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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, July 31, 2014
FEC Commissioners at War Over Rove's Campaign Finance Violations
Deadlock vote, ignoring federal agencies own attorneys, leads to lawsuit and scathing attack of Dem Commissioners by GOP colleagues...
'Green News Report' 7/29/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama Admin approves sonic cannons for offshore oil exploration; Bizarre weather across U.S.; CO judge nixes fracking ban; PLUS: Neil Young wants your help in the rainforest...
Previous GNRs: 7/24/14 - 7/22/14 - Archives...
'A Kind of Propaganda War'
After U.N. denial, NBC's David Gregory apologized for use of unverified Israeli video claiming to show rockets fired from U.N. refugee shelter in Gaza where at least 15 were killed by Israel last week...
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
Record wildfires in Pacific NW; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Brownback's Dem opponent after tax cuts for wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
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
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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...


Retelling of Florida's 2000 Election Debacle Condenses 36 Days of Aborted Democracy into 2 Hours of Taut, Heartbreaking Political Suspense
...And Yet, the Lessons Continue to be Ignored...
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2008 1:05am PT  

I don't mind admitting it. For an Election Integrity journalist, HBO's Recount is pure pornography. Anticipation for Sunday's Memorial Day premiere showing was at the top of last weekend's holiday agenda. And the excitement grew still more late Friday when the good folks of PDA Florida made my week (my month? my year? my last four eight years?) by sending me an actual Palm Beach County "CES Votomatic III" voting booth, one which they tell me was among the 24 used in HBO's film itself.

Since I have a very difficult time paying the bills around here --- contrary to popular opinion, election integrity blogging isn't the windfall it might otherwise appear --- perhaps I'll consider the kind gift a reward for my too-many years on this beat. Though perhaps my consolation prize would be a better way to look at it.

When I first opened it, actual chads (HBO's film advises the plural of "chad" is actually "chad") from the 2000 election spilled out of the machine all over the office floor. The gods of democracy and the goddess of the Butterfly Ballot were taunting me. I rather enjoyed it. I learned long ago that I'd have little choice.

So it was with great anticipation that I sat down on Sunday night to watch the film as it premiered, along with the "Diebold Document Whistleblower" (and my new colleague at VelvetRevolution.us) Steven Heller and his wife, and Robert Carillo Cohen, one of the filmmakers of HBO's landmark documentary, the Emmy-nominated Hacking Democracy which enjoyed a re-airing earlier in the day, as the cable net set the stage for its newest democracy thriller/heart-breaker, Recount.

None of us, including Heller, who anticipated hating the fictionalized re-telling of America's crushing democratic abortion of 2000, would be disappointed...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2008 1:29pm PT  

Not really. But it's a damned funny headline. And it's probably accurate "enough" for the New York Times, where accuracy doesn't much matter anymore, apparently.

We'll have some of our own thoughts very soon on Recount, which we much enjoyed over the holiday weekend. Until then, our preview of the new HBO film, filed before we finally got to see it when in premiered Sunday night, is posted here.

But it's worth noting, for the moment, that the New York Times, the disgraced "Paper of Record," even today persists in misreporting the story of the 2000 Florida Election debacle. As Larry Beinhart documents today at Smirking Chimp:

"In 2001 painstaking postmortems of the Florida count, one by The New York Times and another by a consortium of newspapers, concluded that Mr. Bush would have come out slightly ahead, even if all the votes counted throughout the state had been retallied."
-- Alessandra Stanley, New York Times, May 23, 2008 in a review of the HBO television movie, Recount

That's not true.

The New York Times did not do its own recount. It did participate in a consortium. Here's what they actually said:

"If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards, and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won, by a very narrow margin."
-- Ford Fessenden And John M. Broder, New York Times, November 12, 2001

Why did Ms. Stanley make such an important and fundamental error?

It is not a trivial matter. It is a common piece of misinformation. Many, many people believe it. Now a few more do, as a result of Ms. Stanley's review.

It is not a trivial matter. Because that misinformation was created by one of the most bizarre, and still completely unexplained, journalistic events in modern times.

Here's what happened.

