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...
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'...
What's perhaps most interesting here is what isn't mentioned in this story, as written on the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" blog. First, here's their entire blog item...
The owner of a voter-registration company pleaded guilty Tuesday to voter-registration fraud, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Laguna Beach resident Mark Jacoby, who collects signatures for petition drives, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to three years' probation and 30 days of service with the California Department of Transportation.
Jacoby, owner of Young Political Majors, registered to vote at Los Angeles addresses that were not his own. State law requires petition circulators to be qualified voters. Jacoby will also be required to show proof he is registered at his correct address.
And what they didn't bother to mention in that story?...
On Tuesday, April 21, we gave Humboldt County, CA Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich a public records request for the two letters she read aloud (but declined to otherwise disclose) at a March 24 public meeting of the ad-hoc Humboldt Election Advisory Committee.
As The BRAD BLOG previously reported the two letters were from Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems). The primary purpose of both letters was to terminate all contracts between Premier and the county. The letters were dated March 17 and 18, the day of, and the day after, the CA Secretary of State's hearing regarding serious flaws found in Diebold/Premier's GEMS vote-tabulation system.
At that hearing, a Diebold/Premier spokesperson admitted that all versions of their GEMS systems --- as used in 20 counties in CA, and 34 states across the nation --- feature such flaws. Some of those flaws, including the wholesale deletion of ballots without notice to the system operator, were discovered to the surprise and dismay of Crnich and volunteers working on the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project following the certification of the November 2008 election. Crnich was subsequently forced to re-certify the election with new results. [Disclosure: Parke Bostrom is one of the volunteers on the Humboldt ETP.]
Last Tuesday, at the next monthly meeting of the ad-hoc committee, Crnich presented copies of the two one-page letters and allowed examination of the originals (copies of which are posted at the end of this article.) The letters' legal language is very plain, straightforward and troubling. The contracts' termination clauses are being executed, and those clauses specify the necessary steps and required time frames...no matter how it may adversely affect upcoming elections in Humboldt County...
Guest Blogged by Parke Bostrom of the Humboldt Transparency Project
At the California Secretary of State's public hearing regarding the possible decertification of Diebold's tabulator systems, GEMS v1.18.19, in relation to the "Deck Zero" covert deletion of 197 ballots in the November election, the audit log's magical "clear" button, and the GEMS audit logs failing to report when ballots were manually deleted by the operator, Diebold/Premier representatives tried to shift blame for the 197 deleted ballots onto the Humboldt County, CA, Registrar of Voters, Carolyn Crnich.
Crnich responded, "If you're saying that your system needs to be checked every damn time we turn it on, I agree with you."
Crnich's use of an expletive seems to have pushed Diebold/Premier's legal counsel over the edge, causing them to reach for and firmly press the "nuke" button in response, by petulantly informing the county of termination of licensing for the use of any of the company's products.
Several days after returning to Humboldt, following the hearing in Sacramento, Crnich received two letters from Premier. Both letters arrived in a single envelope, but unlike Premier Khrushchev's two letters to President Kennedy, Crnich did not get to choose which letter to respond to....
Disgraced former Ohio Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell believes he's qualified to be the next Chairman of the RNC and is in the process of pitching himself to that end.
Among the qualifications offered by Blackwell --- who may someday find himself facing conspiracy charges for his part in overseeing the criminally mis-administered 2004 Presidential Election in the Buckeye State --- is the rather imaginative claim that he "prevented voter fraud from overturning the results of a U.S. presidential election and fought the left in federal court more times than you can imagine."
In terms of future plans for the RNC, the one-time-Democrat-turned-unapologetically-far-rightwinger says: "Voter registration must be a major emphasis for the Republican Party. Of course, we start at a competitive disadvantage with the Democrats and ACORN since we are strictly limited to registering people who actually exist."
This has got to be a joke. I'm afraid, however, that it isn't.
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...
Actor Tim Robbins, one of a few who've been very outspoken about election integrity concerns, was told he was no longer on the rolls yesterday in NYC, at the polling place where he'd voted for "more than a decade".
A "ruckus" reportedly ensued as Robbins fought to not have to vote on a provisional ballot, and eventually was forced to go see a judge in order to get to cast his vote.
Says Robbins, in the short video below, as he was in the process of getting the needed paperwork to fight to cast his vote in America: "This is what you have to do to vote... I had to go down to see a judge... My name was not on the roll, and I'm not the only one. According to workers, 30 people in 5 hours had been taking off the rolls. You can do the math on that. 6 per hour, per district across America..."
P.S. Note from Brad: Much to get caught up on today --- from the Al Franken mess in MN, questions about the Prop 8 results in CA, about Ted Stevens' Diebold re-election in AK, MO's close race for President and much more --- even as I've got a phalanx of promised media interviews, etc. to get through all day. Remember, most of the problems from Election Day don't begin to reveal themselves until the days following the election. So much catchup to come soon. My thanks for your patience, and for both Jim Cirile and Des' work in keeping this joint up to date-ish as I've been otherwise unable to do much BRAD BLOGGING over the last 24 or so...
