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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, November 17, 2017
Recall Effort for GA SoS After Election Disasters, 'Server Wipe': 'BradCast' 11/16/17
Guest: John Ziegler of 'Voice for All GA'; Also: Keystone Pipeline spill; House passes tax bill; Menendez mistrial in NJ; Moore tanking in AL...
'Green News Report' 11/16/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
AK's National Wildlife Refuge now one step closer to oil drilling; African-Americans bear brunt of fossil fuel pollution; PLUS: France to cover U.S. funding for U.N. climate science...
Previous GNRs: 11/14/17 - 11/9/17 - Archives...
Chilling Senate Hearing on Presidential Use of Nukes: 'BradCast' 11/15/17
Guest: Nuclear analyst Stephen Schwartz: Also: Dems win again in OK; Moore madness in AL; Maddening details on N. Cal shooting...
Ready to Step Up? It's 'National Run for Office Day'!: 'BradCast' 11/14/17
Guest: Ross Morales Rocketto of 'Run for Something'; Also: Another mass shooting at an elementary school; MORE...
'Green News Report' 11/14/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
US a bit schizophrenic at U.N. climate talks; Report: Paris Agreement targets not nearly enough; Fossil fuel lobbyist approved for top EPA post; PLUS: PR damages nearly $95B...
Previous GNRs: 11/9/17 - 11/7/17 - Archives...
New Assault Claim Against Moore, More Trouble for GOP: 'BradCast' 11/13/17
Callers ring in on latest developments, allegations plaguing Alabama's 'conservative' 'Christian' U.S. Senate nominee...
Moore Sunday Toons
Moore, Moore, Moore...How do ya like it? How do ya like it? Moore, Moore, Moore! And then still more in PDiddie's latest toon collection...
Real Moore News
and More Real News: 'BradCast' 11/10/17
(And some real news about some fake news!) Also: Trump/Kobach's 'Election Integrity' Comm. is sued by once of its Commissioners!...
Reaping the Whirlwind:
Roy Moore Scandal in AL,
GOP 'Chaos' After Election: 'BradCast' 11/9/17
Guest: The Nation's John Nichols; Also: More GOPers quit; Hearings on Prez use of nukes...
'Green News Report' 11/9/17
  w/ Brad & Desi
US now alone on climate denial, but cities, states picking up slack; Election creates 'Blue Wall' for climate action in West; PLUS: Ozone hole smallest on record, after global treaty...
Previous GNRs: 11/7/17 - 11/2/17 - Archives...
'Tidal Wave' Election For Dems:
'BradCast' 11/8/17
Plus, Mark Joseph Stern of Slate on his idea for how 'blue states' can take action immediately on gun violence...
FCC to Allow One Corp. to Buy Every TV Station in Your Town: 'BradCast' 11/7/17
Guest: Media reformer Sue Wilson; Also: Trump seeks diplomacy w/ NK; Many red flags should have prevented TX church massacre...
'Green News Report' 11/7/17
SPECIAL COVERAGE - The Nat'l Climate Assessment is out, with dire warnings on climate change impacts, hope that governments can act in time to reduce emissions...
'Thoughts and Prayers' After Texas Church Massacre: 'BradCast' 11/6/17
The NRA/GOP and Military Industrial Complex win again, after 26 killed in Sutherland Springs; Also: Trump in Asia, wildly misled on U.S. defensive missile capabilities...
Sunday Fall Back Toons
A few steps in the right direction and much more in PDiddie's latest Sunday collection of the week's best political toons...
Facts v. Frauds: 'BradCast' 11/3/17
Trump, terror, justice, guns, Gitmo, Puerto Rico, Kobach, voter fraud, tax cuts, and climate...
State AG Quits Defense of GA SoS in Election 'Server Wipe' Case: 'BradCast' 11/2/17
Guest: Marilyn Marks, Repub plaintiff in GA-06 suit calls GOP SoS response to deleted evidence 'shameful'...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

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
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

Kevin Zeese Issues Open Letter to Maryland Media via BRAD BLOG, Calls for Independent Review of Diebold in State
Says MD Election Administrator Linda Lamone Failed to Report Electoral System Facts Accurately in Diebold's 'Showcase' State, Calls for New Voting Equipment in State in Light of Unreported Details, Contradicting Information and Stunning Letter from Republican Governor...
By Kevin Zeese on 2/18/2006 3:27pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Kevin Zeese

