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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in Town of Long Island, reverse results of very close state contest, leaving officials baffled...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
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Gov. Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank issue's dire warning...
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Monster Energy Drink Not Just Crappy, Also the Work of Satan!
The indisputable video proof is now here!...
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
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Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
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WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
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Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
This segment makes clear once again that it's very very sad The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
Historic US-China agreement that GOP said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l treaty; Repub freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but good start...
Crucial Moment for FCC & 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Hartmann TV: Election 2014 Mess
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'Green News Report' 11/11/14
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
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About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
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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
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DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
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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...

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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
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FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
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COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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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
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CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
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RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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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
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EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


No Country for Old Nuns...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2008 1:22pm PT  


Context, for those who still may need it...

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On Air Today (Wed.) at 2pm PT in L.A. and Santa Barbara, and Around the World via the Internets!
Call-In at: 818-985-5735...
By Brad Friedman on 5/7/2008 10:20am PT  

[Updated post-show, with archive of show at bottom of article.]

Once again today, I'll be hosting an hour of "Special Election Year Coverage" for the good folks at L.A.'s Pacifica Radio affiliate, KPFK 90.7 FM, from 2p-3p PT this afternoon.

And, once again, we'll be looking less at the election "horse race" and much more at the "track conditions," with a special eye on the Supreme Court's unconstitutional support of polling place Photo ID restrictions such as the one that disenfranchised a bunch of 80 & 90 year-old nuns (along with many others) yesterday in Indiana.

My special guest will be MO Sec. of State ROBIN CARNAHAN, joining us to discuss the effect of the SCOTUS ruling in her state, which has been called "Ground Zero" for the phony GOP voter fraud scam. It's no coincidence that MO is the home of GOP Scammer-in-Chief Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, btw, as he's the democracy-hating front-man most single-handedly responsible for the Republican Photo ID/Voter Suppression effort.

We'll also be giving away some stuff to callers, such as a signed Duhmocracy CD and a signed Uncounted DVD. So join us, and call in with your questions at: 818-985-5735.

Tune in live from 2p-3p PT (4p-5p CT, 5p-6p ET) on air in Los Angeles at 90.7 FM, in Santa Barbara at 98.7 FM, or listen live online right here.

P.S. After the show, I'll be a guest on Voice of the Voters w/ Mary Ann Gould at 4pm PT, and then on People Speak Radio w/ David Swanson at 5pm PT. So it'll be a full day of BradCasting today! Hope you'll tune in...


Post-Show Update: We had another very lively show on KPFK with Sec. Carnahan, and loads of callers. Here's the full archive (appx 55 mins) for MP3 download, or you can listen online right here...

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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ALSO: Voting Machine, Registration Roll Problems Reported to National Election Protection Hotline...
By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2008 1:37pm PT  

The non-partisan Election Protection coalition offers a mid-day press release detailing some of the problems being reported to their 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline today from both Indiana and North Carolina.

The Supreme Court's recent, outrageous approval of Indiana's restrictive and disenfranchising Photo ID law --- better described as their Voter Suppression Act, despite Scalia's claim that "the burden at issue is minimal," to him, anyway --- is already "working" to disenfranchise legal voters, denying them their right to cast ballots like everyone else.

According to EP, it's not just veterans, elderly, and minorities who are being affected by the ruling, so are young voters and, yes, nuns, who have reportedly already been disenfranchised today under the Republican law...

This morning, in South Bend, Indiana, a freshman student at St. Mary's College, excited to vote for the first time, left the polling place in tears because she only possessed a private college ID and was unable to vote. The poll workers, nuns at a local convent, were trying to help the young student through her problem. While they were helping her, they realized that some of their fellow nuns, who had just arrived at the polling place, also could not vote because of the photo ID law. Not only was this group of nuns disenfranchised, but so would be four floors of retired nuns in their convent.

Remember, the law was upheld by the Supremes just last week, despite Indiana's inability to point to a single instance of in-person, polling place, voter impersonation fraud (the type of "voter fraud" the law was purportedly meant to deter) in the entire history of the state.

UPDATE: Brad Jacobson has more on the dangerous "roaming pack of octogenarian and nonagenarian hooligans [nuns, who] attempted to exercise their right to vote," including one of them, a clearly-up-to-no-good, 98 year-old, trouble maker who Catholic Antonin Scalia and friends don't believe deserves the right to cast a ballot.

