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'Green News Report' 9/30/14
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Obama creates world's largest marine sanc- tuary; Humans wiped out 1/2 of world wildlife; Also to blame for AUS' hottest year ever; PLUS: Oil co. joins Google to dump ALEC...
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Brad discusses bizarre threat of legal action by longtime Republican voter registration schemer Nathan Sproul...
BREAKING: 5-4 SCOTUS Ruling Restores GOP Restrictions on Early Voting in OH
Bad news for voters. Good news for Republicans who like to win elections by trying to limit voters' ability to cast their vote...
7th Circuit Deadlock Means WI Photo ID Law Still in Place
Longtime court vacancy likely made difference in 5-5 tie; Scott Walker, GOP rejoice as 'electoral choas' reigns in 'toss up' re-election race; SCOTUS likely next stop for plaintiffs...
Too Much Voting Going On!: GA County Repubs Block Early Sunday Voting
Board of Elections votes against 'partisan' proposal to make voting more convenient, even though County already funded it...
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'Green News Report' 9/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate Week Special Coverage continues: China will cut emissions; Experts say we're not doing enough; Admin makes econ case for action; PLUS: Corporate titans step up...
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GOP Values: Beating Wives, Suppressing Votes, Threatening Journalists - KPFK 'BradCast'
Latest on cases of GOP wife-beating judge Fuller; GOP voter operative Sproul; MORE...
Sproul Threatens BRAD BLOG With Legal Action After FL Confirms Our 2012 Reporting
GOP operative linked to years of registration fraud allegations sends bizarre email after yet another arrest of one of his workers...
'Green News Report' 9/23/14
GNR Special Coverage: Climate Week 2014 -- Climate March (largest in history), Wall Street protests (can ya hear us now?), special U.N. Climate Summit...
Report Cites Armed Walker Supporters Plotting to Target Democratic Voters in WI
'We can get our agents to watch polling location, identify the individual, and follow them to their residence'...
Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife-Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 docs suggest domestic abuse of two wives and children by federal judge w/ lifetime appointment...
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after three-GOP judge ruling reinstates Photo ID law just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
DiCaprio's UN climate role; Jindal plays dumb; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from wife-beating incident by U.S. District Court Judge; ALSO: Calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
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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...


Republican Head of State Calls for Paper Ballots this November!
By John Gideon on 9/22/2006 11:06am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Last night Lou and Kitty tackled the argument in Maryland over whether Linda Lamone should just let Diebold do an investigation of what went wrong last week or whether Gov. Ehrlich should get his way and have the voters vote on paper ballots.

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

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

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Votes Written on 'Scraps of Paper' in MD With Machines Down and No Paper Ballots Available!
WaPo Columnist Says 'Switch to Paper', Repub Gov Wants Paper, Dem Election Director in Denial, Congress Needed to Step in Immediately!
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 5:59pm PT  
At Piney Branch Elementary School in Takoma Park, officials quickly ran out of paper ballots and began telling voters to use scraps of paper after electronic balloting ended at 8 p.m., said Dennis Desmond, who voted with an ersatz paper ballot.

Officials, he said, were calling out the names on the ballot while people wrote down their choices on blank paper. Desmond estimated that 50 people voted that way. Voters also were asked to provide biographical information about themselves as election officials attempted to make the ballots legal.

He said that election officials dispatched a worker to a nearby store to buy envelopes and masking tape so the ersatz ballots could be enclosed and sealed.

-- From Washington Post coverage of Maryland's Sept. 12 Primary Election Meltdown

In addition to the front-pager we reported on last night from today's Washington Post covering Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich's call for a return to paper ballots in the state this November, WaPo has two additional stories today underscoring the desperate need for the LET AMERICA VOTE ACT to be passed immediately by the U.S. Congress. The simple proposal I've made calls for Emergency Paper Ballots to be mandated at every polling place this November in the face of machine breakdowns from coast to coast all primary season long.

One of the other two WaPo stories on this today, this one by Marc Fisher, on the front page of the Metro Section headlined is "If Paper Ballots Restore Trust In Elections, Let's Switch." It includes this information in response to last week Primary Election Meltdown:

The obvious solution, as Gov. Bob Ehrlich said yesterday, is to put the machines in the closet (actually, returning them to the store is an even better idea; does anybody in Annapolis still have that receipt for $106 million?) and go back to paper ballots. The governor bemoaned flaws in the Diebold electronic poll books that Maryland used for the first time last week to check in voters: "Technology is a wonderful thing, but clearly, given their apparent inability to function appropriately --- when in doubt, go paper, go lower technology."

