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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, October 31, 2014
GOP v. Registration Nation
50,000 new voter registrations said 'missing' in GA; Millions of voters threatened by faulty GOP 'Crosscheck' database scheme; About that 'non-citizen' voter 'study' at WaPo that all the RWers are talking about...
'Green News Report' 10/30/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
'Shut up!': NJ's Sandy recovery stalled, 2 years later; Weather Channel repudiates climate-denying co-founder; PLUS: 'Not too late': Stark, if hopeful message in UN's climate report...
Previous GNRs: 10/28/14 - 10/21/14 - Archives...
Why Dems Shouldn't Get Too Excited About Encouraging Pre-Election Polls in GA
A very brief reminder of the state's long and disturbing history with 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting systems...
Touch-Screen Votes Reportedly Flip R to D in MD
Diebold systems have been failing in Maryland since the state was the first to install them (and cover up their failures) in 2002. So why should 2014 be any different?...
'Green News Report' 10/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate Change and Election 2014: High stakes at the ballot box on energy, the environment, and global warming...
Previous GNRs: 10/21/14 - 10/14/14 - Archives...
Deja Vu All Over Again.
Again.
Brad's appearance this week on Thom Hartmann's 'Big Picture' TV show, as touch-screen votes starting flipping across the country yet again...
NM 'Motor Voter' Registration Rates Dive Under GOP SoS
Facing tight re-election bid, 'voter fraud' fraudster and Sec. of State Dianna Duran stands to benefit from failed, unlawful new reg process in race against Dem challenger...
NJ's Emergency 'Internet Vote' Scheme After Sandy Failed Disastrously
Aside from being illegal, a new report finds Chris Christie's order resulted in tens of thousands of unauthenticated votes during the 2012 Presidential Election in NJ...
Touch-Screens Flip 'No' to 'Yes' on TN Abortion Measure
After the state GOP repealed the law to move to paper ballots, votes now reportedly flipping again on a controversial Amendment to the state Constitution...
More Trouble With Touch-Screens (2014 Edition)
Votes Flip D to R in Texas, R to D in Illinois - What's happening (again), what it means (again), and what you can do about it (please?)...
Christie: GOP Governors Needs to Control 'Voting Mechanisms' in 2016
NJ Governor and 2016 Presidential hopeful offers interesting reason why Republicans in three key states need to win in 2014...
Justice Ginsburg Republishes TX Photo ID Law Dissent After BRAD BLOG Cites Error
Turns out U.S. Vets' ID can be used to vote under TX' new GOP voting restriction. Official SCOTUS opinion updated...
'Mercy' and 'Restorative Justice'
Sentencing of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius offers stark reminder of concepts missing from U.S. justice system...
'Green News Report' 10/21/14
GOPers still dodging climate Qs; Mountaintop removal coal mining promotes cancer; 2014 on track as hottest year ever; PLUS: LEGO breaks up with Shell...
Everything Old is Texas Again
On the upside though, even if they successfully violate the Constitution by keeping some 600,000 legally registered, disproportionately minority voters from voting this year, they can save some money on signage...
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
ALSO: Court unseals divorce docs from first marriage, Fuller attny dismisses abuse allegations as 'rhetorical'...
SCOTUS ALLOWS TEXAS' DISCRIMINATORY GOP PHOTO ID LAW TO USED IN MIDTERMS
Despite uncontested findings striking down the law as a racially-motivated, 'unconstitutional poll tax', it will be implemented this year...
'Dead Heat' and 'Dirty Tricks': The Nightmare Scenario
Maddow: 'Now we watch for ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted'...
Judge Fuller's Attorney Says Wife Beating Thing No Big Deal; 911 AUDIO and Gov. Don Siegelman Disagree
Standalone video of 911 call; First comment on case by imprisoned former AL Gov.; MORE...
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...


Sponsored by 2014 Sec. of State candidate, measure grants unprecedented power to Sec. of State to approve new e-voting systems for use in real elections, even with no testing at all
Legislation deceptively sold as measure to 'allow counties to develop, own and operate voting systems, increase voter confidence in the integrity of our elections'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/10/2013 8:35am PT  

A new bill that would grant unprecedented and unchecked powers to the California Sec. of State --- including those that could allow him or her to approve new e-voting systems for use in actual elections with no testing at all --- was approved late last week by the state legislature along partisan lines. It is now on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for his signature or his veto.

The Governor should veto SB 360, a sweeping, dangerous, ill-conceived and dishonestly presented piece of legislation, passed with little debate in public or in either chamber of the state legislature.

The measure has been, and is being, deceptively sold to the public and to state lawmakers as necessary to allow CA counties --- specifically Los Angeles County --- to "develop, own and operate public voting systems". In fact, the bill does much much more than that. What it actually does, among other things, is end the long-standing requirement that all electronic voting systems used in the state be tested and certified at the federal level before being allowed for use in California.

The bill also includes a provision allowing for new voting systems to be used in "pilot programs" during "a legally binding election", before the systems have been certified by the state in any way. That, in effect, could allow a new system to be used in an actual election, by actual voters in the Golden State, without any independent testing whatsoever, depending on a Secretary of State's interpretation of this poorly drafted bill. That should be a serious concern to all voters --- particularly given the massive flaws already discovered in e-voting systems used across the state (and country) that were subjected to independent testing by both federal and state authorities before use.

In other words, SB 360, as approved by the state legislature, does away with all federal testing for voting systems used in California, and, to make matters worse, grants the Secretary of State sole power to approve e-voting systems for use in actual elections --- even without certification testing by state auditors either.

