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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, November 24, 2014
GOP House Intel Committee Findings Debunk GOP BENGHAZI! 'Scandal'
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Monster Energy Drink Not Just Crappy, Also the Work of Satan!
The indisputable video proof is now here!...
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
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  w/ Brad & Desi
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Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
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Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
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'Green News Report' 11/13/14
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'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
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About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
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'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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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
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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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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
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EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Voter Given Wrong Ballot on Diebold Touch-Screen Machine, as the First Reports of 'Glitches' in the Buckeye State's General Election Begin...
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2006 1:53pm PT  

Of course, we've heard such reports during Primary Elections around the country already this year (see this one, where the Diebold touch-screen voting machine gave a voter a ballot for the wrong election, noticed only because he happened to be an eagle-eyed talk radio political reporter.)

Now, this just in yesterday from "bonobo", a blogger at dKos, on the first day of Early Voting on the same unreliable, hackable Diebold touch-screen voting machines, but this time in Franklin County, Ohio. And, again, from someone who happened to be politically involved enough to notice the "error"!...

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

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

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

His column includes this...

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

...And this...

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

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

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

...Amongst other gems.

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

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

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

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Story Picks up on Robert Kennedy Jr.'s Recent Rolling Stone Exposé...
By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2006 4:21pm PT  

In an Atlanta Progressive News article today, Matthew Cardinale advances the ball forward a few steps concerning Diebold's chicanery and undocumented and/or questionable software patches down in Georgia just prior to the 2002 election.

Georgia, along with Maryland, was one of the original Diebold "showcase" states where paperless touch-screen voting machines were originally, and disastrously installed by the now-outgoing Democratic Secretary of State (and Diebold apologist) Cathy Cox.

Cardinale's coverage --- which has a quote or two from us --- picks up from RFK Jr.'s recent Rolling Stone piece covering this matter (and many others) as discussed by former Diebold contractor Chris Hood and others.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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'We Must Restrict Access to the Buttons' Says Diebold as They Allow Faulty, Hackable Machines to be Used Everywhere in the Country this November!
Company Refuses to Supply Latest Machine for Testing to Either Princeton OR the US Elections Assistance Commission - Good Thing They Don't Actually Make Nuclear Missiles!
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2006 1:23pm PT  

In addition to The New York Times' article in Sunday editions today headlined "Officials Wary of Electronic Voting Machines" (we covered that report yesterday), the Times had another piece, buried in the Business Section of Saturday's edition headlined "The Big Gamble on Electronic Voting."

Other than still referring to the machine used in the Princeton Report --- which showed a Diebold touch-screen system could be hacked with an undetectable vote-flipping virus in a minute's time, which could then spread itself to every machine in the system --- as coming from a mysterious "third party", it is a very good article which I highly recommend.

(For the record, I told everyone where the machine came from --- VelvetRevolution.us was given the machine by a source of mine --- when I broke the story originally both here, and at Salon. Not sure why AP, WaPo, NYTimes et al has such trouble figuring it out. Guess they don't use Google.)

Randall Stross' Times piece is very smart. It includes his efforts to press Diebold as to why they won't supply the latest and greatest touch-screen machine to Princeton to test. Since Diebold claimed in their silly, disingenuous reply to the Princeton Report that the Diebold AccuVote model used in the testing was "two generations old" and "to our knowledge, is not used anywhere in the country," one would think Diebold would be more than happy to supply their newest machine for similar security testing. Congrats to Stross for making that point abundantly clear!

Diebold's response about the "two generations old" system is stuff and nonsense, and in the article Diebold spokeshole Mark Radke was extraordinary.

Radke refused Stross' encouragement to supply such a machine to either Princeton or even the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC). That refusal, and the reasons for it, underscore the load of crap that Diebold is still trying to sell to an unsuspecting public and media.

Radke claims, in the piece, that sharing such machines with computer scientists, or even the EAC is "analogous to launching a nuclear missile" and Diebold must restrict "access to the buttons."

