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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After the state GOP repealed the law to move to paper ballots, votes now reportedly flipping again on a controversial Amendment to the state Constitution...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...


Video of BRAD BLOG's Vote-Rigging Whistleblower Shown by Presidential Candidate's Advisor to Suggest 'Cyberfraud Possible' in Recently Disputed Election
By Brad Friedman on 7/8/2006 12:52pm PT  

From today's Salon...

July 8, 2006 | MEXICO CITY --- "Ciberfraude," or cyberfraud, is not a word in the average Mexican's vocabulary. But most Mexicans have heard of the extraordinary electoral debacle that befell their neighbors to the north in 2000, and Martí Batres, the head of the Democratic Revolutionary Party's Mexico City chapter, was going to capitalize on that knowledge. At a press conference Friday afternoon at PRD headquarters, the close advisor to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist politician who lost an exceedingly close election here this week, nodded to an aide to turn on his laptop. "And now I'm going to show you a video," he told the roomful of reporters.

The lights went out, and on a pull-down screen, computer programmer Clinton Curtis explained in English to an American audience how he had allegedly been hired by Tom Feeney, speaker of Florida's House of Representatives and a Republican, to create a computer code that fixed that state's vote in favor of George W. Bush six years ago. Batres, or someone on YouTube, had added Spanish subtitles to the 3 and a half minute clip. "This video shows that cyberfraud is possible," Batres insisted when the lights came up. "There may have been a source code used to manipulate our elections just as with the Florida elections in 2000."

More available at the Salon link above.

Not certain which video of Curtis was shown (haven't been able to follow the Mexico Election crisis too closely, as we've been waylaid by the current fight for electoral integrity in this country of late), but it may have been the video of Curtis testifying under oath to a panel of U.S. House Judiciary Committee members in late 2004 or one of several available online in which I interviewed him (here's one, here's another with text transcript) during a late 2005 Election Reform summit in Portland, OR.

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis is now running for U.S. Congress against Feeney.
To support or for more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com
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Alleged Republican Vote Rigging Conspirator Congressman Tom Feeney Smacked Down by Space Agency --- Where His Wife Works!
By Brad Friedman on 7/8/2006 11:38am PT  

NASA's own Transit Workers Union has endorsed vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis for Congress. Curtis hopes to unseat corrupt Republican congressman Tom Feeney in Florida's 24th U.S. congressional district this fall... and this particular endorsement has gotta smart.

The irony here (among many): Feeney's wife works for NASA, or at least she used to, and we believe she still does. As well, Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI) --- the company for whom both Curtis and Feeney worked back when Curtis claims Feeney asked him to create vote-rigging software in 2000 --- has huge contracts with NASA to this day.

We're certain that even though Feeney was the Speaker of the Florida House at the same time he was YEI's general counsel and registered lobbyist, there was no conflict of interest there and Feeney had nothing to do with helping to secure those lucrative NASA gigs for YEI.

We're also certain that the junket Feeney took to Scotland to play golf with Jack Abramoff (on the lobbyist's dime) was purely for congressional business as well.

Here's the text of the ringing endorsement from the TWU Local 525...

Dear Clint,

The 800 members of Local 525 officially endorse your candidacy for Congress. Due to your continual efforts to bring honesty and integrity to Washington, we believe you are the right choice and the only choice for the working men and women of Florida.

During the course of this elections cycle, we intend to offer you whatever resources we have available in order to make your bid for congress a successful one and I personally will make myself available to you and your staff if I am needed.

We look forward to working with you,

Sincerely,

Kevin P. Smith
Vice President, TWU Local 525

Clint Curtis' website, should you wish to support him (and he can use it, as Feeney is rolling in dirty money) is www.ClintCurtis.com. You can read more about Clint Curtis's remarkable story in this quick summary including links to our original coverage of Curtis starting back in December of 2004.

On Thursday, we ran another Clint Curtis related item including a link to the first print publication of 'discovered' police photos taken at the 'suicide' scene of the investigator from the Florida Inspector General's office who had been looking into Curtis' claims when he suddenly turned up dead one morning in Valdosta, Georgia in 2003.

A scan of the actual endorsement letter follows...

