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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, November 24, 2014
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IN MEMORIAM: Tomas Young, 1979-2014
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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
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Is the right-wing trying out a new tool; the US Constitution?
Could these court rulings in San Diego and now Nevada simply be to set precedents? Could it be the move of the GOP using activist judges who are clearly legislating from the bench in order to set a precedent to be used in November? Is this all the portent of things to come in November?
By John Gideon on 9/2/2006 10:29am PT  

Let me preface this with a statement. I am not an attorney. I'm just a retired "knuckle dragger" (marine machinist). While I'm not an academic I do have the ability to read something and know what it says especially when it is written in clear English. I've also got a bit more common sense than most academics because I've had to exercise it throughout my life.

Any reader of The BRAD BLOG is familiar with the court decision from San Diego County. Essentially the judge ruled that he did not have jurisdiction in an election contest of the Busby/Bilbray CA50 U.S. House Special Election because Bilbray was already sworn in as a member of Congress and the US Constitution gives the Legislative Branch jurisdiction over elections of their members.

Today's Nevada Appeal has an article regarding a court challenge that stemmed from problems in the GOP primary election for Congress. That race between Dean Heller, present Secretary of State, and Sharron Angle, was closely contested and Ms. Angle filed the challenge based on what she thought to be possibly illegal practices in Washoe County.

But then they played the Busby/Bilbray 'Constitutional Jurisdiction' card. Just as in Busby/Bilbray...

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

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AP Reports Republican Hand Count Request, Continues to Ignore Busby/Bilbray Election Challenge...
By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2006 10:26am PT  

Blogged by the road (from St. Louis, Missouri) by Brad...

As we wait for the results of the hearing today in the Busby/Bilbray CA50 Election Contest (see this story on the latest absurd claims from the defendants arguing that the U.S. House, not the voters of California get to decide who will be the "winner" of the election) and as I prepare to meet today with folks from the Missouri Honest Elections group, this story was brought to my attention.

No, it wasn't a "sore-loser" who requested the hand "recount" in Missouri's recent primary election for State Auditor. It was a Republican. As we know, only Democrats are "sore-losers" when they ask for such things.

To underscore that point, the following quotes are from an AP report on the matter. AP never bothered to report on the requested hand count in the Busby/Bilbray election, or even on the fact that a contest and lawsuit have now been filed in California Superior Court! We suppose that matter, since it was a Democrat who may have been screwed by the machines --- never mind that it was a federal race determing a new U.S. House member, versus a primary for a state election --- is just not to be considered newsworthy by the AP.

Anyway, Republican Jack Jackson reportedly came in second to Republican Sandra Thomas after the machine count of votes in the Missouri Republican Election to determine the Republican candidate for State Auditor. Jackson received a few reports of problems throughout the day, and so --- responsibly --- has asked for a full hand count and, according to AP says, "Whatever this recount shows, I will accept...[But] right now, I am still a candidate."

We agree.

Jackson said he had received about 15 calls from people who had trouble voting on the electronic equipment used for the first time at many polling places.

"It sent up enough signals that I thought a hand recount was appropriate, and it's so close," said Jackson, of Wildwood, who currently serves in the state House.

Does Jackson's opponent Thomas consider him a "sore-loser" for making the request? Of course not. Jackson's a Republican...

Thomas, currently the Platte County auditor, said she respects Jackson's right to seek a recount. Under state law, both Jackson and Thomas can submit names of people to help in the recount. The candidates or their attorneys can also be present for the recount, which will have to be done in each of Missouri's 116 voting jurisdictions.

Of course, Missouri has no idea what to do now. Does a recount mean they simply push the button to get the same numbers again from the same new electronic voting machines they used to get their numbers the first time? Or does it require a full manual hand count of the paper ballots and "paper trails" as the candidate has requested? Again, election officials find they have no laws for the new voting systems they have now irresponsibly decided to use.

The Democratic Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan, will decide. We hope she makes the right decision and allows for a full hand count. The voters of Missouri (my old hometown) deserve no less.

