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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, July 30, 2014
'Green News Report' 7/29/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Obama Admin approves sonic cannons for offshore oil exploration; Bizarre weather across U.S.; CO judge nixes fracking ban; PLUS: Neil Young wants your help in the rainforest...
Previous GNRs: 7/24/14 - 7/22/14 - Archives...
'A Kind of Propaganda War'
After U.N. denial, NBC's David Gregory apologized for use of unverified Israeli video claiming to show rockets fired from U.N. refugee shelter in Gaza where at least 15 were killed by Israel last week...
Bi-Partisan House to Obama: Get Out of Iraq
Overwhelming, if largely symbolic vote in the U.S. House, directs the President to pull U.S. troops back out of Iraq. Directive seen as stinging rebuke to GOP war haws in Senate..
'Green News Report' 7/24/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Breaking: Storm ravages VA campground; New rules for explosive oil trains; Big win against Big Oil in small Maine town; PLUS: U.S. and Rush Limbaugh lead world in denial...
Previous GNRs: 7/22/14 - 7/17/14 - Archives...
Israeli Attack on UN Shelter Kills At Least 15 in Gaza
The strategy of bombing children, but warning them first, will almost certainly result in years of peace and prosperity for the region...
The Good Fight Continues: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad speaks with John Wellington Ennis, documentarian and activist, on his newest film and his decade-long fight for election integrity...
What We Do Now
"It took one hour and 57 minutes for the execution to be completed, and Wood was gasping for more than an hour and a half of that time"..."Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died"...
'Green News Report' 7/22/14
Record wildfires in Pacific NW; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Aborted Statewide 'Recount' Reveals It's a Great Time to Steal an Election in California
In the closest election in state history, even a well-funded candidate couldn't afford to find out if he actually lost...
'I Never Realized Voter ID Fraud Had Not Been Proven'
A RW caller's admission to Brad on NC radio underscores unparalleled propaganda power of Fox 'News'...
John Oliver On America's Prison Problems...With Singing Muppets!
HBO's Last Week Tonight offered smarter (and certainly funnier) coverage than you're likely to see anywhere else...
No, JFK Didn't Steal 1960 From Nixon
Another Zombie Myth that just won't die gets knocked down again...for now...even as its persistence continues to fuel false Republican claims of 'voter fraud' even today...
CA Ballot Prop to Overturn 'Citizens United'
Measure calls for Amendment 'to make clear that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only'...
UK Deputy PM Condemns Israel's 'Deliberate Use of Disproportionate Response'
Nick Clegg calls attacks on Gaza 'collective punishment' that 'incubates next generation of extremists' and 'needs to come to an end'...
'Green News Report' 7/17/14
Australia's RW govt repeals landmark carbon tax; Obama action on global warming impacts; Record wildfire season in West; PLUS: CA gets tough on water wasters...
Kochs Radical 'Libertarianism' Broke KA
More than 100 top GOPers endorse Republican Gov. Brownback's Dem opponent after tax cuts for wealthy have busted the extremist Koch Brothers' home state...
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...


Legal Resources Being Gathered by National Party to Challenge Close Elections Where Dems Currently Trail
Other Candidates, Citing Concerns About Voting Machine Failures, Also Refusing to Concede Until All Votes Can Be Verified...
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2006 3:22pm PT  

Just off the phone from a DNC insider --- very much in a position to know --- who says the following races are being considered, as of this afternoon, to still be very much in play by the DNC (* = Incumbent, Results shown latest reported by state websites as available):

NC-8: Larry Kissel (D) 60,016 / Robin Hayes (R)* 60,481
CT-2: Joe Courtney (D) 121,321 / Rob Simmons (R)* 121,151
FL-13: Christine Jennings (D) 118,739 / Vern Buchanan (R) 119,116
NM-1: Patricia A. Madrid (D) 103,376 / Heather Wilson (R)* 104,863
OH-15: Mary Jo Kilroy (D) 98,100 / Deborah Pryce (R)* 101,636
OH-2: Victoria Wulson (D) 112,952 / Jean Schmidt (R)* 115,817

The source believes that all of the above races, each of them currently very, very close, are winnable and the feeling is that they "could easily win three of those six."

