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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?...
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'Green News Report' 4/1/14
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Santa Cruz, California's Election Clerk Comes Back for Another Helping...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2007 3:58pm PT  

[UPDATED POST-SHOW]

Santa Cruz County Clerk, Gail Pellerin joined us on the Peter B. Collins Show again tonight, live, to follow up on last week's interesting and rather spirited (at times, contentious-ish) hour.

The audio archive and full text transcript of last week's hour is posted here if you missed it.

The audio from this week's show, along with the transcript, courtesy of Santa Cruz voter Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us.

Since last Friday's show, CA SoS Debra Bowen has pronounced that the voting machine "sleepovers" Pellerin told us she'd planned for her Sequoia voting systems again in 2008 "don't comply with the security requirements" for those voting systems in California.

As well, we've gotten the opportunity to chat a bit via email with Pellerin since then, and are encouraged that we can begin working more together than apart, as is necessary, I think, for Election Integrity advocates and Elections Officials. It's the voting machine companies who are the real villains in this matter, and they've been quite successful at driving an opportunistic wedge between advocates and officials.


UPDATE, AUDIO & TRANSCRIPT: The show went very well. Pellerin stuck around for the entire hour and it was a great discussion with several interesting and newsworthy revelations, along with some very good callers as well. I think we may be getting somewhere. At least I'm hopefully tonight for the good folks of Santa Cruz...

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

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Debra Bowen Says 'Sleepovers Don't Comply With Security Requirements...It's Really Simple'
Reply to BRAD BLOG Question During Conference Call Monday, Most Direct, Definitive Statement on the Controversial Practice Since She's Taken Office...
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2007 4:15am PT  

She's hinted as much previously, and her new security requirements issued in the wake of her landmark "Top-to-Bottom Review" of e-voting systems would seem to preclude them, but CA Secretary of State, Debra Bowen has now given her most direct comment to date on the matter of voting machine "sleepovers".

"Sleepovers don't comply with the security requirements," Bowen said in response to a question we submitted on the matter during a conference call with the Secretary sponsored by the Courage Campaign.

"It's really simple," she added, after a pause following her immediate, direct reply to the question.

She went on to explain how unauthorized access to a single machine, by a single person, could allow an entire county's election to be flipped, putting everyone's election at risk.

The complete question and Bowen's full answer is transcribed at the end of this article.

The matter of voting machine "sleepovers" --- the practice of sending pre-programmed, election-ready voting systems home with pollworkers, often days and weeks prior to elections, for deliver to polls on Election Day --- first became a controversy last year after The BRAD BLOG exposed the issue as it occurred during San Diego's special election to replace disgraced Republican U.S. House Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Our exhaustive coverage (see: Busby/Bilbray category) of the resulting scandal, continued throughout some 100 articles here.

The special election in San Diego was the first federal contest to have taken place after several analysis of Diebold's e-voting system found that the systems utilized undisclosed software code prohibited by federal standards. The particular type of code is banned at the federal level since it can be exploited to flip an election undetectably.

Subsequent studies at Princeton University and elsewhere revealed that inappropriate access by a single person, to a single machine, could virally affect every other machine used across the same county.

The revelations made the notion of voting machine "sleepovers" all the more stunning to those of us who recognized the remarkable threat the practice posed to the security of our elections...

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

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County Clerk Has 'Faith' in Her Sequoia Voting System, Plans to Continue Voting Machine 'Sleepovers' in 2008...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2007 9:05am PT  

I'll withhold most of my personal thoughts here for the moment, since Gail Pellerin, County Clerk for Santa Cruz County, CA, has agreed to come back to continue this discussion on the Peter B. Collins Show this Friday. For the moment then, I'll just let you listen and offer your own thoughts on this conversation from last Friday's show.

Pellerin and I appeared on PBC's radio show to discuss issues of Election Integrity, CA SoS Debra Bowen's "Top-to-Bottom Review" and the Sequoia Voting System that Pellerin uses in Santa Cruz, the hometown of former CA SoS Bruce McPherson.

