Please read my column this week at the UK's Guardian on "The Republican Voter Fraud Hoax".
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Please read my column this week at the UK's Guardian on "The Republican Voter Fraud Hoax".
In an ACORN press release we quoted yesterday, in our article noting the 1.3 million reasons the GOP is working so hard to "Dixie-Chick" the tireless democracy-supporting efforts of the community organization, they courageously declared:
If that unflinching response to the wingnut democracy-haters doesn't underscore how ACORN is not a part of the Democratic Party, I don't know what does. But, in any case, in a comment in response to my article, longtime BRAD BLOG troll "Smithy" wrote this:
Well, for a start, there are exactly zero "fraudulent vote[s] that Acorn produced," no matter what the liar "Smithy," and the rest of the shameless GOP liars, might try to tell you (with exactly zero evidence to back up their obnoxious and dangerous claims).
But I'm happy to thank "Smithy" for the reminder that it is your donations to The BRAD BLOG that keep it going, as we receive no corporate or foundational support, so that we can continue to do our part to "presevre voting rights in this country."
Like ACORN, "we will not be intimidated, we will not be provoked, and in this important moment in history we will not allow anyone to distract us from these vital efforts to empower our constituencies and our communities to speak for themselves."
So if you'd like to help us do just that, please click here to send a BRAD BLOG donation in "Smithy's" dishonor! (If you'd like to be a monthly sustaining supporter of any amount, please use the easy blue box in the right side bar. If you'd like to donate $50 or more one time, we'll be happy to send you a signed DVD of either Murder, Spies & Voting Lies or Uncounted. Your choice. Details here...)
If you'd prefer to donate to any other pro-democracy organization instead of, or in addition to The BRAD BLOG, in the name of "Smithy" and his ilk, please consider one of the following BRAD BLOG-approved groups: ACORN; VotersUnite.org; VoterAction.org; BlackBoxVoting.org; Palast Investigaive Fund; VelvetRevolution.us (Disclosure: We co-founded VR).
...And/or, feel free to support any of the candidates, from any party, who have gone on record pledging to Stand Up For Voters this year for a change!
P.S. I'll be on The Randi Rhodes Show today at 4:30pm ET (1:30pm PT) to discuss the GOP's ACORN "voter fraud" fraud with Randi. Please consider supporting her and Mike Malloy's underdog progressive syndicator NovaM Radio as well!
The Russians flew into town to talk to me last week. The result, from Russia Today, their huge worldwide English-language satellite/news outlet, follows (appx 3.5 mins)...
For the record, I take little joy or comfort in detailing, to folks from Russia, just how bad the current state of democracy is in the U.S.. Describing the failures of our corporate media to them was not much fun either. But I call 'em as I see 'em.
Describing our elections these days as "Russian Roulette," however, did seem to make some kind of perverse sense on Russian television, even if it's not the first time I've used that turn of phrase that way. But I looked Anastasia Churkina in the eye, found her to be very straight-forward and trustworthy, and we had a very good dialogue. In fact, I was able to get a sense of her soul, so I knew I could trust her.
POST-SCRIPT: Anastasia headed up to Portland to speak to the good Thom Hartmann, on many of the same topics, the day after she was here to interview me. The RT interview with Thom is here.
UPDATE 10/25/08: RT has run another report, with a broader look at the e-voting concerns in our '08 election, featuring clips from Anastasia's interviews with both myself and Thom. The video of that report is now posted here...
I’m 61 years old. I’ve been doing this work full-time for nearly the last five years. I long for the days, before I learned so much, when I was ignorant about dirty tricks, phony voter fraud accusations, voter list purges, voter suppression, poorly designed and inaccurate voting machines, absentee paper ballots that have the voters' political parties on the mail-in envelopes (Yes, Broward Co, Florida, does that and strips privacy away from the voters and state law allows them to do it), long lines at the polls, and every other attempt to keep voters from voting and votes from being counted accurately, if at all.
It was kinda nice not knowing about all of those issues. Oh, maybe someone would bring up the old story about ballot boxes floating in the bay. What bay was that? San Francisco? Lake Michigan off of Chicago? The Hudson River? The location seems to have changed with the person telling the story.
It was nice thinking our democracy actually worked the way our founding fathers envisioned it would. It was nice thinking that, no matter for whom I voted, the majority voice was heard. Now, it just feels dirty and somewhat depressing.
