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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, December 22, 2014
'A Terrible Idea': E-Voting, E-Counting, 'Open Source' and Internet Voting
Computerphile's Tom Scott understands and explains what too many -- even most opponents of 'e-voting' -- don't fully appreciate...
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
Previous GNRs: 12/9/14 - 12/4/14 - Archives...
The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
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...


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!... ---

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Logic and Accuracy Test of The County's Sequoia Machines Fails
By John Gideon on 8/22/2006 5:11pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Tonight Kitty Pilgrim reports that Pinellas Co.'s voting machines passed Logic and Accuracy (L&A) Tests until a Sequoia Voting Systems technician changed some software. A subsequent test failed so the county changed the software back and re-did the test successfully. There was no report as to what caused the problem or why Sequoia tried to install software that was, very apparently, unnecessary; or was it?

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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Catskill Center For Independence Denies They Took Anything But Claim Money Was Offered...And This Isn't the First Such Example...
By John Gideon on 8/2/2006 8:55pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Today Oneonta, NY's The Daily Star reported that Chris Zachmeyer, executive director of the Catskill Center For Independence, said Tuesday that voting-machine manufacturers have tried to contribute money to her organization, which has given testimony on which voting machines Otsego County should buy.

"It’s happened a couple of times," said Zachmeyer, who declined to identify the manufacturers.

"I told them, ’I’d love to take your money, but I can’t,"’ Zachmeyer said. "Those were my words exactly, and I would love to take their money because they’ve got deep pockets and we’re a small agency."

"But to what end?" Zachmeyer asked. "We would lose any credibility that we ever had, and no amount of money is worth it.

"We exist totally on our credibility," she said. "If people don’t trust what we have to say, we might as well lock our doors and go home."

But with "millions of dollars at stake" it may well be that "back-door deals" may have been made as Voting Machine companies may be paying disabilities groups to testify on their behalf. It wouldn't be the first time.

As the article goes on to report...

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

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Lou Commends Rep. Carolyn Maloney For Doing Her Job
By John Gideon on 7/25/2006 6:45pm PT  

The Treasury Department has told Lou Dobbs that they are finally looking into the sale of Sequoia Voting Systems to a company owned by Venezuelan nationals.


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

A written transcript follows...

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

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Tape of Live Appearance Discussing Election Integrity, Ohio 2004, E-Voting Crime 2006...
By David Edwards on 7/20/2006 7:42pm PT  


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

NOTE FROM BRAD: I'm still out on the road, will be for a while, and thus unable to check into the net with much frequency! Not getting all of my email either because of it, so my apologies. Thanks Dave for getting this up! More when I am able to check back in from a location with net access and enough time to get caught up-ish.

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Avante International Technology Corporation Files Suit Against Use of Paper Trail Printer, Op Scan Technology by Voting Machine Giants...
By John Gideon on 7/12/2006 12:54pm PT  

In a just issued Media Release SimmonsCooperLLC has announced that their client, Avante International, has decided to sue Diebold, Elections Systems and Software (ES&S), and Sequoia Voting Systems for infringing on their patents for voter verified paper audit trail printer and some optical-scan patents.

The full Media Release follows...

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

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CNN Notices That Wireless Personal Digital Assistants Could Wreak Havoc on Voting Machines...
By Brad Friedman on 6/29/2006 1:57am PT  

Blogged by Brad from San Diego...

Just in from tonight's Busby/Bilbray Democracy Shindig in Oceanside. A great event with a lively turnout (including our old buddy Jim Lampley in da house.) As promised after last night's LA event, more as soon as I can catch my breath.

Until then, here's last night's Lou Dobbs, which I think was terrific. Be sure to watch it (or read it, transcript below the fold) until the end. Lou is gettin' angrier by the day...

I posted the results of the "Quick Poll" this morning before leaving Los Angeles. In case you missed it, the question was "Do you believe that e-voting machines should be disallowed until their integrity can be assured?" The results... YES: 97%, NO 3%.

Could America finally be coming to its senses?

