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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, November 27, 2015
'Green News Report' 11/24/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Carbon tax coming to Alberta tar sands; Obama: Paris conf must proceed; Senate Repubs to monkeywrench int'l agreement; PLUS: FDA okays GMO salmon for humans...
Previous GNRs: 11/19/15 - 11/17/15 - Archives...
Sunday 'This Means War' Toons
PDiddie's must-see collection of the past shameful week's best -- and most dead-on and occassionally horrifying -- toons...
ISIS Wins in US House; Plus: TPP, NAFTA and the Return of KXL?: 'BradCast' 11/19/15
With guest David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times, The Intercept, et al...
'Green News Report' 11/19/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
House GOP's war against climate scientists; October 2015 was hottest on record; Fossil fuel subsidies at $500B/year; UK phases out coal; PLUS: Canada kills another tar sands pipeline...
Previous GNRs: 11/17/15 - 11/12/15 - Archives...
Home of the Brave:
'BradCast' 11/18/15
GOP Governors and Presidential candidates help ISIS dreams come true by turning against refugees from war-torn Syria, as some Americans follow their lead by turning against fellow citizens after the Paris attacks...
How NOT to Respond to the Paris Terror Attacks: 'BradCast' 11/17/15
Anti-war author David Swanson on how we got here, how the media and politicians continue to make it worse, and what we must do instead...
'Green News Report' 11/17/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate gets short shrift in 2nd Dem Debate; Yes, climate change is a NatSec threat; Intn'l climate talks in Paris after attacks; PLUS: NY's Cuomo vetoes major NatGas project...
Previous GNRs: 11/12/15 - 11/10/15 - Archives...
A Word About Paris; Coverage of CBS' Dem Debate in Iowa: 'BradCast' 11/16/15
Salon's Heather Digby Parton and longtime GOPer Fred Karger on the debate the DNC didn't want you to watch...
Sunday Somewhat Horrible Toons
PDiddie's round-up of a number of smart toons in the wake of the horrific terror attacks in Paris...
'Very Similar, If Not Identical': DoJ's Big Tobacco Prosecutor on Case Against ExxonMobil: 'BradCast' 11/12/15
Attorney Sharon Eubanks on RICO, conspiracy and the big lies of Big Tobacco and Big Oil...
'Green News Report' 11/12/15
2016 Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates talk climate, energy, and the path forward in GOP Debate and Dem Forum...
Decoding and Debunking Fox Biz Channel's GOP Debate: 'BradCast' 11/11/15
Smartest post-debate analysis anywhere! With journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
Impossible Results for OH Pot Measure?: 'BradCast' 11/10/15
Screenshots suggest disappearing 'Yes' votes; OH SoS offers us explanation. PLUS: Calls for KY hand-count...
'Green News Report' 11/10/15
Obama rejects KXL; Big Coal caught lying about climate change; ExxonMobil facing probe; PLUS: 2nd cyclone for Yemen & Sea World responds to critics...
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...
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...

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...

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...

The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

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...

The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

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...

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...

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...

Dems Seek Extension of Voting Times after Hundreds of Voters Turned Away from Polls as Machines Fail...
'We Will Not Get to Vote Today' Says Voter Turned Away After an Hour Who Had Arrived at 6:45am...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 1:19pm PT  

From Denver Post...

Democratic party leaders are planning to seek a two-hour extension for voting in Denver, due to massive computer problems which have created long lines, and kept many from casting their vote.
The problems began right at 7 a.m. as computer problems at the voter-check in stations bogged down, creating a bottleneck in the first hour of voting as a rush to the polls overloaded the system.
At Denver Botanic Gardens, more than 200 voters backed up in a line that stretched out of the gates and down the block more than half way to 11th Avenue.

"We will not get to vote today," said a frustrated Lauren Brockman as he left the Botanic Gardens.

He lined up at 6:45 a.m. hoping to beat the rush, only to stand in line for close to an hour before leaving.

But an hour wait was short, compared to some.

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By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 11:47am PT  

From machines not working or being available when the polls opened, to votes flipping on touch-screens and more...They use Sequoia machines in Chicago. Reports from voters as posted by the local NBC affiliate...

