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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, December 22, 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...
Previous GNRs: 12/9/14 - 12/4/14 - Archives...
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...
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
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...


[Now updated with audio from tonight's radio appearances]
By Brad Friedman on 1/18/2010 1:35pm PT  

A quick follow up, as I'll be on the road for most of today, on the mess I warned about on Friday concerning Tuesday's Special Election for the U.S. Senate in MA, the terrible optical-scan Diebold voting machines in use there, and the company with a dubious, criminal background which sells, services and programs them:

  • Over the weekend, I was briefly interviewed by Joan Brunwasser of OpEd News and Citizens for Election Reform about it all. That interview is now published here...
  • A coalition of election integrity experts have issued an "Orange Alert" about the concerns for tomorrow's election, calling on MA Sec. of State Bill Gavin to take effective action to protect secure chain of custody for ballots, voting machines, tabulators, memory cards, unvoted ballots and all other related materials, and calling on the candidates to NOT CONCEDE until all votes are actually counted accurately and transparently.

UPDATE 1/19/10: More on early reports and other developments on Election Day, now here...

* * *

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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My full coverage is now posted at Upstate NY's Right-leaning Gouverneur Times...
By Brad Friedman on 1/15/2010 11:35am PT  

Since writing today's piece for Upstate New York's right-leaning Gouverneur Times, a new poll has come out this morning showing the Republican Scott Brown now leading the Democrat Martha Coakley by 4 points in the race for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by a Democrat named Kennedy for nearly 60 years.

As of last night, when I filed the story with them, the latest survey from a Democratic-leaning pollster showed Coakley up by 8, though a day or two earlier, Republican Rasmussen had Brown down only by 2 points.

Suffice to say it's now officially "a toss-up," at least according to the Rothenberg Political Report, and to all the Dems and Reps now sweating out what was previously thought to have been an easy Democratic win.

With the 60th "filibuster-proof" Senate seat now hanging precariously in the balance, I'm sure you'll be delighted to hear that the winner will now be whoever Diebold declares it to be. The near-entirety of the state will vote next Tuesday on paper ballots to be counted by Diebold op-scan systems. The same ones used dubiously in the New Hampshire Primary in 2008, and the same ones notoriously hacked --- resulting in a flipped mock election --- in HBO's Emmy-nominated Hacking Democracy.

And to make matters even worse, the notorious LHS Associates --- the private company with the criminal background that has admitted to illegally tampering with memory cards during elections, and which has a Director of Sales and Marketing who embarrassed himself with obscene comments here at The BRAD BLOG some years ago, resulting in his being barred from CT by their Sec. of State --- sells and services almost all of MA's voting machines along with those in the rest of New England.

Read my detailed coverage of the entire sad affair over at Gouverneur Times today. And yes, here we go again...

UPDATE 1/18/10: FOLLOW-UP: Election experts issue "Orange Alert", what you can do to help protect the election, and a bunch of my interviews on all of the above, now here...

* * *

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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'Election Verification Exit Poll' analysis show tallies of 'Marriage Equality Ban' off by 7.5%, as high as 17.7% in some L.A. precincts...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2010 4:45pm PT  

In the November 2008 election, the tabulation of votes for California's Proposition 8 --- the controversial ballot measure which resulted in the repeal of marriage equality by, for the first time, amending the state's constitution to deny the rights of Californians --- was "probably corrupted".

That's the finding of a newly released study issued by a coalition of election integrity organizations, as based on their analysis of an Election Verification Exit Poll conducted in Los Angeles on the day of the 2008 general election. "An investigation is warranted," the study concludes, into the evidence which suggests a likelihood that either "fraud or gross errors" occurred in the tabulation of that specific ballot measure.

The complete 49-page study has now been released on a new website, WasProp8Straight.org.

The poll was conducted on Election Day by Election Defense Alliance, Protect California Ballots, and ElectionIntegrity.org and was designed and researched with the help of at least one well known exit pollster, Ken Warren of St. Louis University's The Warren Poll, for the express purpose of measuring the accuracy of the reported vote count. It functioned beautifully in general, by confirming the results of most of the issues and races on the ballot. On Proposition 4, for example, which concerned a similar hot-button issue --- parental notification for abortion --- polling results and official election results matched within 2%, well within the expected margin of error.

