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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, October 25, 2014
Touch-Screens Flip 'No' to 'Yes' on TN Abortion Measure
After the state GOP repealed the law to move to paper ballots, votes now reportedly flipping again on a controversial Amendment to the state Constitution...
More Trouble With Touch-Screens (2014 Edition)
Votes Flip D to R in Texas, R to D in Illinois - What's happening (again), what it means (again), and what you can do about it (please?)...
Christie: GOP Governors Needs to Control 'Voting Mechanisms' in 2016
NJ Governor and 2016 Presidential hopeful offers interesting reason why Republicans in three key states need to win in 2014...
Justice Ginsburg Republishes TX Photo ID Law Dissent After BRAD BLOG Cites Error
Turns out U.S. Veterans' Affairs ID can be used to vote under new GOP voting restrictions in TX. Official SCOTUS opinion updated...
'Mercy', 'Rehabilitation' and 'Restorative Justice'
Sentencing of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius offers stark reminder of concepts that seem to have gone missing from the justice system in the U.S...
'Green News Report' 10/21/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP candidates still dodging climate Qs; Mountaintop removal coal mining promotes lung cancer; 2014 on track as hottest year on record; PLUS: LEGO breaks up with Shell Oil...
Previous GNRs: 10/14/14 - 10/16/14 - Archives...
Everything Old is Texas Again
On the upside though, even if they successfully violate the Constitution by keeping some 600,000 legally registered, disproportionately minority voters from voting this year, they can save some money on signage...
Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
ALSO: Court unseals divorce docs from first marriage, Fuller attorney dismisses abuse allegations as 'rhetorical questions'...
SCOTUS ALLOWS TEXAS' DISCRIMINATORY GOP PHOTO ID LAW TO USED IN MIDTERMS
Despite uncontested findings striking down the law as a racially-motivated, 'unconstitutional poll tax', it will be implemented this year...
'Dead Heat' and 'Dirty Tricks': The Nightmare Scenario
Maddow warns: 'With this many top of ticket races tied, turnout will be everything...Now we watch for the ways that people will try to stop voters from turning out or from having their votes counted, by hook or by crook'...
Judge Fuller's Attorney Says Wife Beating Thing No Big Deal; 911 AUDIO and Gov. Don Siegelman Disagree
Standalone video of 911 call; First comment on case by imprisoned former AL Gov.; MORE...
Emergency Appeals Filed at SCOTUS to Restore Voting Rights to 600,000 in TX
GOP Photo ID law, which lower court found intentionally discriminatory, is different from recent cases before High Court, say plaintiffs...
'Green News Report' 10/16/14
Ryan backs away (sort of) from climate change denial; NatGas isn't a bridge to lower-emissions; PLUS: Did Lockheed-Martin really invent a compact nuclear fusion reactor?...
Bloomberg on BRAD BLOG on Judge Richard Posner on Photo ID Voting Laws...
'By the sounds of it, the floor that supported voter-ID laws has just given way'...
'BradCast': WI, TX, AR Photo ID Rulings
Trouble keeping up with the on-again/off-again court rulings on GOP voter suppression laws? Brad tries to make sense of it all for ya...
WTF?!: FL Gov. Rick Scott Refuses To Appear at Debate With Gov. Charlie Crist
Watch the video. They're calling it 'FanGate'. We're just calling it Florida...
Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down State GOP's Photo ID Voting Law
Court determines law, passed over Dem Governor's veto, violates explicit right to vote in state Constitution...
5th Circuit Appeals Panel Restores Texas GOP's 'Discriminatory' Photo ID Law
While not contesting law's unconstitutionality, judges cite SCOTUS rule on last minute voting changes...
'Green News Report' 10/14/14
Coal wins U.S. Senate debate in KY!; Pentagon: climate change threat to NatSec; Wind power cheapest source of energy; PLUS: September 2014 was hottest ever...
Repub Judge Who Approved Nation's 1st Photo ID Law in 2008 Writes Devastating Dissent Against Them
Reagan-appointed Richard Posner pens best case ever against Photo ID voting restrictions...
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...
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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...


