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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, May 24, 2015
Gov. Don Siegelman's Son on Father's Case; 'Bin Laden's Bookshelf': 'BradCast' 5/22/15
GUEST: Joseph Siegelman; Plus: Was al-Qaeda hoping to hack a US election?...
'Bin Laden's Bookshelf' Contained Classic Book on Hacking Computer Elections
Reading material said to have been on the al-Qaeda leader's shelf when he was killed may not be a surprise to BRAD BLOG readers...
GOP State Sen. on Nebraska's 'Veto Proof' Death Penalty Ban: 'BradCast' 5/21/15
Guest: State Sen. Al Davis (R); Plus: Siegelman appeal denied; Jeb still rewriting Iraq history; Goodbye, Dave; MORE...
'Green News Report' 5/21/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Major oil spill off CA coast; New settlement in 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill; Fossil fuels subsidized $5 TRILLION/year; PLUS: Obama to Coast Guard cadets: climate threatens NatSec...
Previous GNRs: 5/19/15 - 5/14/15 - Archives...
BREAKING: Appeals Court Denies Siegelman Retrial
AL's former Dem Governor's request denied. He remains in federal prison as Repubs who orchestrated 'political prosecution' (including 'wife-beating' Judge Mark Fuller) remain free...
Walker, Christie, GOP, FCC, Untethered From Reality: 'BradCast' 5/20/15
Facts and reality matter; Journalist turned media-activist Sue Wilson helps explain...
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) on Obama's Executive Order to Demilitarize the Police: 'BradCast' 5/19/15
Plus: A spate of new voting laws, good and bad, around the country...
'Green News Report' 5/19/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
'The Paddle in Seattle' to stop Shell's Arctic drilling; Study finds new emmissions rules will save lives...so GOP blocking them; PLUS: Indigenous tribe nixes natural gas billions...
Previous GNRs: 5/14/15 - 5/12/15 - Archives...
Walker and GOP Turn First Amendment On Its Head
The FCC's blow to free speech rights you probably never heard about, and how, if Walker and Republicans have their way, it may soon get even worse...
People v. Shell in Seattle; Truth v. Iraq Lies on Fox:
'BradCast' 5/18/15
Guest: Seattle Councilman Mike O'Brien; Now Rubio trips over Iraq; TX shootout; Antarctica ice shelf disappearing; MORE...
The 'Br'er Rabbit Strategy' To Fend Off A Sanders-Led Democratic Revolution
Wall Street and the corporate MSM tell us they fear Bernie Sanders could 'pull Hillary to the left'. But is there more to their strategy?...
Sunday Toons: Off the Rails
From the TPP deal to tragedy in Philadelphia to the GOP 2016ers on Iraq to drilling in the Arctic and marriage equality in Texas, common sense continues to be derailed...
Learning From History
& GOP Rewriting Iraq's: 'BradCast' 5/15/15
Guest: Journalist Peter Dykstra, formerly of CNN, on how enviros should learn from the past; GOP 2016ers trying to rewrite Iraq...
Texas Republicans Hoping to Block Even More Legit Voters With New ID Scheme
New law, if adopted by state, would take already unconstitional Photo ID voting restrictions to new level...
NSA Spying & 'USA Freedom Act'; Dumb Jeb Still Between Iraq, Hard Place: 'BradCast' 5/14/15
Guest: Marcy Wheeler; Plus: Feingold's back! OH GOP still suppressing voters; 600th GNR...
'Green News Report' 5/14/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
OUR 600th EPISODE! -- Hours after Amtrak crash, GOP votes to cut Amtrak budget; FBI spied on Keystone XL protesters; PLUS: Hawaii to be 1st in nation to go 100% renewable...
Previous GNRs: 5/12/15 - 5/7/15 - Archives...
CIA Drugging of 9/11 Detainees? & Jeb Too Dumb to Run: 'BradCast' 5/13/15
VICE News' investigative reporter Jason Leopold on his new exclusive CIA documents; MORE...
Dems: 'No' to Obama on TPP
'BradCast' 5/12/15
Salon's David Dayen joins us to discuss Dems' refusal to go along with their President (for now); Plus: First election lawsuit of 2016; Jeb on Iraq, Allen West on 'Sharia Law'; MORE...
'Green News Report' 5/12/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Fire & oil spill at NY nuke plant; Shell approved for Arctic drilling; More CA water cuts; GOP slashes NASA Earth research; PLUS: Solar-powered plane's most dangerous journey...
Previous GNRs: 5/7/15 - 5/5/15 - Archives...
NY Nuke Plant Fire, Oil Spill; NC's Mysteriously Vanishing Voter Registrations:
'BradCast' 5/11/15
Guests: Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen; 'DocDawg' of Daily Kos...
Bernie Who? 'Meet the Press' Ignores Sanders
Media watchdog documents NBC's Chuck Todd snubbing Sanders' entry into 2016 Presidential primary, while covering GOP also-rans dozens of times...
Sunday Toons: 'Loon Star State' and Beyond
It's getting crazy in Texas and in the GOP 2016 race and...oh...just pick a place...
Unverifiable Voting Machines (& How to Hack Them): 'BradCast' 5/8/15
Guest: Computer scientist Jeremy Epstein of Verified Voting on the decertification of 1/5 of Virginia's voting machines; MUCH MORE...
Broken Political Machines (& How to Fix Them): 'BradCast' 5/7/15
Guests: TX blogger Perry 'PDiddie' Dorrell on Rick Perry's felonies; Ernie Canning on Bernie Sanders and the 'democracy deficit'; & MORE...
'Green News Report' 5/7/15
Huge, political win for progressives in Alberta; New rules for oil 'bomb trains'; C02 emmissions milestone; PLUS: Elon Musk and Tesla revolutionize batteries...again...
Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) and the Conservative Case for Climate Action: 'BradCast' 5/6/15
Finally! A Republican on The BradCast! Plus: Fox 'News' v. RWers; Another oil train explosion in ND and more!...
Perry's Ace in the Hole in Felony Trial
The former TX Governor is preparing to run for President, even while facing felony charges. He doesn't seem worried. Maybe this is why...
Equal Justice for All?: 'BradCast' 5/5/15
Constitutional law expert and reporter Ian Millhiser on last week's oral hearings in the landmark marriage equality case at SCOTUS. Plus: 'BridgeGate'; Huckabee; more...
'Green News Report' 5/5/15
2016 GOP nomination race just doubled in size with Carson, Fiorina, Huckabee (deniers all) all jumping in; PLUS: The Pope's moral message on climate change...
'Free Speech' Versus 'Hate Speech': 'BradCast' 5/4/15
Brad and comedian Jimmy Dore continue debate they've had since 'Charlie Hebdo' following another 'Mohammed cartoon' shooting; Plus: FEC dysfunction & more...
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
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...


