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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By John Gideon on 10/29/2006 5:33pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

"The federal government is investigating the takeover last year of the manufacturer of electronic voting systems used in Denver and Arapahoe County by a small software company that has been linked to the leftist government of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. The federal inquiry is focusing on the Venezuelan owners of the software company, the Smartmatic Corp., and is trying to determine whether the government in Caracas has any control over the firm's operations, officials and others familiar with the investigation said", according to the New York Times ...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2006 5:00pm PT  

...With a huge nod to Tom Tomorrow who presented a similar toon a full three years ago...well before many of us even understood how scary these things are...

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG emailer Melisa U.)

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Sadly, it's a REPUBLICAN Who Is Speaking Out About the Clear and Present Threat to Our Democracy
While the GOP Prepares to Yell 'Fraud' This Year if Necessary...
By Brad Friedman on 10/29/2006 3:36pm PT  

"The equipment has been tested by independent agencies and federal agencies," Diebold's Chief Disinformation Officer, Mark Radke lied to Diane Sawyer in a recent Good Morning America interview on ABC.

Sadly, the only ones there to counter Radke's knowing and misleading disinformation was a computer scientist from Princeton, and a Republican governor. Not a Democrat in sight.

The National Democratic Party, to their eternal shame, has remained virtually silent about the grave national security threat --- as it has been described by almost every computer scientist and security expert with whom the The BRAD BLOG has discussed the matter --- which our country now faces vis a vis the nationwide use of inaccurate, uncountable, unaccountable, hackable and, yes, untested electronic voting systems.

To be crystal clear, Radke was simply lying in his statement to Sawyer. He knows damned well that not a single independent body --- nobody, none, zero...no computer scientist, security expert or federal, state or local election official or organization --- is allowed to test Diebold's voting systems in full and release their findings publicly. The same is true for the systems of every other voting machine company in America.

The only federal testing of these systems is done by the so-called "Independent Testing Authority" (ITA), a consortium of three private corporations chosen and paid for by the voting machine companies themselves. The ITAs test only what their client Voting Machine Companies tell them to test. They do so in secret and without releasing the results of their limited testing publicly.

Lou Dobbs Tonight filed a very good report on the ITA scam the other day. The video and transcript are here.

ABC's online coverage of the interview goes on to report that "Approximately 40 percent of Americans will use these machines to vote in November."

That is wrong. Well over 80% of American voters will use such machines this November. ABC should know better by now.

Most disturbingly, the DNC has said and done literally nothing about the problem, and has let it fall to the Republican governor of Maryland, Robert Ehrlich, to speak about the issue nationally.

Says Ehrlich about the need to scrap these dangerous systems at the end of ABC's report:

"I don't care if we paid half a billion dollars or a billion dollars [for these systems]," Ehrlich said. "If it's going to put the election at risk, there's no price tag for a phony election."

Ehrlich is 100% correct. As we reported last August after we were invited to address state party chairs and the DNC's national attorneys at their Summer convention, the national Democratic party continues to whistle past democracy's graveyard. As far as we can tell, not a thing has changed since then.

In the meantime, as we've reported previously, the Republicans are positioning themselves to be able to scream Democratic fraud via electronic voting machines along with their even more disingenuous claims of "voter fraud." Here's a blog item posted today by some wingnut who quotes a couple of our reports from months ago as "proof" that Democrats are preparing to flip votes via Sequoia Voting System electronic machines. The blogger's supposed basis for the report is the claim that Sequoia was purchased by a consortium tied to Venezuala's Hugo Chavez.

You'll also note the anonymous blogger linked the above points only to problems reported on Sequoia systems, ignoring the mountain of reports that voting systems made by Republican-based companies such as Diebold, ES&S and Hart Intercivic are equally, if not more, unfunctional, inaccurate and vulnerable to tampering and fraud.

We don't see the Dems waking up any time soon, as they have failed so far to challenge any of the outrages already plaguing the system during early voting --- from illegally truncated screen displays, to touch-screen votes flipping from one candidate to another, to illegal voting machine "sleepovers" with poll workers as are now occuring in California, Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere. By the time Election Day rolls around, poll workers in San Diego County, for example, will have had more than three weeks to have found the 60 seconds they would need to game a single pre-programmed, election-ready Diebold voting machine --- that they've been allowed to keep in their houses since SD County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas has been handing them out like candy since October 16th. (NOTE: We'll have much more on that tomorrow.)

