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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Kochs' Chris Christie; Wingnut Marriage Meltdown; 'Most Important Climate Ruling':
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Guest: Michael B. Gerrard of Columbia's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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'Tens of Thousands Encountered Voting Machine Failures, Confusion over New ID Rules,' Reports Paper...
By Brad Friedman on 11/26/2006 2:35pm PT  

The New York Times' Ian Urbina (this time with Christopher Drew) continues to stay on point with his Electoral Failures coverage at the Grey Lady. Unlike Urbina's last report, this time he wasn't undermined by the Times headline writers. (Does anyone with a hard copy of the paper know what page this was reported on, btw?)

To his additional credit, he didn't use the word "glitch" even once. Thank you, Ian. Here are a few highlights from his piece in today's paper...

After six years of technological research, more than $4 billion spent by Washington on new machinery and a widespread overhaul of the nation’s voting system, this month’s midterm election revealed that the country is still far from able to ensure that every vote counts.

Tens of thousands of voters, scattered across more than 25 states, encountered serious problems at the polls, including failures in sophisticated new voting machines and confusion over new identification rules, according to interviews with election experts and officials.

Of course, BRAD BLOG readers will remember our desperate call for "Emergency Paper Ballots" here in the weeks prior to the election. On that, Urbina reports...

In many places, the difficulties led to shortages of substitute paper ballots and long lines that caused many voters to leave without casting ballots.

Wow. Who could have predicted that?!

And there's more...Of course, the "experts" (word used very cautiously!) are beginning to notice that things on Nov. 7th were worse than they had originally understood. "Voting problems may actually have been wider than initially estimated, with many malfunctions simply overlooked," reports the Times.

So how bad were they? How about 60,000 missing votes in Florida, bad. 20,000 voters who couldn't vote in Colorado, bad. Or in Arkansas, where "election officials tallied votes three times in one county, and each time the number of ballots cast changed by more than 30,000," bad.

And then there's the erstwhile election "expert" Doug Chapin of Electionline.org whose "expert" opinion ensures his presence in just about any mainstream media coverage of these matters. Mr. Chapin continues, on schedule, working all sides of the street in Urbina's piece. It's a tricky juggling act for this "expert" --- mustn't offend the Voting Machine Companies or the Elections Officials who pay his bills, or even, to a lesser extent, the Election Integrity advocates who might just call him a phony if he's not careful --- but, as John Gideon pointed out in yesterday's DVN, even Chapin's having a difficult time avoiding the obvious:

"If the success of an election is to be measured according to whether each voter’s voice is heard, then we would have to conclude that this past election was not entirely a success," said Doug Chapin, director of Electionline.org, a nonpartisan election group that plans to release a report Wednesday with a state-by-state assessment of voting. "In places where the margin of victory was bigger than the margin of error, we looked away from the problems, but in 2008 we might not have that luxury."

And the award for "Understatment of the Year" goes to...

UPDATE 9:01pm PT: Reader Adele writes to tell us that Urbina's article was on "page 30 of 36 pages in the National section" of today's paper.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2006 3:19pm PT  

From today's New York Times in an article headlined "Blogs Take Lead in Reporting Polling Problems" by Tom Zeller, Jr.:

Brad Friedman, perhaps the most dogged critic of electronic voting machine technology in the blogosphere, said he saw his site traffic spike at left-leaning Bradblog.com, as reports of machine malfunctions began pouring in from around the country.

"Folks understand by now that I’ll get these stories out so that they’ll get confirmed," Mr. Friedman said.

Well, somebody hadda "take the lead in reporting polling problems," Zeller! ;-)

ReddIt this story!



'New Machines, Long Lines, Confusion'...
UPDATE: Times Replaces Word 'Chaos' With 'Woes' in Headline!
By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2006 5:33pm PT  

Nice of New York Times to start paying attention...now that it's too late to do much of a damn thing about it.

FLASHING now at DRUDGE REPORT...

NYT: BE PREPARED FOR CHAOS ON ELECTION DAY; NEW MACHINES, LINES, CONFUSION
Wed Oct 18 2006 19:12:07 ET

With an unusually large number of tight races and dozens of states shifting to new electronic voting systems, election officials across the country are bracing for long lines and heightened confusion at the polls on Election Day, Nov. 7, the NEW YORK TIMES will front on Thursday.