Too exhausted to comment on this tonight with much detail, so please be my guest and "be the blog" for us here in comments. I will point out, however, that it's nice to see folks finally discussing the threat of Palm Pilots and other PDA's (personal digital assistants, as opposed to Progressive Democrats of America) and their wireless capacity posing a threat to these stupid systems as well. Kitty Pilgrim broaches the topic in this report from Tuesday which covered the release that day of the new NYU Brennan Center report on E-Voting security. We orginally discussed the alarming possibility of a voter with a PDA when we ran an exposé on the wireless Infrared (IrDA) port we photographed on one of the older paperless Diebold touch-screen systems.


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

The complete text transcript follows...

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

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Plus Lou Dobbs and 97% of his viewers vote to do away with E-Voting, last night's emergency townhall briefly and other quick news applicable to the highly-questionable Busby/Bilbray results...
(The Democracy Train moves down to San Diego/Oceanside tonight! Please be there!)
By Brad Friedman on 6/28/2006 11:49am PT  

Must hit the road shortly to take the Democracy Train down to San Diego for tonight's Emergency Townhall on the Busby/Bilbray election results fiasco. If you're anywhere near San Diego or Oceanside please come out tonight! We had a great time last night in Los Angeles!

More on all of these as soon as I can catch my breath. The fine lower-cased blogger, skippy the bush kangaroo, was amongst those in attendance last night (as was Joseph Cannon of Cannonfire) and so I'll defer for the moment to skippy's coverage (since I don't have time for any of my own right). Skippy got a coupla small points slighly wrong, but I suspect he'll update since I let him know. As BRAD BLOG readers realize, unlike with AP and NY Times accuracy counts for bloggers.

Lou Dobbs report last night on the Brennan Center's year-in-the-making report on 120 threats to E-Voting Security was fan-damn-tastic. When I can catch my breath, I hope to get it, along with the video, posted in full. And more thoughts on that Brennan Center report. But for now, by way of teaser, Dobbs started it this way: "More evidence tonight that an increasing number of elections in this country can be outright stolen. And no one would ever know. It's incredible."

And, as of this hour, here are the results from his "Quick Poll" on this topic last night (you can still vote yourselves if you want)

Any questions? We're told he'll still be on the same beat tonight (6pm ET, 3pm PT --- you can send thank you notes/comments here to Dobbs for all of his very responsible coverage over the past three weeks and counting!)

Last, but most certainly not least, Washington Post covered the Brennan Center report themselves this morning. They highlighted the very message we've been trying to convey to Francine Busby, the voters in San Diego and across the nation over the last three weeks. The WaPo article begins this way...

A Single Person Could Swing an Election

To determine what it would take to hack a U.S. election, a team of cybersecurity experts turned to a fictional battleground state called Pennasota and a fictional gubernatorial race between Tom Jefferson and Johnny Adams. It's the year 2007, and the state uses electronic voting machines.

Jefferson was forecast to win the race by about 80,000 votes, or 2.3 percent of the vote. Adams's conspirators thought, "How easily can we manipulate the election results?"

The experts thought about all the ways to do it. And they concluded in a report issued yesterday that it would take only one person, with a sophisticated technical knowledge and timely access to the software that runs the voting machines, to change the outcome...

See you tonight in San Diego!

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USA TODAY Reports on Long-Awaited Landmark Analysis from Computer Scientists, Security Experts Released by the Brennan Center...
E-Voting 'Poses a Real Danger to Integrity of National, State and Local Elections' According to Study (No, Really?!)
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2006 11:30am PT  

A long awaited study of electronic voting machine security by computer scientists and security experts has been released this morning by the Brennan Center of Justice at the NYU School of Law.

Given preparations for tonight and tomorrow's "Emergency Townhall" events on the Busby/Bilbray mess (I'll be emceeing and "keynoting"), I've yet to be able to read the long report any more than cursorily, so I'm forced to defer for now to USA Today's coverage of it from this morning...

Analysis finds e-voting machines vulnerable

WASHINGTON — Most of the electronic voting machines widely adopted since the disputed 2000 presidential election "pose a real danger to the integrity of national, state and local elections," a report out Tuesday concludes.

