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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, May 5, 2016
How Corp. Media Missed the 'Trump Train' (and Still Ignore Sanders): 'BradCast' 5/4/16
Cruz, Kasich drop after Indiana; Sanders wins, vows to keep going; And Heather Digby Parton joins us to make sense of it all...
MO GOP State Sen. on His Bill to End Touch-Screen Voting: 'BradCast' 5/3/16
State Sen. Bob Onder (R) explains legislation to end 100% unverifiable elections in the Show-Me State and the opposition he faces...
'Green News Report' 5/3/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Ad wars: Clean energy v. fossil fuel indstry; CO kills local fracking bans; Big climate win for kids win WA court; Victories for lions, elephants; PLUS: Kenya's bonfire of the ivories...
Previous GNRs: 4/28/16 - 4/26/16 - Archives...
Lawyers, Guns, and Voting: 'BradCast' 5/2/16
Mass shootings continue; 2016 Presidential election cycle continues; Fight for and against voting rights continue; Obama's final mic drop WH Correspondents Dinner speech...
Sunday Toons of the Hellish Moment
Even Satan is unhappy with the 2016 Presidential Election cycle, as 'PDiddie' demonstrates in his latest collection of the week's best toons...
Sneaky SCOTUS, Sad Establishment, & What The World Says About Trump!: 'BradCast' 4/29/16
Guest hosts Danielle and Shane-o are joined by John Nichols of The Nation!...
AZ Primary Lawsuit Dismissed; 'Disappearing' Votes in DE?: 'BradCast' 4/28/16
Emily Levy on court ruling against Phoenix election complaint; DE State Election Commissioner on 4,000 'lost' Sanders votes...
'Green News Report' 4/28/16
  w/ Brad & Desi
Trump goes nuclear over climate; CNN fossil fuel ads beat climate stories; VW docs reveal test fraud; Mitsubishi cheated fuel tests; PLUS: US city mandates solar for new buildings...
Previous GNRs: 4/26/16 - 4/21/16 - Archives...
Primary Landslides for Trump and Clinton and What's Next: 'BradCast' 4/27/16
Also: 'Serial child molester' Hastert sentenced; Encouraging green news; And listener calls...
Blowback in NC, Calls for Hand-Counts in NY:
'BradCast' 4/26/16
GOP operative turned gay rights activist Fred Karger on GOP anti-LGBT lawss; Why voters should support hand-count of NY Primary...
'Green News Report' 4/26/16
30 years after Chernobyl, efforts to contain it; Record signing of Paris Agreement; World Bank calls for global carbon price; PLUS: Solar plane halfway round world...
Cruz, Kasich Join Forces and Some News That Actually Matters: 'BradCast' 4/25/16
Amanda Marcotte on new GOP 'conspiracy'; Plus: Paris Agreement; Mass shooting weekend; Thinking big...
Sunday Toons of the Moment
An 'unplanned' Pulitzer winner and a whole bunch of other worthy toons from the past week, as collected by 'PDiddie'...
'Gyrocopter Guy' Loses Voting Rights Protesting Elections: 'BradCast' 4/22/16
Guest Doug Hughes will go to jail, has 'no regrets'; Also: Former felons re-enfranchised in VA; NY election official suspended for purge...
Time to Open Our Nomination System to All Voters?: 'BradCast' 4/21/16
John Opdycke on 'Open Primaries'; Also: Prince dead at 57; 'Outrage' over Tubman; Paper ballots return to MD...
'Green News Report' 4/21/16
Criminal charges in Flint; BP victims protest new leases; Mexican oil facility explosion kills 3; U.S. air pollution; PLUS: World leaders to sign Paris Agreement...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Philly Mayor Nutter Says 'No Problems, They Got Me Elected'; PA Gov Rendell Admits He 'Knows Nothing About Them, But They're All Approved by HAVA'
Great Work by Jake Soboroff from Last Night's Dem Debate...
By Brad Friedman on 4/17/2008 1:46pm PT  

The following video comes fresh from our buddy Jake Soboroff of Why Tuesday? He was at last night's Democratic debate and tried to get some answers from some of the local Democratic public officials on hand --- including Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and PA Governor Ed Rendell --- to see if they had any concerns about the e-voting machines to be used in next week's crucial PA Primary.

