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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, January 29, 2015
D'Stupid: 'Intellectual Wing of the Conservative Movement' On Global Warming
Dinesh D'Souza offers another quick reminder of how even the 'smart' Rightwingers are proud to be clueless about science...
BMW Super Bowl Ad: 'What's An Internet?'
Electric car spot throws back to Katie Couric and Bryan Gumble in 1994. ALSO: Please give us an electric car. Thanks!...
'Green News Report' 1/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
The not-so-historic Blizzard 2015!; Interior Dept. to expand offshore drilling; Another pipeline explodes in WV; PLUS: Obama calls on GOP to permanently protect ANWR...
Previous GNRs: 1/22/15 - 1/20/15 - Archives...
Phony GOP 'Voter Fraud' Activist to Testify at Real Senate Nomination Hearing
'True the Vote' founder Catherine Engelbrecht slated by Senate Repubs as 'expert witness' at AG-nominee Lorreta Lynch confirmation...
Sorry, Fox, But No 'News' Is Good News
White House (accurately) fails to include 'News' on the place cards of Fox 'News' anchors at special luncheon, so they have a sad...
'Rights'? What 'Rights'?
Yes, elections have consequences. Republicans take control of U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee and immediately dump 'Civil Rights and Human Rights' from its name...
Hannity Must Be Furious About Keystone XL Pipeline!
Foreign owner TransCanada has now filed an eminent domain action to sieze property of private landowners in Nebraska...
'Green News Report' 1/22/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama's SOTU focuses on climate; Repubs give Keystone XL pipeline a new name; MT pipeline spill spews oil, benzene; PLUS: GOP votes climate change not a hoax -- but...
Previous GNRs: 1/20/15 - 1/15/15 - Archives...
St. Louis County Election Director Ousted
Official who ignored pre-election warnings, obtained by BRAD BLOG, about likely paper ballot shortages in November, tossed by Election Board...
The Progressive State of the Union:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Deconstructing Obama's SOTU and GOP response. An in-studio roundtable with Heather 'Digby' Parton, David Dayen of Salon, John Amato of Crooks & Liars...
Only 41% Support Keystone XL, But...
That's the good news. The not-as-good news is more surprising, though perhaps we shouldn't be surprised at all by it by now. (Or by the latest pipeline spill in Montana)...
Did John Roberts 'Stack the Deck' for SCOTUS Marriage Equality Cases?
The Court's agreement to hear challenges to state bans on same-sex marriage includes some 'unusual' questions...
'Green News Report' 1/20/15
Confirmed. Again. NASA and NOAA find 2014 hottest year on record; More studies warn human impacts threaten our life support systems; PLUS: 'A glimmer of hopefulness'...
Cluster of Studies Warn of Planetary Peril
New group of scientific reports find humanity rushing to brink of survivable limits, advise swift action needed to change course...
NASA, NOAA Confirm 2014 Hottest Year on Record for Planet Earth
Yet another climate change denial myth is scuttled, but here's how the fossil-fueled scammers have been getting away with their "no warming over the past decade!" hoax...
Saudi Arabia Beheads 10th 'Criminal' of 2015
Some barbarians better than others, apparently...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

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

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

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


State officials say case of alleged voting improprieties in 2002 and 2004 'still pending' nearly five months since complaint filed...
By Brad Friedman on 6/22/2009 5:05am PT  

It's been nearly five months since the official complaint about Ann Coulter's alleged voter fraud in 2002 and 2004 was filed in Connecticut, yet state election officials continue to refuse comment on the status of the case beyond acknowledging that it's "still pending," as recently confirmed by The BRAD BLOG.

Several charges of absentee voter fraud were alleged in the complaint against Coulter in Connecticut, where evidence shows she cast absentee ballots illegally while living in her then permanent New York City residence.