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

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A 'Buck a Vote' for Hand Count of Paper Ballots, Trails in U.S. House Election Which Used Uncertified Voting Machines...
Fees Far Exceed Those Charged by Other Counties, Request Filed by Election Integrity Advocate 'on Behalf of Candidate Brian Bilbray'
By Brad Friedman on 7/7/2006 6:04am PT  

Late Wednesday afternoon, a "Manual Hand Count Request under the Election Recount Provision" was filed at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office by CA-50 voter Barbara Gail Jacobson. The request is for a full manual hand count of all paper ballots and paper trails in the recent June 6th Busby/Bilbray special U.S. House election in which programmed, election-ready Diebold voting machines were sent home with poll workers for days prior to the election in apparent violation of new laws and provisions by both state and federal authorities.

As California state election code requires that a candidate be named on whose behalf such hand count requests are filed, Jacobson named Republican Brian Bilbray in her filing. Bilbray is the candidate who was announced as the winner in the race by SD County Registrar Mikel Haas.

Jacobson's manual hand count request, as filed, is posted in full here.

The breaches in security for the exceedingly hackable Diebold voting machines and the subsequent decertified use of such systems in the important "bellwether" election have prompted a number of Election Integrity organizations to declare "No Confidence" in the results of the election as reported by Registrar Haas. Haas himself has even admitted that storage of such machines in poll workers' cars cannot be considered secure as required by state and federal law.

The fees estimated for the count, to be paid by the requester, have been set at an estimated $110,000 to $130,000 by the Registrar's office. That amount, nearly a dollar per vote, is far in excess of similar counting fees charged by other County Registrars in California.

Jacobson states in her hand count filing that she "submit[s] this request in the hope that ALL candidates and ALL voters in the United States of America, in the State of California, in the County of San Diego, and in the state's 50th U.S. Congressional District, may have confidence in the accuracy of the election returns as announced by the San Diego Country Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas."

Nonetheless, Jacobson stated the request was "being filed on behalf of candidate Brian Bilbray," in accordance with state election law:

"The rule of law is important," wrote Jacobson, "I'm happy to follow that rule of law and hope that the San Diego County Registrar will now show an interest in same...for the good of our nation."

The filing includes a request for a number of detailed items --- including chain of custody logs for voting machines and the ballots themselves --- said to be needed before such a count can begin in order to ensure the integrity of that count.

In the meantime, the registrar's office has answered an inquiry into fees that may be charged for such a manual hand count of all paper ballots and paper trails, estimated to be as high as $130,000 or the equivalent of $6000 per day.

"Based on previous experience," wrote Tim McNamara, SD County's Assistant Registrar of Voters in reply to a recent emailed request for the costs of such a count, "the estimated cost of recounting ballots cast in this election using, for example, four counting boards would be in the range of $110,000 to $130,000 and would take approximately 24 to 30 working days. It assumes that the four boards in the example, working six hours a day, could hand tally 1,500 ballots each."

Election integrity advocate Linda Bagneschi Dorrance explained to The BRAD BLOG that estimates for a manual hand count in San Diego are nearly twice the cost for similar requests elsewhere in the state. Apparently California law allows elections officials to set just about any price they wish.

"The estimates...equate to about $1,083 per day per recount board," Dorrance explained to us. "We just succeeded in reducing Marin County's cost to I believe $500 per recount board per day. Still expensive, but about half the San Diego cost."

While Haas seems prepared to charge nearly $1 per vote to manually hand count, The BRAD BLOG has learned that other counties around California have charged as little as $0.14 per vote for a similar hand count.

Election protection organization VelvetRevolution.us has begun to collect donations for the legal fees associated with fighting for accountability in the Busby/Bilbray election, until such time as advocates on the ground in San Diego have created a legal fund for this purpose. Donations may be made here. (DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.)

Recent reports from various organizations and media sources have lauded the state of California for requiring paper ballots and paper trails by law for all votes cast. As well, California's mandated 1% manual random audit law has similarly been recognized as an important safeguard for elections held in this state, along with a liberal "recount" provision allowing any affected voter to file for such a hand count when needed.

However, what isn't as well reported is the fact that there is no actual legal remedy if a variance from the official results are found during 1% hand audits. The audit may reveal the official count to be off by any percentage and there are no legal requirements or clear rules concerning what happens next in such an event. So far, The BRAD BLOG has been unable to obtain information on the 1% manual audit in the Busby/Bilbray election.

