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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, July 28, 2014
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...
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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"...
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  w/ Brad & Desi
Record wildfires burn the Pacific Northwest; June 2014 was hottest globally on record; EPA blocks Pebble Mine; CA blocks water pollution; PLUS: To cut emmissions, cut the beef...
Previous GNRs: 7/17/14 - 7/15/14 - Archives...
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...
Death to Zombie Myths!: KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad takes on a bunch of lies that just won't die -- from e-cigs to Ann Coulter's voter fraud to 'global cooling' to the death penalty to marriage equality in MS and more...
FEDERAL JUDGE FINDS CA DEATH PENALTY VIOLATES U.S. CONSTITUTION
George W. Bush appointee rules state system violates Constitution's ban of 'cruel and unusual punishments'...
'Green News Report' 7/15/14
Divesting from fossil fuels; Germany gives $1b to climate fund; Australia carbon tax repeal; All-electric Formula E racing revs up; PLUS: Climate denier Murdoch...
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
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'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
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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...

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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
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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...

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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
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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
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Train Wreck in Progress as Today's Primary Elections in PA Run Into Big Trouble...
Paper Ballots Being Passed Out, 'We're Dead' Says One Official ... (Who could have forseen such problems?!)
By Brad Friedman on 5/16/2006 3:00pm PT  


Pennsylvania is having their primary elections today and, as expected, the train wreck is underway. As reported by Philadelphia Daily News, hundreds of machines (in this case, those made by Danaher Guardian) have failed...

BREAKING NEWS: 100 voting machines broken

More than 100 voting machines are reported to be broken across the city, the Daily News has learned.

Apparently, the machines were broken when polls opened this morning --- they keep spitting out the paper tape that keeps the tally of the vote. It is the largest breakdown since we started using the new voting machines.

The broken machines were first reported in the weblog for TheNextMayor.com. Expect more on this story in tomorrow's Daily News.

The local ABC affiliate has more details. Amongst them...

The biggest problems have been at voting locations where multiple failures have been reported.

Ward 12, Division 20 in Germantown is one such location. Judge of Elections Bernard Bibbs followed the routine startup procedure, but neither machine would activate. In one case, the write-in paper tape just unrolled and then refused to roll back up. In the other case, the machine will only beep and do nothing else.

Bernard Bibbs/Judge of Elections: "We set them up the way they're supposed to be run electronically. They've been shut down all morning.... We're dead."

Similar problems have popped up across the city. Machines by the score have failed to operate. In most places, at least one machine is functioning. In those places where all the machines are down, voters can request a paper ballot.

Edward Schulgen/Deputy City Commissioner: "Give that voter a paper ballot, which is then sent to us after the election. We verify whether or not that person is registered in the right division. If that's correct, then we count that vote."

The number of failures seems to be evenly distributed across the city. It's more voting machine failures than the city has ever had before.

More from TheNextMayor.com...

This from an e-mail from a NextMayor friend...

"I voted before leaving for DC this morning and was told before voting that the write-in function on my machine was not working because the paper roll inside would not come up. Because I wanted to write in a candidate, I therefore had to fill out a provisional ballot, which may or may not be counted in the end.

I later heard from my judge of elections that this problem was happening AT EVERY VOTING MACHINE IN THE CITY."

LATE UPDATE: 100's of machines also failed in Pittsburgh across the state in Allegheny County! Details...

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By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2006 3:55pm PT  

The word "glitch" takes a rest, as the AP uses "hiccups" instead to minimize what happened in Ohio's Primary Election mess last Tuesday.

Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, who was on the Republican Primary ballot for the Governor's race, refuses to step down from the investigation which is just now beginning since manual hand-counting of ballots in Cuyahoga County was just completed yesterday (Sunday), after Diebold machines failed to be able to read 17,000 absentee ballots...

CLEVELAND (AP) --- The Ohio Democratic Party on Monday called on Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to remove himself from investigating what went wrong with the primary election in Ohio's largest county, saying the Republican gubernatorial candidate faces too many conflicts of interest to properly oversee the probe.