As if all of that is not bad enough, the bill's Democratic author, state Senator Alex Padilla --- a leading 2014 candidate for CA Sec. of State himself --- has been misleadingly pitching the bill as necessary in order to allow for the use of non-proprietary, publicly-owned voting systems in the state. But, in fact, CA already allows the use of non-proprietary, publicly-owned voting systems. In fact, the voting system currently in use across L.A. County --- the largest voting jurisdiction in the nation, with more voters than 36 actual states --- is already publicly-owned!

Such facts were not been mentioned by Padilla during his office's advocacy for the bill, and they have failed to respond to our multiple queries on that point and several others since the bill was initially introduced earlier this year. Instead, the state Senator and SoS candidate continues to dishonestly pitch the bill to the public, as evidenced again in his Friday press release (posted at the bottom of this article), touting the bill's approval by the state legislature.

"Allowing counties to develop, own and operate voting systems will increase voter confidence in the integrity of our elections," Padilla is deceptively quoted, in bold text, as saying in a number of press releases in support of the bill, including Friday's release. He then adds misleadingly (since we already have such a system here in Los Angeles): "A public voting system will be more transparent, instill public trust, be more accountable and provide greater access to all voters."

In short, SB 360 is a dangerous, irresponsible bill which fails to learn from the recent history of previously irresponsible and/or corrupt Secretaries of State, completely rewrites the state's election code to allow for less testing, rather than more, of the state's already-buggy and insecure collection of e-voting systems, and it's being sold dishonestly to the public and lawmakers by a legislator who is very likely to be the recipient of its new, sweeping, unprecedented, executive powers...

--- 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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Responds to Editorial by Former CA SoS's Newspaper, Criticism from CA Elections Officials Who Admit Their Voting Systems are Likely Neither Secure nor Accurate
ALSO: Op/Ed by BRAD BLOG/VelvetRevolution.us's Own Emily Levy Runs Along Side Bowen's in Same Paper...
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2007 2:27pm PT  

CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen responds to the Santa Cruz Sentinel's silly anti-democracy editorial last week with an op/ed 01of her own that ran in the paper on Sunday.

Please note that the Sentinel was previously owned by former CA SoS McPherson, the one who approved all of these un-secure, un-transparent electronic voting systems for our state in the first place.

It's good to know that Bowen is standing up for the voters, despite the crush of criticism she's received from the anti-voter Elections Officials in CA

Here's how she begins her piece in response:


Are all of California's voting systems secure, accurate, reliable and accessible?

It's a relatively simple question and I believe California's voters are entitled to an answer. If the answer to that question is "no," then some voting-machine vendors and county elections officials who rely on their equipment will undoubtedly be inconvenienced. But it's the 37 million Californians who will truly suffer if we don't have the courage to ask that question in the first place.

...And here's how she ends it:

Every election year, far too many voters are left to wonder if their voice matters, or if their vote even counts. To argue that because there are elections to conduct, California doesn't have time to determine if the voting equipment is secure, accurate, reliable and accessible ignores the fundamental reason why we hold elections in the first place.

People need to have confidence their votes are counted exactly as they were cast. If we fail to ensure the integrity of our voting systems, we'll do little but undermine the foundation of our democracy.

Kudos to Bowen! Again!

Please note that in the same Sunday Sentinel our own occasional BRAD BLOG Guest Blogger, Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us, also has an excellent op/ed in response to their original, ridiculous editorial. Kudos to Emily as well!

Speaking out matters!

And on that note, I'll remind you that if you haven't already, please contact PFAW@PFAW.org NOW! See this article for why it's imperative that you do immediately!

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Thomas Elias Scores Again...Reports on Orange County Recount Shame, Jeff Stone's 'Riverside Hack Challenge,' Voting Machine 'Sleepovers,' McPherson's 'Hursti Chicken Out,' and Bowen's Call for Real Hack Tests...
By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2007 5:52pm PT  

Columnist Thomas Elias gets it right again. Today, he begins this way...

Just in case there was some confusion, California's new Democratic secretary of state, Debra Bowen, has now made it crystal clear she doesn't trust many of the electronic voting machines commonly used in the last few California elections.

Nor does she appear impressed with safeguards that satisfied her appointed Republican predecessor Bruce McPherson. McPherson believed the presence of voter-verified paper trails from touch-screen and other new voting machines would guarantee accurate recounts wherever needed.

But in the only significant recount of the last year, just after a February special election for Orange County supervisor decided by less than 10 votes between two candidates each named Nguyen (pronounced “win”), paper trails weren't even counted.

He then reports again on the Jeff "1000 to 1" Stone's apparently-aborted "Riverside Hack Challenge," the dangers of voting machine "sleepovers," former CA SoS McPherson's backing out of an invitation to Harri Hursti to hack Diebold systems in the state last year, and, most importantly, CA's current SoS Debra Bowen's important plan to finally properly test all voting systems used in elections.

If we didn't know better --- and that nothing useful to the MSM is ever reported by those crazy, unreliable, "left-wing bloggers" --- we might have even thought that Elias is a regular BRAD BLOG reader or sumpin' ;-)

He concludes his column thusly:

The bottom line: A sense of security and trust will be restored to elections only after counties install machines reliable enough to withstand thorough testing like Bowen obviously knows is needed.

Bingo. The full recommended column is here...

If you'd like to send a thanks for Elias's consistent good work on this issue, he can be reached via email here...