"North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Mississippi and Missouri are among the states considered most likely to experience difficulties, according to voting experts who have been tracking the new technology and other election changes.

Developing...

UPDATE 7:35pm PT: Complete NYTimes story now up. "New Laws and Machines May Spell Voting Chaos". It's well worth a read!

FURTHER UPDATE BY JOHN GIDEON 9:00pm PT: The story reveals that many of the voting machines now being used in Yolo Co, California for voters with disabilities only work in Vietnamese. These machines are only being used in the county because SoS McPherson and his staff unfairly denied certification to Vote-PAD which was supposed to be used in that county.

FURTHER UPDATE BY BRAD 9:20pm PT: Looks like the NY Times, who hasn't done much of any reporting on this topic up until now has had second thoughts already. The original headline discussed "...Voting Chaos" but has now been softened to "...Voting Woes". I've got my money on "chaos", not "woes" this November. It's a shame they've backed off. They were so close to telling the truth. Sigh...

FURTHER UPDATE BY JOHN 8:10am PT: While my 'UPDATE' from last night says many machines only worked in Vietnamese the article actually says 'some machines' and I have now found that, in fact, 3 machines were affected. My apologies for the incorrect wording.

ReddIt this story!



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!

ReddIt this story!



UPDATE: Story Hints 'LET AMERICA VOTE ACT' Being 'Considered on the Federal Level'!
PLUS: Vermont's Sec. of State Makes Jerk of Herself...
By Brad Friedman on 9/23/2006 1:16pm PT  

New York Times set to report elections officials are getting "cold feet" about electronic voting. Gosh, what to 'em so long? (both the elections officials and NYTimes!)

From RAW STORY right now...

Electronic voting machines are making many election officials wary, according to an article slated for the front page of Sunday's edition of The New York Times, RAW STORY has learned.

"A growing number of state and local officials are getting cold feet about electronic voting technology, and many are making last-minute efforts to limit or reverse the rollout of new machines in the November elections," reports Ian Urbina.
...
"Paperless touch-screen machines have been the biggest source of consternation, and with about 40 percent of registered voters nationally expected to cast their ballots on these machines in the midterm elections, many local officials fear that the lack of a paper trail will leave no way to verify votes in case of fraud or computer failure," reports the Times.
...
"Less than two months before voters head to the polls, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. of Maryland this week became the most recent official to raise concerns publicly. Ehrlich, a Republican, said he lacked confidence in the state's new $106 million electronic voting system and suggested a return to paper ballots."
...
"But some election officials and voting experts say they fear that the new technology may have only swapped old problems for newer, more complicated ones. Their concerns became more urgent after widespread problems with the new technology were reported this year in primaries in Ohio, Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland and elsewhere."

Nice going waiting until it's pretty much too late to do a damned thing about it. NY Times has, once again, failed the American people. Jerks.

(Though there's still time to demand Congress mandate Emergency Paper Ballots!)

The full NYTimes story is now here.

UPDATE: Now that I've read the full story, it looks like the following graf refers to the buzz we've help generate on Capitol Hill for our proposed LET AMERICA VOTE ACT (Emergency Paper Ballot legislation)...[emphasis added]

In Pennsylvania, a state senator introduced a bill last week that would require every precinct to provide voters with the option to use paper ballots, which would involve printing extra absentee ballots and having them on site. A similar measure is being considered on the federal level.

Also worthy of condemnation is Vermont's Democratic Sec. of State Deborah Markowitz, president of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) who seems to be continuing the disingenously positive spin of too many state elections officials of late...

Deborah L. Markowitz, the Vermont secretary of state and the president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, said that while there might be some problems in November, she expected them to be limited and isolated.

“The real story of the recent primary races was how few problems there were, considering how new this technology is,” said Ms. Markowitz, a Democrat. “The failures we did see, like in Maryland, Ohio and Missouri, were small and most often from poll workers not being prepared.”

Though we like to encourage folks to be poll workers, we might recommend that those in Vermont simply stay home this year. Your Secretary of State, who is clearly not prepared to do her job, thinks it's all your fault! So why bother? Take the day off!