I know way too much. It was nice being ignorant...
We've been reporting on the GOP's October "Surprise" over the last few days (challenges to Democratic voter registrations in a number of states, and, perhaps more notably, their bogus PR campaign to charge that ACORN, a community organization that heroically registers millions of low-income voters who nobody else bothers to, is committing "voter fraud." See here, here and here, for example.)
But the November Surprise, as we've been trying to warn for many months (if not years), will undoubtedly be the thousands who show up to the polls to vote on November 4th, only to find out that they have somehow "fallen off" the voter rolls.
We've urged folks to check their registrations, even if they recently voted in a primary election, to make sure they haven't been purged (info on how to do that quickly in all 50 states, right here).
Late last month, CBS News reported on voter purges occurring in at least 19 states across the country, many of them swing states, naturally.
Today, the New York Times has published a scathing report, based on a detailed investigation revealing that "Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal law."
We've got to run out to host an hour of "Election Year Special Coverage" right now on KPFK/Pacifica, (guests to include filmmakers Patty Sharaf of Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story and John Ennis of Free For All!: One Dude's Quest for Democracy), so here are some very notable, must-read excerpts from the Times full report for the moment. So, we may have more thoughts on all of this later today, but for now, please read on!...
A week or two ago, AlterNet ran my recent detailed Q&A with Ohio Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner, on a wide variety of issues related to the upcoming election.
There were a few more technical/geek-ish items that I didn't include in the version that ran over there, thinking they were more appropriate for the real tech and election integrity geeks (like me) out there. Those issues are now published in a much shorter Q&A running today at ComputerWorld.
In these previously unpublished exchanges, posted to CW this morning, Brunner offers some insider detail about her recent lawsuit against Diebold/Premier, concerning the revelation that their tabulators simply drop thousands of votes without notice; the depth of her surprise at the results of her landmark "EVEREST" security tests of Ohio's e-voting machines; and what may lie beyond e-voting, such as the possibility of hand-counting in Ohio.
Please read the new interview at ComputerWorld (and don't forget to check out some of the interesting comments that have been posted to it already today.)
Late last week I had the "pleasure" of appearing on Tavis Smiley's public radio show, along with GOP "voter fraud" zealot and propagandist Hans von Spakovsky, about whom we've written quite a bit here over the years. The show was pre-taped last Thursday, ran over the weekend, and will continue to be available at Smiley's website throughout the week.
The audio discussion, which became rather heated at times, is posted at the end of this article.
In his introduction, Smiley credits von Spakovsky as being "from the Heritage Foundation." But in addition to being funded by those unapologetic Republicanists, it goes unnoted that vS, a former chair of the FEC, recess-appointed by Bush, then blocked by the Democrats in the Senate when his appointment came up again, was formerly embedded in the Bush DoJ's wholly-politicized Civil Rights Division voting section.
At the DoJ, he helped to deconstruct the beloved Voting Rights Act of 1965 by, among other things, pushing through polling place Photo ID restrictions in places such as Georgia, against the advice of just about every career employee in the division. (The law was later found to be an "unconstitutional day poll tax" by the courts, but ultimately allowed by a higher court, and still under challenge by Democrats in the state.) He was also instrumental in bringing phony "voter fraud" charges, such as those against ACORN workers in Missouri, filed just days before the razor-thin 2006 Senate election, in violation of the DoJ's own written rules against bringing such indictments just prior to elections where they are likely to affect the race.
Perhaps even more noteworthy, but unmentioned by Smiley, is that even with all of that, the disgraced von Spakovsky has been secretly hired, at tax-payer expense, as a consultant for Bush's similarly compromised, and now ironically-named, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, to help monitor the job that the DoJ will (or won't) be doing to monitor the 2008 general election.
In any case, vS remains an unapologetic democracy hater, hell-bent on keeping Democratic-leaning voters away from the polls and, as you'll note during the interview, a liar.
Normally, however, he's not faced with anybody who can actually call him on his bullshit. That wasn't the case this time, as I was there, and was able to do exactly that...
I finally got the chance to watch the final cut (or so he says) of John Wellington Ennis' ingenious and inspiring Free For All! over the weekend. Taglined "One Dude's Quest for Democracy", the latest in the burgeoning election integrity documentary cannon offers yet another fresh look at our democracy on the precipice.
