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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 11/3/2010 1:36am PT  

Running on fumes and about 3 hours sleep here tonight. So, as David Gregory says, "we'll have to leave it here for now."

While almost no votes have been counted by actual human beings anywhere in the country at this hour, most of the races have already been "called" by the media, for whatever that's worth. But a number of them are reported as being incredibly close at this hour. Among the "uncalled" top-of-ticket races as we wrap things up for tonight: U.S. Senate races in WA, CO, and AK; Gubernatorial races in OR, MN, and FL; and a number of U.S. Houses races.

We'll revisit the world with clearer eyes in the morning to see what sense, if any, can be made of any of it and what sort of light we may be able to help shed. Your thoughts and what you're seeing out there on any of the above races, or any others ("top-of-ticket" or otherwise) are, as ever, welcome in comments.

As we always remind on Election Nights, many of the problems of Election Day are not revealed until the days, weeks, and sometimes even months after elections. So your vigilance, as always, is welcome and appreciated...

ReddIt this story!



UPDATED throughout day/night as warranted...
By Brad Friedman on 11/2/2010 7:23pm PT  

[On/off the air all day today, so trying to keep up as I can. Feel free to leave your own problem reports, or those you're finding in the media, in comments in this thread. Most recent reports will be added to top of this item.]


NATIONAL: "Widespread Reports of Problems at Polls" (NYTimes):

Officials from the Election Protection Coalition, an association of voting rights groups that operated a national hot line for voting-related complaints, said that by early Tuesday evening their hot line had received more than 15,000 calls, with the most coming from California, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York and Georgia.

Although most were general inquiries, nearly 2,100 involved reports of problems like polls opening late, machine malfunctions and confusion over voter registrations. More than 200 calls involved claims of voter intimidation.

REMINDER: If you had probs at the polls today (or are still having them, as polls are still open out here in the West), please remember to report them to 1-866-OUR-VOTE! It's very important to track records of all such probs, as the full extent of problem patterns often don't reveal themselves until the days, weeks (and sometimes, even months) after an election! Thank you...

TX: Collin County - E-pollbooks, networks fail at "vote centers" disenfranchising untold numbers of voters. (Collin County Observer)

Concerns brought to our attention so far include a corrupt file loaded on all of the county-issued electronic pollbooks, network, and telephony issues.

According to our information, voting in many locations was interrupted due to the issues with electronic pollbooks and networks, and the resulting phone calls into the Elections Office overwhelmed their capacity to receive and handle calls.
...
Technicians in the field are working to correct the IT issues, but making changes to the software while voting is in process raises multiple security concerns.
...
We hate to say "I told you so..." but the Observer has been sounding the alarm on this issue for years.

We know how ya feel, Observer. Collin County, btw, is also where a voter reported a Diebold touch-screen flipping his vote from Democratic to Republican.

CA: Contra Costa County - Inspired by my own e-voting disasters in '08 (when the ES&S InkaVote Plus system here in L.A. County misprinted 4 out of 12 of my votes) and in '10 (when after two hours of failure with two of the same machines I finally had to give up and vote on a hand-marked paper ballot), a voter in Contra Costa tries to use the e-voting system for disabled voters as I did. After spending four hours trying to cast a vote on the counties ES&S AutoMark, he eventually had to give up. The shameful tale is detailed here. And remember, allowing disabled voters to vote privately and independently was one of the prime thrusts for the $4 billion federal "encouragement" for states to "upgrade" to these e-voting systems as per the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. Fail. Again.

National: Here's the lede from Joyce McCloy's Voting News tonight...

866-OUR-VOTE received over 10,000 calls today. Top states include California, Georgia & Pennsylvania. Some in today's news. Would you believe Alabama didn't have enough pens, so used pencils to mark ballots, causing probs? ..Maryland Diebold touchscreens flip votes from GOP to DEM!..California awaits millions of mail ballots..Various probs with epoll books, paper poll books, power outages, locked up ballots, polling place moves, voting machine shutdowns, vote flipping, missing contests, bi-partisan tricks, voter registration problems.. poll locations...

See her report for details and links for all of the above.

NJ: Warren County - Touch-screen machine flips GOP to Dem and Dem to a ballot initiative. Via OurVoteLive.org's problem report database...

paper tape comes out, but can't read it, so unknown if the machine registered the proper votes. ... saw this problem on news, would push one button, another button lights up, went to vote Republican, Democrat lit up, then one line wanted to vote Democrat, and the light went on for the state constitution question. ... They had the problem before, and did not shut down that machine. Doesn't know why they still have people using that machine.

MD: Diebold touch-screen votes flip from GOP to Dem... (Luterville-Timonium Patch))

Board of Elections says issue is common
...
At least two voting machines at Pine Grove Middle School in Parkville had to be restarted after some voters had problems voting for Republican county executive candidate Ken Holt.