More...

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Is Anybody There? Does Anybody Care?
By John Gideon on 5/7/2006 4:39pm PT  

By John Gideon, Executive Director, VotersUnite.Org and Information Manager, VoteTrustUSA.Org --- May 8, 2006

This has been another week of "Train Wrecks" across the country. Three states had major primaries with mixed success and failure, a few states had local elections with failures, and some states are preparing for May primaries and they are meeting the "oncoming locomotive" as they can't get machines or software for the machines and are having to revert to paper ballots or lever machines.

Elections Systems and Software (ES&S) is now facing investigations, lawsuits, or just plain pissed-off elections officials in West Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, California, and other jurisdictions. And now we learn that Diebold has a huge security vulnerability that all voting systems experts who know the details are very concerned about.

Next Tuesday, May 9, finds the train barreling down on primary elections in West Virginia and Nebraska. May 16 brings potentially hazardous primary election whistle-stops in Kentucky, Oregon and, the grand central station that is Pennsylvania.

Let's take a look at some of the continuing derailments from the past week, about which prompted Brad Friedman of The BRAD BLOG to ask of D.C. politicians and, more notably, the National Mainstream Media: "Is anybody there? Does anybody care?"

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

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50 Temp Workers Hired to Count Absentee Ballots which Diebold Machines Fail to Scan Properly...
Problems Also Reported with ES&S and in Several Other OH Counties...
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 12:01pm PT  

Add this to our previous report on the Diebold Disaster in Cuyahoga County, Ohio during yesterday's Primary Election. The Cleveland Plain Dealer headlines their story: "First all-electronic election marred by problems".

As expected the word "Glitch" makes it's way quickly into the headlines in Columbus Dispatch's coverage ("Glitches delay voting and reporting of results") as they cover problems across a number of counties, including counties that use ES&S machines which also failed in a number of locations. Inevitably, the poll workers are blamed by officials, of course.

As to Cuyahoga, the Plain Dealer has set up a running blog on their website covering the ongoing problems. Here's the latest...

Election workers continue to count votes

12:07 p.m.

Cuyahoga County election workers continued to count votes Wednesday, with about 85 percent of the votes cast on the touch-screen machines counted by 11:15 a.m. But 70 memory cards - with results from 200 precincts - were missing. Cuyahoga County board of elections officials are checking the voting machines to see if the cards were inadvertantly left inside.

Meanwhile, a second team of 50 temporary agency employees continued the hand count of 17,000 paper ballots used by absentee voters. Election officials decided to hand count the paper ballots after tests on the optical scan machines showed innaccuracies. Vote totals for the absentee ballots are expected sometime this evening.

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(Unfortunately, the nation who did so is Great Britain...)
By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2006 9:24pm PT  

As John Gideon asked in today's Daily Voting News, why is it that the Financial Times of London is reporting on our nation's electoral meltdown this year, while the national mainstream media in America couldn't seem to care less?

Electronic voting switch threatens mass confusion

The last three election cycles in the US have been marked by controversy not only about candidates, but also about the fairness and accuracy of the voting process. And as voters head to the polls today for primaries in some jurisdictions, the coming cycle promises more of the same.

With about 8,000 separate election authorities managing approximately 175,000 polling places and perhaps as many as 150,000 different ballot forms that include choices for everyone from senator to dogcatcher, American elections are complex even when all goes well. But this cycle sees many states and smaller jurisdictions making last-minute efforts to switch to electronic voting, and early signs of trouble are appearing.

The rest of the piece covers much of the territory --- the lawsuits, the ES&S failures, the Dieobld hacks, etc. from all over the country --- that we've been covering here over the last several weeks in regard to our approaching E-Voting "train wreck". You know, the one that we've written article after article about, complaining that the local media is reporting the stories as if they are solely local problems, while both they and the national media fail to connect the dots which clearly show that these problems are happening everywhere...and on a massive scale.

