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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Republicans Call Ferguson Voter Registration 'Disgusting'
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Oregon nixes coal export facility; July 2014 4th hottest; Fracking industry illegally using diesel fuel, threatening water; PLUS GOP officials secretly accept climate science...
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1 BILLION Votes, 31 POSSIBLE Cases of Fraud
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Brad's Upcoming Appearances
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Media Appearance Archives...
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


As Usual, Company Blames Software Failure on 'Human Error'...
By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2006 3:53pm PT  

According to the Austin American-Statesman today America's largest Electronic Voting Machine Company, ES&S, has failed again. This time just north of Austin, Texas...

Voting problems in Williamson County
Problems with software cause incorrect numbers, county says

Williamson County elections officials are again having voting problems, and they're blaming the computer software that they say has caused hiccups in the past.

When final voting results were counted last week, county officials discovered that the actual number of votes cast was lower than the initial totals compiled after the Nov. 7 elections.

Williamson County spokeswoman Connie Watson said that computer software counted each electronic vote three times, making the initial reported vote total about 6,500 more than the actual total.

As expected, the company, which has had similar disasters in scores of states across the country this year --- including in Florida's 13th Congressional district where officials are currently trying to figure out what to do about 18,000 votes that disappeared on ES&S systems in a U.S. House race with just over 300 votes between the two leading candidates --- blamed everyone but themselves...

Amanda Brown, a spokeswoman for Elections Systems & Software, the company that made the software, said the company thinks that the problem was a human error, not the software. "It's our belief right now it's related to a procedural error in operating the software," she said.
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Don Haas, Self-Described 'Hardcore Conservative,' Tells Readers of His Website to Game an Online Poll by a Conservative Radio Host Calling for His Brother to Step Down, Effort Seems to Have Been a Success!
Writes Anonymous Posting Here at BRAD BLOG After Concession of Democratic House Candidate in Brother Mikel's San Diego Election: 'Busby=Loser...Love it When You Uninformed Nutroots Lose'
By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2006 3:14pm PT  

Like brother like brother. Even San Diego County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas's brother apparently believes it just fine to cheat at the polls.

Online polls in any case.

The BRAD BLOG has learned that Don Haas, the brother of SD County's Registrar, (one of the country's worst, by the way) has apparently been gaming a recent online poll hosted at the website of conservative San Diego radio talkshow host Roger Hedgecock. The right-wing talker has joined the chair of the Democratic County Chair in calling for Mikel Haas's resignation due to his abominable administration of county elections.

A quick investigation by The BRAD BLOG this morning reveals the poll used at the Hedgecock site can easily be gamed by simply deleting "cookies" on users' computers, allowing them to vote as many times as they wish. Don Haas encouraged readers in a posting yesterday at his website to "act like a democrats and vote three times."

As well, brother Don has been posting anonymously here at The BRAD BLOG with the user name "OMSmedia" since November 9th. In a comment this morning, in reply to Democratic U.S. House candidate Francine Busby's concession in the CA-50 race last night, Don describes her as a "loser" and continues by adding "love it when you uninformed nutroots lose."

He has his own website at OMSMedia.com which has a "Hardcore Conservative" graphic logo on the home page. In various postings in the "Live Journal" on the site, Don supports his brother's use of hackable Diebold voting machines, spreads disinformation about them, refers to Democrats as "asses," suggests all "gay representatives" are "pedophiles," and writes that "any [Senatorial] candidate yelling about the President should just resign"....

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2006 1:38am PT  

Oh, well. It was nice while it lasted:

Without further ado, Busby's e-mailed concession statement:

Today, I called Mr. Bilbray and congratulated him as the representative of the 50th district. I wished him well in Congress as he works with his colleagues to serve the people of this District and our country in these times when many difficult decisions and challenges lay ahead.

I waited to make this statement out of respect for those who have asked me to wait until all votes were counted, because the last vote cast is as important as the first.

