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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, September 18, 2014
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after remarkable three-GOP judge ruling reinstating Photo ID restrictions just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
DiCaprio takes climate role at UN; Jindal plays dumbest role yet; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Previous GNRs: 9/16/14 - 9/11/14 - Archives...
Oil & Water: KPFK 'BradCast'
BRAD BLOG's Desi Doyen sits in for Brad with guests Matthew Heberger on water wars, David O. Atkins on CA's latest fracking fight, and Margot Paez on Mars!...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
MSNBC's Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from the wife-beating incident of Federal Judge Mark Fuller; ALSO: calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
Bobby Jindal: Climate Denier, Boy Genius
Louisiana's governor and pretend 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful pulls the old 'I know you are, but what am I?' maneuver by calling the Obama Administration 'climate deniers'...
'Green News Report' 9/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Hottest year on record in CA, hottest Aug. on record for planet; Record hurricane hits Cabo San Lucas; Warm-water fish found in Alaska; PLUS: Burlington, VT now 100% renewable!...
Previous GNRs: 9/11/14 - 9/9/14 - Archives...
Wife-Beating Federal Judge Finally Mentioned on MSNBC
MSNBC contributor asks about lack of outrage, impeachment for federal judge Mark Fuller who beat his wife bloody in August...
Outrage Slowly Grows After Wife-Beating Federal Judge Avoids Prosecution
Fellow GOP District Court judge calls for accountability, says 'no one should trust Mark Fuller's judgment in a federal trial courtroom'...
GOP PHOTO ID RESTRICTION LAW RESTORED IN WI
Republican voter suppression laws getting huge boosts from GOP-appointed federal judges in NC, where 100s recently disenfranchised, and now in WI, in advance of critical mid-terms...
Not Taking the ISIS Bait
The media and the U.S. Government have decided to give the latest barbaric idiots to rise up in the Middle East all the publicity they crave, despite the 'exaggerated' threat posed to the U.S., or even in the region. We're not interested in playing along...
'Green News Report' 9/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Greenhouse gas emissions jump at record rate; Australia's emissions soar after carbon tax axed; Oceans acidifying at historic rate; PLUS: Some good news: Ozone Hole begone!...
Previous GNRs: 9/9/14 - 9/4/14 - Archives...
Accountability for Judge Fuller?; O, Mighty ISIS!:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Will Alabama's wife-beating U.S. District Court Judge face impeachment? Plus: Callers, lots of 'em, on what to do about ISIS...
Wife-Beaters: Rice Loses Job; Judge Fuller Continues Lifetime Appointment
America was outraged by the NFL superstar. So, what about Alabama's federal judge who beat his wife bloody and is now off scot-free?...
'Green News Report' 9/9/14
Floods: Catastrophic in Pakistan, Historic in Phoenix; Hillary on Global Warming; Rand Paul dismisses; PLUS: Lobster Boat Blockade wins!...
GA GOP State Senator: Too Many Black People Will Vote in DeKalb County!
Vows to close 'election loophole' allowing convenient Early Voting in area 'dominated by African Americans'; UPDATE: Says just wants 'more educated voters'...
GOP Allows 'Citizens United' Amendment to Move Forward, Will Vote Against
Koch Brothers' beneficiary Sen. Rand Paul wouldn't even allow that much...
NYT Public Editor Calls Out Paper for Phony 'Balance' on 'Voter Fraud', Global Warming
Margaret Sullivan's no weasel (unlike a predecessor). She's calling out the 'paper of record' again for misreporting on GOP myths...
Siegelman's Judge Strikes Deal to Avoid Trial After Beating Wife Bloody
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller to have record expunged following drug/alcohol evaluation, domestic abuse counseling...
ObamaCare 'Nightmare': 2015 Premiums Rates to DECLINE in Many Major Cities
This whole 'tyrannical government takeover of health care' thing is really a disaster...for Republicans...
Federal Judge Orders Restoration of Early Voting Hours in OH -- Again
'Ohio GOP keeps trying to cut early voting and federal courts keep striking the cuts down'...
'Green News Report' 9/4/14
Accountability for BP in Gulf Oil Spill Disaster and for PG&E in deadly pipeline explosion; CA bans plastic bags, regulates groundwater for first time in history...
The Corruption of U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman: KPFK 'BradCast'
GUEST: Attorney and BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
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...


