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By John Gideon on 9/17/2006 4:32pm PT  

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

The fallout from the 'train wreck' in Maryland this week will not go away for awhile I'm afraid. There will surely be more calls for firings, and there should be. Heads should definitely roll but will the real people who are responsible be the ones to lose their jobs or will some underling suffer for the mistakes of their bosses? Will the state learn anything or will they just have an investigation and blame the problems all on poll workers and the voters? They hired the Election Center to do an investigation so there is no way Diebold will share any fault in this. Even the Washington Post has taken to disinformation and obfuscation in their reporting this weekend....

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

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Irresponsible Reporting 'Spins' Downhill Quickly From There!
Paper Helps Voting Machine Vendors and Elections Officials Blame Poll Workers --- Inappropriately --- for Their Own Failings!
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2006 2:31pm PT  

The coverage of Voting and Electronic Voting issues is increasing exponentially at this point due to 1) the impending November election (read: coming train wreck) 2) the fact that an electoral meltdown occured in last Tuesday's Maryland primary (they've been happening in every primary so far this year as BRAD BLOG readers know, but now that they've occured in Montgomery County, MD, where the DC media and politicos live, the problem suddenly "exists"!) and, of course, 3) the news of the VelvetRevolution.ussponsored Princeton University Diebold Virus Hack.

I'm doing my best to keep up, but there is now much to cover and as well, I'm now being asked to do many media events which are time-consuming but also necessary. So, expect much more cover here shortly on all of the latest, even if some of that coverage must (necessarily) be a bit more abbreviated than in "the old days" when none of this stuff actually "existed".

One such new story worth covering is on the front page(!!!) of today's Sunday Washington Post. It begins this way:

Major Problems At Polls Feared
Some Officials Say Voting Law Changes And New Technology Will Cause Trouble

An overhaul in how states and localities record votes and administer elections since the Florida recount battle six years ago has created conditions that could trigger a repeat --- this time on a national scale --- of last week's Election Day debacle in the Maryland suburbs, election experts said.

...That's a good start --- if it took Maryland for WaPo to "notice" what's been going on now for months (in fact, years!), I'll take it! But the "truthiness" of the WaPo coverage goes quickly downhill from there.

Little wonder it's linked from Drudge Report right now!

The framing of the problems as mostly "human error" is exactly the type of coverage that Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia, Hart InterCivic and friends are no doubt delighted about. The facts of the matter, however, are far different from the incredibly "Fair and Balanced" (read: uneven playing field, levelled inappropriately to the advantage of bad guys who don't deserve it, so WaPo stays out of trouble) spin given to the story. Even the WaPo's own coverage defies their own attempted spin, bias or failure (whatever you wish to call it)...

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

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(Please TAKE ACTION To Spread the Shocking Virus Video Virally!)
By STOP George on 9/17/2006 1:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by STOP George, and cross-posted here at DailyKos.

In case you haven't visited YouTube, DKos, The BRAD BLOG or other blog sites recently, you may read this excellent diary summarizing the Princeton University report, where they were able to reverse the voting results of a Diebold machine without leaving a trace. I took the initiative to post this incredible video onto YouTube and, as you can imagine, it really took off --- it has now been viewed by at least 38,000+ people.

I was discouraged (but not surprised) to learn later that this powerful demonstration by an Ivy League University, showing a direct threat to American democracy, hardly got one sentence of exposure on corporate network news and the corporate printed media. These machines only represent 10% of the electorate, afterall. (NOTE: I've been informed that CNN covered this issue well on Friday --- my initial search was limited to the internet prior to the creation of this diary)

Imagine my shock to find out today that none other than FOX News had Professor Ed Felten & his team actually demonstrating their study to their right-wing audience!!!

The video of the virus hack demo, as performed LIVE on FOX News is available in full below...

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

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DOBBS: 'The Integrity Of Midterm Elections Cannot Be Guaranteed'
By John Gideon on 9/16/2006 5:35pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

On Friday's (Sept. 15) show Lou and Kitty reported on the new Princeton University study and the lawsuit in Colorado to stop the use of e-voting machines. The BRAD BLOG reported on their inside access to the Princeton study earlier this week.

The director of the Princeton study, Ed Felten, was also interviewed live on CNN's American Morning where he demonstrated the hack. FOX News also had him as well, and we'll have that video in full shortly.