It's also damned funny --- which is a very nice change of pace --- and brings both the soul and spirit of your favorite Saturday morning Schoolhouse Rock to the serious concerns of America's mindblowing electoral dysfunction.
While previous films in the genre have often focused more narrowly on the filmmaker's particularly favorite bête noire, such as voting machines, voter suppression, whistleblowers or the examination of specific aberrations of democracy (such as Florida 2000 or Ohio 2004), Free For All! uses Ohio's 2006 election --- featuring '04 villain, OH Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's quest for the Governorship --- to examine "all of the above", as Ennis himself serves as the Michael Moore-ian "Dude" trying to figure out just what the hell has gone wrong with the system. Answer: Just about damned near everything.
(Watch the FFA! preview at right.)
Ennis even manages to close a bit of a loop on 2004 by bringing in the "Don't Tase Me, Bro" FSU student who, in fact, was attempting to get a real answer from John Kerry on why he rolled over on the '04 election when he received a few thousand volts of thanks for his efforts. Real ones. As opposed to the imaginery ones that ABCNBCCBSCNNMSNBCFOX used on themselves to shut down reportage on
one several of the greatest crimes of modern times.
Ennis also succeeds in offering a solution to many of the discovered woes...
Congrats to David Earnhardt and company on winning "Best Documentary" at last weekend's San Diego Film Festival, for Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections! I'm quite sure the win was due to my appearance at the Q&A following the Saturday night screening down there.
And...If you missed it in the flurry of recent posting here, the terrifying new documentary Murder, Spies & Voting Lies: The Clint Curtis Story --- which also tells our own story in breaking and reporting the Curtis/Tom Feeney vote-rigging exposé over the last four years --- is also now available (and playing on LinkTV!) We offered more details, video preview, review quotes, etc. on that one over the weekend here.
The MSVL DVD is also available as a premium here to readers --- signed by both myself and filmmaker Patty Sharaf --- for BRAD BLOG donations of $50 or more.
And finally...if you'd like a copy of both great documentaries (I'm in both, but they're really good anyway!), a donation of $75 or more will get 'em both shipped straight to ya! (Snail mail also works for all of the above: Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594, Los Angeles, CA 90028)
Congrats and thanks all around! People are getting the message because you are making noise!
From a USA Today article, noting that The Simpsons will now be tied with Gunsmoke's record of 20 seasons on television...
UPDATE 10/2/08: The very funny (were it not so unfunny) clip of Homer trying to vote on Election Day 2008 is now posted here...
The Democratic candidate for Secretary of State in Washington state has released what he says will be the first of a series of campaign spots, satirizing the well-known "Mac v. PC" commercials, to highlight the differences between touch-screen voting machines and paper ballots.
Jason Osgood, a long-time election integrity advocate and opponent of unverifiable electronic voting systems, is running against the incumbent Republican Sec. of State, Sam Reed. Osgood joins several other citizen advocates across the country --- inlcuding Susan Rose Pynchon in Volusia County, FL, and Ellen Harriet Brodsky in Broward County, FL --- who have stepped up and decided to run this year against incumbent election officials who, they allege, have not been as responsive or transparent, in regard to voter concerns and citizen oversight, as they should be.
The 60-second spot released today by the Osgood campaign is seen below (text transcript is posted at the end of this article). It features two men standing in front of a white background, one who identifies himself as "Paper Ballot" and the other, dressed in a slick white leisure suit with sunglasses and headset, who declares, "I'm a high-tech, touch-screen votin' machine!" It quickly becomes apparent, as the spot begins, as "Voting Machine" searches through his pockets, that he's lost something --- "a few thousand votes is all"...
The comical ad, Osgood tells The BRAD BLOG, is to be the first of several in a series, highlighting the differences between electronic voting systems and paper ballots. "These videos are funny," wrote Osgood in an email this morning. "Each spot highlights just one problem with the voting machines. This is a very effective way to explain a complicated issue."
Osgood believes the ads may also help the issue of election integrity nationally, as they serve to simplify the concerns that advocates, as well as computer scientists and security experts, have been trying to share with the public.
"We're steeped in the arcana of computers and election administration," Osgood, who is himself a software engineer, told us. "When we talk to others [about these issues], we quickly lose them. Which is a shame, because counting votes should be simple! To be effective, we need to tailor our message to reach the broadest audience. We need to engage every voter in the fight to reclaim our democracy and restore integrity to our elections," he said...