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No, Not Diebold, But the Election Sciences Institute... To Whom They Paid More than $300,000 to Tell Them What Went Wrong in Their Recent Primary
Diebold & the County Call for Federally Certified Inspectors from Now On...Never Mind That There Aren't Any!
By John Gideon on 8/24/2006 7:00am PT  

Guest Blogged By John Gideon

Election Science Institute (ESI) of San Francisco, California was paid $341,000 by Cuyahoga Co., OH to investigate why the county had so many problems with their voting system in the May 2006 election. Were the problems really all human or were the machines at fault? ESI finally issued a report last week that had plenty of blame to go around between poll worker training problems to voting machines that could not add votes, counting devices that didn't match up on the same machine and, in several cases, machines that registered no votes at all.

Of course Diebold Elections Systems Inc. immediately denied that there were any voting machine problems at all as they blamed all problems on voters, poll workers, and election administrators. As reported earlier on The BRAD BLOG, Diebold also received nearly instantaneous assistance from "outside" sources who obfuscated in their reporting of the problems, singling out the issues concerning the voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) and ignoring everything else that was in the report.

Now county elections officials seem to have decided that they don't like the results from the investigation they paid for, as done by ESI, so they are throwing ESI under the bus while they run to defend Diebold. Suprised? Apparently they don't want to have to explain why they spent millions of dollars for a voting system that is flawed. Or perhaps Diebold applied pressure to their partners in crime at the Cuyahoga Board of Elections.

In either case, Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday morning that Diebold and the County have worked everything out, and it's all just fine after all...

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

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'Experts' Ignore All But a Few Pages of a 240-Page Report
By John Gideon on 8/23/2006 9:31am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Election Science Institute (ESI) of San Francisco California was hired to investigate and report on problems with the May primary election in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The 240-page report was just released this month (August), and some in the elections community have ignored a large majority of the report and zeroed in on a single aspect that supports their thesis that voters don't need any paper, even when voting on a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine.

Daniel Tokaji is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and the Associate Director of Election Law at Moritz. He has testified against a voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) to a US House committee and the Election Assistance Commission..

In his paper on the ESI report, Tokaji ignores many significant findings of the report and distorts the overall findings by highlighting only the compromised VVPAT. As pointed out by VotersUnite.Org in their analysis of the ESI report, there was much more substance from ESI than just VVPAT printer problems:

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

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Report Done For Cuyahoga Co. Ohio Finds The System May Be Unrepairable Before Nov. 2008
By John Gideon on 8/16/2006 11:03am PT  

Election Science Institute (ESI), a San Francisco based non-profit, was contracted for $341,000 to do a complete study of the May 2 primary in Cuyahoga (Cleveland) County. The study was just released to the public and it is another scathing report against Diebold and their voting machines.

Ohio requires a voter verified paper audit trail printer on every Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that ESI found:

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

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Dr. Andy Michaud Misses Another Event...Is Contest Now a Direct Race Against Feeney?
By Brad Friedman on 8/15/2006 12:28pm PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

As has been his practice over the last several months, the primary election opponent to vote-rigging whistleblower turned congressional candidate Clint Curtis was a no-show in a recent televised debate.

Curtis spoke about election fraud (vis a vis Tom Feeney), the Iraq War and the price of gas. Needless to say, he won the "debate" hands down.

With his primary election opponent, Dr. Andy Michaud, failing to appear at events across Florida's 24th Congressional District, does this mean the good Doctor is giving up? Or is there something going on that we don't know about?

The primary is September 5th. Should Clint win, he'll be going mano-a-mano against the well-monied and impossibly corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney --- the very man he claims had asked him to create vote-rigging software back when they both worked at the same software firm (even while Feeney was Speaker of the Florida State House of Representatives.)

For the record, Feeney is now the only Republican congressman who was with lobbyist Jack Abramoff on those golfing junkets to Scotland, now that both Tom DeLay and Bob Ney have dropped out of this November's election. Feel free to donate to Clint Curtis as he takes on Feeney, one of the GOP's top-tier money behemoths!

