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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Seriously, Ferguson Police?
The front page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reminds again how ridiculous the era of post-9/11 Wars has become, as does yet another comparison to the Bundy Bunch...
'Green News Report' 8/19/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Oregon nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel fuel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
Previous GNRs: 8/14/14 - 8/12/14 - Archives...
Yes, Elections Still Matter: Brad on 'David Pakman Show'
With so many corrupt, corporatist politicians, even on the Democratic side, does voting and fighting voter suppression still even matter?...
Tale of Two Protests
The armed Bundy Bunch and the unarmed peaceful protesters of Ferguson -- one group was courageous enough to have possibly brought substantive, positive change to the nation...
97-Year Old Loses Right to Vote in KS for Lack of Photo ID
Kansas Sec. of State and long-time Republican 'voter fraud' fraudster Kris Kobach wins another one, as senior citizens turned away without voting on Primary Election Day...
'Green News Report' 8/14/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Historic storms, floods from NE to MI to NY, as CA breaks more heat records; China dumping coal, breaking solar records; PLUS: Jimmy Carter slams climate-denying 'nutcases'...
Previous GNRs: 8/12/14 - 8/5/14 - Archives...
News Summer from Hell Continues:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Peace activist and author David Swanson joins Brad to explain why using military force in Iraq, even to stop a genocide, is a terrible idea. PLUS: Much more...
Journalists Now Being Arrested in Ferguson
Reporters pulled out of a McDonald's by militarized police while covering protests of police killing of Michael Brown. Freedom-fighting 'Tea Party' 'patriots' still AWOL...
'Green News Report' 8/12/14
Is weather now more extreme?; ExxonMobil begins drilling with Russia in the Arctic; Methane rising; PLUS: U.S. underestimated Keystone XL emissions...
CA Supremes Nix Corporate Personhood 'Advisory Measure' from 2014 Ballot
Prop 49, a CA ballot initiative calling on Congress to amend the Constitution, will not be allowed on this year's ballot after all...
SIEGELMAN JUDGE ARRESTED FOR BATTERY
Controversial Republican federal judge Mark Fuller charged with beating wife; Daughter of AL's former, now-jailed Governor calls news 'shocking', 'karma'...
Keystone XL Emissions Vastly Underestimated by State Dept.: New Report
Independent study finds carbon pollution may increase four times the amount previously predicted by U.S....
1 BILLION Votes, 31 POSSIBLE Cases of Fraud
Law professor and voting rights expert reveals startling new numbers underscoring the massive, years long GOP polling place Photo ID restriction scam...
GOP Rep Decries 'Disgusting, Despicable Smear Campaign' After Primary Election
In his victory speech, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) lashed out at his U.S. Chamber-backed Republican opponents...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'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...

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
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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...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
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CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
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
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...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


CNN Anchor Files 6th Report, in As Many Days, on Electronic Voting Machines: 'Democracy for Sale'
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2006 8:19pm PT  

Yesterday, Lou Dobbs did his 6th straight report on the dangers of E-Voting. Today he did his 7th report in a row, we hope to have that for you tomorrow.

In yesterday's report, Dobbs introduced it by describing the "rising doubts" about Electronic Voting Machines and said those doubts "about their accuracy and integrity threaten to undermine confidence in our democracy." Right on, Lou.

The report even quotes from last year's landmark GAO report on Electronic Voting, broken here last October, and unreported by CNN (or virtually anyone else in the media) at all until yesterday! (See the graphic at upper right)

Attorney Lowell Finley of VoterAction.org, the non-partisan group filing lawsuits to stop these systems around the country, is quoted as saying, "The real danger with electronic voting is with insider fraud, who just need a few minutes of access to a voting machine or to a tabulating computer and they can wreak havoc."

Dobbs closed the segment yesterday, incredulously, with this:

DOBBS: This is --- this is becoming a very, very troubling exercise in that we have people defending results who can't even defend the process or the technology because it's proprietary and it's not being shared. And therefore, it's not auditable...And without that ability, how do you conduct a recount reliably and transparently?

We'll have a report on one of those "people defending results," Michael Haas, the Registrar of Voters in San Diego County, where the results of the 50th Congressional district U.S. House race have been corrupted by his cavalier lack of concern about the security of Diebold voting systems used in the race. He seems to have no concerns, as Finley mentioned, about "insider fraud," or of the concept that "a few minutes of access to a voting machine...can wreak havoc." More on that tomorrow.

The video of Dobbs' 6th report in a row (compliments of David Edwards, natch) is linked below:


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

The complete text-transcript of yesterday's report follows...

