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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, November 28, 2014
'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 seemed before this week's show'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in Town of Long Island, reverse results of very close state contest, leaving officials baffled...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Gov. Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank issue's dire warning...
Previous GNRs: 11/20/14 - 11/18/14 - Archives...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting of Michael Brown
A few early thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice on the night of his announcement...
'Recount' Ahead for Oregon's GMO Labeling 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...
GOP House Intel Committee Findings Debunk GOP BENGHAZI! 'Scandal'
Final report released quietly before holiday weekend and before eighth Republican BENGHAZI! committee set to convene...
Monster Energy Drink Not Just Crappy, Also the Work of Satan!
The indisputable video proof is now here!...
'Green News Report' 11/20/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record-breaking storm breaks Buffalo; October 2014 hottest October on record; Sorry, Repubs: China to cap coal use by 2020; PLUS: Obama doubles down on climate foreign policy...
Previous GNRs: 11/18/14 - 11/13/14 - Archives...
Extreme Weather? What Extreme Weather?
Yes, scientists have been warning us about this for years. And, yes, the record breaking storm in Buffalo is tied to global warming...
We're #26! Harvard 'Electoral Integrity' Report Dings U.S.
'World's Greatest Democracy' rated worst among Western nations; Ranked just below Micronesia, just above Mexico in overall list...
Gag Order Won't Ensure Impartial Jury in Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal Country'
WV's criminally indicted coal boss and U.S. Chamber of Comm. director Don Blankeship presents challenge for federal prosecutors...
Oxford English Dictionary's 2014 Word of the Year: 'Vape'
That small point likely underscores some very encouraging news for the health of the world...
'Green News Report' 11/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
US Senate fails to approve Keystone XL; Can Congress override the Prez next year?; Native Americans: KXL is 'an act of war'; PLUS: Accountability for 'The Dark Lord of Coal'...
Previous GNRs: 11/13/14 - 11/11/14 - Archives...
Sanders on Colbert: Midterms a Vote Against Both Parties
For those mad at us for asserting 'not voting IS a vote', look who just said the same thing...
Exclusive: St. Louis County Was Warned Before Election Paper Ballots Would Run Out
Email obtained by BRAD BLOG reveals County's top election official ignored warnings from election experts, leading to shortages...
Not Voting IS a Vote
Stop blaming those who didn't turn out. Americans did vote. By not turning out, they voted against the two major parties and against the system as a whole. It may have been a dumb vote, but it was a landslide...
Stephen Colbert is Really REALLY Funny
This segment makes clear once again that it's very very sad The Colbert Report is soon going away...
'Green News Report' 11/13/14
Historic US-China agreement that GOP said couldn't be done; New hope for int'l treaty; Repub freak out; Scientists say deal not enough, but good start...
Crucial Moment for FCC & 'Net Neutrality'
Will the Democratic majority commissioners support the President's clarion call and thwart GOP opposition to an open Internet?...
Brad on Hartmann TV: Election 2014 Mess
On thousands of 'missing' votes in Wisconsin, on Nate Silver and polls vs. 'results', on Rightwing 'True the Vote' voter fraud fraudsters, and on much more...
'Green News Report' 11/11/14
'Science has spoken': Final UN report - bad, good & room for hope; PLUS: Margaret Thatcher's historic climate change speech - when conservatives accepted science ...
IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
On Veterans Day, America added another casualty from the War on Iraq -- one who, after first meeting and interviewing him in 2005, we will never forget...
Early Data Suggests TX GOP Photo ID Restrictions 'Worked'
Provisional ballots doubled, turnout down by more 1/4 million votes, despite larger population, contested gov's race and increased voter registration...
WI Scanner Fails To Tally Thousands of Votes in 'Citizens United' Referendum
'Programming error' blamed for paper ballot tabulator recording just 16 of 5,350 votes in city of Stoughton, WI...
The Results Were Skewed Toward Republicans: A Response to Nate Silver
The statistics guru unhelpfully explains away mid-term's surprising outcome by presuming pre-election polling was wrong and unverified election results were all correct...
'True the Vote' Group Fails to Find 'Voter Fraud' (Again)
Laughingstock RW org's 'army' of monitors and smart phone app uncover just 18 benign 'irregularities', 0 cases of polling place impersonation...
'Green News Report' 11/6/14
Election 2014-pocalypse: Republican hegemonic hellscape!; Climate deniers now in charge; PLUS: At least one note of very good environmental election news...
About Last Night: KPFK 'BradCast'
Guest Matthew Segal of OurTime.org joins Brad to discuss whether young voters are to blame for Tuesday's election results and, if not them, then who...or what...
Reuters: Voting Probs Around Nation, 2,000 Missing Election Judges in Chicago
Wire service summarizes machine probs, Photo ID vote suppression and a really strange story out of Chicago...
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...


