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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Facebook Rightwinger Has 'Questions' for 'American Leftists' on 'Voter ID'
We can't speak for 'American Leftists', but we're happy to answer this terribly disinformed dude's 'questions'...
'Green News Report' 9/30/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama creates world's largest marine sanc- tuary; Humans wiped out 1/2 of world wildlife; Also to blame for AUS' hottest year ever; PLUS: Oil co. joins Google to dump ALEC...
Previous GNRs: 9/25/14 - 9/23/14 - Archives...
'BRAD BLOG May Be Sued for Telling the Truth About GOP Operative': Hartmann TV
Brad discusses bizarre threat of legal action by longtime Republican voter registration schemer Nathan Sproul...
BREAKING: 5-4 SCOTUS Ruling Restores GOP Restrictions on Early Voting in OH
Bad news for voters. Good news for Republicans who like to win elections by trying to limit voters' ability to cast their vote...
7th Circuit Deadlock Means WI Photo ID Law Still in Place
Longtime court vacancy likely made difference in 5-5 tie; Scott Walker, GOP rejoice as 'electoral choas' reigns in 'toss up' re-election race; SCOTUS likely next stop for plaintiffs...
Too Much Voting Going On!: GA County Repubs Block Early Sunday Voting
Board of Elections votes against 'partisan' proposal to make voting more convenient, even though County already funded it...
Stewart Explodes Over GOP Climate Science Deniers on House SCIENCE Committee
And who can blame him? As White House Science Advisor forced to 'push a million pounds of idiot up a mountain'...
Federal Court Panel Denies OH Attempt to Avoid Restoration of Early Voting
State Republicans keep trying and trying to make voting harder (for some). Courts keep denying and denying their attempts...
'Green News Report' 9/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate Week Special Coverage continues: China will cut emissions; Experts say we're not doing enough; Admin makes econ case for action; PLUS: Corporate titans step up...
Previous GNRs: 9/23/14 - 9/18/14 - Archives...
GOP Values: Beating Wives, Suppressing Votes, Threatening Journalists - KPFK 'BradCast'
Latest on cases of GOP wife-beating judge Fuller; GOP voter operative Sproul; MORE...
Sproul Threatens BRAD BLOG With Legal Action After FL Confirms Our 2012 Reporting
GOP operative linked to years of registration fraud allegations sends bizarre email after yet another arrest of one of his workers...
'Green News Report' 9/23/14
GNR Special Coverage: Climate Week 2014 -- Climate March (largest in history), Wall Street protests (can ya hear us now?), special U.N. Climate Summit...
Report Cites Armed Walker Supporters Plotting to Target Democratic Voters in WI
'We can get our agents to watch polling location, identify the individual, and follow them to their residence'...
Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife-Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 docs suggest domestic abuse of two wives and children by federal judge w/ lifetime appointment...
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after three-GOP judge ruling reinstates Photo ID law just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
DiCaprio's UN climate role; Jindal plays dumb; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from wife-beating incident by U.S. District Court Judge; ALSO: Calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
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...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
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
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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...


By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2008 6:35am PT  

"A movement of ordinary citizens to save our democratic birthright is growing."

Once again, American treasure Robert Koehler, of Tribune Media Services, defies the corporate masters and gatekeepers, by delivering words that actually need to be read...

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And Other Recent News from the Election Contests in New Hampshire...
By Brad Friedman on 1/22/2008 3:01am PT  

Now that we're finally back at The BRAD BLOG World News Headquarters in Los Angeles (for a few days at least) and have shaken off our road buzz (for now), gotten through the latest Sibel Edmonds blockbusters (until the next shoe drops) and have overcome last Friday's maddening 24 hour Internet outage, we've got some catching up to do on New Hampshire's continuing mess of a "recount."

