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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, April 23, 2014
'Green News Report' 4/22/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
It's our 500th episode! Coincidentally, it's also Earth Day! So, we look both back and forward at climate coverage & the GNR in a very special Green News Report!...
Previous GNRs: 4/17/14 - 4/15/14 - Archives...
CA Green Party SoS Candidate Excluded from Sacramento Press Club Debate
Despite a recent poll showing he leads two candidates who were invited, David Curtis gets snubbed by press group, and he's not happy...
'In Your Heart, You Know He's Right'
Barry Goldwater, the GOP's most conservative Presidential nominee ever, was a leftist, tree-hugging, Big Govt environmentalist whacko hell-bent on destroying the economy...
More Good 'Obamacare' News for Terrified Dems
Will Democrats continue to run scared, or will they embrace the unrelenting string of encouraging Affordable Care Act successes as we head into the 2014 mid-terms?...
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
Previous GNRs: 4/15/14 - 4/10/14 - Archives...
The Climate Is Invading the Earth!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat we face with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
PowerLine's hyper-partisan Hinderaker admits Cliven Bundy 'doesn't have a [legal] leg to stand on', but digs deep to find any reason to defend the scofflaw anyway...
Sunday News Shows Fail to Mention U.S. Senate CIA Torture & Detention Report
Despite U.S. and international crimes outlined in the findings, based on first-hand CIA docs, not a single Sunday show even brought it up...
NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of customers...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Previously Unreleased 200-Page Report Said to Document Some 180 Security Flaws and Recommendations Made to Diebold and the State
Still Unclear as to Who Made Changes, Additions, Redactions to Publicly Released 40-Page Version of Report…
By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2006 7:02pm PT  

On Friday night, we broke Rebecca Abrahams's exclusive story concerning the long-sought yet never-released complete "Risk Assessment Report" of Diebold's electronic voting systems as commissioned by the state of Maryland from the Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in 2003.

Tonight, The BRAD BLOG is releasing that report exclusively in full as given to us by Abrahams, who says she obtained it from a source described to us as "a patriotic high-level state official." She says the source is "someone very close to this situation" in the Maryland government.

The original, never-before-released SAIC report was nearly 200 pages in all, and details a number of extraordinary security vulnerabilities found in Diebold's AccuVote-TS (touch-screen) voting systems as deployed by the state of Maryland initially in 2002. The version of the SAIC report that was eventually released to the public, after extreme redaction, was a mere 38 pages long.

It was reported by Abrahams that neither the full MD State Board of Elections, nor even the Governor himself, was ever allowed to see the full report.

Regarded by many in the computer science, security, and election integrity community as "The Pentagon Papers of E-Voting," the report as released by MD's State Election Administrator, Linda Lamone, was edited, changed, and, of course, highly redacted by someone.

To this date, it remains unclear whether or not Diebold itself was responsible for the changes, edits, and redactions, but according to several computer scientists and security experts with whom we discussed the matter today, the company currently seems to be the leading candidate responsible for changing and removing information from the independently commissioned SAIC report. Those with whom we spoke questioned the propriety of Diebold having such final control over an independent report concerning its own systems. Systems, we might add, that will be used across the state and indeed across the entire country this November 7th, despite the information withheld from the public in this 2003 report.

Also unclear --- since the state and virtually the entire computer science and security community have been unable to review the complete, original report until now --- is whether or not any of the various 180 or so recommendations for changes contained in the report have ever been addressed and corrected by either Diebold or the state of Maryland.

Myriad independent reports on Diebold systems have shown, over the last several months and years since the SAIC report was completed, that scores of serious security vulnerabilities still remain on Diebold's voting systems --- including their paper-based optical-scan voting machines, touch-screen voting machines, and even their central tabulator software.

Reports of these serious vulnerabilities have now been documented by Finnish computer scientist Harri Hursti, the computer security firm Security Innovation, and BlackBoxVoting.org in both Leon County, FL and then in Emery County, UT; by a team of scientists at UC Berkeley commissioned by the CA Sec. of State; by Princeton University; and even by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team (as The BRAD BLOG originally reported in September of 2005 after a tip from a Diebold insider).

Whether or not the vulnerabilities revealed in those subsequent studies --- made mostly over the last year or so, but some, such as the Dept. of Homeland Security's CERT alert came even prior to the 2004 Presidential Election --- were discovered previously in the full 2003 SAIC report has been widely questioned until now.

If, in fact, such vulnerabilities were indeed found in 2003 by SAIC but subsequently kept covered up by Diebold or their allies within the MD State Elections division, such as longtime booster Lamone, the question of accountability --- and even the specter of malicious out-and-out fraud --- has been raised.