SoS Brunner's Directive Contains Specifications for Proper Storage of Election System Components, Outlawing Overnight Stays with Pollworkers
But Flaws Still Exist in the New Orders for Machine Deployment...
By Steve Heller on 8/21/2008 9:40am PT  

Guest blogged by Steve Heller of Velvet Revolution

Jennifer Brunner, Ohio's Secretary of State, has issued Directive 2008-68 [PDF] entitled Voting Machine Delivery Requirements. The directive contains storage specifications regarding temperature, humidity, dust, fire protection, and proximity of liquids. It also makes it clear that there are to be no more election component "sleepovers" in which poll workers take home voting equipment days or even weeks before an election for so-called safekeeping. In actuality, the "sleepovers" are an invitation to tampering and hacking.

The BRAD BLOG was the first to report on these sleepovers, truly a menace to election security, back in 2006, and coined the phrase "sleepover," which seems to have made its way into the national lexicon. AP themselves used the phrase in their coverage this week of Brunner's new directive.

As Lou Dobbs Tonight noted in 2006 following The BRAD BLOG's original exposé of the practice, the sleepover procedure is still used in many states and counties. But now, at least, Ohio's Brunner has taken a step in the right direction by ordering an end to the practice. It remains to be seen whether all of Ohio's local election officials will comply.

However, while we applaud this latest initiative by Brunner, it looks as if it may not go far enough in at least one very important aspect...

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By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2008 10:34pm PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman on the road to Denver...

Congrats to our friend Ellen Theisen of VotersUnite.org for both her tremendous report on private vendors undermining our public elections (about which she guest blogged here yesterday) and her long-overdue appearance on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight on Wednesday to discuss it (appx 3 mins, video courtesy of Alan Breslauer)...


Great to see Ellen finally recognized for all the tremendous work that she and BRAD BLOG stalwart John Gideon have been doing for so long at the non-partisan election watchdog Voters Unite!

That said, two minor-ish complaints about the Dobbs segment above...

