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'Green News Report' 4/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
NatGas explosion in WY; Cowboys & Indians against Keystone XL; Landmark fracking judgment; Oil biz unprepared for Arctic spills; PLUS: BP Gulf disaster, four years later...
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No, Mr. Issa. The IRS Wasn't 'Targeting Conservatives'.
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Guests: CA Green Party SoS candidate David Curtis, fresh off being excluded from the Sacramento Press Club debate; Journalist Jason Leopold, fresh off his interview with CIA torture program architect James Mitchell...
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Cuz you know how these gals are! Jon Stewart takes on the media-enforced double-standard faced by female politicians. (Worth watching just for the crying clips!)...
'Green News Report' 4/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
It's our 500th episode! Coincidentally, it's also Earth Day! So, we look both back and forward at climate coverage & the GNR in a very special Green News Report!...
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CA Green Party SoS Candidate Excluded from Sacramento Press Club Debate
Despite a recent poll showing he leads two candidates who were invited, David Curtis gets snubbed by press group, and he's not happy...
'In Your Heart, You Know He's Right'
Barry Goldwater, the GOP's most conservative Presidential nominee ever, was a leftist, tree-hugging, Big Govt environmentalist whacko hell-bent on destroying the economy...
More Good 'Obamacare' News for Terrified Dems
Will Democrats continue to run scared, or will they embrace the unrelenting string of encouraging Affordable Care Act successes as we head into the 2014 mid-terms?...
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
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The Climate Is Invading the Earth!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat we face with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
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NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
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Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
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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...

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Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

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Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

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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...

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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Also: Diebold Memory Cards Unaccounted For; Public Record Request by Election Integrity Advocates on Ground Reveal 550+ Votes Read as Blank by Op-Scanner in Stratham...
Clinton, Kucinich Observers There, Nobody from Obama or Edwards, Says Election Attorney...
By Brad Friedman on 1/16/2008 8:09pm PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from on the road...

(As mentioned in previous items, I'm now on the road --- currently in Oakland for the Thursday night screening of the more-ironically-named-than-ever documentary, UNCOUNTED: The New Math of American Elections --- and doing my best to keep up while moving. So apologies for the terse reports for the moment, as I continue to roll and have limited time online.)

LATEST OUT OF NH: Disparities being found during hand-counts of ballots, in many wards, many candidates. Diebold op-scan memory cards unaccounted for at the moment, Secretary of State (SoS) doesn't track them after elections, doesn't track error reports during elections. LHS Associates (see below) handles all of it instead, according to reports on the ground. Public records request reveals hundreds of ballots in one area scanned as blank due to incorrect ink used on ballots, and other problems on LHS problem report forms.

* * *

Numbers are now being posted from both the Democratic and Republican hand-counts in the NH Primary Election contest. So far, only wards in Manchester (Hillsborough County) have been hand-counted, and disparities between the original counts from the Diebold optical-scan machine and the hand inspections seem to be occurring in many wards, and for many candidates.

Here is the SoS Recount page with the totals, that I haven't yet been able to review in full.

While sources on the ground at the counting today have told me that officials were not announcing the originally counted results at the counting room, the SoS web page lists what they claim are the original counts --- previously verified by nobody --- versus the recounted numbers.

The disparities, as I've quickly been able to review them, are small, but consistent, in ward after ward, across almost all of the candidates. I'm told that the manufacturers of the optical-scan machines (in this case, Diebold) have estimated an expected error rate of 1% on this type of tallying device which, as noted by one of our contacts in NH, is ridiculous, if you consider that most states and counties only kick in "automatic recounts" when the margin between the two leading candidates is less than .5% or so.

ADDITIONALLY...Public records requests are being made on the spot, for errors and malfunctions at various voting precincts. An early review of the error forms turned over from the public record request made by Election Integrity experts overseeing the counting, has revealed that in Stratham there were some 550 ballots that were not read by the op-scan at all. They were seen as blank ballots. Officials there noticed the problem, and then hand-counted some 3000 ballots after the error was discovered.

Apparently, as we've seen elsewhere, voters were given the wrong pen to use and the op-scanners did not "see" this particular type of ink.

Some of the election day error and incident reports, as read to me over the phone just now by Susan Pynchon of Florida Fair Elections Coalition and Paddy Shaffer of Ohio Election Justice Campaign, both of whom are on the ground in NH overseeing the counts, and assisting Republican contest candidate Albert Howard...

