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Latest Featured Reports | Sunday, September 21, 2014
Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife- Beating Judge Mark Fuller
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The media and the U.S. Government have decided to give the latest barbaric idiots to rise up in the Middle East all the publicity they crave, despite the 'exaggerated' threat posed to the U.S., or even in the region. We're not interested in playing along...
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Greenhouse gas emissions jump at record rate; Australia's emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidifying at historic rate; PLUS: Some good news: Ozone Hole begone!...
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Accountability for Judge Fuller?; O, Mighty ISIS!:
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Trouble With Machines in Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Illinois
And we're just getting started...More here soon...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 11:23am PT  

We're gonna have trouble keeping up today. So 'be the media' in comments here where you can. But here we go...

We're getting reports of trouble and machine breakdowns from all over the country. Places where Emergency Paper Ballots are not available (despite our many pleas for weeks) and voters are being turned away or told to come back later...From USA Today...

•In Indiana's Marion County, about 175 of 914 precincts turned to paper because poll workers didn't know how to run the machines, said Marion County Clerk Doris Ann Sadler.

• Election officials in Delaware County, Ind., planned to seek a court order to extend voting after an apparent computer error prevented voters from casting ballots in 75 precincts. Delaware County Clerk Karen Wenger said the cards that activate the machines were programmed incorrectly. "We are working with precincts one-by-one over the telephone to get the problem fixed," Wenger said.

• Illinois officials were swamped with calls from voters complaining that poll workers did not know how to operate new electronic equipment

• In Ohio, some machines wouldn't function."We got five machines — one of them's got to work," said Willette Scullank, a troubleshooter from the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, elections board.

• In Florida, voting was briefly delayed at four districts because of either mixed up ballots or electronic activators being unintentionally wiped out, according to Mary Cooney, spokeswoman for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections. Voters were forced to use paper ballots after an electronic machine broke in the Jacksonville suburb of Orange Park.

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Salon's Election Integrity Coverage Takes A Turn For The Better
but it couldn't have got much worse!
By Winter Patriot on 8/15/2006 7:55pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Art Levine's new piece at Salon raises their election integrity bar quite a bit --- not a difficult task considering where that bar has been lately.

Prior to the 2004 "election", Salon's coverage was generally quite good; since then it's been dismal, thanks mostly to some outrageous smear pieces from Farhad Manjoo. In fact, Salon's coverage has been so dreadful that the site has been referred to in some quarters as "Saloon", which of course rhymes with "buffoon", which gives me a good way to remember "Manjoo", whose name just wouldn't stick in my frozen brain any other way.

But let's not dwell on those sad times.

Levine's article, "Salon's shameful six", looks at six states --- Arizona, Indiana, California, Missouri, Ohio and Florida --- where vote suppression could cause serious problems in 2006.

If you're not a Salon subscriber, you'll have to watch a short ad to read the whole article. I did; it was well worth the time and effort. But just in case you don't believe me, we have a few short excerpts, below the fold.

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2006 3:16pm PT  

From WISH-TV...

CORYDON, Ind. Harrison County election officials will manually count ballots from at least 15 of the county's 35 precincts after malfunctions by election equipment during the May Second primary.

The Indiana secretary of state's Election Division has notified the county that it has the authority to recheck votes cast in precincts where election equipment malfunctioned.

Programming errors in automatic tabulation equipment connected to voting machines were discovered by county officials during the primary. It's unclear whether the manual recount will change any race results.

Harrison is one of several Indiana counties that used voting equipment from Election Systems and Software Incorporated. The Nebraska company has come under investigation by state election officials for numerous software programming problems.

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Is Anybody There? Does Anybody Care?
By John Gideon on 5/7/2006 4:39pm PT  

By John Gideon, Executive Director, VotersUnite.Org and Information Manager, VoteTrustUSA.Org --- May 8, 2006

This has been another week of "Train Wrecks" across the country. Three states had major primaries with mixed success and failure, a few states had local elections with failures, and some states are preparing for May primaries and they are meeting the "oncoming locomotive" as they can't get machines or software for the machines and are having to revert to paper ballots or lever machines.

Elections Systems and Software (ES&S) is now facing investigations, lawsuits, or just plain pissed-off elections officials in West Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, California, and other jurisdictions. And now we learn that Diebold has a huge security vulnerability that all voting systems experts who know the details are very concerned about.

Next Tuesday, May 9, finds the train barreling down on primary elections in West Virginia and Nebraska. May 16 brings potentially hazardous primary election whistle-stops in Kentucky, Oregon and, the grand central station that is Pennsylvania.