Funny reply from a company who sent these machines out like candy in their early development, with almost no inventory control whatsoever (one of the reasons why I was even able to get the machine to Princeton!). Also a funny reply from a company that has failed to warn their customers about the safe use of these machines, by not telling them about the dangers of sending these machines home with poll workers on overnight "sleepovers" for days and weeks prior to an election. Such "sleepovers" sullied the integrity of San Diego's recent U.S. House Special election in June, and the practice will be carried out again across the country this November.

Diebold, apparently, is just fine with that.

The Diebold company and their dishonest business practices in these regards are an irresponsible menance to democracy, our American Values, and our way of life. They, and several of the other voting machines companies, have succeeded in undermining the very core of our Republic. The media and both major political parties are also guilty for allowing them to do so.

Please read Stross' article in full and be amazed.

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Plaintiff Rep Says Machines to be Allowed in November, With New Security Measures, But Must Be Recertified From Scratch Thereafter
[UPDATED Now to include CNN's Initial Coverage, Official VoterAction.org Statement, Trial Testimony and Depositions from the case.]
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2006 4:54pm PT  

I just received a phone call from Holly Jacobson of VoterAction.org, the group that has supported voter lawsuits attempting to decertify e-voting machines in Colorado, California, Arizona, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

She called us from Colorado just after leaving the courtroom, where the case in that state against the use and purchase of e-voting systems made by Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart InterCivic was being heard yesterday. She called and said: "We won!"

That call came moments after I'd received a report that CNN's Lou Dobbs had reported an hour or so ago that they had lost the case...

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

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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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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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Democratic Election Administrator Still in Denial!
DIEB-THROAT Says 'We Put Out Junk' in Maryland in 2002
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 12:27am PT  

From Page 1 of Thursday's WaPo:

A week after the primary election was plagued by human error and technical glitches, Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) called yesterday for the state to scrap its $106 million electronic voting apparatus and revert to a paper ballot system for the November election.

"When in doubt, go paper, go low-tech," he said.

Ehrlich said that, if necessary, he would call a special session of the Maryland General Assembly to change the law to allow paper ballots.

The Republican Governor's call comes after hearings today to investigate Maryland's primary election meltdown on September 12th.

Ehrlich had called for paper ballots last February. The Democratic MD House supported the initiative in a 137 to 0 vote. The Democratic Senate let the bill die without a vote before ending their session.

As BRAD BLOG readers know well, Maryland was one of Diebold's original showcase states and implemented paperless Diebold touch-screens back in 2002. They've had more experience with them than any other state. Yet they still couldn't manage to get them to work correctly in a sparsely attended primary for a mid-term election.

Democratic Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. is against the idea of using paper ballots. He told WaPo, "We paid millions. These are state-of-the-art machines"

Miller clearly doesn't read The BRAD BLOG.

As DIEB-THROAT, our currently-anonymous Diebold insider source, who had a great deal of personal experience helping to roll out the systems in Maryland in 2002 told us recently: "We put junk out when HAVA [the Help America Vote Act] came out...We had no plans for paper trails, nothing."

According to WaPo, Gene Raynor, Baltimore's election director had the decency to resign. Diebold apologist and Maryland State Board of Elections administrator, Linda Lamone ought to do the same.

But Lamone, ever in denial, said Ehrlich's call for paper ballots was "crazy" and vowed that "her staff would 'work around the clock' to correct the problems that plagued the primary" according to WaPo.

Like you've been "working around the clock" to get it right since 2002, Ms. Lamone? Got anymore lipstick for that pig?

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Primary Election Results All Zeroed Out!
By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 3:39pm PT  

Results from last Tuesday's Primary Election in Maryland (which was in and of itself a debacle), have apparently been scrubbed from the Maryland Board of Elections website! As of right now, 6:36pm ET, no election totals are currently available on the site after they've previously been there all week as counting has continued.

I'm currently on the air and thus not able to look into it further, so I've not been able to get any explanation for this. But I thought you should know. A screenshot from one of the pages (they are all currently zeroed out!) is below...

