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Leftover Turkey Toons
'PDiddie' warms up the oven to roast a few of the folks who deserve it in his latest collection of Thanksgiving week's best political toons...
The 'F' Word:
'BradCast' 11/27/15
Guest Host Nicole Sandler is joined by Howie Klein of Down with Tyranny and Blue America PAC on the rise of Trump, Grayson's endorsement of Clinton, and how marijuana helped him fight cancer...
Serve & Protect?:
'BradCast' 11/25/15
The Guardian's Steven W. Thrasher joins guest host Nicole Sandler to discuss two different and disturbing attacks on African Americans...
Alan Grayson Explains His Hillary Endorsement: 'BradCast' 11/24/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler's tough interview with the FL Congressman seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate...
'Green News Report' 11/24/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Carbon tax coming to Alberta tar sands; Obama: Paris conf must proceed; Senate Repubs to monkeywrench int'l agreement; PLUS: FDA okays GMO salmon for humans...
Previous GNRs: 11/19/15 - 11/17/15 - Archives...
Sunday 'This Means War' Toons
PDiddie's must-see collection of the past shameful week's best -- and most dead-on and occassionally horrifying -- toons...
ISIS Wins in US House; Plus: TPP, NAFTA and the Return of KXL?: 'BradCast' 11/19/15
With guest David Dayen of Salon, Fiscal Times, The Intercept, et al...
'Green News Report' 11/19/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
House GOP's war against climate scientists; October 2015 was hottest on record; Fossil fuel subsidies at $500B/year; UK phases out coal; PLUS: Canada kills another tar sands pipeline...
Previous GNRs: 11/17/15 - 11/12/15 - Archives...
Home of the Brave:
'BradCast' 11/18/15
GOP Governors and Presidential candidates help ISIS dreams come true by turning against refugees from war-torn Syria, as some Americans follow their lead by turning against fellow citizens after the Paris attacks...
How NOT to Respond to the Paris Terror Attacks: 'BradCast' 11/17/15
Anti-war author David Swanson on how we got here, how the media and politicians continue to make it worse, and what we must do instead...
'Green News Report' 11/17/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate gets short shrift in 2nd Dem Debate; Yes, climate change is a NatSec threat; Intn'l climate talks in Paris after attacks; PLUS: NY's Cuomo vetoes major NatGas project...
Previous GNRs: 11/12/15 - 11/10/15 - Archives...
A Word About Paris; Coverage of CBS' Dem Debate in Iowa: 'BradCast' 11/16/15
Salon's Heather Digby Parton and longtime GOPer Fred Karger on the debate the DNC didn't want you to watch...
Sunday Somewhat Horrible Toons
PDiddie's round-up of a number of smart toons in the wake of the horrific terror attacks in Paris...
'Very Similar, If Not Identical': DoJ's Big Tobacco Prosecutor on Case Against ExxonMobil: 'BradCast' 11/12/15
Attorney Sharon Eubanks on RICO, conspiracy and the big lies of Big Tobacco and Big Oil...
'Green News Report' 11/12/15
2016 Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates talk climate, energy, and the path forward in GOP Debate and Dem Forum...
Decoding and Debunking Fox Biz Channel's GOP Debate: 'BradCast' 11/11/15
Smartest post-debate analysis anywhere! With journalists Heather Digby Parton and David Dayen...
Impossible Results for OH Pot Measure?: 'BradCast' 11/10/15
Screenshots suggest disappearing 'Yes' votes; OH SoS offers us explanation. PLUS: Calls for KY hand-count...
'Green News Report' 11/10/15
Obama rejects KXL; Big Coal caught lying about climate change; ExxonMobil facing probe; PLUS: 2nd cyclone for Yemen & Sea World responds to critics...
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

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

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

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

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

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

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

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

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

Detailed Coverage from Historic Hearing in Sacramento, California...
By Emily Levy on 7/30/2007 11:19pm PT  

Guest Blogged from Sacramento by Emily Levy of (with assistance from Michelle Gabriel, photos by Bill Lackemacher of Sacramento for Democracy) from the public hearing on 7/30/07, called by California Secretary of State to receive comments on her landmark "Top-to-Bottom review" of the state’s electronic voting systems. No internet access was available in the hearing room, so I wasn’t able to live blog as I’d hoped. I did, however, take copious notes, which are posted in full below this brief summary.

