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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, October 2, 2014
GOP Outraged After AR Attorney General Candidate Removed from Voting Roll
Found to have voted in AR after registering in D.C., she's now removed from rolls and maybe ballot. GOP attorneys (ironically) furious...
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Obama creates world's largest marine sanc- tuary; Humans wiped out 1/2 of world wildlife; Also to blame for AUS' hottest year ever; PLUS: Oil co. joins Google to dump ALEC...
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'Green News Report' 9/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate Week Special Coverage continues: China will cut emissions; Experts say we're not doing enough; Admin makes econ case for action; PLUS: Corporate titans step up...
Previous GNRs: 9/23/14 - 9/18/14 - Archives...
GOP Values: Beating Wives, Suppressing Votes, Threatening Journalists - KPFK 'BradCast'
Latest on cases of GOP wife-beating judge Fuller; GOP voter operative Sproul; MORE...
Sproul Threatens BRAD BLOG With Legal Action After FL Confirms Our 2012 Reporting
GOP operative linked to years of registration fraud allegations sends bizarre email after yet another arrest of one of his workers...
'Green News Report' 9/23/14
GNR Special Coverage: Climate Week 2014 -- Climate March (largest in history), Wall Street protests (can ya hear us now?), special U.N. Climate Summit...
Report Cites Armed Walker Supporters Plotting to Target Democratic Voters in WI
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Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife-Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 docs suggest domestic abuse of two wives and children by federal judge w/ lifetime appointment...
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
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DiCaprio's UN climate role; Jindal plays dumb; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
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VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
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'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
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DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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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...

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FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
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CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
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CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
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VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
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RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


UPDATE: Third Test Attempt a Success for New Op-Scan Machines in State's Most Populous County...
By Brad Friedman on 2/29/2008 4:36pm PT  

Bad news and/or good news, depending on how you wish to look at it...

First this...

POSTED: 5:06 pm EST February 29, 2008
UPDATED: 5:22 pm EST February 29, 2008

CLEVELAND --- The first public tests of the new optical scanners at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections have failed.

Chief Investigator Duane Pohlman reported that the board ran two tests of the scanners on Friday, and during both tests, the computer repeatedly showed an error message.

Followed by this reassuring(?) update to the same article, posted 57 minutes later...

POSTED: 5:06 pm EST February 29, 2008
UPDATED: 6:19 pm EST February 29, 2008

CLEVELAND --- The third time was the charm for pretest of the new optical ballot scanners at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Chief Investigator Duane Pohlman reported that the board ran two tests of the scanners on Friday, and during both tests, the computer repeatedly showed an error message.

However, a third test ran successfully.

The Board of Elections said previous tests of the scanners were successful, and officials do not know why the scanners did not initially read the ballots.

Pohlman reported that the BOE is looking into possibly having a batch of bad disks.

Friday's tests were public pretests that are required by law.

Why must it always come down to Ohio?

Please support The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive and our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available for new contributors!
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30-Year Summit County Republican Boss Alex Arshinkoff Latest in Series of Ohio Election Officials to Face Reprimand, Criminal Charges
'Ran Local GOP Machine Out of Election Board Office,' Says Democrat SoS Brunner; 'Abused Power, Position, Employees,' Says Republican State Senator Vying for Party Chair...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2008 8:04pm PT  

Breaking late tonight on the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's blog comes news that the Summit County, Ohio, Republican Party Chair, Alex Arshinkoff, is being removed from his position on the county Elections Board by Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

According to the report, Boss Arshinkoff has been running the party machine out of the county election office, which even Republican State Senator Kevin Coughlin --- who is currently the first to vie for Arshinkoff's job as party chairman during his 30-year reign --- says has led to his having "abused his power...abused his position [and his having] abused employees at the board to strengthen his grip on the local party apparatus."

Arshinkoff becomes the latest in a series of Board of Elections officials who served under former Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell to face either criminal sentences or disciplinary action since Brunner has taken office.

Writes Michael O'Malley and Laura Johnston at the P-D tonight...

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

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Legislative Restrictions Found Unconstitutional...
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2008 8:05pm PT  

The good guys win one for a change, in the never-ending battle against those who don't want you to vote.

This time, it was the Blackwellian Republican legislature of Ohio which got slapped down by a federal judge who found their 2006 restrictions on voter registration drives to be unconstitutional.

