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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, August 21, 2014
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and His Bill to Stop Police Militarization:
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Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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JUST IN: Protest hearing to be streamed LIVE Thursday @ 3pm ET...
By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2010 7:54pm PT  

First, some very good news just in: The hearing for the protest to the results of last week's SC Democratic U.S. Senate primary will be streamed live on Thursday at 3pm ET via Live.VicRawl.com.

The protest will be heard by the Executive Board of the South Carolina Democratic Party to consider Judge Vic Rawl's protest to last week's bizarre election.

Second, I'm happy to say that I have finally been able to make contact with the campaign of former state legislator and Circuit Court Judge Vic Rawl. I had a somewhat lengthy conversation earlier today with his campaign manager Walter Ludwig, and continue to be happy to report that it seems they have a very good grasp of the issues at stake --- in relation to the horrific ES&S e-voting system --- in their challenge to the 100% unverifiable election of Alvin Greene in SC's recent Democratic U.S. Senate primary race.

As I noted last night, in discussing Rawl's interview yesterday on Fox, given the sharp learning curve for those unfamiliar with the complex issues involved with e-voting and Election Integrity, they've done an excellent job of getting up to speed, at least inasmuch as possible in the short time they've been forced to become "experts" on the topic.

That, of course, is just another pitfall of using insanely complicated rocket science instead of common sense and eyeballs to add one plus one plus one in our current electoral system. Most candidates with questions about their election results simply can't afford the resources and computer scientists and time needed for the forensic investigation of these systems --- that's if they're even allowed access to the often proprietary trade-secret hardware and software --- following an election and prior to the date by which they must file and argue a legal challenge. That, as opposed to simply examining paper ballots and chain of custody procedures, as would be the case with sane, paper ballot elections.

Ludwig seems to understand just how bad the voting system is that voters were forced to use in SC's recent election, the same system used in dozens of other states despite The BRAD BLOG's best efforts over the past six years to warn of the dangers.

"These machines are incredibly frail and subject to manipulation. They don't work very well." In short, Ludwig told me, "They're crap."...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2010 12:53pm PT  

There are a number of points in Andreas Antonopoulos' article at Network World yesterday with which I respectfully disagree (eg. His assertion that counting paper ballots by hand might take longer than with machines, and nuances in regard to his belief that a federal standard for voting machines is the answer, etc.)

But for someone who doesn't cover the unique circumstances of e-voting exclusively or in great detail, he is essentially right on the money in his general assertions about the insane, 100% unverifiable nature of South Carolina's recent primary election. In regard to the questions about Alvin Greene's impossible-to-prove "win" over Judge Vic Rawl for the Democratic nomination to run for U.S. Senate, he writes, among other things:

How have we reached the point where the only way to audit an election is statistics? Why can't we get a robust, audited and validated election result? The simple answer is that we can, but we choose not to.

[T]he best solution is paper and pencil. It is auditable, secure, repeatable, easy and robust.

I note the above today, largely in response to the dead-enders, who I've begun to hear from yet again of late, who describe folks like me as "Luddites" or somehow "against progress". Those who believe that elections ought to be 100% verifiable by the citizenry --- and that any sort of concealed vote counting, electronic or otherwise, is a grave threat to democracy --- are not "Luddites". We are well-informed realists and patriots.

For the record, I spent some ten years of my life making my living as a computer programmer. Network World's Antonopoulos, author of the magazine's "Security: Risk and Reward" blog, is also senior vice president and founding partner at the the IT consulting and research firm, Nemertes Research. And the bulk of the science on which all of my reporting is based, comes directly from the top computer scientists and security experts in the world.

If anyone would like to call us "Luddites", after all of these years being proven right, again and again, on these issues, bring it on. You're only succeed in making yourself appear grossly ill-informed. Or worse.

[My thanks to "HeartlandLiberal" at dKos for bringing the Network World piece to my attention, and, for kicking back a bit at the many horribly dis-informed and mis-informed Kossacks who have been ignoring and/or poo-pooing these issues for years, to their own shame and disservice.]

