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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Trump's Troops Target Academics, Soldiers' Families, More: 'BradCast' 2/27/2017
Guest host Angie Coiro with guests: RJ Eskow; Attorney Jim Brosnahan; Heather 'Digby' Parton; Dave Johnson...
Sunday Toons of the Academy Award-Winning Moment
Remember when the Right used to pretend they didn't want to hear about politics from celebrities? Those were they days -- as noted in PDiddie's latest toon collection...
White House Bars Journos From Press Gaggle:
'BradCast' 2/24/17
Guest host Angie Coiro with Scott Dworkin on #TrumpLeaks; Jonathan Martin on breaking from Dems; Joel Baum on transgender kids...
Alt-Reality at CPAC:
'BradCast' 2/23/17
Guest host Angie Coiro with guest Peter Montgomery of Right Wing Watch reporting from CPAC; Also: The continuing necessity of public protest and much more...
Appeals Court Upholds MD's Ban on 'Weapons of War': 'BradCast' 2/22/17
And other encouraging news for a change! Guest: Attorney Mark Joseph Stern of Slate...
'Our Worst Fears Realized': 'BradCast' 2/21/17
Trump issues radical new deportation policies, disturbing anti-Semitic crimes are rising, and much more. Guest: Wendy Feliz of the American Immigration Council...
'Green News Report' 2/21/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
What to expect from the EPA after rushed confirmation of EPA-enemy Scott Pruitt; 3 fossil fuel explosions, 2 weeks; AK natgas pipeline leak; PLUS: New U.S. wind energy record...
Previous GNRs: 2/16/17 - 2/14/17 - Archives...
The Insidiousness Behind Trump's Dangerous Lies: 'BradCast' 2/20/17
False claims of 'terror' in Sweden and false 'voter fraud' in New Hampshire may be funny, but Trump's fake news is deadly serious...
Sunday Toons of the Flaming Hot Cheeto Moment
"This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine," says Trump. But the political cartoonists may see it somewhat differently, as PDiddie's latest collection helps document...
TRUMP DUMP: Much Too Much: 'BradCast' 2/17/17
Guest host Angie Coiro with guests Lisa Graves of the Center for Media and Democracy on Scott Pruitt and the 'Belabored' podcast's Sarah Jaffe on Trump and the unions...
Nearly One Million Signatures Calling for Impeachment: 'BradCast' 2/16/17
Guest: Author, activist Norman Solomon on grounds for removing Trump from office; Plus: Trump's insane presser; More on the Logan Act; our 8th Anniversary 'Green News Report'...
'Green News Report' 2/16/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR's 8th ANNIVERSARY!: Trump nixes anti-corruption reg; New spill from Dakota Access co.; Good news for AZ breathers; PLUS: Man-made toxins in deepest ocean...
Previous GNRs: 2/14/17 - 2/9/17 - Archives...
Trump's Chaotic Weapons
of Mass Distraction:
'BradCast' 2/15/17
Guest: D.D. Guttenplan of The Nation; Also: Puzder out; Congress helps mentally disabled buy guns; ICE detains a 'DREAMer'...
It's Not the Crime, It's the Cover-Up: 'BradCast' 2/14/17
Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns. What did the President know and when did he know it?...
'Green News Report' 2/14/17
Oroville Dam highlights climate & US infrastructure probs; Judge rejects tribe's request to halt Dakota Access; PLUS: Extreme heat, fire again in Australia...
'This is Not a Drill': Looming Catastrophe at Nation's Tallest Dam: 'BradCast' 2/13/17
Guest: Eric Wesselman on warning 12 years ago about now-potential disaster at Oroville Dam in Northern Cal...
Sunday Toons of the Fourth Reich Moment
In which 'PDiddie' goose-steps us through some of the best political cartoons of the latest Trump Era week...
Immigrant Deportations Begin, Even as Court Slams 'Muslim Ban': 'BradCast' 2/10/17
Guest: Maria Castro of People United for Justice. Plus: Repubs confirms Price in middle of night; Racists celebrate Sessions as A.G....
'Green News Report' 2/9/17
Dakota Access fight continues, owners reported 69 spills in 2 years; Air pollution and dementia; More American jobs in solar than coal; PLUS: Sweden to go zero emissions...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Another Voting Machine Company, Advanced Voting Solutions, Also Caught In A Deception
ALSO - BONUS VIDEO: Dan Rather on CNN's Situation Room Tonight, Discussing His Report...
By John Gideon on 8/14/2007 1:45pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org

As we reported on Sunday, Dan Rather's investigation of the voting machine industry is causing a stir. Apparently the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) decided that something in the Rather report did not match up with what ES&S had reported to them.

