w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|U.S. Chamber of Commerce 'Terror Tools' Spy Plot...|
|Wisconsin 2011 Supreme Court Election Debacle...|
|Japan Quake/Tsunami/Nuke Emergency...|
|WikiLeaks / Julian Assange...|
|More Special Coverages Pages...|
Last year's Media Reform Conference with the theme "Have the Media Undermined Our Democracy?" at which I spoke, was pretty memorable. That one featured an FCC commissioner and then-Rep., now-Labor Secretary Hilda Solis (D-CA) on the panel. Here's some video and a transcript of my remarks last year.
This year, I've been invited back (book-keeping error, no doubt) and the focus will be on local media, though I'll likely be paraphrasing Tip O'Neill to make the case that 'all media is now local'.
This year's speakers include Domonique DiPrima, Tanya Acker, Mario Solis-March, Linda Milazzo, Anthony Samad and myself. Which one of us will be named Secretary of HUD next year? Who knows! But hey, it could happen!
If you're in the area, please stop on by and say hello!
"Local Media for Social Change: A Southern California Regional Summit", Saturday, March 21, 11:00am, Occidental College, Norris Hall of Chemistry, Los Angeles (Map/directions | Details/registration | Event flyer [PDF])
It was nearly two years ago that the L.A. Police Department, in full riot regalia, fired rubber bullets and tear gas on an otherwise peaceful May Day immigration rally in MacArthur Park. We covered the stunning "May Day Melee" fairly extensively, as it was breaking here at the time. The story, which received a bit of national coverage at the time, also brought an ensuing spate of racist commenters over to The BRAD BLOG in response, many of whom blamed the victims in appalling screeds.
So a bit of good news on that front, today. On Wednesday, the LA City Council unanimously approved a settlement of nearly $13 million to those who were injured and mistreated by the LAPD that day. The agreement covers approximately 90% of the claims --- about 300 in total --- filed against the city and the LAPD alleging misconduct by the officers. There are still a few pending claims, two in federal court and 15 in state court, according to the LA Times, from some of the journalists and others who were also injured in the melee.
The Times reports that "Council President Eric Garcetti noted that the cost of the May Day agreement was enough to hire almost 130 police officers."
Councilman Ed Reyes, who represents the MacArthur Park area, recognized the importance of trying to set things right. "This was very, very critical," he's quoted in the Times. "Now we can say we acknowledge our mistakes; we are making every effort to address the weaknesses in our process, in our implementation as a Police Department, and more importantly recognizing that the community does matter."
Much of the shocking melee was caught on tape by both television stations and citizens at the rally. Among the most striking of the coverage from citizen journalists at the time was that of Jonathan Mann, whose terrifying video we ran at the time, and post again below as a reminder of what happened.
Below that, we also rerun his personal video response to the racist comments which came pouring in following coverage of the incident...back when fears of a massive immigrant invasion of the United States were being shamefully stoked by the GOP in hopes of political gain. Funny how the immigration "crisis" in America seems to have just disappeared at some point...
We've got two shameful situations with early and absentee voting. Well, there are many more, no doubt, but for purposes of this article, we'll focus on the outrage in D.C., where thousands of voters are not receiving their absentee ballots, so they're being forced to go vote at county headquarters. And out here in Los Angeles, the world's largest voting jurisdiction, with just one, single early voting location.
News on both of those scandals --- and the response we received from our inquiry about the L.A. situation from L.A. County Registrar Dean Logan --- follow below...
I'll be jumping in again today (Wed.) to host KPFK/Pacifica's "Special Election Year Coverage" hour from 2p-3p PT (5p-6p ET).
My guests will be...
KPFK is heard at 90.7FM in Los Angeles and 98.7FM in Santa Barbara and streams live on the net at KPFK.org. Please tune in, stream in, and call-in at 818-985-5735, if you like.
Post-Show Update: Thanks to both Phil Lindsey and Dean Logan for joining me today. It was a very good and informative hour, if I say so myself. So informative, in fact, that someone called in to complain after the show that I wasn't tough enough on Logan. Okay. You can decide for yourself if I was, or wasn't, or if he even deserved it this time out. The archive follows. I appreciate that he showed up and took questions. We've got to work with election officials, folks. Period. Even as we hold feet to the fire.
(Appx. 1 hour) MP3 Download or listen online here...