In addition to the head of the California GOP's voter registration firm pleading guilty to fraud last week (his company, Young Political Majors, is under investigation in several other states as well, and is alleged to have secretly changed thousands of registrations from Democratic to Republican, denying voters the ability to cast votes in last year's primary), and the Republican election official in Kentucky who last month pleaded guilty to participating in a massive election fraud conspiracy beginning in 2002, there still remains the outstanding official investigation into the allegations against Coulter, the GOP's storied Queen of Voter Fraud.

If all you watched was the Fox "News" Channel, however, and their increasingly bizarre --- and yet still evidence-free --- "investigation" into "voter fraud" by ACORN, you'd have no idea. That, even though Coulter herself continues to parade in front of their cameras as a regular guest without ever being asked about the official inquiry in the second state to investigate voting improprieties by the GOP superstar.

"The delay in this case is inexplicable given they need to prove two things: where she registered to vote/voted and where she lived when she registered to vote/voted," the complainant in the case, Daniel Borchers, a Christian conservative who has long opposed Coulter's behavior, told The BRAD BLOG. "Both are easily proven."...

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

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Joins 'Internet Voting' and 'Vote-by-Mail' schemes as the latest bad ideas poised to further cripple American democracy
PLUS: IRV count fails in Aspen's first instant runoff election...
By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2009 1:38pm PT  

[Updated with a response from L.A. County Registrar Dean Logan. See end of item for his complete email in response to this article.]

Gautum Dutta, of the Democratic-leaning Asian American Action Fund blog notes a recent L.A. County Board of Supervisors meeting which "discussed a study on the cost of special elections and Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)" [emphasis added]...

While speaking to the Board of Supervisors, Registrar Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan testified how low voter turnout and high costs have plagued our special elections. Logan urged the County to seriously consider anything that would reduce voter fatigue and save money.

In the past two years alone, $9.3 million of taxpayer dollars have been spent on special elections. Of that amount, over $3.6 million dollars were spent on special runoff elections (counting the upcoming July 14 runoff in CA’s 32nd Congressional District).

If IRV had been used instead of special runoff elections, taxpayers could have saved up to $3.6 million.

Note to Messrs. Dutta and Logan: Taxpayers could save even more money if we simply allow you two to just decide for us who gets elected!

As Logan, chief election official of the nation's largest voting jurisdiction (larger than 43 states combined see Logan's correction to this at end of article) has had more than enough problems with the current voting system which can't even add one plus one plus one accurately, such that it is virtually impossible for anybody to verify the accuracy of results, the last thing this county needs is to complicate the math even further by confusing matters with IRV's complicate scheme of ranked choice voting where voters are asked to select a first and second place choices, etc.

For that matter, unless, and until, we can simplify our election procedures such that any and all citizens are able to oversee and verify the accuracy of their election results, no jurisdiction in this country should employ schemes like IRV, no matter how well-meaning supporters of it may be in hoping to allow a broader range of candidates and parties to have a shot at winning an election.

Along with the emerging nightmares of Internet Voting and Vote-by-Mail, IRV is yet another one of the horrible wack-a-mole schemes being endlessly advanced by advocates and profiteers who put winning elections and making money off them, over the idea of transparent, verifiable, secure democracy and self-governance expressed of the people, by the people and for the people.

Addendum... From last Friday's Aspen Daily News:

More than three weeks after Aspen’s first-ever instant-runoff election, city officials announced an error in the tabulation of the final-round vote totals for mayor. ... The error did not surface in either of the council tallies or in any other rounds of the mayoral instant runoff voting tally, officials said. ... Accuracy tests were publicly conducted before the election but they did not catch the problem that ultimately occurred.

Clarification & UPDATE, 8:52pm PT:...

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

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65 25 vote margin for Democrat, with 100% precincts reporting
Will all come down to absentee ballots...again...
By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2009 10:39pm PT  

[Update 4/1/09: Murphy's lead shrank to just 25 votes "after local election officials began double-checking totals and their math today".]

Can't you citizens make up your minds?! Please?! The NY-20 U.S. House Special Election held today to fill the vacant seat of now Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is, of course, too close to call. Big time. Sigh.

