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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, December 6, 2016
'Green News Report' 12/6/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Victory (for now) against ND pipeline; Trump eyes Native lands; Exxon CEO for Sec. of State?; Extreme rainfall projected to increase; PLUS: Fukushima clean up costs double...
Previous GNRs: 12/1/16 - 11/29/16 - Archives...
'Corporate Media Lied. We
are Escalating Fight in PA': 'BradCast' 12/5/16
Exclusive intvw w/ Stein campaign chief, Green 2004 nominee David Cobb. Also: MI ordered to begin count, ND pipeline blocked (for now)!...
Sunday Toons, of Trolls and Recounts
A fantastic collection of the week's best toons -- on all matter of stuff -- from 'PDiddie'!...
'Recount' 2016 or 'Recount' 2000? Team Trump Files to Stop WI, MI, PA Counts: 'BradCast' 12/2/16
As PA margin plummets, Stein asks: 'Why is Trump afraid of these recounts?'...
Hand, Machine 'Recounts' Begin in WI, Trump Blocks MI Count: 'BradCast' 12/1/16
Also: Brain-addled Trump voters buy his 'voter fraud' lie, even as he hires an actual voter fraud criminal as a top WH NatSec adviser...
'Green News Report' 12/1/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deadly drought-fueled fires in TN; Canada approves tar sands pipelines; 100M dead trees in CA drought; Toxic algae blooms in West again; PLUS: WA scientists turn CO2 to stone...
Previous GNRs: 11/29/16 - 11/22/16 - Archives...
Countdown to 'Recounts': Stein Files in MI, More Barriers in WI: 'BradCast' 11/30/16
Computer scientists and voting systems expert plead for hand-counts; Fees increased; Callers ring in with questions...
Impossible 'Recount' Laws in PA; New Barriers in WI: 'BradCast' 11/29/16
VotePA's Marybeth Kuznik on insane 'recount' laws, 100% unverifiable vote systems in PA; Also: What good are paper ballots if nobody can afford to count them?...
'Green News Report' 11/29/16
Eviction for ND pipeline protesters; 3 oil refinery fires in 2 days; Drought emergency in Bolivia; Coral die-off in Great Barrier Reef; PLUS: Judge: Kids can sue over climate...
Overseeing Results in WI, MI, PA Before 'Recounts' Begin: 'BradCast' 11/28/16
Election fraud investigator Richard Hayes Phillips on concerns about reported turnout in WI and much more...
Sunday Leftover Turkey Toons
The nation's political cartoonists talk turkey (and more) in PDiddie's latest collection of the week's best toons...
Stein 'Recount' Effort Raises Millions: 'BradCast' 11/25/16
Guest host Angie Coiro on why the Presidential 'recount' battle in WI, MI, PA matters beyond 2016. She also speaks with guest Leland Faust and much more...
'Why Would Anyone Be Against Counting Votes?': 'BradCast' 11/23/16
Exclusive interview with Green Party's Dr. Jill Stein, announcing her plan to file for WI, MI, PA 'recounts'...
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...
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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...


By Brad Friedman on 3/18/2009 2:00pm PT  

I guess I'm just in the minority here, but I'm having a bit of trouble getting exercised about $165 million (just to put that into perspective, the movie sequel The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian had a budget of $200 million) in bonuses to AIG employees.

Yeah, it's a shame that approximately one-tenth of one-percent of the $144 billion made available to the company by the federal government in bailout monies went to such bonuses, but where is all the furor from public officials, media outlets and bloggers --- from both Right and Left --- over the 12 billions of dollars (with a "b") sent over to Iraq as pallets of cash (literally, shrink-wrapped $100 bills), which then simply disappeared into that trillion (with a "t") dollar rat hole without accounting or explanation?

Where is the outrage and accountability there? Nowhere.

How about the $4 billion (with a "b") that went to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 to purchase privately made electronic voting systems which don't work and don't meet the federal standards it was claimed that they did?

It's curious, but not particularly surprising by now, the stuff that folks in Congress get selectively pissed off about, the stuff that media (both mainstream and blogosphere) go selectively wall-to-wall over, versus the stuff they don't.

