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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, November 13, 2018
FL 2000 'Recount' Chief: State 'Cannot Physically' Complete 'Recounts' by Deadline: 'BradCast' 11/12/18
Guest: FL's Ion Sancho; Also: CA fires; Sinema wins Senate in AZ; Legal fight for GA Guv...
Sunday 'VFW' Toons (Veterans Forgotten by Washington)
PDiddie's weekly toon collection nods to those gone and forgotten by some, and those not gone, but who we might like to forget...
Election Battles Rage in FL, GA: 'BradCast' 11/9/18
Guest-host Angie Coiro w/ latest on ballot fights in Senator, Guv races and other news; Also: Law360's Amber McKinney on DACA; D.D. Guttenplan on progressivism's future...
Dems' Challenge to FL 'Sig-nature Mismatch' Law Could Determine Guv, Senate Races
Even former Democratic Rep. Murphy disenfranchised when ballot was rejected...
Statewide 'Recounts' Likely in FL, GA, AZ Senate, Guv Races: 'BradCast' 11/8/18
Campaigns fight to 'count every vote' amid uncounted and rejected ballots, undervotes, computer-tabulation concerns; Also: CA mass shooting; RBG hospitalized; Trump Crisis...
'Green News Report' 11/8/18
  w/ Brad & Desi
GNR Special Coverage: Big wins, losses for the environment in 2018 midterms -- Science to return to the House Science Comm., Big Oil money crushes state energy ballot measures...
Previous GNRs: 11/6/18 - 11/1/18 - Archives...
Election Day 2018 An Entirely Predict-able Mess (Again): 'BradCast' 11/6/18
Hours-long lines, failed vote systems leave voters, ballots stranded; Also: Lulu Friesdat on tabulation mysteries, unlawful Wi-Fi in Dallas County, TX counting room...
'Green News Report' 11/6/18
SCOTUS allows kids' climate trial to proceed; 90% of kids breathe highly polluted air; Plastic pollution everywhere, even in humans; PLUS: World Bank nixes coal...
GA's Kemp Falsely Reports Voter Database Flaw as Dem Hack: 'BradCast' 11/5/18
Guest: Election integrity expert Marilyn Marks on Kemp's repeated 'cybercrimes' lies parrotted by media, while he oversees own Guv election against Abrams...
Sunday 'Fear Itself' Toons
If only the only thing we had to fear today was PDiddie's latest toon collection...
2018 Sec. of State Races Key to 2020 Presidential Election: 'BradCast' 11/2/18
Guest: Ari Berman on suppression and key down-ballot races; Also: Election nightmares previewed in WI, TN, ND?; Third-party pull-outs in AZ, MT Senate races...
2018 Guv Races Key to House Majorities in 2022, Beyond: 'BradCast' 11/1/18
Guest: Vox' Dylan Scott with encouraging news for Dems in several 'red' states; Also: More trouble at polls...
'Green News Report' 11/1/18
Criminal referral for Zinke; Ocean heat worse than known; G.M. wants e-car mandate; Our most crucial election; PLUS: Teen activist launches kids' strike for climate...
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
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...


Problems with Diebold's Paperless Touch-Screen Systems Reported Immediately As Polls Open This Morning...
[NOW INCLUDING SEVERAL UPDATES FROM MCKINNEY ET AL]
By Winter Patriot on 7/18/2006 12:23pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

According to sources in the Cynthia McKinney camp, Georgia voters attempting to vote for her in today's Democratic Primary are seeing their votes flipped to her opponent, Hank Johnson.

McKinney has a well-deserved reputation for speaking truth to power, asking tough questions, and not backing down (see this video, or read this transcript).

Diebold, on the other hand, has a history of touch-screen machines flipping votes from one candidate to another --- commonly called "vote-switching" or "vote-flipping" --- and otherwise failing altogether.

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




Cites Extraordinary Security Flaws Recently Discovered in Touch-Screen Systems Used in State...
By John Gideon on 7/12/2006 3:10pm PT  

A press conference to announce the filing of a lawsuit in Georgia by a group of voters and organizations on behalf of all voters in the state will take place tomorrow.

