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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


By Brad Friedman on 11/20/2004 10:52pm PT  

As if to say "Fuck off, Americans! We're busy with more important things!", The New York Times is running a smarmy little piece in tomorrow's Week in Review under the headline: "Still Unhappy About the Election? Here's a Place You Can Vent."

It's a piece about some of the email that's been sent to the "National Association of State Election Directors" --- whoever the hell they are --- complaining about the way the election was run and the way votes were counted, mistabulated, or whatever.

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."

Their criticism and sniffing dismissal of those of us who give a damn about getting this story right and told to the American people accurately is ironic coming from the "newspaper of record" which spent a year helping us get into a war by becoming the unquestioning lapdog of the Bush Adminstration's rhetoric and inaccurate propaganda. They had to issue an apology for their crappy reporting. And they've got the gall to criticize "bloggers" for covering this story?!

Still Unhappy About the NYTimes Disgraceful Coverage of This Story? Here's a Place You Can Vent!

UPDATE: I've decided to help The NY Times do their job. Please see these 15 Unanswered Questions about the Election Results that they may wish to investigate. Apparently they need a cheat sheet to get started!

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POST-SHOW UPDATE
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2004 1:50pm PT  

Well, that was fun. Just finished up the interview on the Pacifica Network's LA/Santa Barbara affilliate KPFK with host Jerry Quickley about blogging the whole story of the Election 2004/Voting Irregularity, Fraud, Mistabulation mess.

A fairly wide ranging conversation about how the blogs have played a key part in the story, the nap the mainstream media is largely taking, and how important it is that bloggers (aka CITIZENS!) are willing to examine what the corporate media, by and large, is apparently afraid to touch until the actual smoking gun shows up in their lap for them.

Quickley, by the way, is a madman. He also rocks. I look forward to doing it again soon.

I was able to nab the live stream from KPFK's site, so listen if ya like. About 17 minutes in your choice of 3 deliciously flavored formats:

God save Public Radio.

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(Published by Tom Tomorrow on 11/2/04!)
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2004 10:19pm PT  

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Need $113,000 to pay for it!
Paging Mr. Soros...Paging Mr. Soros...
By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2004 4:10pm PT  

In a bit of exciting news (which also tends on personal-level to give me some confidence that I I voted correctly), Green Party presidential candidate, David Cobb --- who was on the ballot in all 50 states, I'm sure you're surprised to learn --- and Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik will likely be calling for a full recount in the state of Ohio!

KPFK (90.7 FM in Los Angeles) broke the news yesterday in an interview with Mr. Cobb...

Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb declared that in all likelihood he would demand a recount of all the votes in the Presidential election in the state of Ohio. Since David Cobb's name appeared on the Ohio ballot, it is his legal right to ask for a statewide recount.
...
In order for a statewide recount to proceed in Ohio, candidate Cobb will have to raise approximately $113,000; or ten dollars per precinct. The deadline to demand a recount occurs after the State's results are deemed official by Ohio's Secretary of State, which won't take place for a few days.

The full radio interview can be heard here...

They have issued a Press Release on the matter this morning with further details.

Well, this could be it folks! As a presidential candidates in Ohio, Cobb and Badnark are within their rights to demand a recount! And I'd hope that there's enough folks with a few dollars left in their pockets to cover those costs for the Ohio recount!

This is big (and very encouraging) news for a number of reasons, the least of which will be the ability to give all of the many punch-card ballots in the state a fresh look.

One of the stories I haven't covered here, while many others have, is Greg Palast's "Kerry Won..." article. Palast discussed the sizeable number of potentially "spoiled" ballots that were not counted for Kerry in Ohio during the initial count. A recount, and I don't know yet if that means it'll be a "manual" recount or not, may likely shake out as many as 93,000 possible new Kerry votes (by Palasts reckoning anyway). It's unlikely that all of the spoiled ballots would go for Kerry, of course, many are likely for Bush, or have no vote or more than one vote on them and "spoiled" for good reason. But the idea of a carefully monitored recount is good news by any definition.