As to the costs for hand counts requested under the recount provisions in state law, it seems that election registrars are free to charge virtually anything they like for such counts. No uniform state standards for such fees seem to exist, which means the prices set for such counts may be set near-randomly --- and even prohibitively --- by elections officials. Such oversights in the law, of course, make accountability in such cases as this, where both state and federal election laws were clearly violated, very difficult to achieve.

A few of the opening paragraphs of the manual hand count request as filed Wednesday by Barbara Gail Jacobson follow below. The entire three page request can be read in full here...

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

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On Stands Now...
PLUS: A Few Other Notable Clint Curtis Related Items
By Brad Friedman on 7/6/2006 10:02am PT  

More than a full year after I wrote the original draft for them, Hustler is now running my story on the mysterious "suicide" of Raymond Lemme, of the Florida Inspector General's office. This is the first time that uncovered police photos --- the ones which were not supposed to have existed --- have appeared in print, not counting the Internet, to our knowledge.

Here's a pornography-free PDF of the article --- (WARNING: Includes graphic photos. Plus a sidebar on Clint Curtis' run for congress!) --- as it's currently running in the September issue now available at a newstand near you. Unless you live in Utah.

(NOTE: Previously broken PDF link now fixed.)

For BRAD BLOG readers who may not have been around here long enough to know, read on for an explanation of who Lemme and Curtis are.

And meanwhile...in other 'Clint Curtis for Congress' related news...

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

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Brad Quoted Almost Accurately in Decent Coverage of Woeful Tale...
By Brad Friedman on 7/5/2006 6:51pm PT  

Sacramento Bee columnist Peter Schrag runs a decent article on Busby/Bilbray election mess in today's paper.

I recommend you read it in full, as it's mostly balanced (in the honest way, not the Fox "News" way) and gets most of the elements of the story close enough for government work. In other words, it's a legitimate article, even with a few quibbles I have. But the legit effort is certainly appreciated in contrast with the lazy piece of disinformation disguised as a news article which ran last week in San Diego Union-Tribune on this matter.

Schrag's focus throughout is largely on the uber-matter in question; The looming threat we face to the legitimacy of American elections across the board. The article starts this way...

Last month's race in California's 50th Congressional District in San Diego County between Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Francine Busby was regarded by many observers as an indicator of whether the Democrats could recapture the House in November.

But the response to the election may foretell as much or more about the level of confidence Americans will have in the reported results in November as they do about who controls the House in January. If you Google the words Bilbray, Busby and Diebold, you'll get 67,000 hits, most of them casting doubt on whether the reported results --- 78,000 votes (49.5 percent) for Bilbray, 71,000 (45 percent) for Busby, according the San Diego registrar of voters --- could really be trusted. Diebold's electronic voting machines are the X factor.

Schrag then goes on to slightly misrepresent my comments to him last week when he called, when he writes:

Even Brad Friedman, the liberal blogger primarily responsible for touching off this new round of doubt, doesn't say the machines were fiddled with or that the election was stolen. But with support from Tribune Media Services columnist Bob Koehler, CNN's Lou Dobbs and some liberal vote-watch groups, neither the doubts nor the doubters are likely to go away.

The misrepresentation, accidental as I'll presume it to be, is that yes, I've said we currently have no specific evidence that "the machines were fiddled with," as he put it. But we simply cannot know whether they were "fiddled with" or not, given Regisrar Mikel Haas' complete disregard for the new state and federal security mitigation requirements which were invalidated when the voting machines in question were sent home with poll workers for days and weeks prior to the election. In doing so, they were all rendered decertified, and thus illegal for use in the election.

Where I will take exception to Schrag's article is when he avers that "Bilbray almost certainly won the election."

Of course, Schrag has absolutely zero evidence with which to back up that assertion, so I really don't know where he gets it, other than by general knee-jerk habit that the media have of simply trusting elections officials and whatever they report to be the "results" of any election. (See Ohio 2004, et al.)

His closing sentence then, repeats again his earlier unsupported assertion, but closes on the right note:

The doubters about Bilbray-Busby are probably wrong; the threat to democracy is very real.

