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Embattled Incumbent, HAVA Author, Loses 32% of Vote to No-Show Primary Opponent
'Congressional Quarterly' Says Numbers Predict Trouble
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 12:00pm PT  

The soon-to-be-indicted lead pusher of the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA), Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) had his primary race in Ohio's 18th District tonight. While most congressmen named in four different criminal indictments and convictions would usually be toast, this is, after all, Ohio.

That said, Justin Rood over at TPM Muckraker, had this to say earlier this afternoon about the outlook for Ney tonight...

...Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) is expected to win his congressional primary, being held today. His competitor, James Broadbelt Harris, is an unknown who hasn't campaigned --- he hasn't even filed with the FEC, which indicates he has raised less than $5,000, [Congressional Quarterly's] Greg Giroux tells me.

I called Giroux to get his take on the election. While he expects Ney to win, he said, he's curious about what kind of "protest vote" Republicans in the district will cast for Harris, reacting to Ney's ethical troubles.

"I'd be surprised if Harris got more than 20 or 25 percent," Giroux told me. "That would be a sign that there is a chunk of the Republican base that's disenchanted with the incumbent."

"If Ney gets in the 80s --- and he very well may --- that'd show that at least Republican voters are behind him, and they weren't willing to look at this alternative candidate," Giroux said.

100% of the results are now in from all but 1 of the 16 counties which make up Ohio's fightin' 18th. (Belmont County's results have been stuck at 25.3% for the last several hours, about which I suspect we'll hear more tomorrow. Trouble with those pricey new op-scan machines, Belmont?)

As of 2:13am ET, these are the results from the Ohio SoS website:

If Giroux is correct, it looks like Ney may be in for a tough ride this fall...If he makes it that far without ending up in the slammer.

UPDATE 5/3/06: 100% of counties now reporting in full. Ney: 68.38% Harris: 31.62%

UPDATE 5/4/06: As expected, the reasons for the delayed reporting out of Belmont was due to all manners of mess in counting votes off of their new machines. Here's a description of the mess..

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Company Technician Uses Old Version of Software To Program Voting Machines
By John Gideon on 4/27/2006 8:20pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

On top of Brad's earlier report today on the ES&S meltdown in Texas, and loads of other states, we find out that still more problems with ES&S have been encountered in West Virginia.

On Thursday the Associated Press reported that a software "glitch" has delayed testing in 11 counties. The reason?

Though electronic ballots on the ES&S iVotronic Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines are programmed and seem to recorde votes accurately during testing, it's taking six hours or more to tabulate all the results. That is a huge problem for machines sold on the premise of accuracy and speed.

But the larger concern? "Version control". Apparently an ES&S engineer programmed the machines using outdated software. The company seems to not bother to ensure the correct version of software is being used and installed on the machines. And counties are not watching to ensure ES&S is keeping their machines current.

Ben Beakes, the chief of staff for WV Sec. of State Betty Ireland, explained:

"All the votes on the paper trail are correct. All the votes inside the machines are correct. It will just not recognize them when it's time to tabulate the results," Beakes said.

That said, was the software version used federally qualified with the hardware and firmware version being used by those 11 counties? Do the states or counties even care? Maybe not but they should because not all versions of software will work with all versions of firmware. That's why there are version numbers.

And that's just one more reason why we're headed for an electoral train wreck.

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(The BRAD BLOG Makes it Into Song!)
By Brad Friedman on 4/26/2006 12:34pm PT  

BRAD BLOG reader and kick-ass blues man Shannon Williford (that's him at right) sends us a rockin' blues ditty titled simply "Election Reform".

While we're fairly certain it's the first blues tune to include the word "blogs" in the lyrics, we're damn near positive it's the first one to include the words "BradBlog.com" in it. And even "VotersUnite.org" (shout out to our pal John Gideon!) makes the cut for that matter. And others as well!

Shannon posted the lyrics, some observations on playing this song around Nashville and a few other thoughts on the current state of anti-establishment music in this comment on our Neil Young Living With War album review.

