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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, April 17, 2014
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
Previous GNRs: 4/15/14 - 4/10/14 - Archives...
The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat that climate change now poses with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
Previous GNRs: 4/10/14 - 4/8/14 - Archives...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
PowerLine's hyper-partisan John Hinderaker admits Cliven Bundy 'doesn't have a [legal] leg to stand on', but digs deep to find a reason - any reason - to defend the scofflaw anyway...
Sunday News Shows Fail to Mention U.S. Senate CIA Torture & Detention Report
Despite U.S. and international crimes outlined in the findings, based on first-hand CIA docs, not a single Sunday show even brought it up...
NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of customers...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
Study: CNN, Fox 'News' FAIL on climate; CNN looks for plane, finds ocean of garbage; PLUS: Energy co. receives record fine for 85 years of toxic waste (& couldn't be happier about it)...
Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
After slashing anti-smoking programs, 'conservative' Christie admin offers absurd reason for massive new tax, but NJ Star-Ledger ain't buyin' it. And neither are we...
Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide email related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove discriminatory intent of the GOP law...
'A New Kind of Liberty' for the Kochs and Anyone Else Who Can Afford to Buy It
Have the rightwing judicial activists on the Supreme Court made you feel freer yet?...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


More Disasters for Pennsylvania, This Time on ES&S Machines, Following Earlier Similar Disasters on Machines in Philly
ALSO: Rick Santorum Locked Out of Polling Place, Unable to Vote This Morning
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2006 7:55pm PT  

Following on our earlier report today, covering 100's of electronic voting machines in Philadelphia which failed to start up this morning for Pennsylvania's primary election, we now have a similar report from the other side of the state.

100's of machines in Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located, also failed to work correctly today. If we're able to remember correctly (since the story doesn't name any voting machine company names), Allegheny County finally settled on voting machines made by ES&S, after they abandoned hopes of going with Diebold when their machines were found to be hackable, and then later found machines from Sequoia Voting Systems --- who they'd planned to use instead --- were discovered to be similarly hackable.

ES&S eventually won the prize, just weeks before today's primary --- we warned about going with a new system with so little time to prepare, but did they listen? --- yet appear to have lost the day for PA voters, according to this report from Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette...

The first Allegheny County election with electronic voting machines got off to a somewhat rocky start this morning, when more than 100 machines had problems. Surrounding counties reported almost identical problems.

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato today said 120 machines wouldn't produce "zero-count" printouts to start the day confirming there were no votes registered in the machines.

Mr. Onorato said the elections bureau got 400 calls to start the day. By 11 a.m., there were still more than 20 polling places with problems.

There are more than 2,600 of the new machines spread over 1,314 precincts.

Mr. Onorato also said nine machines had their screens cracked during transit to the polling places.
...
Surrounding counties also were reporting problems with the zero-count printouts.

Larry Spahr said 20 or 25 of Washington County's 185 precincts reported problems. Mr. Spahr is director of elections.

More details on the failures in the Post-Gazette's story. Amongst those details, apparently Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) was locked out of his polling place when an election worker failed to show up to open it this morning.

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Train Wreck in Progress as Today's Primary Elections in PA Run Into Big Trouble...
Paper Ballots Being Passed Out, 'We're Dead' Says One Official ... (Who could have forseen such problems?!)
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2006 3:00pm PT  


Pennsylvania is having their primary elections today and, as expected, the train wreck is underway. As reported by Philadelphia Daily News, hundreds of machines (in this case, those made by Danaher Guardian) have failed...

BREAKING NEWS: 100 voting machines broken

More than 100 voting machines are reported to be broken across the city, the Daily News has learned.

Apparently, the machines were broken when polls opened this morning --- they keep spitting out the paper tape that keeps the tally of the vote. It is the largest breakdown since we started using the new voting machines.

The broken machines were first reported in the weblog for TheNextMayor.com. Expect more on this story in tomorrow's Daily News.

The local ABC affiliate has more details. Amongst them...

The biggest problems have been at voting locations where multiple failures have been reported.

