begins! Today the Washington Post has revealed, in a superbly written and investigated story, that Diebold secretly made modifications to thousands of their voting machines in Maryland and that everyone involved seems to have forgotten to tell the State Board of Elections about it.

It seems that after the state bought machines in 2002 they began experiencing intermittent and wide-spread screen freezes. Finally in 2005 Diebold installed all new systems boards in all 4,700 machines.

And, oh by the way, they forgot to tell the State Board of Elections that they had done anything. The State Elections Administrator, Linda Lamone, and her staff seem to have known but members of the SBOE seem to have been left out of the discussion.

UPDATE FROM BRAD: This is a very detailed story with a duplicitous cast of characters and it is very well investigated and told. Kudos to WaPo's Cameron W. Barr for this coverage! We look forward to seeing much more of it!

Also see Baltimore Sun's coverage which offers still more damning details about the duplicity of both Diebold (who still has the MD contract and hasn't yet been sued) and the MD State Board of Elections as headed by the Democratic Diebold-apologist Linda Lamone (who still has a job, remarkably enough.)

UPDATE FROM JOHN 10/26 4:45am PT: A coalition of candidates in Maryland has now asked that only paper ballots be used in the upcoming election. The coalition, with candidates for different offices and representing different political parties, has joined together under the banner of the non-partisan Candidates Alliance for Recountable Elections (CARE). A media release explains their stance on this subject and is below...

NOTE: The coverage of the Hart Intercivic screen display problems in Virginia having been found now in other states such as Texas and California has been moved to it's own item here....

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

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Courtesy of Diebold Spokeshole --- and Former Bush Adminstration Official! --- Mark Radke
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2006 10:58am PT  

In a WaPo article from Saturday (we were outta town, and are just now getting caught up with much) on the possible origins of the double-super-secret Diebold source code which showed up out of the blue in a Maryland candidate's office last week, Diebold's leading spokesliar Mark Radke is quoted as saying the following...apparently with a straight face...

Radke said the company was not averse to disclosing its code if the law were changed to require it. But he said disclosure would dampen innovation in the field.

Heheh..."dampen innovation in the field." Those Diebold spokesguys and their crazy sense of humor.

By the way, as we were looking for a nice photo of Diebold's top mouth-piece, we came across a new little factoid --- new to us anyway. Seems that before Radke came to his new post as Diebold's chief liar, he had been Chief of Staff to George W. Bush's crony SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt. Small world. Go figure.

Diebold's chief obfuscator is a former Bush Administration official. Just one of those wacky coincidences, we guess.

CORRECTION 10/25/06: Good news! After digging around on this one, trying to figure out how it could possibly be that Radke was a former Bush Administration official and none of us knew about that until now, Russ Michaels, one of the filmmakers of HBO's Hacking Democracy writes to let us know that there is a different Mark Radke out there! The Diebold Radke is different from the Bush crony SEC Radke. Details on the other one, Mark S. Radke, right here...

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ALSO: State Report Finds Sensitive Voter Registration Database Vulnerable to 'Across-the-Board Access'
Diebold, State Election Director Lamone Continue State of Denial...
By John Gideon on 10/19/2006 8:42pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon (with additional snark provided by Brad Friedman)

The Washington Post is reporting in Friday editions that the FBI is investigating the "possible theft" of Diebold electronic touch-screen voting system source code in Maryland.

While the Maryland State Board of Elections admits that the disks contained "the software...used in Maryland in the 2004 elections," Diebold denies everything. Of course. They gave their catch-all apologia --- the software is for "versions...that are no longer in use in Maryland" --- although they were forced to acknowledge "the version of one program apparently stored on the disks is still in use in 'a limited number of jurisdictions.'"

The disks feature logos from Ciber Inc. and Wyle Labratories, Inc., two labs that test voting machines and software (sort of) for Diebold. Both firms deny the disks are theirs.

According to the article...

The disks delivered to [ex-Delegate Cheryl C.] Kagan's office bear labels indicating that they hold "source code" --- the instructions that constitute the core of a software program --- for Diebold's Ballot Station and Global Election Management System (GEMS) programs. The former guides the operation of the company's touch-screen voting machines; the latter is in part a tabulation program used to tally votes after an election.

Three years ago, Diebold was embarrassed when an activist obtained some of its confidential software by searching the Internet. The company vowed to improve its security procedures to prevent another lapse.

The release of such software poses a risk, computer scientists say, because it could allow someone to discover security vulnerabilities or to write a virus that could be used to manipulate election results."

WaPo goes on to report...