The Democrats, so far, have failed to do a damned thing about any of it, choosing instead to close their eyes, cross their fingers, and hope for the best. Good luck.

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By John Gideon on 10/28/2006 4:35pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

"Broward Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman Mary Cooney said 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." These machines may be used 150 to 250 times on election day. And it seems the county expects them to "slip" out of calibration. Not a big issue because they have a "15 STEP PROCESS" to fix that condition??? / Informal discussions between Sequoia Voting Systems owner, Smartmatic, and the Treasury Dept. have now become a formal investigation, it seems. How much say does Hugo Chavez have in our elections? / In the laugh of the day officials in Lonoke Co Arkansas think they may be done counting votes and have the lights turned off by 9:30PM on election night. / Miller Co, Arkansas Election Administrator is resigning at the end of the year because ES&S representatives "are grossly incompetent, mean-spirited and can’t spell"....

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

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By John Gideon on 10/28/2006 1:22pm PT  

Blogged By John Gideon, 28 October 2006

Still over a week from election day and already the problems are piling up. Meanwhile the vendors and their shills are making excuses and attempting to sell the voting public a line of garbage. Among the shills is a federal agency, the Election Assistance Commission, that is supposed to assist the voter and, instead, has sent their chairman out on the road to defend the vendors.

In a blog posted yesterday, Brad said it well:

"The U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) is a complete and utter failure. The current commissioner, Paul DeGregorio, has done nothing to instill confidence in elections or provide a lick of oversight in the deployment and use of these voting systems across the nation in the Midterm Election. In his latest interviews and editorials, he is reprehensibly doing nothing but echoing Voting Machine Company propaganda and Election Officials who choose to be apologists for them."

In a rebuttal to DeGregorios' opinion piece in the Tallahassee Democrat Avi Rubin, Johns-Hopkins Professor, computer scientist and author of "Brave New Ballot" had this to say in his blog:

"I have not seen any reason to trust our nation's voting equipment. Trusting it just because an election official says we should is not good enough for me. I want to trust a system because I don't believe it can be compromised, not because someone implies that not trusting it is not patriotic."

In The Mean Time Across The Nation...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 10/28/2006 12:51pm PT  

An absolute mess on the ground.

In Ohio, Cuyahoga County's attempts to change the way poll workers are trained in light of their Primary Election Day disaster seem clear, from the startling USA Today coverage, to be a disaster in the making in and of themselves. Read it, and be amazed at the unbelievably complex gyrations now required to address the 300+ recommendations made to the county after their Primary Day meltdown. It's amazing. "Election Cliffhanger: Will it all Work?"

In Maryland, the Republican governor warns of a "crisis in the wake of Diebold revelations."

In Colorado, Sequoia has fucked up the Absentee Ballots so that 30,000 of them must be re-copied by hand by pollworkers.

UPDATE: By John Gideon 4:15PM: Today the county announced that they had awoken from their day dream of duplicating 30,000 ballots. They have decided to do the smart thing and just set up another machine to count the incorrect ballots.

I'm on the road, and haven't been able to follow closely for the last 12 or 24, so there is much more out there that is not covered here (keep an eye on John Gideon's 'Daily Voting News' each day for all the frightening stuff and the utter mess that we simply can't cover in detail), but clearly the links above are just the tippy-top of the tip of the iceberg.

Buckle up.

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By John Gideon on 10/27/2006 8:32pm PT  

Blogged by John Gideon

The Chicago Tribune has reported this evening that someone has hacked into the DuPage Co. Illinois Election. Under a list of qualifications for voters someone had added a new requirement that a voter may not be a homosexual.

Once the county election office was notified of the attack they removed the newly added requirement and took actions they thought would stop any further attacks. However, later on Thursday or sometime this morning another requirement was added that proclaimed, "Your grandfather must have voted."

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Should Missouri Create an Entire Race of Itty Bitty People only to Destroy them?
By Alan Breslauer on 10/27/2006 8:21pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Who would have thought it was possible for Tucker Carlson to top his Wednesday "moral blackmail" segment on the Michael J Fox stem cell research ad controversy (seen here on BRAD BLOG)? Arguably he succeeds the next day with this clip which begins with the GOP celebrity response ad and then moves on to guest pundit Mark Williams. According to Wikipedia, Williams was a conservative radio talk show host from Sacramento until he was fired in May. Perhaps missing his job Williams felt compelled to impersonate Rush Limbaugh during the segment. Not only does he accuse Fox of playing "theatrical games" but also states that the actor misleads the public because the debate is not about stem cells or Parkinson's but a debate about whether or not "Missouri should create an entire race of itty bitty people so that they can be destroyed and used for medical research." There are plenty more jaw dropping lines and dumbfounding moments including Tucker praising Williams for explaining the issue better than most Republicans.