However, for Proposition 8 only, the official results varied from the Election Verification Exit Poll by an average of 7.75% in the 19 precincts polled. In some cases, the discrepancy was as high as 17.7%. That is, of course, far outside of the margin of expected error and certainly worthy of further investigation by officials.

The creators of the poll, along with the analysts of the results and the authors of the study, seem to have gone out of their way to preempt the usual reasons for questioning and/or dismissing the methodology and findings of such polls. For example, as noted in the group's press release [emphasis added]...

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

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PLUS: A BRAD BLOG visit to Diebold, Premier, ES&S in Allen, TX...
By Brad Friedman on 1/5/2010 1:52pm PT  

The BRAD BLOG has long endeavored to fight back against the disinformation being put forward by the GOP "voter fraud" charlatans and fraudsters contending that massive fraud is being carried out by voters at the polls, requiring the institution of disenfranchising Photo ID restrictions at the polling place which would result in some 21 million Americans being unable to cast their legal votes, according to the League of Women Voters and most other serious experts on these matters.

Once again, a story out of Kentucky helps us highlight that it's election insiders, not voters themselves, who are, by far, the greatest threat to the integrity of elections.

We reported early last year on the passel of election officials in Clay County, KY, arrested for buying and selling votes, manipulating ES&S electronic voting machines without the knowledge of voters, and otherwise fixing elections from 2002 to 2006.

As their January 19 trial date nears, more motions are being filed by federal prosecutors. The latest, filed last week, alleges that two of the top officials charged --- one, a circuit court judge and the other, the county school Superintendent --- had been fixing elections for decades before their recent indictments...

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

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Anti-trust probes also said underway in 14 states...
By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2009 6:41pm PT  

On Thursday we reported that Florida's AG office was investigating the recent acquisition of Diebold's voting machine unit by its larger/largest "competitor," ES&S, for possible violations of anti-trust statutes in the state. Today, the New York Post reports that the U.S. Dept. of Justice is also actively investigating the same thing --- along with 14 states in total --- and may "file a suit to unwind the deal" next month...

The Department of Justice could vote down an already-completed merger of the two biggest makers of voting machines.

The Justice Department, Florida and 13 other states have opened investigations into the September marriage between Election Systems & Software and Diebold's Premier Election Solutions, which played a controversial role in the 2004 presidential election, according to a source with direct knowledge of the process.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is planning to hold hearings on the matter next month, the source said.

Even though the merger gave ES&S a whopping 70 percent of the voting-machine market share, the $5 million deal was too small to require government approval.

Now, the Justice Department is looking into the matter and next month could file a suit to unwind the deal, the source said.

Though the Post story seems to be based on a single, unnamed "source," they also note that "A Diebold spokesman confirmed the Ohio ATM maker was cooperating with a Justice Department investigation."

And while there are other "Justice Department investigation[s]" that Diebold is also cooperating with --- as The BRAD BLOG noted early this year, when the company's Chief Financial Officer was forced to stop down: "[Diebold has been] been facing a class-action securities fraud lawsuit from shareholders since 2005; under SEC investigation since 2006; and under DoJ investigation since 2007; and admitted overstating '07 earnings in early 2008" --- Reuters coverage of the story offers more direct confirmation of the DoJ probe of this particular matter. "Diebold spokesman Michael Jacobsen said in an email that the company was cooperating with the Justice Department review of the sale," they report tonight.

BlackBoxVoting.org's Bev Harris deserves much credit here, both for helping to get the anti-trust ball moving when the merger was first announced in September, as we reported at the time, but also for providing the DoJ a great deal of information, statistics, financial and legal analysis demonstrating the monopolistic nature of the sale, and the harm it presents to our already in-tatters system of election in the U.S.. See BBV's additional coverage here.

* * *

We realize its Christmas in a horrible economy and spare dollars are few and far between. Nonetheless, if you can afford to share a few of them with us here at year's end, your generosity will be as appreciated as it is truly needed. The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here... And thank you in advance!

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Demon coupling will result in company counting 92% of Sunshine State votes, at least 70% nation wide...
By Brad Friedman on 12/17/2009 4:05pm PT  

From the Herald/Times [emphasis added]....

