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Latest Featured Reports | Saturday, October 25, 2014
Touch-Screens Flip 'No' to 'Yes' on TN Abortion Measure
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


As originally aired on the 4/8/11 'Mike Malloy Show'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2011 9:05am PT  

As several folks have requested, here is my "Special Comment" on "Democracy's Gold Standard" in the wake of Wisconsin's Supreme Election Debacle from my final night of the week guest hosting the Mike Malloy Show last Friday night. It's presented here in quick and dirty video form in hopes that it'll get a few more eyes and ears than just the audio would by itself...

Please see this article for more on "Democracy's Gold Standard." And here is Nancy Tobi's book: Hands-On Elections: An Informational Handbook for Running Real Elections, Using Real Paper Ballots, Counted by Real People.

A text transcript of the "Special Comment" follows below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2011 4:28pm PT  

Here is an update, along with some important thoughts on the WI Supreme Court election debacle which exploded out of Waukesha County yesterday, plunging that important election into utter disarray --- an election seen by many as a referendum on Gov. Scott Walker and the state GOP's legislating away many of the rights of state citizens to collectively bargain.

I am writing quickly as I scramble, once again to get to the studio on time to finish up my week tonight as guest host of the nationally syndicated Mike Malloy Show. I will, of course, speak again about these matters in greater detail on air this evening. So please forgive any typos or lack of clarity in the following for now.

First, some of the latest related news of note, and then some quick thoughts on this entire fine mess.

The campaign of Asst. Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, now said to be trailing incumbent Justice David Prosser by some 7,500 votes, announced their intention last night to file an open records request "for all relevant documentation related to the reporting of election results in Waukesha County, as well as to the discovery and reporting of the errors announced by the County."

That's good. In addition, they ought to apply for an immediate court order for the quarantine, sequestration, and confiscation of all ballots, electronic voting systems (optical-scanners, Direct Recording Electronic machines, tabulators, etc), memory cards, and the computer systems of County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus as well, in hopes of assuring a complete, independent, transparent forensic investigation of the entire election by an independent party.

At the same time, the State Government Accountability Board (GAB) has announced today they are "dispatching officials to the Waukesha County Clerk's Office Friday afternoon to review procedures used in tallying results of Tuesday's Supreme Court election."

That's good too, and if they have the authority to confiscate the election materials as described above, they should exercise it immediately as well. Nickolaus should no longer be allowed anywhere near this election (or, frankly, any other, given her years of reckless behavior in her role as County Clerk.)

Others, including Citizen Action of Wisconsin, have called for a full federal investigation into "irregularities" in Waukesha County's vote-counting system. That would be both welcome and appropriate as well in this case.

With all of that said, and with full recognition of the absolutely shameful way the Right would have behaved had 14,000+ votes suddenly "appeared" in a Democratic stronghold, as they did in the heavily Republican Waukesha enclave (and as they had already begun to do prior to yesterday's stunning announcement, as can be seen in the Fox "News" appearance yesterday of the always shamefully irresponsible liar John Fund), there are reasons to regard the "new" numbers announced yesterday as "legitimate." Or, at least as "legitimate" as any of the other results announced based on ballots counted only by oft-failed, easily-manipulated computer systems in the state. (See our detailed explanation about those systems, and the very serious concerns about them, as we published on Wednesday, when the unofficial results had the race at a 204 vote margin.)

Here's why I feel that way. (Though, mind you, how I feel has nothing to do with what should or shouldn't be done here to restore integrity and appropriate oversight to the woeful election system in place in Waukesha. To be sure, there are many remaining questions that demand answers at this time in both Waukesha and elsewhere in the state.)...

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

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Former Monterey County Registrar of Voters Heads to Jail on 43 Criminal Counts, Stole More Than $80,000 in Tax Dollars from County
Once Told Us We Must Have 'Trust and Faith in Elections Officials, Or In This Case, Me'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2007 8:43pm PT  

While he was still the 13-year Monterey County, CA, Registrar of Voters, Tony Anchundo once told us live on air that "There is obviously going to have to be some trust and faith in the elections official, or in this case, it's me."

On Monday, the disgraced Anchundo reported to jail after pleading "no contest" last December to 43 criminal counts of forgery, misapplication of funds, embezzlement, falsification of accounts, and grand theft:

Former Registrar Reports For Jail Time
Anchundo Stole More Than $80,000 In Tax Dollars

SALINAS, Calif. --- Tony Anchundo checked into the Monterey County Jail Monday morning, beginning his nine-month jail sentence for embezzlement.

