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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Justice Ginsburg Republishes TX Photo ID Law Dissent After BRAD BLOG Cites Error
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


[Now UPDATED with audio archives from today's show]
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2010 2:20pm PT  

During my weekly gig this afternoon from 3-4p PT (6p-7p ET) on L.A.'s Pacifica Radio affiliate KPFK with Harrison, I'll be interviewing Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org about the "massive improprieties" she's been uncovering from the Shelby County (Memphis), TN, August 5th election. We detailed some of the alarming points coming out of that election, where ten candidates have now filed suit, a few weeks ago here, and Harris has a more recent update --- including on the "3,221 more votes than voters" discovered "in large Republican precincts" --- now posted here.

We'll also be discussing other recent Assaults on Democracy (see my piece earlier today for example). So I hope you'll tune in and/or call in!

KPFK is heard on air at 90.7 FM in L.A., on 98.7 FM in Santa Barbara and coast-to-coast and around the globe via KPFK.org where there are more live streaming options for ya. The call-in number is: 310-737-TALK.

* * *

POST-SHOW UPDATE: Some disturbing information on the Memphis Mess from Harris on the show today. And a bit of an exclusive about the FAIL of one of the excuses given by Shelby County officials for the reason that thousands of voters were turned away from the polls, having been told they already voted (when they hadn't). That, and more on the GOP's freshly cranked up War on Voting.

I've edited out the news and traffic and other breaks for ya, to make it easier and quickier to listen to the bulk of the main content. Enjoy.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2010 12:50pm PT  

Thousands of borrowed e-voting machines made by Austin-based Hart Intercivic have begun arriving in Harris County (Houston), TX, this week in the wake of last month's massive warehouse fire which destroyed all 10,000 of the county's 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems in advance of early voting for the mid-term elections.

Some 3,000 machines are being loaned to Harris County from 15 different counties around Texas and one in Colorado. Paper ballots are also being printed up, thankfully, to help in an emergency pinch, though it's clear that Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman, a long-time fan of unverifiable electronic voting systems, hopes voters will use them, rather than paper. Most precincts, she says, will have just one less machine than they normally would for an election of the size expected this November.

Arson has not yet been ruled out as the cause of the overnight blaze which remains a mystery nearly three weeks after it destroyed some $40 million worth of voting equipment. While an official finding may still be months away, according to Houston's KPRC TV no accelerants have yet been found, and arson investigators seem to be focusing on "evidence that the fire started accidentally in the building's electrical system."

But before the ashes had finished smoldering, literally, partisans from both the Right and Left had already begun to speculate on what the fire might mean for the mid-term elections and who, if anybody, might have had a motive to touch off such a blaze.

As long-time readers of The BRAD BLOG may have guessed, some of the allegations had more basis in reality than others, as Republican activists, like clockwork, have begun their loud, if still-unsubstantiated, cries of "massive Democratic voter fraud" soon to "steal an election" near you.

The effort in Houston which, coincidentally or not, kicked off at almost the exact same moment as the voting machine fire, is particularly egregious and irresponsible in its effort to scare voters with unsubstantiated and hyperbolic charges of "voter fraud"...

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

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Systems uncertified for state-mandated Instant Runoff Voting...
By Joyce McCloy on 9/20/2010 5:58pm PT  

-- Guest blogged by Joyce McCloy

Well there's a twist! Hopefully you weren't drinking coffee when you read the headline.

How often do you hear of a voting vendor saying they really really (really!!) do not want to break the law, but state officials are forcing them to? But that's exactly what's about to happen in North Carolina where the first statewide use of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) could produce, according to some, a "train wreck" this November.

Four years ago, the state legislature created new rules for special elections needed to fill vacancies in the state's appellate courts. They apply when an opening occurs on the bench after the primary but at least 60 days before the general election. If more than two candidates file to run, voters are asked to indicate their first, second and third choices on the ballot. If no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes, the winner is determined by adding the second- and third-choice votes.