Kudos to Jake for asking, just one of the so-many questions (if, arguably, one of the most important) that the Corporate Media, such as ABC News, couldn't even be bothered to dream of, apparently.

Despite the fact that, next week, wholly unverifiable, 100% faith-based e-voting systems will be in use across much of the Keystone State --- including, perhaps most notably, Sequoia's AVC Advantage touch-screens in Montgomery and Northhampton counties, even though very same systems failed so spectacularly in neighboring NJ on Super Tuesday (see this recent BRAD BLOG story for the quick skinny on what happened, and continues to be going on with the NJ/Sequoia failed touch-screen imbroglio) --- the election officials interviewed by Soboroff, in the following quick video recorded just last night, remain utterly and completely clueless.

It's simply amazing...


And folks wonder why the job of restoring Election Integrity in this country is so frickin' hard?!

The above video --- including Nutter's comments that there have been "no problems" with the machines, since, after all, they got him elected, and Rendell's admission that he "knows nothing about them", but that they are "all HAVA approved machines" --- underscores how unbelievably difficult this fight is, and how clueless the very folks needed to help make a change actually are, in this entire fine mess.

Suggestion to Soboroff for next vid: Ask any elected official or election official in PA, or anywhere else, if they can prove that even a single vote --- as cast on any touch-screen machine during any actual election --- has ever been recorded and counted accurately as the voter intended. Just evidence of a single such vote will do. They will not be able to do so. None of them.

UPDATE 4/19/08: The good election integrity champions of VotePA touched base with us concerning our above suggestion to Soboroff to point out that there is one way possible to prove that a touch-screen/DRE counted a vote accurately, as per voter intent, during an actual election. An unusual write-in candidate could be cast, and then checked after the election to see if it was recorded accurately. Therefore, we'll slightly modify our currently suggested challenge above, to any election official, asking for proof of any non-write-in vote having been recorded accurately as per voter intent, as ever cast on a DRE/touch-screen voting machine during an actual election. We've made that challenge for quite a while (minus the "non-write-in" part), and we've yet to receive an iota of proof from any election official, even from those who will tell you that their DRE/touch-screens record votes "accurately".

Truth is, they have nothing to prove their case. Not even a single (non-write-in) vote ever cast. Yet they still claim them to be "accurate" without any such scientific evidence of same. Go figure.

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!



By Brad Friedman on 4/16/2008 1:29pm PT  

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune's column today on the awful Sarasota, FL, Supervisor of Elections, Kathy Dent --- and the criminal complaint against her outrageous, unlawful Election Day, in-precinct campaigning against a 2006 ballot initiative to ban touch-screen voting machines in the county (the initiative passed, despite her best efforts, and carefully placed brochures on voter sign-in tables!) --- is so good that I don't want to quote from it.

I want you to read it.

As the Herald-Trib describes, as revealed in Dent's interview conducted by the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement, concerning her inappropriate (and illegal) placement of pro-touch-screen brochures in polling places, Dent admits she was aware of a voter's complaint about it, but ignored it "because she had assumed it was from 'one of the activists' that had been criticizing her and her machines."

The FDLE report on the matter, including their interview with the apparently-pathological Ms. Dent, as referenced in the column as "good reading", may be downloaded here [PDF, 16mb].

Dent, of course, is the woman who also presided over the FL-13 U.S. Congressional election that same year, when 18,000 votes disappeared in her county only, and only on her precious, now-banned, ES&S Ivotronic touch-screen machines, as the Republican Vern Buchanan reportedly edged out Democrat Christine Jennings by just 369 votes.

If the linked column doesn't give you enough of an idea of what a horrible, anti-democracy villain Dent really is, perhaps the following lovely, 30-second phone message --- left on the voice mail of Tallahassee' Election Supervisor (and democracy hero), Ion Sancho, moments after he appeared on a Fort Myers radio show, heard in Sarasota, in which he was asked about, and praised, the Sarasota citizen ballot initiative to do away with the touch-screens --- will give you some idea:

Sancho adds that Dent was also scheduled to appear on the same program, but begged off, likely after she'd heard that he would also be a guest. Though when he got off the air and checked his cell phone messages, he found she'd called immediately after the program. So she was apparently available to listen to it, at least, even if she didn't have the courage to come on and defend her views.