UPDATES: The Fox "News" video is now available here. Lou Dobb's version of the virus hack is here:


A text-transcript of a shorter version of the report from Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

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

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By John Gideon on 9/16/2006 5:19pm PT  

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

Diebold has now admitted that Maryland was the first state to use new 'e-poll books' and that they had no reasons yet why the machines were crashing throughout the day (three machines over 40 times in one polling place). Of course their first response is that the problem was all the poll workers and how they set-up the equipment. / Rhode Island conducted a state-wide recount for one race with the results being exactly the same as the original count. Of course, they just re-ran the memory and the recount was complete in 10 minutes. / The White House has named a new EAC Commissioner to replace Paul DeGregorio. The new nominee clearly has no qualifications for the job and her nomination actually violates the Help America Vote Act of 2002....

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

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A Huge Thanks to All the Guest Bloggers!
And Please Come to the Big Election Protection Event in LA Tomorrow if You Can!
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2006 11:01pm PT  

The Princeton Report, released a few days prematurely as it was, caught me somewhat off guard upon my arrival back home. My two months on the road were capped by two and a half hours sleep before needing to swing into action to change course from what had been previously planned for the report's release. I've been playing catch up ever since, and haven't even begun to crack into the thousands of unread, unanswered emails. But all in good time... I hope.

Before that, however, I've got Emcee duties tomorrow at SoCalGrassroots.org's big Election Protection event here in Los Angeles. It's to feature Gore Vidal, Maxine Waters, Debra Bowen, Bob Fitrakis, Mimi Kennedy, Lowell Finley and other notables, including myself as resident monkey. If you're in LA, I hope you'll stop by and say hello! Should be a great event! (It's also being sponsored in part by VelvetRevolution.us, as part of our Election Protection Strike Force public events series, just for the record.) The official flier for tomorrow's afternoon event, with all the details, is below the fold.

Lastly, for now and given the continually breaking events, I hope this note will suffice to give my heartfelt thanks to all of those who kept things rolling while I was "gone" over the past two months. Most notably, an enormous amount of gratitude goes to the good Winter Patriot, who we were able to thaw out for this special occassion, the fabulous Agent99 and, of course, the indomitable John Gideon. All served the good cause tirelessly and above and beyond the call of duty!

Additional thanks to all of the other BRAD BLOG Guest Contributors who picked up in my "absence," including (but not limited to) Joy Williams, Emily Levy, Michael Collins, Steve Huff, Joe Cannon, Chris Floyd and anyone else I'm insensitive enough not to have remembered right now.

Thank you all for making it possible for me to get the heck out of Dodge, cause some in-person trouble around the rest of the nation and get an hour or two of much needed peace and quiet in the bargain. I fear you all may be needed again soon, so please don't go too far! And thank you mightily again!

There is, I assure you, much much more to come. And soon.

And now, see below for info on tomorrow's event if you might be able to stop by! I shall endeavor to make it well worth your time if you do...

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

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By John Gideon on 9/15/2006 5:26pm PT  

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

Milwaukee officials are counting every ballot by hand in order to find out how many ballots were really cast in Tuesday's election. They presently report 35,000 more ballots counted than cast. There is presently no plan to count any races. / The gentleman who "certifies" voting systems for the state of Colorado had to admit in court documents that he is not an 'expert'. He joins the growing list of non-experts who make crucial decisions on voting systems; people like Paul Craft, Brit Williams, Doug Lewis, and the EAC commissioners. / Tens of thousands of absentee and provisional ballots are still to be counted next week in Montgomery Co. Maryland / E-Poll books used in Maryland seem to have been a huge problem. Voters came to the polls to vote only to be told they had already voted according to the machines ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2006 4:55pm PT  

Just in case you thought Diebold was the only American voting machine company worthy of public mistrust...This just in on ES&S, the nation's largest supplier of electronic voting systems (and the one with the most disastrous record of failing in elections so far this year!)...

Minneapolis, MN –Mark Ritchie, the DFL endorsed candidate for Minnesota Secretary of State, released details today of a break-in and burglary of Election Systems and Software's (ES&S) Waite Park, Minnesota office that occurred on August 19, 2003. ES&S is the world's largest producer of ballot counting machines. Their vote-counting machines are used in all but four counties in Minnesota. Along with these details, Ritchie released the following statement:

To my knowledge ES&S has not notified any election officials about this crime which was a serious incident of personal information theft and may be a significant breach in the security of elections conducted on ES&S machines.

More at Ritchie's campaign website...

