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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, September 19, 2014
Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife- Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 documents suggest years of repeated domestic abuse, of two wives and children by federal judge with lifetime appointment...
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Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
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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!...
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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
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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!...
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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
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'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!...
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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
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NYT Public Editor Calls Out Paper for Phony 'Balance' on 'Voter Fraud', Global Warming
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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...
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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
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'Green News Report' 9/4/14
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GUEST: Attorney and BRAD BLOG legal analyst Ernest A. Canning...
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'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
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DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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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...

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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
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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...

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

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Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Is Anybody There? Does Anybody Care?
By John Gideon on 5/7/2006 4:39pm PT  

By John Gideon, Executive Director, VotersUnite.Org and Information Manager, VoteTrustUSA.Org --- May 8, 2006

This has been another week of "Train Wrecks" across the country. Three states had major primaries with mixed success and failure, a few states had local elections with failures, and some states are preparing for May primaries and they are meeting the "oncoming locomotive" as they can't get machines or software for the machines and are having to revert to paper ballots or lever machines.

Elections Systems and Software (ES&S) is now facing investigations, lawsuits, or just plain pissed-off elections officials in West Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, California, and other jurisdictions. And now we learn that Diebold has a huge security vulnerability that all voting systems experts who know the details are very concerned about.

Next Tuesday, May 9, finds the train barreling down on primary elections in West Virginia and Nebraska. May 16 brings potentially hazardous primary election whistle-stops in Kentucky, Oregon and, the grand central station that is Pennsylvania.

Let's take a look at some of the continuing derailments from the past week, about which prompted Brad Friedman of The BRAD BLOG to ask of D.C. politicians and, more notably, the National Mainstream Media: "Is anybody there? Does anybody care?"

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

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5 Counties in Show Me State Say Show Us How the Hell to Vote Starting Monday, ES&S!
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2006 7:54pm PT  

As Diebold implodes on the latest news that all of their touch-screen voting machines contain a perhaps-uncorrectable flaw being described as a "major national security threat," the largest of the country's Electronic Voting Machine Companies, ES&S continue to meltdown all across the nation.

On the heels of similar failures in Indiana, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, Arkansas and elsewhere, Missouri now joins the crowd as the latest state to report failures by ES&S to deliver ballots, machines and software programming in time for elections this year.

Five counties in Missouri have announced they are going to "Plan B" (creating their own paper ballots, or returning to their old lever systems) in preparation for early voting which is to begin Monday in the Show Me state.

Problems are being reported in Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton and Searcy Counties. Here's a sample of refrains that are starting to sound incredibly familiar:

"I'm just sick," longtime [Carroll County] Election Commission Chairman Levi Phillips said Tuesday. He said Election Systems and Software of Omaha, Neb., had not only failed to send the programmed parts for the touch-screen machines but it also failed to break down paper ballots so results could be reported by precinct. It also didn't put the candidates in the order drawn from a hat in a couple of races, he said.

"We're in hell with that," he said. "That wasn't a step forward. That's a step back."

The Election Commission voted unanimously Tuesday morning to order paper ballots for early voting.
...
Searcy County plans to drag its old lever voting machines out for early voting and they will be used on Election Day May 23 if the fancy new touch-screen computer voting machines aren't ready.
...
"Searcy County is very upset and let down with ES&S," Smith said this morning. He said he and four retired school teachers who "burned their own gas" took the new touch screen voting machines all around the county training poll workers and demonstrating for voters and "now they say you've got to do something else." He noted that the lever machine invented in the 1800s was proving more reliable than the state-of-the-art computer machines.

Dear Washington D.C. and the National Mainstream Media: Is anybody there? Does anybody care?

(Thanks to BRAD BLOG reader Mark M. for the tip from my home state!)

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50 Temp Workers Hired to Count Absentee Ballots which Diebold Machines Fail to Scan Properly...
Problems Also Reported with ES&S and in Several Other OH Counties...
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 12:01pm PT  

Add this to our previous report on the Diebold Disaster in Cuyahoga County, Ohio during yesterday's Primary Election. The Cleveland Plain Dealer headlines their story: "First all-electronic election marred by problems".

As expected the word "Glitch" makes it's way quickly into the headlines in Columbus Dispatch's coverage ("Glitches delay voting and reporting of results") as they cover problems across a number of counties, including counties that use ES&S machines which also failed in a number of locations. Inevitably, the poll workers are blamed by officials, of course.

