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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, May 27, 2016
A Minimum Income and Maximum Infrastructure?: 'BradCast' 5/26/16
Guest host Angie Coiro with Dave Johnson of Campaign for America's Future; Plus: Historians on the Trump/Hitler comparison...
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Canada insurers call for climate strategy; Pakistan and India heat wave; Renewables record in Portugal; Exxon killed the electric car; PLUS: Trump preps for rising seas (really!)...
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A number of toons in PDiddie's collection of this week's best should be prize winners, frankly. Check them all out...
Jill Stein: 'We're Seeing the Dean Scream of 2016': 'BradCast' 5/19/16
The Green Party's 2012 Presidential nominee and 2016 candidate offers thoughts on Dems, Sanders, the 'two-party system', the 'spoiler effect' and more in our exclusive interview...
'Green News Report' 5/19/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump will toss UN climate pact; Coal export terminal halted in WA; Nestle water plant halted in OR; Duke ordered to close coal ash pits in NC; PLUS: Another climate win for kids in MA...
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OR, KY Results, And 'Fraud' Concerns Examined (Where Possible): 'BradCast' 5/18/16
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Sierra Club's Mary Anne Hitt on another huge win for grassroots activism; And corporate media fails us again...
'Green News Report' 5/17/16
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SCOTUS Punts ObamaCare Case; NV Dems Descends Into Chaos: 'BradCast' 5/16/16
Ian Millhiser on Court's latest unprecedented (post-Scalia) move; Chaos at NV state Dem convention...
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Big Government bathroom inspections in NC, Trump and Sanders shaking up the establishment, and more in PDiddie's collection of the week's best political toons...
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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
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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...

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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...

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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


After admitting a failure in its software caused the problem, Dominion Voting changes its story...
By Brad Friedman on 4/2/2012 4:55pm PT  

A public hand-count of paper ballots in Palm Beach County, FL over the weekend has decisively determined the winners and losers of several disputed elections after paper ballot optical-scan computer tallying systems made by Sequoia Voting Systems (now owned by Dominion Voting) declared the incorrect "winners" of several races in a March 13th election.

But a dispute over who is to blame for the initial failure flared up again over the weekend as Dominion issued a statement that seems to contradict their previous admission that their software was to blame.

"The hand-count was 100%. We weren't missing a ballot," the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher told The BRAD BLOG this afternoon about what happened over the weekend. "Frankly, without paper ballots and without audits, we would have let the wrong winners serve."

What will happen next, however --- for Palm Beach County, one of Florida's largest, as well as the other 285 jurisdictions across the country where the very same voting system is currently in use --- is anything but clear...

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




By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2012 3:00pm PT  

The computers got it wrong. The losing candidates were declared and certified as the "winners." But they didn't actually receive more votes than their opponents. This time, we happened to find out.

As long-time readers of The BRAD BLOG know, there's a reason we routinely slam election officials and media for announcing wholly-unverified computer-reported results of elections before any of the ballots are actually examined by human beings.

So called, post-election "random audits" of a tiny number of paper ballots --- where paper ballots exist, where officials even bother to do that much --- are almost always useless, easily gamed, and, at any rate, almost always poorly carried out. Post-election spot-checks are no substitute for actually, ya know, counting actual ballots.

Nonetheless, election officials and media simply presume that optically-scanned ballots have been correctly tallied on Election Night because, after all, "computers are more reliable than human beings," as they like to say, and any result, apparently, is far more important than an accurate result reflecting the actual will of the voters.

The situation is made still worse in states like Florida where horrible election laws actually prohibit human beings from examining paper ballots to assure they've been tallied accurately after they've already been processed by a computer system. And it's all made even worse than that in Florida as the state has turned election results verification on its head by requiring results be certified just six days after the election, long before results can actually be canvassed by officials for any type of accuracy.

With all of that in mind, and all of the warnings The BRAD BLOG has long offered about optical-scan tallying systems, guess what's just happened in Palm Beach County, Florida --- one of the absolute most disastrous counties for elections in the entire country?...

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




TONIGHT: Malloy checks in from D.C. protests, Jesse LaGreca from 'Occupy Wall Street', Dr. Roger Johnston from Argonne National Labs & much more!
LIVE! 9p-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), Call-in#: 877-520-1150
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2011 2:42pm PT  

[Now UPDATED with tonight's audio archives below!]

The revolution may not be televised...but it will be radio-active as we #OccupyYOURPublicAirwaves!

