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


Just 45% of Voters 'Very Confident' Bush Won Election Fair and Square
By Michael Collins on 9/27/2006 9:20am PT  

Guest blogged by Michael Collins

Part Two of a Two-Part Series (Part One published here, blogged here)

Based on an article published by "SCOOP" Independent News
Washington, DC

At their lowest points of popularity, do you recall anyone who claimed that Presidents Carter and Nixon stole their elections or that they didn’t win fair and square? Did any analysts or activist groups claim massive election fraud in the elections that brought these ultimately very unpopular presidents to office?

How confident are you that George Bush really won the 2004 presidential election? If you are a typical American voter and you have doubts, how did those doubts arise? A mid-August Zogby Poll of 1018 likely voters answered the first of these two very important questions. (The author was a contributing sponsor for the survey.)

How confident are you that George W. Bush really won the 2004 presidential election?
Very confident that Bush won fair and square 45.2%
Somewhat confident that Bush won fair and square 20.0
Not at all confident that he won fair and square 32.4
Other/not sure 2.4

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

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Rudimentary Site 'Paid for by Tom Feeney' Offers Extraordinary Claims, Smears, Doctored Photos of Congressional Opponent, Vote-Rigging Whistleblower, But No Evidence to Back Up Claims
Smear Blogsite Gives No Indication if it's Paid for by Feeney or Not (In Violation of FEC Rules?)
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2006 3:33pm PT  

The campaign of one of Congress' most corrupt members, Tom Feeney (R-FL), has apparently enlisted fifth graders to create a smear website (www.CrazyClintCurtis.com) dedicated to smearing Feeney's congressional opponent Clint Curtis with doctored photos, innuendo and unsubstantiated, disproven claims.

The rudimentary site (okay, it's not created by fifth graders, it just looks, works and acts that way) includes doctored photos and videos of Curtis, and a smear blog to go with it. Though the main "Crazy Clint Curtis" website indicates that it's "Paid for by Tom Feeney," the blog itself that it links to --- accessible via CrazyClintCurtisBlog.blogspot.com --- has no indication of who it's paid for. If that blog site is created and/or run by a paid member of Feeney's campaign staff or uses it's vast resources (Feeney has reportedly spent the better part of $1 million for this brilliant smear campaign,) it would seem that Feeney is in violation of FEC campaign laws which require a "Paid for by Tom Feeney" notation somewhere on the blog.

Curtis' own website also includes a link to a blog, but as far as we know, it is maintained by a private unpaid individual.

Feeney has reportedly spent somewhere near $700k on his admitted smear campaign so far.

The good news is that those with a free blogger.com registration are allowed to post comments to Feeney's smear blog in reply to the Congressman's silliness! At least as of now. So feel free to give them regards from The BRAD BLOG and let them know where individuals concerned about things such as clean elections, clean officials, clean government contracts, congressmen who take trips from foreign-agents and Jack Abramoff, and who work with companies involved with convicted Chinese spies, can get grown-up information on the Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney story if they are interested.

Curtis has made claims concerning Feeney's involvement as registered lobbyist and general counsel for a Florida software firm that has now been shown to have harbored and petioned for an illegal Chinese alien (who later pled guilty to charges related to sending Hellfire anti-tank missile chips to Communist China) and overbilled the state of Florida by hundreds of thousands of dollars. He has also alleged that Feeney asked the company, in a meeting at which Curtis was present, to create vote-rigging software when they both worked for the firm. Curtis' claims have been made to Florida and Federal officials, as well as in a sworn affidavit and video-taped sworn testimony to members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

As well, he has passed a lie-detector test in regard to the claim. So far, Feeney has refused to take such a test, or to debate Curtis face to face despite challenges from the Curtis campaign to do either. Feeney still refuses, as recently as this Tampa Bay Scene cover story published last Thursday, to answer directly to any of the allegations (most of them proven through independent government documents and investigations) that Curtis has made in regard to Feeney.

For his part, Feeney has either refused to discuss the matter, or otherwise claimed he's had nothing to do with the YEI firm since leaving them to go to Congress in 2002. That, even while Feeney's campaign headquarters remains in the YEI building, the owners of the company continue to be amongst his top financial supporters, and even hosted a party for him in 2003 (with undoctored photos)...