Ward 12, Division 20 in Germantown is one such location. Judge of Elections Bernard Bibbs followed the routine startup procedure, but neither machine would activate. In one case, the write-in paper tape just unrolled and then refused to roll back up. In the other case, the machine will only beep and do nothing else.

Bernard Bibbs/Judge of Elections: "We set them up the way they're supposed to be run electronically. They've been shut down all morning.... We're dead."

Similar problems have popped up across the city. Machines by the score have failed to operate. In most places, at least one machine is functioning. In those places where all the machines are down, voters can request a paper ballot.

Edward Schulgen/Deputy City Commissioner: "Give that voter a paper ballot, which is then sent to us after the election. We verify whether or not that person is registered in the right division. If that's correct, then we count that vote."

The number of failures seems to be evenly distributed across the city. It's more voting machine failures than the city has ever had before.

More from TheNextMayor.com...

This from an e-mail from a NextMayor friend...

"I voted before leaving for DC this morning and was told before voting that the write-in function on my machine was not working because the paper roll inside would not come up. Because I wanted to write in a candidate, I therefore had to fill out a provisional ballot, which may or may not be counted in the end.

I later heard from my judge of elections that this problem was happening AT EVERY VOTING MACHINE IN THE CITY."

LATE UPDATE: 100's of machines also failed in Pittsburgh across the state in Allegheny County! Details...

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Media Then Reported Diebold's Downplaying of Threat as State's Own Assessment
(Why not just do away with the middle man and let Diebold run everything?)
By Brad Friedman on 5/15/2006 8:31am PT  

"It is like the nuclear bomb for e-voting systems," said Avi Rubin, computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University. "It's the deal breaker. It really makes the security flaws that we found (in prior years) look trivial."
-- From Security Focus, 5/12/06

Pennsylvania officials warned local election registrars last week about the vulnerability in the mechanism that installs and upgrades software on Diebold equipment. It said the risk of the vulnerability being exploited was "low".
-- From AP, 5/11/06

The first graf above, quoting Rubin, comes from a superb and indepth article by Robert Lemos at Security Focus on the latest Diebold security disaster. We recommend his report for a host of reasons, amongst them; his broad coverage of dozens of the stories we've yelled and screamed about here at The BRAD BLOG over the past several months, but also because he adds loads of details to the latest Diebold mess which is finally being picked up by the mainstream media. Big time. (Here's an eye-popping compilation of scores of articles from just last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with many more to come.)

We point to Rubin's quote --- similar to on the record statements from of the other computer scientists and e-voting security professionals familiar with the details of the built-in "feature" in Diebold's touch-screen systems now revealed to be an extraordinary security vulnerability --- by way of contrast to the way both Diebold and the State of Pennsylvania (and subsequently the bulk of the media) reported their characterization of the problem. That would be the second graf of this story in which AP quotes PA officials describing the risk as "low."

From Diebold's Mouth to Your Ears...

We're often asked, by media folks and others, why it is that Election Officials seem to stand by their E-Voting Machines and Vendors, such as Diebold, ES&S and others, instead of holding them accountable and independently verifying their (usually unsupported) claims about the security and reliability of their voting machines --- as Leon County, FL Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho and Emery County, UT County Clerk, Bruce Funk, both rare exceptions --- did.

Setting aside that both Sancho and Funk have been fighting with state officials to hang on to their jobs ever since, The BRAD BLOG has obtained a few documents which underscore what's really at work in the bulk of Election Official/Election Machine Vendor relationships...

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

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Diebold Disasters Leading to Self-Destruction As ES&S Continues to Meltdown and Miss One Contractual Obligation After Another?
By John Gideon on 5/15/2006 6:53am PT  

By John Gideon, www.VotersUnite.Org and www.VoteTrustUSA.Org May 15, 2006

Yes, the wheels are wobbling on the locomotives. The vendors --- ES&S, Diebold, and the rest --- attempt to keep a stiff upper lip as they both fail to perform, yet continue collecting tax-payer dollars from the county election coffers. Meanwhile some elections officials have just turned a blind-eye to what is happening while they continue to make excuses for their vendors: The private corporate American Electronic Voting Machine behemoths that are being paid to take over America's Public Electoral system.