EDITOR'S NOTE: Kevin Zeese is an independent candidate running for the U.S. Senate in Maryland. His following "Open Letter to the Maryland Media" comes on the heels of Thursday's news of Republican MD Governor Robert Ehrlich's letter announcing, amongst other things, that he "no longer [has] confidence in the State Board of Elections' ability to conduct fair and accurate elections in 2006." In the letter, Ehrlich expressly singles out Democratic Election Administrator Linda Lamone, charging that she and the SBE have been "working primarily on behalf of partisan legislators and their interests" and questions her claims that Diebold's paperless touch-screen voting machines --- deployed across the state in 2002 as part of Diebold's "showcase" roll-out of their new system --- could not be replaced by voting devices with voter-verified paper trails in time for the 2006 election. Ehrlich called for paper ballots in his letter.

It was also revealed on Thursday, that Lamone had allowed uncertified Diebold voting machines to be used in elections in Maryland in both 2002 and 2004. Diebold's election equipment has since been show to be hackable, prone to massive failure, and has lost votes in recent elections according to a recently released non-partisan GAO Report, a recent "hack test" in Leon County, FL, and scores of other confirmed reports, studies and analysis from around the country. Lamone is also the curent President of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED).

Given the national implications of this matter and the media's general lack of coverage of these important matters, we're happy to honor Zeese's request to run the letter in full here at BRAD BLOG.

OPEN LETTER TO THE MARYLAND MEDIA

There is an unreported elections scandal in Maryland. Part of the story has been reported on the web in an article I wrote, at RAW STORY and at TrueVoteMD.org at the hearing. It has yet to be reported in the traditional media.

Kelly Brewington in the Baltimore Sun demonstrated in an article today ("Voting machine maker says new system doable by fall") that whenever Linda Lamone makes a claim, the media should either ask for documentation or get independent verification - from somewhere other than Diebold. Lamone testified in the Senate this week that it was not possible to get new machines by the fall, but the manufacturer told Ms. Brewington that they could provide appropriate equipment in time for the elections.

As someone running in what will become a close three way race for the U.S. Senate, I am very concerned that Maryland have voting equipment that voters can trust and that can be counted in an open and transparent manner in 2006. Every legislative office in the state and the governor is up for election. Maryland cannot afford to use insecure machines, that have a history of machine failure and that do not allow for an independent recount. Therefore I favor leasing an optical scan system for one year and use that time to develop a long-term solution that ensures accurate, transparent and trustworthy elections in Maryland.

LETTER CONT'D BELOW...

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




By John Gideon on 2/17/2006 7:59pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

In California, SoS Bruce McPherson reached down and deep and certified Diebold for use in the state with some conditions. Note that there has still been no report from the federal ITA that was asked to reinspect the Diebold memory card. At the same time, in Maryland, Diebold and Linda Lamone have taken to ignoring the truth, or misrepresenting it as they ignore proof of lost votes in elections and try to assure voters that there are no problems. And good news from New Mexico where the state legislature has passed a voter verified paper ballot bill....

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




State Senator Outraged, Says Machines, Certification Violates State, Federal Standards and Law...
SoS' Own Report Agrees! McPherson Waits Until 5pm Friday of Holiday Weekend to Announce! [UPDATED WITH MUCH MORE INFO...]
By John Gideon on 2/17/2006 6:29pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon (with some additional updates/info from Brad)

Updated with much more information...

Secretary of State McPherson seems to have a thing for making major announcements late on Fridays just before holidays. Following in what seems to be a pattern of his, he announced late this afternoon that he was certifying Diebold Optical Scan and AccuVote TSx (touch-screens) for use in elections in the state.

The re-certification (they had been originally decertified in California in 2004 when it was revealed Diebold had installed illegal software updates on the machines) is conditional on some items but not on the one thing point he had announced last December when he sent the system back to federal authorities for further testing. At that time he said he was sending the machine's memory cards to the federal Independent Testing Authority (ITA) Lab for reinspection in light of the news out of Leon County, Florida that the cards used "intepreted code" which is specifically banned by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). A "hack test" in that county revealed that an entirely election could have its results flipped by a hacker exploiting that "interpreted code" --- without a trace being left behind.

