Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
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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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
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Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
[UPDATE: The UK Sunday Times piece referred to below as "coming tonight" has now been published right here: "Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe." Some key passages and a bit more commentary has been been posted as an update, appended to the bottom of the article below.]
I'm in an alternative media conference up here in Santa Cruz, CA, for the bulk of the day and evening, so may or may not be here when the story gets filed. So offering an advance heads-up that UK's Sunday Times is set to offer another exclusive tonight on Sibel Edmonds' claims of the illicit sale of U.S. nuke secrets to the foreign black market, as protected by high-ranking U.S. officials, and the connections in the story to Valerie Plame Wilson's "Brewster Jennings" CIA cover company.
Should hit around 7pm
PT ET. (If any of the BRAD BLOG eds are around, please feel free to update this item with a link to the new article when it runs.)
For those of you just jumping into this story, our most recent articles of note on the explosive series of Times/Edmonds stories are here...
The collection of all of BRAD BLOG's Edmonds stories are here...
UPDATE: The new Sunday Times piece is now posted. Here it is: "Tip-off thwarted nuclear spy ring probe"
It's another blockbuster. So big, the U.S. media have assigned several extra reporters to begin ignoring it immediately.
The article picks up on the Times' coverage from last week, which corroborated one element of an "anonymous letter" referring to an FBI case number said to be at the center of allegations by "gagged" former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds. In response to a FOIA request, the FBI had denied the existence of documents related to such a case number, though the Times corroborated the existence of an official document referring to that case.
The BRAD BLOG obtained the anonymous letter several weeks ago, prior to the Times' expose, but has yet to publish it in full.
Part of the letter alleges that Marc Grossman, the former #3 State Department official under Powell and Armitage, tipped off Turkish agents that Valerie Plame Wilson's "Brewster Jennings" was actually a CIA counter-proliferation operation tracking the sale of nuclear secrets to the foreign black market.
The Times series of articles, including the latest, does not give Grossman's name, but refers to him, and quotes him as a "State Department official." Here are the money grafs, and there are several of them, from the Times article, along with a few more details in follow-up...
Blogged by Brad, from on the road...
Behold the "chain of custody" for the ballots in New Hampshire's ongoing Election Contest hand counts. The man seen in the still frame below, on the right, is NH Sec. of State Bill Gardner...
The above video clips were recorded and compiled by election watchdogs Bev Harris (of BlackBoxVoting.org) and Susan Pynchon (of Florida Fair Elections Coalition), both of whom were on the ground in Concord during the initial stages of the requested Democratic and Republican hand counts following the Primary Election in the Granite State. Harris offers more commentary on the video above right here.
Previously, Harris posted a stunning photo essay detailing the embarrassingly poor condition of the ballot boxes themselves --- unsealed, open for anyone to reach their hand in --- as they were picked up from towns around the state and delivered to the counting area at Concord's State Archives building.
The counting continues today for Republican Albert Howard, though New Hampshire SoS Bill Gardner, seen in the above video, has requested a halt in the counting for two days next week. That, after apparently misrepresenting Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich's serious concerns about "significant variances" discovered during counting of just one New Hampshire county so far. Disparities have been discovered as high as 10% for some candidates in some precincts.
On Monday, New Hampshire's Union Leader editorialized as follows...
While The BRAD BLOG has reported, in some detail, on the incompetence of New Hampshire's Secretary of State, Bill Gardner, his failure to track Diebold memory cards, and many more issues revealed during the course of the Election Contests following the state's recent Primary Election, we've yet to question his integrity.
However, if this report from today's Nashua Telegraph accurately quotes Gardner, then its time to begin questioning him on that score, because now it would appear he is simply out and out lying to the media about the hand count results, and Dennis Kucinich's position on it, at this hour, as stated clearly in a letter sent yesterday to the SoS.
Tucked at the end of the Kevin Landrigan's Telegraph piece today on the latest "recount" news, are the following, virtually inexplicable, comments from Gardner...
Apparently, it's just fine to break the law, as long as the economy is seen as being bad...
Seriously, we must remember to speak with Hoyer and Pelosi about this terrific bridge we've got for sale. We're certain they'd be interested.
