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'Green News Report' 9/30/14
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Obama creates world's largest marine sanc- tuary; Humans wiped out 1/2 of world wildlife; Also to blame for AUS' hottest year ever; PLUS: Oil co. joins Google to dump ALEC...
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'BRAD BLOG May Be Sued for Telling the Truth About GOP Operative': Hartmann TV
Brad discusses bizarre threat of legal action by longtime Republican voter registration schemer Nathan Sproul...
BREAKING: 5-4 SCOTUS Ruling Restores GOP Restrictions on Early Voting in OH
Bad news for voters. Good news for Republicans who like to win elections by trying to limit voters' ability to cast their vote...
7th Circuit Deadlock Means WI Photo ID Law Still in Place
Longtime court vacancy likely made difference in 5-5 tie; Scott Walker, GOP rejoice as 'electoral choas' reigns in 'toss up' re-election race; SCOTUS likely next stop for plaintiffs...
Too Much Voting Going On!: GA County Repubs Block Early Sunday Voting
Board of Elections votes against 'partisan' proposal to make voting more convenient, even though County already funded it...
Stewart Explodes Over GOP Climate Science Deniers on House SCIENCE Committee
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Federal Court Panel Denies OH Attempt to Avoid Restoration of Early Voting
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'Green News Report' 9/25/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Climate Week Special Coverage continues: China will cut emissions; Experts say we're not doing enough; Admin makes econ case for action; PLUS: Corporate titans step up...
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GOP Values: Beating Wives, Suppressing Votes, Threatening Journalists - KPFK 'BradCast'
Latest on cases of GOP wife-beating judge Fuller; GOP voter operative Sproul; MORE...
Sproul Threatens BRAD BLOG With Legal Action After FL Confirms Our 2012 Reporting
GOP operative linked to years of registration fraud allegations sends bizarre email after yet another arrest of one of his workers...
'Green News Report' 9/23/14
GNR Special Coverage: Climate Week 2014 -- Climate March (largest in history), Wall Street protests (can ya hear us now?), special U.N. Climate Summit...
Report Cites Armed Walker Supporters Plotting to Target Democratic Voters in WI
'We can get our agents to watch polling location, identify the individual, and follow them to their residence'...
Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife-Beating Judge Mark Fuller
2012 docs suggest domestic abuse of two wives and children by federal judge w/ lifetime appointment...
ACLU Files Emergency Petition to Halt 'Electoral Chaos' in WI
Seeks full 7th Circuit hearing after three-GOP judge ruling reinstates Photo ID law just weeks before election...
'Green News Report' 9/18/14
DiCaprio's UN climate role; Jindal plays dumb; Fracking confirmed (again) to contaminate; Black lung coal disease on rise; PLUS: Polluter front groups newest attack...
Audio of 911 Call from Judge Mark Fuller's Wife as She's Heard Repeatedly Struck
Chris Hayes plays horrifying audio from wife-beating incident by U.S. District Court Judge; ALSO: Calls for accountability from two Alabama U.S. Congresswoman...
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'
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'Democracy's Gold Standard'
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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...


5 Counties in Show Me State Say Show Us How the Hell to Vote Starting Monday, ES&S!
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2006 7:54pm PT  

As Diebold implodes on the latest news that all of their touch-screen voting machines contain a perhaps-uncorrectable flaw being described as a "major national security threat," the largest of the country's Electronic Voting Machine Companies, ES&S continue to meltdown all across the nation.

On the heels of similar failures in Indiana, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia, Arkansas and elsewhere, Missouri now joins the crowd as the latest state to report failures by ES&S to deliver ballots, machines and software programming in time for elections this year.

Five counties in Missouri have announced they are going to "Plan B" (creating their own paper ballots, or returning to their old lever systems) in preparation for early voting which is to begin Monday in the Show Me state.