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

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Officials Confirm: Tainted Election Results Still Features Thousands of Uncounted Ballots, Unofficial Numbers, No Winner has Been Certified!
Now Why Would The Republicans Do That?
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2006 4:59pm PT  

In light of our recent reports that California's special run-off election to fill the seat of disgraced former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham in the 50th congressional was carried out on voting machines tainted by massive security breaches --- having been sent home with poll workers in the weeks prior to the election in violation of several state and federal directives --- Republicans have rushed to swear in the "winner" Brian Bilbray in Washington D.C. this morning, despite the election results being unverified, ballots still being counted and the "winner" not even certified in the state.

The Associated Press, who ran a photo today of a "mock swearing-in ceremony" in House Speaker Dennis Haster's office, also ran a story, widely carried unquestioningly around the country, describing Bilbray's official first day in the U.S. House, as if the election results had been legitimized. They haven't been.

"Bilbray sworn in to replace Rep. Cunningham," says the headline accompanying a story written by AP's Erica Warner and picked up widely. The story gives no indication that the questionable results of the election have yet to be certified by the state of California.

AP's coverage has been published widely today by, amongst scores of others, USA Today and Washington Post.

And yet, four sources in the CA-50's San Diego County Registrar of Voters office, including the Registrar himself, Michael Haas, along with two officials in the CA Secretary of State's office have confirmed to The BRAD BLOG that there are thousands of votes still be counted in the closely watched race, which has yet to be officially certified by either the county or the state...

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

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By David Edwards on 6/13/2006 11:59am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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

Stephen Colbert had Robert Kennedy Jr. as a guest on last night's edition of the Colbert Report. With the show's more relaxed interview format, Kennedy was able to give a quick but meaningful overview of how Republican officials may have stolen the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio.

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Busby States Confidence in Machine Counted Results, Ignores Fact that Hackable Voting Machines Were Sent Home with Poll Workers Prior to Election and Thus are to be Considered Contaminated Until a Full Manual Hand Count Can Verify, Validate Reported Results
Confirms She Could Still Be Certified as Winner Despite Previous 'Concession'
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2006 10:32pm PT  

I've now heard from several high-level folks in the DNC's Voting Rights Institute who have expressed concern about the situation in the CA-50 race. I've been told they will be having more meetings to discuss the matter tomorrow, and will likely be contacting me soon for further information and/or details about the matter. They seemed to be very concerned about the information I've given them and as previously reported on the matter here at The BRAD BLOG.

I can only hope they do a better job paying attention to this, and the larger matter at stake here, than they did with their report supposedly looking into the problems with the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio. In that report, they stated they found "no evidence of fraud." Though when I drilled the now-former VRI Executive Director, Vincenty Frye about whether or not they actually investigated the many reports of fraud in that election and its recount, he admitted --- on air [MP3] --- that they did not.

In the meantime, it seems Francine Busby's campaign (who has still failed to return any of my calls) is now replying via Email to those who have questioned her position on the matter, and whether or not she plans to demand a 100% manual hand count of all the paper ballots and "paper trails" in the race now that it's been indisputedly shown that the secure chain of custody for the voting machines was irreparably violated when San Diego County officials sent the world's most easily-hacked voting machines home with poll workers days and weeks prior to last Tuesday's important special election run-off for the U.S. House seat vacated by the disgraced Randy "Duke" Cunningham.

Her emailed statement, as forwarded by Dr. Mike Byron --- a friend of Busby's and the 2004 Democratic nominee for the U.S. House in CA's 49th congressional district --- was posted earlier today in this BRAD BLOG comment. The statement illustrates a number of troubling issues. In particular, that Busby doesn't yet seem to have a grasp on what the actual concerns are about the tainted results, as currently reported, in her own election...

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

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Big Eddie Begins to Get It...
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2006 4:45pm PT  

I was tipped off that callers to The Ed Schultz Show were misreporting my coverage of the tainted results as reported by the San Diego County Registrar from the Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election in California's 50th congressional district last week. (All BRAD BLOG stories on the topic here.)

I was able to get through to Schultz' producer (thanks, Homey!) who was able to get me on the air with Big Ed to straighten out the record after a few minutes explaining it to Ed off air. After understanding what the hell is going on here, Schultz --- who has previously declined to deal with E-Voting issues in large part --- seemed to be ticked off when he learned that security for the Diebold voting machines used in the election was irreparably breached by sending the machines home with poll workers, in violation of California guidelines, prior to the very close and very important election.

He's called for an explanation from Schwarzenegger and wonders if Sen. Barbara Boxer has yet rung in on this (she hasn't, as far as we know --- though we have heard that there's been quite a bit of buzz today "inside" the DNC on the whole matter...More on that later if we're able to get confirmable, and therefore publishable, specifics.)