Additional updates at the end of this article, including details on the evil nuns, a newly married woman, and more disenfranchised students.

Milwaukee Magazine's Bruce Murphy notes today that if a study recently done in Wisconsin correlates to numbers in Indiana, as many as 620,000 citizens in the Hoosier State might lack the Photo ID needed to cast votes there. That, even as the state downplayed the numbers in the SCOTUS case, arguing that there were only 43,000 such voters there. The authors of the WI study were unable to check the same numbers in Indiana, because "the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles would not provide the data needed to do the study," reports Murphy.

EP's news release goes on to list a number of other incidents being reported (if not yet by the corporate media) so far during voting today in IN and NC both, including multiple reports of voting machines problems; paper ballots not being offered to voters when machines go down; registered Independent voters being disallowed from voting in either party's primary; or voters being given Republican ballots when they believed they were registered as Democrats.

A few of the specific incidents as reported by EP so far, (which we post along with the usual caveat that frequently the most serious concerns do not come to light, if ever, until the days and weeks following such e-elections) include, from Indiana...

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

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ALSO: Unverifiable, Decertified, Virus-Prone, Failed E-Voting Systems Set for Use in Hoosier State Primary Tomorrow...
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2008 1:23pm PT  

[Ed Note: Please see the update at the bottom of this article, for the state's explanation concerning the 1.1 million voter records discussed in the following.]

The Republican War on Voting continues apace.

In addition to the recent, outrageously bad decision by the Supreme Court to approve Indiana's draconian polling place Photo ID restrictions, sure to keep thousands of legal voters from even being able to cast votes in tomorrow's important Primary Election --- despite the state's inability to offer up a single instance of in-person polling place voter impersonation that's ever occurred during the state's entire history (as we've covered here, here and here, for example) --- another 1.1 million voters have now been purged from the voting rolls altogether, reports Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, as based on the Hoosier State's own data.

Moreover, the state will use unverifiable touch-screen style voting systems across the state. One widely used system, made by MicroVote, will be used despite having been decertified, and two other systems, made by ES&S and Diebold, have been found vulnerable to undetectable vote-flipping viruses by several reputable universities.

According to Harris' report...

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

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Proposes 28th Amendment to US Constitution to Disallow Privatized Corporate Vote Counting in Secret, Standardize Nation's Voting Systems for 'Equal Protection'...
By Alan Breslauer on 5/5/2008 9:46am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Yesterday The BRAD BLOG interviewed Byron DeLear who is running for Congress in Missouri's 2nd District. The current holder of the seat is the ultra-conservative war supporter and Bush crony, Todd Akin (R-MO), who last year infamously argued to keep sending reinforcements to Iraq by invoking Davy Crockett at the Alamo.

We found the intellectual DeLear, who supports the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq and the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, extremely knowledgeable on a wide range of issues including election integrity. DeLear even goes so far as to call for the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution to secure the vote.

Says DeLear during our exclusive interview...

"I talk about the necessity for the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution to be securing the most sacrosanct institution of our Republic which is the vote – the cornerstone of our democracy. And how is it that we can allow corporations to own the source code that instructs voting machines how to count the vote? How is it that in our supposedly popular and public owned electoral system can we have privatization occurring where the basic functions of our elections are in secret and are not available to the scrutiny of the American people?

"So I think the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution should be securing the vote, providing for independent verification of ballot results and I think we should explore the idea of perhaps standardizing the American voting experience. Because when you have 13,000 different methods of counting the vote littered across the landscape of our Republic – that essentially violates the essence of equal protection under the law. And I don’t think it’s fair that you can have African Americans waiting six hours in the rain in Ohio and then other people in other parts of the country just walk in and get their votes cast and there is no problem whatsoever.

"So we got to end this kind of unequal, unfair playing field that is occurring in regards to counting our votes and getting our voice heard."

Our complete interview (appx 4 mins), shot Sunday during a fund raising even here in Los Angeles, follows below. You can find out more about DeLear at his DeLear for Congress website...


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By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2008 8:05pm PT  

Couldn't find many more on this topic this week. Guess ensuring that legal voters can actually cast their ballot this November isn't all that important. On the other hand, there are dozens of toons this week about that guy who said some stuff and who also happens to know someone that's running for President (to paraphrase Jon Stewart on the Rev. Wright nonsense).