There are more than 120 security threats to the three most commonly purchased electronic voting systems, the study by the Brennan Center for Justice says. For what it calls the most comprehensive review of its kind, the New York City-based non-partisan think tank convened a task force of election officials, computer scientists and security experts to study e-voting vulnerabilities.
...
Among the findings:

• Using corrupt software to switch votes from one candidate to another is the easiest way to attack all three systems. A would-be hacker would have to overcome many hurdles to do this, the report says, but none "is insurmountable."

• The most vulnerable voting machines use wireless components open to attack by "virtually any member of the public with some knowledge and a personal digital assistant." Only New York, Minnesota and California ban wireless components.

• Even electronic systems that use voter-verified paper records are subject to attack unless they are regularly audited.

• Most states have not implemented election procedures or countermeasures to detect software attacks.

Here's the complete Executive Summary [PDF] of the Brennan Report.

UPDATE 6/30/06: The complete Brennan Center for Justice report is now posted here [PDF]. Their press release announcing it is here.

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Those Requesting Paper Ballots Had Privacy Violated and Votes Entered Into E-Voting Machines Anyway!
By John Gideon on 6/25/2006 2:33pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon while Brad takes care of other important business related to the Busby/Bilbray fiasco

Many Riverside County California voters went to the polls on primary election day, June 6, with the plan that they would use their right to request paper ballots instead of voting on the Sequoia Edge Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, touch-screen) voting machines.

Those voters will probably be surprised to learn that the county Registrar of Voters thumbed her nose at them. The paper/absentee ballots they were given --- Xerox copies of the ballot on 8 1/2×11 paper --- were then punched into the DRE's by election workers later. On the same touch-screen systems the voters had wanted to avoid by requesting a paper ballot in the first place. This was all done without their knowledge, without their permission, and without their ability to verify that their ballots were recorded as they had voted them.

Moreover, the voters were forced to attach their names and addresses to the ballots! So much for private voting in Riverside!...

UPDATE: Riverside County Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore responded to the story by Art Cassel with a 'Letter To The Editor'. See the text of the letter at the end of this article.

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

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Complaint Seeks to Stop Use of Electronic Voting Systems Made by Diebold, Sequoia, ES&S and Hart InterCivic
Broadest State Filing Against Voting Machines Yet Filed, Follows Similar Suits in California, Arizona, New Mexico
By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2006 11:37am PT  

In a complaint said to be the broadest yet filed to halt the rise of the electronic voting machines, a non-partisan group of voters have announced they are filing suit today in Colorado to stop the purchase and use of Direct Recording Electronic ("DRE" or touch-screen) voting machines in the state, The BRAD BLOG can now reveal.

The suit, being filed today in Denver District Court and modeled after similar actions filed previously in California, Arizona and New Mexico, calls for an immediate halt to the use of touch-screen machines made by all four of the major electronic voting machine vendors currentlly doing business in Colorado.

The group, advised and organized by VoterAction.org contends that voting machines made by Diebold, Sequoia Voting Systems, Election Systems and Software Inc. (ES&S) and Hart InterCivic "have a well-documented history of problems with security, reliability, verifiability, and disability access."

According to a press release issued this morning (posted in full below) by the Denver law firm of Wheeler Trigg Kennedy LLP the machines "are easily hacked and compromised, and have a history of operational problems which have disrupted elections across the country."

Defendants named in the suit include Colorado Secretary of State Gigi Dennis and the Boards of county commissioners in 9 different CO counties.

"The Secretary of State's Office has failed to issue rules setting minimum standards for security of these systems. The election rules permit the DRE manufacturers to simply tell the State that their machines are secure," said Wheller Trigg Kennedy attorney Paul Hultin in the release. "Worse, the Secretary is not following the law. No certification reports required by law have been prepared even though these systems have been certified for months and counties are preparing to use these dubious systems in the upcoming election," he says.

"Some of the security risks with these machines are so high that it is unconscionable that their manufacturers, who have known of the problems for years, have not taken the necessary steps to correct them," says Univesity of Iowa computer science Professor Dr. Doug Jones, who is one of several experts who will be offering testimony in the case.

"The Help America Vote Act is being turned on its head, weakening the integrity of our elections in the rush to purchase untrustworthy DRE computerized voting systems," said Lowell Finley, Co-counsel for the Colorado voter plaintiffs, election law expert, and Co-director of Voter Action, according to the release. "The sanctity of our elections is too important to turn over to private corporations which operate without accountability. There are better and more secure options available, such as optical scan-paper balloting."