You can listen to the Schultz segment in full (about 13 minutes) here:

-- Brad discussing Busby/Bilbray on The Ed Schultz Show [MP3]...

P.S. Lou Dobbs just covered the issue of Electronic Vote Fraud concerns for the 6th straight day. We'll try and get up the video, or at least a transcript of today's report later tonight.

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Emery County's Bruce Funk is Stunned by San Diego County Procedures Allowing Diebold Voting Machines to be Sent Home with Poll Workers Prior to last Tuesday's Special Run-off Election for the U.S. House
23-Year County Clerk Who Allowed a Security Analysis Uncovering the Most Alarming Diebold Vulnerability to Date Sends a Letter to The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2006 1:32pm PT  

Bruce Funk, the 23-year Emery County, Utah county clerk who allowed computer security experts Harris Hursti and Security Innovation to examine the Diebold AccuVote TSx voting systems forced on him by the state last March --- which led to the discovery of a massive security vulnerability in all Diebold touch-screen systems, as originally broken by The BRAD BLOG, and subsequently followed up by New York Times, NEWSWEEK, NPR and many other MSM outlets --- writes in with his concerns about the results of last week's special election in San Diego between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray to replace Randy "Duke" Cunningham in CA's 50th U.S. House congressional district.

(All of our reports on that race, so far, in which San Diego county blatantly defied the CA Sec. of State's own security mitigation requirements, not to mention common sense, by sending the voting machines home with poll workers days and weeks prior to the election can be read here.)

As reported recently by the Salt Lake Tribune, since allowing the security examination in Utah, Funk has been pushed out of his job by state officials, in apparent collusion with Diebold officials. (My radio interview with Funk about all of this, from my recent Guest Host stint on the Peter B. Collins Show, is here.)

In the letter on the Busby/Bilbray matter, Funk writes...

Brad,

After reading your articles on the Busby/Bilbray Election, I am in shock! The security vulnerabilities I know to be associated with the Diebold touch screen voting machine would makes this unimaginable. Utah (and Diebold themselves) accused me that by my allowing Black Box Voting security expert Harri Hursti having access to two machines in Emery County that I had jeopardized the elections for the entire state of Utah. The analysis was all, of course, supervised and video taped to document anything done by Mr. Hursti.

You just don't let these machines go outside established security procedures. Inappropriate access [to the Diebold touch-screen systems] for example; loading on a macro program can happen within minutes and will go undetected on the machine. You can access the machines as I recall even if the front doors are sealed. These security seals, that they talk about as the answer, will probably be taken off by these same poll workers and so who will even notice?

I would worry at every stage of the deployment of the machines even by those who might transport or set them up at polling locations.

I believe that people need to keep the security issues of these machines on the front burner and talk it up with everyone. My worry is that when we as people give up and get tired of the fight, then they have won. Corporate America needs to come clean about the vulnerabilities, clean them up, and let an independent group verify it. If these machines are so great why didn't they use them in the Iraq Elections?

I just can't believe San Diego would permit such a thing in such an important election. Or any election for that matter!

Bruce

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By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2006 5:57pm PT  

While I'm catching up and sifting through much incoming info on the already-tainted results of Tuesday's Busby/Bilbray special election for the U.S. House (CA-50), (BRAD BLOG coverage here, here, here and here, so far), Loyola University Professor/Ph.D. Ron Baiman has some analysis of numbers from Tuesday which he describes as something that "smells fishy in San Diego".

(UPDATE: I'd also like to point you to this comment by Jody Holder, in re: the security issues and requirements for Diebold machines as issued by CA's Sec. of State McPherson recently, and the apparent disregard and failure to properly implement those already-less-than-sufficient requirements. Holder, btw, is one of the plaintiffs in the recently filed suit against the state to stop the use and purchase of Diebold touch-screen systems in California. He's also an incredibly good researcher and analyst of this stuff.)

Also, please note the reported margin seems to be widening between Busby and Bilbray as absentee and provisionals are reportedly being counted, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters website. The intially reported 4,700 votes on Election Night has grown to some 6,100 votes at this hour.

Given Busby's concerted campaign, prior to the election, to encourage folks to vote by Absentee Ballot --- as the good Thom Hartmann was kind enough to tip me off to --- the increasing spread in the margin as absentees are tallied is certainly worth watching closely. Particularly with the odd absentee numbers reported that we covered last night.

I suppose prudence demands that I point out, yet again, that I've yet to report any of evidence of fraud in this race (at this time.) Nor have I said that Busby won the race, or that Bilbray --- or anybody --- stole the election.

