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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2008 4:50pm PT  

While fighting to try to ensure that as many voters as possible actually see their votes counted, and counted accurately, from the November 4th election, I haven't had much, if any, time to really pause to reflect on what happened a week ago last Tuesday and what it all meant.

While Elizabeth Hasselbeck's response to Obama's win (she had supported McCain) the next morning was both gracious and worth noting, Sherri Shepard's response that followed, tells the real story of what just happened. It had me in tears even today. From the November 5th, 2008 episode of ABC's The View...


Hasselbeck (2:50)...

Shepard (2:25)...

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, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details on that right here...
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By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2008 4:27pm PT  

This just in from Alaska, where thousands of new ballots continue to be found each day, since it was first reported that turnout in 2008 was 11% lower than in 2004. Thousands of ballots, nearly a third of them, remain uncounted nearly a week after the election. Their numbers could explain the strange results so far in races --- such as those of the felonious Sen. Ted Stevens (R) and the under-investigation Rep. Don Young (R) --- for which pollsters had predicted decisive losses for the Republicans.

Even with the newly acknowledged ballots and even with Alaska's once-popular Gov. Sarah Palin and popular Sen. Barack Obama both on the Presidential ballot this year, turnout numbers still remain slightly below those from 2004. The Anchorage Daily News, with numbers somewhat out of date from those now posted below, called it all "puzzling" over the weekend, and pointed out much of what we've detailed here in previous posts.

The following updated numbers come from the DNC's Alaska Communications Director, Kay Brown late this afternoon [emphasis in the original]...

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

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Turnout Rate Reported as Lowest Ever in State, Down 11% From '04 Even With Both Palin and Obama on the Ballot
Hanging in the Balance in the Diebold State: Felon Ted Stevens' U.S. Senate Race, Corrupt Don Young's House Race & Much More...
By Shannyn Moore on 11/6/2008 1:18pm PT  

Guest blogged by Shannyn Moore

[Ed Note: Now updated. See details at end of article.]

ANCHORAGE - Something stinks. Not just an ordinary low tide smell. Not like something you’d blame on the dog. It smells like an infection. For me to plug my nose, I’d have to overlook some curious facts.

In Alaska, more people voted for George W. Bush in 2004 than for Sarah Palin on Tuesday despite an identical 61-36 margin of victory. Yes. Only four years ago 54,304 Alaskans got off their sofas and voted for Bush, but decided to sit home and not vote for Palin in 2008.

In turn, I have to ignore the 30,520 Alaskans who felt progressive enough in 2004 to vote for John Kerry, but weren’t inspired enough to get out and vote for Barack Obama.

I would have to glance past the 1,700% increase in the Democratic caucus in February, the 20,991 newly registered voters, and the three largest political rallies in Alaska’s history.

I would also have to forget the people I stood in a long line with to early vote. It would be helpful not to know every other presidential election since Alaska began keeping records has had a larger turn out than the one we just had with our own Governor on the ticket. Try not to remember 12.4% more Alaskans showed up for the August primary as compared to four years ago, before the Palin nomination. Don’t think about the Lower 49’s record voter turn out this year either. Try to delete the memory file, though difficult, that 80% of us approved of Sarah Palin just two months ago.

And as if all of that doesn't stink enough, we still don't know who won the Ted Stevens U.S. Senate race, the Don Young U.S. House, or even the race for Mayor of Anchorage and most curiously, why turnout this year was down 11% from 2004, even with Alaska's own previously-popular Governor on the ticket, and passions for Obama here and everywhere else, extraordinarily high...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2008 1:56pm PT  

That's not change we can believe in, my friends...

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ABC CALLS IT FOR OBAMA AT 8:00 PM PST
By Jim Cirile on 11/4/2008 8:06pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jim Cirile

ABC could barely wait until the polls closed to announce Obama will carry the day with 284 electoral votes. Obama is projected to carry California, Virginia, Washington and Hawaii, putting him over the top.

The era of Bush is over. Thank God.

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Dems Gain in House and Senate - Can McCain Still Win?...
By Jim Cirile on 11/4/2008 7:24pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Jim Cirile

As of this minute CNN is projecting 207 electoral votes for Obama and 135 for McCain. 270 is the magic number to win. Once Obama scores California's 55 electoral votes, that puts him at 262--8 votes away. In other words, California plus pretty much any other state (okay, almost) and Obama wins.

Can McCain still pull this out?

We're watching with trepidation as McCain's numbers have been creeping upwards while Obama has been holding steady at 207 for some time. Of course, here on the West Coast the polls haven't even closed yet. But still, we here at The BRAD BLOG know from experience not to count our proverbial chickens. Frankly, I can't see how Mac can pull it out. But if there's a will, there's a way, and there certainly is a lot of will on the part of those who would do anything to keep the military industrial complex fully funded.

CNN also projects the Democrats now have 54 seats in the Senate, with another ten still in play. In the House, Dems have won 133 seats to 83 for the Republicans.

More breaking news to come, stand by...

