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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, April 20, 2014
More Good 'Obamacare' News for Terrified Dems
Will Democrats continue to run scared, or will they embrace the unrelenting string of encouraging Affordable Care Act successes as we head into the 2014 mid-terms?...
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
Previous GNRs: 4/15/14 - 4/10/14 - Archives...
The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat that climate change now poses with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
Previous GNRs: 4/10/14 - 4/8/14 - Archives...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
PowerLine's hyper-partisan John Hinderaker admits Cliven Bundy 'doesn't have a [legal] leg to stand on', but digs deep to find a reason - any reason - to defend the scofflaw anyway...
Sunday News Shows Fail to Mention U.S. Senate CIA Torture & Detention Report
Despite U.S. and international crimes outlined in the findings, based on first-hand CIA docs, not a single Sunday show even brought it up...
NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of customers...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
Study: CNN, Fox 'News' FAIL on climate; CNN looks for plane, finds ocean of garbage; PLUS: Energy co. receives record fine for 85 years of toxic waste (& couldn't be happier about it)...
Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
After slashing anti-smoking programs, 'conservative' Christie admin offers absurd reason for massive new tax, but NJ Star-Ledger ain't buyin' it. And neither are we...
Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide email related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove discriminatory intent of the GOP law...
'A New Kind of Liberty' for the Kochs and Anyone Else Who Can Afford to Buy It
Have the rightwing judicial activists on the Supreme Court made you feel freer yet?...
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...


SQL Slammer Worm Breached Firewall, Took Down County Database System, Halted Voting, Rewrote Admin Passwords According to Previously Unreleased Document
Further Damagage Unknown; Disclosure to Plaintiffs, Scientists in Election Contest Unclear...
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2007 12:08pm PT  

Some guy named Brad Friedman has a breaking exclusive over at ComputerWorld on the contested FL-13 election between Christine Jennings (D) and Vern Buchanan (R).

As Friedman's brilliant reportage reveals, previously unreleased documents show that Sarasota County's database network was hit by a viral worm attack on the first day of Early Voting last year. The attack, by a variant of the SQL Slammer Worm, wrought havoc on the system, bringing it to its knees for about two hours on that first afternoon of voting, leaving voters at precincts unable to cast their votes.

Details about further damage which may have occurred during, or in the wake of, the successful hack remain unclear. Whether or not the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machines --- which failed to record the selections of some 18,000 voters in the election decided by just 369 votes --- or the central tabulator used in that FL-13 race were directly affected is unknown for certain. The security specialist who filed the incident report, interviewed by Friedman, acknowledges that "it's a possibility," though he believes the damage was contained and didn't spread to the Elections Supervisor's network infrastructure.

Also unclear is whether or not the viral attack and the report which documented it were disclosed in the discovery process to the plaintiff's attorneys who are challenging the election in state court and in the U.S. House. It doesn't seem so.

See more in Friedman's compelling exclusive over there, which includes a PDF of the previously undisclosed incident report describing what happened as the worm slammed an unprotected county server (which had been five years behind in security patch updates), spread throughout the system, breached the firewall, rewrote administrative passwords, and brought voting to a halt in Sarasota on October 23, 2006, the first day of Early Voting. An interestingly timed attack to say the least.

As CW only links to a PDF version of the two-page incident report, we'll be kind enough to include a graphic version of both pages below.

The previously undisclosed two-page incident report, as filed by the Sarasota County network security team, housed in the county's Suncoast Technology Center, follows in full...

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

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Election Chief Arthur Anderson, Who Filed Complaint with Palm Beach Sheriff, Says Office Never Contacted Him After Closing Case Following Questionable FBI Intervention in Matter
Continues to Mull Decision on Whether to Further Pursue Charges in Light of Recent GOP 'Voter Fraud' Claims in the News...
By Brad Friedman on 5/14/2007 3:28pm PT  

The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections is dubious about the explanation by the apparent vote fraudster, Ann Coulter, that she used her realtor's address on her voter registration application for fear of stalkers, The BRAD BLOG has learned. Further, when the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office closed their investigation into the documented allegations in April, following an unusual call from an FBI agent, the election chief who had brought the complaint to the PBSO was never notified.