(Perhaps we'll even get to figure out what the hell went on in Warren County on Election Night!)

On this blog, I've mainly been focusing on the many computer-related counting errors and/or possible cases of fraud, since those are the issues that I find most haunting as the country moves towards its mandated 2006 deadline for all-electronic voting. So, I've not bothered to point out the more speculative nature of reports like Palast's until now, because until a re-count possibility came into play, his theory was mostly unprovable speculation. That may all now be changing...

DONATIONS can be made for the recount to either of the following sites. They're working together...Can you imagine that?!:

  • David Cobb's website: www.votecobb.org
  • Michael Badnarik's website: www.badnarik.org
  • Third parties are good for America...don't ya think?

    UPDATE: 11/15/04 Recount fundraising goal has been met! Now seeking funds for "mobilization" costs and also volunteers to serve as "recount witnesses"! Click here for more info...

    ReddIt this story!



    The Higher the Vote Turnout, the Fewer Votes for Kerry!
    Go figure!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2004 4:54pm PT  

    There's been much talk about the 97,489 more votes than voters cast in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. A plausible explanation for the huge difference between votes and actual voters, as reported via the Cuyahoga County website), is being attributed by County Officials to the strange method they have for including absentee ballots into the vote counts separately from the Election Day voters. Or something.

    So setting that oddity aside for the moment, take a look at this interesting graph. I have not been able to confirm the specific numbers it shows, so I can't testify to it's accuracy, but I'm posting it here because, if accurate, this seems worth getting out to the world for further scrutiny.

    Though it's difficult to read this small, the trend-lines are all that really matter here (The full sized graph is here).

    If correct, this graph would seem to show that precinct-by-precinct in Cuyahoga County, Ohio --- where Cleveland is, and thus it's a heavily Democratic county --- the larger the turnout in each precinct, the smaller the percentage of the vote for Kerry!

    The GREEN trend line is the size of voter turnout in each precinct, and the BLUE trend line is the percentage of votes for Kerry.

    While conventional wisdom is often wrong, if the above numbers are accurate, it does seem a bit odd to say the least that the higher the turnout in a strongly Democratic county (Kerry won Cuyahoga 63%-33% if I recall correctly), would result in a smaller percentage of votes for the Democrat!

    I don't know what to make of it, or how to explain it, but it seems worth putting out there for the armchair investigators.

    UPDATE: I was asked what the balloting/counting methods are in Cuyahoga County. Apparently punch card, as counted by machines made by our old friends at ...Election Systems and Software, Inc. (ES&S). Source

    ReddIt this story!



    By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2004 4:25pm PT  

    Apparently this story appeared last Friday, but I missed it. I'm trying to keep all of these stories straight, report them only once, and attempt to confirm them before passing them on.

    In this case, as many as 22,000 miscounted votes were caught in time to reverse the results of two different races in state races in North Carolina according to the Charlotte Observer.

    Agriculture, education races change as counties fix vote-tally errors

    The Guilford totals didn't change President Bush's win in the state, but did shift the vote total by 22,000.

    Please remember the announced margin of "victory" for Bush in Ohio was about 135,000 in a state of 5.5 million. How many of these types of errors went undetected and/or unreported in Ohio?

    How many more of these types of articles do you we need, folks? The system is a disaster, and Congress is sitting on their hands waiting for the Electoral College deadline to pass.

    Sign this online letter now if you haven't already! And this one too!

    ReddIt this story!



    ...While Democrats solidly take the state.
    By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2004 2:49pm PT  

    MyDD has a telling analysis of the situation in North Carolina where problems with vote counting (some votes apparently counted twice in some places, 4,500 votes completely lost elsewhere, etc.) may require a re-vote in all, or part, of North Carolina.

    Nonetheless, it's telling that, though the Republican candidates for President and U.S. Senate were able to claim victories down there, Democrats somehow had virtually all the rest of the success in NC.

    The NC Democratic candidate for Governor won in a landslide (55%-44%), Dems won control of the NC House by at least 3 seats, and in the NC Senate the Dems added to their "already healthy" margin. Additionally, the first openly gay lesbian to be elected to the NC statehouse was also victorious in her Senate race!

