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Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
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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
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FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
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CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
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RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
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EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
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GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By John Gideon on 4/24/2008 10:35pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

What happened in Pennsylvania and what can be done about it? All indications, outside of the main stream media, are that there were problems all over the state with voting systems. There were many anecdotal reports of vote flipping and other machines failures that never made it into the media. State election officials from the Secretary of State on down seem to have misrepresented the facts as they talked about the “scattered” problems and the media reported that propaganda. The state needs to do an honest appraisal of their voting systems and decide whether the status quo is more important than the voter’s voices. The state must also realize that if they are only going to put two DREs per polling place they must make paper ballots available to anyone who wants one and certainly for use when a machine fails in any way. Not a provisional ballot that may, or may not, be counted but a paper ballot that will be counted on election night. Unless something is done Pennsylvania will be the site of an election disaster in November and our democracy does not need three national elections in a row that are train wrecks....

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

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Oddity, Which Applied Only to Obama, Never Occurred Before, Remains Unexplained, But 'Didn't Make a Difference' in Final Results, According to State Official Who Confirmed the Anomaly...
By Brad Friedman on 4/24/2008 4:19pm PT  

Early on election night last Tuesday, with just 18.07% of the unofficial returns from the Pennsylvania Primary in, astute BRAD BLOG reader Matt Sircely (who was aware enough to save off the HTML page locally!) noticed the following oddity on the official Dept. of State website results page...

Note the three different sets of bars and percentages representing Obama's tally. The problem did not occur for any other candidate [Update: looks like it did, see updates at bottom of article for more info], as seen on the full web page, which was noticed early in the evening, and saved locally by the alert reader. Whatever the problem, it was eventually corrected by officials.

Today, Sircely called the PA Dept. of State to try and get an explanation of what caused the problem seen above (audio from call is posted at the end of this article)...

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

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By John Gideon on 4/23/2008 10:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Two and a half years ago Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield), purchased 930 new Populex voting machines for $1.7M. The state will not accept them for use to count vote-by-mail (absentee) ballots so the county has been hand-counting those ballots and using a machine to check the hand-count. Now Populex has said that they don’t plan on continuing the federal testing and certification process that they had begun over a year ago. The county will probably have to scrap these new machines and go elsewhere. An expensive mistake.

How can election officials in Pennsylvania find problems but not do all they can to ensure every vote is counted? There was more than one report of votes on machines that had problems but officials not being interested unless it is “necessary”.

Those stories, and more today, all linked below...

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/23/2008 5:02pm PT  

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is the luckiest woman in the world. Just when it looks like she'll have no chance to become the party's nominee, extraordinary good news comes her way, just at the last minute. Again.

Take, for example, yesterday's Pennsylvania Primary. For weeks we heard endlessly how she would need a double-digit victory margin in the Keystone State to offer a legitimate reason for her to stay in the race. And, as the gods would have it, she achieved the ability to trumpet that double-digit margin by a single tenth of a percent.

With 99.51% of the vote reportedly counted as of this moment, according to the PA Dept. of State's own numbers, it's Clinton's 54.6% to Obama's 45.4%.

So, in truth, that's actually just a 9.2-point difference, but, as luck would have it for the New York Senator, rounding each of those numbers to their nearest percent, as the bulk of the media were happy to do today, allows for a nice, easily-trumpeted, double-digit, 55% to 45% number that can be reported far and wide!

The stunning turn of good fortune comes on the heels of Clinton's last make-or-break moment back in New Hampshire, when conventional wisdom had all but counted her out after her loss to Obama in the Iowa Caucus. But, there again, Clinton came through, despite both pre-election and exit poll numbers which all, almost uniformly, predicted she'd face a thumpin'.

Of course, you conspiracy theorists out there are likely to spin this tale of remarkable providence, into a shadowy tale of skulduggery by supporters of a Clinton nomination, be they Democrats or Republicans, who'd rather see her, instead of Obama, go up against John McCain in the fall.

But you'd have not an iota of actual proof to support your paranoid suspicions...

