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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Erick Erickson's Global Warming Denialist Tantrum
Latest barometer of denialist desperation: The rightwing 'thought leader', as usual, is wrong on the facts and science, so he's just taking his ball and going home...
Video Captures GA Family Disowning, Assaulting 20-Year Old Gay Son
But there is a "happy" ending, of sorts, to this heartbreaking and disturbing story...
'Green News Report' 8/28/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
BP refinery explodes. Again.; UN report warns of 'irreversible' warming; Fines for oil, chem spills; 22% of world elec. is now green; PLUS: People's Climate March coming to NYC...
Previous GNRs: 8/26/14 - 8/21/14 - Archives...
Faking the Ferguson Docs:
KPFK 'BradCast'
Brad interviews open records advocate Charlie Grapski on his evidence that Ferguson and St. Louis County police are illegally withholding evidence in the killing of Michael Brown; Plus MUCH more...
Records Requests Suggest Ferguson, St. Louis County Police Involved in Cover-Up
How else to explain the missing details and required documentation of Officer Darren Wilson's killing of Michael Brown?...
'Green News Report' 8/26/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Napa earthquake is a warning for CA's nuke plants; Another coal plant bites the dust; Cutting emissions will save $$$; PLUS: Fighting drought with a 'salmon cannon'...Yep...
Previous GNRs: 8/21/14 - 8/19/14 - Archives...
Siegelman Judge, Arrested For Beating His Wife, May Avoid Prosecution Altogether
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller checks in for 'treatment', may be able to duck prosecution...
Our Story So Far: The WI GOP Photo ID Voting Restrictions
Trouble keeping up with all the court cases barring, then allowing, then barring GOP Photo ID voting restrictions in WI? We'll catch you up quickly...
Obama Orders Review of Police Militarization Program
In response to bi-partisan calls for reform and disturbing display by militarized local police in Ferguson, MO, the President takes aim at controversial Pentagon program...
Ryan Dismisses Elderly Voter's Question About His Medicare Cuts
2012 GOP Veep nom and 2016 hopeful 'charms' elderly voters in FL, by ignoring them...
Perry Tells NH Businessmen His Felony Indictment Was for a 'Bribery' Charge
Is this another 'oops' moment from the Repub TX Governor and 2016 hopeful? Or something else entirely?...
'Green News Report' 8/21/14
Too much rain in AZ desert; Another toxic spill in Ohio River; Solar breakthrough; Wind energy prices hit all-time low; PLUS: Auto-magically cleaning up Baltimore Harbor...
Rep. Hank Johnson on Ferguson and Demilitarizing the Police: KPFK 'BradCast'
The Democratic U.S. Congressman from Georgia's 4th district joins Bradto discuss his new bill...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By David Edwards on 3/14/2006 5:36am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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

Senator Russ Feingold delivered this speech yesterday on the Senate Floor offering a resolution to censure President George W. Bush over illegal wiretaps.

The video runs about 25 minutes and is lower quality. We are not able to offer a Windows Media version because of the size. An MP3 Audio version is available.

Senator Feingold offers the resolution in PDF format on his website. The Raw Story has the complete text of the speech.

UPDATE FROM BRAD: That speech, by the way, starts this way, and then gets even better...

The President authorized an illegal program to spy on American citizens on American soil, and then misled Congress and the public about the existence and legality of that program. It is up to this body to reaffirm the rule of law by condemning the President's actions.

The Democrats have another opportunity to fail to do their jobs here. Looks like, aside from Feingold, they're prepared to take advantage of that opportunity. Call your Senators. Ask them if they support Feingold's Censure. If they don't, ask them why not. Firedoglake has helpful numbers and tips for ya.

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By John Gideon on 3/13/2006 5:13pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Two important reports surfaced today. First, from VoteTrustUSA, is a study on reliability of voting machines and the reliability of those machines that were batch tested by the Calif. SoS. Second is the coming forward of another whistleblower, this time from Hart InterCivic. Also, another failure in last weeks Texas primaries was announced. In a hand count audit of ballots in Jefferson Co. they found a large discrepancy in the number of votes counted vs. the number of votes cast. ES&S will pay for a recount to be accomplished....

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

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100,000+ Votes Were Errantly Added by Hart Machines in a Single County in Last Tuesday's Primary via Flawed, Paperless 'eSlate' Touch-Screen System!
Former Hart Employee, Tarrant County TX Election Worker Notified State, Legal Authorities in 2004 About Serious Voting Machine Problems, Procedures...All Warnings and Complaints Ignored
By Brad Friedman on 3/13/2006 1:20pm PT  

Continuing in an exclusive BRAD BLOG series of Voting Machine Vendor and Election Fraud whistleblowers, another insider, from yet another voting machine company, has now come forward to reveal a myriad of known problems inside both the company and in several states and counties with whom they do business.