As to Cuyahoga, the Plain Dealer has set up a running blog on their website covering the ongoing problems. Here's the latest...

Election workers continue to count votes

12:07 p.m.

Cuyahoga County election workers continued to count votes Wednesday, with about 85 percent of the votes cast on the touch-screen machines counted by 11:15 a.m. But 70 memory cards - with results from 200 precincts - were missing. Cuyahoga County board of elections officials are checking the voting machines to see if the cards were inadvertantly left inside.

Meanwhile, a second team of 50 temporary agency employees continued the hand count of 17,000 paper ballots used by absentee voters. Election officials decided to hand count the paper ballots after tests on the optical scan machines showed innaccuracies. Vote totals for the absentee ballots are expected sometime this evening.

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ES&S Failures Continue Across the Country...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2006 1:00pm PT  

From the Pine Bluff Commercial...

Jefferson County's new touch-screen voting machines won't be making their debut until after the May 23 primary and June 13 runoff elections.

The Jefferson County Election Commission voted unanimously Monday afternoon to instead use the county's old lever machines. The panel had previously voted to use the new Electrical Systems and Software (ES&S) iVotronic Touch Screen Voting System, but Commission Chairman Trey Ashcraft said several ES&S "failures" forced a change in plans.

"With early voting beginning (Monday) May 8, ES&S hasn't provided us with many essential and critical tools necessary for us to conduct the election to the standards set by law and to our own high standards," Ashcraft said.

===
CORRECTION:
As you'll see below, in the flurry of today's breaking Primary Day news we had originally reported the above as having occurred in Jefferson County, Texas, as opposed to Jefferson County, Arkansas. The information following, concerning the problems in Jefferson County, TX, are still accurate, however, in regards to what happened in that Texas county, which also mirrors the problems as reported above in Jefferson County, Arkansas. Nonetheless, the original headline for the story, referring to Texas, was inaccurate. It should have said Arkansas, and we've now made that correction. The BRAD BLOG regrets the error.
===

As regular readers know, The BRAD BLOG has been extensively covering the E-Voting meltdown issues, with a particular eye towards the failure of ES&S, America's largest E-Voting vendor.

Texas, in particular, has been a mess of late. See our previous coverage of the ES&S meltdown in the state where the Secretary of State has instructed to create "emergency paper ballots", purchase storage containers for them, and extra staff to manually hand-count them.

Jefferson County specifically had previously tried to withhold payment from their vendor, ES&S, after enormous failures by the company during the county's March 7th primary. Reportedly, however, they were strong-armed by ES&S and told they would not program machines and ballots at all for the upcoming runoffs if payment was withheld.

We are hearing quite a few reports of similarly thuggish behavior, threats and tactics from ES&S and hope to have more details in a future report.

Unfortunately, States and Counties have sold off their public responsibility to carry out accurate and transparent elections to private corporations to whom they are now entirely beholden. On one side, there are the failing private Voting Machine Vendors, and on the other side, the U.S. Dept. of Justice threatening to sue when states and counties don't comply with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which kicks in this year.

Of course, as we've reported previously, it's the voters who are paying the real price for their democracy vanquished.

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As the Voters Continue to Pay the Price
And as We Continue to Connect the Dots the Mainstream Media Still Won't�
By John Gideon on 4/30/2006 6:20pm PT  

By John Gideon Executive Director VotersUnite.Org and Information Manager VoteTrustUSA.Org

When asked by a reporter, "Which is harder to manage, your two children or ES&S?" Marion County, Indiana Clerk Doris Ann Sadler told the Indianapolis Star this week, "Oh, ES&S, definitely. My children are really very easy. In fact, at times I think my children would have done a better job with the voting machines. And they're (ages) 7 and 4."

The Electronic Voting Machine Vendor locomotive is still running away down the track at an alarming speed. However, this week some states and county election officials seem to be beginning to notice and are now sending out signals that they intend to either stop the train or � barring that --- at least ensure that companies such as Election Systems and Software (ES&S) do not profit too much from their arrogance, ineptitude and now epidemic failures.

Legal complaints against the company were filed this week in West Virginia and Indiana to add to the one previously under way in Oregon. Threats have been heard from Texas, Arkansas, Ohio and elsewhere. Election officials have been forced to change voting procedures in many states and counties to accommodate for ES&S' growing array of failures.

