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Congresswoman Sets Impeachment Deadline for Federal Judge Mark Fuller
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2010 12:38pm PT  

We were on the road all day long yesterday, after getting the morning's Green News Report. We finally got off the road and back on the grid as the sun was setting here in the Midwest, and as "results" began coming in from some of the five different states (Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and Vermont) holding primary elections last night.

It seemed a good moment to ask a question on Twitter about what we'd missed so far. In the bargain, we received some interesting Twitter replies from NBC's Chief White House Correspondent and election results guy Chuck Todd, in regard to counting ballots and the fact that he (and others) were busy reporting "results" to the world, even as not one single ballot had yet to be counted by any human being in all of the United States by that point.

Here's how some of that conversation on Twitter went...

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

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Same systems to be used by millions of voters this November...
By Brad Friedman on 8/21/2010 12:48pm PT  

This is your Sequoia touch-screen voting machine....

This is your Sequoia touch-screen voting machine with Pac-Man hacked onto it without disturbing any of the "tamper-evident" seals supposedly meant to protect it from hackers...

Any questions?...

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

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'Intellectual Property' of voting systems still owned by firm linked to Venezuelan President, despite press statement to the contrary
PLUS: The election official/e-voting company revolving 'oversight' door continues to turn...
By Brad Friedman on 6/21/2010 11:47am PT  

Canadian-based Dominion Voting Systems has quietly announced its second acquisition of a major U.S. voting machine company in as many months and, right out of the gate, they've lied about it. Not an auspicious beginning for the company which may now, virtually overnight, have become the dominant private e-voting machine company in this country.

In our recent breaking coverage detailing the SEC's fraud lawsuits filed against Diebold and a number of their top executives --- including their former Chief Financial Officer who, as we reported exclusively back in 2007, was the top earner from an apparent insider sell-off at the company just days before its stock would plummet from its all-time high on the announcement of spinning off their troubled election division to a "new" company renamed Premier --- we noted that Diebold/Premier's assets had recently been purchased by a small Canadian firm by the name of Dominion Voting. But Dominion hasn't stopped there.

Their purchase of Diebold/Premier's assets was actually made from ES&S, the world's largest voting machine company, who was forced to divest of the assets they'd purchased from Diebold (previously, the second largest voting machine company in the country) for $5 million last year, as part of an anti-trust suit settlement with the DoJ.

In our coverage, we noted the comment of Dominion CEO John Poulos who, in the company's press release [PDF] announcing the Diebold/Premier asset acquisition, stated ominously: "We are extremely pleased to conclude this transaction, which...will allow Dominion to expand its capabilities and operational footprint to every corner of the United States."

Indeed, the DoJ-scuttled ES&S merger with Diebold/Premier had been legally challenged since, among other reasons, the merger of the largest e-voting company with the country's second largest would have given a single company control of at least 70% of all votes cast in the nation.

What we had replaced for length, however, with the ellipses in Poulos' quote above, was this [emphasis added]: "We are extremely pleased to conclude this transaction, which will restore much-needed competition to the American voting systems market and will allow Dominion to expand its capabilities and operational footprint to every corner of the United States."

How much is Poulos actually interested in "restor[ing] much-needed competition" for "the American voting systems market"? Apparently not so much, as according to a company press release [PDF] quietly issued late in the afternoon on Friday, June 4th, Dominion has now also acquired what had previously been the third largest voting machine company in the U.S., Sequoia Voting Systems.

Not surprisingly, that late Friday announcement didn't say anything at all about "competition".

Worse, as The BRAD BLOG has confirmed, the new press release from Dominion simply lied about what the company has and hasn't purchased from Sequoia, a company which had lied themselves, for years, about the real ownership of its proprietary voting systems...

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

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Company officers facing suit involved in apparent insider sell-off initially exposed by The BRAD BLOG in 2007
Woes continue for once-dominant e-voting vendor whose election systems assets were recently purchased by a Canadian firm with an ominous name...
By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2010 1:52pm PT  

Via Bloomberg...