The voting machine company failed to disclose that their equipment was being made in a sweatshop in the Philippines even though they are supposed to reveal all such information to the federal EAC. In a strange fit of responsible behavior, the EAC has sent them a letter of reprimand (letter is posted in full below). Though the notice amounts to little more than a friendly slap on the wrist.

Similarly, the EAC has sent a letter to voting machine company Advanced Voting Systems (AVS), for secretly replacing mother boards in their systems without certification or approval. That letter is also posted at the end of this article.

An interview with Rather, earlier this afternoon on CNN's Situation Room, is now posted at right. Rather's startling report will be airing beginning this evening at 8PM EDT and will air on HD Net over the next few days. It will also be on-line for those who cannot get HD Net. We'll try to provide links as soon as one becomes available. Our report from Sunday included a disturbing 12 minute preview version.

UPDATE FROM BRAD : Kim Zetter at WIRED adds a few details to this issue moments ago, including this interesting revelation of some ES&S sleight-of-hand to hide their Filipino sweatshop...

ES&S did not respond to a call for comment. So I asked the EAC for the list that ES&S submitted regarding its manufacturing facilities. Here it is:

FutureLogic; Phoenix, AZPivot International; Lenexa, KS Ricoh Electronics; Tustin, CA Technical Support , Inc; Omaha, NE Xten Industries; Kenosha, WI

Notice that ES&S's list does include Pivot International, based in Kansas, but it does not mention that Pivot actually has the machines assembled at the Teletech factory in Manila.

The full letters from the EAC can be found here [PDF]. A text version of both are found below...

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




Expert Hired to Write Voter Fraud Study Now Allowed to Speak About It, Commission's Burying, Altering of Her Report...
By John Gideon on 7/12/2007 11:12am PT  

Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite

In a just released letter [.pdf] dated July 5, the Election Assistance Commission's (EAC) Deputy General Counsel, Gavin Gilmour, wrote to Tova Wang's attorney and clarified prior communications. Tova has now been un-gagged by the EAC and is free to speak about her Voter Fraud report that was commissioned and then hidden by the commission when it found the opposite of what they had hoped to find. As it turns out, the massive epidemic of voter fraud the Republicans had been claiming, didn't actually exist. Who knew? (We did.)

Regular readers will recall that Tova Andrea Wang, a Democracy Fellow at the Century Foundation --- co-author of the report that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) attempted to bury --- had announced that the federal commission of Presidential appointees had refused to allow her to speak directly about her report and the action taken by the EAC to alter its findings and hide her original report from public view.

We reported on the following day that new EAC Commissioner, Rosemary Rodriguez, made a statement calling on her fellow commissioners to release Wang from the gag-order and allow her to talk about the report and the altering thereof.

Hopefully this long-overdue action by the EAC, releasing her to speak freely, will now lead to some revelations into why the EAC buried the Wang/Serebov report. Only time will tell. But we have a feeling there will be much more to come, now that Wang's shackles have been removed...




An Anaylsis by a Leading Election Integrity Advocate Charges That Where Rep. Rush Holt's House Bill on Election Reform Poses Dangers to Democracy, A New Bill Introduced in the Senate is Even Far Worse...
By Ellen Theisen on 6/12/2007 1:14pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ellen Theisen, Co-Director of VotersUnite.Org

Yesterday I discussed the dangers presented by Rush Holt's Election Reform bill, HR 811, now pending a floor vote in the House. I detailed seven points which, taken as a whole, lead me to believe that the bill does more harm than good.

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s bill S. 1487, “The Ballot Integrity Act of 2007,” was introduced on May 24, 2007. Some were expecting it to be a companion to, and improvement on, Holt’s bill, H.R. 811. Far from an improvement, S. 1487 introduces surprising — and disturbing — new provisions.