UPDATE 12:20pm PT:The Nation'sJohn Nichols notes the "Orwellian twist", given Robbins' appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher just over a week ago, urging people to fight for their right to vote not on a provisional ballot if they found themselves purged from the rolls on Election Day...
Minutes ago, on CNN, they reported that "mechanical problems" are their quickest growing category of problems coming in to their hotline. "They hadn't even registered on our ticker previously," said the host. Perhaps because the Obama/DNC campaigns didn't tell them about all of the problems they've been finding?
A press release issued from 866-MYVOTE1 and CNN...at 9:30am PT reports on an alarming number of calls coming from "key states, like Pennsylvania, Virgian and Florida," And yes, as predicted, problems in Philadelphia where "there are extensive reports of machines simply not working." A perfectly predictable issue, that this horrifying chief of Philly elections didn't seem to care about just days ago.
[Ed Note: Please "Reddit" this one up, as Republicans have been trying to down rate it over there!]
A devastating article on Sunday destroys the GOP's claims of "voter fraud" as a member of McCain's own (amusingly named) "Honest and Open Election Committee" has admitted that Republicans are unable to cite a single "documented instance of voting fraud that resulted from a phony registration form."
The fact-based comments were made despite the once-honorable Republican nominee's dangerously specious claims during the final Presidential debate, that the ginned-up "crisis" was "one of the greatest frauds in voter history" and was "maybe destroying the fabric of democracy."
Looks like someone in his own campaign failed to get the memo. But it's not about facts, it's about fears, even ones that they themselves have created. As we've come to learn, that's more than good enough for the U.S. Supreme Court at least, and certainly for those attempting to keep you from being able to cast your legal vote...
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...
Late last week, a federal court spanked Colorado's Republican Secretary of State, Mike Coffman, ordering him to restore tens of thousands of registered voters to the state's voting rolls and allow them to vote, requiring that officials count those ballots, and --- perhaps most importantly --- placing the onus on elections officials to justify the removal of voters from the rolls, rather than forcing the voters to prove they are who they say they are...
Georgia has, again, had problems with their voter registration database. This time there were between 500 and 1000 voters, depending on reports, who were left standing in line for two hours while they waited for Fulton Co. officials to reestablish connection with the state’s computer system. This will be a huge problem on election day and may cause thousands of voters to give-up and go home. Let’s hope not.
I never imagined that I would find myself agreeing with anything that John Fund had to say but in our ‘Featured’ article Fund wrote one graf that gives me hope for the guy. He said, “Independent, nonpartisan groups, as well as candidates and parties, should be authorized to appoint poll watchers to observe the election and the vote tabulation. All vendors who supply voting machines and computer software should be required to undergo investigation for financial security and integrity. Clear rules for identifying what constitutes a vote and procedures for contesting an election result must be developed by each state”....
A deal was struck last evening in Colorado with the Secretary of State. 20,000 voters who were illegally purged from the state’s voter rolls will now be allowed to vote using provisional ballots and those ballots will get priority handling and a presumption of validity by Colorado counties.
The Reform Institute, a non-partisan public policy organization, today released a checklist to assist voters in casting their ballots. The checklist provides helpful tips for voters, especially those going to the polls for the first time, to facilitate a voting process free of complications....
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 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...
Wait times of four to six hours were not uncommon Monday. In some places, the lines clipped along at 45 minutes to three hours.
Elections officials in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Cobb counties said the state's computer system crashed at times and was very slow, bogging down the process.
The computer system allows poll workers to verify whether voters are properly registered and whether they have already voted.
High voter turnout was one of the reasons for the slowdown, said Matt Carrothers, a spokesman for Secretary of State Karen Handel's office.
This is early voting. Not all polling places are open so there are only a limited number of polling sites checking in voters. The slow-down and crashing of that system has little to do with high voter turnout. It is once again, as it was during the primary in GA, the ironically-named Diebold "ExpressPollbook" registration check-in computer that is slowing things up.
If the system is already not working with only a limited number of poll sites open, what will happen when all polls are open on November 4th?
UPDATE: All of that comes on top of late news that GA has illegally purged and/or flagged nearly 5,000 voters from their registration databases, incorrectly identifying them as "non-citizens".
UPDATE FROM BRAD: In our continuing desire to try and help bring a smile, even during these difficult times, we offer the ironic, related, very short (appx 1 minute) and amusing "Early Voting" video, as posted at right, just out from our friends who made the great Election Integrity documentary Free For All. Enjoy!
UPDATE FROM BRAD 10/29/08:RAW STORY has video of voters waiting 8 hours to vote in GA. Thank you to those voters who were willing to hang in there! Shame on you to those officials who set up this system that can't even accommodate the limited numbers of early voters! God save us all next Tuesday. Stay strong and brave people!