Meanwhile no one seems to be talking about the people who will be most affected by this train wreck; the voters�

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

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WV County Withholds $1.2 Million Payment to Electronic Voting Machine Company
'They Are Hiding Out,' Says County Commissioner About Previous Company Promises to Service the County
By John Gideon on 4/28/2006 11:20am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The ES&S Meltdown around the country which The BRAD BLOG exclusively covered yesterday, as the Texas Sec. of State's office informed Election Officials to "create emergency paper ballots", now continues to widen to other states around the country.

Legal action in two more states against Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S), the largest Electronic Voting Machine Company in America, has now commenced.

In Indiana, the a formal complaint has been filed today against ES&S by the Sec. of State for failures to provide working equipment and ballots in several counties in time for early primary voting in the Hoosier State.

In West Virginia, the County Commissioners Association announced they will be filing legal action against the company with the help of the WV Sec. of State and Attorney General's office for similar problems, some of which we reported late last night here at The BRAD BLOG. As well, one county Manager has been told to withhold payment of a $1.2 million check made out to the company until the problems are corrected.

The Associated Press covers the developing situation in Indiana where Sec. of State Todd Rokita has filed his formal complaint against ES&S for violating state law. The Louisville (Kentucky) Courier-Journal covers it this way...

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

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Company Technician Uses Old Version of Software To Program Voting Machines
By John Gideon on 4/27/2006 8:20pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

On top of Brad's earlier report today on the ES&S meltdown in Texas, and loads of other states, we find out that still more problems with ES&S have been encountered in West Virginia.

On Thursday the Associated Press reported that a software "glitch" has delayed testing in 11 counties. The reason?

Though electronic ballots on the ES&S iVotronic Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines are programmed and seem to recorde votes accurately during testing, it's taking six hours or more to tabulate all the results. That is a huge problem for machines sold on the premise of accuracy and speed.

But the larger concern? "Version control". Apparently an ES&S engineer programmed the machines using outdated software. The company seems to not bother to ensure the correct version of software is being used and installed on the machines. And counties are not watching to ensure ES&S is keeping their machines current.

Ben Beakes, the chief of staff for WV Sec. of State Betty Ireland, explained:

"All the votes on the paper trail are correct. All the votes inside the machines are correct. It will just not recognize them when it's time to tabulate the results," Beakes said.

That said, was the software version used federally qualified with the hardware and firmware version being used by those 11 counties? Do the states or counties even care? Maybe not but they should because not all versions of software will work with all versions of firmware. That's why there are version numbers.

And that's just one more reason why we're headed for an electoral train wreck.

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Director of Elections Sends Letter Authorizing Measure in Light of Latest Failure by Electronic Voting Machine Vendor
Says Company's Performance in Most Recent - of Many Similar Incidences Around the Country - is 'Completely Unacceptable and Disturbing'
By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2006 11:46am PT  

On Monday, Texas Director of Elections Ann McGeehan sent a letter to all state Election Officials authorizing them to create "emergency paper ballots" in light of statewide failures by Election System & Software, Inc. (ES&S) to provide ballots in time for the state's upcoming May 13 Runoff Elections, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

Early voting begins on Monday for those elections and counties across the state do not yet have ballots and, in many cases, programming for their optical-scan and touch-screen voting machines. ES&S has contracts with more than 140 Texas counties.

McGeehan has instructed officials to create and number their own paper ballots, secure boxes to store them in, and hire additional workers to manually hand count ballots as an emergency procedure to deal with the rapidly deteriorating situation.

The letter from McGeehan (posted in full exclusively at the end of this article) --- which does not mention ES&S by name, but refers to the Omaha, Nebraska-based company only as "a certified voting systems vendor" --- was sent in response to complaints from officials around the state that "programming media or, in some cases, your ballots" had not been received yet by officials.

In a statement to the San Antonio's Express-News this morning, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says, "It sure is exasperating...We are looking at avenues to hold them responsible for this." Bexar County is just one of more than 140 in Texas with whom ES&S has contracts.

"They made their priorities," Wolff says, "and I think Texas certainly wasn't one of them."

The BRAD BLOG has also received statements from officials in other states who were still more direct in expressing their frustration with the company's business practices now being described by some as including "coercion" and "threats."

