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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, July 23, 2014
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record wildfires burn the Pacific Northwest; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Previous GNRs: 7/17/14 - 7/15/14 - Archives...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A Rightwing caller's admission in response to Brad on a radio show in NC underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's fake news show Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal the 1960 Election From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Adds Call to Overturn 'Citizens United' to Ballot
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama takes action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: California gets tough on water wasters...
Previous GNRs: 7/15/14 - 7/10/14 - Archives...
Koch Brothers' Radical Libertarianism Broke Kansas
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's Democratic opponent after tax cuts for the wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
Killing Zombie Myths Dead: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad takes on a bunch of lies this week that just won't die this week -- from e-cigs to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to 'global cooling' to the death penalty to marriage equality in Mississippi and more...
FEDERAL JUDGE FINDS CA DEATH PENALTY VIOLATES U.S. CONSTITUTION
George W. Bush appointee rules state system violates Constitution's ban of 'cruel and unusual punishments'...
'Green News Report' 7/15/14
Divesting from fossil fuels; Germany gives $1b to climate fund; Australia carbon tax repeal; All-electric Formula E racing revs up; PLUS: Climate denier Murdoch...
MO's Democratic Governor Discourages Quitting Smoking
Jay Nixon vetoes bill that would have exempted non-lethal e-cigs from being taxed like dangerous tobacco...
CNBC's Santelli Gets Schooled on CNBC
Fellow CNBCer slams the 'Tea Party' progenitor during on-air shout-fest in the perfect example of why people watch cable 'news' channels -- and why they don't...
GOP Voter Fraud Queen Ann Coulter Urges MS Senate Candidate McDaniel to NOT Pursue Fraud Concerns
Given her well-documented personal history, perhaps she shoulda stayed out of this one?...
'Green News Report' 7/10/14
Debunking the 70's 'global cooling' myth; Anti-science coal nuts in KY; BP oil in Gulf fish; Canada tar sands linked to cancer; PLUS: Pesticide killing birds & bees...
Challenging 'The Nation's Most Restrictive Voter Suppression Law': KPFK 'BradCast'
Journalist Ari Berman, just out of the federal courtroom in North Carolina, joins Brad to discuss the federal case; Plus MUCH MORE...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2006 6:56pm PT  

More VoterAction.org lawsuits and complaints are now being filed to stop the use and/or purchase of electronic voting systems around the country. On Wednesday, two more. One in California, another in Wisconsin.

In Alameda County, CA a suit was filed to stop of the use of Sequoia Voting Systems touch-screen DRE's, alleging the county "has not performed independent, expert security vulnerability testing on its new Sequoia voting equipment. The group claims such testing was a prerequisite stipulated by county supervisors before the county would issue payment for the system." ...

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

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UPDATE: Says He'd be Interested in Running for U.S. Senate Seat in NY if it Became Available!
NOW INCLUDES FULL VIDEO!
By Brad Friedman on 10/2/2006 1:08pm PT  

Bobby will be on Your World w/ Cavuto on Fox "News" momentarily. We'll UPDATE this item with a video and/or transcript later today if we can catch it.

We'll hope it's less of a hatchet job than Cavuto delivered the last time he interviewed Kennedy, after Kennedy's first Rolling Stone story on these matters.

Have things changed? We'll see. But we wouldn't bet any money on it. Especially after Cavuto's shameful performance last time.

UPDATE: Good thing we didn't bet money. Cavuto actually let him get out a complete sentence or two without cutting him off! What in the world has gotten into Fox?

Kennedy discussed the Emergency Paper Ballot initiative proposed last week by House and Senate Dems (for which not a single Republican would sign on, reportedly amid threats to add disenfranchising Photo ID requirement laws as retaliation for the bill - more on all of that soon), the ease of hacking these systems by both parties, and some news: He said he'd now be interested in running for the U.S. Senate seat from NY should it open up! The seat was once his father's, and to our knowledge it's the first time he's publicly stated he'd be interested in running!

FURTHER UPDATE: Video now available below, with a huge hat-tip to the democracy-lovin' folks at Solar Bus!


-- Windows Media Player version...