Diebold Inc., the bank teller-machine maker, was accused of inflating earnings through fraudulent accounting practices from at least 2002 to 2007, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Diebold “regularly manipulated earnings to meet forecasts,” the SEC said in the complaint filed today in federal court in Washington. The agency is seeking an unspecified civil penalty in the case.
...
The case is U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Diebold Inc., 10cv908, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

But wait! There's more...

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

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Republican official says she was asked to change party affiliation to serve as 'Democratic' precinct official...
By Brad Friedman on 3/2/2010 2:56pm PT  

Meanwhile, back in Clay County, Kentucky, where election officials (including the county clerk, a district court judge, and the school superintendent) were arrested last year, and are now on trial, accused of having "fix[ed] elections for decades," a "precinct worker testified...that top election officers in the county taught her how to change people's choices on voting machines to steal votes in the May 2006 primary." The vote stealing was accomplished on ES&S touch-screen electronic voting machines, without the knowledge of legitimate voters, after they'd left the booth thinking they had cast their votes.

The scheme also included Republicans changing their party registration to Democratic in order to serve as Democratic poll judges and officers on Election Day, as has been alleged elsewhere (for example, in Ohio in 2004)...

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

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Federal body tasked with overseeing U.S. certification of e-voting systems appoints scammer Edwin Smith, VP of e-voting companies Sequoia, Dominion, Hart-Intercivic...
By Brad Friedman on 12/14/2009 10:56am PT  

Incredible. This would be the equivalent of appointing the sitting Vice President of Exxon Mobil to an EPA advisory committee, but Ed Smith has now been appointed to the disastrous U.S. Election Assistance Commission's (EAC's) Technical Guidelines Development Committee as one of their new "Technical and Scientific Experts."

From the EAC's email announcement on Friday (posted in full at end of article):

Edwin B. Smith, III, vice president of compliance and certification at Dominion Voting Systems. Before joining Dominion Voting Systems, Mr. Smith was vice president of manufacturing, compliance, quality and certification at Sequoia Voting Systems. He also served as the operations manager at Hart InterCivic and the senior director of operations at K*TEC Electronics. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Science in engineering technology from Texas A&M.

So Smith went from voting machine company Hart Intercivic to voting machine company Sequoia Voting Systems and is now at voting machine company Dominion Voting Systems, where he is a VP, selling e-voting systems to jurisdictions around the country that receive federal money doled out by the EAC. And now he'll also sit on an advisory board at the EAC helping to advise which one of those companies sees their systems certified for use in U.S. elections by the EAC. Just amazing.

But that's not even half the story of why this is just incredible, and another huge black eye for the EAC. (How many eyes do they have left to blacken at this point?) If you're not a long time reader of The BRAD BLOG reader, and don't recall who this Ed Smith is, read on. It's simply stultifying...

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

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My new article at NY's 'Gouverneur Times' details months of 'urgent,' but ignored, warnings from election experts...
By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2009 12:09pm PT  

My latest special to the Right-leaning Gouverneur Times of Upstate NY details multiple "urgent" warnings that state and federal officials received over the last year from multiple election advocacy groups concerning the dangers and pitfalls of the state's e-voting pilot program which came crashing down on voters during the recent NY-23 Special Election for the U.S. House.

They were warned, over and over and over again, about the dangers of using uncertified e-voting systems in real live elections, yet, despite the concerns expressed by experts about using real voters "as guinea pigs," it appears officials took no action in response.

Here's my exclusive over there...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/30/2009 1:58pm PT  

I've covered the problems and failures in NY-23's recent Special Election for U.S. House in a number of previous articles here at The BRAD BLOG, detailing some of the early problems with results as they emerged, pointing out that, thanks to Republican precedent in 2006, it now no longer really matters whom the actual voters may have voted for, but arguing that a full manual hand-count of paper ballots would be appropriate nonetheless.