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

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Last of the DRE (Touch-Screen) Voting Machine Vendors Withdraws Attempt for Certification in the Empire State
Though There Remains Plenty About Which to Remain Vigilant...
By Brad Friedman on 4/23/2008 3:08pm PT  

Congrats to Bo Lipari and the NY Verified Voting crew, on a milestone in their long, and continuing fight for election integrity in the state of New York. Writes Lipari this morning:

It's now official. Liberty Election Systems has withdrawn their DRE from the New York State and has informed the State Board of Elections that they will not pursue further certification testing or fill their one current order. LibertyVote/Nedap was the only remaining vendor offering a DRE in New York. The move represents the end of an era in New York State, and could be a harbinger for what lies ahead in the rest of the nation...
...
So for the first time since HAVA passed in 2002, New York State has no DREs of any type being purchased by any county, or undergoing NYS certification testing for 2009 purchases. For the vendors who for 6 years told us “New York is a DRE state”, we tell you now as we told you then, “Wrong. New York is a paper ballot state.”

Now, of course, the fight will continue to make sure the state actually bothers to count those paper ballots when they get them, as it will be error-prone, hackable, optical-scan devices that are purchased across the state.

The good folks of NY will also want to keep a close eye on the attempted hostile takeover of Sequoia Voting Systems by competitor Hart InterCivic (as reported to date only by The BRAD BLOG, unfortunately) and in light of the $100 million worth of pending contracts NY now has with Sequoia for all new voting machines.

That $100 million hangs in the balance, as the contract with Sequoia may soon result in NY finding themselves in business with an entirely different company than they bargained for, one with a federal fraud suit hanging over the head, and one that could give a completely new meaning to the phrase: "I Hart NY"!

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By John Gideon on 4/22/2008 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

What is wrong with election officials in Pennsylvania? They knew that voter turnout was going to set records today yet many precincts only have two machines. Two machines equal long lines and voters turning around and going home. On top of that there were wide-spread machine failures. And, on top of that, in areas like Philadelphia officials will not allow voters to use a paper ballot unless both machines are out-of-service and then, the paper ballot is a provisional ballot that may or may not ever be counted. At the same time that voters are reporting problems to the local news blogs and the voting assistance groups, local officials were telling the broadcast media that there were very few problems and they were all expected (normal). In fact the problems were numerous enough to warrant VoterAction to go to court in an attempt to keep the polls open for two extra hours. That attempt was denied....

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

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By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2008 1:41pm PT  

We were both pleased and mildly surprised to see the invitation arrive from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) a few weeks back, asking us to come to DC, on their dime, to participate this coming Thursday in a one day "Voting Advocate Roundtable Discussion" on the proposed 2007 federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG).

Our invitation, from EAC Chair Rosemary Rodriguez, is posted at the end of this article.

Even while we've been nothing short of merciless in our criticism of the EAC, over the years here at The BRAD BLOG, the outreach is both welcome and appreciated, even as we are always very aware of all of the pitfalls associated with participating in such a process. Yet, with our eyes wide open, we see the opportunity to participate in the process, in hopes --- futile or otherwise --- of attempting to steer it back towards the rails which were jumped at the federal level long ago, as a hopefully positive one. Call us eternal optimists, but, as long time readers here likely recognize, we have never been one to slap down an olive branch offered, for whatever reason it may have been offered in the first place.

As you might suspect, we have some very strong opinions about the VVSG --- all 598 dizzying, yet wholly inadequate pages of it [PDF] --- and the disastrous course it will continue to enable for our election system, if accepted as currently proposed.

For a number of reasons, not the least of which was today's important primary in PA, we thought it better to be in or near the BRAD BLOG Anchor Desk this week, rather than in the air all day Wednesday, off the grid all day Thursday for the meeting, and back in the air all day Friday...

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

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Updated Throughout the Entire Day (and Night)...
By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2008 10:29am PT  

Problem reports from polling places in PA, including voting machine malfunctions and long lines, began coming in early this morning. That could be an ominous sign, given that on most Election Days, the real extent of problems, at least with voting systems, isn't fully revealed until later, and often in the days after the election. See our report yesterday detailing concerns about e-voting equipment (though not from officials, who weren't concerned at all) and whether there would be enough machines to go around (presuming they work at all) across Pennsylvania.

Election Prob Hotlines...Machine probs: 1-866-MY-VOTE-1, Machine & other probs: 1-866-OUR-VOTE, Fraud tips: 1-888-VOTE-TIP

Map of counties, showing which type of machines each uses, available here. (Hat-tip BRAD BLOG commenter "GWN".)