During an interview with Abrahams and Stephen Spoonamore, the CEO of computer security firm Cybrinth Inc., on a radio program we co-hosted yesterday, they suggested that an FBI investigation may currently be under way in Maryland concerning several events surrounding the use of Diebold machines in the state.

We've not yet had time to review the entire unredacted report as posted below. However, given the importance of this never-before-released information --- and after close consultation with Abrahams and several others --- The BRAD BLOG feels the national public interest in the information contained in this report requires full and immediate release and disclosure.

The report, therefore, is released here for the first time...

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

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By John Gideon on 10/28/2006 1:22pm PT  

Blogged By John Gideon, 28 October 2006

Still over a week from election day and already the problems are piling up. Meanwhile the vendors and their shills are making excuses and attempting to sell the voting public a line of garbage. Among the shills is a federal agency, the Election Assistance Commission, that is supposed to assist the voter and, instead, has sent their chairman out on the road to defend the vendors.

In a blog posted yesterday, Brad said it well:

"The U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) is a complete and utter failure. The current commissioner, Paul DeGregorio, has done nothing to instill confidence in elections or provide a lick of oversight in the deployment and use of these voting systems across the nation in the Midterm Election. In his latest interviews and editorials, he is reprehensibly doing nothing but echoing Voting Machine Company propaganda and Election Officials who choose to be apologists for them."

In a rebuttal to DeGregorios' opinion piece in the Tallahassee Democrat Avi Rubin, Johns-Hopkins Professor, computer scientist and author of "Brave New Ballot" had this to say in his blog:

"I have not seen any reason to trust our nation's voting equipment. Trusting it just because an election official says we should is not good enough for me. I want to trust a system because I don't believe it can be compromised, not because someone implies that not trusting it is not patriotic."

In The Mean Time Across The Nation...

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

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By John Gideon on 10/26/2006 9:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.Org

In what may be the most revealing of all of the "Democracy At Risk" series Lou and Kitty discuss the broken system of certifying electronic voting systems for use by the voter. Lou correctly points out that the system represents a conflict of interest between the manufacturers and the Independent Test Authorities (ITA) who are paid by the manufacturers to test and approve the manufacturers products.

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

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

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BRAD BLOG FRONT PAGE: They're Not 'Glitches', And They're Not the Fault of the Poll Workers! Stop Blaming Them!
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2006 2:40pm PT  

On the same day as NYTimes front paged a story on the coming electoral meltdown. Chicago Trib follows suit in a front pager today that focuses on massive problems in Chicago and Cook County.

Like the Times, who modified their original headline yesterday shortly after publishing to refer to "Voting Woes" instead of "Voting Chaos" as it was originally described, the Trib turns backflips to downplay the concerns, blame as much as possible the poll workers and "human error," along with "glitches" and "hiccups," instead of placing blame where it squarely deserves to be placed: on the Voting Machine Companies and the Elections Officials who approved this garbage for use in our elections.

The headline is "Voting Glitches Feared on Nov. 7," but as a close reading of the article reveals, these are not "voting glitches." They are not even "glitches." They are FAILURES of the voting machine companies and elections officials. Period. End of story. Got that?

The story rightly refers to "a virtual meltdown" in last spring's primary in Chicago and Cook County, and goes on to add that vote totals can be completely fried...

[I]t will still be possible for workers to accidentally fry vote totals if they forget to disconnect the power from ballot scanners before data cartridges are removed at the end of the night.

"We don't want you to erase any of the memory," warned Gail Weisberg, Cook County's equipment manager/coordinator, during a training class last week in Hoffman Estates.

So vote totals can be entirely "fried" and yet we're actually using this system on November 7th?! Moreover, note the language above that says it's "possible for workers" to fry the vote totals. Instead of the more appropriate, "it's possible that the poorly designed systems could have their entire vote totals fried."

As I've gotta hit the road to head up North for speaking engagements and meetings over the next several days, and as things are now melting down all around us, as predicted --- with some 20 days left until Nov. 7th --- my patience is just about worn thin with the apologists, liars, and those journalists, "advocates," and public officials who have no excuse to claim ignorance anymore.

So I hope you'll pardon the more graphic language I feel compelled to use below...

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

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California Secretary of State Has Difficult Relationship With the Truth
McP Squares Off, Falls on Face, Against Non-Lying Opponent Debra Bowen in Live Debate
By Brad Friedman on 10/19/2006 11:35am PT  

We spoke about the Democratic, and actually qualified candidate for California Sec. of State Debra Bowen yesterday.