She is on the public record as having said last July at the public hearing in Sacramento for Bowen's TTB Review: "I can guarantee that every eligible vote is counted accurately," about which, you can imagine, I challenged her on the show. As well, in the interview (complete audio below) she commits to sending her voting systems home yet again on "sleepovers" with poll workers in next year's elections. I also had a thing or two to say to say about that, as you may have guessed. Suffice to say, it was a lively interview.

Pellerin --- presumably a Democrat, as she once worked in the CA state assembly for then-Speaker Willie Brown --- was scheduled only for the first half-hour of the show, but fortunately called back for the final segment to answer some of the questions that I didn't have time to ask her about when she was on the air. I greatly appreciate her willingness to do so and to stand up to the fire.

You'll want to stay tuned for that final segment.

As well, be sure to tune in this Friday at 5pm on the PBC Show (listening link here), where she has agreed to come back and pick up where we left off. I greatly appreciate her willingness to do so. The continued discussion can only benefit voters both in Santa Cruz (one of the locations where Peter's show is heard live on the air) and across the nation, where Elections Officials and Election Integrity advocates must continue to find ways to work together to solve our problems and push back at the damaging, cynical, divisive, selfish, and inaccurate propaganda being forwarded by the Voting Machine Companies.

NOTE 9/22/07: Pellerin returned for another full hour on 9/21/07, the week following this broadcast, in order to follow up on this week's interview. That subsequent second interview and text transcript has now been posted here...

-- Santa Cruz County, CA, County Clerk Gail Pellerin and Brad Friedman on the Peter B. Collins Show, 9/14/07 (appx 41 mins. w/ commercials now removed):

Complete text-transcript of the hour now follows below...

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

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Only Three-Quarters Of the Review Reports Have Been Released
Is The Secretary of State Hiding Something?
By John Gideon on 9/11/2007 4:31pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org

The California "Top-To-Bottom Review" of state certified voting systems was to include four investigations; Security (Red Team), Accessibility, Code Review, and Document Review. All of the reports were released soon after they were presented to the Secretary of State, Debra Bowen; all but the Document Review.

Why has the Document Review been kept from the public? What is contained in those reports that we should not know? The Secretary of State's Press Office will only say, "We don't know when they will be released."

In his "Not Quite a Blog 2.0" Joseph Lorenzo Hall, one of the members of the document review team, reveals that each team member had to agree to the following secrecy:

No Principal Investigator, UC Senior Reviewer, Associate Reviewer or accessibility expert shall make or release any comments or other information about the processes, procedures, progress or findings of the voting system review or any draft or final report to any third party via any medium for 45 days from the submission of the final report to the SOS, or until the final report is made public by the SOS, whichever is sooner.

On Sept. 6 those 45 days of confidentiality had passed and Joe spoke about some of the basics with regards to the reports. He did not go into any specifics. In his blog he revealed the following...

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

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Three Smart Editorials Today Calling the Bad Guys Out and Demanding Accountability! Finally!
UPDATED: One More Smart Editorial Today Added, Calls Tom Feeney 'Shameless'!
By Brad Friedman on 8/30/2007 9:18am PT  

Blogged by Brad from Boulder, CO...

Must get off the grid today very shortly (and will be gone until after Labor Day), so not much time for comment here. Rather, I'll give you quick pointers to three superb editorials in today's papers as the voices of the good guys return to counter the charlatans and propagandists who've been dominating the media pages for far too long.

Please read on, for some heroic cries for accountability --- finally --- from the hopelessly compromised U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Election Officials in general, and Sequoia Voting Systems in particular, all found in the op/ed pages today from Coast-to-Coast!...

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

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Rep. Brad Sherman Tells Us He'll Drop Support For HR 811 If CA SoS Debra Bowen Won't Support It
In a Recent Radio Interview, She Said She Does Not...
By Alan Breslauer on 8/30/2007 7:50am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Last Thursday we had the opportunity to speak briefly with California U.S. House Rep. Brad Sherman about election integrity reform during one of his appearances here. Sherman, who had nothing but praise for the election integrity efforts of CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen, is a cosponsor of Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) controversial “Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2007,” otherwise infamously known as HR 811.