John Michael Spinelli has the details...

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Sources Suggest John Conyers May Move to Compel Testimony on Ohio Voter Suppression from Ohio Vote Suppressor J. Kenneth Blackwell...
By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2008 4:43pm PT  

Last week, Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), both of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the former Ohio Secretary of State and Co-Chair of the state's Bush/Cheney '04 campaign committee, J. Kenneth Blackwell, inviting him to appear next week at a subcommittee oversight hearing on voter suppression issues.

To the surprise of almost nobody, Blackwell has refused the invitation to testify, claiming his "schedule [would] not permit" him to attend the hearings.

The snub, according to both the following report from Jon Craig at the Cincinnati Enquirer and additional indications given to The BRAD BLOG by a Judiciary staffer other than the one quoted by Craig, may lead to an escalation of the longtime standoff between Conyers and Blackwell. A congressional subpoena requiring an appearance by the controversial former SoS, who presided over one of the worst-run Presidential Elections in American history, may well be in the offing.

As Craig reports today at the Enquirer's political blog...

Blackwell, a Republican from Cincinnati, said he received the invitation, "however, my schedule will not permit me to attend the hearings."

Jonathan Godfrey, a Conyers spokesman, said Blackwell has not responded and could be subpoenaed if he doesn't appear voluntarily.

"I don't think it's unlikely," Godfrey said today of a subpoena.

Though our own Judiciary source spoke to the same point, if not quite as directly, the comments above from Godfrey offer an additional indication that we may be headed to a showdown.

Such a subpoena would require a majority vote of the committee, which likely wouldn't come in time for the hearings currently scheduled for next Friday, according to Craig's report.

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All Eyes on Diebold's Man in Franklin, the Dirty Matt Damschroeder...
By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2008 11:09pm PT  

Is Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner finally getting serious about accountability? This could be a good sign...

COLUMBUS, Ohio --- Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said her office is investigating the Franklin County Board of Elections for possible voting problems.

The announcement was made after Franklin County Elections Director Matthew Damschroder criticized Brunner for directing counties to print additional paper ballots for the March primary voters who don't trust electronic voting machines, NBC 4's Patrick Preston reported.

Brunner told NBC 4 on Wednesday that her office is looking into several issues within Franklin County, including ballots that did not match in the November election and voting machines that could not be audited for accuracy.

Related previous BRAD BLOG coverage of Damschroder:

  • 7/16/05: Franklin County's Damschroder 'Accepts Bribe' from Diebold Lobbyist
  • 7/20/05: Damschroder 'Docked' for Accepting $10,000 Check from Diebold Rep
  • 1/3/08: OH SoS Announces Paper Ballots for All; Damschroder Objects
  • 1/3/08: Damschroder Deputy Pleads Guilty to 'Profiting from Contracts for Voting Machines'
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    Criminal Charges Lead to Sentencing of 180 Days in Jail; Prison Time Suspended by Judge; Defendant 'Very Sorry'...
    By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2008 4:47pm PT  

    Speaking of Ohio, and Franklin County, and their corrupt election officials (such as Matt Damshroder, all noted in today's earlier piece), and the ridiculous continuing notion that we should, for some reason, trust in election officials...and the dubious symbiotic relationship they have with private election vendors...This just in from the Ohio Ethics Commission...

    FORMER BOARD OF ELECTIONS DEPUTY DIRECTOR PLEADS GUILTY

    Former Franklin County Board of Elections (Board) Deputy Director Michael Hackett plead guilty today to three Ethics charges in Franklin County Municipal Court from profiting from Board of Elections’ contracts for voting machines. Judge Ann Taylor sentenced Hackett to 180 days in jail on the three criminal offenses. Judge Taylor suspended the jail time, placing Hackett on a year’s probation, and under conditions that he perform 45 hours of community service, make $2500 restitution to Franklin County on behalf of the Board, and pay a total of $750 in fines, plus court costs. Hackett told the court that he was “very sorry” for his misconduct.

    The complete press release follows below in full...

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

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    Brunner's New Directive Also Requires Such Ballots Actually Be Counted Before Unofficial Results are Released to the Public, Media
    Concerns Remain About Centralized County Tabulation, However...
    By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2008 11:01am PT  

    Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner issued a short, unambiguous and to-the-point directive [PDF] last night, to all 56 counties in Ohio still employing unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting machines, that they must make a paper ballot available at the polling place to any voter who wishes to vote on one.