McPherson made his announcement today without waiting to hear back from the ITA lab.

Last summer, after a massive mock election test with Diebold touch-screen machines revealed that 10% of them failed entirely with screens freezing and printers jamming --- later reports would reveal that as many as 30% of the machines actually failed! --- McPherson said, "We certainly can't take any kind of risk like that with this kind of device on California voters."

Apparently the Secretary of State of America's largest "voting market," as Diebold refers to it, was just kidding about that.

State Senator Debra Bowen, (D-Redondo Beach), the chairwoman of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment, & Constitutional Amendments Committee issued the following Press Release after learning of McPherson's remarkable decision.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Evan Goldberg (###) ###-4028/(###) ###-9176

February 17, 2006

BOWEN ON SECRETARY OF STATE'S DECISION TO RE-CERTIFY DIEBOLD MACHINES FOR USE IN CALIFORNIA

SACRAMENTO ? "How the Secretary can re-certify the Diebold machines when they don't comply with California law, they violate the standards set by the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) that the Secretary said he intended to follow, and he still doesn't have the report back from the ITAs that he said he was waiting for is beyond me."

That's how Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach), the chairwoman of the Senate Elections, Reapportionment, & Constitutional Amendments Committee, reacted to today's decision by the Secretary of State to re-certify Diebold's electronic voting machines for the 2006 elections.

"Last December, the Secretary announced with great fanfare that he was sending the Diebold machines back for review by the Independent Testing Authorities (ITAs) because the memory cards those machines rely on hadn't been reviewed," continued Bowen. "Now, contrary to what he said two months ago, he's approving the Diebold machines without waiting for the report from the ITAs. Instead, he's basing his decision on a supposedly 'independent state audit' that no one has seen before today. There's a March 1 public hearing for four other voting machine vendors before their machines can be certified for use in California, so what was the rush to certify Diebold and side-step a public hearing on this issue?"

Seventeen California counties rely on the Diebold optical scan machines and a number of other counties have bought or are planning to buy the Diebold TSx touch-screen machines to use in the 2006 elections in order to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA). The Secretary's decision is only good for the 2006 elections and comes with a number of conditions.

"In August, the Secretary said any machine approved in California would have to comply with all federal standards and regulations, yet the EAC bans machines that contain interpreted code and these Diebold machines rely on that type of code to operate, so he's gone back on that commitment," continued Bowen. "In December, he said he'd wait for a report from the ITAs before acting on the Diebold re-certification request, yet now he's re-certified the Diebold machines without hearing from the ITAs. He says he's acting based on the recommendations of an 'independent state audit' that came out on Tuesday, but the California State Auditor hasn't issued any reports on this issue and hasn't been asked to do a report. Asking a board appointed by the Secretary to make recommendations doesn't constitute an 'independent state audit' in my book.

"The other thing that no one has mentioned is the fact that the Diebold machines don't comply with the state's paper trail law because they don't provide blind or visually impaired voters with a 'read-back' of what the paper trail recorded, they only read back what the machine recorded electronically," noted Bowen. "That's not what the law requires, yet the Secretary has decided to go ahead and approve these machines for use anyway. If the Secretary wants to say he's changing his mind and lowering the safeguards California voters are entitled to have to ensure their votes are accurately counted, that's certainly his decision to make, but saying these Diebold machines comply with state law and with all federal regulations and requirements simply isn't accurate."

Under Elections Code Sections 19250 and 19251, all direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems have to come with an accessible voter verified paper audit trail (AVVPAT). The AVVPAT must be "provided or conveyed to voters via both a visual and a nonvisual method, such as through an audio component." The Diebold TSx doesn't contain that feature, therefore making the AVVPAT that all DREs are required to have as of January 1, 2006, useless for blind or visually-impaired voters.

###

VOTING SYSTEMS HEARINGS, MARCH 1:
Also of note is the announcement of public hearings (as mentioned in Bowen's release) persuant to the certification of various voting systems, many of which are still not federally qualified. This announcement is not accompanied by any of the test reports necessary for citizens to go to this hearing with any knowledge of what the state found in their testing. Perhaps this is because none of these systems have been tested by the state yet?