CORRECTION: We had originally reported Markowitz as being a member of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), the group given the responsibility of certifying (and so far, rubber stamping on behalf of the voting machine companies) electronic voting machines at the federal level. Markowitz is President of NASS, not NASED. We regret the error.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 5/9/2006 5:58pm PT  

New CBS/NYTimes poll. Bush now ties his father's career low point, higher only than Nixon and Carter...

"We should have stayed out of Iraq until we knew more about it," Bernice Davis, a Republican from Missouri who said she now disapproves of Mr. Bush's performance, said in a follow-up interview today. "The economy is going to pot. Gas prices are escalating. I just voted for Bush because he's a Republican, even though I disapproved of the war. If I could go back, I would not vote for him."
ReddIt this story!



And the NY Times Can't Seem to Stop Reporting White House Spin as Fact...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2006 11:16am PT  

THE GOOD NEWS... We have a new winner of the too-rarely-bestowed BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative Award"! According to Wednesday's NY Times:

A House Republican whose subcommittee oversees the National Security Agency broke ranks with the White House on Tuesday and called for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program.

The lawmaker, Representative Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico, chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, said in an interview that she had "serious concerns" about the surveillance program. By withholding information about its operations from many lawmakers, she said, the administration has deepened her apprehension about whom the agency is monitoring and why.
...
She said she realized that publicizing her concerns over the surveillance program could harm her relations with the administration. "The president has his duty to do, but I have mine too, and I feel strongly about that," she said.

Congratulations Rep. Wilson on being the latest recipient of our prestigious award! You are in shamefully rare company these days!

THE BAD NEWS... The once great NY Times is still hopelessly in the tank, reporting the Administration "company line" as fact in the "paper of record" [emphasis added]:

Ms. Wilson, who was a National Security Council aide in the administration of President Bush's father, is the first Republican on either the House's Intelligence Committee or the Senate's to call for a full Congressional investigation into the program, in which the N.S.A. has been eavesdropping without warrants on the international communications of people inside the United States believed to have links with terrorists.

FRESH IDEA FOR NY TIMES 'REPORTERS'/EDITORS... Try reporting facts instead of White House spin. The fact of this matter is that unless you all know something that neither the Congress nor the Country seems to know, you have no idea whether the illegal warrantless NSA domestic spying program is eavesdropping on people "believed to have links with terrorists."

We realize the White House would like you to report it that way --- and though you scored many points with them doing exactly that prior to the War in Iraq, we'd have hoped you'd have learned a lesson by now. Apparently you haven't.

The fact that nobody outside of the Administration has any idea who is being tapped is just one of the reasons Ms. Wilson is calling for a full investigation. Had you read your own article, you might have understood that.

Keep up the bad work!

ReddIt this story!



Same Models as Those Which Lost 4,400 Votes in NC!
Unusually High Rate of 'Undervotes' in both States on Same Machines.
By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2005 7:11am PT  

After November 2nd, 2004, there were increasing reports from elections officials, small local papers, and, yes, bloggers who had bothered to studiously examine official election results, The New York Times published several articles labelling such concerns by Americans as "conspiracy theories".

So we sent them a list of "15 Unanswered Questions" --- all of them based on hard evidence --- that we'd hope they'd investigate and report on to the American people. That was on November 21st, 2004.

One of those questions concerned a single county in North Carolina which had used the UniLect voting machine and, as we reported on November 4th, 2004, had completely lost a full 4,438 votes. Those lost votes later spawned a Special Election in Cartaret County, NC to re-vote some of the local issues because of it.

We had asked suggested to The Times that such hard facts were hardly "conspiracy theories" and we had hoped they'd be able to investigate and report on which other states and counties had been using the identical UniLect machines which --- company officials admitted --- had contained memory chips that stored fewer votes than they had told state officials.

Since UniLect machines were also in use in Ohio, we thought it was a particularly germane point. But apparently The Times didn't agree. They neither investigated, nor reported on the matter to our knowledge.