It includes many of the most troubling points of the Holt bill, but goes even farther in the wrong direction away from what is needed for Electoral Integrity in America, presenting instead a grave danger to our democracy.

The bill systematically dismantles government by the people, and it provides a legal excuse for expanding the disenfranchisement of “distinct communities” such as racial minorities.

(The following excerpt discusses only how S. 1487 functions like a Voting Rights Act in reverse. I've posted a more complete analysis of the bill at VotersUnite.org.)

Historically, racial minorities have been prevented from voting by violence, poll taxes, highly subjective literacy tests, police dogs, and so on. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was landmark legislation to remove such obstacles and clear the path for all voters to have a voice in elections.

A shameful provision in S. 1487 functions as a Voting Rights Act in reverse. “They” (historically disenfranchised communities) would get to vote, but the bill allows for the future massive loss of “their” voices through machine malfunction or other means, while limiting the vote loss that would be acceptable in jurisdictions where “they” aren’t as predominant....

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




Then-DoJ Appointee in Civil Rights Unit, Now Recess-Appointed FEC Chair, Tried to Influence EAC Reports on 'Voter Fraud'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2007 12:50pm PT  

Following up on Greg Gordon's Sunday piece on former DoJ operative turned recess-appointed FEC chair Hans von Spakovsky, McClatchy has now posted the emails referred to in the article in full [PDF].

As you'll recall, the point we focused on when we covered Gordon's article was the apparent attempted strong-arming, suggested by the emails, of U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) chair Paul DeGregorio. Von Spakovsky was attempting to influence the EAC's reports and positions on GOP claims of massive "voter fraud" and the effects of legislation for Photo ID restrictions at the polls.

Von Spakovsky was concerned about the EAC's position and the "proper balance" (code word) being brought to bi-partisan reports on "voter fraud" and Photo ID, both of which eventually failed to give evidence of GOP claims of massive Democratic voter fraud. Such claims were being used by Bush's operatives at DoJ and out in the "grass roots" by their boy Thor Hearne and his "non-partisan" front group, the American Center for Voting Rights to game elections and media, and push for Photo ID laws (which have been found to be unconstitutional time and again.)

Both reports would eventually be altered and/or buried.

BRAD BLOG readers will also recall the many reports filed here concerning the partisanship and/or incompetence of the EAC, the White House controlled federal body which supposedly oversees our nation's electoral system. These emails highlight many of the claims we've made about inappropriate influence by the White House on the failed commission.

One thing which catches our eye in the emails right away is that von Spakovsky's emails were sent to the Republican members of the commission including DeGregorio, Donnetta Davidson (now EAC chair), and Tom Wilkey (EAC Exec Dir.), but not to the Democratic members. (Ed Note: See 5/24/07 UPDATE at bottom of article on this point.) We've covered both Davidson and Wilkey, and the failings of each, in some detail here at The BRAD BLOG in the past.

The notes were also sent to Republican aides of Sen. Christopher Bond in Missouri (home of the ACVR's Hearne), as well as Doug Lewis of the Election Center, a voting machine industry front group, which "the Dean of the DC press corp," WaPo's David Broder, recently referred to in a column as his favorite expert on elections, forgetting to mention that he's an industry/Republican shill. Can someone please put Broder out to pasture at this point?! And can the media stop quoting Lewis as if he's a disinterested, non-partisan "expert" on elections?!

Little time for the moment to report on the new specifics found in the emails, so we'll encourage you to give them a quick read (just 5 pages) and leave your thoughts here in comments. As time allows, we'll update this item with our own thoughts if possible.

But one quick point that we haven't highlighted enough lately: Voter Fraud is the term used to describe voters gaming the system on a retail level by voting twice, etc. It's extremely rare, as bi-partisan reports have shown time and again, despite GOP claims (that includes the EAC's own buried and altered reports that von Spakovsky hoped to influence).

Election Fraud, on the other hand, is the defrauding of elections through the administration of those elections, from inappropriate voter roll purges to gaming of voting equipment, etc. Evidence strongly suggests that the GOP's unevidenced claims of a "voter fraud" epidemic by Democrats may well have been forwarded after 2004 in order to deflect from the now-well-documented evidence showing GOP election fraud in Ohio and elsewhere.