* * *

Previously related at The BRAD BLOG:

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Interviews on Fox 'News'; Complaints filed with FEC, State AG concerning bizarre Democratic U.S. Senate primary election
UPDATE: Rawl appearance on Hartmann: 'It's about the sanctity of our elections'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2010 9:17pm PT  

Former Circuit Court Judge Vic Rawl's official protest against the results of South Carolina's Democratic U.S. Senate primary election last Tuesday --- when he was purportedly beaten by Alvin Greene, a jobless man who didn't campaign and didn't even have a campaign website --- will focus on what he describes as "systemic issues involving the software of the voting machine," according to the four-term, former state legislator in an interview with Fox "News" today.

The video and transcript of that interview --- in which Rawl displayed a very impressive command of the issues surrounding the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machines used in the election --- are posted below. It's well worth reading and/or watching.

But first, Democratic House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) also appeared on Fox today where he said, "I believe there was hacking done into that computer." He later added, that because SC used the type of voting machines that have been decertified by so many other states, "maybe somebody wanted machines that were easily hacked into."

Take a look...

Clyburn's comments are remarkable --- certainly for a currently-serving Democratic official, much less one as high ranking as he is. Perhaps his comments will help change the way the bulk of the mainstream media has been covering this issue to date. They've been looking at everything but the obvious potential for computer failure or manipulation, even though Rawl has been going out of his way to point to it --- as we saw in his remarkable statement announcing his protest of the election results filed yesterday, due, in no small part, to "the well-documented unreliability and unverifiability of the voting machines used in South Carolina."

Since speculating on the accuracy of the results, or lack thereof, is all that most of us can do, given the nature of the type of e-voting system in use in SC which offer zero proof of actual winners and losers, there is certainly every reason to believe the election could have been hacked. The state's woeful ES&S system --- both its voting machines and its central tabulators --- has been shown time and again, in scientific report after scientific report, to be easily manipulated, particularly by a well-placed election insider.

That said, there still remain other less nefarious explanations for the results, and it should also be noted that Clyburn got quite a few of the details --- albeit fairly minor ones in the scope of his main point, if rather important to the rest of the country --- wrong...

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

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NBC affiliate WBCD reports, inaccurately, that state's ES&S touch-screen voting machines include 'independent paper back up'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2010 8:16pm PT  

The local Charleston, South Carolina, NBC affiliate, WCBD, was hoodwinked by someone; apparently it was the SC Election Commission. In the following report, WCBD's Larry Collins says that he has checked on the claim that "there is no independent paper back up from [South Carolina's] touch machines." He then goes on to inaccurately report, presumably from information given to him by the state election commission, that "there is a paper trail" on the state's ES&S iVotronic voting systems...


Collins' reporting is patently inaccurate.

The pieces of paper seen hanging in the background behind him are end of the day reports or possibly some "poll tapes," printed out after polls close, showing the purported tallies from each machine or precinct. They are not auditable "paper trail" records of voters' votes, and they are not verified in any way, shape, or form by the voter.

Those printouts can say absolutely anything, as printed, including the actual vote counts, erroneous vote counts due to machine malfunction or misprogramming, or, as seen in the following Fox "News" clip, vote counts that have been purposely manipulated by tampering and/or the inclusion of a virus implanted on one of the voting machines' memory cards...

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

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Vic Rawl says inexplicable Democratic primary contest casts 'cloud' over state election; Notes 'irregularities', problem reports from voters, poll workers, vows 'electoral reform', calls for 'full and unblinking investigation of overall integrity' of state's ES&S voting system...
UPDATE: 'Burden of proof' on Rawls. Good luck with that.
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2010 12:32pm PT  

[UPDATED at end of article.]

A formal challenge to the announced results of South Carolina's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate has now been filed by Judge Vic Rawl, the candidate who wasn't announced the winner by the state's oft-failed, easily-manipulated, 100% unverifiable ES&S e-voting system.

Rawl released an official statement on his website today, in conjunction with the filing and a press conference he held in Charleston this afternoon.

The statement points generally to a number of findings being made by the campaign as independent experts have analyzed the results, voting patterns and problems being reported by poll workers and voters on Election Day where the unknown, unemployed candidate Alvin Greene defeated Rawl on the unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting systems, performing 11 points better on those machines than he did in the paper-based absentee results. The oft-failed, easily-manipulated ES&S election results reporting system gave Greene a 59% to 41% "victory" over Rawl.

