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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, April 18, 2014
'Green News Report' 4/17/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
One year since West, TX disaster; New 'habitable' planet!; Air pollution in poor areas; Record warm March; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study: CA drought caused by global warming...
Previous GNRs: 4/15/14 - 4/10/14 - Archives...
The Climate Is Invading the Earth! To Battle Stations!
If only the climate was a person that could be defeated with guns -- the world might finally take the threat that climate change now poses with the seriousness it deserves....
'Green News Report' 4/15/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: The UN Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change Report on Mitigation: costs, risks, and opportunities. Is it too late avoid climate catastrophe?...
Previous GNRs: 4/10/14 - 4/8/14 - Archives...
'Conservative' RW 'Legal' Blogger Defends Freeloading Nevada Rancher
PowerLine's hyper-partisan John Hinderaker admits Cliven Bundy 'doesn't have a [legal] leg to stand on', but digs deep to find a reason - any reason - to defend the scofflaw anyway...
Sunday News Shows Fail to Mention U.S. Senate CIA Torture & Detention Report
Despite U.S. and international crimes outlined in the findings, based on first-hand CIA docs, not a single Sunday show even brought it up...
NSA Knew About, Exploited Internet Open Source Bug for Years
What part of "national security' does the National Security Agency not understand?!...
Destroying America: 'Obamacare' Kills Another Business
Free medical clinic in rural Arkansas to close doors after health insurance reform law leads to lack of customers...
'Green News Report' 4/10/14
RW Heartland Institute says 'climate change will be good for you!'; Russia threatens natural gas supplies to Ukraine, Europe; PLUS: Attack of the Tumbleweeds! (No, really!)...
'Green News Report' 4/8/14
Study: CNN, Fox 'News' FAIL on climate; CNN looks for plane, finds ocean of garbage; PLUS: Energy co. receives record fine for 85 years of toxic waste (& couldn't be happier about it)...
Christie's E-Cig 'Sin Tax' Due to 'Public Health' Concerns?
After slashing anti-smoking programs, 'conservative' Christie admin offers absurd reason for massive new tax, but NJ Star-Ledger ain't buyin' it. And neither are we...
Judge to TX Repubs: Turn Over the Docs!
Courts rules TX legislators must provide email related to passage of polling place Photo ID restrictions which may prove discriminatory intent of the GOP law...
'A New Kind of Liberty' for the Kochs and Anyone Else Who Can Afford to Buy It
Have the rightwing judicial activists on the Supreme Court made you feel freer yet?...
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...

Democratic Election Administrator Still in Denial!
DIEB-THROAT Says 'We Put Out Junk' in Maryland in 2002
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2006 12:27am PT  

From Page 1 of Thursday's WaPo:

A week after the primary election was plagued by human error and technical glitches, Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) called yesterday for the state to scrap its $106 million electronic voting apparatus and revert to a paper ballot system for the November election.

"When in doubt, go paper, go low-tech," he said.

Ehrlich said that, if necessary, he would call a special session of the Maryland General Assembly to change the law to allow paper ballots.

The Republican Governor's call comes after hearings today to investigate Maryland's primary election meltdown on September 12th.

Ehrlich had called for paper ballots last February. The Democratic MD House supported the initiative in a 137 to 0 vote. The Democratic Senate let the bill die without a vote before ending their session.

As BRAD BLOG readers know well, Maryland was one of Diebold's original showcase states and implemented paperless Diebold touch-screens back in 2002. They've had more experience with them than any other state. Yet they still couldn't manage to get them to work correctly in a sparsely attended primary for a mid-term election.

Democratic Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. is against the idea of using paper ballots. He told WaPo, "We paid millions. These are state-of-the-art machines"

Miller clearly doesn't read The BRAD BLOG.

As DIEB-THROAT, our currently-anonymous Diebold insider source, who had a great deal of personal experience helping to roll out the systems in Maryland in 2002 told us recently: "We put junk out when HAVA [the Help America Vote Act] came out...We had no plans for paper trails, nothing."

According to WaPo, Gene Raynor, Baltimore's election director had the decency to resign. Diebold apologist and Maryland State Board of Elections administrator, Linda Lamone ought to do the same.

But Lamone, ever in denial, said Ehrlich's call for paper ballots was "crazy" and vowed that "her staff would 'work around the clock' to correct the problems that plagued the primary" according to WaPo.