Hope that reminder helps to clarify.

UPDATE 5/24/07: McClatchy's Greg Gordon writes to say that he believes that all of the commissioners, not just the Republican ones, were CC'd on the emails in question, but that those CC's somehow ended up on a second page and didn't get included when they created their PDF's of the actual emails. Due to the holiday weekend, unfortunately, he won't be able to try to find them in order to check for sure until next week at earliest. But he wanted us to note that there is a question about whether or not all of the EAC commissioners were actually CC'd, and to note his recollection that they were, at least on some of the notes. We'll update further if we can learn definitively one way or the other.




Emails Suggest Partisan EAC Chair DeGregorio Fought off Influence Attempts, as Surprising as That May Seem...
By Brad Friedman on 5/21/2007 8:35am PT  

McClatchy Newspaper's excellent Greg Gordon moves the ball forward again on the Bush White House's insider politicization of the DoJ to achieve electoral advantages via gaming of phony "Voter Fraud" claims and the pursuit of voter suppressing Photo ID laws at the polls.

His article covers the inside moves of the Bush-appointed operative Hans von Spakovsky after he was assigned to the DoJ's voting rights unit, and the games he played in the post, including an anonymously published essay on "Voter Fraud" and Voter ID laws; overriding of career civil rights attorney recommendations against a Georgia Voter ID law (while refusing to recuse himself, despite his past service as a Georgia official), a law which was later found by a federal judge to be unconstitutional and akin to a Jim Crow-era poll tax; and attempts to influence the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC)'s studies on Voter Fraud and the effects of Photo ID at the polls.

Last year, Von Spakovsky was recess-appointed by Bush to head the FEC, though he will face what could be an interesting Congressional confirmation hearing in the Senate on June 13.

Aside from the many familiar faces (at least to BRAD BLOG readers) who come into play in the story, from Georgia to Arizona to Missouri, one aspect of Gordon's report is a bit of a surprise and so particularly catches our notice...

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




New Appointee to Federal Commssion, Rosemary Rodgriguez, Releases Statement Calling for Tova Wang to be Allowed to Address Controversy Concerning the Alteration, Withholding of Her Work
RELATED FOLLOW-UP: EAC Has Still Failed to Notify States of Vote-Flipping Virus Vulnerability in ES&S iVotronic Systems, Media Has Similarly Failed to Cover It...
By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2007 10:11am PT  

A statement has been released by Rosemary Rodgriguez, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)'s newest, Democratic appointee in reply to yesterday's statement by writer and researcher Tova Andrea Wang, a Democracy Fellow at the Century Foundation.

The statement comes in the wake of our report yesterday detailing Wang's statement calling on the EAC to lift the gag-order that's been placed on her, so that she might respond publicly to the controversy concerning the EAC's alteration and withholding of the bi-partisan report she submitted concerning baseless allegations of an epidemic of "Voter Fraud" in America --- despite longstanding GOP claims to the contrary.

Rodgriquez is calling on her fellow commissioners to lift the gag-order on Wang so she can speak to media and others about the matter. The EAC chairmanship comprises two Democrats and two Republicans, each appointed by the President.

Wang had previously Guest Blogged for BRAD BLOG in an article titled "Where's the Voter Fraud?", written to coincide with the release of the EAC's altered version of her original report. She was unable to speak directly to their report at the time, due to the EAC's extraordinary restrictions on her.

Yesterday, Wang's statement pointed out that the EAC had refused to even respond to requests from her legal counsel on the matter. The controversy is just the latest in the continuing erosion of EAC credibility, suggesting a remarkable inability to carry out their Help America Vote (HAVA) mandate to oversee the nation's electoral system.

This latest embarrassment adds to an ever-growing list which has drawn increased Congressional scrutiny of late. It also serves to reveal still more evidence of the panel's partisan nature, compromised sense of ethics, nearly complete lack of transparency, and utter incompetence.

And following-up on a related BRAD BLOG report revealing EAC failures, the commission has still failed to notify either public or elections officials of the newly confirmed "severe" vulnerability recently discovered in ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting systems. The "security hole" would allow for a vote-flipping virus to be introduced into a voting machine by a single person which could then, in turn, flip an entire county-wide election undetectably. At least one note computer scientist has described the problem as "roughly comparable" to the Diebold Virus Hack revealed at Princeton last summer and first reported here. "Which is to say it needs to be taken very seriously," warned the scientist.