Please read the article in full yourself so you can make up your own mind. He makes several good points worth reading in any case.

Oh...and one last point. Schrag writes:

Last week, the doubters held public meetings in Los Angeles and San Diego demanding hand recounts of the results. They're not likely to get them, but that will only reinforce the questions, not necessarily about Bilbray-Busby, but about the results elsewhere if the GOP retains control in Washington in November.

The last part is true enough --- doubts about election results this November will plague this country no matter who wins or loses (see this earlier article today on that) --- but I'm not sure where he gets the idea that the "doubters" won't get that hand "recount" (of course he means hand count, not recount, since the ballots have not actually been counted) if they want it.

Those "doubters," however, will likely have to pay for it themselves, unless a judge orders otherwise. And, we're learning that, apparently, the registrar himself gets to determine just about any number he wants to charge for that manual hand count.

You can contribute to help defray legal costs to fight this battle over at VelvetRevolution.us for the time being. More on all of that tomorrow....

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By Brad Friedman on 7/3/2006 8:23pm PT  

RAW STORY's Miriam Raftery mercifully (for me) covers some of the proceedings of last Wednesday's Emergency Townhall in San Diego (Oceanside) concerning the questionable results from the Busby/Bilbray election run on effectively illegal/uncertified voting machines --- so I don't have to!

I've got a few good photos and such, however, which I hope to get posted here soon. Unless they scoop me on those as well... ;-)

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BRAD BLOG's Poll Worker Sources, Brad Himself, Offer Testimony for New Filing in Previously Filed Case Against CA Sec. of State, County Registrars...
Sleepovers Show that 'Stop-gap Security Conditions Do Not Solve the Problems,' Says VoterAction.org Press Release
By Brad Friedman on 7/3/2006 7:24pm PT  

It's getting very difficult to keep up.

VoterAction.org, a non-partisan group of voters who recently filed suit against CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson and 18 county registrars, has submitted new papers in a court filing today in support of their call for an injunction against the use and purchase of touch-screen Diebold voting machines in the state.

The complaint, filed in March, was originally reported here.

The latest filing, described in a press release issued earlier today, includes new information based on the recent reports of the San Diego County Diebold voting machine "sleepovers" with poll workers, in the days and weeks prior to the recent U.S. House Special Election in California's 50th congressional district.

Among the new declarations in the filing today are statements from several poll workers, of whom The BRAD BLOG originally reported as having taken home programmed, election-ready, highly-hackable Diebold voting machines to be stored in their cars and garages in the days preceeding the "bellwether" U.S. House special election.

One of those poll workers, Patti Newton, is quoted in the press release. She also appeared on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight last week when Dobbs also reported on the "sleepovers."

I (Brad Friedman) was also asked to submit a declaration for the filing based on my interview with San Diego County Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas. Haas had admitted to me during that interview that storage of programmed voting machines in poll workers' cars could "not be considered secure." His admission would suggest that the new federal requirements, as issued March 22, 2006 by the National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED), mandating "secure storage" of programmed voting machines were violated.

"Failure to comply with this addendum negates the voting system's status as a NASED-qualified voting system," the official memorandum clearly states.

With regard to the demonstrated failure of state Registrars like Haas to comply with the new requirements, and in support of the injunction sought to ban the use of these machines in the state, today's statement says, "Recent experience has shown that stop-gap security conditions imposed by the Secretary of State do not solve the problems."

Several paragraphs from the VoterAction.org press release, speaking to the concerns highlighted by the voting machines "sleepovers," follow...

The California voters’ preliminary injunction motion is supported by sworn testimony from volunteer poll workers in San Diego and Modesto Counties regarding serious physical security breaches, including assigned “sleepovers”, or home storage of electronic voting machines and missing security seals over memory card portals.
...
Recent experience has shown that stop-gap security conditions imposed by the Secretary of State do not solve the problems, and use of this system in the upcoming election presents a grave danger of voter disenfranchisement and election result manipulation.
...
In her testimony, Escondido, CA poll volunteer, Patricia Mack Newton, who stored a machine in her Jeep and then garage for a full seven days prior to elections, stated, "I was shocked when we were told we would be taking the machines home, especially since we had received no training on how to secure the machines, or if we were supposed to do so.
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Election Watchdog Group Says State Officials Haven't Taken Security Warnings Seriously, Release Previously Redacted Information, Photos in Response
'In a Sane World These Machines Would be Recalled' Says Statement!
By Brad Friedman on 7/3/2006 6:34pm PT  

Responding to what they describe as "insufficient action", and the general failure of state elections officials to take recommended security mitigation procedures seriously in light of newly-discovered vulnerabilities in Diebold touch-screen voting systems, election watchdog organization BlackBoxVoting.org (BBV) has issued a scathing report today.