TALLAHASSEE --- Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is conducting an anti-trust investigation of a voting-machine company merger that would create a near-monopoly over the levers of democracy in Florida and much of the United States.

McCollum's office has issued at least six subpoenas covering every major voting-machine company as part of a civil investigation of Election Systems & Software's $5 million acquisition of Diebold Inc.'s elections division --- a merger that would give a private company too much power over the machines used to cast votes, voting-rights groups say.

``Our office engaged in this issue because anti-competitive behavior can seriously harm consumers,'' McCollum said in a written statement. ``Competitive behavior encourages the best products be available to consumers, including technology, particularly in a market as sensitive as the voting systems market.''

Under the state's 1980 anti-trust law, McCollum could persuade a court to levy fines against ES&S or prevent the company from operating in Florida. By next year, the company is expected to be the exclusive provider of voting machines and services in 65 of the 67 counties in Florida, the nation's most important swing state.

That means, under the acquisition announced Sept. 2, ES&S will provide election services to 92 percent of Florida's 11.2 million voters.

More broadly, ES&S's purchase of the competitor company gives it control of the voting machines in nearly 70 percent of the nation's precincts, according to a federal lawsuit in Delaware filed by a rival company, Hart Intercivic. The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting its own inquiry.

ES&S, of course, told the Herald/Times that their acquisition of Diebold "will result in better products and services for all customers and voters alike." And, if you believe that, we've got an unhackable voting machine to sell you....

[Hat-tip BRAD BLOG emailer JM]

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An update to the reports of an e-voting 'virus,' and other failures, in New York's recent Special Election for the U.S. House...
By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2009 10:43am PT  

John Conklin, the Director of Public Information for New York State's Board of Elections has now issued a statement in response to the Gouverneur Times' article by Nathan Barker last week, alleging a "VIRUS in the VOTING MACHINES" [caps in original headline] which, the paper says, "tainted the results" of the recent Special Election for the U.S. House in NY's 23rd Congressional district.

We responded to Barker's detailed article ourselves over the weekend at some length, noting both the accurate and inaccurate information and assertions included in the online publication's coverage.

Conklin's response has drawn two responses in turn from the Gouverneur Times, as the right-leaning publication appears to have joined in the fight for election integrity, at least on behalf of their favored Conservative Party candidate whose apparent election loss has indeed been "tainted" by the very same concerns about which The BRAD BLOG has been warning for years. We're happy to see their new-found concerns, even as Republican partisans in political alignment with the Times have been ignoring and/or disparaging similar reports for years following elections in which Democrats have been the apparent victims of similarly failed voting systems...

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

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Audio from this morning on KPFK/Pacifica...
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2009 1:32pm PT  

I was in-studio and on-the-air this morning with a couple of my favorite cats, Rick and Doran of Digital Village, featuring the most maddeningly-catchy theme song in all of radio, on KPFK (L.A. and Santa Barbara's Pacifica station).

We talked e-voting, including "open source" secret vote-counting machines (the latest ill-considered fad sweeping the nation), Internet voting schemes (the other latest ill-considered fad) and transparently overseeable hand-counting ("Democracy's Gold Standard"), DieboldReturnOurMoney.com, the Rise of the Tea Bags, Muppets, Glenn Beck (about whom questions are being asked as to whether he raped and murdered a young girl in 1990), and much more...

Download MP3 or listen online below [appx. 28 mins]...

* * *
The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...
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Another screw-up for notorious Election Director Kathy Dent...
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2009 3:40pm PT  

On October 17th, we reported that World's Worst Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent of Sarasota, FL, had discovered in pre-election tests that her new Diebold/Premier optical-scan voting systems failed to properly read paper ballots marked with blue ink.

Her "solution": Make sure that black pens were available at polling places, and otherwise have election officials duplicate blue-inked ballots by hand (and in secret, naturally, where the voter wouldn't be able to watch).

While an attempt could be made to encourage voters to use black ink at the polling place, there was no real way to ensure that absentee voters used black ink, other than try to encourage them to do so.

So, naturally, the inimitable Ms. Dent sent out thousands of sample ballots [PDF] encouraging votes to use "a blue or black pen"...

