w/ Brad & Desi
w/ Brad & Desi
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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|U.S. Chamber of Commerce 'Terror Tools' Spy Plot...|
|Wisconsin 2011 Supreme Court Election Debacle...|
|Japan Quake/Tsunami/Nuke Emergency...|
|WikiLeaks / Julian Assange...|
|More Special Coverages Pages...|
Of course, we've been covering Christine Jennings's (D) refusal to concede and her stand in favor of the voters in the FL-13 fiasco. And though we haven't mentioned it lately, vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis (D), rather than conceding, is convening a group of volunteers to verify the reported "results" of his race against the corrupt Tom Feeney (R) in FL-24.
But several other House candidates, from North Carolina to Ohio (but not New Mexico), are still fighting to assure the voice of the voters is accurately heard...
Sarasota's Herald-Tribune has emerged as the bible of local, and in-depth, coverage in the FL-13 undervote fiasco. Today, however, the Orlando Sentinel published the results of an audit of "records of 17,846 touch-screen ballots that included no vote in the tightly contested 13th District congressional race to determine whom voters selected in other major races." They find that those ballots strongly favored the Democrats:
Among these voters, even the weakest Democrat --- agriculture-commissioner candidate Eric Copeland --- outpaced a much-better-known Republican incumbent by 551 votes.
The trend, which continues up the ticket to the race for governor and U.S. Senate, suggests that if votes were truly cast and lost --- as Democrat Christine Jennings maintains --- they were votes that likely cost her the congressional election.
The Herald-Tribune editorial board today correctly writes that "Jennings Should Not Concede" as they argue there is "too much room for doubt about election's true outcome."
And finally, for the moment, one of the groups involved in the voter lawsuit --- which calls for an investigation and a revote in the election where 18,000 votes went "missing" with the margin between the two leading candidates at just below 400 votes --- charges that the state-convened audit committee is cooked (no suprise, this is Florida after all). In a news release sent to us moments ago, and posted in full below, People for the American Way reports that committee member David Drury, the man responsible for certifying voting machines for the state of Florida, clearly has "a vested interest in finding that the [paperless ES&S touchscreen machines used in FL-13, which] he certified functioned properly." Additionally, the PFAW release points out, Drury is also responsible for approving the shipment and "illegal distribution" of uncertified voting machines to the state of Florida.
Oh, and Sarasota County's Supervisor of Elections, Kathy Dent, has still not resigned. Just thought we'd mention that.
The complete PFAW press release follows in full below...
Dear Judges: You may as well make swift and unambiguous decisions that lead to the end of E-voting in America as we know it. For your own sake, and that of the court docket, sooner would be better than later.
Elections Officials can't do it themselves because it would be tantamount to admitting they failed in their only job: to ensure free, fair, and accurate elections. Of course they have failed, but they've already staked their careers on millions in state and local dollars, robbed from unsuspecting taxpayer constituents. Admitting that fact out loud would mean that most of them would (deservedly) be run out their jobs faster than Diebold or ES&S or Sequoia spokesholes can dutifully tell AP: "our voting machines work fine, the problem is human error!"
Until you folks on the bench end this nightmare forever, you will keep finding only more and more such suits like the one mentioned below in Georgia (and dozens, if not hundreds more like it) month and after month, year after year, election after election, hitting your docket until this mess is solved once and for all.
Underscoring what The BRAD BLOG has been saying for years --- that this is not a matter of Left versus Right, but rather a matter of Right versus Wrong --- Democrat, Republican, and Independent candidates have now joined the suit to put an end to Diebold's paperless E-voting in the state of Georgia...
A group of activists, led by VoterGa, filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court in July, alleging that electronic voting machines in Georgia do not accurately record votes.
Mary Wilhite, a Republican candidate for a state House seat in Cherokee County, Woody Holmes, an independent write-in candidate for a seat in south Fulton, and Donzella James, a Democratic candidate for the 13th Congressional District, joined VoterGa representatives at the Capitol to say the results of their elections have caused them to join the lawsuit.
How much longer are we all gonna play this game? How much longer can American democracy take it? Complete story on the GA suit is here...
I believe we all feel strongly that our next representative to the U.S. Congress should be chosen by the will of the people and not by a problem in the voting machines.
I am committed to seeing that the will of the voters is carried out in this election of 2006. I will not rest until the intended votes are counted and every person's vote is counted and reflected accurately."
