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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, December 19, 2014
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
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The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
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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...


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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    Says Company Activity Could be in 'Significant Violation of State Election Law'
    NOTE TO MSM: Nothing to read here. Move on.
    By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2006 4:08pm PT  

    The E-Voting Train Wreck continues...

    This from a statement released today by the Indiana Secretary of State (to get just a tiny idea of what this statement is in reference to see the "Train Wreck" article linked above...and just about every other damn thing we've been running here at BRAD BLOG for the last God-knows-how-many weeks/months/years)...

    Today Secretary of State Todd Rokita announced his intention to bring an enforcement action against the Nebraska based voting system firm, Election Systems and Software. Secretary Rokita will personally conduct a public hearing to determine whether election law violations have occurred, and whether the company should be fined. County sequencing errors and paper ballot problems, noted by Rokita's office this week, have combined to quickly escalate already disturbingly poor service at the county level into what could be a significant violation of state election law. "I have ordered our legal staff to immediately set hearing dates and subpoena company officials," Rokita said.

    The Indianapolis Star begins their coverage this way:

    The Indiana secretary of state's office is investigating possible law violations by two voting machine companies, as doubts continue about possible hitches in next month's primary elections.

    "To protect the voices of Hoosier voters, I intend to hold hearings on these matters to determine whether Indiana law has been violated, and if so, to hold the appropriate parties accountable," Secretary of State Todd Rokita said in a statement today.

    "Hoosier taxpayers, voters and county officials deserve voting systems that comply with the high standards mandated by Indiana law."

    Rokita said his office, which administers elections across the state, would bring an "enforcement action" to determined whether Election Systems and Software, a Nebraska voting system company, should be fined.

    NOTE TO NATIONAL MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Please pay no attention whatsoever to any of the above. It's just a small local story. Nothing of interest. No pattern here here that effects our country as a whole in any way. All is well. Please enjoy your Easter Holiday break! Thank you.

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    Suit Seeks to Stop Last Minute Implementation of ES&S Voting Machines In Allegheny County
    By John Gideon on 4/12/2006 2:06pm PT  


    Guest Blogged by John Gideon

    Just announced by KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the news that a group of citizens and People For The American Way have filed suit against the Secretary of State; Dan Onorato, Allegheny County Chief Executive; James Flynn, County Manager; and senior officials at the federal Department of Justice. The citizen group includes members of the disabilities community who want to make sure the County purchases machines that are accessible to all individuals with disabilities.

    KDKA reports:

    The lawsuit filed today says that decision risks chaos on Election Day because of the lack of time to train election officials and educate voters about the change from lever machines which have been in use for 40 years.

    "This rush to a new and flawed technology just weeks before the election threatens to sow chaos in the primary and compromise the fundamental rights of thousands of voters for years to come," says Harry Litman, the former United States Attorney in Pittsburgh and an attorney for the plaintiffs. "It's a bad deal for Allegheny County, and, we believe, a violation of federal law."

    The suit, Celeste Taylor v. Dan Onorato asks the court to prevent use of machines manufactured by Election Systems & Software until the County has spent the time necessary to identify voting systems that are secure; reliable; and accessible to voters with disabilities.
    ...
    The plaintiffs cite elections in Texas, Florida, California, Ohio, and North and South Carolina where ES&S machines failed on Election Day.

    A report by the Inspector General in Miami of a 2002 election found that the ES&S machines were not properly prepared; their results could not be audited; poll workers were unable to operate machines; and large number of voters simply gave up as a result.
    ...
    The complaint alleges that DOJ has pressured Allegheny to buy the new machines by improperly threatening to take back about $12 million that has been given to Pennsylvania for improved voting systems.

    These machines are sold and serviced by Elections Systems and Software, the same company that has played a major role in failures of memory cards and is a large reason why this nation is headed for a "Train Wreck" in our primary elections and, if no action is taken, in November.

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    Our Elections are Now Officially 'A National Disaster in the Making'
    A MUST READ GUEST EDITORIAL BY JOHN GIDEON OF VOTERSUNITE.ORG
    By John Gideon on 4/9/2006 5:24pm PT  

    By John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

    Normally this space is taken with my ideas of what are the "Top 5" voting news stories for the week. Today I am going to use this space to talk about what I see as the beginning of a disaster in the making with our elections. This isn't the election fraud that some point to when they talk about the vendors and some elections officials. It's not about recounts or audits. This is a real, get your hands around it, happening problem that will disrupt our election process if we do not do something about it now. While we have been involved in all of our issues about Direct Recording Electronic (DRE or "touch-screen") voting machines or paper ballots the electronic voting machine vendors have been wreaking complete havoc across the country.