We hope to have more soon on Dent and this case --- for which she's (incredibly) been exonorated by the FDLE --- in the not-too-distant future.

CORRECTION/UPDATE: We originally characterized the phone call from Dent to Sancho, posted above, as being in regard to the FL-13 election fiasco. In fact, Dent's call to Sancho was made prior to the '06 Election, in reference to his radio interview comments on the Election Reform initiative, as now explained above. We touched base with Sancho just now, and he had some additional thoughts about Dent and her inappropriate campaign to defeat the initiative in question. Said Sancho: "This woman knowingly campaigned against an initiative on the ballot. If she wanted to do that, at a minimum, she should have formed a political action committee to do so. Supervisors of Elections don't give up their right to free speech, but they have to follow the law, particularly if they wish to influence anything on the ballot."

Prices now slashed in The BRAD BLOG's Fund Drive! Please support our continuing coverage of your election system, as found nowhere else. Click here for a number of cool new collector's edition Premium products now available starting at just $5!



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


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

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

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

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

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




The State Misleads, Some Counties Change Their Mind, as Sequoia Officials Remain Willing to Say or Do Anything Necessary to Deceive the Public in Hopes of Saving Their Company...
By Brad Friedman on 4/15/2008 12:02pm PT  

-- By Brad Friedman and John Gideon

New Jersey's Department of State, which at the beginning of this month took over all state-wide election duties from the state Attorney General's office, may be celebrating its new duties by sipping down a few glasses of Sequoia Voting Systems-flavored kool-aid in regards to the continuing saga of the Sequoia AVC Advantage touch-screen voting systems which failed during, and after, the state's Super Tuesday primary.

In a press release issued late last week --- which Sequoia was all too happy to selectively feature on its website --- the NJ Dept. of State made a couple of curious, and indeed misleading, announcements. Among them:

We want to stress there is no Court Order requiring any county to release voting machines to the plaintiffs in the Gusciora case.

That, despite the finding of a NJ judge last Tuesday declaring that failed voting machines in some six different counties were to be subpoenaed by plaintiffs and subjected to mandatory independent review in order to determine the reason why at least sixty machines reported voter totals on their end-of-day paper tapes which disagreed with the internal numbers reported by the machines.

After the judge's order last week, Sequoia quickly moved to try and quash the subpeonas [PDF, 82 pages], despite the fact that they are not actually a party to the long-running court battle between the state of NJ and citizen plaintiffs suing them in hopes of getting rid of the touch-screen systems altogether (or, in lieu of that, have paper-trail printers added to them).

As Pennsylvania prepares to use the very same flawed Sequoia AVC Advantage voting machines in next week's crucial primary, we've tried to sort out what is --- and isn't --- going on in this New Jersey mess. We've also tried to determine who is reading the disputed paper tapes correctly, since a Princeton scientist seems to read them one way, while the SoS office and two of the NJ counties (which had originally read them as the Princeton Prof did) have suddenly decided to read them another way.

What we can tell you indisputably, however, is that if it's debatable as to what those paper tapes actually say, then those voting systems are in violation of the federal law which mandates "a permanent paper record with a manual audit capacity" that "shall be available as an official record." If there's a question about what the "paper record" from each machine actually says, than it certainly can't be used as an "official record" for auditing purposes.

To sort out the mess, we've touched base with the plaintiff's attorney in the case, as well as with the NJ SoS. Sequoia's spokesperson, VP and part-owner (for the moment) Michelle Shafer, on the other hand, doesn't seem to want to talk to us anymore for some reason...