-- Brad Friedman
I had the opportunity to ask an important question of both the legendary Leon County (Tallahassee), FL, Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho, and Los Angeles County's no-longer-interim Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, last week here in Los Angeles.
Readers of The BRAD BLOG will remember Logan from his poor showing, as acting Registrar, in the handling of L.A.'s Super Tuesday "Double Bubble" ballot debacle, in which at least 12,000 mostly-perfectly-countable votes from the Democratic Primary went completely uncounted, as well as his handling of the failure I encountered myself, in the more recent state primary in June, when four of my own votes were printed incorrectly by the county's ES&S electronic voting system.
Sancho was in town for press avails, in advance of the opening of Dorothy Fadiman's new documentary Stealing America: Vote-by-Vote (opening for week-long runs in NYC on Aug 1st, and in L.A. on Aug 15th - DISCLOSURE: I appear briefly in the film). Logan, to his credit, was kind enough to show up, with his deputy Peter McNamara, for a screening of the film held by PDA last Thursday.
After the screening, Sancho, a compelling presence in Fadiman's film, as he was in HBO's landmark 2006 documentary, Hacking Democracy, answered questions, and the activists in the crowd managed to shoehorn Logan onto the stage to speak to a number of local concerns as well.
I took the opportunity to ask a few questions of both men, as captured by Alan Breslauer, with answers, on the video posted at the end of this article.
Of most important note, I wanted to know if either of them would commit to a hand-count of ballots in a handful of precincts this November, on an experimental basis, on Election Night. The count, in such a "pilot program" as I described it, needn't be the official count, but could later be compared to the results as reported by both counties' optical-scanners, since both L.A. and Leon County use paper ballots for their non-disabled voters.
As I've advocated to a few other election officials in the past, hand-counting in this small, experimental way would help us all to begin to compile data about the effectiveness --- or even, lack thereof --- of transparent, polling-place based HCPB (Hand-Counted Paper Ballots) on Election Night, as many Election Integrity advocates have called for...
Just minutes ago, the ground gently rattled and rolled a bit here at The BRAD BLOG World News Headquarters in Los Angeles for 15 seconds or so.
Wire services, TV and radio news responded within seconds to report a sizable
5.8 (later downgraded to 5.4) magnitude quake, centered some 28 miles east of downtown.
Don't have much more to offer for the moment, but wanted to report --- particularly for those who know we're back in L.A. --- that we're fine here. While the shake was noticeable, it was either far enough or deep enough (reports now say it was 7.6 miles down) that it didn't even much rattle the cupboards where we're located near Hollywood.
More later if we're able to offer any other notable developments...
Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
Why should anyone be surprised at yesterday's decision by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors that Dean Logan is the best qualified to be the county's permanent Registrar of Voters? After all, failed election officials seem to be sought after by counties. Michael Vu failed miserably in Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, where he even had two employees convicted of felony election violations. San Diego Co. tripped over themselves as they rushed to hire Vu to be their assistant Registrar.
In 2004 Dean Logan was the King County (WA) Election Director. Logan was the center of a fire storm that erupted due to the close gubernatorial race. In their reporting of Logan's new promotion from acting Registrar to Registrar, the Los Angeles Daily News reports:
The initial count showed Rossi had won by 261 votes, triggering a mandatory machine recount. The recount ended with Rossi ahead by 42 votes.
A few days later, Logan's office found 336 more ballots not previously counted, prompting Washington state Democrats to call for a hand recount.
In the ensuing weeks, Logan's office said it found more uncounted ballots and ultimately Gregoire won by 129 votes.
Afterward, Logan's office released records showing 450 people who had voted were not registered voters and that hundreds of provisional ballots were fed into voting machines without verification and by mistake, making it impossible to authenticate their legality.
The brouhaha resulted in lawsuits and some elected officials called for Logan's resignation, accusing him of mismanagement.
A year later and Dean was rescued by then LA Co Registrar Conny McCormack, who herself came to the county under the cloud of failings in her elections jobs in Texas. Conny hired Dean as her assistant. In August 2007 Conny announced her retirement and Dean was named acting Registrar later in the year.
Failures seem to follow Logan. He was in charge of the LA Co elections office when the "Double Bubble Trouble" incident took place last February on Super Tuesday, and thousands of legally cast ballots were left uncounted from the Democratic Primary. He was also in charge when our very own Brad Friedman attempted to vote on his polling place's supposedly disabled-accessible voting machine and the machine flipped four of his votes to candidates he hadn't voted for.