The group has now released previously redacted information from their landmark Hursti II report [PDF, now unredacted] which documented the newly-discovered security issues found during a March 2006 examination of Diebold touch-screen systems in Emery County, UT. Carried out by Finnish computer scientist Harri Hursti and a security expert from Security Innovation, the information revealed by that security analysis has been described previously by BBV founder Bev Harris as "a major national security risk."

Since we first broke that story here at The BRAD BLOG, dozens of computer scientists and security experts have concurred with the assessment. The issue was subsequently reported by mainstream media outlets such as New York Times, NEWSWEEK, NPR and others.

The updated report, issued today, releases information that had previously been kept under wraps due to the severity of the security issues potentially exposed. Describing insufficient reponse and lack of appropriate measures taken by states who had received the full unredacted information, BBV has decided to place the entirety of the information into "the public record."

A host of previously unreported technical details, methods for possible attack of the Diebold touch-screen system, and a complete failure by federal authorities to oversee crucial aspects of the election system are explained in detail.

As well, today's report slams elections officials for allowing Diebold voting machine "sleepovers" in San Diego and elsewhere, of the type which The BRAD BLOG has been reporting for the last three weeks in relation to the June 6th special election in San Diego's 50th congressional district, held to replace the now-jailed Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

The violations to new state and federal laws and provisions written since some of the vulnerabilities have been revealed --- and about which we have been reporting in detail --- occurred when poll workers were allowed unfettered access to election-ready Diebold voting systems for days and weeks prior to the election. The unsecured storage of voting machines in poll workers' cars and garages, so-called overnight "sleepovers", has led The BRAD BLOG and several other election watchdog organizations, candidates and thousands of individuals to declare "NO CONFIDENCE" in the reported results of that "bellwether" federal election.

The CA-50 election between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray was the first federal election to be held after the new discoveries, and after state and federal officials instituted new, apparently-ignored security provisions in hopes of mitigating them. A manual hand count of all paper ballots and "paper trails" has been demanded by many of the organizations decrying the administration of that election.

"In a sane world, these machines would be recalled," wrote BBV...

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

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HAVA Author, Abramoff Buddy, Diebold's Best Friend in Congress, Apparently in Dieb Dieb Doo Doo...
By Brad Friedman on 7/1/2006 7:38pm PT  

Just one of the many recent, yet notable, items I was unable to cover over the past week...

On Thursday, Roll Call reported that all three of the major staffers for Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), the lead author/co-sponsor of the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA), are running for the hills.

The departures are described as "the latest sign that Ney’s legal and ethical troubles stemming from the Jack Abramoff scandal are growing worse with each passing day."

Josh Marshall covered the exits of his "troika" --- his Chief of Staff, Legislative Director and Communications Director --- all scramming on the same day.

We first referred to Ney as "the soon-to-be-indicted" back in January when we published our exposé connecting the dots between Ney, Abramoff, Diebold, HAVA and Ney's even-more-former chief of staff, David DiStefano, who became Diebold's main congressional lobbyist. That exposé has been wholly ignored by the mainstream media ever since. (Except for Matt Taibbi who referenced the info, but without attribution, in an April Rolling Stone piece on Abramoff.)

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Registrar Freddie Oakley Speaks Out on the Busby/Bilbray Controversy and the Crisis Concerning Deployment of Hackable Electronic Voting Systems...
By Brad Friedman on 6/30/2006 12:46pm PT  

In an email discussion yesterday among a group of Election Integrity advocates, in reply to the horrendous San Diego Union-Tribune coverage of the Busby/Bilbray issue, Yolo County, CA Registrar of Voters Freddie Oakley posted a crystal clear statement on the concerns of sending voting machines home with poll workers prior to elections.