The former registrar of voters plead no contest to stealing more than $80,000 of taxpayer's money.

And last month, a judge suspended a five-year prison sentence, ordering him to jail instead.

Anchundo could apply for home confinement or a work alternative program after serving 90 days.

He's also been ordered to repay more than $100,000.

We've said it before, but obviously it bears repeating (particularly to the members of CACEO - California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials and the shameful Santa Cruz Sentinel): Trust no one when it comes to your elections. You should never have to. Especially those who tell you they should be trusted.

While it should be self-evident by now, it's our duty to remind you (and the CACEO and the Santa Cruz Sentinel as previously owned by former CA SoS Bruce McPherson) that our country and Constitution and Rule of Law were not built on trust. They were built on checks and balances. The best elections officials in America (if not necessarily the CACEO) will tell you as much:

  • Leon County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho said in a speech last May: "Trust no one. If it can't be verified, it can't be used."
  • Yolo County, California Registrar-Clerk Freddie Oakley wrote last June in response to many of her colleagues: "They also argue that, 'We have to trust our poll workers…' To this I can only say…only if they are incorruptible."

On that note, no American should have to trust in an electronic voting system which counts votes in secret, as never verified by the voter or any human being. Doing so makes as much sense as "trusting" in Tony Anchundo --- object lesson #1 in all that is wrong with trusting anyone or anything in this regard.

See the notice below on how you can (and must!) take action now to make sure Congress finally gets the message!

Take action to amend the Holt Election Reform Bill!
DEMAND A BAN ON DRE/TOUCH-SCREEN VOTING!
- Email Congress!
- Call your members!
See www.BradBlog.com/Holt for more details, coverage, talking points & information on all of the above!
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Now-Former 13-Year Election Official Who Once Told Us Voters We Need to Have 'Trust and Faith' in How He Would Count Votes --- May Avoid Jail Time in Light of Plea Deal
By Brad Friedman on 12/21/2006 2:32pm PT  

In October of 2005, just prior to the Monterey County, California, November election with their new Sequoia touch-screen voting systems, Registrar of Voters Tony Anchundo and I had an exchange on the radio.

I asked him how discrepancies would be handled, if any where found between the machine-reported results on the county's new systems and their planned audit of the so-called "paper trails" from those unreliable systems.

The 13-year election official told me, "There is obviously going to have to be some trust and faith in the elections official, or in this case, it's me." (Audio of full interview here, text transcript here, Court TV's Catherine Crier picked up on our reporting of this in a video editorial here.)

In July of 2006, Tony "Trust Me" Anchundo was charged with 43 criminal counts, including charges of forgery, misapplication of funds, embezzlement, falsification of accounts, and grand theft of nearly $80,000 of county money.

And finally, yesterday, Anchundo pleaded "no contest" to all 43 criminal charges. His plea deal may help him avoid any jail time at all. He was facing a possibility of some 12 years in prison.

Anchundo is the response to any election official, politician, or voting machine company spokeshole who tells us that we must have trust in our election officials that they will do the right thing, that they'd never do anything untoward, or game an election...despite their insider access to voting equipment which can be tampered with to allow a single person to steal an entire election without a trace left behind.

Trust them? Not bloody likely. Our country and constitution were not founded on trust, but on checks and balances. The disgraced and disgraceful Anchundo is the object lesson in that regard for all time.

Truly honest elections officials will be the first to tell you they should not be trusted. Leon County, Florida Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho said in a speech last May, "Trust no one. If it can't be verified, it can't be used." Yolo County, California Registrar-Clerk Freddie Oakley wrote last June in response to many of her colleagues, "They also argue that, 'We have to trust our poll workers…' To this I can only say…only if they are incorruptible."

MORAL: Trust no one when it comes to your elections. Especially those who tell you they should be trusted.

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Several Undecided Races Might Have Been Decided by the Number of Voters (Who Should Have Been Allowed to Vote on Paper) Unable to Wait for Voting Machines at One Precinct Alone...
By Brad Friedman on 11/16/2006 1:27pm PT  

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:

"We did what we could," Valenzuela says. "We trained all of our workers, we gave them what they needed, and they deserve credit for their hard work. Nobody was denied the right to vote. Nobody. If you walked out because you were tired and didn’t want to wait, that was your choice. We can’t do anything about that."