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Presidential Race Missing on Ballots; Machines Go Down; Votes Not Recorded; Printers Jam
Attorneys Decline to Take Action to Remove Machines From Service, Ensure Paper Ballots for Voters...
By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2008 7:31pm PT  

Wide-spread voting machine failures have been reported to the Obama/DNC election protection hotline in Nevada since early voting began more than a week ago in the state, The BRAD BLOG has learned. All voters who vote in person in the crucial battleground state are forced to cast their votes on 100% unverifiable Sequoia EDGE touch-screen voting machines with the VeriVote "paper trail" printer add-on.

Attorneys monitoring the incident reports coming in to the hotline have taken no action in regard to removing the failed machines from service, despite reports of the presidential race not appearing at all on some ballots; voters having problems selecting their preferred candidates; machines not starting up at all; "paper trail" printers jamming or running out of paper, and; a number of machines at a number of sites which refuse to work at all.

And this is just during early voting. A number of those startling reports are posted at the end of this article...

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

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Still in Denial, Obama's Attorney Describes Serious Concerns About Voting Machines and More as 'Hyperbole'
Argues 'More Votes Lost From Incompetence Than Fraud or Oppression'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/2/2008 4:14pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

Why corporate mainstream journalists have a need to identify everyone as either "liberal" or "conservative" is beyond me. But setting that aside, of far more import is the substantive information in Washington Independent journalist Jonathon E. Kaplan's report today featuring lead Obama attorney Bob Baeur's attempt to defend against my fervent critique of the campaign's woefully inadequate and dangerously misguided efforts in dealing with the massive voting machine problems occurring around the country since early voting began (and, of course, well before even that)...

[Note 11/3/08: An updated version of the article, now posted here, scales by on the "liberal" thing, after I sent a gentle complaint to Kaplan.]

The article does nothing to assuage my concerns about the Dems' self-proclaimed "behind the scenes" efforts on these matters. Bauer was still unable to offer a shred of evidence that the campaign or the DNC has taken such concerns about the use of wholly unverifiable voting systems --- and worse, allowing and actually encouraging election officials to access those machines during the election, at the time they are most vulnerable to tampering, for "recalibration" --- with the gravity the issue deserves.

Incredibly (though no longer surprisingly), the Democrats persist with their tortured logic that taking action on problems with voting machines will somehow depress the electorate, before quickly changing the subject to concerns about Republican chicanery on the front-end voter suppression stuff.

As an Election Integrity advocate recently noted rather eloquently, the front-end voter suppression issues and the back-end voting machine failures are two sides of the same coin. You can't worry about one without worrying about the other. The Dems, unfortunately, are still worried about only one side of the coin, as Kaplan's report demonstrates all too clearly (yet again) today...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2008 7:54pm PT  

After all these years, believe it or not, it was my first appearance on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! this morning. I was happy to appear along with my friend Harvey Wasserman of the great Columbus Free Press to discuss our many concerns about Election Day 2008, touch-screen vote-flipping, voter roll purging, and the woeful effort by the DNC and Obama Campaign to take steps to correct these enormous problems. So happy, in fact, that I almost didn't mind waking up at 4am to do the show. Almost. I hope you'll not mind the fuzzy webcam I had to use from my dark, pre-dawn cave this morning during my appearance.

The video follows in three parts, the text transcript is here...


Part 1: Harvey Wasserman (9:53 mins)
Part 2: Brad Friedman (10:55 mins)
Part 3: Brad & Harvey (10:58 mins)


The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system, 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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Dems Claim 'Behind-the-Scenes' Effort, But No Evidence Offered to Support It...
By Brad Friedman on 10/26/2008 8:01pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

We've been reporting for the past week on what we see as the dismal failure of the DNC/Obama's much-vaunted team of "thousands of attorneys" ready to pounce on any reported problems in the electoral system around the country. In one article after another, we've reported here on votes being flipped on completely unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting machines from Democratic candidates over to Republicans and others. We've so far reported on that occurring in 4 different states, and have since received reports from at least two more on different DRE systems doing the same thing, which we're trying to confirm and/or report here as soon as possible.

We've had to report on Democrats in PA being sued by the NAACP, because neither the DNC nor the Obama campaign was willing to stand up for voters to demand that emergency paper ballots be made available to voters in PA before every machine in a precinct breaks down, as decreed a month ago from PA's Democratic Sec. of the Commonwealth.

We haven't even had time to report that the Republicans have attempted to intervene in the case, to take the side of the PA Democrats to keep paper ballots from being given to voters. (Republicans' Motion to Intervene here [PDF] Note: it's incorrectly labeled as a "motion to intervene on behalf of plaintiffs," but it's actually a "motion to intervene on behalf of defendants," the Democrats.) How far are the state Dems off the mark, when Republicans agree with them on a matter like this? And yet, Obama and the DNC have done nothing over the past month to fight on behalf of the voters who, as we saw during the Primary mess in PA earlier this year, will surely find themselves unable to cast votes at all, in thousands of cases, due to machines that simply do not work.