The tune certainly makes me smile. Hope it does the same for you. Turn up the speakers and...Give it a listen!

(Here are additional details on Williford's Delicious Blues Stew!)

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You have the right to fight back! Here's how?
By John Gideon on 4/25/2006 3:48pm PT  

Did you know that if your state took any funds from the federal government to purchase voting machines you have the legal right to file a complaint? And that you must be given a public hearing in the bargain if you ask for one?

According to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Section 402 any person who believes that there is a violation of any provision of HAVA Title III (including a violation which has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur) may file a complaint which must then be dealt with in 90 days time.

Title III of HAVA is the section that includes such things as the accessibility mandates of voting devices for disabled-voters, the ability to verify the votes selected by the voter on the ballot before the ballot is cast and counted, the requirement for warning voters of overvotes, audit capacity of voting systems, provisional voting, computerized statewide voter registration lists, and other issues.

Part of this right to file a complaint is the right to request, and be granted, an on-the-record public hearing of your complaint. This cannot be denied to you according to federal law.

Realizing that I had this right, I spoke with some attorneys who are working on voting technology issues and I was told that actions that I took by filing a complaint would not hurt their work in any way and it might be helpful as it will help to build a public paper record. I then composed my complaint, which is now posted at VoteTrustUSA in full, and filed it yesterday.

We'll see where it goes, but I wanted to mention this to BRAD BLOG readers who might consider doing the same thing. HAVA mandates that every state must create a process for such complaints to be filed by voters. Check with your Secretary of State's office to see what might be required in your state.

If "6 or 7" of us do this in each state, who knows what might come of it? Since all the states have different procedures, please feel free to share your experiences for others here in comments, along with any tips for filing in your own state as you may find them.

Feel free to use my complaint as a template if you like, or drop me an email if you have any specific questions

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By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2006 10:17pm PT  

"These machines are a problem. This is not some Internet conspiracy; this is a serious problem that faces American democracy. These machines are not reliable and they shouldn't be used. We should not be using machines in this country where the results of the vote can't be verified after the fact. Period. Any machines."
-- DNC Chair, Gov. Howard Dean, 4/19/06

David Grossman (formerly of MediaMatters.org, currently of PoliticsTV.com) attended a breakfast with Howard Dean the other day. He asked Dean about his concern over Electronic Voting Machines. Dean's answer was interesting (transcript of complete answer is below.)

While I'm encouraged somewhat by Dean's response --- he seems to have a general grasp of the concerns --- it seems to me that he's still vastly "misunderestimating" the disastrous situation now afoot in the country in the wake of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). He just doesn't yet seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation and the extent of the problems and dangers posed to our democracy.

To that end --- in case there are any of Howard Dean's peeps reading this --- I will make the same offer I've previously made to people close to John Kerry, Wes Clark and, personally today, to Russ Feingold (more on that later). Namely, I'll be happy to brief Dean and/or his staffers by phone, in person, or any other way they might like to full explain what we are now dealing with in this country, and how incredibly important it is that they pay attention and take action now. They may feel free to contact me here, if interested in taking me up on the offer.

Dean also speaks, in his full response, about his experience a year or so ago in 2004 hacking a Diebold GEMS central tabulator with "someone" on "live TV". That "someone" was Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org and the live TV was a CNBC's Topic A with Tina Brown which Dean was Guest Hosting. The clip of him hacking the machines with Harris is right here. He added, in his response, that he didn't know for sure, but it "could have been a program that was elaborately programmed to fool me into thinking I was doing something I really wasn't doing."

No, Dr. Dean. It wasn't anything of the kind. We'll assume you were kidding. But what you did on live TV was exploit a vulnerability allowing a malicious user to hack the Diebold GEMS central tabulator, in about 30 seconds, to change the reported results of a Diebold election.

That is, of course, precisely what the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT, a branch of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security) warned about in a "Cyber Security Bulletin", as published prior to the 2004 Election.