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Columnist Writes Masterfully on Mountain of Evidence Against Company's Crappy Systems, Officials in State of Denial and More...
Only Small Quibble: His Advice to Vote by Absentee...So Here's Ours Instead...
By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2006 3:24pm PT  

A great column yesterday by Andrew Kantor in USA Today on the failure that is Diebold's electronic voting systems. An amusing (if painfully so) piece as well. He covers the mountain of evidence against Diebold's e-voting systems ("We send people to death row on flimsier and more circumstantial evidence," writes Kantor), the damage to our democracy, and the state of denial that officials, and the other dead-enders who support this technology, are now in.

His column includes this...

What more do people need to hear or to see or to read to convince them Diebold voting machines simply can't be trusted? A burning bush?

...And this...

And as for election and elected officials who insist that there is no danger in using Diebold machines, here's an important question: What will it take to convince them that these machines are not safe?

And I mean that. There has to be some threshold of evidence that will cause them to de-certify these machines. What is it? Does the San Diego Chicken have to be elected governor before you admit there's something wrong?

Because if we've entered the realm of "Nothing will convince me that these machines pose a problem," then they don't deserve to be in office. Period.

...Amongst other gems.

I hope he'll broaden his coverage to include the other manufacturers (ES&S, Sequoia, Hart InterCivic et al) soon, since there is no reason to believe their machines are any less shitty than Diebold's.

Only complaint is the headline and sidebar encouraging folks to vote by absentee ballot. On that, I sent Kantor the email below which I hope he (and you) will consider when advising folks to vote by absentee...

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

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Dobbs Says, 'This country has got to think about going to paper ballots...If an election is close, we're in deep, deep trouble."
By John Gideon on 9/29/2006 1:43pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

"Congress today heard alarming testimony on the threat of electronic voting machines and experts at the hearing testified that e-voting machines are vulnerable to tampering, outright fraud, and political manipulation. They also testified it's uncertain whether the votes of millions of Americans will count on election day," said Lou Dobbs at the top of yesterday's report.

Thursday's Lou Dobb's Tonight Democracy at Risk segment centered on a hearing before the House Administration Committee yesterday where experts told the committee about the possibility of tampering, fraud, or political manipulation.

Dobbs closed with: "I think, we're at the point...that this country [has] got to start thinking about going to paper ballots because these machines --- it's obvious. The training is not there. The backup, the lack of a paper trail. If there is a close election anywhere in this country, we're in deep, deep trouble."

Princeton University's Ed Felten was on hand among those testifying to demonstrate his Diebold Virus Hack originally reported by Brad the week before last. Here's a taste:

PROF. EDWARD FELTEN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: It takes about one minute of access to the machine. And I can show you roughly what would be involved. It would involve opening the door on the side of the machine, which would require getting a key, as I said, those are for sale on the Internet. There may be some security tape that would need to be removed and might be missing already.

Opening up this door, putting in a memory card like this, into the side of the machine. The memory card would have been prepared in advance with the computer virus on it. Then pressing the red power button and waiting about 30 seconds.

PILGRIM: The committee clearly need no additional evidence that the computer could be effectively hacked.

The text-transcript of Thursday's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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Says 'We Can Do This', Thanks BRAD BLOGGERS for Taking Action!
By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2006 12:02pm PT  

We've just received the following letter from Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). She was the first to answer our urgent plea last week to immediately introduce Federal legislation in Congress for Emergency Paper Ballots to be made available at polling places this November. In the letter, she requests the BRAD BLOG community send email via her PAC website to their members of Congress in order to urge them to pass this incredibly important legislation before adjourning this week.

Dear Brad & the entire BradBlog community,

I’d just like to thank all of you so much for all of your hard work in fighting for safe, secure, and reliable elections in our country.

When I saw the mess in some primary states due to touch screen voter machines, I knew I had to do something. As a result of your advocacy work on this issue for a long time now, I was motivated to get a simple, straightforward paper ballot bill out there. So thank you for being on this issue for so long and for pressing for action.

The bill I introduced on Tuesday, the "Confidence in Voting Act," would encourage local jurisdictions to make paper ballots available at every polling place to any voter who wants one. But now we’ve got to get it passed! I encourage people to join my online advocacy campaign and contact their Members of Congress, urging them to pass the "Confidence in Voting Act" before Congress adjourns this week:

http://ga4.org/campaign/...n_voting?source=bradblog

We can do this --- but we need to build grassroots support for our legislation to get it done.