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As we Sit Down for a One-on-One Debriefing with the Finnish Computer Security Expert and Discuss American Elections, Rush Holt's Reform Bill, Debra Bowen, 'Black Hats' and Why Elections Matter
Big Turnout and Good Press Coverage Accompany his Riverside Visit, Even if Jeff '1000 to 1' Stone Was a No Show...
By Brad Friedman on 4/1/2007 7:13pm PT  

Harri Hursti drove up to Los Angeles last Friday after his appearance that morning before the Riverside County, California, "Blue Ribbon" panel convened to investigate massive problems during the County's 2006 election, and continuing concerns from Election Integrity advocates about both the performance and security issues surrounding the Sequoia Edge II DRE touch-screen voting systems in use down there.

We sat down to interview Hursti for a documentary film for an hour or two on Friday night, and we continued chatting into the wee hours. After getting home around 4am, we suspect we'll be playing catching up for a few days.

The headline from those discussions last night is probably that Hursti, now famous for his hack of a paper-based Diebold optical-scan voting system in Leon County, Florida, in late 2005 (as seen live in HBO's documentary Hacking Democracy), advocates digital optically-scanned paper ballots --- where the image of the scan can then be made available to all on the Internet --- as the most secure and most transparent method of voting for the type of elections we have in these United States.

That may come as a surprise to advocates of Rep. Rush Holt's Election Reform bill, who have been pointing to the "Hursti Hack" as a way to suggest that op-scan tabulation is "just as bad" as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen voting systems. Holt's bill (HR811) would allow for the continued use of DREs, despite the continuing warnings from computer scientists, disabilities and minority rights advocates, and the Election Integrity community that the devices should be banned.

Hursti heartily disagrees with those Holt supporters and told us again that DREs are not safe for use in elections, with or without a so-called "voter verified paper audit trail." He's asked for us to help facilitate a meeting for him with Holt and his staff to discuss the matter, and we are attempting to do just that.

As well, Hursti's position may also come as a surprise to those who have pointed to the "Hursti Hack" in their call for 100% hand-counted paper ballots (HCPB) in American elections. While Hursti said he recognizes that such a system works well enough in other countries where ballots are much simpler, he feels the thousands of ballot styles and pages and pages of candidates and propositions would likely make all HCPB unwieldy here. By contrast, he explained that in Finland, voters go to the poll and cast a single vote for President as the only race on the ballot, which is simple enough to hand count on the night of the election.

He rattled off the many different systems of democracy in many different countries, from Europe to Asia, as well as a history of how America has come to its current mess, going back as early as the late 1800's to discuss the evolution of our modern day system in this country. Clearly, he's done his homework and is well worth listening to on these matters.

Hursti also gave high marks to California's new Secretary of State Debra Bowen for her recent announcement of "red team" hack testing for all of the state's currently certified electronic voting systems, as part of her "top to bottom review" of those systems. Other computer scientists and security experts have lined up to join in praising Bowen for this unique, first-of-its-kind attempt to finally test the security of these systems.

On the other hand, many of the state's elections officials have come out against such testing of their precious, hackable, un-transparent voting systems. And, surprise surprise, so has the Santa Cruz Sentinel --- the paper once owned by thankfully-former CA SoS Bruce McPherson --- in a laughable editorial late last week claiming that "paper ballots carry an even greater risk" than electronic voting systems, and that Bowen's planned test criteria is a "solution in search of a problem."

We're not sure what cave the Santa Cruz Sentinel has been living in, but we're guessing they've been sharing their hard tack and canned spam with their buddy, the gone-but-apparently-not-forgotten McPherson, the one responsible for certifying these god-awful systems in the first place for the state, despite mountains of evidence suggesting it was unwise. We're also guessing they've never sat down to chat with Harri Hursti.

Hursti's visit to Riverside, as we reported here last week, was in response to County Supervisor Jeff Stone's challenge last December that nobody could manipulate the county's Sequoia election system. After Hursti volunteered to take Stone up on that "1000 to 1" challenge, the county has been waffling ever since. So quite a few members of both the public and the press were on hand yesterday for Hursti's testimony before the "Blue Ribbon" panel.

Although Hursti traveled all the way from Finland, Stone and every other member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors were apparently too busy to make it up the road to meet Hursti and listen to his presentation...

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

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Official Comments from CA Election Clerks on Proposed Test Criteria by SoS Bowen Reveal They Are in a Panic...And Are Clueless About the One Thing That Truly Matters to Voters...
By Brad Friedman on 3/26/2007 8:40pm PT  

California's election clerks --- or at least those who are members of the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials (CACEO) --- are freaking out in light of CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen's newly proposed draft criteria for her promised, "first-of-its-kind top-to-bottom review" of all electronic voting systems in the state.

Bowen's most welcome and strictly drawn draft criteria, as we reported last week, are open for public comment through April 6th, after which testing will begin on systems which will lose their certification for 2008 if they do not meet the refreshingly strict standards to be reviewed (finally!).

In a document dated today and obtained by The BRAD BLOG, the CACEO --- who worked very hard, if unsuccessfully, to see Bowen's irresponsible predecessor, the hapless Bruce McPherson, re-elected --- filed their comments on Bowen's test criteria. And they don't like 'em. They don't like 'em one bit.

While we can hardly say we're surprised by that, or that they didn't bother to post the document on their own website yet, we can say that we're surprised that these folks who run elections for a living still seem completely and utterly unaware of the one thing that matters to voters --- and any successful democracy --- the most...