    That victory on the state level mirrors other results around the country, where Dems solidly increased their foothold, or took control of many State Legislatures and Governships.

    Even Dallas, TX(!!!) elected a lesbian/hispanic Sheriff!

    All of which just serves to make me even more suspicious of the election results.

    Republicans control the "Solid South" says conventional wisdom --- but then how does one account for North Carolina? "Value voters" showed up and gave Bush his victory, says CV, and yet gay and lesbian candidates had unprecedented victories in "solid" GOP strongholds.

    It's certainly reasonable to assume that voters preferred the GOP at the national level while opting for Dems back at home...for whatever reason. Had there not be so many other oddities in the days following this election, I'd likely not have given it all too much thought. But taking everything we now know about highly improbable disparities in the Exit Polling --- where alleged "inaccuracies" just happened to only benefit Bush and never Kerry in the final results --- along with everything else we now know about the manufacturers of the E-Voting and Counting machines, their secrecy and their exceedingly close ties to the Republican party, it all just adds to my existing suspicions here that something stinks. Bad.

    ReddIt this story!



    While 150,000 Votes Already Miscounted or Lost!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2004 11:50am PT  

    Yesterday Bev Harris' BlackBoxVoting.org site began issuing "Bandwidth Exceeded" messages to users attempting to access the site. Such a message generally occurs when more users are attempting to access the site than the server can comfortably handle or when the bandwidth allocated by the domain's Internet Provider is exceeded.

    Today, attempts to access the site now simply return a "Cannot Find Server" page, leading me to believe that hack attempts and/or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have been successful for the time being. [UPDATE: BlackBoxVoting.org is now finally back online. At least for now.]

    We have had such attacks here at the BRAD BLOG for the last three days which have taken us similarly down and/or greatly slowed page retrieval at various times. Given the much higher profile BBV has had, it's little surprise that folks who'd rather see patriotic efforts like theirs discontinued would work feverishly to disrupt it.

    Ms. Harris and BBV has been spearheading a huge "Freedom of Information Act" filing to collect and review audit logs and other materials from the election in some 3,000 US counties, and thus, her group has attracted quite a bit of attention in the past week. BBV has been attempting to warn Americans for at least the past year about the ticking time-bombs of unregulated, unauditable, and privately owned Electronic Voting machines and their corporate owners (the vast majority of them very closely tied to the Republican party).

    Attempts to silence and/or disrupt sites like hers and ours, I believe, speak volumes in support of the underlying charges that we've been making. If there was nothing to fear in examining the inner-workings of these companies, and the way that our votes our counted --- specifically in last week's election --- there would be no reason to attempt to silence and disrupt those who are attempting to do so.

    In other words, if the election was clean and fair, what's the fear of giving it a close inspection?

    Now perhaps the problem at BBV really is simply related to an overage of bandwidth demand, however, given past attacks the site has received, similar attacks here, and the message changing from "Bandwidth Exceeded" to "Cannot Find Server", I'm inclined to believe that the problem is hostile attacks.

    To those who claim that the roughly 150,000 (so far) documented votes that have been reported and confirmed by Election Officials as being mis-allocated would not have changed any election results, I'd point out:

    1) Those are just the numbers reported by a mainstream media which by and large went "on vacation" after Kerry's "concession" last Wednesday.

    2) Many of those mistabulated and/or lost votes discovered were due to software errors that likely exist on many other identical computers in many other counties in America where they may not yet have been noticed and/or reported.

    3) The results of at least one ballot initiative last Tuesday has already been reversed when 70,000 previously mis-counted votes due to "software error" were "discovered" in Broward County, FL!

    4) There has been a long record of elections in this country being mis-tabulated and/or reversed due to Electronic Voting Machine error in recent history.