...DEVELOPING...MUCH MORE BELOW...UPDATES, ACTION ITEMS, ADDITIONAL INFO...

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




Along with Michael Shure! A Campaign '06 Preview!
By Brad Friedman on 2/17/2006 12:52pm PT  

I'm guest hosting The Young Turks radio program again tonight from 6p-9p ET (3p-6p PT), this time along with Michael Shure for a Campaign '06 Preview Special!

Rest assured, we'll be talking plenty about Impeachment, Election Reform issues and the Battle Royale in the Dem party about direction along with it!

Please tune in via Sirius Satellite Channel 146 or watch/listen to the video webcast at www.TheYoungTurks.com. Call in to say hey, if you like, at 866-99SIRIUS!

Special Guests to include: Political Analyst Larry Sabato, Jon Solz from Iraq/Afghanistan Vets of America PAC (IAVAPAC), and Congressional Candidates Francine Busby (running for Duke Cunningham's seat in CA's 50th), Chris Murphy (CT's 5th), Ed Perlmutter (CO's 7th) and our old friend Tony Trupiano (MI's 11th)!

Please join us! And Open Thread right here throughout the show as you like!




By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2006 8:14pm PT  

It got pushed way down today with a lot of other breaking news and video, so this is a reminder to check out our story on what happened yesterday in Maryland. It's huge. And there is much more to come out of that state and that story soon. So be sure to get up to speed on it!




By John Gideon on 2/16/2006 5:07pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

The news today is full of news from Maryland in regards to the letter from Gov. Ehrlich to the State Elections Board. Is this another nail in Diebold's coffin? The fact that they have raised their maintenance charges 1000% over four years is astonishing. Also, counties in Pennsylvania are still trying to decide what they can do in the aftermath of the court decision of earlier in the week. And, the DoJ has given their opinion to Connecticut and they have promised to work with them to meet HAVA mandates....

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




Moving Video, Images, More Graphic, Disturbing than Still Photos Reprinted Elsewhere
By David Edwards on 2/16/2006 3:37pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards

WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES AND NUDITY THAT SOME MAY FIND OFFENSIVE OR DISTRESSING

On Wednesday night, Australia's SBS Dateline aired the following report containing new graphic images and videos of abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The report, which contains full motion video documenting mistreatment of prisoners, is more disturbing even than the various still photographs which have been posted elsewhere on the web.


Video in Streaming Flash format...




Video from Contentious Pressers with Scott McClellan Withheld from Website Despite Promise of Posting to Come 'Shortly'
Site 'scrubbed' in past, but this seems to be first 'pre-emptive' scrubbing --- [UPDATE] WH FINALLY POSTS VIDEO AFTER BRAD BLOG ARTICLE!
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2006 3:26pm PT  

Since the announcement of Dick Cheney's shooting of Harry Whittington during a hunting outing over the weekend, the White House has failed to post the video of its daily Press Briefings on their website, The BRAD BLOG can report.

The video of briefings given by White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan in the James S. Brady Briefing room are usually posted along with the written transcript of those briefings. So far, despite daily promises on the front page of the White House website that the video will be posted "shortly", none of the posted text transcript pages since the shooting have included the promised video from the recent contentious briefings.

"Today's Press Briefing with White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has concluded. Video from the Press Briefing will be available on the web site shortly," says the front page each day (see screenshot below), and yet as of today, 2/16/05, the video of the briefings from both 2/13, 2/14 and 2/16 have not been made available on the White House website. We wonder why

Video from briefings held for the White House Press Corps in the main James S. Brady Briefing Room, as opposed to teleconferenced briefings or "Press Gaggles" aboard Air Force One, are routinely posted along with the text transcript.

In October of 2004 --- just prior to the November Presidential Election --- The BRAD BLOG discovered that the White House had been removing or "scrubbing" various embarrassing information from their website. The information surreptitiously removed, in apparent violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, included a web page listing countries described as part of the "Coalition of the Willing" in Iraq. A massive amount of audio and video, such as George W. Bush's press conference in which he said he was "not that concerned" about Osama bin Laden, was subsequently discovered to have been removed as well.