FT even bothers to mention the almost completely ignored (by the mainstream corporate media in this country) GAO Report on electronic voting which we first broke here, and then waited and waited as every national newspaper and wire service in the country completely ignored it.

FT even managed to advance the story a bit! Go figure!...

Last September, the US Government Accountability Office issued a report with a litany of potential flaws in the reliability and security of electronic voting and warned that steps needed to ensure voter confidence in the integrity of the vote were unlikely to be in place in time for the 2006 election.

A principal author of the report, analyst David Powner, said in an interview that since last autumn, nothing had happened to change the report's conclusions.

Well, heck, how hard was that?! Thank you, FT!

Oh, well. To paraphrase what they say about Vegas...What's reported by the The BRAD BLOG, stays on The BRAD BLOG.

At least until it's picked up by a respected foreign media outlet.

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As the Voters Continue to Pay the Price
And as We Continue to Connect the Dots the Mainstream Media Still Won't�
By John Gideon on 4/30/2006 6:20pm PT  

By John Gideon Executive Director VotersUnite.Org and Information Manager VoteTrustUSA.Org

When asked by a reporter, "Which is harder to manage, your two children or ES&S?" Marion County, Indiana Clerk Doris Ann Sadler told the Indianapolis Star this week, "Oh, ES&S, definitely. My children are really very easy. In fact, at times I think my children would have done a better job with the voting machines. And they're (ages) 7 and 4."

The Electronic Voting Machine Vendor locomotive is still running away down the track at an alarming speed. However, this week some states and county election officials seem to be beginning to notice and are now sending out signals that they intend to either stop the train or � barring that --- at least ensure that companies such as Election Systems and Software (ES&S) do not profit too much from their arrogance, ineptitude and now epidemic failures.

Legal complaints against the company were filed this week in West Virginia and Indiana to add to the one previously under way in Oregon. Threats have been heard from Texas, Arkansas, Ohio and elsewhere. Election officials have been forced to change voting procedures in many states and counties to accommodate for ES&S' growing array of failures.

Meanwhile no one seems to be talking about the people who will be most affected by this train wreck; the voters�

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

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WV County Withholds $1.2 Million Payment to Electronic Voting Machine Company
'They Are Hiding Out,' Says County Commissioner About Previous Company Promises to Service the County
By John Gideon on 4/28/2006 11:20am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The ES&S Meltdown around the country which The BRAD BLOG exclusively covered yesterday, as the Texas Sec. of State's office informed Election Officials to "create emergency paper ballots", now continues to widen to other states around the country.

Legal action in two more states against Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S), the largest Electronic Voting Machine Company in America, has now commenced.

In Indiana, the a formal complaint has been filed today against ES&S by the Sec. of State for failures to provide working equipment and ballots in several counties in time for early primary voting in the Hoosier State.

In West Virginia, the County Commissioners Association announced they will be filing legal action against the company with the help of the WV Sec. of State and Attorney General's office for similar problems, some of which we reported late last night here at The BRAD BLOG. As well, one county Manager has been told to withhold payment of a $1.2 million check made out to the company until the problems are corrected.

The Associated Press covers the developing situation in Indiana where Sec. of State Todd Rokita has filed his formal complaint against ES&S for violating state law. The Louisville (Kentucky) Courier-Journal covers it this way...

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

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Director of Elections Sends Letter Authorizing Measure in Light of Latest Failure by Electronic Voting Machine Vendor
Says Company's Performance in Most Recent - of Many Similar Incidences Around the Country - is 'Completely Unacceptable and Disturbing'
By Brad Friedman on 4/27/2006 11:46am PT  

On Monday, Texas Director of Elections Ann McGeehan sent a letter to all state Election Officials authorizing them to create "emergency paper ballots" in light of statewide failures by Election System & Software, Inc. (ES&S) to provide ballots in time for the state's upcoming May 13 Runoff Elections, The BRAD BLOG has learned.

Early voting begins on Monday for those elections and counties across the state do not yet have ballots and, in many cases, programming for their optical-scan and touch-screen voting machines. ES&S has contracts with more than 140 Texas counties.