Dent, of course, is the same disastrous Supervisor of Elections who presided over the 2006 FL-13 Congressional race in which 18,000 electronic ballots in Democratic-leaning Sarasota disappeared from the county's ES&S touch-screen systems, in a race decided in favor of the Republican by just 369 votes. Later, she actively campaigned --- by placing leaflets in the polling place! --- to keep those touch-screen machines in use, despite that failure, and despite a measure on the ballot in the same election calling for a move to paper ballots.

Since the state now requires paper ballots, Dent chose to install the newest Diebold/Premier optical-scan systems, the ones that don't read blue ink properly, despite the fact that they had not been federally tested or certified for use at the time. Florida does not require federal certification tests for voting systems before using them.

Heckuva job --- as usual --- Kathy!

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By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2009 9:05pm PT  

We're watching results as they're coming in tonight, while continuing to comb through various problem reports as they've been coming in throughout the day (the usual "hiccups" "glitches" "snags" and "snafus" reportage --- anything but the proper word for them all: "failure"!)

As we always find necessary to remind readers on such nights, the bulk of election failures tend to reveal themselves in the hours and days --- and sometimes even weeks --- after Election Day.

With that in mind, of the most potential note that we've seen so far today --- though mostly downplayed as minor "glitches" in most of the stories reporting them --- we've found reports of: Diebold touch-screen machine failure in OH's Montgomery and Greene Counties; new e-pollbooks failing in Suffolk County, NY; new Sequoia/Dominion optical-scan systems failing in St. Lawrence County, NY, and; Sequoia touch-screen failures in Essex, Somerset and Goucester Counties, NJ.

Fortunately, turnout has been light today, so the problems that have cropped up seem to have been handled by quickly replacing machines (a luxury available during slow, off-year elections when there are extra machines to go around) or in such a way that delays --- and the voter disenfranchisement that goes with them --- were minimal. At least as so far reported.

Whether any of the results tabulated in secret, with secret software, are actually accurate, well, that's anyone's guess as usual. In any case, we're monitoring, and will let ya know if there's anything you need to know about. Please feel free to let us know about anything you think we should know about in comments.

Other than that, we're just stunned that ACORN did such a terrible job, yet again, at "stealing the election" in New Jersey!

UPDATE 9:29pm PT: New Sequoia op-scan systems fail in Fulton County, NY and are impounded by court order. Emergency paper ballots are used. Fulton is part of the hotly contested NY-23 Congressional special election.

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...
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By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2009 1:13pm PT  

Congrats to New York Times for their Wednesday editorial slamming the ES&S takeover of Diebold's election division (which, if allowed by federal regulators to go through, would give a single private company sole control of some 70% of the votes in this country's once-public elections).

While the Times has editorialized on the dangers of this horrific merger in the past, as I recall, and appropriately so, the reason they are due congrats this time around is because they've managed to write an entire editorial focused on the e-voting menace without once tossing in the deceptive phrase "paperless electronic voting machines" (as if "paperless" e-voting systems are any less of a threat to our democracy than the same wholly-unverifiable voting machines which offer an entirely useless so-called "paper trail").

I believe that's a first! So, waytago NYTimes! Before you know it, they may eventually even use the phrase: "paper ballot"!

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County election director Kathy Dent's 'solution' as bad or worse than the actual problem...as usual...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2009 6:21pm PT  

The November 3rd Election Day is nearing, so naturally the words "glitch," "hiccup," "snafu," and "snag" are back in the headlines, instead of the word "failure," which would be the appropriate one to use in such cases.

Today, it's our old friends in Sarasota, under the continuing and now-legendarily failed direction of Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent and her latest failed voting system, this one an optical-scan system made by Diebold, featured in the Charlotte Sun's "Scanning glitch in vote machine test":

A handful of individuals were on hand this week at the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections office where Supervisor Kathy Dent and staff tested 16 ballot scanners that will be used in the Nov. 3 city council election.

In one test a ballot with both blue and black ink was unable to be scanned. Officials pulled that scanner from service and substituted another. It didn't work either.

The machine that didn't work --- no, it's not a "glitch," it didn't succeed in carrying out the purpose for which it was designed and purchased anymore than a car which didn't start, or whose brakes failed could be said to have a "glitch" --- was the old, failed Diebold Accuvote optical-scan system, similarly used in hundreds and hundreds of counties in dozens and dozens of other states.