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




Local Media Outlet Finally Reports on the Stunning Allegations in William Singer's Whistleblower Suit, Local Election Officials Respond With the Same Old, Disingenous, Long-Ago Debunked Nonsense...
By Brad Friedman on 4/13/2008 7:22pm PT  

In Aurora, Illinois, today, Beacon News' Dan Campana files a very good report on the federal fraud suit filed against Austin, Texas, based voting machine company Hart InterCivic. The suit, alleging dozens of false claims and fraudulent activities by Hart in order to receive federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) money, was filed originally by former employee turned whistleblower William Singer back in 2006, but did not become unsealed until March 27th, when The BRAD BLOG covered it, along with posting the full stunning complaint [PDF].

Beacon News is based in Kane County, IL, which uses the faulty Hart voting systems in question.

Campana's report today --- which quotes yours truly in a number of places --- is the only corporate media coverage of the lawsuit in the nearly three weeks since the case was finally unsealed. Until now, there's been the fairly extensive coverage found on this blog, an item on the same day the case was unsealed filed by Kim Zetter at WIRED's "Threat Level" blog (which we replied to here), and a very short squib from AP on the same day, which, according to a quick Google News search, was carried by only a single news outlet, CBS 4 in Denver.

(For the record, our extensively detailed and sourced report on Hart's attempted takeover of Sequoia late last week has been picked up by nobody, other than ComputerWorld where we, ourselves, filed a short summary report. That, despite officials from both Hart and Sequoia having confirmed the accuracy of our report, and the fact that Hart, which controls some 8% of the voting market in this country, is about to swallow up Sequoia Voting Systems, which controls 20% of it, to become the nation's second largest e-voting machine vendor. We'll know by Tuesday at the latest, most likely, if Sequoia was able to save itself from Hart's hostile takeover.)

So with a dearth of coverage anywhere but here, we can heartily recommend Campana's report on Singer's suit. His article includes comments from us (as mentioned), one of Singer's attorneys, Hart spokesperson Peter Lichtenheld (who shamelessly plays the tired old "conspiracy theory" card), some Election Integrity advocates from the non-partisan Illinois Ballot Integrity Project, and some state and local Kane County election officials who have deluded themselves into believing their Hart machines are safe for use in American democracy.

When Campana interviewed us for his story, we suggested he ask any of the election officials he planned to interview for a single piece of evidence to prove that any single vote, ever cast during an election on a Hart DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voting machine in the county, has ever been recorded accurately, as intended by a voter.

Though Campana references our challenge in his report ("Friedman contends no government officials can prove the votes cast on electronic machines can be accurately linked to tallies",) he doesn't quote any of the officials as being able to offer such evidence. Little surprise, because they can't produce such evidence. It's strictly impossible. Yet they continue to use these machines anyway.

But he does manage to get a few amusing and wholly unsupportable statements from some of those deluded officials. We're delighted to spend our Sunday dismantling them --- both the statements, and the officials...

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




Systems Made by Diebold, Sequoia and Hart InterCivic Are 'Still Going to Have Same Viral Vulnerabilities Found' During California's 2007 Study...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2008 3:29pm PT  

A bunch of world-class computer scientists testified publicly this week that "U.S. Presidential Election Can Be Hacked".

As stunning as that sounds, there's nothing new here necessarily to readers of The BRAD BLOG, other than the fact that outlets like the IDG News Service and PCWorld are reporting it --- out loud --- and that the computer scientist community, specifically those who have been studying these systems, are now out and out saying it --- in public...and out loud.

"The three systems we looked at are three of the most widely used around the nation," warned professor David Wagner of the University of California, "They're going to be using them in the 2008 elections; they're still going to have the same vulnerabilities we found."

Wagner was speaking about e-voting system made by Diebold, Sequoia Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic which he examined during CA Sec. of State Debra Bowen's independent "Top to Bottom" review last year. He "and his team found that they could introduce a computer virus to any of the three systems, which would then spread throughout the county and ultimately skew the vote count," the IDG News Service reports.

While our readers may be familiar with the above, our friend "DHinMI" and his fellow misinformed DailyKos front pagers may want to give this short article a quick look sometime soon. Particularly the part about paper ballots, and that simply having them is not enough...if nobody bothers to actually count them.