During last Tuesday's Primary Election in the state of Texas, scores of "computer glitches" --- as voting officials and electronic voting machine vendors like to refer to them --- were revealed occurred across the state. Many of those "glitches" occurred on electronic voting equipment manufactured and supplied to various counties in Texas by the Hart InterCivic company.

One such "glitch" occurred in Texas' Tarrant County, which encompasses Fort Worth. That "glitch" resulted in some 100,000 votes being added to the result totals across the county's paperless Hart-Intercivic "eSlate" touch-screen voting system.

Election Officials in Tarrant claim they didn't look into the problems on Election Night as the problem emerged because, as reported by the Star-Telegram last week, "they were dealing with a new system, new procedures and some new equipment."

The BRAD BLOG can now report, however, that according to a Hart InterCivic company whistleblower --- who also happened to have later worked as an "election programmer" in Tarrant County --- the problems with Hart InterCivic's systems in Tarrant County, Texas and elsewhere are not new at all. Not by a longhorn long shot.

Letters sent by William Singer of Fort Worth, a former Hart InterCivic "technical specialist" and Tarrant County election worker, to state officials back in July of 2004 warned of exactly such problems. The letters, obtained and published here for the first time exclusively by The BRAD BLOG, reveal that serious problems and concerns of possible election system meltdowns were already apparent with the Hart machines in Tarrant County long ago. However, the warning letters were all but ignored by both election officials and even state law enforcement officials.

The "glitch" in last Tuesday's primary, as reported the Star-Telegram, "caused Tarrant County to report as many as 100,000 votes in both primaries that never were cast." After the problem was discovered, they report, "the local turnout [dropped] from a possible record high of about 158,103 voters to about 58,000."

A review of several notarized letters sent by Singer to officials in both Texas and Ohio in 2004 warned of fraudulent activities, buggy software and hardware, dysfunctional testing and development procedures, unsecured working environments and possible criminal behavior by both Hart InterCivic and Election Workers in both states.

Singer --- who eventually resigned from the company and ended up working as an Election Programmer for Tarrant County, where last Tuesday's "glitch" occurred --- wrote of allegations that Hart illegally supplied specially prepared machines for testing to state election officials. Along with doing so, they also withheld a number of known security, programming and hardware flaws during official review and certification of the systems.

TROUBLE IN TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS...

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

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By David Edwards on 3/13/2006 9:12am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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

As the third anniversary of the Iraq War nears, President Bush and other administration officials will begin delivering speeches today designed to bolster public opinion of the Iraq war. President Bush's first speech will focus on the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and the readiness of Iraq troops.

Former presidential advisor David Gergen says that a PR campaign is the wrong direction. He says that the White House should tell the truth about the situation on the ground in Iraq.

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By David Edwards on 3/13/2006 7:16am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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

CNN's Soledad O'Brien proved to be an effective proxy for the GOP noise machine as she challenged Feingold's proposed censure of Bush with flurry of misleading Republican talking points.

Not to be too critical of Soledad but she may be in over her head by sparring with Senator Feingold on the subject of illegal wiretaps.

Senator Feingold introduced the censure proposal yesterday on ABC This Week. You can see the full interview with George Stephanopolous here.

Feingold is expected to introduce the censure resolution in the Senate today.

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By John Gideon on 3/12/2006 5:30pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

The "DVN Top 5" is a feature in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The March 6 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on The BRAD BLOG!...

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

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Damning Complaints of New Troubles and Old Problems in Texas and Ohio...
PLUS: The BRAD BLOG Week in Review and Other Sunday Notables...
By Brad Friedman on 3/12/2006 3:21pm PT  

Tomorrow (Monday) The BRAD BLOG will feature yet another Voting Machine Industry insider who is stepping forward with yet more troubling information and documented accusations about the way his company --- and at least one county in Texas, where there were notable problems in last Tuesday's primary --- have been running elections. Damning complaints about Fraud, Mismanagement, and possible Criminal Behavior were made about many of the alleged problems as long ago as July 2004. We'll have the documentation. The complaints were all but ignored, surprisingly enough (irony inserted there), by both public and company officials. We'll have a full feature on those complaints and warnings on Monday...We believe you'll not want to miss it!

It's been an incredibly busy time here at The BRAD BLOG, in case you haven't noticed. Just scroll down last week's list of stories to get an idea of what's been going on --- at a furious pace. And there is much more on the way. For an audio review of some of last week's best stories, you may wish to listen to my weekly appearance last Friday with the good Peter B. Collins of KRXA 540am wherein we discussed as many of last week's stories as we could fit into one 40 minute appearance [MP3].