...As well as this extraordinary exchange from MD's embattled Democratic State Elections Director and Diebold apologist, the not-yet-resigned, Linda Lamone...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 2:21pm PT  

Much happening at the moment. Hopefully details to come later today/tonight.

For the moment, I'll point you to Kathy Gill's coverage at About.com of my proposal for the "LET AMERICA VOTE ACT" (LAVA), a call for a federal Emergency Paper Ballots mandate at all polling places this November. I originally proposed the idea, asking Congress to pass this measure immediately here. A follow-up, including suggested legislative language for the very simple act was posted here yesterday.

The LAVA legislation seems to be generating quite a bit of buzz right now in certain sectors on Capitol Hill. Hope to have more details for you later. But with just about 5 legislative days left before the pre-election recess, please continue to make noise about it, contact your Congress members and let's save whatever we can this November!

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BRAD BLOG SOURCES, STORIES COVERED EXTENSIVELY...
EXTENDED EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 12:08pm PT  


Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who filed a landmark article last June in Rolling Stone concerning evidence of a stolen 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio, is set to rock the country again in tomorrow's Rolling Stone, The BRAD BLOG can now report.

The issue is currently on the stands in some sections of LA and NY, and will be available across the nation tomorrow.

Through interviews with a number of BRAD BLOG insider sources over the past several months, Kennedy, along with co-writer Dick Russell, will expose a plethora of new details concerning the scandalous and outrageous overtaking of our public election system by private companies such Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and others.

The article is titled: "Will The Next Election Be Hacked? - Fresh disasters at the polls --- and new evidence from an industry insider --- prove that electronic voting machines can't be trusted".

Many of the items covered may be familiar to readers here, as a good number of them were originally broken on these very pages over the last year or so. We worked closely with Kennedy and Russell on this story during its development over the past several months.

The article, however, covers several new and sometimes explosive details of Diebold's rollouts in both Georgia and Maryland dating back to 2002, as well as Florida, Ohio and Texas in 2004.

Characterizing the unchecked spread of electronic voting as "insane," Kennedy and Russell conclude, "It is time for Americans to reclaim our democracy from private interests."

Some of the damning details covered in the extensive piece include: the now-infamous and mysterious patch applied to the paperless touch-screen systems in GA just prior to the Chambliss/Cleland election; the presence of Diebold elections division president Bob Urosevich in the tabulation room in MD in 2002; Diebold's interest in downplaying, hiding the significance of several scientific reports in 2004 warning of the vulnerabilities in their machines; Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) involvement with former staffers and Diebold lobbyists in passing the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) through congress; ES&S shenanigans in Texas in 2004; E-Voting anomalies in Ohio and Florida may have given the election to George W. Bush; the Diebold electronic voting machine which kicked off the 2000 Presidential Election debacle...

The article is now posted in full at the RS website. Extended excerpts from the article follow below...

###

...TROUBLE COMING THIS NOVEMBER...

[A]s midterm elections approach this November, electronic voting machines are making things worse instead of better. Studies have demonstrated that hackers can easily rig the technology to fix an election – and across the country this year, faulty equipment and lax security have repeatedly undermined election primaries. In Tarrant County, Texas, electronic machines counted some ballots as many as six times, recording 100,000 more votes than were actually cast. In San Diego, poll workers took machines home for unsupervised “sleepovers” before the vote, leaving the equipment vulnerable to tampering.
...
“Every board of election has staff members with the technological ability to fix an election,” Ion Sancho, an election supervisor in Leon County, Florida, told me. “Even one corrupt staffer can throw an election. Without paper records, it could happen under my nose and there is no way I’d ever find out about it. With a few key people in the right places, it would be possible to throw a presidential election.”

Much more now below...