Of course, nobody reported the US-CERT "Cyber Security Bulletin", originally posted on August 31, 2004, anywhere in the media until The BRAD BLOG did so more than a year later on September 15, 2005. As far as we know, nobody in the Corporate Mainstream Media has bothered to report on the warning even since then.

A huge thanks to David for asking Dean his question about Diebold! David's full blog item is here. The complete transcript of his exchange with Dean on this matter follows...

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

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More MSM Coverage of BRAD BLOG Reporting...Same Lack of Appropriate Attribution...
By Brad Friedman on 4/14/2006 2:55pm PT  

Before I register my complaint here with Matt Taibbi's otherwise excellent article on the background of "Mr. Republican" Jack Abramoff and "The secret history of the most corrupt man in Washington," as published in the April 6th edition of Rolling Stone, I'll point to this smart graf amongst many such smart grafs in a very well-researched and informative piece:

One of the ugliest developments in American culture since Abramoff's obscure Cold Warrior days in the Eighties has been the raging but highly temporary success of various "smart guys" who upon closer examination aren't all that smart. There was BALCO steroid scum Victor Conte ("The smartest son of a bitch I ever met in my life," said one Olympian client), Enron's "smartest guys in the room" Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay, and, finally, "ingenious dealmaker" Jack Abramoff. Somewhere along the line, in the years since the Cold War, Americans as a whole became such craven, bum-licking, self-absorbed fat cats that they were willing to listen to these fifth-rate prophets who pretended that the idea that rules could be broken was some kind of earth-shattering revelation --- as though they had fucking invented fraud and cheating. But to a man, they all turned out to be dumb, incompetent fuckups, destined to bring us all down with them --- not even good at being criminals.

Taibbi's piece covers in detail some of the many scams that Abramoff and the rest of the nationwide Republican Network of dishonest, opportunistic players who now comprise the power structure of the Republican party --- or the "vast rightwing conspiracy" as Hillary correctly described it. It's an ugly, but accurate portrait of those who have hijacked all that America was supposed to have stood for while an otherwise distracted and/or media-whipped public was trained to look the other way --- or otherwise give the benefit of the doubt to some very very bad guys who have earned no such benefit.

Those bad guys now run the country, its government, its corporations and its media virtually in its entirety. And more shamefull still, they've got goons played for suckers who are so daft and gullible that, to this day, they run around and play apologist for these people who --- I guess they don't realize it --- are fucking them hard up their own asses with their own hard-earned money and blindly offered good-will. You'll find many of those dopes repeating Fox "News" and Limbaugh-isms over Thanksgiving dinners everywhere, and otherwise plying their foolish and self-destructive trade wherever they can. A stroll through some of the most trollish comments left here at The BRAD BLOG reveals these people have left only the dimmest of connections to Reality as it exists in 2006 on the planet Earth.

With those accolades for Taibbi's work now out of the way, allow me to point to this earlier graf in his piece (emphasis added)...

All along, Abramoff was buying journalists, creating tax-exempt organizations to fund campaign activities and using charities to fund foreign conflicts. He spent the past twenty years doing business with everyone from James Dobson to the Gambino family, from Ralph Reed to Grover Norquist to Karl Rove to White House procurements chief David Safavian. He is even lurking in the background of the 2004 Ohio voting-irregularities scandal, having worked with the Diebold voting-machine company to defeat requirements for a paper trail in elections.

"Lurking in the background" must be MSM code for: Reported by BRAD BLOG but otherwise ignored.

We're glad to see Taibbi pick up on some of our reporting as he writes...

And now it comes out that Diebold, the notorious voting-machine company, paid some $275,000 to Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig, with the apparent aim of keeping legislation requiring paper trails in the voting process from getting into the Help America Vote Act. Conveniently, Abramoff pal Bob Ney, one of the HAVA architects, blocked every attempt to put paper trails into law, even after the controversial electoral debacles of 2000 and 2004.

