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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, December 22, 2014
'Green News Report' 12/18/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Nothin' but good news for a change! - NY bans fracking!; Obama protects AK's Bristol Bay!; PLUS: More indictments for 'Freedom Industries' in WV toxic chemical spill!...
Previous GNRs: 12/16/14 - 12/11/14 - Archives...
Brad on Hartmann Radio: Wrapping Up a Few More Election 2014 Races
Yes, some of us are still paying attention.
Plus: A BRAD BLOG 'Programming Note'...
'Green News Report' 12/16/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Congress wraps for year w/ GOP anti-enviro initiatives to be signed by Prez; UN summit wraps up in Peru - ALL nations are in for Paris; PLUS: Another Bush, another climate denier...
Previous GNRs: 12/11/14 - 12/9/14 - Archives...
Bloomberg Editors Refuse to Correct Inaccurate, Misleading Photo ID Editorial
Read the 'mind-boggling' responses to BRAD BLOG's emailed explanation of blatant errors and inaccuracies in Francis Barry's op-ed...
Proponents of Oregon GMO Measure 92 Concede Defeat
Adverse court ruling, barring inclusion of 4,600 rejected ballots, signals end of road (for now) of state's most expensive campaign, decided by just 800 votes out of 1.5 million cast...
'Green News Report' 12/11/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
GOP anti-enviro wish list in "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate talks; Calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into action; PLUS: CEO indicted for WV chemical spill...
Previous GNRs: 12/9/14 - 12/4/14 - Archives...
The Clint Curtis Story, Ten Years Later: A KPFK 'BradCast' Special Edition
It's been 10 years since we broke the whistleblower's claim about vote-rigging software, Rep. Tom Feeney (R) and more. So it seemed a good time to catch up with him...
SOLVED: Mystery that Flipped Maine Senate Election!
21 'phantom ballots' flipped the results of a Nov. 4th state Senate election from D to R. But a dramatic turn of events and hand-counted paper ballots have now resolved the mystery...
'Green News Report' 12/9/14
  w/ Brad & Desi
Super Typhoon Hagupit blows 2014 into record books; Doesn't look good for KXL, if Obama on Colbert Report can be believed; PLUS: Rich v. Poor divisions stall UN climate talks...
Previous GNRs: 12/4/14 - 12/2/14 - Archives...
Bad News for Fox 'News' Viewers: 'Fox & Friends' Calls for Voter Literacy Tests
If they had to pass a test on American history and government, Fox 'News' viewers, as studies show, would be in big, big trouble...
Thousands of Ballots Excluded from Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure 'Recount'
Proponents charge interference by out-of-state corporate opponents, state's failure to count legal ballots due to 'signature problems'...
NC Repubs Trying to Run-Out Clock on Voter Suppression Lawsuit (Again)?
Plaintiffs charge state attempt to reschedule next summer's federal trial 'unsupportable', 'disingenuous'...
'Green News Report' 12/4/14
Biggest German utility spins off fossil fuel assets; Fossil fuel biz running scared? FL punishes homeowners for not polluting; PLUS: MSNBC's Big Coal infomercial...
House Judiciary Letter Suggests Impeachment for Wife-Beating Judge
Bi-partisan congressmen seek update from 11th Circuit Court, cite potential impeachment of Judge Mark Fuller...
'Green News Report' 12/2/14
New UN summit underway; Record rain, drought in CA; Global cost of falling oil prices; PLUS: Legacy of world's worst industrial disaster, 30 years later...
'Recount', Concerns in AZ U.S. House Race
Razor-thin computer-reported margin, failed paper-ballot tabulators, untallied provisionals, terrible 'recount' rules leave Barber-McSally contest in AZ-2 unsettled...
'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
'My thanks to all of you this Thanksgiving which, as a few callers reminded me, isn't nearly as terrible as it seems'...
Mysterious Ballots Flip Maine Senate Recount Result From Democratic to Republican
21 'phantom' ballots appear out of nowhere in tiny Maine town, reverse results of very close state contest...
'Recount' for Oregon's GMO Ballot Measure
Fewer than 900 votes separate 'Yes' from 'No' on 'Right to Know' Measure 92, out of more than 1.5 million paper ballots tallied by computers statewide in Nov. 4 election...
'Green News Report' 11/25/14
Cuomo blames meteorologists for his Buffalo storm fail; Canada protests another tar sands pipeline, lead's world in deforestation; PLUS: World Bank's dire warning...
No Indictment in Ferguson Shooting
A few thoughts on the St. Louis County Prosecutor's extraordinary spectacle and miscarriage of justice in the killing of Michael Brown...
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...