Who Could Have Foreseen It?!...Apparently not Senators Feinstein and Bennett Who Have Announced New Federal Legislation Which Will Allow the Use of These Very Machines for Years...
By Brad Friedman on 5/23/2008 2:47pm PT  

As God is my witness, there will be blood...okay, hopefully not blood...but massive Election Disasters this November. Disasters which might have, should have, could have, otherwise been averted had Election Officials bothered to actually read this blog every couple of days over the last four years, and done a damned thing about it other than make excuses for their horrible decisions and continuing state of denial.

Keep in mind, we are going to save the most troubling aspect of this report for the very end, so those of you who can take no more of this garbage, will be able to bail out before hand.

If you can take it, prepare to be amazed by the end, as we wend through the massive failures in Arkansas last Tuesday, through mind-blowing new (disastrous) federal "Electronic Voting Reform" legislation just announced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) with Sen. Bill Bennett (R-UT), before landing in West Virginia, where a candidate on last week's ballot assures us everything is just fine because the guy spotted by voters opening up the voting machines and going inside of them to make adjustments at the polls during Election Day was him.

It's as bad as it sounds. Read on, if you feel strong enough, otherwise, abandon hope all ye who enter here...

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

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Disparities of Thousands of Votes, Faulty Flash Cards, At Least One Race Overturned After Tabulation Failures Discovered...
By Brad Friedman on 5/22/2008 1:40pm PT  

Arkansas had huge problems with their ES&S voting systems during local elections last Tuesday. Malfunctioning machines at multiple sites, and thousands of vote disparities, led to recounts, changed outcomes and at least one race was overturned in the bargain.

It's hardly he first time they've had problems with their ES&S voting systems in the state. Arkansas uses ES&S for almost everything with regards to elections and the vendor has a record of terrible work there, as we saw in 2006. (See bottom of article for links to scores of previous examples.)

"No voting machines functioned properly at any of the 32 White County voting sites on Tuesday," according to the Daily Citizen. That problem, most likely related to failures in the Ballot Definition Files as we'd warned about on Monday, seems to have led to a 3,954 vote disparity in two different races. That discovery then led to a "recount" of all the races on the ballot, which subsequently changed all results, and even overturned one of the races.

In Crawford County, it was "faulty" flash cards, reportedly, which initially led to the inability of the central tabulator computer to read the voting results from the county's 43 electronic voting machines.

From the Daily Citizen: "Winner rejoices, then deflated"...

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

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ALSO: Unverifiable, Decertified, Virus-Prone, Failed E-Voting Systems Set for Use in Hoosier State Primary Tomorrow...
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2008 1:23pm PT  

[Ed Note: Please see the update at the bottom of this article, for the state's explanation concerning the 1.1 million voter records discussed in the following.]

The Republican War on Voting continues apace.