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

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Computer Programmer-Turned-Congressional Challenger's Accusations Reported in Detail, Including New Points in the Mysterious Death of Case Investigator Raymond Lemme
Feeney's Camp Refuses to Answer Allegations or Take Lie Detector Test, But Manages to Smear Curtis Anyway...
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2006 11:56am PT  

Bill Stone of the Tampa Bay Scene writes a devasting and detailed cover story in this week's issue, on the allegations of computer programmer Clint Curtis that Congressman Tom Feeney (R-FL) asked him to create vote-rigging software when they both worked for the same firm in Oviedo, Florida back in 2000.

-- PDF version of the article here: Tampa Bay Scene's posted version is in the PDF of the entire issue of this week's paper.
-- Plain HTML version of the article here: They've given us the go ahead to post an HTML version of the piece in full.
(NOTE: Some graphic photos are included with the article!)

Stone's report covers much of the ground we've detailed extensively at BRAD BLOG over the past two years since we first broke the story in December of 2004. Nonetheless, he brings a great deal of that reporting together in one easy-to-read article, and also brings us up to date on the latest shenanigans of Feeney, who finds himself facing Curtis this year, mano-a-mano, in the election for the U.S. House in Florida's 24th Congressional district.

Hardcore readers of The BRAD BLOG will be familiar with much of the story. Indeed, Stone credits us with a great deal of his sourcing, as we spoke to him for several hours at length during our recent summer travels around the country. His article, however, includes new details to chew on.

In particular, Stone hits on a fresh point or two in regard to the death of Raymond Lemme, the investigator from the Florida Inspector General's office --- the first official that Curtis had informed of his allegations against Feeney.

As well, Feeney's camp now has a new slur word they're shamelessly attempting --- without evidence, as usual --- to use to smear Curtis...

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

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'We Must Restrict Access to the Buttons' Says Diebold as They Allow Faulty, Hackable Machines to be Used Everywhere in the Country this November!
Company Refuses to Supply Latest Machine for Testing to Either Princeton OR the US Elections Assistance Commission - Good Thing They Don't Actually Make Nuclear Missiles!
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2006 1:23pm PT  

In addition to The New York Times' article in Sunday editions today headlined "Officials Wary of Electronic Voting Machines" (we covered that report yesterday), the Times had another piece, buried in the Business Section of Saturday's edition headlined "The Big Gamble on Electronic Voting."

Other than still referring to the machine used in the Princeton Report --- which showed a Diebold touch-screen system could be hacked with an undetectable vote-flipping virus in a minute's time, which could then spread itself to every machine in the system --- as coming from a mysterious "third party", it is a very good article which I highly recommend.

(For the record, I told everyone where the machine came from --- VelvetRevolution.us was given the machine by a source of mine --- when I broke the story originally both here, and at Salon. Not sure why AP, WaPo, NYTimes et al has such trouble figuring it out. Guess they don't use Google.)

Randall Stross' Times piece is very smart. It includes his efforts to press Diebold as to why they won't supply the latest and greatest touch-screen machine to Princeton to test. Since Diebold claimed in their silly, disingenuous reply to the Princeton Report that the Diebold AccuVote model used in the testing was "two generations old" and "to our knowledge, is not used anywhere in the country," one would think Diebold would be more than happy to supply their newest machine for similar security testing. Congrats to Stross for making that point abundantly clear!

Diebold's response about the "two generations old" system is stuff and nonsense, and in the article Diebold spokeshole Mark Radke was extraordinary.

Radke refused Stross' encouragement to supply such a machine to either Princeton or even the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC). That refusal, and the reasons for it, underscore the load of crap that Diebold is still trying to sell to an unsuspecting public and media.

Radke claims, in the piece, that sharing such machines with computer scientists, or even the EAC is "analogous to launching a nuclear missile" and Diebold must restrict "access to the buttons."

Funny reply from a company who sent these machines out like candy in their early development, with almost no inventory control whatsoever (one of the reasons why I was even able to get the machine to Princeton!). Also a funny reply from a company that has failed to warn their customers about the safe use of these machines, by not telling them about the dangers of sending these machines home with poll workers on overnight "sleepovers" for days and weeks prior to an election. Such "sleepovers" sullied the integrity of San Diego's recent U.S. House Special election in June, and the practice will be carried out again across the country this November.