I have, however, reported the irrefutable fact that the world's most easily-tamperable voting machines (Diebold's) were irreparably tainted by being sent home with poll workers days and weeks prior to the election, in violation of several clear warnings issued by CA's own Sec. of State, Bruce McPherson and the computer scientists at UC Berkeley that he commissioned to independently analyze the scores of known and now-admitted-by-Diebold vulnerabilities in their optical-scan and touch-screen voting systems.

That fact --- in and of itself --- is reason for a complete loss of confidence in the so-far reported results which are based on optically-scanned ballots and touch-screen machine-reported numbers and thus calls for a complete hand count of the paper ballots and "paper trails" before any credence should be given to the reported totals in such a close election with so many national ramifications.

It bears repeating to those who don't get this: The San Diego County Registrar of Voters office is paid with your tax dollars (yes, your federal tax dollars) to run an accurate election. The burden of proof that they have done so, and that the election results are accurate and verifiable lies with them. So far, they have offered no such evidence.

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By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2006 1:36pm PT  

One might have thought that Ohio's blatantly partisan state election administrator, Republican Sec. of State and now-gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell would have hit his ethical rock-bottom long ago. But think again...

COLUMBUS (AP) --- Forty-nine of the 85 people who this year have given Ohio secretary of state Kenneth Blackwell the maximum $10,000 allowed an individual donor have done so since May 2. Members of Cincinnati financier Carl Lindner's family led the way by combining for $90,000. The maximum-donor list also includes Mitch Given, who is a registered lobbyist for Diebold Election Systems, one of the vendors of voting machines for election boards in Ohio.

In related recent news concerning the morally and ethically bankrupt Blackwell:

  • Yesterday he refused to recuse himself from administering his own election against Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland in November's upcoming gubernatorial race.
  • A month or two ago it was revealed that he had purchased stock in Diebold around the time he was deciding which voting systems would be used in Ohio (suprise, Diebold was one of the winning bidders!)
  • We'd list more, but we'd hate to crash your system with the impossibly long download of crimes that Blackwell has committed against the very voters that he was elected to serve.

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    [UPDATED 6/13/06: Registrar Office Claims Election Night Absentee Numbers Were Wrong...By some 30,000]
    By Brad Friedman on 6/9/2006 3:59pm PT  

    I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for this. There always is.

    As ever, it underscores the need for verifiable elections, and begins to remind us that the folks who give a damn about this down there in San Diego County better damned well be keeping an eye on the chain of custody for those paper ballots and "paper trails" as they are being theoretically "counted" by the SD County Registrar of Voters.

    According to this web page from the SD County's Registrar of Voters office, as of 5pm last night, the number of uncounted absentee and provisional ballots in the entire county of SD has decreased by 2,000 from the reported 68,500 that were announced as "still to be counted" on election night.

    The number of votes in the now-questionable Busby/Bilbray U.S. House (CA-50) special election, however, has been increased by 8,000 votes.

    Since the number of votes in the CA-50 race is a smaller subset of the total votes within SD County, one would think that if 2,000 absentee or provisionals were counted for the entire county, the number of votes in CA-50 might go up by a fraction of that number. Instead, they've gone up by 8,000, according to the county's website!

    So far, I've been unable to get any comments from "quotable sources" at the Registrar's office on the reported updates. Very few in the office, apparently, are allowed to speak on record to the press for some reason.

    As mentioned, no doubt there's a perfectly good explanation for all of this. Right? It's just that you and I may never know it. And, if we do, the election officials will likely never have to prove that their explanation --- or the veracity of their reported vote counts --- is valid. To anybody.

    UPDATE 6/13/06: On Thursday afternoon, Cathy Glaser of the SD County Registrars office says she sent out the following notice on the heels of the above report. She's only just sent it to us today:

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Glaser, Cathy
    Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2006 5:50 PM
    Subject: Election Results - Add on count

    An add-on count was completed at 5 p.m. Thursday and posted to our website: www.sdvote.com
    On the final report from election night, we estimated there were approx. 68,500 ballots left to be counted. That estimate was not accurate. It should have said approx. 95,000 left to be counted.

    So - there were approx. 28,000 ballots added to the count today, and we are now estimating that approx. 66,500 remain.

    More ballots will be added Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. - and then again Monday afternoon at 5 p.m.

    Cathy Glaser
    Campaign Services
    San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office

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    By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2006 8:54pm PT  

    Given what we know about Diebold voting machines (both optical-scan and touch-screen), several folks have written to ask: "Are you sure they actually allowed poll workers to take these machines home with them" prior to the Busby/Bilbray U.S. House special election in CA-50th?