Problems are being reported in Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton and Searcy Counties. Here's a sample of refrains that are starting to sound incredibly familiar:

"I'm just sick," longtime [Carroll County] Election Commission Chairman Levi Phillips said Tuesday. He said Election Systems and Software of Omaha, Neb., had not only failed to send the programmed parts for the touch-screen machines but it also failed to break down paper ballots so results could be reported by precinct. It also didn't put the candidates in the order drawn from a hat in a couple of races, he said.

"We're in hell with that," he said. "That wasn't a step forward. That's a step back."

The Election Commission voted unanimously Tuesday morning to order paper ballots for early voting.
...
Searcy County plans to drag its old lever voting machines out for early voting and they will be used on Election Day May 23 if the fancy new touch-screen computer voting machines aren't ready.
...
"Searcy County is very upset and let down with ES&S," Smith said this morning. He said he and four retired school teachers who "burned their own gas" took the new touch screen voting machines all around the county training poll workers and demonstrating for voters and "now they say you've got to do something else." He noted that the lever machine invented in the 1800s was proving more reliable than the state-of-the-art computer machines.

Dear Washington D.C. and the National Mainstream Media: Is anybody there? Does anybody care?

(Thanks to BRAD BLOG reader Mark M. for the tip from my home state!)

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Voting Systems in Question Were Used Last Week in Ohio Primary, Soon in Pennsylvania, So 'Serious' Few Details Are Being Released
All Diebold Touch-Screen Machines, In All States, Said to be Affected by 'Horrifying' Vulnerability, Systems 'Sequestered' in PA
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2006 1:24pm PT  

We've now been able to gather a great deal of additional information concerning details about the story we first posted yesterday on the official Pennsylvania state warning issued about the new "security vulnerability" discovered in all Diebold touch-screen electronic voting machines.

That warning, which has now brought a lock-down on all Diebold systems in PA, where early absentee (non-machine) voting is about to begin prior to their upcoming May 16th primary election, was reported by the Morning Call yesterday. The warning says the serious security vulnerability could allow ''unauthorized software to be loaded on to the system."

Public details about the warning are still sketchy as those in the know have acknowledged that the problem is so serious, they are hoping to keep the info under wraps until mitigation steps can be taken to safeguard systems.

The BRAD BLOG has been told on the record, however, by one person involved in the matter, that the vulnerability is a "major national security risk."

We've been speaking to many sources today, and we've been able to get several first hand comments on the problem from top officials and analysts directly involved in both state and federal certification of the Diebold systems, as well as from those involved in the initial discovery of the problem.

What's clear is that Morning Call's reporting that it was Diebold who found the "glitch" are flat wrong. The discovery of the "glitch" (which is anything but) emanated from the examination of Diebold AccuVote TSx (touch-screen) machines recently in Emery County, UT.

A source has told The BRAD BLOG that Diebold was "cornered" into admitting to the problem, a far cry from them having "found" it, as the Morning Call characterized it.

What's also clear is that neither Diebold themselves, nor federal officials at the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) have been notifying states about the serious problem which apparently affects all Diebold AccuVote touch-screen systems, including both their newer TSx models, and the older TS and TS6 models.

The Diebold TSx models, with the security vulnerability still intact, were apparently used in the primary election last Tuesday in Ohio.

A document at Diebold's website describes [PDF] the TSx models as featuring "Industry Leading Security."

In Utah's Emery County, state officials are attempting to force Bruce Funk, the 23-year elected County Clerk out of his job in the wake of his having allowed a security evaluation of the county's new Diebold touch-screen systems by both computer security firm Security Innovation and Finnish computer security expert Harri Hursti. According to several sources, that analysis revealed many new vulnerabilities and problems in the Diebold touch-screen systems, including the one that seems to be at the heart of the problem now being warned about by Pennsylvania officials.