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Why Do Republicans Hate our Troops? And the U.S. Constitution?
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2008 11:54am PT  

As I've been trying to help people understand, this Indiana polling place Photo ID restriction law, as upheld last week by the Supreme Court, is so much worse than most folks realize right now.

It is, as previously predicted, already beginning to spread like wildfire to other states, such as Missouri, where the Republicans control both legislature and state house, and where even a few thousand legal Democratic votes, shaved cynically off of the results in places like the city of St. Louis next November, can be the difference between the state going "red" instead of "blue."

The following remarkable tale of a U.S. Army vet who has fought in three conflicts for our country, and who has won multiple medals for his service, including two bronze stars, purple heart, etc., who has been registered to vote since 1968, but who is now having a helluva time being able to cast a ballot in Indiana, will likely become all too typical now. The report comes from from the Nuvo weekly in the Hoosier state, and was sent in by BRAD BLOG reader "RC."

It is absolutely maddening, at least to those of us who give a damn about American values, such as democracy, the U.S. Constitution, patriotism, love of country, etc., so it may mean little to the vast majority of Republicans out there today. Please, at least, read the lede to the story below and --- if you're a Republican who supports this anti-American bullshit --- please let us know, in comments, why why this sort of treatment of our troops is okay with you. All of this, despite Indiana's own admission during the SCOTUS hearing, that there has never been, in the state's entire history, a single known instance of polling place voter impersonation fraud of the type this law is supposedly meant to keep from happening...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2008 11:49pm PT  

I just finished a very lively late-night hour (actually 26 minutes with all the commercials removed, you're welcome) on San Francisco's KGO with Christine Craft. The discussion concerned the Supreme Court's outrageous ruling in the Indiana Photo ID restriction case, and my article yesterday detailing how difficult it now is to vote in Indiana if you don't happen to have one. Rights shmights.

The audio features plenty of wingnut callers who just don't get it, demonstrating why it's so damned difficult to fight off this out-and-out GOP voter suppression scam/assault on your democracy and Constitution. If it's this difficult in "liberal" SF (albeit, on "conservative" KGO), this nation is in big trouble. And, if the articles from the last few days here haven't made that clear, we are. Big time. This November is gonna be a nightmare. Big time.

Give it a listen. If only for the clueless callers and chickenshit racist emailers (MP3 Download, 26 mins)

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2008 12:45pm PT  

Media Bloodhound nails the latest corporate mainstream media disgrace. This time, courtesy of NBC's Brian Williams, and Dick Cheney's longtime former protégé turned NBC News "reporter" Pete Williams...

Last night, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams allotted eighty seconds to yesterday's momentous Supreme Court ruling that there's nothing unconstitutional with Indiana's law requiring a photo ID to vote. Meanwhile, during the same broadcast, it spent over two minutes on the concern caused by photos of teen star Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair.

That would be embarrassing enough for a news organization purporting to be credible.

But earlier in the day on the Nightly News blog The Daily Nightly, anchor and managing editor Brian Williams (in a post titled "What Times Is It?") actually took The New York Times to task for publishing puff pieces.

Well, at least Williams covered the outrageously anti-Constitutional Supreme Court decision, sure to disenfranchise thousands, if not millions, of voters, right? Even if only for 80 seconds. But, as it turns out, no coverage would have been preferable to Williams' unfair, unbalanced (and inaccurate) coverage...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2008 11:39am PT  

For those wondering what a legally registered voter needs to do to successfully cast a ballot in Indiana --- now that their draconian polling place Photo ID restrictions have been upheld by the Supreme Court --- so that it might be counted, in the event the voter doesn't currently own a state-issued photo ID (no, military ID is not acceptable) we thought we'd offer a handy quick guide.

Note: It doesn't matter if you've voted in every single election for the last 40 or 50 years at the same polling place. Nor does it matter, as Justice Souter pointed out his dissent yesterday, "that the State has not come across a single instance of in-person voter impersonation fraud in all of Indiana’s history." You'll still need to do the following if you don't happen to have an IN drivers license!

Also note: Given the SCOTUS decision, and the nation-wide GOP effort (anywhere they can get away with it) to deny legal, Democratic-leaning voters from being able to even cast a ballot, folks in other states may wish to read the following to get an idea what's likely to be coming your way, as the Republican War on Voting successfully rages on. Please try not to be a causality.