Read Beinhart's piece for the remarkable details in what really is one of the "most bizarre, and still completely unexplained, journalist events in modern times." Unfortunately, he doesn't include links in his coverage (please add them if you can, Larry!), but for the doubters, here's the report [PDF] showing that Al Gore did, in fact, receive more votes in Florida in 2000 than George W. Bush. That, despite the stunningly contrary headlines, as Beinhart shows, from almost every paper that reported on that complete state count. Even the papers who bothered to report --- if you read them closely enough --- that Gore received more votes than Bush, still used inexplicably misleading headlines for the story.

Given the wholly inaccurate claim, as includied in their review of Recount, it would appear that NYTimes is intent on simply ensuring the matter is inaccurately reported forever. We'll remember to keep that, and their year-long front page pre-Iraq War-mongering, in mind next time we're inevitably told by some wingnut on the radio, just how "liberal" the NYTimes is.

Also, it's with no small amount of sadness that we note the passing of legendary producer/director/actor Sydney Pollack who died on Monday at the age of 73.

Pollack had been slated to direct Recount originally, but was forced to bow out due to being diagnosed with cancer last August. He lived, at least, long enough to see Recount premiered on Sunday night on HBO. He had stayed on with the production as Executive Producer.

Given his great sense of humor, we'd like to believe he would well have appreciated the satirical headline above.

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's 2008 Election Integrity Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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You're a Great American, Thor Hearne...
By Brad Friedman on 5/12/2008 2:56pm PT  

The parade of disenfranchised and/or soon-to-be-disenfranchised elderly, nuns, U.S. veterans (even those disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan), hurricane victims, and other Democratic-leaning voters continues this week, following the recent Supreme Court decision to allow the disenfranchisement of thousands of such (previously) legal voters in Indiana.

While much of the coverage --- such as today's report by Art Levine at HuffPo --- has been intelligent and serious, the New York Times took the lazy way out in a front page story today, lending credence to the discredited GOP "voter fraud" huckster, Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, with quotes and reference to his defunct, sham organization, The American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR).

Writing about him and it, as if he were legit, and as if the ACVR were still in operation, the article's author, Ian Urbina --- who has written very good reports in the past --- didn't bother to mention the controversy surrounding Hearne and his group, that they had disappeared themselves under the glare of the U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, that they had lied on federal tax forms claiming that the group had not "attempted to influence national, state, or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum" (fraudulent tax form here), that Hearne himself has been behind every step of the systematic and dishonest scheme to get laws of this sort on the books across the country, and finally, Urbina didn't even bother to note that Hearne had been the national general counsel to Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and remains the top election lawyer for the Republican National Lawyer's Association.

It's all easy to find, of course. We've even set up a Special Coverage page at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR so folks like Urbina --- and NPR who similarly quoted Hearne as if he were legit recently --- wouldn't have to look too far.

But darn that "liberal media" again. For the record, we sought comment from Urbina, who we've been a source for in the past, and who has done good work over the years, but he declined to comment on our criticism here.

In the days immediately following the horrible SCOTUS decision, we quickly turned to our old home state of Missouri, where the huckster Hearne has been basing his well-funded voter suppression operation on behalf of the White House and the RNC for years, going back at least as far as the moment we originally outed him in 2005 just after he had created the not "non-partisan," tax-exempt front group, ACVR, and testified just days later at a Congressional hearing, led by Ohio's felonious Rep. Bob Ney. Hearne told of fraud having been committed in Ohio in 2004, but by John Kerry's campaign, after Hearne described himself to legislatures only as a "longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law."

We called on MO's Sec. of State Robin Carnahan for an exclusive interview, while we were hosting KPFK's "Special Election Year Coverage" last week (audio here), and took the opportunity to inform her, if she didn't already know, that Hearne's group lied on his federal tax form, and has, to this day, illegally failed to discose the source of his group's $1 million in start-up funding.

Our interview with Carnahan took place even as Missouri's Republican legislature was in mid-debate on the House floor about a new state Constitutional Amendment to require proof of citizenship in order to register to vote and for a similarly draconian Photo ID requirement as those approved by the SCOTUS for the polling places in the Hoosier State.

Kansas City Star reporter Dave Helling noticed our interview with Carnahan, and wrote a quick item about it, noting her characterization of these anti-voter efforts as "absurd," and alleging that she has not been quite as available to "reporters in the state"...