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Registrar Mikel Haas's Promise to Defy the SoS and NOT Count Paper Ballots Until Thursday Moves Forward... Helping to Fund Appeal
By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2006 9:18pm PT  

The lawsuit brought last week in San Diego to force Registrar Mikel Haas to obey an order from the Secretary of State's office that paper ballots should be counted as "normal ballots" was denied in San Diego Superior Court today.

The writ, originally filed in Appeals Court last week, was denied on jurisdictional grounds and refiled in the Superior Court. Due to time constraints at that point, the section of the complaint seeking to stop voting machine "sleepovers" (which have now been ongoing for a full three weeks in the county) was dropped when the case was re-filed.

The denial today, which had also sought to force Haas to inform San Diego voters at the polls of their right to vote on a paper ballot, will be appealed, according to Carlsbad, CA, attorney Ken Simpkins. Election Integrity organization' Strike Force continues to raise money to fund such court actions, as it did with the original filing and several others --- including the contested Francine Busby/Brian Bilbray special U.S. House election last Summer.

I spoke with Simpkins earlier today about the court ruling and the judge who didn't seem to understand the differences between provisional, absentee and "normal ballots." Paper ballots, requested by any California voter, are supposed to be counted as "normal ballots" on election night, according to a memo from the CA SoS.

As time is way short for me right now, here's a quick transcript of my notes of the conversation I had with Simpkins, describing the judge, who reportedly made his feelings known early on during the questioning when he referred to E-Voting as "the appropriate wave of the future"...

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

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With a Great Guest Line Up!
[UPDATE: Audio Archive of Show Now Added! Podcast Away!]
By Brad Friedman on 11/2/2006 5:16pm PT  

Heading over to the studio to Guest Host for Jerry Quickly on KPFK 90.7 FM (Los Angeles' Pacifica station). Got a great guest lineup to jam into the one hour Bradcast!

We'll have ROB COHEN, one of the filmmakers of Hacking Democracy, just minutes before tonight's premiere on HBO at 9pm ET (see my review at ComputerWorld, if you're inclined). SHERI MYERS, a Los Angeles Election Integrity activist and creator of the CHEATED! comic-book, which tells the story of what happened in Ohio in 2004 in a way that even George W. Bush can understand. And attorney KEN SIMPKINS who recently filed a lawsuit against San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas concerning Diebold "sleepovers", emergency paper ballots and more. We'll have some fresh breaking news on that case!

You can call in (I think) as well as tune in online to listen!...

UPDATE 11:36pm PT: Was a good show, I think. Audio of the complete 1hr show now here [MP3]. Enjoy!

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DU Commenter Says 'Show Me' State Election Directors Encouraging Use of Paper, not Plastic...
Votes Will be Counted as NORMAL Ballots (Not Provisional!), According to Report
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2006 4:40pm PT  

Haven't had time to check into this (I welcome folks in Missouri to please do so themselves!) as too much rolling fast and furious now. Galloglas at DU reports that the Missouri Secretary of State's office may be encouraging use of paper ballots on Election Day. He reports that they may be available for "optional" use and will NOT be counted as Provisional Ballots.

That's good news. But, as with California's SoS announcement we reported last week, it sounds like the SoS office in the "Show Me" state (...pausing to ponder the irony...) could use a bit of a nudge to do the right thing and develop specific plans and procedures for use of optional and/or Emergency Paper Ballots in every precint. See Galloglas' report. Sounds like they are well aware of our efforts here at The BRAD BLOG, so be polite and give them our best wishes!

Contact info for Missouri SoS/Election Division here.

We recently sent a letter, along with more than 50 other Election Integrity organizations and notable individuals, calling on SoSs, Governors, and State Election Officials to develop immediate plans and procedures for the use of Emergency Paper Ballots this November 7th.

You can contact your own state officials via email here. We also encourage you to call them on the phone. They'd love to hear from you!

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Internal Memo from SoS Office to County Election Officials Informs That Any CA Voter is Entitled to Choose Paper over Plastic!
Apparent Response by Republican State Officials to Our National Call for Emergency Paper Ballots Causes Concern for Some...
By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2006 6:35am PT  

Every California voter who wishes to vote on a paper ballot in this year's general election may do so, The BRAD BLOG has learned, according to an October 3rd, 2006 memo issued by the California Secretary of State's office!

The terse, single-page internal memo, sent to "All County Clerks/Registrars of Voters/Vendors" on CA SoS stationery (download complete memo here [PDF]) instructs elections officials across the state that they should "have an adequate supply of paper ballots" if electronic voting machines should break down or "if a voter chooses not to vote on electronic equipment."