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University of Iowa Professor, E-Voting Expert Calls on Company to Publicly Release Information to Back Up Response
Charges 'No Third Party Security Analyses' Have Ever 'Found Their System to be Secure'
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2006 3:19pm PT  

Noted University of Iowa computer scientist and e-voting expert, Douglas W. Jones, posted a reponse via email this morning to Diebold's official reply to Princeton University's recent report, detailing the ease with which Diebold's AccuVote touch-screen voting machine may have a virus inserted into its system.

Such malicious code, the first-of-its-kind report details, could flip votes, steal an election and replicate itself from one voting machine to the next. The dirty deed could be done by a single individual with about a minute's worth of unsupervised access to a single machine or memory card, and could be designed to be undetectable to either voters or elections officials.

The mainstream media appears to have finally found this issue fit to report, after all our years of covering it here. There has been a good deal of MSM coverage over the last two days, since The BRAD BLOG broke the full story, both here and in shorter form over at Salon; some of it has --- no surprise --- been better than others. We'll have more on that hopefully later this evening.

In the meantime, Diebold released their predictably misleading and disingenuous response late Wednesday evening. To which Jones replied via email this morning. This is his response...

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

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Man Appointed by SoS to Certify Voting Machines for State Has No Computer Science College Education, Failed to Test Machines for Hackability or Much Else
Colorado Democratic Party Calls on Voters to Vote by Absentee Ballot, Citizens Group Calls for Investigation of SoS
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2006 2:06pm PT  

It's incredible (or is it at this point?) but the lawsuit filed by several Colorado voters to ban touch-screen voting machines manufactured by Diebold, ES&S, Hart InterCivic and Sequoia in the state has revealed that the state's appointed "expert" --- responsible for certifying voting systems --- has no actual college training in computer science and failed to do any actual testing of the systems before certifying them!

As reported in an excellent article from Rocky Mountain News news this morning...

[Democratic candidate for Sec. of State, Sen. Ken] Gordon and the Democratic Party were alarmed by a deposition in the case released this week, in which the secretary of state's staffer in charge of testing the machines says he did only 15 minutes of security checks. The staffer, John Gardner Jr., also said he had no college training in computer science, causing Gordon and others to question whether he was qualified for the job. Gardner also had been information technology chief for the El Paso County clerk, which runs elections there.

The plaintiff's attorneys say Gardner's security checks on the four systems did not include attempts at hacking. Instead, Gardner merely checked whether the manufacturers included security documentation.

"Of course" Gardner should have tried hacking, [plaintiff attorney Paul] Hultin said. "Isn't that the idea of a test?"

The issue was also covered quickly in a Denver Post article last night:

...the Secretary of State's office certified a kind of voting machine for Jefferson and Mesa Counties that does not meet state requirements.

The information comes from the deposition of John Gardner - the man appointed by [Colorado Sec. of State] Gigi Dennis as an expert and charged with certifying the machines.

But Gardner testified he is not an expert in the areas required by state law. He also admitted that the Secretary of State's office was under pressure to certify the voting machines because counties had already purchased them.

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

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Guess what? It's Deja Vu All Over Again!
Big Surprise! The Intelligence is being Fixed around the Policy!
By Winter Patriot on 9/15/2006 1:28pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

If anyone had reason to suspect that representatives of the Bush administration would tell bald-faced lies in order to try to justify a war they had already decided to fight, we might have reason to take the following report from Reuters somewhat seriously. [my emphasis, here and below]

U.N. inspectors have protested to the U.S. government and a Congressional committee about a report on Iran's nuclear work, calling parts of it "outrageous and dishonest," according to a letter obtained by Reuters.

The letter recalled clashes between the IAEA and the Bush administration before the 2003 Iraq war over findings cited by Washington about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that proved false, and underlined continued tensions over Iran's dossier.

Sent to the head of the House of Representatives' Select Committee on Intelligence by a senior aide to International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, the letter said an August 23 committee report contained serious distortions of IAEA findings on Iran's activity.

The letter said the errors suggested Iran's nuclear fuel program was much more advanced than a series of IAEA reports and Washington's own intelligence assessments have determined.

It said the report falsely described Iran to have enriched uranium at its pilot centrifuge plant to weapons-grade level in April, whereas IAEA inspectors had made clear Iran had enriched only to a low level usable for nuclear power reactor fuel.

We've been here before, haven't we? And we know what happens next, too. Don't we?