"The whole claim of stalkers was very strange to me," Dr. Arthur Anderson, Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach, told us in a phone call today. He wondered why the claim hadn't come up before now.

"I found it to be rather ironic that no action was ever taken to conceal her location, her home address, etc., until now that this issue has come up," in relation to allegations that she committed a third-degree felony by knowingly using the wrong address on her registration form, and then voting at the wrong precinct as she did in 2006.

Anderson's comments echoed those of Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor Gregg P. Miller who told us yesterday that the "stalker" claim sound like "a load of bull." He told us via email that if Coulter "were trying to avoid a stalker, she would not have purchased her house in her own name," and added that she would have used "a trust or an LLC " to avoid exposure for her home address on public records.

On Friday, Palm Beach Post's Jose Lambiet reported that Anderson's requested investigation had been shut down --- failing to even interview Coulter --- after an agent from the FBI Academy's Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, VA, contacted the local detective working on the case to instruct her that Coulter's use of a phony address was somehow related to an investigation of his, in which no charges have ever been brought, concerning a "stalker."

Later that day, The BRAD BLOG revealed that the "Special Supervisory Agent" in question, Jim Fitzgerald, seems to have been an ex-boyfriend of Coulter's who may have intervened on her behalf on a number of occassions. His questionable involvement in Coulter's voter fraud case in Palm Beach has spurred an internal investigation, according to the Post.

Anderson also told us that, though the PBSO investigation which began at his request in January had been shut down on April 12, he has never been notified and still has not been sent a copy of their final report.

"Had it not been for someone from the press contacting me, I'd not have known about it," he told us. "I had not heard anything back from the detective that took the case, which is funny since I was told initially that I'd hear back within a few weeks, even for a progress report or something as things moved forward."

"I've still never heard back from them. So to hear they closed the case from someone else is very troubling," he said, adding that he was planning to send the PBSO a letter "to inquire about the reasons for that."

He confirmed comments given to AP on Friday, that, after going through three different law enforcement agencies, and with new election laws recently passed in Florida, it was difficult for him to pursue the case much further. He had previously suggested that his next stop would be the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement if PBSO declined to take on the case.

"Given the new election reform matters that we have to deal with, I'm not inclined to spend much more time on Ms. Coulter," he told us, though he added he was not previously aware of the "FBI boyfriend" angle we reported yesterday and that current issues in the news concerning GOP claims of "voter fraud" could change his thinking.

When we told him about the allegations that the FBI man had been a former lover of Coulter's, Anderson laughed and said, "that figures."...

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

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Report Doesn't Bother to Mention Inappropriate FBI Interference in Case, or Internal Investigation That's Begun Because of It...
How Lazy Can These People Possibly Get?!
By Brad Friedman on 5/11/2007 6:56pm PT  

[Ed Note: Story updated with additional details. Brian Skoloff, of AP's Florida bureau was later revealed as the writer of the article in question. See end of this item for details.]

OATH: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that...All information on this form is true. I understand that if it is not true, I can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years.
-- Oath signed by Ann Coulter when she fraudulently lied about her address on her Florida Voter Registration Form

AP never fails to fail. Incredible.

Their unbylined report, out this afternoon, is surely good news for Ann Coulter! And we'll bet their headline is currently scrolling by on the Fox "News" and CNN crawls, it's certainly everywhere else. Here's the headline:

Coulter Cleared in Florida Vote Probe
Commentator Coulter Cleared of Wrongdoing in Investigation of Her Vote in Wrong Fla. Precinct

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. May 11, 2007 (AP)

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter was cleared of wrongdoing after an investigation into whether she violated Florida law by voting in the wrong precinct.
...
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office closed the case April 12, concluding "there was insufficient probable cause to determine that Ann Coulter willfully or deliberately" violated any laws.

We guess the fact that an FBI agent --- who, as we reported earlier today, is apparently her former boyfriend --- interceded inappropriately in the case to claim she was being "stalked" (without evidence apparently) isn't noteworthy enough to include in AP's report.

Neither is the fact that the FBI has begun an internal investigation into the matter, according to the Palm Beach Post this morning.