Luckily for us, as we've been traveling for the last few days, and pulling off other related miracles, the hand counters in Concord took a break as of last Friday for a long weekend, which includes today's Martin Luther King Day holiday. As we all know, MLK would have hated the idea of anybody actually counting votes on his holiday, so we're glad the folks from the NH SoS office decided to let the ballots sit around and cool off in the darkness for three long days in a vault somewhere (maybe). The counting, which has so far covered just a small portion of all of the ballots, will resume on Tuesday.

So...From the latest hand count numbers, to the latest media coverage, to the latest reports from Election Integrity experts on the ground --- including one amazing photo essay illustrating New Hampshire's "chain of custody" protocol for its ballots, 80% of which have never been counted or examined by a single human being (that we know of) --- let's get caught up a bit.

Fasten your seatbelts and make sure your Pinto has a full tank of gas...

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

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One of America's Worst Places to Vote Keeps Getting Worster...
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2008 4:08pm PT  

Riverside County, CA --- under the continuingly incompetent direction of Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore, and the extraordinary delinquency of its County Board of Supervisors --- continues its never-ending fight to be named top dog as the Worst Place to Vote in America.

There's a lot of competition out there for that title, but the county performed above and beyond the call of duty over the past several years in that race, and in its quest for disastrousness. Today's news certainly helps the county stay right up near the top of the pack. Waytago, Riverside!...


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Some Election Officials Voice Concern That Recent Changes Restricting Use Of Some Voting Machines Jeopardizes Integrity Of Elections
But Secretary Of State Debra Bowen Defends Actions By Calling Voting Machines 'A Major Threat To Democracy'
By Alan Breslauer on 1/16/2008 8:27pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

According to a NewsHour report, some county election officials in California believe that changes ordered by Secretary of State Debra Bowen, including decertifying some voting machines, may put the integrity of upcoming elections in jeopardy. Seriously. This despite Bowen's explanation for her actions:

Bowen: Our scientist found that every system they looked at could be compromised in ways that made me uncomfortable. They were able to bypass security seals by undoing two screws and opening the whole machine. They were able to change the results without ever having any knowledge of the computer code itself.

Steve Weir, an election official from Contra Costa County, explains why election officials are concerned with Bowen's directives not to use some newly purchased machines:

Weir: You can't keep changing voting systems. You don't make changes to your voting system without really jeopardizing your own security and your own reliability, um, this close to an election.

However, Stanford professor David Dill backs Bowen and proclaims, "It seems that there is almost a national consensus that we have a serious problem". Dan Ashby, of the Election Defense Alliance, agrees that the use of voting machines is a dangerous endeavor:

Ashby:The election department public servants are not capable of running the election without having all kinds of technical help from the voting machine companies. [Which is dangerous because] They have the access and the means, motive and opportunity, if they were inclined, to change the programming in ways that no election official or voting member of the public could possibly perceive such that it would change the outcome of the election in an undetectable untraceable way.

Voting machines pose another, often overlooked, problem beyond the technical problems most often associated with such machines. Mainly, voting machines have led to a vast public distrust of elections. According to Bowen, the lack of trust in voting machines has caused people to "check out and not participate" and is thus, "a major threat to democracy".

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Election Integrity Experts Converge and Join Both Republican and Democratic Candidates in Quest for Transparency
New Hampshire Secretary of State Questioned About Documentation, Poll Records, and Diebold Memory Cards...
By Brad Friedman on 1/15/2008 4:27am PT  

By Brad Friedman from Sacramento...

Election Integrity experts from around the country have been converging on the Granite State over the last several days, in preparation for "historic" state-wide hand counts of New Hampshire's Primary Election ballots, The BRAD BLOG has learned. Counts of votes on both the Democratic and Republican sides will begin in earnest this Wednesday, as long as the two contesting candidates deliver certified checks by 3pm on Tuesday, in amounts determined on Monday by Secretary of State William M. Gardner.

The battle for transparency and accountability on the ground, where some 80% of the state's ballots were tallied only by error-prone, hackable Diebold optical-scan voting machines, without human audit or spot-checking of any kind, in last week's first-in-the-nation Primary, is already growing heated on both sides of the aisle, and even inside the statehouse as of Monday.