Sherman stated that he believed that Bowen's landmark, independent “Top-to-Bottom Review” of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems --- which resulted in the near-decertification of all but one California voting system after it was found they were all vulnerable to hackers and manipulation and failed to meet even marginal federal disabled voter accessibility standards --- was consistent with the Holt Bill that relies so heavily on the use of the same DRE voting systems.

That Sherman was apparently confused about the difference between what Bowen's study revealed (DREs are not safe to use in elections) and what Holt's bill allows (DREs, as long as they have so-called paper trails of the type Bowen's study found could not guarantee secure, accurate elections), is little surprise. Even in the wake of findings which undermine his own bill, Holt has been using Bowen's study, disingenuously, to tout his own exceedingly flawed bill as The BRAD BLOG reported some weeks ago.

However, to Sherman's credit, he agreed to withdraw his co-sponsorship of HR 811 if he learned that Bowen did not support it.

With this in mind, we direct the Congressman to radio talk show host Peter B. Collins's interview with Bowen on June 27, 2007 (audio below, appx 3 mins). Responding to a direct question from Collins about whether she supports the Holt bill, Bowen responded, "I have not. I have worked with the author to try to strengthen the bill, but have not taken a position of support."

We have sent on this information to the Congressman's office, per his instructions, and await his reply.

The BRAD BLOG has previously reported on several other HR 811 co-sponsors, including Reps. Maxine Waters and Dennis Kucinich, who have indicated their intent to withdraw from the bill in the wake of strong opposition to a number of the bill's provisions by many advocates in the Election Integrity community.

UPDATE: Congressman Sherman responds through staffer Esther Azal:

Alan,

According to the conversation you had with the Congressman, he stated that he would withdraw his support of the Holt Bill if Debra Bowen were to "oppose" it. I spoke to Debra Bowen's office and her legislative staff informed me that she has not taken an official position on this piece of legislation.

Thank you for the link.

Esther

Take action to amend the Holt Election Reform Bill!
DEMAND A BAN ON DRE/TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING!
- Email Congress!
- Call your members!
See www.BradBlog.com/Holt for more details, coverage, talking points & information on all of the above!
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Where Will Conny McCormack Finally Get Her Payoff From?
By Brad Friedman on 8/29/2007 3:42pm PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from Boulder, CO...

"I don't want to preside over the dismantling of voter services that have been successful and accurate," LA County Registrar of Voters Conny McCormack tells the LA Times this morning. "I suppose I do take that personally."

McCormack's systems were "dismantled" after ES&S, one of her vendors, refused to supply its source code in time for testing of her paper-based InkaVote Plus system, and after her other vendor Diebold's touch-screen machines were disallowed for use because they were found vulnerable to hacking. Only one such machine will now be allowed per polling place in order to marginally meet federal disability voter accessibility standards, and the paper trails from those machines, as per Bowen's orders, will have to be 100% hand-counted.

Though that didn't keep McCormack from signaling, in a Bush-style signing statement, that she didn't think she had to actually count them prior to the final certification of the election. In a a statement [PDF] posted on the LA County Registrar's website in reply to Bowen's order, McCormack wrote, "However, it is important to clarify that the SOS Order does not require the 100% manual count audit to occur prior to completion of the official results certification."

The link to that document from the front page of the site has now been replaced by McCormack's resignation statement.

The LA Times Hector Becerra goes on to report that McCormack "angrily accused Bowen of unfairly attacking the voting machines to gain political points."

While we're not sure what "political points" Bowen gains (she was elected last November on the promise of doing exactly what she's done, won't have to run again for another three years, and has come under considerable criticism in the media for her courageous, principled stand), it's little surprise that McCormack, who has been fighting for the voting machine companies instead of the voters for years --- even appearing on a Diebold sales brochure to sing the company's praises --- would bug out of the nation's largest county just a month before the first Presidential Primary Election in 2008, leaving the voters to whatever may happen.

McCormack's official statement of retirement [PDF] didn't mention her anger at Bowen for taking away her toys and those of the companies she's concerned about. Rather she claimed...