In Hilarious Statement, Company Claims Documentary --- Which They Haven't Seen --- Has Facts Wrong...But They're Referring to a Completely Different Documentary!
Feature Article on Film Should Be Published by ComputerWorld Tomorrow...
By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2006 10:32pm PT  

I've written a feature article for ComputerWorld on HBO's upcoming Hacking Democracy, the superb documentary on the many insidious lies of Diebold scheduled for airing beginning Nov. 2nd. We posted a preview article on the film's release several weeks ago. That article should be posted in full Wednesday morning if the continuing delays are worked out (CW had said they'd hoped to publish it Monday).

In the meantime, Diebold seems to be embarrassing itself yet again by issuing a statement calling for HBO to pull the documentary, or at least run disclaimers before, after, and throughout the film. I've seen it. If I were them, I'd try to do everything I could to keep America from seeing the film, as well.

"Truth and accurate reporting are the biggest casualties of the film," Diebold Election System President David Byrd is quoted as saying in the media release.

But ironically, as The Hollywood Reporter is reporting tonight, Byrd has not only never seen the film, but his claims that the film is "Riddled With Errors and Slipshod Reporting" apparently refer to a completely different film!

Confusing a different film called VoterGate with the short film called VoterGate, which was an early version of the film now known as Hacking Democracy, Byrd writes a two page letter [PDF] to HBO refuting several points in the other film!

While Diebold's letter from Byrd claims that the film is "so egregious that HBO should pull the documentary," the letter itself is not only riddled with errors and slipshod reporting, it also makes a sad attempt at playing the partisan card, which Diebold has been trying to deny for years! Note this graf...

"Hacking Democracy" is directed by the directors of "VoterGate" and contains much of the same material. "VoterGate" was produced with special thanks to Susan Sarandon and The Streisand Foundation.

Never mind that the VoterGate Diebold refers to is the wrong VoterGate, but what the hell do either Susan Sarandon or The Streisand Foundation have to do with Diebold's claim that the film is inaccurate?

Not disingenuous enough for you? Byrd has more...

Harri Hursti is shown attacking a Diebold machine in Florida. But his "attack" proved later to be a complete sham. Hursti was invited by California Secretary of State's office to demonstrate his supposed ability to "hack" a Diebold optical scan system. He declined...

Of course, we know that Byrd never saw the Hursti Hack in Hacking Democracy (it hadn't occurred by the time either VoterGate film was released), the disingenuous claim that it "proved later to be a complete sham" is itself a complete sham:

Not only did the California Secretary of State's own technical advisory board at UC Berkley write that "Harri Hursti's attack does work" and that it was "definitely real" in their report [PDF] on the hack, but they also found "more serious vulnerabilities...that go well beyond what Mr. Hursti demonstrated, and yet require no more access to the voting system than he had. These vulnerabilities are consequences of bugs–16 in all."

We would later learn that the invitation to which Diebold refers, from the CA SoS "inviting" Hursti to try his hack out in California, was drafted by a Diebold employee and disinformation operative by the name of Rob Pelletier, and sent to Hursi on CA SoS stationery!

As revealed by this investigative report [PDF] released over the Summer by BlackBoxVoting.org (one of the film's main subjects) entitled "The Diebold Pursuasion Machine," it appears that Pelletier drafted the letter for CA SoS McPherson's office. The "invitation" would later come to be regarded as a "setup" using special Diebold machines and designed for Hursti to fail.