And while there seems to be confusion in the Kucinich camp concerning the Election "Recount" in NH (more soon on that, hopefully), at least there's no confusion for Kucinich when it comes to what's going on in either the White House, or among his party's "leadership," according to the New York Times:
Accusing the administration of lying about the need for the war in Iraq, Mr. Kucinich said he did not need to hear the president’s
assessment. “We know the State of the Union,” he declared. “It’s a lie.”
He also fired a volley at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California who has maintained that impeaching Mr. Bush is not on the table for Congressional Democrats. “If impeachment is off the table,” Mr. Kucinich said, “truth is off the table. If truth is off the table then this body is living a lie.”
Yes, a lie. Some 935 of them to be exact-ish, on just one aspect of what the Kucinich Impeachment articles will detail.
As we reported last December, Kucinich has been preparing, for some time, to file Articles of Impeachment against George W. Bush. While the Democratic "Leadership" may not like the notion, it should come as welcome news to the country's few remaining admirers of the U.S. Constitution.
[Article updated at bottom. Additional information from Kucinich now here.]
On the New Hampshire Sec. of State's website this morning, the top of the Election Contest hand-count results page says:
"THE KUCINICH RECOUNT STOPPED THIS MORNING (JAN. 23, 2008) BECAUSE FUNDS RAN OUT."
We've confirmed with Kucinich campaign rep David Bright, who was in Concord this morning, that they have indeed stopped counting as of today, after only a single county, and not even fully at that. We're trying to learn more, and will reserve full comment until we do. Suffice it to say that given the many miscounts being discovered, the horrendous shape of NH's "chain of custody", the refusal of the SoS to allow for the counting/reconciliation of unvoted (blank) ballots, the Diebold memory cards which seem to be missing and/or destroyed since the election (in violation of federal law), it would be disappointing, at best, if Kucinich failed to finish what he so appropriately began.
In the meantime, the halt to the Kucinich count means that the Republican hand count, requested by candidate Albert Howard, will begin tomorrow. If his letter --- containing very thorough and appropriate Public Records Requests, submitted with his original request for a count to the Sec. of State (see his full letter at bottom of this article) --- is any indication, it would seem Howard and his team may be taking on this hand count with the seriousness that it and the voters of NH and America deserve.
Candidate Howard sent us the following missive movements ago...
Just in...Marc Grossman, who has been named in the Sibel Edmonds case as allegedly receiving bribes from Turkish and Israeli agents and warning the Turkish Embassy to stay away from Valerie Plame Wilson's "Brewster Jennings" front company, will be testifying tomorrow morning (Wed.) before a sub-committee of Henry Waxman's House Oversight committee.
Edmonds has just contacted us, and is urging bloggers and other willing media to show up to the hearings, with video cameras and questions for the former #3 man at the State Dept., who, she alleges, was heard on wiretaps as being complicit in a scheme to smuggle nuclear secrets to the worldwide nuclear black market. If the U.S. media won't do their job on this, as the UK's Guardian notes today, then it's up to the alternative media to do it for them. Tomorrow morning might be a great chance.
The hearing will start at 10:00 a.m. in room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing will also be webcast on this page.
Legendary "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg posted a scathing guest blog on BRAD BLOG, over the weekend, regarding the Edmonds case and the U.S. mainstream media's failure to cover it. He is currently in D.C. and will hopefully be at the hearing himself tomorrow.
His op-ed followed on the heels of the new UK Sunday Times' story in which they reported confirmation of an alleged FBI cover-up, and possible destruction of documents in the case, vis-a-vis an anonymous letter (which we have, but have yet to publish in full) charging Grossman's complicity in outing Plame Wilson's front company, Brewster Jennings, when he worked at the State Dept. Plame Wilson's CIA front had reportedly been involved in monitoring the sale of nuclear weapons and secrets to black marketeers in the Middle East.
As well, former spook --- and Edmonds expert in his own right --- Phil Giraldi has just filed a piece on the latest Edmonds information, including much more on Grossman, at The American Conservative.
-- Guest BRAD BLOG Op-Ed by Daniel Ellsberg
For the second time in two weeks, the entire U.S. press has let itself be scooped by Rupert Murdoch's London Sunday Times on a dynamite story of criminal activities by corrupt U.S. officials promoting nuclear proliferation. But there is a worse journalistic sin than being scooped, and that is participating in a cover-up of information that demands urgent attention from the public, the U.S. Congress and the courts.