My decision to leave at this time is based on several factors:

I have been approached by several foundations and, at this stage of life, am interested in shifting my energies and experience to election administration research and consulting both within the U.S. and worldwide.

So the question we pose to you is...

Who will be LA County Registrar of Voters Conny McCormack's next employer?
Total Votes: 207 Started: August 29, 2007 Back to Vote Screen

Let us know your opinion. The BRAD BLOG will, of course, let you know when we find out. It shouldn't be long. Something tells us, McCormack already knows where she's going from here...

UPDATE: I'm told the print edition version of Becerra's LA Times story on Conny was longer than the one posted on the web as linked above. In the carbon based version, there is a quote from yours truly, as Becerra interviewed by phone for reaction to McCormack's announcement late yesterday:

But not everyone will miss her. Brad Friedman whose Brad Blog has taken a leading role in questioning the electronic voting machine companies, said McCormack seemed more concerned about the voting machine companies than whether their machines were vulnerable to fraud, particularly by people involved in the voting process. "I suspect Conny understands there’s a new sheriff in town," Friedman said referring to Bowen. "I hope her replacement takes the concerns of election integrity seriously.”
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By John Gideon on 8/28/2007 4:05pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.org

Joining Karl Rove and Alberto "Fredo" Gonzales in announcing their retirements is Conny McCormack, the much embattled and always friendly to voting machine vendors Registrar of Voters for Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the nation.

In a statement on the LA County Registrar's website McCormack begins by saying:

After 30 years of public service, I have decided to retire at the end of this year. It has been an honor to serve the residents of Los Angeles County for the past 12 years as Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk and to lead a Department of exceptionally talented and dedicated employees committed to providing top quality service in all three diverse functional areas --- from election administration to recording property deeds to maintaining the public’s official records regarding voting, property ownership, birth, death, marriage, and more.

Here's a picture from a Diebold brochure that features McCormack. Could our question that accompanies the picture, which we used in a recent article on McCormack's expressed concerns for Diebold's profits, be an omen of what is to happen in the future?

UPDATE FROM BRAD: Despite McCormack's exit statement to the contrary, as linked above, she has left Los Angeles County a mess. At this time, we have no idea what voting system will be used in next February's Presidential Primary Election, as she's sided with the vendors, rather than the voters, when it came to meeting the requirements for CA SoS Debra Bowen's "Top-to-Bottom Review" of voting systems.

Furthermore, while she joined the throng of California Registrars all too happy to rush to the media, to bitch about having just six months to implement Bowen's new security requirements with just six months before the next big primary, it's telling that she's willing to leave nation's largest county altogether just a month before that primary. What does that tell you about her (and the other Registrars') feigned concern about having enough time to make sure the voters are well served in the next election?

The question is not will she go to work for a voting company, the only question seems to be which one, and how soon.

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Company's AutoMARK Ballot Marking Devices Unapproved at State and Federal Levels, Could Bring $10,000 Fine Per Machine, Full Refund of Purchase Price, Prohibition from Doing Business in State
STATEMENT: SoS Bowen Says 1000 Uncertified Voting Machines Sold to Counties, She Intends to 'Go After Company For Full Allowable Penalty,' Millions 'Taken from Counties' Pockets'...
By Brad Friedman on 8/21/2007 9:34am PT  

By Brad Friedman from St. Louis, MO...

ED NOTE: Story now updated with additional information and statement from Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

"ES&S sold nearly 1,000 voting machines in California without telling the counties that bought them that they had never been certified for use in this state," CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced in a statement released moments ago. (Complete statement now posted at end of article).

"Given that each machine costs about $5,000, it appears ES&S has taken $5 million out of the pockets of several California counties, that were simply trying to follow the law and equip their polling places with certified voting machines."

"Not only did ES&S sell machines to California counties that weren’t state certified, it’s clear the machines weren’t even federally certified when the company delivered them to California,” Bowen continued in the no-holds-barred statement. "While ES&S may not like California law, I expect the company to follow the law and not trample over it by selling uncertified voting equipment in this state."

She went on to add that she intends "to go after the company for the full $9.72 million in penalties allowable by law, along with the original $5 million the company took from counties’ pockets."