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

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Here's the Bill Calling for Emergency Paper Ballots at Every Polling Place in America this November!
[UPDATED WITH NEW SENATE LEGISLATION NOW FILED!]
By Brad Friedman on 9/20/2006 12:44pm PT  

Yesterday I called on Congress to pass an emergency measure to require Emergency Paper Ballots be made available at the polls during this November's general election. I spelled out several reasons for this last-ditch, "Hail Mary" attempt to try and mitigate just some of the myriad problems and disenfranchisment that will occur at polling places this year thanks to new, poorly designed, malfunctioning, unsecure electronic voting machines now deployed across the nation.

Never mind the electronic voting machine fraud that is likely to occur. Never mind the proven inaccuracies of these god-awful machines. Never mind the ease at which they are now proven to be hackable. My concern right now --- this late in the game --- is simply to assure that voters who show up at the polls and are legally registered to vote, may actually be able to cast a vote at all!

In primary after primary this year, voters have been told to "come back later" or, at best, given a provisional ballot (which may or may not ever be counted) when voting machines either failed to work or, frequently, weren't even present by the time voters showed up to vote. That is voter disenfranchisement, pure and simple, and it affects voters of any and all political stripes.

Common sense (one would think) would dictate that State and County Election Directors would mandate Emergency Paper Ballots for voters to use in the event of machine unavailability. Though the Secretaries of State in several states so far this year (Texas, Arkansas, etc.) have issued emergency orders for such Emergency Paper Ballots, remarkably, many states and counties didn't bother and thousands of legally registered voting citizens were sent home in the bargain.

The legislation required by Congress to mandate Emergency Paper Ballots (I call it the "LET AMERICA VOTE ACT") is incredibly simple. In yesterday's article, I included a three-sentence piece of legislation. Below, is a more fully-formed draft legislation based on those three sentences as sent to me orginally by Bob Wilson of the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project.

Along with additional tweaks by myself and a few others, my complete suggested legislation can be read --- in it's entirety --- in about 30 seconds. It's posted in full below.

If Congress cares (and if you help them to do so!), I'm quite certain that this measure can be passed by both houses of Congress and signed by George W. Bush with Terri Schiavo-like speed.

I'd think our democracy is worth at least as much. And I know it's certainly worth trying for!

Some have responded to my call for this LAVA legislation ("Let democracy flow!") by pointing out that the method of counting and/or auditing these Emergency Paper Ballots must be included in the legislation. My answer to them is that I agree with their point! However, at this late in the game (with only some 5 or 6 legislative days left before Congress recesses prior to the election) I don't want to give any Congress member any reason to oppose this act!

In other words, with the time we have left, if all we can do is assure that at least there will be a piece of paper on which a registered voter may cast a vote this November --- if they bother to show up --- then we will be doing a service to democracy. It's an incredible fact, but even something as simple has that has not been the case in many places this year. Last week's Maryland primary, were thousands were forced to go without voting at all when the machines failed to work, was a prime example!

Some have said there is no time to get this bill passed. I don't care. Let's get it passed anyway. If it fails, at least we will have a "paper trail" to point back to on November 8th when everyone else is wondering what went wrong and if anybody had tried to do anything about it while there was still time. Those of us who give a damn will have done everything we could.

I continue to speak to folks in Congress about sponsorship of this bill, and I urge all American citizens to contact their Congress Members --- as well as their state and local officials --- to demand that non-provisional Emergency Paper Ballots be made available at the polls this year!

You can contact your Congress person here (and you can contact local media here.)

(The URL for this article is: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3502. Feel free to point them to it!)

Let's get to work! This effort is about all we have left legislatively at this point! Please spread the word everywhere. My complete suggested language for the LET AMERICA VOTE ACT is posted below...

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

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CALL ON CONGRESS TO PASS 'EMERGENCY PAPER BALLOT LEGISLATION' NOW!
Every Registered American Voter Must Be Allowed to Vote This November!
By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 12:41pm PT  

Given this year's primary election meltdowns and train wrecks that we've been reporting since March 7th of this year, in which electronic voting machines have failed to start up and thousands of American voters have been turned away from the polls when they came to vote, but couldn't...

Given the fact that one such meltdown occurred last Tuesday in Maryland, where many of the DC media and politicos live...

Given VelvetRevolution's new Princeton Diebold Virus Hack report demonstrating conclusively that electronic voting machines may be hacked in a minute's time resulting in flipped elections without a trace left behind...