30-Year Summit County Republican Boss Alex Arshinkoff Latest in Series of Ohio Election Officials to Face Reprimand, Criminal Charges
'Ran Local GOP Machine Out of Election Board Office,' Says Democrat SoS Brunner; 'Abused Power, Position, Employees,' Says Republican State Senator Vying for Party Chair...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2008 8:04pm PT  

Breaking late tonight on the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's blog comes news that the Summit County, Ohio, Republican Party Chair, Alex Arshinkoff, is being removed from his position on the county Elections Board by Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

According to the report, Boss Arshinkoff has been running the party machine out of the county election office, which even Republican State Senator Kevin Coughlin --- who is currently the first to vie for Arshinkoff's job as party chairman during his 30-year reign --- says has led to his having "abused his power...abused his position [and his having] abused employees at the board to strengthen his grip on the local party apparatus."

Arshinkoff becomes the latest in a series of Board of Elections officials who served under former Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell to face either criminal sentences or disciplinary action since Brunner has taken office.

Writes Michael O'Malley and Laura Johnston at the P-D tonight...

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

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All Eyes on Diebold's Man in Franklin, the Dirty Matt Damschroeder...
By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2008 11:09pm PT  

Is Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner finally getting serious about accountability? This could be a good sign...

COLUMBUS, Ohio --- Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said her office is investigating the Franklin County Board of Elections for possible voting problems.

The announcement was made after Franklin County Elections Director Matthew Damschroder criticized Brunner for directing counties to print additional paper ballots for the March primary voters who don't trust electronic voting machines, NBC 4's Patrick Preston reported.

Brunner told NBC 4 on Wednesday that her office is looking into several issues within Franklin County, including ballots that did not match in the November election and voting machines that could not be audited for accuracy.

Related previous BRAD BLOG coverage of Damschroder:

  • 7/16/05: Franklin County's Damschroder 'Accepts Bribe' from Diebold Lobbyist
  • 7/20/05: Damschroder 'Docked' for Accepting $10,000 Check from Diebold Rep
  • 1/3/08: OH SoS Announces Paper Ballots for All; Damschroder Objects
  • 1/3/08: Damschroder Deputy Pleads Guilty to 'Profiting from Contracts for Voting Machines'
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    Brunner's New Directive Also Requires Such Ballots Actually Be Counted Before Unofficial Results are Released to the Public, Media
    Concerns Remain About Centralized County Tabulation, However...
    By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2008 11:01am PT  

    Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner issued a short, unambiguous and to-the-point directive [PDF] last night, to all 56 counties in Ohio still employing unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting machines, that they must make a paper ballot available at the polling place to any voter who wishes to vote on one.

    Brava!

    Her directive even goes so far as to require those paper ballots actually be counted "on election night as part of the unofficial canvass."

    Brava again! The requirement to actually count those paper ballots before unofficial results are release to the public and media is a key component that has been missing from the various federal legislative efforts, including Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) latest bill as currently drafted, as well as his previous one (HR811), that would begin to put paper back into the polling place.

    Every state in the country should follow suit! As well, we recommend that, at the very least, Brunner issue a further directive that signs shall be conspicuously and clearly posted in each polling place to inform voters of their right to vote on paper, if they wish. Better still, a directive that requires every voter to be asked by voting officials, before they vote, if they wish to vote on paper. We have previously recommended such a "paper or plastic?" requirement for any jurisdiction in America that still allows for the use of horrible DRE systems (including those with or without a useless, so-called "paper trail").

    Until then, Democracy advocates in the Buckeye state will need to launch an important, and potentially expensive (but crucial), education campaign to inform voters of their right to vote on paper!

    With the very good general news from Brunner, let's hope she soon realizes the underlying reasons for serious concerns about, and the great dangers of, not counting and posting precinct voting results at the precinct, before they are sent back to county headquarters for central tabulation.

    Brunner's recent independent testing of Ohio's e-voting systems (known as EVEREST) led her to recommend the abolishment of all DRE systems in the state, although she did not issue a binding directive to that end. At the same time, her recommendation to ban precinct-based counting, in favor of central-based counting, has drawn a great deal of criticism from Election Integrity advocates. Rightly so, in our opinion, even if she came to her recommendation through well-meaning advice from some of the folks who advised on the study, including computer security experts, and election officials of the sort who would be inappropriately entrusted with complete control over that dangerously centralized counting process.