In each --- except for CT-2, where Courtney is leading --- the Democratic candidate is currently trailing in the reported results as absentee, provisional, and paper ballots are still be canvassed. As well, challenges and recounts are underway in some of those races (we hope to have more detail shortly here on a couple of those races).

(UPDATE: Several readers have written to ask if other races beyond those mentioned above --- such as the U.S. House race in Washington state's 8th Congressional district between Democrat Darcy Burner and Republican Dave Reichert --- are now off the table as far as the DNC is concerned. The races reported above are the only ones named explicitly to us by the DNC sources. However, two different sources there have confirmed that they are largely driven by the folks on the ground in the states, and would urge that noise be made locally --- and loudly enough that higher-ups might hear it at the DNC --- in order to gain more attention from the national party to other such races still of concern.)

The source also adds that the DNC is considering whether or not to ask for contributions from the public to a legal fund to assure they will have the funds needed to provide full legal resources to thoroughly challenge each of those races.

As well, The BRAD BLOG has also learned the DNC is still keeping their eyes on the Colorado Secretary of State race between Ken Gordon (D) and Mike Coffman (R), given the problems revealed in Colorado's disasterous certification procedures for voting machines prior to the election, and their massive meltdowns on Election Day in Denver and elsewhere which caused thousands of voters to be turned away from the polls due to machine malfunction.

AP is reporting today that Coffman's lead is beginning to look insurmountable, though given the fact that Gordon's numbers in Denver alone outpace Coffman's by some 70 to 30 percent, the fact that Denver voters, specifically, were disenfranchised at such an alarming rate due to equipment failure on Election Day, certainly "exemplifies," as the source put it, the need for Election Reform across the country and the importance of Secretary of State races.

The six U.S. House races named above, of course, are just the federal races that the DNC considers "still in play," but there are innumerable local races and initiatives being challenged around the country, as another DNC source told The BRAD BLOG this morning. As well, there are a number of Congressional races where the candidates have, honorably, refused to concede until every vote is counted and accounted for.

Clint Curtis, the vote-rigging whistleblower who ran against Tom Feeney, the man he claims asked him to create vote-rigging software in 2000 (as The BRAD BLOG originally broke back in 2004 and whose story we've been following closely ever since) has issued a press release this morning saying that he will not concede in the race until every vote is accounted for.

"The right to vote and to have that vote counted accurately is the very foundation of our democracy, and I owe it to the voters in my district and the state of Florida to continue to push for accurate, honest elections," Curtis said in the news release. He points out that as a candidate, he "now has the legal standing to pursue an investigation into the anomalies," which he claims were reported during his race.

"I can accept that the citizens across the state of Florida were out of step with the rest of the country," added Curtis, "as long as we know that this election truly reflects their intent." The Florida Secretary of State's website currently shows Feeney leading Curtis 58 to 42 percent.

In California's 50th Congressional district, Francine Busby (D) has still refused to concede in her race against Brian Bilbray (R) in which she reportedly trails 54 to 43 percent. We applaud Busby's refusal to concede given the outrageously bad administration of the election across the entire San Diego County as overseen by Registrar Mikel Haas, one of the country's worst.

A Zogby poll taken on Election Day (and shortly thereafter) shows an unexplained 6 point disparity with the final results as we reported last week.

As reported earlier today, Haas's resignation was called for on Election Night by San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Jess Durfee after voters were disenfranchised across the county when Diebold touch-screen systems failed to work and not enough paper ballots were made available for voters. Many of those voters ended up voting on Spanish language paper ballots after English ballots had run out by 9am on Election Day; others simply gave up and went home or to work without being able to cast a vote at all.

We echo Durfee's call for Haas to step down immediately. San Diegans deserve honest and accurate elections in which the voters may have confidence in the reported results. Haas has, disgracefully, provided none of the above during his irresponsible tenure.