You'll pardon me if I'm not particularly moved much at all by the latest round of AIG sturm-und-drang, hand-wringing, navel-gazing, finger-pointing and speechifying. Oh, and about the still-free bin Laden, and the still-free anthrax killer...well, don't get me started. Guess those things don't much matter.




Startling admission made during public hearing in CA to consider decertification of the company's voting and tabulation software...
By Mitch Trachtenberg on 3/17/2009 11:06pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Mitch Trachtenberg, with Brad Friedman

Even the audit log system on current versions of Premier Election Solutions' (formerly Diebold's) electronic voting and tabulating systems --- used in some 34 states across the nation --- fail to record the wholesale deletion of ballots. Even when ballots are deleted on the same day as an election. That's the shocking admission heard today from Justin Bales, Premier's Western Region manager, at a State of California public hearing on the possible decertification of Diebold/Premier's tabulator system, GEMS v. 1.18.19.

An election system's audit logs are meant to record all activity during the system's actual counting of ballots, so that later examiners may determine, with certainty, whether any fraudulent or mistaken activity had occurred during the count. Diebold's software fails to do that, as has recently been discovered by Election Integrity advocates in Humboldt County, CA, and then confirmed by the CA Secretary of State. The flaws, built into the system for more than a decade, are in serious violation of federal voting system certification standards.

The problems may lead to decertification of the company's voting systems, as well as an examination of voting systems made by other companies to determine if they too may have been able to sneak such violations past both federal and state testers...

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




A draft summary of what I see as the most important, most doable, federal election reform priorities for 2009...
By Brad Friedman on 3/10/2009 5:49pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

Okay, so I've been asked on several occasions, since the election last year, what I regard as the top priorities for election reform in the U.S. of A. In hopes of keeping it simple, stupid, at least until I hear opinions on these back from you folks, here is a summary list of the most important, and most eminently-doable-at-the-federal-level reforms as I see it.

I welcome your thoughts, recommended changes, additions, etc. For the moment, this is not meant as a comprehensive list of all needed reforms, particularly at the various local levels. But it's meant as a list of the big ones, as I seem them, and the ones for which I believe we could actually find a consensus in this Congress sooner rather than later. Nor is this meant as whitepaper with arguments and details for each item. But hopefully most regular readers of The BRAD BLOG will understand what these reforms entail and why they are necessary, as written in this summarized, simple list.

After hearing from you all, I may post an updated version later and/or set these up on their own page, in order track legislation for each of them as they roll (or don't) through Congress. Here's the list...

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




New CA SoS report confirms findings of 'Humboldt Transparency Project,' discovers even more egregious failures in widely-used Diebold voting counting system
One of the citizens who designed the software, responsible for the startling discoveries, offers his thoughts...
By Mitch Trachtenberg on 3/4/2009 1:40pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Mitch Trachtenberg of the Humboldt County Election Transparency Project

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has released a remarkable 13-page report [PDF] of her office's investigation into how the Diebold/Premier GEMS software silently dropped all votes contained on 197 ballots from the Humboldt County, California, November 2008 general election.

The report shows that this version of GEMS not only deleted a batch of ballots without any request by --- or alert to --- the elections staff, but also failed to note the deletion in the system's audit log. The report also points to other startling deficiencies with Diebold/Premier's software: "Key audit trail logs in GEMS version 1.18.19 do not record important operator interventions such as deletion of decks of ballots, assign inaccurate date and time stamps to events that are recorded, and can be deleted by the operator."

That's right. The Diebold/Premier vote tabulation system in question not only fails to record all events accurately, and sometimes at all, it also allows anyone with access to the system to completely delete audit logs, covering the tracks of any tampering that may have occurred, at any time, on the system.

Any of these flaws, the report concludes, "appears to violate the 1990 Voting System Standards to an extent that would have warranted failure of the GEMS version 1.18.19 system had they been detected and reported by the [federal] Independent Testing Authority [ITA] that tested the system."...

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




The democracy the U.S. helped to create in Germany gets it, while, as usual, the U.S. itself remains largely clueless and/or indifferent to the need for transparency in its own...
By Brad Friedman on 3/4/2009 10:42am PT  

A finding by the "highest court" in Germany has found electronic voting to be unconstitutional...

Germany's highest court has ruled that the use of electronic voting in the last general election was unconstitutional.
..
September's upcoming elections looks set to see a return to the more traditional pencil and paper countrywide.

