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By John Gideon on 8/16/2006 5:08pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Nearly 10 percent of Cuyahoga County's official ballots in the May 2 primary were "destroyed, blank, illegible, missing, taped together or otherwise compromised," according to a group hired by the county to investigate. But even when the paper receipts were legible in the May 2 primary, more than three-quarters of them listed vote tallies that did not match the electronic record in the touch-screen machines. ...

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

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If You're Near Chicago This Weekend, Please Stop by and Say Hello!
By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2006 4:59pm PT  

Blogged by Brad on the still long and winding road...

Yes, I'm still on the road and will continue to be until at least the end of this month. Still travelling across the country for various double-super-secret meetings and projects, and even the occasional (very occasional, unfortunately) day spent off the grid entirely to catch up on some rest and enjoy the waning days of summer. There's a lot going on in the background --- fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you may see it --- so despite my best efforts, I haven't found much peace and quiet, even while not blogging here regularly. Oh, well. At least I've got it better than Stephen Heller, who really may be "taking one for his country" (see below.) Much to come on those background developments in the coming weeks and months in either case.

For now though, a couple of quick points...

-- HARTMANN ON THURSDAY...

I'll be checking in with Thom Hartmann's radio show for a very brief catch-up on Thursday, 2pm Eastern Time. See the "Media Appearances" section in the red box above for details.

-- HELLER IN HUSTLER NOW...

My article for Hustler on Diebold whistleblower Stephen Heller --- who is now thanklessly facing trial for three felony counts concerning documents he released from Diebold's California law firm, Jones Day, just prior to Diebold being decertified in the state back in 2004 --- is now on newsstands. So consider that an excuse to go out and buy this month's issue, or you may download the article right here in pornography-free PDF format instead.

-- CHICAGO ON FRIDAY & SATURDAY...

Heading to Chicago this weekend to a) attend the DNC's annual gathering of state party chairs and other such officials who may or may not wish to see me on Friday (this should be interesting,) and b) emcee Illinois Ballot Integrity Project's big Take Back the Vote, election protection event outside of the city, in DuPage County, on Saturday. Speakers at the event, other than yours truly, to include our old friends Fooled Again author Mark Crispin Miller, Bob Fitrakis of the Columbus FreePress and Robert Koehler of Tribune Media. It is one of several upcoming Election Protection events around the country being sponsored in part by VelvetRevolution.us (see VR's homepage for a number of other events, some of which I'll also be attending, with more on the way in California, Ohio and elsewhere.)

In the Chicago 'hood this weekend? Please stop by and say hello! More details and info on the event right here. I'll be the bedraggled one, with only slightly more of a tan than I had before I left, but with a happy-to-see-ya smile nonetheless...so please come on by!

8/17/2006: UPDATE! POSSIBLE SCHEDULE CHANGE!: Incredibly late in the game, the DNC has now invited me to address some of their people at a Saturday afternoon round table, which occurs at the same time as the event in DuPage County! Having not (yet) figured out how to clone myself, and now making the difficult decision that a few minutes time speaking directly to the DNC about the mess on our hands may ultimately be more fruitful than emceeing the DuPage event, I may now be either late or a no-show at the Illinois Ballot Integrity Event! Depending on what time I finish with the DNC event in downtown Chicago, I'll then speed out to the DuPage event to make it for at least some of that event...if at all humanly possible. If it's not possible for me to make it out there at all, I hope I'll be forgiven... Yeesh... What a mess... Here's a 53-second video of Thom Hartmann underscoring why this matters... (Hat-tip to Ginny Ross of Election Defense Alliance!)

...And now, back to your regularly scheduled BRAD BLOG sans Brad (for the most part)...

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Report Done For Cuyahoga Co. Ohio Finds The System May Be Unrepairable Before Nov. 2008
By John Gideon on 8/16/2006 11:03am PT  

Election Science Institute (ESI), a San Francisco based non-profit, was contracted for $341,000 to do a complete study of the May 2 primary in Cuyahoga (Cleveland) County. The study was just released to the public and it is another scathing report against Diebold and their voting machines.

