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By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2004 12:56pm PT  

Miami Herald now reporting that 70,000 votes were "discovered" last night in Broward County, FL for a gambling initiative that reversed the previously announced outcome. [emphasis mine, and mostly notable to those who have been following along with previously reported items]:

Broward County corrected a computer glitch Thursday that had miscounted thousands of absentee votes, instantly turning a slot-machine measure from loser to winner and reinforcing concerns about the accuracy of electronic election returns.

The bug, discovered two years ago but never fixed, began subtracting votes after the absentee tally hit 32,500 --- a ceiling put in place by the software makers.
...
The problem was quickly traced to software in what is known as the central tabulation machine, a computer that collects data from optical scanners that read the individual mail-in ballots.
...
County officials blamed Election Systems & Software, the company that sold the machines and counting software to Broward.

County officials say they think ES&S failed to follow through on a problem that was brought to their attention two years ago, during the 2002 general election.

ES&S spokeswoman Becky Vollmer said the glitch --- which limits the number of votes that can be counted in each precinct to safeguard against ballot stuffing --- will be fixed in software updates they are submitting to the Division of Elections next year.
...
Alia Faraj, [FL Secretary of State, Glenda] Hood's spokeswoman, said ES&S had not previously submitted any information about the counting cap in its tabulation software, which is supposed to be certified by the Secretary of State's Office.
...
The tabulation software was set to reverse the vote count at 32,500. It was triggered when Broward counted all 97,535 absentee ballots in one mega-precinct Tuesday night and early Wednesday.

Hello? Connect. The. Dots.

(For more on the Optical Scan oddities in Florida, and info on who ES&S is, see this previous item.)

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2004 5:37pm PT  

Though Ohio got all the Florida-like attention this year from the mainstream media (who can't seem to focus on more than one thing at time, and at that, for only mere seconds) back in Florida --- where nobody is looking, and yes the results were close though less so than in 2000 --- something also doesn't add up.

Kathy Dopp has been crunching hard election result numbers and a strange --- yet very clear pattern --- is emerging.

Using the very rough gauge of comparing Republican and Democrat registrations county by county to the actual final voting results, she finds that the percentage change of "Expected Votes" versus "Actual Results" are fairly consistent in counties that used E-Voting machines.

But in counties that used Optical Scan Voting the "Expected Votes" versus "Actual Results" are wildly discordant to say the least.

For example, look at just one sample from Baker County, FL...

Registered Voters
REP: 24.3% DEM: 69.3%

Actual Votes
REP: 7,738 DEM: 2,180

Change from Expected Results
REP: 220.4% DEM: -68.4%

That's a sample from just one county, but the majority of counties that used Opti-scan systems, particularly those systems made by "Election Systems and Software (ES&S)" show the same wildly discordant pattern.

Such a disparity between Actual Results and Expected Results (based on voter registration) could well be explained if the voter turnout was simply far and away in favor of Bush in Florida due to any number of factors. But why then do virtually none of the Electronic Voting counties in Florida show anything like those kind of disparities in the Expected versus Actual Results?

She's been updating her data throughout the day, adding info as it's made available by the state of Florida.

(Thanks reader Teri K. for the tip)

UPDATE: ES&S, together with Diebold Election Systems, are responsible for tallying some 80% of votes in the U.S. The CEO of Diebold Election Systems is also the founder of ES&S according to this interesting report from July 2003. It's also an interesting report because it seems to describe yesterday's results "to a T" in many ways...More on that soon...

ReddIt this story!



Show is tonight! Election Eve!
Send Email NOW!!!
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2004 11:31am PT  

Hannity & Colmes now announcing that Jeb Bush is added to tonight's show!!!

See this article if you haven't already on the stacked deck they're getting ready to present tonight! (So far, 4 from the Right --- now including Rove, Morris and Jeb Bush --- and 1 from the Left!)

colmes@foxnews.com, Comments@foxnews.com, mm-tips@mediamatters.org, mm-actions@mediamatters.org, Write">TheBradBlog@cville.com\">Write those letters!!! Just a few hours left before airtime! Get the word out!

GOOD NEWS UPDATE: Just heard from my source: Terry McAullife now added to show for balance! Your letters are working! Keep it up! You are making a difference!!!

FINAL UPDATE: Victory (mostly)! Final lineup: 2 guests from the Right, 2 from the Left. But H&C managed incredibly to skew it to the right anyway. Click here to read how.

ReddIt this story!



Website suggestion to shoot Democrat leaders!
By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2004 11:05am PT  

Josh Marshall reports on a group calling themselves the "Florida Leadership Council" circulating a flyer now down there. Here's the actual flyer. Here's Josh's summary:

The headline reads: "First Day of School: Eighth Grade South Florida Middle School, 2007"

Under that is a class of school children wearing gas masks and beneath that is the following faux-AP story ...