No, instead, the AP reports --- in an unbylined article! --- Coulter's wet dream headline that she's been "cleared."

And despite the fact that her Loyal Bushie attorney didn't even bother to respond to AP's request for comment, AP passed on his wet dream by reporting completely unsubstantiated horseshit to the effect of: "Her attorney, Marcos Daniel Jimenez, told the detective Coulter may have not changed a previous address because of a stalking incident."

That's a bald-faced lie. Coulter didn't "not change" anything....

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

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Palm Beach Paper Says FBI Agent Attempted to Clear GOP Pundit, BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger Said to be Reason for Fraudulent Info Given on FLVoter Registration Form, Driver's License!
Conservative Coulter Critic Borchers Responds; Says Her '98-'99 Boyfriend Has Been 'Her Personal FBI Resource for Her Own Purposes'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/11/2007 12:00pm PT  

The Ann Coulter Voter Fraud case, which we've been covering for more than a year (see our Special Coverage Page here, including her fraudulent Voter Registration Form, the complaint that started it all, and much more) has taken several bizarre twists this morning as Palm Beach Post columnist Jose Lambiet once again steps up with several fresh scoops in the matter, and The BRAD BLOG, who, as of today's article, has now become a corollary in the story, has an exclusive detail or two of our own to offer on the heels of this morning's Post report.

First, Lambiet reports that the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, which had been investigating the matter, has closed the case after an FBI agent interceded on Coulter's behalf. The PBSO had been investigating Coulter's fraudulent, knowing use of the wrong address on her voter registration form, a third-degree felony, and the fact that she subsequently, knowingly voted at the wrong precinct.

Second, the reason offered by the FBI man for Coulter's use of a phony address on her form --- actually that of her Palm Beach County real estate agent --- was because of claims that she was being "stalked" by a conservative BRAD BLOG guest blogger!

After the FBI intercession, as Lambiet reports, the PBSO investigator shut down the probe "without interviewing Coulter; a Realtor, whose Indian Road address Coulter used [on her fraudulent voter registration form]; or neighbors of Coulter's Seabreeze homestead."

The BRAD BLOG has previously shown that, in fact, Coulter had knowingly lied on her voter registration form, signing next to an "oath" swearing that "All information on this form is true" and that she understood "if it is not true, I can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to five years."

Once the issue was reported originally by Lambiet, Coulter went about lying about it to the media and at public appearances, claiming she didn't even live in Florida, as Michelle Pilecki, who picked up on Lambiet's item today, had previously reported at Huffington Post. Nonetheless, property records and other evidence we've published at The BRAD BLOG, including an affidavit from Republican poll worker James Whited, show conclusively that Coulter lied on her voter registration form, and then knowingly committed voter fraud when she voted at the wrong precinct in 2006.

"We stand by our detective's work," a PBSO spokesman told Lambiet in today's report. "Based on the nature of the allegations, she did as much as she could."

But this gets a lot more bizarre, so keep reading...

* * *

The BRAD BLOG spoke this morning with the "stalker" in question, as named by Lambiet, longtime Coulter critic, and founder of Citizens for Principled Conservatism, Dan Borchers, who tells us that "Ann Coulter used a false allegation as a 'get out of jail free card'" on her voter fraud charges.

He also tells us something that Lambiet didn't mention in his report: The FBI man in question, Supervisory Special Agent Jim Fitzgerald, was Coulter's former boyfriend!

Lambiet, who spoke with Borchers for his piece, didn't report that allegation, but hinted that something wasn't adding up in Fitzgerald's intercession in the matter. He wonders why an FBI profiler from the FBI Academy's Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, VA, "who went after the Unabomber [would] take time from his busy day to even think about a municipal election snafu?"

Fitzgerald wouldn't reply to Lambiet, but he reports that after the Post contacted the bureau for comment on the matter, the FBI "immediately launched an internal review of the agent's involvement."

"We're looking into it," bureau spokeswoman Ann Todd said.

She declined to say whether Fitzgerald acted on his personal behalf or as an FBI agent or on someone else's orders.
...
County Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson, meanwhile, decried what he called "FBI intrusion."
...
"This doesn't bode well in terms of the public's impression that celebrities receive preferential treatment," Anderson said. "I'm curious about how anyone can justify the FBI's intrusion."