Funk --- who has since been "vilified," as one source told us, by both Diebold and Utah state officials as high as the Lt. Governor --- was forced to implement the new Diebold touch-screen systems for the first time this year against his own objections. His prudent subsequent security evaluation of the systems was arranged by electronic voting watchdog organization, BlackBoxVoting.org. (We recently interviewed Funk on the radio concerning that evaluation, and his subsequent removal from office in its wake. Listen to that interview here [MP3].)

Here's some of what we've so far been able to learn from a number of officials, both on the record and off, in Pennsylvania, elsewhere around the country and at the federal level, as well as those involved in the initial Emery County discoveries...

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

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(HINT: Blue Dresses...Rented by the Hour)
By Brad Friedman on 5/5/2006 11:45am PT  

As the corporate mainstream media shakes their head in clueless wonder about the Porter Goss resignation at CIA, (they're "stunned", "suprised", "can't imagine what else must be going on to have brought this on") the clues have been bubbling for the last week or so on the Internet.

We associate ourselves with Josh Marshall's initial take...

Here at TPM HQ we were listening to the president's announcement. And the talking heads on CNN were speculating whether Goss's departure might be part of Josh Bolten's 'new blood' shake up in the Bush administration. I don't suppose it anything to do with the fact that Goss is neck deep in the Wilkes-Corruption-and-Hookers story that's been burbling in the background all week. We don't know definitely why Goss pulled the plug yet. But the CIA Director doesn't march over to the White House and resign, effective immediately, unless something very big is up.

(Point of pride ed. note: TPMmuckraker has been on top of this story all week.)

Muckraker has, in fact, been all over various points of the developing scandal for the last week or so. We recommend you keep your eyes over there as things move foward.

Underscoring the bizarre state of our national corporate mainstream media, Josh made a related point earlier today, prior to the Goss announcement. As readers were wondering why TPM and their Muckraker site were giving so much attention to the Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) incident which, readers comments had suggested, just distracts from all of the more important GOP scandals, Josh defended their coverage with this reply...

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

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Several Counties 'Locking Down' Machines as Company Promises Last Minute Software Fix Just Before Upcoming Primary Election
Election Integrity Advocates Suggest Warning May Stem from Recent Independent Voting Machine Analysis Revealing Major Security Flaws in Diebold Hardware and Software
By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2006 12:27pm PT  

Just weeks before their May 16th Primary Election, the Pennsylvania Sec. of State, Pedro Cortez issued a Security Alert late Tuesday concerning a "potential security vulnerability" in Diebold electronic voting machines which could " allow ''unauthorized software to be loaded on to the system." The warning was revealed yesterday at a meeting in Schuylkill County.

Details about the warning are still sketchy this morning, and we're trying to learn more, but The Morning Call is reporting today that the "glitch" was "found" by Diebold and counties are now being instructed to lock down systems and seal the memory cards into them.

A "fix" is said to be on its way from Diebold, though that begs the question of whether the last-minute software patch will be certified by federal and/or state authorities before it's installed on machines that have already proven to be vulnerable to hackers and other failures.

(As regular BRAD BLOG readers know, even if the software is inspected by federal authorities before being installed in machines, there is no guarantee that those authorities will find the bugs and illegal code that Diebold is quickly becoming famous for. The federal so-called "Independent Testing Authority" (ITA) is paid for by the voting machine company's themselves and has overlooked gaping flaws in software submitted by the vendors for years).

Says the Morning Call today about the security warning...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 5/4/2006 1:21am PT  

As you know, those "glitches" in our elections are never Diebold's fault, or that of any of the Electronic Voting Machine Vendors who supply the equipment that doesn't actually work. It's always an untrained pollworker, or a voter who didn't read the instructions, or too darn much humidity.

So it wasn't Diebold's fault when Diebold's machines failed to work or to count absentee ballots by the thousands on Tuesday in Cuyahoga County, Ohio's Primary Election.

Look! Here's proof!

First of all, electronic optical scanners made by Diebold could not count absentee ballots. But Diebold said it was an issue with the printing of the ballots, not their machines.