Thanks to Brad --- and to all of you --- for speaking out on this issue, and for your passion in fighting for election integrity across America.

-- Barbara Boxer

The good Senator has been there for us before (you'll recall, she was the only Senator to stand up and challenge the clearly gamed 2004 Ohio Presidential Election results on Jan. 6th 2005...Back before it was fashionable to point out what virtually everyone now recogizes!) --- so let's be there for her! CLICK HERE NOW! And then pass it on! And thank you Senator!

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Donna Brazile Posts Open Letter Encouraging Citizens to Pressure Lawmakers!
(While, So Far, All Republican Congress Members Remain Apparently Uninterested in Ensuring American Citizens Can Vote This November!)
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2006 5:05pm PT  

In her role as Chair of the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute (VRI), Donna Brazile has issued a statement to The BRAD BLOG moments ago in support of the Congressional Emergency Paper Ballot legislation now pending in the U.S. House and Senate.

Announcing that "We still have time to address the e-voting security crisis!," Brazile writes in her "Open Letter to Supporters of Democracy of America" in support of the House (HR 6187) and Senate (S. 3943) bills introduced this week calling for Emergency Paper Ballots at the polls this November, in the light of voting system failures across the country in primaries so far this year.

She calls on citizens to "pressure...lawmakers to support legislation that would help produce a fair and transparent election." (Full letter posted at the end of this article)

The "time to address" the crisis, at least on the Federal level, is quickly drawing to a close as Congress will likely adjourn tomorrow for the Election Recess. Citizens are asked to call their legislators (House switchboard: 202-225-3121, Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121) to demand they pass this bill immediately.

Maryland's Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich recently called for a similar state measure after his state turned away thousands from the polls, or handed them provisional ballots, when electronic voting machines failed to start up during their September 12th primary election.

Brazile's call to push for the Emergency Paper Ballot legislation this afternoon is notable. She has come under fire in the past from critics in the Election Integrity Advocacy movement for failing to take a firm enough stance, in her role at the DNC VRI, to alert Americans to the potential for fraud, inaccuracy and disenfranchisement via electronic voting systems.

The DNC endorsement for the legislation by Brazile is the latest in a growing drumbeat of politicians and non-partisan Election Integrity organizations calling on supporters and members to help pass the 11th hour legislation, co-sponsored in the Senate by Senators Boxer, Dodd, Feingold and Kerry and in the House by Rep. Rush Holt and several other co-sponsors.

The BRAD BLOG originally proposed this legislation early last week. As of this hour, not a single Republican in the U.S. Congress has publicly endorsed the legislation or joined as co-sponsor to help ensure that all registered American voters will actually be able to cast a vote at all this November.

The complete open letter from Brazile, issued this afternoon on behalf of the DNC's Voting Rights Insitute, follows in full...

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

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Story on Today's House Hearing Covered by 'Ohio Regional' Reporter Said to Have Left Proceedings Not Long After House Hearing Began...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2006 3:20pm PT  

An AP reporter, who left early druring this morning's hearing in the U.S. House Adminstrative Committee on Electronic Voting security issues, has filed what would appear to be a remarkably skewed account of the session in an article today headlined, "Lawmaker questions e-voting paper trail."

The reporter, David Hammer, AP's "Ohio Regional Reporter" in DC, who --- according to two different BRAD BLOG sources --- left very early in today's proceedings, covered the hearings from a clearly "anti-paper" angle, as you'll see in his report.

That, despite the first witness of the morning, Dr. Ed Felten of Princeton University, who demonstrated both his team's viral vote-flipping hack of a Diebold Touch-Screen voting system to the reportedly packed hearing room, and then the inability to discover the election stealing malicious code via a machine "recount."

(DISCLOSURE: The machine was supplied to Princeton University by VelvetRevolution.us, a non-partisan election ingegrity organization co-founded by The BRAD BLOG.)

Hammer goes on to report almost exclusively on those who testified in today's hearings against the use of paper "trails" and/or "records" with Electronic Voting Systems...

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

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Media Gets on Board, Dems Get on Board...So Where are the Republicans in Congress?
UPDATED WITH VIDEO LINK!
By John Gideon on 9/28/2006 8:50am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon (Augmented by Brad Friedman)

Wednesday's Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN picks up on the Emergency Paper Ballot legislation now filed in both the U.S. House and Senate.