And the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) which was put in place by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), theoretically, to keep all of this from occurring? Well, all they do is raise their hands and shrug and tell anyone who asks, that they don't do voting systems certification so they just don't know anything. The Sergeant Schultz Defense, perhaps?

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

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Voting Systems in Question Were Used Last Week in Ohio Primary, Soon in Pennsylvania, So 'Serious' Few Details Are Being Released
All Diebold Touch-Screen Machines, In All States, Said to be Affected by 'Horrifying' Vulnerability, Systems 'Sequestered' in PA
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2006 1:24pm PT  

We've now been able to gather a great deal of additional information concerning details about the story we first posted yesterday on the official Pennsylvania state warning issued about the new "security vulnerability" discovered in all Diebold touch-screen electronic voting machines.

That warning, which has now brought a lock-down on all Diebold systems in PA, where early absentee (non-machine) voting is about to begin prior to their upcoming May 16th primary election, was reported by the Morning Call yesterday. The warning says the serious security vulnerability could allow ''unauthorized software to be loaded on to the system."

Public details about the warning are still sketchy as those in the know have acknowledged that the problem is so serious, they are hoping to keep the info under wraps until mitigation steps can be taken to safeguard systems.

The BRAD BLOG has been told on the record, however, by one person involved in the matter, that the vulnerability is a "major national security risk."

We've been speaking to many sources today, and we've been able to get several first hand comments on the problem from top officials and analysts directly involved in both state and federal certification of the Diebold systems, as well as from those involved in the initial discovery of the problem.

What's clear is that Morning Call's reporting that it was Diebold who found the "glitch" are flat wrong. The discovery of the "glitch" (which is anything but) emanated from the examination of Diebold AccuVote TSx (touch-screen) machines recently in Emery County, UT.

A source has told The BRAD BLOG that Diebold was "cornered" into admitting to the problem, a far cry from them having "found" it, as the Morning Call characterized it.

What's also clear is that neither Diebold themselves, nor federal officials at the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) have been notifying states about the serious problem which apparently affects all Diebold AccuVote touch-screen systems, including both their newer TSx models, and the older TS and TS6 models.

The Diebold TSx models, with the security vulnerability still intact, were apparently used in the primary election last Tuesday in Ohio.

A document at Diebold's website describes [PDF] the TSx models as featuring "Industry Leading Security."

In Utah's Emery County, state officials are attempting to force Bruce Funk, the 23-year elected County Clerk out of his job in the wake of his having allowed a security evaluation of the county's new Diebold touch-screen systems by both computer security firm Security Innovation and Finnish computer security expert Harri Hursti. According to several sources, that analysis revealed many new vulnerabilities and problems in the Diebold touch-screen systems, including the one that seems to be at the heart of the problem now being warned about by Pennsylvania officials.

Funk --- who has since been "vilified," as one source told us, by both Diebold and Utah state officials as high as the Lt. Governor --- was forced to implement the new Diebold touch-screen systems for the first time this year against his own objections. His prudent subsequent security evaluation of the systems was arranged by electronic voting watchdog organization, BlackBoxVoting.org. (We recently interviewed Funk on the radio concerning that evaluation, and his subsequent removal from office in its wake. Listen to that interview here [MP3].)

Here's some of what we've so far been able to learn from a number of officials, both on the record and off, in Pennsylvania, elsewhere around the country and at the federal level, as well as those involved in the initial Emery County discoveries...

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

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Several Counties 'Locking Down' Machines as Company Promises Last Minute Software Fix Just Before Upcoming Primary Election
Election Integrity Advocates Suggest Warning May Stem from Recent Independent Voting Machine Analysis Revealing Major Security Flaws in Diebold Hardware and Software
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2006 12:27pm PT  

Just weeks before their May 16th Primary Election, the Pennsylvania Sec. of State, Pedro Cortez issued a Security Alert late Tuesday concerning a "potential security vulnerability" in Diebold electronic voting machines which could " allow ''unauthorized software to be loaded on to the system." The warning was revealed yesterday at a meeting in Schuylkill County.

