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Many other 'glitches' reported already --- and the polls have only been open for an hour!
UPDATED THREE TIMES!
By Winter Patriot on 8/8/2006 6:27am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

An early-morning report from the headquarters of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's campaign indicates that voting is not going smoothly in Georgia's 4th Congressional District. Congresswoman McKinney is involved in a runoff election against Hank Johnson, after "failing" to gain 50% of the votes in the first round of the primary three weeks ago.

According to the McKinney camp,

Less than one hour into the voting day, multiple problems with the electronic voting machines have arisen. McKinney precinct watchers are reporting machines down already, insecure machines, and at least one 4th Congressional District precinct without McKinney's name on the ballot, but with her opponent's name on it.
...
Another location had to redo the zero report because the machine did not initiate at a zero count. And at yet another location, the voting machine where the voting card is inserted is not secure.

We've reported on McKinney's troubles in the first round of the primary (here and here) and we have also mentioned the smear campaign being waged against her --- and against opponents of electronic voting in general --- by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a so-called "newspaper" which is part of the so-called "Cox media empire". Judging from their coverage of the first round of the primary, we should not expect the AJC to pay any attention to the claims of irregularities in this election, regardless of how well documented they might be.

The BRAD BLOG, on the other hand, will continue to keep you posted.

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

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It's A One-Man Show: Curtis is 'out pressing the flesh' while Michaud 'appears to have gone into hibernation'
Curtis calls it 'the oddest campaigning I ever saw'
By Winter Patriot on 8/7/2006 9:11pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

The Orlando Sentinel has posted a good article by Robert Perez called Opponent, where art thou? asks Democrat in which Perez does a very good job covering the lead-up to the Democratic Primary in the 24th District, between Clint Curtis and Andy Michaud. The winner will earn the right to run for Congress --- against Tom Feeney!

Many election integrity advocates have been hoping for a Feeny-Curtis race, which would certainly focus more light on some very key issues. But Curtis has to get by Andy Michaud first. And as Perez describes it, Michaud's strategy at the moment is very difficult to grasp.

[L]ess than three weeks before early voting begins, it's Curtis who is out pressing the flesh, making stump speeches and pushing for donations.

Michaud, meanwhile, has been missing in action.

Curtis, a Titusville computer programmer, says his opponent in the Sept. 5 Democratic primary is ducking him.

"He doesn't show up at events where I'm at," Curtis said. "It's the oddest campaigning I ever saw."

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

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They Stand By Their Man (Which Turns Out To Be Their Stated Purpose)
By Emily Levy on 8/7/2006 1:56pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Emily Levy

Claims that electronic voting equipment sleepovers are just peachy sound mighty defensive in an issue paper titled "Voting Equipment 'Sleepover' Practice" issued July 27, 2006 by the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO).

"The California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) recognizes that distributing secured voting equipment to poll workers prior to Election Day is an efficient, accountable, and transparent practice that contributes to the orderly and secure conduct of elections."

It may come as no shock that the president of the CACEO is none other than Conny McCormack, Registrar of Voters from Los Angeles County, pictured here on a Diebold brochure. San Diego RoV Mikel Haas is on the Board of Directors. Despite the CACEO not being a government entity, it has an important job to do. Why, its motto is even "Officium populi, office of the people." But wait! In their bylaws we find, under "Objects and Purposes":

"To Promote Welfare of Members: To promote the welfare of members of the Association and the counties they represent."

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

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Update: More Groups Show Concern For Elections Procedures In San Diego County
By John Gideon on 8/7/2006 12:08pm PT  

Guest Blogged By John Gideon

Just released by the Green Party US is a Press Release from San Diego County, CA that states, in part, "The Green Party of San Diego County does not endorse the protocols used for obtaining and tabulating votes during the June 6 primary and previous elections. As we outline below, the process is fundamentally insecure leading to election results that are neither accurate nor verifiable."

The complete Press Release is below:

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

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Had Vowed To Fight On, Even If Indicted; Now Says He's Quitting For The Good Of His Family
Flip-Flopper?? ... In the meantime, with DeLay and Ney gone, Tom Feeney is the only remaining congressman to have accompanied Jack Abramoff to Scotland!
By Winter Patriot on 8/7/2006 9:57am PT  



Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

According to ABC News and AP: Bob Ney Won't Seek Re-Election

COLUMBUS, Ohio Aug 7, 2006 (AP)— U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, dogged by an influence peddling probe in Washington, will not seek re-election, state Sen. Joy Padgett said early Monday.