In the same report, it was revealed that Diebold employee Pelletier had been spreading disinformation under several phony names at various Internet sites, as well as here at BRAD BLOG as a commenter using the name "Wally O'Diebold."

As Barney Gimble wrote yesterday in a terrific piece on the history of Diebold in Fortune, about a "five-step plan guaranteed to make an obscure company absolutely notorious":

First get into a business you don't understand, selling to customers who barely understand it either. Then roll out your product without adequate testing. Don't hire enough skilled people. When people notice problems, deny, obfuscate and ignore. Finally, blame your critics when it all blows up in your face.

Hey Diebold: It's blowing up in your face. Stop blaming the critics. You're just making a continuous jackass out of yourselves. And, trust me, you've got far worse problems coming your way that you ought to be worrying about.

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By John Gideon on 10/31/2006 6:12pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

"Voice of the Voters" 1360AM OR on the Internet at Link or click from our website saveourvote.com; Wed. evenings at 8PM EST. Avi Rubin will be tomorrow evening's guest. / ""They erroneously assumed these machines are like computers," Bear said of the computer scientists and hackers who claim they've cracked voting-machine codes. "They are only plugged into the wall for power; they are not computers [and] they're not plugged into the Internet. A lot of these 'security experts' that have passed judgment don't have an appreciation for the environment we're operating in. They're saying these are how these things would operate in a computer/Internet world, but we're not in a computer/Internet voting scenario." According to Bear, before elections the machines are kept behind a locked door with a secure piece of tape covering the slot where the memory card is inserted." / And while David Bear is perfecting his stand-up act UConn has done a full study with a Diebold Optical-scan machine and the results are just as scathing as the Princeton study of the TS DRE."...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2006 5:57pm PT  

Click the photos for the video pitch of your choice. As someone mentioned recently to us (and we agree), the political novice vote-rigging whistleblower turned Congressional candidate (FL-24), Clint Curtis, has studied hard and well. He now comes off as downright "Clintonian" (in the good sense) in his presentation these days, as you'll note in the video below. His opponent, Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff), is the one Curtis alleges asked him to create vote-rigging software in 2000. Feeney claims Curtis is "not fit for public office." We'd suggest the short videos below prove otherwise...

The whistleblower...

The whistleblowee...

P.S. Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) currently has a quick feature article on Curtis at the top of their website. PDA has endorsed Curtis, as have the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Esquire Magazine, and others...

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far.
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.
- Curtis is now running for U.S. Congress against Feeney.
To support or for more info, see: www.ClintCurtis.com
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By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2006 4:22pm PT  

Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, blogs today on Electronic Voting. Here's just one of the money quotes...

I think about the history of ATMs when I hear all the nervous Nellies wetting their pants over electronic voting machines. I believe those worries are totally misplaced. Now don’t get me wrong – there’s a 100% chance that the voting machines will get hacked and all future elections will be rigged. But that doesn’t mean we’ll get a worse government. It probably means that the choice of the next American president will be taken out of the hands of deep-pocket, autofellating, corporate shitbags and put it into the hands of some teenager in Finland. How is that not an improvement?
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New Report Said To Be As Important As Princeton Viral Hack Study of Diebold Touch-Screen (DRE) Systems...
By John Gideon on 10/31/2006 3:11pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Yesterday the University of Connecticut released a report of the results of a study they did of the Diebold AccuVote Optical Scan voting system the state will be using in the future. This new report, commissioned by the Secretary of State, is as scathing as the recent Princeton Report accomplished on the Diebold TS Direct Recording Electronic machines.

In his blog, Johns-Hopkins University Computer Scientist Avi Rubin says:

"Reading this report was a hair raising experience for me. Diebold has clearly not learned any of the lessons from our 2003 report, and it is startling to see that their optical scan ballot counter is as vulnerable to tampering, vote rigging, and incorrect tabulation as the DRE."
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Video by Democratic Sec. of State Candidate in California Critical of CA SoS Bruce McPherson's Certification and Lack of Security Requirements for Diebold Touch-Screen Systems...
By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2006 3:08pm PT  

Democratic Secretary of State candidate, Debra Bowen has released a new video ad on her campaign website showing how easy it would be for hackers to break into a garage where pre-programmed, election-ready Diebold touch-screen systems are now being "stored securely" by poll workers around the state.