Greene did no campaigning, had no name recognition, had no campaign website, faces felony obscenity charges and managed, somehow, according to the electronic results, to best Rawl, a four-term state legislator to win the nomination to face incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint in this November's general election.

We've covered details and analysis of this bizarre matter in two previous articles since last Tuesday's election:

As you'll see below, Rawl's official statement today reads as an indictment of the state's electronic voting system and, frankly, as a summary of years of The BRAD BLOG's oft-ignored reporting (and warnings) about the ES&S e-voting system's disastrously failed record...

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

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'Something smells here,' finds 538.com, suggesting possibility of 'very devious manipulation' of voting machines or tabulators...
By Brad Friedman on 6/11/2010 8:55pm PT  

This post is an update to our earlier one today, which highlighted early, unexplained disparities seen by academic experts working on behalf of South Carolina Democrats, between paper-ballot absentee voting results and those from the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen systems used on Election Day last Tuesday in South Carolina for the Democratic U.S. Senate primary race between the unheard of, jobless candidate Alvin Greene (who did absolutely no campaigning), and state legislator Vic Rawl (who did).

As we detailed in the previous post, Greene's "victory," thus far, seems to make absolutely no legitimate sense to state Democrats, or anybody else, in truth. The disparities in the voting patterns were described by experts quoted in Politico earlier today as "curious," "staggering," and "red flags," and by Election Integrity experts who we quoted as "clear signs of election fraud." Please read that post first for the full background on this story.

We've already included one update to our previous post, based on a post by Tom Schaller at FiveThirtyEight.com, a site which focuses on statistical analysis of elections. That post examined the possibility of the race factor in Greene's "win" over Rawl as the former is African American while the latter is white. Schaller's analysis of precinct data in the race, however, as compared to non-white registrants in each, found "no relationship between the race of a county's registrants and Greene's performance in that county," thus largely, but not entirely, ruling out race as an explanation for the bizarre results.

While Schaller had posited four existing possibilities for what "could have happened here" in his original article --- including the possibility of "systematic" election fraud --- he has now filed a follow-up report describing the matter as "getting weirder by the hour." His new piece includes a number of reports from other statistical experts which "suggest tampering, or at least machine malfunction, perhaps at the highest level"...

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

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'Staggering' disparities seen between Alvin Greene's Election Day touch-screen results and paper-based absentee vote
Will corporate MSM have courage to 'go there'?...
By Brad Friedman on 6/11/2010 1:55pm PT  

[UPDATED twice at end of article.]

Nobody in the South Carolina Democratic Party had ever heard of Alvin Greene, the jobless candidate for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, before he reportedly defeated state legislator Vic Rawl last Tuesday. That, despite the jobless candidate's lack of actual campaigning, campaign website, or even spending any money on a campaign as far as anyone can tell. And there remain questions at this hour, as to where he even came up with the $10,440 filing fee to get on the ballot in the first place. Greene's interview on MSNBC last night is one of the most bizarre ever seen on television (full video posted at end of article).

Unless something changes between now and November, however, Greene's inexplicable victory will pit him against the state's often-controversial, and far-Rightwing Republican incumbent, Sen. Jim DeMint.

But where some have suggested Greene was a "plant" in the race, experts now examining the actual election result data from both SC's unverifiable Election Day touch-screen machines and its electronically counted paper-ballot absentee voting system are noting "curious" and even "staggering" disparities, suggesting what some Election Integrity experts are describing at this hour as "clear signs of ELECTION FRAUD in South Carolina"...

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

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Failure echoes 2008, as two different machines and at least six different failures stymie both poll workers and county officials at my own home precinct...
By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2010 11:50pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

Two years ago, in June of '08, the ES&S "InkaVote Plus" e-vote system in Los Angeles County misprinted 4 out of 12 of my own votes.

Today, as I tried to vote on the same system, the failure was even worse. Incredibly. And not just because I cover issues of Election Integrity for a "living."

I spent more than two and a half hours not casting a vote on the system before eventually I, the poll workers, and, apparently, the folks at the L.A. County Registrar's central help desk call center, simply gave up. A complete and total failure of the e-voting system for disabled voters in the nation's largest voting jurisdiction. Again. On a system the county spent millions to buy in order to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) boondoggle by allowing disabled voters to cast their votes independently. Complete and total failure.

