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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, December 19, 2014
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
Previous GNRs: 12/9/14 - 12/4/14 - Archives...
The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
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
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'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...


'Tens of Thousands Encountered Voting Machine Failures, Confusion over New ID Rules,' Reports Paper...
By Brad Friedman on 11/26/2006 2:35pm PT  

The New York Times' Ian Urbina (this time with Christopher Drew) continues to stay on point with his Electoral Failures coverage at the Grey Lady. Unlike Urbina's last report, this time he wasn't undermined by the Times headline writers. (Does anyone with a hard copy of the paper know what page this was reported on, btw?)

To his additional credit, he didn't use the word "glitch" even once. Thank you, Ian. Here are a few highlights from his piece in today's paper...

After six years of technological research, more than $4 billion spent by Washington on new machinery and a widespread overhaul of the nation’s voting system, this month’s midterm election revealed that the country is still far from able to ensure that every vote counts.

Tens of thousands of voters, scattered across more than 25 states, encountered serious problems at the polls, including failures in sophisticated new voting machines and confusion over new identification rules, according to interviews with election experts and officials.

Of course, BRAD BLOG readers will remember our desperate call for "Emergency Paper Ballots" here in the weeks prior to the election. On that, Urbina reports...

In many places, the difficulties led to shortages of substitute paper ballots and long lines that caused many voters to leave without casting ballots.

Wow. Who could have predicted that?!

And there's more...Of course, the "experts" (word used very cautiously!) are beginning to notice that things on Nov. 7th were worse than they had originally understood. "Voting problems may actually have been wider than initially estimated, with many malfunctions simply overlooked," reports the Times.

So how bad were they? How about 60,000 missing votes in Florida, bad. 20,000 voters who couldn't vote in Colorado, bad. Or in Arkansas, where "election officials tallied votes three times in one county, and each time the number of ballots cast changed by more than 30,000," bad.

And then there's the erstwhile election "expert" Doug Chapin of Electionline.org whose "expert" opinion ensures his presence in just about any mainstream media coverage of these matters. Mr. Chapin continues, on schedule, working all sides of the street in Urbina's piece. It's a tricky juggling act for this "expert" --- mustn't offend the Voting Machine Companies or the Elections Officials who pay his bills, or even, to a lesser extent, the Election Integrity advocates who might just call him a phony if he's not careful --- but, as John Gideon pointed out in yesterday's DVN, even Chapin's having a difficult time avoiding the obvious:

"If the success of an election is to be measured according to whether each voter’s voice is heard, then we would have to conclude that this past election was not entirely a success," said Doug Chapin, director of Electionline.org, a nonpartisan election group that plans to release a report Wednesday with a state-by-state assessment of voting. "In places where the margin of victory was bigger than the margin of error, we looked away from the problems, but in 2008 we might not have that luxury."

And the award for "Understatment of the Year" goes to...

UPDATE 9:01pm PT: Reader Adele writes to tell us that Urbina's article was on "page 30 of 36 pages in the National section" of today's paper.

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By Alan Breslauer on 11/7/2006 8:30pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum concedes to Senator elect Bob Casey.

UPDATE FROM BRAD 11/8/06 7:56pm: Please note, his concession came only after he succeeded in getting the PA Republican Party to send a letter to Secretary of the Commonwealth demanding that voting machines in 27 counties be impounded after reports that Republican votes were flipping to Democratic on touch-screen machines. Ya don't hear that very often. We support the impounding of those machines...though we received late-night reports that Santorum and the GOP had withdrawn their request. More soon...

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Voting Machine Companies (as expected) Blame 'Human Error'... (True enough, since the idiots who created these machines, and agreed to use them are most likely 'human')
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 1:08pm PT  

First, they're not "glitches"...They are failures! This from AP...

Programming errors and inexperience dealing with electronic voting machines frustrated poll workers in hundreds of precincts early Tuesday, delaying voters in Indiana, Ohio and Florida and leaving some with little choice but to use paper ballots instead.

In Cleveland, voters rolled their eyes as election workers fumbled with new touchscreen machines that they couldn't get to start properly until about 10 minutes after polls opened.

"We got five machines --- one of them's got to work," said Willette Scullank, a troubleshooter from the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, elections board.

In Indiana's Marion County, about 175 of 914 precincts turned to paper ballots because poll workers didn't know how to run the machines, said Marion County Clerk Doris Ann Sadler. She said it could take most of the day to fix all of the machine-related issues.

Election officials in Delaware County, Indiana, extended voting hours because voters initially couldn't cast ballots in 75 precincts. County Clerk Karen Wenger said the cards that activate the push-button machines were programmed incorrectly but the problems were fixed by late morning.

Pennsylvania's Lebanon County also extended polling hours because a programming error forced some voters to cast paper ballots.

As expected --- and you'll be seeing and hearing a lot of this all night --- the Voting Machine Companies who have created the equivalent of Ford Pintos with these machine that "blow up" during normal use, no matter how careful a "driver" might be, are blaming "human error"...as opposed to themselves...and the election officials who were dumb enough to be suckered in by the wining and dining and false promises of the company lobbyists who are plying their insidious trade courtesy of your tax payer dollars...

But voting equipment companies said they hadn't seen anything beyond the norm and blamed the problems largely on human error.

"Any time there's more exposure to equipment, there are questions about setting up the equipment and things like that," said Ken Fields, a spokesman for Election Systems & Software Inc. "Overall, things are going very well."