"As an election official, I understand the practical issues involved here perfectly. I am strongly of the opinion that it is exactly this kind of practical issue that should give election officials serious reservations about deploying electronic voting machines," Oakley wrote.

"If, as a practical matter, [the electronic voting machines deployed prior to an election] can't be secured, then perhaps they ought not be used at all. Period. Until the impediment can be removed," her email statement read.

Her comment was in direct reply to a discussion about how voting machines, in the post-Hursti Hack age, might be deployed now that sending them home unsecured for "overnights" with poll workers is no longer a secure option. That hack, in Leon County, Florida in December 2005 of a Diebold optical scan voting system, has set off a chain reaction revealing massive vulnerabilities in these systems, forcing both federal and state authorities to issue extraordinary security requirements for the machines in just the last few months. Those requirements were subsequently all but ignored in the June 6th Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election --- the first federal election in the nation to be administered since the additional mitigation requirements were put in place.

Oakley's responsible comments are in direct contradiction to the irresponsible statements by San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas, given to the Union-Tribune, in which Haas dismisses concerns of election integrity advocates. Haas claims that proper procedures were followed (they were not) and that the practice of sending home voting machines with poll workers "has been followed without incident for about 40 years." Haas ignores, along with his other prevarications, that these eminently hackable electronic voting machines were not in use during all but the last few of those 40 years. The U-T didn't bother to quote, or apparently even attempt to contact, anyone who could reply directly to Haas' deceptive comments.

Registrar Oakley's entire statement --- a grand slam as far as I'm concerned --- should be read in full. It follows below...

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Paper Wastes No Time in Getting Story Wrong, Right From the First Sentence...And Going Downhill from There...
By Brad Friedman on 6/30/2006 12:00pm PT  

It's still remarkable how many in the MSM regard bloggers as "unreliable"...even as they get story after story wrong and report unsubstantiated, unverifiable nonsense as fact.

I wrote early on in the Busby/Bilbray election results saga about AP (and all the rest) reporting that Brian Bilbray had won the election. They did so without a shred of evidence to prove that assertion.

Yesterday, the San Diego Union-Tribune's John Marelius jumped in to report on the Busby/Bilbray fiasco (where the world's most hackable voting machines were sent home overnight with poll workers days and weeks before the election, to be stored in their cars and garages or who-knows-where in violation of both state and federal laws, effectively decertifying all of the voting machines used in that U.S. House special election.).

Here's how the U-T article began:

A coalition of election watchdog organizations is calling on the San Diego County Registrar of Voters to conduct a full manual recount of the June 6 primary election because of alleged security breaches involving touch-screen voting machines.Specifically, the California Election Protection Network contends the county violated federal and state regulations requiring "secure custody" of voting machines by allowing poll workers to take them home before election day.

Okay...For a start...Who is calling for a recount, as Marelius writes? You can't recount something that you haven't counted in the first place and I know of no organization declaring "No Confidence" who has called for a "recount." Yet, the story uses the word "recount" again and again.

While it may be a subtle distinction, it's a very key one that I assure you both Karl Rove and Frank Luntz would understand quite clearly.

If the concept is too difficult to understand, however, the California Election Protection Network's press release announcing their eloquent "No Confidence" declaration --- referred to in the article --- not only never uses the word "recount", it also spells out clearly that they are not asking for a "recount". "Calling it a 'Free-Count' rather than a recount," the press release states, "the CEPN citizen watchdogs insist that this manual counting of the ballots be conducted without charge to the voting public."

If that was the only problem with the U-T article, we might have let it slide. But it's not. Not by a longshot. Marelius then goes on to "report" that a townhall meeting was held on Wednesday in San Diego. It was, of course. But apparently Marelius neither bothered to attend it, nor talk to anybody who actually did attend it.

He did, however, bother to report the point of view of SD County Registrar Mikel Haas (who also didn't attend). In fact, Marelius devoted a full five grafs to Haas' point of view. By my count, there are at least 5 different complete inaccuracies, misrepresentations and out-and-out misleading pieces of information passed on in those grafs...

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And other National Media Scuttlebutt...
By Brad Friedman on 6/29/2006 9:56am PT  

Blogged from San Diego...