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By Winter Patriot on 8/14/2006 7:07am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Clint Curtis needs your help. The computer programmer who says he wrote a vote-rigging software prototype in 2000, at the request of Florida Congressman Tom Feeney, has a chance to oppose Feeney in November's general election. The prospect of such a race --- and the publicity that would flow from it --- has election-integrity advocates all over the country licking their lips in anticipation, but it won't happen unless Curtis wins next month's primary.

His opponent, Andy Michaud, has been virtually invisible. He hasn't really been campaigning; he's hardly even been raising any money! But Curtis takes no comfort in these odd facts. He knows he's vulnerable --- to the machines! (Do you want to see how a vote-rigging program works? Click here to download one; try it yourself and see how easily our democracy can be subverted.)

There is reason to hope for a fair outcome, however. And the reason --- believe it or not --- is at least as ingenious as the vote-rigging software Curtis prototyped for Feeney six years ago.

Curtis has set up a website where voters can register their intention to vote for a particular candidate. Using this system, if a candidate can collect enough information about how many people intend to vote for him, and where they live, he will be in a position to tell whether the numbers from any given precinct have been flipped in favor of his opponent. And if such flipping occurs, the "losing" candidate would have reliable evidence to support a challenge.

Some voters have already registered, but many others don't yet know about the system, and they will have to be contacted by phone. Here's where you come in. Curtis needs volunteers to make phone calls. He can give you all the details; he can even arrange things so you can make the calls for free.

All in all, it sounds like a much more convenient way to support your democracy than waiting for another election to be stolen, going out into the streets, and trying not to be shot at.

As Curtis phrases it: "The democracy of this country and possibly the fate of the world rests on your shoulders. You can actually do something about it."

But here's the big question: WILL YOU? Will you help? Will you donate a few minutes of your time? Will you make a few phone calls in support of transparent, verifiable elections?

Did you say "Yes"? Good! I thought you would!

Please click here and offer Clint Curtis some support. It's really the least you can do for your country, and for your children, and for my children too.

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Many other 'glitches' reported already --- and the polls have only been open for an hour!
UPDATED THREE TIMES!
By Winter Patriot on 8/8/2006 6:27am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

An early-morning report from the headquarters of Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney's campaign indicates that voting is not going smoothly in Georgia's 4th Congressional District. Congresswoman McKinney is involved in a runoff election against Hank Johnson, after "failing" to gain 50% of the votes in the first round of the primary three weeks ago.

According to the McKinney camp,

Less than one hour into the voting day, multiple problems with the electronic voting machines have arisen. McKinney precinct watchers are reporting machines down already, insecure machines, and at least one 4th Congressional District precinct without McKinney's name on the ballot, but with her opponent's name on it.
...
Another location had to redo the zero report because the machine did not initiate at a zero count. And at yet another location, the voting machine where the voting card is inserted is not secure.

We've reported on McKinney's troubles in the first round of the primary (here and here) and we have also mentioned the smear campaign being waged against her --- and against opponents of electronic voting in general --- by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a so-called "newspaper" which is part of the so-called "Cox media empire". Judging from their coverage of the first round of the primary, we should not expect the AJC to pay any attention to the claims of irregularities in this election, regardless of how well documented they might be.

The BRAD BLOG, on the other hand, will continue to keep you posted.

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

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Trade Union Leaders Say Government Diverted $227 Million From Educational Programs To Finance Calderon's Campaign
PLUS: An update from the protest in Mexico City
By Winter Patriot on 8/7/2006 11:33pm PT  

We almost missed this report from Prensa Latina, exposing claims of yet another way to "game" an election:

Mexico, Aug 2 (Prensa Latina) Independent trade union leaders have denounced an alleged fraud in the July 2 elections orchestrated by the president of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE), Elba Esther Gordillo.

The leaders of the National Coordinate of Education Workers (CNTE) assert that the government of President Vicente Fox diverted funds from social programs to be handled by Gordillo for election ends.

Artemio Ortiz told a news conference in the western state of Michoacan that the funds amount to more than 227 million dollars, which were initially allocated to educational programs.