On that last point, approximately 42,000 votes remain to be counted according to the registrar's website.

In addition to the uncounted votes, there's also the matter of Zogby's 'Exit Poll' in CA-50 showing a 6% disparity with the reported results and oh, yes, the hackable-in-sixty-seconds Diebold touch-screen voting machine "sleepovers" --- for a full three weeks with poll workers prior to the election in San Diego --- which may never be fully accounted for.

Oh, well. It's just democracy. How quaint.

Too exhausted to go into more details. (You're welcome.) But if you ever wish to learn more, you can read the entire sordid Busby/Bilbray saga, in reverse order, right here. Even if we have a feeling it's not nearly over. Not by a long shot.

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Will Other Elections Officials Across Country Have Decency to Do Same?
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2006 6:09pm PT  

In what ought to be the first of a wave of resignations by Elections Officials across the country who have utterly failed the very voters they are supposed to be serving, one of three commissioners of the Denver Board of Elections has resigned today in the wake of the city's e-voting meltdown last Tuesday. He has apparently shown a measure of grace and responsibility far too rare in most Elections Officials...

Denver Clerk and Recorder Wayne Vaden resigned today amid chaos in the Denver Election Commission which he oversees.

Citing his belief "that accountability is the underpinning of honorable public service," Vaden said he was resigning from a "personal disappointment over my efforts" with the commission.
...
The resignation came exactly one week after a disastrous election in which absentee and provisional ballots still haven't been counted. Computer glitches caused voters to wait in line up to three hours. Many complained they were unable to wait that long and thus were unable to vote.

[Denver Mayor John] Hickenlooper acknowledged Vaden's frustrations, adding that Vaden's acceptance of responsibility without blaming others "is a reflection of his strong character and commitment to Denver."
...
Vaden, as clerk, was one of three election commissioners overseeing the voting process for Denver's 350,000 registered voters. The two other commissioners, Sandy Adams and Susan Rogers, are elected.

Of course, apparently the Washington Post --- who editorialized on Sunday that "the system worked" --- doesn't read the Denver Post, so they don't know about Denver's "disastrous election." Or they simply don't care.

We've come to expect such failures from the country's national media, but the larger question now remains: will other failed Election Administrators have the decency to do what Mr. Vaden did?...

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

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Legal Resources Being Gathered by National Party to Challenge Close Elections Where Dems Currently Trail
Other Candidates, Citing Concerns About Voting Machine Failures, Also Refusing to Concede Until All Votes Can Be Verified...
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2006 3:22pm PT  

Just off the phone from a DNC insider --- very much in a position to know --- who says the following races are being considered, as of this afternoon, to still be very much in play by the DNC (* = Incumbent, Results shown latest reported by state websites as available):

NC-8: Larry Kissel (D) 60,016 / Robin Hayes (R)* 60,481
CT-2: Joe Courtney (D) 121,321 / Rob Simmons (R)* 121,151
FL-13: Christine Jennings (D) 118,739 / Vern Buchanan (R) 119,116
NM-1: Patricia A. Madrid (D) 103,376 / Heather Wilson (R)* 104,863
OH-15: Mary Jo Kilroy (D) 98,100 / Deborah Pryce (R)* 101,636
OH-2: Victoria Wulson (D) 112,952 / Jean Schmidt (R)* 115,817

The source believes that all of the above races, each of them currently very, very close, are winnable and the feeling is that they "could easily win three of those six."

In each --- except for CT-2, where Courtney is leading --- the Democratic candidate is currently trailing in the reported results as absentee, provisional, and paper ballots are still be canvassed. As well, challenges and recounts are underway in some of those races (we hope to have more detail shortly here on a couple of those races).

(UPDATE: Several readers have written to ask if other races beyond those mentioned above --- such as the U.S. House race in Washington state's 8th Congressional district between Democrat Darcy Burner and Republican Dave Reichert --- are now off the table as far as the DNC is concerned. The races reported above are the only ones named explicitly to us by the DNC sources. However, two different sources there have confirmed that they are largely driven by the folks on the ground in the states, and would urge that noise be made locally --- and loudly enough that higher-ups might hear it at the DNC --- in order to gain more attention from the national party to other such races still of concern.)