Like you've been "working around the clock" to get it right since 2002, Ms. Lamone? Got anymore lipstick for that pig?

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By John Gideon on 9/20/2006 6:39pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Tonight Kitty and Lou discuss the cost of e-voting to the taxpayers. The announcement of a new report from the Brennan Center is welcome.

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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By John Gideon on 9/20/2006 6:01pm PT  

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

CNN's Lou Dobbs, "When voters lose confidence in our elected representatives, we can vote the bums out. But what is the recourse if American voters lose confidence in our electoral system?" / Pima Co. Arizona had 4 DRE and 3 Optical-scan machines turned in with evidence of tampering with security seals. This was election night. What do they do now, ignore the votes in the machines? Ignore the security issues? / Montgomery Co. Maryland has 10 to 12 thousand provisional ballots to count due to their voting problems. It will be next week before final results can be announced. / Voters who do not want to use e-voting machines in the Netherlands can get a voting pass and go to a municipality that allows voting with a paper ballot and pencil. This right has sparked a whole new industry called, "Voting Tourism". ...

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

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Here's the Bill Calling for Emergency Paper Ballots at Every Polling Place in America this November!
[UPDATED WITH NEW SENATE LEGISLATION NOW FILED!]
By Brad Friedman on 9/20/2006 12:44pm PT  

Yesterday I called on Congress to pass an emergency measure to require Emergency Paper Ballots be made available at the polls during this November's general election. I spelled out several reasons for this last-ditch, "Hail Mary" attempt to try and mitigate just some of the myriad problems and disenfranchisment that will occur at polling places this year thanks to new, poorly designed, malfunctioning, unsecure electronic voting machines now deployed across the nation.

Never mind the electronic voting machine fraud that is likely to occur. Never mind the proven inaccuracies of these god-awful machines. Never mind the ease at which they are now proven to be hackable. My concern right now --- this late in the game --- is simply to assure that voters who show up at the polls and are legally registered to vote, may actually be able to cast a vote at all!

In primary after primary this year, voters have been told to "come back later" or, at best, given a provisional ballot (which may or may not ever be counted) when voting machines either failed to work or, frequently, weren't even present by the time voters showed up to vote. That is voter disenfranchisement, pure and simple, and it affects voters of any and all political stripes.

Common sense (one would think) would dictate that State and County Election Directors would mandate Emergency Paper Ballots for voters to use in the event of machine unavailability. Though the Secretaries of State in several states so far this year (Texas, Arkansas, etc.) have issued emergency orders for such Emergency Paper Ballots, remarkably, many states and counties didn't bother and thousands of legally registered voting citizens were sent home in the bargain.

The legislation required by Congress to mandate Emergency Paper Ballots (I call it the "LET AMERICA VOTE ACT") is incredibly simple. In yesterday's article, I included a three-sentence piece of legislation. Below, is a more fully-formed draft legislation based on those three sentences as sent to me orginally by Bob Wilson of the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project.

Along with additional tweaks by myself and a few others, my complete suggested legislation can be read --- in it's entirety --- in about 30 seconds. It's posted in full below.

If Congress cares (and if you help them to do so!), I'm quite certain that this measure can be passed by both houses of Congress and signed by George W. Bush with Terri Schiavo-like speed.

I'd think our democracy is worth at least as much. And I know it's certainly worth trying for!

Some have responded to my call for this LAVA legislation ("Let democracy flow!") by pointing out that the method of counting and/or auditing these Emergency Paper Ballots must be included in the legislation. My answer to them is that I agree with their point! However, at this late in the game (with only some 5 or 6 legislative days left before Congress recesses prior to the election) I don't want to give any Congress member any reason to oppose this act!

In other words, with the time we have left, if all we can do is assure that at least there will be a piece of paper on which a registered voter may cast a vote this November --- if they bother to show up --- then we will be doing a service to democracy. It's an incredible fact, but even something as simple has that has not been the case in many places this year. Last week's Maryland primary, were thousands were forced to go without voting at all when the machines failed to work, was a prime example!

Some have said there is no time to get this bill passed. I don't care. Let's get it passed anyway. If it fails, at least we will have a "paper trail" to point back to on November 8th when everyone else is wondering what went wrong and if anybody had tried to do anything about it while there was still time. Those of us who give a damn will have done everything we could.