    Yes. I'm sure. And yes, I confirmed it with someone in the media office at the San Diego County Registrar of Voting before I wrote my initial story on all of this. She asked me to keep her name off record, and so I'm doing so. Feel free to call and ask them yourself however: (858) 565-5800.

    While you're talking to them (politely), ask how they intend to prove that the results of the Busby/Bilbray special election are accurate now that the chain of custody for the electronic voting machines --- which have been shown to be exceedingly prone to easy, passwordless tampering --- has been corrupted by sending them home for days and weeks at a time with voluneer poll workers. Also ask them how many absentee and provisional ballots there are in the race. Feel free to report your answers in comments here. If you can get any.

    To help confirm the sleepovers of the easily hackable Diebold machines, here's a clip or two from a couple of emails I've received on all of this since posting my original story and this morning's follow up:

    I volunteered to be a poll worker in the 49th. I took a short course on Sunday morning, loaded up the machine, and had it Sunday and all day and night Monday. I couldn't believe it! Folks, get in the polling places to watch for funny business.

    Terry Olson

    Enjoyed reading the Busby/Bilbray article on BradBlog and the questionable election equipment used, since I was working the election as an Assistant Precinct Inspector - Equipment. This is the person responsible for setting up and tearing down the Diebold Touch Screen Voting Stations. I understand that all but 7 CA counties will be using these systems as their main way of voting in November! I don't trust them, and the team that I trained with a week before the election didn't trust them either.

    BTW, since I was trained a WEEK before the election, that means I got my two voting stations, 2 printers and cardboard privacy screen right after my training. All this equipment was sitting in my garage for nearly a week, but it was a rule that you couldn't leave the equipment at the poll site if you set up the night before. My neighbors were quite surprised when I showed them one of the touch screen systems from my garage. My Mom was also very surprised that the registrar of voters allowed us to take election equipment home with us.
    ...
    Brian C Baer

    And this from Pamela Smith, the Nationwide Coordinator for VerifiedVoting.org and Verified Voting Foundation, who's in San Diego County...

    Yes, the machines had sleepovers. I was interviewed on our local news station about it prior to the election.

    The procedure is that certain pollworkers are assigned equipment to take home with them upon receiving their training. They then bring it to the polling place on election morning early, and set up. Depending when they have training the machines could be at their homes for more than a week or two.
    ...
    Best,
    Pam

    Pamela Smith, Nationwide Coordinator
    VerifiedVoting.org and Verified Voting Foundation

    UPDATE 6/9/06: I just noticed the following comment left on one of my original Busby/Bilbray article, from reader Patti Newton, who reports she had a similar experience as a San Diego County poll worker in Busby's district. Here's part of it:

    I was an assistant precinct inspector in charge of equipment during this eleciton (I'm in the 50th). I had my two Diebold machines for seven full days before the election (I was dumbfounded). The chain of custody is abysmal. There is a seal on the machines (which are locked) but I am the one who sets up/breaks down the equipment and breaks the seal at the end of the day. The machines were reserved specifically for disabled voters but could have been used if a voter insisted on using it instead of the scanner. I registered zero votes and assume most if not all of the 1,646 precincts in the county had very little use but don't know for sure. I had no key to unlock the memory card but if I were motivated and had "friends" of like mind it would have been extremely easy.

    The November election will use only the touchscreen machines (the scanners will not be used at all). I will encourage voters to look at the paper and make sure their votes are registered properly there but still, what's the guarantee?

    I attended a breakfast with Francine and she said if the vote was close she would demand a recount. I'll follow your advice and give her office a call.

    UPDATE: 6/9/06: New numbers reported from San Diego county...

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    AP, ABC, et al Run Unverifiable Reports on Results of Tuesday's Special Election
    There is NO BASIS for Confidence in the Reported Election Results. Period.
    By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2006 12:27pm PT  

    ABC News is featuring this AP story on their website:

    Republican Wins Bellwether House Race

    Ex-GOP Congressman Wins California Race for Scandal-Rocked House Seat As 8 States Hold Votes

    By ROBERT TANNER - The Associated Press

    - A former Republican congressman narrowly beat his Democratic rival early Wednesday for the right to fill the House seat once held by jailed Randy "Duke" Cunningham, a race closely watched as a possible early barometer of next fall's vote.

    Republican Brian Bilbray emerged victorious after a costly and contentious special election race against Democrat Francine Busby, a local school board member who ran against Cunningham in 2004.

    Okay, AP. Prove it. I dare you. You can't.

    Not without a 100% manual, hand-count of all the optically-scanned paper ballots and touch-screen "paper trails" from Tuesday's CA 50th Congressional district race for the U.S. House of representatives. And even then, depending on the margin of difference after the op-scan ballots are hand-counted, you will be unable to prove that the race was decided correctly if it should turn out the number of votes cast on touch-screen machines was more than the margin of difference after the op-scan ballots are actually counted (by hand!)

