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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, March 19, 2018
Trump Turns to Torture:
'BradCast' 3/16/18
CIA nom oversaw unlawful waterboarding, destruction of evidence at U.S. secret prison; Also: Trump brags about lying; More good 2018 news for Dems; Rep. Louise Slaughter RIP...
Senate Dems Vote to Gut Dodd-Frank, Other Disasters: 'BradCast' 3/15/18
Guest: Bart Naylor of Public Citizen; Also: New Russia sanctions, FL bridge collapse, TX chemical explosion, MUCH MORE...
'Green News Report' 3/15/18
  w/ Brad & Desi
U.S. may soon have its first climate science denying Sec. of State; Global water crisis; Black lung returns; LEGO goes greener; PLUS: Ice wall failing, 7 years after Fukushima disaster...
Previous GNRs: 3/13/18 - 3/8/18 - Archives...
Spinning v. Winning: BradCast 3/14/18
Nail-biter (and unverifiable) US House special election results in PA-18; Student gun safety walkouts; ICE busted as spokesman refuses to lie, steps down...
'Green News Report' 3/13/18
Admin finds EPA regs save money; CO Repubs choose oil/gas over public health; Int. Sec. protects public lands in home state; PLUS: 3rd Nor'easter in 10 days...
Battling Barcoded 'Paper Ballots' in GA, L.A., Every-where Else: 'BradCast' 3/12/18
Guest: Jennifer Cohn on deceptive dangers computer-marked 'paper ballots'; Also: Callers on that, Kim/Trump...
New Threat to Democracy: Barcodes, Ballot Marking Devices ('Electronic Pencils')
Unverifiable touchscreen DREs being phased out, replaced with unverifiable touchscreen BMDs...
Sunday Toons: 'Pick a Distraction'
The Trump Administration has a lot of problems. They also have a lot of things they hope will distract you from them, as PDiddie's latest toon collection reveals...
Trump, Kim and 'The Madman with a Gun': 'BradCast' 3/9/18
Also: White House, EPA waivers allow dozens of "ex"-lobbyists to work on issues related to corporate clients...
Trump Admin's New Report Debunks GOP Deregulation Con: 'BradCast' 3/8/18
Guest: Vox' David Roberts; Also: Trump tariffs; Good voter news for WA, CA; Senators query US voting vendors...
'Green News Report' 3/8/18
Oil co's call for carbon tax; Bad news for elephants; Good news for grid and renewables; Appeals court approves youth climate suit; PLUS: Arctic's warmest year ever...
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...
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...

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...

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...

The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

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

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...

The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

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...

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...

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...

Sec. of State Bruce McPherson, 18 County Registrars Named as Defendants
Violations of State, Federal Laws Alleged, State Senator Releases Comment Condemning McPherson, Outlining Violations
By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2006 1:46pm PT  

As The BRAD BLOG broke yesterday, a lawsuit has today been filed in San Francisco Superior Court demanding that California Sec. of State Bruce McPherson follow state and federal law in regards to his recent re-certification of Diebold voting machines in the state.

McPherson is named, along with 18 California county registrars, as defendants in the suit which calls for a ban on the use an new purchase of Diebold voting machines in the state. The suit was filed by on behalf of 25 California voter/plaintiffs.

-- Here is a complete copy of the lawsuit file today [PDF]

Reuters originally reported on the story an hour or so ago as "Diebold Inc. sued over California voting systems". That headline is, in fact, incorrect. They have now reissued the story with the more accurate headline "California sued over Diebold voting systems".

The lawsuit against Diebold, we imagine, will come later after California is ready to admit how they've been screwed by the company and they try to recover the millions they've lost in betting on the wrong horse.

VoterAction is the non-profit organization who brought the actions that led to both the decertification of Diebold in California in 2004 and, more recently, the ban on the purchase of Sequoia voting machines in New Mexico (which led to a new law in the state requiring a paper ballot for every vote cast.)