While representatives from each of the contestants have reportedly been working together on several aspects of the two separate counts --- each claiming to have requested the hand-counts in order to help answer questions about anomalous reported results --- what has become immediately clear, during our interviews with several members involved in the challenges as well as Election Integrity advocates now in New Hampshire and elsewhere, is that these election challenges likely may not mirror the partial recount in 2004, held at the request of then-Presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

The BRAD BLOG has obtained the two-page request for a detailed list of ballot and voting machine-related public documents and records submitted on Monday to Gardner by the previously obscure Republican candidate Albert Howard. Howard's request makes clear that the battle for integrity and transparency in post-election challenges may have finally caught up with the technical sea-changes in voting equipment that have overtaken the American election system over the last several years.

Due to extraordinary complexities in the ever more complicated computer systems, scanners, tabulators, record sets, databases, and proprietary programming that have now been employed by election administrators across the country, the once-simple task of examining and recounting paper ballots --- where they still exist, as they do in New Hampshire --- has grown exponentially more technical and confusing.

Early word on the ground in New Hampshire's capital city of Concord, along with concerns from candidates, surrogates, and election experts alike, suggests that these "recounts" could be like no other in the history of the country...

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

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Senator Says 'It Wouldn't Make Much Sense' For Illegals To Vote 'To Be Perfectly Honest'
By Alan Breslauer on 1/14/2008 3:15pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Neil Cavuto of Fox "News" had on Maryland state senator, Alex Mooney (R), to discuss Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley's plan to allow "illegals" to keep driver's licenses. For the most part, Mooney plays the Fox guest role perfectly --- bashing the plan that could help "illegals", calling the Governor a "strong supporter of Hillary Clinton" and repeatedly referring to his political opposition as the "Democrat" party. However, the Senator fails to follow Cavuto's lead when he tries to link the licensing of "illegals" to voter fraud (beginning at the 2:55 mark):

Cavuto: But that second license, the illegal license, whatever you want to call it, that can't get you on planes or in federal offices, but I bet you it could let you vote.

Senator Mooney: Well, actually to vote you have to be a citizen according to the voter, when you register to vote you have to check off, at least pledge, under penalties of perjury, that you are a citizen.

Unconvinced, Cavuto pushes his case by stating that some municipalities might accept the licenses granted to illegals to which Mooney gives in a little. With Mooney back on board, Cavuto proceeds to bottom line the issue:

Cavuto: Bottom line Senator, you could have illegals voting in your state.

Senator Mooney: We could, but it wouldn't make much sense for them to do so, to be perfectly honest, because they would be subject to perjury and other problems. There's other things they'd rather do like be able to drive and have these jobs and, you know, go to schools.

Ouch! Only time will tell if the Senator is ever invited back to Fox "News".

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Says 'Anything Of Value Should Be Auditable And We Know Votes Are Valuable'
Steps Necessary 'To Give Voters The Confidence That They Deserve That Their Votes Will Be Counted As They Intended'
By Alan Breslauer on 1/11/2008 6:22pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


IMPORTANT NOTE FROM BRAD: In the above clip, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) speaks about the necessity of a paper ballot for every vote cast, that can be "audited" after an election to ensure voter intent was recorded accurately. It should be noted, however, that while he plans to introduce a small "emergency bill" next week, which would give money to jurisdictions who wish to provide paper ballots to voters in the November 2008 election only, his larger Election Reform bill (HR811) that he has previously been pushing (and refers to near the end of the segment) does not, despite what the Congressman says, require paper ballots be used.

HR811 would continue to allow for DRE (usually called touch-screen) voting systems to be used, as long as they have a so-called "paper trail" printer. DRE "paper trails", however, do not provide a reliable, auditable record of voter intent. Only voter-marked paper ballots --- such as the ones used in New Hampshire --- provide such assurances of an auditable election result. See this Special Coverage page for more info on HR811.