    (You can read our direct challenges to Brunner on that point, and her explanations for the decision, in our recent exclusive interview with her, just after the release of EVEREST.)

    One quick note to Mark Niquette and Columbus Dispatch concerning their coverage of this issue in this morning's paper...

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

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    Paper That Originally Reported Disturbing Matter Asks for Fresh Tips, Notes SoS Brunner Claims Concern About Situation as 2008 Elections Loom
    FLASHBACK: Details of the Warren County Lockdown as Reported in 2004...
    By Brad Friedman on 12/22/2007 3:39pm PT  

    The Cincinnati Enquirer, the paper that originally reported on the still-unresolved case of Warren County, Ohio's tabulation room lockdown on Election Night in 2004, has taken note of the comments made by OH Sec. of State, Jennifer Brunner in The BRAD BLOG's exclusive interview with her last week.

    They highlight our exchange with the Secretary, concerning the lack of investigation, by her office, or any other, into the specious "Homeland Security warning" that county officials claimed had forced them to impose an unprecedented lock out, of both the media and public, denying them the ability to observe the tabulation in the counting room on Election Night. Warren County was one of the last counties in the Buckeye State to report their results in 2004 and went overwhelmingly for George W. Bush.

    Brunner told us during our interview last week that she found the issue "troubling," and said that she still "can't find any justification for it."

    "We'll look again at that situation and see what the best course of action is to prevent it from happening in the future," she promised us.

    We argued that the best course of action is to bring accountability in order to send the message that such behavior will not be tolerated again.

    At this time, the issue remains uninvestigated, the FBI and Dept. of Homeland Security deny issuing any such warnings to Warren or any other county in Ohio, and many of the county officials responsible for the unprecedented lockdown in 2004, in violation of state law, as well as the same county prosecutor, all remain in charge as another Presidential Election is set to begin in 2008.

    Two of the Enquirer's original reports on the disturbing matter are posted here and here.

    A very quick review of the reportage at the time, naming the names of those who were complicit, and the federal agencies that denied any such threat, follows...

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

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    Jennifer Brunner Responds to Kudos, Criticism Following State's Massive and Disturbing E-Voting Assessment
    'The last thing I want for my state, is to be looked at as a pariah, like it was for 2004'
    By Brad Friedman on 12/20/2007 1:18pm PT  

    -- By Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

    The BRAD BLOG spoke on Wednesday, by telephone, with Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, for an exclusive in-depth interview following the release of her state's unprecedented "Evaluation & Validation of Election-Related Equipment, Standards & Testing" (EVEREST) review of e-voting systems.

    While the bi-partisan, multi-teamed, scientific testing carried out, by a unique combination of both corporate and academic computer scientists and security experts, has won praise from most, if not all (see, predictably, here and here) quarters, the specific recommendations for changes to Ohio's voting system in its wake, as made by Brunner, have garnered a fair amount of criticism and concern from Election Integrity and Administration experts. Indeed, The BRAD BLOG has reported a number of our own concerns about those recommendations, as detailed last Friday upon the release of the report.

    One thing is clear: the view from EVEREST is a mountain of "critical security failures" in Ohio's electronic voting systems --- the very same systems which will also be in use in other states and counties all across the U.S. in 2008. The question now is what can be done to mitigate the chances of yet another Ohio election meltdown next year, given the short time before before the state's primary in March, and the rapidly-approaching November general election when many eyes, no doubt, will again be on the Buckeye State.

    In our interview --- the first of its kind to be published post-EVEREST --- we challenged the state's new Democratic Secretary, a former state judge, to answer to a number of growing concerns about her '08 recommendations, and whether she may be open to changing them in light of concerns. As well, we asked her about the criticism leveed against her by on-the-ground citizen Election Integrity advocates in the state, who have been critical of her for not having done enough to bring accountability following the J. Kenneth Blackwell regime, under whom Ohio's election system was so infamously gamed in 2004.

    Our in-depth, exclusive interview with Ohio's new, and already embattled Secretary of State, follows in full...