Such a break-in could allow them to easily manipulate a single Diebold touch-screen machine to implant a virus on it would could then pass itself from machine to machine, resulting in an entirely flipped election. Nobody would ever know.

We have long since been critical of CA Sec. of State Bruce McPherson's re-certification of Diebold voting systems after his own technical advisory board at UC Berkley had advised him the machines could be tampered with in dozens of ways.

His further lack of enforcement of security requirements for the use of the systems --- he has sat by and allowed them to be sent home for weeks ahead of the election with poll workers on so-called "sleepovers" --- is both an outrage and a violation of his own state requirements and federal law.

Yesterday, we detailed (with photographs) how San Diego County Registrar Mikel Haas has been handing thousands of such hackable voting machines to poll workers in his county since October 16th of this year. Those irresponsible "sleepovers" now allow those poll workers --- or anyone who may wish to access the machines in their garage --- a full 3 weeks prior to the election to find the 60 seconds needed to flip every race in San Diego County.

Bowen's Diebold "sleepover" break-in ad can be viewed at her campaign website. It's also posted in full below...


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Information Duplicates Previous Reports of Votes Flipping on Paperless ES&S Machines in Bexar County, TX, Dallas and in Other States...
By Brad Friedman on 10/31/2006 2:24pm PT  

Reports now from yet another Texas county that votes are hopping from Democratic to Republican on paperless touch-screen ES&S systems during Early Voting. This time in Jefferson County...

Friday night, KFDM reported about people who had cast straight Democratic ticket ballots, but the touch-screen machines indicated they had voted a straight Republican ticket.

Some of those voters including Lamar University professor, Dr. Bruce Drury, believe the problem is a programming error.

Saturday, KFDM spoke to another voter who says it's not just happening with straight ticket voting, he says it's happening on individual races as well, Jerry Stopher told us when he voted for a Democrat, the Republican's name was highlighted.
...
Jefferson county clerk Carolyn Guidry says her office has checked the calibration of the machines and found no problems.
...
She says the electronic system is very sensitive.

Last night we reported similar problems as reported by a State Rep in San Antonio (Bexar County) on the same ES&S machines. As well, the problem was earlier reported occuring in Dallas.

Previous vote-hopping reports from other states (all benefitting Republicans) have so far come in from South Florida, St. Louis County, Missouri and Arkansas.

We've create a new Touch-Screen Vote Hopping category here so users can check all such reported incidents at a glance.

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Lou and Kitty Look Into the Sale of Sequoia Voting To A Company Owned By Venezuelan Nationals
By John Gideon on 10/31/2006 9:15am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.Org

As Lou and Kitty look into the investigation by the US Treasury Department into the sale of Sequoia Voting Systems to Venezuelan nationals Lou summarizes and speaks for many; "The idea that we are at this stage with all of the problems that you've documented that have been demonstrated with these machines, the ties between the testing laboratories and the manufacturers, the fact that software is proprietary and that election officials wouldn't be in charge of a recount on these things, it's just mind-boggling."


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

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

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Audio Interview with Texas State Rep. Jose Menendez on KTSA with Chris Duel (and Brad) Says Paperless Voting Machines Failing in Bexar County...
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2006 11:41pm PT  

The drumbeat of reports from around the country of touch-screen voting machines failing during Early Voting continues to grow. These aren't "glitches." These are failures.

So far, the reports have all involved Democratic (or Green) votes flipping to, or otherwise benefitting, Republican candidates. In South Florida, St. Louis County, Missouri, Virginia, Arkansas, Dallas, and now San Antonio, Texas.

While I was guesting this evening on the Chris Duel show on KTSA News-Talk 550 AM, we received a call from Democratic State Rep. Jose Menendez, who reported several incidents that have come to the attenion of his office during Early Voting, which is already under way in San Antonio. The reports concern votes flipping and candidates not showing up on the summary screens of Bexar County's paperless ES&S touch-screen systems.