I continue to speak to folks in Congress about sponsorship of this bill, and I urge all American citizens to contact their Congress Members --- as well as their state and local officials --- to demand that non-provisional Emergency Paper Ballots be made available at the polls this year!

You can contact your Congress person here (and you can contact local media here.)

(The URL for this article is: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3502. Feel free to point them to it!)

Let's get to work! This effort is about all we have left legislatively at this point! Please spread the word everywhere. My complete suggested language for the LET AMERICA VOTE ACT is posted below...

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

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DC Ethics Watchdog Group Names Florida Congressman Once Again in its Second Annual List of Congressional Rapscallions!
By Brad Friedman on 9/20/2006 10:44am PT  

For the second year in a row, DC ethics watchdog group Citizens for Responsiblity and Ethics in Washington (CREW) --- the folks who filed successful ethics charges in the House against former Republican Majority Leader Tom Delay --- have issued their "Most Corrupt Members of Congress" report.

And once again our old friend, the corrupt Florida congressman Tom Feeney, is right up there near the top! Congratulations, Tom!

What may be most impressive is that Feeney, amongst other bad seeds like the disgraced Tom DeLay and Bob Ney, is neither in jail or even under indictment! Yet! No easy feat for someone as sleazy as Mr. Feeney! You'd have to be the craziest man in America to think you could get away with it! But (so far) Feeney has!

The indifference to the Rule of Law and our American Values and Constitution doesn't stop with Tom himself though! Just take a look at what Feeney's own chief of staff, Jason Roe, and his wife Patty are up to --- apparently with Feeney's help --- according to this report last week from Harper's!

The CREW list, which includes both Republicans and Democrats (though mostly Republicans), singles out Feeney for his years-long record of corruption, obfuscation, ethics violations and broken rules in accepting lobbyist and foreign-agent paid travel, holidays and more!

While we know that Feeney has already been accused by computer programmer Clint Curtis of asking him to create vote-rigging software back in 2000 and other skullduggery (Curtis has given sworn video-taped congressional testimony and has passed a lie-detector test in regard to those charges,) CREW continues to track some of Feeney's greatest Congressional Corruption Hits, from golf in Scotland with Abramoff to trips bought and paid for by foreign-agents. Take a look...

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

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By John Gideon on 9/19/2006 5:05pm PT  

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

Today is primary day in Washington and Massachusetts. / The Sebastian Co. Arkansas clerk will be telling the SoS that ES&S iVotronic voting machines are NOT accessible. / Boulder Co. Colorado expects to have long lines in Nov. due in large part to the size of their ballot which for absentee voters will be up to 4 11×17 inch pages. The time to vote a ballot this size on touch screen voting machines will cause a huge back-up and send many people home without voting. ...

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

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Primary Election Results All Zeroed Out!
By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 3:39pm PT  

Results from last Tuesday's Primary Election in Maryland (which was in and of itself a debacle), have apparently been scrubbed from the Maryland Board of Elections website! As of right now, 6:36pm ET, no election totals are currently available on the site after they've previously been there all week as counting has continued.

I'm currently on the air and thus not able to look into it further, so I've not been able to get any explanation for this. But I thought you should know. A screenshot from one of the pages (they are all currently zeroed out!) is below...

UPDATE 7:23pm ET: Courtesy of HuffCrimeBlog.com's Steve Huff, here's a screenshot from the Google archives of the same page above as it was seen on 9/14/06 with all of the unofficial results still being added...

I've tried to contact the MD Board of Elections by phone, but it's after hours and nobody is currently answering. Just FYI. If anybody has any luck in the morning or additional info on any of this, please let me know!

UPDATE 9/20/06 11:20am ET: Website numbers are currently back up. Will try to learn what happened and report back when I do. No idea if the numbers now restored will synch up with what was there before they were zeroed out. We've seen similar computer drop-outs, only to be restored later with races flipped (in the 2004 Ohio Presidential and in the 2005 Ohio Hackett/Schmidt race, for example) but never this late after Election Day. We'll keep our eye on it and try to get more for you later today.

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CALL ON CONGRESS TO PASS 'EMERGENCY PAPER BALLOT LEGISLATION' NOW!
Every Registered American Voter Must Be Allowed to Vote This November!
By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 12:41pm PT  

Given this year's primary election meltdowns and train wrecks that we've been reporting since March 7th of this year, in which electronic voting machines have failed to start up and thousands of American voters have been turned away from the polls when they came to vote, but couldn't...