Written by CA's Asst. SoS, Susan Lapsley, the memo was issued in apparent response to our recent call for Congress to introduce and pass immediate "Emergency Paper Ballot" legislation. While bills were subsequently introduced in both the House and Senate, neither chamber succeeded in voting on the legislation before adjourning for the election recess. Eagle-eyed BRAD BLOG readers may remember Lapsley as the one behind the Busby/Bilbray fax to Congress, declaring the Republican Bilbray the winner of the recent CA50 U.S. House Special Election to replace "Duke" Cunningham weeks before it was certified, while thousands of votes remained to be counted --- and well after we had already exposed that the tainted election included voting machine "sleepovers" with poll workers in the days and weeks prior, in contravention of both state and federal law.

Lapsley's memo was written just after Congress adjourned and prior to the letter [PDF] we sent last week, along with more than 50 other Election Integrity organizations and leaders, to all 50 Secretaries of State and Governors calling on them to institute immediate plans and procedures for Emergency Paper Ballots.

The good news here, as we see it, is that all California voters across what Diebold refers to as "the country's largest voting market" may now demand paper ballots when they go to the polling place this year. This will be crucial in counties such as San Diego and San Joaquin, where the Registrars of Voters have chosen to side with the voting machine companies instead of the voters by supplying only hackable touch-screen Diebold voting machines for their citizens this year.

In enormous Los Angeles County, which includes some 8 million voters, such dangerously unreliable touch-screen systems are used only for early voting. It seems clear, however, from Lapsley's memo, that even early voters in LA County may now choose to vote on paper ballots instead!

From the CA SoS' memo...

[A]ll county elections officials shall have an adequate supply of paper ballots, as determined by the elections official, available at the voting locations for use in the event of a temporary loss of the ability to use electronic equipment, or if a voter chooses not to vote on electronic equipment.

This back-up supply can be absentee ballots or other option as determined to be reasonable by the elections official. If absentee ballots are used at the polls the voter need NOT apply for an absentee ballot in order to be able to use it to vote at the polls. You may also use paper provisional ballots to satisfy voters wishing to vote on paper in the event that DRE counties do not have a sufficient supply of absentee ballots to satisy the needs of the precinct voters. In such instances, the ballots of verified eligible voters who wish to vote on paper and are provided a provisional ballot to do so should not be treated as a provisional ballot cast but, rather, as a regular ballot.

Seems clear enough to us. And, we believe, it's very good news for the voters of California in general.

With that in mind, however, some Election Integrity Advocates have expressed concern about the vagaries and other dangers of the Lapsley memo, including the Democratic Secretary of State candidate Debra Bowen and election attorney Paul Lehto, both of whom we have immense respect for...

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

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Urgent Plea Mailed to 50 State Governors, Sec's of State and Election Directors Signed by Broad Coalition of Election Integrity Advocacy Orgs, Congressional Members, Elections Officials, Computer Scientists, Civil Rights Attorneys and Journalists
Initial Federal Effort Calling for Back-Up Paper Ballots Now Moves to States, Citizens Asked to Join the Call!
By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2006 1:03pm PT  

An urgent letter has been sent today to the Governors, Secretaries of State and State Election Directors of all 50 states urging them to immediately create and implement plans and procedures for allowing the use of Emergency Paper Ballots at every local jurisdiction during this November's general election.

The missive, signed by a broad coalition of more than 50 Election Integrity Advocate groups, congressional members, elections officials, computer scientists, attorneys and journalists comes on the heels of Federal legislation recently introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. Those bills, which were not brought up for a vote before Congress adjourned for the Election Recess, called for funding to states who implement plans to provide Emergency Paper Ballots. The legislation was introduced in the wake of recent primary elections around the country where voters were unable to cast a vote due to failure, malfunction, or other inability of electronic voting systems.

The two-page letter [PDF] (also posted in full at the end of this article) was signed by individuals such as: Sen. Barbara Boxer, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Rush Holt, Leon County, FL Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho, OH elections attorney Cliff Arnebeck and University of Iowa computer scientist Doug Jones. Organizations signed on include: Common Cause,,,,, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation,, and many other national, state and local Election Integrity advocate groups.

