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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2010 12:09pm PT  

Yesterday we posted Rachel Maddow's round-up of "top-of-ticket" races that were still un-"called" on Wednesday after Election Night. Last night, she did us the continuing favor of updating that list with a follow-up detailing a number of those up-in-the-air races that have since been "decided" as based on media calls, candidate concessions, and/or the completion of unofficial tallies by the computers which do that sort of thing...


Reminder: Neither projections of "winners" by the media or concessions by "losers" have any legal standing on the final outcome of an election. Only officially canvassed and certified election results from elections officials do. In all of the races declared as "over" to date, none of them have actually been certified by officials yet, and in virtually every one of them, ballots (where they exist, as they don't when it comes to Direct Recording Electronic, usually touch-screen, voting machines) have been tallied only by oft-failed, easily-manipulated computer tabulators, with few, if any, such ballots actually being examined by any human beings to assure the computer tabulators have been accurate.

Also, there are still many un-"called" and/or contested races across the nation which are not "top-of-ticket", but which still matter a great deal to both the candidates and voters affected by them.

* * *
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Voters forced to an hour to vote, some simply left...
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2010 7:05am PT  

Well, it's a good thing last Tuesday wasn't a Presidential Election with really huge crowds of voters in Utah County, UT. As polls opened at 7am, digitally encoded cards used by voters to begin the voting process on the state's oft-failed, easily-manipulated, 100% unverifiable Diebold AccuVote touch-screen voting systems didn't work at all 110 polling locations across the county. A programming error was blamed.

Voters were forced to wait in line for up to an hour while technicians struggled to figure out how to correct the failure. Many voters simply gave up, walking away and becoming disenfranchised in the bargain when they couldn't hang around to wait that long to vote on a work day. As usual, the wide-spread failure (county-wide, in this case) was marginalized by the media as little more than a "glitch". Of course, had the county used paper ballots, nobody would have been disenfranchised, or had to wait on line for an hour to cast their vote. Voters across the entire state are now forced to vote on the Diebold touch-screen systems on Election Day.

Separately, and to make matters worse, the Vote.Utah.gov website for looking up voter polling locations crashed, multiple times, throughout the day. Here's Tuesday's report on those "glitches" from KSL TV 5:


It was also in Utah County were, as we reported a week before Election Day, the easily-manipulated Diebold voting machines had been found left unattended in the lobby of an office building.

* * *
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Update: Ballots found, very wet. Memory card still on lam...
By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2010 5:46pm PT  

One of the more bizarre incidents we've come across this election...

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

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All results in all races still 'unofficial'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2010 2:21pm PT  

Rachel Maddow did us the favor, last night, of rounding up the bulk of the "top-of-ticket" races from Tuesday which were still un-"called" as of last night...


There are still many more races undecided and going through calls for recounts, etc., around the country. Many of them are not "top-of-ticket" contests, so you may not yet have heard about many of them. I've been fielding calls and emails from representatives of many such campaigns over the last 24 hours or so while looking into various charges of irregularities, etc.

Also remember that in just about every race where you've heard a "winner" announced at this hour, those results are still un-official and un-canvassed for accuracy with virtually all of the ballots (where ballots actually exist) uncounted by nothing other than a computer tabulator. There has been virtually no human confirmation of accuracy of those (failure-prone and easily-manipulated) computer-reported results as of today.

Also remember that neither a media declaration of a "winner" nor a candidate's concession has any actual legal meaning on the official results of any race. Clearly, there are a number of races where counting, canvassing, and contesting will be continuing for quite a while.

* * *
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...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2010 8:55pm PT  

Still plowing through tons of incoming problem reports from yesterday in trying to help separate wheat from chaff before I bore you with any chaff here, and looking at a number of still-uncalled elections. (If you'd like to poke around at a few such issues, please see Joyce McCloy's Voting News today). All the while I've been trying to keep up with various scheduled media appearances and wrapping up other odds and ends from yesterday. Here's one of those odds and ends. My appearance on Thom Hartmann's new TV Show, "The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann", via (not-very-good) Skype webcam yesterday.

The 5-minute interview we did yesterday afternoon begins at around the :38 minute mark...


Our buddy Greg Palast is also interviewed a bit earlier in the show, on issues of Voter Caging, beginning just after the :31 minute mark. Hartmann's TV show now airs on RT America weeknight's at 9p & 11p ET. Here's their Youtube page...

