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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, November 26, 2015
'Green News Report' 11/24/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Carbon tax coming to Alberta tar sands; Obama: Paris conf must proceed; Senate Repubs to monkeywrench int'l agreement; PLUS: FDA okays GMO salmon for humans...
Previous GNRs: 11/19/15 - 11/17/15 - Archives...
Sunday 'This Means War' Toons
PDiddie's must-see collection of the past shameful week's best -- and most dead-on and occassionally horrifying -- toons...
ISIS Wins in US House; Plus: TPP, NAFTA and the Return of KXL?: 'BradCast' 11/19/15
With guest David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times, The Intercept, et al...
'Green News Report' 11/19/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
House GOP's war against climate scientists; October 2015 was hottest on record; Fossil fuel subsidies at $500B/year; UK phases out coal; PLUS: Canada kills another tar sands pipeline...
Previous GNRs: 11/17/15 - 11/12/15 - Archives...
Home of the Brave:
'BradCast' 11/18/15
GOP Governors and Presidential candidates help ISIS dreams come true by turning against refugees from war-torn Syria, as some Americans follow their lead by turning against fellow citizens after the Paris attacks...
How NOT to Respond to the Paris Terror Attacks: 'BradCast' 11/17/15
Anti-war author David Swanson on how we got here, how the media and politicians continue to make it worse, and what we must do instead...
'Green News Report' 11/17/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate gets short shrift in 2nd Dem Debate; Yes, climate change is a NatSec threat; Intn'l climate talks in Paris after attacks; PLUS: NY's Cuomo vetoes major NatGas project...
Previous GNRs: 11/12/15 - 11/10/15 - Archives...
A Word About Paris; Coverage of CBS' Dem Debate in Iowa: 'BradCast' 11/16/15
Salon's Heather Digby Parton and longtime GOPer Fred Karger on the debate the DNC didn't want you to watch...
Sunday Somewhat Horrible Toons
PDiddie's round-up of a number of smart toons in the wake of the horrific terror attacks in Paris...
'Very Similar, If Not Identical': DoJ's Big Tobacco Prosecutor on Case Against ExxonMobil: 'BradCast' 11/12/15
Attorney Sharon Eubanks on RICO, conspiracy and the big lies of Big Tobacco and Big Oil...
'Green News Report' 11/12/15
2016 Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates talk climate, energy, and the path forward in GOP Debate and Dem Forum...
Decoding and Debunking Fox Biz Channel's GOP Debate: 'BradCast' 11/11/15
Smartest post-debate analysis anywhere! With journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
Impossible Results for OH Pot Measure?: 'BradCast' 11/10/15
Screenshots suggest disappearing 'Yes' votes; OH SoS offers us explanation. PLUS: Calls for KY hand-count...
'Green News Report' 11/10/15
Obama rejects KXL; Big Coal caught lying about climate change; ExxonMobil facing probe; PLUS: 2nd cyclone for Yemen & Sea World responds to critics...
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...
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...

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...

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...

The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

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...

The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

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...

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...

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...

Ensuring that nobody's vote would actually be counted, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in MA injures several supporters in her race for the phone
Democracy bravely averted; Sen. Kerry applauds...
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2010 6:50pm PT  

Several supporters of Democrat Martha Coakley were injured during her rush to get to the phone as quickly as possible in order to concede the race for the U.S. Senate in MA to Scott Brown even before AP called the race in favor of the Republican.

That, while some 25% of the precincts had yet to report even how Diebold's easily-hacked, oft-failed optical-scan machines (which are in violation of federal voting system standards and programmed by a company with a disturbing and criminal background), had even reported their tabulation and, more disturbingly, while 0% of the voters' cast ballots in Massachusetts had been counted or examined by any human being on the face of the earth.

"After months of campaigning, the Attorney General thought it was important to make sure neither her, nor her supporters voters were actually counted, so best to ensure that the Democracy Menace wouldn't rear it's ugly head right here in the Bay State," said Coakley's campaign manager Kevin Conroy.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) released a statement upon hearing the news, proclaiming he was "proud of the speed at which Martha was able to concede the race with even fewer of the votes counted by anyone --- zero in Martha's case --- than when I conceded the race for President of the United States in 2004." Kerry added that he had prepared his statement on Monday, so as to save valuable time on Election Night, since American Idol was also scheduled to be on.