Giving that American democracy and the right to vote in that democracy ought to be a beacon to the world...

It is NOW time for Emergency Paper Ballot Legislation to be brought and passed immediately by both houses of the U.S. Congress, in order to at least mitigate the coming train wreck this November 7th.

Call it the Let America Vote Act (LAVA) of 2006...Let democracy flow!

The legislation can, and should be, as short as a single paragraph so that it can be read and passed quickly by every U.S. Congress member. It can apply only to this November's general election, if that is needed to get it passed and signed quickly.

It should read something like this...


LET AMERICA VOTE ACT
(EMERGENCY PAPER BALLOT MANDATE OF 2006)

Emergency paper ballots shall be made available at every voting jurisdiction in the United States during the November 7th, 2006 General Election. These paper ballots shall be available in sufficient numbers for optional use by voters who prefer to use them, and by all voters in the event of voting machine failure or unavailability. These paper ballots are not to be provisional ballots, but regular paper ballots that shall be counted immediately upon the close of polls on election night along with all other votes cast by properly registered voters.

Note: At this point, I don't give a damn how the Emergency Paper Ballots will be counted; by hand, by optical scanner, whatever. So long as voters are not disenfranchised by the millions --- as thousands have already been so far in this year's primary elections across the country --- by showing up to the polling place only to be told they can't vote at all, or by being told they must vote provisionally (provisional ballots are not counted on election night, and frequently not at all) because the new voting machines are broken or otherwise unavailable.

States such as Texas, Arkansas and other have already had to do this this year when Secretaries of State put out emergency notices to Elections Administrators to create such Emergency Paper Ballots after the voting machine companies failed to provide programmed ballots or working machines.

All states are already required by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to have such paper ballots available at every polling place as Provisional Ballots, so those can be copied NOW if need be for use as Emergency Paper Ballots (which is better than the scraps of paper some counties reportedly have tried to use in emergency situations so far this year!)

BOTTOM LINE: With the passage of this Emergency Legislation, at least properly registered American citizens will be able to vote on Election Day if they choose to!

Feel free to call it the "Hail Mary Emergency Election Protection Act" if you want. I don't much care, so long as it's passed by Congress in time to ensure that voters can actually vote this November!

I've spoken with a number of people on the Hill and within the Election Integrity movement...scientists, activists, politicians, in DC and around the country, and they have all been in favor of this legislation and have pledged their support.

I am attemping to find sponsorship for this bill in Congress, and I'm calling on all Election Integrity organizations and concerned citizens who may have better connections than I to help find such Congressional sponsorship immediately.

I am calling on these same people to then call on Congress to pass this legislation immediately!

I am hoping to have an official version/wording of the bill posted shortly. It will, of course, be available as a new item here at The BRAD BLOG no later than tomorrow. It will spell out, in official "bill-like" language, precisely what I've posted above. [UPDATE: A complete legislative language version of the bill is now posted here.]

Democracy is at stake. After at least two years of reporting in exhaustive details on these matters, and at this late stage of the game, I believe the above "reform" is, unfortunately, the most we can likely hope for in time to have any real impact in mitigating a full-on train wreck during this November's crucial excercise of the rite of democracy.

Please forward this item to everybody you know, cross-post it or link to it as you see fit (this is the URL: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3495)...And please contact your Congress person and ask them to support and/or sponsor this initiative today!

UPDATE 9/26/06: Boxer & Dodd introduce Emergency Paper Ballot Legislation in the Senate! House version to come soon! Details here...

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 12:38pm PT  

As I wrote on Sunday, when your Ford Pinto blows up in the course of regular use --- such as when it gets hit from behind in a rear-end collision --- you don't blame the driver for the disaster.

Diebold's response in general (along with the other voting machine companies and the elections officials who are now their "unofficial" representatives in the media) to the mountain of problems we've seen with electronic voting machines at the polls so far this year has been to blame the poll workers. Indeed, Diebold's official response to the catastrophic findings by Princeton University that Diebold touch-screen systems can be hacked with an election-stealing virus implanted undetectably in a minute's time --- one that can then spread to every machine in the system --- has been to say that if poll workers and elections officials do their job properly, that could never happen. That's simply nonsense and they know it.