The Washington Post picked up on our reporting at the time, and eventually, after pressure from the MSM, the White House restored all of that audio and video in the week just prior to the election. Though they never restored their list of "Coalition Member" countries reportedly fighting with the United States in Iraq.

When we contacted the White House for comment at approximately 6:15pm ET, the switchboard operator informed us that there was nobody available to give comment on the matter since "office hours are 9 to 5pm Eastern time" and that we'd have to call back tomorrow. We were told she could not take a message for us, "since nobody is in the office."

When the operator asked where we were from, and we told her BradBlog.com we were immediately put through to a woman in the Media Affairs office.

When we asked about the reason for the missing video, we were put briefly on hold before she returned to report that a "spokesperson" in the Media Affairs office said, "They're actually working on getting that video up right now," but she was able to receive no explanation for the delay. The woman identified herself as "an intern" in the office.

UPDATE: Within an hour of our contact with the White House, they have now added the video from Monday and Tuesday's (2/13 & 2/14) briefings to the transcript pages. Presumably video from today's briefing (2/16) will be added as well, though we didn't catch the front page of the website this morning to see if it had been promised as the previous ones had been.




U.N. Report: Evidence of Torture - Close Gitmo Immediately
By David Edwards on 2/16/2006 1:05pm PT  

A United Nations report on the Guantßnamo Bay detention center found that evidence of detainee abuse "amounts to torture". The report also said that the United States is violating international law and said that the prison should be closed "without further delay."

Compare the quality and content of these video reports from BBC and NBC News. Why does the NBC report spend a large portion of the time discrediting the findings while BBC digs deeper by interviewing U.N. officials and human rights advocates?




Video in Streaming Flash format



Video in Streaming Flash format




Eavesdropping Programs Monitoring 'Millions of Americans'
By David Edwards on 2/16/2006 10:49am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards


Video in Streaming Flash format...

On Tuesday, a former NSA employee, Russell Tice, testified before the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations. Tice told the committee that he was concerned that undisclosed domestic spying programs were far more widespread than the recently exposed Bush/NSA warrantless wiretap program.

One or more still classified "Special Access" surveillance program may be monitoring the communications of "millions of Americans". While Tice could not share classified details of the program(s), he believes that the Constitution and FISA laws are being violated.

An article published by UPI has more information about the widespread domestic surveillance programs.

The hearings focused on protection for whistleblowers and a pattern of retaliations by the Bush Administration. This article from the Christian Science Monitor provides an excellent summary of testimony from whistleblowers appearing before the committee.




Calls for Paper Ballots, Decries Lack of Security, 1000% Increase in Maintenance Cost for Diebold Voting System!
In Letter to Election Board, Guv of Diebold's Model State Declares He 'No Longer Has Confidence in Their Ability to Conduct Fair and Accurate Elections'
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2006 2:42am PT  

Maryland was the "model state" for Diebold. It was amongst the first to roll out a near state-wide adoption of the new paperless Diebold DRE (touch-screen) voting machines after the 2000 election.

Diebold plowed millions into advertising campaigns across the state in order to declare the dawn of their new electronic voting age. "It's Here!" screamed billboards on buses, billboards, mall kiosks and television commercials --- "Maryland's Better Way to Vote".

Diebold's dream has become a nightmare for the once-great company.

As of yesterday, and a letter from the Governor [PDF] of the state obtained by The BRAD BLOG, indications are that the dream may soon be on the way towards a crashing and fitting end.

In the letter sent by Maryland's Republican governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. to the State Board of Elections on Wednesday, he declares that he "no longer [has] confidence in the State Board of Elections' ability to conduct fair and accurate elections in 2006."

Citing the "widespread national concern about the reliability and security of electronic voting systems," the decertification and denial of certification of Diebold around the country, and the need to "get aggressive in responding to citizens' concerns over public confidence in the elections system," Ehrlich says it's time to demand paper ballots once again in the State of Maryland.

"It is my personal belief," writes Ehrlich in a letter to BoE Chairman, Gilles Burger, "that the voters of Maryland should be allowed to vote a paper ballot or have a voter verification paper-trail to electronic voting as reassurance to voters that their votes are being accurately cast."

