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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Dan Wallach on 7/3/2008 11:24am PT  

Guest Blogged by Dan Wallach of Rice University...

Ed Note: We recently ran an article covering vote-rigging software whistleblower Clint Curtis' testimony last week during a hearing before the Texas Legislature's House Committee on Elections. Curtis detailed for legislators how easy it is to flip an election electronically, without detection. Here is another perspective from that same hearing…

Last week, I testified before the Texas House Committee on Elections (you can read my testimony). I’ve done this many times before, but I figured this time would be different. This time, I was armed with the research from the California “Top to Bottom” reports and the Ohio EVEREST reports. I was part of the Hart InterCivic source code team for California’s analysis. I knew the problems. I was prepared to discuss them at length.

Wow, was I disappointed. Here’s a quote from Peter Lichtenheld, speaking on behalf of Hart InterCivic:

Security reviews of the Hart system as tested in California, Colorado, and Ohio were conducted by people who were given unfettered access to code, equipment, tools and time and they had no threat model. While this may provide some information about system architecture in a way that casts light on questions of security, it should not be mistaken for a realistic approximation of what happens in an election environment. In a realistic election environment, the technology is enhanced by elections professionals and procedures, and those professionals safeguard equipment and passwords, and physical barriers are there to inhibit tampering. Additionally, jurisdiction ballot count, audit, and reconciliation processes safeguard against voter fraud.

You can find the whole hearing online (via RealAudio streaming), where you will hear the Diebold/Premier representative, as well as David Beirne, the director of their trade organization, saying essentially the same thing. Since this seems to be the voting system vendors’ party line, let’s spend some time analyzing it.

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

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Florida's Whistleblowing Programmer Demonstrates for House Committee on Elections How Simple it is to Hack an Election
Predicts Texas, Like Florida, Will 'Get Rid of E-Voting'....
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2008 11:28am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

From yesterday's Daily Texan...

Committee weighs risks, benefits of electronic voting machines
Fla. 'vote-flipping' programmer voices doubts about tool

Clint Curtis touched a hidden button on the screen of a simulated electronic voting machine as onlookers witnessed votes switch from one candidate to another.

The House Committee on Elections invited Curtis, a computer programmer from Florida, to testify Wednesday on the accuracy, risks, benefits and security of electronic voting technology. The committee also heard from other expert witnesses, election officials and the Texas secretary of state.

Curtis said a Florida representative approached him in 2000 to design "vote-flipping" software to help the congressman win an election. Requesting a fraudulent program for a machine is not illegal in Florida, but using one is.

"You cannot trust electronic machines, no matter how many honest people you have. It only takes one person with access to the machine," said Curtis, an advocate for hand-counted paper ballots. "Programmers can be bought."

The committee watched as Curtis clicked on an invisible button that suddenly placed the losing candidate of his mock election safely in the lead.

"24 lines of code can flip an election," Curtis said.

He offered to write a new code from scratch in less than three minutes, emphasizing the ease of creating a "flipping" code.

On Wednesday, coverage of his testimony by the Dayton-Beach News-Journal (who endorsed Curtis during his 2006 run against Tom Feeney, the Republican U.S. House Rep who Curtis alleges asked him to create vote-rigging software) included this:

"They seem to understand," Curtis said in a telephone interview afterwards. "They seem to get it. I think they'll do what Florida did, get rid of (electronic touch screens) and get something voters can count on."

For those who don't know Curtis, where have you been? You can read his remarkable story, first broken by The BRAD BLOG back in late 2004, summarized here. He is now hoping to run against Feeney again in Florida again this year, though he must first win his Primary against a Democratic Party-backed candidate. If you'd like to help him beat the millionaire chosen by the short-sighted Dem insiders, please stop by (and feel free to donate!!!) at www.ClintCurtis.com.

DISCLOSURE: We were invited, by the Republican who heads the committee, to testify at the hearing this week as well. Due to prior travel plans, unfortunately, we were unable to be there, but happy that Curtis, and several others who we recommended, were able to show up and speak truth to power.