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Right-Wing Talk Show Host Encourages Listeners to Jam Voter Complaint Hotline...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 12:01pm PT  

These are the top ten states, currently, regarding incident/problem reports coming in to the non-partisan 866-OUR-VOTE hotline. Pennsylvania leads the problem calls so far this morning. They are using paperless touch-screen systems in many counties for the first time this year...

By Total Calls
State Calls
PA 841
NY 399
MI 313
NC 239
CA 228
OH 225
AZ 164
MA 142
GA 131
IL 129
Total 2,811

In a related matter, the unspeakable democracy-hater/ABC radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham has apparently encouraged listeners during her morning talk show to jam a different hotline sponsored by the Democrats. Reportedly "crank calls are now flooding in" on that number. Amazing. Firedoglake advises that Ingraham can be emailed here.

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Meant to Annoy Voters into NOT Voting Democratic...
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2006 9:45pm PT  

John Aravosis over at AMERICAblog reports the dirty tricks are spreading. Note: The fake robo-calls reported here are distinct from the GOP phone-calls reported here by John Gideon, in New Mexico attempting to disinform Hispanic voters that their polling place had "changed"...

Republican "fake phone call" scandal spreads - now in Philly too
by John in DC - 11/05/2006 09:39:00 PM

This is turning into a big story. They're doing it across the country - Kansas, NH, and now PA. This is the Republican October Surprise, launched in November. It's to cheat, pretend that they are Democrats calling voters and then piss the voters off so much that they don't vote for the Democrats.

That's called lying and cheating in order to suppress the vote, and it's illegal. And the Republican party admits they're doing it.

States in which GOP fake calls are happening so far:

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Weekly Radio Program Starts Tonight Out of WNJC 1360AM, Philadelphia's Renaissance Radio
By John Gideon on 10/18/2006 8:28am PT  

The Coalition For Voting Integrity (CVI) in Pennsylvania has announced that beginning tonight and weekly they will be doing a one-hour radio program that centers on voting issues and democracy.

The program can be heard locally in the SE Pennsylvania and S New Jersey area via WNJC Radio 1360AM or it can be heard live via the internet by going here. They are encouraging audience participation so if you have questions/comments for tonights guest, Lowell Finley of VoterAction you can call 856 227 1360.

We are happy to see another group sharing their voices with Brad and the others who are on the radio spreading the good, bad and ugly news about our elections. The whole CVI Press Release has upcoming guests and more information....

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

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Reports from Pennsylvania During Last Tuesday's Primary
(Brad Consulted NPR a Bit on the Report)...UPDATE: Now Includes Text Transcript of Report...
By Brad Friedman on 5/20/2006 12:58pm PT  

This morning, NPR's Weekend Edition covered the latest trouble with Diebold's touch-screen systems. They went to Pottsville, PA during last Tuesday's primary election.

The producer on the story had contacted us last week, prior to the story, for some background information. The resultant report, aired this morning, was generally a good --- and for a chance, accurate! --- one, we think.

By way of quick summary: Diebold spokesman Mark Radke explains the latest security hole, which had caused a lockdown of all Diebold touch-screen machines in PA, just days prior to the election, was there for a good reason --- to update software quickly, he says.

No explanation, of course, for why Diebold didn't feel it necessary to warn PA themselves about such a need for these extreme measures long ago. Especially since they were warned about the problem as long ago as January 2004.

Johns Hopkins computer science professor, Avi Rubin, says he can't think of a problem ever revealed in a voting machine as severe as this one --- the one which Radke predictably downplays --- adding that a TIVO system has more built-in security than a Diebold voting machine!

Radke says the physical security of the machines would make it impossible to exploit the security hole. Radke, of course, knows he's just spinning. Rubin makes that clear in his response, explaining how he could have compromised an election in about 5 seconds as a poll worker through this ridiculous vulnerability.

-- Listen to the full report (about 5 mins) here...

...And let us know what you thought of it in comments.

UPDATE: Barb Burt over at CommonCause, blogs on the NPR item as well this morning, giving it high-marks, along with a few other notable thoughts.

UPDATE 5/24/06: A text transcript of the NPR report is now included below...

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

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UniLect Patriot Machines Lost Votes in NC and PA on Election Night...And So What About OH?
By Brad Friedman on 5/19/2006 8:32pm PT  

From AP...

MERCER, Pa. (AP) --- County commissioners have sued the maker of a decertified voting system, alleging breach of warranty.

In the lawsuit, the county seeks $925,074 in damages from UniLect of Dublin, Calif., for the company's Patriot touch-screen voting machines.

The machines were in use in the 2004 presidential election in Mercer County, where votes were apparently lost.

In April of 2005, we reported on those machines, the UniLect Patriots, being decertified in PA.

Previously, on November 4, 2004 --- two days after the Presidential Election --- we reported that more than 4,500 votes were completely lost on the same machines in Carteret County, NC.

That same day, in the same report, we discussed the same machines in use in Ohio on Election Day.

While the incident in NC led to new laws in the state requiring full source-code submission to the state by Electronic Voting Machine vendors, and the problems in PA have led to state decertification and now a lawsuit against the company, we're aware of no action that has ever been taken by the state of OH to investigate what might have happened and whether or not votes were similarly lost on UniLect Patriot machines in the Buckeye state that same night.

Good thing what happened in OH on November 2, 2004 wasn't all that important.

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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...

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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...

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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�

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