In his excoriating letter to Burger, the Governor goes on to cite the 78% increase in base cost for the system over original estimates and the --- sit down for this --- "1000% increase for estimates of the annual maintenance costs for this system."

"The cost of Maryland's Diebold voting machines has skyrocketed as our confidence in the system has plummeted," wrote the Governor.

Finally, the letter concludes with a brutal condemnation of the MD Elections Administrator, Linda Lamone, charging that her work and that of her staff, has been "primarily on behalf of partisan legislators and their interests and not on the interests of the citizens of Maryland."

Lamone, who is currently President of the National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED) has been a champion of Diebold's paperless touch-screen machines in the state. She recently testified to the state Senate that there was not enough time or money to add "voter-vefied paper trails" to Maryland's touch-screen machines prior to the 2006 election. As well, she has maintained for years that the system is safe, reliable and secure. Those claims are not well-founded.

An internal review by the state Elections Board after the 2004 election titled "Lessons Learned" [PDF] reveals that "189 voting units (7%) of units deployed failed on Election Day. An additional 122 voting units (or 5%) were suspect based on number of votes captured."

Those documented failures, of course, are just the ones we know about. In Leon County, Florida, when Diebold machines were hacked last December, it was done without a trace being left behind.

Washinton Post's Thursday coverage of Ehrlich's letter quotes him as telling reporters, "Maryland is not prepared to conduct an election."

Some Democrats in the Maryland Senate, however, are critical of Ehrlich who, they point out, had previously blocked efforts to include "voter-verified paper trails" on Maryland's paperless touch-screen machines.

That, however, was several months, and many "Diebold hacks" ago. Despite Diebold spokesman David "Baghdad" Bear's predictable response that there is still nothing to worry about and these machines work just great! --- there is most definitely something to worry about and the machines are terrible. Democrats in Maryland would be wise to recognize that, and be wary of getting lost in partisan politics, even if they were the ones responsible for deploying these crappy systems across the state in the first place.

The BRAD BLOG cannot overstate the devastating impact of Ehrlich's letter on the future of Diebold's Electronic Voting Machine hopes for this country. And it comes not a moment too soon.

[UPDATE: RAW STORY reports Maryland used Diebold machines in 2002 Gubernatorial Election and 2002 primary without certification, in violation of the law! And more...]

The entire 4-page letter from Ehrlich is here [PDF]. Extended "must read" selections follow...

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




By John Gideon on 2/15/2006 7:59pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org

Today has been another busy day. There has been a lot of fallout from the court decision in Pennsylvania and that has caused a lot of counties to question what they can or cannot do as far as buying new machines. Some are just ignoring everything and they plan on continuing to sign contracts. There is also talk of an appeal to the courts ruling by the state. In Alaska the state is delaying releasing any election records to the state Democrat party. In New Mexico a paper ballot bill has passed the House and is near to going for a signature and to becoming state law. And Utah has turned their back on 'Early Voting'. And late breaking from Maryland is news that the Governor has joined Reps and Dems in the state legislature who are all asking for a voter verified paper ballot....

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




And anything else you want!
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2006 2:16pm PT  

I'll be sitting in to Guest Host with The Young Turks radio program tonight from 6p-10p ET (3p-7p PT) with a show so big they had to add an extra hour! (Usually, it's a three hour program). Listen in on Sirius Satellite Channel 146 and/or watch the Video WebCast at www.TheYoungTurks.com --- Tonight's Guests to include: Sibel Edmonds, Clint Curtis, John Conyers, a Live Feed from Dead-Eye Dick, and much more! Call in to the show at: 866-99SIRIUS

Otherwise consider this an Open Thread for discussion during the show and/or on any of the other Breaking News items you wish to blog about!




Former Republican turned Democrat says: 'I'm Purple with a Blue Tint'
On Opponent Tom Feeney and Friends: 'The values of the Republican party have ceased to exist', Will Ask Feeney to Take Polygraph!
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2006 1:03pm PT  

NOTE: In his first broadcast interview since the news of his potential run against Tom Feeney has been made public, Clint Curtis will be one of our guests this evening on The Young Turks radio program, where I'll be sitting in as Guest Host. Tune in via Sirius Satellite Channel 146 or at www.TheYoungTurks.com to listen, watch and call in from 6p-9p ET!