...But about to rush back to Los Angeles to get to the CNN building for an interview with the Lou Dobbs folks. If I can get there in time!

I should be on tonight's Lou Dobbs Tonight tonight at 6pm ET (3pm PT) and perhaps tomorrow night's show as well. Or so I'm told.

Had hoped to catch up a bit here about the Busby/Bilbray events last night and Tuesday, but it looks like that's going to have to wait again in order for me to race back up north to get to the interview on time...yeesh...

Will also be on Mike Malloy's national Air America program tonight as Guest Hosted by Laura Flanders. We were last on air with Laura when she came down to Crawford, TX to simulcast with us on The BRAD SHOW from Camp Casey last summer.

Apologies to those of you waiting for email responses and other interesting blog items here. Looks like I'll have to be off the grid again for a bunch of hours in a row...So Open Thread here as ya like!

UPDATE: Tonight's Dobbs clip, with a brief, yet starkly vital, cameo from yours truly, now posted here courtesy of the mighty David Edwards.

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Plus Lou Dobbs and 97% of his viewers vote to do away with E-Voting, last night's emergency townhall briefly and other quick news applicable to the highly-questionable Busby/Bilbray results...
(The Democracy Train moves down to San Diego/Oceanside tonight! Please be there!)
By Brad Friedman on 6/28/2006 11:49am PT  

Must hit the road shortly to take the Democracy Train down to San Diego for tonight's Emergency Townhall on the Busby/Bilbray election results fiasco. If you're anywhere near San Diego or Oceanside please come out tonight! We had a great time last night in Los Angeles!

More on all of these as soon as I can catch my breath. The fine lower-cased blogger, skippy the bush kangaroo, was amongst those in attendance last night (as was Joseph Cannon of Cannonfire) and so I'll defer for the moment to skippy's coverage (since I don't have time for any of my own right). Skippy got a coupla small points slighly wrong, but I suspect he'll update since I let him know. As BRAD BLOG readers realize, unlike with AP and NY Times accuracy counts for bloggers.

Lou Dobbs report last night on the Brennan Center's year-in-the-making report on 120 threats to E-Voting Security was fan-damn-tastic. When I can catch my breath, I hope to get it, along with the video, posted in full. And more thoughts on that Brennan Center report. But for now, by way of teaser, Dobbs started it this way: "More evidence tonight that an increasing number of elections in this country can be outright stolen. And no one would ever know. It's incredible."

And, as of this hour, here are the results from his "Quick Poll" on this topic last night (you can still vote yourselves if you want)

Any questions? We're told he'll still be on the same beat tonight (6pm ET, 3pm PT --- you can send thank you notes/comments here to Dobbs for all of his very responsible coverage over the past three weeks and counting!)

Last, but most certainly not least, Washington Post covered the Brennan Center report themselves this morning. They highlighted the very message we've been trying to convey to Francine Busby, the voters in San Diego and across the nation over the last three weeks. The WaPo article begins this way...

A Single Person Could Swing an Election

To determine what it would take to hack a U.S. election, a team of cybersecurity experts turned to a fictional battleground state called Pennasota and a fictional gubernatorial race between Tom Jefferson and Johnny Adams. It's the year 2007, and the state uses electronic voting machines.

Jefferson was forecast to win the race by about 80,000 votes, or 2.3 percent of the vote. Adams's conspirators thought, "How easily can we manipulate the election results?"

The experts thought about all the ways to do it. And they concluded in a report issued yesterday that it would take only one person, with a sophisticated technical knowledge and timely access to the software that runs the voting machines, to change the outcome...

See you tonight in San Diego!

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DOBBS: 'The Threat to American Democracy from Within', 'Mind-Boggling', 'What in the World are We Thinking About in This Country?'
A BRAD BLOG Source in San Diego Interviewed for Story...
By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2006 11:48pm PT  

Earlier this evening, I heard Mark Crispin Miller as the guest on Air America's Majority Report discussing the Busby/Bilbray election fiasco with whoever was guest hosting tonight (sorry I missed the name.) As well, I'm told that Lara Flanders covered the issue on Air America as well tonight while guest hosting for Mike Malloy (I believe both Mimi Kennedy and Jeeni Criscenzo were her guests.)