But while election officials are mandated to run IRV elections, there is actually no state or federally certified software to tally Instant Runoff Voting on North Carolina's e-vote systems and the representative for the vendors, ES&S and PrintElect, says the companies "cannot be held responsible for issues as a result of IRV"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2010 3:49pm PT  

Over the weekend, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced she would run as a write-in candidate this November after reportedly losing a close GOP primary race to far Rightwing "Tea Party" candidate Joe Miller.

The three-way race, along with Democratic candidate and Mayor of Sitka Scott McAdams, could prove to be a serious challenge for Alaska's historically-dicey optical-scan voting system made by Diebold. Given the shortcomings of the system which otherwise employs the concealed vote-counting of centrally tabulated ballots, the need to hand-review write-in votes this November could present a unique opportunity for citizens of the 49th state to oversee at least some of their own electoral system --- for a welcome change.

Statistical polling analyst Nate Silver, whose FiveThirtyEight blog is now hosted by The New York Times, has been suggesting that Murkowski's seemingly-Quixotic bid, while still a long shot, may actually prove to be "viable" as a write-in campaign. But whether or not Alaska's voting system is up to task may be a different matter, and an additional hurtle for Murkowski to overcome...

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

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UPDATE: On Stewart's 'false equivalency' between Right and Left...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2010 1:14pm PT  

Just three days before the November mid-terms --- and for no particular reason, other than it seemed "reasonable" --- Comedy Central's tag-team news/satire team Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will hold rallies on the mall in Washington D.C.

Game changers? Or just a really really good time? Or both? We'll see. Here are their rather hilarious competing announcements from last night in case you missed them (each coming after a false start in both cases)...

STEWART VIDEO - "Take It Down a Notch For America"...


The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Rally to Restore Sanity
www.thedailyshow.com

COLBERT VIDEO - "Fighting Creeping Reasonableness"...


The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
March to Keep Fear Alive
www.colbertnation.com

For more information, see their "competing" officials websites...

RallyToRestoreSanity.com
KeepFearAlive.com

* * *

UPDATE 9/19/10: Glenn Greenwald offers a cogent analysis of the "false equivalency" seen in Stewart's intro to his event which suggests a comparison between baseless extremist cries from the Right that "Obama is a socialist who wasn't born in the U.S. and hates America" to the very real cries from the Left for accountability in the case of alleged war crimes committed by the Bush Administration, as cited directly by the U.S. Army general who led the investigation into prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib...

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

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Billionaire-funded propaganda, magnified by corporate media failure, threaten democracy's survival...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/17/2010 12:07pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."-Mark Twain

One of the basic axioms of law is that fraud vitiates consent. One of the foundational principles of democratic governance is that legitimacy rests on the informed consent of the governed. Come November, those principles will be tested in California.

Billionaire Meg Whitman, a former EBay CEO who surpassed the $100 million mark in campaign spending nearly a month prior to the traditional Labor Day kickoff of the Fall campaign, who, by Sept. 16, had donated a record-smashing $119 million of her own funds to her campaign, who refused to meet with former California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown and Republican State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poisner in a pre-primary debate, has knowingly sought to fill the gaping knowledge deficit created by the corporate media's gross neglect of its fourth estate responsibilities with disinformation about Brown, her Democratic opponent.

When confronted by an analysis which exposed a powerful but deliberately deceptive ad (video below) which shows former President Bill Clinton accusing Brown of lying about his tax record based on a CNN report which is now known to be erroneous, Whitman's spokesperson, Darrell Ng dismissed the idea of pulling the deceptive ad as "ridiculous"...

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

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(According to the ballots that can be verified anyway)
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2010 3:30pm PT  

Yesterday's hotly contested race for the GOP's U.S. Senate nomination in Delaware ended in victory for the state's moderate, much-beloved former Governor and nine-term U.S. Congressman Mike Castle --- at least according to the tabulation of ballots cast in the race which can actually be verified by anybody as having been recorded accurately as per the voters' intent.