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.

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An Incredible Report Tying Together Dozens of Stories We've Been Reporting for Months here at BRAD BLOG!
(Thus exposing our secret news reporting center to the world! Damn her!)
By Brad Friedman on 7/11/2006 7:00pm PT  

Wow...CourtTV's Catherine Crier on Crier Live just covered virtually everything we've ever discussed on this blog in one fell swoop! Had I known it was possible, I would have used five and a half minutes to tell all these stories, instead of the past two years! ;-)

As well, she included several incredibly kind words about both The BRAD BLOG and yours truly (and a picture of me to boot, sorry about that!) generously urging folks to visit this site:

If you want to learn about the state of our election process, I urge you to visit BradBlog.com. Brad Friedman has worked doggedly on this issue, amassing tons of valuable news and information on this subject.

She covered loads of stories that we've been secretly reporting here where the rest of the MSM could never ever notice... From the recent Busby/Bilbray Diebold voting machine "sleepover" fiasco to the Hand Count Fee scam that's followed, to the video-taped testimony of vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis naming Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL) as the rigger, to Bush-appointed former EAC commissioner DeForest Soaries' exposure of the cruel federal hoax, to now-disgraced Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters Tony "Trust Me" Anchundo who faces 43 criminal counts and much more!

I was contacted recently by the show and they informed me they have been BRAD BLOG readers for quite a while. Their report this evening demonstrates that quite clearly. They managed to show, very smartly and in a single report, how all of these items we've been reporting on --- for what seems like forever --- actually all tie together. (What, no Ann Coulter Voter Fraud to boot? Maybe next week...)

I'd pull out some quotes, but it won't do her report justice. See the full video (courtesy of David Edwards, natch) or text transcript which are both available below.

I've been asked to appear on the show next week, and we're trying to work out the dates to see if it's possible, since --- theoretically --- I'm supposed to be hitting the road for a long-planned and much-needed vacation for several weeks after appearing at this weekend's DemocracyFest! in San Diego. But hopefully we'll work something out...


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

Below is the text transcript as forwarded by the good Crier Live folks [and edited slightly for legibility]...

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

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Now-Former Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters, Tony 'Trust Me' Anchundo, Told Brad on Air that Voters Need to 'Have Trust and Faith' in Election Officials...
He Now Faces Charges of Forgery, Misapplication of Funds, Embezzlement, Falsification of Accounts and Grand Theft to the Tune of $70,000...
By Brad Friedman on 7/11/2006 8:05am PT  
"There is obviously going to have to be some trust and faith in the elections official, or in this case, it's me."
-- Then Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters, Tony Anchundo on the Peter B. Collins radio show, 10/24/05

"Anchundo to face 43 criminal charges
DA: Ex-registrar spent $70,000 on personal purchases"

-- Headline of the Salinas Californian, 7/6/06

The astute BRAD BLOG reader may recall my appearance on the Peter B. Collins show last October when the good Peter B. had invited Monterey County, CA Registrar of Voters Tony Anchundo into the studio to demonstrate the county's brand-spankin' new Sequoia touch-screen voting machines that were slated for first time use in last November's special election.

That interview, both audio and complete text transcript, is right here...

After Anchundo's in-studio demo of how the new system is supposed to work, I pressed Anchundo to find out whether or not he actually intended to count the virtually uncountable "toilet-paper roll" voter-verified paper trails created by the Sequoia machines or if he would rely on the machine count. He committed on air that the county had planned to count "100%" of those paper trails.

Incredulous, but nonethless happy to have that promise on-air and on-the-record, I asked which count would be the official count in the case of a discrepancy; the paper count or the machine count. He said we'd have to trust him to make the best decision at the time. "Faith-based voting," in other words.

While I was skeptical that he'd even be able to count those paper trails at all --- or even that it could be done in reality, even if they'd wanted to --- he promised to come back to the show after the election to report on how the 100% count went and which count they ended up using.

Weeks and months went by and Peter B. and his producer attempted to book Anchundo, the 13-year Registrar, for the promised follow-up. It seemed the office was not eager to return calls or book a return appearance.

Then last April, Anchundo suddenly and mysteriously resigned --- just six weeks before the California primary elections --- leaving county officials "stunned", as the Monterey Herald reported it at the time.

And then finally, last Friday, a caller to Peter B.'s show, during my regular weekly appearance there, gave us a tip to this report from the Salinas Californian...