...But it would certainly help to keep such bad guys from affecting so much corruption and damage for so many years before they actually get busted, if Taibbi would be kind enough to point out some of the sources --- independent, alternative, "blog" or otherwise --- who have been trying to blow such whistles for so long.

With appropriate credit and recognition from the mainstream, as we opined a several weeks ago, reporting such as ours and many others would likely have the effect of stopping the bad guys before they manage to wreak quite as much havoc on our once-great American democracy.

We'd hope that even the usually independent-minded Rolling Stone would keep such important points in mind by choosing to give appropriate attribution where possible in their future reporting. As we've said before: It matters.

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Seeks to Stop Last Minute Implementation of ES&S Voting Machines and to Push Back Unconstitutional Threats by the DoJ...
By John Gideon on 4/14/2006 12:57pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The BRAD BLOG has received a copy of the 'Complaint For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief', as filed earlier this week in Allegheny County, PA, by several disabled voters. The complete suit is now available here [WORD format].

As the suit itself is some 43 pages, we will distill it for you a bit, and cover the most notable aspects. The BRAD BLOG is just thoughtful that way.

As we reported on Wednesday, the complaint was filed against the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, other state and county officials, an Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the US Dept. of Justice, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The complaint asserts that the state certified Electronic Voting Machines made by Elections Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) are not accessible by voters with disabilities --- contrary to the requirements of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Nonetheless, Allegheny County has selected their machines for use in upcoming elections. That, after previously hoping to go with Diebold, and then with Sequoia Voting Systems, until finally settling on ES&S after the first two choices fell apart either due to the politics of the companies involved and/or due to the discovery their Electronic Voting Systems were found to be hackable.

As mentioned, the choice to not use Diebold in Allegheny occurred, in no small part, because of the company's known hard-right partisan leanings. The lawsuit, however, points out the irony of finally choosing to go with ES&S --- considering their own dubious partisan background...

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

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Suit Seeks to Stop Last Minute Implementation of ES&S Voting Machines In Allegheny County
By John Gideon on 4/12/2006 2:06pm PT  


Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Just announced by KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the news that a group of citizens and People For The American Way have filed suit against the Secretary of State; Dan Onorato, Allegheny County Chief Executive; James Flynn, County Manager; and senior officials at the federal Department of Justice. The citizen group includes members of the disabilities community who want to make sure the County purchases machines that are accessible to all individuals with disabilities.

KDKA reports:

The lawsuit filed today says that decision risks chaos on Election Day because of the lack of time to train election officials and educate voters about the change from lever machines which have been in use for 40 years.

"This rush to a new and flawed technology just weeks before the election threatens to sow chaos in the primary and compromise the fundamental rights of thousands of voters for years to come," says Harry Litman, the former United States Attorney in Pittsburgh and an attorney for the plaintiffs. "It's a bad deal for Allegheny County, and, we believe, a violation of federal law."

The suit, Celeste Taylor v. Dan Onorato asks the court to prevent use of machines manufactured by Election Systems & Software until the County has spent the time necessary to identify voting systems that are secure; reliable; and accessible to voters with disabilities.
...
The plaintiffs cite elections in Texas, Florida, California, Ohio, and North and South Carolina where ES&S machines failed on Election Day.

A report by the Inspector General in Miami of a 2002 election found that the ES&S machines were not properly prepared; their results could not be audited; poll workers were unable to operate machines; and large number of voters simply gave up as a result.
...
The complaint alleges that DOJ has pressured Allegheny to buy the new machines by improperly threatening to take back about $12 million that has been given to Pennsylvania for improved voting systems.

These machines are sold and serviced by Elections Systems and Software, the same company that has played a major role in failures of memory cards and is a large reason why this nation is headed for a "Train Wreck" in our primary elections and, if no action is taken, in November.