NOTE: Updated throughout the day and night of the primary, and the following morning.
Newest items posted on top.

4/23, 2:40am ET: "Smooth Sailing" say the media...even if their very own reporting revealed otherwise...

This will likely be the last of our "Problem Report Wire" dispatches added to this item. We'll pick up the rest of the PA mess, and there is a lot of it, in subsequent blog items.

The long list of reports that you can peruse below, from the past 24 hours, mostly culled directly from the corporate media itself, belie the claims made all day yesterday by many public officials and even the media themselves, that all went well at the polls in the Keystone State.

Countless voters were unable to cast a vote yesterday in PA. The overwhelming majority of those who succeeded in doing so, will never be able to determine whether or not their vote was counted accurately, or even at all, given that some 85% of those votes were cast on machines in which it is literally impossible for anyone, ever, to verify that a single vote was recorded accurately as per the voter's intent. We explained all of that here Monday night, prior to the election, in our article "The Pennsylvania Primary: Democracy of the Gods".

As we mentioned then, if any election official in PA (or anywhere else), or any voting machine company employee, or even any citizen, has proof otherwise, The BRAD BLOG would be happy to see it, and share it with everyone. But that proof will never come, because it does not exist, to the eternal shame of those who would allow such voting systems to be used in American democracy.

The headline of the first story in our final posted collection below, may say it all. The headline indicates "Mostly smooth sailing at polls," yet we suspect the voters referenced, who will never know if their vote was counted at all, and those who can never know if their vote was counted accurately (that would be all of them who voted on an e-voting machine!) may feel otherwise.

From Vindy.com...

Another machine, at the Greene Township Building on Dowling Schoolhouse Road, started freezing up at one point during the day, he said, so the polling place stopped using it."He said that machine has 23 votes on it."He said that if necessary, the company that manufactures the machines, Election Systems and Software out of Omaha, Neb., can retrieve those votes.

NOTE FROM JOHN GIDEON OF VOTERSUNITEORG: Since when is it NOT necessary to count every vote? This tells me that it may not be necessary, in the county's mind, to count the provisional ballots.

From the Times Chronicle...

A Montgomery County judge Tuesday evening turned down a request by the county Democratic Committee to extend voting hours by an additional hour at one Cheltenham poll for voters who could not use an electronic voting machine to cast their ballots until some 2 1/2 hours after the poll opened.

Election officials in Cheltenham's 4-1 ward reported problems with both electronic voting machines assigned to that polling place shortly after the polls opened at 7 a.m. There were approximately 200 people in line at the time.
...
A replacement machine, which had to be programmed, was not delivered until after 11 a.m.
...
Poll workers offered emergency ballots to those initial would-be voters who could not wait for a functioning voting machine or could not return to vote. However, those at the polls said the offer of emergency ballots came too late for many who were angry and stormed out, claiming they had to get to work or go out of town. Only some 60 to 70 emergency ballots were filled out.

From the Times-Leader...

WILKES-BARRE A woman wanting to vote was turned away after no proof of her registration could be found. The judge of elections at Ward 16 on Hanover Street, Walter Griffith, said Annmarie Lee, of Wilkes-Barre, told Griffith she registered to vote, but did not specify where she had registered. Griffith said he called a county elections inspector who told him there was no evidence of her registration and not to give her a provisional ballot to fill out.

Griffith said that is a violation of the law.

It is. Read the full story for the reasoning of the election officials, but as time allows, we will try to look into this story a bit deeper for more details.


CONTINUE READING BELOW FOR MANY MORE PROBLEM REPORTS,
AS RECORDED BY THE MEDIA DURING TUESDAY'S
DISASTROUS PENNSYLVANIA PRIMARY...


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

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By John Gideon on 4/21/2008 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

In a critical editorial, The Asbury Park Press asks why the Secretary of State of New Jersey has decided that it is alright to undermine the court. Not only has Secretary Wells undermined the court, as they editorialize, but she has done all she can to discredit Princeton University Professor Ed Felten. The Secretary seems to be doing all she can to protect Sequoia Voting and their flawed voting system being used throughout the state.

Meanwhile Sequoia Voting has more problems than just the courts in New Jersey. If they are able to save their corporate self will they have any money left to meet payroll?