Details about the warning are still sketchy this morning, and we're trying to learn more, but The Morning Call is reporting today that the "glitch" was "found" by Diebold and counties are now being instructed to lock down systems and seal the memory cards into them.

A "fix" is said to be on its way from Diebold, though that begs the question of whether the last-minute software patch will be certified by federal and/or state authorities before it's installed on machines that have already proven to be vulnerable to hackers and other failures.

(As regular BRAD BLOG readers know, even if the software is inspected by federal authorities before being installed in machines, there is no guarantee that those authorities will find the bugs and illegal code that Diebold is quickly becoming famous for. The federal so-called "Independent Testing Authority" (ITA) is paid for by the voting machine company's themselves and has overlooked gaping flaws in software submitted by the vendors for years).

Says the Morning Call today about the security warning...

--- 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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Seeks to Stop Last Minute Implementation of ES&S Voting Machines and to Push Back Unconstitutional Threats by the DoJ�
By John Gideon on 4/14/2006 12:57pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The BRAD BLOG has received a copy of the 'Complaint For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief', as filed earlier this week in Allegheny County, PA, by several disabled voters. The complete suit is now available here [WORD format].

As the suit itself is some 43 pages, we will distill it for you a bit, and cover the most notable aspects. The BRAD BLOG is just thoughtful that way.

As we reported on Wednesday, the complaint was filed against the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, other state and county officials, an Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the US Dept. of Justice, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The complaint asserts that the state certified Electronic Voting Machines made by Elections Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) are not accessible by voters with disabilities --- contrary to the requirements of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Nonetheless, Allegheny County has selected their machines for use in upcoming elections. That, after previously hoping to go with Diebold, and then with Sequoia Voting Systems, until finally settling on ES&S after the first two choices fell apart either due to the politics of the companies involved and/or due to the discovery their Electronic Voting Systems were found to be hackable.

As mentioned, the choice to not use Diebold in Allegheny occurred, in no small part, because of the company's known hard-right partisan leanings. The lawsuit, however, points out the irony of finally choosing to go with ES&S�considering their own dubious partisan background�

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

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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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Plans to use Diebold, then Sequoia Fell Through When their Electronic Voting Machines Surprised them by Failing --- So County is Now Turning to KNOWN Failure, ES&S!
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2006 11:14am PT  

Originally Allegheney County, PA had hoped to use Diebold's electronic voting machines --- until they found out that Diebold machines were hackable.

Then they decided instead to go with Sequoia Voting Systems instead --- until they found out that their machines are hackable too.

Yesterday, with just six weeks left before their primary election, and against the wishes of Allegheny County's Chief Executive who felt it was safer to stay with their old lever systems, Allegheny decided instead to go with new ES&S touch-screen voting machines.

ES&S, of course, is the company whose machines failed all over Texas during the March 7th primary in Texas, leading to state-wide election contest by a Republican former Supreme Court Justice. ES&S saw more than 30% of their memory cards fail in recent pre-election tests in Summit County, OH, more than 1000 cards fail in NC, and their machines failed to work completely this week as early voting began in Indiana.

Good luck with the new ES&S voting machines Allegheny County, PA!

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'Software Clearly Unstable,' Says Testing Official Who 'Transformed Handful of Votes into Thousands...in an Instant'!
Ten-Year Old E-Voting Systems from NV Planned for First Time Use in PA This Year
By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2006 6:18pm PT  

Meanwhile...in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County, where plans to use Diebold's hackable Electronic Voting Equipment have recently been nixed, Plan B seems to be failing too. The machines they'd hope to use instead, as made by Sequoia Voting Systems, have now been shown to be hackable as well.

Pittsburgh's Post-Gazette picked up on the story yesterday, and followed up today on the testing being run in Allegheny County by Dr. Michael Shamos, a Carnegie Mellon University professor, on the "new" Sequoia Voting Machines. The county had hoped to use these systems --- ten-year old Sequoia "Advantage" machines as purchased from Clark County, Nevada who is moving to a different Sequoia system --- in their upcoming Primary Elections in May. That plan, now may be in grave doubt.