(Town of Stratham, 9:00pm)

PROBLEM: Printout indicated 550 "blank voted" ballots which indicated that bad pens were used.
SOLUTION: Went to Stratham to confirm that approximately 15 bad pens were used on election day. The town had, by that time, hand counted and announced those results as official.

PROBLEM: Too many blanks, used wrong marking pens
SOLUTION: Sent Gerry and Tina with lucid machines.

(Town of Lebanon, precinct #2, 9:00 (am or pm?))

PROBLEM: Corrupt Count.
SOLUTION: Shut off and back on. Count back to 155.

(Town of Manchester, 9:30pm)

PROBLEM: P/U 3rd Bad Machine per John S. (likely refers to John Silvestro, owner of LHS)
SOLUTION:

I spoke with Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org, who is also on the ground in NH, and she asks: "If it wasn't 550 ballots, but just 55 or so in some places, would they even have seen it and known to recount ALL of the ballots?"

She also noted that the error report came from LHS Associates, the private company (with the, um, less-than-reputable background) that is the sole Diebold vendor, programmer, operator and service provider in NH and most of the other New England states.

(UPDATE: Harris has more of her own first-hand observations now posted here at BBV.)

LHS, apparently, is the one responsible for tracking (or not) and reporting (or not) any such errors, rather than the Secretary of State or local election officials. That tracks with previous BRAD BLOG reporting on LHS, and how they operate in Connecticut, where there are similar concerns for whether or not the SoS even knows what the error rates are for the system they use, since problem reports are given to LHS instead of to public officials.

The BRAD BLOG has reported within the past few days machine problems during the election in a number of towns. In fact, of the first four towns we called that used the Diebold machines, all four reported machine failures of one type or another.

FURTHER...Voting Rights attorney John Bonifaz, legal director of VoterAction.org, was on the scene today, and just told me that he has great concerns about the transparency of both the initial election and the hand-count auditing process that got under way in earnest today.

"I'm very concerned that this is not a fully transparent process that is happening there," he told me.

The sensitive memory cards containing the programming and tabulation from the Diebold optical-scanners are apparently "missing in action" for the moment. Those cards, as viewers of HBO's Hacking Democracy know by now, may be used to hack an election, such that only a proper hand-count of the paper ballots afterwards will reveal the hack. (See the video of that hack for yourself right here. The same exact machine being hacked in that film was used across the state to count 80% of the ballots in NH in last week's primary.)

And yet, says Bonifaz who spent time today speaking with New Hampshire Secretary of State, Assistant Secretary of State and Deputy Attorney General, nobody seems to have any idea where those cards are and what has become of them.

He says he was told by Secretary of State William Gardner that his office doesn't get involved in tracking what happens to those memory cards. Some have reportedly been returned to LHS, and may have had their memory erased already.

"When you have a private company counting 80% of the votes, and you later learn that the memory cards are unaccounted for, you have a serious question about the transparency and accountability in that process," Bonifaz said.

He notes that federal law requires all materials from elections be preserved for 22 months after the election. So if those materials have already been lost, destroyed, or over-written, there are legal questions that must be addressed.

Bonifaz also noted that while representatives and observers for the Hillary Clinton and Dennis Kucinich campaigns were on site, nobody at all seemed to be there from either the Barack Obama or John Edwards camps. (Incredibly enough, I might add!)

* * *

Our earlier report today had a number of important updates that you may wish to review. Including the fact that the Kucinich people have asked for more observers (with video cameras if you have them!) at the State Archives Bldg., 71 South Fruit Street, Concord, New Hampshire, to help oversee the 6 counting teams. Much more in that report as well...

UPDATE 1/17/08 6:25 PM PST by Emily Levy: There are enough volunteers for tomorrow's counting. After Friday's counting, the count will be suspended for the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday weekend and is scheduled to resume next Tuesday. Folks on the ground in NH ask that you not show up there without talking with someone first, as they don't want anyone to make the trip unless they're needed. Volunteering will be coordinated, and that system is being set up now. Check back here for updates.

For related coverage, please see our index of notable New Hampshire-related BRAD BLOG articles, since the '08 Primary. And please consider donating to our efforts to continue to report on issues of Election Integrity in NH and elsewhere, as what virtually nobody else in the media (MSM or blogosphere!) seems willing to do at this time.
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SEVERAL UPDATES: Howard's Funds, in Full, Now Accepted by SoS Gardner, Republican Recount is On!
By Emily Levy on 1/15/2008 5:34pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us
-- Now UPDATED several times by Brad Friedman from on the road...