Diebold, apparently, is just fine with that.

The Diebold company and their dishonest business practices in these regards are an irresponsible menance to democracy, our American Values, and our way of life. They, and several of the other voting machines companies, have succeeded in undermining the very core of our Republic. The media and both major political parties are also guilty for allowing them to do so.

Please read Stross' article in full and be amazed.

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BRAD BLOG Criticizes Columbia Journalism Review for Being Two Years Late and More Than Two Dollars Short...
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2006 6:00am PT  

With a rather mild slap on the wrist, Columbia Journalism Review suggests in its Sep/Oct issue, in an un-bylined editorial, that the national media failed to do their job in reporting on the disasterously irregular 2004 Ohio Presidential Election.

No kidding. Do ya think?!

The CJR piece is published this week, just a touch over a month before our next national election. The decline of democracy has grown exponentially worse across the entire nation, every single day since 2004's Presidential Election (as we have been tirelessly covering on these pages since 3am or so of November 3rd, 2004) and yet CJR has waited until now for it's gentle hand-wringing over the lack of coverage on these matters in the national media.

They go so far as to describe The New York Times as "typically strong on voting controversy" before softly suggesting they haven't done enough to cover these matters. Never mind that it was the Times who, perhaps single-handedly, instructed the nation that nothing at all went wrong in Ohio in 2004 when they characterized the efforts of those of us trying to investigate what happened on Election Day as little more than "the conspiracy theories of leftwing bloggers" on Nov. 21, 2004.

We wrote at the time about that article:

The New York Times has been bravely leading the way in ignoring the story of America's failure to hold an honest, clean and transparent election. Even though they've had time to dismiss the whole affair as "the conspiracy theories of leftwing bloggers."

The following day we constructively offered them 15 hard news items concerning "irregularities" in the 2004 election that merited their investigation, rather than their condescension. To this date, we're aware of them having investigated none of them.

"Typically strong on voting controversy?" To what decade might CJR be referring?

In the meantime, nothing has been found to suggest that those of us "leftwing blogging conspiracy theorists" were anything but absolutely right in our concern, dilligence, and attention to the matter.

The "paper of record" sets the tone for America and for all of the other media. They failed this country abysmally.

CJR bills themselves as "America's Premier Media Monitor." In other words, their job is to be the watchdog of the watchdogs. And yet, they've taken two years to admonish the national media for having failed to cover the very dissolution of our democracy, in plain sight and before our very eyes, in a tepid little editorial this month.

Consider us the watchdog watchdog watchdog.

NEWS FLASH FOR CJR (feel free to face this criticism two years from now if you wish): While your spanking the national media for failing to do their job on this most crucial topic, you have utterly failed to do yours in the meantime. Glasses houses, much?

Finally, the ironically condescending little CJR editorial (which mentions some of the few outlets who have covered the issue sparsely, while leaving out those who have reported on it every single day since November 2nd, 2004 --- what, me bitter?) concludes thusly:

Guarding the democratic process is part of the journalistic mission, and with another election approaching, now is the time to think about that.

Uh, no. Sorry, guys. The "time to think about that" was years ago. Now, it's pretty much too late to do a damned thing to "guard the democratic process." At least for the 2006 election. You have failed as miserably as those whom you have finally decided to criticize (gently).

See you in September of 2008...when you all decide to give a damn about this issue the next time.

...CONTACT...
dartsandlaurels@cjr.org; Click">letters@cjr.org\">Click here to Email CJR

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By John Gideon on 9/23/2006 11:17am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

On last night's Lou Dobbs Kitty Pilgrim reported on what the media is just awakening to, problems with e-voting machines are nationwide and a threat to our democracy. Some of us have been telling all who would listen that this was the fact for years now. Finally some state's are listening and acting.

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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Op/Ed: 'If You Thought the Primary Was a Mess, Wait Until November!'
By Brad Friedman on 9/22/2006 3:31pm PT  

We reported last week on the mess in Milwaukee's primary election where a "programming error" is blamed for some 80,000 votes being recorded, when only 45,000 people actually voted. A recount was held to determine what the real vote count was. The city, however, was only concerned with the number of voters, as opposed to whether or not the votes were actually recorded accurately.