Constitutional judge Andreas Vosskuhle said that the judgment did not rule out digital voting for once and for all, but added that the equipment used four years ago did have shortcomings.
...
The use of electronic voting was challenged by a father-and-son team. Political scientist Joachim Wiesner and son, physicist Ulrich Wiesner complained that push button voting was not transparent because the voter could not see what actually happened to his vote inside the computer and was required to place "blind faith" in the technology.

In addition, the two plaintiffs argued that the results were open to manipulation.

It took only four years, since e-voting was first deployed widely in Germany, for the country, and its highest court, to find that secret vote counting was unacceptable in a democracy, while the political-structure, media-structure and judicial-structure in the U.S. still remain largely clueless, or otherwise uninterested in either transparency or democracy.

Congratulations are due to our German EI advocacy brethren (as well as those in Holland who figured it out long before Americans did, as well):

German hacker-cum-data-protection group Chaos Computer Club has been spearheading a campaign with the Dutch foundation Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet (We don't trust voting computers) to stop the further spread of electronic voting because of fears about the risk of electronic errors and the potential for abuse.

In 2008, the Dutch government decertified the use of existing paperless systems and rejected a proposal to develop a new generation of voting computers.

Germany and Holland: Our new shining cities upon a hill.




By John Gideon on 3/3/2009 4:10pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Yesterday, the California Secretary of State released a letter [PDF] to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and a report of their findings with regards to the problem discovered in early December, in Humboldt Co., with disappearing ballots on the Diebold GEMS v. 1.18.19 voting system.

The letter actually challenges the EAC to take action in “requiring that, for every voting system certified by the EAC, the voting system vendor report any and all flaws and problems with the system to the EAC and to the elections officials in the states where the system is used when such flaws are discovered.” And Secretary Bowen has taken the action herself by sponsoring legislation in California that will do what she has challenged the EAC to do.

The report is amazing in that it reveals why our voting systems are failing. The issues with the GEMS software go much deeper than just the fact that the system may lose votes. The state also found readily apparent violations of the federal voting system standards. These violations seem to have been ignored by federal test labs, by the National Assoc. of State Election Directors (NASED), and their consultants who qualified the voting system for use, and by-passed CA Secretaries of State and their consultants.

The big question is, will the EAC, staffed by people who were involved in the original NASED “rubber-stamp” of GEMS 1.18.19, take any action? Will they post the letter and report it in their “clearinghouse?” We certainly hope so. The present CA Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, and her staff deserve congratulations and appreciation for a job well done so far. It will be interesting to hear what follow-up actions will now be taken on the federal and state levels....

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




Exclusive: Discredited federal E-voting oversight commission issued an incorrect 2005 'legal advisory' helping to keep NY on a collision course with democracy
But it's not too late to save the last transparent electoral system in the United States...
By Andi Novick on 3/2/2009 3:45pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Andi T. Novick, Esq.

New York is the last state in the nation to have a non-computerized, transparent voting system. We still use immutable, theft-deterring mechanical lever machines to count our votes. (* - Please seen bottom of this article for a quick explanation of how lever machines work, for those who may not know.)

New Yorkers are fighting to keep their current voting system, notwithstanding that New York's legislature passed a law in 2005 that says we should give up our observable, reliable levers in exchange for unreliable, concealed software-based vote counting machines. Nearly 1,800 New Yorkers have signed a petition, and three counties (Dutchess, Ulster, and Columbia, all PDFs), have passed resolutions to save New York's lever voting system.

The Association of Towns (half of New York's entire population lives in towns) recently passed a resolution to save the levers [PDF], and Nassau, Greene, and other counties are presently considering similar action to retain New York's lever voting system.

Moreover, reliable sources have confirmed for me that neither the Governor nor the Attorney General nor the State Legislature that passed the "Election Reform and Modernization Act" (ERMA) want to replace the levers anymore either (what politician would want to be responsible for choosing to cut essential programs for hungry children or the elderly, just to be able to replace our superior and affordable voting system with budget-breaking computers that are notoriously corruptible and defective?). But the State Legislature has not repealed ERMA and the Attorney General, to date, has supported the State (not the citizens).

