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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
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'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

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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
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

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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
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2008 11:43am PT  

These are some of the folks whose votes that democracy-hating Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) is going to the state Supreme Court to keep from being counted in the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota...


The video, produced by challenger Al Franken's campaign, was described by the Coleman camp as "a new low." As Republicanists tend to project just about everything they do on others, we'd suggest that there may be "a new low" here, but in this case, it ain't coming from the Franken camp.

As we reported on Friday, the state canvassing board --- made up of Republicans (two are MN Supreme Court judges), Democrats, and Independents --- ruled unanimously in favor of counting the 1,600 or so absentee ballots which were improperly rejected by election officials and not counted originally in the state's razor-close U.S. Senate race.

Hopefully those ballots now will be counted, unless Coleman has his way in the Supreme Court where he hopes to get an order to stop the counting of legal ballots cast by folks like those seen in the video above. Nice.

CORRECTION: The original version of this article referred to 16,000 rather than 1,600 improperly rejected absentee ballots. The BRAD BLOG regrets the error.

As long promised, The BRAD BLOG has covered your electoral system 2008, fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going. If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details on that right here...



The Failures Discovered in Diebold's Tabulation System Are Even Worse Than Previously Reported...
...And Never Would Have Been Found Were it Not for the 'Humboldt Transparency Project'...
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2008 1:17pm PT  

Following up on the latest monumental failure by Diebold/Premier --- whose voting system was recently found by a citizens' transparency project to have lost hundreds of ballots in a single precinct in Humboldt County, CA --- Wired's Kim Zetter covered the issue earlier this week.

Her article touched on a number of technical issues involved in the failure of the Diebold GEMS central tabulator which, though we hadn't noted them in our own coverage, are nonetheless important, even if somewhat down in the weeds, and perhaps most of note to technical election integrity geeks only.

As quoted below in some detail from Zetter's report, she advances the story by noting:

  • The problem, which Diebold admits has been in its system for years, likely wouldn't have been noticed at all were it not for the unique, experimental, citizen-led "Humboldt Transparency Project." Even CA's required 1% random post-election "audit" wouldn't have uncovered the problem, since absentee ballots are not included in that audit.
  • The chances of the problem occurring, which resulted in ballots being deleted without notice by the Diebold GEMS tabulator, are rather high, even if chances of discovery of the error by election officials are very low.
  • Diebold's explanation for the failure may or may not be legitimate.
  • The GEMS internal "audit logs" (the GEMS system was used in 34 states around the nation last November) aren't actually audit logs at all, and may not actually note the complete set of events which occurred on the voting system, even if anyone is allowed to review those logs in the first place.

Let's take a look at the details...

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




Hundreds of Lost Ballots, Illegal Voting System, and the Boondoggle Behind Billions of Federal Dollars Spent on Voting Machines That Don't Work All Illustrated by Simple Citizen Oversight, Free Open-Source Voting System in One California County...
By Brad Friedman on 12/8/2008 3:28pm PT  

By John Gideon and Brad Friedman

"Some people have called those who have long decried our nation's move toward voting machines nuts or just sore losers," reads the editorial from yesterday's Eureka Times-Standard.

"They were loud, and they were strident in proclaiming that they didn't trust election technologies as much as they trust the ability of actual human beings to count votes," the paper continues in response to the citizen's "Transparency Project" in Humboldt County, CA which, as The BRAD BLOG reported last week, discovered some 200 ballots that the county's Diebold optical-scan system had deleted from the initially certified count. Humboldt registrar Carolyn Crnich --- who deserves much credit for working with local election integrity advocates to allow them to create a more transparent, open-source optical-scan system as a check on the buggy Diebold hardware and software --- was forced to to re-certify the November 4th election with new results after the findings.

"The recent discovery, thanks to the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project, of a discrepancy in election results due to flawed software reveals that these activists were right to make noise, and right to complain about a company that has been less than responsible in dealing with the problem."

Thanks for noticing, Times-Standard. Now will the rest of the country notice? Specifically, will the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, responsible for testing and certifying these machines at the federal level, and the U.S. Dept. of Justice, responsible for enforcing federal laws --- which again seem to have been violated by Diebold (whose election division now calls themselves Premier) --- notice and take action?

Interviews with and responses from CA officials from Crnich to Sec. of State Debra Bowen's office indicate a serious problem, yet again, with Diebold's handling of the software failure which the company has known about for four years, even as they allowed election officials to continue using the same system in several states.

The BRAD BLOG has obtained a copy of Diebold's original terse, emailed notice of the software failure, sent to Crnich's predecessor in 2004, but never sent to CA's new Sec. of State, despite her "Top-to-Bottom Review" of all e-voting systems in the state which she undertook after taking office in 2007. (The Diebold email notice is posted below, in full.)