Secondly, some precincts have more machines on the blink that those that were working. This was due in part to dozens of Election Day technicians, or EDTs, not showing up on Tuesday.

The EDTs are volunteers trained to fix any problems with the electronic Diebold voting machines.
...
Mark Radke, a spokesman for Diebold, said, "In fact, we went out to some of the precincts to direct some of the poll openings because some people didn't show up. Within two or three minutes with a little direction, people would have had the equipment up and running with no problem at all."

As of 5pm Wednesday, Cuyahoga County was still hand-counting the 17,000 absentee ballots which the Diebold machines, through absolutely no fault of Diebold's, were unable to count as Diebold had promised.

No word yet on whose fault it wasn't that Diebold's paper-trail printers kept jamming all day, or on the 70 Diebold memory cards (otherwise known as thousands and thousands of ballots) which went missing. But we know that wasn't Diebold's fault either. Though perhaps the part about them being so incredibly easy for anybody to change the data on those cards in about 30 seconds while they're "missing" could be Diebold's fault.

Nah. It's probably just the humidity.

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Voting Machine Printout Reports Zero Votes for Several Candidates, All Bond Measures Received Zero YES Votes...
Reasons for Problem 'Unknown', But Sound Remarkably Similar to Recent Leon County, FL Hack on Same Diebold Machines
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 7:18pm PT  

Our Electoral System Meltdown continues as more and more reports come in on epidemic Electronic Voting Machine failures around the country. It's neck and neck right now as Diebold and ES&S battle it out for the prize of Worst Company, Worst Service, Worst Technology and Best Excuse Maker. But we've got a long way to go in this Election Year, so it's still anyone's contest. (Anyone's but the voters, that is.)

A "glitch" --- that's the magical word that was used no less than three times in WOOD-TV's coverage --- in the Diebold optical-scan system used for the first time in Barry County, Michigan's election yesterday forced Elections Officials to count all ballots by hand. Since it was an optical-scan system --- which uses paper ballots --- they were able to do so. That would have been next to impossible had a similar disaster befallen a touch-screen system with "paper trails" and completely impossible on a paperless touch-screen machine.

All seemed fine throughout the day on Barry County's new voting machines until the optical scanner printed out the final results at the close of the election. The report was found to have had all matter of inexplicable totals including 0 votes for some candidates and no YES votes for any of the bond issues on the ballot.

Sound familiar?

The Barry County mess, as it's being reported by WOOD-TV, sounds almost identical to the situation in Leon County, FL last December where "hackers" had exploited a security vulnerability in Diebold's optical scanner memory card causing it to print results that were virtually the opposite of the true results on the paper ballots. The "hackers", who were computer security experts, had hidden all traces of their "crime" in that mock election test, so it would likely never have been discovered.

The problem affected 15 out of 16 townships in Barry County on machines which cost $4000 a piece and were purchased because County Officials claim the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) forced them to do so.

WOOD-TV covers the story, "glitch" after "glitch", with both text and a video reports. Here's a few details from their text report...

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

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

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

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

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

Election workers continue to count votes

12:07 p.m.

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

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

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Embattled Incumbent, HAVA Author, Loses 32% of Vote to No-Show Primary Opponent
'Congressional Quarterly' Says Numbers Predict Trouble
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 12:00pm PT  

The soon-to-be-indicted lead pusher of the disastrous Help America Vote Act (HAVA), Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) had his primary race in Ohio's 18th District tonight. While most congressmen named in four different criminal indictments and convictions would usually be toast, this is, after all, Ohio.

That said, Justin Rood over at TPM Muckraker, had this to say earlier this afternoon about the outlook for Ney tonight...

...Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) is expected to win his congressional primary, being held today. His competitor, James Broadbelt Harris, is an unknown who hasn't campaigned --- he hasn't even filed with the FEC, which indicates he has raised less than $5,000, [Congressional Quarterly's] Greg Giroux tells me.