"No legally registered voter should ever be told to 'come back later,' or be forced to use a provisional ballot simply because a voting system is unavailable to them at the time they are able to vote," the letter reads. "It is imperative that an ample supply of Emergency Paper Ballots be made available to account for any unforeseen circumstance."

The letter continues, "All voters must have the option to vote on an Emergency Paper Ballot if necessary and all such ballots must be counted as regular --- not provisional --- ballots."

As well, it's pointed out that some states already have certain procedures required by law to ensure that registered voters are allowed to vote, in the event that primary balloting procedures break down. Officials are urged to check those requirements and otherwise "draft, establish and publicize your own state's common-sense plans for Emergency Paper Ballots at every polling place this Nov. 7th, so that every election official, poll worker, and voter may be crystal clear on the procedures for utilizing such measures."

The movement calling on states to create Emergency Paper Ballot plans began just three weeks ago when The BRAD BLOG first called on the U.S. Congress to introduce and pass legislation in order to ensure that legally registered voters would not be turned away from the polls without being allowed to vote, as has been the case for thousands of voters in a number of states this year due to voting machines that failed to start up, were misprogrammed, failed during voting or, in some cases, hadn't been brought to polling places at all until several hours after polls were to have opened.

Many voters were either told to "come back later" or given Provisional Ballots, which are not counted as normal ballots on Election Night and frequently not counted at all.

Legislation for Emergency Ballots was introduced the following week in the U.S. Senate by Senators Boxer, Christopher Dodd, Russ Feingold and Kerry. A matching House version was filed the next day by Rep. Rush Holt and co-sponsored by 28 other House members. As well, Feingold and Kerry introduced a "Sense of the Senate" resolution calling for same, but that effort was also never brought up for a vote on the floor before the recess.

The letter, drafted by this journalist along with a number of other signatories, was sent to all recipients via return-receipt requested certified mailing this morning by [DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]

With the failure of Congress to pass such crucial legislation prior to this November's important general election, the effort now moves to the State and Local level. Organizations and individuals are called on to contact their State and Local Elections officals to assure that plans are in place to accommodate any and all unforeseen circumstances.

Alluding to Americans who have fought for and defended the right to vote in the past, and indeed to this day around the globe, the letter concludes: "Our vote is our precious franchise. We believe it is worth defending, and worth the effort to guarantee that that right remains assured and inviolate."

Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), one of the initial signatories, has created an online petition for citizens to urge their Secretaries of State and Governors to ensure such plans and procedures are created and implemented immediately. Take action by clicking here...

The open letter, sent to all State Governors, Secretaries of State and State Election Directors calling for Emergency Paper Ballot plans and procedures and signed by 55 organizations and individuals, can be downloaded here [PDF]. It also follows below in full...

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

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Says 'We Can Do This', Thanks BRAD BLOGGERS for Taking Action!
By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2006 12:02pm PT  

We've just received the following letter from Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). She was the first to answer our urgent plea last week to immediately introduce Federal legislation in Congress for Emergency Paper Ballots to be made available at polling places this November. In the letter, she requests the BRAD BLOG community send email via her PAC website to their members of Congress in order to urge them to pass this incredibly important legislation before adjourning this week.

Dear Brad & the entire BradBlog community,

I’d just like to thank all of you so much for all of your hard work in fighting for safe, secure, and reliable elections in our country.

When I saw the mess in some primary states due to touch screen voter machines, I knew I had to do something. As a result of your advocacy work on this issue for a long time now, I was motivated to get a simple, straightforward paper ballot bill out there. So thank you for being on this issue for so long and for pressing for action.

The bill I introduced on Tuesday, the "Confidence in Voting Act," would encourage local jurisdictions to make paper ballots available at every polling place to any voter who wants one. But now we’ve got to get it passed! I encourage people to join my online advocacy campaign and contact their Members of Congress, urging them to pass the "Confidence in Voting Act" before Congress adjourns this week:

We can do this --- but we need to build grassroots support for our legislation to get it done.

Thanks to Brad --- and to all of you --- for speaking out on this issue, and for your passion in fighting for election integrity across America.

-- Barbara Boxer

The good Senator has been there for us before (you'll recall, she was the only Senator to stand up and challenge the clearly gamed 2004 Ohio Presidential Election results on Jan. 6th 2005...Back before it was fashionable to point out what virtually everyone now recogizes!) --- so let's be there for her! CLICK HERE NOW! And then pass it on! And thank you Senator!