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

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    Anonymous Blogger Offers Evidence-Free Claim That 'Left-Wing Activist' Academics and SoS Brunner 'Cooked Up' Report Results Showing All Buckeye State E-Voting Systems Vulnerable to Failure, Fraud, Easy Tampering...
    By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2007 2:21pm PT  

    The anti-democracy faction of Ohio's GOP party launched an extraordinary assault on the state's elected Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, following the release (BRAD BLOG's full coverage here) of her landmark, independent study of e-voting systems on Friday.

    Shamelessly (an inaccurately) writing on the Ohio Republican Party's blogsite, an unnamed writer posted the following opening to a critique of the $1.9 million bi-partisan study [strikethrough included in the original]:

    Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner found some left-wing activists academics to issue an expensive taxpayer-funded "study" criticizing Ohio's election system.

    "Left-wing activists"? Incredible. And wrong. And slimy enough on its own --- never mind the rest of the blog item, which gets even worse, as posted by an unnamed election terrorist from the Ohio GOP --- to merit an immediate apology and retraction by the Ohio Republican party, along with the outing and firing of whoever the official was who wrote it...

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

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    Result of State's First Ever Testing of E-Voting Systems Find All Systems 'Vulnerable' to Manipulation and Theft by 'Simple Techniques'
    SoS Brunner Recommends Paper Ballots Optically-Scanned at County Headquarters for Buckeye State...
    By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2007 2:35pm PT  

    The results of new, unprecedented testing of e-voting machines in the state of Ohio are in, and the findings mirror the landmark results of a similar test carried out earlier this year in California.

    "Ohio's electronic voting systems have 'critical security failures' which could impact the integrity of elections in the Buckeye State," says Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner in a statement which accompanied the release of the report today on the SoS' website. Brunner, a Democrat, was joined in her press conference (video now here), called today to discuss the results of the testing, by Ohio's Republican House Speaker, Jon Husted.

    Brunner is calling for a ban on all Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems in the state, along with a ban on precinct-based optical-scan paper based systems, charging that the central counting of ballots at the county would eliminate "points of entry creating unnecessary voting system risk."

    The State's bi-partisan "Evaluation & Validation of Election-Related Equipment, Standards & Testing" (EVEREST) report finds, as did California's study, as did virtually every other independent test of such systems, that violating the security and manipulating the "federal approved" electronic voting systems, is a breeze.

    "To put it in every-day terms," Brunner said, "the tools needed to compromise an accurate vote count could be as simple as tampering with the paper audit trail connector or using a magnet and a personal digital assistant."

    "The results underscore the need for a fundamental change in the structure of Ohio’s election system to ensure ballot and voting system security while still making voting convenient and accessible to all Ohio voters," said Brunner, who has come under fire from Election Integrity advocates for failing to act quickly enough concerning the voting systems to be used in next year's crucial election, as well as for failing to seek accountability for the exceedingly well-documented and now-infamous charges of election fraud and voter suppression in the 2004 Presidential election under her predecessor J. Kenneth Blackwell.

    While the effort is long overdue in Ohio, actions being taken by Brunner, in light of the test results, are less stringent than those taken by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen after tests in her state. Brunner's recommendations, some of them quite puzzling, are likely to come under some fire in the bargain, from Election Integrity advocates in Ohio and elsewhere...

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

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    Diebold Fails Again, as County Officials See Potential Disaster on Horizon in Upcoming Presidential Primary...
    By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2007 9:50am PT  

    Diebold touch-screen voting disasters continue in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. When will the new SoS Jennifer Brunner simply pull this plug on this entire mess?

    From the Cleveland Plain Dealer...

    A recount after next year's presidential election could mean disaster for Cuyahoga County based on problems discovered Tuesday with paper records produced by electronic voting machines.

    More than 20 percent of the printouts from touch-screen voting machines were unreadable and had to be reprinted. Board of Elections workers found the damaged ballots when they conducted a recount Tuesday of two races, which involved only 17 of the county's 1,436 precincts.

    "If it is as close as it's been for the last two presidential elections and it's that close again in 2008, God help us if we have to depend on Cuyahoga County as the deciding factor with regard to making the decision on who the next president of the United States is," said County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, a longtime opponent of the county's touch-screen voting system.
    ...
    "This is very much a cause for concern," board member Inajo Davis Chappell said. "All the technology issues pose a challenge to us, especially given the volume of voters we expect in the primary."
    ...
    The county still doesn't know why its vote-counting software crashed twice election night. An investigation into the software problem could begin next week, once the county's recounts are finished.
    ...
    "I wish those paper trails would come out pristine --- and they don't, and they're not going to," [Board of Elections Director Jane] Platten said. "We're going to have to deal with it again."