In addition to the recent, outrageously bad decision by the Supreme Court to approve Indiana's draconian polling place Photo ID restrictions, sure to keep thousands of legal voters from even being able to cast votes in tomorrow's important Primary Election --- despite the state's inability to offer up a single instance of in-person polling place voter impersonation that's ever occurred during the state's entire history (as we've covered here, here and here, for example) --- another 1.1 million voters have now been purged from the voting rolls altogether, reports Bev Harris of Black Box Voting, as based on the Hoosier State's own data.

Moreover, the state will use unverifiable touch-screen style voting systems across the state. One widely used system, made by MicroVote, will be used despite having been decertified, and two other systems, made by ES&S and Diebold, have been found vulnerable to undetectable vote-flipping viruses by several reputable universities.

According to Harris' report...

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

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Yes, we said 'liar.' And if you hadn't known that already, here's even more hard evidence...
By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2008 11:10am PT  


On Election Day in 2006, in Sarasota County's 13th U.S. Congressional district race, some 18,000 votes cast on ES&S iVotronic touch-screen systems failed to register a vote for either candidate on the ballot. It was an extraordinarily high undervote rate, which has never been explained, in an election outcome determined by just 369 votes. (BRAD BLOG's long series of reports on FL-13 here.)

Nonetheless, just last year, the county's horrible, and still un-resigned, Supervisor of Elections, Kathy Dent (one of the country's absolute worst), lied to a bunch of colleagues during a speaking engagement at the Pacific Northwest Election Conference.

"It was only after the results were in and the 18,000 undervotes were revealed that all of a sudden there were all of these folks that started saying well they couldn't touch the machines ... and their vote wasn't registering," she tells her colleagues, as seen in the video above right, as captured by Ginny Ross of the Oregon Voter Rights Coalition.

"But they were all after the fact," Dent informs the crowd, "and there were no phone calls coming into my office. So it's a little bit of an indication that there may have been some politics involved in this."

Documentation from her own office, however (yes, a paper trail!), shows incontestably that the Election Director's comments, as caught on tape, are a complete and utter and unrepentant fabrication...

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

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Tuesday's Election Will be 'Unrecountable, Unverifiable, and Unauditable'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2008 8:05am PT  

On Tuesday night, you will be told who the winner of the Pennsylvania Primary is. You will accept it. You will have no choice. No matter who the winner really is. Or isn't.

This Tuesday's crucial contest will be primarily run on 100% faith-based, Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen or push-button) e-voting machines across the state. There will be no way to determine after the election whether the computers have accurately recorded, or not, the intent of those voters who voted on them. As VerifiedVoting.org summarizes the crucial contest, it "will be essentially unrecountable, unverifiable, and unauditable."

Most of the votes, more than 85%, will be cast on such DRE systems which do not provide so-called "Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails" (VVPATs), as their use has been found unconstitutional in the state, since its been determined, accurately, that ballot secrecy cannot be guaranteed when using such paper trail systems. Not that it matters.

With or without a so-called "paper trail" printer, all touch-screen/push-button/DRE voting machines are equally unverifiable and antithetical to American democracy. Period.

So, as with South Carolina's primary, so so long ago, and other states since, whatever the officials tell you at the end of the election is what you, and we, will have to accept. Whether votes are counted accurately is completely out of anyone's hands at this point. It's strictly Democracy of the Gods...

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

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Rep. Vern Ehlers Steps Briefly Off the Reservation at Recent Congressional Hearing, as Election Integrity Advocates Condemn the Privatization and Outsourcing of America's Electoral System
VoterAction's John Bonifaz Testifies: 'Growing Influence by Private Companies in How We Conduct Elections Puts Democracy at Serious Risk'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2008 8:05pm PT  


Last week our friends, voting rights attorney John Bonifaz of VoterAction.org and Greg Moore of the NAACP National Voter Fund, testified at a U.S. House Administrative Committee hearing on the 2008 Presidential Primaries and Caucuses and "What we've learned so far."