So, equal time. Let's talk about the completely unqualified, partisan mouthpiece, the current Schwarzenneger-appointed California Secretary of State and accomplished liar, Bruce McPherson.

Oh, and as the end of yesterday's debate revealed, he's also a loathsome human being.

The two debated before the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board. It was broadcast live --- now available to watch on the web --- and very informative. Here are some thoughts of ours on several of McP's obfuscations lies comments during the debate.

NOTE: Quotes of his below aren't always exact, but damned near. With one of McP's quotes, however, we had to go back and check three times, just to make sure we heard him right. We did. And we're appalled.

He actually said, "Under Secretary of State Bowen, if that ever happens, I will tell you, the blind and disabled will not be eligible to vote privately and independently."

Bowen replied gracefully by saying his comment was "shameful" and "not [McPherson's] finest moment."

Our personal replies to that appalling comment, and McP's host of other lies, follow below, and are far less charitable. As you may know, the election for California SoS may prove to be the most important race for the future of the nation's electoral system. Our snarky, point-by-point rebuttal to the truth-challenged McP --- who is working for the voting machine companies, not the voters of California --- follows in full...

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

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California SoS Denies Certification To Vote-PAD
By John Gideon on 8/28/2006 4:55pm PT  

"Off with Their Heads!" cried the Queen of Hearts

"How am I to get in?" asked Alice again, in a louder tone.
"Are you to get in at all?" said the Footman. "That's the first question, you know."

It was a Queen of Hearts sort of a day in California on August 9, 2006. The Secretary of State's advisory panel was hearing public comments regarding the pending certification of the Vote-PAD, a non-electronic assistive device designed to help voters with disabilities mark and verify a paper ballot independently.

Voting integrity advocates held signs supporting the certification of Vote-PAD. They told of countless failures of computerized voting systems. They spoke about recent discoveries of easily hackable "back doors" into the vote totals on those systems, which have been certified. By contrast, "Vote-PAD is no more hackable than a #2 pencil," said one.

Notwithstanding this and the letters praising the Vote-PAD from dozens of people with visual and motor disabilities, the Secretary of State's staff was recommending against certifying the Vote-PAD for use in California.

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

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Vote-PAD's President Explains The Flaws in The State's Test Plan and Certification Process
By John Gideon on 8/9/2006 12:50pm PT  

Blogged by John Gideon

As reported previously the state of California unfairly treated voters with disabilities in the testing of the Vote-PAD, a voting assistive device designed specifically for use by voters with disabilities and successfully tested and used by those voters across the country. The fact that the staff of the Secretary of State of California used shoddy test procedures and then recommended denial of certification, based on those test procedures, of the Vote-PAD is certainly questionable. Why haven't other voting systems, that purport to be accessible, been tested by the disabilities community at all?

As reported earlier, today is the public hearing for the Vote-PAD. Ellen Theisen, President and Founder of Vote-PAD has testified about the problems with the test procedure. In her testimony she referred to accompanying testimony from Valerie Rice, PhD., CPE, OTR/L, whose PhD is in "Human Factors Engineering (Industrial Engineering and Operations Research) with a specialization in Human Factors Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and masters degrees in both Occupational Therapy (University of Puget Sound) and Health Care Administration (Baylor University). She is a Board Certified Professional Ergonomist and a liscensed and registered Occupational Therapist". In other words, Dr. Rice is the person who should have written the states test procedure which would have given everyone a fair and even field for making a judgment on Vote-PAD.

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

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Voters To Hold Press Conference Before Public Hearing In Sacramento On Wednesday
By John Gideon on 8/7/2006 7:56am PT  

Guest Blogged By John Gideon

Vote-PAD is a low-tech, voting assistive device that was developed with input from the disabilities community. Because it is inexpensive to purchase and maintain, Vote-PAD is a threat to electronic voting systems. Vote-PAD also makes voting a possibility for a wider range of voters with disabilities than do almost all of the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) or touch-screen voting systems.

Even though some northern California counties had already purchased Vote-PAD for use in their elections as their HAVA compliant voting system for voters with disabilities; the Secretary of State decided that they would have to certify Vote-PAD for use with the optical-scan systems that are in use in each of the user counties.

The state then wrote a test plan that was totally unfair to the voters with disabilities who were expected to test the Vote-PAD. The state did not use a Human Factors Usability Testing Expert, an expert in writing test procedures for disabilities access. Instead they wrote a procedure that would have been better suited to testing a computerized voting system and they appear to have done this without really understanding how voters with disabilities actually use the device.