One has to wonder how many times someone can fail and still come up with the rewards, such as a $195,000 a year position counting votes in the most populous county in the country. Some people are truly Teflon coated. Amazing!...But not surprising.
Last week I reported in great detail that four out of the twelve votes I'd cast on my ballot on L.A. County's e-voting system, during California's state primary on June 3rd, were flipped to candidates that I hadn't voted for. The ES&S InkaVote Plus system printed my ballot incorrectly.
I was voting on the audio ballot voting system meant primarily for blind and visually-impaired voters. Had I not been able to inspect my ballot visually after it had printed --- for example, had I been blind --- I would never have known that I was about to cast votes for candidates that I had not selected.
Because the "disabled-accessible" e-voting system at my own precinct was not working, again, for the second election in a row, I was told I'd have to cast a provisional ballot on the "disabled-accessible" e-voting system at the other "precinct," in the same polling place, in the same room, as my own "precinct."
The machine had been down all day, and nobody had come out to replace or repair it, even though the county had been called early in the day and told about the problem. Last election, on Super Tuesday, the machine was also broken, and none of the poll workers would touch it, due to exposed wires.
This time, despite asking to vote in a specific party's open primary, I was given a non-partisan audio ballot to compound the fiasco when I tried to vote provisionally on the other "precinct's" e-voting system that was up and running, even though not a single voter had used it in either this, or the previous election.
The voting went smoothly enough --- even if it took 20 minutes to move through the short audio ballot, shorter than usual because it was a state primary, and because I wasn't allowed to vote in partisan races for some reason --- at least until it misprinted my selections, which I had confirmed as correct while actually moving through the audio selections.
Luckily, after noticing that the e-voting system had printed my ballot incorrectly, I was allowed to VOID that ballot, and this time chose to vote on a regular, hand-marked paper ballot instead. My hand filled in the ballot far more accurately than the computer did.
That night, I alerted officials at the CA Sec. of State's office and L.A. County's acting Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, about the problem, and the machines and ballots in question were isolated for testing. Whether someone who wasn't a loud, muckracking journalist, specializing in issues of election integrity, would have had that kind of quick service, I can't tell you.
Logan promised the machine would be tested, and the SoS office promised to follow the testing closely.
Earlier this week, Logan sent me an update via email, with photos, on what the investigation had so far found. The problem, Logan wrote, is being attributed to the "human error" of the poll workers who, he says, entered incorrect information into the e-voting system when setting up my ballot for me to vote.
Logan's complete email, detailing the findings of the cursory investigation to date, follows below, along with my email in response to it. As you'll see, the all-too de rigueur "human error" excuse does not sit well with me...
-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG
As a fairly well-known Election Integrity journalist who has personally covered, for years, the myriad election woes of thousands (if not millions) of voters around the country who have tried to bring seemingly endless stories of votes flipped on e-voting systems to the attention of officials, these stories always continue to be remarkable to me, even if not to many others in the rest of the mainstream media.
It's even more troubling when one realizes that so little ever seems to be done in light of so many of these horror stories, as those very same failed systems are still deployed across the nation, with little or no modification to correct the mountains of documented problems even now, as we head towards an election likely to be of historic proportions this November.
What follows is yet another one of those stories, where a voter had vote selections flipped by the electronic voting system, such that candidates were chosen other than the ones intended to be selected by the voter, though no fault of his own.
But this time, the voter is me.
Though I've covered so many of these stories, it was nonetheless remarkable to see it happen before ones very eyes, as occurred yesterday when I voted here in Los Angeles during our very low turnout California state Primary election.
The ES&S electronic voting system that I used to try to vote on yesterday, ended up flipping a total of 4 out of the 12 contests and initiatives for which I had attempted to vote.
Right before my very eyes, the computer-printed ballot produced by the voting system I was using, incorrectly filled in bubbles for four of the races I was voting in. Had I not been incredibly careful, after the ballot was printed out, to painstakingly compare what was printed to what I actually voted for, I'd have never known my votes were being given to candidates I did not vote for.
Had I been a blind voter --- as the system I was using is largely intended for use by the disabled --- I would have cast my ballot without having a clue that a full 40% of the votes I'd tried to cast for various California Superior Court judges were flipped to other candidates...
