w/ Brad & Desi
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...
|More Special Coverages Pages...|
I'll be speaking on Election Integrity in Orange County, CA, at the Canyon Democrats monthly meeting on Monday, 5/18. (Yes, there are Dems in Orange County, CA!) If you're in the 'hood, please come by and say hello!
P.S. I await my invitation to speak to Orange County Republicans, as I'd be delighted to address them as well, anytime!
I'm certain that John would have been simply flabbergasted at the outpouring of emotional response and moving tributes upon his passing --- in particular from various public officials, many of whom he'd been at odds with at various times over the years.
The latest comes this morning in the form of condolences, and a very moving statement on his loss, from OH Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner via her Director of Communications, Patrick Gallaway...
By Parke Bostrom and Brad Friedman
On Tuesday, April 21, we gave Humboldt County, CA Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich a public records request for the two letters she read aloud (but declined to otherwise disclose) at a March 24 public meeting of the ad-hoc Humboldt Election Advisory Committee.
As The BRAD BLOG previously reported the two letters were from Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems). The primary purpose of both letters was to terminate all contracts between Premier and the county. The letters were dated March 17 and 18, the day of, and the day after, the CA Secretary of State's hearing regarding serious flaws found in Diebold/Premier's GEMS vote-tabulation system.
At that hearing, a Diebold/Premier spokesperson admitted that all versions of their GEMS systems --- as used in 20 counties in CA, and 34 states across the nation --- feature such flaws. Some of those flaws, including the wholesale deletion of ballots without notice to the system operator, were discovered to the surprise and dismay of Crnich and volunteers working on the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project following the certification of the November 2008 election. Crnich was subsequently forced to re-certify the election with new results. [Disclosure: Parke Bostrom is one of the volunteers on the Humboldt ETP.]
Last Tuesday, at the next monthly meeting of the ad-hoc committee, Crnich presented copies of the two one-page letters and allowed examination of the originals (copies of which are posted at the end of this article.) The letters' legal language is very plain, straightforward and troubling. The contracts' termination clauses are being executed, and those clauses specify the necessary steps and required time frames...no matter how it may adversely affect upcoming elections in Humboldt County...
It's been of some comfort seeing statements from public officials who John Gideon worked with --- sometimes in collaboration with, sometimes in opposition to --- issuing statements on his tragic passing.
Among the first I received was the following statement and note of condolence this morning from Nicole Winger, spokesperson for CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen...
The list of out-and-out lies in this new anti-marriage ad, on the heels of recent constitutionally conservative victories in Iowa and in Vermont, is astounding...Even by the standards of the cowardly, fear-mongering hate groups that spend millions in their fight against equality and Constitutional equal protection under the law...
The ad, from the ironically-named NationForMarriage.org (NOM) hustlers, who appear to have just set up their new, thinly-disguised hate site as of yesterday, looks to have cost quite a bit of somebody's money.
Courage Campaign, who aptly describes the ad as "deplorable" and notes that it's now "airing across the country and 8 times a day in California" has launched a campaign to fight back against what it describes as the anti-American NOM scaredy-cats' use of "actors to push lies claiming that marriage equality threatens personal freedoms". Aren't there any restrictions in place that keep broadcast outlets from airing out and out lies like the many in the above propaganda video? Anyway, please help the Courage Campaign folks out, if you're inclined (or if you happen to place American Values above opportunistic, dishonest Religious Bigotry).
Guest Blogged by Parke Bostrom of the Humboldt Transparency Project
At the California Secretary of State's public hearing regarding the possible decertification of Diebold's tabulator systems, GEMS v1.18.19, in relation to the "Deck Zero" covert deletion of 197 ballots in the November election, the audit log's magical "clear" button, and the GEMS audit logs failing to report when ballots were manually deleted by the operator, Diebold/Premier representatives tried to shift blame for the 197 deleted ballots onto the Humboldt County, CA, Registrar of Voters, Carolyn Crnich.
Crnich responded, "If you're saying that your system needs to be checked every damn time we turn it on, I agree with you."
Crnich's use of an expletive seems to have pushed Diebold/Premier's legal counsel over the edge, causing them to reach for and firmly press the "nuke" button in response, by petulantly informing the county of termination of licensing for the use of any of the company's products.
Several days after returning to Humboldt, following the hearing in Sacramento, Crnich received two letters from Premier. Both letters arrived in a single envelope, but unlike Premier Khrushchev's two letters to President Kennedy, Crnich did not get to choose which letter to respond to....
Last year's Media Reform Conference with the theme "Have the Media Undermined Our Democracy?" at which I spoke, was pretty memorable. That one featured an FCC commissioner and then-Rep., now-Labor Secretary Hilda Solis (D-CA) on the panel. Here's some video and a transcript of my remarks last year.
This year, I've been invited back (book-keeping error, no doubt) and the focus will be on local media, though I'll likely be paraphrasing Tip O'Neill to make the case that 'all media is now local'.
This year's speakers include Domonique DiPrima, Tanya Acker, Mario Solis-March, Linda Milazzo, Anthony Samad and myself. Which one of us will be named Secretary of HUD next year? Who knows! But hey, it could happen!
If you're in the area, please stop on by and say hello!
"Local Media for Social Change: A Southern California Regional Summit", Saturday, March 21, 11:00am, Occidental College, Norris Hall of Chemistry, Los Angeles (Map/directions | Details/registration | Event flyer [PDF])
More bad news for a voting machine vendor. This time the California Secretary of State’s office has announced that they have settled their lawsuit against ES&S. It was back in 2007 that the state discovered that ES&S had ignored state laws and sold uncertified voting machines to some counties as if they were certified. CA filed a $15 million lawsuit against the company, and now ES&S has agreed to provide $3.2 M to the state’s coffers by way of settling the suit.