I'll be guest-hosting the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show tonight, tomorrow and Friday as Mike heads to D.C. to emcee the kick off of the October2011.org demonstration and we'll be

As ever, we'll be BradCasting LIVE 9pm-Mid ET (6p-9p PT), coast-to-coast and around the uprising globe from the studios of L.A.'s KTLK am1150 in beautiful downtown Burbank. Join us by tuning in, chatting in, Tweeting in and calling in! Our LIVE room will be up and rolling right here at The BRAD BLOG, as usual, while we are on the air. Please stop by and join the fun while you're listening! (The Chat Room will open at the bottom of this item a few minutes before airtime, see down below, just above "Comments" section.)

Scheduled tonight (so far):

The Mike Malloy Show is nationally syndicated on air affiliates across the country and also on SiriusXM Ch. 127. You may also listen online to the free LIVE audio stream at affiliate GREEN 960 in San Francisco or at WhiteRose Society or via MikeMalloy.com.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: The uprising begins. A helluva show tonight. You can check it all out below in the commercial-free audio archives (along with the chat room archives). Enjoy!...

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




Johnston says similar hack could work on paper-ballot op-scan systems as well as touch-screens...
By Brad Friedman on 9/28/2011 8:34pm PT  

This afternoon on my Pacifica Radio show on KPFK here in Los Angeles (and up and down the West Coast) I interviewed Dr. Roger Johnston of Argonne National Lab's Vulnerability Assessment Team on their $26 "Man-in-the-Middle" attack on a Diebold touch-screen voting system as I reported yesterday in my exclusive at Salon (and here at The BRAD BLOG.)

While yesterday's reports included information on the team's previous, similar-ish hack of a Sequoia touch-screen system, and the fact they feel they could do the same with most other e-voting systems, among the interesting new points raised during our discussion on KPFK today is that Johnston believes they could use a similar method to manipulate the vote count on a paper-ballot based optical-scan system as well!

So, in other words, the low-rent attack Argonne has demonstrated --- requiring no knowledge of the voting system software, $10 to $26 in off-the-shelf computer parts, and little more than an 8th grade computer lab education --- could also be implemented not just on touch-screen e-voting systems, with or without a so-called "paper trail," but also on the paper ballot op-scanners used to count the majority of votes that will be cast in the U.S. in next year's Presidential election.

(And if you're now wondering: "Well, what the hell should we be using to tabulate our elections?!" I'll refer you to this "Democracy's Gold Standard" special comment of mine, as taken from a recent Mike Malloy Show which I posted a few months ago.)

Here's my interview with Dr. Johnston today...

Download MP3 or listen online here [appx 28 mins]..

P.S. There's been a fair bit of follow-up coverage of my Salon article yesterday, here's a few of the better reports I've seen, at The Register, ComputerWorld, CNET and MSNBC.com.

Note: Of the media outlets listed above, only CNET got the ownership of Diebold voting equipment correct in their reports. Both The Register and ComputerWorld incorrectly report that ES&S now has ownership of what had been Diebold Election Systems, Inc. In fact, while ES&S, the world's largest e-voting company, did purchase the company (that some refer to as DESI, but I do not, for personal reasons) in late 2009, the DoJ ordered them to sell it off due to anti-trust concerns. It was then purchased by Canadian firm Dominion Voting, though ES&S was allowed to retain a fair number of the contracts from Diebold jurisdictions that preferred to stay with ES&S. So while Dominion officially owns what was Diebold's election division, ES&S still maintains and services many Diebold machines as well. Dominion also took over Sequoia --- and lied about it --- shortly thereafter.

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...




Hack team leader: 'Can do similar things on pretty much every e-voting machine'...
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2011 10:17am PT  

[UPDATE 9/28/11: I interviewed Argonne National Lab's Roger Johnston on my Pacific Radio show on KPFK today. In the interview, Johnston concedes that it's not only touch-screen systems of the type described below which are vulnerable to this newly developed hack, but that paper-ballot based optical-scan systems can likely be manipulated by the same techniques. My interview with Johnson is now posted here. - BF]

* * *

The Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT) at the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois has managed to hack a Diebold Accuvote touch-screen voting machine in what I describe at my exclusive today at Salon as perhaps "one of the most disturbing e-voting machine hacks to date."

As noted by the computer scientists and security experts at Argonne's VAT, largely all that's needed to accomplish this hack is about $26 and an 8th grade science education.