The Democratic candidate Scott Murphy leads the Republican Jim Tedisco by just 65 25 votes out of more than 150,000 votes cast at the polls (lever machines, the last state to have them), with 100% of the precincts now having reported in tonight. It would be quite a come-from-behind victory for Murphy if he's able to pull it off, as Tedisco had been leading in the polls, in the heavily Republican district, until just a few days ago.

Of course, this will all now come down to the absentee ballots cast in the race. Just like Minnesota. The NY Board of Elections must now work out a schedule for their counting, as there are still a number of days for those to come in. It's being reported tonight that some 10,055 absentee ballots went out, "including 1,882 military and overseas ballots, of which 5,907 total had been returned" so far.

As Gregg Levine at FDL noticed earlier this afternoon, in a peculiar legal move, the NY Republican Party filed a strange legal motion [PDF], long before the polls were even closed, including this pre-emptive election challenge:

Ordering the respondent New York State Board of Elections and the Commissioners thereof to certify the name of James Tedisco as elected to the public office of Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 20th Congressional District, in Dutchess, New York, at the Special Election held therefor on the 31st Day of March, 2009, or alternatively enjoining the improper issuance of a certificate of election for the said public office.

That part of the motion, Levine reports in a followup was "struck out by the court on the spot". They didn't buy the old "heads I win, tails you lose" routine from the GOP, apparently.

But the last graf of Eric Kleefeld's TPM coverage of the NY-20 race tonight deserves an all-time special prize:

This race is headed to the court system, which will oversee the counting and recounting of votes. One problem Murphy might have is that Al Franken's lawyers aren't available right now. And in Tedisco's favor, Norm Coleman's attorneys are busy, too.

UPDATE 4/8/09: Over the past week, the lead has shifted back and forth several times between Murpy and Tedisco in advance of the hand-count of some 7,000 absentee paper ballots set to begin today. We've got a quick update on the week's roller coaster ride as the count gets underway, now posted here...

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New allegations of absentee ballot fraud in '02 and '04 follow on her multiple voter fraud crimes in FL in '05, for which she was never 'cleared,' as some media have inaccurately reported...
By Brad Friedman on 2/9/2009 1:25pm PT  

An official state investigation is now underway into multiple voter fraud charges against Rightwing author and one-time attorney Ann Coulter in Connecticut. The investigation began after a complaint was filed with the state's Elections Enforcement Commission on January 29, 2009.

The BRAD BLOG has exclusively obtained a copy of that one-page complaint which is posted in full, as filed with Joan M. Andrews, Director of Legal Affairs and Enforcement for the commission, at the end of this article.

The complaint was filed by Daniel Borchers, a conservative Christian critic of Coulter's following allegations in the New York Daily News in January that she had illegally voted by absentee ballot in CT, using her parents address there, in 2002 and 2004, despite being a resident of New York City at the time.

Previously allegations by Borchers against Coulter have been the subject of a number of articles over the years here at The BRAD BLOG, and he has, on occasion, even guest blogged a number of times here for us himself.

Though the allegations of Coulter having committed voter fraud in CT in 2002 and 2004 would be her first known instances of casting ballots illegally, they are not the first allegations of such crimes against Coulter. In 2005, after she moved from NY to Palm Beach, FL, she knowingly falsified her Voter Registration Form (a 3rd degree felony), knowingly voted at the wrong precinct (a 1st degree misdemeanor), as well as gave a false address for her drivers license (another 3rd degree felony).

Despite an inaccurate report from AP in May of 2007, subsequently picked up by other media, Coulter was never "cleared" of the voter fraud charges in FL.

The BRAD BLOG has posted indisputable evidence of her FL crimes, including her actual fraudulent Voter Registration Form on which she lied when filling out her own address, official testimony from a Palm Beach pollworker (and the county's former Supervisor of Elections) detailing her knowingly having voted in the wrong precinct, as well as a report from the Palm Beach Township Chief of Police, verifying the crimes.