Anderson and Lambiet aren't the only ones dubious about the FBI's intervention on behalf of Coulter or the excuse that a "stalker" led her to use her realtor's address on her voter registration form....

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

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Advocacy Group's Press Release Disingenuously Continues to Forward Unsupportable Notion that Bill Would Have Prevented Sarasota's FL-13 Election Meltdown
Legislation Still to Allow for Uncounted and Uncountable Electronic Ballots on Touch-Screen Voting Systems...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2007 5:32pm PT  

Rush Holt's Election Reform Bill (HR811) was successfully voted out of the U.S. House Administration Committee today after a four hour mark-up session. We'll have analysis of the bill in the coming days as we are able to review a copy of the final version which is now headed to the House floor. We have been told that electronic balloting on Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen systems will continue to be allowed in the bill.

Apparently, a paper ballot --- one that is actually counted --- for every vote cast in America is of little interest to either the Democratic and Republican members of the committee.

See our Holt Bill Special Coverage Page at http://www.BradBlog.com/Holt for much more information and action points concerning the bill.

First out of the box to trumpet today's "triumph", naturally, was the bill's top supporter, the public advocacy group, People for the American Way (PFAW). They had a press release good to go before the ink even dried on the dangerous new version of the bill (which, we should add, does include both some improvements to the initial version, along with several watered down provisions as we've been told...but we'll wait until we actually read it before commenting further on any of that.)

For now, however, we have little choice but to characterize the tactics used by PFAW in their press release as despicable, while they continue to knowingly mislead the American people about what the Holt bill will and won't do. (Their press release is posted in full at the end of this article.) This group knows better, and yet, they are doing it anyway.

PFAW can be reached at:
pfaw@pfaw.org
202-467-4999 or 800-326-7329
2000 M Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

We can do little else at this point other than to recommend any donors to their organization cease supporting them immediately, and otherwise let them know exactly why. Their dangerous, disingenuous support for this dangerous and disingenuous bill is counter to the best interests of Election Reform and Integrity in America. Worse still, PFAW --- who has openly lobbied in favor of the use of dangerous, disenfranchising, hackable touch-screen DRE systems, claiming they are preferable to paper-based optical-scan systems --- is willing to lie about facts in order to see the bill move forward...

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

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Contest to be Dismissed During Tuesday Mark-up Session of Rush Holt's Election Reform Bill
'Insufficient Evidence' Given as Reason, Despite Failure by Committee to Review 'Hard Evidence' Collected...[NOW WITH UPDATED NEWS ABOUT DISMISSAL]
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2007 12:58am PT  

UPDATE 5/8/07 5:45pm PT: The U.S. House Administration Committee voted unanimously to dismiss all of the U.S. House election contests other than the FL-13 Jennings/Buchanan race. More details now here...

The campaign of Clint Curtis (D), the vote-rigging/Tom Feeney whistleblower who challenged Feeney (R-Abramoff) for the U.S. House seat in Florida's 24h Congressional district last November, has told The BRAD BLOG that the U.S. House Administrative Committee is set to dismiss Curtis' Congressional contest of the race --- filed under the Federal Contested Elections Act --- when the committee meets on Tuesday morning.

Though they've yet to examine the "hard evidence" the Curtis campaign says they've collected in the matter, the reason for the dismissal, as given to campaign manager, Marty Ward by a Capitol Hill staffer, was "insufficient evidence". Ward says that two different offices have informed the campaign of the committee's plan to dismiss the case tomorrow.

Ward told us tonight, however, that Congress hasn't even seen, much less investigated, the "hard evidence" in the form of sworn affidavits from voters that the campaign's volunteers have collected over the past several months via door-to-door canvassing in the district. The results of that canvass, the campaign says, reveal that Curtis' votes, as tallied on Florida's paperless touch-screen voting systems, were under-reported by anywhere from 12% to 24% per precinct so far canvassed.

Curtis was declared the loser by some 16 points after the election, despite an "Election Eve" Zogby Poll which declared he and Feeney to be in a "statistical dead heat". An 8 point or better misreporting of the true results in the race, they maintain, would have swung the election in Feeney's favor as they believe likely happened.