DREs with or without so-called "paper trails" cannot be used safely in any American election. Period.

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Ken Hajjar, Director of Diebold's Exclusive Sales & Service Provider in New England Pled Guilty to Criminal Charges in 90's
Does the Sec. of State of NH --- or CT or MA or VT or ME --- Even Know About It?...
By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2008 8:47pm PT  

Does the Secretary of State of New Hampshire have any idea that a key executive in the private firm that programs and "counts" 80% of the state's ballots on hackable, error-prone Diebold voting machines is a convicted narcotics trafficker?

In 1990, Ken Hajjar, the Director of Sales and Marketing for LHS Associates, and childhood friend of company owner John Silvestro, was arrested and pled guilty to charges of "Sale/CND" (Sale of Controlled Narcotics/Drugs) which earned him a 12 month sentence, according to documents received via a public records request and posted this evening at BlackBoxVoting.org.

LHS Associates, as BBV's Bev Harris points out, programs "every single voting machine in New Hampshire, Connecticut, almost all of Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine."

Hajjar himself is also the the guy who showed up in BRAD BLOG comments, at one point last summer, to let us know we are "totally full of shit" and "deluded...paranoid...looney idealogues" to boot. Well, maybe. But at least we don't have a secret felony conviction, even while owning almost complete control over every vote cast and "counted" in New England.

The newly-revealed felon's impolitic rant here earned him the boot from the Secretary of State of Connecticut, where he is now barred from working, as guest blogger Dori Smith pointed out in another BRAD BLOG story last November, detailing the horrors that are LHS Associates, Silvestro and Hajjar.

When Smith asked Hajjar about his admission that he and his company regularly replace voting machine memory cards (the keys to the kingdom!) at will, in the middle of elections, he told her, "I mean, I don't pay attention to every little law."

We'll say!

Go check out Harris' new article tonight, which includes more details and the arrest record --- along with the note that "until recently, LHS employees were listed on the company Web site. Now the pages identifying who programs New England voting machines have been taken down."

Now ya know why.

Even if you still don't know who actually won the New Hampshire Primary.

(What say we actually count the ballots and put the questions to rest? Just sayin'...)

For good measure, we'll also post again below the rare video footage of Silvestro, along with the first-hand BBV footage of the infamous and stunning Leon County, FL hack of a Diebold optical-scan machine --- the very same ones used across NH on Tuesday --- and the one originally seen in HBO's Emmy-nominated Hacking Democracy...

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

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Reports of 'Voter Fraud' in Dixville Notch, Dem Ballots Unavailable to Voters, Both Debunked by The BRAD BLOG
Though Reasons Remain for Concern About Tabulation on Diebold Machines...
By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2008 5:42pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

Our Spidey-sense started tingling before going to bed last night and hearing reports, on MSNBC, that there were 17 paper ballots cast in Dixville Notch, NH, in its midnight, first-in-the-country voting. The report said that there were only 16 registered voters in the tiny voting precinct, yet 17 votes had been cast --- suggesting that somehow, paper ballot "voter fraud" skullduggery was afoot.

Following on that, reports throughout the day appeared that NH precincts were out of paper ballots, and voters were unable to vote.

Trouble is, both reports are either completely untrue, or wholly misleading, or both, as The BRAD BLOG was able to confirm with two simple phone calls.

Each of those reports, however, would seem to go a long way towards giving the impression that paper ballots are a bad idea, and that "voter fraud" is easy to commit when using them. Given that one of those reports seems to have begun on The DRUDGE REPORT earlier today, we're not particularly surprised that the MSM kept repeating the easily-debunked stories running all day.

That, even while there are reasons to be concerned about how the paper ballots used in the New Hampshire Primary will actually be counted by the hackable Diebold optical-scan systems used in the state, as controlled and programmed by an outrageously bad private contractor there...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2008 7:35am PT  

I was interviewed last week by IT Business Edge technology reporter, Carl Weinschenk, on the current state of e-voting as we head into yet another big election year.