She ain't kidding! ES&S, the country's largest distributor of voting machines, looks to be in a lot of trouble in California.

Earlier we reported that a public notice from the CA Secretary of State's office was posted this morning by Thad Hall of CalTech announcing that the company "has violated" CA Elections Code by modifying "hundreds of units of a version of the AutoMARK ballot marking device" without certification or permission of the Secretary of State...

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

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Says Were it Not for Debra Bowen's Victory Last November, We Wouldn't Know About 'Corruptible' Voting Machines Rubber-Stamped by Her Predecessor Bruce McPherson...
By Brad Friedman on 8/10/2007 11:28am PT  

Once again, in a world of horrible reporting and irresponsible journalists (Media Matters rounds up a bunch of them here) willing to pass on discredited, unevidenced sour grapes from Election Officials and Voting Machine Company spokesliars, it's syndicated columnist Tom Elias who cuts through the crap and tells the truth about those "loser" Officials.

Elias also validates the fine choice we made in the only official candidate endorsement at The BRAD BLOG.

Here are a few money shots, from one of the very few articles we've been able to find that gets it right, since the release of CA Secretary of State Bowen's landmark, independent review of the utter failures of every single electronic voting system that has been rubber-stamp certified by her horribly irresponsible predecessor, Bruce McPherson, and the near-entirety of CA Elections Officials who have been misleading and whining about the findings ever since...

The most important results of last fall's election are just now in, and dozens of county voting registrars who invested hundreds of millions of dollars in high-tech voting machines are the losers, exposed as careless at best, irresponsible at worst.

Only a few California voters realized it during that election season, but the trustworthiness of this state's entire voting process was at stake. The candidate who favored questioning all electronic voting machines won.

And soon after Democrat Debra Bowen took over as secretary of state last winter, she ordered a "top-to-bottom review" of electronic voting and vote-counting systems. The results expose the failures of the registrars: Every voting system they've bought since 2000, except those whose maker didn't readily submit them to testing, proved corruptible.

No one would know this today if former Republican Secretary of State Bruce McPherson had won last year. Despite serious questions about machines made by Diebold Election Systems, Hart InterCivic, Sequoia Voting Systems and Election Systems & Software (ES&S), McPherson never seriously examined the possibility that votes cast on them could be altered.
...
[I]f McPherson were still around, registrars wouldn't be whining now about "chaos" or the expense of carrying out Bowen's corrective edicts. Nor would they be worrying about facing questions for months to come about how they could spend so much on machines that can be corrupted.
...
The objection that voters do not get as much access as Bowen's hacking team also doesn't stand up. Her testers unscrewed panels to get around tamper-proof seals. They got inside virtually all machines. Any precinct worker who stores machines in closets or garages has as much opportunity as they did. So might county staffers wishing to sneak-attack machines in storage between elections.

Most suspicious election outcomes have suggested such insider interference, not tampering by voters at actual polling stations.

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Conny McCormack Worried Diebold Won't Make Enough Money off the Voters She is Supposed to Be Working For...
By Brad Friedman on 8/8/2007 9:00am PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from somewhere in Oklahoma...

The shameful assault by California Elections Officials on the state's voters in the wake of CA Sos Debra Bowen's correct, yet courageous, decision to decertify and then limit the use of Diebold and other vendors' unreliable, hackable touch-screen (DRE) voting machines continues.

According to yesterday's LA Daily News, Conny McCormack, the Registrar of Voters in Los Angeles County, is very, very concerned...about profits for Diebold!

McCormack told the [Los Angeles] Board of Supervisors that Friday's decision by Secretary of State Debra Bowen requires all votes made on computer touch-screen systems to be hand-counted after the election to ensure accuracy.

Normally, only 1 percent of those votes are manually recounted.

"It's a shock that we'd have to hand-count at 100 percent," McCormack said.

McCormack said Bowen's order requires the county's vendors to pay the costs of that recount, which she estimated at $400,000 per election.

"I think we have to see what the vendors are going to say about that," McCormack said. "The vendors aren't going to make much money in Los Angeles County if they have to pay $400,000 for the recount."