The "solution" Dent ultimately settled on in response to the failure of the machines made by Diebold (now calling themselves Premier and recently purchased by their larger competitor ES&S) is as bad, and as offensive, as the original failure itself...

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

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In letter to federal Election Assistance Commission, investigators from CA's unprecedented e-vote review blast the approval of flawed protocols in certification tests for new Diebold e-voting system...
By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2009 4:25pm PT  

A group of computer scientists and security experts from California's 2007 landmark "Top-to-Bottom Review" (TTBR) of electronic voting systems have sent a two-page letter [PDF] of condemnation to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), taking the federal body to task for their approval of misused security findings from the TTBR in recent certification testing for a new e-voting system made by Diebold/Premier.

The voting system, Premier's Assure 1.2 --- made by Premier Election Solutions, Inc. (formerly named Diebold Election System, Inc. and recently purchased by Election System and Software, Inc.) --- was granted federal certification by the EAC last August under new test protocols which "should not have received the EAC's approval," according to the letter penned by Aaron Burstein and Joseph Lorenzo Hall, and signed by twelve other investigators and participants in the TTBR project.

The letter was addressed to the EAC's Director of Testing and Certification Brian Hancock, a longtime official at the commission with a disturbing background of helping to hedge test results for other electronic voting systems...

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

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CA SoS Bowen 'laments' rejection of 'common-sense election bills aimed at enhancing government transparency'
So do we. Please help demand Bowen now take corrective action on her own...
By Brad Friedman on 10/13/2009 6:20pm PT  

According to a press release from CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen [PDF] today, CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed one bill for improvement to state election law, while using his veto pen to terminate three other "common-sense elections bills ... aimed at enhancing government transparency."

The one he approved will allow emergency workers in the field, such as fire fighters battling a wild fire, to vote from wherever they may be at the time. That's good. But Bowen "laments" --- as does The BRAD BLOG --- the other ones which she supported, and which he, incredibly enough, vetoed. He said hasta la vista to three bills which would have been very helpful in adding much-needed "common-sense" checks and balances to the nearly unabated rise of the machines in our electoral system...

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

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After the laughter and concern, exceptionally kind words about our work here...
By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2009 7:35am PT  

On this coming weekend's Ring of Fire on Air America Radio, attorney/co-host Mike Papantonio can't stop laughing as he reads our headline from last week: "Georgia Supreme Court Rules Unauditable, Unverifiable Elections Are Just Fine".

Though they give me the credit, it was Rady Ananda's story here last week which expertly covered Diebold's wholly unverifiable touch-screen voting machines receiving the thumbs up for use across the entire state of Georgia, where they've been using them since 2002. That, even though there is no way to determine that any vote ever cast on any of them has ever been recorded accurately as per any voter's intent.

Once Pap stops laughing at our headline, he and David Bender discuss the article noting its even more terrifying "subtext", our previous coverage of the horrifying ES&S takeover over of Diebold's election division.

"Bad as Diebold was, it's now gonna be ES&S, their largest competitor ... ES&S may be the single voting machine company --- this one Goliath that will be unaccountable, unauditable to anybody --- and that's really where we're headed," Bender accurately warns. He advises folks to call Congress at 202-224-3121 in support of Sen. Chuck Schumer's demand for a DoJ antitrust investigation on this matter. We'll also point you to BlackBoxVoting.org who instructs how you can send your own antitrust complaint to the DoJ.

Finally, after Pap details ES&S' legendarily monumental "screw-ups" over the years (his firm was one of those who took on the state of Florida and ES&S after their voting machines simply lost 18,000 votes cast in the 2006 FL-13 U.S. House race, decided for the Republican candidate by just 369 votes), they go on to say some extraordinarily kind things about our work here at The BRAD BLOG.

My thanks to both Pap and David along with the swell Ring Of Fire producers for tipping us off with the exclusive heads-up in advance of this weekend's show --- both for their coverage of this issue, and for those exceptionally kind accolades.

Here's the 4.5 minute conversation [MP3] to air this weekend:

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with an online donation to help us keep going (Snail mail & other options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentaries in return! Details right here...
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