READER COMMENTS ON
"Alaska Stinks & Minnesota's on Edge, So Here's What Parties and Citizens Can Do to Try and Ensure Election Results with Integrity There and Elsewhere"
(50 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 11/9/2008 @ 11:55 pm PT...
(As to the U.S. Senate race in Georgia, where they use 100% unverifiable, fully faith-based touch-screen voting machines, there's much less that anyone can do about it, but perhaps I'll make recommendations there, for their upcoming runoff next month, at another time.)
Please do! The record of electoral treachery here in Jawja, especially with Chambliss, is pretty rife, and we are pretty vulnerable to voter hijacking. . .
What do you recommend?
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 12:34 am PT...
In fact, I'd like to see this become a major issue nationwide. I see a need for federal standards which every precinct in every county in every city must meet. Now's the time to get the GOP on board, when the more paranoid of them will assume Democratic leaders intend to do what they've done over the last few decades and manipulate voting systems.
I'd nominate Brad for "Secretary of Elections."
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 4:13 am PT...
Thank you Brad for all your hard work. If your 6000 pages of info are not enough people can check out www.scoop.co.nz and look up usacoup got even more info.
We need to think about a national election with national standards. three races only on the ballot. President, Senate, and House races only.
The federal government pays for the cost of the election, AND requires a standard format with standard rules for a National election. No other issues or races can be placed on the national ballot. Of course a paper trail will be required, along with a national standard for who can vote.
With only 3 races on the ballot at one time counting by hand will be simple. With a standard ballot format we can transform vote counting.
It goes without saying that there will be random review of ward vote counts. Every factory I have ever worked at check a sample of their produced product to see if the machines are functioning the way they were programed.
Have a happy tin hat day.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 5:19 am PT...
Great Info as usual Brad, but what can we as US citizens who DO NOT live in either of these states do to help this process move forward?
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
Dave of Maryland
said on 11/10/2008 @ 6:11 am PT...
We need to think about a national election with national standards. three races only on the ballot. President, Senate, and House races only.
Exactly what we don't want. States like Maryland have set state races for odd numbered years. Turnout has been consistently low.
Counties & municipalities, like those in Maryland & Kansas, now have their elections on the first Tuesday in APRIL. Turnout is near zero.
Why is this important? Election to municipal office is the stepping-stone to state & federal office. In many states, that initial first step is now a contest between my friends & his friends, as no one else knows there's an election going on. Turnout of 10% or less is typical. Invariably the next day the local papers berate people for not voting, but, aside from friends & family of the candidates, who knew there was an election? Who thinks of the first Tuesday in April as an election day?
Brad's focus on secure elections is only part of the story. I could tell you how city buses came to Santa Fe, NM, in a "special election" with such low turnout that the city fathers have been able to ignore the will of the voters, steal the money for other purposes, and run shabby buses as a result. One of counselors was open about it: Since he got more votes than the buses did, he felt entitled to take "excess" money from the buses & spend it elsewhere. On his own private projects.
Voter manipulation is not just about events on polling day.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 6:25 am PT...
Can we create a coordinated campaign to petition the Obama administration for dynamic reform in this area? Let's get specific and try something. What appointments could he make that would change the playing field right away. Let's take him up on his claim that his victory was "ours."
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 6:51 am PT...
Let's start an online petition! Brad, maybe you can provide some guidance?
Now's the time to get started, in the aftermath of a so-called "landslide" and while certain elections remain unresolved (e.g. GA, MN, AK).
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 7:14 am PT...
Because of your hard work I have become much more involved and much more sensitized to possible election fraud.
I have discovered what I believe to have been some vote SUBTRACTIONS in the Al Franken and Norm Coleman race. I just posted the story over at OpEdNews. I don't know if it is okay to post the link here so I apologize if it is not. Please take a look and let me know what you think. You have much more experience at looking at election fraud so maybe there is some normal explanation for this. I can't think of one right now.
Evidence of Republican Election Fraud?
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 7:33 am PT...
Very good posting Brad.....
Here is a recipe for accurate, anonymous and secure elections simply done, which should be our most desirable goal:
It starts with unassailable citizen voting rights.
Provide wide access to good accurate candidate information.
Use only uniform and easy to understand ballots.
Have a way to track individual ballots while maintaining voter privacy.
Provide easily accessible polling places, or another method of easily done but secure voting.
Voting should be open more than one day but less than one week and include a weekend.... or Voting Day should be a holiday.
Complete transparency and verifiability of the ballot vote counting process.