But Supervisor Gloria Molina upbraided McCormack for her concerns about the vendors' profit margins.

"I think you are walking close to the edge," Molina said. "I don't understand why you are so protective of the vendors. You keep saying you are concerned about what this is going to cost them.

"It's really none of our business. It shouldn't be in our interest to protect the vendors' profits."

Why is McCormack "so protective of the vendors," as Molina asks? The answer may lie in determining whom McCormack is really working for.

She's supposed to be working for the voters, of course, not the vendors. But that's never stopped Conny, apparently. Here's Cover Girl Conny as she appears on the Diebold sales brochure to help them sell their voting systems...

McCormack has, of course, joined --- and even led --- the state's Elections Officials in their the outragous (and fallacious) attacks on Bowen, the state's chief Election Official.

In the meantime, McCormack hasn't bothered to attack either Diebold for lying to her and us about the security of their voting systems, or ES&S --- the vendor of her paper based voting system, used by most Los Angelinos --- for refusing to supply their op-scan source code, as per state law, for Bowen's "Top-to-Bottom Review." The ES&S InkaVote system has therefore been completely decertified for the moment.

The vendors lie and withhold information illegally, but Conny continues to fight for them and their profits. Not one word on behalf of the voters. What a disgraceful display.

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And Yet Another Sad Chapter from the Lying Liars of Diebold, America's #1 Un-American Voting System Company...
By Brad Friedman on 8/7/2007 6:05am PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from Plano, TX...

Staying, as we were for a few days, just about five minutes from Diebold Election Systems, Inc., headquarters in Allen, Texas, we thought it might be nice to drive by and see the old place for ourselves late last Saturday night...

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

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John Wildermuth of the San Francisco Chronicle! For an Unbelievably Clueless Report on CA SoS Debra Bowen's Recent Decision to Restrict Use of Touch-Screen Voting Systems
Wait Until You See What He Reported!...
By Brad Friedman on 8/6/2007 12:49pm PT  

Filed by Brad Friedman from Diebold Country (Plano, TX)...

There have been some first class examples of horrendous journalism in the wake of CA SoS Debra Bowen's historic attempts to begin righting the e-voting wrong late last Friday Night. (You can see a bunch of them for yourselves linked in John Gideon's 'Daily Voting News' yesterday.) In story after story, Election Officials --- most ubiquitously Steven Weir, Registrar of Contra Costa and President of the California Assoc. of Clerks and Elections Officials (CACEO), but many others as well --- and Voting Machine Spokesliars are directly quoted making one demonstrably false statement after another.

The majority of the journalists covering the beat don't seem to have a clue that they are being lied to, or how to counter it. A good start, however, would be to improve the ratio of Vendors/Elections Officials quoted to the number of Election Integrity advocates quoted. In many of the stories, there is barely a peep from the EI folks, who actually know what's going on (versus the Journalists who don't, and the Election Officials and Company Employees who are willing to lie to them). There is also a dearth of reporting on the opinions of actual voters and how they feel, since they are the ones who will be most notably affected by Bowen's long overdue changes to the Golden State's voting system.

Of all the stories we've reviewed since Friday, however, this Sunday piece from John Wildermuth in the San Francisco Chronicle easily takes the cake for the most atrocious reporting, perhaps ever.

In his incredibly unbalanced, anti-Bowen article --- featuring the biased, misworded, and unsupported headline "Touch vote machine ban hurts counties" --- Wildermuth offers an astounding bit of "reporting" on Bowen's new restrictions for Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen voting devices made by Diebold and Sequoia. In order to marginally meet federal requirements for a single disabled accessible voting device in each polling place (even though Bowen found that these systems do not meet such requirements), she's ordered no more than one such DRE device be used per polling place in counties who wish to deploy them for disabled voters.

Hold onto your hats, because Wildermuth, incredibly, mis-reported the point this way (emphasis added)...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2007 10:47am PT  

We concur...

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Debra Bowen Announces DRE (Touch-Screen) Machines to be Used Only One Per Polling Place for Disabled Voters with 100% Manual Count of Paper Trails
Dramatic Late Night Press Conference Held at 11:45pm in Sacramento...
By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2007 12:13am PT  

By Brad Friedman from Plano, TX, with help from Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us and Tom Courbat of SAVE R VOTE...