In or near Los Angeles tonight (Tuesday)? Please come on by the Fairfax Cinemas (7907 Beverly Blvd.) at 7:30pm for a special screening of Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections. I'll be speaking at a Q&A afterwards, along with filmmaker David Earnhardt, "Diebold Document Whistleblower" Steve Heller (who is both featured in the film and now also an occassional BRAD BLOG guest blogger!), Mimi "Dharma & Greg" Kennedy of PDA, and all of it hosted by the good Jerry Quickley of KPFK/Pacifica.
Oh, and psst...say the super-secret password "NO DIEBOLD!" at the box office tonight, and get $3 off your ticket! But don't tell anyone! We'd like to keep that as much of a secret as Diebold's own passwords for all of their voting systems ("1111").
If you can't make it tonight (for some crazy reason), and if you've yet to see Uncounted (for some crazy reason), and you haven't helped support The BRAD BLOG lately (for some crazy reason), special editions of the DVD, as signed by the filmmaker, are still available for online donations of $50 or more. Snail mail works as well, to: Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594, Los Angeles, CA 90028.
We'd love the support, and you'll love the film. And we'd all love to see you tonight if you happen to be in the hood.
P.S. The film is also screening at the San Diego Film Festival this Thursday and Saturday at 5pm. I'll be heading down for a Q&A following the Saturday showing there, so I expect to see everybody in person by the end of this week! Thank you.
Here's a welcome sign that at least some in the corporate media are finally beginning to understand the complicated threat to democracy that is the boondoggle of electronic voting.
Bill Mego, in the Naperville Sun, asks all of the right questions (and granted, they are complicated ones to understand, unless one tries) about the junk Diebold voting system irresponsibly employed, at great tax-payer expense, by the DuPage County, IL Board of Elections.
One could as easily replace "Diebold" in the above sentence with any other voting system vendor, and "DuPage" with almost any other county in the nation (even though DuPage features one of the worst Election Boards in the country, and you'll be hearing still more about them soon). But the "good news" for today: at least a few in the media --- okay, at least Bill Mego --- finally "get" it, and are beginning to serve their readership well.
Let's get a few hundred more and we'll be in business. (And I'd be out of it! Happily!)
Over at HuffPo, Nancy Scola files a nice piece asking whether or not "New Media's obsessiveness" can save democracy, given that "Elections in the U.S. involve countless moving parts and...so many different players [that] Improving the way we vote demands sustained, focused attention --- not exactly the strong suit of the American Press."
It's a job for bloggers, she suggests, since the corporate media have, at least so far, not proven up to the task. She may be right, even though the thought simply exhausts me more than I am already.
She goes on to mention a few of us (yes, she names me specifically) who have been fighting this battle for quite some time. "From the sidelines, their campaign often seemed quixotic," she writes, "But [as electronic voting machines are now being scrapped for junk, recycled and/or sold on eBay] we're watching history bend their way."
Nice. Though not as nice as the following turn of phrase, so well writ that I had to share it:
Game, set, match. Well done, Nancy.
With that, one friendly critique for her if I could be so bold: Paperless electronic voting is not the problem --- as she suggests in the piece --- as if adding "paper trails" to touch-screens makes a damned bit of difference (this article and its accompanying video from the Computer Security Group at UC Santa Barbara should make that crystal clear, no matter what some computer scientists like Princeton's Ed Felten and Verified Voting's David Dill keep saying out loud.) The problem is that democracy in this country demands nothing short of the transparency offered by a hand-marked paper ballot --- one that is actually counted, and counted accurately --- for every vote cast in America. Period.
And that point should be served from a silver platter, and carried directly to every election official and election official in the country, in the beak of a bald eagle.
SAVE R VOTE is a group of election watchdogs in Riverside Co California. Yesterday the group gave the county Board of Supervisors a report that they wrote after pouring over more than 10,000 documents for the past three months. Their report included evidence of elections staff correcting documents to balance ballot inventory; electronic voting machines being delivered up to 11 days before the election, some times to bathrooms [Election law permits officials to deliver voting machines a week before Election Day]; and missing electronic voting cartridges. Of course the county registrar could only do all she could do to minimize the issue. Congratulations to SAVE R VOTE. They got the county supervisors to listen. They have ordered an audit of the Registrar’s office to determine why there were hundreds of violations found. ...
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