...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.

Please support The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive and 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 for new contributors!
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Paper Says 'Handful' of Zero Vote Totals Also Recorded for Clinton on City's Old Lever Machine, Before Offering Readers an Advertisement for New Electronic Voting Systems...
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2008 2:31pm PT  

The conspiracy theorists at the New York Times today tell us something is amiss, but proceed to ultimately tell us nothing about why it happened, suggesting that all is just fine...and that it'd be even better if the city "upgraded" to new electronic voting machines...

Black voters are heavily represented in the 94th Election District in Harlem’s 70th Assembly District. Yet according to the unofficial results from the New York Democratic primary last week, not a single vote in the district was cast for Senator Barack Obama.

That anomaly was not unique. In fact, a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city’s 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district.

City election officials this week said that their formal review of the results, which will not be completed for weeks, had confirmed some major discrepancies between the vote totals reported publicly — and unofficially — on primary night and the actual tally on hundreds of voting machines across the city.

In the Harlem district, for instance, where the primary night returns suggested a 141 to 0 sweep by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the vote now stands at 261 to 136. In an even more heavily black district in Brooklyn — where the vote on primary night was recorded as 118 to 0 for Mrs. Clinton — she now barely leads, 118 to 116.

So how did the numbers change from 141-0 to 261-136 and from 118-0 to 118-116? No confirmed explanation is given, but some lazy guesswork about how votes are counted on NYC's old lever voting machines is proffered by local Election Officials, and dutifully passed on by the Times who --- before proceeding with a misleading "ad" for new electronic systems --- soothes our concerns by informing us that an unspecified number ("a handful") of districts also reported zero votes for Clinton in the original, unofficial tallies...

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

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A Sober Discussion on Vote Counting Between Brad Friedman and Vocalo's Tom Herman...
By Brad Friedman on 2/4/2008 8:01pm PT  

Tom Herman of Vocalo.org (a project of Chicago's National Public Radio) had some good questions about how votes are counted in Illinois, and elsewhere, over the weekend. I tried to give him some good answers. I believe it was a very good, sober discussion on these questions, and one that might come in handy tomorrow and beyond.

Appx. 14 mins, download MP3 or listen online right here...

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Pushback as Strongarm Voting Machine Company Up to Same Old Tricks in Land of Lincoln...
By Brad Friedman on 1/13/2008 12:01pm PT  

We missed this one during the busy week last week. But it's important...

Hancock County's clerk said that escalating costs incurred by the county from an election vendor has forced him to call for a federal investigation of the firm.

County Clerk Kerry Asbridge has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Election Systems and Software Co. of Omaha, Neb., which provides election technology to the county.

"Election Systems and Software has consistently engaged in deceptive business practices concerning Hancock County," he said. "It's time for it to stop."

The story details how ES&S, the world's largest voting machined company, is screwing the small county. They've been doing the same thing to counties around the country for years. Good to see someone else now trying to push back against these thugs. We hope to see more along this line soon (how could we not?)

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Former House Speaker Said to Leave Seat Before End of Year...
By Brad Friedman on 10/17/2007 8:12pm PT  

Says Roll Call late tonight:

Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) is expected to announce Thursday that he is resigning his seat in Congress effective later this year, eventually setting up a special election to succeed him, knowledgeable GOP sources said late Wednesday.

Gosh, we hope it doesn't have anything to do with this old chestnut, which we updated a bit yesterday, along with a promise of more to come soon. But who knows?

Swing State Project offers a bit more detail from the RC article which hides behind the pay curtain:

Rumblings have persisted for months that Hastert, who announced this summer that he would not seek re-election in 2008, was unlikely to complete his current term.

This week Hastert met with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and was making calls to tell people of his decision on Wednesday morning.

They're just dropping like flies aren't they? Answer: Yes, but not nearly enough of 'em, and not nearly fast enough.

(Hat-tip for all of the above to our buddy Arlen Parsa over at The Daily Background.)