Our report on that matter, early last week, included Email statements from the EAC flatly refusing to notify any of the 16 states that currently use the voting systems which are said by the scientist to feature the "serious security problem." To date, no other media outlet has picked up that report.

EAC Vice-Chair Rodriguez's brief statement calling on the EAC to end their censorship of Wang is posted [PDF] on the EAC website, but follows here below in full...

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




Announces Meeting to Discuss Florida...to be Held in Washington DC...
By John Gideon on 4/27/2007 8:35am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Yesterday the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) announced that "Special Circumstances" would require them to hold a public hearing next Tuesday, 1 May in Washington DC. The "Special Circumstances"?

It seems that the state of Florida asked the EAC if they could use funds provided under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to replace their present paperless touch-screen DRE voting systems and someone at the EAC told the state that they didn't think it would be alright for the state to spend their HAVA funds for anything like going to a paper based voting system. But, the EAC representative said that the Commissioners would have to get together and vote on the issue.

So, yesterday the commission announced when that vote would take place; May 1. That's three working days from now. That's three days for the state and the state's very active Election Integrity community to prepare their statements in favor of spending the states own funds for their own voting system.

And, this public meeting that is very important to the state of Florida --- will be convened in Washington DC to ensure that the commissioners make it as hard as possible for anyone to attend and voice their opinions.

The EACs "Sunshine Notice" announcement is for a meeting that is murky and as closed as the EAC can possibly make it without directly violating federal law.




Tova Andrea Wang, Co-Author of Bi-Partisan 'Voter Fraud and Voter Intimidation Report' for the Election Assistance Commission, Calls for an End to the Censorship in Wake of EAC's Altering of Her Report...
UPDATED
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2007 12:10pm PT  

In a just released statement [PDF], Tova Andrea Wang, a Democracy Fellow at the Century Foundation --- co-author of a report that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) attempted to bury --- has announced that the federal commission of Presidential appointees has refused to allow her to speak directly about her report and the action taken by the EAC to alter its findings and hide her original report from public view.

Despite the controversy surrounding the bi-partisan report and Wang's desire to participate in the discussion as the report's co-author, the EAC --- at the heart of several controversies of late and increasing Congressional scrutiny --- has barred her from speaking about it.

"It has been my desire to participate in this discussion and share my experience as a researcher, expert and co-author of the report," Wang says in her statement. "Unfortunately, the EAC has barred me from speaking."

Her official legal requests have been ignored by the commission.

"Early last week, through my attorney, I sent a letter to the Commission requesting that they release me from this gag order. Despite repeated follow-up, the EAC has failed to respond to this simple request. In the meantime, not only can I not speak to the press or public --- it is unclear under the terms of my contract with the EAC whether I can even answer questions from members of Congress."

"As numerous press reports indicate, the conclusions that we found in our research and included in our report were revised by the EAC, without explanation or discussion with me, my co-author or the general public," Wang continues...

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




Joseph Rich Discusses Politicization of DoJ Voting Rights Unit
ACORN Rep Discusses Vast Right Wing 'Voter Fraud' Conspiracy...
By Alan Breslauer on 4/24/2007 1:56pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Amy Goodman interviews (18:04) former Justice Department Attorney Joe Rich and Bertha Lewis of New York's ACORN on today's Democracy Now! Rich, who left Justice in 2005 after 36 years in the Civil Rights Division, was the head of the voting section from 1999 to 2005. He discusses the politicization of virtually all elements of the Justice Department including the administration's emphasis on voter fraud with aims at suppressing the vote....

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




Two MSM Articles Today Detail Long Overdue Congressional Scrutiny Finally Coming to Bear Against the Agency of Presidential Appointees Responsible for Overseeing the Entire U.S. Election System
As well as a Newly Noted Connection Reported Between the EAC and the Politically Appointed Bush Players at DoJ...
By Brad Friedman on 4/23/2007 4:32pm PT  

Given all of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)'s extraordinary failures of late, there's little time for the moment to review them all. See our EAC category page for the tip of the iceberg.