It is important to note that the state of California has certified for use many voting systems produced by Sequoia, Elections Systems and Software, Diebold, and Hart Intercivic. These devices have been certified by the state as being HAVA compliant and usable by voters with disabilities. Yet, not one of the electronic voting systems has been tested specifically by the disabilities community or even advocates for that community. Instead, a cursory inspection was made by unqualified staff and/or unqualified consultants and they were all accepted for use.

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

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By John Gideon on 7/30/2006 8:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Today the Arizona Daily Star printed their awaited opinion piece that has three members of the county government responding to questions that were compiled by the paper's staff from their readers' responses to the paper's ill-researched editorial of earlier in the week.

Responding to the Letter To The Editor comments and questions were County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, who allowed the county to spend over a million dollars to buy new Diebold TSx machines. Also responding are Elections Director Brad Nelson and John H. Moffatt, of the county's Office of Strategic Technology Planning. Both are proponents of the Diebold TSx. And, by the way the questions/concerns were answered, both seem willing to do nearly anything to ensure Diebold gets the Pima Co. taxpayers' money...

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

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REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: 'Do we care less about our voting machines than our ATM machines?'
By John Gideon on 7/12/2006 8:51am PT  

Last night, Tuesday, Kitty Pilgrim stood in for Lou Dobbs for "Democracy At Risk" on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight.

Tonight's report (text transcript at bottom of this article) featured a discussion of the reliability of the voting machines used across the United States. Featured in tonights segment were John Washburn of VoteTrustUSA.Org, New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and EAC Commissioner Paul DeGregorio.

DeGregorio had this to say about the reliability standards:

We believe that it is very important that these guidelines and any kind of standards be improved all the time, and we're working on spending federal money to do that because we want voters to have trust and confidence in the voting process in America.

Even though the standards have not been changed since the 2002 standards went into affect and they have not been changed as of yet in the proposed standards that were signed into existence by the Elections Assistance Commission. There is no trust and confidence when elections officials can't even get their facts straight.


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

The complete text transcript follows…

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

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Reports on Lack of Security Standards for Electronic Voting Machines...
Kitty Pilgrim: 'The federal government has basically dropped the ball'
By John Gideon on 7/11/2006 4:49am PT  

On Monday night, Lou Dobbs and his correspondent, Kitty Pilgrim, again did a segment on "Democracy At Risk" on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight.

Tonight's report (text transcript at bottom of this article) featured a discussion of the certification standards used (or, more accurately, not used) for the certification of voting machines by the US Government. Featured in tonight's segment were Michael Waldman of the Brennan Center For Justice, John Washburn of VoteTrustUSA, and Rev. DeForest Soaries who resigned from his post as the first chairman of the federal Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

Soaries was also recently interviewed by Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson.


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

The complete text transcript follows...

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

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UPDATE: SoS Now Claims They've 'Abandoned' Previous Procedures, but --- in Yet Another Apparent Violation of State Law --- Have Failed to Issue Any New Ones!
By Brad Friedman on 7/9/2006 1:56pm PT  

From BlackBoxVoting.org yesterday...

the California document called "Procedures for Approving, Certifying, Reviewing, Modifying and Decertifying Voting Systems" has disappeared from the secretary of state's Web site --- a remarkable coincidence, since many citizens are looking for it.

They want to know how it is that the Secretary of State can claim procedures were followed, given the sorry state of security and accuracy in many of the voting systems now being used in California.

See the BBV link for more details, and a "found copy" of the document via Archive.org.

According to Joseph Holder, the lead plaintiff in the VoterAction.org lawsuit against the State of California to halt the use and purchase of Diebold touch-screen voting machines, "Within the last month the link was still there and working."

But now it's gone. Go figure.

BBV sends the following update this morning...

We've posted an update. (1) Sec. State claiming they've abandoned the Procedures (2) In California, it's illegal to abandon or modify regulations without public hearings etc (3) Therefore Sec. State appears to be claiming that the Admin Procedures present in both [former Secretaries of State] Bill Jones and Kevin Shelley's tenure were "drafts" and somehow not "real" --- but the law says they have to create regs then, and the creation of regs requires...you guessed it, public notice, public involvement, public comment.

[Current Secretary of State, Bruce] McPherson's been in office for a year and a half and has created no regs. Do they exist or not? If so, why aren't they following them and if not, can they support the claim that the Procedures in place were "drafts" and "not real" and if hat's the case, why haven't they created new ones as they are required to do?