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

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Debra Bowen Appoints Lowell Finley of Election Integrity Watchdog Group VoterAction.org to Role of 'Deputy SoS for Voting Systems Technology and Policy'
[UPDATED] Critics of E-Voting Hail News as 'Collosal Suprise,' Very Good for Voters, Very Bad for the Nation's Electronic Voting Machine Companies...
By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2007 2:31pm PT  

It may not be a very good day in the corporate offices at Diebold, but The BRAD BLOG has learned some big news that may well indicate today is a very good day indeed for the voters of America and specifically in California.

As incoming Sec. of State Debra Bowen was sworn in to her new office just moments ago, The BRAD BLOG can now reveal that one of the nation's top critics of unverifiable electronic voting systems --- and a key player across several states in the legal battles against voting machine companies such as Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia Voting Systems, and Hart Intercivic --- is today being named by the new California Sec. of State Debra Bowen as Deputy SoS for Voting Systems Technology and Policy.

Lowell Finley, the lead attorney for the non-partisan voting machine legal watchdog organization VoterAction.org, will be named to the position today.

In his new capacity, Finley will oversee testing and certification for all voting machine technology in the State of California. In a phone call this morning, Finley confirmed that he would be working closely in his new role with key national associations like the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC).

E-voting critics and at least one California Registrar of Voters have hailed both the swearing in of Bowen as SoS and her appointment of Finley, expressing delight to The BRAD BLOG over the news, characterizing it as a "colossal surprise" and a "very, very good sign for the future of voters' rights in California."

America's voting machine companies are less likely to feel quite as happy about the news.

Finley and VoterAction have filed a number of landmark lawsuits in several states, including in California, over the past year or so, demanding an immediate halt to the use and purchase of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE/touch-screen) voting systems and decertification of many of those systems, as well as improved processes for certification of such systems.

VoterAction is one of over 30 Election Reform organizations who recently went on record with an open letter to Members of Congress demanding federal legislation requiring a paper ballot for every vote cast in America. Such legislation would effectively ban the use of DRE systems, with or without a so-callled "Voter Verified Paper Trail" (VVPAT).

Bowen has been a dogged critic of former Secretary of State Bruce McPherson during her candidacy and in her role overseeing the Elections Committee as a California State Senator. She has criticized his lack of oversight and lax testing procedures, and has championed a "Voters' Bill of Rights" for the Golden State.

While a suit by VoterAction.org filed against former SoS McPherson and several CA Registrars of Voting --- concerning McPherson's certification of Diebold TSx touch-screen systems --- is still pending in state court, the disposition of that suit will likely change due to the fact that the lead defendant, McPherson, is no longer in office.

The Berkeley-based attorney Finley --- also one of the attorneys representing voter plaintiffs in the contested election in Florida's 13th Congressional district in Sarasota --- had one of his most recent and notable successes last September, when a Colorado judge ordered a complete review of certification procedures for voting machines in the state. The court found the official placed in charge of testing and certification didn't have the qualifications necessary, and performed little or no testing. That man, John Gardner, was appointed by former CO Sec. of State Donetta Davidson, who has been appointed by George W. Bush to head the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission.

The news of Finley's appointment will undoubtedly be of concern to the major voting machine companies that received little oversight from the former Sec. of State McPherson.

"I wish I was a fly on the wall in the offices at Diebold as they learn of this appointment. I'm sure jaws will be dropping and damage control will be ramping up," John Gideon of election watchdog organization VotersUnite.org told us today. (Gideon is also a frequent Guest Blogger here at The BRAD BLOG.) ...

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

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As Tom Elias Writes the Single Best MSM Article We've Ever Seen on the Current State of E-Voting!
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2007 2:34pm PT  

Syndicated California columnist, Thomas D. Elias, has written the single best MSM article we've ever read on the problems with the current state of our electoral system. Period.

In covering changes planned by incoming CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen, Elias --- for the first time, at least that I've ever seen anywhere in the MSM --- squarely places the blame for the entire fine mess we're in exactly where it belongs: On the voting machine companies and the elections officials who have been their enablers and apologists...

An anxious time is just about to begin for the two interest groups that have done more than anyone else in recent years to make Californians feel uncertain about the integrity of their elections.

Those two groups: The makers of electronic voting machines of various types, many of whose devices have been shown to be both hackable and problematic in other ways. And county voter registrars who bought those machines largely with many millions of dollars derived from the federal Help America Vote Act, which was more concerned about speed of conversion to new technologies than whether they were trustworthy.

BOOM! Outta the park!

Those two grafs alone are enough for us to nominate Elias for a Pulitzer. Yes, the reporting on this matter in the MSM has been so indescribably horrible from the get-go that we're willing to give it all up just for those two grafs which finally tell the story correctly.

But Elias doesn't stop there. While we recommend you read his entire piece in full we'll highlight a few of the most notable grafs just to make sure as many eyeballs as possible actually get to see them --- for the good news they offer about a possibly brighter future for elections in California (and thus, the rest of the country) and for the fact that they have actually been printed in a fairly major metropolitan newspaper.

On Bowen's plans for full 'top to bottom review' of outgoing SoS McPherson's rubber-stamp certification of all electronic voting machines...

"We are going to do a top to bottom review of every voting system in use anywhere in California," Bowen said in an interview. "Yes, I would consider decertifying machines that my predecessor approved. Unfortunately, we've spent a lot of money on equipment that's not ready for prime time. Any Fortune 500 company would have sent those machines back with a letter saying they just don't do what they're supposed to."