At the same time, local software programmer Mitch Trachtenberg, who developed the simple, transparent, open-source optical-scan software, using off-the-shelf hardware for the citizen's project --- including the ability to post all scanned ballots onto the web for citizen review --- may have inadvertently revealed the scam perpetuated by the nation's electronic voting machine vendor's who were allocated some $3.9 billion federal tax dollars for their efforts at creating proprietary systems, which don't even work as promised...or as required by federal law...

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




By John Gideon on 12/4/2008 4:30pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) was signed into law in Oct. 2002. Amongst other things HAVA required the formation of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and provided some mandates, in Title III of the law, for federal elections including some standards for voting systems. Those standards include, but are not limited to, accessibility for voters with disabilities and accuracy in the vote count. Testing by experts in accessibility has shown that none of the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems presently in use meet the requirements for accessibility for disabled voters. Failures in testing and vote counting in real elections have also proven that, at times, the voting systems presently being used across the country do not meet the federally mandated requirements for accuracy.

So what guidance has been provided by the EAC to the states with regards to Title III? Well, actually none. In fact even though voting systems presently in use do not meet federal law the EAC is just now getting around to issuing guidance to state and local election officials and, according to the draft of the plan ‘featured’ below, it is going to take another two years before the EAC can complete the guidance.

Why can’t they just tell the vendors and the states that the law is clear and, if they fail to follow that law, violations will be referred to the DoJ? The fact that the vendors misrepresent their products as being accessible is a clear violation of the law. It is time they are held responsible and it doesn’t take two years of studying Title III of HAVA to make that clear....

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




Just in Time for Transition, Let Them Hear From You by Dec. 8th!...
By Brad Friedman on 12/3/2008 11:21am PT  

Here's your chance to offer helpful thoughts, advice and concerns to the federal commission tasked with overseeing U.S. election administration, testing and certification of voting machines and (theoretically) serving as a national "clearinghouse" for problems with such machines.

High-ranking sources within both the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and Obama transition team have indicated to The BRAD BLOG that changes are likely afoot for the executive branch commission as the new administration begins to take control of it. Now is likely a very good moment for you to speak up to them about it.

From an EAC press release just issued today...

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Chair Rosemary E. Rodriguez invites the public to submit written testimony for the EAC's December 8th public meeting, which includes a panel discussion about the 2008 Election Day Survey and voting system performance. The meeting agenda is available at www.eac.gov.

"Public interest in voting system performance has not waned since the November election, which is why I think it is important to include this topic in the December public meeting," said Chair Rodriguez. "I would like to invite the public to provide written testimony on this topic or any others on the meeting agenda, and will direct EAC staff to post all testimony received at www.eac.gov.
...
Written testimony for the public meeting should be submitted by e-mail to HAVAinfo@eac.gov. Deadline for receiving testimony is Monday, December 8, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. To ensure your e-mail is directed appropriately, please include "December 8 public meeting testimony" in the subject line. For further assistance, contact the EAC toll-free at 1-866-747-1471.

As long promised, The BRAD BLOG has covered your electoral system 2008, fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going. If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details on that right here...



Missing Ballots, Uncounted Absentees and the GOP PR Battle That May Trump Both...
By Brad Friedman on 11/25/2008 10:13am PT  

UPDATE at end of article.

Math/statistics/poll-wiz Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com predicts the race between incumbent MN Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and challenger Al Franken (D) could result in a 27 vote win for Franken. That's right, just 27 votes.

With that in mind, every single vote matters, so it's of note that the Franken campaign is now wondering about some missing ballots in a number of counties. From Public Record's coverage last night:

According to the secretary of state's website, 1,074 people in Clay County voted on Election Day but only 1,069 ballots were produced by the county for the recount. In St. Louis County, 1,649 people voted on Election Day but the county turned over 1,646 ballots for the recount. And in Washington County, 1,464 voted on Election Day but 1,449 ballots were turned over for the recount. The shortfall can easily shift the election to Franken or Coleman's favor because the race between the candidates is so close.

That in mind, we'll take the opportunity to remind both parties in the recount of our earlier suggestion that they make public records requests (if they haven't already) for the invoices from printers of all of the original ballots, and then request that all ballots --- including unvoted ballots --- be counted as part of the final reconciliation of ballots. The number of voted, spoiled, and unvoted ballots should be exactly equal to the number of ballots shown as printed originally on those invoices. If not, there's a problem.

But while ballots have now turned up "missing," and absentees have been tossed from the hand count, the GOP seems to be preparing for a FL 2000 PR gambit to "win" at all costs...