The source also adds that the DNC is considering whether or not to ask for contributions from the public to a legal fund to assure they will have the funds needed to provide full legal resources to thoroughly challenge each of those races.

As well, The BRAD BLOG has also learned the DNC is still keeping their eyes on the Colorado Secretary of State race between Ken Gordon (D) and Mike Coffman (R), given the problems revealed in Colorado's disasterous certification procedures for voting machines prior to the election, and their massive meltdowns on Election Day in Denver and elsewhere which caused thousands of voters to be turned away from the polls due to machine malfunction.

AP is reporting today that Coffman's lead is beginning to look insurmountable, though given the fact that Gordon's numbers in Denver alone outpace Coffman's by some 70 to 30 percent, the fact that Denver voters, specifically, were disenfranchised at such an alarming rate due to equipment failure on Election Day, certainly "exemplifies," as the source put it, the need for Election Reform across the country and the importance of Secretary of State races.

The six U.S. House races named above, of course, are just the federal races that the DNC considers "still in play," but there are innumerable local races and initiatives being challenged around the country, as another DNC source told The BRAD BLOG this morning. As well, there are a number of Congressional races where the candidates have, honorably, refused to concede until every vote is counted and accounted for.

Clint Curtis, the vote-rigging whistleblower who ran against Tom Feeney, the man he claims asked him to create vote-rigging software in 2000 (as The BRAD BLOG originally broke back in 2004 and whose story we've been following closely ever since) has issued a press release this morning saying that he will not concede in the race until every vote is accounted for.

"The right to vote and to have that vote counted accurately is the very foundation of our democracy, and I owe it to the voters in my district and the state of Florida to continue to push for accurate, honest elections," Curtis said in the news release. He points out that as a candidate, he "now has the legal standing to pursue an investigation into the anomalies," which he claims were reported during his race.

"I can accept that the citizens across the state of Florida were out of step with the rest of the country," added Curtis, "as long as we know that this election truly reflects their intent." The Florida Secretary of State's website currently shows Feeney leading Curtis 58 to 42 percent.

In California's 50th Congressional district, Francine Busby (D) has still refused to concede in her race against Brian Bilbray (R) in which she reportedly trails 54 to 43 percent. We applaud Busby's refusal to concede given the outrageously bad administration of the election across the entire San Diego County as overseen by Registrar Mikel Haas, one of the country's worst.

A Zogby poll taken on Election Day (and shortly thereafter) shows an unexplained 6 point disparity with the final results as we reported last week.

As reported earlier today, Haas's resignation was called for on Election Night by San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Jess Durfee after voters were disenfranchised across the county when Diebold touch-screen systems failed to work and not enough paper ballots were made available for voters. Many of those voters ended up voting on Spanish language paper ballots after English ballots had run out by 9am on Election Day; others simply gave up and went home or to work without being able to cast a vote at all.

We echo Durfee's call for Haas to step down immediately. San Diegans deserve honest and accurate elections in which the voters may have confidence in the reported results. Haas has, disgracefully, provided none of the above during his irresponsible tenure.

We originally reported that the Democratic candidate was trailing in the reported results in each of the six DNC-named races. In fact, Democratic candidate Joe Courtney in the CT-2 race is currently ahead in the results as reported so far. We've corrected the original misstatement in the article above. Further, AP is now reporting Courtney as the winner after a final canvassing of the ballots.

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Please Take the Poll...
UPDATE: SD County Democratic Chair Calls for Haas's Resignation and So Do We! There is No Basis for Confidence in the Reported Results of ANY Election in San Diego on November 7th!
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 8:15pm PT  

San Diego's very conservative radio host and fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh, Roger Hedgecock --- who agrees with me nonetheless about Electronic Voting Machines --- wonders if San Diego County's Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas, one of the worst in the country, should resign.