    So far this year two states have conducted primary elections. In Texas there is at least one candidate who has stepped forward and has challenged the election because of anomalies in vote counts and known voting machine failures. One county's machines counted some votes up to 6 times which resulted in approximately 100,000 more votes being counted than were cast. Though the vendor, Hart Intercivic, initially blamed the problem on human error, they finally had to admit that it was a programming error and not poll workers or voters who had erred. In Illinois some county officials are threatening to withhold final payment of funds on contracts with Sequoia Voting Systems because of failures with their machines that ended with results in the primary not being known for over a week after the voters went to the polls. In both states the involved vendors were very successful in the media with deflecting the blame from their machines to "human errors" or "glitches". However, when you listen to people who were there and who saw and worked through the problems you get a very different picture...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Paper Ballots Are Used in the Meantime as ES&S Succeeds at Failing Yet Again...
    THE GOOD NEWS: A Local TV News Outlet That Reports Actual News!
    By John Gideon on 4/5/2006 8:15am PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon

    Proving that local TV News stations actually can serve their viewers by actually investigating stuff that matters, and then reporting on it, Indianapolis' WISH-TV 8 does it again. In yet another report on local election problems, WISH-TV has been keeping their viewers informed with a series of stories on voting issues.

    "Well, once again, a Voting Machine Company is breaking Indiana law and violating county contracts," the story by reporter Pam Elliot began.

    Last night, WISH TV 8 reported on the failure of Elections Systems & Software (ES&S) to perform up to their contract with their customers. That contract: to provide ballots to voters and touch-screen voting equipment that actually works.

    Johnson County Indiana was supposed to have their ES&S iVotronic DRE (touch-screen) machines set-up and in use for "absentee voting". However, contrary to their contract and, as WISH TV reports, in violation of state law, ES&S has failed to program the counties "smart cards" with ballot definitions. Which means the voting machines are of no use.

    Also missing are printed paper ballots for Johnson County and nearly two-dozen other counties across the state. Which means that in order for these counties to conduct "absentee voting" they will have to copy paper ballots and provide those to the voters.

    But perhaps more troubling, as reported by the WISH-TV 8 "I Team" (Investigative Team):

    I-Team 8 has also learned the batteries that came with Johnson County's $2.4 million equipment are old and failing. At least nine other counties have the same problem. If the battery fails, the internal ballots and all the votes cast will be lost.

    I-Team 8 asked Jill Jackson whether it was time to rethink the county's choice of vendor. "I am certain that the county commissioners are going to want to revisit this, probably along with a lot of other counties in the state of Indiana," she replied.

    And what does the Secretary of State have to say about this situation? He had the same reaction as many who have misinformed their counties into buying voting systems that were not really necessary...

    "Although I am concerned about this issue, it is the responsibility of the counties to resolve this with their vendor," said Secretary of State Todd Rokita.

    And what does ES&S have to say about all of this? Why, they blamed the counties, of course.

    But WISH TV didn't let 'em get away with that. They concluded their report with just the facts m'am:

    Omaha-based ES&S has been in trouble with the state at least twice before for not following Indiana law, but it's not the only vendor failing Hoosier voters. The certification expired last October on electronic voting machines made by Indianapolis-based Microvote, used by 45 Indiana counties.

    -- WISH TV's written report is here...
    -- WISH TV's video report is here...

    It seems ES&S has a long and proud history of failing the voters of Indiana. Back in late 2004, just two weeks after the Presidential Election, The BRAD BLOG ran a story highlighting a series of reports from WISH TV filed back in April of 2004. Here's some of our coverage at the time...

    The series of reports from WISHTV earlier this year tell of ES&S employees surreptitiously installing illegal, uncertified software, into the voting and tabulating machines in Marion County, Indiana. They then ordered their regional ES&S project manager to lie about it to county officials. She refused. As had her husband in a previous ES&S incident, where he was also a project manager, in a different Indiana county. He was fired for his refusal.

    In one of the reports, the Marion County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler is quoted as saying that ES&S "has willfully and purposely deceived me and the Marion County election board...[W]ith complete disregard for business ethics and with intent to deceive, [ES&S] deliberately worked to keep their actions from the Marion County election board and its employees."

    The county's election board vice chair added, "Throughout the process, there have been missteps and outright fabrications and mistruths given to us by the vendor implementing the election process."

    "Outright fabrications and mistruths" from ES&S?! Knock us over with a feather. See our November '04 story for more details and links to the excellent WISH TV video reports from April.

    Feel free to write a thank you note to reporter Pam Elliot for knowing what important news looks like and then caring enough to actually report on it.

    Other than that --- sssshhhh --- don't tell anyone! It's better if nobody learns about this stuff.