So what is driving New York State to stick with a law that so many in New York believe to be such a bad idea? As a New Yorker who has been talking to many election commissioners, legislators and citizens, I was surprised to learn how many people believe the "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) actually banned lever machines.

I read HAVA. It clearly does not ban levers. I recently discovered what has helped fuel this misinformed opinion in part: it is the discredited position of the discredited U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), as detailed in a newly-unearthed document prepared for the state of Pennsylvania, at their request, in regard to the legality of lever voting machines.

Although the agency is not a court of law, and not even an agency deserving of deference for its opinions --- its allegiance has clearly been shown to be not with either voters or democracy --- the "HAVA-banned-levers" rumor was given the imprimatur of the EAC through this little-noticed document...

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




Election Integrity expert Bev Harris compares 'secret software' provisions, 'persistent' e-voting proposals to process that allowed for 'Corporate Personhood'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/25/2009 1:12pm PT  

From BlackBoxVoting.org's Bev Harris, on the section of the new Election Reform bill being proposed in the U.S. House by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), which would federally institutionalize secret software for vote counting, and the requirement of non-disclosure agreements for those who are lucky enough to be allowed permission to examine it...

I've been engaged in debate in private listservs on the so-called "new" Holt Bill, which is basically exactly the same as the old Holt Bill, and every bit as much a danger to our liberty as the other Holt Bill.

In fact, clause for clause, it's pretty much the same. Now, one wonders, in a new administration and with new political realities, why would one put forth a bill that supports secret vote counting?

The Holt Bill, like the persistent reappearance of Internet Voting proposals, reminds me very much of the process corporations followed in the late 1800s while grabbing "corporate personhood." They kept coming back to the well, year after year, defeat after defeat, until one year, someone fell asleep at the wheel and corporations grabbed the "right" to personhood.

What we are seeing in elections today is the surreptitious dismantling of self-government. Heck, if corporations can be persons, why not just choose our decisionmakers and in fact, just vote for us?

Well, we wouldn't allow that, because we'd know that is actually just slavery, giving up our inalienable right to self-government. So it must be done surreptitiously.

Last week, we analyzed the latest draft version [PDF] of Holt's soon-to-be-introduced "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" bill in depth. We detailed the dangers of its provisions allowing for secret software --- which even he and his office admit have been included in the bill because Capitol Hill lobbyists from "the proprietary software industry...won" the battle over full software and hardware disclosure --- along with Holt's continued insistence on allowing for the use of unreliable, unverifiable touch-screen voting devices.

The BRAD BLOG has covered your electoral system, tirelessly, fiercely and independently for years, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work, which only you help to fund, with a donation to help us continue the work so few are willing to do. If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details on that right here...



By John Gideon on 2/24/2009 4:27pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

EAC Commissioner Rosemary Rodriguez has tendered her resignation and will return to Colorado to be the State Director for Senator Michael Bennet. Commissioner Rodriguez joins ex-Commissioners Soaries and Martinez who resigned before their term was up and not, like ex-Commissioner Hunter, to take another job in DC.

Lawmakers in New Jersey have taken the state backwards as the State Senate agreed with the House that the state should scrap plans to provide any verifiability in their elections. A requirement signed into law a few years ago should have required a "Voter-verifiable Paper Audit Trail" [VVPAT] on all of the state’s Direct Recording Electronic [DRE] voting machines over a year ago. Instead the deadline has been a moving target and will now, with signature of the Governor, go away...

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




Maddening chain of email, querying the status of the Diebold failure discovered in Humboldt County, CA, illustrates the EAC's continued protection of e-voting vendors, at the expense of the voters
ALSO: CA said likely to decertify the flawed Diebold system, while the EAC fails to take any action at all...
By John Gideon on 2/23/2009 12:13pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

"It is through the Constitution that we control the reins of government and insure that it remains the protector of individual, unalienable Rights - i.e., the servant of the People.

"Therefore, it behooves the People to show the Government that the People know what their Rights are and what Government's obligations are, that the People are watching Government as it exercises its delegated powers and that the People are prepared to act if the Government steps outside the boundaries drawn around its power by the Constitution." --- We The People Foundation

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) works for the People. It doesn't work for special interests. It doesn't work for the voting system vendors. The EAC has an obligation, spelled out in its past advisories, public statements and, most importantly, in federal law, to carry out oversight of the voting systems we, the People, use in our federal elections. It does not matter that the EAC commissioners are not elected to their positions. They are still servants of the People.