How to cast a ballot in Indiana, if you don't currently have a state-issued ID:

  • Find your birth certificate or passport. If you don't have either, you might be able to apply to the state to get a copy of your birth certificate, if you happened to have been born there, for just $12. A passport may cost you $100 (I can't help you get to the place where you'll need to get your photo taken for that.) UPDATE: BRAD BLOG commenter Mary Mancini points out Indiana's requirements for a copy of your birth certificate, require you to have......you guessed it...a Photo ID!
  • Get yourself to a Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Don't let the fact that you don't drive, or have a car, or have access to public transportation, as in many counties in Indiana, stop you from getting to the BMV before Election Day.
  • Do the above every four years, without fail, or risk not being able to vote like everyone else at the polls in Indiana on Election Day.

If you fail in any step above, don't have the money to afford the necessary documents, or have a religious objection to having your photo taken, do not to worry. Indiana has you covered...

  • Figure out how to get to the nearby polling place to vote. (Unlike the BMV, polling places in IN, for the moment, are many. If you're lucky, one will be close enough that you can walk there, presuming the weather in Indiana, say, in November, allows it. Though many will help you get to the polls on Election Day, even if they're not always available to drive you to the BMV at other times of the year.)
  • When you get to the polls, and are told you can't vote like everyone else, because you have no state-issued ID, you'll get to vote on a provisional ballot (hopefully, at least that's the law).
  • Don't forget to sign the affidavit on the ballot, stating that you are who you say you are, before dropping it into the box, so officials can match your polling place Election Day signature with your voter registration form signature.

But it's not over yet, if you want to get that vote counted somehow! (Having it counted accurately and/or transparently, due to the voting systems used in IN, is largely out of any citizen's hands, at this point.)

  • Before 10 days have elapsed after you've voted, you must now go back and figure out how to get your Photo ID still! (see original three steps.) And then...
  • Get a ride to the county seat, however far that may be from where you live. Get to the Courthouse there within those 10 days, and then show them your ID as mentioned above, sign yet another affidavit, similar to the one you signed on Election Day at the polling place on your provisional ballot, attesting again to the fact that you are you. And then maybe, just maybe, if that signature is also judged to match your registration, then your vote might be counted.

No, it's not onerous at all. As Scalia and friends noted in their decision [PDF] yesterday, "the burden at issue is minimal," as he sees it. (Though we're guessing he probably owns a state-issued ID already.) So what could those losers on the Supreme Court have been thinking, just 42 years ago, when they struck down a simple $1.50 poll-tax on the grounds that it might keep some voters from being able to cast their legal vote? Silly them.

Welcome to America's brave new modern world. 9/11 changed everything.

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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Polling Place Photo ID Restrictions in Indiana Upheld by SCOTUS in Courageous and Historic Dredd Scott-like Decision
But Why Stop at Keeping Black and Elderly Fraudsters from Stealing Elections?...
By Brad Friedman on 4/28/2008 3:22pm PT  

As the great voting rights advocate, Rush Limbaugh, trumpeted at the beginning of his radio show this morning, today's 6 to 3 Supreme Court ruling allowing new, modern restrictions regarding which citizens may or may not cast votes at American polling places on Election Day, is "a huge, huge, huge move forward to undercut Democrat efforts to commit voter fraud this fall."

Fortunately, instead of coming in June as expected, this decision on an Indiana Photo ID restriction case comes just in time to prevent massive voter fraud at the polls in Indiana's Democratic Primary two weeks from now, when millions of fraudulent Democratic voters were almost certainly plotting to try and show up to vote on electronic voting systems on which it's impossible to prove one way or another whether they did or didn't vote the way the machines will tell us they did. With voting systems like those in use across the Hoosier State, and elsewhere around the country, it's all the more reason to ensure those Democrats can't show up and commit the fraud they were probably planning to engage in on May 6th!

The news is certainly the most important SCOTUS decision pertaining to elections since the triumphant, well-considered, and much-beloved Bush v. Gore decision of 2000. Today's verdict will undoubtedly be heralded and taught at American institutions of learning for decades to come, with the same reverence as that dedicated to landmark Supreme Court decisions like 1857's Dredd Scott v. Sandford ruling, which thankfully found that "people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves, or their descendants --- whether or not they were slaves --- could never be citizens of the United States, and that the United States Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories."