During the short interview (audio posted in full at end of this article) Menendez reported an incident involving a teacher in his district who noticed that one of the candidates wasn't showing up on the confirmation summary screen. I later learned off air that the missing candidate was Menendez.

Another incident involved a voter who voted for a straight party ticket only to have it flip to a straight party ticket vote for the other party.

Menendez didn't identify which parties were involved while on air. Since then, Duel followed up to let me know that the straight party ticket the voter intended to vote for was Democratic and it flipped to Republican.

Menendez said during the interview that he now plans to file legislation requiring a paper "trail" on all voting machines across the state of Texas where none are (incredibly) now required. As you'll hear, I made it clear that it's paper ballots that are needed, not uncountable and uncounted so-called paper "trails." For the moment, his efforts are unfortunately too little, too late to do anything for 2006. While he may not have realized the dangers to our democracy and national security until now, Bexar County Election Administrator Jacquelyn F. Callanen has no such excuse. She needs to be held directly accountable for her failure to provide an auditable voting system to her voters.

Callanen, however, seems to be selling Menendez and other concerned citizens the usual bill of goods, as most of the country's election directors are now doing in hopes of saving their jobs. I pointed out in no uncertain terms, hopefully, on air during the interview, that Callanen needs to be held accountable. Her office's number is: 210-335-VOTE, and their webpage is here. Here's the interview...

-- AUDIO: Brad on the Chris Duel Show with Rep. Mendendez, 10/30/06 [MP3, Appx 16 minutes]

UPDATE: Votes reported to be hopping from Democrat to Republican also now in Jefferson County, TX. Details here...

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By John Gideon on 10/30/2006 5:46pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Voters in Ohio, as well as all other states, will have the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline manned and ready to provide assistance. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that involves the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination, and Proskauer Rose LLP, an international law firm with more than 700 lawyers in the United States and Europe, have joined forces with other law firms and voting rights groups as part of Election Protection - a program to protect the right of every eligible Ohio voter to cast a meaningful ballot and have that vote counted in the upcoming November 7 election. / Now Sequoia and Smartmatic say that they voluntarily submitted themselves to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) investigation. Quite frankly what does it matter whether an unreliable voting system is put out by a company owned, in part, by Chavez or another group of Venezuelans? The system is still just as unreliable. / Sequoia also has a problem with a new law suit in Nevada where a citizen activist is suing for the loss of her vote in 2004. / ...

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

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One of the Country's Worst Places to Vote, Led By One of the Country's Worst Election Administrators, Mikel Haas, Instructs Poll Workers to NOT Tell Voters They May Vote on Paper Ballots if They Wish
An EXCLUSIVE First-Hand Account and Photos of Delusional Election Director's Irresponsible Scheme...
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2006 2:46pm PT  

More than 10,000 pre-programmed election-ready Diebold touch-screen voting machines, to be used for the first time across the entirety of San Diego County this November 7th, are now in the cars, garages, homes, and hands of poll workers and lord knows who else across one of Southern California's largest voting regions.

As reported in several first-hand accounts from San Diego poll workers just after recent training sessions (see end of article for one of those first-hand accounts), the voting machines were sent home on so-called overnight "sleepovers" with temporary poll workers beginning on October 16th, allowing for a full three weeks prior to the election for poll workers to find the 60 seconds they might need to hack a single machine. One tampered machine could affect the results on every single voting machine, in every race in the county.

San Diego Registrar Mikel Haas --- easily one of the country's worst and most irresponsible election administrators --- is unconcerned. He's also instructing poll workers not to give out paper ballots despite a recent order from the California Secretary of State.

The ability to easily insert malicious viral code onto Diebold's touch-screen systems has been proven, and video-taped by Princeton University and others. A single person could hack an entire election, flipping votes undetectably, and no trace would be left behind after the election.