UPDATE 10/19/07: Hastert announced he will not run again, but has yet to give official word on whether he'll leave early or not. AP reports the delay in stepping down may be due to a fear that a Special Election during the February '08 primary may have a huge Dem turnout due to Illinois' favorite son, Barrack Obama, on the Presidential Primary ballot.

But with no official announcement yet, MSNBC asked after a flurry of "Hastert to Resign" reports, "Is Hastert really quitting?". "Not at this time," they are told, but adding that another source says otherwise:

The source says that Hastert is "definitely going to resign," but that it won't happen be announced [sic] officially for a couple of months or so.

Incidentally, Hastert has lost about 60 pounds and looks like a completely different person.

True. See the photo at left!

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DoJ Rated Prosecutor 'Very Strong' --- NOT 'Undistinguished' --- But WaPo Ran With Claims from 'Unnamed Adminstration Officials' Anyway
Who Fed the Poison Pill? And Why Did it Run Unchecked?
By Margie Burns on 3/29/2007 5:04pm PT  

*** Special to The BRAD BLOG
*** by D.C. Correspondent Margie Burns

Has the Washington Post been fooled (again) by high-level ‘leakers’? It sure looks that way.

On Tuesday, March 20, the Post ran a front-page article on the DOJ-U.S. Attorneys scandal that led off:

U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had ‘not distinguished themselves’ on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation...

The item was sourced to unnamed “administration officials” who gave it to two WaPo reporters “yesterday.”

This juicy lede graf was followed up:

The ranking placed Fitzgerald below "strong U.S. attorneys..." but above "weak U.S. attorneys who...chafed against Administration initiatives, etc.," according to Justice documents.

The major problem with this story? It’s not true. The Department of Justice never 'ranked' U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald negatively or as 'undistinguished.' According to sworn testimony by D. Kyle Sampson, today in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Fitzgerald was rated 'very strong' internally in the DOJ.

So who fed the Post that story? And why did they run it without pinning it down first?...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 11:47am PT  

From machines not working or being available when the polls opened, to votes flipping on touch-screens and more...They use Sequoia machines in Chicago. Reports from voters as posted by the local NBC affiliate...

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Trouble With Machines in Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Illinois
And we're just getting started...More here soon...
By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2006 11:23am PT  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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By John Gideon on 10/28/2006 1:22pm PT  

Blogged By John Gideon, 28 October 2006

Still over a week from election day and already the problems are piling up. Meanwhile the vendors and their shills are making excuses and attempting to sell the voting public a line of garbage. Among the shills is a federal agency, the Election Assistance Commission, that is supposed to assist the voter and, instead, has sent their chairman out on the road to defend the vendors.

In a blog posted yesterday, Brad said it well:

"The U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) is a complete and utter failure. The current commissioner, Paul DeGregorio, has done nothing to instill confidence in elections or provide a lick of oversight in the deployment and use of these voting systems across the nation in the Midterm Election. In his latest interviews and editorials, he is reprehensibly doing nothing but echoing Voting Machine Company propaganda and Election Officials who choose to be apologists for them."

In a rebuttal to DeGregorios' opinion piece in the Tallahassee Democrat Avi Rubin, Johns-Hopkins Professor, computer scientist and author of "Brave New Ballot" had this to say in his blog:

"I have not seen any reason to trust our nation's voting equipment. Trusting it just because an election official says we should is not good enough for me. I want to trust a system because I don't believe it can be compromised, not because someone implies that not trusting it is not patriotic."

In The Mean Time Across The Nation...

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

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By John Gideon on 10/27/2006 8:32pm PT  

Blogged by John Gideon

The Chicago Tribune has reported this evening that someone has hacked into the DuPage Co. Illinois Election. Under a list of qualifications for voters someone had added a new requirement that a voter may not be a homosexual.

Once the county election office was notified of the attack they removed the newly added requirement and took actions they thought would stop any further attacks. However, later on Thursday or sometime this morning another requirement was added that proclaimed, "Your grandfather must have voted."

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Recently Certified Machines Never Tested in an Election, Voters to be Guinea Pigs This November...
By John Gideon on 10/25/2006 1:23pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the city of Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners has decided that they may hold back payment on their new voting machines because they are afraid of 'potential glitches.'

