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Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2006 8:54pm PT  

Given what we know about Diebold voting machines (both optical-scan and touch-screen), several folks have written to ask: "Are you sure they actually allowed poll workers to take these machines home with them" prior to the Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election in CA-50th?

Yes. I'm sure. And yes, I confirmed it with someone in the media office at the San Diego County Registrar of Voting before I wrote my initial story on all of this. She asked me to keep her name off record, and so I'm doing so. Feel free to call and ask them yourself however: (858) 565-5800.

While you're talking to them (politely), ask how they intend to prove that the results of the Busby/Bilbray special election are accurate now that the chain of custody for the electronic voting machines --- which have been shown to be exceedingly prone to easy, passwordless tampering --- has been corrupted by sending them home for days and weeks at a time with voluneer poll workers. Also ask them how many absentee and provisional ballots there are in the race. Feel free to report your answers in comments here. If you can get any.

To help confirm the sleepovers of the easily hackable Diebold machines, here's a clip or two from a couple of emails I've received on all of this since posting my original story and this morning's follow up:

I volunteered to be a poll worker in the 49th. I took a short course on Sunday morning, loaded up the machine, and had it Sunday and all day and night Monday. I couldn't believe it! Folks, get in the polling places to watch for funny business.

Terry Olson

Enjoyed reading the Busby/Bilbray article on BradBlog and the questionable election equipment used, since I was working the election as an Assistant Precinct Inspector - Equipment. This is the person responsible for setting up and tearing down the Diebold Touch Screen Voting Stations. I understand that all but 7 CA counties will be using these systems as their main way of voting in November! I don't trust them, and the team that I trained with a week before the election didn't trust them either.

BTW, since I was trained a WEEK before the election, that means I got my two voting stations, 2 printers and cardboard privacy screen right after my training. All this equipment was sitting in my garage for nearly a week, but it was a rule that you couldn't leave the equipment at the poll site if you set up the night before. My neighbors were quite surprised when I showed them one of the touch screen systems from my garage. My Mom was also very surprised that the registrar of voters allowed us to take election equipment home with us.
...
Brian C Baer

And this from Pamela Smith, the Nationwide Coordinator for VerifiedVoting.org and Verified Voting Foundation, who's in San Diego County...

Yes, the machines had sleepovers. I was interviewed on our local news station about it prior to the election.

The procedure is that certain pollworkers are assigned equipment to take home with them upon receiving their training. They then bring it to the polling place on election morning early, and set up. Depending when they have training the machines could be at their homes for more than a week or two.
...
Best,
Pam

Pamela Smith, Nationwide Coordinator
VerifiedVoting.org and Verified Voting Foundation

UPDATE 6/9/06: I just noticed the following comment left on one of my original Busby/Bilbray article, from reader Patti Newton, who reports she had a similar experience as a San Diego County poll worker in Busby's district. Here's part of it:

I was an assistant precinct inspector in charge of equipment during this eleciton (I'm in the 50th). I had my two Diebold machines for seven full days before the election (I was dumbfounded). The chain of custody is abysmal. There is a seal on the machines (which are locked) but I am the one who sets up/breaks down the equipment and breaks the seal at the end of the day. The machines were reserved specifically for disabled voters but could have been used if a voter insisted on using it instead of the scanner. I registered zero votes and assume most if not all of the 1,646 precincts in the county had very little use but don't know for sure. I had no key to unlock the memory card but if I were motivated and had "friends" of like mind it would have been extremely easy.

The November election will use only the touchscreen machines (the scanners will not be used at all). I will encourage voters to look at the paper and make sure their votes are registered properly there but still, what's the guarantee?

I attended a breakfast with Francine and she said if the vote was close she would demand a recount. I'll follow your advice and give her office a call.

UPDATE: 6/9/06: New numbers reported from San Diego county...

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Tells BRAD BLOG that 20% margin win is 'a major victory for grassroots organizing'
Plans to continue investigating reported problems in today's elections around the state...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2006 9:37pm PT  

Updating this item with the latest news on top now. See 'below the fold' for the earlier reports, and the map of Bowen's enormous win!

1:04a PT... I just got off the phone with Senator Bowen where she's just heard from Senator Ortiz who has conceded!