In a dramatic late-night press conference, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertified, and then recertified with conditions, all but one voting system used in the state. Her decisions, following her unprecedented, independent "Top-to-Bottom Review" of all certified electronic voting systems, came just under the wire to meet state requirements for changes in voting system certification.

Bowen announced that she will be disallowing the use of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems made by the Diebold and Sequoia companies on Election Day, but for one DRE machine per polling place which may be used for disabled voters. The paper trails from votes cast on DREs manufactured by those two companies must be 100% manually counted after Election Day. DREs made by Hart-Intercivic are used in only one California county and will be allowed for use pending security upgrades.

The InkaVote Plus system, distributed by ES&S and used only in Los Angeles County, has been decertified and not recertified for use after the company failed to submit the system source code in a timely manner to Bowen's office. LA County is larger than many states, and questions remain at this time as to what voting system they will use in the next election.

As The BRAD BLOG has been reporting in great detail for the past week since the reports were released, the "Top-to-Bottom Review" had found that all Electronic Voting Systems certified in California were easily accessible to hacking. A single machine, the testers discovered, could be easily tampered with by an Election Insider, Voting Machine Company Employee, or other individual in such a way that an entire election could be affected without detection.

In Bowen's conditional recertification she re-iterated that "expert reviewers demonstrated that the physical and technological security mechanisms" for the electronic voting systems "were inadequate to ensure accuracy and integrity of the elections results and of the systems that provide those results."

The Certification/Recertification documents for each of California's voting systems, including security mitigation procedures and other requirements for use, are now posted on the CA SoS website. The documents, in and of themselves, offer devastating indictments against the security and usability of each of the systems as revealed during Bowen's independent University of California "Top-to-Bottom Review."

Bowen, a Democrat, was elected last November largely on her promise to re-examine the state's voting systems. In an upset victory, she defeated Republican Bruce McPherson who had been appointed as Secretary of State by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger. McPherson had been very friendly to the voting machine vendors, allowing for the continued use of virtually every e-voting system submitted for state certification. Several of those systems had been previously revealed to have had grave vulnerabilities and included source code which was in violations of federal voting systems standards and in violation of state law.

The late-night press conference, following Bowen's decisions, was held at the SoS's office in Sacramento at 11:45pm PT, just in time to meet the state law requiring a six-month notification, prior to an election, for changes to certification of voting systems. California's Presidential Election Primary was recently moved up several months by the state legislature to February of '08.

The BRAD BLOG was able to listen in to the presser via a poor cell phone connection out of Bowen's office. As best as we were able to transcribe, these are our notes from Bowen's announcement and the questions from the media which followed...

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE/touch-screen) voting systems decertified and recertified for use by disabled only.
100% manual count for Diebold and Sequoia DREs.
One machine per polling place.

Diebold – Optical scan system: – decertified and recertified only if meets certain requirements.

Diebold TSx DREs – decertified and recertified subject to certain conditions. Only one machine in a polling place for use by disabled voters. Reduces risk of viral attacks that could infect central equipment.

Sequoia – Optec optical scan: – decertified and recertified – subject to conditions

Sequoia AVC Edge I and II (DREs) – decertified and recertified with a number of security requirements including only one machine in each voting location to allow independent access by disabled voters – concern regarding corruption of software and source code

Hart Intercivic – eSlate DRE: Used only by one county – decertifying and recertifying subject to security requirements. Has the least risk of the three systems.

ES&S InkaVote Plus - optical scan: (LA County only) – ES&S ignored my March demand to submit source code. ES&S eventually submitted source code too late for t2b review. Therefore, "I am decertifying the InkaVote Plus without recertification."

Voters are victims of federal certification process that has not done a job of assuring machines are accurate, accessible, secure.

I reject the notion that I should not require changes in systems solely because we already own them. She compares it to a recall of cars....When NASA finds a problem, they don't continue just because they've already spent the money. They scrub the mission and spend the money to get it right. We must do same with elections.

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

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