We've taken no joy in any of that criticism, or in our assertion that the effort appears to be a slightly beefed-up version of John Kerry's 2004 effort. But as an independent election integrity advocate and journalist, supporting the voters rather than any of the Presidential candidates, we've had little choice.

But now, it seems, the Obama/DNC has finally come out of hiding to share what they are doing. Unfortunately, they just can't tell us what that is...

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

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State After State, ES&S iVotronics Are Flipping Democratic Votes to Republican!
What You Can Do About It, And Where the Hell Are Those 'Thousands' of Obama/DNC Attorneys?...
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2008 5:04pm PT  

This is just getting worse and worse. Now it's happening in Texas. (And in MO, if you read to the end of the article). And the vaunted "thousands of attorneys" from the Obama campaign and the DNC are still nowhere to be found.

With every incident so far reported of touch-screen vote-flipping during early voting in this year's general election --- from county to county in WV and in Nashville, TN) --- it's been the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machine that has failed, flipping votes from one candidate to another not chosen by the voter. In most every instances [see update below], it's been an attempted Democratic vote, flipped to a Republican, or another party.

These are the same machines that lost 18,000 votes in Democratic-leaning Sarasota County in the 2006 U.S. House Race for Katherine Harris' old seat. The Democrat, Christine Jennings, was declared the loser to Republican Vern Buchanan (whose own wife had trouble voting for him that day), by just 369 votes. Several academic studies, and even the GAO, have been unable to rule out either tampering or hardware/software error for the disappeared 18,000 votes.

As we wrote earlier this week, after there was finally one report of a vote flipping from Democratic to Republican in TN (a very rare instance, btw), these machines need to be taken out of service now, impounded and quarantined immediately, and every voter needs to be given a paper ballot where these machines are currently being used. Voters who have such problems need to inform other voters waiting in line which machine should not be used (and we offer other tips below, as well).

[Update: The rare vote-flip from Republican to Democratic now seems to have been a hoax carried out by local Republicans, according to a TN election integrity activist who did some digging and reporting. Details here...]

The latest reports today of ES&S vote-flipping come from Palo Pinto County, TX, where two voters --- one of them an alternate election judge and office manager of the Palo Pinto County Democratic Headquarters --- saw straight-ticket Democratic votes flipped to straight-ticket Republican votes. Two times for the first person, and three times for the alternate election judge!

The report is a doozy...

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

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NAACP, Voting Rights Coalition Demand Paper Ballots If 'Majority' of Voting Machines Fail
Sec. of the Commonwealth Had Previously Decreed Paper Only Necessary if ALL Voting Machines Break Down in a Precinct...
By Brad Friedman on 10/23/2008 2:47pm PT  

Finally! A lawsuit [PDF] has finally been filed today in federal District Court in Pennsylvania, against the Democratic Secretary of the Commonwealth, Pedro A. Cortes and the Commissioner of the state's Election Commission, Chet Harhut, over Cortes' recent directive that paper ballots only need be given out to voters in the event that every voting machine in a precinct breaks down.

That stunning decree was in opposition to PA's state law which allows election officials the discretion to give emergency paper ballots to voters if even a single machine breaks down in a precinct.

That neither Obama nor the DNC have said a word about this in the month or so since Cortes issued his directive has been maddening, and should be an outrage to voters of all parties in the Keystone State, sure to be another battleground state this November. The lawsuit was finally filed today by the state's NAACP in concert with the 866-MYVOTE1 Election Reform Network.

While the complaint should call for paper ballots to be made available to any voter who wishes one, or, at a minimum, to be given out if just one machine breaks down in a precinct, or even if the wait time in line is longer than 30 minutes, unfortunately, the suit calls very conservatively for emergency paper ballots to be given out if 50% or more of the voting machines in a precinct break down. But at least it's something, we guess, particularly in lieu of Obama and/or the DNC taking any action at all here, given they have the most to lose by the ridiculous action from state Democrats.

Pennsylvania uses unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) machines across most of the state, and saw machine failure after failure, as we documented in detail during their April primary this year. The failures resulted in untold numbers of disenfranchised voters, as noted in news reports, and logged by calls to the 866-MYVOTE1 hotline...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2008 4:26pm PT  

Still running from one thing to another today, so only the briefest coverage here for now, on two very important points (and even victories!) today...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/16/2008 11:49am PT  

Yes, the photo is real. From Reuters, at the end of last night's debate. John Aravosis has a caption contest going on.

Depending on how things go on November 4th, this photo may eventually serve history as the perfect encapsulation of the entirety of the 2008 general election campaign, methinks.

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An Open Thread...
[UPDATED With Post-Debate Statement from ACORN on McCain's Comments]
By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2008 5:45pm PT  

For the last time this year, in theory, a Presidential Debate open thread. Share your thoughts during and after in comments below.

I'll be on WBAI/Pacifica (99.5FM in NYC, streaming here) right after the debate, for post-game analysis. Listen in, if ya like. Will try to follow comments here even while on air...

POST-DEBATE UPDATE: ACORN issues a fairly scathing press release in response to McCain's comments about them group during tonight's debate. Their statement follows below...

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

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