On the truth (finally!) about the feckless and incompetent McPherson...

Her appointed predecessor and defeated autumn opponent, the former Republican State Sen. Bruce McPherson of Santa Cruz was anything but a skeptic, certifying virtually any machine any county registrar wanted to buy and imposing questionable checks on their performance.

On the infamous voting machine "sleepovers" (as first revealed by The BRAD BLOG)...

"I believe the sleepovers are illegal," said Bowen, an attorney. "If a system is designed so it can't be used without sitting in someone's garage for two weeks, we should not be using that system. We could fix this by using a bonded delivery service like Brinks to deliver machines to polling places at a set time."

In short, the voting machine status quo will not be lasting long in the nascent Bowen era.

On the worthlessness of so-called "paper trails" and the difficulty candidates face in paying exorbitant costs for recounts as capriciously and arbitrarily priced by Registrars...

Bowen recognizes that a paper trail is worthless unless it's usable. "I think $50,000 to do a recount where it might be merited is a tiny price to pay for democracy and to keep people from saying ‘forget about the election, they'll never count our votes anyway.' " So she'll support at least a partial public subsidy of recounts, where they appear justified.

NOTE: The BRAD BLOG covered the cost quoted for a recount in last summer's Special U.S. House Election in CA-50's Francine Busby/Brian Bilbray race. The cost, capriciously and arbitrarily quoted for that recount in order to make it impossible by the horrendous San Diego County Registar of Voters Mikel Haas: $150,000!

Elias also speaks of Sequoia's yellow button "feature" (also first revealed on these pages, but who's counting?) and more. All of which, apparently, forces the Ventura County Star to label the piece, regretablly, as "opinion." But so be it. We'll take what we can get.

If you'd like to send a thank you note to Elias and the VCS Editors, please click here!

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 2:28pm PT  

Tired of reading me whine about problems with our crumbling electoral system? Now you can watch me whine about them instead.

As if it's not enough I've had to become a spokesman, a journalist, a broadcaster, an investigator, an advocate, a political consultant over these last two years or so..on the Saturday before the election, I was asked to become a Standup Comedian...of a sort.

Click the photo for a quick 4 and a half minute video of an onstage appearance at the premiere of Electric City: A Political Comedy Special, in which I was shanghaied into appearing with a bunch of actual comics (such as Marc Maron, John Fugelsang, Rick Overton, etc.) on the Saturday night before the election.

As I was exhausted at that point, I'm glad the bit was caught on video tape. Otherwise, for the life of me, I'd not have been able to tell you a thing I spoke about that night. The week(s) before the election are all a blur to me right now.

The gig was smartly hosted by Cenk Uygur and Ben Mankiewicz of The Young Turks. A two-minute trailer (in which I also appear briefly) for the entire evening is posted below as well...

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

ReddIt this story!



(Not that we have any particularly strong feelings about the race)
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2006 9:46am PT  

UPDATED 10:38am PT: AP is now reporting that Debra Bowen has won the Secretary of State's race in California! This is a huge win for those of us who care about Election Integrity in America! Perhaps the most important race in the nation on that front! More on this later today!

The California Sec. of State's website reports the disingenuous, lying, Diebold-loving, democracy-hating California Sec. of State Bruce McPherson trails freedom-loving, voter-supporting State Senator Debra Bowen in the race for California Sec. of State. As of this moment, Bowen reportedly leads 48.5% to 44.7%.

It's currently the only statewide race that's yet to be called by AP. We hope that conpsiracy theorist McPherson doesn't cry fraud and he soon realizes, for the good of the state, that it's time to concede, get over it, and move on.

ReddIt this story!



Voters in Predominently Dem Areas Unable to Vote, Some Voting on Paper Ballots in Chinese and Vietnamese as English Ballots Not Available...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 2:24pm PT  

I just got off the phone with Steve Young, the Democratic candidate in CA-48 (Orange County). He reports that his office is receiving calls from at least 8 precincts of voting machines down with no paper ballots available for voters. All, he says, in strongly Democratic areas of the otherwise conservative Orange County. I believe they use ES&S voting machines down there. Several Emailers have contacted us to let us know it's Hart Intercivic machines in use down there, not ES&S.

He says voters were either being turned away without being able to vote at all, or voting on Chinese and Vietnamese paper ballots --- since English ones are not available --- just so they are able to vote!

By the time we were done with the call, a staffer came in with a report from machines down in a Republican area, but said the machines were fixed quickly, whereas one of the reports you'll see below (transcribed during our quick phone conversation) shows poll workers repeatedly trying to get help from the Registrar to no avail.

NOTES FROM PHONE CALL WITH STEVE YOUNG (CA-48)

Calls coming in to our office, 8 reports all in highly Democratic precincts...

8:35am - Two precincts in an elementary school (#59100 and #59102) had no machines working, no paper ballots, at least 15 people were seen leaving the polls without voting.

8:40am - All machines down in polling place with two precincts in it (#'s 59058 & 5916) all machines down, no English paper ballots, people voted on Chinese and Vietnamese ballots just to vote!

9:10am - Same precincts and also #59161 is completely out of paper ballots.

9:30am - Another precinct (I didn't get the number) had two of the machines down, line is out the door (at least 40 people reported to be in line)

Within the hour - Prcts #59075 and 59076, machines down, poll workers tried six times to get attention to fix the machines.