Let's take a look at some of the continuing derailments from the past week, about which prompted Brad Friedman of The BRAD BLOG to ask of D.C. politicians and, more notably, the National Mainstream Media: "Is anybody there? Does anybody care?"

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

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As the Voters Continue to Pay the Price
And as We Continue to Connect the Dots the Mainstream Media Still Won't�
By John Gideon on 4/30/2006 6:20pm PT  

By John Gideon Executive Director VotersUnite.Org and Information Manager VoteTrustUSA.Org

When asked by a reporter, "Which is harder to manage, your two children or ES&S?" Marion County, Indiana Clerk Doris Ann Sadler told the Indianapolis Star this week, "Oh, ES&S, definitely. My children are really very easy. In fact, at times I think my children would have done a better job with the voting machines. And they're (ages) 7 and 4."

The Electronic Voting Machine Vendor locomotive is still running away down the track at an alarming speed. However, this week some states and county election officials seem to be beginning to notice and are now sending out signals that they intend to either stop the train or � barring that --- at least ensure that companies such as Election Systems and Software (ES&S) do not profit too much from their arrogance, ineptitude and now epidemic failures.

Legal complaints against the company were filed this week in West Virginia and Indiana to add to the one previously under way in Oregon. Threats have been heard from Texas, Arkansas, Ohio and elsewhere. Election officials have been forced to change voting procedures in many states and counties to accommodate for ES&S' growing array of failures.

Meanwhile no one seems to be talking about the people who will be most affected by this train wreck; the voters�

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

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WV County Withholds $1.2 Million Payment to Electronic Voting Machine Company
'They Are Hiding Out,' Says County Commissioner About Previous Company Promises to Service the County
By John Gideon on 4/28/2006 11:20am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The ES&S Meltdown around the country which The BRAD BLOG exclusively covered yesterday, as the Texas Sec. of State's office informed Election Officials to "create emergency paper ballots", now continues to widen to other states around the country.

Legal action in two more states against Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S), the largest Electronic Voting Machine Company in America, has now commenced.

In Indiana, the a formal complaint has been filed today against ES&S by the Sec. of State for failures to provide working equipment and ballots in several counties in time for early primary voting in the Hoosier State.

In West Virginia, the County Commissioners Association announced they will be filing legal action against the company with the help of the WV Sec. of State and Attorney General's office for similar problems, some of which we reported late last night here at The BRAD BLOG. As well, one county Manager has been told to withhold payment of a $1.2 million check made out to the company until the problems are corrected.

The Associated Press covers the developing situation in Indiana where Sec. of State Todd Rokita has filed his formal complaint against ES&S for violating state law. The Louisville (Kentucky) Courier-Journal covers it this way...

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

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While We Continue to Connect the Dots the Media Continues to Fail To...
By John Gideon on 4/23/2006 4:25pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon,
Exec. Dir. for VotersUnite.Org & Info. Mgr. for VoteTrustUSA.Org

It is a fact that this primary season is proving to be a disaster.

The locomotives of the voting machine vendors and unwary, naive elections officials are headed down the same tracks, straight towards each other, in many states. The vendors only have the bags of government provided cash in sight and they don't seem to care about anything but putting those bags into their coffers. They don't seem to care about signing contracts that they know they cannot meet. They seem to be under the impression that "act now and apologize later" is good business. They seem to understand that the only criteria for getting paid for contracts with the government is having signed the contract.

As for the elections officials well, they are blinded by the lights of the fast approaching locomotive and many can only apologize and cover for the vendors. They just don't seem to know, or care --- or acknowledge that they either know or care --- that the same story is playing out in the next county over and in the next state over. Ignorance is supposed to be bliss, but it also spells chaos for elections.

But wait, all may not be lost. This past week we have seen a bit of progress toward stopping the chaos of ES&S in Indiana and Oregon, while West Virginia just doesn't seem to know or care what is happening to them. As well, New Jersey may be making headway against their bad acting vendor, Sequoia Voting Systems...

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

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A lot of American Democracy Can Unravel in Just One Week's Time
As We Continue to Connect the Dots the Media is Failing To�
By John Gideon on 4/17/2006 7:19am PT  

Blogged by John Gideon

In an article last week I pointed to the copious evidence that our elections are headed straight towards disaster; a "Train Wreck". That "Train Wreck," however, may still be avoided. The engineers of one of those trains, as it were, are the elections officials who are allowing themselves to be cowed by vendors like ES&S, Sequoia, and Diebold. The disaster can be avoided, but it will require the election officials to switch their train to a different track � by first acknowledging that there are problems.