Ohio requires a voter verified paper audit trail printer on every Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that ESI found:

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

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By Winter Patriot on 8/15/2006 1:45am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot


Ginny Ross, one of our friends from the Election Defense Alliance, has posted the video of the beginning of the press conference from DemocracyFest last month in San Diego as the Busby/Bilbray election challenge (due to voting machine "sleepovers" with pollworkers) was just coming to light. Some of us have been anxious to see this ever since Ginny told us she was working on it. And rightly so. The video is a good one. Just click on the picture to see it.

For more on the press conference, please revisit Brad's post of July 18th.

You're more than welcome to disagree with me on this, but I'd say he did a fine job. Then again, what do I know? I'm partially frozen at the best of times. ;-)

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Says Dobbs: 'Electronic Voting Machines Pose An Extraordinary Threat To Our Democracy...It looks like a complete nightmare'
Says Pilgrim: 'It's a bit of a mess. It's a lot of a mess...a bit out of control at this point'
By John Gideon on 8/14/2006 5:58pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Tonight Lou discussed the fact that Diebold voting machines and parts can be purchased on-line and at least one of those purchases has revealed a vulnerability in the Diebold TS-R6. The only response Diebold had was that there are only a few thousand of those machines being used as they are being replaced. Diebold obfuscates the truth; there are over 40,000 in use in Georgia and Maryland alone.

Hat-tip to our friends at the Open Voting Foundation who not only purchased the machine at E-bay, but went on to use it to discover one of the "worst ever flaws found in a voting machine" (at least until the next one is found, anyway.)


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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Allegations of 2005 Mistatements of Revenue Concerning Voting Machines, Long-term Service Contracts by Truth-Challenged, Anti-American Company...
By Brad Friedman on 8/13/2006 12:21pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

Apologies in that normally this would have been a siren-worthy item on the day it broke (last Thursday) here at BRAD BLOG had I not been on the road and looking the other way for the most part (as I still am). Particularly since we've been following Diebold's financial malfeasance closely for some time, including breaking the original report of both the Securities Fraud Class Action suit against the company last December, and the SEC's original "informal" (now formal!) investigation of Diebold in May.

Hat-tip to Warren Stewart of VoteTrustUSA.org for picking up news of the now-formal investigation late last week (and to John Gideon who, naturally, noticed in last Thursday's 'Daily Voting News')...

Reuters is reporting that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has begun a formal investigation into how Diebold recognizes revenue. In a public filing in May, Diebold has acknowledged that SEC staff had begun an informal inquiry but the company’s latest filing on July 27 reported that the investigation had been converted into a formal nonpublic investigation.

SEC investigations typically begin as informal inquiries. A formal inquiry is one in which the commission authorizes the staff to look at whether laws have been broken and carries the power to subpoena witnesses and documents.

Though both Diebold spokesman Mike Jacobsen and SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment on the investigation, it was clear that the focus of the inquiry relates to Diebold's election division, Diebold Election Systems, Inc.

More at VoteTrustUSA...

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Staff Writer/Columnist Jim Trageser Flails Against the Wind...and the Facts
By Brad Friedman on 8/11/2006 10:44am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

UPDATE: Trageser sends us a one line reply to the following article (instead of bothering to return our call): "Thanks for the traffic bump!" was all that he wrote. To which we replied: "Thanks for not giving a damn about your country." We also realize we neglected to post Jim's contacts previously so you can thank him yourself. As posted with his "column", you may contact staff writer Jim at: (760) 631-6628 or jtrageser@nctimes.com. Letters to his editor may be sent to: letters@nctimes.com, though that's likely the same editor who allowed his factually incorrect and evidence-free article to be published in the first place, so who knows how much they actually give a damn about such things at The North County Times.

I've been completely off line for nearly a week, only to return briefly enough to find Jim Trageser's sad attempt at a column from Wednesday in the North County Times wherein he bashes the Busby/Bilbray election contest as nothing more than "a political stunt."

The evidence for his conclusions? Apparently he has none. Other than the "facts" he has simply made up out of whole cloth without, seemingly, bothering to speak to a single source involved in the contest.

Add to that several pieces of out-and-out incorrect information (he says that Bush beat Gore in 2000 and that "every post-election recount...all upheld Bush's narrow win in Florida" --- Here's the actual numbers from the studies you cite, Jim. Don't bother to read them, we'd hate to destroy your rich fantasy life) and you've got the perfect picture of everything that is wrong with today's lazy, faux media.

