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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 2, 2014
CA Repubs Block State-Paid Automatic 'Recount' Bill
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KPFK 'BradCast'
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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
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2006 6:53pm PT  

John Gideon covered the mess for us as things unfolded last Tuesday. Johns Hopkins computer science professor Avi Rubin was, once again, a poll worker on Election Day during last Tuesday's primary in the state. As BRAD BLOG readers know, Maryland was/is one of Diebold's original "showcase states" along with Georgia.

Rubin's post, detailing his experiences at his one polling place alone last Tuesday, gives a crystal clear picture of what a fucking mess we've got on our hands. A. Fucking. Mess.

Train wreck ahead. Big time. Please don't say you weren't warned.

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New, First-of-Its Kind, University Study Reveals Malicious Code Can Be Easily Inserted into Voting Machine, Spread from One System to the Next, Resulting in Flipped Votes, and Stolen Elections…All Without a Trace Being Left Behind
Study Also Confirms that Voter Access Cards Can Be Created At Home to Defeat Security Protocols, Allowing Voters to Vote Multiple Times in a Single Election!
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2006 4:43pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, EXCLUSIVE
-- (Salon.com has posted a shortened version of the following report right here:
"Hack the vote? No problem")

A vote for George Washington could easily be converted to a vote for Benedict Arnold on an electronic voting machine and neither the voter, nor the election officials administering the election would ever know what happened. It wouldn't require a "conspiracy theory" or a "conspiracy" at all. It could be done by a single person with just a few moments of access to the voting systems.

Those new findings are detailed, and illustrated on video-tape, in a new first-of-its-kind study released today by computer scientists and security experts at Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy.

(The version of the video demo at the Princeton website is being hit hard, and thus, slow to download and view currently. We've got a quick flash version available here for your convenience, courtesy of David Edwards.)

The scientific study has revealed, for the first time, that a computer virus can be easily implanted on an electronic voting machine which could, in turn, result in votes flipped for opposing candidates. The virus, as well, could be written to then spread itself from one machine to the next resulting in a stolen election. The malfeasance would likely never be discovered, the scientists have said.

Though the concept of stolen votes via electronic voting systems has been widely regarded as theoretically possible by experts up until now, a top-secret four-month long hands-on study of an actual touch-screen voting system, by the scientists at Princeton, has confirmed the worst nightmares of elections officials and American voters…not to mention a voting machine company known as Diebold.

The BRAD BLOG has had exclusive access to the scientists and information being tested as the team's various hack attempts have been designed and carried out over the course of the study.

Working directly with a Diebold AccuVote TS touch-screen voting system, the computer scientists have been able to implant a nearly-undetectable virus onto a touch-screen voting system, managing to successfully alter a voter's ballot --- after it's already been confirmed and cast --- in order to flip the vote so that it is recorded for a candidate other than the one the voter had intended.

According to the study's team leader, Edward W. Felten, a professor at Princeton's Department of Computer Science, the report confirms – and records in a video-taped demonstration – that such a malicious virus could be easily inserted onto a Diebold touch-screen voting system by a single individual "with just one or two minutes of unsupervised access to either the voting machine or the memory card" used with the system to store ballot definitions and vote tabulations.

The virus, as programmed by the Princeton team, could then spread from one voting system to the next depending on the way the machine in use is configured, or the way in which votes are tabulated in any particular jurisdication.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2006 11:37am PT  

(NOTE: This story was set to break on Sunday, with a release of the study on Monday morning. I had written an exclusive story for The Nation to be released Sunday night along with exclusive coverage that was being scheduled with ABC World News Tonight. The scientists of the study, unfortunately, jumped the gun in releasing it this morning without warning me. Currently scrambling to get a version of my previously prepared report up on Salon.com to be followed by a more complete report here at BRAD BLOG shortly.)

UPDATE:
-- My full exclusive report is now posted here.
-- Salon is now running a shortened version of that full report. (Requires subscription, or viewing of a short ad.)

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Polls across the state opened late due to missing equipment or missing poll workers
The state hired voting machine technical 'rovers' from Monster.Com ad...Some had only one train of training...on Monday!
By John Gideon on 9/12/2006 9:06am PT  

Blogged by John Gideon

This morning voters in much of Maryland awoke with plans to go to the polls early and then head off to a normal day. Unfortunately when they got to their polling places they only found locked doors.

As reported by the Baltimore Sun many poll workers did not show up for work this morning and when they did they many had no idea how to operate new voting technology called "e-poll books" which are a necessary part of the voting process in Maryland and many other Diebold states. The workers were not trained to use that technology because Diebold did not provide the technology to the state until it was too late to properly train the pollworkers.