-- Christine Jennings (D), Press Conference, Sarasota Florida, 11/21/06
Details follow below the fold on the voters' lawsuit filed today calling for an investigation and full re-vote in the FL-13 U.S. House race between Christine Jennings (D) and Vern Buchanan (R). There are currently 363 votes between the two of them, with more than 18,000 votes unaccounted for on the paperless ES&S touch-screen systems used in Sarasota County. We'd give more of a recap of our story so far, but the press release from the four non-partisan groups who filed the case --- Voter Action, Electronic Frontier Foundation, ACLU, and People for the American Way (Florida) --- does a great job in summarizing the issues. We recommend you give it a read.
For our complete FL-13 coverage, you may click here for all of our stories to date, in reverse order.
UPDATE: The full complaint is now available for download here [PDF].
One point, however, to make clear, especially in light of the many calls for Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections, Kathy Dent, to take responsbility for the disastrous administration of this election by resigning immediately: the press release notes that the legal complaint charges "misconduct by election officials" and "evidence that legal votes were rejected in sufficient numbers to place in doubt the outcome of the election.":
Indeed, Dent knew about the problem well before Election Day, according to her statement on this video, and yet clearly failed to take appropriate remedial steps before 18,000+ votes were lost to the ether in her paperless ES&S touch-screen voting machines.
By the way, the Democratic candidate Jennings held a press conference herself yesterday (video here) --- along with her Republican(!) attorney --- and answered to Buchanan's obnoxious press conference held earlier in the day (we covered that here.)
As far as we're concerned, Jennings, in making her pledge that she "will not rest until the intended votes are counted and every person's vote is counted and reflected accurately" --- along with her courage in not allowing herself to be pushed around by the anti-democratic thuggery of her opponent --- has shown herself to be the model of what every candidate ought to look and sound like in the wake of such a horrendously administered election, in which the ability to determine the will of the people has been so clearly subverted.
The press release from the groups filing a lawsuit on behalf of Florida's voters follows in full...
Below are screenshots from the much-discussed first two pages of the Sarasota, Florida, ballot as seen on the paperless ES&S touch-screens on November 7th, 2006. Some 18,000 voters did not register a vote in the 13th Congressional district race between Christine Jennings and Vern Buchanan. Or, at least, the ES&S voting machines failed to register their vote in any case.
When we first received these screenshots, it took us three or four times scrolling through them before we could even find the Jennings/Buchanan race. But see below and decide for yourselves.
Several non-partisan Election Integrity groups will be filing suit tomorrow in Florida to call for a re-vote in the election. The public-interest watchdog groups claim that voters were disenfranchised by the thousands in the race due to poor ballot design and a faulty voting system. A press conference tomorrow has been scheduled for Tuesday at 1pm ET on the steps of the Sarasota County Courthouse (the news release announcing the presser is posted in full at the end of this article).
A lawsuit contesting the results and calling for a new election was filed this morning by Jennings and, as The BRAD BLOG reported earlier today, Buchanan held a press conference this morning in which he called on Jennings to "stop listening" to the Election Integrity groups which he says "have hijacked the election." (Full video, transcript here.)
Buchanan's call for Jennings to concede comes despite the 18,000 lost votes and the microscopic 367 vote margin between the two of them as reported in the now-officially certified results.
Full-sized screenshots of the complete ballot can be downloaded here [PDF, 7.5mb]. Screenshots of the first two pages, resized to fit on The BRAD BLOG --- where the Jennings/Buchanan race can be seen spilling over to the second page of the "ballot," above the more clearly defined "STATE" races follow...
UPDATE: Screenshots from the paperless ES&S voting systems, showing the controversial placement of the Jennings/Buchanan race on the ballot in Sarasota County only, are now posted EXCLUSIVELY here.
In a press conference this morning, Vern Buchanan (R) called on Christine Jennings (D) to concede in the race for the U.S. House in Florida's 13th Congressional district. In a process right out of the Bush/Cheney 2000 Florida Election debacle, the state of Florida certified the race today despite a 369 vote difference between the two and more than 18,000 still-unexplained "undervotes" registered on the paperless ES&S touch-screen voting machines used in Sarasota County.
A video of Buchanan's press conference is here. A complete transcript of his obnoxious statement follows at the end of this article.
We've stayed out of the "politics" in this race up until now, arguing only that the voters of FL-13 should have their voice heard despite overwhelming evidence of voting machine malfunction. However, given Buchanan's
regrettable despicable attack on Jennings in his news conference this morning and, even more so, his attack on the non-partisan groups currently fighting for electoral integrity in the race, we've little choice but to point out the emergence of Buchanan as yet another democracy hater in Florida following the Bush/Cheney 2000 playbook almost to the reprehensible letter.