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Donna Brazile Posts Open Letter Encouraging Citizens to Pressure Lawmakers!
(While, So Far, All Republican Congress Members Remain Apparently Uninterested in Ensuring American Citizens Can Vote This November!)
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2006 5:05pm PT  

In her role as Chair of the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute (VRI), Donna Brazile has issued a statement to The BRAD BLOG moments ago in support of the Congressional Emergency Paper Ballot legislation now pending in the U.S. House and Senate.

Announcing that "We still have time to address the e-voting security crisis!," Brazile writes in her "Open Letter to Supporters of Democracy of America" in support of the House (HR 6187) and Senate (S. 3943) bills introduced this week calling for Emergency Paper Ballots at the polls this November, in the light of voting system failures across the country in primaries so far this year.

She calls on citizens to "pressure...lawmakers to support legislation that would help produce a fair and transparent election." (Full letter posted at the end of this article)

The "time to address" the crisis, at least on the Federal level, is quickly drawing to a close as Congress will likely adjourn tomorrow for the Election Recess. Citizens are asked to call their legislators (House switchboard: 202-225-3121, Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121) to demand they pass this bill immediately.

Maryland's Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich recently called for a similar state measure after his state turned away thousands from the polls, or handed them provisional ballots, when electronic voting machines failed to start up during their September 12th primary election.

Brazile's call to push for the Emergency Paper Ballot legislation this afternoon is notable. She has come under fire in the past from critics in the Election Integrity Advocacy movement for failing to take a firm enough stance, in her role at the DNC VRI, to alert Americans to the potential for fraud, inaccuracy and disenfranchisement via electronic voting systems.

The DNC endorsement for the legislation by Brazile is the latest in a growing drumbeat of politicians and non-partisan Election Integrity organizations calling on supporters and members to help pass the 11th hour legislation, co-sponsored in the Senate by Senators Boxer, Dodd, Feingold and Kerry and in the House by Rep. Rush Holt and several other co-sponsors.

The BRAD BLOG originally proposed this legislation early last week. As of this hour, not a single Republican in the U.S. Congress has publicly endorsed the legislation or joined as co-sponsor to help ensure that all registered American voters will actually be able to cast a vote at all this November.

The complete open letter from Brazile, issued this afternoon on behalf of the DNC's Voting Rights Insitute, follows in full...

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

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Media Gets on Board, Dems Get on Board...So Where are the Republicans in Congress?
By John Gideon on 9/28/2006 8:50am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon (Augmented by Brad Friedman)

Wednesday's Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN picks up on the Emergency Paper Ballot legislation now filed in both the U.S. House and Senate.

Additionally, the story was also covered on MSNBC's Hardball yesterday (video with RFK Jr. here) and the NY Times picked it up the day before.

The Media is beginning to get it, the Democrats in Congress (those who have sponsored it, anyway) are beginning to get it. So where are the Congressional Republicans? Do they not want American citizens to be able to vote this November? We're just asking.

Said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), one of the original sponsors of the Senate legislation to Kitty Pilgrim on CNN last night: "I really have lost a lot of faith in these machines and it's expensive. Why not just go back to the simple paper ballot, at least until we're really sure that we've resolved all the problems?"

Dodd, Feingold and Kerry have now joined here on the Senate bill (S. 3943) and Holt's bill has several Democratic co-sponsors in the House (HR 6187).

The BRAD BLOG proposed the idea of Emergency Paper Ballots early last week, but the legislative session will likely adjourn this week for the Election Recess. Action is needed now in order to mitigate the possiblity of millions of Americans being disenfranchised this November. Please call and/or write your Congress Members of both parties now.

UPDATE: Video Now Available here... (Hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter "Stop_George")

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

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

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'It's the Help America Vote Act, not the Help Diebold Profit Act,' Says Dem Nominee
State Senator Debra Bowen, Staunch Election Transparency Proponent, Issues Strong Statement on Congressional Initatives!
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2006 8:30am PT  

The Democratic nominee for Secretary of State in California issued a powerful statement in support of recent legislation filed by several Senators and Representatives in both the U.S. House and Senate calling for Emergency Paper Ballots at the polling place this November.