In order to begin that process those officials must finally realize that they are not alone. Counties across the country are finding the exact same problems. The bad ES&S memory cards were not just found in Summit County, Ohio; they were also found in North Carolina and probably other counties in other states. ES&S will fail to deliver on contracts for voting machines in many counties all across the country. Does anyone really expect the engineer of the other train --- the voting machine vendors --- to switch tracks? They only see the money bags at the end of the track and not the other train barreling down on them.

The federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) --- created by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 --- has likewise not been doing their job. They seem to be content to just sit back and watch as voting systems across the country are in melt-down. Do they really serve any purpose other than to shovel out HAVA funding for these new systems to the states, who in turn pass them on to the vendors? It appears not. Take a look�

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

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Says Company Activity Could be in 'Significant Violation of State Election Law'
NOTE TO MSM: Nothing to read here. Move on.
By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2006 4:08pm PT  

The E-Voting Train Wreck continues...

This from a statement released today by the Indiana Secretary of State (to get just a tiny idea of what this statement is in reference to see the "Train Wreck" article linked above...and just about every other damn thing we've been running here at BRAD BLOG for the last God-knows-how-many weeks/months/years)...

Today Secretary of State Todd Rokita announced his intention to bring an enforcement action against the Nebraska based voting system firm, Election Systems and Software. Secretary Rokita will personally conduct a public hearing to determine whether election law violations have occurred, and whether the company should be fined. County sequencing errors and paper ballot problems, noted by Rokita's office this week, have combined to quickly escalate already disturbingly poor service at the county level into what could be a significant violation of state election law. "I have ordered our legal staff to immediately set hearing dates and subpoena company officials," Rokita said.

The Indianapolis Star begins their coverage this way:

The Indiana secretary of state's office is investigating possible law violations by two voting machine companies, as doubts continue about possible hitches in next month's primary elections.

"To protect the voices of Hoosier voters, I intend to hold hearings on these matters to determine whether Indiana law has been violated, and if so, to hold the appropriate parties accountable," Secretary of State Todd Rokita said in a statement today.

"Hoosier taxpayers, voters and county officials deserve voting systems that comply with the high standards mandated by Indiana law."

Rokita said his office, which administers elections across the state, would bring an "enforcement action" to determined whether Election Systems and Software, a Nebraska voting system company, should be fined.

NOTE TO NATIONAL MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Please pay no attention whatsoever to any of the above. It's just a small local story. Nothing of interest. No pattern here here that effects our country as a whole in any way. All is well. Please enjoy your Easter Holiday break! Thank you.

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Our Elections are Now Officially 'A National Disaster in the Making'
A MUST READ GUEST EDITORIAL BY JOHN GIDEON OF VOTERSUNITE.ORG
By John Gideon on 4/9/2006 5:24pm PT  

By John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Normally this space is taken with my ideas of what are the "Top 5" voting news stories for the week. Today I am going to use this space to talk about what I see as the beginning of a disaster in the making with our elections. This isn't the election fraud that some point to when they talk about the vendors and some elections officials. It's not about recounts or audits. This is a real, get your hands around it, happening problem that will disrupt our election process if we do not do something about it now. While we have been involved in all of our issues about Direct Recording Electronic (DRE or "touch-screen") voting machines or paper ballots the electronic voting machine vendors have been wreaking complete havoc across the country.

So far this year two states have conducted primary elections. In Texas there is at least one candidate who has stepped forward and has challenged the election because of anomalies in vote counts and known voting machine failures. One county's machines counted some votes up to 6 times which resulted in approximately 100,000 more votes being counted than were cast. Though the vendor, Hart Intercivic, initially blamed the problem on human error, they finally had to admit that it was a programming error and not poll workers or voters who had erred. In Illinois some county officials are threatening to withhold final payment of funds on contracts with Sequoia Voting Systems because of failures with their machines that ended with results in the primary not being known for over a week after the voters went to the polls. In both states the involved vendors were very successful in the media with deflecting the blame from their machines to "human errors" or "glitches". However, when you listen to people who were there and who saw and worked through the problems you get a very different picture...

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

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Paper Ballots Are Used in the Meantime as ES&S Succeeds at Failing Yet Again...
THE GOOD NEWS: A Local TV News Outlet That Reports Actual News!
By John Gideon on 4/5/2006 8:15am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Proving that local TV News stations actually can serve their viewers by actually investigating stuff that matters, and then reporting on it, Indianapolis' WISH-TV 8 does it again. In yet another report on local election problems, WISH-TV has been keeping their viewers informed with a series of stories on voting issues.