What we've learned, as Bonifaz explained in his opening statement (written version here [PDF], full video at the end of this article) is that "jurisdictions across the country are increasingly outsourcing, to private vendors, key election functions, and in the process, compromising the transparency and public control of our elections."

While all of that is likely old hat, by now, to readers of The BRAD BLOG, where our hair has been on fire about same for many years now, there was an interesting moment during the Q&A with a Republican congressman and panelists Moore and Bonifaz, as seen in the very short exchange (just under two minutes) in the video clip posted above left.

The Congressman --- at least momentarily --- stepped off the GOP reservation, to admit that the private corporations that fail in their outsourced election duties "should be fired"...

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

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Checking 'Paper Trail' Receipts Against Touch-Screen Numbers, However, May Offer Deceptive Findings
ALSO: Random Audit Must Actually be Random This Time...
By Brad Friedman on 3/25/2008 12:35pm PT  

Ohio's Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is planning "a first-of-its-kind audit of votes from the March 4 presidential primaries, saying the outcome should help ensure the integrity of future elections," according to a report this morning from the Columbus Dispatch.

"Brunner is calling on 11 counties to volunteer for the audit, in which at least 7 percent of the votes cast in each county would be rechecked by hand," the paper reports.

That's good. But there are a couple of points that we hope she is well aware of, since such post-election audits can offer a deceptive result in a number of cases...especially on touch-screen machines...and especially in Ohio...

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

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UPDATE: Third Test Attempt a Success for New Op-Scan Machines in State's Most Populous County...
By Brad Friedman on 2/29/2008 4:36pm PT  

Bad news and/or good news, depending on how you wish to look at it...

First this...

POSTED: 5:06 pm EST February 29, 2008
UPDATED: 5:22 pm EST February 29, 2008

CLEVELAND --- The first public tests of the new optical scanners at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections have failed.

Chief Investigator Duane Pohlman reported that the board ran two tests of the scanners on Friday, and during both tests, the computer repeatedly showed an error message.

Followed by this reassuring(?) update to the same article, posted 57 minutes later...

POSTED: 5:06 pm EST February 29, 2008
UPDATED: 6:19 pm EST February 29, 2008

CLEVELAND --- The third time was the charm for pretest of the new optical ballot scanners at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Chief Investigator Duane Pohlman reported that the board ran two tests of the scanners on Friday, and during both tests, the computer repeatedly showed an error message.

However, a third test ran successfully.

The Board of Elections said previous tests of the scanners were successful, and officials do not know why the scanners did not initially read the ballots.

Pohlman reported that the BOE is looking into possibly having a batch of bad disks.

Friday's tests were public pretests that are required by law.

Why must it always come down to Ohio?

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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By Brad Friedman on 2/25/2008 5:47pm PT  

Kudos (for a change) to AP for their report today into what happened during the Super Tuesday Democratic Caucus in New Mexico, where thousands of long-time registered Democratic voters were knocked off the rolls, leading to some 17,000 provisional ballots being cast (11% of all votes, up from 4% four years ago.)

What has changed since 2004, just four years ago? For a start, the private, constantly failing voting machine company ES&S has taken over management of the registration rolls. At the same time, Secretary of State Mary Herrera's office seems to be in complete denial of the problem, which could drastically affect the ability of legally registered voters to cast proper ballots in the state come this November, when the race could be as razor-thin in New Mexico as it was in 2004.

The AP report picks up on one of our own, covering the privatization of NM's (and several other states') voting rolls, as filed here just after Election Day, when the mess first began to emerge.

Get a load of just a few of the disturbing details, on the thousands of voters knocked off the rolls and the SoS-in-denial, from the surprisingly good AP coverage by Heather Clark...

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

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Conspiracy Theories Well-Researched and Responsible Investigative MSM Report Actually Informs Viewers About Usually-Unreported Yet Very Well-Documented Dangers of Touch-Screen Voting, Horrendous Administrative Oversight Prior to Upcoming Presidential Primary...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2008 3:09pm PT  

It's February 8th, 2008, and it's now official: One member of the broadcast MSM has officially joined the ranks of those "crackpots" and "conspiracy theorists" over at The BRAD BLOG!