    The deafening, dumbstruck silence after I posted my article yesterday, headlined 'Results of Close Busby/Bilbray U.S. House Special Election in Doubt!,' is deafening.

    Yes, I know the headline is unsettling. As are the implications of the piece. I will hope, however, that most of you who know what I report at The BRAD BLOG also know that what I report, I source with independently verifiable information. So you don't need to trust me. And you shouldn't. No more than you should trust the words of San Diego County's Registrar of Voters.

    The arguments presented in yesterday's article are airtight. The have been vetted by a number of election experts and computer scientists. So far, not a single human being has presented me with a flaw in my logic or contentions.

    Mind you, I have never reported that any election was "stolen." Not even the 2000 Presidential (which wasn't stolen, as much as given away by the Supreme Court), nor the 2004 Presidential Election, which evidence shows would most likely have gone to Kerry had the votes actually been counted. But I have never claimed that election was "stolen" either, because we simply do not know. Until there is evidence, I do not report it as such.

    I am not saying, in my article yesterday, that the Busby/Bilbray election was "stolen" either.

    Nor have I charged there has been any fraud. This is (for now) about confidence in verifiable results in an American election. So far, there is no basis to have any.

    Nor am I one of those who believes that legitimate elections can only be carried out on 100% hand-counted paper ballots.

    This one, however, given the specific machines in use, which have been proven to be easilly tamperable and hackable, without a trace being left behind, (and admitted as such by even the company who makes them!) is a different matter. Add to that, security measures were completely compromised by sending the machines home with poll workers, in some cases, for weeks at a time, prior to the election and we've got a no confidence case on our hands.

    The burden is now on elections officials --- who we pay to run accurate elections --- to prove the race was counted accurately. Let's see them do it.

    I do not champion, nor traffic in, "conspiracy theories," as those of you who know my work likely already understand. What I reported in yesterday's story was not editorial or "conspiracy theory," but plain scientific fact, resting on an enormous body of peer-reviewed, undisputed, scientific evidence. The contention offered in the piece then is summarized thusly --- presuming the integrity of the chain of custody for the paper ballots and the "paper trails" is still demonstrably secured:

    Unless every optically-scanned ballot is counted by hand --- and only if the resultant margin after that count is larger than the number of votes cast on the touch-screen systems --- can there be any confidence that the results of the U.S. House race for CA's 50th congressional district are accurate.

    I challenge anybody to prove otherwise. Anybody. It cannot be done.

    I welcome any and all questions about the logic or accuracy of my contentions. So far, I have received none.

    If, after reading yesterday's article in full --- and asking any questions of me concerning the logic or evidence (I will try to keep an eye on comments left here) --- you still do not understand what's going on here, and what's at stake in your elections, then you are simply heading into November while whistling past democracy's graveyard.

    That goes for you, AP. (And ABC, since you're running the article on your site and yet have failed to run extremely important stories on American election integrity issues which, unlike AP's story, are demonstrably provable and feature actual evidence.)

    Do you both, AP and ABC, stand behind this report? If so, I dare you to prove the contentions made in your article are backed up with any verifiable evidence. You can't. And you won't. The contentions made in my article, however, certainly are. I feel it's my responsibility to be sure of that when I file a report. Why don't you?

    Elections should be verifiable and provable. This one, at least as of now, is most decidely not.

    UPDATE: SD County Poll workers write in about voting machine sleepovers...

    UPDATE: 6/9/06: New numbers reported from San Diego county...

    ReddIt this story!



    Race to Replace Randy 'Duke' Cunningham in San Diego Was Run on Hackable Diebold Voting Machines, Kept Unsecured at Poll Worker Houses Overnight Before the Election!
    By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2006 1:57pm PT  

    To be clear, at this hour, we have no evidence to show that Democrat Francine Busby --- running in yesterday's special run-off election in San Diego against Republican Brian Bilbray to replace the disgraced Republican Randy "Duke" Cunningham for the U.S. House (CA-50) race --- actually won it.

    Neither do we have evidence to believe that Bilbray actually won it.

    We do, however, have copious and documented evidence to suggest there is no reason in the world to have any faith that Bilbray won the race.

    The fact that the thin margin between the two at this hour (with "100% of the votes counted", according to the CA Sec. of State's website) is a mere 4,732 votes --- in a race where 125,882 votes were reportedly cast in a county with more than 355,000 voters registered --- is not even the largest question. Neither is the so-far unclear question of how the race will be affected by the 68,500 absentee and provisional ballots still to be counted in San Diego County according to the SD Registrar of Voters website at this hour.