That said then, two notable articles are published today which go to town (and rightly so) on the EAC, detailing just some of their most recent failures --- namely, their withholding and/or rewriting of two important reports for clearly partisan reasons, but at whose direction? --- and the newly awakened Congressional response to those failures. As well, a few names are named that are names we've heard named before as being at the center of the politicization of the DoJ's Civil Rights voting unit, but popping up again over at the EAC. Whodathunkit?...

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




Since the EAC Refuses to Notify Them, We Hope You Will...
By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2007 4:32pm PT  

A commenter over at DU asked which states used the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting system found vulnerable to an undetectable countywide vote-flipping virus which can be implanted by a single person, as we reported this morning.

Based on our quick review of a county-by-county database of voting systems, sorted by state, as made available by Common Cause (EXCEL spreadsheet downloadable here) just prior to the November 2006 elections, it looks like the answer is 16 states in total.

Since the EAC refuses, as our report detailed, to do their job in notifying Elections Officials about this incredibly serious vulnerability, it looks like it's up to you to notify your state's Secretary of State and/or county Election Officials! Details on the vulnerability and mitigating steps that may be taken are detailed in this brief report at VotersUnite.org as written by a computer scientist and voting system expert well familiar with the newly discovered flaw. Please refer your voting officials to both our original article, and that scientific report for more details at the following URLs:

The states which use the ES&S iVotronic affected (with firmware versions either 8 or 9, with or without a so-called "Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail") are as follows:

  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • New jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

If we've missed any, or any of the states above do not use the system in at least one county, please let us know and we'll amend the list.

The BRAD BLOG and You - Doing the EAC's job for them. But without the $15 million budget (or the incomprehensible incompetence).




Scientific Report Finds 'Serious Security Vulnerability' Similar to 'Princeton Diebold Virus Hack' in Widely Used iVotronic System, Allowing a Single Person to Change Election Results Across Entire County Without Detection
Despite GAO Confirmed Mandate to Serve as Info 'Clearinghouse,' Embattled EAC Says They Will Take No Action to Alert Elections Officials, Public
By Michael Richardson on 4/16/2007 9:05am PT  

By Michael Richardson and Brad Friedman

While revelations surrounding the mysterious 18,000 "undervotes" in the November 2006 U.S. House election between Christine Jennings and Vern Buchanan in Florida's 13th Congressional district continue to inform the nation about the dangers of electronic voting machines, new information has recently come to light exposing a shocking lack of responsible oversight by those entrusted with overseeing the certification of electronic voting systems at the federal level.

An investigation into what may have gone wrong in that election has revealed a serious security vulnerability on some, and possibly all, versions of the iVotronic touch-screen voting system widely used across the country. The iVotronic is a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen voting machine manufactured by Elections Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S), the nation's largest distributor of such systems.

The vulnerability is said to allow for a single malicious user to introduce a virus into the system which "could potentially steal all the votes in that county, without being detected," according to a noted computer scientist and voting system expert who has reviewed the findings.

And yet, despite their federal mandate to serve as a "clearinghouse" to the nation for such information, a series of email exchanges between an Election Integrity advocate and officials at the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) has revealed that the federal oversight body is refusing to notify states of the alarming security issue.

The recent email conversation shows that even in light of the EAC's review of the warning from the computer scientist who characterized the "security hole" as severe, needing to be "taken very seriously," and among the most serious ever discovered in a voting system, the EAC is unwilling to take action.

Recent reports by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) have taken the EAC to task for a failure to meet their legislated mandate for informing the public and elections officials about such matters. However, a review of the email communications to and from the EAC's Jeannie Layson shows that the federal body is steadfast in their refusal to take action to alert either elections officials or the public about the security risk recently discovered by a team of eight noted computer scientists.

The EAC's current Chairwoman, Executive Director, Director of Voting System Certification, and other top officials at both the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), and even the GAO, were included in the series of email communications, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

The vulnerability was initially discovered by a panel of scientists convened by the State of Florida to study the possible causes for the FL-13 election debacle. The team's discovery revealed that a design issue in the widely used iVotronic system could allow for a viral attack, by a single individual, which could then spread unnoticed throughout the electronic election infrastructure of an entire county.