Appearing yesterday on the radio with well-known voting machine critic and blogger Brad Friedman, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan called the push for photo ID "absurd."

(Carnahan's discussion --- by telephone --- was rare. Her office usually refuses to make her available for questions from reporters in the state.)

...But whether the MO SoS has been available to Helling or not, she has been making quite a bit of noise ever since, concerning what a study by her office has found to be some 240,000 largely Democrati-leaning voters in the Show-Me State who would be disenfranchised by the Republican law as she explained to us on air.

Meanwhile, over in Arizona, a law that has already made it on to the books will similarly be keeping legal Americans from casting their legal votes this year.

Thor Hearne deserves a raise...

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

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No Country for Old Nuns...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2008 1:22pm PT  


Context, for those who still may need it...

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ALSO: Voting Machine, Registration Roll Problems Reported to National Election Protection Hotline...
By Brad Friedman on 5/6/2008 1:37pm PT  

The non-partisan Election Protection coalition offers a mid-day press release detailing some of the problems being reported to their 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline today from both Indiana and North Carolina.

The Supreme Court's recent, outrageous approval of Indiana's restrictive and disenfranchising Photo ID law --- better described as their Voter Suppression Act, despite Scalia's claim that "the burden at issue is minimal," to him, anyway --- is already "working" to disenfranchise legal voters, denying them their right to cast ballots like everyone else.

According to EP, it's not just veterans, elderly, and minorities who are being affected by the ruling, so are young voters and, yes, nuns, who have reportedly already been disenfranchised today under the Republican law...

This morning, in South Bend, Indiana, a freshman student at St. Mary's College, excited to vote for the first time, left the polling place in tears because she only possessed a private college ID and was unable to vote. The poll workers, nuns at a local convent, were trying to help the young student through her problem. While they were helping her, they realized that some of their fellow nuns, who had just arrived at the polling place, also could not vote because of the photo ID law. Not only was this group of nuns disenfranchised, but so would be four floors of retired nuns in their convent.

Remember, the law was upheld by the Supremes just last week, despite Indiana's inability to point to a single instance of in-person, polling place, voter impersonation fraud (the type of "voter fraud" the law was purportedly meant to deter) in the entire history of the state.

UPDATE: Brad Jacobson has more on the dangerous "roaming pack of octogenarian and nonagenarian hooligans [nuns, who] attempted to exercise their right to vote," including one of them, a clearly-up-to-no-good, 98 year-old, trouble maker who Catholic Antonin Scalia and friends don't believe deserves the right to cast a ballot.

Additional updates at the end of this article, including details on the evil nuns, a newly married woman, and more disenfranchised students.

Milwaukee Magazine's Bruce Murphy notes today that if a study recently done in Wisconsin correlates to numbers in Indiana, as many as 620,000 citizens in the Hoosier State might lack the Photo ID needed to cast votes there. That, even as the state downplayed the numbers in the SCOTUS case, arguing that there were only 43,000 such voters there. The authors of the WI study were unable to check the same numbers in Indiana, because "the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles would not provide the data needed to do the study," reports Murphy.

EP's news release goes on to list a number of other incidents being reported (if not yet by the corporate media) so far during voting today in IN and NC both, including multiple reports of voting machines problems; paper ballots not being offered to voters when machines go down; registered Independent voters being disallowed from voting in either party's primary; or voters being given Republican ballots when they believed they were registered as Democrats.

A few of the specific incidents as reported by EP so far, (which we post along with the usual caveat that frequently the most serious concerns do not come to light, if ever, until the days and weeks following such e-elections) include, from Indiana...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2008 11:49pm PT  

I just finished a very lively late-night hour (actually 26 minutes with all the commercials removed, you're welcome) on San Francisco's KGO with Christine Craft. The discussion concerned the Supreme Court's outrageous ruling in the Indiana Photo ID restriction case, and my article yesterday detailing how difficult it now is to vote in Indiana if you don't happen to have one. Rights shmights.

The audio features plenty of wingnut callers who just don't get it, demonstrating why it's so damned difficult to fight off this out-and-out GOP voter suppression scam/assault on your democracy and Constitution. If it's this difficult in "liberal" SF (albeit, on "conservative" KGO), this nation is in big trouble. And, if the articles from the last few days here haven't made that clear, we are. Big time. This November is gonna be a nightmare. Big time.