Here's the key grafs from the article...Along with a special clip for the dangerously misinformed/misleading dKos boys and girls...

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




Has Given Story to 60 Minutes, Dan Abrams, LA Times, WaPo...All Have Failed to Report His Allegations While Covering Other Aspects of His Story...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2008 11:17am PT  

Still paging Dan Abrams...

The following email comes from Mark Crispin Miller, NYU media professor, and author of the landmark election integrity book, FOOLED AGAIN.

It includes an email exchange from yesterday with the finally-free-on-bond former Democratic Governor of Alabama Don Siegelman, concerning his allegations that his 2002 election was electronically flipped. (A rarely seen video interview, featuring Siegelman in 2004 discussing details of what he believes happened, is at posted at end of this article.)

Yesterday I emailed Don Siegelman, as I had a few matters to discuss with him.

Here's the crucial part:

At 12:12 AM -0400 4/9/08, Mark Crispin Miller wrote:

The other, more important thing is this: As you may or may not know, the one aspect of your long ordeal that the press has stubbornly refused to mention--or, I think, even to perceive--is the theft of that election in 2002. Like you, I believe that that was crucial; but the press, quite typically, won't mention it. Frankly, I believe that they, and most leading Democrats, are in denial about it, as its implications are too frightening. Just as they've looked away from all the evidence of vast election fraud throughout Bush/Cheney's reign, therefore, they've also looked away from the subversion of that gubernatorial race in Alabama. And so that chapter of your story is unknown to most Americans, even those who've lately heard the rest of it.

Here is his reply:

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




Desperate to Stop the Deal, Sequoia's Owners Frantically Seek Funding, Legal Options, All of Which Have so Far Failed Enough to Lead the Judge Working on the Case to Regard One Such Legal Argument as a 'Conspiracy Theory'
Merger of Two Companies Would Likely Create New E-Voting Powerhouse, Face Federal Scrutiny, Come as Surprise to Sequoia's Current Clients...
By Brad Friedman on 4/10/2008 12:55pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman

As if Sequoia Voting Systems doesn't have enough trouble already, the company now needs some $2 million dollars in cash...quickly. Without it, it is likely to be subsumed by one of its nearest competitors, Hart InterCivic of Austin, TX, as soon as next Tuesday, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

In what could well be a major shift on the American election industry landscape --- and certainly on elections themselves in dozens of states across the country --- voting machine company Hart InterCivic informed the current owners of the beleaguered Sequoia of their intention to acquire ownership of the company in a move which could take effect as early as next week.

The attempted hostile takeover --- which, we've learned, has been quietly in the works behind the scenes since mid-February --- has set off a building panic among the senior management and owners at Sequoia, whose money woes had already led them to schedule a shut-down of their Oakland headquarters. That shop is to close within a matter of months, as the operations for the company are to be consolidated at its Denver offices.

The takeover by Hart is made possible in the wake of a deal made by Sequoia's current owners, SVS Holdings, Inc., with its former owners, the off-shore consortium Smartmatic. Smartmatic was forced to give up control of the company after the media and Congress noticed in 2006 that the company had ties to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. The officers and owners of SVS are comprised largely of previous Sequoia officials who took over the company after Smartmatic's failed attempt to find an outside buyer in 2006. The deal resulted in an agreement between SVS and Smartmatic for the latter to hold a $2 million note from the purchase. Smartmatic now appears ready to sell that note to Hart as part of a $16 million dollar deal which SVS has a contractual right to match within a 60-day period, ending on April 15th.

Sequoia is believed by election experts to be this country's third largest voting machine company, followed by Hart. The combined operation, should the takeover be completed, could well create a new powerhouse in the industry, displacing #2 Diebold/Premier, and coming up just behind the country's currently largest election vendor, ES&S.

Court documents obtained by The BRAD BLOG reveal that Hart notified SVS of its intention to purchase the $2 million note held by Smartmatic on February 15th, giving the group of owners and share holders of SVS --- including CEO and President Jack Blaine, and VPs Michelle Shafer and Edwin Smith (whose names BRAD BLOG readers may recognize) --- just 60 days to match the offer Hart had given to Smartmatic. As the deadline nears, Due Dilligence processes have begun, and are near the final phases of completion at Sequoia...whether company management likes it or not.