We're short on time today, and haven't even been able to review the complete suit yet, so we'll let State Sen. Debra Bowen's press release in regard to the lawsuit, do the reporting for us since she's generally nailed all the factual basis for the complaint and explains exactly how McPherson's certification of Diebold is in violation of several state and federal laws.

Bowen, who is running herself for Sec. of State this year, also presents a very useful timeline in the release, explaining how we got here in the first place, and how it is that McPherson seems to have simply disregarded the law in favor of his good friends at Diebold.

Remember, as goes California (or as Diebold likes to call it, "America's largest voting market") goes, so goes the country...In other words, this suit is much bigger than just California...

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

By Brad Friedman on 3/21/2006 11:52am PT  

If you have no case, just create some perceived enemies, and blame them instead...

It worked for McCarthy, after all.

By David Edwards on 3/21/2006 6:54am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of

Jon Stewart reports on the current status of the Iraq invasion.

Video in Streaming Flash format
Video in Windows Media format

Lawsuit to Name Sec. of State Bruce McPherson, Alleges 'Severe Security Risk', Noncompliance with HAVA's Disabled-Voting Provisions, and Violation of CA State Law!
By Brad Friedman on 3/20/2006 2:28pm PT  

UPDATE 3/21/06: Suit now filed, full coverage here...


We've hinted of late at upcoming legal actions, in several states, against the use of Diebold voting machines. The BRAD BLOG can now reveal that such a legal action will be filed tomorrow morning in San Francisco's Superior State Court in response to Secretary of State Bruce McPherson's recent re-certification of Diebold Electronic Voting Machines in the state. is announcing their intention to file suit, on behalf of several plaintiffs, "aimed at halting the use or purchase of Diebold electronic voting systems" in the state.

The same group recently carried out a similar action in the state of New Mexico, in regard to the use of Sequoia Touch-Screen voting machines there. That suit ultimately led to the ban of use of such machines, and a bill which was recently signed by Gov. Bill Richardson requiring a paper ballot with every vote cast in the state.

Diebold's optical-scan and touch-screen systems were revealed last December to contain "interpreted code" which is banned by Federal Voting System Standards. It was that "interpreted code" which was exploited in the recent hack of a test election in Leon County, FL where the results of the election were completely flipped without a trace being left behind.

Despite that startling revelation, California's Sec. of State Bruce McPherson certified the systems anyway in California, after they had previously been decertified in 2004 when Diebold admitted they had used untested and uncertified software patches on their machines in the state.

Diebold has now admitted [PDF] that their voting systems, both optical-scan and touch-screen, contain such "interpreted code." That, despite the fact that its use is banned at the Federal level. California state law requires that voting systems certified in the state meet those Federal standards. McPherson, apparently, has chosen to blatantly ignore that state law. (We'll have further details outlining the above allegations very specifically, and in no uncertain terms, in a future post here at BRAD BLOG.)

According to VoterAction's press release (posted in full below), the legal action is being filed because "Diebold's TSx touch screen voting system is a severe security risk, and does not accommodate all disabled voters as required by law."

Sources have told The BRAD BLOG that the action is to encompass many, if not all, of California's counties. Some 18 of them are currently doing business with Diebold.

The press release goes on to charge that, "The Diebold system is difficult if not impossible to audit or recount, and has been proven vulnerable to malicious tampering in tests and studies. Diebold technology contains 'interpreted' code, which is easily hacked, and illegal for voting systems in the State of California."

Diebold is currently facing litigation in several investor class action lawsuits alleging Securities Fraud Violations such as insider trading and the false manipulation of stock prices by eight current and former company officials.

A press conference will be held to discuss the latest legal action involving Diebold tomorrow morning. The complete Press Release from follows...

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

Diebold's Toilet Paper Democracy --- a Photographic Essay
How America's Votes Will be Counted (or not) in 2006 and Beyond...Unless Something is Done About it.
By Brad Friedman on 3/20/2006 12:00pm PT  

You've heard the reports of the new Diebold touch-screen voting machines which have recently been updated to include a so-called "voter-verified paper trail."

