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Despite Party Designation on Provisional Ballot Envelopes, an Estimated 10 to 15,000 Democratic Votes Cast by Validated, Non-Partisan Registered Voters from 'Super Tuesday' Primary May be Uncountable by Registrar's New 'Supplemental Counting' Scheme...
By Brad Friedman on 2/29/2008 4:57pm PT  

I spent most of yesterday and today on the phone with attorneys and officials trying to sort out the continuing, disastrous mess concerning the "Double Bubble" ballot fiasco from Los Angeles County's February 5th Democratic Primary.

That, despite what we see as this week's premature declaration of "Victory!" on Tuesday from our friends at the Courage Campaign, followed by their "We won!" email on Wednesday, as they celebrated after the county's acting Registrar announced his plan to count some (though by no means all) of the 50,000 or so still-uncounted ballots cast by Non-Partisan (NP) voters who had attempted to vote in the open Democratic Primary on "Super Tuesday."

During a late-night phone call from a local Election Integrity advocate last night, however, I was told that situation is even worse than previously reported or even known --- even by the county's elections officials --- to date, as another set of thousands of legal ballots may go uncounted, even under a new tabulating scheme being implemented by county officials...

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

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New Planned Method for Counting Uncounted Non-Partisan Crossover Ballots, as Proposed by Dean Logan in Response to Sec. of State's Request, Will Needlessly Disenfranchise Thousands of Legal Voters
SoS Bowen Must Intervene Again to Assure All Votes That Can be Counted ARE Counted...
By Brad Friedman on 2/26/2008 10:20pm PT  

[UPDATED 2/27/08 2:00pm PT, after speaking with Bowen's office about this. The update, which includes her current response to Logan's proposed counting scheme, is posted at the bottom of this report.]

I hate to counter the adulation of so many of the good groups out there claiming "victory" and "a happy ending" today in the "Double Bubble" ballot dispute in Los Angeles County, but I must. The "victory" they are now referring to, with the best of intentions, as "Great news!" is much less than it appears. Though if you don't look closely, it might otherwise look like a "victory." Unfortunately, it isn't.

Unless something changes, and quickly, Los Angeles County's acting Registrar of Voters Dean Logan is preparing to disenfranchise thousands of voters who cast legal ballots in the Super Tuesday Democratic primary election.

In the 3-page letter [PDF] sent by Logan to CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen yesterday, the recently-arrived, but still-befuddled, county clerk details how he now plans to potentially toss out thousands of votes, while inappropriately awarding disproportionate votes in favor of only some candidates, in response to the "Double Bubble" ballot debacle reported by The BRAD BLOG (most recently here), in great detail previously...

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

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Note to Daily Kos Gatekeepers: Ban Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Immediately!!!
By Brad Friedman on 2/21/2008 12:46pm PT  

Our friends Bobby Kennedy Jr. and GoLeft.tv interview another of our friends, Election Integrity hero Ion Sancho, the legendary Leon County, FL, Supervisor of Elections, on the election messes in New Hampshire, Florida, Los Angeles, and everywhere else. (And thanks for the kind hat-tip, guys...even though The BRAD BLOG never claimed there was fraud in NH. But we're happy to let that slide, since the interview was live, and you might have been talking about someone else. And we know you mean well.)


WARNING: Markos Moulitsas and the other front-pagers and gatekeeping denialists at Daily Kos should not watch the above interview! If Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a user record over there, you should go ahead and ban him right now! Make sure he's never allowed to write at dKos! In this interview, he has the temerity to talk about concerns with the way the New Hampshire Primary Election was conducted! Can you believe it?! And he's even a Hillary Clinton supporter! Clearly, he, like The BRAD BLOG, is "doing far more harm than good," as you like to say, for the Election Integrity movement! What will the Democratic Party and the Mainstream Corporate Media say about your site if that "nutter" Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is allowed to post over there?! Quickly --- before he damages the credibility of your site --- you better go ahead and ban RFK Jr. in advance! As you know, better safe than sorry, boys!

Please support The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive and our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available for new contributors!
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Asks for 'Precinct-by-Precinct Reconciliation' of Poll Rosters to Begin Accurately Accounting for Tens of Thousands of Non-Partisan Voters Who Cast Machine-Unreadable Ballots
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2008 6:18pm PT  

California Sec. of State Debra Bowen wants Los Angeles County's acting Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, to check the poll rosters of thousands of precincts in order to help accurately count tens of thousands of currently uncounted ballots cast in the Super Tuesday Democratic Primary.