Putting his own self-interest before that of the public's, Buchanan called on Jennings "to put the interest of the public before her own self-interest," and called on his Democratic opponent --- ironcially fighting for the old seat of outgoing Katherine Harris --- to concede.
Buchanan characterized the contest filed today in court by Jennings (as we reported yesterday would be "coming soon") as "baseless litigation" and said that it's time for her to "stop listening to high-priced lawyers and out of town special interest groups who have hijacked the process to advance their own agenda."
Hijacked the process to advance their own agenda?!
Guest Blogged by Harvey Friedman (Brad's father)
ED NOTE: My dad previously guest blogged his amusing experience at the polls in St. Louis County during their primary election in August held on new touch-screen and/or optical-scan systems made by ES&S. Prior to that, it was reported he that he was instrumental in encouraging the county to not choose Diebold systems (they chose ES&S instead, for good or bad). Today, he shares his anectodes of again holding election officials' feet to the fire during the recent general election there. As he's never been an activist, or even political in anyway prior to all of this, I couldn't be prouder.
As I reviewed the St. Louis Post Dispatch on the day after the November 7th election, I was drawn to an article titled "Secretary of State Blasts County on IDs". The article said, in part:
Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's office notified the county as early as last week about her concerns and alerted the U.S. attorney's office, which handles voter obstruction cases.
The state Supreme Court last month threw out a law stating that a voter needed a photo identification to cast a ballot. But some county election workers still were asking voters on Tuesday whether they had a photo or signature ID.
As BRAD BLOG readers may know, Blunt's right-hand man for years on voting issues was none other than "Thor" Hearne, the self-declared "non-partisan" founder of the American Center for Voting Rights (ACVR). The ACVR has been pushing for restrictive Photo ID requirement laws all across the country since the 2004 election. Most of those laws have been found to be unconstitutional, despite Hearne – the "non-partisan" who was the national general counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. – and the ACVR's continuing attempt to convince America that there is a massive problem with voters voting twice and illegal aliens voting and so forth.
After reading the article and talking to Brad about my election day experience, it seems that perhaps others might be interested in my interesting personal experience while voting during the November 7th election here in St. Louis County....
The BRAD BLOG has learned that several lawsuits are likely to be launched this week in the Sarasota, Florida, election meltdown where some 18,000 votes failed to register on the county's paperless ES&S touch-screen voting systems on November 7th. Fewer than 400 votes currently divide candidates Vern Buchanan (R) and Christine Jennings (D), who are vying to fill disgraced former Sec. of State Katherine Harris's U.S. House seat in Florida's 13th congressional district.
A number of sources have confirmed to The BRAD BLOG that Jennings's legal team --- who previously filed court papers to impound voting machines and data for a possible investigation --- are preparing to file legal action to challenge the legitimacy of the race, perhaps as soon as this week.
As well, non-partisan legal election watchdog VoterAction.org has announced they will be filing suit this week along with People for the American Way Foundation, the ACLU of Florida, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Common Cause. Velvet Revolution.us (of which The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder) is also joining in support of the action. A plea to citizens by Voter Action, seeking help in funding the lawsuit, follows in full at the end of this article.
This graf, from Voter Action's announcement, is of particular note in light of our own previous call for the resignation of Sarasota's atrocious Supervisor of Elections, Kathy Dent --- the person responsible, perhaps more than any other, for leading her constituents into this otherwise avoidable debacle [emphasis in original]:
Sarasota's Herald-Tribune has been doing a very good job of covering the mess since it happened (if not prior to its occurring when something might actually have been done to avoid it).
Today, Herald-Trib columnist Rich Brooks joins the drumbeat of those calling for a full re-vote, writing this weekend: "[I]t's clear that a special election is needed to ensure a fair process. That's preferable to sending the wrong representative to Washington."
In an article on the many phone calls received from Sarasota voters detailing their experiences in trying to vote in the 13th District race, the Herald-Tribune reports today:
Either they couldn't find the District 13 race as they scrolled through their voting screens (about 36 percent) or their votes for either candidate did not initially register on the ballot summary page (more than 62 percent).
[M]any of the voters interviewed bristled at the notion that they were somehow careless or clueless and thus missed the race. Most of them --- ranging in age from 19 to 91 --- were keenly interested in the race and were familiar with touch-screen technology.