It was a remarkable win, in many ways, given the 56% undecided in the state just a few days ago, and the fact that she was outspent by Ortiz, who also ran TV spots over the weekend (Bowen didn't run any, by the way.)

I asked her then to what she attributes this victory (with a whopping 20%+ margin) to?

"I think it's a major victory for grassroots organizing. People sent out messages to their email lists, to their friends. We used the net and the blogs to get our message out. I think it's also that people are beginning to understand if you don't make sure that elections mean something, you will lose your democracy."

(The BRAD BLOG was one small part of that netroots efforts with our recent endorsement and interview of Bowen, which was crossposted over at Huffington Post. You guys did all the rest!)

Was she surprised? "I really had no idea what to excpect. The 56% undecided a few days ago was rather...unnerving."

So what's the message that needs to get out between now and November? "People need to take a look at what's happened in the Secretary of State's office. The issues with voter registration and his certification of these voting machines....I mean look at what happened today with the problems around the state. I'm concerned about what happened in Kern County...and I won in Kern County!"

Will you be looking into it? Even though you won it? "You bet I will!"

Our kind of patriot. (Some of those meltdowns reported earlier here.)

Glad it wasn't a squeaker. I gotta be up in about 5 4 hours to do a radio show...And tomorrow's gonna be another big day. I just have a feeling...Congrats Senator! We'll be right there with you through November!

See below for earlier reports from the evening and map as of 1:04am...

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

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[UPDATING THROUGHOUT THE DAY]
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2006 1:31pm PT  

Just some of the problems already brewing today in just two of the states, of eight, holding primary elections today. With a reminder that most problems such as these don't begin to show up until later in the evening, and even more so in the days following the elections...We'll update this item as appropriate and as time allows throughout the day...

In California...

  • Kern County - Malfunctioning cards delayed poll voting Tuesday morning (Diebold)
    "A procedure that no one told us about needs to be done," [Chief Deputy Registrar] Brockman said. "It's a widespread problem in the county." ... "We're asking people not to vote for a couple hours," she said..."It's a nighmare I never wanted to handle"
  • Kern County ? Elections Snarl Delays Voting (Diebold)
  • Kern County - Voting problems (Diebold)
  • Orange County - Machine Malfunctions - broken voting machines prompt voter complaints (Hart InterCivic)
  • Los Angeles County ? Diebold Voting Machine Scandal Hits L.A. County
  • San Joaquin County ? Early voting problems in S.J. (8:05 a.m.) (Diebold)
    "People were sent away without casting their ballots in Stockton, Lodi and Morada..."

    NOTE: San Joaquin is registrar Debra Hench's county. She has been amongst the most vociferous supporters of Diebold, and deniers of their problems, despite witnessing so many before her very eyes. As expected, she takes the Diebold company line in the article above, by attempting to blame poll workers for problems with her machines. New info also suggests that she's been closely involved, personally, with a team of Diebold disinformation experts. More on that to come soon.

  • Contra Costa County ? Few flock to polls by midday (AutoMark machines not working)
  • In Mississippi...

  • Voting machines not working in Leflore, Jackson counties; other problems reported statewide (Diebold)
  • "Problems with Mississippi's rollout of touchscreen voting machines are surfacing across the state...'We found out about an hour into the process that these machines were programmed incorrectly,' he said. 'I don't know what happened.'"

  • Leflore County ? Paper ballots required at precinct on Claiborne Avenue (Diebold)
  • Leflore County ? Machine woes plague polling sites (Diebold)

    NOTE: Remember, MS Sec. of State Clark is on record --- via video here --- telling Election Integrity advocates, during a public meeting with a Diebold rep that their machines are "the most secure thing outside of a Wells-Fargo truck." Will he eat those words tonight?

  • (Thanks to John Gideon for the early heads-up! More tonight in his 'Daily Voting News', of course.)

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    California Primary Election Eve Complaint, Filed Within the Hour in LA Superior Court Claims E-Voting Tabulators Placed in Room with Internet Access, in Close Proximity to Uncertified Tabulator Software
    Complaint Filed by Plaintiffs Cindy Asner and Peace & Freedom Party Chair, Declaration Filed by Green Party Election Inspector, Several Troubling Details Alleged...ALSO: Voter Given Wrong Ballot in Winograd Race on Diebold Touch-Screen Early Voting Machine...
    By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2006 4:04pm PT  


    UPDATE 6:56pm PT: Judge Denies Injunction! Suit Dismissed! Details follow in an update following our original coverage...