"This is a national security issue," VAT team leader Dr. Roger Johnston told me, echoing what I've been reporting other computer scientists and security experts telling me for years. "It should really be handled by the Department of Homeland Security."

Johnston should know. While the VAT folks have been dabbling in the security (or lack thereof) of e-voting systems in their spare time of late, most of the work they do is related to issues like nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation.

What makes this hack so troubling --- and different from those which have come before it --- is that it doesn't require any actual changes to, or even knowledge of, the voting system software or its memory card programming. It's not a cyberattack. It's a "Man-in-the-middle" attack where a tiny, $10.50 piece of electronics is inserted into the system between the voter and the main circuit board of the voting system allowing for complete control over the touch-screen system and the entire voting process along with it.

Add an optional $15 radio frequency remote control device, and votes can be changed, without the knowledge of the voter, from up to half a mile away. Without the remote, the attack can be turned on and off at certain times, or by other triggers. The voter would have no idea that their votes have been changed after they've already approved them as "correct" on the various confirmation screens, and even on the so-called "paper-trail" (on e-voting machines which offer them --- though VAT has learned how to manipulate those as well, see photo at right.)

The inserted chip can later be removed after the election without there being any way to ever know that someone had completely manipulated the system. But since election officials rarely --- if ever --- examine the inside of their voting machines, it doesn't much matter, in truth.

"The level of sophistication it took to develop the circuit board" used in the attack "was that of basically an 8th grade science shop," says Argonne's John Warner. "Anybody with an electronics workbench could put this together."

The team, he says, had no knowledge of the voting machine's computer circuit diagram or owner's manual when they devised the attack. Moreover, VAT team leader Roger Johnston told me they believe they "can do similar things on pretty much every electronic voting machine." Indeed, in 2009, with little fanfare, they were able to carry out a similar manipulation of a Seqouia AVC Advantage e-voting system (as used across most of the state of New Jersey, for example). You can see that video demo here.

The team at Argonne has shared their demo video of the new Diebold Accuvote hack exclusively with The BRAD BLOG, as posted below. But please go check out the full details over at Salon (where we've embedded the video as well). The full details are chilling --- particularly as about 20% to 30% of U.S. voters are still set to use Diebold touch-screen systems, and others very similar to it, across the nation in the 2012 election cycle, no matter how many years The BRAD BLOG has been desperately trying to illustrate that these systems are simply antithetical to American democracy.

Among the states where voters will use these systems on Election Day in 2012, according to VerifiedVoting.org: Georgia, Maryland, Utah, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri, Texas and many more.

Almost five years ago to the day, I broke the story of Princeton's landmark Diebold Virus Hack in another exclusive for Salon. So while I'm delighted to break the news of this new type of hack over there today, it's somewhat frustrating that it's even necessary at this point, as we head into yet another Presidential election cycle having changed so little despite all that we've learned. Nonetheless, please go check out my story over there today.

* * *

Beyond that, the video demonstration itself from Argonne, of the remote hack of a Diebold Accuvote touch-screen system follows below...

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




By Brad Friedman on 8/20/2011 2:37pm PT  

Wisconsin's old State Elections Board website (http://elections.state.wi.us/) appears to have been "hacked by Sovalye"...

[Hat-tip Election Integrity advocates Jeannie Dean, Neal Schulz and the folks at the Facebook Election Integrity group.]

[Update 7:19p CT: It looks as if officials have now restored the site. Sort of. Hat-tip again to Neal Schulz.]

The State Elections Board was replaced by the WI Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) in 2008 as the state's top election authority, combining responsibilities of both the Elections Board and the State Ethics Board into the agency. The G.A.B.'s website (http://gab.wi.gov/) does not appear to be hacked. For now.

Of course, that's just a website, not an actual election or e-voting database. So just because the state's Elections Board website proved to be insecure and was hacked does not mean their actual elections are vulnerable to hacking in any way, shape or form, right? That, even though the state, shamefully, does not bother to check even a single ballot to make sure it has been tallied accurately during an election by its computer op-scanners made by Diebold, Sequoia, and ES&S.

Why worry?

The BRAD BLOG has been warning about the manipulation of e-voting systems for years, along with members of the world's computer science and cyber security communities, and even the CIA, as our own Ernie Canning noted just last week. And yet, our nation continues to use the same vulnerable e-voting systems to tally our elections, rather than bothering to count them with our own, far more reliable and verifiable, hands and eyes, as per Democracy's Gold Standard.