At one point, Trageser actually has the temerity to hunt and peck the following words out of his keyboard...

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

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Matthew Cardinale of Atlanta Progressive News has the details
By Winter Patriot on 8/11/2006 6:03am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

From BREAKING: McKinney Pursuing Legal Challenges to Elections in Georgia (with a few links added):

US Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) is pursuing numerous legal avenues to challenge the so-called "results" of not only her recent Primary and Runoff Elections, but also the fundamental reality that the current E-voting system in Georgia does not provide us with "results" that are in any way meaningful.

The Congresswoman and her attorneys and campaign are looking at ways in which they can either join or support Donzella James’s legal election contest filed last week, Donzella James, who is working closely with the Congresswoman, told Atlanta Progressive News. The US Department of Justice is already said to be investigating as well.

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

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VoterAction Announces The Filing Of a New Motion of Preliminary Injunction In State Court
By John Gideon on 8/8/2006 2:39pm PT  

In a just issued Press Release, VoterAction has announced that California voters are challenging the use of the Diebold TSx touch screen voting system and that they have filed a motion for preliminary injunction in state court.

This announcement follows the July 18 announcement that an attempt by the state to move the original suit from the state courts to federal court had failed.

The press release follows:

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

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Many other 'glitches' reported already --- and the polls have only been open for an hour!
UPDATED THREE TIMES!
By Winter Patriot on 8/8/2006 6:27am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

An early-morning report from the headquarters of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's campaign indicates that voting is not going smoothly in Georgia's 4th Congressional District. Congresswoman McKinney is involved in a runoff election against Hank Johnson, after "failing" to gain 50% of the votes in the first round of the primary three weeks ago.

According to the McKinney camp,

Less than one hour into the voting day, multiple problems with the electronic voting machines have arisen. McKinney precinct watchers are reporting machines down already, insecure machines, and at least one 4th Congressional District precinct without McKinney's name on the ballot, but with her opponent's name on it.
...
Another location had to redo the zero report because the machine did not initiate at a zero count. And at yet another location, the voting machine where the voting card is inserted is not secure.

We've reported on McKinney's troubles in the first round of the primary (here and here) and we have also mentioned the smear campaign being waged against her --- and against opponents of electronic voting in general --- by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a so-called "newspaper" which is part of the so-called "Cox media empire". Judging from their coverage of the first round of the primary, we should not expect the AJC to pay any attention to the claims of irregularities in this election, regardless of how well documented they might be.

The BRAD BLOG, on the other hand, will continue to keep you posted.

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

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They Stand By Their Man (Which Turns Out To Be Their Stated Purpose)
By Emily Levy on 8/7/2006 1:56pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Emily Levy

Claims that electronic voting equipment sleepovers are just peachy sound mighty defensive in an issue paper titled "Voting Equipment 'Sleepover' Practice" issued July 27, 2006 by the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO).

"The California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO) recognizes that distributing secured voting equipment to poll workers prior to Election Day is an efficient, accountable, and transparent practice that contributes to the orderly and secure conduct of elections."

It may come as no shock that the president of the CACEO is none other than Conny McCormack, Registrar of Voters from Los Angeles County, pictured here on a Diebold brochure. San Diego RoV Mikel Haas is on the Board of Directors. Despite the CACEO not being a government entity, it has an important job to do. Why, its motto is even "Officium populi, office of the people." But wait! In their bylaws we find, under "Objects and Purposes":

"To Promote Welfare of Members: To promote the welfare of members of the Association and the counties they represent."

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

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Update: More Groups Show Concern For Elections Procedures In San Diego County
By John Gideon on 8/7/2006 12:08pm PT  

Guest Blogged By John Gideon

Just released by the Green Party US is a Press Release from San Diego County, CA that states, in part, "The Green Party of San Diego County does not endorse the protocols used for obtaining and tabulating votes during the June 6 primary and previous elections. As we outline below, the process is fundamentally insecure leading to election results that are neither accurate nor verifiable."