From the State of Delaware's Elections website with 100% reporting:

Verifiable Paper-Based Absentee Results:
CASTLE: 54.7% - O'DONNELL: 45.3%

Unverifiable Election Day E-Voting Machine Results:
CASTLE: 46.7% - O'DONNELL: 53.3%

Nonetheless, the Tea-Party/Palin/DeMint-endorsed Christine O'Donnell, who was getting trounced by the popular Castle in pre-election polls until only recently after losing twice before in her quest for a U.S. Senate seat, was declared the "winner" of yesterday's race and --- as The BRAD BLOG detailed yesterday --- nobody can prove whether the voters of Delaware actually selected her or not.

Appropriately enough for the far Rightwinger, the "victory" was 100% faith-based, since it's strictly impossible to know if even one citizen's vote cast yesterday on the 100% unverifiable e-voting machines Delware forces voters to use on Election Day was recorded accurately...

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

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UPDATE: Tea Party candidate loses! (On the verifiable ballots)...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2010 5:00pm PT  

In addition to the primary elections being held in New York today --- where long-ago predicted failures are reported to be occurring with their new e-voting system as we described earlier --- elections are also underway today in Delaware, D.C., Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.

To find out which type of voting system will fail and/or or be 100% unverifiable in each of those states, please see VerifiedVoting.org's Verifier for details.

One of the races certain to get most attention tonight will be the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Delaware where the Tea Party/Palin/DeMint-backed Christine O'Donnell has seen a last minute surge in support, according to pre-election polls, against GOP-establishment supported Rep. Mike Castle. The popular Castle was thought to have been a shoo-in for the Republican nomination until recently, as well as the likely victor over the Democrats presumptive nominee Chris Coons.

But Coons currently cleans O'Donnell's clock in pre-election polling, so the GOP race has become a contentious one.

We point all of this out by way of noting that Delaware has just three counties, all of which force voters to use 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen, but in this case push-button) voting systems on Election Day. The systems are made by Danaher Controls, one of the smaller, lesser-known e-voting companies in the U.S., though large enough to have been made infamous when hundreds of their machines reportedly broke down during Philadelphia's May 2006 trainwreck election. In 2004 Verified Voting and the Electronic Frontier Foundation published a short paper [PDF] detailing various other problems with the systems in Tennessee and Ohio elections going back to 1992.

While we've yet to hear of problems today on the machines in the "First State," we thought it might be a good time to mention that no matter whom the voting machines report as the winner in any of the races, including the hotly-contested GOP Senate primary, there will largely be next to nothing that can be done to challenge the results --- other than, perhaps, counting the smaller number of paper-based absentee ballots for accuracy. (The paper-based absentee ballots will initially be tabulated by Diebold AccuVote op-scan systems, the same type of system used to flip the results of a mock election in HBO's Emmy-nominated documentary Hacking Democracy. You can watch that hack here as it occurred live.)

The Danaher DREs being used in Delaware today make for 100% faith-based elections. As with all DREs, after the polls close tonight it will be strictly impossible to verify that even one vote cast on them was recorded accurately as per the voter's intent, for any candidate on the ballot.

In the event that the e-voting systems report a close election tonight, well, too bad.

* * *

UPDATE 7:15pm PT: With 85% of the vote "counted," and a reported 54%-46% margin, AP has declared O'Donnell the winner. Details...

UPDATE 10:32pm PT: Castle actually defeated O'Donnell! But, um, only on the ballots that can actually be verified. Details in comments...

UPDATE 9/15/14 1:44pm PT: More on the virtually reversed "paper versus plastic" numbers in DE's GOP U.S. Senate primary now here...

* * *

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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Mayor declares 'royal mess' on city's ES&S machines; Probs elsewhere on systems made by Dominion/Sequoia
Election officials, advocates had long warned, were ignored...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2010 2:15pm PT  

Problems with New York's new electronic voting system are being reported across the state today, according to the New York Times. Today's primary elections mark the first statewide use of the new, paper-based optical-scan systems which have been been the cause of much controversy among election officials and Election Integrity advocates over the last several months and years in the Empire State.