Coulter, however, was able to escape accountability for the illegalities in FL, due to an inappropriate (and likely illegal) intervention from a former boyfriend of hers in the FBI, and gaming of the legal system, such that the crimes were eventually nullified by the statute of limitations there.

The most recent complaint from Borchers follows articles by the New York Daily News and Lee Stranahan at Huffington Post last month, detailing her apparently-illegal CT absentee voting. But it would not be the first time he would play a roll in this continuing saga...

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

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Wherein we all guess what the hell Coleman's ultimate endgame may be, even as he makes it up while going along...
By Brad Friedman on 2/3/2009 12:36am PT  

Remember back in 2000 when the Republicanists belittled elderly (and minority) voters, claiming that 'if they failed to fill out their ballots correctly, and failed to follow the simple voting rules, then they're idiots and their votes shouldn't be counted'? They made the case over and over again, cynically, of course, because it would mean that, even though more voters had intended to vote for Al Gore than George W. Bush (and actually did [PDF], had they bothered to count them all) Bush should still be allowed to "win" the Presidency.

Well, as we've had to say so many times during our previous coverage of the GOP flip-floppery that is the election contest of former Senator Norm Coleman against Al Franken in MN: that was then and this is now.

At right, take a look at the short, approximately 1-minute video of Coleman (and FL 2000 Bush v. Gore) attorney Ben Ginsberg, trying to keep a straight face in a presser after his team argued today that yet another cherry-picked voter/witness whose absentee ballot was legitimately rejected --- in this case because she failed to sign the ballot --- should have her vote counted anyway.

(Video courtesy of TheUptake.org. Disclosure: VelvetRevolution.us, co-founded by The BRAD BLOG, is a financial contributor to TheUptake.)

Like we said, that was then and this now. So never mind that whole "voter fraud" argument. Not useful today for the GOP opportunists. And now, while I'll try to stay out of the deep weeds tonight on today's proceedings at the Coleman/Franken circus (you're welcome), Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com argues convincingly --- based on fairly reliable reads of usually-predictable WSJ and other Wingnut Tea Leaves --- that Team Coleman may ultimately be angling for a do-over. That is, a re-vote for the entire election.

He may be right. Though there may be another plan, even though admittedly, the Coleman campaign is largely making all of this up as they go along, and any or all of the following guesswork may end up being their "strategy"...

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Wherein everybody flip-flops, Coleman makes a successful argument, but may have blown it with a 'phony' website crash and an horrendous argument for Internet voting...
By Brad Friedman on 1/30/2009 3:41pm PT  

This afternoon, Day 5 of the U.S. Senate election contest between former Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and apparent winner of the '08 election Al Franken (D), Coleman offered another reason, just in case you needed one, to oppose his return to the Senate:

In a press conference outside the courtroom held just a short while ago, Norm Coleman announced that if he gets back into the Senate, he'll work on ways to make it easier for young people to vote online.

While we're in favor of "young people," and as many other legal voters who wish to vote, actually getting to cast their votes and have them accurately counted, if you like our currently unreliable electronic vote counting systems, which employ untested, unsecured, hackable garbage, then you'll love seeing that system opened up to the Internet!

All that said, however, where Coleman's case began on Monday as little more than a comedy of one error after another, as we explained in some detail earlier this week, over Days 4 (yesterday) and 5 (today), his legal team seems to have found a bit of footing, even if they've had to counter most of their own legal arguments that they'd made previously to keep ballots from being counted during the post-election hand-counting of ballots.

At the end of that process, Franken was found, by the state canvassing board, to have defeated Coleman by 225 votes, out of 2.9 million cast, even though Coleman was slightly ahead in the vote count during most of that time, and thus, argued adamantly against including as many previously rejected absentee ballots as he could.

But that was then, when he thought he was winning, and this is now, when he seems to be losing...

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MN Supremes: Count the Incorrectly Rejected Absentee Ballots
UPDATED 12/19/08: Franken Currently Leads Count by 251...
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2008 9:41pm PT  

[UPDATED at end of article with today's (Friday's) latest numbers.]