You may also have heard how the printers they've added to produce these "paper trails" on their previously-paperless touch-screen voting machines are reported to jam up in test after test --- like the one last summer in California [PDF] where some 33% of such machines failed due to screen freezes, software failures and paper jams.

You may have heard that Diebold actually includes a magnifying glass with each machine to help voters see these tiny, virtually unreadable "paper trails."

You may even have heard how the virtually uncountable thermal paper rolls, which scroll back into the machine after supposedly being "verified" by the voter, have turned up blank on some of the busiest machines at the end of Election Day --- as occurred in Lucas County, OH during the November 2005 Election in Toledo.

Now, for the first time, a hands-on examination of actual Diebold Accu-Vote TSx "election-ready" machines in Utah --- where the newly state-approved and purchased machines are just now being delivered across the state --- has been conducted by Security Innovations and computer security expert Harri Hursti. The examination was done in Emery County, UT with the approval of the county's elected official in charge of elections, Clerk-Recorder Bruce Funk.

Hursti's complete findings are soon to be released by (BBV) who helped to organize the precedent setting examination where, for the first time, independent experts have been allowed to actually study the very touch-screen voting machines being deployed around our country this year for use in the up-coming 2006 Elections. Normally, these machines are guarded by secret non-disclosure agreements of Voting Machine Companies and the mandates of government officials who have allowed these machines and their software, incredibly, to remain the "proprietary" secret of the companies paid to run our public elections.

BBV has already disclosed over the weekend one or two of the items discovered in the initial examination. One of them, in fact, is so "shocking" that it would seem to merit a complete recall of these TSx machines solely on consumer safety grounds!

Amongst the findings from the landmark study conducted last week in Utah that they've shared exclusively with The BRAD BLOG is a first-hand glimpse at the printer module now added to Diebold's Accu-Vote TS machines in light of the national outcry for "paper trails" to be produced when votes are cast in American elections.

These "afterthought" printer modules, and the "paper trails" they produce --- which are largely uncountable and uncounted by election officials not to mention unreadable by mere human mortals --- have failed in all sorts of test situations.

Most states require no actual counting or meaningful audit or even cursory review of these toilet-paper "paper trails" (distinct from a countable paper ballot.) Some states (hello, Florida!) even disallow the hand-counting of such "paper trails" by law! So how well the printing modules actually work, is almost beside the point. Their main purpose seems largely to be instilling a false sense of security in the voter that their vote will actually be counted and counted accurately.

To be clear: These devices provide no assurance that ones votes will actually be counted accurately --- or even at all.

Here then, for first time ever, is a close-up photographic look at how these printers actually work --- or don't as the case may be --- and what it is that Diebold and the other Voting Machine Companies who produce such poorly designed hardware and software to tally the votes in America's democracy, are currently shipping to virtually every state in the union for their 2006 rollout.

We'll see an actual printer-jam in progress, reasons for why it may occur so frequently on Diebold's Accu-Vote TSx machines, and a close-up look at the plastic "fresnel lens" (a cheap Cracker Jack prize-like magnifying glass) which is included with each machine's printer --- theoretically to help voters read their own "paper trail."

The photos which follow are all of the same machine, with the same section of jammed "paper trail" never touched or moved throughout the series of photos.

The following photographs, and the bulk of the information contained in the descriptions of same were provided exclusively to The BRAD BLOG by Republican investigator, Jim March as he and the rest of the BBV team were leaving Utah on Sunday afternoon after their first close-up look at the Diebold Accu-Vote TSx...

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

Democracy's Paper Tiger...
By Brad Friedman on 3/20/2006 1:53am PT  

Is this anyway to run a democracy?

Graphic details coming on Monday...Only on The BRAD BLOG...

Demands Congress Hold Bush/Cheney Accountable, Stop Another Ill-Conceived War Before It Starts!
By Brad Friedman on 3/19/2006 11:35pm PT  

This morning (Sunday), lawmakers and members of the media in Washington D.C. opened the Op/Ed section of the Washington Post to find' latest ad waiting for them.