New York is the last state in the union to replace their older election system --- much of the state, as well as all of New York City had previously used mechanical lever machines --- with new-fangled, failure-prone, easily-manipulated computerized systems following the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 which was enacted in the wake of the 2000 Presidential Election debacle.

In New York City, where Wall Street Journal reports the problems are "most severe" --- including reports from Mayor Bloomberg on "reports of broken and missing scanners, poor customer service and poll sites opening two to four hours late" --- the new systems are made by ES&S, the nation's largest voting machine company, and one with a storied history of election failures.

The systems used in other parts of the state are largely manufactured by the Canadian firm Dominion Voting, formerly as a partnership with Sequoia Voting Systems. Dominion eventually bought out cash-strapped Sequoia's portion of the NY state deal before buying out Sequoia entirely earlier this year. The purchase of Sequoia, then the nation's third-largest e-voting firm, on the heels of their purchase of Diebold/Premiere just weeks prior, has vaulted Dominion, virtually overnight, to one of the largest e-voting vendors in the U.S..

[Read The BRAD BLOG's recent exclusive on the Dominion purchase of Sequoia, and their attempts to cover up the continuing relationship that Sequoia has with a Venezuelan firm tied to President Hugo Chavez.]

Some state election officials and Election Integrity advocates alike had long-warned against the implementation of these new systems, going so far as to take the issue to court and to testify to the inability of certifying the accuracy of elections run on the new machines.

According to the Times this morning, some polling places "did not open for more than 90 minutes" in Brooklyn; elsewhere, every ballot scanned "was returning a the 'system error'" message; and across the state, there have been reports of "longer-than-usual delays and troubles with the scanners that are supposed to swallow and tabulate the new, SAT-style ballots"...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 9/13/2010 7:11pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

This November, California voters will be afforded a rare opportunity to directly decide whether to legalize and tax the lawful cultivation, processing, distribution, sale, and consumption of marijuana by and to individuals over 21 years of age.

By approving Proposition 19, formally labeled the "Regulate, Control, Tax Cannabis Act of 2010" [PDF], voters will take an important first step towards ending the costly, hypocritical, and liberty-destroying "war on drugs" which, like its predecessor (Prohibition), has created a lucrative niche for criminal organizations --- hypocritical because the covert agencies of the U.S. government have long engaged in drug trafficking in support of Empire even as the so-called "War on Drugs" has provided a convenient excuse for supporting brutal dictatorial puppet regimes whose function it is to serve the interests of what John Perkins described in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man as the "corporatocracy"...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2010 3:43pm PT  

From today's "9-12"* rally in D.C....

Dave Weigel has more photos from the same event...

[Update: TPM has more...]

* The "9-12 Project" was created by Glenn Beck, for the purposes explained in this "Mission Statement" on their official website...

This is a non-political movement. The 9-12 Project is designed to bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001. The day after America was attacked we were not obsessed with Red States, Blue States or political parties. We were united as Americans, standing together to protect the greatest nation ever created.

That same feeling – that commitment to country is what we are hoping to foster with this idea. We want to get everyone thinking like it is September 12th, 2001 again.

Remember all of those non-political "By Ballot or Bullet" signs Americans stood united to display on 9/12/01? Yeah, neither do we.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/7/2010 6:35pm PT  

When it comes to elections, it seems there are no rules, laws, morals, or ethical boundaries which Republicans aren't willing to happily violate in order to be "victorious."

Our latest two examples:

  • Over at Daily Kos today, a commenter has been outed as a "concern troll" hoping to deflate progressive support for KY's Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway, while serving on the payroll of Republican candidate Rand Paul.

So what wouldn't these guys do to ensure a "victory"? Stay classy, GOP. The founders would be very proud!

* * *
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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Will the Orwellian lies of the oil industry's 'poison populism' be exposed in time to save humanity?...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/6/2010 5:43pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

"Without a well-informed public, humanity itself and all species on the planet are threatened."-Dr. James Hansen, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity.