    A last-minute Election Eve compaint has been filed in a Los Angeles courtroom within the hour calling on LA County's registrar of voters, Conny B. McCormack to immediately remove Diebold elecronic voting machine tabulators, said to have illegal access to the Internet as well as uncertified tabulation software, from counting rooms at the county's main facility in Norwalk, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

    The plaintiffs in the case are Cindy Asner and Cynthia Henderson, LA County Chair of the Peace and Freedom Party.

    The emergency filing, being heard at this hour, is based on an affidavit filed today by Green Party election system inspector, John Wenger, a PhD and retired software engineer from Northrup Grumman who has been tracking LA County's use of electronic voting machines over the past month along with several other inspectors from both the Green and Democratic parties. The BRAD BLOG spoken at length with Wenger over the weekend, and has reviewed a draft version of his declaration being filed with the suit. (The final version of Wenger's declaration is now posted at the end of this article.)

    Los Angeles county is the largest voting area in California. The state is holding its Primary Election tomorrow. Touch-screen Diebold voting machines --- now shown to be hackable and highly vulnerable to malicious tampering at both the point of the voting machine itself and its central tabulator software --- are used for early voting only in LA County. Though early voting in LA began several weeks ago and ended last Friday, tabulation of votes cast during that period will not begin until the polls close on Tuesday evening at 8pm PT.

    The race is an important one to Election Integrity advocates since state senator Debra Bowen is running in a primary race in hopes of winning the Democratic nomination to take on Republican CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson who has been a supporter of vulnerable electronic voting machines, including Diebold's, in the state. As well, the LA County Registrar of voters, Conny B. McCormack has been a long-time supporter of Diebold and their election equipment and has even been featured, via photograph and endorsement, on promotional brochures distributed by the controversial Ohio company. (See graphic below.)

    This year's primary is also being closely watched due to a Democratic primary challenge by anti-war candidate Marcy Winograd against powerful pro-war Democratic U.S. House Representative Jane Harman in the state's 36th U.S. Congressional district.

    Further, another troubling detail about Diebold's touch-screen systems in the county was revealed on Friday of last week when The BRAD BLOG received an email indicating that one voter at least --- Michael Shure, a political commentator on Sirius Sattelite's The Young Turks radio program --- who voted on the Diebold touch-screen machines was given the incorrect ballot.

    Shure, who lives in CA's 36th congressional district noted that his touch-screen ballot gave him the option to vote for Rep. Henry Waxman, who is running unopposed in his U.S. Congressional primary, instead of the Winograd/Harman race which should have been on his ballot.

    "Unbelievable," Shure wrote in his email. "Had I not known, as I am sure many voters don't, who my Rep. was, and what district I live in, I would have been voting for someone else."

    Indeed, Shure's experience underscores further dangers of combined precincts using elecronic touch-screen voting machines as Los Angeles offers during the early voting period when voters may go to any early voting location and cast their ballot on machines which --- supposedly --- offer them the appropriate ballot for their particular district.

    The experience has left the Winograd campaign wondering how many other voters may have missed out on the opportunity to vote in that contentious race and whether or not they may need to file a challenge to the election in order to find out.

    UPDATE 6:56pm PT: Judge Denies Injunction! Suit Dismissed! Details follow below...

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

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    A Rare BRAD BLOG Endorsement and an Exclusive Election Eve Interview with the Woman Who Might Save American Democracy
    By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2006 1:40pm PT  

    We don't generally do endorsements around here for the most part. In the case of California state Senator Debra Bowen's primary race to be the Democratic nominee for California's Secretary of State, however, we're more than happy to make an exception.

    While many Californians --- and even more non-Californians --- may not know it, the path towards restoring America's crumbling democracy may well rest in a little noticed primary race that will take place here on Tuesday.

    Bowen, as state senator and chair of the state's Election Committee in Sacramento, has led the way where few Democratic elected officials have even bothered to acquaint themselves. Specifically, Bowen has studied, learned, investigated, held hearings and delved deep into that murky territory of electronic voting, electoral integrity and the threat to our democracy posed by the privatization of our public electoral system by corporate interests using secret software to "count" America's votes.