(AP) Florida Red Zone --- August 14th, 2007 --- President Kerry warned parents and children in South Florida that mandatory radiation and chemical gear would be required to be worn "for the forseeable future" since the Suitcase Dirty Bomb terrorist attack on South Florida in the spring. The first day of school was chaotic, as teachers and school officials attempted to bring some ...

Perhaps even more troubling, however, is that when clicking on the link to the "Florida Leadership Council" there are continuing gunshots heard when looking at the front page. Three rifle shots, every 10 seconds or so.

It seems to be tied to an ad against U.S. Senate candidate Betty Castor (who is in a tight race down there), which is right next to pictures of Democrat/Liberal figureheads with the text "It's time to fight back - before it's too late."

ReddIt this story!



The Bush thugs get to work.
By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2004 12:21pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

The Florida 2000 election was clearly an aberration of our Democracy on more levels than one may care to count. From the elderly Jews "voting" for Pat Buchanan on the butterfly ballot, to the grossly racist and inaccurate corporate purging of "felons" from the voter rolls, to the military absentee ballots postmarked days after the election but left unchallenged by a cowed Gore campaign, to the staged demonstrations of "angry" Republican campaign workers storming the vote counters meant to look like a voter uprising (as seen at Right, and published, without the identifying numbers in that "Liberal" paper the Washington Post - click it for more info!), to the Florida Secretary of State/Bush Campaign Co-Chair "confirming" the count of uncounted ballots, etc. etc. etc.

To put it bluntly, it was a debacle and a blight on our country's record of free, fair, honest and open elections.

And yet, I was prepared to look back at it all it as a one-time anomaly of a bitterly divided country and a virtually tied state run by the brother of the Republican nominee as he was looking to find that one foot in the door to snatch the deciding edge in a nearly evenly divided national electorate.

In other words, it sucked, it was un-American, un-Democratic and un-seemly, but it was over and it could never happen again.

Am I naive, or what?

That "one-time anomaly" was likely nothing of the sort. And it looks like the Bush Bros. may be preparing to do it again. Seeking any and all opportunities to squeeze out just enough votes to put them over again. Or more appropriately perhaps; Squeeze out enough votes to make it look as though they've won yet again.

This column from Bob Herbert in Monday's NY Times may be an ominous sign of who and what is at work in Florida again for this year's crucial Presidential election.

The elderly black vote in Florida is crucial to a Kerry win, and so the piece is particularly ominous and frightening. Since you have to subscribe to the Times (it's free, though!) to read the article, I'll post more of the column here than I usually might. It's a short piece though, and worth subscribing if only to read the whole thing:

State police officers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an odd "investigation" that has frightened many voters, intimidated elderly volunteers and thrown a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November.

The officers, from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which reports to Gov. Jeb Bush, say they are investigating allegations of voter fraud that came up during the Orlando mayoral election in March.

Officials refused to discuss details of the investigation, other than to say that absentee ballots are involved. They said they had no idea when the investigation might end, and acknowledged that it may continue right through the presidential election.

...

The state police officers, armed and in plain clothes, have questioned dozens of voters in their homes. Some of those questioned have been volunteers in get-out-the-vote campaigns.

I asked [Geo Morales, a spokesman for the Department of Law Enforcement] in a telephone conversation to tell me what criminal activity had taken place.

"I can't talk about that," he said.

I asked if all the people interrogated were black.

"Well, mainly it was a black neighborhood we were looking at - yes,'' he said.

He also said, "Most of them were elderly."

When I asked why, he said, "That's just the people we selected out of a random sample to interview."

Chilled yet?

One woman who was questioned is quoted in the column as asking "Am I going to go to jail now because I voted by absentee ballot?"

Joseph Egan, an attorney for one of the 73 year old vote workers being "investigated", speaks of the blanket of fear and intimidation that is beginning to emanate through the community:

According to Mr. Egan, "People who have voted by absentee ballot for years are refusing to allow campaign workers to come to their homes. And volunteers who have participated for years in assisting people, particularly the elderly or handicapped, are scared and don't want to risk a criminal investigation."

If this is the one story that has been picked up by the media about possible chicanery in the Sunshine State, imagine what may be going on that we don't yet know about down there.

When I received an Email last night asking me to join as an "Election Protection Volunteer", it seemed perhaps to be a bit of overkill. This morning however, I'm beginning to think differently. If the people won't step up to ensure a free and fair election this time around, who will? Jeb's thugs? James Baker? The Supreme Court?

And with the margin of victory as close as it could be, how na�ve would we be to make the assumption that BushCo won't do anything and everything again this time to "win" the election once more.

As it's been said..."Fool me once ... shame on ... shame on you ... ... ... if ya fool me, ya can't get fooled again."

Pay attention.

ReddIt this story!



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