This most recent embarrassment for ES&S, the country's largest Electronic Voting Machine Vendor, is just the latest in what has now become an epidemic string of failures to meet contractual obligations in scores of states and counties across the country. The BRAD BLOG has reported on many of these troubling problems in a long series of articles in hopes of connecting the dots of those failures to illustrate and warn of the rapidly approaching E-Voting train wreck.

So far, both the mainstream corporate media, as well as many elections officials across the country have --- to the delight of ES&S --- failed to notice the remarkably clear pattern of delinquency and failure the company has demonstrated time and again across the nation in recent weeks and months.

Texas was plagued, during their recent March 7th Primary Election, by a host of failures in voting equipment made by both ES&S and Hart InterCivic, another voting machine vendor certified to do business in the state. Those failures on Election Day led to a statewide Election Contest filed by a former Republican Supreme Court Justice after tabulators failed and electronic ballots were misprogrammed and miscounted.

In Jefferson County, TX officials threatened to withhold payment after the debacle until their machines were fixed by ES&S. The company, however, answered by reportedly refusing to program the machines at all for the state's upcoming Runoff Elections unless payment was made in full. The county, in a bind, was forced to comply with the strong-arm tactics.

And now, with new elections just weeks away, officials all over the state are finding themselves --- like many other states across the country --- without the promised ballots from ES&S and scrambling for alternative solutions. Election Director McGeehan describes the situation as "completely unacceptable." Writing in her letter to Election Officials, she says:

We recognize that this kind of service from a certified voting systems vendors [sic] is completely unacceptable and disturbing. We will be pursuing all appropriate remedies from a state level that are available to us.

In the letter, McGeehan goes on to explain that officials should crate "emergency paper ballots" by either creating their own, or using "PDF format to print copies of the ballot" in cases were "proofs" had been previously supplied by ES&S.

Instructions are included for number and initializing thousands of ballots by hand:

After you print a copy of the ballot, you will need to put a ballot number at the top of the ballot beginning with the next ballot number of the last number of your original ballot order. In other words, if you ordered 15,000 ballots numbered 1-15,000, any ballots you create would be numbered beginning with the number 15,001. You will need to put your initials on the back of the ballot so you can determine it was an official ballot provided by you.

Further, officials are instructed that they may have to manually hand count ballots that would otherwise be counted by either optical-scan systems or recorded by touch-screen voting machines.

They are also told to create boxes for the ballot storage and find people to count them. McGeehan writes...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2006 11:07am PT  

They're melting down...


Developing...More shortly...

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But ES&S Has a Brilliant New Plan for Technical Support!
By John Gideon on 4/26/2006 7:40am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Regular readers will remember the last time we discussed Summit County, Ohio and the failure of their E-Voting vendor, Elections Systems and Software (ES&S), to get anything right. First they discovered that 30% of the memory cards, which store vote totals and other vital information, had completely failed. Later, they were able to get the number down to 10%. And then, as reported by THE BRAD BLOG the Director of the Board of Elections, Brian Williams, had announced that he had no confidence in ES&S and was predicting failures in the primary election that will be held next Tuesday, May 2.
Bad enough? Not for Train Wreck '06!

Today the county announced that they have completed all testing of their ES&S optical-scan voting machines and another 17 memory cards suddenly failed. These are cards that had previously been tested over and over again with no problems.

But never fear. If there are problems on Election Day, ES&S has a plan!

They've now announced that their technical team for on-the-ground assistance will be made-up of 19 university students from the University of Akron. The students will get training on Saturday. Yes, one day of training and they will be expected to represent ES&S for all technical matters in Tuesday's primary.

And, on top of all of that, two-thirds of the ballots needed for primary day have still not been received from the printer, an ES&S hired contractor.

Full speed ahead!

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While We Continue to Connect the Dots the Media Continues to Fail To...
By John Gideon on 4/23/2006 4:25pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon,
Exec. Dir. for VotersUnite.Org & Info. Mgr. for VoteTrustUSA.Org

It is a fact that this primary season is proving to be a disaster.

The locomotives of the voting machine vendors and unwary, naive elections officials are headed down the same tracks, straight towards each other, in many states. The vendors only have the bags of government provided cash in sight and they don't seem to care about anything but putting those bags into their coffers. They don't seem to care about signing contracts that they know they cannot meet. They seem to be under the impression that "act now and apologize later" is good business. They seem to understand that the only criteria for getting paid for contracts with the government is having signed the contract.