Over the holiday weekend, the good Richard Hayes Phillips --- author of the book Witness to a Crime, in which he painstakingly detailed, ballot by ballot, the scandal which was the Ohio 2004 Presidential Election --- reported on some curious numbers he's now found in that election, over at the right-leaning Gouverneur Times. As luck would have it, Richard is a resident of NY-23 himself, and seems to be finding that both "impossible" and then many more "improbable" tallies were certified, as NY tested its Seqouia/Dominion e-voting systems on live voters, in a real, live election, for the first time earlier this month.

Both of his pieces are worth a quick read over there.

And now, the Gouverneur Times has asked me to put together a bit of a "backgrounder" for them on all of these e-voting nightmares, and how they pertain to NY-23, since it seems that right-wingers, for some odd reason, are somewhat lacking (up until now anyway) in real information on just how dangerously insane our privatized system of e-voting in public elections has become. Too much time spent being fooled by ACORN-conspiracists like Andrew Breitbart and Fox "News," I guess.

My piece for them, "NY-23, Sequoia and the Private Corporate Takeover of Your Once-Public Democracy," as written over the weekend, following the latest in a string of embarrassing "concessions" and "un-concessions" by the Conservative Party's Doug Hoffman, is now their front page lead story if you (or Breitbart) care to give it a look.

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An update to the reports of an e-voting 'virus,' and other failures, in New York's recent Special Election for the U.S. House...
By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2009 10:43am PT  

John Conklin, the Director of Public Information for New York State's Board of Elections has now issued a statement in response to the Gouverneur Times' article by Nathan Barker last week, alleging a "VIRUS in the VOTING MACHINES" [caps in original headline] which, the paper says, "tainted the results" of the recent Special Election for the U.S. House in NY's 23rd Congressional district.

We responded to Barker's detailed article ourselves over the weekend at some length, noting both the accurate and inaccurate information and assertions included in the online publication's coverage.

Conklin's response has drawn two responses in turn from the Gouverneur Times, as the right-leaning publication appears to have joined in the fight for election integrity, at least on behalf of their favored Conservative Party candidate whose apparent election loss has indeed been "tainted" by the very same concerns about which The BRAD BLOG has been warning for years. We're happy to see their new-found concerns, even as Republican partisans in political alignment with the Times have been ignoring and/or disparaging similar reports for years following elections in which Democrats have been the apparent victims of similarly failed voting systems...

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

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Recent allegations from the Right of malware on voting machines in New York's November Special Election may be overblown, but the long-overdue general concerns are right on point...
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2009 2:08pm PT  

On Thursday, Nathan Barker of upstate New York's Gouverneur Times --- a far-Right online publication (featuring columns by the likes of Michelle Malkin, Oliver North, Chuck Norris, and all the rest of the wingnutters) --- filed a lengthy, and somewhat breathless, report alleging a computer virus had infected several of the new e-voting systems in first-time use during the November 7th Special Election in NY's 23rd Congressional district between Democratic candidate Bill Owens, Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman, and Republican Dede Scozzafava (who dropped out of the race just prior to Election Day and threw her support to the Democrat).

Barker charged that a "VIRUS in the VOTING MACHINES" [his caps] resulted in "tainted results," "casting doubt on the accuracy of counts retrieved from any of the machines" used in the election.

Owens was reported to have won the election by a small margin on Election Night --- made smaller as errors were discovered during the post-election canvass --- before being hastily sworn in to the U.S. House just a few days later, in time to provide a crucial Democratic vote in favor of the health care insurance reform bill.

Barker's detailed report clearly offers a hard-right undertone, obviously in support of the Conservative Party candidate Hoffman. The article also advances several unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and features a number of out-and-out inaccuracies as well. A number of the piece's key allegations, though important, are also disputed by election officials, and at least one lead member of New York's election integrity community --- which is, itself, split between supporters of the new optical-scan e-voting systems and those calling for the retention of the Empire State's long-used mechanical lever voting machines.

Nonetheless, Barker raises a number of significant points and important concerns, about which The BRAD BLOG has been warning for years, often in the face of derision, notably from the same Rightwing circles crying foul now, who had previously dismissed such concerns as those of 'tin-foil hat wearing, sore losers and conspiracy theorists' despite actual hard evidence and scientifically-sound details proffered about such concerns.

