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VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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Franken Gains in First Day of Counting, Media Play Fast and Loose with Numbers, GOP Prepares for the Worst...
By Brad Friedman on 11/19/2008 11:12pm PT  

We've predicted since Election Day that Al Franken's chances of winning the U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota are excellent. News tonight, out of the state where a manual count of the paper ballots began today, may already be bearing out that prediction, though it's far too early to know for sure. Franken, so far, has gained about 30 votes on the incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman on the first day of counting, bring the gap between the two to just 172 votes.

The race was previously determined, by the faulty and easily manipulated ES&S and Diebold ballot-scanning machines initially used to tabulate the paper ballots, to have given an edge of little more than 200 votes in favor of Coleman, out of nearly 3 million ballots cast.

That hasn't stopped Coleman from desperately and prematurely declaring "victory" --- hey, it worked for Dubya in 2000, and he was able to successfully take that to the Supreme Court, after all! --- nor has it kept the GOP conspiracy theorists and potential sore-losers from declaring all manner of unsubstantiated claims of "fraud" and attempts to "steal the election."

But as the hand count moves slowly forward --- and as I may be "off the grid," or otherwise unable to keep up with every beat as quickly as usual over the next several weeks --- I'd ask that you folks keep a very close eye on a very important point likely to reveal itself (to those who pay attention) during this count...

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

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State's Republican Governor Pawlenty Reverses Previous Claims, Admits 'No Actual Evidence of Wrongdoing or Fraud in the Process'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2008 1:31pm PT  

Of all the shameful behavior by the Republicans during this last election cycle, the National Republican Senatorial Conspiratorial Committee's continuing baseless charges that Al Franken and the Democrats are trying to "steal" the U.S. Senate election in Minnesota has to be near the top of a difficult list to top! If only because that rejected sort of politics continues despite the thorough spanking their party took in an election which would seem to have been a rejection of such tactics.

Even Minnesota's own governor, Tim Pawlenty, has now reversed his previous conspiratorial tone to declare on yesterday's Fox "News" Sunday that there is "no actual evidence of wrongdoing or fraud in the process." He was referring to the currently reported election results --- where Franken trails the incumbent Sen. Norm Colman by just over 200 voters --- and in the upcoming manual recount plans.

None of that has kept the RNSC from keeping up their shameful "Minnesota Recount" conspiracy theory website with postings that declare Franken "lost the election, so he is pulling an Al Gore, with his supporters manufacturing postelection votes by the hundreds" and shoveling, without correction, the now wholly debunked theory that "his supporters discover mislaid ballots in places like the trunks of their cars. By a mysterious coincidence, none of these includes votes for Franken’s rival Norm Coleman."

Though the last post on their conspiracy website was made on Friday --- so perhaps that signals they're getting the message --- all of it still remains there, as unretracted garbage, even after Pawlenty himself has now acknowledged it as such. But the RNSC isn't the only bad actor here. So are the networks, cable channels and even the New York Times...

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

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Voting Machine Issues, Confusion Compounded Delays Faced by Untold Thousands of Voters This Fall
Though Even That Number Fails to Reveal Untold Counting Errors on E-Voting Systems Across the Nation...
By Steven Rosenfeld on 11/16/2008 5:30am PT  

Guest blogged by Steven Rosenfeld of AlterNet

The electronic voting problems in the 2008 election are broader than recently-publicized snafus such as machines not turning on, voter databases omitting names, or touch screens not properly recording votes, according to an analysis of 1,700 incident reports from the nation's largest voter hotline.

Moreover, the voting machine issues and the confusion they caused among poll workers appear to have compounded the delays faced by untold thousands of voters this fall, a preliminary analysis of 1-800-OUR-VOTE reports by Joseph Lorenzo Hall, a researcher at Princeton University and the University of California, has found...

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

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Central Claim of GOP Conspiracy Theory for 'Stolen' U.S. Senate Race in Minnesota Falls Apart (Though They've Yet to Acknowledge It, Of Course)...
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2008 4:13pm PT  

For those following the nonsense being put forward by the GOP conspiracy theorists (such as Sean Hannity, Norm Coleman, RedState blog, PowerLine blog, and all their fact-free friends), David Brauer at MinnPost.com does a terrific job of debunking the whole "32 ballots driven around in an election director's car for days" nonsense.

They weren't driven around in her car, they weren't all votes for Franken, they weren't "lost" for days, and the claim, which is being used by the national GOP at their conspiracy theory "Minnesota Recount" site to prop up their unsubstantiated claims of a "stolen election," turns out (surprise surprise) to be entirely false...