According to the Sun...

Tardy election judges in Baltimore caused delays at dozens of polling places this morning, prompting some candidates to call for extended hours at affected polls in the city and Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties.
...
Armstead B.C. Jones Sr., president of the Baltimore Board of Elections, said that in addition to late arrivals, poll workers are unfamiliar with several pieces of new voting equipment debuting today, which is causing additional delays.

"Poll workers go through a class that's three hours long, but some of the technology wasn't available to us in time for everyone to be trained on it," Jones said, referring to the new electronic check-in system, called e-poll books. "This is not unusual for an election morning when you're dealing with brand new equipment."

Not unusual? What an unbelievable statement to make when talking about elections. It's his job as the president of the Board of Elections to ensure that every poll worker is trained and that no equipment is new to them. What should be unusual is that Mr. Jones keep his job.

And this is not the whole story. Added to a lack of trained poll workers to open the polls and operate the equipment we also learn that when the supplies were sent out to the polls in Montgomery County someone forgot to include the smart cards. These are the cards that have the ballot definition and the machines will not work without them.

The Sun says:

In Montgomery County, electronic voting at most polling locations did not start until after 8 a.m. because local election organizers forgot to include a critical start-up card for the machines in precinct supply kits, said Margaret A. Jurgensen, the county's election director.

The Washington Post is reporting that voters in Montgomery County are being given provisional ballots by poll workers until the smart cards are received. Unfortunately many polling sites ran out of provisional ballots which kept voters from voting until workers could scramble to get copies made. Even more unfortunate is the fact that these provisional ballots require inspection before they can be counted. The county should have required 'emergency ballots' to be used. These ballots would just be handled as if they were received in the mail as absentee ballots.

As this is being written candidates and political parties are beginning to ask that the polls be kept open longer this evening to make up for the late start this morning. We are also getting reports that local radio and TV station switchboards are being filled with complaints from voters who have had problems this morning. The Baltimore Sun has three people taking handling a constant flood of calls from voters with complaints.

Added to all of this is information that Diebold and the state are using technicians ("rovers") who were just hired from a technical services company, PDS Technical Services, that advertised for help on Monster.com and the only technical qualification for these people who were to provide technical oversight is that they have "some high school course work".

This post will be updated throughout the day as more information comes out.

UPDATE More information from the "Train Wreck":
Poll workers arrived at work this morning to face new "E Poll Books" which they had never seen before and on which they had gotten only a minimum of training. This technology ties in with the state's new voter registration data base. Due to these two issues some voters are arriving for the first time at the polls only to be told that they had 'already voted'.

Also being reported are "Candidate selections missing from review screens, machine crashes requiring multiple re-boots, lots of precincts running out of the paper ballot back-ups, and battery problems.

UPDATED LATE THIS AFTERNOON Fox News reports that a judge has found that polls can stay open for an extra hour this evening. This will now keep the polls open until 9PM tonight. However, the county says that only paper ballots can be used during that time.

This leads to a concern about the handling of the paper ballots that many, many voters have been forced to use. Historically provisional ballots have not always been counted and handling of those ballots takes a bit more work in that each voter who cast a provisional ballot must be checked to ensure they are truly eligible to vote. Now officials are concerned that these thousands of ballots cast today due to failures in the election administration process and with technology will be handled differently than normal ballots and may not be counted at all.

According to Fox:

Mike Morrill, a spokesman for attorney general candidate Douglas Gansler, said the results could be skewed if provisional votes aren't counted until later, given the possibility that a large number of people were forced by the glitches to use the ballots.

"To treat them as if they were provisional, as if they may or may not count, continues the disenfranchisement of Montgomery County voters," he said.

Morrill said Gansler's legal advisers were reviewing the decision.

It will be a surprise if there are not more than one lawsuits after this debacle is done.

Also an issue is that when polling places ran out of ballots they made copies of the ballots. However, because the ballot was bigger than a normal sheet of copy paper the printed ballots were pages long. Are these new ballots legal and will they be counted? Only time will tell.

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Election Nullification Rejected! As Plaintiffs Seek to Prevent National Use of the 'Constitution as a Weapon'!
Jurisdictional Issue, Previously Used to Dismiss Case, to be Challenged on Appeal!
By Emily Levy on 9/8/2006 10:50am PT  

Guest blogged by Emily Levy

The BRAD BLOG has learned that the plaintiffs in the Busby/Bilbray CA-50 election contest will be appealing the recent dismissal of the case by a San Diego judge. The appeal will be filed in California's 4th District court. Briefs are now being prepared and funds being collected for what may be a rather expensive appeal. Notice of appeal may be filed as soon as today.