An editorial on the whole mess in Wednesday's Shepard-Express concludes this way (with a now-familiar warning):

If you thought there were computer glitches during the light vote in last week's primary, just wait until November with a heavy turnout for the governor's race in Wisconsin and in hard-fought Senate and congressional races across the country.

In November, a third of all precincts in the country will be using brand-new electronic voting systems for the first time.

As we learned in Milwaukee and Waukesha, newly trained poll workers breaking in untested electronic systems will discover so many bugs you'll think the elections are taking place in a tropical flophouse.

Joel McNally co-hosts the "Morning Magazine" show from 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays on 1290 WMCS-AM.

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Republican Head of State Calls for Paper Ballots this November!
By John Gideon on 9/22/2006 11:06am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Last night Lou and Kitty tackled the argument in Maryland over whether Linda Lamone should just let Diebold do an investigation of what went wrong last week or whether Gov. Ehrlich should get his way and have the voters vote on paper ballots.

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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BRAD BLOG SOURCES, STORIES COVERED EXTENSIVELY...
EXTENDED EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 12:08pm PT  


Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who filed a landmark article last June in Rolling Stone concerning evidence of a stolen 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio, is set to rock the country again in tomorrow's Rolling Stone, The BRAD BLOG can now report.

The issue is currently on the stands in some sections of LA and NY, and will be available across the nation tomorrow.

Through interviews with a number of BRAD BLOG insider sources over the past several months, Kennedy, along with co-writer Dick Russell, will expose a plethora of new details concerning the scandalous and outrageous overtaking of our public election system by private companies such Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and others.

The article is titled: "Will The Next Election Be Hacked? - Fresh disasters at the polls --- and new evidence from an industry insider --- prove that electronic voting machines can't be trusted".

Many of the items covered may be familiar to readers here, as a good number of them were originally broken on these very pages over the last year or so. We worked closely with Kennedy and Russell on this story during its development over the past several months.

The article, however, covers several new and sometimes explosive details of Diebold's rollouts in both Georgia and Maryland dating back to 2002, as well as Florida, Ohio and Texas in 2004.

Characterizing the unchecked spread of electronic voting as "insane," Kennedy and Russell conclude, "It is time for Americans to reclaim our democracy from private interests."

Some of the damning details covered in the extensive piece include: the now-infamous and mysterious patch applied to the paperless touch-screen systems in GA just prior to the Chambliss/Cleland election; the presence of Diebold elections division president Bob Urosevich in the tabulation room in MD in 2002; Diebold's interest in downplaying, hiding the significance of several scientific reports in 2004 warning of the vulnerabilities in their machines; Rep. Bob Ney's (R-OH) involvement with former staffers and Diebold lobbyists in passing the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) through congress; ES&S shenanigans in Texas in 2004; E-Voting anomalies in Ohio and Florida may have given the election to George W. Bush; the Diebold electronic voting machine which kicked off the 2000 Presidential Election debacle...

The article is now posted in full at the RS website. Extended excerpts from the article follow below...

###

...TROUBLE COMING THIS NOVEMBER...

[A]s midterm elections approach this November, electronic voting machines are making things worse instead of better. Studies have demonstrated that hackers can easily rig the technology to fix an election – and across the country this year, faulty equipment and lax security have repeatedly undermined election primaries. In Tarrant County, Texas, electronic machines counted some ballots as many as six times, recording 100,000 more votes than were actually cast. In San Diego, poll workers took machines home for unsupervised “sleepovers” before the vote, leaving the equipment vulnerable to tampering.
...
“Every board of election has staff members with the technological ability to fix an election,” Ion Sancho, an election supervisor in Leon County, Florida, told me. “Even one corrupt staffer can throw an election. Without paper records, it could happen under my nose and there is no way I’d ever find out about it. With a few key people in the right places, it would be possible to throw a presidential election.”

Much more now below...

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

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Democratic Election Administrator Still in Denial!
DIEB-THROAT Says 'We Put Out Junk' in Maryland in 2002
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 12:27am PT  

From Page 1 of Thursday's WaPo:

A week after the primary election was plagued by human error and technical glitches, Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) called yesterday for the state to scrap its $106 million electronic voting apparatus and revert to a paper ballot system for the November election.