Given the fact that one such meltdown occurred last Tuesday in Maryland, where many of the DC media and politicos live...

Given VelvetRevolution's new Princeton Diebold Virus Hack report demonstrating conclusively that electronic voting machines may be hacked in a minute's time resulting in flipped elections without a trace left behind...

Giving that American democracy and the right to vote in that democracy ought to be a beacon to the world...

It is NOW time for Emergency Paper Ballot Legislation to be brought and passed immediately by both houses of the U.S. Congress, in order to at least mitigate the coming train wreck this November 7th.

Call it the Let America Vote Act (LAVA) of 2006...Let democracy flow!

The legislation can, and should be, as short as a single paragraph so that it can be read and passed quickly by every U.S. Congress member. It can apply only to this November's general election, if that is needed to get it passed and signed quickly.

It should read something like this...


LET AMERICA VOTE ACT
(EMERGENCY PAPER BALLOT MANDATE OF 2006)

Emergency paper ballots shall be made available at every voting jurisdiction in the United States during the November 7th, 2006 General Election. These paper ballots shall be available in sufficient numbers for optional use by voters who prefer to use them, and by all voters in the event of voting machine failure or unavailability. These paper ballots are not to be provisional ballots, but regular paper ballots that shall be counted immediately upon the close of polls on election night along with all other votes cast by properly registered voters.

Note: At this point, I don't give a damn how the Emergency Paper Ballots will be counted; by hand, by optical scanner, whatever. So long as voters are not disenfranchised by the millions --- as thousands have already been so far in this year's primary elections across the country --- by showing up to the polling place only to be told they can't vote at all, or by being told they must vote provisionally (provisional ballots are not counted on election night, and frequently not at all) because the new voting machines are broken or otherwise unavailable.

States such as Texas, Arkansas and other have already had to do this this year when Secretaries of State put out emergency notices to Elections Administrators to create such Emergency Paper Ballots after the voting machine companies failed to provide programmed ballots or working machines.

All states are already required by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) to have such paper ballots available at every polling place as Provisional Ballots, so those can be copied NOW if need be for use as Emergency Paper Ballots (which is better than the scraps of paper some counties reportedly have tried to use in emergency situations so far this year!)

BOTTOM LINE: With the passage of this Emergency Legislation, at least properly registered American citizens will be able to vote on Election Day if they choose to!

Feel free to call it the "Hail Mary Emergency Election Protection Act" if you want. I don't much care, so long as it's passed by Congress in time to ensure that voters can actually vote this November!

I've spoken with a number of people on the Hill and within the Election Integrity movement...scientists, activists, politicians, in DC and around the country, and they have all been in favor of this legislation and have pledged their support.

I am attemping to find sponsorship for this bill in Congress, and I'm calling on all Election Integrity organizations and concerned citizens who may have better connections than I to help find such Congressional sponsorship immediately.

I am calling on these same people to then call on Congress to pass this legislation immediately!

I am hoping to have an official version/wording of the bill posted shortly. It will, of course, be available as a new item here at The BRAD BLOG no later than tomorrow. It will spell out, in official "bill-like" language, precisely what I've posted above. [UPDATE: A complete legislative language version of the bill is now posted here.]

Democracy is at stake. After at least two years of reporting in exhaustive details on these matters, and at this late stage of the game, I believe the above "reform" is, unfortunately, the most we can likely hope for in time to have any real impact in mitigating a full-on train wreck during this November's crucial excercise of the rite of democracy.

Please forward this item to everybody you know, cross-post it or link to it as you see fit (this is the URL: http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3495)...And please contact your Congress person and ask them to support and/or sponsor this initiative today!

UPDATE 9/26/06: Boxer & Dodd introduce Emergency Paper Ballot Legislation in the Senate! House version to come soon! Details here...

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 12:38pm PT  

As I wrote on Sunday, when your Ford Pinto blows up in the course of regular use --- such as when it gets hit from behind in a rear-end collision --- you don't blame the driver for the disaster.

Diebold's response in general (along with the other voting machine companies and the elections officials who are now their "unofficial" representatives in the media) to the mountain of problems we've seen with electronic voting machines at the polls so far this year has been to blame the poll workers. Indeed, Diebold's official response to the catastrophic findings by Princeton University that Diebold touch-screen systems can be hacked with an election-stealing virus implanted undetectably in a minute's time --- one that can then spread to every machine in the system --- has been to say that if poll workers and elections officials do their job properly, that could never happen. That's simply nonsense and they know it.