The most prevalent problem callers reported encountering happened when they touched a candidate's name, only to find that their vote hadn't registered on the ballot review page
Clearly, had Dent simply chosen a voting technology that would have allowed voters to express their intent on a paper ballot, this mess could never have occurred. Dent has gone out of her way for years to ensure that Sarasota voters would have no way of avoiding the problem they now face. Hopefully the courts will offer a way for the voters to express their actual intent in this important House election.
And the most important hope of all: That this election underscores everything that is wrong with E-Voting in our country and that we must do away (at the very least) with touch-screen voting systems...with or without a "paper trail."
Voter Action's announcement of their intended legal action and a plea for support follows in full...
In a nifty and well-sourced bit of investigative journalism that makes The BRAD BLOG's muckracking heart go pitter-patter, an outfit known as Madcow Morning News (we wish they were called Washington Post) filed a peach of an exposé last Wednesday on Sarasota County's Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent, and Gary L. Greenhalgh, the ES&S voting machine company Vice-President with the questionable past, who appears to have serviced her.
The detailed reporting underscores our previous call for Dent to resign in light of her egregious failures in Florida's 13th district U.S. House race, where the voters are still paying the price. Please do yourself a favor and read the report in full.
Here's a few Dent money shots:
"I do think we're going to see those numbers drop," Dent told Commissioners. "We're looking more for accuracy and the confidence that the voters have in the system."
And this ironic plum from Greelhalgh --- whom Madcow reports as regularly being in perilously close proximity to those convicted of bribery and other kickbacks to elections officials --- from back in 1985:
"There is a massive potential for problems."
Reported the Times: "Mr. Greenhalgh said that while lever-type voting machines could have their counts rigged only machine by machine, counting votes by computer was done at one central site in most counties."
(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG perennial "Old Turk")
We hate to rely on such questionable fringe sources as Associated Press, but for lack of time today, we'll point to their coverage of the remaining "handful of close contests for the House" which are still undecided.
The races that AP describes as "still in dispute" are in NM, NC, FL, and two in OH (naturally).
In addition to the completely obvious and resignation-worthy mess in the FL-13 race, The BRAD BLOG would draw particular attention to the less-discussed contest in New Mexico's 1st Congressional district. We've been plowing through first-hand accounts sent our way detailing the disasterous state of conditions in the counting rooms out there where there's a very close race between incumbent Rep. Heather Wilson (R) and her opponent Patricia Madrid (D).
Based on the exceedingly detailed reports we've read so far of the (ahem) less-than-optimal-or-accurate initial tally of votes (yes, Bernalillo County, we're talking to you), we'd suggest any recount of that race must be done as a complete hand count of all ballots in order to assure the final result actually resembles the intention of New Mexico's voters.
But we just may be radical that way.
Guest blogged by Emily Levy of Velvet Revolution
According to EDA, the Edison-Mitofsky National Exit Poll, conducted by a consortium of news organizations, showed at 7 p.m. on Election Night an 11.5% vote margin in favor of Dems nationwide. But by 1:00 p.m. on the following day, according to EDA, "[T]he Edison-Mitofsky poll had been adjusted, by a process known as 'forcing,' to match the reported vote totals for the election." The adjusted exit polls showed "a 7.6 percent margin exactly mirroring the reported vote totals."
It was EDA co-founder Jonathan Simon whose foresight in downloading the Edison-Mitofsky exit polls on Election Night 2004 before those polls were adjusted made the discovery of the now-infamous "red shift" possible. Analysis of the original exit polls from 2004 became one of the most compelling bodies of evidence to suggest that the 2004 election was stolen on behalf of George W. Bush.
The BRAD BLOG wishes to point out the difference between election "hacking" and "rigging." Hacking can be done by outsiders armed with such difficult-to-obtain weapons as a hotel mini-bar key (in the case of the Diebold TSx) or a finger (in the case of the Sequoia touchscreen machines). Rigging would be done by an insider such as someone working for an electronic voting machine company or a department of elections. The evidence of skewed results in the 2006 Congressional election doesn't specifically prove whether hacking or rigging or both occurred, but certainly magnifies the call for further investigation into irregularities in the 2006 elections. Will this new report help the newly-elected-but-apparently-robbed-of-its-landslide Democratic Majority Congress understand the importance of revamping our election system before 2008?
The next phase of Election Defense Alliance's work will be to analyze results of specific Congressional races. This work will include analysis of exit polls commissioned by Velvet Revolution (of which The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder) and other independent organizations. Perhaps then we will find out how many Democratic (or even Republican) candidates who have been declared losers actually won their races.