We originally reported that the Democratic candidate was trailing in the reported results in each of the six DNC-named races. In fact, Democratic candidate Joe Courtney in the CT-2 race is currently ahead in the results as reported so far. We've corrected the original misstatement in the article above. Further, AP is now reporting Courtney as the winner after a final canvassing of the ballots.

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Please Take the Poll...
UPDATE: SD County Democratic Chair Calls for Haas's Resignation and So Do We! There is No Basis for Confidence in the Reported Results of ANY Election in San Diego on November 7th!
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 8:15pm PT  

San Diego's very conservative radio host and fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh, Roger Hedgecock --- who agrees with me nonetheless about Electronic Voting Machines --- wonders if San Diego County's Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas, one of the worst in the country, should resign.

We won't say any more than that, since we'd hate to bias the poll in any way. But rest easy knowing that the results of Hedgecock's unscientific online poll will be at least as reliable and accurate as any election Haas has ever run in San Diego.

Sleepover on your answer before deciding for sure, but either way, please vote in the poll...

UPDATE 1/14/06 1:08pm PT: We hadn't noticed this earlier, but it looks like the San Diego County Democratic Party Chair, Jess Durfee, called for the resignation of Haas on Election Night due to all of the reported problems with machine failures, lack of available paper ballots, etc. On Election Night, the far right-leaning Union-Tribune reported Durfee as saying "his polling place in University Heights was out of paper ballots by 9 a.m., and all the machines in that precinct were down by noon."

Also reported in the same article by the U-T...

Malfunctioning machines, frustrating waits and confusion over electronic voting yesterday cast a pall on polling places from Oceanside to Otay Mesa.

Some left without voting after unusually long waits.

Others said they weren't sure their votes were recorded on the Diebold machines after paper jams prevented them from viewing a voter-verified paper trail.

Many precincts had machines that didn't work at all, at least at the beginning of the day as poll workers struggled to set up in time for the 7 a.m. opening.

We're changing our previous "neutral" stance and calling for Haas's immediate resignation. He's a disgrace, has undermined confidence of the electorate, has made a mockery of the rule of law, and the result is is that elections in San Diego have become a complete joke under his tenure in the county. There is absolutely no basis for confidence in the reported results of any election administered by Mikel Haas on November 7th.

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Unnamed Diebold Spokesliar Says Touch-Screen Vote Flipping 'Not a Problem, Doesn't Exist,' Unnamed Sequoia Spokesliar Says It's a 'Conspiracy Theory from Activists and Bloggers'
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 7:59pm PT  

Despite massive problems with their voting machines all over the country, at least two of the leading voting machine companies, Sequoia and Diebold, are still in extreme denial. But at least they have the "courage" to keep their names off record when talking to the press about it now...Cowards.

Witness the last two grafs of this ComputerWorld story on touch-screen vote-flipping --- the type that was reported all over the country both in Early Voting and on Election Day this year, and certainly in a big way back in '04...

E-voting machines are far more secure, accurate and auditable than the mechanical lever-operated voting machines and other systems they replaced, the [unnamed] spokeswoman [from Sequoia] contended. She called vote-flipping concerns a "conspiracy theory from activists and bloggers."

A spokesman at e-voting equipment vendor Diebold Election Systems also said that e-voting machines don't cause vote flipping. "It's not a problem," he said. "It doesn't exist. This again falls into the 'what if' scenario."

It's not a problem. It doesn't exist. These aren't the droids you're looking for.

So not only are these guys liars, they're now cowards afraid to go on record with their names when spreading their utter bullshit.

By the way, one of those "conspiracy theory activist bloggers" who had the "non-existant" "non-problem" was Marshall Cook, a candidate for city council in Pinellas Park, Florida, last March. He kept trying to vote for himself, but his vote kept flipping to his opponent until he was finally forced to move to a different crappy Sequoia touch-screen voting machine.

As we reported at the time, quoting from that "activist blog" otherwise known as the St. Petersburg Times(!)...

[O]n Election Day...when Cook tried to vote for himself, the machine defaulted to a vote for [his opponent] Taylor. A precinct worker finally moved Cook to a different booth.