    (Additional snark for this story provided by Brad)

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    By John Gideon on 4/2/2006 5:06pm PT  

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

    The "DVN Top 5" is a feature in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The March 27 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on The BRAD BLOG!...

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

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    Former Judge Finds March 7th Texas Primary Results Fraught With 'Absolutely Egregious' Electronic Voting Machine Errors!
    May Lead to First Independent Examination of Electronic Machines Made by Hart InterCivic and ES&S!
    By Brad Friedman on 3/28/2006 10:53am PT  

    Blogged by Brad on the road...

    As The BRAD BLOG reported last week, a Conservative Republican former Texas Supreme Court Justice had been considering an Election Contest after electronic voting machine problems and inexplicable tallies plagued the first-in-the-nation March 7th primary in the Lone Star State.

    Steve Smith --- who ran for election to the state Supreme Court, Place 2, in the Republican primary against an opponent backed by both Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry and the Bush family --- will be filing an official Election Contest this afternoon in Travis County District Court, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

    Since our previous report, the Smith for Supreme Court campaign has been examining election tallies around the state and report that they continue to find anomolies in virtually every county they look into.

    "The more research we do, the more irregularities we find," campaign manager David Rogers told The BRAD BLOG this morning.

    The problems are being found on machines made by both Hart InterCivic and Election Systems and Software, Inc. (ES&S) --- the two major Electronic Voting Machine vendors supplying the state of Texas.

    Rogers says the campaign plans to file the Contest before 5pm (CT) today. The Contest (to be posted in full here when available) will outline some of the many problems they have found so far including counties "where there were more votes than voters."

    They hope the Election Contest may allow, for the first time, a closer examination of both the Hart InterCivic and ES&S electronic voting machines used in Texas elections, as well as elsewhere around the country.

    An earlier statement from the campaign had detailed a number of the campaign's initial findings including several mysterious totals in Smith's home county of Tarrant where officials admit some 100,000 votes were incorrectly added to the reported results on Election Night.

    Smith had outperformed his statewide average in Tarrant County during the 2004 Election by 13%, but this year, his campaign reports, he underperformed the statewide results by 23%. One other such puzzling number reported previously by Smith's campaign:

    Winkler County, which went for Smith by margins of 260-92 (74%) and 468-249 (65%) in the 2002 and 2004 elections, went against Smith by an unbelievable 0-273 (100%) margin. Governor Perry received only 83% of the vote in Winkler County, and no other contested candidate topped 80%. The propositions on the ballot topped out at 93%.

    Says Rogers, "We are contesting the state as a whole, but looking at specific larger counties where there are problems and a few of the smaller counties where the mistakes were absolutely egregious."

    The BRAD BLOG has also previously reported on whistleblower William Singer who had worked at both Hart InterCivic and then as an "Election Programmer" in Tarrant County. Singer had attempted to alert the Texas and Ohio Secretaries of State and Attornies General about concerns, including possible criminal fraud by Hart, ES&S and Tarrant County, as long ago as July of 2004. His letters were all virtually ignored by officials in both states. The Texas Secretary of State was recently forced to shutdown a mandated recount in Tom Green County when it was discovered that recount numbers from the machines differed by some 20% from results reported on Election Night.

    Up until now, many critics who have doubted or ignored the many concerns about the hackable hardware and secret software used in Electronic Voting, as expressed for some time by Election Integrity Advocates, have said that it is only Democrats who seem to be concerned about results as tallied on such machines which are now blanketing the country in the wake of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

    That flawed law was written and sponsored in large part by Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) and passed in 2002 along with heavy lobbying by Voting Machine Vendor Diebold, Inc. of North Canton, OH and their top lobbyist, Ney's former chief of staff, David DiStefano. HAVA's full impact kicks in by statute for the first time this year. Ney recently stepped down from his chairmanship of the U.S. House Administration Committee after being named in one of the plea bargains by disgraced former Republican super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

    Smith's election challenge, by a conservative Republican Supreme Court Justice from Texas, may well help to change the tenor of the debate over Electronic Voting, as is becoming apparent in several national mainstream publications of late including USA TODAY who published a front page story finally touching on these matters today.

    We are on the road for the bulk of today and this evening, but if one of our friendly Guest Bloggers can update this item with a copy of the full Election Contest as filed by Steve Smith later today --- once we receive it --- we will do so.

    UPDATE 3:50pm PT: Campaign managaer David Rogers has contacted us to let us know the campaign has found additional information that they wish to investigate before filing their contest. Due to this new information they will be delaying the filing by 24 hours.

    UPDATE 4/1/06: The complete Election Contest filing is now attached here. [PDF] We hope to have a new report on the details/specifics later.

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