The 11th hour Congressional bills, filed on Tuesday and Wednesday, just days before both chambers adjourn for the Election Recess, will offer voters the right to vote on paper ballots this year and see those costs reimbursed by the Federal Government. The legislation, if passed, is estimated to cost approximately $10 million. It would amend the disastrous 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which has mandated some $3 billion to encourage States and Counties to "upgrade" to electronic voting systems.

Monumental failures in those systems, during primary elections across the country over the last several months, have sent thousands of voters away from the polls without being able to cast any vote at all. The situation could be far worse during the general election when voter turnout will be a great deal higher than it's been so far in the mid-year primaries.

"Remember, it's the 'Help America Vote Act,' not the 'Help Diebold Profit Act,'" said Bowen, in a stinging comment referring to one of America's largest manufacturers of inaccurate, untested, hackable elecronic voting machines. "It's why this low-tech option makes so much sense, especially in light of all of the problems electronic voting machines have had in primary elections this year, not just in California, but also in Texas, Illinois, and most recently Maryland."

The BRAD BLOG originally proposed the idea for Emergency Paper Ballots early last week. The low-tech, high common-sense notion has gained considerable steam since its inception on these pages. It has now been officially introduced as legislation in Congress by Senators Boxer, Dodd, Feingold and Kerry in the Senate, and by Representative Rush Holt and several co-sponsors in the U.S. House.

Bowen's Republican opponent, Sec. of State Bruce McPherson was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and has come under considerable fire for re-certifying Diebold systems in the state in light of severe warnings from his own team of scientific advisors about more than a dozen "serious vulnerabilities" in those particular voting systems.

An investigate report from [PDF], a non-partisan E-voting watchdog organization, found that representative of Diebold's had actually drafted official documents on behalf of the California Secretary of State's office!

That same rep, Rob Pelletier, had previously been presenting disinformation in comments here at The BRAD BLOG under the name of "Wally O'Diebold" until he was found out.

Diebold voting systems were decertified in California by McPherson's predecessor, just prior to the 2004 election, when it was discovered the company had been installing uncertified software and systems in several counties across the state. They settled a qui tam (fraud) lawsuit with the state for $2.8 million later that year.

Though the legislation in the Congress so far has been sponsored by Democrats, the problem is a decidedly non-partisan issue. Maryland's Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich recently called for paper ballots to be used in his state this November after failures across the state disenfranchised thousands of voters during their September 12th primary. Maryland, along with Georgia, was Diebold's "showcase" state having installed their paperless electronic touch-screen systems as early as 2002 with the cooperation and ardent support of the Democratic MD Elections Director, Linda Lamone.

Citing the irony of the public outcry for a return to countable paper balloting, the failure of the U.S. Congress to take action on growing concerns, and the plunging confidence rate in electronic voting amongst the American electorate, Bowen said in her statement, "It's about time Congress provides counties with the incentive to allow their voters to cast a paper ballot at the polls on Election Day, a step that will help begin to restore voter confidence in the elections process and the results."

Bowen, in her capacity as chair of the CA State Senate Elections Commission, held hearings in Kern County, California after the state's marred June 6th primary, when voting systems failed to start up --- or sometimes even show up at the polls at all --- until hours after voting was supposed to have begun. The Kern County Registrar of Voters had, incredibly, given instructions that "back-up paper ballots were not to be used" on Election Day according to the State Senators statement.

"Kern County is the reason why I wish counties were required to provide this option to voters," Bowen remarked.

Citizens are asked to call upon Congress to pass the Emergency Paper Ballot legislation immediately. You may easily contact your Senators here, and your House Members here.

Debra Bowen's complete statement on Emergency Paper Ballots follows in full...

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

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Another Election Integrity Organization Joins Drumbeat Hoping to Mitigate Disaster this November With Last Chance Common Sense Legislation!
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2006 12:45am PT  

This from an email tonight from email list, from their Executive Director, Joan Krawitz, urging citizens to call Congress NOW to demand passage of the Emergency Paper Ballot bills just filed in both the Senate and the House!



It All Comes Down to You! Your Calls Make a Difference. Call Your Representative NOW!

A flood of phone calls from constituents could be all it will take to break the roadblock at this critical moment. Pick up the phone NOW and call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121. Tell your Representative that Congress must pass HR 6187 before they adjourn, to make sure that every vote will count when voting machines malfunction or count votes incorrectly as they have in every primary this year.