"When in doubt, go paper, go low-tech," he said.

Ehrlich said that, if necessary, he would call a special session of the Maryland General Assembly to change the law to allow paper ballots.

The Republican Governor's call comes after hearings today to investigate Maryland's primary election meltdown on September 12th.

Ehrlich had called for paper ballots last February. The Democratic MD House supported the initiative in a 137 to 0 vote. The Democratic Senate let the bill die without a vote before ending their session.

As BRAD BLOG readers know well, Maryland was one of Diebold's original showcase states and implemented paperless Diebold touch-screens back in 2002. They've had more experience with them than any other state. Yet they still couldn't manage to get them to work correctly in a sparsely attended primary for a mid-term election.

Democratic Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. is against the idea of using paper ballots. He told WaPo, "We paid millions. These are state-of-the-art machines"

Miller clearly doesn't read The BRAD BLOG.

As DIEB-THROAT, our currently-anonymous Diebold insider source, who had a great deal of personal experience helping to roll out the systems in Maryland in 2002 told us recently: "We put junk out when HAVA [the Help America Vote Act] came out...We had no plans for paper trails, nothing."

According to WaPo, Gene Raynor, Baltimore's election director had the decency to resign. Diebold apologist and Maryland State Board of Elections administrator, Linda Lamone ought to do the same.

But Lamone, ever in denial, said Ehrlich's call for paper ballots was "crazy" and vowed that "her staff would 'work around the clock' to correct the problems that plagued the primary" according to WaPo.

Like you've been "working around the clock" to get it right since 2002, Ms. Lamone? Got anymore lipstick for that pig?

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Primary Election Results All Zeroed Out!
By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 3:39pm PT  

Results from last Tuesday's Primary Election in Maryland (which was in and of itself a debacle), have apparently been scrubbed from the Maryland Board of Elections website! As of right now, 6:36pm ET, no election totals are currently available on the site after they've previously been there all week as counting has continued.

I'm currently on the air and thus not able to look into it further, so I've not been able to get any explanation for this. But I thought you should know. A screenshot from one of the pages (they are all currently zeroed out!) is below...

UPDATE 7:23pm ET: Courtesy of HuffCrimeBlog.com's Steve Huff, here's a screenshot from the Google archives of the same page above as it was seen on 9/14/06 with all of the unofficial results still being added...

I've tried to contact the MD Board of Elections by phone, but it's after hours and nobody is currently answering. Just FYI. If anybody has any luck in the morning or additional info on any of this, please let me know!

UPDATE 9/20/06 11:20am ET: Website numbers are currently back up. Will try to learn what happened and report back when I do. No idea if the numbers now restored will synch up with what was there before they were zeroed out. We've seen similar computer drop-outs, only to be restored later with races flipped (in the 2004 Ohio Presidential and in the 2005 Ohio Hackett/Schmidt race, for example) but never this late after Election Day. We'll keep our eye on it and try to get more for you later today.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 12:38pm PT  

As I wrote on Sunday, when your Ford Pinto blows up in the course of regular use --- such as when it gets hit from behind in a rear-end collision --- you don't blame the driver for the disaster.

Diebold's response in general (along with the other voting machine companies and the elections officials who are now their "unofficial" representatives in the media) to the mountain of problems we've seen with electronic voting machines at the polls so far this year has been to blame the poll workers. Indeed, Diebold's official response to the catastrophic findings by Princeton University that Diebold touch-screen systems can be hacked with an election-stealing virus implanted undetectably in a minute's time --- one that can then spread to every machine in the system --- has been to say that if poll workers and elections officials do their job properly, that could never happen. That's simply nonsense and they know it.

Computerworld's blogger, Martin McKeay, posted a brilliant reponse to Diebold's nonsense the other day. His on-the-money reply ends this way:

Diebold may be a private company, but the service they're providing is consumed by the voting public. As such, saying "It's secure, trust us" is not an acceptable answer. This is not a situation where security through obscurity is an acceptable answer. Not only do the results of each election have to be verifiable but how we arrived at those results also needs to be verifiable. Code verification has been one of the most asked for requirements since the first evoting machine was developed. There are very few situations where the saying "trust, but verify" applies more than in voting.