ED NOTE: The video of the hearing, which was not easily available as it streamed live today, is now posted here and here. But I recommend Emily's detailed description below for a great deal of value-added content and perspective! And it's faster! - BF

Note: Story very slightly updated with some corrections in the spelling of names, plus one substantive correction regarding Jim Soper's testimony (the very last one in the entire article).

SACRAMENTO - California Secretary of State Debra Bowen made opening remarks, followed by an overview of the Top-To-Bottom Review by the chief investigator, Matthew Bishop, University of California Davis (UCD) Professor of Computer Science.

Following that, each of the three vendors whose machines went through the Top-To-Bottom Review were given 30 minutes to respond to the report. Diebold went first and only took about five of the 30 minutes, followed by Hart Intercivic and Sequoia.

I’m absolutely thrilled to report that Sequoia knows just how to solve the problems found in the Top-To-Bottom Review: California should just by newer systems from them!

After lunch was the public comment period, the longest part of the hearing. I’ve paraphrased and sometimes quoted the comments of just about every person who testified (including my own testimony). There were maybe 25 or 30 county election officials present, many of whom spoke. Freddie Oakley of Yolo County, an election integrity hero, spoke in favor of the Top-To-Bottom Review and said we bought these systems to accommodate voters with special needs and disabilities and “we have let them down in the most appalling way” by certifying systems with such obvious defects and continuing to use them despite those defects.

I believe every other elections official spoke critically of the Top-To-Bottom Review, most criticizing Bowen for not including county elections officials in the review, not reviewing policies and procedures as part of the Top-To-Bottom Review, and conducting the review in a laboratory setting rather than a real election setting. (I, in contrast, think our elections in recent years have been nothing but one giant beta test!)

It will take some scrolling to find my notes on the remarks of the many election integrity advocates who spoke. Most spoke late in the day, probably because they signed up later, after the pre-hearing press conference they held outside the Secretary of State’s office building. But it’s worth the scrolling, because many important things were said. Many of the EI advocates encouraged Secretary Bowen to decertify not just the three election systems tested, but all electronic voting systems. Many advocated for hand-counted paper ballots. Testimony was frequently backed up with credentials, experience, statistics and technical information. The depth and breadth of expertise in the election integrity movement continues to amaze me. (Note: I’ve posted my own comments in full because I had them available. If others who spoke would like their testimony posted in full, I invite them to paste them into the “comments” section of this blog item.)

Several people with disabilities and advocates for people with disabilities spoke. Some, notably Jennifer Kidder, spoke about the importance of election integrity. Kidder said, “The purpose of any equal opportunity legislation is to get marginalized voices heard,” and went on to note that this purpose is defeated if, after voting privately and independently, the vote of a disabled voter is changed by an electronic voting system.

Most of the people with disabilities and their advocates, however, cautioned against going “back” to paper ballots, saying that would be a move in the wrong direction in terms of the accessibility of voting systems. In general, they were supportive of the types of mitigations recommended by the accessibility team of the Top-To-Bottom Review, despite the findings that none of the systems tested actually met the federal accessibility standards as required by law.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen’s office is accepting public comments by email until Wednesday, August 1 at On Friday, August 3, Bowen will announce what actions she will take in light of the Top-To-Bottom Review. We can only hope that she remembers why she was elected, and will take bold action to protect California's elections.

Detailed notes on the hearing appear below. Where I have paraphrased a speaker, I have done so in the first person, sometimes making my own [occasionally snarky] comments inside square brackets. I hope this isn’t confusing...

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

By Brad Friedman on 7/27/2007 3:35pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from Houston...

Going on air in 4 minutes...But still on line on media conference call w/ CA SoS Debra Bowen concerning her landmark independent "Top-to-Bottom Review" of all voting systems in the state.

I'll have more on the air tonight (see link above), but she has just said "The independent teams of analysts were able to bypass both physical and software security measures in every system tested."

The reports are not yet posted, but should be any moment right here.