    As private and partisan corporations such as Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, Hart InterCivic and all the rest have spidered out across the electoral landscape, usurping American values in the name of insidious corporate greed and at the expense of transparency, auditability and confidence in our once-great American democracy --- all at the cost and waste of billions of your taxpayer dollars, by the way --- few politicians have bothered to wend their way through the impossibly arcane and brain-withering technical details wherein the devil lies, most assuredly, in these matters of electronic voting.

    An avowed computer geek, Bowen has been paying attention to these matters from the get-go while the vast majority of elected pols today do little more than whistle past democracy's graveyard. She has fought for electoral integrity by successfully moving legislation into law which mandates audits (only 1%, but hey, it's a start) and paper records (not paper ballots, but hey, it's a start) for every vote cast in the Golden State.

    While one would think such ideas would be no-brainers for every state in the union, it's remarkable how few seem to give a damn about any of those ideas and, in fact, have gone out of their way to fight off mandates for such accountability in elections. Debra Bowen, on the other hand, does give a damn...

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

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    An Exclusive BRAD BLOG Interview with a Democratic Congressional Candidate Who's Not Afraid to Stand up for America, Even if it Means Standing Up Against Another Democrat (and a very powerful one at that!)
    By Jim Cirile on 5/31/2006 11:23am PT  

    Guest Blogged by Jim Cirile

    "No recounts? I mean, why bother even having elections? Bring in these electronic voting machines, hire a few people to flip the votes, outlaw recounts. You'd save a lot of money by outlawing elections!"

    "We conducted a mock arrest at the Secretary of State's office. We went over with our 10-foot high arrest warrant for grand voting theft which we issued to McPherson for certifying those evil machines --- the TSx --- with a 30% failure rate and announcing the certification on a holiday weekend when nobody was paying attention."

    -- Marcy Winograd, Candidate U.S. House of Representatives, CA 36th District

    Marcy Winograd "was tired of our leaders not listening to us." So she decided to run against one of them --- Jane Harman, another Democrat --- who she felt wasn't listening.

    You may not have heard of Winograd yet. But it's time you do.

    Winograd hopes to represent California's 36th congressional district (West and Southwest Los Angeles). On June 6th she faces off in the California primary election against the powerful incumbent Harman --- a six-term Democratic U.S. Congresswoman who Winograd describes as a "Bush Democrat".

    A 12-year board-certified teacher and activist, Winograd received the 2004 Los Angeles Democrat of the Year award. She's been making waves in the progressive community with her grassroots assault on the incredibly well-financed, pro-war Harman, who has a record of voting consistently with the Bush administration.

    Drive around the west side of Los Angeles and you'll see plenty of signs for both Harman and Winograd on telephone poles --- but on people's lawns, you only see Winograd signs. She's making waves?and even Harman's beginning to listen.

    Winograd is part of the Impeach Team --- three congressional candidates who have made impeaching George W. Bush and Dick Cheney part of their platform.

    She's also a staunch defender of election protection issues and has been fighting tooth and nail to prevent the hostile takeover of California's elections by the right. Unlike so many Democrats, she's unafraid to talk about issues of election integrity --- and she's got a plan in case there's any whiff of chicanery at the ballot box. Okay, so now she's got us listening too.

    She recently gave The BRAD BLOG at least an hour of her time for an exclusive interview on everything that actually matters to America right now. We thought that was a refreshing change of pace for a Democrat. So we like her. A lot. And think you will too?

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

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    Speaking to Culver City Dems on Election Integrity...
    By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2006 2:47pm PT  

    The fine new video blogger calling himself "Hot Potato Mash" has posted a few video excerpts from a talk I recently gave at the Culver City Democratic Club about two weeks ago. He's posted about about 8 minutes from the 30 or so I yammered on about in re: Election Integrity back on May 10th in an evening that also included the lovely Arlene Pinzler from Sen. Debra Bowen's office (have I mentioned lately that Bowen is running for Sec. of State of California in a really important election for all of America and could use your support before next week's primary?)

    Please check out the video linked above and let us know what ya think. (NOTE TO CULVER CITY REPUBLICANS --- OR ANY OTHERS: I'll be happy to come and speak to you too! Just let me know when you'd like me to be there!)