As thousands of challenged ballots from both Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and challenger Al Franken (D) are being decided by the bi-partisan state canvassing board in the U.S. Senate race in MN, AP says it's currently a 2 vote race, out of 2.9 million ballots cast, in favor of Franken.

That said, as all of the challenged ballots are finally counted over the next several days (and weeks), the lead could go back and forth a bit each night. The Star-Tribune, which puts today's margin at 5 votes in favor of Coleman, currently projects that Franken will ultimately win by 89 votes...

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By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2008 11:43am PT  

These are some of the folks whose votes that democracy-hating Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) is going to the state Supreme Court to keep from being counted in the U.S. Senate race in Minnesota...


The video, produced by challenger Al Franken's campaign, was described by the Coleman camp as "a new low." As Republicanists tend to project just about everything they do on others, we'd suggest that there may be "a new low" here, but in this case, it ain't coming from the Franken camp.

As we reported on Friday, the state canvassing board --- made up of Republicans (two are MN Supreme Court judges), Democrats, and Independents --- ruled unanimously in favor of counting the 1,600 or so absentee ballots which were improperly rejected by election officials and not counted originally in the state's razor-close U.S. Senate race.

Hopefully those ballots now will be counted, unless Coleman has his way in the Supreme Court where he hopes to get an order to stop the counting of legal ballots cast by folks like those seen in the video above. Nice.

CORRECTION: The original version of this article referred to 16,000 rather than 1,600 improperly rejected absentee ballots. The BRAD BLOG regrets the error.

As long promised, The BRAD BLOG has covered your electoral system 2008, fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going. If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details on that right here...
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Missing Ballots, Uncounted Absentees and the GOP PR Battle That May Trump Both...
By Brad Friedman on 11/25/2008 10:13am PT  

UPDATE at end of article.

Math/statistics/poll-wiz Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com predicts the race between incumbent MN Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and challenger Al Franken (D) could result in a 27 vote win for Franken. That's right, just 27 votes.

With that in mind, every single vote matters, so it's of note that the Franken campaign is now wondering about some missing ballots in a number of counties. From Public Record's coverage last night:

According to the secretary of state's website, 1,074 people in Clay County voted on Election Day but only 1,069 ballots were produced by the county for the recount. In St. Louis County, 1,649 people voted on Election Day but the county turned over 1,646 ballots for the recount. And in Washington County, 1,464 voted on Election Day but 1,449 ballots were turned over for the recount. The shortfall can easily shift the election to Franken or Coleman's favor because the race between the candidates is so close.

That in mind, we'll take the opportunity to remind both parties in the recount of our earlier suggestion that they make public records requests (if they haven't already) for the invoices from printers of all of the original ballots, and then request that all ballots --- including unvoted ballots --- be counted as part of the final reconciliation of ballots. The number of voted, spoiled, and unvoted ballots should be exactly equal to the number of ballots shown as printed originally on those invoices. If not, there's a problem.

But while ballots have now turned up "missing," and absentees have been tossed from the hand count, the GOP seems to be preparing for a FL 2000 PR gambit to "win" at all costs...

We've got a few more notes/thoughts on a couple of related ballot issues that have bubbled up over the last few days as we've been driving across the country. Given the closeness of this race, these issues could ultimately end up deciding it one way or another, even as the GOP seems to be preparing a FL 2000 PR gambit to "win" at all costs, no matter the final outcome of the hand-count...

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By John Gideon on 11/21/2008 12:31pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org

A special hat-tip to citizen journalists K. Shawn Edgar and Shawn Waldow who produced and edited this piece and, of course, to the voters and staff of the Washington County, Oregon elections office.

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...And Into Other Supposed 'Solutions' to Our Current Electoral Woes...
By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2008 1:18pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

"DavidNYC" at DailyKos files a well-meaning diary today headlined "How I Became a Vote-by-Mail Convert" in which he offers some reasons, after years of opposing it, that he now supports VBM based on his experience as a poll watcher last Tuesday.