MD was the first state in country, along with GA, to go to all Diebold touch-screen systems. The BRAD BLOG obtained and published a long redacted SAIC report on their systems in 2007, years after its secret 2003 publication. The report was described at the time as the "Pentagon Papers of E-Voting," showing all kinds of problems with the systems. The state was supposed to move to paper ballots by this year. So why didn't they?

MUCH MORE BELOW...

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

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
Election Day 2010 (Almost) NO-POLITICS Edition!
By Desi Doyen on 11/2/2010 12:55pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
VIA SMART PHONE: Stitcher Radio!

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Steppin' awaaay from the politics and midterm madness (almost...and just for today): Historic UN agreement on biodiversity; Establishing a price for "natural capital"; Halliburton's bad cement job; Last call for Discovery ... PLUS: Van Jones - The most positive man in America on the fight for clean energy ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...

Link:
Embed:

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

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By Brad Friedman on 11/2/2010 4:05am PT  

In 2008, Election Integrity of Velvet Revolution's Election Protection Strike Force experts put these bullet points together after reports began coming in of voters having problems on voting machines (e.g., votes flipping from one candidate to another, etc.) I believe they may be helpful again today.

Of course, as we've been urging (even with cartoons!), do all you can to vote on a paper ballot and not on an electronic touch-screen voting system! Check with your state and/or county before you go in to vote today to see if you have the right to request a hand-marked paper ballot at the polls.

But if you must vote on a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) system, and have problems in the process, here is...

What to do if it happens to you:

  • Call poll supervisors to observe the problem.
  • Fill out a problem report.
  • Refuse to vote on that machine.
  • Request that the machine be taken out of service.
  • Get the serial number of the machine if possible (may be difficult in many cases).
  • Tell other voters in line which machine it was and that they should NOT vote on that machine!
  • Report it to county/town election office.
  • Report it to the Secretary of State.
  • Call local reporters and tell them the story.
  • Call voter problem hotlines (eg. 866-OUR-VOTE) and report it.
  • Contact bloggers and Election Integrity websites.
  • Raise holy hell.

REMINDER: Please bring a video camera/cell phone camera when you go to vote so you can document these problems on video tape.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2010 7:44pm PT  

On Election eve, amidst the usual, absurd and evidence-free caterwauling about imaginary "VOTER FRAUD!!!!" (and, man, am I happy to see that there are now tons of other folks in the media finally out there covering that particular scam so I don't have to) a reminder of what real Election Integrity looks like...

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

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2010 2:46pm PT  

Late last week, AOL News asked me to contribute an op-ed for their Election Eve coverage. That op-ed, which they've headlined "Cast Your Ballot Against Electronic Voting", is now posted here...

The upshot of its argument: If Republicans are set to take over the U.S. House, as predicted, and if they've suddenly found religion in regard to the dangers of electronic voting, as they seem to be asserting in North Carolina, in Nevada and in Texas, then it'll soon be their turn to take legislative action to once and for all ban the horrific, anti-democratic (small "d"), 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting systems plaguing our nation before they are again used to pervert results of the 2012 Presidential Election --- just as they have every year since they've been introduced into our electoral system (by a majority Republican Congress, by the way, in 2002.)

Please check it out and leave some nice (or not so nice) comments there, as you see fit. Lot's of disinformed bumpkins seem to currently be weighing in. Please free to straighten them out. Politely.

* * *

Other pieces I've contributed elsewhere of late, in advance of tomorrow's election:
• For Salon: "The Faith-Based Vote"
• For Truthout: "Hacking Harry Reid (or, Sharron's Angle)"

* * *
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation, with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...

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By Brad Friedman on 11/1/2010 2:05pm PT  

As you might imagine this time of year, I've been doing a lot of media appearances around the country to discuss this year's elections. Most have been in regard to the failed e-voting systems used in early voting and on Election Day tomorrow. But NY's WBAI ran an excellent piece this morning, on which I appeared, to discuss the ongoing disaster that is the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision asserting, again, that corporations are the same as "people" and thus deserve the "free speech" right to spend as much as they want to affect the outcomes of U.S. elections.

My contribution to the segment is heard near the beginning, in the background description of what the case was, what it means, and what has happened since it was decided last January. A lot of interesting discussion follows thereafter.

Download MP3 (appx 40 mins), or listen online below...

• Ernest Hancock covered the Citizens United decision at The BRAD BLOG here...
• I wrote a piece on the same case, "The End of Democracy", for Hustler here...
• Velvet Revolution's StopTheChamber.org campaign has been trying for highlight concerns for nearly a year about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who is, perhaps, the number one recipient of millions in undisclosed corporate funds as now being spent to influence elections around the country this year --- in support of Republicans by a factor of 7 to 1, by the way --- in the wake of Citizens United. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of VR.]

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