(Hat-tip to John Gideon's "Daily Voting News" from yesterday.)

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By Brad Friedman on 6/20/2008 2:39pm PT  

We're fairly certain the following video, shown at the recent TX GOP convention (where they were selling racist Obama buttons, incidentally), isn't meant as a joke. It just plays that way, for those of us who happen to live on Planet Earth...


Between this and some of McCain's ads, and the lack of actual issues for Republicans to run on this year, perhaps the plan this year is to out macho the Democrats. It's all they've got, perhaps. Even if it comes across kinda gay. But maybe that's just us...

(Hat-tip Mark Crispin Miller)

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Remarkable Example of How Liberal Positions Are Being Adopted in the Mainstream
By Jon Ponder on 6/19/2008 4:27pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review

Updating a story The BRAD BLOG reported on Monday, the Texas Republican Party has now moved to distance itself from a vendor who sold buttons at the party's state convention that bore a racist message about Barack Obama: "If Obama is president ... will we still call it The White House?"

According to The Conservative Voice, the Texas GOP says it will donate $1,500 in rent paid by the button's vendor, Republicanmarket.com, to victims of the flooding in the Midwest.

Said Texas GOP spokesman Hans Klingle, "This vendor need not apply to another Texas GOP state convention. We will neither tolerate nor profit from bigotry."

How "conservative" is the Texas GOP? The Conservative Voice notes that in "1998, the Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's largest organization of gay Republicans, was denied a booth at the GOP state convention in Fort Worth and likened to the Ku Klux Klan by a Texas Republican Party spokesman. 'We don't allow pedophiles, transvestites or cross-dressers, either,' then-GOP spokesman Robert Black said at the time."

The fact that the Texas GOP has shifted to the left on an issue like this backs up assertions by Arianna Huffington and others that liberal positions are increasingly becoming mainstream.

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By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2008 11:14pm PT  

Who says Republicans don't have class? From the Dallas Morning News blog's report on the Texas GOP state convention...

While a number of speakers --- such as Railroad Commission chairman Michael Williams and Mike Huckabee --- have praised the advance of Barack Obama and what it means towards a colorblind society, at least one vendor hasn't gotten the message.

At the Republican state convention, a booth hosted by Republicanmarket was selling a pin Saturday that says: If Obama is President will we still call it the White House.

If you're interested in their items, their website is here. Their slogan: "Patriotic and Republican Products at Republican Market." I guess the above is an example of one of the Republican products. No clue if they've actually got any patriotic ones.

But if you'd like to find out about that, or anything else, you can email them at: sales@republicanmarket.com. More info on this impressive outfit is available here.

(Hat-tip BRAD BLOG reader GM)

UPDATE: Our friend Mike Rogers points out that Republicanmarket doesn't bother to show that particular button on the buttons page at their slimy website for some reason. Go figure. Not sure why, since, as commenter Creid points out, they aren't embarrassed about running this sexist garbage. Again, very very classy stuff.

UPDATE 6/19/08: The Texas GOP distances themselves from Republicanmarket.com, bans vendor from future events. Details now here...

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PLUS: Texas AG Settles Suit by Elderly African American Voters Harassed During State's 'Voter Fraud' Investigation
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2008 4:20pm PT  

What's a Grand Ol' Party to do when they wish to disenfranchise Democratic voters via the specious specter of "voter fraud" when they can't actually find any evidence to make their case? Why, call their media wing at Fox "News" of course!

Fox picks up today where the DoJ and Republican Party have had no luck so far, but not for lack of trying. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, publicize 'em, and make it sound like you're beating 'em, at least.

David Edwards and Muriel Kane report at RAW STORY today that Fox is running a "special investigation" into non-citizens throwing elections:

"Could illegal immigrants sway an election?' Eric Shawn of Fox News asked on Wednesday, raising the terrifying specter of "people who are not even citizens voting for whomever they want."