    Brava!

    Her directive even goes so far as to require those paper ballots actually be counted "on election night as part of the unofficial canvass."

    Brava again! The requirement to actually count those paper ballots before unofficial results are release to the public and media is a key component that has been missing from the various federal legislative efforts, including Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) latest bill as currently drafted, as well as his previous one (HR811), that would begin to put paper back into the polling place.

    Every state in the country should follow suit! As well, we recommend that, at the very least, Brunner issue a further directive that signs shall be conspicuously and clearly posted in each polling place to inform voters of their right to vote on paper, if they wish. Better still, a directive that requires every voter to be asked by voting officials, before they vote, if they wish to vote on paper. We have previously recommended such a "paper or plastic?" requirement for any jurisdiction in America that still allows for the use of horrible DRE systems (including those with or without a useless, so-called "paper trail").

    Until then, Democracy advocates in the Buckeye state will need to launch an important, and potentially expensive (but crucial), education campaign to inform voters of their right to vote on paper!

    With the very good general news from Brunner, let's hope she soon realizes the underlying reasons for serious concerns about, and the great dangers of, not counting and posting precinct voting results at the precinct, before they are sent back to county headquarters for central tabulation.

    Brunner's recent independent testing of Ohio's e-voting systems (known as EVEREST) led her to recommend the abolishment of all DRE systems in the state, although she did not issue a binding directive to that end. At the same time, her recommendation to ban precinct-based counting, in favor of central-based counting, has drawn a great deal of criticism from Election Integrity advocates. Rightly so, in our opinion, even if she came to her recommendation through well-meaning advice from some of the folks who advised on the study, including computer security experts, and election officials of the sort who would be inappropriately entrusted with complete control over that dangerously centralized counting process.

    (You can read our direct challenges to Brunner on that point, and her explanations for the decision, in our recent exclusive interview with her, just after the release of EVEREST.)

    One quick note to Mark Niquette and Columbus Dispatch concerning their coverage of this issue in this morning's paper...

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

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    By Brad Friedman on 12/30/2007 4:53pm PT  

    Worth remembering as 2008 is about to begin...


    (Hat-tip Neil Young and our buddy Brett Kimberlin of Justice Through Music and Op-Critical)

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    Paper That Originally Reported Disturbing Matter Asks for Fresh Tips, Notes SoS Brunner Claims Concern About Situation as 2008 Elections Loom
    FLASHBACK: Details of the Warren County Lockdown as Reported in 2004...
    By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2007 3:39pm PT  

    The Cincinnati Enquirer, the paper that originally reported on the still-unresolved case of Warren County, Ohio's tabulation room lockdown on Election Night in 2004, has taken note of the comments made by OH Sec. of State, Jennifer Brunner in The BRAD BLOG's exclusive interview with her last week.

    They highlight our exchange with the Secretary, concerning the lack of investigation, by her office, or any other, into the specious "Homeland Security warning" that county officials claimed had forced them to impose an unprecedented lock out, of both the media and public, denying them the ability to observe the tabulation in the counting room on Election Night. Warren County was one of the last counties in the Buckeye State to report their results in 2004 and went overwhelmingly for George W. Bush.

    Brunner told us during our interview last week that she found the issue "troubling," and said that she still "can't find any justification for it."

    "We'll look again at that situation and see what the best course of action is to prevent it from happening in the future," she promised us.

    We argued that the best course of action is to bring accountability in order to send the message that such behavior will not be tolerated again.

    At this time, the issue remains uninvestigated, the FBI and Dept. of Homeland Security deny issuing any such warnings to Warren or any other county in Ohio, and many of the county officials responsible for the unprecedented lockdown in 2004, in violation of state law, as well as the same county prosecutor, all remain in charge as another Presidential Election is set to begin in 2008.

    Two of the Enquirer's original reports on the disturbing matter are posted here and here.

    A very quick review of the reportage at the time, naming the names of those who were complicit, and the federal agencies that denied any such threat, follows...

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

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    Once-Great, Now-Disgraced American Company Also Facing SEC Probe, Lawsuits, Upcoming 2008 Election Meltdowns
    Not to Say We Told Ya So, Diebold Shareholders...
    By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2007 11:27am PT  

    The death spiral for the 131 year-old company, once respectfully known as Diebold, continues, as its stock price falls to a 5-year low today, near year's end (currently $29.23/share and still sinking, from a 52-week high of $54.50/share), along with the additional news that the U.S. Department of Justice has now joined the SEC in an investigation concerning the company's "Enron-like" bookkeeping tricks...