I called Giroux to get his take on the election. While he expects Ney to win, he said, he's curious about what kind of "protest vote" Republicans in the district will cast for Harris, reacting to Ney's ethical troubles.

"I'd be surprised if Harris got more than 20 or 25 percent," Giroux told me. "That would be a sign that there is a chunk of the Republican base that's disenchanted with the incumbent."

"If Ney gets in the 80s --- and he very well may --- that'd show that at least Republican voters are behind him, and they weren't willing to look at this alternative candidate," Giroux said.

100% of the results are now in from all but 1 of the 16 counties which make up Ohio's fightin' 18th. (Belmont County's results have been stuck at 25.3% for the last several hours, about which I suspect we'll hear more tomorrow. Trouble with those pricey new op-scan machines, Belmont?)

As of 2:13am ET, these are the results from the Ohio SoS website:

If Giroux is correct, it looks like Ney may be in for a tough ride this fall...If he makes it that far without ending up in the slammer.

UPDATE 5/3/06: 100% of counties now reporting in full. Ney: 68.38% Harris: 31.62%

UPDATE 5/4/06: As expected, the reasons for the delayed reporting out of Belmont was due to all manners of mess in counting votes off of their new machines. Here's a description of the mess..

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Voting Machines Refuse to Power Up, No Paper Ballot Backups, 17,000 Absentee Ballots Must be Counted by Hand
Voters Pay the Price, Investigations Are to Come...
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2006 11:20am PT  


The meltdown continues.

Cuyahoga County Election Director (and former Diebold proponent), Michael Vu, described Diebold's performance yesterday as "unacceptable" after problems were revealed all across the county in the state's Primary Election.

The panoply of problems included failed Diebold machines, lack of working power outlets and three-prong adapters for them, machines unable to start up, voters unable to vote, paper jams on the "paper trail" printers, and 17,000 absentee ballots that must now be counted by hand because they don't work with the Diebold optical scanners.

All of it now leading to investigations, as called for by Elections Officials. And, of course, there was the 61-year old voter who destroyed two Diebold machines out of apparent frustration.

With all of that, who even knows yet if the tallies acquired by the machines that did "work" are actually accurate?

WKYC covers with a video report here.

Below is just some of the extraordinary litany of problems revealed during elections in just that one county yesterday according to WKYC. We wish someone had warned them of the possibility of such problems in advance...

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

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By David Edwards on 5/2/2006 1:13pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...
Audio in MP3 format...

After his major role in the theft of the 2004 Presidential Election, Secretary of State Kenneth J. Blackwell should be in jail instead of on today's primary ticket for Ohio Governor. If Blackwell wins in the primary today it will largely be because of the illegal use of religious organizations to manipulate the opinion of voters.

The latest edition of PBS Now maps out how the Republican National Committee and Republican operatives are using "patriot pastors", mega-churches, polarizing rhetoric and tax exemptions to create an illegal and unfair advantage against their competitors.

Due to complaints from more established liberal churches, the Internal Revenue Service is now investigating the illegal activities being conducted by the Republicans who have hijacked the beliefs of many Christian's for corrupt political purposes. The IRS has promised to step up its' prosecution of these abuses.

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ES&S Failures Continue Across the Country...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2006 1:00pm PT  

From the Pine Bluff Commercial...

Jefferson County's new touch-screen voting machines won't be making their debut until after the May 23 primary and June 13 runoff elections.

The Jefferson County Election Commission voted unanimously Monday afternoon to instead use the county's old lever machines. The panel had previously voted to use the new Electrical Systems and Software (ES&S) iVotronic Touch Screen Voting System, but Commission Chairman Trey Ashcraft said several ES&S "failures" forced a change in plans.

"With early voting beginning (Monday) May 8, ES&S hasn't provided us with many essential and critical tools necessary for us to conduct the election to the standards set by law and to our own high standards," Ashcraft said.