AP writer Joe Danborn has some other details, including:

The six-term congressman from Heath in central Ohio had insisted he would not resign even if indicted over his dealings with now-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In his first primary test in a decade, Ney won 68 percent of the vote May 2 against a little-known opponent.

However, he faced a tough challenge in November from Democrat Zack Space, who had made the Justice Department's investigation into Ney a focus of his campaign.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review has more, including some quotes from an exclusive interview with Ney: Ney drops out of fall race

Ney has not been charged with a crime, and he insists he did nothing wrong. But his former chief of staff, Neil Volz, who left to join Abramoff's team, pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to use gifts and trips to influence Ney's official activities. Volz said he and other Abramoff associates provided Ney and members of his staff with free or reduced-price trips to England, Scotland and the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.

Who went on that trip to Scotland? Let's see ...

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

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Examining Bookman's Opinion Smear Piece, 'THE LAME VOTE-RIGGING CRIES RETURN', from a Reality-Based Standpoint
By Winter Patriot on 8/4/2006 3:00pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

I've been reading the most incredible editorial, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
THE LAME VOTE-RIGGING CRIES RETURN

It's also available here and probably elsewhere too.

Here's how it starts:

By JAY BOOKMAN
Cox News Service
08/02/2006

Cox News Service

ATLANTA --- After night comes day and after spring comes summer, so I guess we all should have seen this one coming.

Well, I for one did see this coming, but I don't think this means we all should have.

After U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney was forced into a surprising runoff in last month's Democratic primary, her campaign proposed a likely explanation: Electronic voting machines used in the election were made by Diebold.

You can see right away how "clever" Jay Bookman is! He admits that the result was "surprising" and that the explanation posed by her campaign was a "likely" one. It almost seems he's interested in telling the truth ... but not really.

Even on the cold hard web-page, Bookman's words are clearly dripping with sarcasm. And, in an era when unintended irony is all the rage for supporters of the current corrupt bunch of war-criminals posing as statesmen, I am not shocked to see a true statement such as this one, disguised as ... um ... listen: this is a family blog, for the most part, so let's just continue.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2006 9:03am PT  

Motel Blogged from the road by Brad...

In addition to the previous article mentioned in Florida, more Voting Machine 'Sleepover' coverage today, this time from Marc Songini in ComputerWorld...

A lawsuit has grown out of alleged breaches in security procedures around electronic voting machines in San Diego County after a hotly contested congressional election, throwing a spotlight on the reliability of the machines themselves.

The suit, filed on Monday, requests that a special election on June 6 to fill the 50th Congressional District seat be invalidated. It also seeks a complete hand recount of the paper ballots, said Paul Lehto, an Everett, Wash.-based attorney handling the case. The suit was filed in Superior Court in San Diego and names Mikel Haas, county registrar of voters, and Brian Bilbray, the winner of the seat, as defendants.

San Diego voters used AccuVote optical-scan and TSx touch-screen systems from Diebold Election Systems.

Whatever the specific merits of the suit, it could heighten some citizens' concerns about e-voting technology if critics' claims of the inherent security deficiencies get debated in court during the run-up to the fall elections.

One of the main points raised by the suit is the so-called sleepover policy, under which Haas directed that all the machines be released to poll worker supervisors before the election. These sleepovers lasted from three days to more than a week.

"During these sleepovers, the voting machines were unsecured, subject to access by innumerable neighbors, strangers and family members, and stored without records or proof of actual chain of custody, eliminating the ability of any person to detect whether or not fraud or improper access to the voting machines occurred," according to the lawsuit.

"The sleepover issue is fairly egregious," said Lehto. Tampering with one card in one device conceivably could change race results.
...
This lawsuit is an example of what could happen in upcoming contests, said Brad Friedman, who covers e-voting issues in his blog. "Is this the sort of thing we want to see happen in 435 House races, 33 Senate races and 20-something gubernatorial races around the country on Nov. 7 this year?" said Friedman.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2006 8:36am PT  

Blogged hastily by Brad from the road...(I think I'm in Cedar Rapids, Iowa...though not actually running for anything)...