Hart's move has sent Sequoia/SVS executives into a legal and financial tizzy and --- perhaps taking a page from Hillary Clinton's campaign book --- the company seems to be throwing the legal kitchen sink at both Hart and Smartmatic in an attempt to nullify Hart's offer. Court documents reveal arguments that Hart's is not a "bona fide" offer that SVS is legally required to match. So far, however, those legal maneuvers, reflected by a dizzying array of motions and cross-motions, suits and counter-suits --- completely unreported by anyone in the media until now --- have all been summarily and soundly rejected by the Delaware magistrate adjudicating the matter.

Every legal effort by Sequoia and SVS to dispatch with the hostile takeover attempt has failed miserably so far, leading Vice Chancellor Stephen P. Lamb of the Court of Chancery in Delaware to even describe one such legal theory of SVS' as...(big irony alert!)...a "conspiracy theory"!

But while Sequoia faces a plethora of legal liabilities concerning their oft-failed voting systems, Hart InterCivic faces its own share of challenges with a pending --- and damning --- federal fraud/qui tam suit against the company, as unsealed late last month. Moreover, Hart's acquisition plan could face scrutiny from members of Congress and Treasury Department officials, as well as states across the country who thought they had turned over control of their elections to Sequoia, only to soon learn there will be a new owner, not of their choosing, of the secret software and devices which determine the results of their public elections.

While litigation over claims of fraud and failure in both company's voting systems await, so does at least one major prize to the victor of this grudge match: New York state's soon-to-be-completed $100 million deal with Sequoia...or maybe now with Hart...or...whoever...

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




Does Anybody Care? Will the EAC or DoJ - or Even State Officials - Take Action Before the November General Election?
Error Rates Found to be MORE THAN 40 THOUSAND PERCENT HIGHER Than Allowed by Law...
By Ellen Theisen on 4/10/2008 7:04am PT  

Guest blogged by Ellen Theisen, VotersUnite.Org

Over two years ago, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against New York State to force the state to comply with the federal requirement to equip every polling place with voting systems that are accessible to people with disabilities, as mandated by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).

Meanwhile, the DoJ has taken no action at all to stop any state from using voting equipment that has been proven to violate HAVA’s requirement for accurate vote-counting.

While it's important for every citizen, disabled or not, to be able to vote privately, a private vote is meaningless if that vote is not counted accurately. Despite the equal weight HAVA gave to both important mandates, the federal requirement for accurate vote-counting is being wholly ignored by the states, and even the federal government.

Two recent incidents which have been making headlines --- in New Jersey and Ohio --- illustrate clear, undeniable violations of the federal accuracy requirement. They are impossible to deny or ignore. For the moment, however, federal officials are doing exactly that...

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




Judge Orders Mandatory Testing of Machines After Company Previously Threatened Legal Action Against Princeton Professors if They Dared To Examine Machines...
By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2008 4:21pm PT  

Just out from the NJ Star-Ledger...

Subpoenas were issued in six New Jersey counties today, demanding that officials turn over for testing all voting machines where discrepancies were found in the presidential primary tallies.

Election officials in Bergen, Gloucester, Mercer, Middlesex, Ocean and Union counties were instructed to turn over the machines by April 15. Activists trying to persuade Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg that electronic voting machines should be discarded succeeded in convincing her that examining these counties' machines is critical to their case.

"In order to succeed in our case and show Sequoia machines are insecure and can be hacked into, we need to look at these machines," Venetis argued. Clerks in the six counties uncovered discrepancies in 60 machines when they doubled check the vote tallies after the Feb. 5 presidential primary.

Michelle Shafer, a spokeswoman for Sequoia in California, said her company would try to have the subpoenas quashed. But no motions were filed today with Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg, who is presiding over the case in Trenton.

In the meantime, we repeat our background detail on this amazing (and sometimes hilarious) story in full below, as we ran it this weekend when one of the Princeton professors threatened by Sequoia found the failures in NJ were even worse than previously thought.