    Chapter 2 of Bev Harris' book, Black Box Voting outlines tons of those recently overturned elections. Here's the PDF version of Chapter 2, but since it's currently offline as of this posting, here's a summary of just a few such recent incidents summarized courtesy of Hunter over at DailyKos:

    In the 2002 general election, a computer miscount overturned the House District 11 result in Wayne County, North Carolina. Incorrect programming caused machines to skip several thousand partyline votes, both Republican and Democratic. Fixing the error turned up 5,500 more votes and reversed the election for state representative.
    ...
    Voting machines failed to tally "yes" votes on the 2002 school bond issue in Gretna, Nebraska. This error gave the false impression that the measure had failed miserably, but it actually passed by a 2 to 1 margin. Responsibility for the errors was attributed to ES&S, the Omaha company that had provided the ballots and the machines.
    ...
    An Orange County, California, election computer made a 100 percent error during the April 1998 school bond referendum. The Registrar of Voters Office initially announced that the bond issue had lost by a wide margin; in fact, it was supported by a majority of the ballots cast. The error was attributed to a programmer's reversing the "yes" and "no" answers in the software used to count the votes.
    ...
    Software programming errors, sorry. Oh, and reverse that election, we announced the wrong winner. In the 2002 Clay County, Kansas, commissioner primary, voting machines said Jerry Mayo ran a close race but lost, garnering 48 percent of the vote, but a hand recount revealed Mayo had won by a landslide, receiving 76 percent of the vote.
    ...
    In the November 2002 general election in Scurry County, Texas, poll workers got suspicious about a landslide victory for two Republican commissioner candidates. Told that a "bad chip" was to blame, they had a new computer chip flown in and also counted the votes by hand --- and found out that Democrats actually had won by wide margins, overturning the election.
    ...
    In 1986 the wrong candidate was declared the winner in Georgia. Incumbent Democrat Donn Peevy was running for state senator in District 48. The machines said he lost the election. After an investigation revealed that a Republican elections official had kept uncounted ballots in the trunk of his car, officials also admitted that a computerized voting program had miscounted. Peevy insisted on a recount. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "When the count finished around 1 a.m., they [the elections board] walked into a room and shut the door," recalls Peevy. "When they came out, they said, `Mr. Peevy, you won.' That was it. They never apologized. They never explained."
    ...
    A software programming error gave the election to the wrong candidate in November 1999 in Onondaga County, New York. Bob Faulkner, a political newcomer, went to bed on election night confident he had helped complete a Republican sweep of three open council seats. But after Onondaga County Board of Elections staffers rechecked the totals, Faulkner had lost to Democratic incumbent Elaine Lytel. Just a few hours later, election officials discovered that a software programming error had given too many absentee ballot votes to Lytel. Faulkner took the lead.
    ...
    In a 1998 Salt Lake City election, 1,413 votes never showed up in the total. A programming error caused a batch of ballots not to count, though they had been run through the machine like all the others. When the 1,413 missing votes were counted, they reversed the election.

    If an official investigation doesn't take place immediately, there is little hope of determing the correct winner of any number of races from last week's election. Not the least of which is the race for President of the United States. And I would think, especially after four years of questions about George W. Bush's legitimacy as "President" that even the Right Wingnuts would like to be able to demonstrate once and for all to the American People that he was, in fact, legitimately elected this time.

    For more on the suddenly silent Right Wingers, see my recent BuzzFlash Editorial. And be sure to sign this Online Petition calling for an immediate investigation!

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    Apparently, it's up to us to find the answers.
    (Sshhh...Don't wake media.)
    By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2004 9:25pm PT  

    Excellent and cogent analysis and action items concerning Florida and the Exit Polls from Ian Welsch over at BOP. Please give it a look and see if you can help.

    I would add one further question/action item to Ian's list. It would be useful to learn what type of counting machine was in use in Broward County when it began subtracting votes from the tally, due to a bug in the software, and what other counties in Florida and/or the rest of the country used the same machine and software. 70,000 votes were "found" in that incident, and a local initiative overturned with the discovery of them.

    The code used in these machines is not written separately for each individual machine that I know of. If the error occurred once in Broward (and was reportedly noticed), where else did it also occur and not get noticed?