The Washington Post obtained copies of the disks Wednesday and allowed Avi Rubin, a computer scientist at Johns Hopkins University, along with a colleague and a graduate student, to review the software on the condition that they make no copies of it.

"I would be stunned if it's not real," Rubin said.

Rubin, who has said that electronic voting systems that do not produce a paper record of each vote cannot be secured, led a team that produced an analysis that pointed out security vulnerabilities in the Diebold software found on the Internet in 2003.

Sam Small, the graduate student, said the version of Ballot Station "was consistent with what we've seen previously." Small could not gain access to the GEMS software because the material on two of the disks was protected by a password."

...

The Diebold statement said "it would take years for a knowledgeable scientist" to break the encryption used on the software apparently contained on the disks delivered to Kagan. But Rubin said "the data and files were not encrypted" on the Ballot Station disk he reviewed.

So will Diebold just continue to deny that anything has happened or can happen? Will MD State Election Director Linda Lamone just pass on Diebold disinformation as she always does (despite knowing better...since she's seen the unredacted scientific reports on these systems from security organizations like SAIC and RABA?) Or will someone finally understand that this is a massive problem that needs immediate attention?

Maryland, along with Georgia, was one of Diebold's original "showcase states," implementing Diebold's hackable paperless touch-screen voting across virtually the entire state since 2002. With failure after failure, we might add.

If it's all not bad enough, in what is reported by WaPo as "an unrelated development" in the same article, a new report from Maryland state auditors revealed that the state's new voter registration database does not have proper security controls in place for access to the data...

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

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By John Gideon on 9/23/2006 11:17am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

On last night's Lou Dobbs Kitty Pilgrim reported on what the media is just awakening to, problems with e-voting machines are nationwide and a threat to our democracy. Some of us have been telling all who would listen that this was the fact for years now. Finally some state's are listening and acting.

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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Republican Head of State Calls for Paper Ballots this November!
By John Gideon on 9/22/2006 11:06am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Last night Lou and Kitty tackled the argument in Maryland over whether Linda Lamone should just let Diebold do an investigation of what went wrong last week or whether Gov. Ehrlich should get his way and have the voters vote on paper ballots.

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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Votes Written on 'Scraps of Paper' in MD With Machines Down and No Paper Ballots Available!
WaPo Columnist Says 'Switch to Paper', Repub Gov Wants Paper, Dem Election Director in Denial, Congress Needed to Step in Immediately!
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 5:59pm PT  
At Piney Branch Elementary School in Takoma Park, officials quickly ran out of paper ballots and began telling voters to use scraps of paper after electronic balloting ended at 8 p.m., said Dennis Desmond, who voted with an ersatz paper ballot.

Officials, he said, were calling out the names on the ballot while people wrote down their choices on blank paper. Desmond estimated that 50 people voted that way. Voters also were asked to provide biographical information about themselves as election officials attempted to make the ballots legal.

He said that election officials dispatched a worker to a nearby store to buy envelopes and masking tape so the ersatz ballots could be enclosed and sealed.

-- From Washington Post coverage of Maryland's Sept. 12 Primary Election Meltdown

In addition to the front-pager we reported on last night from today's Washington Post covering Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich's call for a return to paper ballots in the state this November, WaPo has two additional stories today underscoring the desperate need for the LET AMERICA VOTE ACT to be passed immediately by the U.S. Congress. The simple proposal I've made calls for Emergency Paper Ballots to be mandated at every polling place this November in the face of machine breakdowns from coast to coast all primary season long.

One of the other two WaPo stories on this today, this one by Marc Fisher, on the front page of the Metro Section headlined is "If Paper Ballots Restore Trust In Elections, Let's Switch." It includes this information in response to last week Primary Election Meltdown:

The obvious solution, as Gov. Bob Ehrlich said yesterday, is to put the machines in the closet (actually, returning them to the store is an even better idea; does anybody in Annapolis still have that receipt for $106 million?) and go back to paper ballots. The governor bemoaned flaws in the Diebold electronic poll books that Maryland used for the first time last week to check in voters: "Technology is a wonderful thing, but clearly, given their apparent inability to function appropriately --- when in doubt, go paper, go lower technology."

...As well as this extraordinary exchange from MD's embattled Democratic State Elections Director and Diebold apologist, the not-yet-resigned, Linda Lamone...

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

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BRAD BLOG SOURCES, STORIES COVERED EXTENSIVELY...
EXTENDED EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 12:08pm PT  


Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who filed a landmark article last June in Rolling Stone concerning evidence of a stolen 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio, is set to rock the country again in tomorrow's Rolling Stone, The BRAD BLOG can now report.