Cook County's election board, a separate entity, will not be paying their portion of the $26M still owed to Sequoia until after the election in two weeks. Now the city has openly voted, at least for now, to see what happens in the election before they make a decision to make their final payment.

The guinea pig voters may end up giving up their democracy in the bargain, but at least they may save a few dollars!

Sequoia's president, Jack Blaine, told the paper that he felt the company had done all they could and that they deserved to be paid. As the Trib reports...

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

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Dobbs Also Picks Up on BRAD BLOG's Chicago Voter Database Hack Story
By John Gideon on 10/24/2006 9:11pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.Org

In this segment of 'Democracy At Risk' Lou and Kitty cover the latest cautionary report on voting and elections, in this report from Electionline.Org, a national non-partisan, non-profit group. Lou also reports on yesterday's breaking story from The BRAD BLOG regarding the elections security breach discovered in the Chicago, Illinois voter registration data base.


The text-transcript of Tuesday's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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Personal Information, Social Security Numbers, Birthdates of 1.5 Million Voters Exposed to Online Tampering, Downloading, Identification Theft!
Breach Discovered, Video-Taped by Illinois Election Integrity Organization...
By Brad Friedman on 10/23/2006 2:58pm PT  

Blogged from the road by Brad Friedman

Another stunning security breach has been exposed in our nation's electoral system, The BRAD BLOG has learned, as the online voter registration database --- containing the personal information of some 1.5 million voters in Chicago --- has been found to be vulnerable to both downloading and hacking.

The flawed electronic database which allowed the retrieval and modification of personal voter information --- including social security numbers and birthdates of Chicago voters --- was discovered recently by members of the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project (IBIP), a non-partisan group of Election Integrity advocates.

IBIP members say they were not only able to get full editing access to the online database, they also found they could modify the records for registered voters, setting them to inactive and otherwise changing addresses and other key information fields.

The ability to gain access and hack the system, said by IBIP to be covered on the front page of tomorrow's Chicago Sun-Times, was documented by the group on video-tape. (UPDATE 10/24/06: As promised, the Sun-Times story is now here...)

An exclusive version of that video-taped hack has been made available to The BRAD BLOG.


-- Streaming Flash version...

Cook County elections officials are said to be scrambling to plug the hole in what has become an ever-increasingly unsecured system of voting in America in light of new regulations, encouraging the use of electronic voting systems, and state-wide registration databases, as set forth by Congress's Help America Vote Act (HAVA) after the 2000 Election Debacle.

In a news release sent to The BRAD BLOG earlier today (complete release posted at the end of this article), Bob Wilson, the Cook County chair of IBIP, says that the vulnerability would allow a malicous hacker to change voter registration status for thousands of Chicago voters.

"For example, you could change the status of all the voters in a precinct to inactive after the registration deadline so that when one of those voters checked their online status they might believe they were ineligible and wouldn't attempt to vote," Wilson says.

"Or, you could change their polling place information," he added, "so they would show up at the wrong precinct on election day . . . the possibilities are nearly endless and could cause election day havoc."

The problem was discovered by IBIP weeks ago, and the group immediately notified the appropriate authorities. "We had hoped that the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners would take quick action to plug this hole, but apparently that's not the case," IBIP member Peter Zelchenko is quoted as saying.

He estimates it would have taken little more than five minutes to fix the problem originally, but late last week IBIP and Zelchenko became aware that the security breach was significantly more severe than first thought. The Board was immediately notified again and finally began taking action over the weekend to install a new web interface for the system.

Zelchenko, an information technology expert who originally discovered the flaw, says the latest alarming discovery underscores the vulnerability of our new electronic system of voting in America. As reported by the news release:

Peter Zelchenko, 43rd Ward Alderman Candidate with more than 30 years of computer programming and database design and management experience, discovered the flaw during what he described as a "what if" session. Zelchenko said, "This situation shows how vulnerable the entire electronic voting system is. Identity theft is only one possible outcome. Election theft is another very real possibility." According to Zelchenko, "This was a very serious vulnerability. Here we have an online database that can be accessed by millions of PCs throughout the world. Clearly, this indicates that the whole system is inherently insecure."