===
CORRECTION:
As you'll see below, in the flurry of today's breaking Primary Day news we had originally reported the above as having occurred in Jefferson County, Texas, as opposed to Jefferson County, Arkansas. The information following, concerning the problems in Jefferson County, TX, are still accurate, however, in regards to what happened in that Texas county, which also mirrors the problems as reported above in Jefferson County, Arkansas. Nonetheless, the original headline for the story, referring to Texas, was inaccurate. It should have said Arkansas, and we've now made that correction. The BRAD BLOG regrets the error.
===

As regular readers know, The BRAD BLOG has been extensively covering the E-Voting meltdown issues, with a particular eye towards the failure of ES&S, America's largest E-Voting vendor.

Texas, in particular, has been a mess of late. See our previous coverage of the ES&S meltdown in the state where the Secretary of State has instructed to create "emergency paper ballots", purchase storage containers for them, and extra staff to manually hand-count them.

Jefferson County specifically had previously tried to withhold payment from their vendor, ES&S, after enormous failures by the company during the county's March 7th primary. Reportedly, however, they were strong-armed by ES&S and told they would not program machines and ballots at all for the upcoming runoffs if payment was withheld.

We are hearing quite a few reports of similarly thuggish behavior, threats and tactics from ES&S and hope to have more details in a future report.

Unfortunately, States and Counties have sold off their public responsibility to carry out accurate and transparent elections to private corporations to whom they are now entirely beholden. On one side, there are the failing private Voting Machine Vendors, and on the other side, the U.S. Dept. of Justice threatening to sue when states and counties don't comply with the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which kicks in this year.

Of course, as we've reported previously, it's the voters who are paying the real price for their democracy vanquished.

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Early Reports of Trouble During Primary Elections Today...
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2006 11:40am PT  

It's Primary Day in Ohio (and several other states) and, as we've been warning for some time, the meltdown is under way. This report in earlier, as with our previous report, from Akron's NewsCenter5...

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio --- There have been some problems at polling locations throughout Cuyahoga County, NewsChannel5 reported.

Because of some confusion at the polling locations, citizens are being given ballots to fill out by hand, said Micheal [sic] Vu, director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

At about 6:45 a.m. at Woodberry Elementary School in Shaker Heights, a resident left the polling location after growing extremely frustrated about the process.

There were several problems with the new electronic voting machines throughout Cuyahoga County.

More...

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Man Smashes Diebold Touch-Screen Voting System in Ohio!
Arrested at Polling Place During Today's Ohio Primary Election
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2006 11:32am PT  

Just coming in from News Channel 5 out of Akron...

CLEVELAND --- A 61-year-old man was arrested after an alleged poll rage incident, NewsChannel5 reported.

Officials said the man was arrested after breaking a voting machine. He faces disorderly conduct, obstructing official business and resisting arrest charges.

It took several people to restrain the man who was trying to vote at a 4330 Jennings Road.

It's unclear what caused the man to become upset.

The report didn't specify, but the machine in question, and in the photos, was a Diebold AccuVote TSx (touch-screen) system. Look, people, those machines don't work anyway! Even when they're not smashed!

As today is Primary Election Day in Ohio, we'll do our best here at The BRAD BLOG, of course, to keep you up to date with any other "breaking news" out of the Buckeye State.

More photos...

UPDATE 5/3/06: WKYC has a video tape report. Apparently the man damaged at least two of the Diebold voting machines.

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State Election Director Appears on Radio Show ONLY if Brad is Not Allowed to Ask Questions...
PLUS: Brad Invites AZ SoS Jan Brewer to a Public Debate in Support of our Troops and Democracy on the Homefront!
By Brad Friedman on 5/2/2006 11:15am PT  

Our Electoral System is supposed to be open and transparent and accurate. Our democracy is worth fighting for and, if you believe the politicians in D.C., worth sending our troops to fight and die in order to spread around the world. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) amongst other things, is supposed to help disabled voters vote in private and on their own. All of these things, I believe Arizona's Secretary of State, Jan Brewer would probably agree with. And yet, she seems to have a very different belief about how to ensure the integrity of our democracy at home and how disabled voters should be treated.