Ward sent us these thoughts in response to the Democrats plans earlier this evening...

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

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A Huge Victory (Finally!) for Voters in the Sunshine State!
ALSO: Congress Asks GAO to Investigate Contested FL-13 Election...
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2007 4:49pm PT  

Will the Democrats in the U.S. Congress finally begin to realize their mistake in allowing for DRE touch-screen voting machines now that the Republican Governor of Florida has led the Republican-majority Florida legislature (along with every Democrat in it as well) to do the right thing and move to all paper ballots? Or will U.S. Congressional Dems continue to allow themselves to lose yet another issue that they should be owning?

We'll leave it to the Election Integrity advocates on the ground --- the coalition of GoAllTheWayFlorida.com --- who have worked so long and hard, to give you the great news...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3 May 2007

FLORIDA MOVES TO PAPER BALLOTS!

FLORIDA VOTERS COALITION CONGRATULATES GOVERNOR CRIST AND THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE FOR ENDING PAPERLESS VOTING.

TALLAHASSEE: In a historic vote, the Florida House today unanimously passed CS/HB 537, already passed in the Senate, that provides almost all voters paper ballots in time for the 2008 Presidential election, and bans paperless DREs outright by 2012. The bill now goes to the Governor where he’s sure to sign it since it’s his initiative.

Counties will have the option to pitch DREs immediately and provide ballot marking devices for voters with disabilities. “FVC urges all 67 counties to convert to uniform paper ballot systems without delay and leave no voter behind voting on failed electronic voting machines,” said FVC Co-Founder, Dan McCrea.

The bill is funded with $27.9 million in HAVA funds and there’s plenty more money in that account should more be needed next year. Counties will get help from the state to purchase optical scan equipment to count the paper ballots; ballot-on-demand equipment to ease paper congestion problems in Early Voting; and ballot marking devices to serve the disabled.

While there was talk earlier in the legislative session about retrofitting printers to failed touchscreen DREs, that talk faded as legislators saw it would be throwing good money after bad...

The rest of the News Release is posted here [PDF]...

In still more very good FL news, a U.S. House panel has asked the non-partisan GAO to investigate the contested FL-13 election between Christine Jennings and Vern Buchanan where 18,000 votes disappeared on the DRE touch-screen voting systems in Sarasota.

John Gideon has links to media coverage of both of those events in his Daily Voting News today.

Congratulations, Florida voters! And especially to the tireless patriots down there who have been fighting so hard, for so long! There are still many fights ahead down there before true Election Integrity returns to Florida, but there is no denying that this is an enormous victory. Let's hope it rubs off on the other 49 states...and the U.S. Congress!

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The BRAD BLOG Kindly Corrects the Congressman's Omissions...
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2007 1:21pm PT  

In today's Orlando Sentinel, Florida still-unindicted Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff) pens an op/ed --- titled "Let me clarify facts about trip" --- in which he speaks about some mysterious trip to Scotland with some unnamed lobbyist.

Since the omissions in the op/ed may not help to fully clarify the facts about his trip as Feeney has intended --- and as a public service to America and those Googling for more information on one of the House's most corrupt GOP congressmen concerning his business relationship with one of the GOP's most corrupt lobbyists --- The BRAD BLOG is happy to reprint Mr. Feeney's op/ed in full below, along with a few words he must have accidentally left out from his attempted clarification; Words such as "Jack Abramoff" and "golf".

So here is Mr. Feeney's complete Sentinel op/ed, as supplemented by our hopefully clarifying additions (in bold)...

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

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For Florida and Everybody Else...
By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2007 3:38pm PT  


50 seconds well spent...Click play on the video at left.

That terrific video is just out from CountAllVotes.com.

The FL House is currently in the throes of either adding poison pills to, or otherwise trying to fend off Gov. Charlie Crist's long-overdue and responsible plan to bring paper ballots to the beleaguered voters of the Sunshine State. His courageous plan would do away with all of the state's horrible, disenfranchising, touch-screen DRE voting machines in time for 2008, something which even Democrats in the U.S. House, so far, have been shamefully afraid to do.