Congrats to Pittsburgh's WTAE's Team 4 for their excellent, responsible, and appropriate reportage on the serious concerns facing Pennsylvania's Allegheny County voters in the upcoming election. Their investigative report asks "Is Your Vote Safe With County Voting Machines?" and the clear, well-reported, fair and balanced answer comes back as an unambiguous, no punches-pulled: Absolutely not!

The report's "conspiracy theories," confirmed by video, photographs and on-the-record statements from both public officials and Election Integrity experts, as detailed by Team 4's Jim Parsons on WTAE-TV's evening news yesterday (transcript and video both here), include some of these well-known-to-BRAD-BLOG-readers, if still-stunning and rarely-reported-in-the-MSM, items...

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

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'Unofficial Results' on County Website Shows Turnout Exceeds Registered Voters in Precinct D001
Officials Have No Explanation for Now, Said to Be 'Still Reviewing That Information'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/31/2008 3:23pm PT  

Turnout at Broward County, Florida's precinct D001 was excellent in last Tuesday's primary election, according to the "unofficial results" posted on this county webpage.

With 1,028 ballots cast, and 930 registered voters at the precincts, voters having turned out, the turnout was an impressive 110.54%!

The BRAD BLOG called the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office to find out if there was any explanation for these numbers. We spoke with Patricia McCallister, an assistant to Supervisor Dr. Brenda C. Snipes...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2008 1:29am PT  

Blogged by Brad from Santa Cruz, CA...

This is how bad it's gotten:

Columbia (WLTX)- In hopes of averting another weekend of voting problems, the South Carolina Progessive Network is offering online paper ballots.

It's in response to last weekends Republican primary disaster in Horry and Florence counties. More than 80 percent of the voting machines in Horry County didn't work.

As a result, many voters were told to come back at another time to cast thier votes. The state Election Commission says voters should have been allowed to use any scrap paper to cast thier votes.

SCPN is suggesting that voters go to their website and print out the paper ballot to take with them to the polls Saturday.

To print out your online paper ballot, click on the following link: www.scpronet.com.

Last week, as The BRAD BLOG reported, machines in 100% of the precincts in Horry County, SC couldn't even be made to start working until noon or so in the Republican Primary. Folks were voting on any scrap of paper they could find, reportedly even paper towels. So now, it's print your own.

South Carolina uses DRE (touch-screen) voting systems made by ES&S. It will be literally and physically impossible to verify that a single vote has been recorded accurately on any of them. 100% faith-based voting. So, short of machines breaking down leading to the outrage of people not being unable to vote at all, or a huge undervote rate in some area (as we saw when 18,000 votes "disappeared" on the exact same machines in the 369 vote margin Jennings/Buchanan race in Sarasota's FL-13 Congressional election in '06 on the exact same machines) we'll likely have little to say about the results of today's Democratic Primary in the Palmetto State one way or another. Our guess will be as good (or bad) as theirs. Best of luck to ya, South Carolina.

By way of depressing reminder: This Election Year is just 26 days old.

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EAC Falsely Accused Of Creating Unfunded Mandates...
By John Gideon on 1/25/2008 3:19pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org

The community of Gloucester Mass. has a huge environmental disaster on its hands due to a sewage pipe that is leaking into the bay. The community has $150M in unfunded mandates due to the sewage pipe and all of that on an $80M budget.

Now the community, as well as those across Massachusetts, has been told that they must replace all of their ES&S Optech Eagle III-P precinct based optical scan voting machines. ES&S has told these people that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has mandated that those machines can no longer be used. According to the Gloucester Times Daily ES&S has told its customers in MA that "the firm's software 'will not meet federal standards and can't be modified to meet those standards.'"