This includes taking control of the voting oversight process away from partizan party control and give it to a committee made of representatives from all parties and non-partizan watchdog groups. (No more individual Secretary of State party chairs overseeing elections.)
Like Minnesota... pass laws that require an automatic recount when the vote difference between the top two is 0.5%.... but, unlike Minnesota, make it an unstoppable process. (Franken can stop the count.)
For verifiability.... all paper ballots are to be secured and kept for a 5+/- year period before recycling.... but also available for review by the public.
A Federal election deserves Federal oversight... but we can't have the fox guarding the henhouse... so how about a quasi-independent Federal Election Commission... oops.. problem is the current one isn't all that independent.
This one will need a lot of discussion.
There are many issues within what I've suggested (like what citizens do not get a vote) but this is a start.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 8:13 am PT...
I'm thinking now that it was the 2004 election that was (electronically) stuffed for the Republicans, that's why the turnout was so high then...that would explain in part the record registration, low turnout this year
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 8:35 am PT...
ArchiCoot (#10) gave some useful additions to Brad's great list.
Is there a way to build site, preferable off of The Brad Blog, where people could develop a sensible (not tin hat) working document that House and Senate aide could make into a law? I am a fan of John Gideon, and I would like to see him front on center on such a thing.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 8:45 am PT...
I was bellowing about Mn two years ago: Link, When that Christo-Fascist witch Kiffmeyer was running things.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 9:00 am PT...
Without PRE-election security with members of all parties having advocates, over seers etc right there recording and watching everything that is going on then NOTHING you listed really means a damn thing as all of it could have been manipulated.
I think it is pretty clear that Democrats lost 5-6 Rep seats and 1 Senate seat in Alaska alone (due to fraud) I also bet that Obama would have won the popular vote by more than 10-12Million.
We will never know what the REAL election results are no matter what you do.
What we need to do NOW is to make sure that the NEXT election is held on HAND COUNTED PAPER BALLOTS with advocates from all parties present at all precincts.
Anything less is a farce.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 9:16 am PT...
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 11:26 am PT...
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 11:29 am PT...
Brad, do you or any other bradblog contributors/commenters know how much it costs for the Public records requests ... ballpark figure? [Especially for GA]
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 11:55 am PT...
I wouldn't think that recounting all the Senate and House races..and counting every vote...even in places like Oklahoma, Kentucky..etc..where the secretary of state or the governor is Republican (or where ever, voting and vote tabulation is done on ES&S, Sequoia or Diebold machines(or what ever they are calling them, now), would cost as much as the 1.3 trillion (and counting) bail out for Wall Street (and other poorly run banks, corporations and insurance companies, both, overseas and at home)
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 12:15 pm PT...
I absolutely agree with Comment#13 that paper ballots are a must-- all voting maching vendors have had all sorts of technical and even legal problems.
This report from Voters Unite has so many disturbing facts about these companies in it:
"Sequoia Voting Systems
Criminal Indictments/ Convictions of Key Personnel.
David Philpot, Sequoia’s exclusive agent
in Louisiana, was convicted of bribery in a 1999 kickback scandal. Phil Foster, a Sequoia
salesman indicted in 2001 by a grand jury for related crimes, had been granted immunity for
his testimony in the scandal and was not tried. Foster has since risen in the company and at
present is serving as the Vice President Administration & Strategies.86 He served on the
Palm Beach County Election Technology Advisory Committee, from September 2005
through May 2006 and continues to advise the county’s elections supervisor."
From Vendors are Undermining the Structure of U.S. Elections, by Voters Unite, 2008
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 12:17 pm PT...
Mandate that all voting for President and Vice-President be conducted with hand-marked paper ballots, tabulated at the polls. 
Let local jurisdictions use e-voting machines according to local preferences Where they are too addicted to them to give them up entirely - as long as their processes conform to whatever national guidelines as to chain of custody, audit, etc. may be established.
 Rep. Dennis Kucinich proposed this a year or two ago.
PS; I'm doubtful about adding Congressional contests...the Constitution assigns to the states responsibility for elections so local authority may govern.
Also: I concur; we don't really want a nation-wide system that could be subverted from the top
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 12:18 pm PT...
It should one of the 1st orders of business in Obama's 1st 100-days to pass a Federal law
mandating *ll-paper ballots and handcounting* by bipartisan workers with witnesses in ALL FEDERAL ELECTIONS (Prez/Senator/Congresspeople) from now on.
Also included should be STIFF, PAINFUL penalties for election fraud manipulation or intentionally misinforming voters in any way.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 12:32 pm PT...