But the largest media outlet to cover the story that we originally broke back on June 7th --- and who still failed to invite me as a guest...am I hard to reach? --- was Lou Dobbs on CNN.

Tonight, Dobbs covered the threat to democracy posed by the Voting Machine Sleepovers that we've been reporting on here since the Busby/Bilbray election was run on highly-hackable Diebold voting machines which were sent home overnight with poll workers for days and weeks prior to the election in contravention of both state and federal rules and laws.

One of our sources, San Diego Poll Worker Patti Newton, who we had helped CNN's producers get in touch with, is interviewed in tonight's report. Newton shows, on camera, the location of the "secure storage" she provided (her garage, near the paints) for the voting machines given to her for use in the "bellweather" Busby/Bilbray U.S. House Special Election a full week prior to the Election Day on June 6th. We originally posted some of Patti's story in our report back on June 8th.

Tonight Dobbs and reporter Kitty Pilgrim discussed "the threat to American democracy from within," the lack of security for e-voting machines and described them as "incredibly vulnerable to fraud, tampering, hacking and theft."

Here's a QuickTime video of Dobbs' report, courtesy of BRAD BLOG reader, Tab B. UPDATE: Here are faster streaming versions of the video courtesy of David Edwards...


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

The full text transcript from Dobbs' report tonight follows below. It's short! Please read it!...

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Why the Busby/Bilbray Election Matters (or Should) to the Entire Nation...
(HINT: It's not about Busby or Bilbray or San Diego or even California!)
By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2006 12:02pm PT  

My reporting here, and the concerns expressed about the Busby/Bilbray election results as announced, have little or nothing to do with Francine Busby or Brian Bilbray or even, in particular, the June 6th U.S. House special run-off election in California's 50th congressional district.

It has only a tiny bit more to do with San Diego. And only slightly more than that to do with California.

It has everything, however, to do with democracy. Across the entire country. As opposed to any one race in any one area.

If I've not been clear on that until now, please allow me to set the record straight.

The concerns I've reported --- and will continue to report --- over the blatant disregard for the rule of law and clear illegalities endorsed and encouraged by the SD County Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas, and apparently approved at this point by California's Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, have everything to do with the future viability of democracy in this country in general, and a perhaps naive hope that there's a chance in hell that taking action now will help to salvage a shred of legitimacy for this November's election.

That can only happen if action is taken now, however, directly in regard to the Busby/Bilbray election results as announced.

As far as I can see it, what happens in regard to Busby/Bilbray will be America's last, best, and only hope of affecting any real election reform prior to the November 7th general election. That's why, for me, this has become "Line in the Sand" time.

Never, in the two-and-a-half year history of The BRAD BLOG have I set aside almost everything else in order to cover and raise attention to a single story --- to the exclusion of almost every other story --- for such a long period of time as I have done since the original coverage of this matter the day after the June 6th election.

Since then, I've stated many times in both written and spoken words that I don't actually give a damn who won the Busby/Bilbray race and that I didn't even much bother to follow any of it prior to Election Day. I've got no dog in the hunt and only care that the person who actually received the most votes is the one that was declared the winner. At this point, there is absolutely no way of knowing who actually won.

The fact of the matter is that just two or three months after both the federal certification oversight body (NASED) and California's own Secretary of State issued emergency "security mitigation requirements" in light of newly discovered and massive vulnerabilities in Diebold's voting systems, those security requirements were entirely tossed out the window when all of the machines were sent home with poll workers for overnights in the days and weeks prior to the election. In doing so, the machines themselves were effectively rendered illegal and uncertified for use in any California election, and at the federal level as well.

Unless something is done, the same thing is about to happen in elections across this entire country.

(NOTE: Lou Dobbs will be covering this issue on CNN tonight I am told. Including interviews with some of the poll worker sources we gave them after originally reported on them here at BRAD BLOG.)

I'd have hoped that more media, candidates, individuals and even Election Reform organizations would have come to understand the national significance of what all the sturm and drang here has actually been about. If they haven't, that's likely my failing. So I'll try again to make both myself and the stakes here crystal clear...

What happens here and now --- in regard to this race and its results as announced --- will send a signal to elections administrators across the country. The signal will be one of two...

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