We won't say any more than that, since we'd hate to bias the poll in any way. But rest easy knowing that the results of Hedgecock's unscientific online poll will be at least as reliable and accurate as any election Haas has ever run in San Diego.

Sleepover on your answer before deciding for sure, but either way, please vote in the poll...

UPDATE 1/14/06 1:08pm PT: We hadn't noticed this earlier, but it looks like the San Diego County Democratic Party Chair, Jess Durfee, called for the resignation of Haas on Election Night due to all of the reported problems with machine failures, lack of available paper ballots, etc. On Election Night, the far right-leaning Union-Tribune reported Durfee as saying "his polling place in University Heights was out of paper ballots by 9 a.m., and all the machines in that precinct were down by noon."

Also reported in the same article by the U-T...

Malfunctioning machines, frustrating waits and confusion over electronic voting yesterday cast a pall on polling places from Oceanside to Otay Mesa.

Some left without voting after unusually long waits.

Others said they weren't sure their votes were recorded on the Diebold machines after paper jams prevented them from viewing a voter-verified paper trail.

Many precincts had machines that didn't work at all, at least at the beginning of the day as poll workers struggled to set up in time for the 7 a.m. opening.

We're changing our previous "neutral" stance and calling for Haas's immediate resignation. He's a disgrace, has undermined confidence of the electorate, has made a mockery of the rule of law, and the result is is that elections in San Diego have become a complete joke under his tenure in the county. There is absolutely no basis for confidence in the reported results of any election administered by Mikel Haas on November 7th.

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By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 2:28pm PT  

Tired of reading me whine about problems with our crumbling electoral system? Now you can watch me whine about them instead.

As if it's not enough I've had to become a spokesman, a journalist, a broadcaster, an investigator, an advocate, a political consultant over these last two years or so..on the Saturday before the election, I was asked to become a Standup Comedian...of a sort.

Click the photo for a quick 4 and a half minute video of an onstage appearance at the premiere of Electric City: A Political Comedy Special, in which I was shanghaied into appearing with a bunch of actual comics (such as Marc Maron, John Fugelsang, Rick Overton, etc.) on the Saturday night before the election.

As I was exhausted at that point, I'm glad the bit was caught on video tape. Otherwise, for the life of me, I'd not have been able to tell you a thing I spoke about that night. The week(s) before the election are all a blur to me right now.

The gig was smartly hosted by Cenk Uygur and Ben Mankiewicz of The Young Turks. A two-minute trailer (in which I also appear briefly) for the entire evening is posted below as well...

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

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Another 'Snafu' Failure Allowed Election Clerks to Access Results Throughout Election Day...
By Brad Friedman on 11/13/2006 9:35am PT  

From the Ocean City Observer...

TOMS RIVER — All of the electronic voting machines used in the mid-term election in Ocean County will be rechecked Tuesday after a suspected "software glitch" counted 75 votes in both Barnegat and Lakewood for state and county candidates.
...
Although the Sequoia electronic machines were used in 18 of the state's largest counties and in many states across the country Tuesday, Gilmore said the only "glitch" reported to the company he was aware of was the one involving the Lakewood and Barnegat vote totals.
...
But Lakewood Rabbi Yisroel Schenkolewski, a Republican commissioner on the board, wants the version of the software used this year fixed if it is found to be to blame for the double counting of the Barnegat votes.

During the probe that led to the recheck request, he said the Election Board staff found that municipal clerks could have accessed the results before they were processed by the Board of Elections.

"That part scares me more than the first part," he said.

We wonder if he's equally scared --- or has even been made aware by the Sequoia Voting Systems people --- that the Sequoia Advantage touch-screen system his county uses is the same machine shown at the beginning of the HBO Hacking Democracy documentary to be flipping vote after vote from a Republican candidate to a Democratic candidate.