From an article in today's Daytona Beach News-Journal...

Secure ballots fuel races
...
Verifiable elections also tops the list of issues on the Web site of Titusville Democrat Clint Curtis, who is challenging Oviedo Republican incumbent Tom Feeney for U.S. Congress. Feeney's Web site also touts paper ballot legislation he advanced last year.

Another voting issue making rounds is "sleepovers."

The practice of having precinct clerks store machines just before Election Day is used in Volusia and Flagler counties so the machines can be distributed to polling places in the wee hours before polls open at 7 a.m. The machines are sealed to make sure they're not tampered with, and supervisors say it's safer to have them at a sworn elections worker's home than at a polling place.

The practice is particularly common in large counties where polling places are far from elections offices, said Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for the Florida Department of State.

John Chagnon, a Democrat from St. Augustine who is challenging Winter Park Republican John Mica for his Congressional seat, raised the "sleepovers" issue in a letter to the state Division of Elections last week.

"A lot of people just don't know about this," he said. "When they find out about this, they get upset."

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Sets Up 'Voter Protection Hotline', Calls for Paper 'Trails' and Lawyers in 15 'Key States'...
But We're Gonna Need Much More Than That...
By Brad Friedman on 8/3/2006 10:57am PT  

Blogged by Brad on the long, hot road...

The DNC Media Office released information on their planned "Expanded National Voter Protection Effort" today. I'll avoid my knee-jerk reaction to say "Expanded" from what?! Their full media release is posted below.

As I've got to get in the car and head up to St. Paul for a PBS TV show taping (Mental Engineering) over the weekend, I don't have much time to comment on the strategy and release for now. As you may guess, I have some feelings on both. You'll simply have to guess at those feelings for now. Suffice to say, we need more than paper "trails" and attorneys on Election Day... I applaud the tireless efforts of Greg Moore, heading up the DNC Voting Rights Institute. He "gets it" --- but the rest of the DNC still seems to be burying their head in the sand about the seriousness of the problem.

To that end, and by way of example, we could also use their help in dealing with issues like the Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election in CA50 now if they are serious about protecting the ballot box in November everwhere! (An essay I posted some weeks ago describing how what happens now in CA50 affects the vote everywhere this November is right here: "A Line in the Sand")

The full release from the DNC as issued within the past hour follows...

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

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The Electronic Voting Machine Company Qui Tam Cases Explained...
'Citizen media is replacing mainstream media...and a lot more successfully than anybody dreamed.'
By Joy Williams on 8/2/2006 6:00am PT  

An Exclusive Interview for The BRAD BLOG as Guest Blogged by Joy and Tom Williams…

Mike Papantonio and Bobby Kennedy co-host Ring of Fire on Air America. The two attorneys have filed qui tam lawsuits against the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) companies for defrauding the government. We previously posted an exclusive interview with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. about this case.

Papantonio is a Florida attorney who has already gone after a number of big corporations for the American people. He is named partner and head of the Mass Tort Department at his firm. He has handled many famous cases throughout the nation, including asbestos, breast implants, Dalkon Shield, Fen-Phen, hemophiliac-AIDS, L-Tryptophan, railroad disasters and the Florida Tobacco litigation. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America and Leading American Attorney. He is also the author of In Search of Atticus Finch, A Motivational Book for Lawyers; Clarence Darrow, The Journeyman; Resurrecting AESOP, Fables Lawyers Should Remember and a co-author of Closing Arguments --- The Last Battle. In addition to all this, he is a popular lecturer in the legal field.

We would like to say something about what a dynamic and articulate man he is, and how much we think he's doing for our country, but, really, res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself, and this is no accident. Mike Papantonio is a hard-working, extremely generous, friendly and personable --- and dedicated --- man. One would be hard-pressed to find a better duo for the difficult job ahead. The Kennedy/Papantonio alliance is a particularly brilliant one. Mike took the time to talk to us about aspects of the qui tam cases they have set in motion already...