VR is calling on both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to perform their Constitutional Duty and hold the criminal Bush/Cheney Administration accountable for their actions. As well, they must stop the reckless drumbeat towards War in Iran before we find ourselves in yet another disastrous foreign policy debacle.

Bush and Cheney, through their incompetence and dishonesty have lost the right to be trusted for any foreign policy decisions, much less the decision to start yet another unnecessary, unprovoked war in yet another country. It's time for Congress to draw a line in the sand against the Bush/Cheney administration and for the people to stand up and make sure they hear us!

-- The full ad, in a size large enough to read the complete text, is here.
-- A resizable PDF version is here.
-- A petition to demand Congress peform their Constitutional Duty to hold the Bush/Cheney Administration accountable for their actions and stop the march towards yet another ill-conceived war is here.
-- Donations to VR, to help us continue our no-holds-barred ad campaign, can be made here.

Please spread the word! And thank you for the support!

(DISCLOSURE: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of ... and couldn't be prouder.)

By John Gideon on 3/19/2006 4:18pm 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 March 13 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!...

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

By Brad Friedman on 3/19/2006 1:02pm PT  

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

Two 'Accu-Vote' 'OpTech' Machines Confiscated for Examination by Attorney General After Results Fail to Add Up
(Just Another 'Glitch')
By Brad Friedman on 3/18/2006 3:39pm PT  

ED NOTE: Diebold's Charles "Buck" Jones has sent us an email about the following story, with a scan of a correction published by the Union Tribune concerning the following story. The "Accu-Vote" machines referred to in their story, as originally reported below, are actually "Optech IIIp" optical-scan machines made by ES&S, not by Diebold. The complete correction, reportedly published by the Union Tribune, is posted at the bottom of this blog item. We appreciate the information from Mr. Jones, and only wish that Diebold was as responsive to answering questions and clarifying the mountain of problems and failures in their own machines as they are with ES&S's. We are also delighted to see that Diebold follows BRAD BLOG's reporting so closely. Even on a Saturday.


Diebold's hackable Accu-Vote (Hack-U-Vote?) machines fail again.

ES&S's "OpTech" (Op-Wreck?) machines fail again.

From New Hampshire's Union Leader on Thursday...

Grafton --- No matter how you do the math, 193 "yeas" plus 198 "nays" don't add up to 369 votes.

That faulty equation --- results of a warrant article vote from Tuesday's election ballot --- was the first clue for Grafton town officials that something was wrong.

As a result, two voting machines used to collect ballots in the annual town and school district meetings are now in the custody of the Attorney General's Office, removed from the town yesterday, said Grafton Selectman Jennie Joyce.
She said the voting machine showed no signs of malfunctions during two pre-election tests --- most recently one week prior to the election.

It's notable, by the way, that the Union Leader's story refers to the "Accu-Vote" machines being confiscated, but never mentions the maker of the machines --- in this case, Diebold. (Actually, ES&S, and the machines were "Optech" machines instead. See the clarification below.)

It's unclear from the story whether these were optical-scan or touch-screen machines, but apparently there is some paper that can be counted to get an accurate count of the election, instead of an "Accu-Vote" count of the election. According to the article, "Joyce said she is in favor of recounting ballots, both by hand and by machine." --- so it would seem there is something to actually go back and count.

And yes, the problem is referred to as a "glitch" at one point in the story. As it always is. This time in reference to a heretofore unknown issue (at least to us) concerning "dip switches" on these machines...

McDow, who is trained to operate the voting machine, said she learned more after placing a call yesterday to LHS Associates of Methuen, Mass., the company that services the town's Accu-Vote machine.

"They told me one of the dip switches let go, or the problem had to do with one of the dip switches not being set --- that's what LHS told me after I read them the information from the tally sheet," McDow said.

The toggle switch glitch likely caused some ballots to be counted twice, McDow said.

The "Glitch" that Would Destroy American Democracy. Cuz we let it.

UPDATE: According to a Diebold employee who notified The BRAD BLOG (see the Ed Note added to the top of this article) the Union Tribune posted the following correction to the story referenced above:

In a story about voting machines in Grafton that ran in yesterday's Union Leader, the machines were incorrectly identified as Accuvote machines. They should have been identified as Optech IIIp machines.