A similar vulnerability was found in DRE touch-screen system made by Diebold last Summer by a team of computer scientists at Princeton University.

Attempts to seek information about EAC plans to notify other states and local jurisdictions that use the same vulnerable voting systems as the ones in FL-13 have been met with an astounding refusal, troubling denial, buck-passing, and a lack of accountability by the federal commission of Presidential-appointees. The agency has also come under fire in recent weeks for a number of questionably partisan decisions and other failures to perform as mandated by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.

Of late, the EAC has been forced to respond to a great deal of controversy, on a number of different operational matters and policies, as revealed by a series of articles on this site and in mainstream outlets such as the New York Times and USA Today. Several of those matters have drawn Congressional notice, questioning of EAC officials, and letters of inquiry. Thus, this latest revelation is likely to add to the rising concern of Congress members as new federal legislation introduced by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), currently facing mark-up by a Congressional committee, would permanently fund the now-embattled EAC. Funding for the agency was originally mandated by HAVA only through 2005.

The new ES&S iVotronic vulnerability first emerged on February 23, 2007, when the Florida Dept. of State released a report detailing their findings from the investigation into what happened in Sarasota's still-contested Jennings/Buchanan race. That election was ultimately decided by just 369 votes. The state's official findings included a report [PDF] conducted by an eight-member computer science and technology team under the auspices of Florida State University (FSU). The report sought, unsuccessfully, to determine the cause of the unexplained "undervotes" reported by the iVotronic touch-screen voting systems used in Sarasota's portion of the FL-13 race on Election Day and in early voting.

Although the reason thousands of votes turned up missing from those systems remained unknown, the study team did discover a serious security flaw in the iVotronic system that is used in Sarasota and many other jurisdictions across the country (and even the world, as France is set to use the same systems in their upcoming Presidential Election.)

Election integrity watchdog John Gideon, a frequent BRAD BLOG contributer and the Co-Director and Information Manager for VotersUnite.org, says that the security flaw may pertain to "every ES&S iVotronic voting machine used in the US and overseas." A total of eight separate versions of the system --- without and without so-called "voter verified paper audit trail" (VVPAT)" printers --- are currently approved as qualified at the federal level, he explained. Three of those are definitely affected and it is likely that the others are as well.

The details, the dangers, and the denials are all described below...

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




UPDATE: Feinstein Sends Letter of Inquiry on both Matters to the EAC...
By John Gideon on 4/13/2007 11:55am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

As previously reported by The BRAD BLOG (here and here) the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is being accused of altering a report that they commissioned and that did not meet their expectations.

In this case the EAC was apparently hoping to show widespread voter fraud had taken place in recent elections but the report that they commissioned revealed just the opposite. The EAC buried the report and issued one of their own that came to no conclusion at all.

Today Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) sent a letter to Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, which has oversight over the EAC, "expressing his concern over the revelations and asking her to examine the process by which the EAC report was produced. Menendez maintains that the use of the EAC to advance a political agenda is a blow to the integrity of the electoral system and that an investigation into the motivations behind the panel's report is warranted."

Mendendez's press release on the matter is now posted here...

LATE UPDATE: Feinstein sends letter of inquiry on these matters to EAC, demanding all communications and processes leading to the alteration and/or hiding of both the EAC's "Voter Fraud" report and the report showing that Voter ID laws depress voter turnout. Announcement and Letter to EAC posted here...

ADDITIONAL NOTE: The BRAD BLOG will have an EXCLUSIVE new report next week, on yet another recently discovered and astounding failure by the EAC on the heels of a few questions we had ourselves for them over the past week or two...




The Mess We've Been Warning About for So Long, Concerning the EAC, Finally Makes it to Prime Time...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2007 3:31pm PT  

More on the EAC's "voter fraud" report boondoggle covered earlier today.

The New York Congressional delegation has sent us a statement (posted in full at the end of this article) in which Rep. Maurice Hinchey excoriates the behavior of the EAC in hiding, and then altering, the report's findings for political reasons.

"The draft report was commissioned with taxpayer dollars upon a mandate from Congress so that we could learn more about voter fraud and intimidation," says Hinchey. "The need for this report is even more clear when we see the way in which the Bush administration is carrying out the electoral process and how this system is sliding towards corruption."