Please go visit the site and take action --- whether you're from Florida or not, you can help their campaign...which will help us all.

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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.

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Says Panel Must Review 'Hard Evidence' Gathered Showing '12-24% More Votes Than Stated in Official Results'
Vote-Rigging Whistleblower Turned Candidate Says All Four Challenged Races in Florida Must be Investigated by House, Not Just FL-13's Jennings/Buchanan Race...
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2007 6:59pm PT  

[UPDATED WITH VIDEO]

And speaking of Tom Feeney and Clint Curtis, the man who made a number of alarming accusations about him; including (but not limited to) a vote-rigging conspiracy in 2000, protection of an undocumented alien who pled guilty to espionage charges related to sending restricted missile chips to Communist China, and much more...

Curtis released a statement last week in regard to the contest he's filed in the U.S. House last December under the Federal Contested Elections Act following his House race against Feeney in Florida's 24th district last November. (The statement is posted at end of this article.)

In an exclusive BRAD BLOG interview from early March, Curtis spoke about "hard evidence" gathered by his campaign showing that his votes were under-recorded --- and/or Feeney's over-recorded --- on the paperless touch-screen voting systems used in the race. Their evidence has been gathered via a precinct-by-precinct, door-to-door canvass being carried out by the campaign volunteers.

"We have now found absolutely…more votes for Democrats than the official results show," Curtis told us earlier this year. "Absolutely more votes. No trends, no guesses. More votes. That should never happen."

The campaign's news release claims that "In every precinct studied, the data shows that Curtis received 12-24% more votes than stated in the official result."

The House recently announced the formation of a panel to investigate the contested election between Christine Jennings and Vern Buchanan in Florida's 13th district, but has failed to take similar action on the other three contested Sunshine State elections which "remain in limbo," according to Curtis's campaign. Another House race from Louisiana has also been contested in Congress. All of the contests were filed last year under the federal act meant to carry out Congress's Constitutionally specified mandate as the final arbiter of the seating of its members.

"Only an official independent investigation, backed by the authority of the U.S. House, can dispel lingering questions regarding the accuracy of the 2006 election results," in Florida's 24th district and the other contested races, the campaign says. They are calling for the immediate formation of a panel in Congress to "determine the accuracy of the electronic voting systems in question, and ensure legitimate representation for the voters in those districts."

Drawing a contrast with the FL-13 contest, which Curtis's campaign aptly notes is based on largely circumstantial evidence --- though a mountain of it --- at this time, his group of volunteers in South Florida claim to have "gathered hard evidence" in the form of sworn affidavits from voters, which show "exactly where the election results are inaccurate."

"The evidence that the election integrity group has gathered can be independently reproduced and can determine whether or not the voting machines recorded accurately," the campaign contends.

UPDATE 4/26/07: Here's a video, courtesy of Ginny Ross of the Election Defense Alliance, featuring an interview with Curtis detailing his campaign's efforts "Walking for Democracy" efforts to canvass the district:


The complete press release from the Clint Curtis campaign is posted in full below...

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

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Former Chief of Staff Jason Roe 'Abruptly Resigns' From Romney Campaign as Abramoff Said to be 'Talking so Much He Doesn't Have Time to Eat'
Heat Continues to Build as Everyone Starts Singing in the FBI Investigation of Corrupt Florida Congressman...
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2007 12:36pm PT  

Signs indicate things are getting worse, and quickly, for one of Congress' most corrupt members, Rep. Tom Feeney, a once-powerful Florida Republican whose extensive career of documented lies, political favors, and routine partisan smear-mongering The BRAD BLOG has covered in great detail over the last two and a half years.

Yesterday, Feeney was fingered as "Representative #3" in recent court filings related to the guilty plea of Republican Congressional Aide Mark Zachares, who admitted receiving some $40,000 in cash and gifts from Jack Abramoff. A day earlier, it was revealed that the FBI had recently interviewed Feeney and requested documents related to his 2003 golf junket to St. Andrews, Scotland with Zachares and the disgraced GOP lobbyist.

Today, court documents reveal that the cost of the 2003 trip was closer to $20,000 per person instead of the $5,643 Feeney claimed when he "paid back" that amount in January of this year, after the House Ethics Committee found him to be in violation of House Rules prohibiting lobbyist-paid travel.