Please note: The same failed Sequoia AVC Advantage touch-screens are scheduled for use in Pennsylvania in the important upcoming Democratic Primary!...

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




Vote Totals from Memory Cards in Butler County Not Tallied by Central Tabulator, Despite System Reporting Otherwise
Letter to Company from County Officials Also Reveals New Admission Concerning Another Potential Serious Problem for November...
By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2008 3:00pm PT  

A failure in Diebold touch-screen voting systems in Butler County, OH resulted in votes not being included properly in Election Night results, even though the system had reported that all votes were uploaded and recorded correctly. Once the error was discovered, a subsequent upload of all of the county's 1599 touch-screen memory cards to the Diebold central election tabulator after the election, also resulted in the failure to record the results of one of the memory cards, despite the system having reported that all results were "uploaded properly."

The failure of Diebold's widely-used AccuVote TSx machines during the state's March 4th primary election resulted in the initial loss of at least 150 votes, and has prompted a letter of concern to the company (posted in full at the end of this article) from Butler County's Election Director, Betty L. McGary and Deputy Director, Lynn Edward Kinkaid.

In the letter to David Byrd, President of Diebold's recently-renamed election division, "Premier Election Solutions," the officials point out that two different memory cards failed to upload vote tallies to the central tabulator.

"It may appear that every vote has been counted when cards indicate they are being properly uploaded, when in fact votes cast on a memory card(s) are not tabulated in the results," the officials wrote after having discovered the matter. "It is unimaginable how serious this situation could have been should the problem be undetected, or ignored," they concluded.

The letter also details yet another previously-unknown problem with Diebold's central tabulator --- one that could well-effect this November's general election --- as revealed to the officials by a company employee during the initial trouble-shooting of the problem.

Despite recent urgings from the Ohio Secretary of State, Diebold AccuVote TSx voting machines are still used as the primary voting system in 44 of Ohio's 88 counties, and are also widely in states across the rest of the country. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that officials "don’t yet know whether the same glitch may have affected results from previous elections in Butler County or elsewhere." ...

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




The American Prospect's Investigation Into The GOP 'Myth Of Voter Fraud To Purge The [Voter] Rolls Of Non-Republicans'
ALSO: The DoJ's John 'Minorities Die First' Tanner Has Found a New Job...
By Alan Breslauer on 4/5/2008 3:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Art Levine at The American Prospect has a new must read piece titled, “The Republican War on Voting: Using the Department of Justice, friendly governors, and its usual propaganda outlets, the GOP has propagated the myth of voter fraud to purge the rolls of non-Republicans.” Here's a small taste of it...

"Sharrard's cautionary tone was a response to the Republican Party's ongoing nationwide campaign to suppress the low-income minority vote by propagating the myth of voter fraud. Using various tactics --- including media smears, bogus lawsuits, restrictive new voting laws and policies, and flimsy prosecutions --- Republican operatives, election officials, and the GOP-controlled Justice Department have limited voting access and gone after voter-registration groups such as ACORN..."

"Unfortunately, progressives have tended to pay more attention to Election Day dirty tricks and to electronic voting machines than to a more systemic threat: the Republican campaign to suppress the votes of low-income, young, and minority voters through restrictive legislation and rulings, all based on the mythic specter of voter fraud..."

"Unfortunately, the public hasn't heard just how nonexistent the voter fraud epidemic actually is. While progressives have successfully challenged some of the most restrictive laws in court, they're still playing catch-up when it comes to combating the glib sound bites of voter-fraud alarmists. Republicans and the Bush Justice Department have cloaked their schemes under such noble-sounding concepts as "ballot integrity." The GOP's vote-suppression playbook features everything from phony lawsuits to questionable investigations to authoritative-seeming reports, all with the aim of promoting restrictive laws."

Levine also draws quite a bit (and links to some) of The BRAD BLOG's years-long exposé coverage of high-ranking Republican vote-suppression cappo Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and his GOP front-group "American Center for Voting Rights" elsewhere in his detailed report.