"Slide towards" may be an understatement. Hinchey --- who requested that the original report be disclosed by EAC Chair Donetta Davidson, a Bush-appointee, during a recent Congressional hearing --- is a member of the House Administration Committee which is now considering Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NY) Election Reform bill, which will make the hopelessly partisan and haplessly incompetent EAC a permanent body for the first time in its short, controversial life.

New York's Rep. José E. Serrano, a member of the appropriations subcommittee which oversees the EAC, says he's concerned about the "partisan bias" apparent in the two different versions of the report.

"When you read the draft report side-by-side with the final version, it is clear that important conclusions of the experts who wrote the draft report were excluded from the final product. Among the excluded information is an analysis that undermines the notion that voter fraud is rampant," said Serrano.

Democrats, however, are not in the clear on this issue themselves...

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




NY Times Finds Original Bi-Partisan Draft Report, Buried by the EAC, Concluded Fears of 'Voter Fraud' Were Overblown
Altered, Politicized Report Follows Familiar White House Pattern, Brings Additional New Concerns About Continuing Status of EAC...
By Arlen Parsa on 4/11/2007 1:12pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Arlen Parsa with additional reporting by Brad Friedman

The New York Times reports today that a governmental report on the so-called dangers of "voter fraud" was manipulated to reflect the Bush Administration's claims rather than their own panel's findings.

The Times obtained two copies of the report on voter fraud, the first of which [PDF] concluded that fears of voter fraud were overblown and exaggerated. The second --- and official version of the report --- however steps back and promotes ambiguity about the danger (or lack of danger) that voter fraud poses to American democracy.

The Times reports:

A federal panel responsible for conducting election research played down the findings of experts who concluded last year that there was little voter fraud around the nation, according to a review of the original report obtained by The New York Times.

Instead, the panel, the Election Assistance Commission, issued a report that said the pervasiveness of fraud was open to debate.

The revised version echoes complaints made by Republican politicians, who have long suggested that voter fraud is widespread and justifies the voter identification laws that have been passed in at least two dozen states.

Democrats say the threat is overstated and have opposed voter identification laws, which they say disenfranchise the poor, members of minority groups and the elderly, who are less likely to have photo IDs and are more likely to be Democrats.

Though the original report said that among experts “there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud,” the final version of the report released to the public concluded in its executive summary that “there is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.”

The bi-partisan report had been buried for months by the supposedly bi-partisan U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC), which has come under fire of late for partisanship and a failure to oversee the electronic voting systems and voting machine vendors they are supposed to be overseeing and testing for compliance with federal standards.

The two bi-partisan authors of the original report were bound, by contract, as reported by the Times, to keep quiet about their opinions on the final report. However, following the release of the EAC's edited final version, one of the two authors, Tova Andrea Wang, a Democracy Fellow at the The Century Foundation, telegraphed some of her opinions about it in a guest blog we ran at The BRAD BLOG titled "Where's the Voter Fraud?" Her editorial made clear that the Republican claims of a "voter fraud" epidemic in America were simply unfounded and being used as a political weapon to suppress Democratic voter turnout via the use of Draconian Photo ID restrictions at the polls.

The EAC's approach in releasing their altered final version of the report --- spreading doubt when there is really a consensus among experts --- is a technique that the White House has used in several instances when expert agreement is not politically convenient. Perhaps the most famous case of this was when the Administration trumped up scientific doubt about climate change and used it to mis-portray findings of government scientists.

According to the originally submitted draft report [PDF], marked "NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION," voter fraud at polling places, which Republicans have frequently cited as part of a massive, insidious attempt to undermine democracy, is not nearly as frequent as is claimed.

As The BRAD BLOG has previously reported, debate about the report, and its initial origins, was highly politicized by members of a White House-connected GOP front-group organization whose founder, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, a St. Louis resident and White House operative, is closely associated with the EAC's Paul Degregorio, a fellow St. Louisan, who was chair of the federal body when the report was first commissioned.

An email obtained by the Times detailed the complaints of the lead Republican author of the report, Arkansas election attorney Job Serebrov, in response to pressure to alter the conclusions of the report's findings...

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




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