Computerworld's blogger, Martin McKeay, posted a brilliant reponse to Diebold's nonsense the other day. His on-the-money reply ends this way:

Diebold may be a private company, but the service they're providing is consumed by the voting public. As such, saying "It's secure, trust us" is not an acceptable answer. This is not a situation where security through obscurity is an acceptable answer. Not only do the results of each election have to be verifiable but how we arrived at those results also needs to be verifiable. Code verification has been one of the most asked for requirements since the first evoting machine was developed. There are very few situations where the saying "trust, but verify" applies more than in voting.

Here's my final comment, and it's directed right at [Diebold Election Systems, Inc., President] Dave Byrd: Quit attacking the critics of your product and attack the basic problems your product has continually displayed. Rather than attacking researchers and running off election officials who want your products verified, take the time to address the fundamental problems with your products. Give us a paper trail, quit using WindowsCE, allow verification of your software. Part of being in a democratic society is that the voting process needs to be transparent to anyone who's willing to take the time to look. Until Diebold is willing to accept thattransparency , you're going to keep getting hammered by your critics and your products will never be acceptable. It's only going to get worse unless Diebold changes their tactics.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/19/2006 12:26pm PT  

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG reader Martin T.)

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By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2006 10:06pm PT  

Todd Beeton of the Courage Campaign covered last Saturday afternoon's event in Los Angeles, which I hosted. It featured such luminaries as Gore Vidal, Debra Bowen, Maxine Waters, Bob Fitrakis and other heroes of democracy and was sponsored by SoCalGrassroots.org, VelvetRevolution.us, California Election Protection Network and Progressive Democrats of America.

Beeton did a terrific job, methinks of covering the event. But perhaps that's because he said nice things about me. I dunno. Check it out!

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By John Gideon on 9/18/2006 4:56pm PT  

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

The Princeton Report is being reported on, favorably, all over with demonstrations on CNN and Fox and recent articles in US News and World Reports, Information Week, and the UKs SC Magazine. Verified Voting Foundation has an excellent article with quotes from Dr.s David Dill and Doug Jones. / Do you have a file cabinet or office desk? Then you probably have a key to the Diebold memory card door. / "How many machines will Bucks County [Pennsylvania] receive for $5 million? Attachment B of the contract references 650 machines. Attachment E of the very same contract references 800 machines. When those who signed the contract are asked which number is correct, one is told “Neither. The county will receive 700-some machines.” No specific number is forthcoming." I have confidence. Not! ...

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

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Diebold's Showcase State Has Been Using the Machines Since 2002...and Still Can't Get Anything Right!
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2006 4:53pm PT  

We covered it on the day it happened, and again a day or so later. But here's more.

Consider this your preview of what will likely be happening everywhere this November 7th. Everywhere.

Alhough the Maryland Meltdown has received more notice because it occurred where the DC media and politicos live, it mirrors just about every other primary in just about every other state so far this year. Disasters in almost every one of them.

And remember, along with Georgia, the state of Maryland was Diebold's "showcase state." They've used these shitty, hackable, failed Diebold machines in more elections and for a longer time than any other state in the union.

From Saturday's Washington Post... [emphasis added]

2 Candidates Question Vote In Pr. George's

Congressional candidate Donna Edwards announced plans yesterday to file a lawsuit over apparent voting irregularities in Tuesday's primary election in Prince George's County, while defeated county executive challenger Rushern L. Baker III demanded an independent investigation of the process.

The separate announcements signaled that Tuesday's voting, a flawed process by many accounts, may not conclude the close primary contests for a seat in Congress and the county executive's office. The election itself was "horrendous," the Prince George's elections administrator said yesterday. And the victorious Democratic county executive candidate, incumbent Jack B. Johnson, said it warranted investigation.

"The integrity of the election is at stake," said Edwards, who ran against Rep. Albert R. Wynn in the 4th District Democratic primary and is waiting for the race to be decided when provisional ballots are counted next week in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

Jonathan S. Shurberg, a lawyer working with Edwards, said they will ask a judge to take possession of voting machine memory cards in two, possibly three, precincts in Chillum. The request will be made either in Prince George's Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro or U.S. District Court in Greenbelt over the next several days.