Donations to the appeal can be made via Velvet Revolution.

The appeal is a rejection of Judge Yuri Hofmann’s August 29 ruling which echoed GOP claims that the U.S. House of Representatives, not the state courts or voters, have the power to determine the outcome of elections of members of Congress. In California’s 50th Congressional district in San Diego County, Republican candidate Brian Bilbray was announced to be the winner of the June 6 special election, flown to Washington and sworn in before all the votes were counted or the election certified. That, after reports were initially broken, and well circulated by The BRAD BLOG revealing that the Diebold voting machines used in the elelection were sent home with poll workers for overnight "sleepovers" in the days and weeks preceding the "bellwether" U.S. House special election.

Those sleepovers, in which election works had unsupervised access to the highly hackable, programmed, election-ready voting systems, were in contravention of both state and federal laws and led to a filing of an election contest in early July.

Says attorney Paul Lehto, who argued the plaintiffs' case in Hofmann’s court...

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

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Miriam Raftery has the skinny
By Winter Patriot on 9/6/2006 12:46pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Miriam Raftery:
Court rules against voter-supervised elections, attorney tells RawCourt rules against voter-supervised elections, attorney tells Raw

Run right over there and read it!

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

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

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

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

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

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Strong Statement, in Wake of Lawsuit Tossed on 'Jurisdictional Grounds', a First Since Illegally Adminstered June 6th U.S. House Special Election!
'North County Times' Provides Decent Coverage of Debacle...
By Brad Friedman on 8/30/2006 7:30am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

"It's outrageous," says Francine Busby, "that this judge just said the state of California doesn't have jurisdiction over our own elections, over this election."

Busby's remarks, in a report today by William Finn Bennett in the North County Times, were a suprising departure from her previously guarded stance concerning the challenge of the June 6th U.S. House Special Election between herself and Brian Bilbray.

"What happened today should be of concern to all voters," Busby reportedly said.

Bennett's coverage of yesterday's debacle in the San Diego County courtroom where Judge Yuri Hoffman dismissed the election contest in support of the defendants' arguments that the U.S. House, not the voters or courts of California, have jurisdication to adjudicate election challenges after the House has already seated a member, is quite good. Indeed, it was a refreshing departure from previous sloppy, sometimes wholly inaccurate and occassionally entirely partisan North County Times reports and commentary on the case (see this embarrasing commentary from Jim Trageser for the most egregious.)

Bennett's report today, on the other hand, quite fairly describes the court's atrocious decision which we reported on in detail yesterday. Here's a sample from his coverage...

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

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But in the meantime, we have a transcript of Friday's oral arguments --- just for you!
By Winter Patriot on 8/29/2006 11:05am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Judge Yuri Hofmann of the California Superior Court is expected to rule this afternoon on the arguments presented Friday.

The plaintiffs in the CA50 Election Contest are asking for a manual count of ballots from the June 6th House special election, which was held to replace former Republican Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who resigned after being unable to contain the fallout from a major bribery scandal.

The defendants are arguing that California no longer has any jurisdiction over the election since the Republican U.S. House went ahead and swore in Brian Bilbray just 7 days after the election, with thousands of votes still uncounted, and certification still several weeks away...

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

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Did Congress Ask California for Permission to Nullify a California Election???
Are You Dizzy Yet?...There's More! Effort to Recall Dennis Hastert Begins!
By Emily Levy on 8/28/2006 7:57pm PT  

Guest blogged by Emily Levy

You know by now that Brian Bilbray was sworn in as Congressional Representative before the June 6 election in San Diego County, CA was certified. You might even remember reading on The BRAD BLOG that the official swearing in was preceded by a public "mock" swearing in. You learned last week that this premature act is now being used by the defendants in the Busby/Bilbray election contest as an attempt to nullify the election in California's 50th district. But today (drum roll please) Michael Collins of Scoop Independent News reveals that it was Assistant California SoS Susan Lapsley (seen in photo) who provided the election results to the House.

Collins points us to the Congressional Digest...

Representative-elect Brian P. Bilbray presented himself in the well of the House and was administered the Oath of Office by the Speaker. Earlier the Clerk of the House transmitted a facsimile copy of the unofficial returns of the Special Election held on June 6, 2006 from Ms. Susan Lapsley, Assistant Secretary of State for Elections, California Secretary of State Office, indicating that the Honorable Brian P. Bilbray was elected Representative in Congress for the Fiftieth Congressional District of California.