    Diebold Inc. (NYSE: DBD) said it has learned that the U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an investigation that parallels a previously disclosed investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the company’s discontinued practice of recognizing certain revenue on a “bill and hold” basis.

    Diebold announced in early October that it has been engaged in an ongoing discussion with the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant regarding its former use of the "bill and hold" method of recognizing revenue.

    Under bill and hold, ownership of a product contractually passes to a customer and revenue is recognized by the supplier prior to delivery of the product to the customer.

    Diebold said it’s in continuing talks with the Office of the Chief Accountant so that it can determine what the company termed “the most appropriate revenue recognition method” to replace its bill and hold practice.

    The BRAD BLOG, of course, originally reported on the SEC's investigation into Diebold's book-keeping chicanery back in May of 2006, just a few months after our first exclusive report, based on information from a company insider we dubbed DIEB-THROAT, preceded a 20% stock-price plunge just days afterward.

    At the time, back in late September 2005, the stock price plunged to a 52-week low of about $44.37/share (which we're sure they'd kill for now --- not that we wish to give them any ideas) and DIEB-THROAT told us in response to the related news: "the last time this kind of deception occurred it was called Enron."

    Then came a class action securities fraud suit against the company in December 2005, as first broken by The BRAD BLOG natch, before the parallel SEC investigation first became public.

    Since then, following one independent study after another after another after another, finding their electronic voting systems to be virus-prone, hackable, unreliable and inaccurate, the company finally dumped it's controversial CEO who had infamously promised in a Republican fundraising letter that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to" George W. Bush in 2004, before attempting again to fool the American public by renaming its election division "Premiere Elections Solutions" (same pig, fresh lipstick), just after stock prices plummeted again in August of this year to $47.60 as The BRAD BLOG noticed what appeared to us, and at least one financial analyst, to be possible insider trading among a number of company officials.

    Prices have continued to fall ever since --- a lucky coincidence, no doubt, for those executives who just happened to unload a bunch of stock near the year's high at $53.05 - to today's 5-year low of $29.20.

    Additional bad news arrived last Friday for Diebold when a new study by the state of Ohio found their systems to be easily hackable (again), with better news coming last Tuesday as the state of Colorado's own certification tests, surprisingly, gave their their machines a pass while decertifying many others. Yesterday, however, the reason for the inexplicable get-out-of-jail card they received in CO may have become a bit clearer: As it turns out, the Republican Secretary of State who oversaw the new certification testing, Mike Coffman, is running for Congress, and his campaign shares the same consultants as Diebold/Premier in the state. Go figure.

    Diebold/Premiere's spokeshole, Chris Riggall told the Rocky Mountain News in response yesterday, that the company just had no idea about the extraordinary conflict of interest. But with the mission already accomplished, he announced to the paper: "Effective tonight that relationship is terminated."

    With their stock-price still spiraling this morning, Diebold is quoted by Crain's Cleveland Business today as saying the company "anticipates [the DoJ] review will be completed in the first quarter of 2008" ... Though rest assured, The BRAD BLOG's review of the company won't be completed by then. Not by a long shot.

    Merry Christmas, Diebold!

    And if you'd like to wish The BRAD BLOG a Merry Christmas, we hope you'll feel free to consider sending a much needed ONLINE DONATION --- in dishonor of Diebold! --- as the holiday grows near.
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    Jennifer Brunner Responds to Kudos, Criticism Following State's Massive and Disturbing E-Voting Assessment
    'The last thing I want for my state, is to be looked at as a pariah, like it was for 2004'
    By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2007 1:18pm PT  

    -- By Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

    The BRAD BLOG spoke on Wednesday, by telephone, with Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, for an exclusive in-depth interview following the release of her state's unprecedented "Evaluation & Validation of Election-Related Equipment, Standards & Testing" (EVEREST) review of e-voting systems.

    While the bi-partisan, multi-teamed, scientific testing carried out, by a unique combination of both corporate and academic computer scientists and security experts, has won praise from most, if not all (see, predictably, here and here) quarters, the specific recommendations for changes to Ohio's voting system in its wake, as made by Brunner, have garnered a fair amount of criticism and concern from Election Integrity and Administration experts. Indeed, The BRAD BLOG has reported a number of our own concerns about those recommendations, as detailed last Friday upon the release of the report.

