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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, July 28, 2014
'A Kind of Propaganda War'
After U.N. denial, NBC's David Gregory apologized for use of unverified Israeli video claiming to show rockets fired from U.N. refugee shelter in Gaza where at least 15 were killed by Israel last week...
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record wildfires burn the Pacific Northwest; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Previous GNRs: 7/17/14 - 7/15/14 - Archives...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Brownback's Dem opponent after tax cuts for wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
Death to Zombie Myths!: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad takes on a bunch of lies that just won't die -- from e-cigs to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to 'global cooling' to the death penalty to marriage equality in MS and more...
FEDERAL JUDGE FINDS CA DEATH PENALTY VIOLATES U.S. CONSTITUTION
George W. Bush appointee rules state system violates Constitution's ban of 'cruel and unusual punishments'...
'Green News Report' 7/15/14
Divesting from fossil fuels; Germany gives $1b to climate fund; Australia carbon tax repeal; All-electric Formula E racing revs up; PLUS: Climate denier Murdoch...
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...


Demands Chain of Custody Docs Be Supplied as Allowed by Law, Time to Review Them; Asks for Accounting for $150,000 Counting Fee and the $6000 Immediate, Up Front Demand by Registrar Mikel Haas...
By Brad Friedman on 7/11/2006 3:42pm PT  

Absolutely zero time at the moment for analysis or commentary. So see these previous stories first if you're not familiar with things up until now...

  • 7/7/06: "EXCLUSIVE: Manual Hand Count Requested in Busby/Bilbray Race! Registrar Quotes Fees for Count as High as $130,000!" FULL STORY...
  • 7/9/06: "Busby/Bilbray Registrar's Office Quotes Three Different Prices for Cost of Hand Count to Voters, Media; No Explanation Given for Disparities! (Fee Estimate Raised to $150,000, though Media Told Number Would be Half That!)" FULL STORY...
  • ...Before reading the following reply from CA50 voter, hand count requester Barbara Gail Jacobson. Her reply submitted this morning follows in full... (If I have a moment to update this item with commentary, analysis, or additional detail, I'll try to do so later.)

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

    ReddIt this story!



    Now-Former Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters, Tony 'Trust Me' Anchundo, Told Brad on Air that Voters Need to 'Have Trust and Faith' in Election Officials...
    He Now Faces Charges of Forgery, Misapplication of Funds, Embezzlement, Falsification of Accounts and Grand Theft to the Tune of $70,000...
    By Brad Friedman on 7/11/2006 8:05am PT  
    "There is obviously going to have to be some trust and faith in the elections official, or in this case, it's me."
    -- Then Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters, Tony Anchundo on the Peter B. Collins radio show, 10/24/05

    "Anchundo to face 43 criminal charges
    DA: Ex-registrar spent $70,000 on personal purchases"

    -- Headline of the Salinas Californian, 7/6/06

    The astute BRAD BLOG reader may recall my appearance on the Peter B. Collins show last October when the good Peter B. had invited Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters Tony Anchundo into the studio to demonstrate the county's brand-spankin' new Sequoia touch-screen voting machines that were slated for first time use in last November's special election.

    That interview, both audio and complete text transcript, is right here...

    After Anchundo's in-studio demo of how the new system is supposed to work, I pressed Anchundo to find out whether or not he actually intended to count the virtually uncountable "toilet-paper roll" voter-verified paper trails created by the Sequoia machines or if he would rely on the machine count. He committed on air that the county had planned to count "100%" of those paper trails.

    Incredulous, but nonethless happy to have that promise on-air and on-the-record, I asked which count would be the official count in the case of a discrepancy; the paper count or the machine count. He said we'd have to trust him to make the best decision at the time. "Faith-based voting," in other words.

    While I was skeptical that he'd even be able to count those paper trails at all --- or even that it could be done in reality, even if they'd wanted to --- he promised to come back to the show after the election to report on how the 100% count went and which count they ended up using.

    Weeks and months went by and Peter B. and his producer attempted to book Anchundo, the 13-year Registrar, for the promised follow-up. It seemed the office was not eager to return calls or book a return appearance.

    Then last April, Anchundo suddenly and mysteriously resigned --- just six weeks before the California primary elections --- leaving county officials "stunned", as the Monterey Herald reported it at the time.

    And then finally, last Friday, a caller to Peter B.'s show, during my regular weekly appearance there, gave us a tip to this report from the Salinas Californian...