I could link back to all sorts of e-voting hacks we've reported on over the years here, like this one from Princeton in 2006 or this one from the U. of MI in 2010 or this bone-chilling warning from the CIA in 2009, but they'll mostly likely just be ignored. Again.

Instead, we'll just tease you for now with news of yet another new e-voting hack --- perhaps the most disturbing one yet in a number of ways --- that we'll be reporting on very soon. Let's call that one a special delivery for election officials like Jones County, MS, Circuit Clerk Bart Gavin, who reportedly told his county Board of Supervisors this past week that the Diebold touch-screen voting machines used by the entire county "record every vote and there is no way for them to be tampered with."

Really, Bart? You're gonna stick with that, are ya?

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...




UPDATED WITH CHART: How slot machines are regulated in Vegas, versus touch-screen voting machines there (and everywhere else)...
By Brad Friedman on 6/7/2011 8:15pm PT  

It took two tries, but Carolyn Goodman, candidate for Mayor of Las Vegas and wife of current Mayor Oscar Goodman, was finally able to vote for herself today on Nevada's illegally-certified, 100% unverifiable Sequoia AVC Edge touch-screen voting machines. At least she thinks she did. Whether her vote will actually be counted for her is something that nobody can ever know...

When Goodman pushed the button next to her name on a voting machine at the Public Administration Building downtown, [Chris] Giunchigliani's name popped up.

"I touched my name and strangely ended up with my opponent," a visibly worried Goodman said from her voting booth.

She pushed the button a second time and successfully voted for herself.

"I think it's the finger nails," Goodman said afterward. "Obviously, I'm voting for myself."

Goodman said she heard of similar problems taking place at polling places Friday, the last day of early voting.

No, it ain't the fingernails, Carolyn. It's the machines.

As we revealed in our investigative exposé in the 2008 book Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, and summarized in our article on the Reid/Angle election for U.S. Senator just before Election Day last year, Nevada's Sequoia touch-screen voting machines were illegally certified in 2004 by then NV Secretary of State, now recently-appointed (to take the place of disgraced Sen. John Ensign) NV Republican U.S. Senator, Dean Heller.

The failure that Goodman experienced, and noticed, made her just the latest in a string of celebs and candidates who have had similar problems with 100% unverifiable voting machines --- as still used by some 20 to 30% of voters in the U.S. --- either flipping their votes, or not allowing them to vote at all.

Most famously, perhaps, was Oprah Winfrey, who, during early voting in the 2008 Presidential election, noticed that the computer (also a touch-screen made by Sequoia) had dropped her vote for President all together.

Earlier that same year, during February's "Super Tuesday" primary, then NJ Gov. John Corzine (D) was unable to vote for 45 minutes when Sequoia's AVC Advantage touch-screen systems failed to boot up at all when the polls opened.

During early voting in the 2008 general election, election integrity filmmaker Patricia Earnhardt, executive producer of the award-winning 2006 documentary Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections, which deals, in no small part, with the problems and perils of 100% unverifiable e-voting, saw her own vote flipped on an ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machine in Nashville (Davidson County), TN.

The BRAD BLOG has reported on countless such incidents over the past eight years with little or nothing being done, in most cases, to keep the same failures from occurring again in future elections. Indeed, we wrote an entire chapter about similar widespread failures during the 2008 election cycle alone for Project Censored's Censored 2010: The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008-09.

One of "favorite" occurrences is what happened to poor Randy Wooten, mayoral candidate of Waldenburg, Arkansas in 2006...

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




As the count nears its end, more irregularities emerge, including mis-dated poll tapes, unprinted 'paper trails,' duct taped bags and the state's unwavering faith in the machine...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2011 6:53am PT  

For weeks, we've been reporting on the mess seen in the statewide "recount" of Wisconsin's very close and very contentious April 5th Supreme Court election between Republican incumbent Justice David Prosser and his challenger, Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg.

As The BRAD BLOG obtained evidence of new irregularities this week --- to add to previously reported revelations of, among other irregularities, ballot bags discovered "wide open" with mismatched or missing serial numbers as well as ballots discovered completely unsecured, all in violation of the secure chain of custody, and other similar messes and mistallies across the state --- we wanted to find out if the state's chief election agency, the Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), was able to confirm that the ballots counted during the "recount" were actually the ones cast on Election Day. And, if so, how they could confirm that.