Computerworld's blogger, Martin McKeay, posted a brilliant reponse to Diebold's nonsense the other day. His on-the-money reply ends this way:

Diebold may be a private company, but the service they're providing is consumed by the voting public. As such, saying "It's secure, trust us" is not an acceptable answer. This is not a situation where security through obscurity is an acceptable answer. Not only do the results of each election have to be verifiable but how we arrived at those results also needs to be verifiable. Code verification has been one of the most asked for requirements since the first evoting machine was developed. There are very few situations where the saying "trust, but verify" applies more than in voting.

Here's my final comment, and it's directed right at [Diebold Election Systems, Inc., President] Dave Byrd: Quit attacking the critics of your product and attack the basic problems your product has continually displayed. Rather than attacking researchers and running off election officials who want your products verified, take the time to address the fundamental problems with your products. Give us a paper trail, quit using WindowsCE, allow verification of your software. Part of being in a democratic society is that the voting process needs to be transparent to anyone who's willing to take the time to look. Until Diebold is willing to accept thattransparency , you're going to keep getting hammered by your critics and your products will never be acceptable. It's only going to get worse unless Diebold changes their tactics.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2006 10:06pm PT  

Todd Beeton of the Courage Campaign covered last Saturday afternoon's event in Los Angeles, which I hosted. It featured such luminaries as Gore Vidal, Debra Bowen, Maxine Waters, Bob Fitrakis and other heroes of democracy and was sponsored by SoCalGrassroots.org, VelvetRevolution.us, California Election Protection Network and Progressive Democrats of America.

Beeton did a terrific job, methinks of covering the event. But perhaps that's because he said nice things about me. I dunno. Check it out!

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By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2006 2:12pm PT  

He's taking mail on the question right now to read on the air during Blitzer's Situation Room.

You can send him email here. "Should electronic voting machines be outlawed?"

UPDATE: Here's the transcript of today's show. The snippet from that transcript, including the questions Cafferty ended up reading on the air, is posted below...

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

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Irresponsible Reporting 'Spins' Downhill Quickly From There!
Paper Helps Voting Machine Vendors and Elections Officials Blame Poll Workers --- Inappropriately --- for Their Own Failings!
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2006 2:31pm PT  

The coverage of Voting and Electronic Voting issues is increasing exponentially at this point due to 1) the impending November election (read: coming train wreck) 2) the fact that an electoral meltdown occured in last Tuesday's Maryland primary (they've been happening in every primary so far this year as BRAD BLOG readers know, but now that they've occured in Montgomery County, MD, where the DC media and politicos live, the problem suddenly "exists"!) and, of course, 3) the news of the VelvetRevolution.ussponsored Princeton University Diebold Virus Hack.

I'm doing my best to keep up, but there is now much to cover and as well, I'm now being asked to do many media events which are time-consuming but also necessary. So, expect much more cover here shortly on all of the latest, even if some of that coverage must (necessarily) be a bit more abbreviated than in "the old days" when none of this stuff actually "existed".

One such new story worth covering is on the front page(!!!) of today's Sunday Washington Post. It begins this way:

Major Problems At Polls Feared
Some Officials Say Voting Law Changes And New Technology Will Cause Trouble

An overhaul in how states and localities record votes and administer elections since the Florida recount battle six years ago has created conditions that could trigger a repeat --- this time on a national scale --- of last week's Election Day debacle in the Maryland suburbs, election experts said.

...That's a good start --- if it took Maryland for WaPo to "notice" what's been going on now for months (in fact, years!), I'll take it! But the "truthiness" of the WaPo coverage goes quickly downhill from there.

Little wonder it's linked from Drudge Report right now!

The framing of the problems as mostly "human error" is exactly the type of coverage that Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, Hart InterCivic and friends are no doubt delighted about. The facts of the matter, however, are far different from the incredibly "Fair and Balanced" (read: uneven playing field, levelled inappropriately to the advantage of bad guys who don't deserve it, so WaPo stays out of trouble) spin given to the story. Even the WaPo's own coverage defies their own attempted spin, bias or failure (whatever you wish to call it)...

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

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Lead Sponsor, Author of Help America Vote Act to Serve Jail Time, Says Report
Last Remaining Abramoff Golf Junketeer Not (Yet) Facing Criminal Charges? Congressman Tom Feeney...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2006 7:41pm PT  

We've long been describing Bob Ney as the "Soon-to-be-Indicted Bob Ney". It looks like that day is finally here.