Will it make any difference in the long run? Probably not. ES&S will continue their past bad business practices and many of their customers will continue thinking they only have the choice provided by ES&S....
Guest Blogged by Mitch Trachtenberg, with Brad Friedman
Even the audit log system on current versions of Premier Election Solutions' (formerly Diebold's) electronic voting and tabulating systems --- used in some 34 states across the nation --- fail to record the wholesale deletion of ballots. Even when ballots are deleted on the same day as an election. That's the shocking admission heard today from Justin Bales, Premier's Western Region manager, at a State of California public hearing on the possible decertification of Diebold/Premier's tabulator system, GEMS v. 1.18.19.
An election system's audit logs are meant to record all activity during the system's actual counting of ballots, so that later examiners may determine, with certainty, whether any fraudulent or mistaken activity had occurred during the count. Diebold's software fails to do that, as has recently been discovered by Election Integrity advocates in Humboldt County, CA, and then confirmed by the CA Secretary of State. The flaws, built into the system for more than a decade, are in serious violation of federal voting system certification standards.
The problems may lead to decertification of the company's voting systems, as well as an examination of voting systems made by other companies to determine if they too may have been able to sneak such violations past both federal and state testers...
A Diebold/Premier spokesman, Chris Riggall, has finally spoken about the California Secretary of State’s report on the discovery of violations of the accuracy standards required by federal law and violations of the voting systems standards. In our featured article Riggall shrugs off their violations by minimizing the report.
"I think it's fair, from our perspective, to say that the report editorializes in a number of ways that don't reflect the sort of even-handedness that one would like to see," Riggall said, adding that he sees the software error simply as a "contributing factor" to Humboldt County's inaccurate election results. "To say it caused it and to solely attribute that discrepancy to the software is, in our judgment, not accurate and not objective."
I say balderdash. Diebold knew they had a problem back in 2004 and they issued "work arounds." If they had a problem and knew it why did they not recall the software and provide good software in its place? Why did they not provide warnings and instructions in their operator’s manual? Why did they only send an email with a two paragraph attachment that didn’t even have the company’s logo on it? What did/does the company have to hide? How many elections nationally were affected before Diebold discovered the problem? How many elections were affected after Diebold sent their unofficial "work around"? ...
On the heels of yesterday’s announcement of a letter to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and a full report on the findings of an investigation by the California Secretary of State’s office, we have articles from Kim Zetter in her blog for Wired Magazine and one from one of the principles of the “Humboldt County Election Transparency Project,” Mitch Trachtenberg that is posted on The BRAD BLOG.
Yesterday I mentioned the letter sent by the Secretary of State to the EAC. In that letter is a request by Bowen that the EAC “consider requiring that, for every voting system certified by the EAC, the voting system vendor report any and all flaws and problems with the system to the EAC and to the elections officials in the states where the system is used when such flaws are discovered.” This morning I was reminded by a member of the EAC staff, who receives DVN, that in the “Testing and Certification Manual” the EAC already requires what the Secretary has suggested they require....
Guest Blogged by Mitch Trachtenberg of the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has released a remarkable 13-page report [PDF] of her office's investigation into how the Diebold/Premier GEMS software silently dropped all votes contained on 197 ballots from the Humboldt County, California, November 2008 general election.
The report shows that this version of GEMS not only deleted a batch of ballots without any request by --- or alert to --- the elections staff, but also failed to note the deletion in the system's audit log. The report also points to other startling deficiencies with Diebold/Premier's software: "Key audit trail logs in GEMS version 1.18.19 do not record important operator interventions such as deletion of decks of ballots, assign inaccurate date and time stamps to events that are recorded, and can be deleted by the operator."
That's right. The Diebold/Premier vote tabulation system in question not only fails to record all events accurately, and sometimes at all, it also allows anyone with access to the system to completely delete audit logs, covering the tracks of any tampering that may have occurred, at any time, on the system.
Any of these flaws, the report concludes, "appears to violate the 1990 Voting System Standards to an extent that would have warranted failure of the GEMS version 1.18.19 system had they been detected and reported by the [federal] Independent Testing Authority [ITA] that tested the system."...
Yesterday, the California Secretary of State released a letter [PDF] to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and a report of their findings with regards to the problem discovered in early December, in Humboldt Co., with disappearing ballots on the Diebold GEMS v. 1.18.19 voting system.
The letter actually challenges the EAC to take action in “requiring that, for every voting system certified by the EAC, the voting system vendor report any and all flaws and problems with the system to the EAC and to the elections officials in the states where the system is used when such flaws are discovered.” And Secretary Bowen has taken the action herself by sponsoring legislation in California that will do what she has challenged the EAC to do.
The report is amazing in that it reveals why our voting systems are failing. The issues with the GEMS software go much deeper than just the fact that the system may lose votes. The state also found readily apparent violations of the federal voting system standards. These violations seem to have been ignored by federal test labs, by the National Assoc. of State Election Directors (NASED), and their consultants who qualified the voting system for use, and by-passed CA Secretaries of State and their consultants.
The big question is, will the EAC, staffed by people who were involved in the original NASED “rubber-stamp” of GEMS 1.18.19, take any action? Will they post the letter and report it in their “clearinghouse?” We certainly hope so. The present CA Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, and her staff deserve congratulations and appreciation for a job well done so far. It will be interesting to hear what follow-up actions will now be taken on the federal and state levels....
It's becoming quite a collection for these Republicans. First there was the TX GOP convention's racist buttons, then the GOP chair-candidate's racist song, then the NYPost's racist cartoon, and now this...
"Post-racial" America, my ass.
UPDATE 2/27/09: Mayor Idiot to resign...
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
Or by Snail Mail
Make check out to...
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
Los Angeles, CA 90028