That 'Tea Party' backing Koch Industries, an oily conglomeration which is ranked as one of the nation's worst polluters, has joined with two other Texas-based oil industry polluters, Tesoro Corp. and Valero Energy Corp., aka the "Toxic Twins," comes as no surprise. After all, Koch has already been aptly described by Greenpeace as "the kingpins of climate science denial."

It also comes as no surprise that California's Prop 23 measure on this November's ballot, which would require the state "to abandon implementation of [Assembly Bill 32's] comprehensive greenhouse-gas-reduction program that includes increased renewable energy and cleaner fuel requirements, and mandatory emission reporting and fee requirements for major polluters such as power plants and oil refineries," was submitted [PDF] to the CA Secretary of State's office bearing an Orwellian label, the "California Jobs initiative" --- an initiative that has the backing of "Tea Party" darling and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, whose idea of "jobs creation" entails the transfer of domestic jobs overseas.

This corporate deception mirrors Pacific Gas & Electric's effort to use the ballot box as a vehicle for acquiring monopoly power. PG&E deceptively described its failed Prop 16 initiative, on last June's ballot, as the "Taxpayers Right to Vote Act."

There's a good chance that, just as they defeated Prop 16, CA voters will see through the "jobs creation" scam of Prop 23. But, if current polls are indicative, a large segment of an under-informed electorate who, in their disgust with President Obama's betrayal of "change we can believe in," are being taken in by billionaire-funded "poison populism" --- moving to the Right when the health of our economy and of humanity itself cries out for a sharp turn to the Left...

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

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Fiorina offers bizarre claim that an increase in federal jobs, as opposed to outsourcing, is to blame for demise of middle class
As third party candidates protest exclusion, only a single Oakland TV station provided live coverage...
By Ernest A. Canning on 9/2/2010 9:26pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

After months of electoral politics conducted exclusively by way of dueling, 30 second propaganda slots (aka paid-for political ads), incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and her Republican challenger, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina conducted what excluded Green Party candidate Duane Roberts derided as "a sham debate between two multi-millionaires backed by big business interests."

While there is some merit in Roberts' complaint, the debate proved of vital importance, especially since it exposed the extreme views of the lesser known Fiorina on a variety of issues ranging from her opposition to environmental protection, opposition to marital equality for same sex couples, and her outright call to reverse Roe v. Wade. But the most telling aspect was that the debate exposed Fiorina to be an unapologetic proponent of outsourcing and corporate globalization, which, since the passage of NAFTA, has proved to be the bane of the American middle-class.

That made this a debate of manifest importance to the people of California. Yet the corporate media, whose financial interest is served by failing to provide meaningful news coverage, thereby forcing candidates into the paid-for propaganda slots, proved true to form. Live coverage was limited to Cox Communications' Oakland, CA, affiliate, KTVU...

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

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By Ernest A. Canning on 8/31/2010 2:17pm PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

This November, after all that we've learned over so many years, twenty percent of the nation will still engage in blind-faith voting on DREs that are 100% unverifiable, with or without a so-called "Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail" (VVPAT). Elsewhere, the vast majority of Americans will feed paper ballots into easily hacked optical scan systems and then quietly accept the results that the machines spew out without demanding a hand count of the paper ballots.

The corporate media will dutifully publish the reported "results" without so much as mentioning that in most jurisdictions not a single ballot will have been counted by a human being.

With Brad Friedman and Desi Doyen off enjoying some much needed R & R, I thought some levity was in order, courtesy of this hilarious, if somewhat dated, Onion video.


Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

* * *

UPDATE FROM BRAD 9/6/10: Now that I'm almost back on the grid, a quick addition here to note that we ran this same video back on February 25, 2008. That it still has resonance and meaning today --- after all that we've learned about the 100% unverifiable nature of such systems --- says a great deal, since we're still foolishly using these things all across the country, as Ernie pointed out. Also related from The Onion, as we ran in November of 2008, there's this: "Sequoia Touch-Screen Elected 44th President".

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