During the course of the conversation, poor Carl was clearly growing increasingly distressed by the answers I had to offer to his questions. Understandably, he was looking for signs of hope. Here's a few snippets from what we'll call "the hopeful sections" of the full interview published over the week, and headlined "Bits, Bytes and Votes"...

Question: Are there hopeful signs?
Friedman: We're beginning to turn the Titanic around. I think that people finally are beginning to understand.
...
Some folks like me have been running around with their hair on fire for years but were being virtually ignored by corporate mainstream media, government and election officials. The voting machine companies ran expensive campaigns to turn people like me into conspiracy theorists. As we now have seen, particularly late [last] year, one study after another is showing that those of us with those concerns are not conspiracy theorists. Now that all scientific reports across the country show that it is no longer just a theory that the system is vulnerable. Furthermore, and most disturbing, is that it doesn't take a conspiracy [to impact an election] because a single person can flip an entire election without detection.
...
Question: You said the Titanic is beginning to turn. While I may have used another ship in the metaphor, the sense is that there is at least some good news.
Friedman: Here's the good news: More people understand the threat and are concerned. More citizens are watching, more are paying attention, working at polls, asking questions. That makes it harder and harder for bad guys to mess with elections or for errors to go undetected. The answer is not to rely on media, not to relay [sic] on government because it will fail us, but to rely on people. People are really, really concerned about the issue and are paying attention.

The entire Q&A, including the less hopeful sections, is published right here...

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Republican Vote Suppression Scheme, Said to be 'Most Important Voting Rights Case Since Bush v. Gore' to be Judged by Republican Supreme Court
[UPDATE: USA Today Allows Discredited GOP Vote Suppressor, Con Man, Thor Hearne to Blog on Their Website in Reply!]
By Brad Friedman on 1/7/2008 6:40pm PT  

In advance of Wednesday's hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court on the landmark case concerning the Republican Photo ID polling place restrictions in the state of Indiana, USA Today reports...

WASHINGTON — The League of Women Voters has tried to put names and faces on the people who could be hurt by a strict Indiana voter-identification law that the Supreme Court will take up Wednesday.

The league, in a court filing, refers to Mary Wayne Montgomery Eble, 92, who had no driver's license or ready access to the birth certificate she needed to get an alternative ID.

Ray Wardell, a stroke victim, made one trip to a state office for an alternative ID in vain. He did not have the proper document and returned home on foot with the aid of his walker.

Kim Tilman, a mother of seven whose husband, a janitor, is the family's sole source of income, found it would cost $26-$50 to round up the necessary papers for a proper ID.

The league is among the groups backing Indiana challengers to the law who say it impinges on the right to vote and mostly hurts elderly, disabled, poor and minority voters. A Republican-controlled Legislature passed the measure in 2005.

Backers of the law have been unable to cite a single case of "voter fraud", apparently in Indiana history, that would have been prevented by this law, which is, as BRAD BLOG readers know well by now, meant to do little more than keep as many Democratic-leaning voters from being able to exercise their right to cast a legal vote in an election.

UPDATE 1/8/08: Where USA Today did themselves proud with the article linked above, they did themselves in by giving space to discredited GOP operative, snake-oil salesman, vote suppression front man, Thor Hearne to blog in reply. Hearne shouldn't be allowed outside of a jail cell, much less allowed to post his lies, disinformation and propaganda with impunity at USA Today. And I've said as much in the comments section (typos and all, in my middle-of-the-night, outraged response) below his blog item at the newspaper's website.

It's incredible that USA Today did not note Hearne's dozens of conflicts of interest with the very item he wrote on their pages. As to Hearne, it would hardly be the first time this conman has slid by without telling the truth about who he actually is.

Shame on USA Today. If readers here are unaware who and what Thor Hearne is, see our years long special coverage on him and the GOP propaganda scam he has been running right here: www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.