For the last two weeks --- one could say, for years --- the major American media have been guilty of ignoring entirely the allegations of the courageous and highly credible source Sibel Edmonds, quoted in the London Times on January 6, 2008 in a front-page story that was front-page news in much of the rest of the world but was not reported in a single American newspaper or network. It is up to readers to demand that this culpable silent treatment end.
Just as important, there must be pressure by the public on Congressional committee chairpersons, in particular Representative Henry Waxman and Senator Patrick Leahy. Both have been sitting for years on classified, sworn testimony by Edmonds --- as she revealed in the Times' new story on Sunday --- along with documentation, in their possession, confirming parts of her account. Pressure must be brought for them to hold public hearings to investigate her accusations of widespread criminal activities, over several administrations, that endanger national security. They should call for open testimony under oath by Edmonds --- as she has urged for five years --- and by other FBI officials she has named to them, as cited anonymously in the first Times' story.
And this is the time for those who have so far creditably leaked to the Times of London to come forward, accepting personal risks, to offer their testimony --- and new documents --- both to the Congress and to the American press. I would say to them: Don't do what I did and waste months of precious time trying to get Congressional committees to act as they should in the absence of journalistic pressure. Do your best to inform the American public directly, first, through the major American media.
But perhaps today the alternative media and the international press are a necessary precursor even to that. It shouldn't be true, but if it is, it's a measure of how far the New York Times and Washington Post have fallen from their responsibilities to the public, to their profession and to American democracy, since I gave them the Pentagon Papers in 1971. They printed them then. Would they today?
By Brad Friedman from on the road...
Though there has been worldwide coverage of the recent blockbuster in the Rupert Murdoch-owned British paper, the U.S. media have remained entirely mum, a point which has drawn great consternation from both Edmonds and the 70's-era "Pentagon Papers" Daniel Ellsberg, whom The BRAD BLOG has spoken to this evening, following the release of tonight's extraordinary new Times piece.
The paper now reports that they are able to corroborate an apparent FBI cover-up of documents detailing an investigation of the theft and sale of nuclear secrets to agents working for Turkey and Israel, who in turn shared the secrets with Pakistan, who in turn may have shared those secrets with Iran, North Korea, Libya, and possibly even al-Qaeda.
As The BRAD BLOG reported along with the Times two weeks ago, the operation also includes allegations that high-ranking U.S. officials --- such as Marc Grossman, a former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, who served as the #3 official in the State Department under Colin Powell and Richard Armitage from 2001 to 2005 --- were involved in the sale of those secrets and may have accepted pay-offs from agents in the black market network in the bargain.
The Times article tonight was originally published under the headline "FBI 'covers up' file exposing theft of nuclear secrets," according to Google News.
Though that header has already been changed to "FBI denies file exposing nuclear secrets theft."
The Times' article refers to an FBI case number (203A-WF-210023) referenced in an anonymous letter sent to The Liberty Coalition, a DC-based transpartisan civil and human rights watchdog organization. A subsequent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, asking for information referring to that case number, resulted in a denial from the FBI that such a case exists.
The letter describes, among other things, allegations that Grossman had warned officials at the Turkish embassy in DC of the existence of a CIA counter-proliferation operation using a "CIA cover company" by the name of "Brewster Jennings." That company was a front used by covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, who was later outed by White House officials in the now-infamous CIA Leak case.
The BRAD BLOG had obtained a copy of the anonymous letter some weeks ago, along with the FBI's denial of the existence of related information via the FOIA request. We've been in touch with the Sunday Times over the past week, as this story has been developing.
We have yet to publish the letter in full, however, as we have been unable to independently corroborate a number of allegations made in the letter.
The Times, however, reports that they've "obtained a document signed by an FBI official showing the existence of the file" referred to in the anonymous letter.
We've also just spoken to Edmonds, who has been under an unprecedented 5-year-long gag order by the U.S. Department of Justice. The DoJ has threatened Edmonds with prosecution under the so-called "State Secrets Privilege." The threat of prison has kept her from speaking publicly about details related to the case, which she claims to have heard while translating wiretaps for the FBI in 2001 and 2002. She has spent many years encouraging members of Congress to hold hearings and a public investigation into the case. Despite public support from senators such as Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and a promise for investigations from members of Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-CA) office, who have been briefed on the details, no such investigation has been carried out to date.