As mentioned, more throughout tonight's Peter B. Collins Show which I'm currently Guest Hosting...

UPDATE BY JOHN GIDEON: None of the voting systems tested were found to meet federal mandates for disabled voter accessibility. This may present a problem for the state as they will not be able to allow those systems to be used for accessibility unless the vendors can find solutions for their shortcomings.

EVEN LATER UPDATE (BY BRAD): John and I discuss (and rant about) all of the above, along with more details on the reports findings in this audio clip from today's Peter B. Collins show [appx. 10 mins]...

UPDATE 7/28/07: We'll have much more on this in the days ahead, and we strongly recommend folks read comments below for more details, thoughts from citizens. But in the meantime, here's NY Times' coverage: "Scientists’ Tests Hack Into Electronic Voting Machines in California and Elsewhere" and San Francisco Chronicle coverage: "STATE VOTE MACHINES LOSE TEST TO HACKERS."

Independent Reports to Be Released Friday, Public Comment Hearing in Sacramento on Monday, SoS Bowen's Final Certification Decisions on Aug. 3...
By Brad Friedman on 7/26/2007 8:11am PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from Houston...

Following up on yesterday's report on the latest machinations surrounding the release of CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen's unprecedented "Top-to-Bottom Review" --- including independent hack testing and source code analysis --- of electronic voting systems. The BRAD BLOG has received a few more details on official release dates and timing, including a public hearing in Sacramento next Monday, from the SOS's office [emphasis ours]:

-- The independent reports will be finalized and posted to our website this Friday, July 27. These will include all the teams' findings in the four areas of the voting systems review, without opinions about what the state and counties should do.

-- A public hearing will be held in Sacramento beginning at 10:00 a.m. Monday, July 30. It will begin with the two principal investigators presenting an overview of their findings, followed by vendor responses and then a general public comment period.

-- Secretary Bowen's decisions on system certifications will come August 3, after her thorough review of the findings and public input.

We're in Texas, but hoping those within driving, walking, running distance from Sacramento will show up to the Capitol to give their thoughts on the findings on Monday, as we expect the voting machine vendors to be there in droves, and they may need a reminder that they do not own these elections. The citizens do.

We're also still waiting to hear back from Steve Weir, the Registrar-Clerk of Contra Costa County and President of the California Assoc. of Clerks and Election Officers (CACEO), for details on his published comments indicating that CA registrars may choose to ignore Bowen's findings. The CACEO has blasted Bowen's review of voting systems previously.

Not sure what Weir's legal theory is for such an action, which seems to fly in the face of both the law and the will of the people --- Bowen was elected precisely on her promises to take the actions she's currently taking after both her predecessor in CA and federal agencies had failed completely to properly test these voting systems before certifying them --- but we'll let you know what we learn. We've invited Weir to appear on the Peter B. Collins Show, which we continue to Guest Host through the end of this week. We'd love to hear from him, of course. Stay tuned...

UPDATE 7/27/07 2:40pm PT: Still waiting for the release of the reports, which I'm told by the SOS will be "any moment". When it's released, it should be right here.

Results of Unprecedented Testing to Be Released Next Week, While Voting Machine Companies Continue in Denial, and CA Clerks Association Says They May Do What They Want Anyway...
By Brad Friedman on 7/25/2007 11:24am PT  

Blogged by Brad Friedman from Houston...

The results of California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's landmark "top-to-bottom" review of electronic voting systems in California are due on August 3rd. (UPDATE: The SoS's Office informs us the report will be released this Friday. Details now posted here.) It'll be the first such official analysis, performed by several teams of testers, in which these voting systems have actually been tested for vulnerabilities and failures by "red team" hack/penetration testers, as well as having the system source codes fully and independently tested.

An article by Steve Harmon published in several CA newspaper this week offers a preview of the battle which may be ahead, including one exceedingly disturbing suggestion that California Election Clerks may be preparing to "ignore Bowen's findings and continue to use their systems" no matter what she may find, and whether or not she decertifies the systems for use.

Yours truly is quoted early in the piece, suggesting that "voting machine companies are quaking in their boots," as Bowen is doing precisely what she was elected to do and is fulfilling her campaign promises through the unprecedented series of tests.