A few other quick Sunday items of note...

VoteTrustUSA has begun a campaign in support of Ion Sancho... Sancho, as readers here know, is the Election Supervisor in Leon County who exposed the security flaw in Diebold's optical-scan voting equipment which allows a hacker to completely flip the results of an election without a trace being left behind. Sancho is under attack for this good deed by the State of Florida themselves and yet he's fighting back as best as he can. Click here to send email support for Sancho's efforts!

Stephen Heller, the whistleblower who revealed Diebold's plan... to break the law in California has set up a legal defense fund since being charged with three felony counts. We wrote about Heller previously and the excellent Tribune Media Services columnist, Bob Koehler, covered his story this week as well in a great column. Here are some comments from Heller's wife. He is in need of funds to fight against the bad guys. So, donations can now be made via the Stephen Heller Defense Fund website.

Lastly, for now... and not important at all, but kind of fun. Please Vote for BRAD BLOG in any or all of the 6 categories for which we've been nominated in the Koufax 2005 Weblog Awards! If you're so inclined. We'd much appreciate it! And thanks, as ever, for all the great support!

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By Brad Friedman on 3/12/2006 12:04pm PT  

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By David Edwards on 3/12/2006 4:02am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of Veredictum.com


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

This month, the ACLU premiered "Voting Rights". It's the latest in a series of "The ACLU Freedom Files" documentaries. The program premiered March 9th on LinkTV and March 11th on CourtTV.

The "Voting Rights" episode highlights some of the ways in which populations of minority voters have had their political power stifled by officials representing the majority voters. The program calls attention to the pending expiration and continued need of the Voting Rights Act.

This video contains about 9 minutes of clips from the full 30 minute documentary. The ACLU should have the full video for download soon. Check your local listings for additional show times on CourtTV and LinkTV.

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By John Gideon on 3/11/2006 5:51pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Elections officials in Tarrant Co. Texas where voting machines added around 100,000 votes to the total are actually considering whether to have a recount. It should be a 'no-brainer'. Even more amazing is news from Allegheny Co., PA where they county has announced that they are happily buying used, 10-year old Sequoia Advantage machines. Sequoia has convinced them that the machines can be updated and made accessible and HAVA compliant before the PA primary in May. That includes federal and state testing and certification. ES&S has claimed that they had battery failures on their memory cards in Summit Co. OH which is why they have had a huge number of failures during testing....

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

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Thomas Swidarski Reveals He is Still Out of Touch With the Company's Problems
Brad Offers an Unlikely Olive Branch...
By Brad Friedman on 3/11/2006 4:42pm PT  

Cleveland Plain-Dealer promises a feature article on Diebold's new CEO (and former head of its Elections Division) Tom Swidarksi in tomorrow's Sunday paper. (UPDATE: That interview is now posted here.)

In their preview for that article, they refer to his plan for "cutting $100 million in operation costs" and Diebold's "core business of selling and servicing ATM's and security systems."

"But it's the company's smallest business segment - electronic voting products - that occasionally envelops Diebold in controversy," they report. "And that fanfare contributed to the downfall of Swidarski's predecessor, Walden O'Dell."

The article tomorrow is, apparently, based on a video-taped interview with Swidarski which is available online here.

Despite being Diebold's "smallest business segment," approximately half (or more) of that interview is dedicated to their "Elections Business". Most newsworthy, perhaps, is Swidarski's continued failure to say whether or not he plans on selling off that part of Diebold. Previous interviews have given that same indication. It seems clear, they're looking to get the monkey off their back. Who can blame them?

For a transcript of the key parts in the interview concerning their "Elections Business," followed by a few of my thoughts about that, along with what I feel is a friendly invitation to Mr. Swidarski...from me...see below...

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

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By John Gideon on 3/10/2006 5:09pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

This week the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School issued a report that says that millions of voters in seven states may be disenfranchised due to the type of voter registration databases used in those states, including Iowa and Washington. Florida has told Leon County that their backup plan for this year may jeopardize federal compliance and the state may end up suing the county. In Georgia, Secretary of State Cox has been found to have violated the National Voter Registration Act. Summit Co., OH is still having problems with memory cards supplied by ES&S (Is anyone warning ES&S's other customers? Surely not the EAC.). Counties in Pennsylvania who have opted for AVS WINvote may have problems as AVS is telling them they may not be able to meet delivery dates....