As The BRAD BLOG pointed out last week, tens of thousands of currently uncounted ballots cast by Non-Partisan voters who chose to cross over and vote in the Democratic Primary, but who failed to ink in a second bubble meant to instruct voting machines to count the ballots as Democratic votes, can be counted accurately, as per the voters' intent, if Logan bothers to check those poll rosters.

Bowen, who sent a 3-page letter [PDF] to Logan after our article pointed out that he was simply wrong, in his own report [PDF] to the County Supervisors, when he claimed that it was "impossible" to determine the intent of the voters on those ballots.

It's not, and Bowen clearly seems to understand that, as evidenced by both her letter to Logan and comments she made last Friday on Northern California National Public Radio affiliate KQED, where she said she was "shocked" to hear that the debacle had happened in several elections previously...

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

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'No One Could Have Predicted This,' Conny McCormack Tells LA Times in Her Best Condoleese, About Her Ballot Design That Disenfranchsed 40% of Voters in At Least Two Previous Elections...
By Brad Friedman on 2/18/2008 1:35pm PT  

L.A. County's former Registrar Recorder, Conny McCormack, who quit just prior to February's Super Tuesday Primary Election, turned into Condi Rice today. She's quoted in an Los Angeles Times' front page story confirming, as we pointed out over the weekend, that Election Officials did nothing about the "Double Bubble" ballot problem --- which may well disenfranchise a conservatively estimated 50,000 county voters --- despite massive disenfranchisement with the same design over last six years, since McCormack first implemented it.

In her best Condoleese, McCormack is quoted by the paper today saying, "This is an unfortunate, unanticipated result...No one could have predicted this."

Sound familiar?

She is shortly contradicted, in the same article, by a spokesperson from her own former office, before she continues on to blame voters and poll workers for the problem that she created --- as now confirmed by both the LA Times and California's Secretary of State Debra Bowen --- before then proceeding to do absolutely nothing about it...

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

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44% of Non-Partisan Cross-Over Ballots Went Uncounted in March '04, 42% Uncounted in June '06, Before Same Ballot Design Used Again for the February 2008 Super Tuesday Primary
As LA Times Gets Religion on Election Integrity Issues, But Doesn't Bother Apologizing For Their Failures to do so up to Now...
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2008 5:00pm PT  

Given the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of voters, and maybe even hundreds of thousands of voters, from Super Tuesday's Los Angeles County Democratic Primary election, which the county's current acting Registrar incorrectly claims to be "impossible" to count accurately, we believe it's time to place some blame squarely where it belongs for the entire mess.

A Los Angeles Times editorial this week, where, it seems, the paper may have finally found religion on the issue of Election Integrity, serves up a great starting point...

And to think we made fun of Florida.

As of today, we take back the jeers about hanging chads and the unkind comments about inept voters befuddled by butterfly ballots. Somehow it doesn't seem as funny when it happens at home --- voting irregularities in Los Angeles County will disqualify the ballots of thousands of people who went to the polls on Super Tuesday.

In 2000, Florida voters flubbed their choices for president because they were confronted with a ballot whose design was new to them. But that's not the case here. L.A. County officials have long used a ballot whose design was known to consistently disenfranchise unaffiliated voters. They simply did nothing about it.
...
Election officials are calling this a glitch, but the outcome was entirely foreseeable. In fact, it has happened before. In the March 2004 election, 44% of crossover ballots were unusable, and in June 2006, it was 42%. With numbers this high, the county registrar should have investigated this matter long before now.

So it happened before. 44% of Non-Partisan cross-over ballots went uncounted in March '04 and 42% in June '06. And yet, the county went into '08's primary with no plans to change a thing.

The woman who dreamt up the ridiculous scheme, former Los Angeles County Registrar and Diebold cover girl Conny McCormack, quit just over a month before the election, and knew about the problem from years past, but did nothing about it. Or, she didn't know about, and was thus criminally negligent in her job as chief voting official for the nation's most populous county...

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

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As the Clock Ticks Towards Final Certification, and the County's Registrar Makes Excuses, Hundreds of Thousands of Voters Stand to be Disenfranchised for No Reason at All...
Every Vote Counted REDUCES the Current Error Rate! The Registrar Must Act NOW!
By Brad Friedman on 2/14/2008 2:08pm PT  

You can read The BRAD BLOG's previous detailed explanations of the current Los Angeles County "Double Bubble" ballot debacle here and here.