Anchundo to face 43 criminal charges
DA: Ex-registrar spent $70,000 on personal purchases

By CHRISTOPHER ORTIZ
The Salinas Californian

The Monterey County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday it has filed 43 criminal charges against former Registrar of Voters Tony Anchundo, saying he spent more than $70,000 on personal purchases using county-issued credit cards, then tried to cover his tracks.

The charges include 25 counts of forgery, 14 counts of misapplication of funds, three counts of embezzlement and falsification of accounts by a public officer and one count of grand theft.

If found guilty on all charges, Anchundo could face 12 years in jail.

More details at the Californian, but all I can say is: "Trust and faith in the elections officials,"...indeed, Mr. Anchundo. A picture perfect lesson in why no elections officials should ever be trusted.

Just ask the heroic and legendary Ion Sancho, Election Director of Leon County, FL who said in a speech last May: "Trust no one. If it can't be verified, it can't be used."

Or ask the courageous Yolo County, CA Registrar-Clerk, Freddie Oakley, who smartly wrote recently about some of her election official colleagues: "They also argue that, 'We have to trust our poll workers…' To this I can only say…only if they are incorruptible."

Or finally, ask Oregon Secretary of State, Bill Bradbury, who delivered this knock-out speech last November:

We cannot simply react and play defense against a rising tide of legitimate public questions and concerns. Elections are the foundation of democracy, and our democracy cannot function without full public confidence in the fairness of elections. We must proactively offer the public an elections system that is clean, transparent, fair, and above reproach. We must be able to prove that all of our claims about elections are true.
...
We cannot ignore our constituents. It's not enough anymore to simply tell them "just trust us."
...
We believe that our elections are accurate, but we need hard evidence to show the public.

If only San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas --- who has never heard of an indicted election official, and isn't concerned that a poll worker might try to tamper with a programmed election-ready voting machine when he allows them to keep them in their car, house or garage for weeks before an election --- would care as much about his voters as Sancho, Oakley or Bradbury... Unfortunately, Haas seems to be falling into the Anchundo category instead.

Trust me.

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In Radio Interview, Demonstrates New Sequoia Touch-Screens, Secret Software, Asks Voters to 'Trust Him' on Accuracy and Reliability!
Brad Joins Him and Peter B. Collins for Remarkable Hour on KXRA 540-am...
By Brad Friedman on 10/24/2005 9:22pm PT  

I just finished a radio appearance a couple of hours ago with our friend Peter B. Collins on KXRA 540AM up in Monterey, CA. Peter was joined, in studio, by Tony Anchundo, the Registrar of Voters in Monterey County, CA for a demonstration of a brand-spankin' new Sequoia DRE (touch-screen) voting machine that Achundo was very proud to announce would be in use for the first time in the special State Election coming up out here on November 8th.

Achundo walked Peter through the use of the machine, which prints out a "paper record" (as Achundo referred to it) that voters are to "verify" before leaving the voting booth. That "paper record" is printed on a small thermal-ink roll of paper, akin to what you get with a credit card purchase, and stays behind plexiglass, never to be touched by the voter.

The votes, however, are counted on a "memory cartridge" in the machine, not on the "paper record." This raises the question (which I attempted to ask many times, in many different ways) as to what good that "paper record" actually is in the first place...beyond giving the voter a completely false sense of security and confidence.

I was able to get Anchundo to confirm that the entire technology used to count votes in Monterey County, California will have to be "faith-based". We'll just have to "trust" him, and his 30 years of experience as Registrar, that everything is fine and that votes will be counted accurately.

Peter has asked me to to join him by phone for the hour to help ask questions of Anchundo. I was happy and honored to do so. The results of the hour, I believe, are astounding.

The audio of the full hour is here in MP3 format. I think BRAD BLOG readers will find it as enlightening --- and troubling --- as I did.

[UPDATE] Here is a full transcript of the hour! It should be very useful to have a "paper record" of the conversation for the future. Perhaps for November 9th.

As the front page of Monterey County's website says, "The most serious threat to our democracy is the notion that it has already been achieved. The quality of our leaders and the direction of our Country depends on the participation of our people." I've therefore include Contact info for the Registrar's office at the end of this post, so you folks can participate as you see fit.

Amongst the many highlights (based on my short-term memory) of the hour just spent with Peter trying to get direct answers from Anchundo on a variety of related issues (and you'll likely come across many more yourself)...

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

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