Not long after being created by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, the EAC published, on June 8, 2004, "Chairman Soaries' Remarks about Electronic Voting Security Strategy for the November 2004 Presidential Election." The comments, by then EAC Chairman DeForest "Buster" Soaries included recommendations "to insure election integrity and promote voter confidence in the administration of the 2004 federal election," and stated, in part: "[The] EAC should solicit information about suspicious electronic voting system activity including software programming and should request aggressive investigative and prosecutorial responses from the U.S. Department of Justice Elections Crimes Branch in the Criminal Division."

The above was restated in a July 13, 2004 "Commission Advisory Letter" [PDF].

It's clear that if there is to be any federal body to recommend investigation and/or prosecution to the DoJ, in regards criminal violation of federal law concerning voting systems, it is to be the EAC, the body charged with testing, certifying, and performing as the "national clearinghouse...with respect to the administration of federal elections" (42 U.S.C. § 15322) and the electronic voting systems employed across the country.

And yet, the EAC has continued to utterly fail in those duties, as a particularly maddening chain of inquiries and emails --- back-and-forth and round-and-round --- that we'd sent to the EAC commissioners and their spokesperson over the past three months illustrates all too well. All we were trying to do was get a simple answer to a very simple question...

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




Bill 'improved' to require paper ballots, but they may be marked or printed by computer devices which offer most of the same dangers as current Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) devices...
Additional concerns remain in the previously-defeated, newly-rewritten draft version of the landmark legislation...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2009 12:54pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) is preparing to drop a new version of the "Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act" legislation which met so much resistance during the last Congress from both Election Integrity advocates and those opposed to any reform whatsoever alike.

A recent draft of the new legislation [PDF], as obtained by The BRAD BLOG, is an improvement over last session's controversial HR 811 bill (which we covered, at the time, in exhausting detail, as indexed on this special coverage page) in that it would ban the use of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting devices by the 2012 general election. However, the new bill fails to ban all forms of computerized touch-screen voting and, indeed, encourages it through federal funding to help jurisdictions move from DREs to similar, but non-tabulating, Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs).

We could well jump out of the frying pan, and into yet another frying pan, if the legislation passes as currently drafted.

BMDs, which often use touch-screens to allow voters to make selections, offer many of the same flaws and dangers that DRE voting systems do, such as: the possibility that votes may be flipped on the touch-screen to selections other than those chosen by the voter (as seen in state after state on DREs over the last several election cycles); failures to boot up and power outages which keep citizens from being able to vote at all; machine shortages which cause long lines, discouraging voters from waiting to vote; and the requirement for voters to attempt to verify the accuracy of their ballots on three separate occasions, before the computer-marked version of the paper ballot is actually cast.

Holt has offered The BRAD BLOG a fairly puzzling response to our concerns, at least as we read it, which we'll share in full below.

Moreover, in addition to encouraging the use of troublesome, expensive, and hackable electronic BMDs, the new bill would federally institutionalize the ability of private election companies to keep their hardware and software from public review by requiring that anyone who wishes to examine the systems and source code for integrity, must show cause, get "approval" from a governmental body (largely, only scientists, academics, or election officials need apply) and sign a non-disclosure agreement before being allowed to do so.

While the bill offers some improvements over previous versions, the major flaws still inherent in the legislation --- as it's currently drafted --- will fail to ensure the security, accuracy, and transparency that American democracy requires and deserves. As a sweeping piece of (much-needed) federal reform, we'd better make sure that we get it right this time, since it'll be years, perhaps decades, before we get another bite at that apple should this legislation actually be signed into law this time...

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




By John Gideon on 2/17/2009 4:17pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Today we have three “Featured” articles. Regular readers will note that we have been warning about the recent call for Internet voting and the fact that the Internet is not secure for elections use. The first two articles clearly bring this concern to the forefront. If the Internet was secure, the New York Times wonders, why would scientists be designing a newer, better Internet?

The second “Featured” article says, “Reported cyber attacks on U.S. government computer networks climbed 40% last year, federal records show, and more infiltrators are trying to plant malicious software they could use to control or steal sensitive data.”