Brad just called me with the following:

"I'm in Sacramento tonight for screening of Uncounted but wanted to give you a quick update. Dennis Kucinich's campaign did in fact get their money in on time. The recount will be starting tomorrow. However, on the Republican side, though the money was wired to the bank for candidate Albert Howard, according to sources on the ground, something at the bank delayed release of the funds in time to meet Secretary of State Gardner's 3:00 p.m. deadline. As I wrote last night, Gardner's demand for full up-front payment does not seem to be in accordance with the law, which requires only a written guarantee that payment will be made. Trying to learn more but may not have anything until tomorrow because I'm off the grid for much of the night."

Guess that's a solar-powered movie, then.

UPDATE: Apparently SOS Gardner will still allow Howard and his team to have a count if he comes in with the money later, according to hints in the Union Leader.

And in BRAD BLOG comments, Bev Harris explains some of the details from on the ground, and what seem to be disparities in the way Gardner is handling the Dem. Kucinich count, versus the Rep. Howard count.

UPDATE FROM BRAD, 1/16/08, 10:35am PT: I was able to speak to some of the Kucinich folks last night (stepping out from the screening in Sac) to try impress upon them some of the chain-of-custody issue concerns described in Bev's comments below. We'll see if I made any progress. As I tried to explain in yesterday's piece, due to the extraordinarily complex and technological systems used in elections these days, a simple count of the paper ballots does not do the trick.

Most notably, I've tried to draw the Kucinich team's attention to Albert Howard's extraordinarily good letter to SoS Gardner, describing exactly what is needed if one is to have a legitimate and reconcilable recount that will offer the confidence in the count, as sought in the first place. If you haven't seen that letter, please do. It's at the bottom of this post from yesterday, and serves as a very good template for any candidate asking for a recount these days, in an election using a computerized voting systems such as the easily hackable, prone-to-error Diebold op-scan system (and many others just like it!)

Still on the road today, rolling from Sac to Oakland, so on and off the net throughout the day. More updates when I'm able...

UPDATE FROM BRAD, 1/16/08, 1:05pm PT: Just spoke with Albert Howard spokesperson Eric Newhouse. Just after 3pm ET, a check for the full $55,600 was delivered to and accepted by SoS Gardner for the Republican-side hand count. The Republican ballot count, he says, will now begin... More, again, as I can learn it as I roll in N. California...

UPDATE FROM BRAD, 1/16/08, 1:17pm PT: Marc "Armed Liberal" Danziger --- who last week had called me "Tawana Brawley" (an African-American woman who had claimed, without evidence, that she was gang-raped by a number of high-ranking, white NY public officials some years ago) --- has just written a new post headlined "Start Sauteeing The Crow". Writes Danziger [emphasis his]

As irritated as I was at Brad Friedman for coming out of the gate with what I saw as a conclusion unsupported by specific evidence, I fully share his discomfort with the current technology and processes used in voting in New Hampshire.

Now, the first rigorous study I've seen of the voter data has come out - and it supports him.

He points to a "rigorous study" at ScienceBlogs.com and quotes from their analysis of the reported NH results (as "counted", until now, only by an error-prone, hackable Diebold optical scanner, and double-checked by nobody). Danziger says they write:

To my complete (and continuing) amazement, the "diebold effect" on Hillary's votes remains after controlling for any and all of those demographic variables..., with a p-value of <.001: that is, there are less than 1:1000 odds for this difference occurring through chance alone, and that's after adjusting for variability in Hillary's votes due to education, income, total population, and population density.

Note: I'm still on the roll and haven't had time to check the study he points to yet.

Also note: Danziger, above, claims that he was "irritated" (he had written I deserved a "boot to the head" and was claiming a "Diebold conspiracy") when I offered "a conclusion unsupported by specific evidence".

The only "conclusion", I ever "offered" was that 80% of the paper-ballots in NH have never been counted by anybody. That conclusion is 100% accurate, and fully supported by very specific (and undisputed) evidence. I wrote, at length, about Danziger and others of his supposedly-Progressive ilk, and their phony unevidenced claims about my accurate claims back here.

He needn't "sautee crow". What he needs to do is retract and apologize. Period. Not sure why that's so difficult for him (and the others).

UPDATE FROM BRAD VIA EMILY, 1/16/08, 5:11 pm PT:
HAND COUNT OBSERVERS NEEDED IMMEDIATELY IN N.H.

Brad phoned from the road to say:

"Have been speaking with the Kucinich folks, and am encouraged by the early word. It seems they may finally be begging to "get it". Will have more soon when I'm back online and can get you more.