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

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Lead Sponsor, Author of Help America Vote Act to Serve Jail Time, Says Report
Last Remaining Abramoff Golf Junketeer Not (Yet) Facing Criminal Charges? Congressman Tom Feeney...
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2006 7:41pm PT  

We've long been describing Bob Ney as the "Soon-to-be-Indicted Bob Ney". It looks like that day is finally here.

The New York Times is reporting that Ney, the leader sponsor and author of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is headed to jail...

WASHINGTON – Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges related to his dealings with the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, lawyers and others with knowledge of the investigation said Thursday.

A guilty plea would make Ney, a six-term congressman, the first member of Congress to confess to criminal charges in the Abramoff investigation, which has focused on the actions of several current and former Republican lawmakers who had been close to the former lobbyist.

People with detailed knowledge of the investigation said Ney had entered an in-patient facility in recent days for treatment of alcoholism, making it uncertain whether he would appear at a court hearing to announce the plea.

We've also long reported on Ney's "good luck" in winning $34,000 at a London casino owned by some good friends...at the exact same moment he owed exactly that much in credit card bills. Says The Times...

Another person familiar with the department’s investigation said that at least one of the criminal charges in Ney’s guilty plea would involve the accuracy of his claim in a House financial disclosure statement that he won $34,000 in a private London casino during a trip in 2003.

The casino winnings had also been under scrutiny by the Justice Department in part because the amount of the winnings coincided to a surprising degree with the amount of debt outstanding on Ney’s credit cards.

With both Ney and former Republican Majority Leader, Tom DeLay (R-TX) now facing indictments, that means there is only one remaining congress member who went on Jack Abramoff's golf junkets to St. Andrews, Scotland who has yet to be served with criminal charges: Rep. Tom Feeney (R-FL)

Feeney is currently facing a challenge for his seat by Clint Curtis, the man who has sworn in affidavit, video-taped congressional testimony and polygraph test that Feeney asked him to create vote-rigging software when they both worked at the same computer firm in Florida in 2000 (where Feeney was general counsel and registered lobbyist, even while he was also serving as Speaker of the Florida House).

Anyway, now that Ney is apparently going to jail for his Abramoff-related crimes, can someone other than The BRAD BLOG please look into the hornet's nest surrounding the passage of HAVA, as aided and abetted by Abramoff's old lobbying firm, Greenburg Traurig, and Ney's former chief-of-staff-turned-Diebold-lobbyist, David DeStefano? Pretty please? Here's a nice place to get you started!

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2006 6:53pm PT  

John Gideon covered the mess for us as things unfolded last Tuesday. Johns Hopkins computer science professor Avi Rubin was, once again, a poll worker on Election Day during last Tuesday's primary in the state. As BRAD BLOG readers know, Maryland was/is one of Diebold's original "showcase states" along with Georgia.

Rubin's post, detailing his experiences at his one polling place alone last Tuesday, gives a crystal clear picture of what a fucking mess we've got on our hands. A. Fucking. Mess.

Train wreck ahead. Big time. Please don't say you weren't warned.

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By John Gideon on 9/14/2006 4:23pm PT  

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

Just as important as the voting machine issue is the issue of voter suppression. Why is it alright for legal voters to not be given a chance to use their right to vote? Why is it alright for states to overly restrict voter registration drives? Why is it alright to use ballots that are confusing and lack complete instructions? Today a US House committee met, after very little notice, to mark-up a bill that would keep hundreds of thousands of elderly, minorities and poor voters from being able to vote in Nov. This bill, HR-4484, would require every voter in the US to re-register to vote and to prove they are citizens and all before this November. This bill was replaced with another bill that will give us all another year but the substitute bill is even more restrictive in nature. Why is this alright? / On Wednesday EFF filed a brief with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, asking the court to reject a request to dismiss an EFF lawsuit against the Ohio secretary of state and governor. The suit alleges the defendants abdicated their responsibilities to ensure Ohio residents had a right to vote. / Montgomery Co. Maryland is hiring the Election Center to investigate their failures. Sigh!!...

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

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or some cojones!
But of course he's too much a gentleman to say so in those words
By Winter Patriot on 9/14/2006 2:50pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

According to a report from the BBC,

Ex-US President Jimmy Carter has said he is "disappointed" by the apparently subservient attitude of the British government towards the White House.

Mr Carter said Tony Blair was a good man, but could have used his influence with President Bush more wisely.

The 81-year-old said there had once been "a very strong voice from London in the shaping of a common policy".

Quite correct! Once there was a very strong voice from London ... but not anymore!

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

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