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Chairman of Federal Elections Assistance Commission Clueless About Security Threats to the Very Systems he is Supposed to be Overseeing!
New Report Underscores Utter Collapse in the Federal Oversight of our American Elections...
By Brad Friedman on 6/30/2006 7:27pm PT  

Wow...missed this one over the last several whirlwind days. Please read it. Both pages. A little geeky, but underscores the extraordinary mess we're now facing at the highest levels of government in regard to this entire e-voting nightmare/fiasco. Even the head of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) --- which is (theoretically) the governing federal body overseeing (or not) federal certification of voting machines --- is apparently clueless in regard to the real world threats inherent in these systems.

Why this story itself isn't front page and cover story material for NY Times, Washington Post, NEWSWEEK, Time et al, is way beyond my pay grade. (Though the eagle-eyed John Gideon caught it and made it so in his 'Daily Voting News' from a few days ago, natch. He wrote about this article at the time: "If you thought the Elections Assistance Commission was in existence to assist and protect the voters this article might influence you otherwise. Two of the commissioners can't even get their misinformation right.")

This story has been largely overlooked, while the recent landmark Brennan Center study has received a lot of much-deserved press. I was alerted to this article, in fact, by one of the main individuals responsible for that Brennan Center for Justice report on the security threats of e-voting.

Be horrified...

Study: Fed 'Guidelines' Imperil E-Voting Security
By Michael Hickins

The 2008 presidential election could be interesting.

After four years, more than $3 billion taxpayer dollars, and an alphabet soup of newly created bureaucracies, electronic voting isn't safe.

Key members of the Technical Guidance Development Committee (TGDC) that drafted federal guidelines for designing and testing electronic voting machines admit that significant flaws in the machines could be exploited by hackers to change the outcome of local or national elections.

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USA TODAY Reports on Long-Awaited Landmark Analysis from Computer Scientists, Security Experts Released by the Brennan Center...
E-Voting 'Poses a Real Danger to Integrity of National, State and Local Elections' According to Study (No, Really?!)
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2006 11:30am PT  

A long awaited study of electronic voting machine security by computer scientists and security experts has been released this morning by the Brennan Center of Justice at the NYU School of Law.

Given preparations for tonight and tomorrow's "Emergency Townhall" events on the Busby/Bilbray mess (I'll be emceeing and "keynoting"), I've yet to be able to read the long report any more than cursorily, so I'm forced to defer for now to USA Today's coverage of it from this morning...

Analysis finds e-voting machines vulnerable

WASHINGTON — Most of the electronic voting machines widely adopted since the disputed 2000 presidential election "pose a real danger to the integrity of national, state and local elections," a report out Tuesday concludes.

There are more than 120 security threats to the three most commonly purchased electronic voting systems, the study by the Brennan Center for Justice says. For what it calls the most comprehensive review of its kind, the New York City-based non-partisan think tank convened a task force of election officials, computer scientists and security experts to study e-voting vulnerabilities.
...
Among the findings:

• Using corrupt software to switch votes from one candidate to another is the easiest way to attack all three systems. A would-be hacker would have to overcome many hurdles to do this, the report says, but none "is insurmountable."

• The most vulnerable voting machines use wireless components open to attack by "virtually any member of the public with some knowledge and a personal digital assistant." Only New York, Minnesota and California ban wireless components.

• Even electronic systems that use voter-verified paper records are subject to attack unless they are regularly audited.

• Most states have not implemented election procedures or countermeasures to detect software attacks.

Here's the complete Executive Summary [PDF] of the Brennan Report.

UPDATE 6/30/06: The complete Brennan Center for Justice report is now posted here [PDF]. Their press release announcing it is here.

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LA County's System, for example, Was Apparently Approved for Use at the Fed Level by a Former Waitress/Bartender!
By John Gideon on 6/26/2006 7:38am PT  

By John Gideon, Executive Director VotersUnite.Org

There is, for good reason, much concern and a lack of confidence in the process for federal qualification/certification of voting systems. Independent Test Authorities (ITA), who test the systems against federal standards, are not really 'independent' because they are paid to do testing by the vendors who also provide the test parameters. They look where they are told to look and go no further than that.

The next step in the process is review of the ITA test and the voting system by a panel of 'experts' called the Voting Systems Board Technical Committee. This committee is under the auspices of the National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED). One might think that this part of the process would be free and clear of any reason for concern. One would be wrong...

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

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About Brad Friedman...
Brad is an independent investigative
journalist, blogger, broadcaster,
VelvetRevolution.us co-founder,
expert on issues of election integrity,
and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.

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