    The biggest concern about the race, by far, is that San Diego County uses two types of Diebold voting systems --- optical-scan and touch-screen --- both of which have not only proven to be disastrously unreliable in San Diego County and California in the past, but have also been demonstrated over the last six months to feature dozens of exceedingly well-documented and remarkable security vulnerabilities, making them extremely accessible to tampering. Especially if anyone has unsupervised physical access for more than a minute or two with them.

    The voting machines used in Tuesday's election were sent home with volunteer poll workers the night before the election, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office today. As well, The BRAD BLOG has received reports that in some cases, poll workers may have had the machines alone at their houses, unsupervised, for a week or even two prior to Tuesday's election....

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

    ReddIt this story!



    [UPDATING THROUGHOUT THE DAY]
    By Brad Friedman on 6/6/2006 1:31pm PT  

    Just some of the problems already brewing today in just two of the states, of eight, holding primary elections today. With a reminder that most problems such as these don't begin to show up until later in the evening, and even more so in the days following the elections...We'll update this item as appropriate and as time allows throughout the day...

    In California...

  • Kern County - Malfunctioning cards delayed poll voting Tuesday morning (Diebold)
    "A procedure that no one told us about needs to be done," [Chief Deputy Registrar] Brockman said. "It's a widespread problem in the county." ... "We're asking people not to vote for a couple hours," she said..."It's a nighmare I never wanted to handle"
  • Kern County ? Elections Snarl Delays Voting (Diebold)
  • Kern County - Voting problems (Diebold)
  • Orange County - Machine Malfunctions - broken voting machines prompt voter complaints (Hart InterCivic)
  • Los Angeles County ? Diebold Voting Machine Scandal Hits L.A. County
  • San Joaquin County ? Early voting problems in S.J. (8:05 a.m.) (Diebold)
    "People were sent away without casting their ballots in Stockton, Lodi and Morada..."

    NOTE: San Joaquin is registrar Debra Hench's county. She has been amongst the most vociferous supporters of Diebold, and deniers of their problems, despite witnessing so many before her very eyes. As expected, she takes the Diebold company line in the article above, by attempting to blame poll workers for problems with her machines. New info also suggests that she's been closely involved, personally, with a team of Diebold disinformation experts. More on that to come soon.

  • Contra Costa County ? Few flock to polls by midday (AutoMark machines not working)
  • In Mississippi...

  • Voting machines not working in Leflore, Jackson counties; other problems reported statewide (Diebold)
  • "Problems with Mississippi's rollout of touchscreen voting machines are surfacing across the state...'We found out about an hour into the process that these machines were programmed incorrectly,' he said. 'I don't know what happened.'"

  • Leflore County ? Paper ballots required at precinct on Claiborne Avenue (Diebold)
  • Leflore County ? Machine woes plague polling sites (Diebold)

    NOTE: Remember, MS Sec. of State Clark is on record --- via video here --- telling Election Integrity advocates, during a public meeting with a Diebold rep that their machines are "the most secure thing outside of a Wells-Fargo truck." Will he eat those words tonight?

  • (Thanks to John Gideon for the early heads-up! More tonight in his 'Daily Voting News', of course.)

    ReddIt this story!



    California Primary Election Eve Complaint, Filed Within the Hour in LA Superior Court Claims E-Voting Tabulators Placed in Room with Internet Access, in Close Proximity to Uncertified Tabulator Software
    Complaint Filed by Plaintiffs Cindy Asner and Peace & Freedom Party Chair, Declaration Filed by Green Party Election Inspector, Several Troubling Details Alleged...ALSO: Voter Given Wrong Ballot in Winograd Race on Diebold Touch-Screen Early Voting Machine...
    By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2006 4:04pm PT  


    UPDATE 6:56pm PT: Judge Denies Injunction! Suit Dismissed! Details follow in an update following our original coverage...

    A last-minute Election Eve compaint has been filed in a Los Angeles courtroom within the hour calling on LA County's registrar of voters, Conny B. McCormack to immediately remove Diebold elecronic voting machine tabulators, said to have illegal access to the Internet as well as uncertified tabulation software, from counting rooms at the county's main facility in Norwalk, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

    The plaintiffs in the case are Cindy Asner and Cynthia Henderson, LA County Chair of the Peace and Freedom Party.

    The emergency filing, being heard at this hour, is based on an affidavit filed today by Green Party election system inspector, John Wenger, a PhD and retired software engineer from Northrup Grumman who has been tracking LA County's use of electronic voting machines over the past month along with several other inspectors from both the Green and Democratic parties. The BRAD BLOG spoken at length with Wenger over the weekend, and has reviewed a draft version of his declaration being filed with the suit. (The final version of Wenger's declaration is now posted at the end of this article.)