The testing of the machines has found so many problems --- including Shamos' findings during "tampering tests" that he was able to instantly "transform a handful of votes into thousands" --- that he has now simply shut down the entire process described as "pointless" due to all of the errors in the software.

According to today's report...

HARRISBURG --- A state voting-machine examiner yesterday halted testing of the machine Allegheny County intends to use in the May primary, saying it was pointless to continue until a critical software problem is resolved.

"It's not useful to continue because [the software] clearly is not stable," said Michael Shamos, a Carnegie Mellon University professor.

Sequoia Voting Systems, the Oakland, Calif.-based manufacturer of AVC Advantage voting machines, will have a chance to fix the software and have it retested in a week or two. Otherwise, it's unlikely the machines will be certified for use in Pennsylvania.

As you may recall, it was machines made by Sequoia which failed so miserably across the state in Illinois just last week during the Primary Elections there. Just a handful of the many mainstream reports covering the meltdown are here, here and here.

Now pay attention...because this can be confusing...

Illinois' Cook County (Chicago) had used new Sequoia "Edge" machines in the recent primary that had been purchased by Clark County, Nevada. Since Illinois' primaries were first, and Sequoia didn't have time or inventory to fill both orders, Cook used Clark's machines for last week's contest only.

Those "Edge" machines, which failed so disastrously in Cook County, IL, are now to be shipped to Clark County, NV who is selling their own ten-year old Sequoia "Advantage" machines to Allegheny County, PA. It is those ten-year old machines which are now being tested in Allegheny and failing so horrendously.

All of which begs the questions: How well were those "Advantage" machines tested in Nevada in the last ten years? How much is Nevada now looking forward to using the new and failed "Edge" machines that they had loaned for a single use to Cook County, IL? And finally, will Clark County, NV bother to test them to find out if they too are hackable like the ones --- modified a bit by Sequoia on the way, apparently --- that they've just unloaded on Allegheny County, PA?

But back to the halted tests in Allegheny...and the claims by Sequoia officials that the problems found were "no big deal". Shamos doesn't see them as "no big deal" and is concerned that a malicious hacker could do precisely what he was able to do in these tests...

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

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ACVR, traitors to American democracy, have cover blown by newly published articles
By David Edwards on 8/18/2005 3:15pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

As our readers know, The BRAD BLOG has been a leading source for investigations and reports into the nefarious (and possibly illegal) actions of high-level GOP Operatives that have established a tax-exempt, 503(c)(3) organization called the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). The group, since its creation, has released false and misleading information intended to advance GOP plans to disenfranchise millions of voters via legislation calling for national voter registration databases and a demand for photo IDs at the polls.

Increasingly, the mainstream corporate media and independent media sources have caught on to the "dirty tricks" being used by these GOP operatives though the cynically named ACVR.

We were pleased to see a recent article, penned by Dimitri Vassilaros, in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review titled: 'Study' is political fraud. Vassilaros writes:

The supposedly nonpartisan American Center for Voting Rights --- which purports to expose voter fraud --- is a fraud.

The organization's 368-page study "Vote Fraud, Intimidation & Suppression in the 2004 Presidential Election," which was released last week, indicated that Democrats were the instigators in every case from Alabama to Wisconsin --- except two.

It also said that the two complaints regarding Republicans had no merit.

The "findings" about Democrat wrongdoing are not surprising considering that the three public faces of the nonpartisan group are very partisan Republican operatives --- including one who claims to be a sounding board for senior White House adviser Karl Rove.

Not surprisingly, Vassilaros discovers that the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania has values similar to the organizers of ACVR...

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

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Same Models as Those Which Lost 4,400 Votes in NC!
Unusually High Rate of 'Undervotes' in both States on Same Machines.
By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2005 7:11am PT  

After November 2nd, 2004, there were increasing reports from elections officials, small local papers, and, yes, bloggers who had bothered to studiously examine official election results, The New York Times published several articles labelling such concerns by Americans as "conspiracy theories".