We have not been able to find the correction published on the Union Tribune website, but this New Hampshire state page seems to confirm that Grafton County uses the ES&S "Optech" machines instead of the Diebold "Accu-Vote" machines as most other counties in New Hampshire do.

We've also learned, since running this piece orginally, that New Hampshire does not allow for the use of touch-screen (DRE) machines. So the voting systems in question here, are all optical-scan machines, akin to the Diebold optical-scan machine used in Ion Sancho's recent "hack test" in Leon County, FL which demonstrated that such machines could be hacked to cause election results to be completely flipped without a trace being left behind.

AP Joins 'Tallahassee Democrat' Alleging Violations of State Law When Meeting Between Sue Cobb and Ion Sancho Suddenly Closed, Police Ordered to Remove Reporters
Election Supervisor/E-Voting Hero Buoyed By Broad Support, But Controversy is 'Taking a Toll'
By Brad Friedman on 3/17/2006 4:49pm PT  

The Associated Press is now joining the Tallahassee Democrat in a complaint sent to the Florida Attorney General objecting to an open meeting in the state's capital last Monday which Florida Sec. of State Sue Cobb suddenly took it upon herself to close. She then called the capital police and ordered them to remove reporters from the area.

Earlier this week, The BRAD BLOG reported on the aborted "open meeting" as called by Cobb with Leon County Election Supervisor Ion Sancho and two other county commissioners. The meeting was called in order to discuss the situation in Leon County, where Sancho recently revealed that Diebold optical-scan voting machines could be hacked without a trace left behind.

Sancho told The BRAD BLOG last night he felt "there was no reason" to close the meeting.

"There was nothing we talked about in there that needed to be kept secret. They just don't like open meetings. They like doing their business in secret," Sancho said.

Cobb, on behalf of the state, has been putting pressure on Sancho to purchase new voting equipment, threatening him with removal from his elected position, and suggesting that U.S. Marshall's might come in to run the county's election. That, despite the fact that all three companies certified to do business in the state have now refused to work with Sancho.

Voting Machine Companies, it seems, don't like doing business in the open either.

The meeting last Monday --- held on the first day of "Sunshine Week" celebrating "open government" in Florida --- was suddenly closed by Cobb who then called the police to remove reporters.

"On the first day of 'Sunshine Week' it was a pretty stupid thing to do," Sancho said.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, both they and the AP have now sent letters of complaint to Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist and State Attorney Willie Megs "expressing outrage" at being barred from the meeting in apparent violation of state law.

As reported by the Democrat...

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

Pima County Election Director Brad Nelson Is Sorry...
Local TV News Covers Tirade, New Diebold Touch-Screen Voting Machine Controversy in State
By Brad Friedman on 3/17/2006 3:54pm PT  

Tuscon Arizona's local NBC TV news affiliate ran a story Wednesday night on the raging controversy across the state concerning Sec. of State Jan Brewer's recent agreement to allow hackable Diebold touch-screen voting machines into the state.

Their report (linked below) included a snippet of the video that The BRAD BLOG ran as an Exclusive at the end of February featuring Pima County, AZ Election Director, Brad Nelson freaking out and verbally assaulting Election Integrity Advocate, John Brakey --- on video --- during a public local precinct council meeting.

Nelson, the station reports, has apparently apologized for his tirade. Brakey is also interviewed in the new report on Pima County being "pushed into a national controversy."

Their coverage of "both sides" of the story led last Wednesday's 6 O'Clock newscast in Tuscon.

MORAL: Always bring a video camera (or audio recording device) when meeting public Elections Officials. They often don't fare well under the harsh light of actual public scrutiny, and footage of such encounters may help your local TV affiliate suddenly become interested in reporting on the story.

Report on AZ's Diebold Touch-Screen Voting Machine Controversy:

-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
-- Windows Media Player Version...

-- Our original Video Exclusive story, featuring Nelson's full tirade is here.