I did my best to document the disaster as it happened, in real time, on my Twitter feed. But the cell signal was very bad at the polling place, so not everything got out. But here's what happened in detail, and with a few graphics tossed in...

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

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1000s of votes inexplicably disappear after 'Super-ish Tuesday' election, as county plans expanded use of oft-failed, 100% unverifiable ES&S touch-screen voting systems for upcoming primary run-off…
By Brad Friedman on 6/4/2010 7:35am PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

What's going on in Monroe County, Arkansas?

We've been looking at their May 18 "Super-ish Tuesday" election night numbers on the AR Secretary of State's website (Monroe County doesn't have its own public election results website) since the night of the election, and the posted results can only be described as going from "impossible" on the day after the election, to possible but still entirely inexplicable.

At least six different election officials at both the county and state levels remain unable to tell The BRAD BLOG how any of it could have happened, even though thousands of votes appear to have simply disappeared in the final certified results, and the state is set to hold its primary run-off election next Tuesday...

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

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Company officers facing suit involved in apparent insider sell-off initially exposed by The BRAD BLOG in 2007
Woes continue for once-dominant e-voting vendor whose election systems assets were recently purchased by a Canadian firm with an ominous name...
By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2010 1:52pm PT  

Via Bloomberg...

Diebold Inc., the bank teller-machine maker, was accused of inflating earnings through fraudulent accounting practices from at least 2002 to 2007, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Diebold “regularly manipulated earnings to meet forecasts,” the SEC said in the complaint filed today in federal court in Washington. The agency is seeking an unspecified civil penalty in the case.
...
The case is U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Diebold Inc., 10cv908, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

But wait! There's more...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/18/2010 3:04pm PT  

Reports of votes flipping on the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machines used in Carroll County, Arkansas, have led to a call for removal of the machines. Who could have predicted it?

[Oh, yeah, we did, in our backgrounder on today's election in AR, as based on years of the same exact problem happening, on the same exact machines, over and over again, in election after election, in Arkansas and many other states alike, where officials are still in utter and shameful denial.]

This report is somewhat unique in that it comes from a candidate for County Clerk who has called for the removal of the machines, and is reportedly supported by affidavits from a Circuit Court Judge and one of his employees who both reported their votes flipping from the County Clerk candidate to his opponent during early voting on two separate days...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/17/2010 7:13pm PT  

Tuesday's election are being called "Super Tuesday" by some in the media hoping to hype the four-state Election Day as a bellwether for the "anti-incumbency fever" predicted by the same media for this November.

But beyond the marquee races in each of the states holding elections tomorrow --- Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Oregon (and Hawaii is currently holding an all-mail special election which ends on Saturday) --- as usual, we'll be keeping our eyes on whether voters are actually able to cast their votes, and whether or not those votes are actually counted and counted accurately.

The mix of states holding elections tomorrow also offer a mix of electoral systems --- from a majority of voters using 100% unverifiable touch-screen machines in use in KY and PA, to a compilation of touch-screen and paper ballot systems run by a company with a disastrous reliability record in AR, to the black hole of all mail-in voting in OR (and in HI).

Remember, whatever happens or gets reported (or doesn't) on Tuesday, it's often the case that concerns about failures in the system don't necessarily become immediately apparent on Election Day itself. Sometimes problems in the system and in the tallies do not begin to emerge until days, weeks, and sometimes even months after Election Day. So whatever we see in the surface reports tomorrow, for good or bad (and, as usual, you can count on various reports of "glitches," "hiccups," "snags," and "snafus" which use those words to marginalize problems, instead of the correct word: "failures") may just be the tip of any electoral icebergs beneath the surface. As usual, eternal vigilance by the citizenry is the hallmark of the ongoing fight for electoral integrity and transparency in these United States.

Here then is a general BRAD BLOG backgrounder on each state heading to the polls, its marquee race or races, the electoral systems used in each, and what you can do to help keep an eye out for any election integrity issues as they could emerge...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/10/2010 12:43pm PT  

After all these years, not much has changed for the denialist jurisdictions that still insult their voters by using 100% unverifiable electronic voting machines.

