Guest blogged by Steve Heller of Velvet Revolution
The lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the civil RICO lawsuit King Lincoln v. Blackwell in Ohio has served a document hold request to Georgia Sec. of State Karen Handel in advance of the December 2nd run-off election between incumbent U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) and his opponent, Jim Martin (D).
Today's letter from attorney Cliff Arnebeck (posted in full at the end of this article) requests "any records of official investigation of the reported use of uncertified patches by Diebold in two Democratic Georgia counties in 2002, reported by former Diebold consultant Chris Hood."
It also requests "protocols, inspection and audit procedures that have been prescribed to protect against other introductions of uncertified patches into federal elections in Georgia."
And, in an effort to preempt any planned improprieties in the upcoming Georgia run-off election between incumbent Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) and his opponent, Jim Martin (D) --- particularly given the 2002 history of Diebold-run Senate elections featuring Chambliss --- Arnebeck also requests Handel's "confirmation that all … records for the runoff election will be retained for the federally prescribed 22 month period."
That last request, echoing a call for same made recently by The BRAD BLOG, comes at a moment when the stakes for the Georgia election could hardly be higher. The 22-month retention of memory cards and hard drives from electronic voting systems is frequently ignored by election officials, despite the federal statute requiring all materials from elections be securely stored for that full period. Unfortunately, memory cards and hard drives are routinely erased and re-used, despite the federal law.
In Georgia, that has been a peach of a problem for those concerned with election integrity...
Yesterday, the Atlanta Progressive News' Matthew Cardinale filed a superb report reviewing the history and concerns about software patches illegally installed on GA's Diebold touch-screen voting systems which were used for the first time in 2002 for Chambliss' initial upset "win" over then-incumbent Sen. Max Cleland (D). Those same, unverifiable voting machines --- presumably with the same illegal patches still installed, according to the whistleblowers in Cardinale's report --- remain in use across the entire state of GA today and will be used for the upcoming run-off election.
The Georgia race, along with the razor-thin race currently being hand-counted in Minnesota between Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and Al Franken (D), is one of two still-undecided U.S. Senate elections this year. Should both go to the Democratic candidate, that would give Democrats a so-called filibuster-proof majority in the chamber, so the stakes are very high for both races.
The King Lincoln v. Blackwell case has previously been covered by The BRAD BLOG here and by Velvet Revolution's Election Protection Strike Force here and here. In a nutshell, Ohio voters filed a lawsuit alleging voting rights violations and election irregularities in the 2004 Presidential election in the Buckeye State.
Arnebeck alleges a racketeering scheme to "to corrupt elections in the United States over the course of this decade" and, according to the letter, is now also looking into election shenanigans in Georgia during the 2002 election as part of that conspiracy.
The plaintiffs have been focusing on the activities of GOP IT guru Michael Connell, who was previously described by the Ohio attorneys as a "high tech Forrest Gump" for his proclivity to be "at the scene" of so many troubling elections since 2000, and even at the heart of the "lost" White House email scandal via one of several computer firms that he heads up.
Despite his attempts to quash his subpoena, Connell was forced by the judge in the case to give a sworn deposition to the attorneys on November 3rd, just one day before this year's general election.
Following is the text of the entire one-page letter [PDF] sent to Georgia's Secretary of State on Monday...
Secretary of State Karen C. Handel
214 State Capital
Atlanta, GA 30334
RE: Public record and document hold request
Dear Secretary of State Handel:
We are in the process of preparing a racketeering claim under the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act against Karl Rove as the principal perpetrator, and other individuals acting in association with him, to corrupt elections in the United States over the course of this decade.
Ground zero for this activity in 2000 was Florida, in 2004 was Ohio, and in 2002 was Georgia. In each case exit polling, the international gold standard for detection of vote count fraud, indicated fraud in the officially recorded vote for President or for the US Senate, in the case of Georgia 2002. Furthermore, the direct recording electronic voting machines, that have been used in Georgia since 2002, are the election burglary tool of choice because of the multiplicity of avenues they provide for wholesale election fraud.
This is to request any records of official investigation of the reported use of uncertified patches by Diebold in two Democratic Georgia counties in 2002, reported by former Diebold consultant Chris Hood. Also, we request protocols, inspection and audit procedures that have been prescribed to protect against other introductions of uncertified patches into federal elections in Georgia.
We also request information as to the availability for inspection of the memory cards, tapes and all electronic records and hard drives on which these were originally recorded, for the November 2008 election.
Finally, we request your confirmation that all such records for the runoff election will be retained for the federally prescribed 22 month period.
Please regard this as a public records request, as a well as a document hold notice in connection with our planned litigation.
Clifford O. Arnebeck, Jr.
Attorney at Law
Additional reporting by Brad Friedman.