Give it a listen. If only for the clueless callers and chickenshit racist emailers (MP3 Download, 26 mins)

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By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2008 12:45pm PT  

Media Bloodhound nails the latest corporate mainstream media disgrace. This time, courtesy of NBC's Brian Williams, and Dick Cheney's longtime former protégé turned NBC News "reporter" Pete Williams...

Last night, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams allotted eighty seconds to yesterday's momentous Supreme Court ruling that there's nothing unconstitutional with Indiana's law requiring a photo ID to vote. Meanwhile, during the same broadcast, it spent over two minutes on the concern caused by photos of teen star Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair.

That would be embarrassing enough for a news organization purporting to be credible.

But earlier in the day on the Nightly News blog The Daily Nightly, anchor and managing editor Brian Williams (in a post titled "What Times Is It?") actually took The New York Times to task for publishing puff pieces.

Well, at least Williams covered the outrageously anti-Constitutional Supreme Court decision, sure to disenfranchise thousands, if not millions, of voters, right? Even if only for 80 seconds. But, as it turns out, no coverage would have been preferable to Williams' unfair, unbalanced (and inaccurate) coverage...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/29/2008 11:39am PT  

For those wondering what a legally registered voter needs to do to successfully cast a ballot in Indiana --- now that their draconian polling place Photo ID restrictions have been upheld by the Supreme Court --- so that it might be counted, in the event the voter doesn't currently own a state-issued photo ID (no, military ID is not acceptable) we thought we'd offer a handy quick guide.

Note: It doesn't matter if you've voted in every single election for the last 40 or 50 years at the same polling place. Nor does it matter, as Justice Souter pointed out his dissent yesterday, "that the State has not come across a single instance of in-person voter impersonation fraud in all of Indiana’s history." You'll still need to do the following if you don't happen to have an IN drivers license!

Also note: Given the SCOTUS decision, and the nation-wide GOP effort (anywhere they can get away with it) to deny legal, Democratic-leaning voters from being able to even cast a ballot, folks in other states may wish to read the following to get an idea what's likely to be coming your way, as the Republican War on Voting successfully rages on. Please try not to be a causality.

How to cast a ballot in Indiana, if you don't currently have a state-issued ID:

  • Find your birth certificate or passport. If you don't have either, you might be able to apply to the state to get a copy of your birth certificate, if you happened to have been born there, for just $12. A passport may cost you $100 (I can't help you get to the place where you'll need to get your photo taken for that.) UPDATE: BRAD BLOG commenter Mary Mancini points out Indiana's requirements for a copy of your birth certificate, require you to have......you guessed it...a Photo ID!
  • Get yourself to a Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Don't let the fact that you don't drive, or have a car, or have access to public transportation, as in many counties in Indiana, stop you from getting to the BMV before Election Day.
  • Do the above every four years, without fail, or risk not being able to vote like everyone else at the polls in Indiana on Election Day.

If you fail in any step above, don't have the money to afford the necessary documents, or have a religious objection to having your photo taken, do not to worry. Indiana has you covered...

  • Figure out how to get to the nearby polling place to vote. (Unlike the BMV, polling places in IN, for the moment, are many. If you're lucky, one will be close enough that you can walk there, presuming the weather in Indiana, say, in November, allows it. Though many will help you get to the polls on Election Day, even if they're not always available to drive you to the BMV at other times of the year.)
  • When you get to the polls, and are told you can't vote like everyone else, because you have no state-issued ID, you'll get to vote on a provisional ballot (hopefully, at least that's the law).
  • Don't forget to sign the affidavit on the ballot, stating that you are who you say you are, before dropping it into the box, so officials can match your polling place Election Day signature with your voter registration form signature.

But it's not over yet, if you want to get that vote counted somehow! (Having it counted accurately and/or transparently, due to the voting systems used in IN, is largely out of any citizen's hands, at this point.)