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

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Takes Constitutional and Jurisdictional Matters Under Advisement
Could Judge Hofmann Be Prying the NeoCon Boot Off His Neck?
By Emily Levy on 8/25/2006 5:52pm PT  

Guest bloged by Emily Levy

Judge Yuri Hofmann announced in his San Diego courtroom today that he will take the constitutional and jurisdictional matters of the CA-50 election challenge case under advisement and issue a ruling next Tuesday, August 29.

The first item up for consideration today in the election contest filed by Attorneys Paul Lehto and Ken Simpkins on behalf of two San Diego voters (and truly on behalf of all of us) was a defense motion for dismissal. Defense claimed that the San Diego court has no jurisdiction in this matter because the Constitution says, “Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members…” (Article I, Section 5). In other words, The House of Representatives gets to pick its members. (Who really needs elections, anyway?)

Lehto, in response, argued--as outlined here--that if the court has no jurisdiction, then Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas also had no jurisdiction to certify the election, given that certification happened after Bilbray was sworn in. (Yes, you heard that right.)

The defendants also argued that the court has no jurisdiction because plaintiffs had abandoned their recount efforts. According to Lehto, the request for a recount was filed properly within five days of certification of the election. Lehto says, "Jurisdiction was created by filing. That's all the statute says. There is no abandonment rule."

The judge is expected to rule on both the constitutional and jurisdictional issues on Tuesday.

From the courthouse by cell phone plaintiff Barbara Gail Jacobsen reported, "Paul Lehto and Ken Simpkins represented us very well today in court. Lehto said it's invading the sovereignty of the State if someone swoops in and swears the person in and then says there’s nothing you can do. I thought he made some very good arguments about upholding checks and balances in our system and standing up for the right of the people to make sure that elections are accountable. We the People of this country decide on who is going to represent us, and it’s through making sure that our elections are sound that we can know for sure that we have elected people that we want to transfer power to. In this particular case what Paul Lehto was trying to say is that the people's right to know if the election was properly carried out is being blindfolded and taken away by the other side."

We can only hope that before Tuesday Judge Hofmann will have the opportunity to read the rest of the Constitution. It could be enlightening.

Donations are still needed for the lawsuit and other efforts in California’s 50th District to fight the illegal June 6 election. For more information, go to nosleepovers.org.

UPDATE: We have another report of the day's proceedings, this one from Judy Hess of CA 50 Action Committee:

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

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Plaintiff in Response: 'Defendant's Argument Means Election Is Uncertified, Never Happened'
UPDATED! NOW WITH A LIVE REPORT FROM THE COURTHOUSE! where Attorney Paul Lehto Claims 'Election Nullification Argument' is Absurd, Power Grab by Speaker of the U.S. House...
By Winter Patriot on 8/24/2006 10:27pm PT  


Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

UPDATE: We have a live update from the courthouse. You can see it at the bottom of this post

We haven't been covering the CA50 Election Mess as often as in the recent past --- while Brad's been on the road and otherwise occupied --- but we have been keeping our ears to the ground, so to speak. (Yes, they get dirty, but so what? We can hear things coming before they happen. It's cool; you should try it.)

My friends, we have been hearing distant rumblings of great power. To get you up to speed quickly...

The CA50 U.S. House special election between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray was held on June 6, on illegal Diebold voting machines as has been reported here many times. (Click here for a good recent summary of the situation.) On June 13, Bilbray was quickly sworn in to the House of Representatives while thousands of votes were still being counted back in San Diego. (This surprised and angered many voters, especially since a poll taken three weeks before the election showed Busby ahead by 7%.) On June 29, the election was finally certified --- in favor of Bilbray --- by the Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas.

The election was contested on July 29 after Haas refused to allow for a hand count of the ballots, as allowed by California state law. And on August 22, defendants filed a brief in the case to dismiss, stating that because Bilbray has already been sworn in (by the Republican House of Representatives,) the California Court has no jurisdiction whatsoever and the House has exclusive jurisdiction to judge who its members are and the qualifications of those members.

According to an email sent to The BRAD BLOG this evening from attorney Paul Lehto...

The defendants' position is that the court is powerless (i.e. without jurisdiction) to do anything about this election contest, because Bilbray was sworn in only 7 days after the June 6, and long before the election was legally final on or about June 29.