    Anchundo to face 43 criminal charges
    DA: Ex-registrar spent $70,000 on personal purchases

    By CHRISTOPHER ORTIZ
    The Salinas Californian

    The Monterey County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday it has filed 43 criminal charges against former Registrar of Voters Tony Anchundo, saying he spent more than $70,000 on personal purchases using county-issued credit cards, then tried to cover his tracks.

    The charges include 25 counts of forgery, 14 counts of misapplication of funds, three counts of embezzlement and falsification of accounts by a public officer and one count of grand theft.

    If found guilty on all charges, Anchundo could face 12 years in jail.

    More details at the Californian, but all I can say is: "Trust and faith in the elections officials,"...indeed, Mr. Anchundo. A picture perfect lesson in why no elections officials should ever be trusted.

    Just ask the heroic and legendary Ion Sancho, Election Director of Leon County, FL who said in a speech last May: "Trust no one. If it can't be verified, it can't be used."

    Or ask the courageous Yolo County, CA Registrar-Clerk, Freddie Oakley, who smartly wrote recently about some of her election official colleagues: "They also argue that, 'We have to trust our poll workers…' To this I can only say…only if they are incorruptible."

    Or finally, ask Oregon Secretary of State, Bill Bradbury, who delivered this knock-out speech last November:

    We cannot simply react and play defense against a rising tide of legitimate public questions and concerns. Elections are the foundation of democracy, and our democracy cannot function without full public confidence in the fairness of elections. We must proactively offer the public an elections system that is clean, transparent, fair, and above reproach. We must be able to prove that all of our claims about elections are true.
    ...
    We cannot ignore our constituents. It's not enough anymore to simply tell them "just trust us."
    ...
    We believe that our elections are accurate, but we need hard evidence to show the public.

    If only San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas --- who has never heard of an indicted election official, and isn't concerned that a poll worker might try to tamper with a programmed election-ready voting machine when he allows them to keep them in their car, house or garage for weeks before an election --- would care as much about his voters as Sancho, Oakley or Bradbury... Unfortunately, Haas seems to be falling into the Anchundo category instead.

    Trust me.

    ReddIt this story!



    On Busby/Bilbray, Diebold, California and Democrats Fears of Fighting for Electoral Integrity...
    ALSO: Catherine Crier to Cover Busby/Bilbray, Clint Curtis, NH Phone-Jamming Tomorrow Night!
    By Brad Friedman on 7/10/2006 4:24pm PT  


    Not much time for comment, so here's my interview from over the weekend on Air America's Ring of Fire with Robert F. Kennedy & Mike Papantonio. I'm sure you guys will have plenty to comment on. We discussed Busby/Bilbray, Diebold, and the DNC/DCCC fears about jumping into the fight for electoral integrity and taking on these god-forsaken awful e-voting machines.

    More on all soon. Plenty to say and write, but little time to say it or write it for now... :-(

    -- Brad on Ring of Fire, 7/8/06 [MP3, Appx. 15 minutes]

    UPDATE: Forgot to add, reliable sources tell me that Catherine Crier of CourtTV's Crier Live --- who filed an extraordinary video editorial recently on the dangers of E-Voting --- will be covering Busby/Bilbray, Clint Curtis and the NH/White House Phone-Jamming convictions tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 5pm ET/PT!

    ReddIt this story!



    UPDATE: SoS Now Claims They've 'Abandoned' Previous Procedures, but --- in Yet Another Apparent Violation of State Law --- Have Failed to Issue Any New Ones!
    By Brad Friedman on 7/9/2006 1:56pm PT  

    From BlackBoxVoting.org yesterday...

    the California document called "Procedures for Approving, Certifying, Reviewing, Modifying and Decertifying Voting Systems" has disappeared from the secretary of state's Web site --- a remarkable coincidence, since many citizens are looking for it.

    They want to know how it is that the Secretary of State can claim procedures were followed, given the sorry state of security and accuracy in many of the voting systems now being used in California.

    See the BBV link for more details, and a "found copy" of the document via Archive.org.

    According to Joseph Holder, the lead plaintiff in the VoterAction.org lawsuit against the State of California to halt the use and purchase of Diebold touch-screen voting machines, "Within the last month the link was still there and working."

    But now it's gone. Go figure.

    BBV sends the following update this morning...

    We've posted an update. (1) Sec. State claiming they've abandoned the Procedures (2) In California, it's illegal to abandon or modify regulations without public hearings etc (3) Therefore Sec. State appears to be claiming that the Admin Procedures present in both [former Secretaries of State] Bill Jones and Kevin Shelley's tenure were "drafts" and somehow not "real" --- but the law says they have to create regs then, and the creation of regs requires...you guessed it, public notice, public involvement, public comment.