John Gordon of Public Radio's Future Tense program followed up that printed report with his own four-minute audio report in which I'm also interviewed:

Of note in both reports, the voting machine company spokesholes are on the defensive, as expected. But the real battle after Bowen releases her findings may lie with the California Association of Clerks and Election Officers (CACEO), currently led by President Steve Weir, who makes some startling statements in the report...

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

CA SoS Debra Bowen Names Teams and Methods to be Used for 'First-of-its-Kind in the Nation' Certification, Decertification Process...
By Brad Friedman on 5/9/2007 12:28pm PT  

Doing twelve things at once today, so no time for analysis at this point. I'll just run CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen's just released statement on her promised, unprecedented, first-of-its-kind in the nation, "top to bottom review" of all of California's electronic voting systems.

The review will include "red team" hack testing for the first time ever. Done as standard operating procedure for similar security-sensitive, mission-critical commercial systems, this sort of penetration testing has never been performed on America's voting systems. Until now.

The one page summary [PDF] of the plan states:

  • [University of California] will provide specialists from its campuses, as well as experts from public and private universities and private sector companies throughout the United States to create three teams of experts to conduct the reviews.
  • Each system will undergo a thorough document and source code review, red team penetration testing, and a review to determine whether it’s accessible to all voters.
  • The review teams will provide an independent technical evaluation of the voting systems that the Secretary of State will use to carry out her statutory duty with respect to voting systems in determining whether the systems comply with current state and federal law.

There are links within her statement below where you can find more details. For example, the State's review teams will include folks such as computer security expert "hacking" Harri Hursti, and blind technology expert Noel Runyan, who has been highly critical of unverifiable touch-screen DRE voting systems.

More on all of this, perhaps, later after I've had time to review the materials myself. But for now, see the statement below for some killer quotes from Bowen...

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

Debra Bowen Appoints Lowell Finley of Election Integrity Watchdog Group to Role of 'Deputy SoS for Voting Systems Technology and Policy'
[UPDATED] Critics of E-Voting Hail News as 'Collosal Suprise,' Very Good for Voters, Very Bad for the Nation's Electronic Voting Machine Companies...
By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2007 2:31pm PT  

It may not be a very good day in the corporate offices at Diebold, but The BRAD BLOG has learned some big news that may well indicate today is a very good day indeed for the voters of America and specifically in California.

As incoming Sec. of State Debra Bowen was sworn in to her new office just moments ago, The BRAD BLOG can now reveal that one of the nation's top critics of unverifiable electronic voting systems --- and a key player across several states in the legal battles against voting machine companies such as Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia Voting Systems, and Hart Intercivic --- is today being named by the new California Sec. of State Debra Bowen as Deputy SoS for Voting Systems Technology and Policy.

Lowell Finley, the lead attorney for the non-partisan voting machine legal watchdog organization, will be named to the position today.

In his new capacity, Finley will oversee testing and certification for all voting machine technology in the State of California. In a phone call this morning, Finley confirmed that he would be working closely in his new role with key national associations like the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC).

E-voting critics and at least one California Registrar of Voters have hailed both the swearing in of Bowen as SoS and her appointment of Finley, expressing delight to The BRAD BLOG over the news, characterizing it as a "colossal surprise" and a "very, very good sign for the future of voters' rights in California."

America's voting machine companies are less likely to feel quite as happy about the news.

Finley and VoterAction have filed a number of landmark lawsuits in several states, including in California, over the past year or so, demanding an immediate halt to the use and purchase of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE/touch-screen) voting systems and decertification of many of those systems, as well as improved processes for certification of such systems.

VoterAction is one of over 30 Election Reform organizations who recently went on record with an open letter to Members of Congress demanding federal legislation requiring a paper ballot for every vote cast in America. Such legislation would effectively ban the use of DRE systems, with or without a so-callled "Voter Verified Paper Trail" (VVPAT).

Bowen has been a dogged critic of former Secretary of State Bruce McPherson during her candidacy and in her role overseeing the Elections Committee as a California State Senator. She has criticized his lack of oversight and lax testing procedures, and has championed a "Voters' Bill of Rights" for the Golden State.