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

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Republican Primary Saw Popular Incumbent Nearly Lose, Save for a Hand Count of the Paper Ballots
Unlike San Diego's Busby/Bilbray Race, Iowa Election Officials Took Concerns of Election Accuracy Seriously!
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2006 12:59pm PT  

"More evidence tonight that the security of our elections, the integrity of our democracy are at risk from electronic voting machines. A county in Iowa has just come close to putting the wrong candidate in office because of a massive programming error."

This Dobbs report underscores the problems in the Busby/Bilbray CA50 election fiasco, as the candidates shown as losing the election based on the optical-scan count in Iowa were later found to be winners --- but only after the ballots were actually counted by hand to determine if they were counted accurately by the machine! They were not.

By way of ironic side note, the Iowa Republican primary election in question, as we've noted here many time before, took place on June 6th --- the same day as the flawed Busby/Bilbray election...in which nobody has yet bothered to count the op-scan votes in order to find out if the results were reported accurately. Election integrity, it seems, is more important in some states than in others, we guess.

Says Dobbs in his closing remarks to Kitty Pilgrim: "If this message is not getting through that's emanating from every corner of the country using these voting machines, I don't know what it will take."


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

(Hat tip David Edwards for the video, John Gideon for the transcript and tracking, etc.)

The complete text transcript of the Lou Dobbs/Kitty Pilgrim report follows...

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

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PLUS: Audio of Attorney Paul Lehto on Ed Schultz Discussing Details of the Case...
ALSO: Tons of Local Media Coverage of the Contest Filing...
By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2006 4:56pm PT  

Blogged by Brad on the road...

The case to challenge the announced results of the Busby/Bilbray election was filed today in San Diego County's California Superior Court as reported earlier this morning in some detail. The case number is: GIC870044 and may be downloaded here...

-- Busby/Bilbray Election Contest complaint, [PDF]

There's some extraordinary and fresh stuff in the suit that you'll want to read, since I'm still on the road and unable to cover as thoroughly as usual.

The local media covered the press conference held and attorney Paul Lehto appeared on Ed Schultz. Coverage of both follows...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2006 11:48am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

I was able to listen in via cell phone to the Press Conference just held outside the San Diego courthouse where Attorney Paul Lehto has filed a lawsuit to contest the results of the Busby/Bilbray election.

I wasn't able to hear everything...but here are a few quotes as transcribed as best as I could from speakers Lehto, Judy Hess, Barbara Gail Jacobson and Mimi Kennedy...

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

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Lehto on San Diego County Registrar's Inability to Deploy Voting Machines Securely: 'If he can’t handle it, he should get a new job.'
ALSO: Lehto Now Scheduled to Appear on Ed Schultz Today at 5:30pm ET (2:30pm PT)
By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2006 10:18am PT  

Blogged by Brad on the road...

RAW STORY's Miriam Raftery offers more details on today's filing of an Election Contest in the Busby/Bilbray race (covered by The BRAD BLOG late last night). Her excellent coverage includes an exclusive interview with attorney Paul Lehto who is speeding to the courthouse in San Diego even as I write this, with a press conference to follow at 10:30am PT as reported previously.

He's also now scheduled to appear on the nationally syndicated Ed Schultz radio program to discuss the lawsuit with Big Ed at 5:30pm ET (2:30pm PT). [UPDATE: Audio from Big Ed appearance now available for download here.]

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Press Conference to be Held on the Court House Steps in San Diego at 10:30am PT Just After Filing...
By Winter Patriot on 7/30/2006 8:58pm PT  


Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

[UPDATE: RAW STORY covers the filing here along with an exclusive interview with attorney Paul Lehto. Details from the press conference held earlier today here. Lehto to appear on Ed Schultz radio show at 2:30pm ET to discuss the case.]

[FURTHER UPDATE: The full complaint is now available to download here.]

For all advocates of election integity, and especially for those in San Diego, Monday is going to be a big day. Attorney Paul Lehto is on the scene and Monday morning he will be filing a contest to the U.S. House special election held on June 6th in California's 50th congressional district to replace disgraced Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

According to a press release issued by a group of Election Integrity advocates organizing themselves as the CA-50 Action Group, a press release will be held on the steps of the Court House in San Diego at 10:30am, just after the filing. (The BRAD BLOG has received an advance copy of the press release. It is posted in full at the bottom of this article.)

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

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