Last week we wrote about Venango County, PA's landmark independent forensic audit of their 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machines. The heavily-Republican county will be moving to paper ballots this November, as their systems are now being examined by computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University following what Marybeth Kuznik of the non-partisan Election Integrity group VotePA.us described to us as "numerous reports of vote-flipping, candidates missing from screens, write-ins missing, and high undervote rates in their May 17 Primary."
In our coverage last week, we highlighted the comments of Venango's Republican Election Director Craig Adams who asked at a presser, as the examination finally got underway following months of legal wrangling and opposition, "What is a vote worth?"
"If the vote is counted it is priceless," he continued. "If it is not counted, I don't care what it costs. Let's get a right."
On Friday night, as I was guest hosting the nationally-syndicated Mike Malloy Show last week, Adams was kind enough to call in to the show. [Audio posted below.] We didn't know we'd hear from him, but when he called in I was delighted to take his call, as he had more information to share on what had led to his Election Board --- currently comprised of two Republicans and one Democrat --- fighting together to move to paper ballots, and to see their machines independently examined.
"It started with an election in 2008 when the machines were basically showing a large number of undervotes," he explained. "And then there were candidates for positions in the county and they had zero votes, but there was like 250 or 260 undervotes..."
"Wait a minute," I interrupted. "There were people who had zero votes on the ballot? Is that normal?," I asked.
"No. No, it is not normal," he responded bluntly. "And so, ya know, that was a red flag"...
"What was the reason that people were giving for fighting against independently examining these voting systems?," I asked.
He replied directly and slowly: "They know there's something wrong."
Omaha-based Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) is the nation's largest e-voting vendor. The ES&S iVotronic system is used in more than a dozen states across the country, as it will be once again during next year's 2012 Presidential Election. It was also the system which unverifiably and inexplicably declared the unknown Alvin Greene as the "winner" of the 2010 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina. In a 2006 Special Election to fill the U.S. House seat vacated by former Sec. of State Katherine Harris in Florida's 13th Congressional District, the ES&S iVotronics completely lost some 18,000 votes entirely. The Republican was declared the "winner" of that election by just 369 votes.
[For more alarming stories from the long history of ES&S e-vote system failure, see our story on Venango from last week.]
You can listen to my full conversation with Adams below. The segment begins, before he joined me, with a few words about Dorothy Cooper, the 96-year old African-American woman from Tennessee, who has been voting for some 70 years without a problem, until now, as the newly-elected GOP legislature in her state has rammed through a disenfranchising polling-place Photo ID restriction law.
Cooper, who has never had a driver's license, presented her birth certificate and all sorts of other identifying documents at the DMV in order to receive her supposedly "free" state ID so she could vote next year. But, as she had gotten married since birth, and her name has changed in the bargain, she was denied an ID, as she was unable to find and produce her marriage certificate!
[More on Cooper's maddening story now here.]
Republican statehouses all over the country having been jamming through similar measures in order to suppress Democratic votes in advance of the 2012 election. Thats' just a fact --- even as we're always delighted to find the rare Republican like Adams fighting to make sure all voters can vote and that their votes are properly counted.
As I noted near the end of the segment on Friday night, nobody ever refers to The BRAD BLOG as a "liberal blog" when we're out there fighting for the election rights of Republicans like "Tea Party" candidate Joe Miller, as we did in last year's U.S. Senate election in Alaska after serious questions arose about the accuracy and transparency of results. Last week, Miller linked to our coverage of the $26 remote control e-voting hack developed by Argonne National Labs.
Nor do they sneeringly attempt to dismiss the work we do here as that of a "liberal blog" when we report on the fight of election integrity heroes like Republican Craig Adams from Venango County. Isn't that odd?
Here's our conversation from last Friday's Malloy Show [appx 17 mins]...