Edmonds denied being the source for the anonymous letter, telling The BRAD BLOG "absolutely not," when we asked her directly if she was its author...
Meanwhile...Over at The Daily Kos, the world's largest and most powerful supposedly-Progressive blog, its founder and its front-page diarists would seem to be as out of touch with their own readership as the Democratic Party seems to be with their constituency, if the results from the following online poll running over there today (results as of 3:00pm PT today), offers any indication...
You'll recall that previously, with no "extraordinary evidence" for the "extraordinary claim" that Hillary Clinton won the NH Primary (maybe she did, maybe she didn't, 80% of the ballots were never counted or verified by anybody, so who knows?), Kos and his designated lead authors threatened readers with permanent banishment for discussing the serious concerns about "faith-based" elections, such as the one that took place last week in New Hampshire.
I'll note that none of the diarists over there previously bashing The BRAD BLOG, by making claims, without evidence, about "claims" they claim we claimed, bothered to link up --- or even answer to --- our post disputing those claims with actual evidence to the contrary.
Looks like these guys would fit in very nicely with today's Democratic Congress. Keep up the bad work, fellas. It's only your democracy at stake.
(P.S. I'm in Oakland tonight for the screening of the more-aptly-named-than-ever new documentary UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections. If I recall correctly, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas resides near the Bay Area. I'd love to see him come out to the screening tonight at the Grand Lake Theater at 7pm. Details here. Ticket is on me. I'd be delighted to talk to him about his apparent lack of interest in transparent, verified elections after he takes a look at this film, and listens to the Q&A I'll be a part of thereafter...if he happens to be in the 'hood. It's not too late to get it straight for '08, Mr. Moulitsas! Especially since it looks like your readers already have.)
Blogged by Brad Friedman from on the road...
(As mentioned in previous items, I'm now on the road --- currently in Oakland for the Thursday night screening of the more-ironically-named-than-ever documentary, UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections --- and doing my best to keep up while moving. So apologies for the terse reports for the moment, as I continue to roll and have limited time online.)
LATEST OUT OF NH: Disparities being found during hand-counts of ballots, in many wards, many candidates. Diebold op-scan memory cards unaccounted for at the moment, Secretary of State (SoS) doesn't track them after elections, doesn't track error reports during elections. LHS Associates (see below) handles all of it instead, according to reports on the ground. Public records request reveals hundreds of ballots in one area scanned as blank due to incorrect ink used on ballots, and other problems on LHS problem report forms.
Numbers are now being posted from both the Democratic and Republican hand-counts in the NH Primary Election contest. So far, only wards in Manchester (Hillsborough County) have been hand-counted, and disparities between the original counts from the Diebold optical-scan machine and the hand inspections seem to be occurring in many wards, and for many candidates.
Here is the SoS Recount page with the totals, that I haven't yet been able to review in full.
While sources on the ground at the counting today have told me that officials were not announcing the originally counted results at the counting room, the SoS web page lists what they claim are the original counts --- previously verified by nobody --- versus the recounted numbers.
The disparities, as I've quickly been able to review them, are small, but consistent, in ward after ward, across almost all of the candidates. I'm told that the manufacturers of the optical-scan machines (in this case, Diebold) have estimated an expected error rate of 1% on this type of tallying device which, as noted by one of our contacts in NH, is ridiculous, if you consider that most states and counties only kick in "automatic recounts" when the margin between the two leading candidates is less than .5% or so.
ADDITIONALLY...Public records requests are being made on the spot, for errors and malfunctions at various voting precincts. An early review of the error forms turned over from the public record request made by Election Integrity experts overseeing the counting, has revealed that in Stratham there were some 550 ballots that were not read by the op-scan at all. They were seen as blank ballots. Officials there noticed the problem, and then hand-counted some 3000 ballots after the error was discovered.
Apparently, as we've seen elsewhere, voters were given the wrong pen to use and the op-scanners did not "see" this particular type of ink.
Some of the election day error and incident reports, as read to me over the phone just now by Susan Pynchon of Florida Fair Elections Coalition and Paddy Shaffer of Ohio Election Justice Campaign, both of whom are on the ground in NH overseeing the counts, and assisting Republican contest candidate Albert Howard...
PROBLEM: Printout indicated 550 "blank voted" ballots which indicated that bad pens were used.