It's somewhat amusing to see some on the Right, now that they have concerns about a close election, suddenly find religion on the very issues they'd derided as nonsense so stridently in the past. It's very tempting to either disregard them now entirely, or torture them mercilessly on that point. But we'll try to take the high road here since their central concerns, now that they've finally arrived and no matter how long overdue, have been ones that we've shared for years, whether or not they might have stood to adversely affect Democrats, Republicans or independents.

The bottom line is that whether a computer virus, malicious or otherwise, affected the results of the NY-23 Special Election or not --- we've seen no actual evidence that it did, and state officials offer a differing explanation for the e-voting system failures that did occur --- it certainly could have. The direct threat to democracy inherent in the concerns expressed by Barker (whether substantiated or not), underscore the foolishness of using such secret vote-counting systems at all. In New York --- where voters, in real elections, are essentially being forced to serve as beta testers of these new, federally-uncertified systems, made by a company with a long track-record of failure, lies, obfuscation, near-bankruptcy, secretive foreign ownership, election disaster after disaster, and dissembling to the media, as well as federal, state and local officials --- the foolishness is all the more apparent, unnecessary, unfortunate and a clear and present threat to democracy itself...

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

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Audio from this morning on KPFK/Pacifica...
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2009 1:32pm PT  

I was in-studio and on-the-air this morning with a couple of my favorite cats, Rick and Doran of Digital Village, featuring the most maddeningly-catchy theme song in all of radio, on KPFK (L.A. and Santa Barbara's Pacifica station).

We talked e-voting, including "open source" secret vote-counting machines (the latest ill-considered fad sweeping the nation), Internet voting schemes (the other latest ill-considered fad) and transparently overseeable hand-counting ("Democracy's Gold Standard"), DieboldReturnOurMoney.com, the Rise of the Tea Bags, Muppets, Glenn Beck (about whom questions are being asked as to whether he raped and murdered a young girl in 1990), and much more...

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

* * *
The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work 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...
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By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2009 9:05pm PT  

We're watching results as they're coming in tonight, while continuing to comb through various problem reports as they've been coming in throughout the day (the usual "hiccups" "glitches" "snags" and "snafus" reportage --- anything but the proper word for them all: "failure"!)

As we always find necessary to remind readers on such nights, the bulk of election failures tend to reveal themselves in the hours and days --- and sometimes even weeks --- after Election Day.

With that in mind, of the most potential note that we've seen so far today --- though mostly downplayed as minor "glitches" in most of the stories reporting them --- we've found reports of: Diebold touch-screen machine failure in OH's Montgomery and Greene Counties; new e-pollbooks failing in Suffolk County, NY; new Sequoia/Dominion optical-scan systems failing in St. Lawrence County, NY, and; Sequoia touch-screen failures in Essex, Somerset and Goucester Counties, NJ.

Fortunately, turnout has been light today, so the problems that have cropped up seem to have been handled by quickly replacing machines (a luxury available during slow, off-year elections when there are extra machines to go around) or in such a way that delays --- and the voter disenfranchisement that goes with them --- were minimal. At least as so far reported.

Whether any of the results tabulated in secret, with secret software, are actually accurate, well, that's anyone's guess as usual. In any case, we're monitoring, and will let ya know if there's anything you need to know about. Please feel free to let us know about anything you think we should know about in comments.

Other than that, we're just stunned that ACORN did such a terrible job, yet again, at "stealing the election" in New Jersey!

UPDATE 9:29pm PT: New Sequoia op-scan systems fail in Fulton County, NY and are impounded by court order. Emergency paper ballots are used. Fulton is part of the hotly contested NY-23 Congressional special election.