To date, with about 25,000 "recounted" votes still to be canvassed from the now infamous Waukesha County, some 2,690 votes have been discovered during the "recount" to have been originally mistallied. That's according to the G.A.B.'s own figures, and includes hundreds of thousands of ballots which were simply re-tallied rather than counted by hand during the "recount," on the same computers which tallied them --- either correctly or incorrectly --- on Election Night.

31 out of the state's 72 counties counted some or most of their ballots by hand for the first time during the "recount" (including several of the largest counties). But, given the fact that supposedly "secured" ballot bags were discovered during the "recount" to have been "wide open" and not secured at all, with little or no explanation from officials, after being accessible for weeks by the same untrustworthy and partisan election officials, such as Waukesha's County's activist GOP County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, who screwed up the tabulation in the first place, how is it that anybody knows if the ballots finally counted by human beings are actually genuine?

We've been trying, with no small amount of frustration, to get a definitive answer from the G.A.B. on that question for the past week, as well as from the campaigns of both candidates in the race.

The G.A.B. generally agrees with the campaign of the election's current leader, incumbent Justice David Prosser, that broken security seals, opened ballot bags --- even some that are torn open and taped back shut with duct tape, as seen in Waukesha County this week (photos below) --- and other violations of chain of custody are of little concern. So long as the newly tabulated results largely match the results printed on the poll tapes by the computer tabulators at the end of Election Night on April 5th, that is, essentially, close enough for government work.

The G.A.B. and the Prosser campaign, as we confirmed with each directly, and as the G.A.B. indicated on a recent post to their website published in the wake of the specific questions we've been asking them --- are placing their faith largely in the accuracy of the state's oft-failed, easily-manipulated, privately-manufactured electronic voting systems made by companies like Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia. They are also placing faith in their election official colleagues around the state.

All of which begs the question: What's the point of having a "recount," or of using security procedures and physical seals for the ballots after the election, if violations of those procedures and seals are of little concern to the state's top election agency?

Worse, if the results printed on the poll tapes are the ultimate proof of the accuracy of results, what happens when --- as discovered among poll tapes from the City of Pewaukee in Waukesha County late last week --- the "recount" uncovers "Official Results Report" poll tapes dated a full seven days before the actual election was held?

Or, worse still, what happens when poll tapes failed to print at all on Election Day, as has been seen in a number of towns across the state?...

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




And a word about Ensign's scofflaw replacement Sen. Dean Heller...
By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2011 2:33pm PT  

We don't usually offer much space here to sex scandals, unless, in some cases, they demonstrate, for example, blatantly offensive hypocrisy in regard to everyone else's civil rights (talking to you, disgraced former Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID)) --- or, as in the case of disgraced now-former Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), charges of blatant criminality.

The details out of the bi-partisan, unanimously approved 68-page report released late yesterday by the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee --- which usually does absolutely nothing --- referring the Ensign case to the Dept. of Justice and the FEC for criminal prosecution are stunning, and much worse than previously understood.

In their letter to the DoJ [PDF] the Committee's Chair and Vice-Chair, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) respectively, refer the matter...

[S]howing that Senator Ensign and others:

  • aided and abetted violations of the one-year post-employment contact restriction,
  • conspired to violate that restriction,
  • made false statements to the Federal Election Commission,
  • violated campaign finance laws, and
  • obstructed the Committee's preliminary inquiry.

But even that damning summary of wrong-doing fails to adequately describe the offensive squalor at the heart of this mess, as you'll see below.

Moreover, another reason worth mentioning the whole scandal here: there may be at least one scofflaw still on the loose in regards this matter, still serving in the U.S. Senate --- namely, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), one of the very few involved in this extraordinarily ugly, sad and shameful scandal to have, so far, gotten off largely scot-free despite his apparent role in attempting to cover it all up for his friend Ensign.

Finally, there is still one more reason to mention all of this: to highlight the fact that Ensign has now been replaced in the U.S. Senate by the scofflaw, and lying, former NV Secretary of State Dean Heller. Be sure to read on below for details on him and how he too has been allowed to avoid accountability for years despite having, in 2004, illegally certified the 100% unverifiable e-voting systems now used across the state of Nevada (and also used to elect him to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006.)

Rachel Maddow did a fine job of summarizing the remarkable Senate Ethics Committee report on Ensign on Thursday night, so we'll happily allow her to do so again below, as we're buried in several other stories ourselves at the moment...