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Convicted Republicans Hired, then Fired from Bush/Cheney '04 Made Dozens of Calls to WH 'Political Office' Just Before and During '02 Election
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2006 3:49pm PT  

More on the Phone-Jamming charges against (so-far) Republican officials. The matter now seems to be reaching into the White House as reported by AP:

WASHINGTON - Key figures in a phone-jamming scheme designed to keep New Hampshire Democrats from voting in 2002 had regular contact with the White House and Republican Party as the plan was unfolding, phone records introduced in criminal court show.

The records show that Bush campaign operative James Tobin, who recently was convicted in the case, made two dozen calls to the White House within a three-day period around Election Day 2002 --- as the phone jamming operation was finalized, carried out and then abruptly shut down.
...
Democrats plan to ask a federal judge Tuesday to order GOP and White House officials to answer questions about the phone jamming in a civil lawsuit alleging voter fraud.
...
The phone records show that most calls to the White House were from Tobin, who became President Bush's presidential campaign chairman for the New England region in 2004.
...
While national Republican officials have said they deplore such operations, the Republican National Committee said it paid for Tobin's defense because he is a longtime supporter and told officials he had committed no crime.
...
Virtually all the calls to the White House went to the same number, which currently rings inside the political affairs office. In 2002, White House political affairs was led by now-RNC chairman Ken Mehlman. The White House declined to say which staffer was assigned that phone number in 2002.

Read the full story for many more details, but it should be noted that the White House hired Tobin to work their North-Eastern regional campaign in 2004 even after they already knew he was under investigation for the 2002 charges. He was only asked to leave his '04 post once the reports of the '02 investigation became public knowledge.

(Hat tip to RAW STORY.)

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Our Elections are Now Officially 'A National Disaster in the Making'
A MUST READ GUEST EDITORIAL BY JOHN GIDEON OF VOTERSUNITE.ORG
By John Gideon on 4/9/2006 5:24pm PT  

By John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Normally this space is taken with my ideas of what are the "Top 5" voting news stories for the week. Today I am going to use this space to talk about what I see as the beginning of a disaster in the making with our elections. This isn't the election fraud that some point to when they talk about the vendors and some elections officials. It's not about recounts or audits. This is a real, get your hands around it, happening problem that will disrupt our election process if we do not do something about it now. While we have been involved in all of our issues about Direct Recording Electronic (DRE or "touch-screen") voting machines or paper ballots the electronic voting machine vendors have been wreaking complete havoc across the country.

So far this year two states have conducted primary elections. In Texas there is at least one candidate who has stepped forward and has challenged the election because of anomalies in vote counts and known voting machine failures. One county's machines counted some votes up to 6 times which resulted in approximately 100,000 more votes being counted than were cast. Though the vendor, Hart Intercivic, initially blamed the problem on human error, they finally had to admit that it was a programming error and not poll workers or voters who had erred. In Illinois some county officials are threatening to withhold final payment of funds on contracts with Sequoia Voting Systems because of failures with their machines that ended with results in the primary not being known for over a week after the voters went to the polls. In both states the involved vendors were very successful in the media with deflecting the blame from their machines to "human errors" or "glitches". However, when you listen to people who were there and who saw and worked through the problems you get a very different picture...

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

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Plans to use Diebold, then Sequoia Fell Through When their Electronic Voting Machines Surprised them by Failing --- So County is Now Turning to KNOWN Failure, ES&S!
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2006 11:14am PT  

Originally Allegheney County, PA had hoped to use Diebold's electronic voting machines --- until they found out that Diebold machines were hackable.

Then they decided instead to go with Sequoia Voting Systems instead --- until they found out that their machines are hackable too.

Yesterday, with just six weeks left before their primary election, and against the wishes of Allegheny County's Chief Executive who felt it was safer to stay with their old lever systems, Allegheny decided instead to go with new ES&S touch-screen voting machines.

ES&S, of course, is the company whose machines failed all over Texas during the March 7th primary in Texas, leading to state-wide election contest by a Republican former Supreme Court Justice. ES&S saw more than 30% of their memory cards fail in recent pre-election tests in Summit County, OH, more than 1000 cards fail in NC, and their machines failed to work completely this week as early voting began in Indiana.