Since 2005, the Bush administration has been pushing the idea that "voter fraud" is a widespread problem, even firing US Attorneys who did not make the investigation of claims of fraud a priority. However, investigations have never found more than a handful of votes being cast illegally, while requiring proof of citizenship seems likely to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters, mostly the poor and elderly who may not be able to secure required documentation.

Fox News has now set out to find the evidence of fraud that the Bush Department of Justice could not, whipping up their audience with the threat of non-citizens "getting a fake ID, a driver's license, or a social security card and voting in this year's election."

"If you think there's voter fraud where you live, or there are other election problems, we at Fox News want to know about it," Shawn told viewers. "You can email us. ... voterfraud@foxnews.com."

RAW has the amusing video from this morning as well.

Well, you heard 'em, kids. Fox is looking for voter fraud! Feel free to email them this link: http://www.bradblog.com/CoulterFraud documenting the no-uncertain-terms case of Ann Coulter having committed voter fraud in Palm Beach County, Florida!

Fox would love to hear from you at: voterfraud@foxnews.com. Feel free to let 'em know I sent you, in case they have any further questions. I'll be happy to speak to them, and help 'em root out those voter fraud criminals!

BTW, Fox & Friends, at least, already knows about Coulter's voter fraud, since they called me last year to ask me to appear on their morning show to talk about it after Liz Smith ran an item on the matter in Murdoch's NY Post pointing to BRAD BLOG's coverage...

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

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RELATED: No Voter Fraud by Space Aliens Found Either, Though Ann Coulter's Clear Case of Voter Fraud Remains Wholly Unprosecuted...
By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2008 5:30pm PT  

Texas' Republican Attorney General has found that there's little or no "voter fraud" of note down there either, despite a promise two years ago, according to the Dallas Morning News, to "root out what he called an epidemic of voter fraud in Texas," and his creation of a special unit which "tapped a $1.4 million federal crime-fighting grant" to expose the election stealing rascals.

For all of his crime-fighting in those two years, across the big Lonestar State, TX AG Greg Abbott has prosecuted just 26 cases, "all against Democrats, and almost all involving blacks or Hispanics," according to the Morning News, most of which resulted in "small fines and little or no jail time."

Additionally, almost all of them (18 of 26) involved mail-in absentee ballots where elderly voters were "illegally" given assistance in mailing their ballots, versus in-person voter impersonation of the type that cynical GOP attempts to mandate draconian polling place Photo ID restrictions are purportedly meant to deter. (In reality, they are meant to deter Democrats from being able to cast their legal ballots, so Republicans can more easily "win" elections.)

Just eight of the 26 prosecuted cases, the Morning News found, out of Abbott's two-year effort, involved any kind of ineligible or manufactured votes --- only 2 actually involved individuals casting fraudulent ballots at the polls, the rest were registration fraud issues --- and none of them revealed any larger conspiratorial scheme meant to effect the results of an election.

In the meantime, critics charge Abbott has been ignoring complaints about Republican election skulduggery, and we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that nobody has bothered to prosecute Republicanist Ann Coulter, for her several demonstrable voter fraud-related felony crimes in Florida despite, dead-to-rights evidence as published by The BRAD BLOG since early 2006.

We'd also like to point out, that in addition to there not being "an epidemic of voter fraud in Texas," there is similarly no such epidemic among space aliens either. Though Ted Rall suggests we may wish to implement some new measures there too...just in case...

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's 2008 Election Integrity Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!
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TX Official Claims 'Machines Not Faulty'; NH Official Claims Not to Know Whether They Use Same Diebold Op-Scan Voting System Seen Hacked in HBO Documentary (It Was)...
By Brad Friedman on 5/13/2008 1:13pm PT  

Miller-McCune's David Rosenfeld files a good story on the dreadful state of the hackable, insecure, error-prone machinery --- both DRE/touch-screen and paper-based optical scan --- still used across our electoral landscape in 2008.

