w/ Brad & Desi
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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...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
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Blogged by Brad from Texas...
Meanwhile...Back in Florida's 13th Congressional District, where Christine Jennings has already announced plans to run again in 2008 for the seat she almost certainly already won in 2006, but hasn't been allowed to sit in it due to ES&S's touch-screen voting machines standing in the way of democracy...
That, from Sarasota Herald-Tribune, despite Sarasota County's still-unresigned Supervisor of Elections and democracy-hater-in-chief, Kathy Dent hiding shamelessly behind the skirts of the flawed and misrepresented state-convened "audit" of the voting systems used in her disastrously run election. The federal investigators from the GAO seems to be countering the state's and Dent's assertions that their own review proved that 'there was nothing wrong with the voting systems.'
Our sources say that the GAO reports that "gaps" were found during their investigation. Though --- as with nearly everything involving E-voting --- the investigation into what happened last November is shrouded in secrecy for now. So it remains unclear to the lowly voters as to what those "gaps" are that the GAO has discovered and which may have aborted their preferred choice of representation in the U.S. House...
Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
Of course today’s news is overwhelmingly about the “California Decisions”. After this weekend we will probably hear a lot more from the county officials and the vendors. Diebold appears to have had a press release ready to roll out upon the decision from Secretary of State Bowen. They seem to have decided that terminology changes needed to be made so they are now calling their DREs “touch-screen voting solutions”. I’m not sure what they are trying to solve by the use of their machines. We now know it’s not security problems or accessibility. ...
Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
My apologies for the lateness of DVN this evening. I, as many in the Election Integrity community, waited to provide the news of the actions of California Secretary of State Bowen with respect to the voting systems used in California. In a clear victory for the EI community and the voters in the state Secretary of State Bowen has announced the following actions: ES&S InkaVotePlus used only in Los Angeles County has been decertified. Hart Intercivic version 6.1 was withdrawn from use in the state by the company. The other systems by Diebold, Sequoia and Hart all had approval for use withdrawn with conditional reapproval for use in the state primary election on 5 February 2008. The conditions for reapproval are tough and thorough with Diebold and Sequoia limited to one DRE per polling place for use by voters with disabilities on election day....
By Brad Friedman from Plano, TX, with help from Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us and Tom Courbat of SAVE R VOTE...
In a dramatic late-night press conference, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertified, and then recertified with conditions, all but one voting system used in the state. Her decisions, following her unprecedented, independent "Top-to-Bottom Review" of all certified electronic voting systems, came just under the wire to meet state requirements for changes in voting system certification.
Bowen announced that she will be disallowing the use of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems made by the Diebold and Sequoia companies on Election Day, but for one DRE machine per polling place which may be used for disabled voters. The paper trails from votes cast on DREs manufactured by those two companies must be 100% manually counted after Election Day. DREs made by Hart-Intercivic are used in only one California county and will be allowed for use pending security upgrades.
The InkaVote Plus system, distributed by ES&S and used only in Los Angeles County, has been decertified and not recertified for use after the company failed to submit the system source code in a timely manner to Bowen's office. LA County is larger than many states, and questions remain at this time as to what voting system they will use in the next election.
As The BRAD BLOG has been reporting in great detail for the past week since the reports were released, the "Top-to-Bottom Review" had found that all Electronic Voting Systems certified in California were easily accessible to hacking. A single machine, the testers discovered, could be easily tampered with by an Election Insider, Voting Machine Company Employee, or other individual in such a way that an entire election could be affected without detection.
In Bowen's conditional recertification she re-iterated that "expert reviewers demonstrated that the physical and technological security mechanisms" for the electronic voting systems "were inadequate to ensure accuracy and integrity of the elections results and of the systems that provide those results."
The Certification/Recertification documents for each of California's voting systems, including security mitigation procedures and other requirements for use, are now posted on the CA SoS website. The documents, in and of themselves, offer devastating indictments against the security and usability of each of the systems as revealed during Bowen's independent University of California "Top-to-Bottom Review."