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Cover Graphic Shows Exploding Voting Booth with 'WARNING' Label: 'Your vote may be lost, destroyed, miscounted, wrongly attributed or hacked'
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2008 2:50pm PT  

The entire debate over e-voting may well be just about to change. Hopefully for the better. Big time.

Editor & Publisher's editor Greg Mitchell, has tipped off The BRAD BLOG late this afternoon, that the New York Times Magazine is set to run a "massive" cover-story this Sunday, on the entire e-voting disaster titled "The Bugs in the Machines."

Better late than never?

Mitchell describes the story as "quite chilling" in the exclusive preview he's just posted to his new personal blog. Here's the first coupla grafs from his scoop...

Coming between the Iowa and New Hampshire tallies, this Sunday's cover of The New York Times Magazine ought to strike a chord. It shows a man inside an exploding voting booth with a WARNING label over it and the words: "Your vote may be lost, destroyed, miscounted, wrongly attributed or hacked."

The massive Clive Thompson article, titled "The Bugs in the Machines," is quite chilling. "After the 2000 election," it opens, "counties around the country rushed to buy new computerized voting machines. But it turns out that these machines may cause problems worse than hanging chads. Is America ready for another contested election?" One key passage: "The earliest critiques of digital voting booths came from the fringe --- disgruntled citizens and scared-senseless computer geeks --- but the fears have now risen to the highest levels of government."

One expert says that "about 10 percent" of the devices fail in each election.

UPDATE 1/5/08: The entire, nearly 8,000 world article, is now out, and posted right here. It looks very good on first glance. But more later as we get a chance to review it in full.

And no, for those who've asked, The BRAD BLOG was neither consulted for, nor mentioned in the Times lengthy story (unless you consider "fringe...disgruntled citizens and scared-senseless computer geeks" to be a mention. Though we guess it's better than the Times original take on us, from November 20, 2004, which referred to election integrity issues as "the conspiracy theories of leftwing bloggers," just after we began investigating and reporting on the very issues which make up the basis of today's 8,000 word, better-late-than-never, New York Times report.)

We accept your apology.


One quick inaccuracy in the story, for now, which is small, but we feel important to correct for the record: Once again, Prof. Ed Felten of Princeton University has misled the NY Times about the origins of the Diebold touch-screen system his team used for their landmark virus hack in the summer of 2006.

He is interviewed in the story, in relation to the study, in which his team was able to easily implant a virus. It's reported, in the story, that the machine was "anonymously donated" to him. It was not. Which he well knows...

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

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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!... ---

ReddIt this story!



Please Take Note, Ohio, Vote-by-Mail Supporters, and Iowa Caucus Monitors!
By Brad Friedman on 1/2/2008 1:33pm PT  

Reports of hundreds dead in violent riots following Kenya's recent Presidential election continue. In the contested race, the incumbent President Kibaki was announced the winner, despite "pre-election opinion polls and early media tallies" which suggest that the challenger, Odinga, should have won.

Of particular note however, was this instructive graf, from AFX News Limited's coverage over the holiday, which caught our eye...

[Chief EU observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff] said his mission had evidence of presidential tallies announced in polling stations on the election being inflated by the time they were released by the electoral commission in Nairobi.

Got that? Because results were announced at the polling place before being sent away, it was possible for there to be checks and balances by election observers against the official central count as released, and possibly gamed, by the centralized election officials.

We'd hope the above point will be carefully noted by folks like Ohio SoS Jennifer Brunner, who has recently recommended against decentralized precinct-based counting, in favor of central county-level counting (see our recent exclusive interview with her on those points); those who have been pushing for all Vote-by-Mail elections of late; and those folks who are monitoring Iowa's caucuses on Thursday.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 1/2/2008 12:04pm PT  

As expected, the barrage of stories in the national media concerning problems with e-voting systems --- as usual, too late to make much of a difference before the next election cycle --- continues...

"As primaries draw near," reports Wolf Blitzer, "some states are finding serious problems already with their electronic voting machines --- and they're ready to give e-voting a grade of 'F'"

RAW STORY has the video...

ReddIt this story!



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