Idiots.

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Another 'Snafu' Failure Allowed Election Clerks to Access Results Throughout Election Day...
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 9:35am PT  

From the Ocean City Observer...

TOMS RIVER — All of the electronic voting machines used in the mid-term election in Ocean County will be rechecked Tuesday after a suspected "software glitch" counted 75 votes in both Barnegat and Lakewood for state and county candidates.
...
Although the Sequoia electronic machines were used in 18 of the state's largest counties and in many states across the country Tuesday, Gilmore said the only "glitch" reported to the company he was aware of was the one involving the Lakewood and Barnegat vote totals.
...
But Lakewood Rabbi Yisroel Schenkolewski, a Republican commissioner on the board, wants the version of the software used this year fixed if it is found to be to blame for the double counting of the Barnegat votes.

During the probe that led to the recheck request, he said the Election Board staff found that municipal clerks could have accessed the results before they were processed by the Board of Elections.

"That part scares me more than the first part," he said.

We wonder if he's equally scared --- or has even been made aware by the Sequoia Voting Systems people --- that the Sequoia Advantage touch-screen system his county uses is the same machine shown at the beginning of the HBO Hacking Democracy documentary to be flipping vote after vote from a Republican candidate to a Democratic candidate.

Or if he's concerned that Sequoia's other touch-screen model, the "Edge", gives voters the "edge" by offering the opportunity to vote as many times as they want, over and over again, just by pressing "the yellow button" as The BRAD BLOG revealed during the week prior to the election.

We wonder what else Sequoia has failed to inform the Ocean County Board of Elections about concerning their crappy voting systems.

Barnegat was among five communities with razor thin margins among candidates for local office, but those races were apparently not impacted by the suspected software, according to board members.

Gilmore said he expects recounts in all five communities. In addition to Barnegat they are Tuckerton, Seaside Park, South Toms River, and Lavallette.

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After State Denials, Says It's 'Obviously Something We Need to Look Into, And Very Quickly'
The Ghost of Katherine Harris' Old Seat Continues to Haunt Florida's 13th Congressional District Race...
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2006 3:15pm PT  

After the state's initial denial that there were any problems in Florida's 13th Congressional District U.S. House race, even Jeb is now admitting there may be problems "worth investigating." From AP...

Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday the unusually high number of voters who didn't choose a candidate in a congressional race in Sarasota County was worth investigating, and said the state has "the law in place to do it right."

"This is obviously something we need to look into, and very quickly," Bush said as state elections officials prepared to oversee an expected recount next week in the 13th District race between Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings.

Jennings was behind in the initial count by 373 votes and was pressing for answers about why more than 18,000 voters didn't register a selection in the race, but did make choices in other contests. That rate was much higher than what the district's other counties registered in the same congressional race.

State elections officials planned an audit of the Sarasota County's election system after the recount, which is expected to occur next week.

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Paperless iVotronic Touch-screen Systems Report Unprecedented Voter Turnout in one AR County, Thousands of Undervotes in U.S. House, Attorney General Race in Four FL Counties
Zero Votes Recorded on ES&S System for Mayoral Candidate in Small Town
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2006 8:35am PT  

Orlando Sentinel's coverage on Friday began with these incredible words [emphasis ours]:

Touch-screen-voting machines in at least four Florida counties recorded unusually high percentages of ballots with no votes in Tuesday's election --- a sign that new electronic-ballot machines may not be as foolproof as hoped.

"Not as foolproof as hoped"?!

Just who exactly are the fools they're referring to there?

Electronic voting machines made by ES&S, the largest supplier of voting systems in the country, failed across the country on Election Day. We're beginning to see more and more of the results of the failures from those machines --- as "foolproof," apparently, as the Titanic was "unsinkable."

An unprecedented 83% voter turnout has been reported from ES&S iVotronic paperless touch-screen systems in Benton County, Arkansas, after the Election Commission reviewed it's balloting when it was found that tabulated votes were being dropped from the system as new votes were being entered into it on Tuesday night.