The complete filing is now online here [PDF]...

We're busy covering the Robert Kennedy article on Election 2004 in Rolling Stone today (we'll have extended excerpts on BRAD BLOG shortly), so we'll leave you with the complete press release below for more details on this developing case...

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

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By John Gideon on 4/2/2006 5:06pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

The "DVN Top 5" is a feature in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The March 27 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on The BRAD BLOG!...

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

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'Software Clearly Unstable,' Says Testing Official Who 'Transformed Handful of Votes into Thousands...in an Instant'!
Ten-Year Old E-Voting Systems from NV Planned for First Time Use in PA This Year
By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2006 6:18pm PT  

Meanwhile...in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County, where plans to use Diebold's hackable Electronic Voting Equipment have recently been nixed, Plan B seems to be failing too. The machines they'd hope to use instead, as made by Sequoia Voting Systems, have now been shown to be hackable as well.

Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette picked up on the story yesterday, and followed up today on the testing being run in Allegheny County by Dr. Michael Shamos, a Carnegie Mellon University professor, on the "new" Sequoia Voting Machines. The county had hoped to use these systems --- ten-year old Sequoia "Advantage" machines as purchased from Clark County, Nevada who is moving to a different Sequoia system --- in their upcoming Primary Elections in May. That plan, now may be in grave doubt.

The testing of the machines has found so many problems --- including Shamos' findings during "tampering tests" that he was able to instantly "transform a handful of votes into thousands" --- that he has now simply shut down the entire process described as "pointless" due to all of the errors in the software.

According to today's report...

HARRISBURG --- A state voting-machine examiner yesterday halted testing of the machine Allegheny County intends to use in the May primary, saying it was pointless to continue until a critical software problem is resolved.

"It's not useful to continue because [the software] clearly is not stable," said Michael Shamos, a Carnegie Mellon University professor.

Sequoia Voting Systems, the Oakland, Calif.-based manufacturer of AVC Advantage voting machines, will have a chance to fix the software and have it retested in a week or two. Otherwise, it's unlikely the machines will be certified for use in Pennsylvania.

As you may recall, it was machines made by Sequoia which failed so miserably across the state in Illinois just last week during the Primary Elections there. Just a handful of the many mainstream reports covering the meltdown are here, here and here.

Now pay attention...because this can be confusing...

Illinois' Cook County (Chicago) had used new Sequoia "Edge" machines in the recent primary that had been purchased by Clark County, Nevada. Since Illinois' primaries were first, and Sequoia didn't have time or inventory to fill both orders, Cook used Clark's machines for last week's contest only.

Those "Edge" machines, which failed so disastrously in Cook County, IL, are now to be shipped to Clark County, NV who is selling their own ten-year old Sequoia "Advantage" machines to Allegheny County, PA. It is those ten-year old machines which are now being tested in Allegheny and failing so horrendously.

All of which begs the questions: How well were those "Advantage" machines tested in Nevada in the last ten years? How much is Nevada now looking forward to using the new and failed "Edge" machines that they had loaned for a single use to Cook County, IL? And finally, will Clark County, NV bother to test them to find out if they too are hackable like the ones --- modified a bit by Sequoia on the way, apparently --- that they've just unloaded on Allegheny County, PA?

But back to the halted tests in Allegheny...and the claims by Sequoia officials that the problems found were "no big deal". Shamos doesn't see them as "no big deal" and is concerned that a malicious hacker could do precisely what he was able to do in these tests...

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

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Poll Worker Training Blamed
By John Gideon on 3/23/2006 6:27am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

At noon Wednesday, Chicago was missing 252 memory cartridges, 93 from machines that scanned in paper ballots and 159 from touch screens. County officials couldn't find 162 memory cartridges from suburban precincts--68 from optical-scanning machines and 94 for touch-screen balloting.

The problems led midday to the sight of Cook County Director of Elections Clem Balanoff--his tie loosened and eyes bleary--rifling through blue duffel bags at a county warehouse for precinct returns for uncounted votes on missing memory cartridges.