Additionally, the story was also covered on MSNBC's Hardball yesterday (video with RFK Jr. here) and the NY Times picked it up the day before.

The Media is beginning to get it, the Democrats in Congress (those who have sponsored it, anyway) are beginning to get it. So where are the Congressional Republicans? Do they not want American citizens to be able to vote this November? We're just asking.

Said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), one of the original sponsors of the Senate legislation to Kitty Pilgrim on CNN last night: "I really have lost a lot of faith in these machines and it's expensive. Why not just go back to the simple paper ballot, at least until we're really sure that we've resolved all the problems?"

Dodd, Feingold and Kerry have now joined here on the Senate bill (S. 3943) and Holt's bill has several Democratic co-sponsors in the House (HR 6187).

The BRAD BLOG proposed the idea of Emergency Paper Ballots early last week, but the legislative session will likely adjourn this week for the Election Recess. Action is needed now in order to mitigate the possiblity of millions of Americans being disenfranchised this November. Please call and/or write your Congress Members of both parties now.

UPDATE: Video Now Available here... (Hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter "Stop_George")

The complete text-transcript of Wednesday's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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'It's the Help America Vote Act, not the Help Diebold Profit Act,' Says Dem Nominee
State Senator Debra Bowen, Staunch Election Transparency Proponent, Issues Strong Statement on Congressional Initatives!
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2006 8:30am PT  

The Democratic nominee for Secretary of State in California issued a powerful statement in support of recent legislation filed by several Senators and Representatives in both the U.S. House and Senate calling for Emergency Paper Ballots at the polling place this November.

The 11th hour Congressional bills, filed on Tuesday and Wednesday, just days before both chambers adjourn for the Election Recess, will offer voters the right to vote on paper ballots this year and see those costs reimbursed by the Federal Government. The legislation, if passed, is estimated to cost approximately $10 million. It would amend the disastrous 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which has mandated some $3 billion to encourage States and Counties to "upgrade" to electronic voting systems.

Monumental failures in those systems, during primary elections across the country over the last several months, have sent thousands of voters away from the polls without being able to cast any vote at all. The situation could be far worse during the general election when voter turnout will be a great deal higher than it's been so far in the mid-year primaries.

"Remember, it's the 'Help America Vote Act,' not the 'Help Diebold Profit Act,'" said Bowen, in a stinging comment referring to one of America's largest manufacturers of inaccurate, untested, hackable elecronic voting machines. "It's why this low-tech option makes so much sense, especially in light of all of the problems electronic voting machines have had in primary elections this year, not just in California, but also in Texas, Illinois, and most recently Maryland."

The BRAD BLOG originally proposed the idea for Emergency Paper Ballots early last week. The low-tech, high common-sense notion has gained considerable steam since its inception on these pages. It has now been officially introduced as legislation in Congress by Senators Boxer, Dodd, Feingold and Kerry in the Senate, and by Representative Rush Holt and several co-sponsors in the U.S. House.

Bowen's Republican opponent, Sec. of State Bruce McPherson was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and has come under considerable fire for re-certifying Diebold systems in the state in light of severe warnings from his own team of scientific advisors about more than a dozen "serious vulnerabilities" in those particular voting systems.

An investigate report from BlackBoxVoting.org [PDF], a non-partisan E-voting watchdog organization, found that representative of Diebold's had actually drafted official documents on behalf of the California Secretary of State's office!

That same rep, Rob Pelletier, had previously been presenting disinformation in comments here at The BRAD BLOG under the name of "Wally O'Diebold" until he was found out.

Diebold voting systems were decertified in California by McPherson's predecessor, just prior to the 2004 election, when it was discovered the company had been installing uncertified software and systems in several counties across the state. They settled a qui tam (fraud) lawsuit with the state for $2.8 million later that year.

Though the legislation in the Congress so far has been sponsored by Democrats, the problem is a decidedly non-partisan issue. Maryland's Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich recently called for paper ballots to be used in his state this November after failures across the state disenfranchised thousands of voters during their September 12th primary. Maryland, along with Georgia, was Diebold's "showcase" state having installed their paperless electronic touch-screen systems as early as 2002 with the cooperation and ardent support of the Democratic MD Elections Director, Linda Lamone.