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GOP Workers Changed Registration Forms for Dems, Greens, and Even a Non-Citzens into Republican Registrations!
County Dem Chair Announces Indictments and Steals Thunder From Republican Sec. of State...
By John Gideon on 10/27/2006 5:32pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Today the Associated Press reported that 11 people who worked for a firm hired by the Republican Party were indicted for voter fraud. The workers were paid as much as $10 per Republican registration so they signed-up anyone they could and changed their party affiliation to Republican.

"Fraudulent voter registration charges were filed this week by prosecutors who said Democrats were unwittingly signed up as Republicans. Central Orange County includes the district represented by Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

"There were at least 37 instances in which Democratic, Green Party voters and a noncitizen were registered as Republicans. Each defendant was charged with felony counts of fraudulent completion of registration affidavits."

...and they report:

"The recruiters worked for the Newport Beach petition circulating firm Bader & Associates as well as a subcontractor. Company owner Tom Bader said Thursday that his firm cooperated in the investigation.

"Subcontractor John Burkett of Lake Elsinore said he discovered problems with his recruiters' work during random checks of submitted forms and he notified his clients.

"The 11 defendants charged Tuesday weren't identified and details of the charges weren't disclosed by District Attorney Tony Rackauckas."

In a truly brilliant move the chairman of the Orange County Democrat Committee leaked the news of the indictments stealing the thunder from Secretary of State McPherson who wanted to wait until Monday to have a press conference. Reporters attempted to contact the Secretary but calls were not returned.

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By John Gideon on 10/27/2006 4:59pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

The West Virginia SoS is recommending to Kanawha Co. that they run all paper ballots twice to ensure the machines are counting accurately. The county is refusing to take that step which will ensure accuracy of the vote count. / Georgia will be using ExpressPoll (e-poll books) at the polls this year. Are they the same as those that failed in Maryland or do they have the modifications that were required in Maryland but never federally certified? / "The equipment has been tested by independent agencies and federal agencies," said Mark Radke, the director of marketing for Diebold, the company that makes the machines. [Independent = we pay them to do the testing and test what we tell them to test.][No federal agency does any testing] / ES&S machines are failing in early voting in Garland and Sebastian Co.s Arkansas ...

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

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Current Chairman Paul DeGregorio Now Running a Desperate Misinformation Propaganda Campaign Just Days Before Election...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2006 1:33pm PT  

I only have a second as I've got to hit the road to get up to Santa Barbara to speak at tonight's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner (along w/ Wes Clark), so I'll try to be quick about it...

The U.S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) is a complete and utter failure. The current commissioner, Paul DeGregorio, has done nothing to instill confidence in elections or provide a lick of oversight in the deployment and use of these voting systems across the nation in the Midterm Election. In his latest interviews and editorials, he is reprehensibly doing nothing but echoing Voting Machine Company propaganda and Election Officials who choose to be apologists for them.

See DeGregorio's latest editorial here from the Tallahassee Democrat, in which he posts completely unfounded and unsupported "opinion" in contradiction of virtually all scientific evidence.

Contrast DeGregorio's nonsense with the comments of his predecessor, the honest, Bush-appointed, non-crony, Rev. DeForest Soaries, from this unaired network interview, in which he flatly states there are no standards for electronic voting systems in place and that 'elections in America are ripe for stealing.'

The EAC, under the "leadership" of DeGregorio, has become hopelessly compromised as he's allowed even the disinformation experts, such as "Thor" Hearne from the phony GOP front-group "American Center for Voting Rights," to set the agenda for the commission. Note that DeGregorio and Hearne are old St. Louis GOP colleagues. What a scam.

Below are a few choice pieces of information unsubstantiated horse excrement, from DeGregorio's editorial yesterday.

On this one point only, I can actually agree with DeGregorio: "Americans should be confident that their vote will be counted, whether they touch a screen or fill in an oval."

Yes, they should be confident, but they have absolutely no basis for that at this time, thanks to folks like you, Paul. Your words do not give such confidence. Transparency gives confidence. We've had quite enough "faith-based elections" in this country. Anyway, read on for some of DeGregorio's most shamelessly misleading garbage... (You can contact the EAC here.)