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

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Pre-Election Test Results Less Bad, After Memory Cards Are Specially Provided by Company to Summit County, OH (After First Two Batches Failed 30% of the Time)
Election Director Suggest 'Product Recall' Might Be Appropriate!
By John Gideon on 3/10/2006 4:16pm PT  

As reported yesterday by BRAD BLOG - Summit County, Ohio is testing the memory cards for their new ES&S optical scan machines. Unfortunately their first test revealed that 30% of those cards failed, and as replacements were brought in, the cards continued failing.

Such memory cards are used in electronic voting machines to store the tallied votes. Similar cards were found to be hackable in Diebold optical scan machines after a targetted "hack test" was specfically performed on them in Leon County, FL, recently.

Today, the Akron Beacon Journal reported that a new batch of cards was supplied by ES&S to Summit County for the tests. And they are failing less often! Now only 10% of the time !

Lisa A. Abraham of the Beacon Journal reports:

Through the end of the workday Thursday, 438 properly working cards had been tested --- a figure that included the original 177 [30% of those tested failed], said Marijean Donofrio, elections board deputy director.

Donofrio said ES&S representatives working on the implementation told board staffers that they have never experienced a failure rate higher than 1 percent in other counties.

Donofrio wondered whether the company should consider a recall of the product.

She also expressed concern that ES&S continues to send memory cards to Summit County from the subcontractor whose product is being questioned. ES&S has not named the subcontractor.

Donofrio said the board was expecting Thursday's shipment to include only memory cards made by the company that made the original 177 that tested successfully, but that wasn't the case.

"They've been referring to the cards as finicky," she said of ES&S. "If that's the case, if they work fine in May, will they work fine in November? I would advocate for an entire new batch of cards. We don't need any problems (in the future) that we can head off now,'' she said.

I took the opportunity to send the Beacon-Journal's Abraham an email asking a very simple question: "I would really be curious what ES&S would say if they were asked how many other counties across the country have these same memory cards, and are they warning all of their customers to be on the lookout for bad cards."

Her response: "I've been asking ES&S that very question for two days now and they either won't say or don't call back. Stay tuned..."

So... I guess we stay tuned, and hope that those same bad cards do not end up on ES&S machines all over the country.

ES&S is the largest provider of voting machine equipment in America. Between them and Diebold, the two companies tally more than 80% of America's votes. (And they may be accurate in doing so 70% to 90% of the time.)

UPDATE 3/11/06: The answers to the questions many of us have asked have been answered by the Akron Beacon Journal today. The problem with the memory cards seems to be dead or low batteries. Apparently the subcontractor for the cards, Vikant Corp., a Long Grove, Ill., company has no quality control standards and just shipped out bad cards to ES&S for use in machines that will be counting our votes. ES&S, like Vikant, apparently failed to test the cards also.

On my question to Lisa A. Abraham, the Beacon Journal reporter regarding whether ES&S is trying to locate other customers who may have bad memory cards, she got an answer. Lisa reports that Ellen Bogard, ES&S spokeswoman told her:

``We're working with customers who may have received them. We're still contacting our customers,'' she said. Bogard said the problem would affect customers who received memory cards from ES&S in recent weeks.

``We're still working to determine the exact parameters,'' she said.

Bogard said no other county in Ohio or throughout the country has complained of failing cards.

There may not have been any complaints but I wonder how many of those bad cards may have ended up in Texas and been responsible for some of the disasters reported by BRAD BLOG last Tuesday.

FOLLOWUP QUESTION FROM BRAD: A "battery problem"? Not to be overly skeptical here, but my understanding is that these memory cards are magnetic media which are slipped into the PCMCIA slots, no? Power is supplied from the computer itself via the PCMCIA slot (if I understand things correctly), and thus no "battery" is needed on PCMCIA cards which simply store data magnetically. Am I missing something here? Does anyone here have more knowledge on this sort of thing for us? Please share in comments if you do...

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All Three Still Allowed to Work at Cuyahoga County Board Even While Under Indictment...
By Brad Friedman on 3/10/2006 12:50pm PT  

In case you don't know, the ballots from the 2004 Presidential Election in Ohio have never actually been counted. Or even recounted.

The "official" recount, called for by the Green and Libertarian Parties in the state, was gamed and carried out completely against state law by Ohio's Sec. of State (and Bush/Cheney's Re-Election Committee Co-Chair) J. Kenneth Blackwell.

The Green and Libertarian Parties are still challenging that recount in Federal Court. As well, two Cuyahoga County Election Officials were indicted last August for gaming that (non)recount.

And today, AP informs us, a third one has just been nabbed as well...

CLEVELAND (AP) --- The third highest ranking employee at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has been indicted on charges of mishandling ballots during the 2004 presidential election recount.