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

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NRSC Publishes Unapologetic, Shameless, Evidence-Free Conspiracy Theories After Democrats Opened Door for Them to do so
And, Again, We Offer Our help to ALL Parties in the Bargain...
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2008 3:33pm PT  

The Democrats, as usual, have only themselves to blame. But we're still happy to help both them and the Republicans if it means the voters might see their votes counted and counted accurately, no matter who will ultimately be declared the winner of any election. You're welcome, Republicans (and Democrats).

After years of Democrats refusing to use the f-word (fraud) or discussing concerns about the s-word (stolen) for elections, for fear of being declared conspiracy theorists and sore-losers by the Republicans, we'll note that Republicans have no such fears. They never did. And they are happy to don enormous and shiny tin-foil hats any time to claim any conspiracy they need to, regardless of the actual evidence (or lack thereof) to support their theory.

They will claim --- even at the highest official levels of their party --- that "Democrats are stealing the election," "stuff[ing] new ballots into the ballot box" and all other manner of unsubstantiated allegations, if they believe it might help their candidate "win." The voters be damned.

To that end, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has now gone so far as to set up a "Minnesota Recount" conspiracy theory blog. The site is devoted to the advancement of making and reposting unsubstantiated claims from around the wingnut 'sphere --- and that would include liar John Fund's Wall Street Journal --- that Al Franken and the Democrats are in the process of "stealing" the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2008 9:40pm PT  

The election results being reported in Alaska still stink from top to bottom. While it may be true that fewer voters turned out to vote for Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Barack Obama on this year's Presidential tickets than turned out to vote for Bush and Kerry in 2004 --- even with Alaska's record increases in voter registration and voter participation during their primaries and unprecedented turnout during early voting --- it does strain credulity, as noted by Anchorage's Shannyn Moore, by poll analysist/expert Nate Silver and others.

There could be some reasonable explanation for poll-shattering upset victories by Republicans in Alaska's U.S. House and Senate contests, despite pre-election polls predicting near-certain defeat for convicted 7-time felon Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young, who is currently under FBI investigation on corruption charges.

The state senator I spoke with --- who can't understand how it could be that polls predicted Democrats would gain 4 to 6 U.S. House seats in Alaska, but instead, according to Diebold and state election officials, currently seem to have lost 2 seats instead --- could simply be wrong in his belief that something strange is going on up there.

But, as always, rather than speculating on any of it, I suggest another way: Find out for certain who won and who lost, in such a way that no party or citizen would have reason to question the final results, by, among other things, counting the ballots --- all of them.

I've come to learn that's a nutty idea that only crazy people would advocate, but for all of you crazy people out there, here's what can be done to try and find out who really won or lost any particular race...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2008 9:09pm PT  

I was happy, if exhausted, to check in with my friend Cenk Uyger on Brave New Media's Meet the Bloggers once again last week. Last time I was in studio, this time, I was at home on fuzzy video cam, on the morning after last week's election (so it wasn't just the cam that was fuzzy that day.)

You can watch the entire episode over at the MTB site. It also features Newsweek's Jonathan Alter and the great Marcy Wheeler of Emptywheel. My four and a half minutes or so, on "how it went", emerging concerns that morning, and a message for Al Franken, follows...


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Republicanist John Hinderaker of PowerLine, Newcomer to Election Integrity Concerns, Charges 'Signs of Fraud' Without Any Such Evidence...
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2008 6:30pm PT  

Rightwing, partisan, conspiracy theorists* and bloggers (and, perhaps, sore-losers*) such as Powerline's John Hinderaker have suddenly found religion when it come to the integrity of elections. At least now that it looks like MN's Sen. Norm Coleman (R) may be in trouble in his razor-thin re-election contest against challenger Al Franken (D).

At last check, there were just 221 votes between the two candidates, with automatic hand recount triggered and scheduled to begin November 19th.

The only thing that's particularly clear from Hinderaker's desperate and ill-composed screed over at his Republicanist blog, is that he has no clue what he's talking about. Being the generous fellow that I am, however, and more interested in helping to assure the person who actually received the most votes gets to be the winner of the election than I am in any particular candidate "winning" it, allow me to help him with a few of his misconceptions about the U.S. Senate race in MN, and about elections in general...

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

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Still-Outstanding Races in AK, MN, & GA May Well Add Up to 60 Seats for Democrats IF The Elections Are Counted As Per the Voters' Intent...
By Brad Friedman on 11/6/2008 3:54pm PT  

In case you haven't been able to keep up with the barrage of reporting here over the last 48 hours --- concerning serious election irregularities in various races around the country --- allow me to connect at least the dots that may well add up to a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate.

Now that challenger Jeff Merkley (D) has been declared the winner (at least by the media) over incumbent Sen. Gordon Smith (R) in Oregon, the Democrats have currently been named the winners in enough elections U.S. Senate races that they will have at least 57 seats when President-elect Barack Obama takes office next January.