The Supremes have done it again! But no such important American political battle like that which was won today is ever fought alone. Due thanks must go to the long-fought efforts of countable simple citizens around our nation, concerned about the integrity of voting. We'd be remiss without noting some of the selfless freedom fighters who helped make today's great news a reality: Courageous, unheralded voices, such as those of "longtime advocate of voter rights" and Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, tireless Republican "voter fraud" information-wareness man John Fund, and Bush-appointed DoJ Civil Rights Division guardians of the ballot box, like Hans von Spakovsky, Bradley Schlozman and its former Voting Section chief, John "Minorities Die First" Tanner.

Thanks to brave men like them, and Mr. Limbaugh, of course, it'll be a new day at the polling place this fall! One in which, if Republicans legislators around the country hurry up and get on the anti-voter fraud ball, they can assure that millions of Democratic-leaning citizens won't be fraudulently mistaken for actual voters when they show up at their polling places this November.

But are restrictions that may keep just blacks and the elderly from casting a ballot enough to ensure the true integrity of our vote? Shouldn't we keep fighting to ensure that legitimate voters like you and me don't have our voices diluted by even more fraudulent groups out there, like gays, communists, and dead people, who every year change the results of election after election through their insidious anti-American efforts, because I say they do?

Read on for a couple of new ideas. Clearly, today's SCOTUS decision is a good start, but it hardly goes far enough to ensure that the right American voices are heard, as our founders intended! 14th Amendment, equal protection, blah, blah, blah, my ass!...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2008 7:05am PT  

Earlier this week I posted my invitation to address the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), on behalf of The BRAD BLOG, at a roundtable of "Voter Advocates" to discuss the proposed 2007 federal Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines (VVSG).

Given the primary in PA this week and other considerations, as I noted then, it seemed wiser for me to stay back here in LA rather than travel to and from DC this week. So I asked computer security expert and e-voting specialist Dr. Rebecca Mercuri to sit in for us. She did so yesterday, and will be joining Peter B. Collins and me tonight on his radio show, during my weekly Friday guest appearance (5pm PT, 8pm ET, listen online here) to report on how things went.

I was, at least, able to submit my own written statement to the EAC, with my fairly direct thoughts on the VVSG and the nightmare such federal certification standards have wrought. The statement is now posted [PDF] at the EAC website, along with some of the statements from some of the other participants, and it's also posted in full below.

I'll try to update this item with the audio from the PBC show later tonight, and Dr. Mercuri will likely post her own report in full here at The BRAD BLOG in the coming days.

Update: Audio from the PBC Show, with myself and Dr. Mercuri discussing the EAC roundtable, now available for download [MP3], or online listening here (commercials removed, appx 42 mins)...

My written testimony/statement to the EAC follows in full below. Please enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think in comments...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/23/2008 5:02pm PT  

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is the luckiest woman in the world. Just when it looks like she'll have no chance to become the party's nominee, extraordinary good news comes her way, just at the last minute. Again.

Take, for example, yesterday's Pennsylvania Primary. For weeks we heard endlessly how she would need a double-digit victory margin in the Keystone State to offer a legitimate reason for her to stay in the race. And, as the gods would have it, she achieved the ability to trumpet that double-digit margin by a single tenth of a percent.

With 99.51% of the vote reportedly counted as of this moment, according to the PA Dept. of State's own numbers, it's Clinton's 54.6% to Obama's 45.4%.

So, in truth, that's actually just a 9.2-point difference, but, as luck would have it for the New York Senator, rounding each of those numbers to their nearest percent, as the bulk of the media were happy to do today, allows for a nice, easily-trumpeted, double-digit, 55% to 45% number that can be reported far and wide!

The stunning turn of good fortune comes on the heels of Clinton's last make-or-break moment back in New Hampshire, when conventional wisdom had all but counted her out after her loss to Obama in the Iowa Caucus. But, there again, Clinton came through, despite both pre-election and exit poll numbers which all, almost uniformly, predicted she'd face a thumpin'.

Of course, you conspiracy theorists out there are likely to spin this tale of remarkable providence, into a shadowy tale of skulduggery by supporters of a Clinton nomination, be they Democrats or Republicans, who'd rather see her, instead of Obama, go up against John McCain in the fall.