The results: More votes than citizens in several areas of Benton County and an overall turnout described as "eye-popping" by a University of Arkansas political science professor who pointed to Idaho's 63% turnout as having made news for a midterm election record. Idaho's got nothing on Benton County, apparently.

Four different Florida counties are reporting enormous undervote rates on the same type of ES&S iVotronic paperless touch-screen systems in at least one key U.S. House race and in their election for State Attorney General.

And in one small town, ES&S voting machines are reporting zero votes for a mayoral candidate who swears that, yes, he really did vote for himself!

In Arkansas, the Morning News reported on Friday...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2006 3:08pm PT  

Noah at Nero Fiddled brings to our attention this notable point from a story in today's WaPo on the so-called "Religous Right" turnout last Tuesday [emphasis ours]...

James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, issued a statement saying that "many of the Values Voters of '04 simply stayed at home this year" because the Republican Party has "consistently ignored the constituency that put them in power."

In fact, white evangelical Protestants turned out this week as heavily as they did in 2004, making up roughly 24 percent of the electorate both times. "This is a solidly Republican voting bloc that there was reason to believe might stay home. Given the polling before the election, the amazing thing was that the Democratic swing wasn't bigger," said John C. Green, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

"The amazing thing was that the Democratic swing wasn't bigger."

As we move forward with forensic investigations of what happened last Tuesday, examinations of Exit Polling, reviews of fraud reports coming in to VR's $500k Fraud Tip Hotline and more, I believe the posited notion from my ComputerWorld article yesterday --- that Dems "might have taken 40 seats in the House instead of just 30 had they bothered to fight for an accountable, secure, transparent electoral system and instructed their candidates to concede nothing until every vote was counted, verified and audited for accuracy" --- will begin to emerge as a more and more likely case.

Such as it is for the moment, however, I think it's fair to suggest that the only reason things went as well as they did is because of the tireless Election Integrity advocates on the ground across the country this time. The bad guys knew that this time they were being watched, and it would be much harder to get away with anything. I'll associate myself with Ohio's democracy champions, Fitrakis and Wasserman who wrote that last Tuesday was a "monumental victory for the Election Protection movement."

I couldn't concur more whole-heartedly...Even with miles to go before we sleep...

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18,000 Missing Votes in Florida and Other Notable Meltown 2006 Dangling Threads...
PLUS: Velvet Revolution's $500k Reward for Evidence of Fraud!
By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2006 4:45pm PT  

A couple of important points buried fairly deep into my ComputerWorld post-mortem article on the 2006 Electoral Meltdown. So for those too lazy (okay, "busy") to read the whole thing, I'd like to make sure you're aware of a few key points, so far underreported by the corporate mainstream media:

  • Rick Santorum and the Pennsylvania GOP wrote a letter to state officials on Tuesday afternoon demanding touch-screen systems in 27 counties be impounded after reports of votes flipping from Republican to Democrat. I applaud the aggressive, pro-active stance. Even from Santorum. Dems should have done the same long ago with every report of Dem to Rep votes flipping. This is just one of the reasons I mentioned previously that Santorum shouldn't have conceded.
  • The election in the FL-13 U.S. House race continues to be a mess. With just 368 votes separating the two candidates fighting for Katherine Harris's old seat, some 18,000 votes seem to have completely disappeared on the ES&S touch-screen systems.
  • A full ten U.S. House races are still "too close to call;" many of them to come down to attempts to recount votes cast on uncountable electronic voting machines.

Be sure to read my complete, ingeniously crafted CW article, of course, for much more. But I just wanted to make sure you guys were aware of a couple of those above important issues of note as things move foward.

And a reminder...The VelvetRevolution.us Election Strike Force is still offering it's $500,000 reward for evidence of fraud in last Tuesday's election. We were happy to see MoveOn.org join in on Election Day with their own $250k reward as well. Complete details on VR's $500k reward here...

I should also note that VR contributed to the Zogby Exit poll down in the CA-50 Busby/Bilbray race we wrote about earlier today. Between that, other Exit Polls we've done around the country, and the reward fund, we're always happy for your support via donations to the effort if you're able.