In fact, the software may not meet the present federal standards that it would be tested against, if it needed to be tested today. However, the software and the machines have worked fine in the past and can probably continue to work for as long as Massachusetts communities want to use them.

This morning I called the Editor of the Gloucester Daily Times. He was interested to learn that the EAC had made no such mandate and that this seemed to be a sales ploy by the vendor. His interest was not unexpected after he ran an editorial in his paper this morning in which he said:

The voting machines in Gloucester do exactly what they are supposed to do - they count votes accurately.

But that is apparently not good enough for the federal government. The city - along with several dozen other communities in Massachusetts and thousands across the nation - has been informed by the manufacturer that it will have to replace them. In Gloucester, the bill is estimated to be around $80,000.

The mandate, from the dubiously named federal Election Assistance Commission, calls to mind one of the more famous quotes of former President Ronald Reagan: "The most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

Then I called the city clerk's office and spoke with the gentleman in charge of voting machines. He said that communities across the state like the III-P's and want to keep them. They cannot afford to buy new machines and they don't understand why they are being forced into that position. He told me that with the III-P's the only failure they ever had was a "read head" that was easy to replace. Newer technology has many more moving parts.

It's amazing that ES&S is clearly misstating the facts and accusing the federal Election Assistance Commission of making mandates that will cost these Massachusetts communities hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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By Brad Friedman on 1/20/2008 12:43pm PT  

As usual, another Democratic candidate is revealing a sour grapes conspiracy theory, claiming that voting machines were the reason for his loss, after alleging that hundreds of ES&S touch-screen systems failed to work on Election Day, turning away an untold number of voters.

Oh, wait, the complainant was a Republican, not a Democrat. And he, John McCain, didn't lose, he won, in South Carolina where, CNN reported yesterday, the touch-screen voting machines in 100% of the precincts in Horry County failed to boot up and weren't available for voters to use until noon.

Go figure. Other than that, everything is going very well, and anybody who says otherwise is unnecessarily crying wolf and causing a dangerous lack of confidence in our electoral system.

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ES&S iVotronic Touch-Screens Fail In 100% of the County's Precincts, Voters Reportedly Being Turned Away Without Being Able to Cast a Vote
Virus-Vulnerable Voting Machines Had Been Sent Home with Pollworkers on 'Sleepovers' Prior to Today's Republican Primary...
By John Gideon on 1/19/2008 9:45am PT  

Guest Blogged By John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org

Local media and CNN are reporting that Horry County South Carolina's ES&S touch-screen voting machines are in a near total meltdown.

CNN reports:

Poll workers in Horry County tell CNN voting machines have been down since polls opened Saturday morning throughout the county — the machines are not reading an activation card.

Workers have been giving out paper ballots but at least one precinct has run out of envelopes to seal them in (not a sign of turnout — they had just 23 such ballots on hand). Election workers say that officials have told them they are working precinct by precinct to fix the problem and that a few voting machines may now be running, but some voters have been turned away and asked to check back later.

Three poll workers also tell CNN the county has about 100 precincts and all have been affected. CNN is awaiting a call back from the county's election supervisor.

Further CNN coverage here: "South Carolina primary plagued by bad voting machines"

Malfunctioning voting machines plagued Horry County, which contains the cities of Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, according to poll workers. Workers said the machines have been down since polls opened at 7 a.m., and they are not reading activation cards.

Workers were handing out paper ballots, but at least one precinct has run out --- it had only 23 on hand. Poll workers said the county has about 100 precincts, and all of them are affected.

This is happening in a state where election officials were recently asked about their paperless ES&S iVotronic touch-screen (DRE) voting system and the fact that other states have found the machines to be insecure, poorly designed, inaccurate, and not accessible for voters with disabilities. These officials have all said that they anticipated a smooth voting process for both the Republican presidential preference primary on Jan. 19 and the Democratic primary on Jan. 26 in South Carolina....

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

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