By David Edwards on 3/17/2006 3:08pm PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of

Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

CNN's Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider awards Senator Feingold the "Political Play of the Week" for his bold introduction of a resolution to censure President Bush.

Bill Schneider describes Feingold as "principled" while he suggests that other Democrats might need "Spines. Backbones. They help you stand up for what you believe."

Schneider says "Acting on principle need not be political suicide."

1000 Cards Fail Tests in N. Carolina After Massive Failures Discovered in Ohio!
ALSO: Testing Reports Say Voting Machines One-Third as Reliable as Incandescent Light Bulb!
By John Gideon on 3/17/2006 12:46pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

As reported on March 9 and March 10 by The BRAD BLOG the folks in Summit Co. OH have discovered massive problems with memory cards on ES&S Electronic Voting Machines in recent tests. Some 30% of the cards completely failed.

ES&S, the largest voting machine provider in the country, attributed the problem to low or dead batteries on the PCMCIA memory cards. At the time, we inquired as to whether other states using ES&S equipment might be experiencing similar problems. The reporter covering the story for the Akron Beacon Journal told us she was able to get no response from ES&S --- but was then given an assurance that ES&S had contacted their customers to inform them about the concerns.

A week ago Tuesday, Texas experienced loads of problems (or "glitches" as Voting Machine Vendors and Election Officials enjoy minimizing them as) in their Primary Elections. Just a few of those reported in newspapers the day after are listed here.

Then yesterday the Akron Beacon Journal reported that, in fact, ES&S had contacted North Carolina. North Carolina, who lost some 4,500 votes completely via an electronic voting machine in Cartaret County during the 2004 Presidential Election, began checking their ES&S memory cards and have so far found more than 1,000 cards that to be bad!

Summit County, OH has also now confirmed that two-thirds of the cards failed due to "battery issues"; the rest failed due to "read-back errors".

ES&S officials contend that bad batteries were to blame for the problem memory cards, but Summit County officials now say that low batteries were the problem in only about one-third of the hundreds of faulty memory cards here.

``The majority of them were read-back errors, not a battery issue,'' Bryan Williams, director of the Summit County Board of Elections, said Wednesday.

``About one-third were battery errors. Two-thirds were read-back errors,'' Williams added.

He said after new batteries were installed in the memory cards, many still failed to work.

Marijean Donofrio, deputy director of the Summit elections board, said memory cards reading ``low battery'' began to work properly when new batteries were installed. But others that read ``dead battery'' still did not work when the batteries were changed.

She said the more common problem was the ``read-back error,'' which occurred when testers were attempting to run a mock election. The memory cards could not read the data programmed onto them.

It is important to point out that North Carolina state law requires any voting vendor to alert the state if there is a problem found on any voting system in another state that may be a problem in North Carolina. The law worked very well or the state may never have been warned except by the voting activist community who raised the 'red flag'.

Still unanswered is whether the recent myriad problems with ES&S systems in Texas had anything to do with the memory card failures. Also still unanswered is if there are any problems in other states like Indiana or West Virginia where primary elections are soon to be held and ES&S machines are in place.

ALSO: A newly released study of the reliability of voting systems shows that those voting systems studied and presently being sold across the country are one-third as reliable, at best, as an incandescent light bulb.

By David Edwards on 3/17/2006 7:59am PT  

Guest blogged by David Edwards of

Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...
Audio in MP3 format...

Last night on MBNBC Scarborough Country, Joe Scarborough was surprisingly polite during his interview with peace activist Cindy Sheehan.

Cindy Sheehan is joining other peace activists today who are undertaking a 140 mile march to protest the Iraq war and demanding that Iraq war monies be diverted to Hurricane Katrina relief.

UPDATE: VIDEO - Peace Activists March to New Orleans

Video in Streaming Flash format...
Video in Windows Media format...

CNN reports on the peace/anti-war activists who are marching 140 miles to New Orleans.

The video in this report is from yesterday's segment of the march.

One protester carried a sign saying "Make Levees Not War!"

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