Despite a few small-ish errors, Rosenfeld succeeds where so many before him have been unable: Properly quoting both the scientists and Election Integrity experts who know what they're talking about, while giving fair opportunity to respond from voting machine company and elected officials who are either in denial, uninformed, or simply willing to lie.

Folks like Ellen Theisen of VotersUnite.org, Bev Harris of BlackBoxVoting.org, computer scientist David Wagner of UC Berkley, and yours truly (from The BRAD BLOG) are quoted from the truth-telling side.

On the misleading and/or state of denial and/or lying side, we hear from a Diebold spokesman, and officials from both the NH and TX Secretaries of State offices.

The latters' comments --- particularly those from the SoS offices, where one would think they have a duty to both be informed and tell the truth about their voting systems (unlike Diebold, where we might expect them to continue their long, unfettered, and desperation-built reputation for lying) --- are simply stunning.

Diebold spokesperson Chris Riggall (yes, an unfortunate name for a voting machine spokesperson) offers the usual nonsense in response to all of the many independent tests around the country which have found the company's voting systems --- both paper-based and touch-screen --- to have been easily hacked in seconds. "In some cases the studies have been lacking in appropriate perspective and balance," Riggall misleads in response.

But the TX and NH SoS officials quoted were even more outrageous in their outright states of denial, and/or the ease with which they are willing to simply mislead (okay, lie to) the reporter...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2008 9:15pm PT  

From Friday's Austin Chronicle...

County ClerkDana DeBeauvoir said she is committed to a point-by-point review of the county's eSlate machines, in the wake of a federal whistle-blower's lawsuit alleging that Hart InterCivic overpromised and underdelivered on the machines. The organization Vote Rescue was on hand at Tuesday's Commissioners Court meeting to provide copies of Hart technician William Singer's lawsuit, which alleges that Hart stretched reports of the performance of the eSlate in Ohio in order to secure its share of the $4 billion set aside in the Help America Vote Act. DeBeauvoir said she's not yet willing to pull the plug on the machines but would if she found significant problems in light of the lawsuit's allegations. Vote Rescue would prefer the county return its machines and choose to count ballots by hand.

Singer's futile July 2004 efforts, attempting to notify the Secretaries of State in both Texas and Ohio, were originally reported in exclusive detail by The BRAD BLOG in March of 2006.

Following discussions we had with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after our report, he and his radio co-host, Florida attorney Mike Papantonio, filed a federal qui tam whistleblower suit [PDF] on behalf of Singer.

The complaint charges fraud and other violations of the False Claims Act by Hart, including allegations the company failed to test its products properly, and frequently at all; withheld information from prospective clients about the potential loss of votes in its voting systems; dummied-up machines, reports, and test results presented to clients in sales presentations; and much more in an attempt to win state and county contracts and the federal money that came with them...

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

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Company Employee Performance Review, Included in Complaint Itself, Dispels Assertion Made by Company Spokesperson
Other Replies from Defendant Similarly Debunked by Documents Obtained by The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2008 4:28pm PT  

-- By Brad Friedman

In a statement given to the media last week, in response to a federal fraud/false claims act qui tam suit finally unsealed last week, a representative from the defendant, voting machine company, Hart InterCivic, alleged the suit's whistleblower, William Singer, was a "disgruntled employee."

Employee "Performance Evaluation" records written by company management, included in the complaint itself, however, would seem to strongly contradict the claims of company spokesperson Pete Lichtenheld, as given to a reporter last week.

Additional claims by Lichtenheld, as reported by Kim Zetter at Wired's Threat Level blog on Thursday, are also dispelled by a document from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, obtained by The BRAD BLOG. The DoJ, after requesting and receiving extensions for two years, has finally decided against joining the federal qui tam suit, for the time being, allowing it to become unsealed last week, so that it may now move forward in federal district court.