While a suit by filed against former SoS McPherson and several CA Registrars of Voting --- concerning McPherson's certification of Diebold TSx touch-screen systems --- is still pending in state court, the disposition of that suit will likely change due to the fact that the lead defendant, McPherson, is no longer in office.

The Berkeley-based attorney Finley --- also one of the attorneys representing voter plaintiffs in the contested election in Florida's 13th Congressional district in Sarasota --- had one of his most recent and notable successes last September, when a Colorado judge ordered a complete review of certification procedures for voting machines in the state. The court found the official placed in charge of testing and certification didn't have the qualifications necessary, and performed little or no testing. That man, John Gardner, was appointed by former CO Sec. of State Donetta Davidson, who has been appointed by George W. Bush to head the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission.

The news of Finley's appointment will undoubtedly be of concern to the major voting machine companies that received little oversight from the former Sec. of State McPherson.

"I wish I was a fly on the wall in the offices at Diebold as they learn of this appointment. I'm sure jaws will be dropping and damage control will be ramping up," John Gideon of election watchdog organization told us today. (Gideon is also a frequent Guest Blogger here at The BRAD BLOG.) ...

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

(Might Have Been #1, But Diebold Handled the Vote Tabulation)
By Brad Friedman on 12/27/2006 1:03pm PT  

Tech Mag PCWorld named E-Voting #3 on their list of "The 21 Biggest Technology Mistakes of 2006"...

3. Hacking the Vote
Are electronic voting machines insecure? In May, security researchers discovered a previously unknown backdoor in Diebold's AccuVote-TS touch-screen voting machines that could allow an attacker to manipulate votes, cause malfunctions, or create a 'voting virus' that spreads from machine to machine--all in under a minute and with little fear of detection. Meanwhile, Princeton researchers also found Diebold's touch-screen machines could be opened with the same kind of key used for hotel mini-bars, offering easy access to the machine's memory card. Diebold promised to fix the vulnerability eventually, but also said they weren't too worried. Why? Because such hacks would require "evil and nefarious election officials"--who don't exist.

We feel much better now.

Big Mistake: Allowing insecure voting machines anywhere near this country's electoral process.

Bigger Mistake: Electing Homer Simpson president--which might happen if we keep using these machines.

We've come a long way, baby.

And we also take year-end great pride in that folks look back on Princeton's Diebold Virus Hack as one of the seminal moments in this whole sordid affair. (The machine used in the research was a DRE/touch-screen system supplied to by a BRAD BLOG source and we then gave it to Princeton for their now-infamous study.)

First they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they attack you.
Then you win.

Voters in Predominently Dem Areas Unable to Vote, Some Voting on Paper Ballots in Chinese and Vietnamese as English Ballots Not Available...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 2:24pm PT  

I just got off the phone with Steve Young, the Democratic candidate in CA-48 (Orange County). He reports that his office is receiving calls from at least 8 precincts of voting machines down with no paper ballots available for voters. All, he says, in strongly Democratic areas of the otherwise conservative Orange County. I believe they use ES&S voting machines down there. Several Emailers have contacted us to let us know it's Hart Intercivic machines in use down there, not ES&S.

He says voters were either being turned away without being able to vote at all, or voting on Chinese and Vietnamese paper ballots --- since English ones are not available --- just so they are able to vote!

By the time we were done with the call, a staffer came in with a report from machines down in a Republican area, but said the machines were fixed quickly, whereas one of the reports you'll see below (transcribed during our quick phone conversation) shows poll workers repeatedly trying to get help from the Registrar to no avail.


Calls coming in to our office, 8 reports all in highly Democratic precincts...

8:35am - Two precincts in an elementary school (#59100 and #59102) had no machines working, no paper ballots, at least 15 people were seen leaving the polls without voting.

8:40am - All machines down in polling place with two precincts in it (#'s 59058 & 5916) all machines down, no English paper ballots, people voted on Chinese and Vietnamese ballots just to vote!

9:10am - Same precincts and also #59161 is completely out of paper ballots.

9:30am - Another precinct (I didn't get the number) had two of the machines down, line is out the door (at least 40 people reported to be in line)

Within the hour - Prcts #59075 and 59076, machines down, poll workers tried six times to get attention to fix the machines.