Here's my final comment, and it's directed right at [Diebold Election Systems, Inc., President] Dave Byrd: Quit attacking the critics of your product and attack the basic problems your product has continually displayed. Rather than attacking researchers and running off election officials who want your products verified, take the time to address the fundamental problems with your products. Give us a paper trail, quit using WindowsCE, allow verification of your software. Part of being in a democratic society is that the voting process needs to be transparent to anyone who's willing to take the time to look. Until Diebold is willing to accept thattransparency , you're going to keep getting hammered by your critics and your products will never be acceptable. It's only going to get worse unless Diebold changes their tactics.

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Diebold's Showcase State Has Been Using the Machines Since 2002...and Still Can't Get Anything Right!
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2006 4:53pm PT  

We covered it on the day it happened, and again a day or so later. But here's more.

Consider this your preview of what will likely be happening everywhere this November 7th. Everywhere.

Alhough the Maryland Meltdown has received more notice because it occurred where the DC media and politicos live, it mirrors just about every other primary in just about every other state so far this year. Disasters in almost every one of them.

And remember, along with Georgia, the state of Maryland was Diebold's "showcase state." They've used these shitty, hackable, failed Diebold machines in more elections and for a longer time than any other state in the union.

From Saturday's Washington Post... [emphasis added]

2 Candidates Question Vote In Pr. George's

Congressional candidate Donna Edwards announced plans yesterday to file a lawsuit over apparent voting irregularities in Tuesday's primary election in Prince George's County, while defeated county executive challenger Rushern L. Baker III demanded an independent investigation of the process.

The separate announcements signaled that Tuesday's voting, a flawed process by many accounts, may not conclude the close primary contests for a seat in Congress and the county executive's office. The election itself was "horrendous," the Prince George's elections administrator said yesterday. And the victorious Democratic county executive candidate, incumbent Jack B. Johnson, said it warranted investigation.

"The integrity of the election is at stake," said Edwards, who ran against Rep. Albert R. Wynn in the 4th District Democratic primary and is waiting for the race to be decided when provisional ballots are counted next week in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

Jonathan S. Shurberg, a lawyer working with Edwards, said they will ask a judge to take possession of voting machine memory cards in two, possibly three, precincts in Chillum. The request will be made either in Prince George's Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro or U.S. District Court in Greenbelt over the next several days.

Edwards said her legal complaint will focus on the security of voting machines that contained voting cards and were not delivered to the county Board of Elections until late Wednesday. "When we read reports about how easy it is to hack into these machines, there has to be concern," Edwards said.
...
"We're not doing this for the campaign," Perry said. "We're doing this as a duty. Voters have been disenfranchised."
...
The county's interim election administrator, Robert J. Antonetti Sr., acknowledged yesterday that the primary was the most troubled election he has overseen during 34 years in the field. "This was horrendous," Antonetti said.

Much more to read in the full article...But as to those memory cards which we now know can be hacked undetectably in a minute's time:

According to Baker's campaign, only 60 of 206 precincts managed to transmit their results electronically. Election workers at the remaining polling places had to remove voter memory cards from each machine and drive them to Board of Elections headquarters in Upper Marlboro.
...
Antonetti said that a number of cards were accidentally left in voting machines and that the last of those cards --- close to three dozen in as many machines --- were expected to be delivered to his office late yesterday [ed note: Friday after the Tuesday election!]. On Wednesday, election officials said data were not received from 81 of the county's 2,056 voting machines. The numbers represented two whole precincts --- in Chillum and Landover --- as well as cards from machines at 34 polling stations.

American democracy is in big trouble. But BRAD BLOG readers have known that for some time. Wish everyone else did.

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Princeton Professor Says Key To Gain Entry To Memory Card Is Standard Key Found Anywhere
By John Gideon on 9/18/2006 9:14am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The UK's SC News reported today that Princeton's Professor Felten discovered that the key to gain entry to the memory card slot on the Diebold AccuVote TS is the same key that you may have to open your desk drawer, filing cabinet or even a hotel mini-bar [emphasis added]:

"The access panel door on a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine - the door that protects the memory card that stores the votes and is the main barrier to the injection of a virus - can be opened with a standard key that is widely available on the internet," Ed Felten, professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, said today on his "Freedom to Tinker" blog.