The New York Times is reporting that Ney, the leader sponsor and author of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is headed to jail...

WASHINGTON – Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges related to his dealings with the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, lawyers and others with knowledge of the investigation said Thursday.

A guilty plea would make Ney, a six-term congressman, the first member of Congress to confess to criminal charges in the Abramoff investigation, which has focused on the actions of several current and former Republican lawmakers who had been close to the former lobbyist.

People with detailed knowledge of the investigation said Ney had entered an in-patient facility in recent days for treatment of alcoholism, making it uncertain whether he would appear at a court hearing to announce the plea.

We've also long reported on Ney's "good luck" in winning $34,000 at a London casino owned by some good friends...at the exact same moment he owed exactly that much in credit card bills. Says The Times...

Another person familiar with the department’s investigation said that at least one of the criminal charges in Ney’s guilty plea would involve the accuracy of his claim in a House financial disclosure statement that he won $34,000 in a private London casino during a trip in 2003.

The casino winnings had also been under scrutiny by the Justice Department in part because the amount of the winnings coincided to a surprising degree with the amount of debt outstanding on Ney’s credit cards.

With both Ney and former Republican Majority Leader, Tom DeLay (R-TX) now facing indictments, that means there is only one remaining congress member who went on Jack Abramoff's golf junkets to St. Andrews, Scotland who has yet to be served with criminal charges: Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)

Feeney is currently facing a challenge for his seat by Clint Curtis, the man who has sworn in affidavit, video-taped congressional testimony and polygraph test that Feeney asked him to create vote-rigging software when they both worked at the same computer firm in Florida in 2000 (where Feeney was general counsel and registered lobbyist, even while he was also serving as Speaker of the Florida House).

Anyway, now that Ney is apparently going to jail for his Abramoff-related crimes, can someone other than The BRAD BLOG please look into the hornet's nest surrounding the passage of HAVA, as aided and abetted by Abramoff's old lobbying firm, Greenburg Traurig, and Ney's former chief-of-staff-turned-Diebold-lobbyist, David DeStefano? Pretty please? Here's a nice place to get you started!

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County Charter Amendment Had Been Challenged by County Commissioners in Court
By John Gideon on 9/14/2006 6:20am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections (SAFE) has just announced that a Sarasota County Judge has found in their favor and against the county voting officials and the Florida Secretary of State.

SAFE had been proposing a ballot initiative that would require voter verified paper ballots and independent random audits of election results in Sarasota County. The County Commissioner chose to go to court instead of allowing the legal petition to move forward.

The press release from SAFE says:

Judge rules that County commissioners must submit amendment proposed by citizen petition to a vote

Chief Judge Robert B. Bennett, of the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, State of Florida issued a final judgment on the petition for writ of mandamus by the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections that "the Board of County Commissioners of Sarasota County shall submit the proposed amendment to the Sarasota County Charter to the Sarasota County electorate in accordance with the requirements on provisions of Article VII of the Sarasota County Charter." The amendment requires voter verified paper ballots and independent random audits of election results in Sarasota County.

This ruling in favor of the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections validates the process of proposing amendments to the charter via citizen petition. Over 14,500 voters in Sarasota County from all precincts, all demographic groups, and all political parties signed a petition for paper ballots and mandatory audits as opposed to the paperless touchscreen voting system now used in Sarasota County and 14 of the other most populous counties in Florida. This was well over the 12,030 or 5% of the registered voters needed to put the referendum on the Sarasota County ballot in November.

Rather than voting to authorize the election at their August 22nd meeting, the County Commissioners, on the advice of the County Attorney, filed a lawsuit for a declaratory judgment on the language of the petition, challenging its constitutionality.

Judge Bennett's decision validates the right of citizens to vote on the measure, and affirms the legality of much of the petition, which is the criterion for placement on the ballot. The Board of County Commissioners must respond to the judge's ruling in their meeting on September 13th. The resolution setting the election along with the ballot language must be delivered to the Supervisor of Elections by Friday, September 15th in order to print the referendum on the November 7th ballot.

The complete ruling of Chief Justice Bennett can be seen on the website of the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections (SAFE), at www.safevote.org.