I've previously offered just a few of the most noteworthy reasons that I believe VBM is a terrible idea for democracy, even as I realize that many hard partisans --- from both sides of the political aisle --- love the idea of VBM as it tends to increase turnout and allows them to target their voters quite directly. Lists of who already voted are routinely made available to the major political parties in the days leading up to the election, allowing them to more specifically target their expensive Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts on, and before, Election Day.

That's swell for partisans, but not so good for many of us who are more concerned that voters be allowed to vote freely, and that their votes be counted accurately and transparently. And some of "DavidNYC's" thoughtful arguments are misleading at best...

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While the 'Yes on 8' Hate Mongers Declare Victory, 'No on 8' Campaign Understands Need to Wait For Complete Vote Count
Marriage Rights Hang in the Balance...
By Emily Levy on 11/5/2008 12:36pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us

California's Proposition 8 --- a Constitutional amendment to ban the right to same-sex marriage in the state --- currently has more "yes" (in favor of discrimination) votes than "no" votes tallied, 52.2% to 47.8%, according to the CA Sec. of State's website. This represents a difference of 434,830 votes. But according to the No on 8 campaign, three to four million provisional and vote-by-mail ballots remain uncounted...

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

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Failure Discovered During Pre-Election Testing on Systems Used Widely Throughout U.S.; Company Failed to Perform Maintenance
Letter Sent from County to Federal Officials Last Week; Has EAC Notified Other Jurisdictions as Per Their Federal Mandate?...
By John Gideon on 11/3/2008 3:05pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) received this letter [PDF] well over a week ago from Oakland County, MI, concerning ES&S precinct-based optical-scan systems that "yielded different results each time" the "same ballots were run through the same machines"...

The issue is this - four of our communities or eight percent - reported inconsistent vote totals during their logic and accuracy testing with the ES&S machines. The same ballots, run through the same machines, yielded different results each time.
...
ES&S determined that the primary issue was dust and debris build-up on the sensors inside the M-100.
...
Unfortunately, they [local clerks] are prohibited from performing any maintenance/cleaning on the machines as it voids the warranties. ES&S has not performed any preventative maintenance under the state contract, since the machines were delivered three years ago.

This problem, discovered during pre-election "Logic & Accuracy" testing of the systems, would hardly be the first time that ES&S has failed to deliver on maintenance contracts, adversely affecting voters and election results in the bargain. We saw many similar problems during the 2006 primary election cycle. These precinct-based scanners are used throughout the nation, as ES&S is the nation's largest distributor of voting systems in the U.S.

The EAC received this letter a week ago, and we're trying to learn when it was finally posted to their website. But, more importantly, as they have a mandate via the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 to serve as a "clearinghouse" for such voting system problems, has the EAC sent a warning about this issue to any other jurisdictions where the same equipment or company is used?

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No Recourse Allowed for Voters Once Ballot is Rejected...
By John Gideon on 10/31/2008 3:06pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

From News4 in Jacksonville, FL...

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --- Election officials scrutinizing absentee ballots in Duval County have rejected more than 500 ballots out of the 1,600 questionable ballots examined so far.

Most of those were rejected because they lack signatures or the signatures don't match the voter's signature on file.

Lisa Rigg was worried her signature didn't match and contacted the Supervisor of Elections office.

"It's that important to me. I want my vote to absolutely count for this election. It is very important," Rigg said.

She was right. Her absentee vote is one of those that was rejected.

"I was a little shocked," Rigg said. "But then again, my signature does not always match, from day to day. I said, 'What can I do to fix this? Can I come down and prove to you that I am who I am and I signed that ballot.'"

Unfortunately, the answer was no. Once a ballot is cast, it cannot be changed or replaced by a new ballot.

If the signature doesn't match the voter is not asked to provide proof of who they are? In Washington state if our signature does not match on our absentee ballot the county contacts you and gives you the opportunity to go to the county election office and provide ID and your ballot is then accepted.

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By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2008 4:08pm PT  

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...

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

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