    One thing is clear: the view from EVEREST is a mountain of "critical security failures" in Ohio's electronic voting systems --- the very same systems which will also be in use in other states and counties all across the U.S. in 2008. The question now is what can be done to mitigate the chances of yet another Ohio election meltdown next year, given the short time before before the state's primary in March, and the rapidly-approaching November general election when many eyes, no doubt, will again be on the Buckeye State.

    In our interview --- the first of its kind to be published post-EVEREST --- we challenged the state's new Democratic Secretary, a former state judge, to answer to a number of growing concerns about her '08 recommendations, and whether she may be open to changing them in light of concerns. As well, we asked her about the criticism leveed against her by on-the-ground citizen Election Integrity advocates in the state, who have been critical of her for not having done enough to bring accountability following the J. Kenneth Blackwell regime, under whom Ohio's election system was so infamously gamed in 2004.

    Our in-depth, exclusive interview with Ohio's new, and already embattled Secretary of State, follows in full...

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

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    Anonymous Blogger Offers Evidence-Free Claim That 'Left-Wing Activist' Academics and SoS Brunner 'Cooked Up' Report Results Showing All Buckeye State E-Voting Systems Vulnerable to Failure, Fraud, Easy Tampering...
    By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2007 2:21pm PT  

    The anti-democracy faction of Ohio's GOP party launched an extraordinary assault on the state's elected Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, following the release (BRAD BLOG's full coverage here) of her landmark, independent study of e-voting systems on Friday.

    Shamelessly (an inaccurately) writing on the Ohio Republican Party's blogsite, an unnamed writer posted the following opening to a critique of the $1.9 million bi-partisan study [strikethrough included in the original]:

    Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner found some left-wing activists academics to issue an expensive taxpayer-funded "study" criticizing Ohio's election system.

    "Left-wing activists"? Incredible. And wrong. And slimy enough on its own --- never mind the rest of the blog item, which gets even worse, as posted by an unnamed election terrorist from the Ohio GOP --- to merit an immediate apology and retraction by the Ohio Republican party, along with the outing and firing of whoever the official was who wrote it...

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

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    Laughable Response Similar to Those Made by Academics, Election Law Attorneys in Support of E-Voting Technology...
    By Brad Friedman on 12/15/2007 6:30am PT  

    Try not to laugh. But here's Diebold's response to the new study from the state of Ohio showing their crappy, untested, inaccurate, unsecure voting machines --- and those made by their equally duplicitous friends at ES&S and Hart Intercivic --- to be extremely vulnerable to tampering with the use of household items as simple as a magnet or a personal digital assistant.

    As if to continue pushing their bad luck with yet another dare, the Diebold statement says, "It is important to note that there has not been a single documented case of a successful attack against an electronic voting system, in Ohio or anywhere in the United States."

    Okay, guys. This is getting exhausted (and just plain sad), but be careful what you wish for.

    "Even as we continue to strengthen the security features of our voting systems," Diebold/Premier writes, "that reality should not be lost in the discussion."

    "Continue" to "strengthen"? (Supply own joke here)

    Yet, the company who is so proud of their work that they changed their name from Diebold to Premier for no other reason beyond the fact that the horrible, corrupt and fraudulent work of their voting division has disgraced the parent company, says "Premier has performed a host of modifications and enhancements to its software to further strengthen system security. Our new suite of products is expected to soon complete the yearlong federal certification process, and will be available for installation in 2008."

    Goody. We'll buy a new supply of magnets right away.

    Finally, and without evidence, they add: "We should also not lose sight of the very real improvements in voting accuracy that have been achieved with the deployment of modern touch screen systems."

    Really? Where's the evidence for that? Unfortunately, Diebold is not alone in making that specious claim...

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

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    Result of State's First Ever Testing of E-Voting Systems Find All Systems 'Vulnerable' to Manipulation and Theft by 'Simple Techniques'
    SoS Brunner Recommends Paper Ballots Optically-Scanned at County Headquarters for Buckeye State...
    By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2007 2:35pm PT  

    The results of new, unprecedented testing of e-voting machines in the state of Ohio are in, and the findings mirror the landmark results of a similar test carried out earlier this year in California.