This premature termination of the election in the 50th Congressional District by the swearing in took place while votes were literally still being counted and provisional votes were still being counted, and also this premature swearing-in took place well before the 1% ballot audit required as part of the certification process, and also occurred fully 16 days prior to the official certification of the results.

The defendant's premature swearing-in at the command of Washington DC politicians, if it had any legal effect at all, necessarily means that if there's no power for a Court in San Diego County to protect and review our elections for Congress, there was certainly no power and no jurisdiction for defendant Registrar Haas to certify the results of the election, either.

The swearing in simply terminated the election in mid-count. Consequently, the defendants' arguments about the court's lack of power also mean that this uncertified election does not legally exist, in the legal sense that the election never happened, and this election never became final because it has never been certified at a time when anybody in San Diego had any power to do anything about it.

Because no election is decided or over until it's officially certified, this election was actually decided in Washington DC, and not decided in San Diego's 50th Congressional District.

So there you have it. This is the stick with which Paul Lehto is trying to beat a corrupted electoral machine back into shape.

Here's Lehto's brief responding to the absurd position [PDF] taken by the defendants in this case.

The judge is set to give his decision on the jurisdictional matter Friday, determining whether or not the case will be tossed out based on the argument of the defendants. The court hearing on this matter begins at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time in San Diego.

UPDATE... Michael Collins at Scoop has more. And now, so do we --- below the fold...

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

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No, Not Diebold, But the Election Sciences Institute... To Whom They Paid More than $300,000 to Tell Them What Went Wrong in Their Recent Primary
Diebold & the County Call for Federally Certified Inspectors from Now On...Never Mind That There Aren't Any!
By John Gideon on 8/24/2006 7:00am PT  

Guest Blogged By John Gideon

Election Science Institute (ESI) of San Francisco, California was paid $341,000 by Cuyahoga Co., OH to investigate why the county had so many problems with their voting system in the May 2006 election. Were the problems really all human or were the machines at fault? ESI finally issued a report last week that had plenty of blame to go around between poll worker training problems to voting machines that could not add votes, counting devices that didn't match up on the same machine and, in several cases, machines that registered no votes at all.

Of course Diebold Elections Systems Inc. immediately denied that there were any voting machine problems at all as they blamed all problems on voters, poll workers, and election administrators. As reported earlier on The BRAD BLOG, Diebold also received nearly instantaneous assistance from "outside" sources who obfuscated in their reporting of the problems, singling out the issues concerning the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) and ignoring everything else that was in the report.

Now county elections officials seem to have decided that they don't like the results from the investigation they paid for, as done by ESI, so they are throwing ESI under the bus while they run to defend Diebold. Suprised? Apparently they don't want to have to explain why they spent millions of dollars for a voting system that is flawed. Or perhaps Diebold applied pressure to their partners in crime at the Cuyahoga Board of Elections.

In either case, Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday morning that Diebold and the County have worked everything out, and it's all just fine after all...

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

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'Experts' Ignore All But a Few Pages of a 240-Page Report
By John Gideon on 8/23/2006 9:31am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Election Science Institute (ESI) of San Francisco California was hired to investigate and report on problems with the May primary election in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The 240-page report was just released this month (August), and some in the elections community have ignored a large majority of the report and zeroed in on a single aspect that supports their thesis that voters don't need any paper, even when voting on a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine.

Daniel Tokaji is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and the Associate Director of Election Law at Moritz. He has testified against a voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) to a US House committee and the Election Assistance Commission..

In his paper on the ESI report, Tokaji ignores many significant findings of the report and distorts the overall findings by highlighting only the compromised VVPAT. As pointed out by VotersUnite.Org in their analysis of the ESI report, there was much more substance from ESI than just VVPAT printer problems:

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They're looking for a few facts about electronic voting, Diebold, and such
Do we have any we can share?
By Winter Patriot on 8/18/2006 7:53am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Regular BRAD BLOG readers will remember reading about Election Science Institute (ESI) and the report they prepared on the May 2 primary in Cuyahoga (Cleveland) County, because John Gideon blogged about it on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, at the Columbus Dispatch, Public Affairs reporter Mark Niquette and Senior editor Joe Hallett wrote about it too: Cleveland study questions accuracy of Diebold voting machines.

We have a few excerpts below the fold. We also have another piece, written by Mr. Niquette, which appeared on the front page of the Dispatch on Thursday, and in which the Dispatch asked for comments from readers.

I think Mr. Niquette and Mr. Hallett and their colleagues should hear from 6 or 7 green-and-yellow bloggers.

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