McGeehan has instructed officials to create and number their own paper ballots, secure boxes to store them in, and hire additional workers to manually hand count ballots as an emergency procedure to deal with the rapidly deteriorating situation.

The letter from McGeehan (posted in full exclusively at the end of this article) --- which does not mention ES&S by name, but refers to the Omaha, Nebraska-based company only as "a certified voting systems vendor" --- was sent in response to complaints from officials around the state that "programming media or, in some cases, your ballots" had not been received yet by officials.

In a statement to the San Antonio's Express-News this morning, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says, "It sure is exasperating...We are looking at avenues to hold them responsible for this." Bexar County is just one of more than 140 in Texas with whom ES&S has contracts.

"They made their priorities," Wolff says, "and I think Texas certainly wasn't one of them."

The BRAD BLOG has also received statements from officials in other states who were still more direct in expressing their frustration with the company's business practices now being described by some as including "coercion" and "threats."

This most recent embarrassment for ES&S, the country's largest Electronic Voting Machine Vendor, is just the latest in what has now become an epidemic string of failures to meet contractual obligations in scores of states and counties across the country. The BRAD BLOG has reported on many of these troubling problems in a long series of articles in hopes of connecting the dots of those failures to illustrate and warn of the rapidly approaching E-Voting train wreck.

So far, both the mainstream corporate media, as well as many elections officials across the country have --- to the delight of ES&S --- failed to notice the remarkably clear pattern of delinquency and failure the company has demonstrated time and again across the nation in recent weeks and months.

Texas was plagued, during their recent March 7th Primary Election, by a host of failures in voting equipment made by both ES&S and Hart InterCivic, another voting machine vendor certified to do business in the state. Those failures on Election Day led to a statewide Election Contest filed by a former Republican Supreme Court Justice after tabulators failed and electronic ballots were misprogrammed and miscounted.

In Jefferson County, TX officials threatened to withhold payment after the debacle until their machines were fixed by ES&S. The company, however, answered by reportedly refusing to program the machines at all for the state's upcoming Runoff Elections unless payment was made in full. The county, in a bind, was forced to comply with the strong-arm tactics.

And now, with new elections just weeks away, officials all over the state are finding themselves --- like many other states across the country --- without the promised ballots from ES&S and scrambling for alternative solutions. Election Director McGeehan describes the situation as "completely unacceptable." Writing in her letter to Election Officials, she says:

We recognize that this kind of service from a certified voting systems vendors [sic] is completely unacceptable and disturbing. We will be pursuing all appropriate remedies from a state level that are available to us.

In the letter, McGeehan goes on to explain that officials should crate "emergency paper ballots" by either creating their own, or using "PDF format to print copies of the ballot" in cases were "proofs" had been previously supplied by ES&S.

Instructions are included for number and initializing thousands of ballots by hand:

After you print a copy of the ballot, you will need to put a ballot number at the top of the ballot beginning with the next ballot number of the last number of your original ballot order. In other words, if you ordered 15,000 ballots numbered 1-15,000, any ballots you create would be numbered beginning with the number 15,001. You will need to put your initials on the back of the ballot so you can determine it was an official ballot provided by you.

Further, officials are instructed that they may have to manually hand count ballots that would otherwise be counted by either optical-scan systems or recorded by touch-screen voting machines.

They are also told to create boxes for the ballot storage and find people to count them. McGeehan writes...

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

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While We Continue to Connect the Dots the Media Continues to Fail To...
By John Gideon on 4/23/2006 4:25pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon,
Exec. Dir. for VotersUnite.Org & Info. Mgr. for VoteTrustUSA.Org

It is a fact that this primary season is proving to be a disaster.

The locomotives of the voting machine vendors and unwary, naive elections officials are headed down the same tracks, straight towards each other, in many states. The vendors only have the bags of government provided cash in sight and they don't seem to care about anything but putting those bags into their coffers. They don't seem to care about signing contracts that they know they cannot meet. They seem to be under the impression that "act now and apologize later" is good business. They seem to understand that the only criteria for getting paid for contracts with the government is having signed the contract.