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

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By Alan Breslauer on 10/27/2006 11:38am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

NPR's Morning Edition ran a 2006 election story today centered around a poll of rural voters in "41 heavily contested congressional districts" which has shown a "dramatic shift" in favor of Democrats in the last month.

Twelve days before the midterm elections, Republican congressional incumbents are struggling to corral a key voter group --- rural residents. A new bipartisan poll indicates that Democrats now dominate rural voters, a critical part of the Republican base.

The poll was conducted for the non-partisan Center for Rural Strategies, a Kentucky group working to attract attention to rural issues.

Five hundred likely rural voters were surveyed in 41 heavily contested congressional districts and six states with close Senate races. Most of the House districts surveyed have Republican incumbents. Fifty-two per cent of the respondents indicate they'll vote for Democratic congressional candidates; 39 percent say they'll support Republicans.

This is a dramatic shift from a similar poll conducted last month. At that time, the rural voters polled split the congressional vote evenly.

"This is not encouraging information for Republicans," says Bill Greener, the Republican political consultant who supervised and analyzed the bipartisan poll. "And I think that to pretend otherwise is not helpful."

The bad news is that Karl Rove told NPR a couple of days ago that he doesn't believe the polls and is confident that Republicans will hold on to the House and the Senate. Over the last three election cycles Rove has proven himself a far better gauge of elections than just about any poll. It's uncanny.

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[NOTE: Please Bring a Video Camera to the Polls To Document These Things This Year!!!]
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2006 1:15am PT  

We didn't much report on these incidents back in 2004 because they seemed anectodal at the time and couldn't be independently confirmed. After two years now of thousands of such reports from '04 --- almost always showing votes hopping to Republican candidates only --- and still the Voting Machine Companies and Elections Officials saying "it never happened," it seems appropriate to report a few of these incidencts as we hear of them before Election Day, during Early Voting, so folks can look into them.

Here are three different reports over the last day or two of touch-screen votes flipping from Democrats or Libertarians over to Republicans.

-- In Texas...
-- In Arkansas...
-- In Missouri... (via Email. See below.)

From: [redacted for privacy]
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 10:38 PM
Subject: Vote Miscount in MO

[snip]

A friend of our family’s went last Friday to early vote in Maplewood at Sunnen Park. He voted for Claire McCaskill, but each time he, the election worker, and the election supervisor pressed the screen for Claire, the screen said he had voted for Jim Talent.

I sent this info along to a friend that works in Claire’s campaign. I have the name and number of the guy this happened to if you are interested.

[snip]

PLEASE BRING A VIDEO CAMERA WHEN YOU GO TO VOTE THIS YEAR SO THESE INCIDENTS CAN BE DOCUMENTED! Spread the word...Thank you.

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The Vote-Rigging Whistleblower Turned Congressional Opponent to Alleged Vote-Rigger Creeps Closer and Closer to the Bush's...
By Brad Friedman on 10/27/2006 12:07am PT  

In a cover story interview in the Crawford, Texas Lone Star Iconoclast, Clint Curtis has a few no holds barred thoughts on his race in Florida's 24th Congressional district, on his opponent, the corrupt Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Abramoff), and on his plans to fight back at the retaliation Feeney has levelled against him for blowing the whistle on Feeney's vote-rigging attempts and other alleged malfeasance...

[S]ince I did testify before Congress, and I did contact several of the agencies like the FBI — in retaliating against me rather than just a straight standard campaign, there is a section of [Sarbanes-Oxley] which says that it is a criminal offense to retaliate against a whistleblower who has provided information on a federal crime — espionage.

He has broken that law, so we are actually going to file that with the U.S. Attorney’s office, and hold him accountable for that, too. It might actually get more investigations going, and it’s his turn to start explaining things.

If you don't know who the fearless Curtis is, what cave have you been living in? We originally reported on his remarkable story in December of 2004 and have been doing so ever since. The rest, as they say, may well be history in the making.

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 John Gideon on 10/26/2006 9:41pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.Org

In what may be the most revealing of all of the "Democracy At Risk" series Lou and Kitty discuss the broken system of certifying electronic voting systems for use by the voter. Lou correctly points out that the system represents a conflict of interest between the manufacturers and the Independent Test Authorities (ITA) who are paid by the manufacturers to test and approve the manufacturers products.

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

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

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