Edwards said her legal complaint will focus on the security of voting machines that contained voting cards and were not delivered to the county Board of Elections until late Wednesday. "When we read reports about how easy it is to hack into these machines, there has to be concern," Edwards said.
...
"We're not doing this for the campaign," Perry said. "We're doing this as a duty. Voters have been disenfranchised."
...
The county's interim election administrator, Robert J. Antonetti Sr., acknowledged yesterday that the primary was the most troubled election he has overseen during 34 years in the field. "This was horrendous," Antonetti said.

Much more to read in the full article...But as to those memory cards which we now know can be hacked undetectably in a minute's time:

According to Baker's campaign, only 60 of 206 precincts managed to transmit their results electronically. Election workers at the remaining polling places had to remove voter memory cards from each machine and drive them to Board of Elections headquarters in Upper Marlboro.
...
Antonetti said that a number of cards were accidentally left in voting machines and that the last of those cards --- close to three dozen in as many machines --- were expected to be delivered to his office late yesterday [ed note: Friday after the Tuesday election!]. On Wednesday, election officials said data were not received from 81 of the county's 2,056 voting machines. The numbers represented two whole precincts --- in Chillum and Landover --- as well as cards from machines at 34 polling stations.

American democracy is in big trouble. But BRAD BLOG readers have known that for some time. Wish everyone else did.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2006 2:12pm PT  

He's taking mail on the question right now to read on the air during Blitzer's Situation Room.

You can send him email here. "Should electronic voting machines be outlawed?"

UPDATE: Here's the transcript of today's show. The snippet from that transcript, including the questions Cafferty ended up reading on the air, is posted below...

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

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Princeton Professor Says Key To Gain Entry To Memory Card Is Standard Key Found Anywhere
By John Gideon on 9/18/2006 9:14am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The UK's SC News reported today that Princeton's Professor Felten discovered that the key to gain entry to the memory card slot on the Diebold AccuVote TS is the same key that you may have to open your desk drawer, filing cabinet or even a hotel mini-bar [emphasis added]:

"The access panel door on a Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine - the door that protects the memory card that stores the votes and is the main barrier to the injection of a virus - can be opened with a standard key that is widely available on the internet," Ed Felten, professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, said today on his "Freedom to Tinker" blog.

Felten said he became aware of the problem when, after performing a demonstration concerning the security flaws of Diebold machines, Princeton staff member Chris Tengi noticed the key that came with the voting machine was the same one he had at home.

"This seemed like a freakish coincidence - until we learned how common these keys are," Felten said. "Chris' key was left over from a previous job, maybe 15 years ago. He said the key opened either a file cabinet or the access panel on an old VAX computer. A little research revealed that the exact same key is used widely in office furniture, electronic equipment, jukeboxes and hotel mini-bars. It's a standard part, and like most standard parts, it's easily purchased on the internet."

Avi Rubin, Johns-Hopkins University Professor and computer scientist, points out in his blog this morning:

"This example serves to illustrate to even non-technical people the public relations tactics of the vendor and its supporters. Was it really too difficult for them to design a more secure key? Who do they think they are fooling when they say that someone would have to pick the lock to access the memory cards?"

So we now have a key that can be obtained from nearly anywhere and a "secret" password [1111] that everyone knows, and Diebold's David Bear says if proper access controls are maintained at the polling place there should be no problems. Perhaps Bear is talking about someone looking over the voter's shoulder to ensure they don't spend two minutes hacking into the machine?

All of this comes on the heels of the report from Princeton University, thanks to The BRAD BLOG, that was first reported here.

As well, it comes on the heels of the challenge to the Busby/Bilbray special U.S. House election in June in San Diego when these Diebold voting machines were sent home overnight --- in violation of both state and federal law --- for "sleepovers" with poll workers for days and weeks prior to the election. Here's a video that we missed at the time: Poll workers, on May 30th, taking home their pre-programmed, election-ready Diebold voting machines to store in their houses and cars 7 days prior to the June 6th election!

Any of them could easily have opened the "secure" systems with a mini-bar key, or, as the Princeton folks demonstrated on FOX "News" last week, they could have picked the lock themselves in 10 seconds. Of course, as we now know, it would have taken them less than a minute thereafter to insert a vote-flipping virus on the machines which could then affect every other machine used in the race.

ReddIt this story!



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