As for the elections officials well, they are blinded by the lights of the fast approaching locomotive and many can only apologize and cover for the vendors. They just don't seem to know, or care --- or acknowledge that they either know or care --- that the same story is playing out in the next county over and in the next state over. Ignorance is supposed to be bliss, but it also spells chaos for elections.

But wait, all may not be lost. This past week we have seen a bit of progress toward stopping the chaos of ES&S in Indiana and Oregon, while West Virginia just doesn't seem to know or care what is happening to them. As well, New Jersey may be making headway against their bad acting vendor, Sequoia Voting Systems...

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

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A lot of American Democracy Can Unravel in Just One Week's Time
As We Continue to Connect the Dots the Media is Failing To�
By John Gideon on 4/17/2006 7:19am PT  

Blogged by John Gideon

In an article last week I pointed to the copious evidence that our elections are headed straight towards disaster; a "Train Wreck". That "Train Wreck," however, may still be avoided. The engineers of one of those trains, as it were, are the elections officials who are allowing themselves to be cowed by vendors like ES&S, Sequoia, and Diebold. The disaster can be avoided, but it will require the election officials to switch their train to a different track � by first acknowledging that there are problems.

In order to begin that process those officials must finally realize that they are not alone. Counties across the country are finding the exact same problems. The bad ES&S memory cards were not just found in Summit County, Ohio; they were also found in North Carolina and probably other counties in other states. ES&S will fail to deliver on contracts for voting machines in many counties all across the country. Does anyone really expect the engineer of the other train --- the voting machine vendors --- to switch tracks? They only see the money bags at the end of the track and not the other train barreling down on them.

The federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC) --- created by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 --- has likewise not been doing their job. They seem to be content to just sit back and watch as voting systems across the country are in melt-down. Do they really serve any purpose other than to shovel out HAVA funding for these new systems to the states, who in turn pass them on to the vendors? It appears not. Take a look�

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

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Indicted Elections Officials 'Pretended' to Pick Random Counties Against State Law
Says 'More Indictments May be Coming'
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2006 11:27am PT  

Racing to prepare for Guest Hosting the Peter B. Collins Show later today, so can't give more context for now (more on this during the show today, no doubt), but this out this morning from the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

Regular BRAD BLOG readers will be familiar with the stories of the three Cuyahoga County, OH Elections Workers who have been indicted on felony charges for gaming the 2004 recount, but this report provides many more details and corroboration from the Prosecutors. It also reminds us, that though the Elections Workers have been indicted on felony charges, they continue to work at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections! Only in Ohio! (well, okay, maybe Florida, too...)

This is incredibly mind-blowing...Even to us...

Workers accused of fudging '04 recount

After the 2004 presidential election, Cuyahoga County election workers secretly skirted rules designed to make sure all votes were counted correctly, a special prosecutor charges.
...
Three top county elections officials have been indicted, and Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter says more indictments are possible.
...
Internet bloggers have cried foul since 2004 about election results in Ohio, one of the key states in deciding the election. They have been tracking Baxter's investigation with online posts about the indictments.

Baxter's prosecution centers on Ohio's safeguards for ensuring that every vote is counted.

Baxter charges that Cuyahoga election workers - mindful of the monthlong Florida recount in 2000 - not only ignored the safeguards but worked to defeat them during Ohio's 2004 recount.

Candidates for president from the Green and Libertarian parties requested the Ohio recount. State laws and regulations specify how a recount works.

Election workers in each county are supposed to count 3 percent of the ballots by hand and by machine, randomly choosing precincts for that count.

If the hand and machine counts match, the other 97 percent of the votes are recounted by machine. If the numbers don't match, workers repeat the effort. If they still don't match exactly, the workers must complete the recount by hand, a tedious process that could take weeks and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But the fix was in at the Cuyahoga elections board, Baxter charges.

Days before the Dec. 16 recount, workers opened the ballots and hand-counted enough votes to identify precincts where the machine count matched.