Does anyone have to remind everyone that tomorrow is election-day in Pennsylvania? Depending on the number of problems being reported by the media we may have two editions for a couple days.

More on the above, and all of the other notable voting stories today, all linked below as usual...

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

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Tuesday's Election Will be 'Unrecountable, Unverifiable, and Unauditable'...
By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2008 8:05am PT  

On Tuesday night, you will be told who the winner of the Pennsylvania Primary is. You will accept it. You will have no choice. No matter who the winner really is. Or isn't.

This Tuesday's crucial contest will be primarily run on 100% faith-based, Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen or push-button) e-voting machines across the state. There will be no way to determine after the election whether the computers have accurately recorded, or not, the intent of those voters who voted on them. As VerifiedVoting.org summarizes the crucial contest, it "will be essentially unrecountable, unverifiable, and unauditable."

Most of the votes, more than 85%, will be cast on such DRE systems which do not provide so-called "Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails" (VVPATs), as their use has been found unconstitutional in the state, since its been determined, accurately, that ballot secrecy cannot be guaranteed when using such paper trail systems. Not that it matters.

With or without a so-called "paper trail" printer, all touch-screen/push-button/DRE voting machines are equally unverifiable and antithetical to American democracy. Period.

So, as with South Carolina's primary, so so long ago, and other states since, whatever the officials tell you at the end of the election is what you, and we, will have to accept. Whether votes are counted accurately is completely out of anyone's hands at this point. It's strictly Democracy of the Gods...

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

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With Deadlines Past and Looming, Intense, Often Acrimonious, Background Negotiations Underway Between All Involved Firms
While Both Clients and Employees Are Kept in the Dark...
By Brad Friedman on 4/20/2008 5:49pm PT  

On Sunday, April 13th, following our Thursday April 10th exclusive investigative report revealing that the nation's 4th largest voting machine vendor, Hart InterCivic, was on the verge of a successful hostile takeover of the nation's 3rd largest voting machine company, Sequoia Voting Systems, in order to become the nation's 2nd largest powerhouse in the "election industry," Sequoia quietly issued a press release on their website, publicly confirming our report.

The release is not linked from their main page, but we were able to trip across it this morning nonetheless. We post it in full at the end of this article since Sequoia's website has been frequently hacked at times of late, and the company also has a history of revising, scrubbing and doctoring officially published material on their website without noting those changes.

While officials at both Hart and Sequoia have now confirmed our report, Sequoia has yet to fully inform its voting system clients around the country --- or even its own employees --- as to what's actually going on, even while a "high-priority" company-wide email was distributed immediately after our report went public, attempting to instruct employees to field no "calls from the media"...

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

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Protesters Hand Out Flag Lapel Pins To ABC/Disney Employees
Coverage You Won't See In The Mainstream Media
By Alan Breslauer on 4/20/2008 11:15am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer


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By John Gideon on 4/19/2008 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

Thank you to those who have already responded to our plea for funds. Your support is very much appreciated. Anyone still wishing to assist can find the information to make a tax-deductible donation to VotersUnite via PayPal or with a check here VotersUnite! is in affiliation with International Humanities Center, a nonprofit public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501[c](3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Thank You....

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

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Mehdi Army Commander: 'They will see black days like they have never seen before in their life'
By Brad Friedman on 4/19/2008 7:02pm PT  

The "surge is working" surge may not be "working" for much longer, now that al-Sadr is threatening to lift, in the next 24 hours, the 7-month long Mehdi Army cease-fire which made the surge appear to be working in the first place.

Sure hope Stephanopoulos asks McCain why he doesn't wear a flag pin on tomorrow's This Week.

The latest ominous news, breaking over the past few hours out of Iraq, as culled from Cernig's round-up at Newshogger follows [emphasis Cernig's]...

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

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By John Gideon on 4/18/2008 8:00pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org

We know well that money is tight and everyone seems to have their hands out for a bit of your hard earned money. Unfortunately we have to be one of those and ask for some help. We don’t have any premiums (Our books sold out and thank you to all who helped out and received a book. We hope you enjoyed them.). We do have our work product though. Your help is greatly appreciated. $5 or $500 will be greatly appreciated and will allow us to continue doing this work for awhile longer. You can go here to help us. VotersUnite! is in affiliation with International Humanities Center, a nonprofit public charity exempt from federal income tax under Section 501[c](3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Thank You....

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

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