Bowen, a Democrat, was elected last November largely on her promise to re-examine the state's voting systems. In an upset victory, she defeated Republican Bruce McPherson who had been appointed as Secretary of State by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger. McPherson had been very friendly to the voting machine vendors, allowing for the continued use of virtually every e-voting system submitted for state certification. Several of those systems had been previously revealed to have had grave vulnerabilities and included source code which was in violations of federal voting systems standards and in violation of state law.
The late-night press conference, following Bowen's decisions, was held at the SoS's office in Sacramento at 11:45pm PT, just in time to meet the state law requiring a six-month notification, prior to an election, for changes to certification of voting systems. California's Presidential Election Primary was recently moved up several months by the state legislature to February of '08.
The BRAD BLOG was able to listen in to the presser via a poor cell phone connection out of Bowen's office. As best as we were able to transcribe, these are our notes from Bowen's announcement and the questions from the media which followed...
Direct Recording Electronic (DRE/touch-screen) voting systems decertified and recertified for use by disabled only.
100% manual count for Diebold and Sequoia DREs.
One machine per polling place.
Diebold – Optical scan system: – decertified and recertified only if meets certain requirements.
Diebold TSx DREs – decertified and recertified subject to certain conditions. Only one machine in a polling place for use by disabled voters. Reduces risk of viral attacks that could infect central equipment.
Sequoia – Optec optical scan: – decertified and recertified – subject to conditions
Sequoia AVC Edge I and II (DREs) – decertified and recertified with a number of security requirements including only one machine in each voting location to allow independent access by disabled voters – concern regarding corruption of software and source code
Hart Intercivic – eSlate DRE: Used only by one county – decertifying and recertifying subject to security requirements. Has the least risk of the three systems.
ES&S InkaVote Plus - optical scan: (LA County only) – ES&S ignored my March demand to submit source code. ES&S eventually submitted source code too late for t2b review. Therefore, "I am decertifying the InkaVote Plus without recertification."
Voters are victims of federal certification process that has not done a job of assuring machines are accurate, accessible, secure.
I reject the notion that I should not require changes in systems solely because we already own them. She compares it to a recall of cars....When NASA finds a problem, they don't continue just because they've already spent the money. They scrub the mission and spend the money to get it right. We must do same with elections.
Blogged by Brad, just minutes down the road from Diebold Election Systems Inc. in Plano, TX...
[UPDATED MANY TIMES. ANNOUNCEMENT NOW TO COME AT 11:45pm PT, ACCORDING TO SOS OFFICE. SEE BOTTOM OF ARTICLE FOR LATEST UPDATES. DETAILS OF PRESS CONFERENCE NOW POSTED HERE.]
We were hearing "five o'clock hour." Now, the latest we're hearing for CA SoS Debra Bowen's announcement about what she plans to do with CA's electronic voting systems in light of her "Top-to-Bottom Review" (news of which has all but taken over The BRAD BLOG for the past week or so) is "around or after six PM tonight."
That would be 6pm Pacific Time. Around or after. We will, of course, let you know whatever we learn as soon as we learn it.
To review: Bowen has essentially three basic options that she can choose to make...
a) Do nothing, let everyone use the previously certified crappy, hackable, non-disabled accessible voting systems as are.
b) Decertify any or all of those systems.
c) Re-certify any or all of the "conditionally" with new security mitigation procedures in place --- such as no more voting machine "sleepovers," extra-large post-election audits, etc --- long enough to get the state through the February '08 primaries and/or November '08 general elections.
Or any combination of any of the above.
The SoS office is being exceptionally tight-lipped about their plans. And so, on pins and needles, we wait...Stay tuned...
UPDATE: By the way, while we're waiting --- and as I am currently parked literally minutes from the main headquarters of Diebold Election Systems, Inc., in Plano, TX --- feel free to check out their main web page. I don't know about other browsers, but using Firefox, all kinds of HTML code is sticking out that shouldn't be visible. These jackasses can't even code a webpage and we're relying on them to code our elections?! Oh, please someone save me...