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




Open ballot bags, mistallied ballots, high undervote rate, observation obscured and other unreported concerns...
By eowyn_of_rohan on 5/11/2011 1:02pm PT  

- Guest blogged by "eowyn_of_rohan"

[Ed Note: The following account from an observer at Milwaukee County's machine "recount" of ballots from Wisconsin's April 5th Supreme Court election between incumbent Republican David Prosser and independent Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg comes on the heels of recently documented reports of complete chain of custody violations such as "wide open" ballots bags in Waukesha County --- where the stunning announcement of the addition of some 14,000 votes two days after the election reversed the originally reported results to give Prosser the unofficial lead over Kloppenburg for the 10-year seat on the state's highest court --- as well as earlier reports of ballots discovered unsecured for weeks in Dane County's city of Verona and unexplained variances in "recount" results as reported during the "recount" by the WI Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), the state's chief election agency. Thousands of ballots have so far been discovered to have been originally miscounted to date, even with just a minority of counties actually bothering to count ballots by hand during the "recount." - BF]

I worked on the recount in Milwaukee County last Thursday, and it was quite a disturbing and stifling experience. I left there puzzled and frustrated, and have been searching for news on 'anomalies' there, but find next to nothing. News reports have only stated there have been "no major problems," and things are "going smoothly"...

Kloppenburg stated at her recount request press conference:

There are legitimate and widespread questions about the conduct of this election – most visibly in Waukesha County, but also in counties around the state...We are aware of widespread anomalies that occurred...: an undervote in the cities of Milwaukee and Racine; the Waukesha situation; reports of long lines and photocopied ballots in several counties including Fond du Lac; significant changes in the vote totals in Winnebago County.

People have wondered if Waukesha County 'irregularities' were perhaps a red herring, and that maybe we should be looking more closely at what's happening in other counties around the state. I really think so. I've compiled some information on the recount problems in Milwaukee County, many of which I witnessed.

It's important to understand that, in Milwaukee, as in 41 of Wisconsin's 72 counties, ballots are being "recounted" by the same optical-scan machines that tallied them in the first place, unlike the hand-counts that have been the focus of attention elsewhere. It can be very difficult to oversee that type of "recounting." Moreover, while ballots bags have been seen as opened, and their chain of custody violated in the process, in counties such as Waukesha, and stacks of ballots discovered unsecured in Dane County's City of Verona, parts of Milwaukee's count also included bags that were improperly sealed, with the secure chain of custody broken and uncertain.

I also observed a surprising number of undervoted ballots and, as disturbingly, machine tallies at the "recount" which under-reported the results for Kloppenburg as I was able to observe them on ballots before they were fed into the machines.

Some observations detailed below are more significant than others, and this is by no means a comprehensive list, so please feel free to add to it if you have additional info...

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




Computer results of paper ballots remain unverified by humans...
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2011 2:27pm PT  

Milwaukee County has finally turned in their official canvass [XLS] of last week's Supreme Court election in Wisconsin, giving the almost entirely unverified results of the largely paper-ballot election to Justice David Prosser over Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg by 7,316 votes, according to the Wisconsin State Journal:

A conservative justice has weathered attempts to link him to Wisconsin's governor and a divisive union rights law and won re-election, according to county vote totals finalized Friday.

Tallies from each of the state's 72 counties show Justice David Prosser defeated challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg by 7,316 votes. State election officials said they will wait to declare an official winner until the deadline for Kloppenburg to seek a recount passes. She has until Wednesday to call for one.

If Kloppenburg decides to opt for a "recount" the costs would be paid for by the state, since the canvassed results have her trailing by less than 0.5% statewide. Prosser's margin of victory, according to the currently reported numbers, should they become official, would be just 0.488%.

The official canvassing process in Milwaukee (and, indeed, the bulk of Wisconsin), is little more than a reconciliation of the number of voters who signed into poll books, plus the number of voters who registered at the polls on Election Day, plus any absentee ballots not scanned at the polling place (as in Milwaukee, where absentees are now scanned centrally, instead of at the polling place) plus a few provisional ballots later verified and counted, as matched against the number of votes reportedly cast, according to results tapes printed out by optical-scan computers such as those made by Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and Populex.