And a few other appearances I've done over the last 24 hours, at least the few I was able to get copies of, which you may find entertaining and/or informative (hopefully both!):

• From yesterday's WBAI News with Rebecca Myles in NY (where I appeared the day before as well to discuss Citizens United). This appearance discusses concerns about touch-screen e-voting systems in yesterday's elections...

Download MP3 or listen online below (appx 7.5 mins)...

• A very lively and combative "hour" of post-election decompression, wise-cracks, rants and related matters during my regular weekly appearance with Harrison earlier today on KPFK/Pacifica...

Download MP3 or listen online below (appx 50 mins)...

• A slightly more sober appearance on WSFR, New Mexico Pubic Radio, with Diego Mulligan this afternoon right after the above...

Download MP3 or listen online below (appx 20 mins)...

* * *
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...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2010 1:07pm PT  

This is amusing. At least it would be, had not their entire phony, shameless, anti-democracy campaign been built on hopes of suppressing the legal votes of American minority voters.

But I guess that "epidemic" of "MASSIVE DEMOCRATIC VOTER FRAUD!!!" that Fox "News" and their easily duped viewers had been warning us all about for weeks/months/years (here's one recent example, and another, and another, and another) didn't exactly materialize yesterday. Who could have guessed it?

Via Media Matters...

Fox News cancels Thursday segment on NV "Voter fraud" after Angle’s poor showing

Las Vegas Sun political columnist Jon Ralston posted the following to his Twitter profile this afternoon:

At least we know what Fox News was planning had the Senate race between Majority Leader Harry Reid and tea party darling Sharon Angle been tighter.

Media Matters' headline avers the segment was spiked due to "Angle's poor showing". There's another possible explanation for cancellation of the segment: No actual evidence of any such "voter fraud". Of course, that's never stopped Fox "News" from making a whole bunch of it up in the past. So perhaps Media Matters is more right than wrong there.

* * *
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...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2010 12:21pm PT  

From last night's live Colbert Report, during which he used his "Action Midterm Outcome Prediction Verifier 2010 5400" to examine where "there have been reports of voting machine irregularities" across the country yesterday...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2010 1:36am PT  

Running on fumes and about 3 hours sleep here tonight. So, as David Gregory says, "we'll have to leave it here for now."

While almost no votes have been counted by actual human beings anywhere in the country at this hour, most of the races have already been "called" by the media, for whatever that's worth. But a number of them are reported as being incredibly close at this hour. Among the "uncalled" top-of-ticket races as we wrap things up for tonight: U.S. Senate races in WA, CO, and AK; Gubernatorial races in OR, MN, and FL; and a number of U.S. Houses races.

We'll revisit the world with clearer eyes in the morning to see what sense, if any, can be made of any of it and what sort of light we may be able to help shed. Your thoughts and what you're seeing out there on any of the above races, or any others ("top-of-ticket" or otherwise) are, as ever, welcome in comments.

As we always remind on Election Nights, many of the problems of Election Day are not revealed until the days, weeks, and sometimes even months after elections. So your vigilance, as always, is welcome and appreciated...

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UPDATED throughout day/night as warranted...
By Brad Friedman on 11/2/2010 7:23pm PT  

[On/off the air all day today, so trying to keep up as I can. Feel free to leave your own problem reports, or those you're finding in the media, in comments in this thread. Most recent reports will be added to top of this item.]


NATIONAL: "Widespread Reports of Problems at Polls" (NYTimes):

Officials from the Election Protection Coalition, an association of voting rights groups that operated a national hot line for voting-related complaints, said that by early Tuesday evening their hot line had received more than 15,000 calls, with the most coming from California, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York and Georgia.

Although most were general inquiries, nearly 2,100 involved reports of problems like polls opening late, machine malfunctions and confusion over voter registrations. More than 200 calls involved claims of voter intimidation.

REMINDER: If you had probs at the polls today (or are still having them, as polls are still open out here in the West), please remember to report them to 1-866-OUR-VOTE! It's very important to track records of all such probs, as the full extent of problem patterns often don't reveal themselves until the days, weeks (and sometimes, even months) after an election! Thank you...

TX: Collin County - E-pollbooks, networks fail at "vote centers" disenfranchising untold numbers of voters. (Collin County Observer)

Concerns brought to our attention so far include a corrupt file loaded on all of the county-issued electronic pollbooks, network, and telephony issues.

According to our information, voting in many locations was interrupted due to the issues with electronic pollbooks and networks, and the resulting phone calls into the Elections Office overwhelmed their capacity to receive and handle calls.
...
Technicians in the field are working to correct the IT issues, but making changes to the software while voting is in process raises multiple security concerns.
...
We hate to say "I told you so..." but the Observer has been sounding the alarm on this issue for years.