We're in contact with the Registrar, they promise they're going to deliver English paper ballots to all of the precincts. They claim they are telling poll workers that folks should vote on paper and that they don't have to vote on the machine....if there are such ballots available of course.

Please note, a memo from the CA Sec. of State last month had said all voters who wished to vote on paper in California may do so, but he left it up to them how many would be "an adequate supply." He also said they should be counted as "normal ballots" and not as provisional ballots which are usually counted days later, if ever. None of those orders seems to be being enforced anywhere in CA, as far as I can tell.

ReddIt this story!



PLUS: LA Times Reports its Very First E-Voting Story Ever! (As far as we can tell)
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2006 10:06pm PT  

Gosh...maybe there's a pattern here or something. Is there something to be concerned about here?...Here are just a few of the headlines from the National section (much more in the state-by-states) of today-only's 'Daily Voting News' from John Gideon...

  • Leaked 2003 Report On Maryland's Diebold Voting System Reveals Serious Security Concerns Were Withheld From Election Board, Governor, Public LINK
  • HBO hacked about Diebold's docu claims LINK
  • Delays loom in counting ballots LINK
  • U.S. Attorney's Office: We're ready to investigate election fraud LINK
  • Columnist – Ellis Henican - A vote for old-fashioned poll method LINK
  • E-voting may be scarier than hanging chads LINK
  • Distrust of voting machines is running high LINK
  • Electronic voting: Cure or a bigger problem? LINK
  • Rage against the machine LINK
  • Voting system raises security questions LINK
  • Voting machines vulnerable, says report by UConn faculty LINK
  • LOU DOBBS: Avalanche of Last Minute Problems with E-Voting Machines LINK
  • Electronic Voting Machines Under Scrutiny LINK
  • E-voting problems still exist, critics say LINK
  • How to restore trust at the ballot box
    Problems with high-tech machines have some voters feeling left out LINK
  • This list is also notable because it contains the very first story ever on e-voting concerns (at least that I could find in a quick search) from the completely useless Los Angeles Times! Waytago, guys! Just in time! You win the BRAD BLOG's "Most Useless and Irresponsible Big City Newspaper in the Country" Award!

    Their very first article comes today despite a mountain of problems for years, not to mention the last few months, across California, including the myriad disasters ("sleepovers" and everything else) just down the road in San Diego; a hapless Sec. of State who has approved one hackable, malfunctioning electronic voting machine after another (offering an ersatz blessing for the rest of the states from "the country's largest voting market," as Diebold calls us); and one of the most important Sec. of State races ever, with a real democracy champion, Debra Bowen, running against the inveterate liar and democracyhater, SoS Bruce McPherson.

    Add to that list of reasons why the LA Times should be utterly ashamed of themselves is this comment in their own article today from one of the top scientists on McPherson's own team of voting systems advisors:

    "This issue is a matter of national security," said computer scientist David Jefferson of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "The legitimacy of government depends on getting elections right."

    Of course, Jefferson's been saying that for months. But has the LA Times bothered to report any of it? Little wonder they haven't devoted a single article to this issue until just three days before the election. Nothing to see here at all. Move along. Don't read those headlines above. Everything's still just fine.

    ReddIt this story!



    New Vulnerability Discovered on Touch-Screen Systems Made by One of Country's Largest Voting Machine Companies Will Affect Elections in Dozens of States!
    California's Secretary of State Bruce McPherson Denies Knowledge of Vulnerability Well After His Office Had Been Notified...
    By Brad Friedman on 11/2/2006 3:32am PT  

    "Just push the yellow button and you can vote as many times as you want," Tom Courbat, an Election Integrity advocate from Riverside County, California informed The BRAD BLOG tonight. Not that we're in any mood to report more such stories, but this seems to be a big one. A very big one.

    It seems there's a little yellow button on the back of every touch-screen computer made by Sequoia Voting Systems, that allows any voter, or poll worker, or precinct inspector to set the system into "Manual Mode" allowing them to cast as many votes as they want.

    Concerns about the flaw were first reported some thirty days ago to California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson's office by Ron Watt, a Tehama County, CA precinct inspector who has been a poll worker in the county for the last fifteen years. And yet, as recently as a radio interview last Tuesday, McPherson --- who has been crowing about having the country's most stringent security process for voting systems --- denied he was aware of any security issues with Sequoia systems.

    "They didn't care about it," Watt told us tonight about his "late September or early October" discussion with McPherson's voting systems chief Bruce McDannold. "He said he didn't think it was an important issue. He said I don't believe this is really a vulnerability."

    Watt and Courbat disagreed and placed another phone call to the SoS' office on Friday after Watt received a copy of Sequoia's "Poll Workers Guide, Booklet #5: Troubleshooting" via a public records request in Tehama. On pages 19 through 22 of the booklet --- which is marked as "Confidential and Proprietary" --- he confirmed the simple manual override to the system. He'd learned about it years earlier and the new manuals confirmed that button was still in place. Even in the latest models of the Sequoia Edge voting systems (both models 1 and 2).

    The complete sequence to override the system and enter manual voting mode, along with the Sequoia booklet received via Watt's public records request, is now posted here at BlackBoxVoting.org.

    Watt had been taught to be a poll worker trainer by De La Rue, the former parent company of Sequoia, years ago when the systems were first brought into the county. The two men placed a conference call with McDannold last Friday after receiving the booklet. McDannold again reportedly downplayed the concerns, but said "he'd look into it," according to Courbat.