Citing the irony of the public outcry for a return to countable paper balloting, the failure of the U.S. Congress to take action on growing concerns, and the plunging confidence rate in electronic voting amongst the American electorate, Bowen said in her statement, "It's about time Congress provides counties with the incentive to allow their voters to cast a paper ballot at the polls on Election Day, a step that will help begin to restore voter confidence in the elections process and the results."

Bowen, in her capacity as chair of the CA State Senate Elections Commission, held hearings in Kern County, California after the state's marred June 6th primary, when voting systems failed to start up --- or sometimes even show up at the polls at all --- until hours after voting was supposed to have begun. The Kern County Registrar of Voters had, incredibly, given instructions that "back-up paper ballots were not to be used" on Election Day according to the State Senators statement.

"Kern County is the reason why I wish counties were required to provide this option to voters," Bowen remarked.

Citizens are asked to call upon Congress to pass the Emergency Paper Ballot legislation immediately. You may easily contact your Senators here, and your House Members here.

Debra Bowen's complete statement on Emergency Paper Ballots follows in full...

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

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Another Election Integrity Organization Joins Drumbeat Hoping to Mitigate Disaster this November With Last Chance Common Sense Legislation!
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2006 12:45am PT  

This from an email tonight from VoteTrustUSA.org email list, from their Executive Director, Joan Krawitz, urging citizens to call Congress NOW to demand passage of the Emergency Paper Ballot bills just filed in both the Senate and the House!

URGENT ACTION ALERT!
TELL CONGRESS TO PASS EMERGENCY PAPER BALLOT BILLS NOW!

...

It All Comes Down to You! Your Calls Make a Difference. Call Your Representative NOW!

A flood of phone calls from constituents could be all it will take to break the roadblock at this critical moment. Pick up the phone NOW and call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121. Tell your Representative that Congress must pass HR 6187 before they adjourn, to make sure that every vote will count when voting machines malfunction or count votes incorrectly as they have in every primary this year.

If you don't know your Representative's name, click here and enter your zip code to find out. You can also use this link to find your Representative's direct telephone number on Capitol Hill by clicking on his or her photo, which will appear once you've entered your zip code.

Then Immediately Call Both of Your Senators

As soon as you hang up with your Representative's office, call the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121 to speak with both of your Senators' offices. Tell them to pass S. 3943 before Congress adjourns to ensure that every vote will count in November. If you don't know both your Senators' names, click here and enter your zip code to find out. You can also use this link to find your Senator's direct telephone number on Capitol Hill by clicking on his or her photo, which will appear once you've entered your zip code.

Every moment counts, so please don't delay. Make those phone calls as if our democracy depended on it --- because that's what it comes down to today.

Joan asks that you forward this to everyone you know. We ask the same. (The URL for this item is: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3544)

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UPDATE: Just After BRAD BLOG Posts Day Long Results Showing Massive Distrust of E-Voting, Results Suddenly Flip After Hours!
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2006 3:10pm PT  

Results of C-SPAN's online poll as of 9/27/06, 6:07pm ET...

UPDATE 9:49pm ET: Well, isn't this interesting?! After the poll was at 75% or so "NO" all day long, throughout the entire working day when most folks are at their computers, suddenly, after hours, as of 9:49pm ET, there's been a sudden and remarkable change in the results! Here's where things stand as of now...

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

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UPDATED: Complete Video Now Linked! Also, Complete Text Transcript!
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2006 1:28pm PT  

Heard from Bobby an hour or so ago, that he's going to be on MSNBC's HARDBALL with Chris Matthews tonight at 5:10pm ET (2:10pm PT).

He'll be discussing his recent Rolling Stone piece on Diebold's duplicity in their voting systems, and our elections from 2002 on up to now. At least, that's what he's been told.

As well, we're hoping he'll put out the words calling on folks to demand that Congress pass legislation for Emergency Paper Ballots this November.

UPDATE 3:35pm PT: Full video now linked below! Kennedy spoke about how easy it now is to steal an election on an E-Voting Machine ("in just 60 seconds") as based on recent studies by Princeton, NYU's Brennan Center and the non-partisan GAO office.

He also discussed the new congressional Emergency Paper Ballot legislation, and even recommended your friendly neighborhood BRAD BLOG as a good source for information on all of the above.