    While you're at The Mash, you may also want to check out this short video clip in which we learn about what's really important to American voters. Or atleast, what's important to them when the media bothers to cover it several hours a week during prime time.

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    Ad Removed in Wake of BRAD BLOG Report Earlier this Week...
    By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2006 3:19pm PT  

    We reported earlier this week about an ad placed on the Internet by Kelly Services seeking temporary workers for the upcoming California primary elections in San Francisco.

    The ad sought workers to "assist in dropping off election voting machines and picking these machines up when voting is complete." (See our full story and the complete text here.)

    That ad has now been removed from Monster.com. We'll try and offer some updates if we can gather any additional information about the removal of the ad.

    As we noted in our original story on Tuesday, the ad was notable given CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson's recent approval of Diebold voting machines shortly after it was revealed, and then confirmed by his own independent analysis [PDF], that those machines were vulnerable to hackers. After the revelations, McPherson implemented what he described as increased physical security procedures to protect such machines from tampering --- procedures which would seem to be out the window by allowing $11.99/hour temporary workers hired from the Internet to shuttle California's electronic voting machines, unsupervised, before and after the election.

    Apparently the systems in question in San Francisco are reportedly made by Diebold's "rival" company ES&S. Unlike Diebold's systems, ES&S's have never faced the rigorous independent "hack testing" that systems made by Diebold have undergone. Given our lack of knowledge, therefore, about the security in ES&S electronic voting systems and whether or not they are any more or less prone to hacking than Diebold's systems, it would seem that allowing unknown individuals to have unsupervisored access to those machines is equally as irresponsible as McPherson's own less-than-safe security measures as recently prescribed for Diebold systems.

    We will, of course, keep you updated with new developements as we are able to acquire them.

    A sample from the original screen shot of the Internet ad posted by Kelly Services on Monster.com. Click the graphic below for the complete story...

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    Electronic Machines, Shown Vulnerable to Easy Tampering --- Yet Said by State Officials to Be Physically Protected Under New Guidelines --- Now Available for Easy Access to Temp Workers!
    Rationalizations from Diebold Company Apologists Appearing Sillier by the Day...
    By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2006 11:48am PT  


    So much for those vaunted claims by California's Sec. of State Bruce McPherson and his partners at Diebold, Inc. about increased security surrounding the physical access to electronic voting machines in light of newly revealed vulnerabilities to easy tampering.

    A tip received by The BRAD BLOG on Monday reveals that Temp Workers are currently being sought in San Francisco for California's upcoming primary election to "assist in dropping off election voting machines and picking these machines up when voting is complete," as the says.

    A classified ad seeking the workers is currently posted on the Internet at Monster.com by Kelly Services. (A screenshot of the complete ad is posted at the end of this article.) The salary offered to temp workers hired for the job --- who will have private unsupervised access to the state's voting machines before and after election day --- is $11.99/hour according to the posting.

    A litany of recent studies and independent scientific analyses of electronic voting machines, in California and elsewhere --- and reportedly widely in the mainstream media of late --- have warned that such systems and the data they contain are easily alterable via such physical access.

    State and voting machine company officials have now admitted as much, but claim that stringent security procedures ensure that the danger posed by such access can be mitigated.

    The ad, however, seeking temp workers for three weeks beginning on May 31, the week prior to California's June 6th primary election, would seem to belie official claims, while serving to underscore the extraordinarily precarious and dangerously vulnerable state of our current electoral system...

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

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    (Why Do the Terrorists Hate Me?)
    By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2006 4:21pm PT  

    I'm speaking on Election Reform issues to the Culver City Democratic Club tonight at 8pm. Their site, www.CCDemClub.org has been hacked this morning in the bargain.

    Joining me will be Arlene Pinzler from California Sen. Debra Bowen's office. Bowen is running for CA Sec. of State and must be supported, by the way! Her opponent in the Democratic primary, Deborah Ortiz, told the Sacramento Bee yesterday, incredibly, that she's satisfied with McPherson's certification of Diebold machines in the state and thinks "they're adequate to get us through the June 6 elections."

    That is not a woman who belongs in the SoS office! Or even near it!

    I any case, since details for tonight's event are no longer available at the Culver City Dem's site (but alot of hate-speech from hackers claiming to be representing Turkish Muslims is), here are the details. If you're in Southern California area, please stop by and say hello! And a note to Republicans: Happy to come on by and speak to your groups, too! Just let me know!