Ortiz added that the money was used to finance the New Alliance Party of grassroots educators, to support the official presidential candidate, Felipe Calderon, and to set up a network of representatives at the polling stations.

What will they think of next?

And how long will it take before we start seeing this sort of thing here?

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

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Some Little-Known American History For Your Reading Pleasure, from Athens, Tennessee, August 1/2, 1946.
The Rallying Cry: 'Why fight overseas for freedom and come home and be denied the right to have your ballot counted?'
By Winter Patriot on 8/2/2006 1:24pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

from Bill Poovey, AP, in The Seattle Post Intelligencer :

Felix Harrod, 84, was a 25-year-old poll watcher at the courthouse during the shootout and said it was common for incumbents in the county about 45 miles northeast of Chattanooga to take ballot boxes to the jail and stuff them with pre-marked ballots.

That was a practice the former soldiers hoped to stop. They offered an all-ex-GI, nonpartisan ticket that promised a fraud-free election and reform. Their rallying cry: "Why fight overseas for freedom and come home and be denied the right to have your ballot counted?"

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

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By John Gideon on 8/1/2006 1:26pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Yesterday, according to an article in The Bakersfield Californian, a panel of California state senators held a hearing in Bakersfield to discern what happened in the county during the June 6 state primary. The panel consisted of Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Redondo Beach; Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield; and Sen. Joseph Dunn, D-Garden Grove.

The California Senate Select Committee on Integrity of Elections has launched an investigation into problems in elections in the state. That investigation started in Kern County (Bakersfield) with testimony by County Deputy Registrar of Voters Sandy Brockman, Diebold Election Systems official Mike Rockenstein, and other election workers.

Brockman stood in for her boss, Auditor-Controller Ann Barnett, who was on vacation and not available to answer questions about why some voters were not able to vote in the primary. In fact, the paper reports:

Ashburn asked why Barnett wasn't there to answer his tough questions about the decisions she made.

Brockman said Barnett was on vacation.

"She had scheduled vacation time prior to them calling this hearing," Brockman said.

Later, Ashburn said that "she (Barnett) chose not to be here. I got the impression at several points that Sandy Brockman had to take responsibility for actions that were made by Ann Barnett."

Ashburn was critical of Barnett immediately after the June 6 election. He called for Secretary of State Bruce McPherson to investigate the county's election bungles.

The questioning was all about mistakes:

Committee members pelted local elections officials with searing questions about why they failed the voters.

State Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, asked why touch-screen voting machines failed and paper ballots ran out making voting nearly impossible for as many as 500 Kern County voters.

County Deputy Registrar of Voters Sandy Brockman, sitting in for elections boss Auditor-Controller Ann Barnett, took the brunt of Ashburn's questions.

Under his questioning, she said Barnett decided not to train elections workers on the use of paper ballots and decided to send only the minimum number of paper ballots to each polling place.

Elections workers testified they were told not to use paper ballots.

But when electronic voting cards failed, the paper ballots ran out and as many as 500 voters could have lost the chance to vote, Brockman said.

The Diebold representative got his turn to answer some hard questions from Sen. Dunn:

Diebold made the voting machines and electronic ballot cards that malfunctioned in Kern County on June 6.

Through the negligence of Diebold, Dunn said, hundreds of Kern County voters were turned away at the polls and lost their chance to vote.

If a chance to vote is priceless, Dunn asked Rockenstein, how much would Diebold be willing to pay voters who could prove they couldn't vote because of the company's mistakes?

Rockenstein said he had no answer to that question.

The next stop by the panel has been unannounced so far. Could San Diego Co. be very far down on their list?

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By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2006 11:48am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

I was able to listen in via cell phone to the Press Conference just held outside the San Diego courthouse where Attorney Paul Lehto has filed a lawsuit to contest the results of the Busby/Bilbray election.

I wasn't able to hear everything...but here are a few quotes as transcribed as best as I could from speakers Lehto, Judy Hess, Barbara Gail Jacobson and Mimi Kennedy...