Since the vulnerability reportedly affects only the online version of the voter registration database, as opposed to the master copy, it is hoped that the damage may be controlled and that any tampering might now be minimized. Such tampering --- either the collection of personal information for political, or more nefarious purposes, or legally registered voters having their online records deleted or otherwise set as inactive --- may have already occurred before the problem was discovered.

Whether the problem has been corrected by now or not, the remarkable security breach may have already given some voters incorrect or misleading information concerning the status of their registration or the correct location of their polling place when checking the online system for information.

We'll try to update this story when new information is available from the Sun-Times as we continue to be on the road and are unable to keep up and/or follow-up as much as usual.

The complete news release from the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project follows in full...

UPDATE, Posted by John Gideon 4:45pm PT: ABC News has now picked-up this story...

UPDATE by Brad, 8:09pm PT: Though we gave this story to ABC, having spoken to them earlier today, they didn't see fit to credit us. And yet, we always give them proper attribution for their stories. Sigh...Still always the bridesmaid I guess.

UPDATE 9:34pm PT: Chicago Tribune reports (and attempts to slightly downplay, as expected from the conservative Trib) "Voter information open to hackers". Associated Press reports "Group says data vulnerable, election officials investigating".

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

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BRAD BLOG FRONT PAGE: They're Not 'Glitches', And They're Not the Fault of the Poll Workers! Stop Blaming Them!
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2006 2:40pm PT  

On the same day as NYTimes front paged a story on the coming electoral meltdown. Chicago Trib follows suit in a front pager today that focuses on massive problems in Chicago and Cook County.

Like the Times, who modified their original headline yesterday shortly after publishing to refer to "Voting Woes" instead of "Voting Chaos" as it was originally described, the Trib turns backflips to downplay the concerns, blame as much as possible the poll workers and "human error," along with "glitches" and "hiccups," instead of placing blame where it squarely deserves to be placed: on the Voting Machine Companies and the Elections Officials who approved this garbage for use in our elections.

The headline is "Voting Glitches Feared on Nov. 7," but as a close reading of the article reveals, these are not "voting glitches." They are not even "glitches." They are FAILURES of the voting machine companies and elections officials. Period. End of story. Got that?

The story rightly refers to "a virtual meltdown" in last spring's primary in Chicago and Cook County, and goes on to add that vote totals can be completely fried...

[I]t will still be possible for workers to accidentally fry vote totals if they forget to disconnect the power from ballot scanners before data cartridges are removed at the end of the night.

"We don't want you to erase any of the memory," warned Gail Weisberg, Cook County's equipment manager/coordinator, during a training class last week in Hoffman Estates.

So vote totals can be entirely "fried" and yet we're actually using this system on November 7th?! Moreover, note the language above that says it's "possible for workers" to fry the vote totals. Instead of the more appropriate, "it's possible that the poorly designed systems could have their entire vote totals fried."

As I've gotta hit the road to head up North for speaking engagements and meetings over the next several days, and as things are now melting down all around us, as predicted --- with some 20 days left until Nov. 7th --- my patience is just about worn thin with the apologists, liars, and those journalists, "advocates," and public officials who have no excuse to claim ignorance anymore.

So I hope you'll pardon the more graphic language I feel compelled to use below...

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

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The Revolving Door Seems To Be Working Fine For Ex-Insiders as Thousands in Campaign Contributions to the Commission Chair from Old Friends Ensure Diebold's Premier Local Outfit Gets the County Contract!
State Election Integrity Advocates Issue News Release With Some Superb Reporting That Seems to Have Eluded the Local Mainstream Media!
By John Gideon on 10/13/2006 3:33pm PT  

Yesterday the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project (IBIP) issued a press release that is, as I explained to Brad Friedman, "un-freaking-believable". The DuPage County chapter of IBIP has been hard at work tracking cronyism and favoritism on the part of DuPage County, IL Election Commission Chairman J.P. "Rick" Carney in his dealings with Diebold Election Systems representatives from Fidlar Elections and Liberty LLC.

Kudos to IBIP for some great reporting!

The complete "un-freaking-believable" press release follows below...

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