Seems to me that lower Alaska turn-out is probably due to their being in a time-zone 4 hours before eastern time. I know I hadn't even left New Hampshire yet to drive home at about 8:30 eastern time, when NH has called for Obama. Then it wasn't so long after that that PA was called for Obama, and there was all that talk about "no realistic path to victory" for McCain. I know the machines can and have messed with the vote before in Alaska, but maybe people like first-time voters figured they didn't really need to go to the polls to do it for Obama after all, since was already going to win. Seems like someone might have kept some kind of how much voting went on in the last hour in Alaska or something like that. It might have actually helped get out the vote if there was some question on the ballot, like in California with the controversial proposition 8 defining marriage so as to exclude same-sex marriages.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 12:46 pm PT...
I just had a long conversation with Garland Favorito [who coincidentally lives near me] and he says our hands are completely tied here in GA. Ordering public records would be of no help at all. The reason - we have no paper record at all since our poll books are now computerized.
So - I'll carry the torch & information to whatever meetings I can. 1 + 1 increases exponentially.
Thanks Brad for providing so much information over the years.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 12:58 pm PT...
Here's an idea.
Since we all know that democrats NEVER manipulate the voting system and ALL voter fraud and ALL voter suppression is from the those rascally Republicans, let's just do this:
Unless a Rubulican wins by more than 30% of the vote the Republican should just concede, is that enough of a margin that you won't complain?
It really doesn't matter what type of ballots are used, the complaints will be there regardless.
It's is just amazing to me that any time a Democrat wins, the Republican concedes and we move on. BUT if an election is even relatively close, all the Democrats do is cry, whine, contest the election and even if it still turns out the Republican won you still whine that they stole the election.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 1:17 pm PT...
RK, what an idiotic post.
Having fair and TRANSPARENT elections is a non-partisan issue and should deeply concern you as a citizen who casts votes and wants them counted.
You will never know if your guy REALLY lost without the transparency of an honest checks & balances system.
Don't you realize the majority of activists pushing for Election Protection/Integrity are from the Libertarian, Green & Independent parties? Duh.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 1:51 pm PT...
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 1:58 pm PT...
RK, google Michael Huffington.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 2:06 pm PT...
Inquiring minds want to know ...
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 2:07 pm PT...
#27 in response to Floridiot #25
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 2:19 pm PT...
I like this snippet about Michael Huffington the best:
Three years after the 1994 Senate race—Huffington ultimately conceded to Feinstein after a drawn-out recount, having spent almost thirty million dollars of his fortune and losing by under two per cent of the vote...
If memory serves, there was an automatic recount, where he still lost, but then he paid for yet another. He ran an unendurably ugly race, and he wasn't anything approximating gracious in defeat. Now, that's a Rubulican.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 2:28 pm PT...
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 2:32 pm PT...
I believe a "Rubulican" is a cross between a rube and a pelican. Though long thought to be extinct, reports of sightings of this exotic creature have been increasing, especially during recent election cycles. Exhaustive research of fossil remains has determined that primary characteristics include ignorance and a big mouth. Although controversy surrounds the Rubulican in scientific circles you hardly ever find them IN scientific circles so that's usually not a problem.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 2:37 pm PT...
I was thinkin' more on the lines of a Rube that's full of bull...ickan
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 2:58 pm PT...
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 3:07 pm PT...
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 3:09 pm PT...
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 3:24 pm PT...
Wilburrr... The Pew research center doesn't have the nose for this stuff . . .
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 4:10 pm PT...
I was wondering as I read your latest post and comments from your readers....
Since paper ballots are really the only way to ensure (as much as possible) the integrity of the vote and its count, why can't ordinary citizens (or registered voters) each donate a ream or two of paper (special if required) to their election headquarters on which the ballots for each election could be printed. Or they could make a modest donation toward paying for the paper and ink used. It would be great if after the votes are counted and the ballots held for the appropriate time designated by law, the paper ballots could be recycled for the next election and ballot printing.
One of the arguments that I hear frequently is about the cost of printing the ballots as an excuse to not use them. This would, I would think, eliminate one of the excuses for not using them. If each state would do this, I would think every state could easily transition back to the use of paper ballots only. It is OUR ELECTION for OUR CHOSEN CANDIDATES. We should play an important role in the responsibility of ensuring its process and validity.
In addition, an equal number of volunteers, from every political party represented in each state could be selected, through a random drawing of those individuals who indicate an interest and ability, could serve as counters after the voting booths close, with appropriate supervision / over-site by legal representatives from each political party.