As for the elections officials well, they are blinded by the lights of the fast approaching locomotive and many can only apologize and cover for the vendors. They just don't seem to know, or care --- or acknowledge that they either know or care --- that the same story is playing out in the next county over and in the next state over. Ignorance is supposed to be bliss, but it also spells chaos for elections.

But wait, all may not be lost. This past week we have seen a bit of progress toward stopping the chaos of ES&S in Indiana and Oregon, while West Virginia just doesn't seem to know or care what is happening to them. As well, New Jersey may be making headway against their bad acting vendor, Sequoia Voting Systems...

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

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2006 Election 'Train Wreck' Continues as Company Fails to Meet Obligations in Yet Another State
Complaint Latest in Growing String of Legal Battles, HAVA-Related E-Voting Meltdowns Around the Country...
By Brad Friedman on 4/20/2006 12:41pm PT  

In the latest amongst a spate of lawsuits being filed against Electronic Voting Machine Companies around the country, the Oregon Sec. of State has announced today that they have filed a complaint against Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) for breach of contract in failing to provide the state with disabled-accessible voting machines, as promised, in time to meet the January 1, 2006 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) deadline.

The complaint, filed yesterday on behalf of the state of Oregon in Marion County Circuit Court, is downloadable here in full [PDF, 8 pages].

In a statement just issued by the office of Bill Bradbury, Oregon's Sec. of State, he said, "I'm disappointed in ES&S. They agreed to provide us with voting machines, they didn't follow through on that agreement, and that failure directly punishes people with disabilities."

The press release goes on to explain the history of ES&S's broken commitment to provide disabled-accessible electronic AutoMark voting systems to the state in what seems to echo problems that ES&S and several of the other electronic voting machine vendors are now having in meeting contractual obligations all around the country. The problem in Oregon is just the latest to come to light, as the voting machine vendors have been snatching up any and all available agreements with states, in light of Election Officials' attempts to comply with various mandates set forth, and funded by federal tax dollars, in the disastrous HAVA legislation of 2002. John Gideon, has written several articles on the epidemic recently for BRAD BLOG; two them are here and here.

As the Oregon Secretary of State's release explains:

ES&S submitted the winning bid to a request for proposals issued by the Secretary of State in July 2005. In that bid, ES&S agreed to all of the standard state contract terms, and agreed to provide one million dollars worth of AutoMark touch-screen electronic voting machines by the January 1, 2006 federal deadline.

On January 10, 2006, ES&S informed the Secretary of State that it would not agree to the terms of the contract, and would not deliver the voting machines unless the Secretary changed the terms of the contract. Bradbury refused to alter the contract to meet ES&S's demands, which then led to this lawsuit.

"We will not leave our elections in the hands of companies that do not follow through on their obligations, and we will not be coerced into altering our contracts," said Bradbury.

In addition to failures to meet such obligations as simply providing hardware and software as promised to states and counties, companies such as ES&S, Diebold, Sequoia Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic, have failed across the country to provide hardware and software that actually works and actually counts voters votes accurately as they intended to cast them.

HAVA was passed in 2002 by Congress after efforts led by Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) --- and funded by Diebold lobbyists including Ney's former chief of staff, David DiStefano --- convinced lawmakers that the bill would correct perceived problems revealed with voting systems during the 2000 Florida Election debacle.

The bill, which cleverly includes a provision requiring at least one disabled-accessable voting device in every American polling place as of 2006 --- a provision which has led jurisdictions to believe they must upgrade their voting equipment to use poorly designed, secretive and hackable electronic voting devices --- has been an unmitigated disaster so far.

The Oregon lawsuit is just the latest in a growing array of suits filed by voters and election officials around the country in light of HAVA implementation that has seen officials scrambling, apologizing, making excuses and, in many cases, left to come up with alternate plans to carry out impending primary elections in 2006. Voters, in the meantime, have been largely ignored, left hanging, and crossing their fingers in hoping that somehow their vote might be counted accurately this year --- or even counted at all. Unfortunately, given the way most of the new voting systems work, there is little or no way for those voters to have even the slightest clue whether or not their vote will be counted at all.