The BRAD BLOG covers your electoral system fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work 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...
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Sequoia's 'proprietary' source code now available on the Internet
ALSO: Company yet to come clean to federal investigators, election officials, public about Chavez-tied Venezuelan firm's ownership of vote machine Intellectual Property...
By Brad Friedman on 10/20/2009 3:49pm PT  

Paging the E-Voting Geek Squad!

Following public records requests in Riverside County, CA, the Election Defense Alliance has received a public copy of code used to program a recent election on an e-voting system made by Sequoia Voting Systems, Inc.

The result is a first-of-its kind public examination of such code, as now underway on a wiki page called the "Sequoia Voting System Study Project" which was created by the group this week.

"For the first time ever, the internal guts of a modern voting system will be publicly examined in a collaborative, open fashion," the page explains before explaining that the code, prior to being released, was first given to Sequoia by Riverside County to strip out whatever they regarded as proprietary information.

"As near as we can tell," the wiki page notes, "instead of stripping out proprietary stuff of any sort, Sequoia simply committed vandalism: they stripped the Microsoft SQL header data off the top, expecting that this would ruin access to the data under any possible database utility, making the contents unreadable."

But according to project participant Jim March --- a long time citizen e-voting watchdog and inveterate software geek --- Sequoia didn't succeed...

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

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In letter to federal Election Assistance Commission, investigators from CA's unprecedented e-vote review blast the approval of flawed protocols in certification tests for new Diebold e-voting system...
By Brad Friedman on 10/15/2009 4:25pm PT  

A group of computer scientists and security experts from California's 2007 landmark "Top-to-Bottom Review" (TTBR) of electronic voting systems have sent a two-page letter [PDF] of condemnation to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), taking the federal body to task for their approval of misused security findings from the TTBR in recent certification testing for a new e-voting system made by Diebold/Premier.

The voting system, Premier's Assure 1.2 --- made by Premier Election Solutions, Inc. (formerly named Diebold Election System, Inc. and recently purchased by Election System and Software, Inc.) --- was granted federal certification by the EAC last August under new test protocols which "should not have received the EAC's approval," according to the letter penned by Aaron Burstein and Joseph Lorenzo Hall, and signed by twelve other investigators and participants in the TTBR project.

The letter was addressed to the EAC's Director of Testing and Certification Brian Hancock, a longtime official at the commission with a disturbing background of helping to hedge test results for other electronic voting systems...

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

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Media, Congress yawn...
By Brad Friedman on 8/17/2009 10:05am PT  

RAW STORY's coverage of the news, and the release of the video demonstration of how to hack a Sequoia AVC Advantage electronic voting machine, began this way last week:

A team of computer scientists at University of California, San Diego, the University of Michigan and Princeton University announced a new way to electronically steal votes Monday.

"We wanted to find if a real criminal could do this, starting from scratch, with no access to source code or other closely guarded technical information," the announcer begins. "We faced several challenges: getting a voting machine, figuring out how it works, discovering a weakness, overcoming the machine's security features and constructing attack software."

"In the end we found that it is possible to undetectably change votes and that such an attack takes a lot less time and money than one might expect," the announcer said.

A Princeton professor was able to acquire five voting machines for just $82 that had been resold on a government surplus website. The acquired machines were originally sold by Sequoia Voting Systems.

Hacks of our electronic voting systems used to be big news. Now though, it's been done so many times, and is apparently so simple to do, that the news hardly registers in the corporate mainstream media (if it ever did in the first place). Yet, almost nothing has been done about virtually any of it to date.

We reported on the Princeton professor, Andrew Appel, acquiring the five Sequoia AVC machines two and a half years ago, that he was able to pick the lock "in seven seconds", and change the chips inside to do anything he might want the machine to do, including change votes after the close of polls on Election Day. The five machines that Appel purchased for $82 on the Internet were purchased by New Jersey just a few years earlier for $10,000 a piece. The state still uses the same hackable, 100% unverifiable voting machines, despite numerous failures during actual elections.

At the time of Appel's purchase, Sequoia Voting System had been touting their "tamperproof products, including ... the AVC Advantage," which, they said, "are sought after from coast to coast for their accuracy and reliability."...

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