Or if he's concerned that Sequoia's other touch-screen model, the "Edge", gives voters the "edge" by offering the opportunity to vote as many times as they want, over and over again, just by pressing "the yellow button" as The BRAD BLOG revealed during the week prior to the election.

We wonder what else Sequoia has failed to inform the Ocean County Board of Elections about concerning their crappy voting systems.

Barnegat was among five communities with razor thin margins among candidates for local office, but those races were apparently not impacted by the suspected software, according to board members.

Gilmore said he expects recounts in all five communities. In addition to Barnegat they are Tuckerton, Seaside Park, South Toms River, and Lavallette.

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After State Denials, Says It's 'Obviously Something We Need to Look Into, And Very Quickly'
The Ghost of Katherine Harris' Old Seat Continues to Haunt Florida's 13th Congressional District Race...
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2006 3:15pm PT  

After the state's initial denial that there were any problems in Florida's 13th Congressional District U.S. House race, even Jeb is now admitting there may be problems "worth investigating." From AP...

Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday the unusually high number of voters who didn't choose a candidate in a congressional race in Sarasota County was worth investigating, and said the state has "the law in place to do it right."

"This is obviously something we need to look into, and very quickly," Bush said as state elections officials prepared to oversee an expected recount next week in the 13th District race between Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings.

Jennings was behind in the initial count by 373 votes and was pressing for answers about why more than 18,000 voters didn't register a selection in the race, but did make choices in other contests. That rate was much higher than what the district's other counties registered in the same congressional race.

State elections officials planned an audit of the Sarasota County's election system after the recount, which is expected to occur next week.

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Paperless iVotronic Touch-screen Systems Report Unprecedented Voter Turnout in one AR County, Thousands of Undervotes in U.S. House, Attorney General Race in Four FL Counties
Zero Votes Recorded on ES&S System for Mayoral Candidate in Small Town
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2006 8:35am PT  

Orlando Sentinel's coverage on Friday began with these incredible words [emphasis ours]:

Touch-screen-voting machines in at least four Florida counties recorded unusually high percentages of ballots with no votes in Tuesday's election --- a sign that new electronic-ballot machines may not be as foolproof as hoped.

"Not as foolproof as hoped"?!

Just who exactly are the fools they're referring to there?

Electronic voting machines made by ES&S, the largest supplier of voting systems in the country, failed across the country on Election Day. We're beginning to see more and more of the results of the failures from those machines --- as "foolproof," apparently, as the Titanic was "unsinkable."

An unprecedented 83% voter turnout has been reported from ES&S iVotronic paperless touch-screen systems in Benton County, Arkansas, after the Election Commission reviewed it's balloting when it was found that tabulated votes were being dropped from the system as new votes were being entered into it on Tuesday night.

The results: More votes than citizens in several areas of Benton County and an overall turnout described as "eye-popping" by a University of Arkansas political science professor who pointed to Idaho's 63% turnout as having made news for a midterm election record. Idaho's got nothing on Benton County, apparently.

Four different Florida counties are reporting enormous undervote rates on the same type of ES&S iVotronic paperless touch-screen systems in at least one key U.S. House race and in their election for State Attorney General.

And in one small town, ES&S voting machines are reporting zero votes for a mayoral candidate who swears that, yes, he really did vote for himself!

In Arkansas, the Morning News reported on Friday...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2006 5:31pm PT  

At the risk of stoking conspiracy theories which I have no interesting in doing, I have absolutely no idea what to make of this. Though it seems worth putting out there nonetheless. Make of it what you will...

From the FEC's 2000 Connecticut Senate Election Results...

From CNN's 2006 Connecticut Senate Election Results...
(as of 11/11/06, 4:26pm PT)

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG Emailer Nigel E.)

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By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2006 3:49pm PT  

After our joint 9-hour marathon broadcast on Election Night (had some great guests and interviews that night, hope to get all of the hours logged up and online for the historical archives soon), the mighty Peter B. Collins and I wrapped up the week's events during my normal weekly Friday appearance yesterday --- which included lots of great phone calls as well. Here's the audio for your weekend listening pleasure...