And now, months after the election, and days after the inaugural, The Charlotte Observer reports this morning that the same model of UniLect machines used in North Carolina were also in use in Pennsylvania and seem to have lost votes there as well [emphasis added]:

Local and state officials in Pennsylvania are examining malfunctions and questions with voting machines in three counties --- the same model machine that lost more than 4,400 votes in North Carolina.

"We continue to be uncertain about these machines," said Michael Coulter, who heads an independent committee examining voting machine mishaps in Mercer County, Pa., where he said machines in 13 precincts erased some voters' choices.

Mercer County, as well as Beaver and Greene counties, along the Ohio border, use the Unilect Patriot voting machine, an electronic mechanism that does not produce a paper ballot and is the same model that lost 4,438 votes in Carteret County, along the N.C. coast.

As well as lost and erased votes, there was also an unusually high rate of "undervotes" on the Presidential ballot where those machines were in use [emphasis again added] ...

All three of the western Pennsylvania counties recorded a high percentage of "undervotes" for president, which is when a voter doesn't vote in that race. Mercer County's undervote was 7.8 percent, four times higher than in 2000, when they used old, lever machines.

In North Carolina, state lawmakers are scrutinizing why more than 10 percent of Burke County voters were recorded as not making a choice in the presidential race, an "undervote" rate that is four to five times as high as nearly all the other counties in the state. Burke and Carteret are the only N.C. counties that use Unilect machines.
...
[M]achines in 13 of Mercer's 100 precincts would let a voter select candidates in the races on several pages of the ballot and highlight the choice, but when the voter reached the sixth page the highlighting disappeared and all the candidates were unselected. The voter's choices had vanished.

"The voter's choices had vanished."

And we remind you again, The New York Times didn't find it necessary to look into which counties in Ohio used these same machines, if there were any lost votes or an unusually high rate of "undervotes" on them, presumably because such notions were simply the "conspiracy theories" of "leftist bloggers" as they had described them at the time.

That despite just 60,000 or so of 5.5 million in a single state (Ohio) which would have completely flipped a United States Presidential Election.

Repeating: Election officials and the voting machine manufacturer admit that 4,438 votes were entirely lost in just one North Carolina county where UniLect machines were used.

Repeating: UniLect machines were also in use in Ohio.

We will continue to press both the Mainstream Media, the States and the Voting Machine Companies to better serve the American Public whom they are failing to adequately serve at this time. But just in case you wonder why --- on January 23rd, 2005 --- this information is finally being reported by The Observer at all, it is because of inquiries in Pennsylvania that were demanded by the voters who spoke up, made noise, and created a petition to force their elected officials into taking action:

Their inquiry was prompted not by Election Day glitches, but by a petition sent by voters in Beaver County who suggested the machines were susceptible to fraud and tampering.

Your voice does matter. When you speak up.

We've set up VelvetRevolution.us to help you do that. Please visit and sign-up (it's free!), so you can speak up, make noise and take part in some upcoming actions that will be announced there in the coming weeks.

Count on no one but yourselves to make a difference.

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By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2004 10:52pm PT  

As if to say "Fuck off, Americans! We're busy with more important things!", The New York Times is running a smarmy little piece in tomorrow's Week in Review under the headline: "Still Unhappy About the Election? Here's a Place You Can Vent."

It's a piece about some of the email that's been sent to the "National Association of State Election Directors" --- whoever the hell they are --- complaining about the way the election was run and the way votes were counted, mistabulated, or whatever.

The New York Times has been bravely leading the way in ignoring the story of America's failure to hold an honest, clean and transparent election. Even though they've had time to dismiss the whole affair as "the conspiracy theories of leftwing bloggers."

Their criticism and sniffing dismissal of those of us who give a damn about getting this story right and told to the American people accurately is ironic coming from the "newspaper of record" which spent a year helping us get into a war by becoming the unquestioning lapdog of the Bush Adminstration's rhetoric and inaccurate propaganda. They had to issue an apology for their crappy reporting. And they've got the gall to criticize "bloggers" for covering this story?!

Still Unhappy About the NYTimes Disgraceful Coverage of This Story? Here's a Place You Can Vent!

UPDATE: I've decided to help The NY Times do their job. Please see these 15 Unanswered Questions about the Election Results that they may wish to investigate. Apparently they need a cheat sheet to get started!

ReddIt this story!



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