Further news reports indicate much more trouble may be ahead for the beleaguered Congressman, as Abramoff is said to be chattering away to federal investigators --- "so much he doesn't have time to eat," according to one news report --- in hopes of reducing a prison sentence he's currently facing in relation to conspiracy fraud charges to which he's already plead guilty in Florida.

But if that weren't indication enough that Feeney may be in big trouble, it's also now being reported this morning that his former Chief of Staff, Jason Roe --- who, along with his wife, Patricia, has also been the target of corruption allegations --- abruptly resigned from his new position as Deputy Campaign Manager for Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Amusingly, the reason he cited for the resignation was "familial obligations."

Those "familial obligations" might include the fact that Patricia reportedly received some $50,000 from the Feeney campaign for fundraising duties, before becoming Chief of Staff for Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) --- whose wife's office was raided last week by Federal investigators leading to his resignation this week from all Congressional Committees.

Further, in what TMP's Josh Marshall aptly described last night as "a classic scandal harmonic convergence," the case against Renzi, which included federal wiretaps prior to last year's November election, also has direct implications in the the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal.

And all of the "familial" wives are involved as well.

Following all of this? You may need to take notes. We'll try to make it easy for you...

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

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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).

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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!... ---

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New Computerized System was Rife with Bugs, Unexplained Errors and Party-Flipping According to Newly Revealed Documents...
By Michael Richardson on 4/12/2007 11:27am PT  

Guest Blogged By Michael Richardson

The 18,000 "undervotes" in Sarasota and other questionable elections in November 2006 election were not the only problems faced by Florida voters last year. Most of them, in fact, likely have no idea just how bad it really was.

Florida's statewide voter registration database, and election management systems designed to work with it, were plagued in early 2006 with a host of problems. Some of the details are now revealed by a raft of email messages sent recently by a source to the non-partisan election integrity watchdog group BlackBoxVoting.org which posted them quietly on their site for public scrutiny.

Sixty-four email messages to election officials, spanning a four-month period from January to April 2006, from VR Systems, a Florida corporation, document a staggering series of serious problems with Florida's new computerized voter registration database during the early months of its implementation. The emails, from Jane Watson, a manager at VR Systems, provide a disturbing picture vis a vis a nearly day-by-day report from inside the software test lab.

The Florida Voter Registration System (FVRS) is statewide voter registration database described by Watson in the emails as a "home grown system" built by IBM to Florida specifications and maintained by Department of State staff. Voter Focus is a software system, unique to Florida, which provides election management functions to 60 Florida counties.

The emails tell the tale of software failures which began in January 2006 as programmers furiously work to solve program glitches and failures prior to the state's upcoming elections. The system went online before development was complete, in order to meet the January 1st deadline imposed by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The source of the Florida emails, an insider familiar with the development and implementation of the database who has requested anonymity, tells The BRAD BLOG that, "The system should never have seen the light of day until the bugs were worked out. They used the voters and county election officials as guinea pigs to experiment on and test the program."

Documented failures include the software somehow, without apparent reason, switching the party registration for voters. As one of the emails describes: "We are seeing instances of voters being changed to a different party when there was no user activity. This is our top priority now." And the next day: "We worked this weekend on diagnosing voters whom we suspected as having had their party changed by Voter Focus...There were 3 counties with high numbers of suspected cases of this kind of inadvertent party change."

The emails remain unclear on whether the problems were completely found and fixed, and whether or not all voter files had been correctly restored. Later emails suggest that various related problems still existed months later when voters, whose registration should have been recorded in the system, were nowhere to be found. Votingindustry.com, a website which tracks the progress of the implementation of statewide registration databases, currently describes Florida's system as "Still working out kinks."

Jane Watson, the author of the memos, spoke with The BRAD BLOG and confirmed the authenticity of the emails. She explained that the federal government with its HAVA mandates "didn't understand the time it takes to develop programs."

While Watson stressed her confidence that no voter was disenfranchised in 2006 because of bugs in the statewide voter registration system, she admits that "party changes never have worked as well as they should" and that "there are still some things to work out..."

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

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