-- Brad on Peter B. Collins Show, 11/10/06 [MP3, 1 hour]

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By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2006 3:08pm PT  

Noah at Nero Fiddled brings to our attention this notable point from a story in today's WaPo on the so-called "Religous Right" turnout last Tuesday [emphasis ours]...

James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, issued a statement saying that "many of the Values Voters of '04 simply stayed at home this year" because the Republican Party has "consistently ignored the constituency that put them in power."

In fact, white evangelical Protestants turned out this week as heavily as they did in 2004, making up roughly 24 percent of the electorate both times. "This is a solidly Republican voting bloc that there was reason to believe might stay home. Given the polling before the election, the amazing thing was that the Democratic swing wasn't bigger," said John C. Green, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

"The amazing thing was that the Democratic swing wasn't bigger."

As we move forward with forensic investigations of what happened last Tuesday, examinations of Exit Polling, reviews of fraud reports coming in to VR's $500k Fraud Tip Hotline and more, I believe the posited notion from my ComputerWorld article yesterday --- that Dems "might have taken 40 seats in the House instead of just 30 had they bothered to fight for an accountable, secure, transparent electoral system and instructed their candidates to concede nothing until every vote was counted, verified and audited for accuracy" --- will begin to emerge as a more and more likely case.

Such as it is for the moment, however, I think it's fair to suggest that the only reason things went as well as they did is because of the tireless Election Integrity advocates on the ground across the country this time. The bad guys knew that this time they were being watched, and it would be much harder to get away with anything. I'll associate myself with Ohio's democracy champions, Fitrakis and Wasserman who wrote that last Tuesday was a "monumental victory for the Election Protection movement."

I couldn't concur more whole-heartedly...Even with miles to go before we sleep...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2006 2:03pm PT  

Speaking of bullets barely dodged, here was some of the appropriate anxiety on Election Day...


(Hat-tip to CarbonDate)

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18,000 Missing Votes in Florida and Other Notable Meltown 2006 Dangling Threads...
PLUS: Velvet Revolution's $500k Reward for Evidence of Fraud!
By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2006 4:45pm PT  

A couple of important points buried fairly deep into my ComputerWorld post-mortem article on the 2006 Electoral Meltdown. So for those too lazy (okay, "busy") to read the whole thing, I'd like to make sure you're aware of a few key points, so far underreported by the corporate mainstream media:

  • Rick Santorum and the Pennsylvania GOP wrote a letter to state officials on Tuesday afternoon demanding touch-screen systems in 27 counties be impounded after reports of votes flipping from Republican to Democrat. I applaud the aggressive, pro-active stance. Even from Santorum. Dems should have done the same long ago with every report of Dem to Rep votes flipping. This is just one of the reasons I mentioned previously that Santorum shouldn't have conceded.
  • The election in the FL-13 U.S. House race continues to be a mess. With just 368 votes separating the two candidates fighting for Katherine Harris's old seat, some 18,000 votes seem to have completely disappeared on the ES&S touch-screen systems.
  • A full ten U.S. House races are still "too close to call;" many of them to come down to attempts to recount votes cast on uncountable electronic voting machines.

Be sure to read my complete, ingeniously crafted CW article, of course, for much more. But I just wanted to make sure you guys were aware of a couple of those above important issues of note as things move foward.

And a reminder...The VelvetRevolution.us Election Strike Force is still offering it's $500,000 reward for evidence of fraud in last Tuesday's election. We were happy to see MoveOn.org join in on Election Day with their own $250k reward as well. Complete details on VR's $500k reward here...

I should also note that VR contributed to the Zogby Exit poll down in the CA-50 Busby/Bilbray race we wrote about earlier today. Between that, other Exit Polls we've done around the country, and the reward fund, we're always happy for your support via donations to the effort if you're able.

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