  • Before 10 days have elapsed after you've voted, you must now go back and figure out how to get your Photo ID still! (see original three steps.) And then...
  • Get a ride to the county seat, however far that may be from where you live. Get to the Courthouse there within those 10 days, and then show them your ID as mentioned above, sign yet another affidavit, similar to the one you signed on Election Day at the polling place on your provisional ballot, attesting again to the fact that you are you. And then maybe, just maybe, if that signature is also judged to match your registration, then your vote might be counted.

No, it's not onerous at all. As Scalia and friends noted in their decision [PDF] yesterday, "the burden at issue is minimal," as he sees it. (Though we're guessing he probably owns a state-issued ID already.) So what could those losers on the Supreme Court have been thinking, just 42 years ago, when they struck down a simple $1.50 poll-tax on the grounds that it might keep some voters from being able to cast their legal vote? Silly them.

Welcome to America's brave new modern world. 9/11 changed everything.

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Polling Place Photo ID Restrictions in Indiana Upheld by SCOTUS in Courageous and Historic Dredd Scott-like Decision
But Why Stop at Keeping Black and Elderly Fraudsters from Stealing Elections?...
By Brad Friedman on 4/28/2008 3:22pm PT  

As the great voting rights advocate, Rush Limbaugh, trumpeted at the beginning of his radio show this morning, today's 6 to 3 Supreme Court ruling allowing new, modern restrictions regarding which citizens may or may not cast votes at American polling places on Election Day, is "a huge, huge, huge move forward to undercut Democrat efforts to commit voter fraud this fall."

Fortunately, instead of coming in June as expected, this decision on an Indiana Photo ID restriction case comes just in time to prevent massive voter fraud at the polls in Indiana's Democratic Primary two weeks from now, when millions of fraudulent Democratic voters were almost certainly plotting to try and show up to vote on electronic voting systems on which it's impossible to prove one way or another whether they did or didn't vote the way the machines will tell us they did. With voting systems like those in use across the Hoosier State, and elsewhere around the country, it's all the more reason to ensure those Democrats can't show up and commit the fraud they were probably planning to engage in on May 6th!

The news is certainly the most important SCOTUS decision pertaining to elections since the triumphant, well-considered, and much-beloved Bush v. Gore decision of 2000. Today's verdict will undoubtedly be heralded and taught at American institutions of learning for decades to come, with the same reverence as that dedicated to landmark Supreme Court decisions like 1857's Dredd Scott v. Sandford ruling, which thankfully found that "people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves, or their descendants --- whether or not they were slaves --- could never be citizens of the United States, and that the United States Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories."

The Supremes have done it again! But no such important American political battle like that which was won today is ever fought alone. Due thanks must go to the long-fought efforts of countable simple citizens around our nation, concerned about the integrity of voting. We'd be remiss without noting some of the selfless freedom fighters who helped make today's great news a reality: Courageous, unheralded voices, such as those of "longtime advocate of voter rights" and Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne, tireless Republican "voter fraud" information-wareness man John Fund, and Bush-appointed DoJ Civil Rights Division guardians of the ballot box, like Hans von Spakovsky, Bradley Schlozman and its former Voting Section chief, John "Minorities Die First" Tanner.

Thanks to brave men like them, and Mr. Limbaugh, of course, it'll be a new day at the polling place this fall! One in which, if Republicans legislators around the country hurry up and get on the anti-voter fraud ball, they can assure that millions of Democratic-leaning citizens won't be fraudulently mistaken for actual voters when they show up at their polling places this November.

But are restrictions that may keep just blacks and the elderly from casting a ballot enough to ensure the true integrity of our vote? Shouldn't we keep fighting to ensure that legitimate voters like you and me don't have our voices diluted by even more fraudulent groups out there, like gays, communists, and dead people, who every year change the results of election after election through their insidious anti-American efforts, because I say they do?

Read on for a couple of new ideas. Clearly, today's SCOTUS decision is a good start, but it hardly goes far enough to ensure that the right American voices are heard, as our founders intended! 14th Amendment, equal protection, blah, blah, blah, my ass!...

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

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VIDEO UPDATE: U.S. Named One of 'Top Five' Executioners with China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia; Bush Kids Around With Pope: 'All human life is sacred'
By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2008 10:51pm PT  

Speaking of perverse discordance on the same day the Pope was serenaded with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" at the White House (where Bush told him he gave an "awesome speech!"), the Supreme Court found that state-sponsored executions by lethal injection were just fine and dandy, as far as the U.S. Constitution was concerned.