More and more Election Integrity advocates and groups are now joining the drumbeat calling for a complete re-vote on paper ballots in the mess that has become U.S. House race in Florida's 13th congressional district in Sarasota. The BRAD BLOG also calls for a complete paper-based revote as the only way to ensure the voter's voice will be heard.
There are fewer than 400 votes separating Vern Buchanan (R) and Christine Jennings (D) in the race to fill (ironically enough) former SoS Katherine Harris's seat. And yet, a full 18,000 votes have gone missing, recorded as undervotes on the paperless ES&S touch-screen systems that failed during the election.
The People for the American Way Florida have issued a press release (posted in full at the end of this article) calling for a complete re-vote, as well as expressing their criticism of the Jeb Bush Administration appointment of a rabid Bush-partisan and paper "trail" opponent to head an audit to figure out what went wrong.
The National Voting Rights Institute yesterday called for a full re-vote as well, saying in their press release, "Public confidence in the vote-counting process is a bedrock principle of any democracy. In Florida's 13th Congressional District, it is clear that only a revote with the option of hand-recorded paper ballots will ensure that voters in that district can trust that their votes will be properly counted."
Common Cause has similarly called for an investigation into what happened in FL-13 and said the vote should not be certified as is. As well, their announcement calls for the immediate passage of Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) HR550 election reform legislation, which is currently supported by some 220 bi-partisan House members. Unfortunately, HR550 would not have guaranteed the problems in FL-13 would have been avoided, as it only calls for paper records as opposed to the much needed paper ballot required for every vote cast. So-called paper "trails" on the touch-screen systems down in Florida would not have avoided the problem we're now facing and, in fact, would likely have exacerbated them by giving voters and elections officials a false sense of security. Paper "trails" on touch-screen DRE machines are not reliable or accurate, they fail consistently, can be gamed quite easily, and frequently cannot be actually verified by the voters.
Finally, Election Integrity organization VelvetRevolution.us (of which The BRAD BLOG is co-founder) goes further still in both calling for a full paper-based re-vote as well as demanding the resignation of failed Sarasota Supervisor of Elections, Kathy Dent.
Dent failed the voters in Flordia's 13th district and across the entire county, by fighting to ensure they would not have any means of avoiding such problems when she insisted on untested, inaccurate electronic touch-screen systems without paper ballots --- or even paper trails that could have been used to mitigate a disaster such as the one now facing her.
She should resign immediately, along with Secretary of State Sue M. Cobb and the other officials directly responsible for this debacle.
The full press release from People For the American Way Florida follows below...
UPDATE 5:00pm Three more groups, Voter Action, ACLU, and Electronic Frontier Foundation, also now announce their call for a re-vote and investigation. Their press release follows in full below now as well...
Add the Monterey County, California, Acting Registrar of Voters, Claudio Valenzuela, to our ever-growing list of Elections Officials who ought to resign immediately in the wake of extraordinary failures to assure that every legally registered voter who chooses to vote actually gets to vote, and then gets to have that vote counted accurately.
Valenzuela --- who recently replaced the corrupt former Registrar Tony "Trust Me" Anchundo after he was charged with 43 criminal counts --- incredibly instructed poll workers not to give paper ballots to voters despite an order from the Secretary of State prior to the election that any CA voter who wishes to vote on paper may have one --- and despite lines of more than an hour for voters due to problems with the county's crappy new Sequoia electronic touch-screen voting machines.
As smartly reported by the Monterey Weekly today, poll watcher Susan Sisson recounts the story of dozens of voters giving up and leaving without casting a vote in her one precinct alone after she was reprimanded for reminding poll workers that they could/should give a paper ballot to those who wanted them, or those who couldn't afford to wait in line for hours on end.
Despite at least four still-undecided races in Monterey, where one candidate leads by anywhere from 47 to just 14 votes --- few enough that those voters who couldn't afford to wait in long lines for the machines, but could have voted on paper and made the difference in those races at Sisson's precinct alone! --- Valenzuela stands by his horrendous anti-democracy directive to poll workers:
The folks in Monterey ought to be up in arms about this jerk. Should be storming the County Board out there and demanding accountability and this guy's resignation.
Read the full article. It's just amazing what's going on in our electoral system. But it won't change until citizens on the ground demand that it does!
Let's hope the incoming Secretary of State, Debra Bowen, busts some asses about this sort of thing where the failed, disgraced, outgoing SoS, Bruce McPherson, clearly didn't give a damn.
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...
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...
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
Or by Snail Mail
Make check out to...
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
Los Angeles, CA 90028