But it's not just tampering that should be of concern to the voters of San Diego. It's the fact that these particular systems are amongst the most unreliable in the country. They simply do not work.

Diebold touch-screen voting systems are innacurate. Their screens freeze. Their printers jam and fail to create reliable "paper trails" and frequently they simply fail to start up at all. All of which occurred during Primary Elections in states across the country earlier this year, resulting in thousands of legally registered voters being disenfranchised, or turned away without being able to cast a ballot.

Incredibly, Haas has ordered these systems to be used for the first time in this November's general election, without even a test run during the June 6th Primary & Special Election, when a blended system of both Diebold optical-scan (paper-based) and touch-screens was used.

The few touch-screen systems in place during the June election (one per polling location) went almost completely unused. And yet Haas has ordered them for use across the entire county this November, despite notorious failures by these same unreliable systems in states like Georgia and Maryland and --- perhaps most notably --- Cuyahoga County, OH, where the systems in first-time use failed monumentally during the Buckeye State's Primary Election.

USA TODAY wrote Friday about the aftermath of Cuyahoga's Primary Elections and the extraordinary measures now being taken to turn the county's temporary poll workers into rocket scientists able to trouble-shoot the many expected problems with the systems. After some 300+ recommendations were made by an independent audit of that particular train wreck, elections officials are scrambling and bracing for the worst.

Haas, however, has taken no such measures and, indeed, his poll worker training has reportedly consisted of instructing folks to sing the praises of electronic machines and avoid handing out paper ballots to voters despite the recently unearthed memo from the California Secretary of State's office instructing all Registrar's that all California voters may vote on paper if they wish.

An account of one such training class by Ken Simpkins, the Carlsbad attorney who filed an election contest to challenge the results of the Francine Busby/Brian Bilbray Special Election sleepover fiasco last June, reports that workers are being told not to give paper ballots to voters even if machines are unavailable when voters show up to vote.

"If the machines were not ready at the opening of the polls and voters were there," Simpkins writes about instructions given at a training class he attended, "voters should be asked to wait until the machines are ready." His full description of that and other stunning moments from Haas's training is at the end of this item.

In an accidental fit of reporting, the far-right San Diego Union Tribune yesterday asked Haas about the ongoing "sleepovers" in an article on concerns about the county's upcoming beta test election. As usual, his obnoxious answer was just another "fuck you" to the voters of San Diego:

Taking the machines home has been condemned widely by those who fear hacking. Some believe the "sleepovers" used in San Diego and other counties effectively invalidate election results, because the "chain of custody" of election results cannot be ensured.

Haas disagrees. "We know exactly who has the machines," he said. "We know where they live."

Never mind that we've previously reported first-hand accounts from poll workers who took voting machines home with them during the June 6th election, where they admitted that family members, and any number of neighbors, may well have had easy access to the machines in the "secure storage space" known as their garage or their car. But Haas knows "where they live." So rest easy, San Diegans!

Also, never mind that such sleepovers are in violation of state and federal law. But, hey, it's San Diego! Mikel Haas territory! He makes the rules and can do whatever he wants!

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

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Would You Expect Anything Less?
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2006 2:44pm PT  

Chaos is now raining down on the voters of Ohio. Anyone surprised?

With yet another court decision today restoring disenfranchising Photo ID requirements in the Buckeye State (after they had previously been disallowed via an earlier court injunction days ago), we're now barrelling towards yet another clusterfuck in Ohio, wherein the only winners will be those who don't want people to vote or to have their votes counted accurately or at all (namely Republicans.)

Columbus Dispatch covered the story here...

[Cleveland attorney, Subodh Chandra]...said last night’s court action guarantees more confusion among voters and poll workers and puts votes at risk of not being counted.

"We hope that the 6th Circuit is not taking the position that one must permit an election to be a train wreck before one tries to stop the wreck," Chandra said. "That’s what appears to be happening."

...Alhough, as usual, we prefer the coverage from our friends Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman at the Free Press: America's definitive news source for all the ugly election news on the ground from inside Ohio's former democracy. Their detailed report today starts this way...