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the most common method of lethal injection used to execute condemned prisoners is constitutional, a decision sure to restart the nation's dormant death chambers.
...
"Simply because an execution method may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death, does not establish the sort of 'objectively intolerable risk of harm' that qualifies as cruel and unusual," wrote Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Roberts, of course, is Catholic. As are a total of 5 of the 9 justices now on the bench, 7 of whom gave the thumbs up to the continued use of a three-drug cocktail in order to kill citizens convicted of capital crimes. That, despite plaintiffs arguments that "if the first drug does not work, the second induces a 'terrifying, conscious paralysis' and the third causes an 'excruciating burning pain as it courses through the veins.'"

Of course, the Catholic Church strongly opposes all such state-sponsored executions. Yet all 5 of the Catholic justices joined the majority decision to end a temporary national moratorium on state-sponsored killing of criminals. All on the very same day the Pope came to D.C.

You'll forgive us then, if we see something --- yes --- perversely discordant in that. Again.


UPDATE 4/17/08: This morning, Democracy Now covered the Supremes' end to the de facto Death Penality Moratorium, noting that "the decision came one day after Amnesty International named the United States one of the top five executioners in the world, along with China, Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia."

Couldn't be prouder to be in such fine company. Good luck finding that AI stat --- reporting that of the 1200 people executed by governments last year, 88% of them occurred in those five countries alone --- in the American corporate media today.

No doubt, George W. Bush feels equally proud, even if we're not yet #1 in that area. And even though he said yesterday to the Pope, during the WH ceremony, as our own Alan Breslauer notes in the perversely discordant :38 second video at right: "In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred."

Bush was, of course, just kidding.

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Republican Vote Suppression Scheme, Said to be 'Most Important Voting Rights Case Since Bush v. Gore' to be Judged by Republican Supreme Court
[UPDATE: USA Today Allows Discredited GOP Vote Suppressor, Con Man, Thor Hearne to Blog on Their Website in Reply!]
By Brad Friedman on 1/7/2008 6:40pm PT  

In advance of Wednesday's hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court on the landmark case concerning the Republican Photo ID polling place restrictions in the state of Indiana, USA Today reports...

WASHINGTON — The League of Women Voters has tried to put names and faces on the people who could be hurt by a strict Indiana voter-identification law that the Supreme Court will take up Wednesday.

The league, in a court filing, refers to Mary Wayne Montgomery Eble, 92, who had no driver's license or ready access to the birth certificate she needed to get an alternative ID.

Ray Wardell, a stroke victim, made one trip to a state office for an alternative ID in vain. He did not have the proper document and returned home on foot with the aid of his walker.

Kim Tilman, a mother of seven whose husband, a janitor, is the family's sole source of income, found it would cost $26-$50 to round up the necessary papers for a proper ID.

The league is among the groups backing Indiana challengers to the law who say it impinges on the right to vote and mostly hurts elderly, disabled, poor and minority voters. A Republican-controlled Legislature passed the measure in 2005.

Backers of the law have been unable to cite a single case of "voter fraud", apparently in Indiana history, that would have been prevented by this law, which is, as BRAD BLOG readers know well by now, meant to do little more than keep as many Democratic-leaning voters from being able to exercise their right to cast a legal vote in an election.

UPDATE 1/8/08: Where USA Today did themselves proud with the article linked above, they did themselves in by giving space to discredited GOP operative, snake-oil salesman, vote suppression front man, Thor Hearne to blog in reply. Hearne shouldn't be allowed outside of a jail cell, much less allowed to post his lies, disinformation and propaganda with impunity at USA Today. And I've said as much in the comments section (typos and all, in my middle-of-the-night, outraged response) below his blog item at the newspaper's website.

It's incredible that USA Today did not note Hearne's dozens of conflicts of interest with the very item he wrote on their pages. As to Hearne, it would hardly be the first time this conman has slid by without telling the truth about who he actually is.

Shame on USA Today. If readers here are unaware who and what Thor Hearne is, see our years long special coverage on him and the GOP propaganda scam he has been running right here: www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.