We're in contact with the Registrar, they promise they're going to deliver English paper ballots to all of the precincts. They claim they are telling poll workers that folks should vote on paper and that they don't have to vote on the machine....if there are such ballots available of course.

Please note, a memo from the CA Sec. of State last month had said all voters who wished to vote on paper in California may do so, but he left it up to them how many would be "an adequate supply." He also said they should be counted as "normal ballots" and not as provisional ballots which are usually counted days later, if ever. None of those orders seems to be being enforced anywhere in CA, as far as I can tell.

By John Gideon on 10/28/2006 1:22pm PT  

Blogged By John Gideon, 28 October 2006

Still over a week from election day and already the problems are piling up. Meanwhile the vendors and their shills are making excuses and attempting to sell the voting public a line of garbage. Among the shills is a federal agency, the Election Assistance Commission, that is supposed to assist the voter and, instead, has sent their chairman out on the road to defend the vendors.

In a blog posted yesterday, Brad said it well:

"The U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) is a complete and utter failure. The current commissioner, Paul DeGregorio, has done nothing to instill confidence in elections or provide a lick of oversight in the deployment and use of these voting systems across the nation in the Midterm Election. In his latest interviews and editorials, he is reprehensibly doing nothing but echoing Voting Machine Company propaganda and Election Officials who choose to be apologists for them."

In a rebuttal to DeGregorios' opinion piece in the Tallahassee Democrat Avi Rubin, Johns-Hopkins Professor, computer scientist and author of "Brave New Ballot" had this to say in his blog:

"I have not seen any reason to trust our nation's voting equipment. Trusting it just because an election official says we should is not good enough for me. I want to trust a system because I don't believe it can be compromised, not because someone implies that not trusting it is not patriotic."

In The Mean Time Across The Nation...

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Candidate Names Truncated on 'eSlate' Review Screens...
By John Gideon on 10/25/2006 10:35pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

As reported by The BRAD BLOG on Tuesday, Hart Intercivic machines being used in Virginia are cutting off the names of candidates when they appear on the review screen. Thus James H. "Jim" Webb shows as James H. "Jim" on the screen.

Well, when a problem is found in one place it is going to be found elsewhere too. Now counties in Texas are reporting the same problem according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that a voting machine must provide the voter with an ability to review their vote before they finalize the process. These machines may be in violation of that law but that can be left to the attorneys. It might be nice if those attorneys showed up now, instead of after the election when it'll be too late.

Election Officials, Company: 'We'll Fix it Next Year'
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2006 10:43pm PT  

What with all the talk of the disaster that is Diebold, Inc., other Voting Machine Companies such as ES&S and Sequoia have gotten a far too easy ride over the past several months. The easiest ride of all, however --- of the big four democracy-hating American Voting Machine Companies --- has gone to Hart InterCivic, which deserves no such benefit of the doubt.

So to be clear: Hart InterCivic voting systems suck just as much as the others.

Washington Post today has details on how their machines are sucking in the hotly contested U.S. Senate race in Virginia between George Allen and "James H. 'Jim'"

The "good news" reported in the article: "Hart InterCivic officials yesterday said they hoped to correct the problem by next fall."

Plaintiff Rep Says Machines to be Allowed in November, With New Security Measures, But Must Be Recertified From Scratch Thereafter
[UPDATED Now to include CNN's Initial Coverage, Official Statement, Trial Testimony and Depositions from the case.]
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2006 4:54pm PT  

I just received a phone call from Holly Jacobson of, the group that has supported voter lawsuits attempting to decertify e-voting machines in Colorado, California, Arizona, Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

She called us from Colorado just after leaving the courtroom, where the case in that state against the use and purchase of e-voting systems made by Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Hart InterCivic was being heard yesterday. She called and said: "We won!"

That call came moments after I'd received a report that CNN's Lou Dobbs had reported an hour or so ago that they had lost the case...

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

San Mateo Co. California's Warren Slocum Makes The Right Decision For The Right Reason
By John Gideon on 9/22/2006 9:28am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

While we don't shy away from talking about the corrupt, the wrong thinking, the un-caring elections officials in our country we don't often get a chance to recognize those who actually do a good job and show that they really do care. I would guess that 90% of the elections officials fall into the category of the caring but it is that 10% who get talked about. I want to change that a bit and talk about one who has made a good decision.