UPDATE 7:23pm ET: Courtesy of HuffCrimeBlog.com's Steve Huff, here's a screenshot from the Google archives of the same page above as it was seen on 9/14/06 with all of the unofficial results still being added...

I've tried to contact the MD Board of Elections by phone, but it's after hours and nobody is currently answering. Just FYI. If anybody has any luck in the morning or additional info on any of this, please let me know!

UPDATE 9/20/06 11:20am ET: Website numbers are currently back up. Will try to learn what happened and report back when I do. No idea if the numbers now restored will synch up with what was there before they were zeroed out. We've seen similar computer drop-outs, only to be restored later with races flipped (in the 2004 Ohio Presidential and in the 2005 Ohio Hackett/Schmidt race, for example) but never this late after Election Day. We'll keep our eye on it and try to get more for you later today.

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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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Diebold's Showcase State Has Been Using the Machines Since 2002...and Still Can't Get Anything Right!
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2006 4:53pm PT  

We covered it on the day it happened, and again a day or so later. But here's more.

Consider this your preview of what will likely be happening everywhere this November 7th. Everywhere.

Alhough the Maryland Meltdown has received more notice because it occurred where the DC media and politicos live, it mirrors just about every other primary in just about every other state so far this year. Disasters in almost every one of them.

And remember, along with Georgia, the state of Maryland was Diebold's "showcase state." They've used these shitty, hackable, failed Diebold machines in more elections and for a longer time than any other state in the union.

From Saturday's Washington Post... [emphasis added]

2 Candidates Question Vote In Pr. George's

Congressional candidate Donna Edwards announced plans yesterday to file a lawsuit over apparent voting irregularities in Tuesday's primary election in Prince George's County, while defeated county executive challenger Rushern L. Baker III demanded an independent investigation of the process.

The separate announcements signaled that Tuesday's voting, a flawed process by many accounts, may not conclude the close primary contests for a seat in Congress and the county executive's office. The election itself was "horrendous," the Prince George's elections administrator said yesterday. And the victorious Democratic county executive candidate, incumbent Jack B. Johnson, said it warranted investigation.

"The integrity of the election is at stake," said Edwards, who ran against Rep. Albert R. Wynn in the 4th District Democratic primary and is waiting for the race to be decided when provisional ballots are counted next week in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

Jonathan S. Shurberg, a lawyer working with Edwards, said they will ask a judge to take possession of voting machine memory cards in two, possibly three, precincts in Chillum. The request will be made either in Prince George's Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro or U.S. District Court in Greenbelt over the next several days.

Edwards said her legal complaint will focus on the security of voting machines that contained voting cards and were not delivered to the county Board of Elections until late Wednesday. "When we read reports about how easy it is to hack into these machines, there has to be concern," Edwards said.
...
"We're not doing this for the campaign," Perry said. "We're doing this as a duty. Voters have been disenfranchised."
...
The county's interim election administrator, Robert J. Antonetti Sr., acknowledged yesterday that the primary was the most troubled election he has overseen during 34 years in the field. "This was horrendous," Antonetti said.

Much more to read in the full article...But as to those memory cards which we now know can be hacked undetectably in a minute's time:

According to Baker's campaign, only 60 of 206 precincts managed to transmit their results electronically. Election workers at the remaining polling places had to remove voter memory cards from each machine and drive them to Board of Elections headquarters in Upper Marlboro.
...
Antonetti said that a number of cards were accidentally left in voting machines and that the last of those cards --- close to three dozen in as many machines --- were expected to be delivered to his office late yesterday [ed note: Friday after the Tuesday election!]. On Wednesday, election officials said data were not received from 81 of the county's 2,056 voting machines. The numbers represented two whole precincts --- in Chillum and Landover --- as well as cards from machines at 34 polling stations.

American democracy is in big trouble. But BRAD BLOG readers have known that for some time. Wish everyone else did.

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