Yes, four different selections, on my very own ballot, were flipped before my very eyes when I went to vote in yesterday's California state Primary Election.
One might think that someone might have been smart enough to make damned sure, at the very least, that the equipment where that widely-known Election Integrity muckraking journalist jerk, Brad Friedman of The BRAD BLOG goes to vote, would have been thoroughly tested and working as it was supposed to. One might think that. But if so, one would be wrong.
Full story soon...
UPDATE: Full story now posted here...
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer
The BRAD BLOG's own Brad Friedman and other Election Integrity advocates spoke at the historic Joint Informational Hearing Discussion Of Problems Faced By Voters At The 2008 Presidential Primary Election held in Los Angeles on Friday (Brad covered one aspect of the hearing on the L.A. County "Double Bubble" ballot debacle quickly last week; our full body of coverage on the matter is posted here). However, Brad almost did not get a chance to say his piece as the Sergeant-at-Arms almost tossed him out of the hearing on multiple occasions for applauding (video below, 2:20):
Despite his "disruptive" antics, Brad was eventually allowed to speak to the panel about the Los Angeles County "Double Bubble" problem (video below, 2:23)
More video from the Election Integrity advocates' testimony at last week's hearings follows below...
We spent many hours yesterday at a joint legislative hearing, at the California State Ronald Reagan Building downtown, where CA SoS Debra Bowen, former L.A. County Registrar Conny "Condoleezza" McCormack, current acting Registrar Dean Logan, who was "greeted...with boos", and others all testified on the "Double Bubble" Ballot Fiasco. It went on for more than three and a half hours before the actual aggrieved parties (the voters of L.A. County) were allowed to testify for "30 seconds to a minute" each.
Our own Alan Breslauer was also there taping and may have some video here soon (including, perhaps, my quick testimony, and the continuing amusing threats of the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw me out.)
The BRAD BLOG overheard Logan in the hallway, desperately working to be bumped from "acting" to actual Registrar, as he slimed an Election Integrity advocate who had just testified against him. Logan was heard telling the top aide to one of the L.A. Board of Supes that one of the local, volunteer EI advocates was "a pathological liar." That, just minutes after Logan had attempted to take some responsibility for the fiasco --- when the media's cameras were rolling --- during his actual testimony. As we know the EI advocate in question, and know him to be an exceptionally stand-up guy, we informed Logan, and the aide, that he was incredibly out of line, and flat-out wrong. Again.
But it was McCormack who was met with the most derision, by audience and Legislative inquisitors alike, as she dissembled to the panel and attempted to blame Bowen's "Top-to-Bottom Review" of voting systems for her own failure, disingenuously saying the SoS's efforts to do the job she was elected to do was the reason that McCormack couldn't have fixed the problem before it disenfranchised thousands of legal voters again this year...
As we wait for the next round of thousands of disenfranchised voters to emerge from OH, TX, VT, RI, or beyond, Los Angeles County has finally finished counting its infamously disastrous "Double Bubble" ballots from the Feb. 5th Super Tuesday Primary in California.
The final numbers, in just in time to meet today's local certification deadline, are supposed to hearten us because the county Registrar's office chose to not count only some 12,000 valid, legally cast votes in the state's open Democratic Primary.
What a victory! It's kinda like celebrating the great success of the troop "surge" in Iraq where "coalition" fatalities have plummeted from pre-surge levels of 2.39 dead troops per day all the way down to 2.37 dead troops per day.
As we predicted, many of the districts counted resulted in very lopsided results. That was likely due to the horrible, unfair counting scheme the Registrar's office decided to use. The scheme disproportionately, and almost randomly, tossed out thousands of votes for some candidates, but tallied all of those for others --- even when they were all cast in the very same precinct, by the very exact same method. According to the results of this "supplemental count," as posted at the Registrar's website [PDF], it looks like our fears have come to pass in that department as well.
But there is a bit of actual good news in all of this, small comfort though it may be. Our concerns about the newly discovered uncounted provisional "Double Bubble" ballots, that we reported on Friday, were heard, even if our other concerns --- as attributed to us by name in today's Whittier Daily News coverage of the final tabulation --- were summarily dismissed by acting Registrar Dean Logan for unspecified "legal" reasons, according to that news report...
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