On Monday, we broke the story that vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis is exploring a run for the U.S. Congress in Florida's 24th district. He hopes to challenge Rep. Tom Feeney, the man who Curtis alleges asked him to create a vote-rigging software prototype back in 2000 when they both worked at the same firm. Curtis was a software programmer, Feeney was the company's general counsel and registered lobbyist, even while he served as speaker of the Florida Legislature.

Curtis has now officially set up a website to support the campaign and raise much needed funding to take on both Feeney and an opponent in the Democratic primary race (Curtis was previously a life-long Republican until his experience with Feeney and friends left him with a distaste for Republican party politics).

See our previous item for more details on Curtis' extraordinary story and Feeney's alleged corruption and continuing failure to tell the truth about any number of things. If you're not familiar at all with Curtis' story, it's a remarkable one, and worth the read. A Quick Summary is available here.

I have been talking to Curtis for a while about running against Feeney since not long after The BRAD BLOG broke his story. In fact, I first brought up the notion with him back in January of 2005 when I met him in person for the first time at the Freedom Cinema Festival in Park City, UT where I was interviewing him on stage for a live festival event.

In hearing about Curtis' decision to finally go ahead and announce an exploratory campaign in hopes of running against Feeney --- and first against primary opponent Dr. Andy Michaud --- I sent several questions to Curtis via email last weekend. Here are those questions and his answers --- on his reasons for running, his chances of winning, how he plans to take Feeney head-on and confront him directly about corruption from the vote-rigging allegations to Feeney's cozy relationship with Tom DeLay. And of course, whether or not he'll ask Feeney to take a polygraph test, as Curtis himself has successfully done on questions relating to these matters...

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




Signs Someone Else's Address to Registration Form, Votes in Wrong Precinct!
Could face $5,000 Fine, Three Years Behind Bars for Third-Degree Felony...
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2006 12:36pm PT  

According to the Palm-Beach Post, it looks like Ann Coulter, everyone's favorite hate-monger, may now be facing felony charges. For Voter Fraud!

She may be smart enough to earn millions from her acidic political barbs, but when it comes to something as simple as voting in her tiny hometown, hard-core conservative pundit Ann Coulter is a tad confused.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections records show Coulter voted last week in Palm Beach's council election. Problem is, she cast her ballot in a precinct 4 miles north of the precinct where she owns a home --- and that could be a big no-no.

Coulter, who owns a $1.8 million crib on Seabreeze Avenue, should have voted in Precinct 1198. It covers most homes on her street. Instead, records show, she voted in Precinct 1196, at the northern tip of the island.
...
Here's the sticky part for The Right's own Lady Macbeth: She wrote down an Indian Road address instead of Seabreeze on her voter's registration application. And she signed to certify the information as true.

"She never lived here," said Suzanne Frisbie, owner of the Indian Road home. "I'm Ann's Realtor, and she used this address to forward mail when she moved from New York."

Coulter didn't respond to requests for comment. But the blond GOP pit bull's former agent, Joani Evans, last year told Page Two that Coulter left NYC to escape stalkers.

Is a desire to hold on to privacy the reason she gave the wrong address?

"I know but I'm not going to say," Frisbie replied.

No matter --- Florida statutes make it a third-degree felony to vote knowingly in the wrong precinct. Lying on a voter's registration can cost up to $5,000 and five years behind bars.

"We're not a policing agency," says Elections Chief Deputy Charmaine Kelly. "You do not have to show proof that you live at your address. But when you sign the registration application, you also take an oath that everything you wrote is the truth.

"If someone brings us proof that a person falsified a registration, we'll check into it, then refer the matter to the state attorney's office if necessary."

Well, the Republican phonys have been trying to make a case for Voter Fraud in this country (in order to distract from the real issue of Election Fraud) for some time. Looks like they've finally got a case to make for it!

Will the GOP front group "American Center for Voting Rights" be funding a lawsuit against Coulter the way they've attempted (and failed) everywhere else in the country? (But only where they see Dems as having committed fraud?)

We'll not hold our breath. But we'll hope someone brings such a case to the State Attorney's office in Palm Beach!

(Hat tip to Jane at FireDogLake for the heads up!)

UPDATE: Reporter says Coulter's denial of fraud charges is a lie...




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