This is a big announcement from a hard-working group of activists who still have an uphill battle to force their county to use a voter verified, auditable voting system.

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From California to Nevada--Onward to Texas and Beyond?
“This is now not just election nullification, but it’s democracy nullification.” --- Attorney Paul Lehto
By Emily Levy on 9/6/2006 7:34pm PT  

Guest blogged by Emily Levy

Today on RawStory.com, Miriam Raftery interviews Paul Lehto: Court rules against voter-supervised elections, attorney tells Raw

Lehto ties together recent court cases in California and Nevada, and makes some hypotheses about the future.

First: Judge Yuri Hofmann in San Diego dismissed the CA-50 (Busby/Bilbray race) election challenge a week ago, after receiving a letter [PDF] from Paul Vinovich, counsel to the Committee on House Administration, claiming that only Congress had jurisdiction over California’s election. The letter cited Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution, “Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members….” Never mind that when Brian Bilbray became a “member,” the election wasn’t yet certified and thousands of votes remained uncounted.

Then: Three days after dismissal of the San Diego case, a judge in Nevada’s District 2 dismissed a challenge to the Republican primary there on the same constitutional grounds. John Gideon’s excellent piece, Opinion: Is The Constitution Going To Be Used Against Democrats In November?, which appeared on The BRAD BLOG over the weekend, ties the two cases together. If you haven’t read it, please do.

There’s more: As previously reported on these pages, Vinovich's letter came after Congress received by fax the preliminary results of the CA-50 race. That fax was sent by Susan Lapsley, Assistant California Secretary of State for Elections. She hasn’t worked for CA SoS Bruce McPherson for very long. What was her previous job? Assistant Secretary of State in Nevada, where her boss was Dean Heller. SoS Heller is running for Congress, and is the candidate who claims to have won the contested race in Nevada. More on Lapsley here.

Connect the Dots: Is Texas Next?

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

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Spend $12 and do 4 minutes' work, and you too can insert the card of your choice in Diebold machine --- and NOBODY WILL EVER NOTICE!!
Instructions and photos available online now!
By Winter Patriot on 9/4/2006 5:27pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

A couple of 54-year old women from Black Box Voting bought $12 worth of tools and in four minutes penetrated the memory card seals, removed, replaced the memory card, and sealed it all up again without leaving a trace.

If they can do it, you can do it too. We have all the details below...

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

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With Three Spots For Ohio And Only Eight For The Other 49 States, It Hardly Seems Fair!
By Winter Patriot on 9/4/2006 3:51pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Mother Jones has the skinny on eleven of the worst places to try and vote in America, courtesy of Sasha Abramsky:

Just Try Voting Here: 11 of America's worst places to cast a ballot (or try)

I won't spoil the top ten for you. But here's what Sasha says about number eleven:

#11 Politicos in Charge
Ohio

Election activists don't have Florida's Katherine Harris to kick around anymore, but in a system where most states' top election officials are also politicians, there's no shortage of other nominees for worst secretary of state. The current leading candidate must be Ohio's Ken Blackwell, now a Republican candidate for governor, who seems intent on making sure as few Ohioans as possible are registered to vote. In 2004 Blackwell achieved national notoriety when he announced that his office would accept only voter-registration forms printed on paper of at least 80-pound weight. Blackwell had to back off that requirement, but a slew of other restrictions remain, including one under which door-to-door registration workers must sign in with county officials, and another requiring them to personally mail in the registration forms they collect. "The constant promulgation of rules and regulations keeps members of the Board of Elections jumping around like cats on a hot tin roof," says Chris Link, executive director of the Ohio ACLU. "And this essentially hurts Democrats. Who is newly registering? People who've just become citizens, young people who've just gotten the right to vote." Meanwhile, Blackwell's office has done nothing to inform voters that come Election Day this year, they will have to bring photo IDs to the polls --- guaranteeing that tens of thousands of mostly Democratic voters will be turned away.

Please read the whole article.

CONFESSION: This piece was originally blogged with an incorrect heading which claimed "Ohio didn't even make the top ten" ... in fact Ohio claimed two of the top four spots. So that was a big FUMBLE! by your nearly frozen host, spotted by Lorraine Bieber. My apologies.

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