But for now, the Kucinich team is putting out the word that they need more observers for the election contest hand-counts in New Hampshire immediately. If you are available to get there, they are counting every day starting at 9:00 a.m. at the State Archives Building, 71 South Fruit Street, Concord, New Hampshire. Contact lead Kucinich attorney Manny Krasner on the scene. Bring video cameras and lots of blank tapes if you can."

See update on volunteering, below.

UPDATE: 1/16/08, 8:15pm PT: Final update in this thread. RESULTS OF FIRST DAY HAND-COUNT NOW IN. Many mis-tallied ballots reported, Diebold memory cards now "missing", much more. Details now here...

UPDATE 1/17/08 6:25 PM PST by Emily Levy: There are enough volunteers for tomorrow's counting. After Friday's counting, the count will be suspended for the Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday weekend and is scheduled to resume next Tuesday. Folks on the ground in NH ask that you not show up there without talking with someone first, as they don't want anyone to make the trip unless they're needed. Volunteering will be coordinated, and that system is being set up now. Check back here for updates.

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Election Integrity Experts Converge and Join Both Republican and Democratic Candidates in Quest for Transparency
New Hampshire Secretary of State Questioned About Documentation, Poll Records, and Diebold Memory Cards...
By Brad Friedman on 1/15/2008 4:27am PT  

By Brad Friedman from Sacramento...

Election Integrity experts from around the country have been converging on the Granite State over the last several days, in preparation for "historic" state-wide hand counts of New Hampshire's Primary Election ballots, The BRAD BLOG has learned. Counts of votes on both the Democratic and Republican sides will begin in earnest this Wednesday, as long as the two contesting candidates deliver certified checks by 3pm on Tuesday, in amounts determined on Monday by Secretary of State William M. Gardner.

The battle for transparency and accountability on the ground, where some 80% of the state's ballots were tallied only by error-prone, hackable Diebold optical-scan voting machines, without human audit or spot-checking of any kind, in last week's first-in-the-nation Primary, is already growing heated on both sides of the aisle, and even inside the statehouse as of Monday.

While representatives from each of the contestants have reportedly been working together on several aspects of the two separate counts --- each claiming to have requested the hand-counts in order to help answer questions about anomalous reported results --- what has become immediately clear, during our interviews with several members involved in the challenges as well as Election Integrity advocates now in New Hampshire and elsewhere, is that these election challenges likely may not mirror the partial recount in 2004, held at the request of then-Presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

The BRAD BLOG has obtained the two-page request for a detailed list of ballot and voting machine-related public documents and records submitted on Monday to Gardner by the previously obscure Republican candidate Albert Howard. Howard's request makes clear that the battle for integrity and transparency in post-election challenges may have finally caught up with the technical sea-changes in voting equipment that have overtaken the American election system over the last several years.

Due to extraordinary complexities in the ever more complicated computer systems, scanners, tabulators, record sets, databases, and proprietary programming that have now been employed by election administrators across the country, the once-simple task of examining and recounting paper ballots --- where they still exist, as they do in New Hampshire --- has grown exponentially more technical and confusing.

Early word on the ground in New Hampshire's capital city of Concord, along with concerns from candidates, surrogates, and election experts alike, suggests that these "recounts" could be like no other in the history of the country...

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

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Election Officials Confirm that Employees from LHS Associates, Diebold's Sole Programmer, Vendor, and Service Provider in NH, Were Allowed to Access Vulnerable Optical-Scan Systems Throughout Election Day
Attorney General's Office Offers Conflicting Information...
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2008 9:57pm PT  

Special to The BRAD BLOG by Dori Smith of Talk Nation Radio

Early research into New Hampshire wards and towns which used Diebold's AccuVote Optical-Scan voting machines during last week's Primary reveals that chronic problems continue with the company's infamous paper-ballot voting machines.

As well, the preliminary investigation reveals a great deal of confusion and conflicting information from local election clerks and a high-ranking official in the state Attorney General's office regarding protocols and security procedures for voting systems and memory cards, and how they are to be handled during Election Day failures.

All four counties I contacted on January 10th that had used Diebold's electronic machines last week reported problems during the election with the machines. Two other calls that same day turned out to have been to areas where electronic voting is not in use, where hand counts are done instead. If the small sampling is any indication, a statewide study would likely reveal that voting machines failed many times during the 2008 Presidential Primary across the entire state.

Problems with the systems were quickly revealed during all of my calls to officials who had used the optical-scan systems in Hanover, Exeter, Nashua, and Manchester.