Video links now below. Thanks to Bobby for the kind plug. Thanks to Chris Matthews for letting him get out a sentence or two in a row. (Thanks to HotPotatoMash for the video links!)


-- Video in Flash Format is now here...
-- Video QuickTime format is here...

UPDATE: A Complete text transcript of the interview now follows in full...

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

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Kerry Joins Original Senate Bill as Co-Sponsor, Joins with Feingold in Filing New Senate Resolution as Well!
Feingold Says, 'Back-up Paper Ballots Essential to Preventing Disasters', Kerry Calls Situation 'Disgrace, National Scandal, Requiring Emergency Action Now'!
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2006 1:14pm PT  

Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) has now filed a U.S. House version of the Emergency Paper Ballot legislation introduced yesterday by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) in the Senate.

Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) joined the Senate legislation as co-sponsors late last evening.

Additionally, Kerry and Feingold both have now co-sponsored and introduced a new "Sense of the Senate Resolution" calling on States around the country to act immediately to put back-up plans in place to have "Emergency Paper Ballots" at the polling places this November to avoid voters being turned away when voting machines fail to work. Thousands, so far this year, have been turned away in one state primary after another due to machine malfunction or unavailability.

The language in the Holt bill filed in the House late last night is identical to the bill filed by Boxer, except that it notes, explicitly, that the "contigency paper ballots" the Federal government will reimburse states for are to be counted as regular ballots --- not as provisional ballots which often go completely uncounted, and must be vetted first to determine a voter's registration status.

Feingold and Kerry issued a press release today (posted in full at the end of this article) calling on Congress to act immediately in the face of what they describe as "a national disgrace," in reference to voters being turned away at the polling place for lack of voting system on which to vote.

Holt's bill, which can be downloaded here [PDF], differs from the Senate bill by stating that jurisdictions who wish to reimbursed by the Federal government for such contingency paper ballots must treat "each such contingency paper ballot cast by a voter as a regular ballot cast in the election and counts it accordingly, and does not treat it as a provisional ballot."

Kerry and Feingold, who are now co-sponsors of the Boxer/Dodd Senate bill filed yesterday, also issued a non-binding "Sense of the Senate" resolution this morning. Pamela Leavy originally reported the news earlier today at Democratic Daily.

In a press release issued earlier along with that resolution today, Feingold said, "We cannot allow the American people to lose faith in the most fundamental aspect of our democratic system ­the right to vote."

He added, "Some of the problems we saw this year, like voters in Maryland being told to come back later because the machines weren’t working, are simply unacceptable. A back-up plan as simple as having emergency paper ballots on hand is essential to preventing election day disasters."

Kerry, who has been criticized for not taking enough action to ensure that votes were counted accurately, or at all, in Ohio after the 2004 Presidential Election, had even stronger words, calling the lack of action by Congress and the White House on these matters, "a disgrace" and a "national scandal".

"It’s a disgrace that a Congress and an Administration which talks about exporting democracy around the world ignores the challenges of our own democracy right here at home," says Kerry in this morning's news release. "We have seen American citizens disenfranchised in our elections for the simple reason that no effective back up system was in place. That’s a national scandal."

Kerry called for "emergency action" and points to the recent meltdown in Maryland's September 12th primary election, which resulted in the Republican Governor there, calling for a similar measure to scrap the machines, and allow all voters in the state to use paper ballots this November.

"[H]ere we are, 42 days away from another election," Kerry said, "and Congress has again dragged its feet even after we mobilized 35,000 citizens to demand a hearing for our Count Every Vote Act, even after what we saw just this month in Montgomery County [Maryland]. We need emergency action now. That is why I am co-sponsoring the Dodd-Boxer legislation to provide emergency paper ballots and that is why Russ Feingold and I are introducing our resolution today demanding election day back-up plans."

"We have a duty to ensure that no citizen will be denied the right to vote in 2006," Kerry concluded.

The BRAD BLOG began the call for Emergency Paper Ballot legislation just over a week ago.

The SoS Project has set up a page where citizens can contact Congress Members to demand they pass this legislation in the few days left before breaking for the Election Recess.

We urge citizens to use this link and contact Congress immediately.

The full text of the Feingold/Kerry press release follows...