The lawsuit, posted in full by The BRAD BLOG after it became unsealed last Thursday, details an extraordinary list of fraudulent behavior by Hart InterCivic, as related by one-time employee Singer, who alleges the company deceived Election Officials in Texas, Ohio, Colorado, and elsewhere in hopes of receiving federal monies as distributed via the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Allegations made in the suit include stunning revelations that Hart failed to test its products properly, and frequently at all, withheld information from prospective clients about the potential loss of votes in its voting systems, dummied-up machines, reports, and test results presented to clients in sales presentations, and much more in an attempt to win state and county contracts.

Much of the response to the suit by company spokesperson Lichtenheld, however, is easily dismissed upon examination of the evidence so far available in the case...

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

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After Two Years, the Qui Tam Suit Against Hart InterCivic, Brought by Whistleblower William Singer with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio, May Proceed After DoJ Declines to Join Case
Download the Full Complaint here...
By Brad Friedman on 3/27/2008 2:50pm PT  

"The most serious thing any software company can do is not fully test its products," William Singer told The BRAD BLOG this afternoon about the federal fraud case he filed nearly two years ago, which has finally been unsealed by a judge as of today.

"To release a product for important purposes that has not been tested at all is quite shocking, I would say. Especially since it indicates that nobody can predict what, when, or how it might fail," Singer explained about the e-voting systems made by Hart InterCivic, for which he worked as a technician several years ago. "It would make a mockery of any certification."

Despite having some direct involvement in the case from the beginning, The BRAD BLOG has been unable to report any details on it for going on two years --- we haven't even been able to offer the names of the plaintiff or defendant in the case --- since originally reporting that it had been filed in federal court, due to the fact that it was under seal, waiting for the U.S. Attorney General to decide whether the DoJ would join the suit or not.

Singer's suit is the fraud case which originally made waves when it was first filed two years ago, with the aid of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Florida attorney Mike Papantonio, until it then went "underground" due to the legally mandated seal disallowing the plaintiff and his attorneys from offering any specific details to the public.

As AP reported today, the seal on that federal qui tam (fraud, false claims) complaint, brought on behalf of the United States by Singer against Hart, one of the big four American voting machines companies, has now been lifted, and the case may finally proceed as originally filed.

The BRAD BLOG has obtained the complete complaint and the judge's order lifting the seal...

• The full complaint may be downloaded here [PDF, 45 pages].
• The judge's order unsealing the case as of last night is here [PDF, 2 pages]

The second page of the complaint, which we are still plowing through, sets the initial grounding for the case...

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

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...and Other Quick Election Integrity Items of Note...
UPDATE: Dem Wins Hastert's Seat, Time to Impound Those Machines!
By Brad Friedman on 3/8/2008 2:34pm PT  

Another Election Day, another Diebold election "failure" or two.

And a few other quick Election Integrity items of note as I try to get outta here today to head to Arizona where I'll be appearing next week at Q&A's for a couple of Uncounted screenings. (See the "Media Appearances" box on top-right for details, if you're in Phoenix or Tuscon, or thereabouts!)...

  • In Illinois today, they are holding an election to replace Denny Hastert. On the Diebold touch-screen machines used by the hopelessly partisan Republican DuPage County Election Commission, the word "REPUBLICAN" is popping on to the screen, such that some precincts have reportedly taken to placing tape over the screen where that occurs. The DuPage board is extraordinarily slimy, hopelessly corrupt, overtly willing to break the law, have hired Republican operatives to do "PR" for them (both overtly and covertly), and have recently launched an all out effort, with the help of their corrupt friends in the local media, to to swiftboat the non-partisan citizen Election Integrity advocate citizen volunteers of the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project (IBIP).
  • Nothing illegal about Republicanists dutifully following Rush's orders to cross over to the Dem side in order to vote for Hillary in the recent Ohio Primary. Or is there?
  • Diebold op-scan machines cause more trouble than they're worth. Again. This time in Vermont. And perhaps to the advantage of a Democrat over a Republican for a change. Someone needs to be fired for that.
  • 0 Republican votes recorded in 21 Texas counties during last week's Primaries? Yes. But here's why.