    Ditto for the UniElect machine in North Carolina that entirely lost at least 7,000 votes in a single county because it's memory chip only held 3005 votes instead of the 10,000 that manufacturer UniLect had promised. Where else was the same type of computer in use? I know Ohio used UniLect machines, and they reported unfixable problems with them on Election Day, but I haven't been able to tell if they were the same type as those in North Carolina.

    (It must be up to us to figure this crap out, because the MSM is enjoying their well-deserved nap.)

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    The World is Watching
    By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2004 1:34pm PT  

    American democracy is the beacon and light and hope for the rest of the world. While their emerging democracies may not always take the exact form that ours does, central to all of them is --- and must continue to be --- "the expression of the will of the people" via clean and open elections.

    Emerging democracies in the world, however, are taking note of the debacle we've had here again. Twice now in a row with our most important election. And with so many countries that we are attempting to push towards delicate democracies at this time, it's more important than ever.

    This is the story running today Russia's PRAVDA: "Did Bush fix the elections? - Why did Kerry throw in the towel so soon?"

    If we are unable to demonstrate to world an example of how clean, fair and transparent elections must be run, what in God's name gives any of you people the illusion that other countries will do any better? And what of the Moral Authority that we must have to require of them that their elections be clean, fair and transparent?

    I don't care which side of the political winds you're on (Bush's, Kerry's or anyone else's), if America doesn't have a national election that we can proudly hold up as a shining beacon of democracy in our own country, we'll hardly be able to demand the same from any country in the rest of the world.

    Wake up, America.

    UPDATE: For more on all of this from "the Internationals" see this from The International Herald-Tribune as reported by AltWeeklies.com:

    [A] group consisting of 92 international election monitors, invited by the State Department, gave a rather dim assessment. The International Herald Tribune reported, The observers said they had less access to polls than in Kazakhstan, that the electronic voting had fewer fail-safes than in Venezuela, that the ballots were not so simple as in the Republic of Georgia and that no other country had such a complex national election system.

    (Thanks Fin for the tip!)

    CLARIFICATION: The Pravda article reported above is from Pravda Online - a distinct publication from the old Communist Party-Controlled Pravda Newspaper. Though Pravda Online is published in Russian as well as English, and it's journalists are made up of reporters from the old Pravda Newspaper, I should have made that distinction in my original article. See the comments on this item for more detail. Thanks Raw Story's John Byrne for calling the issue to my attention.

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    Mainstream Media Coverage, DNC Press Release & 97,000 Extra Votes in Cuyahoga County, OH!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2004 12:07pm PT  

    Okay, lots of stuff now beginning to come out this morning, folks.

    First, credit where it's due to MSNBC's Countdown for being amongst the first and only major Mainstream Media to give full coverage to this scandal. You can watch most of the full 17-minutes report they did last night courtesy of our bandwidth friendly friends at "Crooks & Liars" (via Windows Media Player here) and Brian Duffy (via QuickTime version here).

    Second, it looks like the DNC is finally beginning to show up and play. Ever timidly, as we'd expect from them, but they're beginning to show up nonetheless and have now issued a Press Release calling for accounting from the 50 Secretaries of States on their counting practices. Read their Press Release here. More on this later today. (and thanks to reader Mazelle for the tip!)

    Also, according to that MSNBC report, 3 more House Democrats have now joined the call of the original 3 Dems (Nadler, Wexler & Conyers) on the House Judiciary Committee asking the GAO for an investigation. That's good news, but we're still waiting for the rest

    Last, for the moment (though certainly not least!) --and I will have more detail on this shortly --- it looks as though 97,000 more votes than voters have been added to the tallies in Cuyahoga County, OH! Now that's where Cleveland is, so it's a heavily Democratic district (I believe it went 63%-33% in favor of Kerry), and it was that counties totals that everyone was watching on Tuesday night to see if it would close the previously announced gap for Bush in Ohio.

    In some precincts, the vote tallies show as being some 1000% (yes, that's thousand!) higher than the number of actual voters in the precinct! I will have much more on that later today.