UPDATE 5:50pm PT: Also, while waiting, you might enjoy this:
The House electronic voting system malfunctioned at approximately 2 p.m. as lawmakers began a vote on a procedural motion sponsored by Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.).
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he had consulted with a House technical expert who advised that the system be taken down for 30 minutes to fix the problem. He suggested vacating the vote and revoting once the system was fixed.
Nice that Hoyer and friends have the luxury of voting later and/or re-voting if they feel like it after their voting computer breaks down. Would that every American...
UPDATE 6:26pm PT from Emily Levy: Bowen press conference to be streamed live San Francisco Air America affiliate KQKE (960 AM) announced they will interrupt regular programming with the press conference when it takes place. However, no time has yet been announced. KQKE can be streamed online right here. (Click on "Listen Live.")
UPDATE 7:00pm PT: The good John Gideon reminds us that Bowen has until Midnight tonight (Pacific Time) to make her decisions. It's getting late here in TX, so we'll hope she doesn't wait that long. Her staff is still being frustratingly tight-lipped as of the past few mins...
UPDATE 8:33pm PT: Yes. In case you were wondering. We're still up and waiting...
UPDATE 9:49pm PT: More to look at while you wait...A 'Toon of the Moment' if there ever was one...
Comments below have become an Open Thread with guesses, speculation, and other questions about what Bowen may or may not do...Join us if ya like...
UPDATE 10:15pm PT: This just in via email from Bowen's press office:
UPDATE on tonight's Sacramento press conference regarding Secretary of State Debra Bowen's voting system certification decisions...
We have heard a couple of people unaffiliated with the Secretary of State's office passed along some incorrect information earlier today. I wanted to let you know we still do not have an exact time for gathering here for the press conference but, pursuant to Elections Code 19222, Secretary Bowen will announce her decisions tonight. We will send out an advisory with press conference details as soon as they are confirmed.
Thank you again for your patience during these unique circumstances,
Deputy Secretary of State, Communications
Office of California Secretary of State Debra Bowen
UPDATE 11:15pm PT: Word just in from Bowen's office. Announcement to come (emphasis in original) "TONIGHT at 11:45 p.m." Here's the full press release...
Blogged by Brad from deep in the heart of
Diebold Country Texas...
The Source Code Review sections of CA SoS Debra Bowen's independent "Top-to-Bottom Review" of voting machines were released yesterday after being scrubbed of some of the more dangerous, specific "road-maps" for hackers.
As expected, the reports are exceedingly troubling and damaging to the entire failed e-voting industry and Diebold, once again, is shown for the menace to democracy that its once-good name has now come to signify.
"The software contains serious design flaws that have led directly to specific vulnerabilities that attackers could exploit to affect election outcomes," read the University of California at Berkeley report, commissioned by the California Secretary of State as part of a two-month "top-to-bottom" review of electronic voting systems certified for use in California.
The assessment of Diebold's source code revealed an attacker needs only limited access to compromise an election.
"An attack could plausibly be accomplished by a single skilled individual with temporary access to a single voting machine. The damage could be extensive --- malicious code could spread to every voting machine in polling places and to county election servers," it said.
"A virus could allow an attacker who only had access to a few machines or memory cards, or possibly to only one, to spread malicious software to most, if not all, of a county's voting machines," the report said.
Voting machine "sleepovers," anyone? (Yes, we're talking to you Mikel Haas, Deborah Seiler, and Michael Vu in San Diego!)
And finally, there's this --- bolding added so it can be seen easier by members of CONGRESS...
Got that, Mr. Holt and Ms. Feinstein?
And with that, we eagerly await Bowen's fateful decisions, due today, on what to do with California's electronic voting systems. She may choose to do a) nothing, b) decertify, or c) recertify with new conditional security elements. Today is Judgement Day. Stay tuned...