    Culver City Democratic Club, 8pm (other business begins at 7pm)
    Veteran's Memorial Building, Rotunda Room
    4117 Overland Ave. (SW corner of Culver Blvd.)

    Now I just have to find time to put something worthwhile together to speak about! :-)

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    Voting Systems in Question Were Used Last Week in Ohio Primary, Soon in Pennsylvania, So 'Serious' Few Details Are Being Released
    All Diebold Touch-Screen Machines, In All States, Said to be Affected by 'Horrifying' Vulnerability, Systems 'Sequestered' in PA
    By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2006 1:24pm PT  

    We've now been able to gather a great deal of additional information concerning details about the story we first posted yesterday on the official Pennsylvania state warning issued about the new "security vulnerability" discovered in all Diebold touch-screen electronic voting machines.

    That warning, which has now brought a lock-down on all Diebold systems in PA, where early absentee (non-machine) voting is about to begin prior to their upcoming May 16th primary election, was reported by the Morning Call yesterday. The warning says the serious security vulnerability could allow ''unauthorized software to be loaded on to the system."

    Public details about the warning are still sketchy as those in the know have acknowledged that the problem is so serious, they are hoping to keep the info under wraps until mitigation steps can be taken to safeguard systems.

    The BRAD BLOG has been told on the record, however, by one person involved in the matter, that the vulnerability is a "major national security risk."

    We've been speaking to many sources today, and we've been able to get several first hand comments on the problem from top officials and analysts directly involved in both state and federal certification of the Diebold systems, as well as from those involved in the initial discovery of the problem.

    What's clear is that Morning Call's reporting that it was Diebold who found the "glitch" are flat wrong. The discovery of the "glitch" (which is anything but) emanated from the examination of Diebold AccuVote TSx (touch-screen) machines recently in Emery County, UT.

    A source has told The BRAD BLOG that Diebold was "cornered" into admitting to the problem, a far cry from them having "found" it, as the Morning Call characterized it.

    What's also clear is that neither Diebold themselves, nor federal officials at the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) have been notifying states about the serious problem which apparently affects all Diebold AccuVote touch-screen systems, including both their newer TSx models, and the older TS and TS6 models.

    The Diebold TSx models, with the security vulnerability still intact, were apparently used in the primary election last Tuesday in Ohio.

    A document at Diebold's website describes [PDF] the TSx models as featuring "Industry Leading Security."

    In Utah's Emery County, state officials are attempting to force Bruce Funk, the 23-year elected County Clerk out of his job in the wake of his having allowed a security evaluation of the county's new Diebold touch-screen systems by both computer security firm Security Innovation and Finnish computer security expert Harri Hursti. According to several sources, that analysis revealed many new vulnerabilities and problems in the Diebold touch-screen systems, including the one that seems to be at the heart of the problem now being warned about by Pennsylvania officials.

    Funk --- who has since been "vilified," as one source told us, by both Diebold and Utah state officials as high as the Lt. Governor --- was forced to implement the new Diebold touch-screen systems for the first time this year against his own objections. His prudent subsequent security evaluation of the systems was arranged by electronic voting watchdog organization, BlackBoxVoting.org. (We recently interviewed Funk on the radio concerning that evaluation, and his subsequent removal from office in its wake. Listen to that interview here [MP3].)

    Here's some of what we've so far been able to learn from a number of officials, both on the record and off, in Pennsylvania, elsewhere around the country and at the federal level, as well as those involved in the initial Emery County discoveries...

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

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    Our Elections are Now Officially 'A National Disaster in the Making'
    A MUST READ GUEST EDITORIAL BY JOHN GIDEON OF VOTERSUNITE.ORG
    By John Gideon on 4/9/2006 5:24pm PT  

    By John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

    Normally this space is taken with my ideas of what are the "Top 5" voting news stories for the week. Today I am going to use this space to talk about what I see as the beginning of a disaster in the making with our elections. This isn't the election fraud that some point to when they talk about the vendors and some elections officials. It's not about recounts or audits. This is a real, get your hands around it, happening problem that will disrupt our election process if we do not do something about it now. While we have been involved in all of our issues about Direct Recording Electronic (DRE or "touch-screen") voting machines or paper ballots the electronic voting machine vendors have been wreaking complete havoc across the country.