    While the county was able to re-print paper trails on these machines to be counted in the recount, the practice completely defeats the point of such paper trails in the first place, since they are supposed to be verified by the voter (even though we know they usually aren't, and even when they are, voters fail to notice vote-flips).

    If the paper trails are re-printed from the internal machine numbers, which can't possibly be verified by the voter, there is absolutely no point in even having such paper trails at all.

    So again we ask, when is SoS Jennifer Brunner going to simply declare these machines uncertified all together. When will the rest of the election officials in the country declare same? It looks like it won't be before the 2008 elections begin. So...here we go again...

    (Hat-tip Ed Still's VoteLaw. For much more continuing, detailed, on-the-ground, first-hand reports on these various latest disasters from the counting room in Cuyahoga, please see citizen Adele Eisner's top-notch blog coverage!)

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    Five False Voter Signatures Gathered for 75 Cents a Piece in 2006...And Why It Matters in 2008 (And in Ohio!)
    By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2007 5:32pm PT  

    California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's Election Fraud Unit has just announced that felony charges have been filed against a Sacramento woman who appears to have forged the names of five voters while gathering signatures for a 2006 ballot initiative.

    The initiative was sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which hired the woman to gather signatures for a petition to get the initiative onto the ballot. She earned 75 cents per signature, netting her a total of $3.75 from the allegedly fraudulent signatures, according to the press release just sent to The BRAD BLOG by the SoS's office. (Complete press release posted at end of article.)

    The signatures were excluded before the initiative qualified for the ballot, which eventually passed during the June 2006 election.

    So why all the effort and resources expended to bring felony charges for such a paltry sum, for an election that's already over, particularly when the signatures weren't even used?

    The reason, as we see it, is two-fold. And there are lessons to be learned from both explanations. And not just in California where powerful GOP operatives are hoping to gain enough signatures to put an Electoral College busting measure on the June 2008 ballot in desperate and cynical hopes of splitting the Golden State's electoral vote on a proportional basis in order to game the 2008 Presidential Election.

    The new Secretary of State of Ohio would do well to take away the important lesson, once again from her sister in Sacramento...

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

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    Is Ken Blackwell's Rape of American Democracy - as Enabled by the Corporate Mainstream Media - Now a Full Fait Accompli?
    By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2007 1:34pm PT  

    Blogged by Brad from somewhere in TX...

    We've been largely off the grid for the last 24, and will likely continue to be over the next two or three days. At least. (On the road, with frustratingly spotty net access and several article deadlines looming.) So for now, we're happy to point over to AlterNet's coverage of the story listeners may have heard us cursorily break during a phone call from Ohio's Paddy Schaeffer on the air the Friday before last while we were Guest Hosting the Peter B. Collins Show from Houston.

    Here's the lede...

    Two-thirds of Ohio counties have destroyed or lost their 2004 presidential ballots and related election records, according to letters from county election officials to the Ohio Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner.

    The lost records violate Ohio law, which states federal election records must be kept for 22 months after Election Day, and a U.S. District Court order issued last September that the 2004 ballots be preserved while the court hears a civil rights lawsuit alleging voter suppression of African-American voters in Columbus.

    The destruction of the election records also frustrates efforts by the media and historians to determine the accuracy of Ohio's 2004 vote count, because in county after county the key evidence needed to understand vote count anomalies apparently no longer exists.

    "The extent of the destruction of records is consistent with the covering up of the fraud that we believe occurred in the presidential election," said Cliff Arnebeck, a Columbus attorney representing the King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association, which filed voter suppression suit. "We're in the process of addressing where to go from here with the Ohio Attorney General's office."

    Read Steve Rosenfeld's excellent report in full for much more detail and reminders of the raft of apparently fraudulent cases which these missing ballots may have helped to explain one way or another. Such as the "10,000 voters from several Bible belt counties who voted for Bush and voted in favor of gay marriage, if the results are true," along with the "dozen rural counties, [where] virtually unknown Democrats at the bottom of the ballot received more votes than Kerry."