But you'd have not an iota of actual proof to support your paranoid suspicions...

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By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2008 1:41pm PT  

We were both pleased and mildly surprised to see the invitation arrive from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) a few weeks back, asking us to come to DC, on their dime, to participate this coming Thursday in a one day "Voting Advocate Roundtable Discussion" on the proposed 2007 federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG).

Our invitation, from EAC Chair Rosemary Rodriguez, is posted at the end of this article.

Even while we've been nothing short of merciless in our criticism of the EAC, over the years here at The BRAD BLOG, the outreach is both welcome and appreciated, even as we are always very aware of all of the pitfalls associated with participating in such a process. Yet, with our eyes wide open, we see the opportunity to participate in the process, in hopes --- futile or otherwise --- of attempting to steer it back towards the rails which were jumped at the federal level long ago, as a hopefully positive one. Call us eternal optimists, but, as long time readers here likely recognize, we have never been one to slap down an olive branch offered, for whatever reason it may have been offered in the first place.

As you might suspect, we have some very strong opinions about the VVSG --- all 598 dizzying, yet wholly inadequate pages of it [PDF] --- and the disastrous course it will continue to enable for our election system, if accepted as currently proposed.

For a number of reasons, not the least of which was today's important primary in PA, we thought it better to be in or near the BRAD BLOG Anchor Desk this week, rather than in the air all day Wednesday, off the grid all day Thursday for the meeting, and back in the air all day Friday...

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Philly Mayor Nutter Says 'No Problems, They Got Me Elected'; PA Gov Rendell Admits He 'Knows Nothing About Them, But They're All Approved by HAVA'
Great Work by Jake Soboroff from Last Night's Dem Debate...
By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2008 1:46pm PT  

The following video comes fresh from our buddy Jake Soboroff of Why Tuesday? He was at last night's Democratic debate and tried to get some answers from some of the local Democratic public officials on hand --- including Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and PA Governor Ed Rendell --- to see if they had any concerns about the e-voting machines to be used in next week's crucial PA Primary.

Kudos to Jake for asking, just one of the so-many questions (if, arguably, one of the most important) that the Corporate Media, such as ABC News, couldn't even be bothered to dream of, apparently.

Despite the fact that, next week, wholly unverifiable, 100% faith-based e-voting systems will be in use across much of the Keystone State --- including, perhaps most notably, Sequoia's AVC Advantage touch-screens in Montgomery and Northhampton counties, even though very same systems failed so spectacularly in neighboring NJ on Super Tuesday (see this recent BRAD BLOG story for the quick skinny on what happened, and continues to be going on with the NJ/Sequoia failed touch-screen imbroglio) --- the election officials interviewed by Soboroff, in the following quick video recorded just last night, remain utterly and completely clueless.

It's simply amazing...


And folks wonder why the job of restoring Election Integrity in this country is so frickin' hard?!

The above video --- including Nutter's comments that there have been "no problems" with the machines, since, after all, they got him elected, and Rendell's admission that he "knows nothing about them", but that they are "all HAVA approved machines" --- underscores how unbelievably difficult this fight is, and how clueless the very folks needed to help make a change actually are, in this entire fine mess.

Suggestion to Soboroff for next vid: Ask any elected official or election official in PA, or anywhere else, if they can prove that even a single vote --- as cast on any touch-screen machine during any actual election --- has ever been recorded and counted accurately as the voter intended. Just evidence of a single such vote will do. They will not be able to do so. None of them.

UPDATE 4/19/08: The good election integrity champions of VotePA touched base with us concerning our above suggestion to Soboroff to point out that there is one way possible to prove that a touch-screen/DRE counted a vote accurately, as per voter intent, during an actual election. An unusual write-in candidate could be cast, and then checked after the election to see if it was recorded accurately. Therefore, we'll slightly modify our currently suggested challenge above, to any election official, asking for proof of any non-write-in vote having been recorded accurately as per voter intent, as ever cast on a DRE/touch-screen voting machine during an actual election. We've made that challenge for quite a while (minus the "non-write-in" part), and we've yet to receive an iota of proof from any election official, even from those who will tell you that their DRE/touch-screens record votes "accurately".

Truth is, they have nothing to prove their case. Not even a single (non-write-in) vote ever cast. Yet they still claim them to be "accurate" without any such scientific evidence of same. Go figure.

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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