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

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A Tale Of Small-Town Electoral Corruption In Which All The Big Names Are ... Republican!
Is Charles Dougherty Taking The Rap For Some Well-Connected Kilgores?
By Winter Patriot on 7/27/2006 8:44pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Meet Mark Jenkins, a Republican from Gate City, Virginia, who supposedly lost the 2004 mayoral race, but who stood up for his rights, and for those of the voters, and for democracy in general, after it turned out that his opponent, incumbent Charles Dougherty, had captured nearly 90% of the absentee votes, but less than 51% of the overall total.

After the usual number of shenanigans and attempted shenanigans, the result has been overturned, and now the supposed winner faces time in prison! And --- guess what --- the people behind the shenanigans appear to have been --- are you ready for this --- well-connected Republicans!

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

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San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas is Still Being Allowed to Get Away With Screwing the Very Voters He's been Entrusted to Serve...
By Brad Friedman on 7/26/2006 11:50am PT  

Blogged on the road by Brad...

Mimi Kennedy, chair of Progressive Democrats of America, makes some noise re: the Busby/Bilbray election fiasco over at Huffington Post yesterday...

Lawless Elections: Sleepovers, Voter Vault and San Diego

Please note that PDA has been on top of this issue from Day 1, proving to be the only large national organization (along with VelvetRevolution.us, of course) to meet this issue with the seriousness that it deserves. For that, they deserve mountains of credit and support in return. Mimi has spoken at most of the CA50 Busby/Bilbray related Townhall Meetings and Press Conferences and has been organizing nationally to fight for accountability on this matter as well as to ensure the same mess won't happen around the country this November.

In other words, they're fighting for electoral integrity now rather than waiting until November. Their efforts should be a model for all groups, nationally and locally, who take election integrity seriously. As I've tried to stress many times, fighting for accountability in Busby/Bilbray now is about accountability across the nation prior to the election.

If there's one thing Busby/Bilbray teaches us, it's how difficult it is to fight for accountability after an election has been held when irresponsible, appointed elections officials like San Diego County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas are given credibility by the media simply because they have a title before their name. No matter how little they deserve such credibility and no matter how illegally and irresponsibly they administer an election against the best interests of the very voters they are supposed to be serving.

And now...I'm back off the grid. Don't bother me. I'm trying to notice trees and mountains and the sky. (When the phone's not ringing...urgh...)

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Just Published Report Condemns The Election Director and His Top Assistant
County Elections Board Decides, On a 2 To 2 Vote, To Keep The Director In His Job
By John Gideon on 7/21/2006 8:46pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

According to an article in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer the recent Cuyahoga County primary fiasco was the result of widespread dysfunction in the county's election offices, where officials ignored specific warnings of the looming calamity, according to a report also released today that blames election chief Michael Vu and deputy chief Gwen Dillingham.

According to the paper:

In the 394-page report, a three-member panel concludes its investigation of the flawed May 2 primary with descriptions of breakdown after breakdown at every level of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The problems included poorly trained poll workers, too few workers, the rehiring of poll workers with histories of poor performance, a lack of crucial supplies, error-filled and ambiguous manuals for poll workers, a careless or reckless disregard for security of the voting machines, and the refusal to accept help from outsiders with expertise.

The dysfunction was made worse by a rushed changeover from punch-card voting to electronic machines.

"Director Vu and [Deputy Director] Dillingham effectively ordered workers to do the impossible, or nearly impossible, with inadequate resources," the report says. "This is an across-the-board failure to plan and manage the first countywide endeavor in electronic voting."

The panel found that even when presented with 13 warnings of potential crises four months before the election, Vu forged ahead. In June, after most of the 13 predicted problems came to pass, Vu "had yet to grasp the enormity of the issues. . . . During a recent interview with panel members he said, "There's not much that I would change at all."

In a companion article the Plain Dealer reports on the 13 warnings and gives some examples:

Scanning machines might be unable to read thousands of absentee ballots.

Votng machine memory cards might not get to the election headquarters for counting.

Election workers might be unable to operate the machines.

Vu's system for counting votes might break down.

All of that came to pass.

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

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