"If it didn't balance, they excluded those precincts," Baxter said.

"The preselection process was done outside of any witnesses, without anyone's knowledge except for [people at] the Board of Elections."

On the official recount day, employees pretended to pick precincts randomly, Baxter says. Dozens of Cuyahoga County election workers sat at 20 folding tables in front of dozens of witnesses and reporters.

They did the hand and machine count of 3 percent of the votes 34 of the 1,436 precincts and when the totals matched, the recount was completed by machines.
...
"They screwed with the process and increased the probability, if not the certainty, that there would not be a full countywide hand count," Baxter said.
...
[Executive director of the Cuyahoga County elections board, Michael] Vu acknowledged that the selection of precincts was not completely random because precincts with 550 votes or fewer were not used.

Nor were precincts counted where the number of ballots handed out on Election Day failed to match the number of ballots cast.
...
Baxter has said he can't understand why the three people indicted all managers - continue to work at the election office.

* * *

UPDATE 1/24/2007: Two of the indicted election officials found guilty of gaming the recount, charged with maximum penalty. Details...

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

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

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

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

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

Blogged by Brad on the road...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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By John Gideon on 3/26/2006 4:29pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

The "DVN Top 5" is a feature in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The March 20 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on The BRAD BLOG!...

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

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Poll Worker Training Blamed
By John Gideon on 3/23/2006 6:27am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

At noon Wednesday, Chicago was missing 252 memory cartridges, 93 from machines that scanned in paper ballots and 159 from touch screens. County officials couldn't find 162 memory cartridges from suburban precincts--68 from optical-scanning machines and 94 for touch-screen balloting.

The problems led midday to the sight of Cook County Director of Elections Clem Balanoff--his tie loosened and eyes bleary--rifling through blue duffel bags at a county warehouse for precinct returns for uncounted votes on missing memory cartridges.

It was only early last month that the state of Illinois certified the Sequoia voting system that was used in the Illinois primary in Chicago and suburban Cook County this week. In that 6 week period over 23,000 election judges had to be trained to set-up and use the voting machines and they had to learn a completely new set of procedures for opening and closing the polls.

The county and city failed to do that training or failed to do enough of it for those who were trained at all. According to this morning's Chicago Tribune:

Langdon Neal, chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, further said that 4,000 of Chicago's 14,000 election judges attended no training and instead relied on a judge's manual that was sent in the mail and was written in a complicated and confusing manner.

Training for county judges emphasized videos and not hands-on instruction. None of the 9,600 election judges in suburban Cook County had ever touched the scanning device used to process paper ballots, said Cook County Clerk David Orr.

This clear lack of training and the introduction of new, un-reliable voting machines has caused what amounts to a disaster in vote counting. Three days after the voters went to the polls votes are still being tallied. In fact, memory cartridges were still being located as of Wednesday afternoon.

Not helping with all of the chaos were the machine failures reported all around the city and county:

  • "A high-tech voting system in Chicago and suburban Cook County provided plenty of frustration and confusion for voters during its first test Tuesday, as election officials dealt with missing power cords and ballots, jammed equipment and broken electronic voting machines." LINK
  • "As voting in today's primary election nears an end, some of the new, multi-million dollar voting machines were a hi-tech headache for voters." LINK
  • "As election officials closed the polls Tuesday evening, reports of glitches from throughout the day continued as both voters and election officials learned how to deal with a new, high-tech voting system in Chicago and suburban Cook County."LINK
  • So this week's Illinois primary has been a disaster with machine breakdowns, procedural errors, lost memory cartridges and a complete lack of training. They have to be able to learn from this and make changes; right? Well actually, as reported by VoteTrustUSA, they are going to take all of those Sequoia voting machines used in Chicago and suburban Cook County and they are shipping them all to Clark County, Nevada. Meanwhile, Chicago and Cook County will be getting another brand-new Sequoia voting system that has never been used in any election. Let's hope they can take just a little more time to train their poll judges because November will be here soon.

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