If you don't know your Representative's name, click here and enter your zip code to find out. You can also use this link to find your Representative's direct telephone number on Capitol Hill by clicking on his or her photo, which will appear once you've entered your zip code.

Then Immediately Call Both of Your Senators

As soon as you hang up with your Representative's office, call the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121 to speak with both of your Senators' offices. Tell them to pass S. 3943 before Congress adjourns to ensure that every vote will count in November. If you don't know both your Senators' names, click here and enter your zip code to find out. You can also use this link to find your Senator's direct telephone number on Capitol Hill by clicking on his or her photo, which will appear once you've entered your zip code.

Every moment counts, so please don't delay. Make those phone calls as if our democracy depended on it --- because that's what it comes down to today.

Joan asks that you forward this to everyone you know. We ask the same. (The URL for this item is:

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UPDATED: Complete Video Now Linked! Also, Complete Text Transcript!
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2006 1:28pm PT  

Heard from Bobby an hour or so ago, that he's going to be on MSNBC's HARDBALL with Chris Matthews tonight at 5:10pm ET (2:10pm PT).

He'll be discussing his recent Rolling Stone piece on Diebold's duplicity in their voting systems, and our elections from 2002 on up to now. At least, that's what he's been told.

As well, we're hoping he'll put out the words calling on folks to demand that Congress pass legislation for Emergency Paper Ballots this November.

UPDATE 3:35pm PT: Full video now linked below! Kennedy spoke about how easy it now is to steal an election on an E-Voting Machine ("in just 60 seconds") as based on recent studies by Princeton, NYU's Brennan Center and the non-partisan GAO office.

He also discussed the new congressional Emergency Paper Ballot legislation, and even recommended your friendly neighborhood BRAD BLOG as a good source for information on all of the above.

Video links now below. Thanks to Bobby for the kind plug. Thanks to Chris Matthews for letting him get out a sentence or two in a row. (Thanks to HotPotatoMash for the video links!)

-- Video in Flash Format is now here...
-- Video QuickTime format is here...

UPDATE: A Complete text transcript of the interview now follows in full...

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

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Kerry Joins Original Senate Bill as Co-Sponsor, Joins with Feingold in Filing New Senate Resolution as Well!
Feingold Says, 'Back-up Paper Ballots Essential to Preventing Disasters', Kerry Calls Situation 'Disgrace, National Scandal, Requiring Emergency Action Now'!
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2006 1:14pm PT  

Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) has now filed a U.S. House version of the Emergency Paper Ballot legislation introduced yesterday by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) in the Senate.

Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) joined the Senate legislation as co-sponsors late last evening.

Additionally, Kerry and Feingold both have now co-sponsored and introduced a new "Sense of the Senate Resolution" calling on States around the country to act immediately to put back-up plans in place to have "Emergency Paper Ballots" at the polling places this November to avoid voters being turned away when voting machines fail to work. Thousands, so far this year, have been turned away in one state primary after another due to machine malfunction or unavailability.

The language in the Holt bill filed in the House late last night is identical to the bill filed by Boxer, except that it notes, explicitly, that the "contigency paper ballots" the Federal government will reimburse states for are to be counted as regular ballots --- not as provisional ballots which often go completely uncounted, and must be vetted first to determine a voter's registration status.

Feingold and Kerry issued a press release today (posted in full at the end of this article) calling on Congress to act immediately in the face of what they describe as "a national disgrace," in reference to voters being turned away at the polling place for lack of voting system on which to vote.

Holt's bill, which can be downloaded here [PDF], differs from the Senate bill by stating that jurisdictions who wish to reimbursed by the Federal government for such contingency paper ballots must treat "each such contingency paper ballot cast by a voter as a regular ballot cast in the election and counts it accordingly, and does not treat it as a provisional ballot."

Kerry and Feingold, who are now co-sponsors of the Boxer/Dodd Senate bill filed yesterday, also issued a non-binding "Sense of the Senate" resolution this morning. Pamela Leavy originally reported the news earlier today at Democratic Daily.

In a press release issued earlier along with that resolution today, Feingold said, "We cannot allow the American people to lose faith in the most fundamental aspect of our democratic system ­the right to vote."

He added, "Some of the problems we saw this year, like voters in Maryland being told to come back later because the machines weren’t working, are simply unacceptable. A back-up plan as simple as having emergency paper ballots on hand is essential to preventing election day disasters."