Little reporting or inquiry into such problems has been done so far by the mainstream media. Reports of machine failures in Stratham, leading to hand counting of votes after a "glitch" was discovered in the optical-scan systems used there, were buried in a local article on Primary results in SeaCoast Online on Thursday. The bulk of media reporting on the anomalous results from the election has focused, instead, on speculation as to what might have gone wrong with pre-election polls. Little if any coverage has been given to whether the results themselves were correct as reported, or whether voting machine errors or tampering may have occurred.

The paper ballots cast by 80% of the state's voters have never been examined by anyone to determine the mechanical vote-counting accuracy. The computer counting of those ballots is overseen by a single, private company which is routinely granted extraordinary access to the systems, and interviews with a number of state officials indicate they all seem to have different understandings of what, if any, rules exist to regulate that access...

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

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Failure Caused Officials to Hand Count Ballots, While Questions Remain About Details of the Problems
Similar Reports Discovered Elsewhere, More on That Soon...
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2008 6:07pm PT  

VotersUnite.org's John Gideon calls our attention to this snippet, from this recent story at NH's SeaCoastOnline [emphasis ours]:

So many Democrats turned out in Stratham that Town Clerk Shirley Daley said she had to photocopy 87 ballots. Hartson said she began printing extra Democratic ballots at 6 p.m. when they began running low. Because of a glitch in the machines, clerks there had to hand count all of the extra ballots.

Gideon follows up by asking: "They had to hand-count all of the extra ballots. What about the ballots that had already been run on the machines (note the plural)? How many other machines across the state had the same 'glitch'?"

We tried to contact Town Clerk Daley on Friday, in order to find out, what came of the ballots counted before the problem was discovered, but their offices close at 12noon on Fridays.

As to further such incidents across the state, it seems there were far more than anyone has so far reported. We will have another article shortly, concerning such reports of problems on Diebold voting machine across the state during last week's Primary Election. 80% of New Hampshire votes were counted on such machines. To date, none of those ballots have been counted, verified or audited by any human being to our knowledge.

UPDATE 9:56pm As promised, further reports on problems with voting machines in other NH towns, now published here...

For related coverage, please see our index of notable New Hampshire-related BRAD BLOG articles, since the '08 Primary.
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Says 'Election All for Naught if We Can't Trust Results'
Catherine Crier: 'Glad This Controversy's Come Up, Will Elevate Voting Machine Issue In Minds of American People'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2008 11:23pm PT  

From tonight's Real Time with Bill Maher, with guests Catherine Crier of CourtTV, Mark Cuban of HDNet, and Tony Snow of Fox "News"/White House. On the topic of concerns about the New Hampshire primary results, and Diebold's sole-control over 80% of the ballots in the state...


Some key quotes from the video...

MAHER: I'm not saying something went wrong, but it does bother me that a private company runs the polling machines and that only they certainly, seem to know what went on in that [New Hampshire election].

CRIER: What I'm glad about is that whole controversy's come up and that they're going to go back and take a look. It's going to elevate the whole voting machine issue in the minds of the American people before the elections

[APPLAUSE]

MAHER: We have so much debate, and there's so much interest in this election…but it all comes to naught if we can't trust what the result is.

Tony Snow then immediately brings up Photo ID, completely and entirely out of context, and suggests, incorrectly, that the issue is "voter fraud." It's not. It's election fraud. The voters are doing fine. Leave them alone.

Thankfully, Maher quickly destroys Snow in return. As does Crier.

Cuban raises key points about the stunning Dan Rather investigative report, (complete video here) on "The Trouble with Touchscreens," which ran on Cuban's HDNet network last year (and which the entirety of the corporate mainstream media subsequently ignored.)

The Real Time clip was very good.

Hey Bill - If ya ever need me, I live about 5 minutes from your studio, and would be happy to share more with your viewers on all of this, if you really believe what you suggest about elections coming "to naught if we can't trust what the result is." You are, of course, absolutely right. Thanks for mentioning it.

For related coverage, please see our index of notable New Hampshire-related BRAD BLOG articles, since the '08 Primary.
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By Brad Friedman on 1/11/2008 3:58pm PT  

As you might have guessed, I'm buried for the moment in a blizzard of incoming calls, emails, and more (such as bad, and misleading, articles and blog items about all of this), even while trying to both learn more details on a number of fronts and keep up with media appearances to discuss the issues so Americans might better understand what's really going on here, and what the concerns really are.