Jacqueline Maiden is the third board worker charged with six counts alleging that Ohio laws were not followed in the selection and review of ballots for the recount.
...
Maiden, now the board's elections coordinator, was the director of the elections division during the recount in December 2004.

Two other board workers, Rosie Grier and Kathleen Dreamer, were indicted in August and scheduled for trial May 8. Dreamer was the manager of the board's ballot department and Grier was an assistant manager.

Amazingly enough --- or perhaps not, since this is Ohio, after all, where the rule of law no longer actually applies --- the story also reports that "All three [indicted] employees continue to work at the board."

"We're in the process of converting to the electronic voting, and we need our best people," board chairman Bob Bennett said. "We've moved them from any responsibility of recount or responsibility of ballots."

Sure you have, Bob. We all feel much better. We guess by "best people" he means the ones who are most indicted.

(Perhaps he should consider hiring the affable Jack Abramoff to answer the phones for them during this busy season?!)

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Washington Post Covers Story on Front Page, Describes Unanimous Vote to 'Ditch Diebold' as a 'Stunning Turnaround' in the State, Signals a 'National Shift' to Paper...
By Brad Friedman on 3/10/2006 12:26pm PT  

A House united. That seems to be the effect that Diebold has had on the state of Maryland where they had initially deployed their paperless touch-screen voting machines in 2002 as one of two "showcase" states along with Georgia.

That "showcase" has turned into yet another public relations fiasco for Diebold of late.

The Republican Governor there recently slammed Diebold's paperless system, called for paper ballots and announced he had lost confidence in the State Board of Election and its Diebold-supporting Director, Linda Lamone, to carry out a fair election. Then information surfaced that Lamone had allowed MD to use uncertified Diebold software in the 2002 and 2004 elections. Then revelations were made public of massive machine failures in 2004. And now this from MD's Democratic House...

The state of Maryland stands poised to put its entire $90 million investment in Diebold Election Systems Inc. touch-screen e-voting systems on ice because they can't produce paper receipts.

The state House of Delegates this week voted 137-0 to approve a bill prohibiting election officials from using AccuVote-TSx touch-screen systems in 2006 primary and general elections.
...
The bill was sent onto the State Senate for a vote after the House action, she said.

Healey said the effort was inspired in part by concerns raised by officials in California and Florida that the Diebold systems have inherent security problems caused by technological and procedural flaws.

Note the reference to the AccuVote-TSx system in the above is an error in ComputerWorld's reporting. Maryland uses the AccuVote-TS system which does not include a "voter-verified paper trail" --- unlike the newer TSx model which does.

Also note, the movement in the MD statehouse is calling for "paper receipts" or "paper trails" which is a far cry from paper ballots --- you know, those things which are actually counted, unlike paper "receipts" or "trails" which are not. Though their interim plan to lease optical-scan machines for 2006 would mean there would actually be ballots used --- at least until 2008.

Washington Post who ran a story on this on the front page of this morning's print edition (though it's labelled as page B04 on their website), led this way:

The Maryland House of Delegates unanimously passed legislation yesterday to ditch the state's touch-screen voting machines for the coming election in favor of a system that uses paper ballots.

The 137 to 0 vote in the House and the endorsement of the plan this week by Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. represents a stunning turnaround for a state that was on the leading edge of touch-screen voting in 2001, and it reflects a national shift toward machines that provide a paper record.

The MD Senate still has to approve the bill, and there is said to still be some opposition there. WaPo reports that the Senate is hoping to arrange for Diebold to bring in their newer TSx machines (which include an uncountable "paper trail") to avoid a massive state-wide switch to optical-scan machines this late in the year.

As well, the WaPo story allowed for an unchallenged quote from MD's former Sec. of State, and Diebold supporter, John T. Willis, who is quoted as saying, "There is no evidence of anything wrong with Maryland elections."

Wrong, John. We guess neither you nor WaPo read our previous article in which we wrote about an internal review by the MD State Board of Elections compiled after the 2004 election titled "Lessons Learned" [PDF]. The report reveals --- amongst many other problems --- that "189 voting units (7%) of units deployed failed on Election Day. An additional 122 voting units (or 5%) were suspect based on number of votes captured."

TrueVoteMD, as well, issued a massive document dump yesterday with loads of "evidence of anything wrong with Maryland elections" including information on a five-month "Diebold-imposed lockdown" on machines after Maryland's "November 2004 meltdown."

Still and all, of course, all of this is certainly a move in the right direction, and yet another stain on Diebold's atrocious record in the Voting Machine Industry and as once-great American company.

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VelvetRevolution.us co-founder,
expert on issues of election integrity,
and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.

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