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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, December 19, 2014
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
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The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
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...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
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
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

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
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

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
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Begins Petition Drive for Manual Hand Count of Paper Ballots and 'Paper Trails'!
By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2006 7:30am PT  

VelvetRevolution.us declares 'No Confidence' in the reported results of the Busby/Bilbray Election. Here's why.

Sign the VR petition demanding a manual hand count of paper ballots and paper trails to assure the election was tabulated correctly even though it was carried out on uncertified Diebold voting machines in contravention of state and federal law.

Election reform starts here. It's up to you now to spread the word!

(DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VelvetRevolution.us)

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On California Elections Officials: 'Democracy is in the Hands of People Who Regard it as More Trouble Than It’s Worth'
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2006 5:59pm PT  

Tribune Media Services columnist, Robert Koehler, has declared 'No Confidence' in the recent Busby/Bilbray special U.S. House election about which we've been reporting extensively on here at The BRAD BLOG over the past week.

In his latest column, online today, in papers tomorrow, Koehler discusses "democracy extremists" such as yours truly (who he refers to as "democracy maven Brad Friedman" so how could we not like him?) and the mess of an election held last week in San Diego where the world's most hackable voting machines --- Diebold's --- were sent home for overnight with poll workers in the weeks preceding the election.

The sleepovers, Koehler confirms, are in direct violation of the CA Sec. of State, Bruce McPherson's own recent security mitigation procedures for use of Diebold systems, apparently violating their certification for use in last week's election, as we reported in detail earlier today.

Koehler's as appalled as we are and writes in his tremendous column (please read the whole thing!):

A spokesman at [San Diego County Registrar Mikel] Haas’ office subsequently confirmed the “sleepover” (as Friedman put it). And another spokesman, at McPherson’s office, who took the better part of two days to return my calls, refused to answer a simple, point-blank question: Were chain-of-custody requirements violated in San Diego County? Instead, she e-mailed me a copy of the secretary of state’s certification process, which seemed to confirm that indeed they were. Further calls to McPherson’s office have not been returned.
...
I don’t know whether the secretary of state’s allegiance is to partisan politics or just a quick count. But like others who have looked on appalled at the procedural sloppiness of this election, I have no confidence in Bilbray’s 4,732-vote “victory” over Busby. Worse, I fear that democracy in the electronic era is in the hands of people who regard it as more trouble than it’s worth.
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San Diego County Registrar Admits to Security Lapses Which Would Nullify Legal Use of Systems According to Both State and Federal Requirements, Provisions!
Registrar of Voters Not Concerned, Says Poll Workers would 'have to want to commit a felony, which knocks out most of our poll workers'
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2006 3:11pm PT  

The electronic Diebold voting systems used in the special run-off election last week for California's 50th U.S. House district were effectively 'decertified' and invalidated for use in the election after massive security breaches in the storage of those systems were sanctioned by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, The BRAD BLOG can now conclude.

Based on the review of several different very specific state and federal requirements, laws and provisions, the unsecured overnight storage of Diebold voting machines and their memory cards in poll workers houses, cars and garages in the days and weeks prior to the closely watched election between Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Francine Busby violated several federal and state provisions which, if not followed, would revoke the certification of use for the voting systems in any California election.

In the wake of discussions yesterday with SD County Registrar Mikel Haas, who admitted to The BRAD BLOG that storage in poll workers' cars could not be considered secure, it has now become clear that several violations of certified provisions of use for Diebold voting machines --- which have been found and confirmed in the past several months to be highly tamperable by dozens of methods and by the company's own admissions --- occurred in last week's race...

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

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By John Gideon on 6/14/2006 9:11am PT  

The map at left shows recent ballot programming flaws across the country. (Click it for details). It is by no means indicative of all flaws. Just the ones we know about. So far.

These are just some of the places where there may be failures in Nov. 2006. How can companies that can't program a couple state's machines for a primary election do 20 to 40 states all at the same time?

Trainwreck ahead. Don't say we didn't warn you.

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Says Sending Hackable Diebold Voting Machines Home With Pollworkers an 'Egregious Violation of Chain-of-Custody Precautions'
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2006 6:45am PT  

Warren Stewart, Director of Legislative Issues and Policy for VoteTrustUSA calls the Busby/Bilbray election into doubt in his article yesterday, headlined, "Vendor Failures and Lax Security Procedures Call Election Results Into Question In States Across The Country":

...In the most closely-watched election in the nation last week – the special election to fill Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunnigham’s vacant US House seat representing California’s 50th District – volunteer pollworkers were allowed to take Diebold voting machines home as much as two weeks before the election. That’s right – in spite of new "security procedures" issued by Secretary of State Bruce McPherson when he “conditionally” re-certified Diebold’s equipment for use in the state, these machines had “sleepovers” in pollworkers’ garages. Given this egregious violation of chain-of-custody precautions, its no wonder that the accuracy of the election has been called into question.

The fact that the official results are “plausible” in California’s special election is beside the point. In fact, if the corrupted results had been “plausible” in Pottawattamie County, there would have been no scrutiny and losing candidates would have been elected. After a publicly observed hand count of the ballots, voters can be reasonably confident in the results of elections in Pottawattmie County. Without a similar hand count of the California special election, voters have no reason to believe the official results are accurate.

Election officials should be held accountable for the voting technology they have advocated.
...
Having used millions in taxpayer dollars to buy unverifiable, error-prone equipment to count the votes in our elections from their friends at ES&S, Diebold, Sequoia, and Hart Intercivic, the burden is on the election officials to prove that those votes were counted correctly.

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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

    ReddIt this story!



    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...

    ReddIt this story!



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