So I'll have much more on all of this tonight, as I get caught up with a number of related items that I've been working on at the same time, while trying to keep up with all of the above.

Until then, consider this an Open Thread. And I hope you'll help me, by continuing to spread the facts about the questions at hand.

Those questions begin with this concern:

While pollsters and the MSM and even theoretically-Progressive bloggers are speculating about what might have gone wrong in dozens of different, independent, transparent pre-election polls --- almost all of which found precisely the same information --- very few seem to be questioning whether the completely unverified results, from 80% of New Hampshire, counted on hackable, error-prone Diebold machines, completely programmed, controlled, and operated by a single, private, less-than-respectable company (LHS Associates), were actually accurate in the first place.

At the same time, evidence exists that even the Exit Polls showed Obama was winning throughout the day, and there have been a number of eyebrow-raising questions about the reported results themselves, as discovered so far, during independent analysis of them. Not enough anomalies have yet been found, in my opinion, to raise any large red flags, but certainly a still-growing number of anomalies for yellow ones.

I'll add that even if the ballots, if they are ever actually counted, turn out to reveal a different result than reported, it could be due to error, not fraud, and if fraud, it needn't have been committed by anybody related, in any way, to the Clinton camp.

I believe we all deserve to know if the results, as reported, were accurate beyond a shadow of a doubt. That is the sensible and responsible question for the moment. And anybody who offers you reasons for why Clinton won (perhaps she did, we cannot know for sure at this time) or why Obama lost (perhaps he did, we cannot know for sure at this time) is doing nothing but irresponsibly speculating.

Discuss. More tonight...

(UPDATE: Okay, more tomorrow instead...promise. Lots going on.)

For more, please see our index of notable New Hampshire-related BRAD BLOG coverage, since the '08 Primary. And please consider supporting the work of The BRAD BLOG with an ONLINE DONATION. Our support comes almost solely from readers like you. Seriously.
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Cites Concerns About 'Unexplained Disparities' in Hand and Diebold Machine Counted Ballots
Says 'It’s about establishing whether 100% of the voters had 100% of their votes counted exactly the way they cast them'
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2008 6:10pm PT  

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

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Analaysis Shows Candidates 'Positions Swapped' Where Ballots Counted by Hand Versus 'Counted' by Machine...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2008 1:47am PT  

It's been an exhausting day, as a few folks in the world are finally beginning to open their eyes, and realize that not counting ballots, and trusting instead, in error-prone, hackable machines for "faith-based results" doesn't make a lot of sense. Particularly in an election for which nobody --- and I mean nobody --- has come up with a legitimate explanation for the surprising results. Oh, there's been plenty of speculation, but no actual facts. So why it's so difficult for folks to realize that the biggest unknown here --- what the ballots actually said on them --- has gone wholly unexamined in 80% of NH, continues to elude me.

That point eludes Tribune Media Services columnist Bob Koehler too. So I hope you read his eye-opening take on that for Thursday's corporate mainstream papers.

As promised, in my long, and much-updated original piece from last night, first expressing concerns and asking questions about the NH results, folks today have been looking at the precinct numbers to compare the difference between those which "counted" ballots on Diebold op-scan systems (for about 80% of NH's voters), versus those that still hand-count ballots in the Granite State (about 20% of the votes).

Ben Moseley of The Contrarian, most succinctly covers what other folks have found as well today. Namely, a 7 point overall bump for Clinton over Obama where the machines were used instead of hand-counts...

I just spent the last two hours putting together a spreadsheet of the Democratic results of the NH primary for each town with almost all but a few towns reporting, and the results were somewhat surprising.
...
I say "somewhat" because some people will say this entirely foreseeable. What the informal statistics show is that Hillary Clinton received a 4.5% boost in towns using Diebold voting machines compared to towns that didn't. Meanwhile, Obama was hurt in these towns showing a 2.5% decrease in the Diebold towns.

Moseley responsibly notes, however, that there could well be other reasons for Clinton's popularity in areas where Diebold's machines are used, in lieu of actually counting ballots. For example, hand-counting in NH is generally done in the more rural areas and smaller precincts. Perhaps Obama is more popular, or Clinton less, in such areas for any number of reasons.

The comparisons are only anecdotally useful for that reason. However, had the hand-counted results matched up similarly to those in Diebold areas, it might well have been a sign that there was little to worry about. (Even if I personally think not counting ballots is always something to worry about. But that's just me, one of those whacky pro-Democracy fellers, I guess.)

Moseley a blogger and political science student from American University, writes about Clinton's Diebold bump: "Does this show election fraud? Right now I'm not sure, but the possibility definitely remains and must not be taken off the table."