SOLUTION: Went to Stratham to confirm that approximately 15 bad pens were used on election day. The town had, by that time, hand counted and announced those results as official.
PROBLEM: Too many blanks, used wrong marking pens
SOLUTION: Sent Gerry and Tina with lucid machines.
(Town of Lebanon, precinct #2, 9:00 (am or pm?))
PROBLEM: Corrupt Count.
SOLUTION: Shut off and back on. Count back to 155.
(Town of Manchester, 9:30pm)
PROBLEM: P/U 3rd Bad Machine per John S. (likely refers to John Silvestro, owner of LHS)
I spoke with Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org, who is also on the ground in NH, and she asks: "If it wasn't 550 ballots, but just 55 or so in some places, would they even have seen it and known to recount ALL of the ballots?"
She also noted that the error report came from LHS Associates, the private company (with the, um, less-than-reputable background) that is the sole Diebold vendor, programmer, operator and service provider in NH and most of the other New England states.
(UPDATE: Harris has more of her own first-hand observations now posted here at BBV.)
LHS, apparently, is the one responsible for tracking (or not) and reporting (or not) any such errors, rather than the Secretary of State or local election officials. That tracks with previous BRAD BLOG reporting on LHS, and how they operate in Connecticut, where there are similar concerns for whether or not the SoS even knows what the error rates are for the system they use, since problem reports are given to LHS instead of to public officials.
The BRAD BLOG has reported within the past few days machine problems during the election in a number of towns. In fact, of the first four towns we called that used the Diebold machines, all four reported machine failures of one type or another.
FURTHER...Voting Rights attorney John Bonifaz, legal director of VoterAction.org, was on the scene today, and just told me that he has great concerns about the transparency of both the initial election and the hand-count auditing process that got under way in earnest today.
"I'm very concerned that this is not a fully transparent process that is happening there," he told me.
The sensitive memory cards containing the programming and tabulation from the Diebold optical-scanners are apparently "missing in action" for the moment. Those cards, as viewers of HBO's Hacking Democracy know by now, may be used to hack an election, such that only a proper hand-count of the paper ballots afterwards will reveal the hack. (See the video of that hack for yourself right here. The same exact machine being hacked in that film was used across the state to count 80% of the ballots in NH in last week's primary.)
And yet, says Bonifaz who spent time today speaking with New Hampshire Secretary of State, Assistant Secretary of State and Deputy Attorney General, nobody seems to have any idea where those cards are and what has become of them.
He says he was told by Secretary of State William Gardner that his office doesn't get involved in tracking what happens to those memory cards. Some have reportedly been returned to LHS, and may have had their memory erased already.
"When you have a private company counting 80% of the votes, and you later learn that the memory cards are unaccounted for, you have a serious question about the transparency and accountability in that process," Bonifaz said.
He notes that federal law requires all materials from elections be preserved for 22 months after the election. So if those materials have already been lost, destroyed, or over-written, there are legal questions that must be addressed.
Bonifaz also noted that while representatives and observers for the Hillary Clinton and Dennis Kucinich campaigns were on site, nobody at all seemed to be there from either the Barack Obama or John Edwards camps. (Incredibly enough, I might add!)
Our earlier report today had a number of important updates that you may wish to review. Including the fact that the Kucinich people have asked for more observers (with video cameras if you have them!) at the State Archives Bldg., 71 South Fruit Street, Concord, New Hampshire, to help oversee the 6 counting teams. Much more in that report as well...
UPDATE 1/17/08 6:25 PM PST by Emily Levy: There are enough volunteers for tomorrow's counting. After Friday's counting, the count will be suspended for the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday weekend and is scheduled to resume next Tuesday. Folks on the ground in NH ask that you not show up there without talking with someone first, as they don't want anyone to make the trip unless they're needed. Volunteering will be coordinated, and that system is being set up now. Check back here for updates.
-- By Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG
Counting ballots is not done to find out what went wrong, but rather, to assure the results are right.
ATMs are fairly reliable. But I have a feeling if you get $300 from one of them, you'll likely count, by hand, all three hundred dollar bills to make sure they are there. Right? You'd be an irresponsible fool to do otherwise.
But with election results? Um, not so much.