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A VotersUnite report on the current situation and how to reclaim elections --- in 2008 and beyond.
By Ellen Theisen on 8/20/2008 8:50am PT  

Guest Blogged by Ellen Theisen of VotersUnite.org

[Ed Note: Ellen appeared on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight this evening to discuss this report. The video is now posted here.]

As we approach the 2008 general election, the structure of elections in the United States — once reliant on local representatives accountable to the public — has become almost wholly dependent on large corporations, which are not accountable to the public. Most local officials charged with running elections are now unable to administer elections without the equipment, services, and trade-secret software of a small number of corporations (primarily Election Systems and Software (ES&S), Hart InterCivic, Sequoia Voting Systems, and Premier Election Systems (formerly Diebold), though a few other corporations have a very small share of the market).

If the vendors withdrew their support for elections now, our election structure would collapse.

However, some states and localities are recognizing the threat that vendor dependency poses to elections. They are using ingenuity and determination to begin reversing the direction.

This week, VotersUnite.Org released a report [PDF] that examines the situation, how we got here, and steps we can take to limit corporate control of our elections in 2008 and reduce it even further in the future.

Case studies presented in our report give examples of the pervasive control voting system vendors now have over election administration in almost every state, and the consequences some jurisdictions are already experiencing. We discovered that such dependency has allowed vendors to...

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Issues Warning to Voters Prior to November Elections...
By Brad Friedman on 8/19/2008 7:49pm PT  

Those conspiracy theorists over at Scientific American just refuse to move on and get over it.

Here's the latest headline from those whackos: "Planning to E-Vote? Read This First", subtitled "With less than three months before the presidential election, the hotly contested state, Ohio, along with others, continue to have problems with E-voting technology."

The tin-foil hatters over there (so-called scientists) have the temerity to report stuff like this:

"None of the systems out there are even remotely adequate given the importance of the data they handle," says Patrick McDaniel, a Penn State professor of information security who led the EVEREST testing [on behalf of the state of Ohio]. A lot of the attacks that McDaniel and his team tested could be carried out at a polling place or county elections office in a matter of seconds. An example: when researchers placed a piece of white tape over part of an e-voting system's scanner, they were able to effectively block it from reading the entire ballot. ... The team also found that the keys to unlock Hart's ballot box could also be used to open the ballot boxes on the Premier [Diebold] systems.

What next? Aliens sending anthrax letters?

Addendum: To those who didn't get it, yes, my comments above about "conspiracy theorists" were, in fact, satirical. The SA article is right on target, a must-read, and concurs with virtually everything we've been trying to get across here on The BRAD BLOG for about 4 years straight. Even as we, ironically, were tarred by the democracy-haters as "conspiracy theorists". Hope that clarifies.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/15/2008 4:29pm PT  

I'll be appearing tonight (Friday) for a Q&A following the 7:20 showing of Dorothy Fadiman's new documentary Stealing America: Vote-by-Vote, at the Laemmle's Music Hall in Beverly Hills where the film will be playing for through the 21st (see the website linked above for where and when else it's playing around both CA and the rest of the country). I'll also be sticking around to introduce the 9:50pm showing.

LA Times had this to say in the lede graf of their review today:

If the prospect of reliving 2004's U.S. presidential election --- or any of the other key domestic political races from the last dozen years --- is too much to bear, then Dorothy Fadiman's documentary "Stealing America: Vote by Vote" might seem like homework. Settle in for 90 brief minutes, though, and this persuasive refresher course on our increasingly sketchy electoral process will prove essential viewing for any constitutionally minded American.

And from an earlier capsure review, posted by the Times earlier this month (a reprint from NY's Newsday), the wrote:

"Stealing America: Vote by Vote" is well-timed and certainly puts a stake through the heart of Diebold and any advocate of electronic voting

Sounds good to me! If you're in the 'hood, please come on by tonight and say hello! [DISCLOSURE: I'm in the film itself, though only briefly. So don't let that keep you from checking it out!]

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Now UPDATED With Audio Archive...
By Brad Friedman on 8/13/2008 11:19am PT  

I'll be jumping in again today (Wed.) to host KPFK/Pacifica's "Special Election Year Coverage" hour from 2p-3p PT (5p-6p ET).

My guests will be...

KPFK is heard at 90.7FM in Los Angeles and 98.7FM in Santa Barbara and streams live on the net at KPFK.org. Please tune in, stream in, and call-in at 818-985-5735, if you like.