    Could that mean too many votes were added for Kerry there? Yup. Could that mean too many votes were added for Bush there? Yup. Could there be an innocent explanation for it? Yup.

    Would I like to see this cleared up even if it means fewer votes for Kerry in the end? Yup.

    Do I think elections should be a helluva of a lot cleaner and more organized than the mess we're seeing in Election '04? Hell yeah.

    Check out the DailyKos story and see what you think. More on that one in particular, shortly...

    What's clear is that your hard work is beginning to get the traction it deserves! Keep making noise! Pass these links around, and demand that the Media and the Politicians account for whatever the hell is going on with these increasingly pungent smelling election "results"!

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    It Gets Curiouser and Curiouser...
    By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2004 10:09pm PT  

    I referred to Auglaize County, Ohio in the previous item as having the 4th highest percentage of votes for George W. Bush in all of Ohio.

    The Evening Leader is reporting on some very strange goings on in that county just prior to the election when the entire Elections Board was notified by Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's office that they were being placed on "administrative oversight". No explanation was has yet been given by the Ohio Sec. of State's office.

    The nugget that caught my eye was this report of an ES&S employee reported using the main vote tallying computer --- against election protocol --- about two weeks prior to the election:

    In a letter dated Oct. 21, Ken Nuss, former deputy director of the Auglaize County Board of Elections, claimed that Joe McGinnis, a former employee of Election Systems and Software (ES&S), the company that provides the voting system in Auglaize County, was on the main computer that is used to create the ballot and compile election results, which would go against election protocol. Nuss claimed in the letter that McGinnis was allowed to use the computer the weekend of Oct. 16.

    Nuss, who resigned from his job Oct. 21 after being suspended for a day, was responsible for overseeing the computerized programming of election software, according to his job description. His resignation is effective Nov. 11.

    I've attempted, to no avail, to get more information on this story since the original report is not particularly well written, and offers quite a few vagaries. I couldn't reach the original reporter and Mr. Nuss did not return my call. Few other reporters seem to be looking into it. So at this point, I think it's important to get the story out there, and let the Internets take over. (Since apparently the Mainstream Media is more interested in Scott Peterson's hung jury, than the will of the people in the world's most important democracy.)

    ReddIt this story!



    All Media Locked out of Counting due to
    Warren County Bush Vote Nearly Highest in State!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2004 9:36pm PT  

    Citing "homeland security concerns", Warren County, OH was alone in locking out media from their counting of ballots on Election Night. They were amongst the last to report their tallies that night, and according to Ohio's Election Night website Warren County ended up having the highest percentage of Bush votes amongst all of Ohio counties that had a total vote turnout greater than 22,500.

  • Warren 92,251 votes - Bush: 72.1% Kerry: 27.53%
  • There were only four counties with a higher percentage vote for Bush, and they all had 22,279 voters or less:

  • Mercer 20,058 votes - Bush: 74.89% Kerry: 24.55%
  • Putnam 18,631 votes - Bush: 76.20% Kerry: 23.34%
  • Holmes 10,976 votes - Bush: 75.61% Kerry: 23.89%
  • Auglaize 22,279 votes - Bush: 73.78% Kerry: 25.71%
  • So what happened that night in Warren County when all of America was waiting for the counting to finish in Ohio to decide the election? Why was it the only county in all of Ohio where media was not allowed to witness the counting?

    The Cincinnati Enquirer explained it this way:

    Citing concerns about potential terrorism, Warren County officials locked down the county administration building on election night and blocked anyone from observing the vote count as the nation awaited Ohio's returns.

    County officials say they took the action Tuesday night for homeland security, although state elections officials said they didn't know of any other Ohio county that closed off its elections board. Media organizations protested, saying it violated the law and the public's rights. The Warren results, delayed for hours because of long lines that extended voting past the scheduled close of polls, were part of the last tallies that helped clinch President Bush's re-election.

    "The media should have been permitted into the area where there was counting," Enquirer attorney Jack Greiner said. "This is a process that should be done in complete transparency and it wasn't."