We know how ya feel, Observer. Collin County, btw, is also where a voter reported a Diebold touch-screen flipping his vote from Democratic to Republican.

CA: Contra Costa County - Inspired by my own e-voting disasters in '08 (when the ES&S InkaVote Plus system here in L.A. County misprinted 4 out of 12 of my votes) and in '10 (when after two hours of failure with two of the same machines I finally had to give up and vote on a hand-marked paper ballot), a voter in Contra Costa tries to use the e-voting system for disabled voters as I did. After spending four hours trying to cast a vote on the counties ES&S AutoMark, he eventually had to give up. The shameful tale is detailed here. And remember, allowing disabled voters to vote privately and independently was one of the prime thrusts for the $4 billion federal "encouragement" for states to "upgrade" to these e-voting systems as per the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Fail. Again.

National: Here's the lede from Joyce McCloy's Voting News tonight...

866-OUR-VOTE received over 10,000 calls today. Top states include California, Georgia & Pennsylvania. Some in today's news. Would you believe Alabama didn't have enough pens, so used pencils to mark ballots, causing probs? ..Maryland Diebold touchscreens flip votes from GOP to DEM!..California awaits millions of mail ballots..Various probs with epoll books, paper poll books, power outages, locked up ballots, polling place moves, voting machine shutdowns, vote flipping, missing contests, bi-partisan tricks, voter registration problems.. poll locations...

See her report for details and links for all of the above.

NJ: Warren County - Touch-screen machine flips GOP to Dem and Dem to a ballot initiative. Via OurVoteLive.org's problem report database...

paper tape comes out, but can't read it, so unknown if the machine registered the proper votes. ... saw this problem on news, would push one button, another button lights up, went to vote Republican, Democrat lit up, then one line wanted to vote Democrat, and the light went on for the state constitution question. ... They had the problem before, and did not shut down that machine. Doesn't know why they still have people using that machine.

MD: Diebold touch-screen votes flip from GOP to Dem... (Luterville-Timonium Patch))

Board of Elections says issue is common
...
At least two voting machines at Pine Grove Middle School in Parkville had to be restarted after some voters had problems voting for Republican county executive candidate Ken Holt.

MD was the first state in country, along with GA, to go to all Diebold touch-screen systems. The BRAD BLOG obtained and published a long redacted SAIC report on their systems in 2007, years after its secret 2003 publication. The report was described at the time as the "Pentagon Papers of E-Voting," showing all kinds of problems with the systems. The state was supposed to move to paper ballots by this year. So why didn't they?

MUCH MORE BELOW...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/2/2010 4:05am PT  

In 2008, Election Integrity of Velvet Revolution's Election Protection Strike Force experts put these bullet points together after reports began coming in of voters having problems on voting machines (e.g., votes flipping from one candidate to another, etc.) I believe they may be helpful again today.

Of course, as we've been urging (even with cartoons!), do all you can to vote on a paper ballot and not on an electronic touch-screen voting system! Check with your state and/or county before you go in to vote today to see if you have the right to request a hand-marked paper ballot at the polls.

But if you must vote on a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) system, and have problems in the process, here is...

What to do if it happens to you:

  • Call poll supervisors to observe the problem.
  • Fill out a problem report.
  • Refuse to vote on that machine.
  • Request that the machine be taken out of service.
  • Get the serial number of the machine if possible (may be difficult in many cases).
  • Tell other voters in line which machine it was and that they should NOT vote on that machine!
  • Report it to county/town election office.
  • Report it to the Secretary of State.
  • Call local reporters and tell them the story.
  • Call voter problem hotlines (eg. 866-OUR-VOTE) and report it.
  • Contact bloggers and Election Integrity websites.
  • Raise holy hell.

REMINDER: Please bring a video camera/cell phone camera when you go to vote so you can document these problems on video tape.

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By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2010 7:44pm PT  

On Election eve, amidst the usual, absurd and evidence-free caterwauling about imaginary "VOTER FRAUD!!!!" (and, man, am I happy to see that there are now tons of other folks in the media finally out there covering that particular scam so I don't have to) a reminder of what real Election Integrity looks like...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2010 2:46pm PT  

Late last week, AOL News asked me to contribute an op-ed for their Election Eve coverage. That op-ed, which they've headlined "Cast Your Ballot Against Electronic Voting", is now posted here...