    "Ohio's electronic voting systems have 'critical security failures' which could impact the integrity of elections in the Buckeye State," says Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in a statement which accompanied the release of the report today on the SoS' website. Brunner, a Democrat, was joined in her press conference (video now here), called today to discuss the results of the testing, by Ohio's Republican House Speaker, Jon Husted.

    Brunner is calling for a ban on all Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems in the state, along with a ban on precinct-based optical-scan paper based systems, charging that the central counting of ballots at the county would eliminate "points of entry creating unnecessary voting system risk."

    The State's bi-partisan "Evaluation & Validation of Election-Related Equipment, Standards & Testing" (EVEREST) report finds, as did California's study, as did virtually every other independent test of such systems, that violating the security and manipulating the "federal approved" electronic voting systems, is a breeze.

    "To put it in every-day terms," Brunner said, "the tools needed to compromise an accurate vote count could be as simple as tampering with the paper audit trail connector or using a magnet and a personal digital assistant."

    "The results underscore the need for a fundamental change in the structure of Ohio’s election system to ensure ballot and voting system security while still making voting convenient and accessible to all Ohio voters," said Brunner, who has come under fire from Election Integrity advocates for failing to act quickly enough concerning the voting systems to be used in next year's crucial election, as well as for failing to seek accountability for the exceedingly well-documented and now-infamous charges of election fraud and voter suppression in the 2004 Presidential election under her predecessor J. Kenneth Blackwell.

    While the effort is long overdue in Ohio, actions being taken by Brunner, in light of the test results, are less stringent than those taken by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen after tests in her state. Brunner's recommendations, some of them quite puzzling, are likely to come under some fire in the bargain, from Election Integrity advocates in Ohio and elsewhere...

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    The 'Diebold Whistleblower' Sees His Charges Reduced to a Misdemeanor, But Unlike Republicans Who Have Committed Far More Serious Crimes, Heller Continues to Pay
    Reflections on Selective Criminal Punishment in Bush's America...
    By Steve Heller on 12/2/2007 5:57pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by Stephen Heller

    I am no longer a felon.

    In brief, I became known to some as the "Diebold Whistleblower" when, in January of 2004, I stole and exposed legal documents [PDF] proving that Diebold Election Systems, Inc. was using and planned to continue using illegal, uncertified software in their California voting machines. (By the way, Diebold recently changed its name to Premier Election Solutions, but don't let that fool you; it's still the same bunch of idiots.) Details about my case can be found here and here [PDF].

    The documents I stole were covered under attorney-client privilege, so my theft was a serious crime. In February of 2006 I was charged with three felonies. On November 20, 2006, I plead guilty to one felony count of unauthorized access to a computer, and in exchange for my guilty plea and a restitution payment of $10,000 to the law firm from which I stole the documents, the law firm promised they wouldn't bring a civil suit against me, and I was put on felony probation instead of being sent to jail. The term of probation was to be at least one year, and as much as three years.

    Now, one year after my guilty plea, because I've stayed out of trouble and because I'm a first offender, the judge has reduced my felony to a misdemeanor. Sometime in 2008, my lawyers will petition the court to have my misdemeanor expunged.

    The bad part is that the most troublesome aspect of my probation is still in force. Before I can accept a job at which I would use a computer networked to one or more other computers (basically any job for which I'd be qualified), any potential employer must write to the judge in my case, tell him that they know about my conviction and that they still want to hire me, and then we have to wait until the judge responds with a "yes" or a "no" before I can accept the job and start work (and then only if the judge says "yes"). So as you can see, employers will be falling all over themselves to hire me.

    Yeah, right.

    Meanwhile, my wife (an actor, filmmaker and writer) certainly hasn't lost her sense of humor. She had been calling me Felonious Punk, but now that I'm no longer a felon, she's switched to Mister Meanor. Ain't it great being married to a comedy writer?

    To be clear, breaking attorney-client privilege is a very serious crime, and I accept responsibility for what I did. I'm still being punished for it, and so far the punishment has cost my wife and me over $210,000 - and counting. $210,000 is an enormous amount of money to us. My wife and I have paid and are continuing to pay a very high price for my crime.

    But, as we're not Republicans, we might have expected that.

    Which got me thinking about other crimes in America that have recently been committed or alleged, and what's happened to those involved. Among the first of many, Lewis "Scooter" Libby comes to mind...

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

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