"Well, once again, a Voting Machine Company is breaking Indiana law and violating county contracts," the story by reporter Pam Elliot began.

Last night, WISH TV 8 reported on the failure of Elections Systems & Software (ES&S) to perform up to their contract with their customers. That contract: to provide ballots to voters and touch-screen voting equipment that actually works.

Johnson County Indiana was supposed to have their ES&S iVotronic DRE (touch-screen) machines set-up and in use for "absentee voting". However, contrary to their contract and, as WISH TV reports, in violation of state law, ES&S has failed to program the counties "smart cards" with ballot definitions. Which means the voting machines are of no use.

Also missing are printed paper ballots for Johnson County and nearly two-dozen other counties across the state. Which means that in order for these counties to conduct "absentee voting" they will have to copy paper ballots and provide those to the voters.

But perhaps more troubling, as reported by the WISH-TV 8 "I Team" (Investigative Team):

I-Team 8 has also learned the batteries that came with Johnson County's $2.4 million equipment are old and failing. At least nine other counties have the same problem. If the battery fails, the internal ballots and all the votes cast will be lost.

I-Team 8 asked Jill Jackson whether it was time to rethink the county's choice of vendor. "I am certain that the county commissioners are going to want to revisit this, probably along with a lot of other counties in the state of Indiana," she replied.

And what does the Secretary of State have to say about this situation? He had the same reaction as many who have misinformed their counties into buying voting systems that were not really necessary...

"Although I am concerned about this issue, it is the responsibility of the counties to resolve this with their vendor," said Secretary of State Todd Rokita.

And what does ES&S have to say about all of this? Why, they blamed the counties, of course.

But WISH TV didn't let 'em get away with that. They concluded their report with just the facts m'am:

Omaha-based ES&S has been in trouble with the state at least twice before for not following Indiana law, but it's not the only vendor failing Hoosier voters. The certification expired last October on electronic voting machines made by Indianapolis-based Microvote, used by 45 Indiana counties.

-- WISH TV's written report is here...
-- WISH TV's video report is here...

It seems ES&S has a long and proud history of failing the voters of Indiana. Back in late 2004, just two weeks after the Presidential Election, The BRAD BLOG ran a story highlighting a series of reports from WISH TV filed back in April of 2004. Here's some of our coverage at the time...

The series of reports from WISHTV earlier this year tell of ES&S employees surreptitiously installing illegal, uncertified software, into the voting and tabulating machines in Marion County, Indiana. They then ordered their regional ES&S project manager to lie about it to county officials. She refused. As had her husband in a previous ES&S incident, where he was also a project manager, in a different Indiana county. He was fired for his refusal.

In one of the reports, the Marion County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler is quoted as saying that ES&S "has willfully and purposely deceived me and the Marion County election board...[W]ith complete disregard for business ethics and with intent to deceive, [ES&S] deliberately worked to keep their actions from the Marion County election board and its employees."

The county's election board vice chair added, "Throughout the process, there have been missteps and outright fabrications and mistruths given to us by the vendor implementing the election process."

"Outright fabrications and mistruths" from ES&S?! Knock us over with a feather. See our November '04 story for more details and links to the excellent WISH TV video reports from April.

Feel free to write a thank you note to reporter Pam Elliot for knowing what important news looks like and then caring enough to actually report on it.

Other than that --- sssshhhh --- don't tell anyone! It's better if nobody learns about this stuff.

(Additional snark for this story provided by Brad)

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'Something zapped it'
Something? (ES&S Again!)
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2004 8:18pm PT  

Why is it only in heavy Democratic counties that votes just seem to disappear? But in Republican counties, votes just seem to get added? This time, "something zapped it" in a heavily Democratic country in Indiana:

"Maybe there was a power surge," LaPorte County Clerk Lynne Spevak said. "Something zapped it."

At about 7 p.m. Tuesday, it was noticed that the first two or three printouts from individual precinct reports all listed an identical number of voters. Each precinct was listed as having 300 registered voters.

That means the total number of voters for the county would be 22,200, although there are actually more than 79,000 registered voters.
...
Spevak said workers at the clerk's office thought a computer correction could be done once they received a software patch from Election Systems and Software, the Chicago company that provided the tabulation software. However, the patch did not work.

"We thought we could get a copy of it e-mailed file to us and start all over, but once the program was downloaded from Chicago, it still didn't work right," Spevak said.

Dots connecting yet for ya? If not, read on. Otherwise, I'm working on trying to organize some "action items" now. Hope to have news on that in the next day or two...

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