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Files Amicus Brief to SCOTUS in Indiana Photo ID Case, on Behalf of New Congressional 'Clients'
Dems Indignantly Issue More Harshly Worded Statements, as Voter Suppression Mainlined by Bush DoJ...
By Brad Friedman on 12/12/2007 10:15pm PT  

It was almost three years ago that The BRAD BLOG first spotted the conspiracy long-range business plan being fronted for the Republicans by GOP con-man/operative Mark F. "Thor" Hearne II. The scheme became immediately transparent, to those who wished to see it, when his brand-spanking new "voting rights" group scam, calling themselves the "American Center for Voting Rights" (ACVR), popped up at a phony Congressional hearing on the 2004 Election, in March of 2005, as chaired by the now-jailed felon from Ohio, Rep. Bob Ney (R-Abramoff).

Hearne had identified himself at the hearing only as "a longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law," conveniently omitting that he had been the very partisan national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and had founded the "non-partisan" ACVR with his "non-partisan" partner, Jim Dyke, who had previously been the communication director for the RNC. (Shortly thereafter, the "non-partisan" Dyke went on to work for the "non-partisan" Dick Cheney at the White House, and now fronts for the "non-partisan" Rudy Giuliani.)

We spent a good portion of the ensuing three years with our hair on fire, trying to wave red flags about the transparent scheme/propaganda that Hearne was selling: Phonied up data on a non-existent "epidemic" of "Democratic Voter Fraud" in order to force restrictive Photo ID laws at the polling place, meant only to keep millions of largely Democratic-leaning minority and elderly voters from being able to cast a legal vote at all.

After the U.S. Attorney Purge Scandal finally shed light on the Republican "voter fraud" scheme to the rest of the media, folks started paying attention and Hearne quickly shut down his ACVR shop.

But the mission had been accomplished, and the foothold the Republican scammers needed had already been established, with laws such as Indiana's Photo ID restriction that is now headed towards a hearing in the Supreme Court. The results of the decision could well help determine the outcome of the 2008 elections.

UPDATE: Alternet's Steve Rosenfeld picks up on this precise issue today, reporting on how the rightwing "ballot security" operatives are arguing to the Supreme Court in favor of pre-emptive voter challenges at the poll, without the necessity of having to show that any such voter fraud is actually occurring. As well, they are building their legal case on the idea that "fear of" voter fraud is enough to demand such onerous ID requirements, even though it is the same "right-wing activists who spent years creating and publicizing a myth of widespread voter fraud," who are now making the case that "perception of potentially corrupted elections is yet another reason why states should be allowed to police the voting process with new restrictions such as voter ID laws." These wingnut zealot bullshit artists are the best in the business. If you consider "best" to be most evil and "business" to be our frickin' American democracy.

Despite Hearne's claims, made earlier this year to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that The BRAD BLOG made it impossible for him to run his scam without public/media notice, the huckster is still at it. He's just filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case, on behalf of 41 GOP Congress members.

You didn't think he'd just slither back under his rock and stay there, did you?...

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

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PBS Explores Many Of The Ways Republicans And The DoJ Are Working To Disenfranchise Democratic Leaning Voters
By Alan Breslauer on 12/5/2007 11:18am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Will The 2008 Vote Be Fair? That was the topic addressed by host David Brancaccio and former Justice Department official David Becker on NOW last Friday. Part I (at left, 10:01) begins with a discussion of Photo ID laws to prevent the "invented problem" of voter fraud. The discussion continues at the 6:15 mark on the topics of voter caging and voter purging --- when the DoJ requires jurisdictions to purge their voter rolls when they do not match census estimates.

Part II (at right, 9:50) begins with Becker explaining how the Bush 43 Justice Department has subverted its traditional mission: "During about a five year span, not one single case was brought on behalf of African Americans in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division". Becker goes on to state that policies were established that favored Republicans and disfavored Democrats in an effort to "gam[e] the system" to retain power.

Next, Brancaccio and Becker explore how the U.S. Attorney scandal fits in to the bigger picture. Becker: "The DoJ, especially under Alberto Gonzales, was being used as an arm of the right wing of the Republican Party to effectuate partisan gains in elections". Finally, the program concludes with a discussion on voting machines and Florida's 13th District.