Backatcha from the road (see below if you feel like helping us with some gas money! We could much use it!)...

UPDATE FROM THE ROAD, FROM SOME MOTEL 6 SOMEWHERE... The Democratic candidate, Bill Foster has been announced as the winner of Hastert's once formidable seat (yes, pun intended.) Good. Now it's time to impound those machines and memory cards from DuPage County immediately. Both the machines that flashed "REPUBLICAN" and those that didn't need to be impounded by the AG, so they can be tested to find out what happened and why it happened.

And because the Dem candidate won, Election Integrity advocates can't be labeled as "sore losers" for taking this action immediately. Hopefully the good folks at IBIP will take swift action. Lord knows the DuPage County Election Commission won't.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Related. It looks like Foster's Democratic Primary Election opponent, John Laesch is asking for a recount of the February primary. Haven't gotten to speak to him or his camp, so not familiar with what the issues of concern are yet, but thought I'd drop a quick link here to put it on your radar. The BRAD BLOG, of course, supports any and all recount requests deemed necessary by any candidates or their supporters who feel they need to find confidence in any given election results, particularly as we currently --- and absurdly --- use so many non-transparent, wholly faith-based voting systems which have robbed the country of the ability to have the oversight needed to ensure confidence in our democratic system.

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By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2008 9:40pm PT  

Hannity & Colmes' guest lineup tonight, there to give us the inside skinny on tomorrow's "do or die" Democratic Primaries in Ohio and Texas on "America's Election HQ"...

Yup. Rove, Coulter, Morris, and Luntz. Guess they're needed to add balance to the Democratic powerhouse that is Alan Colmes?

BRAD BLOG FLASHBACK: Long time readers may remember the guest lineup announced for H&C's 2004 Presidential Election Eve show, as we reported at the time...

ON THE RIGHT: Karl Rove, Dick Morris, William Weld (UPDATE!) Jeb Bush just added!!!
ON THE LEFT: Bill Richardson

We ran an email campaign back then, haranguing them to add at least something resembling balance, which they eventually did by dumping Weld and adding Terry McAuliffe. Even though the clever little liars at Fox "News" still managed to figure out how to tilt it Right anyway.

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Blog Supporters Upgrade Concerns of Appropriate Clinton Caucus Oversight into Full Blown Charges of 'Vote Suppression,' Attempts to 'Steal' Tomorrow's Race in Texas...
By Brad Friedman on 3/3/2008 6:19pm PT  

Perhaps we're missing something here?

Our friends at BuzzFlash have their top screaming headline set currently as...

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Clinton campaign training materials regarding Tuesday night's caucuses ominously advise supporters to take control of caucus sign-in sheets and vote tallies especially "if our supporters are outnumbered."

...which links over to a quick report over at the Texas blog Burnt Orange Report (also good folks, as much as we know about them.)

"Ominously"?

The quick BOR article by Glenn Smith is headlined "Clinton Caucus Disruption/Vote Suppression" and appears to be at the end of a chain of increasingly panicked blog items which began with a report from Dallas Morning News, quoted as follows by Smith...

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

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Fort Bend County (Tom Delay County) Election Administrator Forced to Resign On Eve of State Primary After Advocating for Paper Ballots...
By Brad Friedman on 2/19/2008 3:55pm PT  

Another Election Director with the temerity to speak out with concerns about E-voting has been done away with. This time in Texas.

As Early Voting starts today in the crucial Texas Primaries, it looks like we've got yet another new martyr --- from the rare ranks of Election Officials --- who has reportedly been taken out by "the powers that be" during a fight for the ideas of Election Integrity, which he even went so far as to mention on a Houston television news report, if you can imagine such a thing.

The following details come from today's FortBendNow...

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

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