If you've yet to sign the Courage Campaign's petition demanding that these ballots be counted immediately, please do so right now!

As the clock ticks towards the date required for final certification of as many as hundreds of thousands of currently uncounted ballots in Los Angeles County --- due to an idiotic, ill-conceived, and possibly illegal scheme by the county's Registrar of Voters --- it is imperative that those ballots be counted immediately.

While the acting Registrar has claimed, incorrectly, that it is "impossible" to accurately determine the intent of the voters on those ballots, he is wrong.

Almost every single uncounted ballot can be counted today with absolutely certainty that the intent of the voter is being accurately recorded.

With current the miscount/error rate of those uncounted ballots --- on which the voter's intent has currently been inaccurately recorded by the optical-scan voting machines as "no vote" --- now standing at 100%, almost every single ballot counted will only lower that rate at best. At worst, in a tiny (almost infinitesimal) percentage of ballots, the current error rate will be not be lowered, though it will not be increased.

Thus, the error rate can be reduced to almost 0% if the Registrar's office will simply begin counting the ballots --- immediately.

Here's what everybody, (including apparently the Registrar!), needs to know about the currently miscounted ballots...

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

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The L.A. County Registrar is Lying...And Blaming Voters and Pollworkers to boot...
UPDATED With Link to Petition Demanding ALL Votes Be Counted! Please Sign It!
By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2008 9:16pm PT  

"A voter who casts a vote in an election in accordance with the laws of this State shall have that vote counted."
- Article II, California Constitution
Added overwhelmingly by California voters in Prop 43, on March 5, 2002

Election Code requirements "shall be liberally construed so that the real will of the electors will not be defeated by any informality or failure to comply with all of the provisions of the law."
- California Elections Code, Sec. 19001

Los Angeles County's acting Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, says in a report delivered to the County Board of Supervisors yesterday on the "Double Bubble" debacle from last Super Tuesday's Presidential Primary Election, that he believes it will be "impossible to determine with absolute certainty" the intentions of some 100,000 non-partisan voters who chose to vote in either the Democratic or American Independent Party's open primary, despite selections having been made for one of the Presidential candidates on their ballots.

The intent on almost every one of those uncounted ballots CAN be determined with absolute certainty. So, allow me to put this as nicely as I can: Dean Logan is full of shit...

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

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Confusion Reigns, Legal Challenges Loom as Hundreds of Thousands Votes May Not be Counted Due to Maddeningly Confusing Ballot Design, Procedures
UPDATED: Registar's Office Say They Plan to Examine Non-Partisan Ballots, Will 'Seek Legal Authority to Count Those Votes'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/7/2008 12:29pm PT  

We believe we can now pull this issue up out of the weeds a bit, after more than 24 hours of trying to make sense of what the Los Angeles County Registrar's office has been describing to the media as "real clear."

What's clear is that the only thing that's clear is the fact that the county's new acting Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, has seriously blown his first outing since coming South from his disastrous 2004 Washington state gubernatorial election debacle.

Unless swift action is taken by Logan and CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen, it's likely that hundreds of thousands of voters may have been disenfranchised in last Tuesday's Democratic Primary Election...

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

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ALSO: Video Indicates Los Angeles Registration Problems for Republicans as well...
By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2008 2:26pm PT  

The Los Angeles Times, which has been among the worst major newspapers in the country --- for years --- in reporting (or, actually not reporting) on issues of Election Integrity tells us today, in regards to yesterday's voting in California, that there were "Few election glitches, except for independents."

Um, does the braintrust at the LA Times realize that out of 15.3 million registered voters in the state, some 20% of them, more than 3 million, are "independents"? (3,043,164 to be exact, with more than 700,000 in LA alone, if the latest numbers from the CA SoS are to be trusted). Plus more than 300,000 voters registered as "American Independent" who may or may not have wished to be included as members of that party? Or shall we just deliver the "Understatement of the Year Award" right now to the folks at the LA Times?

That's more than just a "few glitches," no?

And if the following disturbing video from a Los Angeles Ron Paul supporter who switched from Democratic to Republican specifically to vote for Paul is any indication, it's not just "independents" who experienced "few election glitches" yesterday...

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

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Hundreds of Thousands of Non-Partisan Voter Ballots May Not be Counted in California's Open Democratic Primary Election
City Attorney Calls for Review by CA SoS, County Registrar of Voters...
By Brad Friedman on 2/6/2008 12:07am PT  

Alright, we've got a bona fide mess here in Los Angeles County. We covered this a bit earlier tonight, but have been speaking with various precinct captains and trying to figure out exactly what's going on. As mentioned it's a confusing mess, and could indeed be shaping up as "California's Butterfly Ballot" as far as we can tell.