    Los Angeles county is the largest voting area in California. The state is holding its Primary Election tomorrow. Touch-screen Diebold voting machines --- now shown to be hackable and highly vulnerable to malicious tampering at both the point of the voting machine itself and its central tabulator software --- are used for early voting only in LA County. Though early voting in LA began several weeks ago and ended last Friday, tabulation of votes cast during that period will not begin until the polls close on Tuesday evening at 8pm PT.

    The race is an important one to Election Integrity advocates since state senator Debra Bowen is running in a primary race in hopes of winning the Democratic nomination to take on Republican CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson who has been a supporter of vulnerable electronic voting machines, including Diebold's, in the state. As well, the LA County Registrar of voters, Conny B. McCormack has been a long-time supporter of Diebold and their election equipment and has even been featured, via photograph and endorsement, on promotional brochures distributed by the controversial Ohio company. (See graphic below.)

    This year's primary is also being closely watched due to a Democratic primary challenge by anti-war candidate Marcy Winograd against powerful pro-war Democratic U.S. House Representative Jane Harman in the state's 36th U.S. Congressional district.

    Further, another troubling detail about Diebold's touch-screen systems in the county was revealed on Friday of last week when The BRAD BLOG received an email indicating that one voter at least --- Michael Shure, a political commentator on Sirius Sattelite's The Young Turks radio program --- who voted on the Diebold touch-screen machines was given the incorrect ballot.

    Shure, who lives in CA's 36th congressional district noted that his touch-screen ballot gave him the option to vote for Rep. Henry Waxman, who is running unopposed in his U.S. Congressional primary, instead of the Winograd/Harman race which should have been on his ballot.

    "Unbelievable," Shure wrote in his email. "Had I not known, as I am sure many voters don't, who my Rep. was, and what district I live in, I would have been voting for someone else."

    Indeed, Shure's experience underscores further dangers of combined precincts using elecronic touch-screen voting machines as Los Angeles offers during the early voting period when voters may go to any early voting location and cast their ballot on machines which --- supposedly --- offer them the appropriate ballot for their particular district.

    The experience has left the Winograd campaign wondering how many other voters may have missed out on the opportunity to vote in that contentious race and whether or not they may need to file a challenge to the election in order to find out.

    UPDATE 6:56pm PT: Judge Denies Injunction! Suit Dismissed! Details follow below...

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

    ReddIt this story!



    Spokesman David Bear Says Touch-Screen Machines 'Not Vulnerable', Just Require 'Redundant Enhancement'
    Flaw Described as 'Major National Security Risk', 'Only Vulnerable to Those Who Would Commit a Felony,' Says Desperate Flack...
    By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2006 2:10pm PT  

    There's an excellent article today in the Salt Lake Tribune concerning Emery County, Utah's 23-year elected (and now embattled) county clerk, Bruce Funk. Funk allowed computer security experts to examine his new Diebold touch-screen voting systems, resulting in the discovery of an enormous security flaw that would allow anybody with a bare minimum access to the machines to completely change the election software, the operating system, and even the computer firmware in a matter of minutes --- and with no password necessary!

    We broke the early details on this story several weeks ago. States around the country have been scrambling to figure out how to deal with this huge security flaw ever since (as it effects every Diebold touch-screen machine in every state in the country, and access to one, can effect all the others in the same precint and/or county). States other than Utah, anyway, whose officials are attempting to push Funk out of his job and are claiming that everything is just fine with their hackable Diebold touch-screen voting systems. Nothing to worry about here.

    Read the article. It's very good. But I'm pulling it out, just so that I can give you another taste of Diebold's sad spokesman, David Bear's latest --- and perhaps most pathetically ridiculous --- statement to date on this thing...

    Diebold spokesman David Bear says the so-called security hole is really a "functionality" that allows the software to be efficiently updated. What critics call a fix, Bear prefers to call a "redundant enhancement." "Keep in mind, this is not a vulnerability," Bear says. "[Election officials] are just asking for an enhancement to the existing system." The machines are already well-protected through standard procedures, including integrity tests, seals and, of course, honest elections officials, Bear says.

    "It's only a vulnerability to those who would commit a felony [tampering with an election]," he says.

    And why would anyone, with millions and billions of dollars at stake in each and every one of these elections ever have any interest in committing such a felony? Good lord.

    Bear's classic 'Orwellian/Bushian Doublespeak' concerning a "redundant enhancement" is one for the hall of fame. Keep slingin' it, Dave!

    ReddIt this story!



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