    So far this year two states have conducted primary elections. In Texas there is at least one candidate who has stepped forward and has challenged the election because of anomalies in vote counts and known voting machine failures. One county's machines counted some votes up to 6 times which resulted in approximately 100,000 more votes being counted than were cast. Though the vendor, Hart Intercivic, initially blamed the problem on human error, they finally had to admit that it was a programming error and not poll workers or voters who had erred. In Illinois some county officials are threatening to withhold final payment of funds on contracts with Sequoia Voting Systems because of failures with their machines that ended with results in the primary not being known for over a week after the voters went to the polls. In both states the involved vendors were very successful in the media with deflecting the blame from their machines to "human errors" or "glitches". However, when you listen to people who were there and who saw and worked through the problems you get a very different picture...

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

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    Carolyn Wilson Crnich Admits Hackable Diebold Optical-Scan Voting Machines Kept at Poll Worker Homes the Night Before Elections
    Can't Speak to Security Vulnerabilities
    By Brad Friedman on 3/25/2006 2:36am PT  

    Blogged by Brad on the Road...

    I know I'm supposed to be taking a few hours off (how's that going, Brad?)...But I couldn't help sharing with you a quick piece of audio from my regular Friday guest appearance on KRXA 540am's Peter B. Collins Show today (broadcast out of Monterey, CA).

    I was pleased that Carolyn Wilson Crnich, Elections Registrar of Humboldt County, CA was able to join us on air for one of the segments (posted below.)

    Crnich is one of the officials named as a defendant in the recent lawsuit against CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson and other county elections officials around the state. The suit calls for the ban of use and purchase of Diebold touch-screen voting systems in the state since (amongst other reasons) they have proven to be hackable and their recent certification was in violation of state law requiring all certified voting systems to conform to Federal Voting System Standards. Diebold's machines do not conform to such standards because they contain "interpreted code" --- which is specifically banned by the Federal standards. Diebold has now admitted to the existence of such code on their systems. The forbidden code went unexamined and untested by Federal authorities when the machines received Federal certification.

    Nonetheless, Crnich (we believe) is one of the good guys. She's proven willing to dump her previous plan to use Diebold AccuVote TSx (touch-screen) machines, which she was going to use in order to meet the disabled-accessible voting device requirement in the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). She is now hoping to use the paper-ballot based Vote-PAD system in Humboldt County this year instead.

    However, as our on-air conversation revealed, there are still very serious concerns with Humboldt County's optical-scan system since they use the very system, made by Diebold, which was shown to be hackable last December in Leon County, FL.

    Of note in our conversation, Crnich admits that optical-scan systems are sent home with poll workers the night before elections where --- even if the hackable memory cards are wired into the machine so they can't be removed --- they can still be accessed by other means. If so, a malicious poll worker could modify the code on the memory cards, allowing an election to be hacked without a trace left behind during that breakdown in chain of custody for such home-stored voting machines.

    Give the interview and discussion between Crnich, myself and Peter B. a listen. See what you think. It's good to have such an admission on the public record, and the fact that she admits to not knowing what could happen when these machines are stored at poll workers' houses.

    Again, I'm glad she was willing (unlike many other Elections Officials around the country) to come on air and face some of these tough questions. Happy to hear your thoughts.

    -- Carolyn Wilson Crnich, with Brad on the Peter B. Collins Show, 3/24/06 [MP3, about 13 mins]
    -- Complete Brad appearance on Peter B. Collins Show, 3/24/06 [MP3, about 35 mins, and quite a bit funnier, IMHO]

    (Thanks to Joe at the Peter B. show for sending the audio!)

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    Sec. of State Bruce McPherson, 18 County Registrars Named as Defendants
    Violations of State, Federal Laws Alleged, State Senator Releases Comment Condemning McPherson, Outlining Violations
    By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2006 1:46pm PT  

    As The BRAD BLOG broke yesterday, a lawsuit has today been filed in San Francisco Superior Court demanding that California Sec. of State Bruce McPherson follow state and federal law in regards to his recent re-certification of Diebold voting machines in the state.

    McPherson is named, along with 18 California county registrars, as defendants in the suit which calls for a ban on the use an new purchase of Diebold voting machines in the state. The suit was filed by VoterAction.org on behalf of 25 California voter/plaintiffs.