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

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Your Friendly Neighborhood BRAD BLOGGER Quoted as Part of Coverage...
[UPDATE: NYTimes Late Edition, Russ Feingold Joins as Co-Sponsor!]
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2006 6:09pm PT  

In an article by Ian Urbina, The New York Times' now has their story up about the Senate's Emergency Paper Ballot legislation as filed earlier today by Senators Boxer and Dodd.

UPDATE: An updated version of the NYTimes article, now linked above, has added Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) as a co-sponsor of the legislation as well!

The BRAD BLOG broke the story earlier today in a bit more detail, and along with the actual bill filed. We originally called on Congress in article published here a week ago today, to introduce and pass such a bill before their Election Recess coming up at the end of this week.

Urbina offers several additional points worth checking out in his Times coverage. Including this quote from Boxer concerning her reasons for not making the paper ballot initiative mandatory, but rather allowing it to remain optional to states and local jurisdictions [emphasis ours]:

"I think Big Brother dictating something to local jurisdictions is a big mistake, because they will balk at it," she said. "What we’re saying here is that you run your own elections, and we are going to help you run it properly. If local officials don’t take advantage of the option to take precautions, then they’re the ones on the line."

...As well, "Brad Friedman, a liberal blogger" is mentioned in the Times article.

So as the good Senator B, doesn't get the idea we were dissing her bill to the NY Times (We weren't! Not by any means!) in the comments attributed to us in the piece, please us allow a clarification.

The statement they used from us, had originally preceded a full direct quote explaining that Election Directors from states like Florida had expressed concern that they might need a Federal mandate in order to take advantage of the this paper ballot legislation. State election code in Florida, we're told, does not have provisions allowing such elections officials to make paper ballots available, even if they wanted to.

In Florida's touch-screen-only counties, for example, which comprise some 50% of Sunshine State voters, even the Provisional Balloting is done electronically on touch-screen systems! Which means, as Leon County, FL Election Director Ion Sancho explained to us this morning, that without a Federal mandate, it's likely that those officials would not be able to take advantage of this legislation...even if it manages to get through the full Congress in the few days left before Congress breaks for their Election Recess.

UPDATE: Ah, proof, I'm not crazy! In this version of the Times article (how many do they release?!) there is this additional quote from yours truly:

"In the case of many states, such as Florida, there is simply nothing in the state code that allows election directors to provide emergency ballot in the event of machine failure," he said.

See? Phew...

Beyond that, given the short time left here, we're delighted to see this legislation move forward! Delighted to see the Times' coverage. And just delighted in general that someone in Washington D.C. is finally recognizing the dangers to democracy that we're facing in the upcoming mid-term election!

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Calls for 'Contingency Paper Ballots' in States, Counties this November to be Paid for by Feds!
Co-Author of HAVA is Co-Sponsor of New Bill Answering Our Call for a 'LET AMERICA VOTE ACT', Makes Paper Ballots Optional to States Rather Than Mandated...But We'll Take it! Sources Say House Bill to Follow Soon!
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2006 12:36pm PT  

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced emergency legislation to amend the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) this afternoon to offer funding to states and counties who make 'contingency paper ballots' available to voters to be used at the voter's option instead of electronic voting systems.

The so-called contingency paper ballots are intended to be counted as normal ballots, as opposed to Provisional Ballots which must be vetted first to determine the integrity of the voter's registration. Provisional ballots are frequently counted only several days after Election Day, and often, not at all. The Senate legislation as filed, however, does not spell out the intended difference between "contingency" and "provisional" ballots specifically.

The BRAD BLOG has learned from a source currently working on similar legislation in the House, said to be filed there shortly, that the House version will include such specific language if possible to ensure such contingency ballots are counted as normal ballots on Election Night. Several Capitol Hill sources have confirmed that such legislation is currently in the works. We hope to have more details on the House version later today.

The inclusion of Dodd as a co-sponsor on the Senate legislation is no small coup, as he was one of the original co-sponsors of the HAVA legislation of 2002 which this bill would amend. Until now, he and the other bi-partisan co-sponsors of that original legislation have been reluctant to open HAVA to amendment.

The legislation, filed just after 4pm ET this afternoon, would refund state and county voting jurisdictions that offer paper ballots as an option to voters, and requires such jurisdictions post "in a conspicuous manner at the polling place, a notice stating that contingency paper ballots are available at the polling place and that a voter may request to use such a ballot at the voter's discretion."