Special to The BRAD BLOG by Emily Levy
"The part what really makes me mad is the part that I don't know who hit me. You know, it might sound weird, but that'd be a little bit of closure for me to know who done it. You know, because when I got hit, and I hearin' somebody clicking a gun by my head about three, four times, and that gun not going off. You know, for a lot of years I've been hearing that click and I've been hearing that gun going off. Jumping up out of my sleep."
--Larry Young, July 2007, 18 years after he was attacked in the parking lot of a Savannah, Georgia Burger King.
You might think Larry Young would know who hit him, because two weeks ago the man who was convicted in the case came within 24 hours of being executed by the State of Georgia. But Larry Young doesn't know because he, like nearly all the witnesses whose testimony originally convicted Troy Anthony Davis of the assault on Young and the murder of a white police officer that night, doesn't believe Davis is guilty. Next week, the testimony these witnesses want to give, testimony that will show their original "witness statements" were coerced by police, will finally be heard.
On August 19, 1989, Larry Young, an African American man who was then homeless, was assaulted in a Burger King parking lot by two or three men. He was hit in the head by what is believed to be a gun. As Young described to The BRAD BLOG in a phone interview, he fell to the ground, bleeding. Someone held a gun to his head and tried to shoot him, but the gun didn't fire. Young's friend dragged him away from the assailants. Before they got far, they heard two gunshots. Police officer Mark Allen McPhail had been killed.
Young himself was detained that night, he told The BRAD BLOG. "The blood was just steady fallin', sort of fallin' … The police grabbed me, threw me on the car, handcuffed me and threw me in the police car. And I was back there for about a hour and a half, maybe about a hour and a half. And I kept telling 'em, you know, I needed some medical attention."
The police took him in for questioning, refusing him medical care until he signed a statement implicating Troy Davis, a man he says he never saw that night, in his attack and the killing of Officer McPhail.
Young told The BRAD BLOG, "So whatever statements that they made me take, I mean, it was just a lot of statements made like, 'Well, you give me a statement of what you need, what we need, and then you'll go to the hospital.' So therefore whatever the statements were that was given was not accurate statements. ... I'm concerned ... about my health, you know. And I'm hearing these clicks in my head still, you know what I'm saying, sitting up there, I'm pretty much kinda scared. So I just pretty much signed what they wanted me to sign and whatever went on the courtroom, you know, I mean it was all pretty much like coerced."
On evidence like this, the State of Georgia may send Troy Davis to his death?...
Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org
"The problems we found in the code were far more pervasive, and much more easily exploitable, than I had ever imagined they would be." Matt Blaze 02 August
Today the California Source Code Review Reports were released by Secretary of State Bowen's office. Reports were released on the Diebold, Sequoia, and Hart Intercivic voting systems.
The lead researcher for the Sequoia source code team was Matt Blaze. In his blog, Exhaustive Search, Blaze discusses the results of all of the inspections.
I was especially struck by the utter banality of most of the flaws. Exploitable vulnerabilities arose not so much from esoteric weaknesses that taxed our ingenuity, but rather from the garden-variety design and implementation blunders that plague any system not built with security as a central requirement. There was a pervasive lack of good security engineering across all three systems, and I'm at a loss to explain how any of them survived whatever process certified them as secure in the first place. Our hard work notwithstanding, unearthing exploitable deficiencies was surprisingly --- and disturbingly --- easy.
Blaze then concludes with what may be a hint of decisions to come:
This means that strengthening these systems will involve more than repairing a few programming errors. They need to be re-engineered from the ground up. No code review can ever hope to identify every bug, and so we can never be sure that the last one has been fixed. A high assurance of security requires robust designs where we don't need to find every bug, where the security doesn't depend on the quixotic goal of creating perfect software everywhere.
In the short term, election administrators will likely be looking for ways to salvage their equipment with beefed up physical security and procedural controls. That's a natural response, but I wish I could be more optimistic about their chances for success. Without radical changes to the software and architecture, it's not clear that a practical strategy that provides acceptable security even exists. There's just not a lot to work with.