Therefore, I am inviting her to a public debate on the matter. I will travel to Arizona on a date of her choosing to accommodate her schedule. Tickets can be sold to the events, and all proceeds will go towards supporting our troops from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars for a charity which builds accessible housing for the most severely disabled of them. More on that below.

I appeared on the Jay Lawrence Show over the weekend on KTAR Newsradio 620 in Phoenix. (Link to full audio from the show at bottom of this article.)

Lawrence, and the entire station, are very rightwing. Nonetheless, to his credit, Lawrence is very concerned about the non-partisan crisis in our 2006 Electoral System vis a vis the proliferation of Electronic Voting Machines in the wake of the HAVA. This was my second time appearing on his show.

This time around, he attempted to invite his friend Jan Brewer to join us for a discussion on these important matters. Brewer has recently come under fire for her decision to bring Diebold systems into the state even after they were proven to be hackable in Leon County, Florida late last year. They were then confirmed to be even more unsecure than previously realized by an independent study [PDF] commissioned by CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson (a big Diebold supporter himself) after the security vulnerability was discovered in Leon County.

Lawrence said during the show that he had personally discussed some of these matters with her at a speech not long ago and learned that, apparently, she's no fan of The BRAD BLOG. As Lawrence reported during the show...

I went to a speech Jan Brewer made, and brought up the question of these machines and Diebold. And Jan --- who I've known for years and love dearly --- was almost angry about you, Brad. About BRAD BLOG, about the attacks on Diebold Electronic Voting..."

Of course, Brewer, despite many previous appearances on Lawrence's show, turned down the invitation to show up and discuss the matters along with me. She did, however, send a spokesperson instead who agreed to appear only if he would be allowed to do so without being questioned by me.

So at the bottom of the hour, after I'd been on for the first part by myself with Lawrence, SoS spokesman/attorney --- and, I've since learned, State Elections Director --- Joe Kanefield came on for a few minutes while I was made to sit on hold. Kanefield to tell several untruths to Lawrence and his listeners, to suggest that I have been "spinning" these issues, and then he scrammed before I was allowed to come back on the air to question or challenge his assertions "face to face."

During his drive-by appearance, Kanefield said that he's "absolutely confident" that Arizona's untested voting systems are "rock solid". But for an idea of just some of the misinformation and untruths that he gave to Lawrence and his listeners (while I was unable to respond) consider this exchange concerning the Leon County hack, and the statement The BRAD BLOG was able to receive from the Leon County Election Director, Ion Sancho himself, in response to it...

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

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Company Technician Uses Old Version of Software To Program Voting Machines
By John Gideon on 4/27/2006 8:20pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

On top of Brad's earlier report today on the ES&S meltdown in Texas, and loads of other states, we find out that still more problems with ES&S have been encountered in West Virginia.

On Thursday the Associated Press reported that a software "glitch" has delayed testing in 11 counties. The reason?

Though electronic ballots on the ES&S iVotronic Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines are programmed and seem to recorde votes accurately during testing, it's taking six hours or more to tabulate all the results. That is a huge problem for machines sold on the premise of accuracy and speed.

But the larger concern? "Version control". Apparently an ES&S engineer programmed the machines using outdated software. The company seems to not bother to ensure the correct version of software is being used and installed on the machines. And counties are not watching to ensure ES&S is keeping their machines current.

Ben Beakes, the chief of staff for WV Sec. of State Betty Ireland, explained:

"All the votes on the paper trail are correct. All the votes inside the machines are correct. It will just not recognize them when it's time to tabulate the results," Beakes said.

That said, was the software version used federally qualified with the hardware and firmware version being used by those 11 counties? Do the states or counties even care? Maybe not but they should because not all versions of software will work with all versions of firmware. That's why there are version numbers.

And that's just one more reason why we're headed for an electoral train wreck.

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