    He called Courbat back on Monday afternoon to say Sequoia technicians had been in the SoS office and had confirmed the vulnerability. (A complete transcript of McDannold's Monday phone message left on Courbat's cell phone, confirming the security issue and describing the actions --- or lack thereof --- being taken, is at end of this article.)

    Sequoia's voting machines are perhaps the most widely used in California, in some 19 different counties, including both Tehama and Riverside, which is known as the "Home of E-Voting" as it was the first county in the nation to deploy such systems. But identical Sequoia machines are also used in dozens of other states around the country including Florida, Illinois and elsewhere.

    Thanks to the diligence of Watt and Courbat, it is now confirmed that all such systems are completely vulnerable to virtually anyone who wishes to cast as many votes as they please.

    "I can do it in 18 seconds," says Watt. "I can train you to do it in 3 minutes. Just push the yellow button, wait 3 seconds and it chimes. Push the yellow button again, wait 3 seconds and it chimes again. Then it's all on the screen prompts. You're asked 'Do you want to enter manual mode?' and you push 'Yes'...And then you're on your way."

    "You can then vote as many times as you want. You won't ever have to stop until someone physically restrains you from voting," he explained.

    "But wouldn't someone hear the chime?" we asked...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    Complaint Filed Against Registrar Mikel Haas in CA's Court of Appeals on Behalf of Plaintiff by Busby/Bilbray Election Contest Attorney Ken Simpkins
    Suit Funded by Velvet Revolution's 'Election Protection Strike Force' Effort...
    By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2006 10:35am PT  

    A lawsuit naming San Diego County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas as defendant has been filed in the California Court of Appeals seeking to compel Haas --- whom we've previously described as one of the nation's worst Elections Administrators --- to follow the orders of the California Sec. of State and supply Paper Ballots to all voters who request one. Further, the suit demands that Haas actually count those ballots on Election Night, in accordance with the State order, rather than create an "unequal class of voters" by reporting only touch-screen voting results that night.

    As The BRAD BLOG reported yesterday, Haas has announced that he plans to defy the SoS order to count such paper ballots as "normal ballots" by refusing to count them at all until the Thursday after the election. He has also instructed poll workers not to inform voters of their right to vote on paper if they so choose and, according to the lawsuit, has failed to ensure that an adequate supply of paper ballots will be available for voters who wish or need them.

    As well, the lawsuit --- funded by the VelvetRevolution.us Election Protection Strike Force --- seeks in its third action a peremptory writ regarding the current "sleepovers" of Diebold electronic voting machines, now underway in San Diego where poll workers will have kept the pre-programmed, election-ready touch-screen systems in their homes and cars for a full three weeks prior to the November 7th election.

    -- Download the full complaint here [PDF]...
    (Link fixed! The complaint is very very good, btw, and charges, correctly in our opinion, that Haas has failed in and abused his role as Registrar of Voters.)

    Carlsbad attorney Ken Simpkins's suit, filed on behalf of San Diego County voter Kathy Peterson, seeks appropriate security logs and precautions to be instituted, since Haas has failed to do so via his "sleepovers," which lack apppropriate security measures. A recent blog item at Velvet Revolution (VR) has described Haas as "apparently preferring plausible deniability of scattering the voting machines to innumerable volunteers" over actual accountability.

    The "sleepovers" are also in violation of both state and federal laws and security requirements, effectively decertifying them for use before the election even begins. San Diegans should have no basis, at this time, for confidence in any results reported from San Diego's election on November 7th, due to Haas's failures.

    Haas, in an article on the lawsuit in the North County Times, says that complying with the SoS order to count paper ballot votes as "normal ballots" would be impractical.

    "We can't count these ballots on election night," he told the NC Times. "They will be counted during the canvas period, which allows us 28 days. We can't count two things at the same time. We'll have our hands full just uploading the results from the precincts where people will be voting on touch screens."

    By refusing to count paper ballots on Election Night, "Mr. Haas risks skewing the early visibility of San Diego election results, which could impact public perceptions and lead to premature concessions by candidates," according to a statement by Ken Simpkins.

    The NC Times quotes Haas as saying there is no reason for candidates to concede prematurely. "It isn't over until I certify the election, and that's usually around 28 days after an Election Day," he said. "What any candidate does within those days is their business."

    Haas' claim that "it isn't over until I certify the election" is in direct contradiction to the facts on the ground, revealed by last June's U.S. House Special Election to replace disgraced Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham in San Diego. In that matter, a contest was filed after certification of the election, as per state law, but was thrown out by a San Diego judge who ruled the U.S. House, not the courts or voters of California, had jurisdiction over any election challenges or recounts once the "winner" in the race, Brian Bilbray, had been sworn in by the House just seven days after the election. At the time of the swearing-in --- a full two weeks prior to Haas's certification --- thousands of ballots remained wholly uncounted.

    By law, no contest or recount could be filed until after Haas's certification. And yet, Superior Court Judge Judge Yuri Hoffman found the plaintiffs no longer had the right to challenge or recount the election results in any way.

    Simpkins was one of the attorneys who filed the Busby/Bilbray lawsuit last summer along with attorney Paul Lehto. In that case --- as The BRAD BLOG originally broke on June 7th, followed with extensive special coverage thereafter --- Haas had also sent home both optical-scan and touch-screen voting systems made by Diebold on poll worker "sleepovers," despite new emergency security mitigation requirements made by both State and Federal oversight bodies after it had been discovered that Diebold voting systems contained a type of programming code making them particularly susceptible to tampering. That type of programming code, known as "interpeted code," is also in violation of both state and federal law.