* * *

And with that out of the way, please see:

  • Bev Harris' article today about how these media "calls" are actually made (hint: it ain't based on actually counting anybody's ballot);
  • The several updates to my previous report on the allegations of ballots pre-marked for Brown said to have been given to voters in "at least" three different jurisdictions;
  • My fully ignored tweet urging all candidates to NOT concede until the voters votes were actually counted, and;
  • If you missed it, my article at the right-leaning Gouverneur Times on the outrage of ceding our American democracy, and the U.S. Senate seat from MA, to private, unaccountable companies like Diebold and LHS Associates.
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Election experts file public records requests; Pre-marked ballots reported in two 'at least' THREE towns...
By Brad Friedman on 1/19/2010 12:22pm PT  

[UPDATED SEVERAL TIMES with more info on the curious/disturbing issue of ballots reported as being handed out as pre-marked for Scott Brown. Allegations now of five different reports from "at least" three different jurisdictions. See bottom of article for continuing updates...]

Haven't heard too much from on the ground in Massachusetts this morning yet (happily), but that's not much of a surprise. The real questions come later, as we will all wonder whether or not the "results," whatever they are, as reported by Diebold and never counted by actual humans, have anything to do with the way voters actually voted.

In the meantime today, a group of election integrity experts, after having posted an "Orange Alert" yesterday about the serious e-voting concerns in today's election, have sent an open letter to Sec. of State Bill Galvin, along with a public records request [PDF], calling for the retention of all election materials, such as voted, spoiled, and unvoted ballots, as well as all of the easily-tampered-with memory cards and electronic databases, etc., to ensure they are all secured and available for inspection by the public after the close of polls.

Election integrity advocates Susan Pynchon, Shelia Parks, and John Brakey also put the entire sorry matter in stark terms, demonstrating how simple this all could have been in a very short piece at OpEd News asking why MA didn't simply just determine to count the ballots, by hand, in front of everyone at the polling place, especially given that it was a single race on the ballot with just three people on it...

Regardless of who wins, the opposing party will be flinging accusations of machine failures, uncounted votes, and fraud. There is only one race on this ballot. It would be easy to divide the ballots in each precinct into three separate piles and simply count the number of votes received by each candidate.

This is not going to happen, however. A simple measure --- hand-counting the votes as a check on the machines on election night, before there are questions about chain-of-custody of the ballots --- will not be done. The second question one has to ask is, "Why not?"

As to the ballots themselves, Greg Sargent at The Plum Line reports an odd situation: Two different voters, from two different towns, have both informed him that they were handed ballots that had Scott Brown's bubble already inked in when they went to vote. Here's the report from the second voter Sargent heard from...

A second voter — Julia Volynskaya, a 34-year-old social worker from Brighton — is now reporting the same experience.

“I was handed a ballot and when I went to fill it out I saw that the bubble next to Brown’s name was already filled in,” Volynskaya, who voted today in Brighton. Election workers, she added, promised her they “were going to look into how this happened.”

The two reports are too anecdotal at this point to make too much of them just yet, but it seems worth noting for the moment. May come in handy later.

[UPDATED as more reports of pre-marked ballots have come in! Please see additional follow-ups now below.]

Are you hearing, reading, seeing other points of concern today? Let us know in comments. Links are always welcome...

P.S. Have done a flurry of radio appearances to discuss all of this, last night and early early this morning. Appearances from Mike Malloy, Stephanie Miller, and Nicole Sandler's shows are now archived online if you'd like to give them a listen, right here...

P.P.S. Might I also recommend, request, that all you folks on Twitter (we can be followed here), Retweet the following as far and as loud as you can:


* * *

UPDATE 4:03pm PT: Coakley Campaign Manager Kevin Conroy issued the following "ALERT!" on the campaign website, and via email about an hour ago concerning the reports of ballots being handed to voters pre-marked for Brown, as mentioned above...

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

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[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,

The poll was conducted on Election Day by Election Defense Alliance, Protect California Ballots, and 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.'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"),, 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 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...

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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...

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