Good luck with the new ES&S voting machines Allegheny County, PA!

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By John Gideon on 4/2/2006 5:06pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

The "DVN Top 5" is a feature in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The March 27 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on The BRAD BLOG!...

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

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Carolyn Wilson Crnich Admits Hackable Diebold Optical-Scan Voting Machines Kept at Poll Worker Homes the Night Before Elections
Can't Speak to Security Vulnerabilities
By Brad Friedman on 3/25/2006 2:36am PT  

Blogged by Brad on the Road...

I know I'm supposed to be taking a few hours off (how's that going, Brad?)...But I couldn't help sharing with you a quick piece of audio from my regular Friday guest appearance on KRXA 540am's Peter B. Collins Show today (broadcast out of Monterey, CA).

I was pleased that Carolyn Wilson Crnich, Elections Registrar of Humboldt County, CA was able to join us on air for one of the segments (posted below.)

Crnich is one of the officials named as a defendant in the recent lawsuit against CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson and other county elections officials around the state. The suit calls for the ban of use and purchase of Diebold touch-screen voting systems in the state since (amongst other reasons) they have proven to be hackable and their recent certification was in violation of state law requiring all certified voting systems to conform to Federal Voting System Standards. Diebold's machines do not conform to such standards because they contain "interpreted code" --- which is specifically banned by the Federal standards. Diebold has now admitted to the existence of such code on their systems. The forbidden code went unexamined and untested by Federal authorities when the machines received Federal certification.

Nonetheless, Crnich (we believe) is one of the good guys. She's proven willing to dump her previous plan to use Diebold AccuVote TSx (touch-screen) machines, which she was going to use in order to meet the disabled-accessible voting device requirement in the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). She is now hoping to use the paper-ballot based Vote-PAD system in Humboldt County this year instead.

However, as our on-air conversation revealed, there are still very serious concerns with Humboldt County's optical-scan system since they use the very system, made by Diebold, which was shown to be hackable last December in Leon County, FL.

Of note in our conversation, Crnich admits that optical-scan systems are sent home with poll workers the night before elections where --- even if the hackable memory cards are wired into the machine so they can't be removed --- they can still be accessed by other means. If so, a malicious poll worker could modify the code on the memory cards, allowing an election to be hacked without a trace left behind during that breakdown in chain of custody for such home-stored voting machines.

Give the interview and discussion between Crnich, myself and Peter B. a listen. See what you think. It's good to have such an admission on the public record, and the fact that she admits to not knowing what could happen when these machines are stored at poll workers' houses.

Again, I'm glad she was willing (unlike many other Elections Officials around the country) to come on air and face some of these tough questions. Happy to hear your thoughts.

-- Carolyn Wilson Crnich, with Brad on the Peter B. Collins Show, 3/24/06 [MP3, about 13 mins]
-- Complete Brad appearance on Peter B. Collins Show, 3/24/06 [MP3, about 35 mins, and quite a bit funnier, IMHO]

(Thanks to Joe at the Peter B. show for sending the audio!)

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Sec. of State Bruce McPherson, 18 County Registrars Named as Defendants
Violations of State, Federal Laws Alleged, State Senator Releases Comment Condemning McPherson, Outlining Violations
By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2006 1:46pm PT  

As The BRAD BLOG broke yesterday, a lawsuit has today been filed in San Francisco Superior Court demanding that California Sec. of State Bruce McPherson follow state and federal law in regards to his recent re-certification of Diebold voting machines in the state.

McPherson is named, along with 18 California county registrars, as defendants in the suit which calls for a ban on the use an new purchase of Diebold voting machines in the state. The suit was filed by VoterAction.org on behalf of 25 California voter/plaintiffs.

-- Here is a complete copy of the lawsuit file today [PDF]

Reuters originally reported on the story an hour or so ago as "Diebold Inc. sued over California voting systems". That headline is, in fact, incorrect. They have now reissued the story with the more accurate headline "California sued over Diebold voting systems".