Mahjoun at "Drunkard’s Lamppost" --- a blog which brands itself as "Politics with a spreadsheet and a calculator" --- offers a concise and easy to read summary of the results, as reported, in Diebold vs. Hand-Counted precincts in New Hampshire, along with a very sober analysis (notable for such a "Drunkard") of what may, and may not, be taken away from such an analysis.
We concur. Although earlier in his piece, perhaps inadvertently, Mahjoun does a bit of "jiggery-pokery without any real evidence" himself, by stating:
Did she? Is there any evidence for that?
As they like to say over at Daily Kos, after all, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." But that only seems to work one way. So, what exactly is the "extraordinary evidence" for the "extraordinary claim" that for the first time in United States history, a woman has won a Presidential Primary Election, while staring down the barrel of dozens of independent pre-election polls, all predicting she would take a thumping?
Mahjoun's point might have been more accurately stated as "In the end, Clinton won because Diebold machines reported having tallied the ballots more in her favor in large precincts."
That can be proven, after all. The Diebold machines did report, after they, and they alone, counted the paper ballots, without examination or independent verification, that Clinton received more votes in enough precincts to be announced the winner of the election. But unless there's something I'm missing, that's the only thing in this whole matter which can proven.
Some democracy, huh?
In conclusion though, Mahjoun gets it dead right, by pointing out what is, perhaps, the most important take-away from this entire mess, unless you are the sort, unlike me, who enjoys seeing these nightmares and questions repeated over and over again, in election after election in this country:
Bingo. Buy that drunkard another drink!
But such responsible coverage, from the mainstream media --- or, more disappointingly, the supposedly-Progressive blogosphere, which has had no shortage of new epithets for The BRAD BLOG and its founding father, Brad Friedman, over the past week --- has not been easy to come by.
Rigging the Coverage...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
In a promo airing on MSNBC Chris Matthews states that "politics at its best is a battle of ideas where one person with some guts and belief takes on someone else with some guts and belief and those who watch get to decide who is right."
Unfortunately, those who watch the January 15th Democratic debate in Las Vegas will not see one of the gutsiest candidates since NBC recently revamped its own rules in order to kick Congressman Dennis Kucinich out of the debate. One can't help but wonder if this is because of some of Kucinich's ideas - bring the troops home now and vehemently anti-war - are anathema to NBC's parent company, General Electric (GE), which is also a large military defense contractor.
At a minimum, the exclusion of Kucinich certainly makes Matthews a hypocrite. As he says, "those who watch get to decide who is right", not those who run media conglomerates. Should one feel inclined to ask Matthews to stand by his words and let the people decide, his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMMENT FROM BRAD: Or does it have something to do with his asking for a hand count of the votes in the NH Primary? After all, Kucinich already had his anti-war position when he was initially invited to participate in the debate originally, several days ago. But he was then un-invited the morning after he announced his call for a count of the NH primary ballots. Just FYI.
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
IMPORTANT NOTE FROM BRAD: In the above clip, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) speaks about the necessity of a paper ballot for every vote cast, that can be "audited" after an election to ensure voter intent was recorded accurately. It should be noted, however, that while he plans to introduce a small "emergency bill" next week, which would give money to jurisdictions who wish to provide paper ballots to voters in the November 2008 election only, his larger Election Reform bill (HR811) that he has previously been pushing (and refers to near the end of the segment) does not, despite what the Congressman says, require paper ballots be used.
HR811 would continue to allow for DRE (usually called touch-screen) voting systems to be used, as long as they have a so-called "paper trail" printer. DRE "paper trails", however, do not provide a reliable, auditable record of voter intent. Only voter-marked paper ballots --- such as the ones used in New Hampshire --- provide such assurances of an auditable election result. See this Special Coverage page for more info on HR811.
DREs with or without so-called "paper trails" cannot be used safely in any American election. Period.
The deputies under former DoJ Voting Right section chief, John "Minorities Die First" Tanner, have been demoted by their new acting boss.
And yes, Tanner has finally left his office, just after New Years, after being forced to resign "immediately" just before Christmas, after making a particularly controversial statement as originally video-taped and revealed by The BRAD BLOG.
Paul Kiel at TPM has the full story on why the two ladies have been demoted, and what they, along with Tanner, are being investigated for. Kiel also concludes: "So it seems that the voting section is truly entering a new era. Whether the voting section will reassume its traditional responsibility of protecting African-American voters from discrimination is another question. Only time will tell."
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