Felten said he became aware of the problem when, after performing a demonstration concerning the security flaws of Diebold machines, Princeton staff member Chris Tengi noticed the key that came with the voting machine was the same one he had at home.

"This seemed like a freakish coincidence - until we learned how common these keys are," Felten said. "Chris' key was left over from a previous job, maybe 15 years ago. He said the key opened either a file cabinet or the access panel on an old VAX computer. A little research revealed that the exact same key is used widely in office furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes and hotel mini-bars. It's a standard part, and like most standard parts, it's easily purchased on the internet."

Avi Rubin, Johns-Hopkins University Professor and computer scientist, points out in his blog this morning:

"This example serves to illustrate to even non-technical people the public relations tactics of the vendor and its supporters. Was it really too difficult for them to design a more secure key? Who do they think they are fooling when they say that someone would have to pick the lock to access the memory cards?"

So we now have a key that can be obtained from nearly anywhere and a "secret" password [1111] that everyone knows, and Diebold's David Bear says if proper access controls are maintained at the polling place there should be no problems. Perhaps Bear is talking about someone looking over the voter's shoulder to ensure they don't spend two minutes hacking into the machine?

All of this comes on the heels of the report from Princeton University, thanks to The BRAD BLOG, that was first reported here.

As well, it comes on the heels of the challenge to the Busby/Bilbray special U.S. House election in June in San Diego when these Diebold voting machines were sent home overnight --- in violation of both state and federal law --- for "sleepovers" with poll workers for days and weeks prior to the election. Here's a video that we missed at the time: Poll workers, on May 30th, taking home their pre-programmed, election-ready Diebold voting machines to store in their houses and cars 7 days prior to the June 6th election!

Any of them could easily have opened the "secure" systems with a mini-bar key, or, as the Princeton folks demonstrated on FOX "News" last week, they could have picked the lock themselves in 10 seconds. Of course, as we now know, it would have taken them less than a minute thereafter to insert a vote-flipping virus on the machines which could then affect every other machine used in the race.

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Irresponsible Reporting 'Spins' Downhill Quickly From There!
Paper Helps Voting Machine Vendors and Elections Officials Blame Poll Workers --- Inappropriately --- for Their Own Failings!
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2006 2:31pm PT  

The coverage of Voting and Electronic Voting issues is increasing exponentially at this point due to 1) the impending November election (read: coming train wreck) 2) the fact that an electoral meltdown occured in last Tuesday's Maryland primary (they've been happening in every primary so far this year as BRAD BLOG readers know, but now that they've occured in Montgomery County, MD, where the DC media and politicos live, the problem suddenly "exists"!) and, of course, 3) the news of the VelvetRevolution.ussponsored Princeton University Diebold Virus Hack.

I'm doing my best to keep up, but there is now much to cover and as well, I'm now being asked to do many media events which are time-consuming but also necessary. So, expect much more cover here shortly on all of the latest, even if some of that coverage must (necessarily) be a bit more abbreviated than in "the old days" when none of this stuff actually "existed".

One such new story worth covering is on the front page(!!!) of today's Sunday Washington Post. It begins this way:

Major Problems At Polls Feared
Some Officials Say Voting Law Changes And New Technology Will Cause Trouble

An overhaul in how states and localities record votes and administer elections since the Florida recount battle six years ago has created conditions that could trigger a repeat --- this time on a national scale --- of last week's Election Day debacle in the Maryland suburbs, election experts said.

...That's a good start --- if it took Maryland for WaPo to "notice" what's been going on now for months (in fact, years!), I'll take it! But the "truthiness" of the WaPo coverage goes quickly downhill from there.

Little wonder it's linked from Drudge Report right now!

The framing of the problems as mostly "human error" is exactly the type of coverage that Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, Hart InterCivic and friends are no doubt delighted about. The facts of the matter, however, are far different from the incredibly "Fair and Balanced" (read: uneven playing field, levelled inappropriately to the advantage of bad guys who don't deserve it, so WaPo stays out of trouble) spin given to the story. Even the WaPo's own coverage defies their own attempted spin, bias or failure (whatever you wish to call it)...

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

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