With a major GOP federal court victory, the Ohio 2006 election has descended into the calculated chaos that has become the trademark of a Karl Rove election theft, and that could help keep the Congress in Republican hands nationwide.

Through a complex series of legal maneuvers, and now a shocking new decision from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the GOP has thrown Ohio's entire process of voting and vote counting into serious disarray. The mess is perfectly designed to suppress voter turnout, make election monitoring and a recount impossible, and allow the Republican Party to emerge with a victory despite overwhelming evidence the electorate wants exactly the opposite.

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Profanity-Laced Missive from Right Winger Sent After Popular Radio Host's Recent Appearance on Fox 'News', Says 'Would be Happy to See AK-47 Send You Into Eterntity'
Miller Calls America-Loving Wingnut On Air, Man Claims Letter Wasn't a Threat... [UPDATE: Audio of Phone Call to Man Now Included!]
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2006 10:39am PT  

A man from Centerville, Ohio, identifying himself as "Sock" Sokolowski has sent a death threat to radio host Stephanie Miller after her recent appearance on Fox "News'" Hannity & Colmes.

The BRAD BLOG has obtained a copy of Sokolowski's profanity-laced letter which includes a closing salutation claiming that he is "From the right 'Right'". The letter is posted, unredacted and in full at the end of this article.

On her popular Stephanie Miller Show this morning, the radio host telephoned "Sock" --- who included his address and phone number with the letter --- to confront him live and on air about the letter.

UPDATE:
-- You can now listen to this morning's phone call here [MP3].
-- The video of Miller's
H&C appearance that began the whole "kerfuffle", as producer Chris Lavoie just described it to us, is here on Youtube. BTW, in this appearance Miller brilliantly says to Colmes: "It's called journalism, Fox News should try it sometime."

Despite numerous clear threats in the letter, Sokolowski --- who opens his missive by writing "As with Cindy Sheehan the best thing that could happen to you would be seeing some WONDERFUL activist sticking an AK-47 up your Glory Holes and sending you into eternity" --- claimed several times during the phone call that he didn't threaten Miller in the letter.

Writing that "I am a paci-fist [sic]", Sokolowski typed "this is not a threat". He then went on to write that he hopes and prays "that someone decides you're better off as statistics."

"Honestly," the letter continues, referring to both the radio host and Sheehan, who lost her son in the War on Iraq, "should I hear of either you leaving this earth prematurely I would initiate a personal celebration that would make Animal House appear to be just another quiet Sunday in church."

Promising to to mail copies of Miller's H&C appearance to "some WONDERFUL people," Sokolowski threatens that "we must identify this nation's enemies and though we keep friends close, we MUST keep our enemies even closer and you two vile bitches are just that."

Referring to both women as "mother fuckers," Sokolowski writes that he hopes for further exposure for both Miller and Sheehan on "TV shows...as GUARANTEED your words will someday possibly accelerate your demise."

He concludes the note by explaining that he "would love to celebrate and would for days on end as I would and will when still another America HATER meets his/her maker."

The Stephanie Miller Show has said that they will be posting now posted a profanity-free version of the letter in the Daily blog section of StephanieMiller.com. The BRAD BLOG, however, is happy to post the entire unredacted letter below, exclusively and in full. Only the phone number and address have been removed...

FURTHER UPDATE BEFORE THE LETTER 12:50pm PT: It looks like our man "Sock" is a rather prolific letter writer. Former CIA man Larry Johnson of NoQuarter has identified this man and posted another letter which "Sock" apparently sent to a local newspaper. Given the text of his letter to Miller, this passage from his railing for the importance of "conservatism" in America, strikes at our irony bone:

As proven in the Bush v. Kerry presidential race, [Americans] want the candidates to offer their agenda for the nation rather than simply hate and venom for the opposition. They want to consider alternatives on a range of issues, but all the left offered was a hatred toward our president.

Moreover, KamaAina at DU has located another laugher of letter from "Sock" to the Dayton City Paper from last year, headlined "CONSERVATISM IS WINNING THE WAR". That commentary calls for, among other things, the ascendency of George "Makaka" Allen and Condi Rice as our next President and VP.