Post-Show Update: Thanks to both Phil Lindsey and Dean Logan for joining me today. It was a very good and informative hour, if I say so myself. So informative, in fact, that someone called in to complain after the show that I wasn't tough enough on Logan. Okay. You can decide for yourself if I was, or wasn't, or if he even deserved it this time out. The archive follows. I appreciate that he showed up and took questions. We've got to work with election officials, folks. Period. Even as we hold feet to the fire.

(Appx. 1 hour) MP3 Download or listen online here...

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Starz Announces Showings on Several of Their Channels Beginning Aug. 25th through Early October
DVD's Signed by Filmmaker David Earnhardt Still Available Only to BRAD BLOG Readers!
By Brad Friedman on 8/11/2008 5:08pm PT  

Congratulations to filmmaker David Earnhardt and crew! See below for the press release, just out today from Starz, announcing that his seminal election integrity documentary, Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections, will be premiering on several of the pay cable net's outlets beginning on August 28th.

"Think your vote counts? Think again," the announcement trumpets, before describing the film as "A searing indictment of the election process as it affected both the 2004 and 2006 Elections...And could affect the outcome of the 2008 Election."

The beautifully structured film will screen multiple times on both Starz Edge and Starz Cinema from August through early October (see currently scheduled showings here).

No Starz? No Problem!...

We, of course, have been singing Uncounted's praises for quite some time here at The BRAD BLOG --- even though we're prominently featured in it, we highly recommend it nonetheless --- and we'll take this opportunity to again remind readers that Earnhardt has been kind enough to offer hand-signed DVD versions of the film available as a premium here only for our readers.

So if you'd like your very own collectors' edition of Uncounted (and we think you'll want to share it with alot of folks once you see it!) we'll get one out to you right away in exchange for a contribution to The BRAD BLOG of $50 or more. You can check out a teaser, and clips from the film, at the official Uncounted website.

(Snail mail donations are also welcome; see the blue box on the right of every page here for our address. For other related premium offers, helpful in keeping our work going, please see this page. As always, your support is greatly appreciated and much needed! It will also help us with gas money to get out to the Democratic Convention next, where we're sure the Dems will just be delighted to see us, after having refused us press credentials. But, of course, we've got a Plan B. Wish us luck! And thanks in advance for any help you can offer!)

The complete news release, announcing Uncounted's premiere on the Starz network, follows below...

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By Brad Friedman on 8/7/2008 9:29am PT  

This story is unfrickin'-believable. Or maybe it isn't. It took place in Thor Hearne country, after all. And though she didn't get arrested and thrown in jail, a similar incident happened to the Missouri Secretary of State during the 2006 election.

A voter in Kansas City on Tuesday --- one I happen to know, because he's an Election Integrity advocate in the Show Me State --- was arrested and sent to jail after he refused to show a driver's license at the polling place before attempting to vote during the state's Primary Election.

The voter is Phil Lindsey of ShowMeTheVote.org and he posted the details of his harrowing tale over at DemocraticUnderground.com, where he posts as "galloglas," after being released on Tuesday night.

He told me, via email late last night, that he's been in close touch with MO Secretary of State Robin Carnahan following the incident, and that both local media and folks such as nationally syndicated radio host Thom Hartmann have been in touch with him since the story broke last night. He was surprised, but pleased, that the incident has received so much coverage already. [UPDATE: Local Fox affiliate now covering here, for example.]

Never mind that requiring a voter to show a driver's license in MO before he or she can vote was found unconstitutional in 2006. Never mind that he showed the pollworkers a perfectly legal and proper precinct-issued voter ID card when he went to vote. Never mind that he had even called to check with the local Board of Elections before going to vote, to make sure that the ID would be acceptable. Never mind that he even brought a copy of the MO law to show the pollworkers who had demanded a driver's license (much as they had done, illegally, in a previous election he'd voted in).

The cops were called, and he ended up going to jail anyway. The charge on the citation: "Did knowingly cause a disturbance/disorderly conduct to wit: acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another, placing such person(s) in fear of safety by refusing to show proper I. D. when voting"...

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Think Again. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Continues His Fight for a Constitutional Amendment...
By Mary Mancini on 8/6/2008 6:08pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Mary Mancini of the Uncounted Blog

For some reason our wild and crazy wig-wearing Founding Fathers didn't see the need to build the right to vote into the Constitution. Instead, they decided to leave it up to the individual States to determine who, where, when, and how we vote. Oh sure, some voting rights have been amended into the Constitution in the form of anti-discrimination prohibitions (15th, 19th, and 26th), but the fundamental and very human right of the franchise is nowhere to be found. Zero. Zip. Nil. Nada.

