By John Gideon on 1/29/2006, 8:18am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

The "DVN Top 5" is a feature in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The January 23 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on The BRAD BLOG!...

#5 – It seems that some of the vendors are having trouble meeting their agreements for delivering voting machines. Remember that a couple weeks ago ES&S told the Leon County, FL Election Supervisor, Ion Sancho, they were going to back out of any further discussions with the county even though they had an unofficial agreement. This week, according to the Lebanon Daily News, AccuPoll backed out on an agreement with Lebanon County, PA because they were not able to deliver the machines on time. And in Tuscarawas County, OH, according to The Times Reporter, county officials found that Diebold had diverted machines that were sold to the county to Illinois. Are the vendors over extended?

#4 – It's not often that one article makes a splash like, "The Harri Hursti Hack and its Importance to our Nation", the article by Susan Pynchon of the Florida Fair Elections Coalition. This single article which was posted at VoteTrustUSA was reposted as, "I Saw It Hacked" at OpEdNews, CounterPunch, and many blogs that represent view points across the political spectrum.

#3 – This past week the state of Alaska told the state Democratic party that they would not give them any of the files of election results claiming that they were proprietary and owned by Diebold. In an article at VoteTrustUSA the following evidence is given as to exactly why Diebold does not want those results to get out.

"Numerous discrepancies are apparent in the 2004 General Election votes tallied by the state's Diebold computer system and posted on the Division of Election's web site. According to the posted “Statement of Votes Cast” by district and precinct, a far larger number of votes were cast than the official totals reported in the statewide summary. In many of the House Districts, more votes are shown in the totals than there are voters in the district. In the case of President George Bush's votes, the district-by-district totals add up to 292,267, but his official total was only 190,889, a difference of 101,378 votes. In the U.S. Senate race, Lisa Murkowski received 226,992 votes in the district-by-district totals, but her official total was only 149,446, a difference of 77,546 votes."

#2 – On January 5, 2006 the Secretary of State of Pennsylvania received a letter from Diebold responding to an earlier letter from the state concerning Diebold's software issues. On January 17, 2006 the state certified the Diebold TSx for use in Pennsylvania. Responses to this letter, and to the subsequent state certification document have been posted at Verified Voting Foundation and VoteTrustUSA. And VoteTrustUSA posted a full analysis of how Pennsylvania made Diebold "Okay" for the state and potentially for other states as well.

#1 – The big news for the week is impending legislation; both national and state. As reported by VoteTrustUSA,

"Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) has announced his intention to introduce legislation that would adjust the deadlines of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Currently states are required to meet numerous requirements for voting system upgrades and statewide voter registration databases in time for the "first election for Federal office held after January 1, 2006”. Fitzpatrick's bill would amend the HAVA to push the deadlne back until “the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November, 2006”"

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VoteTrustUSA has also reported that legislation for a voter verified paper ballot (not paper trail or paper record) has been filed in New Mexico; SB-295 and HB-430. And they have reported that Maryland has followed suit with a bill to guarantee a voter verified paper trail; HB-244. Citizens in New Mexico and Maryland, as well as Virginia and Pennsylvania where there is also vvpat legislation, need to call their state representatives and voice their support for these bills.