    Warren County Emergency Services Director Frank Young said he had recommended increased security based on information received from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in recent weeks.

    Commissioners made the security decisions in a closed-door meeting last week, but didn't publicize the restrictions that were made until after polls closed.
    ...
    Typically, the Warren County commissioners' room is set up as a gathering place for people to watch the votes come in. But that wasn't done this year.
    ...
    A representative of The Associated Press, which had stringers at every Ohio board of elections site, said no such election-night access problems were reported outside of Warren County.

    It's ashame both Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are apparently now dead, isn't it?

    UPDATE: MSNBC is reporting that "the federal government" was involved in the lock-down!:

    the decision got more dubious still when County Commissioners confirmed that they were acting on the advice of their Emergency Services Director, Frank Young. Mr. Young had explained that he had been advised by the federal government to implement the measures for the sake of Homeland Security.

    Connect. The. Dots. People.

    UPDATE: 11/10/04 5:5pm PT Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown --- virtually the only major media organization giving this story the coverage it deserves --- has just reported that both the FBI and the Homeland Security Dept. have denied giving warnings in Ohio to anybody about anything. That would be contrary to the claims made in this report which quotes a letter from the President of the Elections Board in Warren explaining that the lockdown was due to warnings they'd recieved from the FBI. The letter says in part:

    In a face to face meeting between the FBI and our director of Emergency Services, we were informed that on a scale from 1 to 10, the tri-state area of Southwest Ohio was ranked at a high 8 to a low 9 in terms of security risk. Warren County in particular, was rated at 10 (with 10 being the highest risk).

    Okay. So now who's telling the truth? And why did they lock down Warren County and, unlike every other county in Ohio, disallow reporters from witnessing the vote tallying?

    UPDATE: 11/23/04 Cincinnati Enquirer, the paper which broke the Warren County Lockdown story originally, reports that the county had been planning the action for at least a week prior to the election. Details...

    ReddIt this story!



    'Something zapped it'
    Something? (ES&S Again!)
    By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2004 8:18pm PT  

    Why is it only in heavy Democratic counties that votes just seem to disappear? But in Republican counties, votes just seem to get added? This time, "something zapped it" in a heavily Democratic country in Indiana:

    "Maybe there was a power surge," LaPorte County Clerk Lynne Spevak said. "Something zapped it."

    At about 7 p.m. Tuesday, it was noticed that the first two or three printouts from individual precinct reports all listed an identical number of voters. Each precinct was listed as having 300 registered voters.

    That means the total number of voters for the county would be 22,200, although there are actually more than 79,000 registered voters.
    ...
    Spevak said workers at the clerk's office thought a computer correction could be done once they received a software patch from Election Systems and Software, the Chicago company that provided the tabulation software. However, the patch did not work.

    "We thought we could get a copy of it e-mailed file to us and start all over, but once the program was downloaded from Chicago, it still didn't work right," Spevak said.

    Dots connecting yet for ya? If not, read on. Otherwise, I'm working on trying to organize some "action items" now. Hope to have news on that in the next day or two...

    ReddIt this story!



    ES&S Strikes/Fails Again
    By Brad Friedman on 11/7/2004 8:07pm PT  

    How many of these is it gonna take before the "Grownups" in the Media and the DNC realize what seems to be going on here?

    Sarpy County election officials are trying to figure out how they ended up with more votes than voters in the general election. As many as 10,000 extra votes have been tallied and candidates are still waiting for corrected totals.
    ...
    For some reason, some votes were counted twice.

    Deputy Sarpy County Election Commissioner Ed Gilbert says, "It affected 32 of the 80 precincts. And I suppose as many as 10,000 votes."

    Sarpy County borrowed the election equipment from Omaha-based Election Systems & Software. Its employees operated the machines that are now double-checking the ballots.

    No one is sure exactly what went wrong.

    Uh...perhaps it's the fact that ES&S employees are operating these machines?? Instead of Election Officials?! Isn't that the law in these matters?

    ReddIt this story!



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