Turns out that while election integrity activists have been busy fighting against systemic disenfranchisement, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., has been introducing House Joint Resolution 28 (H.J. Res. 28) --- legislation calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting everyone the affirmative right to vote --- in every Congress since 2001, noting that "It's time to scrap the states' rights-based system we have now, and place the right to vote alongside the constitutionally-protected right to free speech."

Today, Rep. Jackson furthered his cause by releasing a statement to the press citing a new report by the Advancement Project (which "details a dizzying array of Election Day meltdowns), as well as the documentary Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections (which offers "evidence of how voting machines themselves can create problems"). Both the report and the film, he says...

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Plus: MTV Highlights Citizen Election Integrity Heroes Shannon Williford and Daughter!
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2008 5:26pm PT  

Good God almighty, I think we need a music break. Here's one. Brought to our attention by BRAD BLOG reader, badass Nashville blues man, and citizen Election Integrity champion Shannon Williford of Gathering To Save Our Demcoracy. (See a terrific recent MTV "Street Team '08" article on Shannon's EI advocacy here: "Electile Dysfunction – A Case Study in Successful Treatment", and the companion MTV video interview with him and his daughter, Linden here: "Who Did Your Voting Machine Vote For?" I've also posted the video interview below the fold for good measure, cuz the Willifords rock! On behalf of America, thanks guys!)

But anyway...back to the music break...It comes fresh out of the studio from Shannon's buddy Ross Falzone, off his new CD, Life Here On Earth, I'm hoping the title of the cut, "The Truth Has God on Its Side," proves right. Thanks for doing your part to call the liars Bush and Cheney on the carpet in the video, Ross! Some good clips I hadn't seen in a while! Enjoy...


And check out the video interview with Shannon and awesome daughter below!...

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BRAD BLOG Asks Dean Logan and Leon County, FL's Ion Sancho About Experimental Election Night Program for Small Number of Precincts
Q&A's on That and a Few Other Points of Note, Documented on Video During Recent Appearance in Los Angeles by Both Election Officials...
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2008 5:31pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

I had the opportunity to ask an important question of both the legendary Leon County (Tallahassee), FL, Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho, and Los Angeles County's no-longer-interim Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, last week here in Los Angeles.

Readers of The BRAD BLOG will remember Logan from his poor showing, as acting Registrar, in the handling of L.A.'s Super Tuesday "Double Bubble" ballot debacle, in which at least 12,000 mostly-perfectly-countable votes from the Democratic Primary went completely uncounted, as well as his handling of the failure I encountered myself, in the more recent state primary in June, when four of my own votes were printed incorrectly by the county's ES&S electronic voting system.

Sancho was in town for press avails, in advance of the opening of Dorothy Fadiman's new documentary Stealing America: Vote-by-Vote (opening for week-long runs in NYC on Aug 1st, and in L.A. on Aug 15th - DISCLOSURE: I appear briefly in the film). Logan, to his credit, was kind enough to show up, with his deputy Peter McNamara, for a screening of the film held by PDA last Thursday.

After the screening, Sancho, a compelling presence in Fadiman's film, as he was in HBO's landmark 2006 documentary, Hacking Democracy, answered questions, and the activists in the crowd managed to shoehorn Logan onto the stage to speak to a number of local concerns as well.

I took the opportunity to ask a few questions of both men, as captured by Alan Breslauer, with answers, on the video posted at the end of this article.

Of most important note, I wanted to know if either of them would commit to a hand-count of ballots in a handful of precincts this November, on an experimental basis, on Election Night. The count, in such a "pilot program" as I described it, needn't be the official count, but could later be compared to the results as reported by both counties' optical-scanners, since both L.A. and Leon County use paper ballots for their non-disabled voters.

As I've advocated to a few other election officials in the past, hand-counting in this small, experimental way would help us all to begin to compile data about the effectiveness --- or even, lack thereof --- of transparent, polling-place based HCPB (Hand-Counted Paper Ballots) on Election Night, as many Election Integrity advocates have called for...

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By Brad Friedman on 7/24/2008 11:00am PT  

As we broke earlier this week, after previous snubs and threats of subpoenas, Ohio's disgracefully-partisan former Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell was finally set to testify to the House Judiciary Committee today (as well as another legendary GOP vote suppressor, former FEC chair and DoJ Voting Rights Division gamer, Hans von Spakovsky.)