Actual results reported by those computers are not verified by human beings as being accurate during the canvass process. Only the number of ballots cast is reconciled, not the actual votes for each candidate, in general. That, despite the fact that hand-marked paper ballots exist --- and could be counted for accuracy --- for the vast majority of the votes cast across the state on April 5th...

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




As originally aired on the 4/8/11 'Mike Malloy Show'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2011 9:05am PT  

As several folks have requested, here is my "Special Comment" on "Democracy's Gold Standard" in the wake of Wisconsin's Supreme Election Debacle from my final night of the week guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show last Friday night. It's presented here in quick and dirty video form in hopes that it'll get a few more eyes and ears than just the audio would by itself...

Please see this article for more on "Democracy's Gold Standard." And here is Nancy Tobi's book: Hands-On Elections: An Informational Handbook for Running Real Elections, Using Real Paper Ballots, Counted by Real People.

A text transcript of the "Special Comment" follows below...

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




'Proxy battle' judicial contest likely to see hand-count, which may - or may not - settle razor-thin race
UPDATE: Kloppenburg declares victory...
By Ernest A. Canning on 4/6/2011 1:21pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning
• UPDATED 2:59pm PT with additional reporting from Brad Friedman

With 100% of the precincts now reporting unofficial results, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg leads Justice David Prosser by a remarkably thin 204 votes out of some 1.5 million ballots cast in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race --- according to the computers that count votes in the state.

The unofficial numbers at this hour, according to AP's spreadsheet of those computer results, give Kloppenburg 740,090 votes to Prosser's 739,886.

Despite Kloppenburg's tiny reported lead, the race is virtual dead heat in what might otherwise be a little-noticed state Supreme Court election. The race, however, has been turned into a proxy battle between supporters of the state's controversial new Republican Gov. Scott Walker (who Prosser has allied himself with) and union workers and their supporters who oppose Walker and the state GOP's attempt to legislate away the freedom of citizens to collectively bargain through public worker unions. Outside groups, according to NYU's Brennan Center for Justice, are said to have spent a record $3.5 million on so-called "issue ads" to support their favored candidate in the closing days of the election.

For proponents of Election Integrity, there is both good news and bad in the Badger State. The good news: most of the state's voters used verifiable hand-marked paper ballots to record their votes yesterday. The bad news: Those ballots are counted by easily-manipulated, oft-failed computers instead of human beings; 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting machines are used by some voters with disabilities across the state; and, given close results, even if a hand-count of paper ballots occurs, as is likely, the number of votes cast on unverifiable DREs could end up being larger than the final margin between the two candidates --- meaning that it will be, literally, impossible to know for certain who actually won the election...

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The Windy City relies on 100% unverifiable e-voting systems, tied to Hugo Chavez, with a track-record of infamous failure
Just ask Oprah!...
By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2011 6:05am PT  

[Update 1/27/11: IL's Supreme Court has determined Emanuel meets the residency requirements to run for Mayor in Chicago, overturning the lower court's ruling referenced below. Not that any of that makes any difference in regard to the details about Chicago's voting system as offered in the following article. So please read on.]

Perhaps you've been keeping up with the kerfuffle over the past day or two over former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's bid to be on Chicago's ballot in the upcoming February mayoral race there. On Monday, a court determined his residency status was not sufficient and ordered him removed from the ballot, while on Tuesday the court of appeals has temporarily stayed that order, leaving him on the ballot for now, after agreeing to hear his appeal.

But in modern-day Chicago, "appearing on the ballot" is not quite as straightforward as one might think, given the 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting systems now forced on hundreds of thousands of voters in the Windy City.

Over the years, we've covered specific failures of the very same Sequoia e-voting systems that are used in Chicago and elsewhere across the country, as well as the remarkable duplicity of the company's top officials. So it seems like this would be a good moment to remind folks of the most disturbing Sequoia/Chicago related incidents.

One involves Oprah's "lost" vote on the Sequoia touch-screen systems used there in the 2008 Presidential general election, the other involves the CEO of Sequoia Voting Systems simply lying to Chicago officials about his company's direct business partnership with a Venezuelan e-voting firm tied to Hugo Chavez, and the fact that the Venezuelan firm, Smartmatic, still owns the intellectual property (IP) rights to the e-voting systems used by Chicago voters --- even as the new owners of Sequoia continue to lie about it...

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




By Brad Friedman on 12/2/2010 5:30pm PT  

WTF?! 200,000 votes?!

Of course, this is just one of the reasons why we always encourage candidates to not concede on Election Night...

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




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