Pittsburgh's WTAE filed a report last week with a ring of exhausting familiarity --- at least to long time readers of The BRAD BLOG. This one stars, as usual, both an open, unsecured door to the warehouse, and an election official --- in this case, Allegheny County Pennsylvania's Election Division manager, Mark Wolosik --- claiming he's "seen" no problems before, so everything is just dandy, nothing to worry about when it comes to his support of the use of 100% unverifiable electronic voting systems by his county's voters...

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

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ALSO: 89 of Cuyahoga County, OH's ES&S precinct-based op-scan systems failed in pre-election testing
UPDATED: Sheriff's office to investigate server attack...
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2010 10:19pm PT  

Just in tonight as tabulation continues in Ohio's primary election today. Via Josh Sweigart at Middletown Journal:

HAMILTON — The Butler County Board of Elections website is under attack from an outside source, according to Board of Elections Director Betty McGary.

Although the "attack" is delaying communication of results on the board of election's website, McGary said it is not having an impact on actual ballot counting.

“We do not think that anyone has hacked into our site, but we have crashed three servers. And in examining those servers, there are two unidentified sites that are deliberately diverting traffic.”

McGary added: “Our servers are under attack, we feel."

The board of elections' information technology department is still working on the issue, she said.

“Our IT is saying this is being done deliberately,” McGary said. “This is definitely something of a concern for us, but the votes are safe.”

Long-time readers of The BRAD BLOG will remember that similar "glitches" affected the 2004 Presidential Election in the Buckeye State when the election night reporting website went down late in the evening, was moved to the "back up servers" of a far Rightwing firm in Chattanooga, TN, before coming back up to show that George W. Bush had taken the lead over John Kerry.

That system was created by Mike Connell, the GOP's IT guru who, in 2008, was subpeonaed for a deposition in a long-standing 2004 election fraud suit, only to die in a mysterious plane crane just weeks after the election, before he could testify in open court. Computer security experts have long charged that the results of Ohio's '04 Presidential election may have been compromised by a so-called "man in the middle" computer attack as the servers changed locations that night.

Similarly, in the hotly contested 2005 Special Election contest between Jean Schmidt (R) and Paul Hackett (D) for Ohio's 2nd Congressional District seat, central tabulator computers went down during late-night counting in Clermont County, only to come back up showing Schmidt with the lead over Hackett.

Whether something similar could be going on tonight in Butler County remains to be seen, but the attacks on the servers certainly seem worth noting here should further information become available over the next few hours, days, or weeks.

[See end of article for an UPDATE on the above story.]

In another part of Ohio, Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) experienced its own predictable failures with its ES&S precinct-based optical-scan vote tabulators during pre-election testing over the weekend. 89 of the county's 1,200 machines (6%) froze up entirely during those tests...

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

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Your opponent, SoS Trey Grayson, overseeing the election, has a disturbing history on the issue of electronic voting systems
Legal action NOW may help to prevent surprises later...
By Brad Friedman on 3/28/2010 1:10pm PT  

Rand Paul, son of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is running for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senator to replace the retiring Sen. Jim Bunning in the state of Kentucky. Paul, who has been endorsed by the likes of Sarah Palin, is running against Republican Party insider, KY Sec. of State Trey Grayson, who has been endorsed by the likes of Dick Cheney. Primary Election Day is set for May 18th.

Grayson's disturbing history of misrepresenting the truth in regard to certification of the state's electronic voting systems should be of great concern to Paul and his supporters, particularly given the state's rich history of confirmed election fraud by election insiders --- which includes tampering with e-voting systems to change voters votes --- and the fact that much of the state still uses electronic voting systems which are 100% unverifiable in any way, shape or form.

Of equal concern are the hand-marked paper ballot systems used in other parts of the state. Those electronic systems are also at risk to both simple, nearly undetectable manipulation by insiders as well as tallying errors, and have been found to feature serious security flaws highlighted in the past by the state's own former Republican AG. Even admissions by one of the voting machine companies, Diebold, that systems in use in the state did not meet certification requirements, were largely dismissed, and all but ignored for years by Grayson, the state's chief election official who will be overseeing his own election against Paul in May...

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