    As well, we're given a few jarring reminders of where else these missing ballots might otherwise have filled in so many still-unexplained gaps (all, of course, completely ignored by the corporate mainstream media for years)...

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

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    New Charges Announced Against Chair of BoE Who Refused to Resign: He Allegedly Ordered $15k PR Contract Awarded to 'GOP Spokesperson'
    By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2007 9:36pm PT  

    Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner cleaned out the last dead-ender from the Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) Board of Elections today. That would be the chairperson of the BoE and the head of Ohio's Republican Party, Bob Bennett (see previous coverage here.)

    Bennett was the last of the four directors of the Board of Elections (supposedly two Democrats and two Republicans) to leave the board of the state's most Democratic-leaning county. The other three resigned after requested by Brunner in the wake of the convictions of two Cuyahoga Elections Officials for rigging the 2004 Presidential Election recount, a raft of disastrously run elections and a new criminal investigation into malfeasance at the county election board. The new investigation includes the early printing of absentee ballot results and an unexplained network cable left attached to the central tabulator overnight.

    According to a statement posted to the SoS website, Brunner notified Bennett today about his suspension in writing, and has also announced yet another new charge against him:

    "The Secretary of State's office will be working with the current and emerging leadership of the board to develop a plan improving, with the assistance of the Secretary of State's office, the board's operations and service to the citizens of Cuyahoga County. To further these efforts, I believe it to be in the best interests of all involved to suspend your participation as a member of the board," said Brunner. The notice of suspension pointed to the reasons addressed in the complaint filed against the Cuyahoga Board of Elections members by Brunner on March 23, 2007.

    Brunner cites an additional reason for the suspension involving instructions to former Executive Director Michael Vu to award a contract to a consultant without Board approval.

    Bennett instructed Vu to award a second contract to David Hopcraft in the amount of $14,750 on or about February 26, 2007, for public relations services to be paid for by public dollars by the board of elections. The Dayton Daily News on March 26, 2007 reported Mr. Hopcraft to be a "GOP spokesperson."

    Accountability to continue in Ohio...

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    Another Resignation Leaves Only the Chair of Both the Ohio Republican Party and Cuyahoga's Election Board After SoS Demands All Resign in State's Most Democratic County...
    By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2007 7:36pm PT  

    One more of the Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), Ohio, Board of Elections directors, Republican Sally Florkiewicz, has stepped down this afternoon. Her resignation leaves just one member, the board's chairman, Bob Bennett, left to fight the demand by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner that all board members resign in the wake of a years-long string of elections disasters, two criminal convictions related to the recount of the 2004 Presidential Election, and a new criminal investigation which was launched last week into newly-revealed administrative election improprieties and irregularities in the county.

    The resignation of Florkiewicz from the board of Ohio's most Democratic county leaves only Bennett --- who is the chair of both the Election Board and the state's Republican party --- to fight the order by Brunner. A hearing will be held next Monday concerning the complaint filed along with the SoS's resignation demands, after which Brunner is free to fire Bennett directly, according to state law. As ever, the members of Ohio's supposedly "bi-partisan" boards of election have always served at the pleasure of the SoS, who, for years, was the highly partisan right-winger and co-chair of Ohio's Bush/Cheney 2004 committee, J. Kenneth Blackwell.

    Brunner replaced Blackwell last November after the former SoS was thoroughly rejected by Ohio voters in his bid for Governor.

    "Regrettably, the lone board member who has refused to resign will face removal," Brunner said in a statement posted to the SoS website late this afternoon. As to today's resignation, she added, "It's unfortunate that Ms. Florkiewicz was unable to resign until faced with a complaint to remove her from the board."

    While the board's two Democratic members resigned last week not long after receiving Brunner's request, an official in Ohio closely following the matter has told The BRAD BLOG that Florkiewicz exited her post today with anything but grace.

    "The Secretary of State has decided to use the Cuyahoga County Board of Election to advance a partisan agenda," Florkiewicz contended in her resignation letter, "and I am not willing to be used as a political statement."

    But one of our sources wonders how the request to remove "2 D's and 2 R's demonstrates a partisan agenda"...

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

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