There are two main problems:

  1. Many voters who thought they were registering as non-partisan independents have been surprised to learn they registered instead as members of the "American Independent" party, and thus, were not allowed to vote in the open Democratic primary.
  2. More insidiously, those independent non-partisan voters who did successfully manage to get registered as "Decline to State" (or DTS, or Non-Partisan), were allowed to vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary if they requested to do so when voting. However, without filling in a certain bubble on the ballot, specifying they wanted it to be counted in the Dem Primary, their vote for President, according to LA County's Registrar of Voters, will not be counted.

After being up since dawn, we hope to get some rest tonight shortly, and will then get a clearer picture on all of this, and the myriad other problems reported elsewhere in California and around the nation tomorrow (and beyond).

For now then, our friend Jake Soboroff at Why Tuesday has a video interview, posted below, with LA City attorney, Rocky Delgadillo who is also expressing concerns about what is becoming known as the "Double Bubble Trouble" issue. As well, Delgadillo gives a full statement to CBS2 News, calling for review of the issue, which could well disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters, by CA SoS Debra Bowen and LA County's acting Registrar of Voters Dean Logan.

Logan arrives here fresh from from his reign over the disastrous 2004 gubernatorial election mess in Washington state. He replaces the recently-resigned LA County Registrar and Diebold cover girl, Conny "Cut and Run" McCormack, who seemingly left this ridiculous scheme in place as a parting gift to LA County voters.

We'll post Soboroff's video of the interview, as well as Delgadillo's statement below. First, Soboroff describes the confusing situation very well...

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

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Independent Voters Have Trouble Voting, and Having Their Vote Counted, in the Open Democratic Primary
A Legal Battle Could Be on the Horizon Over 'California's Butterfly Ballot' if Results are Close...
By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2008 7:58pm PT  

Have been talking to various folks at various mainstream media outlets all day, hoping to help improve their coverage beyond the usual "glitches, hiccups, snags and snafus" reporting, so they might better understand that those are not "glitches", but failures.

My report on Los Angeles County issues for now, promised earlier, will therefore be somewhat truncated for the moment. I'll try to offer more details late night and/or tomorrow when, as the Century Foundation's Election Integrity expert Tova Andrea Wang smartly points out in her article titled "Super Tuesday. And Wednesday, and Thursday": "[M]any of the biggest problems will not be revealed until well after the polls close tonight."

For now, allow me to point out that, or caution, that serious legal issues could come in to play if results of the Democratic primary in the state are close in any way...

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

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Incorrectly Reports Voting Machines Undelivered 'ALL OVER LOS ANGELES'
By Brad Friedman on 2/5/2008 1:29pm PT  

As happened on the day of the New Hampshire primary on January 8th, disinformation on the net about problems at the polling place were rampant. But wrong. The disinfo, as The BRAD BLOG was able to debunk that day, seems to have originally emanated from the DRUDGE REPORT.

It looks like Mr. Drudge is busy getting the story wrong again today, reporting that "The board of elections failed to deliver voting equipment to polling places ALL OVER LOS ANGELES"...

After running the above story for a number of hours at his site --- and sending corporate mainstream media folks and Internet blogsites alike into a tizzy, as well as helping to ring our phones off the hook --- DRUDGE has finally updated the item with the real story, and it's far less scary...

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

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Election Results May be Delayed Until the Next Morning After the Election!
County Registrars Help Sound the Alarm!
By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2008 11:38pm PT  

ALERT! We just read the headline (via RAW STORY) at California's Bay Area NBC affiliate, and we are terrified:

Huge Delay Expected In Calif. Super Tuesday Voting Results

"Huge delay"?! What? Why? How could it be? The first graf of the article said it all. My God...it's true...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2008 2:50pm PT  

After virtually ignoring the issue for some six straight years, our hometown newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, has run a two-part, 2,800-word "series" on concerns about voting machines, right on schedule, just in time to do absolutely no good at all before next week's upcoming Tsunami Tuesday election in the state. Waytago, LATimes!

The series reports absolutely nothing that has not already been reported over the last several years here at The BRAD BLOG, which is why the LATimes folks makes the big bucks and we don't.

They do, however, include an important point at the very end of the second article, in quoting from one of the country's most notable long-time voting machine apologists, Kimball Brace...

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

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