The complete Press Release is below:

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

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Article by APN's Matthew Cardinale includes quotes from Paul Lehto and Brad Friedman!
Cardinale: 'The lawsuit is believed to set a national precedent.'
By Winter Patriot on 8/6/2006 12:22am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Matthew Cardinale has the details:
BREAKING: Donzella James Contesting Primary in Georgia

A few choice excerpts:

"Good, I’m glad she’s challenging, she should!" Brad Friedman of the noted elections integrity website, BradBlog, said in a phone interview.

The Donzella James Campaign isn’t taking the same approach as say, Kerry/Edwards 2004. They aren’t trying to calculate the known malfunctions to see if they add up to greater than the margin of vote difference between more progressive James and the moderate Scott (35%). The point is, because of the lack of a paper trail, there is no way to determine how many unknown malfunctions there are.

"When you figure out something is wrong with these systems, you can’t get in there to see how much has gone wrong in these systems. It’s in the ether," Friedman said.

And:

Attorney Paul Lehto, who is contesting the Busby/Bilbray race in San Diego where voting machines were taken home with poll workers, has offered to provide informal advice to Donzella James. Expecting voters to trust E-voting as presently done is "like asking everyone to put blindfolds on," Lehto said. "I endorse this. It’s exciting that there’s an elections contest in Georgia."

Please read the entire article.

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Examining Bookman's Opinion Smear Piece, 'THE LAME VOTE-RIGGING CRIES RETURN', from a Reality-Based Standpoint
By Winter Patriot on 8/4/2006 3:00pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

I've been reading the most incredible editorial, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
THE LAME VOTE-RIGGING CRIES RETURN

It's also available here and probably elsewhere too.

Here's how it starts:

By JAY BOOKMAN
Cox News Service
08/02/2006

Cox News Service

ATLANTA --- After night comes day and after spring comes summer, so I guess we all should have seen this one coming.

Well, I for one did see this coming, but I don't think this means we all should have.

After U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney was forced into a surprising runoff in last month's Democratic primary, her campaign proposed a likely explanation: Electronic voting machines used in the election were made by Diebold.

You can see right away how "clever" Jay Bookman is! He admits that the result was "surprising" and that the explanation posed by her campaign was a "likely" one. It almost seems he's interested in telling the truth ... but not really.

Even on the cold hard web-page, Bookman's words are clearly dripping with sarcasm. And, in an era when unintended irony is all the rage for supporters of the current corrupt bunch of war-criminals posing as statesmen, I am not shocked to see a true statement such as this one, disguised as ... um ... listen: this is a family blog, for the most part, so let's just continue.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 8/4/2006 9:03am PT  

Motel Blogged from the road by Brad...

In addition to the previous article mentioned in Florida, more Voting Machine 'Sleepover' coverage today, this time from Marc Songini in ComputerWorld...

A lawsuit has grown out of alleged breaches in security procedures around electronic voting machines in San Diego County after a hotly contested congressional election, throwing a spotlight on the reliability of the machines themselves.

The suit, filed on Monday, requests that a special election on June 6 to fill the 50th Congressional District seat be invalidated. It also seeks a complete hand recount of the paper ballots, said Paul Lehto, an Everett, Wash.-based attorney handling the case. The suit was filed in Superior Court in San Diego and names Mikel Haas, county registrar of voters, and Brian Bilbray, the winner of the seat, as defendants.

San Diego voters used AccuVote optical-scan and TSx touch-screen systems from Diebold Election Systems.

Whatever the specific merits of the suit, it could heighten some citizens' concerns about e-voting technology if critics' claims of the inherent security deficiencies get debated in court during the run-up to the fall elections.

One of the main points raised by the suit is the so-called sleepover policy, under which Haas directed that all the machines be released to poll worker supervisors before the election. These sleepovers lasted from three days to more than a week.

"During these sleepovers, the voting machines were unsecured, subject to access by innumerable neighbors, strangers and family members, and stored without records or proof of actual chain of custody, eliminating the ability of any person to detect whether or not fraud or improper access to the voting machines occurred," according to the lawsuit.

"The sleepover issue is fairly egregious," said Lehto. Tampering with one card in one device conceivably could change race results.
...
This lawsuit is an example of what could happen in upcoming contests, said Brad Friedman, who covers e-voting issues in his blog. "Is this the sort of thing we want to see happen in 435 House races, 33 Senate races and 20-something gubernatorial races around the country on Nov. 7 this year?" said Friedman.

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