Then, in two updates, he offers a coupla more eye-brow raisers...

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

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Ken Hajjar, Director of Diebold's Exclusive Sales & Service Provider in New England Pled Guilty to Criminal Charges in 90's
Does the Sec. of State of NH --- or CT or MA or VT or ME --- Even Know About It?...
By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2008 8:47pm PT  

Does the Secretary of State of New Hampshire have any idea that a key executive in the private firm that programs and "counts" 80% of the state's ballots on hackable, error-prone Diebold voting machines is a convicted narcotics trafficker?

In 1990, Ken Hajjar, the Director of Sales and Marketing for LHS Associates, and childhood friend of company owner John Silvestro, was arrested and pled guilty to charges of "Sale/CND" (Sale of Controlled Narcotics/Drugs) which earned him a 12 month sentence, according to documents received via a public records request and posted this evening at BlackBoxVoting.org.

LHS Associates, as BBV's Bev Harris points out, programs "every single voting machine in New Hampshire, Connecticut, almost all of Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine."

Hajjar himself is also the the guy who showed up in BRAD BLOG comments, at one point last summer, to let us know we are "totally full of shit" and "deluded...paranoid...looney idealogues" to boot. Well, maybe. But at least we don't have a secret felony conviction, even while owning almost complete control over every vote cast and "counted" in New England.

The newly-revealed felon's impolitic rant here earned him the boot from the Secretary of State of Connecticut, where he is now barred from working, as guest blogger Dori Smith pointed out in another BRAD BLOG story last November, detailing the horrors that are LHS Associates, Silvestro and Hajjar.

When Smith asked Hajjar about his admission that he and his company regularly replace voting machine memory cards (the keys to the kingdom!) at will, in the middle of elections, he told her, "I mean, I don't pay attention to every little law."

We'll say!

Go check out Harris' new article tonight, which includes more details and the arrest record --- along with the note that "until recently, LHS employees were listed on the company Web site. Now the pages identifying who programs New England voting machines have been taken down."

Now ya know why.

Even if you still don't know who actually won the New Hampshire Primary.

(What say we actually count the ballots and put the questions to rest? Just sayin'...)

For good measure, we'll also post again below the rare video footage of Silvestro, along with the first-hand BBV footage of the infamous and stunning Leon County, FL hack of a Diebold optical-scan machine --- the very same ones used across NH on Tuesday --- and the one originally seen in HBO's Emmy-nominated Hacking Democracy...

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

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Syndicated Columnist Robert Koehler Writes for Tomorrow's Papers: 'Possibility of Tainted Results, a Prospect Most of Media Can't Bear'
Notes Problems With NH's Diebold Machines 'Remain Unsolved'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2008 4:35pm PT  

Syndicated Tribune Media Services columnist Bob Koehler bumps up our serious concerns about last night's wholly untransparent, and still-uncounted (by anything but a hackable Diebold computer, and a company with an executive criminal past, to say the least) New Hampshire Primary election results, from "blogger conspiracy theory" to mainstream media concern.

Here are the first few grafs of his column, set to run in tomorrow's editions of subscribing mainstream media papers...

PRIMARY CONCERNS
By Robert C. Koehler
Tribune Media Services

As the breathless sports coverage of the presidential primaries bursts around me this morning, I’m doing my best to resist surrendering to the contrived drama about “comeback kids” and the flying shrapnel of numbers and hold onto my troubled skepticism about the electoral process, or at least most of it.

First of all, before we get too enthusiastic about feminist solidarity or wax knowingly about New Hampshire Democrats’ traditional soft-heartedness toward the Clinton family, let’s ponder yet again the possibility of tainted results, which is such an unfun prospect most of the media can’t bear to remember that all the problems we’ve had with electronic voting machines — and Diebold machines in particular, which dominate New Hampshire polling places — remain unsolved.

Did the Hillary campaign really defy the pollsters? She had been trailing Barack Obama by 13 percentage points, 42 to 29, in a recent Zogby poll, as election watchdog Brad Friedman pointed out. And the weekend’s “rapturous packed rallies for Mr. Obama,” as the New York Times put it, “suggested Mrs. Clinton was in dire shape.”

So when she emerged from the Tuesday primary with an 8,000-vote and 3-percentage-point victory over Obama, perhaps — considering the notorious unreliability, not to mention hackability, of Diebold machines — the media might have hoisted a few red flags in the coverage, rather than immediately chalk the results up to Clinton’s tears and voter unpredictability. (Oh, if only more reporters considered red flags patriotic.)