In related news, John Tanner, the man in charge of the Justice Department's efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters until he was forced to resign after The BRAD BLOG captured and exposed him making crazy offensive comments on video (see below), has a new job, apparently. Tanner is reportedly now a fellow with the Alabama Law Institute - which provides the Legislature with legal expertise in drafting and revising laws.

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




New Findings Directly Contradict Company Explanation, Excuse...
By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2008 1:33pm PT  

Princeton computer science professor and now-well known academic hacker of e-voting systems, Ed Felten, reports on his blog...

This week we obtained six new summary tapes, from machines in Bergen and Gloucester counties. Two of these new tapes contradict Sequoia’s explanation and show more serious discrepancies that we saw before.

His article offers the details of the latest findings, but for the disturbing --- and too-often hilarious --- background on this incredible continuing scandal...

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




Along With Some Very Kind Words About The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 4/4/2008 10:43am PT  

Sitting in this week for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, David Bender joins Ring of Fire co-host/attorney Mike Papantonio to discuss, in the first five minutes of the show, the finally-unsealed qui tam fraud suit brought by Pap and RFK Jr's law firms against voting machine company Hart InterCivic, on behalf of former employee/computer technician turned whistleblower William Singer.

In the following clip, which will air this weekend on Air America's Ring of Fire program, both Bender and Pap offer exceedingly kind words for The BRAD BLOG and yours truly. (Thank you kindly, gents.)

We had originally broken Singer's remarkable story back in 2006. Our conversations shortly thereafter with Kennedy, and then with Papantonio's lawfirm, led to the filing of the suit, alleging a host of improprieties and criminally fraudulent behavior by the voting machine company as they dummied up voting machines during sales presentations, and concealed known failures, such as the possibilities of lost and miscounted votes, in their systems.

Pap also notes, during discussion of the case, that the nearly-two years it had to stay sealed by law --- while the DoJ ate up time in deciding whether or not to join the case --- is unusual in and of itself. Normally, in such qui tam cases, the DoJ is given just 60 days to decide whether or not to join with the whistleblower on behalf of the United States. Pap also goes on to note what may, or may not, be a coincidence: the US Attorney in CO, where the suit was filed, was removed shortly after this case was brought in his district, but before the decision was ultimately made by the DoJ not to join the suit...For now...


UPDATE: Here is an audio version of the first five minutes of the show, for those who had problems using the video player above...




Company Employee Performance Review, Included in Complaint Itself, Dispels Assertion Made by Company Spokesperson
Other Replies from Defendant Similarly Debunked by Documents Obtained by The BRAD BLOG...
By Brad Friedman on 3/31/2008 4:28pm PT  

-- By Brad Friedman

In a statement given to the media last week, in response to a federal fraud/false claims act qui tam suit finally unsealed last week, a representative from the defendant, voting machine company, Hart InterCivic, alleged the suit's whistleblower, William Singer, was a "disgruntled employee."

Employee "Performance Evaluation" records written by company management, included in the complaint itself, however, would seem to strongly contradict the claims of company spokesperson Pete Lichtenheld, as given to a reporter last week.

Additional claims by Lichtenheld, as reported by Kim Zetter at Wired's Threat Level blog on Thursday, are also dispelled by a document from the U.S. Dept. of Justice, obtained by The BRAD BLOG. The DoJ, after requesting and receiving extensions for two years, has finally decided against joining the federal qui tam suit, for the time being, allowing it to become unsealed last week, so that it may now move forward in federal district court.

The lawsuit, posted in full by The BRAD BLOG after it became unsealed last Thursday, details an extraordinary list of fraudulent behavior by Hart InterCivic, as related by one-time employee Singer, who alleges the company deceived Election Officials in Texas, Ohio, Colorado, and elsewhere in hopes of receiving federal monies as distributed via the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Allegations made in the suit include stunning revelations that Hart failed to test its products properly, and frequently at all, withheld information from prospective clients about the potential loss of votes in its voting systems, dummied-up machines, reports, and test results presented to clients in sales presentations, and much more in an attempt to win state and county contracts.

Much of the response to the suit by company spokesperson Lichtenheld, however, is easily dismissed upon examination of the evidence so far available in the case...

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




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