    [Current Secretary of State, Bruce] McPherson's been in office for a year and a half and has created no regs. Do they exist or not? If so, why aren't they following them and if not, can they support the claim that the Procedures in place were "drafts" and "not real" and if hat's the case, why haven't they created new ones as they are required to do?

    ReddIt this story!



    Election Integrity Advocates told Hand Count Fees to be $6000/day, While Media told Fees Would be $2000-3000/day
    ALSO: No Documents for Ballot Chain of Custody, Machine Audit Logs, 1% Random Audit, as Requested by Hand Count Filing, Have Been Produced by San Diego County Registrar's Office Despite Demand for $6000 Payment Due Tuesday...
    By Brad Friedman on 7/9/2006 6:05am PT  

    The San Diego County Registrar's office seems to be playing games with the amount they are attempting to charge for the cost of a manual hand count request as filed for accountability in the June 6th Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election.

    As well, the office has so far refused to produce any of the documents requested by the voter who filed for the hand count as required by California state law.

    As we reported originally, the SD County Assistant Registrar of Voters, Tim McNamara, had informed an Election Integrity advocate via email that the cost of such a count was estimated to be "in the range of $110,000 to $130,000 and would take approximately 24 to 30 working days." The total estimated cost would be $6000 per day. (Complete email from McNamara at bottom of this article.)

    However, a story from Friday's North County Times in San Diego on the manual hand count request (they, inaccurately, call it a "recount request") quotes an estimate from the RoV's office that is less than half that size:

    Registrar of voters spokesman Mike Workman said that county counsel is now reviewing Jacobson's request for a recount...a process which can cost the requesting party as much as $2,000 to $3,000 a day, Workman said.

    Further, SD County Registrar Mikel Haas has FedExed a letter to Barbara Gail Jacobson, the requester of the manual hand count, informing her that she must pay $6000 by 3pm this Tuesday, July 11th, to begin the count which he estimates in his letter will to be "between $120,000 and $150,000."

    His letter also failed to include responses to numerous documents requested, such as chain of custody logs for ballots and voting machines, any of the audit logs from the machines used on election day, or any of the information requested on precinct voter breakdowns as allowed to the requester by state law (CA Election Code 15630 and other related sections) before such a hand count can begin.

    All three sets of numbers for the fees associated with the count also failed to give any accounting for how the fees to be charged have been set. (Complete letter from Haas is also at the end of this article.)

    "I have received no responses to any of my requests for information," Jacobson told us. "Not even any information on the required 1% manual audit that was supposed to have been done prior to the certification."

    With three different sets of numbers now given from three different RoV sources, the question arises as to how they come up with such numbers in the first place.

    All of the estimates, even the lowest of them, are far higher than similar quotes from other California country Registrars, as we reported previously. The highest of the numbers quoted by Haas come to nearly one dollar per vote, while in Orange County, CA, the registrar is reportedly charging some 14 cents per vote for a similar count.

    Why the disparity in all of these numbers? It would be good to know.

    Election Reform watchdog organization VelvetRevolution.us has taken up a collection for the costs associated with the entire legal battle over the Busby/Bilbray election. Contributions may be made here.

    Meanwhile, Haas seems to be continuing his public misinformation campaign concerning the so-called Diebold voting machine "sleepovers"...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    Quotes Manual Hand Count Costs for Busby/Bilbray at $150,000 --- Third Different Number Quoted, No Explanation or Accounting Given...
    Funds Being Collected for Legal Expenses to Fight Them Here so We Don't Have to Fight Them Everywhere this November!
    By Brad Friedman on 7/8/2006 9:23pm PT  

    Tomorrow in the AM... San Diego County registrar's office quotes three different prices for costs of manual hand count request! Highest quote so far: $150,000 to count all votes in the CA50 Busby/Bilbray election! $6000 due on Tuesday, but no explanation for costs and no requested documents turned over by registrar as required by law.

    Donations for legal fight being collected by VelvetRevolution.us: www.velvetrevolution.us/donate.php

    See BRAD BLOG early Sunday morning for details...

    UPDATE 7/9/06: Complete exclusive story now posted here...

    ReddIt this story!



    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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    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....

    ReddIt this story!



    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... ;-)

    ReddIt this story!



    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.
    ReddIt this story!



    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!... ---

    ReddIt this story!



    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...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    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...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    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.

    ReddIt this story!



    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!

    ReddIt this story!



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