Kerry, who has been criticized for not taking enough action to ensure that votes were counted accurately, or at all, in Ohio after the 2004 Presidential Election, had even stronger words, calling the lack of action by Congress and the White House on these matters, "a disgrace" and a "national scandal".

"It’s a disgrace that a Congress and an Administration which talks about exporting democracy around the world ignores the challenges of our own democracy right here at home," says Kerry in this morning's news release. "We have seen American citizens disenfranchised in our elections for the simple reason that no effective back up system was in place. That’s a national scandal."

Kerry called for "emergency action" and points to the recent meltdown in Maryland's September 12th primary election, which resulted in the Republican Governor there, calling for a similar measure to scrap the machines, and allow all voters in the state to use paper ballots this November.

"[H]ere we are, 42 days away from another election," Kerry said, "and Congress has again dragged its feet even after we mobilized 35,000 citizens to demand a hearing for our Count Every Vote Act, even after what we saw just this month in Montgomery County [Maryland]. We need emergency action now. That is why I am co-sponsoring the Dodd-Boxer legislation to provide emergency paper ballots and that is why Russ Feingold and I are introducing our resolution today demanding election day back-up plans."

"We have a duty to ensure that no citizen will be denied the right to vote in 2006," Kerry concluded.

The BRAD BLOG began the call for Emergency Paper Ballot legislation just over a week ago.

The SoS Project has set up a page where citizens can contact Congress Members to demand they pass this legislation in the few days left before breaking for the Election Recess.

We urge citizens to use this link and contact Congress immediately.

The full text of the Feingold/Kerry press release follows...

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

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Your Friendly Neighborhood BRAD BLOGGER Quoted as Part of Coverage...
[UPDATE: NYTimes Late Edition, Russ Feingold Joins as Co-Sponsor!]
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2006 6:09pm PT  

In an article by Ian Urbina, The New York Times' now has their story up about the Senate's Emergency Paper Ballot legislation as filed earlier today by Senators Boxer and Dodd.

UPDATE: An updated version of the NYTimes article, now linked above, has added Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) as a co-sponsor of the legislation as well!

The BRAD BLOG broke the story earlier today in a bit more detail, and along with the actual bill filed. We originally called on Congress in article published here a week ago today, to introduce and pass such a bill before their Election Recess coming up at the end of this week.

Urbina offers several additional points worth checking out in his Times coverage. Including this quote from Boxer concerning her reasons for not making the paper ballot initiative mandatory, but rather allowing it to remain optional to states and local jurisdictions [emphasis ours]:

"I think Big Brother dictating something to local jurisdictions is a big mistake, because they will balk at it," she said. "What we’re saying here is that you run your own elections, and we are going to help you run it properly. If local officials don’t take advantage of the option to take precautions, then they’re the ones on the line."

...As well, "Brad Friedman, a liberal blogger" is mentioned in the Times article.

So as the good Senator B, doesn't get the idea we were dissing her bill to the NY Times (We weren't! Not by any means!) in the comments attributed to us in the piece, please us allow a clarification.

The statement they used from us, had originally preceded a full direct quote explaining that Election Directors from states like Florida had expressed concern that they might need a Federal mandate in order to take advantage of the this paper ballot legislation. State election code in Florida, we're told, does not have provisions allowing such elections officials to make paper ballots available, even if they wanted to.

In Florida's touch-screen-only counties, for example, which comprise some 50% of Sunshine State voters, even the Provisional Balloting is done electronically on touch-screen systems! Which means, as Leon County, FL Election Director Ion Sancho explained to us this morning, that without a Federal mandate, it's likely that those officials would not be able to take advantage of this legislation...even if it manages to get through the full Congress in the few days left before Congress breaks for their Election Recess.

UPDATE: Ah, proof, I'm not crazy! In this version of the Times article (how many do they release?!) there is this additional quote from yours truly:

"In the case of many states, such as Florida, there is simply nothing in the state code that allows election directors to provide emergency ballot in the event of machine failure," he said.

See? Phew...

Beyond that, given the short time left here, we're delighted to see this legislation move forward! Delighted to see the Times' coverage. And just delighted in general that someone in Washington D.C. is finally recognizing the dangers to democracy that we're facing in the upcoming mid-term election!

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