Maybe this sounds simplistic or naive, but it appears that it might be a simple solution to a complex problem. Often times simple and direct is the most effective way to addressing / solving challenges.
Thanks for all your hard work and effort!! If I were independently wealthy I would donate a million dollars to your work. Unfortunately, like many American and world citizens, I worry where my next meal is coming from, how I am going to be able to pay for fuel for my home and auto, money to pay for Dr's visits and prescriptions, etc., etc., etc. But I did want you to know you are appreciated!!! Soooo.....
THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!!!
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 5:24 pm PT...
It's a sad comment on our whole electoral system that such eminently reasonable and obvious suggestions have to be made. They should be the law of the land everywhere.
No system is foolproof but optical scanning seems best; it has real paper ballots that are counted electronically. The suggestions that there be a complete accounting of ballots printed, ballots spoiled, ballots completely filled out and ballots partially filled out and that these numbers be consistent with the number of voters who actually showed up are the only way to check on the system. These results should be posted outside each polling place.
This is NOT a partisan issue, but it has been the case in the last 8 years, with the Republicans in power nationally and in particular swing states - Florida in 2000 and 2004 and Ohio in 2004 - that suspicion has fallen on them.
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 6:24 pm PT...
So that you all know --- the 2009 direction of Black Box Voting, after much thought as to the single focus most likely to generate meaningful, citizen-friendly change (among the many really important reforms needed):
Compliance. Compliance in freedom of information, consequences for hiding information from the public, and compliance with their own existing checks and
This is the broad stroke. I welcome input on specific ideas to enforce compliance and remove the hiding of documents and observation from the public.
If they actually stop hiding information and start complying with all existing
checks and balances, then each additional reform will have 10 times the power.
I'd like to start with retention requirements and to require prompt publication on the Web of one copy of every report the system is capable of providing. The audit logs, the poll
tapes. They can all go online. (Part of the Democrat-led push for absentee voting and central count procedures has functioned to eliminated the critical check and balance of the voting machine results tape, which is necessary to block both central tabulator adjustments and man in the middle attacks like they're talking about with Mike Connell.)
There is a special type of scanner that scans poll tapes, no matter how long they are.
Of course, the establishment types are already rushing in the more politically safe reforms, like increased early voting and new techno-gadgets.
But meaningful? If we could just get compliance and prohibit the hiding of information.
This is not to say I endorse any of the machines. But think how silly this is: They all produce a lot of informative reports, BUT NO ONE USES THEM AND THEY ARE HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC. Officials point to the checks and balances as the reason computerized voting is safe, BUT THEY DON'T IMPLEMENT THE CHECKS AND BALANCES, DON'T FOLLOW THEM, AND HIDE THEIR NONCOMPLIANCE FROM THE PUBLIC.
As a quick, simple focus, we need to FIRST address compliance and the hiding of information and observation from the public.
Once that's addressed every reform made will have 10 times the power. And it will cost nothing and take almost no time to simply print an electronic copy of every report already in the system and post it on the Web.
For the remainder of 2008 we're working on the many anomalies in the recent election, so consider the next several weeks a comment period for how you would like to see compliance and consequences for hiding stuff addressed.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 11/10/2008 @ 7:21 pm PT...
Kucinich,the only progressive dem IMO and the only one NOT afraid of the bullies.
He introduced HR 6200 back in 2006 to use Paper Ballots, hand counted only. It's there ready to go so maybe he's the one to get in touch with again.
Paper Ballot Act of 2006
(Hope this works because I can't see the preview?)
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 11/11/2008 @ 12:19 am PT...
What are all of u worried about? When bama gets thru there won't be any more elections? Get Real!
you elected a communist president-elect who won't even obey the constitution now by presenting a "true/valid" BC.........he's a "Usurper" according to our constitution........hope you all enjoy reaping what you've sowed!!!!!!!!!!
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 11/11/2008 @ 12:47 am PT...
See the damage done by the McCain/Palin lies - #41.
This kind of media-supported brainwashing should imo be illegal. The media pundits/"journalists" continue to shrug it off as "just politics." What they're doing is unconscionable. McCain should come forward, admit it and apologize for the damage he & Palin have done.
McCain & Palin eventually crossed the line & came very, very close to inciting a riot. In fact ... it remains to be seen how deeply they have disturbed their "base" ... with baldfaced lies.
Bring back the Fairness Doctrine.
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 11/11/2008 @ 1:09 am PT...