The upshot of its argument: If Republicans are set to take over the U.S. House, as predicted, and if they've suddenly found religion in regard to the dangers of electronic voting, as they seem to be asserting in North Carolina, in Nevada and in Texas, then it'll soon be their turn to take legislative action to once and for all ban the horrific, anti-democratic (small "d"), 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems plaguing our nation before they are again used to pervert results of the 2012 Presidential Election --- just as they have every year since they've been introduced into our electoral system (by a majority Republican Congress, by the way, in 2002.)

Please check it out and leave some nice (or not so nice) comments there, as you see fit. Lot's of disinformed bumpkins seem to currently be weighing in. Please free to straighten them out. Politely.

* * *

Other pieces I've contributed elsewhere of late, in advance of tomorrow's election:
• For Salon: "The Faith-Based Vote"
• For Truthout: "Hacking Harry Reid (or, Sharron's Angle)"

* * *
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...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2010 2:05pm PT  

As you might imagine this time of year, I've been doing a lot of media appearances around the country to discuss this year's elections. Most have been in regard to the failed e-voting systems used in early voting and on Election Day tomorrow. But NY's WBAI ran an excellent piece this morning, on which I appeared, to discuss the ongoing disaster that is the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision asserting, again, that corporations are the same as "people" and thus deserve the "free speech" right to spend as much as they want to affect the outcomes of U.S. elections.

My contribution to the segment is heard near the beginning, in the background description of what the case was, what it means, and what has happened since it was decided last January. A lot of interesting discussion follows thereafter.

Download MP3 (appx 40 mins), or listen online below...

• Ernest Hancock covered the Citizens United decision at The BRAD BLOG here...
• I wrote a piece on the same case, "The End of Democracy", for Hustler here...
• Velvet Revolution's StopTheChamber.org campaign has been trying for highlight concerns for nearly a year about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who is, perhaps, the number one recipient of millions in undisclosed corporate funds as now being spent to influence elections around the country this year --- in support of Republicans by a factor of 7 to 1, by the way --- in the wake of Citizens United. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]

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By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2010 9:05am PT  

A video of a computer animated "debate" between a Tea Partier and a non-Tea Partier, which has gone insanely viral over the last few days, inspired me to try creating one of my own.

Here my first quick effort. Hope you'll enjoy it and will help spread the word, because while computer generated animations are great, computer generated, unverifiable e-voting ain't. Vote on a paper ballot this year (not on a touch-screen system with or without a so-called "paper trail"), if you can. Here's why...



YouTube Link:
YouTube Embed:

P.S. I've been asked how voters can make the decision to vote on paper ballots this late in the game. Many states and counties which offer touch-screen systems on Election Day also allow the voter to request a paper ballot at the polls. Others offer voters a choice when voting between "paper or plastic" (touch-screen or paper ballot). For example, in CA, every voter has the right to vote on a paper ballot, even as some jurisdictions tend to simply point voters towards the touch-screens. Check with your state and/or county before voting to find out your rights and if you're allowed to vote on paper on Election Day! The unverifiable vote you cast may otherwise be your own!

* * *
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...

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Orders 'voter alert' posted at polls, programming materials, records retained...
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2010 9:53pm PT  

North Carolina counties which use touch-screen voting systems will now have to post a "Voter Alert" at precincts warning voters about potential problems with the machines following a complaint [PDF] filed in federal court by the state's Republican Party on Friday. The lawsuit, heard today on an expedited basis, was filed after voters in several counties had reported to party officials that their attempts to vote for straight-ticket Republican ballots were flipping on the screen to straight-ticket Democratic ballots.

Those reports of vote-flipping led to the NC GOP issuing a threat late this week to sue the State Board of Elections (BoE) if their demands were not met to order certain precautions be taken at polling places which used the 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems. After the Executive Director for the BoE sent a letter in response to the GOP's demands, downplaying the reported incidents as "isolated" and "no different than ones that must be addressed in every election," the Republican complaint was filed in federal court on Friday afternoon. (The sharp letters back and forth between the state GOP and BoE can be read in our previous report on the NC situation.)

Judge Malcolm Howard tonight also ordered that pollworkers must tell voters to read the printed alert, and that memory cards and other programming materials, records and audit logs from the oft-failed ES&S iVotronic touch-screen DREs must be preserved for examination after the election. Late today, the BoE Executive Director Gary O. Bartlett sent a notice [PDF] to the County Boards of Elections detailing the changes ordered by the federal judge.

The "Voter Alert" to be posted in all precincts using the touch-screen voting systems must read as follows...

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

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