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(Will Someone Please Tell the Headline Writers at the New York Times and the Associated Press?)
By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2006 3:27pm PT  

ComputerWorld has just posted the following article of mine in full. Here's the first few (pre-CW-edited) grafs to whet your appetite...

ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE SLAYS NINE!
Terrorizes Florida in Thrill-Kill Rampage

That headline was from a satirical column written by Andy Borowitz and published last Monday, the day before Tuesday's mid-term election.

Unfortunately, given the post-election coverage by some of the nation's leading media --- or at least their headline writers --- it seems that only an event such as a Diebold voting machine becoming "unmoored from the floor and...trampling everyone and everything in its path," as Borowitz wrote, would qualify as anything more than a "glitch," "hiccup," "snag," or "snafu". At least if you gauge the coverage from the headline writers at NYTimes or Associated Press.

"Voting System Worked, With Some Hiccups," declared the AP headline on Wednesday. "Polling Places Report Snags, but Not Chaos," echoed the Times.

"Hiccups"? "Snags"? Try telling it the thousands of voters around the country who were unable to simply cast a vote last Tuesday because new, untested electronic voting machines failed to work. Monumentally. Across the entire country.

"Not Chaos"? Apparently the Times headline writers failed to check with the folks in Denver who were lined up around the block for hours to vote. They didn't even bother to read the the Denver Post, who headlined the problem as a "Voting Nightmare" during the day on Tuesday and quoted voter Lauren Brockman saying "We will not get to vote today," after he had showed up before work to vote at 6:45 a.m. at the Botanic Gardens only to wait in line for an hour before giving up.

They didn't check with Colorado's Gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter, who had to wait almost two hours to vote, or with Sean Kelley, a Denver resident who said to the Post, "I can't believe I'm in the United States of America," before he gave up and went home without voting after waiting three hours in line when electronic machines broke down.

The courts in Colorado refused to allow the city's new consolidated "Election Centers" to remain open for extra hours that night. And yet this was only a mid-term election, with far lower turnout than we can look forward to in 2008.

Similar problems led slighly more responsible officials to order polls to be kept open longer than scheduled in at least eight other states due to voting machine problems. In a NY Times story published the day before (which apparently the headline writers of the previously mentioned piece failed to read), it was reported that in Illinois "hundreds of precincts were kept open...because of late openings at polling places related to machine problems" and in Indiana "voting equipment problems led to extensions of at least 30 minutes, in three counties."

Other states where polls remained open late due to the inability of legally registered voters to vote when they showed up earlier in the day include Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana, and Ohio.

But the list of problems and, yes, meltdowns (not "glitches" "hiccups" "snags" or "snafus") is still pouring in from around the country. My inbox has been beyond readability since polls opened on Tuesday morning, and my ability to keep up had already been near the breaking point in the weeks prior just from similar reported disasters that occured with these failing, flipping, and flimsy new pieces of junk during the Early Voting period in Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, and California, just to name a few.

On Election Day, the Electronic Frontier Foundation had received about 17,000 complaints on their toll-free hotline by 8pm. Common Cause received 14,000 calls by 4 p.m. John Gideon at VotersUnite.org performed the Herculean task of logging as many news reports as he could in a searchable online database of reported election problems that day.

One big fat bullet seems to have been dodged when George Allen conceded in his Virginia Senate race Thursday. Had he chosen not to, America would have found itself smack-dab in the middle of another Florida 2000 crisis with the balance of the entire United States Congress depending on voting machines in a state which offer absolutely no way to recount ballots to achieve any form of accuracy or clarity in the race. The battle of the forensic computer scientists trying to figure out what happened would have been another long national nightmare.

But that didn't happen, so everything's cool...

For the complete story, including other bullets barely dodged this week --- from the Santorum Senate race in Pennsylvania to innumerable U.S. House elections currently uncountable and unrecountable due to the failures of these god-forsaken machines --- and the ravages of an American electoral system in tatters no matter how the headline writers at the major national media and the Voting Machine Apologists are hoping to spin things...see my complete piece just published at ComputerWorld...