It was only early last month that the state of Illinois certified the Sequoia voting system that was used in the Illinois primary in Chicago and suburban Cook County this week. In that 6 week period over 23,000 election judges had to be trained to set-up and use the voting machines and they had to learn a completely new set of procedures for opening and closing the polls.

The county and city failed to do that training or failed to do enough of it for those who were trained at all. According to this morning's Chicago Tribune:

Langdon Neal, chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, further said that 4,000 of Chicago's 14,000 election judges attended no training and instead relied on a judge's manual that was sent in the mail and was written in a complicated and confusing manner.

Training for county judges emphasized videos and not hands-on instruction. None of the 9,600 election judges in suburban Cook County had ever touched the scanning device used to process paper ballots, said Cook County Clerk David Orr.

This clear lack of training and the introduction of new, un-reliable voting machines has caused what amounts to a disaster in vote counting. Three days after the voters went to the polls votes are still being tallied. In fact, memory cartridges were still being located as of Wednesday afternoon.

Not helping with all of the chaos were the machine failures reported all around the city and county:

  • "A high-tech voting system in Chicago and suburban Cook County provided plenty of frustration and confusion for voters during its first test Tuesday, as election officials dealt with missing power cords and ballots, jammed equipment and broken electronic voting machines." LINK
  • "As voting in today's primary election nears an end, some of the new, multi-million dollar voting machines were a hi-tech headache for voters." LINK
  • "As election officials closed the polls Tuesday evening, reports of glitches from throughout the day continued as both voters and election officials learned how to deal with a new, high-tech voting system in Chicago and suburban Cook County."LINK
  • So this week's Illinois primary has been a disaster with machine breakdowns, procedural errors, lost memory cartridges and a complete lack of training. They have to be able to learn from this and make changes; right? Well actually, as reported by VoteTrustUSA, they are going to take all of those Sequoia voting machines used in Chicago and suburban Cook County and they are shipping them all to Clark County, Nevada. Meanwhile, Chicago and Cook County will be getting another brand-new Sequoia voting system that has never been used in any election. Let's hope they can take just a little more time to train their poll judges because November will be here soon.

    ReddIt this story!



    AP Joins 'Tallahassee Democrat' Alleging Violations of State Law When Meeting Between Sue Cobb and Ion Sancho Suddenly Closed, Police Ordered to Remove Reporters
    Election Supervisor/E-Voting Hero Buoyed By Broad Support, But Controversy is 'Taking a Toll'
    By Brad Friedman on 3/17/2006 4:49pm PT  

    The Associated Press is now joining the Tallahassee Democrat in a complaint sent to the Florida Attorney General objecting to an open meeting in the state's capital last Monday which Florida Sec. of State Sue Cobb suddenly took it upon herself to close. She then called the capital police and ordered them to remove reporters from the area.

    Earlier this week, The BRAD BLOG reported on the aborted "open meeting" as called by Cobb with Leon County Election Supervisor Ion Sancho and two other county commissioners. The meeting was called in order to discuss the situation in Leon County, where Sancho recently revealed that Diebold optical-scan voting machines could be hacked without a trace left behind.

    Sancho told The BRAD BLOG last night he felt "there was no reason" to close the meeting.

    "There was nothing we talked about in there that needed to be kept secret. They just don't like open meetings. They like doing their business in secret," Sancho said.

    Cobb, on behalf of the state, has been putting pressure on Sancho to purchase new voting equipment, threatening him with removal from his elected position, and suggesting that U.S. Marshall's might come in to run the county's election. That, despite the fact that all three companies certified to do business in the state have now refused to work with Sancho.

    Voting Machine Companies, it seems, don't like doing business in the open either.

    The meeting last Monday --- held on the first day of "Sunshine Week" celebrating "open government" in Florida --- was suddenly closed by Cobb who then called the police to remove reporters.

    "On the first day of 'Sunshine Week' it was a pretty stupid thing to do," Sancho said.

    According to the Tallahassee Democrat, both they and the AP have now sent letters of complaint to Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist and State Attorney Willie Megs "expressing outrage" at being barred from the meeting in apparent violation of state law.

    As reported by the Democrat...

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

    ReddIt this story!



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