I don't envy the officials who need to run elections next year.
Blogged quickly by Brad Friedman, still on the road, still deep in the heart of Texas...
Currently way off the grid, and not even sure if I can get this item to post from here. So we'll leave the heavy lifting to Jose Lambiet of the Palm Beach Post, who delivers another Ann Coulter Voter Fraud scoop, reporting that she's "not off the hook" just yet.
For the backstory, see our "Coulter Fraud" Special Coverage Page at http://www.BradBlog.com/CoulterFraud. The short version: She committed third-degree voter fraud in Palm Beach County when she lied on her registration. Period. Dead to rights. She also lied on her driver's license down there (another third-degree felony) and knowingly voted at the wrong precinct (first degree misdemeanor). Again, all dead to rights. The link above offers all the proof any attorney with balls bigger than Coulter's would need. And here's her fraudulent Voter Registration form to boot.
But for now, here's Lambiet's latest scoop in the matter:
While most expected the conservative pundit to be off the hook for good when the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office punted a voting fraud probe in April, the Florida Elections Commission now is investigating.
Coulter, a constitutional lawyer, voted in the wrong precinct in a Palm Beach town election in February 2006 after registering at an address that wasn't hers.
The Coulter voting saga is now known as FEC Case No. 07-211. The investigator assigned, Tallahassee's Margie Wade, wouldn't confirm she caught the case; FEC complaints are supposed to be confidential.
Still, Page Two is told Coulter already has been notified she's under investigation.
The rest of Lambiet's story is here at the Post site, but since those stories get archived after a while, and since we think it's a good idea to keep this story in the public eye, the rest of his coverage is also copied below...
Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
Officials in Mississippi are the first to speak out and tell their voters that even though the voters are forced to use the same Diebold Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines that recently failed security testing in California and Florida, there are no problems in Mississippi. It probably has to do with an upcoming primary election next Tuesday. What a tangled web we weave...
Matt Blaze, the leader of the California Source Code Team that looked at Sequoia code, had this to say about the results from inspection of all three vendors' code:
Those stories, and boatloads of more voting news today, as the avalanche of e-voting failures continue, are all linked below...
Blogged quickly by Brad from somewhere deep in the heart of Texas...
Color us shocked. Elections Officials who oversee their own elections or those of their party leaders...and then go to work for the Voting Machine Companies they do business with/apologize for. Hey, at least they're now getting paid (publicly) for the lobbying work they were doing for those companies already.
New York Times notices the problem we have with the way our electoral system "works" and how so many of those who run it seem to work for everyone but the voters...
While federal ethics rules require lawmakers to wait a year after leaving office before they can take a job lobbying their former colleagues, no such rules exist for election officials, creating a revolving door between election administration and the voting machine industry. In recent years, top election officials in at least five states have moved from government posts directly into jobs as lobbyists for the voting machine industry...
And a note to NY Times' Ian Urbina: Good story. Though it would be a journalistic breath of fresh air if you avoided already discredited political operatives as quoted sources. E.g., folks like Robert Pastor of the hoax Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission and the anti-democratic GOP wingnut SoS of Indiana, Todd Rokita. Consider it a friendly request with appreciation that you seem to be back on this beat...
Guest Blogged by John Washburn
Currently, the public portions of the top to bottom review published by California last week have rightly been the subject of banner headlines. A report from the University of Connecticut, however, which was entitled "Integrity Vulnerabilities in the Diebold TSx Voting Terminal" and released a few days prior with not quite as much fanfare, provides an excellent counter to the oft-repeated vendor talking point that the California testing is similar to "giving keys to a thief."
The University of Connecticut report is immune to this specious argument. The University of Connecticut team had no access to source code or any information which was not publicly available. These limitations are precisely what all three vendors defined as "realistic" in their testimony in California at the public hearing on Monday July, 30, 2007. Yet, under these vendor-approved conditions, the University of Connecticut found yet another set of new, serious, and election altering defects and was able to exploit them in a disturbingly effective manner.
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