(Oh, and find out how that Diebold Voting Machine Killer Rampage in Florida comes out too!)

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Election Attorney Paul Lehto Blames Registrar Mikel Haas's Administration of Election, Refusal to Properly Count Paper Ballots for Discrepancy
Says, 'Abuse of Discretion' Improperly Delayed Count of Paper Ballots, Creates 'Second Class Ballots, Voters'
By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2006 12:43pm PT  

This just in from attorney Paul Lehto concerning the People's Republic of San Diego, where one of the country's most irresponsible Registrar of Voters, Mikel Haas, defied the California Secretary of State by refusing to count paper ballots as "normal ballots" on Election Night.

Lehto says Exit Polling data commissioned from Zogby International shows a '6-Point Distortion' from the "results" as so far announced by Haas's office in the Francine Busby/Brian Bilbray U.S. House election in California's 50th Congressional district.

The complete results of the Zogby polling is available for download here [PDF].

NOTE: Busby (D) has appropriately refused to concede the race against her opponent Bilbray (R) until all votes have been properly counted. As of this moment, the San Diego County Registrar's website shows "100%" of precincts reporting despite thousands of uncounted paper ballots, absentee ballots and provisional ballots. Those "results" show Bilbray leading Busby 53% to 43%.

In fact, however, given Haas's defiance of the California Secretary of State's order to provide an adequate number of paper ballots for all voters who, in California, may vote by paper for any reason if they wish, coupled with his irresonsible --- and likely illegal --- decision to send all of the county's pre-programmed, election-ready, hackable Diebold touch-screen voting systems home on "sleepovers" with pollworkers for a full three weeks prior to the election, it is literally impossible for there to be any confidence in any of the reported "results" as announced for any election this year in San Diego. The county's elections are now officially and wholly corrupted by Haas's abominable and disgraceful election administration, fed by his apparent loathing of voters and democracy.

ALSO NOTE: The VelvetRevolution.us Election Strike Force, of which The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder, contributed to the funding of this Zogby poll. Please consider donating to VR in support of such efforts!

Lehto's press release follows in full...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - NOVEMBER 10, 2006
Contact: Paul Lehto, Esq., 425.422.1387

CA 50 EXIT POLL ESTIMATES 6-POINT DISTORTION ENABLED BY REGISTRAR’S ABUSE OF DISCRETION

Haas’ Decision To Delay Paper Ballot Count
Artificially Inflates Votes For Republican

November 10, 2006 San Diego, CA – Attorney Paul Lehto, a national expert on election integrity, today released the results of an independent Zogby exit poll of voters in the November 7 election in California’s 50th District. The exit poll shows the race much tighter than the results published by the San Diego Registrar of Voters as of the day after the election, six percentage points closer. Moreover, after adjustment for an oversampling of Bilbray voters, the adjusted poll shows Democrat Francine Busby well within the margin of error, making the race uncertain in actual outcome. Paper based votes yet to be counted favor Francine Busby, such as paper ballots obtained at the polls, which constitute 6.4% of all voters and favor Busby 58% to 39%.

The poll also contains important findings about the relationship between different forms of voting and voter demographics, revealing a tendency for Democrats to use paper ballots versus other forms of voting such as electronic machines. In violation of state and federal law, and despite lawsuits filed to stop the process, San Diego Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas delayed the paper ballot count for paper ballots obtained at the polls by fully qualified voters, preferring to have other forms of ballots have been counted preferentially first, attempting to justify this second class service to paper-based voters by stating “this is an electronic election” when in fact the public is legally allowed a choice of either technology.

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

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San Diego 50th U.S. House Candidate Says She Won't Consider Conceding Until All the Votes Are Counted!
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2006 4:00pm PT  

U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray appears to have handily won reelection to the House but his opponent, Francine Busby, said she won't consider conceding the race until all of the votes are counted.