The fact is, whatever actually happened in New Hampshire voting booths on Tuesday, our elections are horrifically insecure. For instance, Bev Harris, of the highly respected voting watchdog organization Black Box Voting, recently wrote that the Diebold 1.94w optical scan machines used in some 55 percent of New Hampshire precincts (representing more than 80 percent of the state’s voters) are “the exact same make, model and version hacked in the Black Box Voting project in Leon County (Florida)” a few years ago. They haven’t been upgraded; the security problems haven’t been fixed.

National, or at least media, denial about this situation doesn’t say much for the strength of our democracy.

The rest of the column is just as good, in which he discusses the MSM's "inability to incorporate news of ongoing voting-machine insecurity into actual election coverage."

Full column now posted here...

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Other Pre-Election Numbers, For Republicans and Rest of Dems, Nearly Dead on the Money...
By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2008 8:49pm PT  

[UPDATED several times at end of article, and still developing with new updates...]

I'm not sure why Obama would have conceded so soon, given the virtually inexplicable turn of events in New Hampshire tonight.

What's going on here? Before proceeding, I recommend you read the third section of the post I just ran an hour or so ago, concerning the way the ballots are counted in New Hampshire, largely on Diebold optical-scan voting systems, wholly controlled and programmed by a very very bad company named LHS Associates.

Those Diebold op-scan machines are the exact same ones that were hacked in the HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy. See the previous report, as I recommend, which also includes a video of that hack, and footage of the guy who runs LHS Associates.

That said, the the pre-election pollster's numbers (NOTE: that's not Exit Polls, but Pre-Election Polls!) were dead-on, for the most part, on the Republican side, as well as on the Democratic side. Except in the do-or-die (for Hillary) Clinton v. Obama race. I'm watching MSNBC right now, and they all seem to agree that the results, for the moment, defy explanation.

I concur.

Here's a screenshot of a round up of all of the latest polls from RealClearPolitics.com tonight, and more, to get an idea of the serious concerns here...

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

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Not Since George W. Bush Was Inaugurated Has the Company Been Worth So Little...
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2008 5:35pm PT  

Friday was another very bad for Diebold (DBD), poor dears, though arguably a very good day in kind for those who love America and democracy and stuff.

Their stock price plunged another full 6.13% to close at $26.81 --- another low for the once-great, now-disgraced company. Their value hasn't been this low since April of 2001, just after George W. Bush was inaugurated. Go figure.

Worth of the Diebold company has now plummeted a whopping 47.43% since August 7th of last year, when a number of Diebold insiders all cashed in a bunch of stock on the same day at $53.04, near the year's high.

We imagine Sunday's New York Times Magazine cover story ain't gonna help 'em much either on Monday.

Previous coverage of Diebold's most recent dumpster dive, reasons for the bad company karma, details on recent fraud lawsuits, and current SEC and DoJ investigations of 'em, can be found here and here.

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Company Share Prices Hit New 7-Year Low, Lucky Corporate Officers Who Sold at Year's High Avoid Insider Trading Charges (So Far)
By Brad Friedman on 12/31/2007 4:12pm PT  

At least someone's bringing some accountability of some sort this year....

Looks like our old friends at Diebold have left us with an end-of-year gift, as their share prices continued tumbling today to close the year at $28.98/share. Just a smidgeon above their 5-year 7-year low set earlier in the day. (DBD stock hasn't been this worthless since April of 2001.)

But, as we reported in our recent summary of the years-long undoing of one of America's worst voting machine companies (we know, it's a close contest), there has yet to be any accountability, for the company insiders who, with stunningly fortuitous coincidental timing, just happened to sell off thousands of shares at $53.04 last August.

Those lucky executives moved at just the right time, right near the year's peak of $54.50, last August, and just prior to the precipitous 43% plunge over the rest of the year. We --- and we alone, unfortunately --- reported on that apparent insider trading just after the sell-off in late Summer.

Whether the recently announced DoJ investigation of Diebold has anything to do with that chicanery, we can't tell ya. And we're still waiting for any of the thousands of Election Officials, who've been screwed by the once-beloved America-hating company, to file suit themselves. But at least the shareholders, if no one else so far, are beginning to bring some accountability.

Happy New Years, Diebold! We'll see ya on the other side. And that's one thing upon which, you can finally count correctly, for a change...

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By Brad Friedman on 12/24/2007 2:13pm PT  


(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG reader Jim Cirile)

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