There remain, however, three U.S. Senate races still in serious contention, all of which, there is very good reason to believe, may end up going to the Democratic candidates if serious attention is given to issues of election integrity in each of those races. Setting aside whether or not a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate is a good or bad thing, the undecided races at this hour --- in Alaska, Minnesota, and Georgia --- are quickly summarized below, along with links to more detailed coverage, for your convenience...

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

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PLUS: Details on 'What in the Hell Happened in Alaska' and Georgia and Oregon...
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2008 7:56pm PT  

I'm exhausted, so forgive me if I make this quicker than it deserves. And if I haven't yet been able to jump into a myriad of other elections of serious concern around the country still today.

But just a few quick facts on the Al Franken (D) / Norm Coleman (R) U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, which we noted last night (with some updates today) stands at some 700 votes currently between them. More hopefully after I've figured out how to sneak in some rest.

Here are three quick, bullet-point facts that Franken may want to know, since his was the only show on Air America which never had me on as a guest, as he simply refused to discuss serious issues concerning Election Integrity, now-ironically enough.

(And see below these for some quick skinny on serious concerns about the outstanding Senate races in AK, OR and GA...)

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

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Evening Edition
By John Gideon on 11/5/2008 4:28pm PT  

As we suspected tabulation of ballots has revealed problems with voting systems from all of the vendors. Hillsborough Co Florida is rethinking their contract with Premier/Diebold for $6M after having big problems counting votes. Manatee Co Florida also had a problem with Premier. Palm Beach Co had bad memory cartridges from Sequoia. Counties in Pennsylvania and South Carolina had problems with their ES&S system. We also have a run-off for senator from Georgia and a recount for senator from Minnesota. This election will last for another month at least....

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

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And Gosh Darn It, About Half the People Like Him
UPDATE: AP 'UNCALLS' RACE, NOW 'TOO CLOSE TO CALL', WILL TRIGGER AUTOMATIC RECOUNT...
By Jim Cirile on 11/4/2008 11:41pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jim Cirile

One of the more closely watched Senate contests is still undecided as of 11:30 PM Pacific time--Al Franken vs. Norm Coleman in Minnesota. Right now CNN.com is showing them in a statistical dead heat with 42% of the vote each with 94% of precincts reporting. However, at this moment Franken is behind by... 72 votes. That's right--72. Just minutes ago with 93% reporting, Franken was down by 6,500 votes.

As Brad notes during his broadcast on NovaM Radio tonight, Franken was the only Air America Radio host who never wanted Brad on his show, as he was apparently completely disinterested in election integrity issues. So it should be interesting to see if Franken changes his tune if the numbers remain this close. If Franken loses by two votes, perhaps he'll realize the importance of counting every vote. Of course, we hope Franken pulls it out. But right now it's a squeaker! Stand by...

UPDATE 11:40pm PT Franken now trails by 1,200 votes but the race is still statistically tied.

UPDATE 11:55pm PT Franken down by 1,400 with 95% reporting. But: a caller just reported that the New York Times website was reporting that exit polls had Franken ahead by 12%--that data has now been scrubbed. Election integrity experts, have at it. Even if Franken wouldn't stick up for election integrity, we shall stand up for him--and the voters in Minnesota. More on this to come, I'm sure.

UPDATE FROM DES, 11/5/08, 9:40am PT: The Associated Press announced this morning they are 'un-calling' the race they had previously rushed to call in favor of Coleman:

Republican Sen. Norm Coleman finished ahead of Democrat Al Franken early Wednesday in the final vote count, but his 571-vote margin falls within the state's mandatory recount law. That law requires a recount any time the margin between the top two candidates is less than one-half of one percent.

The AP called the race prematurely.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said the recount won't begin until mid-November at the earliest and will probably stretch into December.

Franken has, wisely, not conceded. More from Brad on all of this, no doubt, when he's able to get caught back up from out of the prevailing whirlwinds...

UPDATE 11/5/08 9:02pm PT: More details on the race, and the flawed op-scanners used to 'count' it now here...

As long promised, The BRAD BLOG has covered your electoral system 2008, fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going. If you like, we'll send you some great election integrity documentary films in return. Details on that right here...
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By Alan Breslauer on 2/8/2007 3:37am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


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By Brad Friedman on 8/6/2006 9:46am PT  

Blogged by Brad on the Road from Minneapolis/St. Paul...

Just a quick personal blog item to touch base from out here on the road. I'm currently in St. Paul for just a few more moments. We drove up Friday (from St. Louis) to tape two episodes of John Forde's Mental Engineering for PBS. Not certain when these episodes will air (some time this fall, I believe) but I'll try to let you know when I find out.

I was honored to sit on a four-person panel with the brilliantly hysterical comedian Tom Rhodes, the delightful and smart media literacy professor Renee Hobbs from Temple University and the lovely and deviously clever actor Desi Doyen (DISCLOSURE: Desi is also my girlfriend)...

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

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