If the Internet is so insecure why in the world would any responsible election official even suggest using the it to transmit completed ballots? One has to wonder what is really behind this new Internet voting push. That brings us to the third of our “Featured” articles...

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




What the U.S. could learn about election reform from Uganda. Yes, Uganda...
By Steve Heller on 2/17/2009 5:35am PT  

Guest blogged by Steve Heller of VelvetRevolution.us

The New Vision (which bills itself as "Uganda's leading website") is reporting under the headline, "Election thieves to be imprisoned", that the Ugandan Electoral Commission is advocating several reforms to Uganda's election laws, and a number of them are excellent ideas which the United States would do well to emulate.

Among these reforms are:

Heavy fines for electoral offenders. "Politicians found guilty of cheating in elections will be sent to prison for up to two years or made to pay heavy fines if a new proposal by the Electoral Commission (EC) becomes a law." [snip] "The opposition coalition also wants the electoral law to be amended so that the EC is given power to disqualify candidates involved in rigging or other election malpractices for at least seven years."

Sounds like a great idea! And in America, we'd also like to extend that law to any and all election officials and even private citizens who are convicted of violating election laws. This would include issuing disinformation about voting or registration, illegal purges of the voter rolls, and ignoring state laws regarding the certification of election results.

Period of declaration of results should be increased from 48 hours to a week. Apparently, under current Ugandan law the results from each precinct are required to be certified and turned in within 48 hours. The Commission wants to extend that time limit to one week. "Though opposition parties oppose the proposal, the commission says it is difficult to secure securing [sic] the results from all returning officers within 48 hours."

It seems that Uganda understands what many American election officials and even many American voters don't --- that the accuracy of the results and the importance of counting every vote are more important than speed. Waiting a few days or even a few weeks for election results is well worth it if the extra time will lead to correct, every-vote-counted-and-counted-accurately results.

American politicians and election officials could learn some lessons from Uganda!




At least $160k is billable to Sequoia Voting Systems, as per state requirements for use of touch-screen systems
Registrar Barbara Dunmore, one of worst in nation, fights on behalf of voting machine company, as county's $90 million budget shortfall grows...
By Brad Friedman on 2/13/2009 11:17am PT  

With the entire state of California facing a massive budget crisis, and most, if not all, of its counties facing shortfalls this year, Riverside County's Registrar of Voters, Barbara Dunmore, is refusing to collect at least $160,000 from Sequoia Voting Systems for the cost of manually counting paper trails produced by their touch-screen voting systems last November.

California counties which choose to use touch-screen voting systems to serve disabled voters are required to tally all of the so-called "paper trails" by hand after elections, as per requirements for their use as imposed by Sec. of State Debra Bowen in 2007, due to security concerns with such systems.

The cost for that tally is to be covered by the voting machine company, as per Bowen's certification documents, which state: "Elections officials are required to conduct the audits, and the vendor is required to reimburse the jurisdiction."

Nonetheless, Dunmore, who has an extraordinary history of failure during her tenure as Registrar, in both the distant and recent past, has failed to seek reimbursement. And her office now seems to now be fighting, on behalf of Sequoia, to keep the beleaguered e-voting supplier from having to pay the costs, despite clear terms of use for such systems in this state...

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




'Not a whiff of fraud here,' says Repub MN Senate contest attorney...
By Brad Friedman on 2/12/2009 1:21pm PT  

Might we suggest these Republicans get their lies straight before going public?

From Republican State Representative Tom Emmer's press release today, on the defeat of his restrictive Photo ID voting bill in the MN legislature this morning:

"The U.S. Senate recount has given us evidence of twenty-five precincts in Minnesota where more votes were cast than the rolls had registered voters," said Emmer. "How does a situation like that not cry out for a safeguard that will return confidence in our election process to Minnesota voters?"

Just now, from attorney James Langdon, arguing on behalf of former Republican Senator Norm Coleman, in the U.S. Senate election contest in MN:

"There hasn't been a whiff here, of any fraud."

But why quibble when we might be able to disenfranchise (Democratic-leaning) voters in a democracy? By the way, the RNC seems to agree with Langdon, not Emmer:

Not that any of that will stop any Republican anywhere from doing everything they can to keep legal (Democratic-leaning) voters from being able to cast their legal votes through Photo ID restrictions, or anything else they can think of.




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