    -- Here is a complete copy of the lawsuit file today [PDF]

    Reuters originally reported on the story an hour or so ago as "Diebold Inc. sued over California voting systems". That headline is, in fact, incorrect. They have now reissued the story with the more accurate headline "California sued over Diebold voting systems".

    The lawsuit against Diebold, we imagine, will come later after California is ready to admit how they've been screwed by the company and they try to recover the millions they've lost in betting on the wrong horse.

    VoterAction is the non-profit organization who brought the actions that led to both the decertification of Diebold in California in 2004 and, more recently, the ban on the purchase of Sequoia voting machines in New Mexico (which led to a new law in the state requiring a paper ballot for every vote cast.)

    We're short on time today, and haven't even been able to review the complete suit yet, so we'll let State Sen. Debra Bowen's press release in regard to the lawsuit, do the reporting for us since she's generally nailed all the factual basis for the complaint and explains exactly how McPherson's certification of Diebold is in violation of several state and federal laws.

    Bowen, who is running herself for Sec. of State this year, also presents a very useful timeline in the release, explaining how we got here in the first place, and how it is that McPherson seems to have simply disregarded the law in favor of his good friends at Diebold.

    Remember, as goes California (or as Diebold likes to call it, "America's largest voting market") goes, so goes the country...In other words, this suit is much bigger than just California...

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

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    Lawsuit to Name Sec. of State Bruce McPherson, Alleges 'Severe Security Risk', Noncompliance with HAVA's Disabled-Voting Provisions, and Violation of CA State Law!
    By Brad Friedman on 3/20/2006 2:28pm PT  

    UPDATE 3/21/06: Suit now filed, full coverage here...

    =====

    We've hinted of late at upcoming legal actions, in several states, against the use of Diebold voting machines. The BRAD BLOG can now reveal that such a legal action will be filed tomorrow morning in San Francisco's Superior State Court in response to Secretary of State Bruce McPherson's recent re-certification of Diebold Electronic Voting Machines in the state.

    VoterAction.org is announcing their intention to file suit, on behalf of several plaintiffs, "aimed at halting the use or purchase of Diebold electronic voting systems" in the state.

    The same group recently carried out a similar action in the state of New Mexico, in regard to the use of Sequoia Touch-Screen voting machines there. That suit ultimately led to the ban of use of such machines, and a bill which was recently signed by Gov. Bill Richardson requiring a paper ballot with every vote cast in the state.

    Diebold's optical-scan and touch-screen systems were revealed last December to contain "interpreted code" which is banned by Federal Voting System Standards. It was that "interpreted code" which was exploited in the recent hack of a test election in Leon County, FL where the results of the election were completely flipped without a trace being left behind.

    Despite that startling revelation, California's Sec. of State Bruce McPherson certified the systems anyway in California, after they had previously been decertified in 2004 when Diebold admitted they had used untested and uncertified software patches on their machines in the state.

    Diebold has now admitted [PDF] that their voting systems, both optical-scan and touch-screen, contain such "interpreted code." That, despite the fact that its use is banned at the Federal level. California state law requires that voting systems certified in the state meet those Federal standards. McPherson, apparently, has chosen to blatantly ignore that state law. (We'll have further details outlining the above allegations very specifically, and in no uncertain terms, in a future post here at BRAD BLOG.)

    According to VoterAction's press release (posted in full below), the legal action is being filed because "Diebold's TSx touch screen voting system is a severe security risk, and does not accommodate all disabled voters as required by law."

    Sources have told The BRAD BLOG that the action is to encompass many, if not all, of California's counties. Some 18 of them are currently doing business with Diebold.

    The press release goes on to charge that, "The Diebold system is difficult if not impossible to audit or recount, and has been proven vulnerable to malicious tampering in tests and studies. Diebold technology contains 'interpreted' code, which is easily hacked, and illegal for voting systems in the State of California."

    Diebold is currently facing litigation in several investor class action lawsuits alleging Securities Fraud Violations such as insider trading and the false manipulation of stock prices by eight current and former company officials.

    A press conference will be held to discuss the latest legal action involving Diebold tomorrow morning. The complete Press Release from VotersUnite.org follows...

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

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