The issue is currently on the stands in some sections of LA and NY, and will be available across the nation tomorrow.

Through interviews with a number of BRAD BLOG insider sources over the past several months, Kennedy, along with co-writer Dick Russell, will expose a plethora of new details concerning the scandalous and outrageous overtaking of our public election system by private companies such Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and others.

The article is titled: "Will The Next Election Be Hacked? - Fresh disasters at the polls --- and new evidence from an industry insider --- prove that electronic voting machines can't be trusted".

Many of the items covered may be familiar to readers here, as a good number of them were originally broken on these very pages over the last year or so. We worked closely with Kennedy and Russell on this story during its development over the past several months.

The article, however, covers several new and sometimes explosive details of Diebold's rollouts in both Georgia and Maryland dating back to 2002, as well as Florida, Ohio and Texas in 2004.

Characterizing the unchecked spread of electronic voting as "insane," Kennedy and Russell conclude, "It is time for Americans to reclaim our democracy from private interests."

Some of the damning details covered in the extensive piece include: the now-infamous and mysterious patch applied to the paperless touch-screen systems in GA just prior to the Chambliss/Cleland election; the presence of Diebold elections division president Bob Urosevich in the tabulation room in MD in 2002; Diebold's interest in downplaying, hiding the significance of several scientific reports in 2004 warning of the vulnerabilities in their machines; Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) involvement with former staffers and Diebold lobbyists in passing the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) through congress; ES&S shenanigans in Texas in 2004; E-Voting anomalies in Ohio and Florida may have given the election to George W. Bush; the Diebold electronic voting machine which kicked off the 2000 Presidential Election debacle...

The article is now posted in full at the RS website. Extended excerpts from the article follow below...

###

...TROUBLE COMING THIS NOVEMBER...

[A]s midterm elections approach this November, electronic voting machines are making things worse instead of better. Studies have demonstrated that hackers can easily rig the technology to fix an election – and across the country this year, faulty equipment and lax security have repeatedly undermined election primaries. In Tarrant County, Texas, electronic machines counted some ballots as many as six times, recording 100,000 more votes than were actually cast. In San Diego, poll workers took machines home for unsupervised “sleepovers” before the vote, leaving the equipment vulnerable to tampering.
...
“Every board of election has staff members with the technological ability to fix an election,” Ion Sancho, an election supervisor in Leon County, Florida, told me. “Even one corrupt staffer can throw an election. Without paper records, it could happen under my nose and there is no way I’d ever find out about it. With a few key people in the right places, it would be possible to throw a presidential election.”

Much more now below...

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

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Democratic Election Administrator Still in Denial!
DIEB-THROAT Says 'We Put Out Junk' in Maryland in 2002
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 12:27am PT  

From Page 1 of Thursday's WaPo:

A week after the primary election was plagued by human error and technical glitches, Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) called yesterday for the state to scrap its $106 million electronic voting apparatus and revert to a paper ballot system for the November election.

"When in doubt, go paper, go low-tech," he said.

Ehrlich said that, if necessary, he would call a special session of the Maryland General Assembly to change the law to allow paper ballots.

The Republican Governor's call comes after hearings today to investigate Maryland's primary election meltdown on September 12th.

Ehrlich had called for paper ballots last February. The Democratic MD House supported the initiative in a 137 to 0 vote. The Democratic Senate let the bill die without a vote before ending their session.

As BRAD BLOG readers know well, Maryland was one of Diebold's original showcase states and implemented paperless Diebold touch-screens back in 2002. They've had more experience with them than any other state. Yet they still couldn't manage to get them to work correctly in a sparsely attended primary for a mid-term election.

Democratic Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. is against the idea of using paper ballots. He told WaPo, "We paid millions. These are state-of-the-art machines"

Miller clearly doesn't read The BRAD BLOG.

As DIEB-THROAT, our currently-anonymous Diebold insider source, who had a great deal of personal experience helping to roll out the systems in Maryland in 2002 told us recently: "We put junk out when HAVA [the Help America Vote Act] came out...We had no plans for paper trails, nothing."

According to WaPo, Gene Raynor, Baltimore's election director had the decency to resign. Diebold apologist and Maryland State Board of Elections administrator, Linda Lamone ought to do the same.

But Lamone, ever in denial, said Ehrlich's call for paper ballots was "crazy" and vowed that "her staff would 'work around the clock' to correct the problems that plagued the primary" according to WaPo.