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Some Quantitative Numbers from the Brennan Center in Response to the GOP 'Voter Fraud/Photo ID' Scam...
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2007 10:11am PT  

We don't normally run full articles from elsewhere, but since I'm on the road with very limited time online, and since this item is so important right now and of note to so much that we've covered here over the years (take a look at our Special Coverage page on ACVR to get a taste), I'm making an exception and taking the liberty.

The following is from Josh Marshall at TPM, and was originally published here yesterday. Click through the links below for much more detail!...

In our coverage of the US Attorney Purge story a major issue looming in the background was the Republican party's effort to reduce minority voting. And a key way of doing that was to get states to pass (and the gutted Voting section at DOJ to approve) so-called voter ID laws to crack down on vote fraud for which there was in fact no evidence.

The truth is that if you're an educated and reasonably well-off person who has time free to read about politics during the day at TPM you very likely have one or more pieces of ID, in all likelihood a driver's license. But among minorities, low-income voters, the young and the old that's often not the case. And those who don't have acceptable voter IDs are disproportionately Democrats.

Remember, the point of voter ID laws is not to eliminate fraud it is to eliminate Democratic voters. So if your voter ID law disenfranchises 10% of voters and 80% of those are Democrats you've just handed yourself several percentage points that can win you a bunch of close elections --- it's certainly easier than winning them the old fashioned way.

In any case, I return to this topic because one of these laws has been enacted in Indiana. And the Brennan Center and others have filed an amicus brief with a new quantitative study which finally puts real numbers on how many people will effectively lose their right to vote.

I'm quoting here from the press release on some of the study's key findings ....

# 21.8% of black Indiana voters do not have access to a valid photo ID (compared to 15.8% of white Indiana voters - a 6 point gap).

# When non-registered eligible voter responses are included - the gap widens. 28.3% of eligible black voters in the State of Indiana do not have valid photo ID (compared to 16.8% of eligible voting age white Indiana residents - a gap of 11.5 percent).

# The study found what it termed "a curvilinear pattern (similar to an upside down U-curve)" in the relationship between age and access to valid ID - younger voters and older voters were both less likely to have valid ID compared to voters in the middle categories. 22% of voters 18-34 did not have ID, nor did 19.4% over the age of 70. (compared to 16.2% of Indiana voters age 35-54 without valid ID and 14.1% for 55-69 year olds).

# 21% of Indiana registered voters with only a high school diploma did not have valid ID (compared to 11.5% of Indiana voters who have completed college - a gap of 9.5%).

# Those with valid ID are much more likely to be Republicans than those who do not have valid ID. Among registered voters with proper ID, 41.6% are registered Republicans, 32.5% are Democrats.

The study puts in a very stark relief what the Republican effort to keep minority and low-income voters from the polls is really about. And the Supreme Court will soon sign off on whether this is permitted --- a decision that will have a huge effect on voting rights in this country for years to come. Please take a moment to check out the press release and find out more.

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'90's Whistleblower Stands by Her Testimony, Describes Sitting Justice's 'Blatant Inconsistencies,' Warns Against Going Backward in Workplace Harrassment Issues...
By Brad Friedman on 10/1/2007 11:31pm PT  

Anita Hill (Ah, those were the days! When Senate Judiciary Committee hearings actually made it onto network TV, and in prime-time no less!) writes in tomorrow's NYTimes that Clarence Thomas is still full of shit...

ON Oct. 11, 1991, I testified about my experience as an employee of Clarence Thomas’s at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

I stand by my testimony.

She goes on to detail a few of the "blatant inconsistencies" that Thomas is still selling --- this time in hardback, and in an unprecedented hour-long Rush Limbaugh interview --- as well, she offers a reality check on progress since 1991 when it comes to the seriousness with which complaints like hers, of sexual harassment in the workplace by superiors, are taken.

Hill, now a law professor at Brandeis University and a visiting scholar at the Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College, notes the character attacks which are still de rigueur against such complainants. She goes on to warn: "Our legal system will suffer if a sitting justice’s vitriolic pursuit of personal vindication discourages others from standing up for their rights."

You go, girl. 16 years on, however, and we still have no answer as to who placed that pubic hair on Clarence Thomas's Coke can. Little wonder he stays so quiet on the bench.

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