After a late start, and a then a blackout of the Judiciary Committee's webcast feed just after Blackwell began his opening statement ("Thank you Mr. Chairman..." and then suddenly the feed went out), things picked up again during the opening statement of GOP propagandist/attorney Cleta Mitchell who went on and on about the same old nonsense concerning "voter fraud" via voter registration applications submitted by ACORN, the GOP's old "voter fraud" strawman...

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Judiciary Committee Says Former Ohio SoS May Actually Show Up This Time After Previous Snubs
GOP Vote Suppressors Called, But No Witnesses On E-Voting or Student Voting Concerns in 'Final' Election Hearing Before '08, Notes Activist...
By Brad Friedman on 7/22/2008 5:57pm PT  

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties will be holding a hearing this Thursday on "Lessons Learned from the 2004 Presidential Election."

Though no press release has yet been sent out by the Committee, and the link to the hearing's page at the Judiciary website is currently broken, The BRAD BLOG has both good news and bad news to report here.

The good news: Ohio's former Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell has been invited to testify and has confirmed that he will actually show up this time, according to several Judiciary sources. Blackwell had previously snubbed the committee's earlier invitation to testify back in February about the myriad crimes that were committed on and by his watch in the 2004 Presidential Election.

Following his last refusal to appear --- when he responded to the committee claiming "my schedule will not permit me to attend the hearings" --- Judiciary Committee spokesperson Jonathon Godfrey hinted that a subpoena might be forthcoming if Blackwell continued to refuse to appear. This time, at least as of today, it looks like he's coming, according to confirmation by Godfrey this afternoon. Thus guaranteeing what should be a very lively hearing.

More good news: Shameless GOP "voter fraud" zealot and disgraced former FEC chair Hans Von Spakovsky will also be appearing. By invitation of the Republicans on the committee, amusingly enough. What were they thinking in inviting this embarrassment? Beats us, but we're happy to hear he'll be back on the Congressional hot seat. Thanks Repubs!

And then there's the bad news...

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Federal Commission is Told New Certification Process for E-Voting Systems Is Too Difficult for Vendors, Too Slow to Approve New Systems...
By John Gideon on 7/14/2008 7:29pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite

As set up by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) receives some advice from a Board of Advisors. The Board is made up of a set number of people representing groups like the National Association of Secretaries of State; National Governors Association; International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials and Treasurers; congressional leaders; and even two members of The Election Center, a vendor-sponsored group that promotes electronic voting. There are no voters groups and no one from the election integrity community on the Board. But then, who cares what the voters think?

The Board of Advisors is advising [PDF, pg 7] the EAC, via resolution, that they need to speed-up the certification process for voting systems. They want the system to be what it was under the old, rubber-stamp system headed by the National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED). They want the same system of testing and certification that has resulted in our voting systems failing in many elections and not even being compliant with federal standards.

Incredibly, the Board's recommendation to the EAC goes so far as to admit that a failed "common practice" of the past should, apparently, be re-instituted under the newer certification system. "The common practice since the introduction of electronic voting systems," they wrote, "has been to make hardware and software upgrades based on issues found in the most recent election in sufficient time to improve the voting systems for the next general election."

That is a stunning admission. That that is a system they'd like to return to is even more stunning.

The EAC is holding a public meeting in Phoenix later this month and the Board of Advisors' resolution is to be discussed by the commissioners. I sent the following email to the commissioners and staff of the EAC to voice my concerns about the resolution.

My letter to them follows in full below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 7/12/2008 2:28pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

A study conducted by a researcher in France has uncovered that polling locations which use electronic voting machines exhibit a higher number of discrepancies than those using conventional paper ballots. Unsurprising to those who have followed the problems plaguing e-voting since its introduction, the revelation has fueled renewed calls for greater scrutiny of electronic voting technology in France.

The study was conducted at over 21,000 polling stations by comparing electoral registers, which voters sign after voting, with the total vote counts from machines and paper ballots in several elections. Discrepancies were found at almost 30 percent of polling stations that use electronic machines and only at about 5 percent of those using paper ballots.

More at ars technica...

The findings of the French study are hardly surprising to those of us who haven't been ignoring the exact same problems for years here in the U.S.. The difference, of course, will likely come in the way that France --- like other European countries, and decidedly unlike the U.S. --- responds to the findings...

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

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