Election integrity advocacy groups and citizens alike have been rallying members of both the U.S. House and Senate to pass such legislation since The BRAD BLOG initially called for what we had called, the "LET AMERICA VOTE ACT" last Tuesday. The act we called for would mandate emergency paper ballots at all polling places this November in light of thousands of voters having been sent away without having been able to cast a vote in primary after primary election so far this year when new electronic voting machines either malfunctioned or were otherwise unavailable.

The short Boxer/Dodd bill does not mandate the use of such ballots, but rather offers federal payment to local jurisdictions that choose to make such 'contingency paper ballots' available at either the voter's request or in the event of machine malfunction.

The bill is now being referred to informally as the "Confidence in Vote Act of 2006". It's a simple bill, three pages long in total, and is posted in full at the bottom this article. The final version of the bill to be filed momentarily (it may have already been) may be downloaded here in PDF format.

The bill introduced today is notable in no small part in that it's co-sponsored by Dodd --- one of the original co-sponsors of HAVA along with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Senate and Reps. Bob Ney (R-OH) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) in the House. HAVA was the bill which had set in motion the nationwide implementation of electronic voting systems paid for by the federal government. That bill gave states and counties some $3 billion dollars for voting systems "upgrades" around the country, and has led to a panoply of problems at polls, criticism from computer scientists, security experts and non-partisan election integrity organizations.

Dodd, and the other bi-partisan co-sponsors of HAVA, including the now-disgraced lead author Ney (R-OH), have been reluctant up until now to modify the legislation in any way, despite repeated calls from Election Integrity advocates, and a host of bills filed in both the House and Senate which have not been allowed to move forward.

The BRAD BLOG has learned that Boxer and Dodd chose to make the use of "contingency paper ballots" an option to states, rather than a mandate, in hopes that it would make the bill less contentious and easier to pass in the few days left in this legislative session before the election recess.

Both touch-screen DRE's and paper based optical scan systems have spectacularly failed across the country so far this year as well, and contingency plans have been called from both Republicans and Democrats alike to have such contingency plans in place at local jurisdictions should such machines continue to fail this November.

The downside to offering these paper ballots as an option, instead of a mandate, is that some states --- such as Florida --- have provisions in place making it essentially illegal for elections directors to offer such paper ballots at the polling place. For those states, it may well be that only a federal mandate would do the job of ensuring that voters would be able to vote come hell or highwater this November.

The legendary Leon County, FL Election Director Ion Sancho had previously expressed hopes that such a bill would make it "illegal to send a properly registered voter away from the polls without allowing them to cast a vote."

The latest state to have had machine problems in their primary election, resulting in voters being turned away from the polls, or being given Provisional Ballots (which are frequently not counted at all after Election Day) was Maryland. The Republican Governor of Maryland, Bob Ehrlich, called for scrapping the state's Diebold paperless touch-screen voting systems after their September 12th primary, calling on the state to impliment Emergency Paper Balloting this November. Incidents similar to the now-infamous "Maryland Meltdown" have been occuring across the country all year in states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Arkansas, West Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, and many others.

The Boxer/Dodd legislation cites a recent call from former Republican Attorney General Richard Thornburgh and former Democratic Governor Richard Celeste to have such "backup and contingency plans that anticipate a wide range of possible failures in their electronic voting systems" this November.

With just 4, or so, legislative days left in this Congress before they break for their Election Recess, it'll be no easy feat to see the bill passed by both the House and Senate before they leave. But given the stakes, and the bi-partisan call across the country for such a measure, we hope the Congress can act with the speed appropriate for a bill so important to, at least, helping to mitigate the train wreck that our democracy may be headed for this November 7th.

The BRAD BLOG would urge you to contact your Congress Members to demand they support this legislation immediately. You can send a message to your Congress Members here asking them to pass this legislation now!

You may otherwise contact local media to write in support of it, or ask to ask them to cover it, via this link.

UPDATE 6:17pm PT: New York Times coverage now linked here...

UPDATE 11:12pm PT: Late, final edition of the Times now lists Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) as a co-sponsor of the legislation as well!

The complete text of the Boxer/Dodd legislation as filed this afternoon, follows in full...

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

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