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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, January 29, 2015
D'Stupid: 'Intellectual Wing of the Conservative Movement' On Global Warming
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Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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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?...

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So why was the 'Tea Party' trio locked inside Hinds County election HQ at 2am on night of incredibly close race with Cochran?...
By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2014 6:02am PT  

You may have already heard at least some of the bizarre story about three "Tea Party" supporters of Mississippi's Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel who found themselves locked inside the Hinds County Courthouse around 2am on primary election night last Tuesday. McDaniel himself is now locked in a run-off for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate against six-term Senator Thad Cochran, after the nail-biter on Tuesday which left the two men reportedly about 1,400 votes apart out of more than 300,000 cast.

Ultimately, neither candidate received more than 50% of the vote, so they'll face each other again in a run-off for the GOP nomination on June 24. But the incident that left the three McDaniel supporters calling for help to let them out of the courthouse in the middle of the night after the last election official had locked the door and left almost three hours earlier is more than curious. It has many wondering what the hell the three were doing at the location where ballots are tallied and vote tabulators stored, in one of the last counties to come in with their results on the squeaker of an election night.

The details of the story, and why the three --- one a top campaign official for McDaniel (and a former Presidential campaign staffer for Newt Gingrich) --- were there at all, remain murky. On Wednesday, the Hinds County Sheriff's office said that there were "conflicting stories from the three of them." But by Thursday evening, despite what a Sheriff's spokesman described as a "fabrication" from the President of the Central Mississippi Tea Party who contacted a fellow Hinds County Republican executive committee member to seek his help in getting out of the courthouse, the county decided that she and the two men caught in the courthouse caper along with her broke no laws.

"Based on our findings and subsequent conclusion," the County Sheriff's office announced in a statement, "there is no reason to believe that the three individuals engaged in any criminal activity nor do we believe any laws were broken."

But with one of the original headlines about the story focused on the fact that the three had been locked in the empty courthouse "with ballots on Election Night," there remain a number of questions about what actually happened, despite initial reportage indicating that "ballots had been secured prior to the intrusion" and a subsequent report noting that "some precinct information wasn't sealed."

So, The BRAD BLOG contacted the Hinds County Election Commissioners to get more information on the exact type of voting system used there, which aspects of it might have been vulnerable to the three McDaniel supporters alone inside the courthouse, and what type of information was left unsealed there on election night.

We received detail answers to our questions from one of the five Hinds County Election Commissioners --- the one who would, perhaps, have the most reason to be suspicious of the trio of McDaniel supporters...

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

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Primary election results hang in balance...
By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2011 3:46pm PT  

On Tuesday, we highlighted some of the many failures of e-voting systems in the Jackson, Mississippi (Hinds County), metropolitan area during their statewide primary election that day. Apparently enough systems failed, touch-screen systems that simply malfunctioned and refused to allow votes to be cast, names missing from electronic "ballots," etc., that the Clarion-Ledger quoted a senior Democratic party official yesterday offering this remarkable statement:

“What the public needs to know is that there is no election at this point,” said Claude McInnis, vice chairman of the Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee. “All we have is numbers from precincts. Until the committee verifies the election, we don’t have one.”

What? Verify an election before announcing results?! Candidates refusing to concede before that's done?! And how exactly will they be able to "verify" those numbers from 100% unverifiable electronic voting systems? My goodness. It's anarchy in Mississippi!...

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

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Real winner will never be known, as GOP 'winner' given 89 'vote' edge in disastrous Fairfax County Board of Supervisors race...
By Brad Friedman on 3/11/2009 5:28pm PT  

Yet another touch-screen voting machine broke down, in yet another "hotly contested" election, in yet another Democratic-leaning district yesterday. Due to the failure, the actual results are completely unknown, unreliable, and unverifiable, and yet, one candidate (the Republican, as coincidence would have it) has been named the "winner" by 89-votes out of 12,000 cast in the Fairfax County, VA, Board of Supervisors special election.

We are as completely sick of writing these stories by now, as we're sure you are of reading about them, so we'll bury the details below the fold, for those who want the skinny on what happened...You're welcome...

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

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AVS in Contract Dispute with 'Independent' Test Lab After 'Thousands of Irregularities' Are Discovered in Company's 'Upgraded' Software
Does Issue Augur Similar Concerns for Other States, Near-Bankrupt Companies?
By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2007 11:39am PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from St. Louis...

Three Pennsylvania counties are considering pulling their old lever voting machines out of mothballs for this November's general election. The counties' "Plan B" comes in the wake of a refusal by e-voting machine company Advance Voting Systems (AVS) to pay the bill to federal "Independent Testing Authority" (ITA) lab iBeta Quality Assurance which has, according to NJ's Express-Times, found "thousands of source code irregularities and 24 documentation irregularities with AVS machines."

A problem in AVS's currently certified systems in PA makes them impossible to use as is in the upcoming elections.

iBeta is one of the private testing labs recently given approval by the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) to test voting systems at the federal level. The labs, however, are still paid by the voting machine companies themselves.

The EAC's letter [PDF] also indicated that iBeta discovered AVS machines, contrary to the submitted documentation, used a different motherboard than those on the machines submitted for testing.

It's unclear, according to some of the reports from the PA papers, whether lever machines may legally be used in their elections, or if the counties may have to move to....wait for it...paper ballots in this November's municipal elections.

The Express-Times reveals the extraordinary arrogance of the voting machine companies, who, until heat has recently been brought to bear on both the EAC and the companies, had for years received a rubber-stamp for qualification of their systems by federal testers --- no matter how poorly the systems were built. After the EAC notified the company that certification testing was being suspended at iBeta due to lack of payment, "Howard Van Pelt, Advanced Voting Solutions president, maintained the machines are certified, regardless of what the commission says," according to the Express-Times.

Van Pelt, however, is wrong. But he, and the others like him, are used to receiving a free pass from the EAC and other Federal and local authorities for so many years that they may still be under the impression they can do whatever they want, despite what the federal government tells them and despite what the law says.

Yet AVS may not be the only voting machine company we may soon find unwilling --- or unable --- to pay for testing of voting systems, which could subsequently plunge elections in other states and counties into danger of not being carried out at all...

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

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