So we sent them a list of "15 Unanswered Questions" --- all of them based on hard evidence --- that we'd hope they'd investigate and report on to the American people. That was on November 21st, 2004.

One of those questions concerned a single county in North Carolina which had used the UniLect voting machine and, as we reported on November 4th, 2004, had completely lost a full 4,438 votes. Those lost votes later spawned a Special Election in Cartaret County, NC to re-vote some of the local issues because of it.

We had asked suggested to The Times that such hard facts were hardly "conspiracy theories" and we had hoped they'd be able to investigate and report on which other states and counties had been using the identical UniLect machines which --- company officials admitted --- had contained memory chips that stored fewer votes than they had told state officials.

Since UniLect machines were also in use in Ohio, we thought it was a particularly germane point. But apparently The Times didn't agree. They neither investigated, nor reported on the matter to our knowledge.

And now, months after the election, and days after the inaugural, The Charlotte Observer reports this morning that the same model of UniLect machines used in North Carolina were also in use in Pennsylvania and seem to have lost votes there as well [emphasis added]:

Local and state officials in Pennsylvania are examining malfunctions and questions with voting machines in three counties --- the same model machine that lost more than 4,400 votes in North Carolina.

"We continue to be uncertain about these machines," said Michael Coulter, who heads an independent committee examining voting machine mishaps in Mercer County, Pa., where he said machines in 13 precincts erased some voters' choices.

Mercer County, as well as Beaver and Greene counties, along the Ohio border, use the Unilect Patriot voting machine, an electronic mechanism that does not produce a paper ballot and is the same model that lost 4,438 votes in Carteret County, along the N.C. coast.

As well as lost and erased votes, there was also an unusually high rate of "undervotes" on the Presidential ballot where those machines were in use [emphasis again added] ...

All three of the western Pennsylvania counties recorded a high percentage of "undervotes" for president, which is when a voter doesn't vote in that race. Mercer County's undervote was 7.8 percent, four times higher than in 2000, when they used old, lever machines.

In North Carolina, state lawmakers are scrutinizing why more than 10 percent of Burke County voters were recorded as not making a choice in the presidential race, an "undervote" rate that is four to five times as high as nearly all the other counties in the state. Burke and Carteret are the only N.C. counties that use Unilect machines.
...
[M]achines in 13 of Mercer's 100 precincts would let a voter select candidates in the races on several pages of the ballot and highlight the choice, but when the voter reached the sixth page the highlighting disappeared and all the candidates were unselected. The voter's choices had vanished.

"The voter's choices had vanished."

And we remind you again, The New York Times didn't find it necessary to look into which counties in Ohio used these same machines, if there were any lost votes or an unusually high rate of "undervotes" on them, presumably because such notions were simply the "conspiracy theories" of "leftist bloggers" as they had described them at the time.

That despite just 60,000 or so of 5.5 million in a single state (Ohio) which would have completely flipped a United States Presidential Election.

Repeating: Election officials and the voting machine manufacturer admit that 4,438 votes were entirely lost in just one North Carolina county where UniLect machines were used.

Repeating: UniLect machines were also in use in Ohio.

We will continue to press both the Mainstream Media, the States and the Voting Machine Companies to better serve the American Public whom they are failing to adequately serve at this time. But just in case you wonder why --- on January 23rd, 2005 --- this information is finally being reported by The Observer at all, it is because of inquiries in Pennsylvania that were demanded by the voters who spoke up, made noise, and created a petition to force their elected officials into taking action:

Their inquiry was prompted not by Election Day glitches, but by a petition sent by voters in Beaver County who suggested the machines were susceptible to fraud and tampering.

Your voice does matter. When you speak up.

We've set up VelvetRevolution.us to help you do that. Please visit and sign-up (it's free!), so you can speak up, make noise and take part in some upcoming actions that will be announced there in the coming weeks.

Count on no one but yourselves to make a difference.

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