The lawsuit against Diebold, we imagine, will come later after California is ready to admit how they've been screwed by the company and they try to recover the millions they've lost in betting on the wrong horse.

VoterAction is the non-profit organization who brought the actions that led to both the decertification of Diebold in California in 2004 and, more recently, the ban on the purchase of Sequoia voting machines in New Mexico (which led to a new law in the state requiring a paper ballot for every vote cast.)

We're short on time today, and haven't even been able to review the complete suit yet, so we'll let State Sen. Debra Bowen's press release in regard to the lawsuit, do the reporting for us since she's generally nailed all the factual basis for the complaint and explains exactly how McPherson's certification of Diebold is in violation of several state and federal laws.

Bowen, who is running herself for Sec. of State this year, also presents a very useful timeline in the release, explaining how we got here in the first place, and how it is that McPherson seems to have simply disregarded the law in favor of his good friends at Diebold.

Remember, as goes California (or as Diebold likes to call it, "America's largest voting market") goes, so goes the country...In other words, this suit is much bigger than just California...

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

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Lawsuit to Name Sec. of State Bruce McPherson, Alleges 'Severe Security Risk', Noncompliance with HAVA's Disabled-Voting Provisions, and Violation of CA State Law!
By Brad Friedman on 3/20/2006 2:28pm PT  

UPDATE 3/21/06: Suit now filed, full coverage here...

=====

We've hinted of late at upcoming legal actions, in several states, against the use of Diebold voting machines. The BRAD BLOG can now reveal that such a legal action will be filed tomorrow morning in San Francisco's Superior State Court in response to Secretary of State Bruce McPherson's recent re-certification of Diebold Electronic Voting Machines in the state.

VoterAction.org is announcing their intention to file suit, on behalf of several plaintiffs, "aimed at halting the use or purchase of Diebold electronic voting systems" in the state.

The same group recently carried out a similar action in the state of New Mexico, in regard to the use of Sequoia Touch-Screen voting machines there. That suit ultimately led to the ban of use of such machines, and a bill which was recently signed by Gov. Bill Richardson requiring a paper ballot with every vote cast in the state.

Diebold's optical-scan and touch-screen systems were revealed last December to contain "interpreted code" which is banned by Federal Voting System Standards. It was that "interpreted code" which was exploited in the recent hack of a test election in Leon County, FL where the results of the election were completely flipped without a trace being left behind.

Despite that startling revelation, California's Sec. of State Bruce McPherson certified the systems anyway in California, after they had previously been decertified in 2004 when Diebold admitted they had used untested and uncertified software patches on their machines in the state.

Diebold has now admitted [PDF] that their voting systems, both optical-scan and touch-screen, contain such "interpreted code." That, despite the fact that its use is banned at the Federal level. California state law requires that voting systems certified in the state meet those Federal standards. McPherson, apparently, has chosen to blatantly ignore that state law. (We'll have further details outlining the above allegations very specifically, and in no uncertain terms, in a future post here at BRAD BLOG.)

According to VoterAction's press release (posted in full below), the legal action is being filed because "Diebold's TSx touch screen voting system is a severe security risk, and does not accommodate all disabled voters as required by law."

Sources have told The BRAD BLOG that the action is to encompass many, if not all, of California's counties. Some 18 of them are currently doing business with Diebold.

The press release goes on to charge that, "The Diebold system is difficult if not impossible to audit or recount, and has been proven vulnerable to malicious tampering in tests and studies. Diebold technology contains 'interpreted' code, which is easily hacked, and illegal for voting systems in the State of California."

Diebold is currently facing litigation in several investor class action lawsuits alleging Securities Fraud Violations such as insider trading and the false manipulation of stock prices by eight current and former company officials.

A press conference will be held to discuss the latest legal action involving Diebold tomorrow morning. The complete Press Release from VotersUnite.org follows...

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

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