Well, hallelujah! And thank you, Francine. On behalf of every voter in CA-50, San Diego, California and America (if we may be so bold.)

The Voice of San Diego continues...

Despite Busby's statements, CNN and The New York Times called the race in [Brian] Bilbray's favor.

Part of the delay in tallying the votes stems from the countywide deployment of new electronic voting machines for the first time this election. That prompted local Democrats and election watchdog groups to urge voters to request paper ballots.

Busby said that her own ballot was mistakenly counted as provisional after she requested a paper version. Her vote won't be added to the official total until the Registrar of Voters verifies that she's an eligible voter.

The Registrar of Voters in San Diego is Mikel Haas, one of the country's worst, as BRAD BLOG readers likely know well by now.

Voting machines malfunctions at numerous polling locations also forced many voters to manually register their opinions via paper ballots and Busby's campaign claimed that some precincts had reportedly run out of ballots.

In the days leading up to the election, the Registrar of Voters also ran out of absentee ballots and was forced to send out photo copies, which will take days to manually transfer to official ballots by hand.

More interesting details in the article by Daniel Strumpf and Kelly Bennet, both of whom are to be congratulated for their use of the word "appeared" to qualify their reporting of a possible Bilbray win, and letting CNN and New York Times face the ignominy of reporting the results of a race --- marred with so many security, integrity and verification issues --- that neither outlet, nor any human being on the face of the earth, could actually prove to be accurate in any way at this time.

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By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2006 3:19pm PT  

From today's New York Times in an article headlined "Blogs Take Lead in Reporting Polling Problems" by Tom Zeller, Jr.:

Brad Friedman, perhaps the most dogged critic of electronic voting machine technology in the blogosphere, said he saw his site traffic spike at left-leaning Bradblog.com, as reports of machine malfunctions began pouring in from around the country.

"Folks understand by now that I’ll get these stories out so that they’ll get confirmed," Mr. Friedman said.

Well, somebody hadda "take the lead in reporting polling problems," Zeller! ;-)

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By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2006 1:26pm PT  

(Here's a good place to start. Though, NOTE TO CIO Insight: they weren't "glitches," they were failures.)

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UPDATE: And This Afternoon with Chris Duel on KTSA in San Antonio...
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2006 12:17pm PT  

After co-anchoring last night's 9-hour Velvet Revolution Election Strike Force radio marathon spectacular until the wee hours, we were still more than happy to wake up and speak to both Stephanie Miller and then Thom Hartmann this morning...


-- Brad on Stephanie Miller Show, 11/8/06 [MP3, 9 minutes]


-- Brad on Thom Hartmann Program, 11/8/06 [MP3, 8 minutes]

UPDATE 4:57pm PT: And here's another from this afternoon with Chris Duel on KTSA News-Talk 550 AM...


-- Brad on Chris Duel Show, 11/8/06 [MP3, 11 minutes]

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Tester Announced 'Winner' in Montana, But We Say What's the Hurry?
By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2006 10:55am PT  

We'll have much post-mortem to come today, and likely for the next several. Now that the media has announced John Tester (D) the "winner" in Montana, the balance of the Senate all comes down to Virginia. Will it get ugly? We hope so.

For now, here's a far-from-complete list of folks that The BRAD BLOG feels shouldn't concede or shouldn't have conceded, and a few whom we congratulate for announcing they don't plan to do so. More soon on these races specifically and why we feel this:

SHOULDN'T CONCEDE:
George Allen (R-VA) U.S. Senate
Conrad Burns (R-MT) U.S. Senate
Bruce McPherson (R-CA) Secretary of State

SHOULDN'T HAVE CONCEDED:
Jim Talent (R-MO) U.S. Senate
Rick Santorum (R-PA) U.S. Senate
Harold Ford (D-TN) U.S. Senate

ANNOUNCED THEY WON'T BE CONCEDING UNTIL EVERY VOTE IS COUNTED:
Francine Busby (D-CA) U.S. House, CA-50
Bob Fitrakis (G-OH) Governor, Ohio
Clint Curtis (D-FL) U.S. House, FL-24

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