Like you've been "working around the clock" to get it right since 2002, Ms. Lamone? Got anymore lipstick for that pig?

ReddIt this story!



Primary Election Results All Zeroed Out!
By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 3:39pm PT  

Results from last Tuesday's Primary Election in Maryland (which was in and of itself a debacle), have apparently been scrubbed from the Maryland Board of Elections website! As of right now, 6:36pm ET, no election totals are currently available on the site after they've previously been there all week as counting has continued.

I'm currently on the air and thus not able to look into it further, so I've not been able to get any explanation for this. But I thought you should know. A screenshot from one of the pages (they are all currently zeroed out!) is below...

UPDATE 7:23pm ET: Courtesy of HuffCrimeBlog.com's Steve Huff, here's a screenshot from the Google archives of the same page above as it was seen on 9/14/06 with all of the unofficial results still being added...

I've tried to contact the MD Board of Elections by phone, but it's after hours and nobody is currently answering. Just FYI. If anybody has any luck in the morning or additional info on any of this, please let me know!

UPDATE 9/20/06 11:20am ET: Website numbers are currently back up. Will try to learn what happened and report back when I do. No idea if the numbers now restored will synch up with what was there before they were zeroed out. We've seen similar computer drop-outs, only to be restored later with races flipped (in the 2004 Ohio Presidential and in the 2005 Ohio Hackett/Schmidt race, for example) but never this late after Election Day. We'll keep our eye on it and try to get more for you later today.

ReddIt this story!



Diebold's Showcase State Has Been Using the Machines Since 2002...and Still Can't Get Anything Right!
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2006 4:53pm PT  

We covered it on the day it happened, and again a day or so later. But here's more.

Consider this your preview of what will likely be happening everywhere this November 7th. Everywhere.

Alhough the Maryland Meltdown has received more notice because it occurred where the DC media and politicos live, it mirrors just about every other primary in just about every other state so far this year. Disasters in almost every one of them.

And remember, along with Georgia, the state of Maryland was Diebold's "showcase state." They've used these shitty, hackable, failed Diebold machines in more elections and for a longer time than any other state in the union.

From Saturday's Washington Post... [emphasis added]

2 Candidates Question Vote In Pr. George's

Congressional candidate Donna Edwards announced plans yesterday to file a lawsuit over apparent voting irregularities in Tuesday's primary election in Prince George's County, while defeated county executive challenger Rushern L. Baker III demanded an independent investigation of the process.

The separate announcements signaled that Tuesday's voting, a flawed process by many accounts, may not conclude the close primary contests for a seat in Congress and the county executive's office. The election itself was "horrendous," the Prince George's elections administrator said yesterday. And the victorious Democratic county executive candidate, incumbent Jack B. Johnson, said it warranted investigation.

"The integrity of the election is at stake," said Edwards, who ran against Rep. Albert R. Wynn in the 4th District Democratic primary and is waiting for the race to be decided when provisional ballots are counted next week in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

Jonathan S. Shurberg, a lawyer working with Edwards, said they will ask a judge to take possession of voting machine memory cards in two, possibly three, precincts in Chillum. The request will be made either in Prince George's Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro or U.S. District Court in Greenbelt over the next several days.

Edwards said her legal complaint will focus on the security of voting machines that contained voting cards and were not delivered to the county Board of Elections until late Wednesday. "When we read reports about how easy it is to hack into these machines, there has to be concern," Edwards said.
...
"We're not doing this for the campaign," Perry said. "We're doing this as a duty. Voters have been disenfranchised."
...
The county's interim election administrator, Robert J. Antonetti Sr., acknowledged yesterday that the primary was the most troubled election he has overseen during 34 years in the field. "This was horrendous," Antonetti said.

Much more to read in the full article...But as to those memory cards which we now know can be hacked undetectably in a minute's time:

According to Baker's campaign, only 60 of 206 precincts managed to transmit their results electronically. Election workers at the remaining polling places had to remove voter memory cards from each machine and drive them to Board of Elections headquarters in Upper Marlboro.
...
Antonetti said that a number of cards were accidentally left in voting machines and that the last of those cards --- close to three dozen in as many machines --- were expected to be delivered to his office late yesterday [ed note: Friday after the Tuesday election!]. On Wednesday, election officials said data were not received from 81 of the county's 2,056 voting machines. The numbers represented two whole precincts --- in Chillum and Landover --- as well as cards from machines at 34 polling stations.

American democracy is in big trouble. But BRAD BLOG readers have known that for some time. Wish everyone else did.

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