    During the June contest it was discovered that Haas's chain of custody security logs were virtually non-existent. The dismissal of that case is currently being appealed.

    As we reported on Tuesday, the Democratic Sec. of State candidate, Debra Bowen, released a short video ad on her campaign website revealing the extraordinary dangers and, indeed, the serious national security threat presented by such "sleepovers."

    A request has been made for an expedited decision from the court in the latest case due to the pending election. Hopefully decisions on these matters will be forthcoming.

    Your help in fighting for accountability in such cases around the country is paramount. Please donate to the VR Strike Force effort so we can help hold the bad guys accountable and fight for clean elections! Our work is funded entirely by "we the people" so your support is crucial!

    The VR Election Protection Strike Force website can be found at: http://VelvetRevolution.us/ElectionStrikeForce. Please pass that address around!

    As well, the VR Strike Force is offering a $250,000 reward for tips concerning Election Fraud (details here, tip-line here: 888-VOTE-TIP)

    The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us. We hope to announce news concerning a special VR Strike Force Radio broadcast on Election Night, in conjunction with a number of other individuals and organizations. More details on that, hopefully, very soon...

    ReddIt this story!



    In Hilarious Statement, Company Claims Documentary --- Which They Haven't Seen --- Has Facts Wrong...But They're Referring to a Completely Different Documentary!
    Feature Article on Film Should Be Published by ComputerWorld Tomorrow...
    By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2006 10:32pm PT  

    I've written a feature article for ComputerWorld on HBO's upcoming Hacking Democracy, the superb documentary on the many insidious lies of Diebold scheduled for airing beginning Nov. 2nd. We posted a preview article on the film's release several weeks ago. That article should be posted in full Wednesday morning if the continuing delays are worked out (CW had said they'd hoped to publish it Monday).

    In the meantime, Diebold seems to be embarrassing itself yet again by issuing a statement calling for HBO to pull the documentary, or at least run disclaimers before, after, and throughout the film. I've seen it. If I were them, I'd try to do everything I could to keep America from seeing the film, as well.

    "Truth and accurate reporting are the biggest casualties of the film," Diebold Election System President David Byrd is quoted as saying in the media release.

    But ironically, as The Hollywood Reporter is reporting tonight, Byrd has not only never seen the film, but his claims that the film is "Riddled With Errors and Slipshod Reporting" apparently refer to a completely different film!

    Confusing a different film called VoterGate with the short film called VoterGate, which was an early version of the film now known as Hacking Democracy, Byrd writes a two page letter [PDF] to HBO refuting several points in the other film!

    While Diebold's letter from Byrd claims that the film is "so egregious that HBO should pull the documentary," the letter itself is not only riddled with errors and slipshod reporting, it also makes a sad attempt at playing the partisan card, which Diebold has been trying to deny for years! Note this graf...

    "Hacking Democracy" is directed by the directors of "VoterGate" and contains much of the same material. "VoterGate" was produced with special thanks to Susan Sarandon and The Streisand Foundation.

    Never mind that the VoterGate Diebold refers to is the wrong VoterGate, but what the hell do either Susan Sarandon or The Streisand Foundation have to do with Diebold's claim that the film is inaccurate?

    Not disingenuous enough for you? Byrd has more...

    Harri Hursti is shown attacking a Diebold machine in Florida. But his "attack" proved later to be a complete sham. Hursti was invited by California Secretary of State's office to demonstrate his supposed ability to "hack" a Diebold optical scan system. He declined...

    Of course, we know that Byrd never saw the Hursti Hack in Hacking Democracy (it hadn't occurred by the time either VoterGate film was released), the disingenuous claim that it "proved later to be a complete sham" is itself a complete sham:

    Not only did the California Secretary of State's own technical advisory board at UC Berkley write that "Harri Hursti's attack does work" and that it was "definitely real" in their report [PDF] on the hack, but they also found "more serious vulnerabilities...that go well beyond what Mr. Hursti demonstrated, and yet require no more access to the voting system than he had. These vulnerabilities are consequences of bugs–16 in all."

    We would later learn that the invitation to which Diebold refers, from the CA SoS "inviting" Hursti to try his hack out in California, was drafted by a Diebold employee and disinformation operative by the name of Rob Pelletier, and sent to Hursi on CA SoS stationery!

    As revealed by this investigative report [PDF] released over the Summer by BlackBoxVoting.org (one of the film's main subjects) entitled "The Diebold Pursuasion Machine," it appears that Pelletier drafted the letter for CA SoS McPherson's office. The "invitation" would later come to be regarded as a "setup" using special Diebold machines and designed for Hursti to fail.

    In the same report, it was revealed that Diebold employee Pelletier had been spreading disinformation under several phony names at various Internet sites, as well as here at BRAD BLOG as a commenter using the name "Wally O'Diebold."

    As Barney Gimble wrote yesterday in a terrific piece on the history of Diebold in Fortune, about a "five-step plan guaranteed to make an obscure company absolutely notorious":

    First get into a business you don't understand, selling to customers who barely understand it either. Then roll out your product without adequate testing. Don't hire enough skilled people. When people notice problems, deny, obfuscate and ignore. Finally, blame your critics when it all blows up in your face.

    Hey Diebold: It's blowing up in your face. Stop blaming the critics. You're just making a continuous jackass out of yourselves. And, trust me, you've got far worse problems coming your way that you ought to be worrying about.

    ReddIt this story!



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