Here now, "Sock's" not at all "hate and venom" filled death threat to Stephanie Miller in full...

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

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ES&S iVotronic Machine Same as Those Reportedly Flipping Votes in Missouri Senate Race in St. Louis County...
[UPDATED: Another Report, from Tampa Bay Tribune, of Votes Hopping from Democratic Candidates to Republicans!]
By Brad Friedman on 10/30/2006 9:20am PT  

ED NOTE: BRING YOUR VIDEO AND STILL CAMS WITH YOU TO VOTE, ESPECIALLY ON TOUCH-SCREEN, TO DOCUMENT THIS STUFF!

The Miami Herald is reporting that votes on touch-screen voting systems in in South Florida are flipping from Democrat to Republican candidates.

Not a single report of a vote flipping from a Republican to a Democrat so far. As usual.

Several South Florida voters say the choices they touched on the electronic screens were not the ones that appeared on the review screen --- the final voting step.
...
Debra A. Reed voted with her boss on Wednesday at African-American Research Library and Cultural Center near Fort Lauderdale. Her vote went smoothly, but boss Gary Rudolf called her over to look at what was happening on his machine. He touched the screen for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis, a Democrat, but the review screen repeatedly registered the Republican, Charlie Crist.
...
Joan Marek, 60, a Democrat from Hollywood, was also stunned to see Charlie Crist on her ballot review page after voting on Thursday. "Am I on the voting screen again?" she wondered. "Well, this is too weird."

Marek corrected her ballot and alerted poll workers at the Hollywood satellite courthouse, who she said told her they'd had previous problems with the same machine.

Poll workers did some work on her machine when she finished voting, Marek said. But no report was made to the Supervisor of Elections office and the machine was not removed, [Broward Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman Mary] Cooney said.
...
Mauricio Raponi wanted to vote for Democrats across the board at the Lemon City Library in Miami on Thursday. But each time he hit the button next to the candidate, the Republican choice showed up.

The Herald didn't mention it --- but we will --- the type of touch-screen voting machine reportedly failing in Broward was the ES&S iVotronic.

That's the same model of voting machine that was also reportedly flipping votes in St. Louis County from Democratic candidate Claire McCaskill to Republican Jim Talent in Missouri's extremely close U.S. Senate race as we reported late last week along with several similar incidents reported in both Texas and Arkansas as well.

Note in the Herald report linked above, the Broward Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman also admits that "it's not uncommon for screens on heavily used machines to slip out of sync, making votes register incorrectly. Poll workers are trained to recalibrate them on the spot --- essentially, to realign the video screen with the electronics inside. The 15-step process is outlined in the poll-workers manual."

A "15-step process" for recalibrating by poll workers with a few hours training? Brilliant.

And this...

Broward poll workers keep a log of all maintenance done on machines at each site. But the Supervisor of Elections office doesn't see that log until the early voting period ends. And a machine isn't taken out of service unless the poll clerk decides it's a chronic poor performer that can't be fixed.

Cooney said no machines have been removed during early voting, and she is not aware of any serious problems.

Relax, people. It's only democracy. Do you actually want it to be accurate too?! George Will's column on Sunday, --- which either supports electronic voting or doesn't, it's hard to tell --- seems to think you're probably asking way too much.

UPDATE 2:40pm PT: And more reports coming in now from Florida of votes hopping from Democratic candidates to Republicans. This one via Tampa Bay Tribune...

I twice selected the Democrat, and twice it indicated that I had voted for the Republican. I called that vote two times, and on the third attempt it accepted my vote correctly.

Upon leaving, I told the woman to whom I handed my voting card about the problem. She said, "Sometimes these things just don't work."

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Spencer Overton's 'Stealing Democracy' and Paul Rieckhoff's 'Chasing Ghosts' in Limited Supply!
PLEASE CLICK THROUGH AND HELP SUPPORT THE BRAD BLOG AT THIS CRUCIAL TIME!
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2006 7:41pm PT  

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

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