Warren Slocum is the Chief Elections Director of San Mateo County, California. The county has recently decided that they will use Hart Intercivic eSlate Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines at the polls from now on. That's not a good decision because the eSlates are just as bad as the rest, but it was a decision made and we have to move on.

It has just been reported in the San Mateo Daily Journal that Slocum has decided that there is not enough time for him to be assured that his voters and poll workers can become acclimated to the new voting machines by the general election in November. The polls were supposed to have three to six of the eSlates but now voters will find only one eSlate and paper ballots. Slocum is giving up quick results reporting for integrity and we applaud that.

If only Cuyahoga County, Ohio elections officials had decided on integrity instead of rushing out voting machines that were unfamiliar. If only Maryland elections officials had decided on integrity instead of rushing out an unproven and ripe for failure e-poll book device. And the same "If only..." can be echoed all over the country this primary season.

Thank you Warren Slocum for having integrity and for putting your voters and poll workers first.

Man Appointed by SoS to Certify Voting Machines for State Has No Computer Science College Education, Failed to Test Machines for Hackability or Much Else
Colorado Democratic Party Calls on Voters to Vote by Absentee Ballot, Citizens Group Calls for Investigation of SoS
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2006 2:06pm PT  

It's incredible (or is it at this point?) but the lawsuit filed by several Colorado voters to ban touch-screen voting machines manufactured by Diebold, ES&S, Hart InterCivic and Sequoia in the state has revealed that the state's appointed "expert" --- responsible for certifying voting systems --- has no actual college training in computer science and failed to do any actual testing of the systems before certifying them!

As reported in an excellent article from Rocky Mountain News news this morning...

[Democratic candidate for Sec. of State, Sen. Ken] Gordon and the Democratic Party were alarmed by a deposition in the case released this week, in which the secretary of state's staffer in charge of testing the machines says he did only 15 minutes of security checks. The staffer, John Gardner Jr., also said he had no college training in computer science, causing Gordon and others to question whether he was qualified for the job. Gardner also had been information technology chief for the El Paso County clerk, which runs elections there.

The plaintiff's attorneys say Gardner's security checks on the four systems did not include attempts at hacking. Instead, Gardner merely checked whether the manufacturers included security documentation.

"Of course" Gardner should have tried hacking, [plaintiff attorney Paul] Hultin said. "Isn't that the idea of a test?"

The issue was also covered quickly in a Denver Post article last night:

...the Secretary of State's office certified a kind of voting machine for Jefferson and Mesa Counties that does not meet state requirements.

The information comes from the deposition of John Gardner - the man appointed by [Colorado Sec. of State] Gigi Dennis as an expert and charged with certifying the machines.

But Gardner testified he is not an expert in the areas required by state law. He also admitted that the Secretary of State's office was under pressure to certify the voting machines because counties had already purchased them.

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

By Winter Patriot on 8/15/2006 9:50pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Further to yesterday's post about Open Voting Consortium and Raging Grannies working together to resist Hart InterCivic machines on behalf of the voters of San Mateo County, we have bad news and good news.

The bad news is that their effort to postpone an immediate decision in favor of Hart InterCivic has failed. The good news is that the Grannies will keep on Raging. We have a note from the Grannies and a press release describing the meeting.

The Grannies will not give in. We are surprised, but not shocked, at the vote of the Board of Supervisors of San Mateo County, CA today, to approve purchase of the Hart InterCivic Voting systems. As for the Grannies plans now.... Our street theater is going on the road, wherever election protection is needed!

Here's a photo from our dramatization for the press in front of the Hall of Justice building where the Supervisors met. Several newspaper photographers were on hand to document this event.

Our play: Debbie Does Democracy is as follows:

Debbie (in red t-shirt) is suffering from Loss of Voter Confidence and Lack of Civil Rights. Here she is seen being treated by Dr. Jane Q Public with injections of Robust Audits and Software Transparency. All roles played by Raging Grannies.

The press release follows.

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

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