... In comment #41 caroltate2 said...
(Excessive Situational Unawareness deleted.)
(Redirecting Crainial-Rectus induced thread reality excursion to a sidereal local reality...)
Did anything ever come of a Bradblog FAQ project?
If the blog is going to be attracting such numbers of the chirality-impaired then a picture-book simple introduction will be needed.
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 11/11/2008 @ 4:44 am PT...
Kucinich also has been fighting to bring back the fairness doctrine for many years.
He is the ONLY "STATESMAN" left in congress.
There is no excuse to not have hand counted paper ballots.
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2008 @ 4:55 am PT...
the diebold machines use a tandy chip which is bootloaded from outside --- a vote flipping virus is also loaded at this time. other diebolds networked together recieve the same virus. when power is turned off --- the virus disappears. restoring power and rebooting restores the virus. the source code remains opaque at all times.
at any time during use --- the vote flipping virus can be activated by a 'voter' in real time --- in the actual voting booth --- by punching in a correct sequence of buttons which are handily available on the display screen. the 'voter' leaves the booth and --- eureka! instant winning tally for candidate of choice --- and by a predetermined margin of percentage.
this means that one could flip all the machines or just strategically selected ones.
perhaps its worth mentioning the buzz about inaccuracies in exit poll results --- that all the pros now claim to be unreliable is very recent --- in fact they started just 8 years ago --- during the 2000 presidential elections. seems they were just fine demographic tools prior to then.
diebold restructured in 2006 becoming ES&S --- SO don't niavely presume they went away.
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
said on 11/12/2008 @ 10:12 am PT...
The population of the U.S. is about 10 times that of Canada. However, the number of voters per polling station should be (or could be) about the same. In Canada, the vote is taken on paper ballots and the ballots are counted by hand as soon as the polls close. It usually takes an hour or two. Is that too simplistic?
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
said on 11/13/2008 @ 9:50 am PT...
Why not require that as many of these documents as possible simply be posted on the web? Any public information that is on hard copy should be scanned and posted, and electronic documents can be posted directly. Gov agencies routinely post volumes of scientific data and records online. Seems like this would be far less costly both to the government and to private parties than separate FOIA-type requests, individually tailored. Of course you would have to exclude anything that reveals the identity of a voter such as poll registers. ... For that matter, why not post online every ballot cast? So long as they are anonymous, what's the problem? ...Let there be sunlight.
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
said on 11/14/2008 @ 4:45 pm PT...
Jack/45 says exit poles worked good before 2000 election//////votefraud.org talks about the voters news service--owned by the big 3 networks and AP-- as running and manipulating exit poles, at least in the 1990's--I guess before most of todays vote fraud researchers were aware of the issue.
Right on, Shredder#47--Its the only way to solve the problem--live net video feed on every machine!!!
COMMENT #49 [Permalink]
said on 11/15/2008 @ 1:37 am PT...
I am a volunteer observer for the Franken campaign in the Minnesota senate recount and I also worked in Ohio in the central Kerry HQ in 04. I am certain that I witnessed vote fraud resulting in the illegitimate Bush win in 04.
I have tried to tell media sources that the biggest problem in Ohio was the computer tabulation and that this concern trumps all others such as reports of voter suppression and incidents of individual machine failures which have effectively just caused distraction.
GEMS is in use in Minnesota and I have no doubt that it has resulted in errors.
You seem to have a great understanding of the
issues around this. Can you advise me how to
provide useful information to the Franken people
in order to help us promote an accurate recount and overcome the black box Diebold problems?
Practically speaking at the point (11/15/08),
what can we do to overcome the hurtles in place from Diebold?
After this recount and the other two remaining unresolved senate races are completed, what advice do you have for crafting effective talking points to the media to get Diebold removed and investigated?
COMMENT #50 [Permalink]
said on 11/15/2008 @ 11:05 am PT...
Andrew Nelson -
I've given, in the original article above, some of the very best advise that I can offer.
Take particular care to look at the issue of LOCKING DOWN Memory Cards and harddrives immediately under the federal statute that requires all election materials to be securely retained for 22 months.
Also, take note of the requests for invoices for the originally printed paper ballots, and the need to count ALL ballots, including UNVOTED ballots such that the number of voted, spoiled & unvoted ballot totals equal the number of ballots as printed by the printer.
As to effective talking points for the future, I don't have time to go into that now. But if you see to the above, particularly the point about locking down memory cards, it will make it very difficult for these same machines to be used in the future! I promise...