We've got a few more notes/thoughts on a couple of related ballot issues that have bubbled up over the last few days as we've been driving across the country. Given the closeness of this race, these issues could ultimately end up deciding it one way or another, even as the GOP seems to be preparing a FL 2000 PR gambit to "win" at all costs, no matter the final outcome of the hand-count...

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




Diebold Touch-Screen Memory Cards and Other Documents Sought for Retention as Allegations of Racketeering Scheme 'to Corrupt Elections in the U.S. Over the Course of This Decade' Spread to Encompass '02 and '08 Senate Races in the Peach State...
By Steve Heller on 11/24/2008 6:53pm PT  

Guest blogged by Steve Heller of Velvet Revolution

The lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the civil RICO lawsuit King Lincoln v. Blackwell in Ohio has served a document hold request to Georgia Sec. of State Karen Handel in advance of the December 2nd run-off election between incumbent U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) and his opponent, Jim Martin (D).

Today's letter from attorney Cliff Arnebeck (posted in full at the end of this article) requests "any records of official investigation of the reported use of uncertified patches by Diebold in two Democratic Georgia counties in 2002, reported by former Diebold consultant Chris Hood."

It also requests "protocols, inspection and audit procedures that have been prescribed to protect against other introductions of uncertified patches into federal elections in Georgia."

And, in an effort to preempt any planned improprieties in the upcoming Georgia run-off election between incumbent Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) and his opponent, Jim Martin (D) --- particularly given the 2002 history of Diebold-run Senate elections featuring Chambliss --- Arnebeck also requests Handel's "confirmation that all … records for the runoff election will be retained for the federally prescribed 22 month period."

That last request, echoing a call for same made recently by The BRAD BLOG, comes at a moment when the stakes for the Georgia election could hardly be higher. The 22-month retention of memory cards and hard drives from electronic voting systems is frequently ignored by election officials, despite the federal statute requiring all materials from elections be securely stored for that full period. Unfortunately, memory cards and hard drives are routinely erased and re-used, despite the federal law.

In Georgia, that has been a peach of a problem for those concerned with election integrity...

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




By John Gideon on 11/21/2008 12:31pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org

A special hat-tip to citizen journalists K. Shawn Edgar and Shawn Waldow who produced and edited this piece and, of course, to the voters and staff of the Washington County, Oregon elections office.




But How Would We Know? The State Uses 100% Unverifiable Voting Machines
America Needs to Wake Up to Election Reform...
By Katherine Forrest on 11/19/2008 9:56pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Katherine Forrest of The Commonweal Institute

Why Georgia? There's strongly suggestive evidence that the 2002 senatorial election in Georgia was stolen. That was the first election in which Diebold DRE (Direct Recording Electronic, usually touch-screen) voting machines were used statewide. Republican Saxby Chambliss beat front runner Democrat Max Cleland, with an astounding 12-point reversal of the vote count compared to pre-election polls. A last-minute "patch" had been applied covertly by Diebold staff to multiple voting machines throughout the state.

Now the Senate race hangs in the balance in Georgia again...

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




By Shannyn Moore on 11/18/2008 5:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Shannyn Moore

ANCHORAGE - If democracy were a religion, voting would be the sacrament.

I grew up in what I call “The First Free-Range Organic Christian Church of Homer.” Sundays brought a message, fellowship, and a line of repentant souls taking communion-a remembrance of sacrifice.

The first time I cast my vote, it struck me as similar. The blood shed for my right to stand at a flag draped table and make my choice part of the collective wasn’t lost on me. I had one of those “Come to Jesus” moments and in 20 years I haven’t missed an opportunity to vote. Unlike Christ, the idea of democracy has never shed a drop of blood; patriots did. The same cannot be said of the suffragettes. Unlike the sacrament celebrated in religious ritual, elections should not be faith-based. The framers never intended our government to be run on trust; hence the myriad of checks and balances. “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”

Election integrity is not about restoring faith in the system. Checks and balances are...

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




Ashton a BRAD BLOG Reader? And Yes, We're Happy to Endorse the Proposition and the Constitutional Amendment it Would Require...
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2008 5:05pm PT  

During a discussion on last Friday's Real Time w/ Bill Maher on HBO, the topic of electoral reform came up. There were the usual discussions of electoral college concerns, primaries vs. caucuses, and then Ashton Kutcher broke in with a point that may well signal he's a reader of The BRAD BLOG, as I believe we were the first (only?) to call for Wednesday as a national election/voting holiday, for the precise reasons that Kutcher points out in the following video clip (appx 1 minute)...


Hey, Ashton! Drop us a line! Given the above, as well as other comments you made on last Friday's show (one of them we posted earlier here), we'd be delighted to make you our first official BRAD BLOG Celebrity Ambassador At-Large! No, seriously. We could use one.