Amongst just some of the lawsuits and other legal proceedings now underway in light of HAVA implementation around the country...

  • ALASKA: Democratic Party files suit against state to release Diebold voting data from 2004 Election.
  • CALIFORNIA: Voters file suit against SoS and Election Registrars to decertify Diebold machines.
  • FLORIDA: Leon County Supervisor of Elections begins legal action against Diebold for breach of contract after machines found to be hackable; Attorney General subpoenas Voting Machine companies in investigation of possible collusion.
  • ILLINOIS: Republicans ask for 20% recount after Sequoia machines fail in Cook County Primary Election; Democrat says he may file suit on behalf of both Republicans and Dems across state.
  • INDIANA: Sec. of State announces hearings, possible civil fines against ES&S.
  • MARYLAND: Republican Governor declares "no confidence" in paperless Diebold systems; Democratic-run House votes 137 to 0 to ban them.
  • NEW MEXICO: Voters file suit against state to decertify Sequoia machines; Legislation enacted outlawing paperless touch-screen systems.
  • NEW YORK: U.S. Dept. of Justice threatens state with lawsuit for HAVA non-compliance.
  • PENNSYLVANIA: Voters file suit against Allegheny County, PA and US Dept. of Justice in re: ES&S machines
  • TEXAS: Statewide Election Contest filed by Republican Supreme Court Justice after ES&S, Hart InterCivic machines failed across state in March 7th primary.
  • In addition to the state and county suits, a class action Securities Fraud complaint has been filed by shareholders against Diebold for, amongst other reasons, failing to disclose known problems with their electronic voting systems. Additional legal proceedings are currently in the works in several other states as well, The BRAD BLOG has learned, and so far we've only had two of 50 state primaries in 2006, the first year that HAVA kicks in in full. Both primaries so far, in Texas and Illinois, revealed massive electile dysfunctions as machines failed, tabulations were found to be inaccurate, and final results were delayed due to numerous equipment problems.

    Stay tuned to The BRAD BLOG for (unfortunately) virtually exclusive continuing coverage of America's 2006 E-Voting Meltdown...

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    Summit County, Ohio Elections Director Says He Can't Assume Anything Else
    By John Gideon on 4/19/2006 8:08am PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon

    If you recall The BRAD BLOG has reported on the Summit County memory card failures in the recent past; most recently on April 4. Summit County's memory card (PCMCIA) failures have not gotten any better according to an article in this morning's Akron Beacon Journal...

    Now, in what is clearly a show of "No Confidence" in their voting machine vendor ES&S, the county elections director is predicting failure with the system in the May 2 Ohio state primary.

    Summit County Board of Elections Director Bryan Williams is predicting Election Day failures with the memory cards in the county's new optical scan voting system.

    ``I don't think we can assume anything else,'' Williams said at a meeting Tuesday, where the elections board reviewed the latest list of troubles.

    This seems to be a complete melt-down of everything provided to the county by ES&S. The Beacon-Journal goes on to report the problems...

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

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    A lot of American Democracy Can Unravel in Just One Week's Time
    As We Continue to Connect the Dots the Media is Failing To�
    By John Gideon on 4/17/2006 7:19am PT  

    Blogged by John Gideon

    In an article last week I pointed to the copious evidence that our elections are headed straight towards disaster; a "Train Wreck". That "Train Wreck," however, may still be avoided. The engineers of one of those trains, as it were, are the elections officials who are allowing themselves to be cowed by vendors like ES&S, Sequoia, and Diebold. The disaster can be avoided, but it will require the election officials to switch their train to a different track � by first acknowledging that there are problems.

    In order to begin that process those officials must finally realize that they are not alone. Counties across the country are finding the exact same problems. The bad ES&S memory cards were not just found in Summit County, Ohio; they were also found in North Carolina and probably other counties in other states. ES&S will fail to deliver on contracts for voting machines in many counties all across the country. Does anyone really expect the engineer of the other train --- the voting machine vendors --- to switch tracks? They only see the money bags at the end of the track and not the other train barreling down on them.

    The federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) --- created by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 --- has likewise not been doing their job. They seem to be content to just sit back and watch as voting systems across the country are in melt-down. Do they really serve any purpose other than to shovel out HAVA funding for these new systems to the states, who in turn pass them on to the vendors? It appears not. Take a look�

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

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

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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