For the record, we most recently wrote about Wednesday as a national election holiday in our piece last week warning about the dangers of the increasing move towards the bad idea of "Vote-by-Mail" elections. Quoth yours truly at the time:

[M]aking Election Day a holiday would ease the crush of voters turning out at once (at poll opening before work, during work lunch hour, or after the work day). Though I'd recommend changing Election Day to a Wednesday when making it a holiday, so that a Tuesday holiday doesn't simply turn into a long out of town 4-day holiday weekend for many.

BTW, while we fully support making Wednesday an official national Election holiday, for the reasons Kutcher describes (and a few more), such a move would likely require a Constitutional amendment, unfortunately. But we could use one anyway for that electoral reform and a number of others (e.g., Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s amendment to ensure a Constitutional "right to vote," as well as making it a felony offense to deny even one voter that right, as originally advocated by the legendary Leon County, FL, Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho.)

Kutcher's quick comments on this topic are transcribed in full below...

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




By John Gideon on 11/14/2008 4:21pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Need more proof that the vendors have made elections expensive? The folks in Vigo Co Indiana find themselves having to hold a special election for mayor of Terre Haute, a city of over 44,000 voters. The county would probably pay for the election and then be reimbursed by the city. The last municipal election the county paid for cost $580,000. The cost for one race in the city would probably be something less than that.

Why so much? The county pays ES&S to manage the voting machines. What would happen if the county or city just decided to print the ballots and hand-count them? Well, the ballots would cost around $0.05 per ballot or around $3500. The cost to hand-count those ballots, based on the cost to hand-count ballots in WA in the 2004 gubernatorial hand-recount would probably be less than $10,000. Why is it that we have these vendors involved in making our elections much more expensive than they should be? ...

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




Isn't It Time for the U.S. to Consider a Secretary of Election Integrity?
By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2008 5:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Shannyn Moore

ANCHORAGE - It doesn't bother me to have fundamental differences with people. If it did, I'd never get out of bed. The person I most respected growing up, my Pop, was and is a conservative ideologue. I'm crazy about him. Disagreeing with facts is fair and healthy. Arguing from a place lacking intellectual curiosity is quite another as nothing is learned nor gained.

Since my first post questioning the voter turnout and other anomalies in Alaska's election, I've been accused of all sorts of things. I have been misquoted in the Anchorage Daily News. They claimed I wrote the election was "stolen." I wrote "Stolen Election in Alaska?" It wasn't the word, it was the punctuation.

But there is good reason to be concerned. A lawsuit filed in 2006 in State Superior Court to release the Diebold GEMS Software from 2004 revealed the database had been tampered with. Unfortunately, the user log-in and password were set to the default settings so it was impossible to tell who had edited the software numerous times post election, since all entries were made by "administrator" with password: "password". So it's not too outrageous for anybody to believe it's important, this time, to pay very close attention to the results of last Tuesday's election...

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




...And Into Other Supposed 'Solutions' to Our Current Electoral Woes...
By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2008 1:18pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

"DavidNYC" at DailyKos files a well-meaning diary today headlined "How I Became a Vote-by-Mail Convert" in which he offers some reasons, after years of opposing it, that he now supports VBM based on his experience as a poll watcher last Tuesday.

I've previously offered just a few of the most noteworthy reasons that I believe VBM is a terrible idea for democracy, even as I realize that many hard partisans --- from both sides of the political aisle --- love the idea of VBM as it tends to increase turnout and allows them to target their voters quite directly. Lists of who already voted are routinely made available to the major political parties in the days leading up to the election, allowing them to more specifically target their expensive Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts on, and before, Election Day.

That's swell for partisans, but not so good for many of us who are more concerned that voters be allowed to vote freely, and that their votes be counted accurately and transparently. And some of "DavidNYC's" thoughtful arguments are misleading at best...

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




RNC Notes Variance From Polling Results Could Cast Doubt On 'Validity of Election Results'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2008 5:13pm PT  

An ironic and interesting item that we missed as it ran yesterday, but which we'll store away for future reference [emphasis added]...

On Tuesday, Forensicon, a Chicago computer forensic company, said that it was contacted last week by a security firm last week to assist the Republic National Committee (RNC) in challenging cases of "computerized voter fraud."

"If the election returns vary significantly from the polled numbers in any precincts that proves crucial to the election outcome, I expect that a legal struggle over the validity of the election results will ensue," said Forensicon's President, Lee Neubecker in a press release.

The move seems to indicate a future move by the RNC to challenge certain voting results, in some contradiction to past RNC actions regarding electronic voting




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