The suit, according to a press release (posted in full below), calls for action that will "Immediately decertify the state’s Diebold Election System" due to the extraordinary vulnerabilities found in the system by computer scientist Harri Hursti over the last several months.

Georgia, along with the state of Maryland, was one of Diebold's original "showcase" states. They first employed their systems in 2002, and continue to use the paperless touch-screen Diebold AccuVote TS system which has been shown to be extraordinary susceptible to tampering, according to leading computer scientists, in just two minutes time with no password necessary.

A media advisory announcing a press conference tomorrow, and another describing the action being taken in detail both follow in full...

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




His June 13th and 20th Reports...Both on Paperless Diebold Touch-Screen Voting Machines...
By Brad Friedman on 6/22/2006 7:25am PT  

With special thanks to David Edwards for the Video Magic...

Lou Dobbs has now done at least eight reports over the last two weeks on the grave danger to American democracy as posed by Electronic Voting. We've had a tough time keeping up with them all.

We've yet to hear anybody so far refer to Dobbs as a "Lefty" or a "Moonbat" or a "Conspiracy Theorist" or a "Sore Loser" or suggest that he wears a "tinfoil hat". Just a coincidence, we guess.

Here's two of his reports that we've only gotten to post finally today. One is on un-recountable paperless elections and the other focuses on Democrat Cathy Cox (Georgia's SoS and Diebold champion) and her extreme conflict of interest in running her own unverifiable election now that she's the Gubernatorial nominee. Will Dobbs be running a similar report on Ohio's J. Kenneth Blackwell's similar conflict of interest? We'll hope so.

Please note: It seems Diebold is no longer returning Lou's calls for comments. Go figure.

06/13: Lou Dobbs - "Electronic Voting Machines Nullify Recounts"

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

06/20: Lou Dobbs - "Quite a little industry. E-Voting."

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

Text transcripts from both reports follow...
(See previously posted Dobbs reports here.)

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




DoJ Staff Attorneys Now Barred From Offering Opinions in VRA Cases After WaPo Exposed Political Appointees Overruled Civil Rights Division Staffers
By Brad Friedman on 12/10/2005 1:15pm PT  

The beloved 40 year-old Voting Right Acts, implemented by Lyndon B. Johnson after violence and death to Voting Rights activists in Selma, Alabama in 1965 has been all but gutted by the George W. Bush administration. The VRA celebrated it's 40th anniversary this summer, even as Bush's Department of Justice was destroying one of its most important measures by covert political caveat.

That gutting now appears to be becoming a still greater threat to our democracy as it is being institutionalized by recent policy changes which bar career Voting Rights staffers and attorneys in the DoJ from offering opinions on new laws that fall under the jurisdication of the VRA.

Two recent reports by Dan Eggen of the Washington Post revealed that Bush political appointees in the DoJ has overruled the recommendations of career staffers and attorneys in the Voting Rights division tasked with determining the legality of two separate laws sent to the department for "pre-approval" under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

Section 5 requires that states with a history of discriminatory election practices --- like Texas and Georgia --- must receive pre-approval from the DoJ before implementing any changes to their voting systems. It prohibits "retrogressive" changes to voting laws, or laws that would bring harm to minority voters.

In the last several weeks Eggen has reported on remarkable memos leaked by DoJ staffers showing that they had recommended against approval of new laws both in Georgia, where the legislature had insituted a new Photo ID requirement at the polls, and in Texas, where then Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) had helped to redistrict the state to allow for more Republican representatives after the GOP gained control of the state house in 2002.

Georgia's law has since been ruled unconstitutional by two Federal Courts who deemed the law to be a "Jim Crow-era Poll Tax". Texas' law has resulted in 7 additional Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. The fallout from the DeLay led gerrymander of Texas districts has resulted in several indictments for DeLay and his cronies who helped force it through the legislature and allegedly conspired with the Republican National Committee to launder money in support of GOP candidates running for the new seats. The Texas law, which had been unanimously recommended against by 8 DoJ staffers, including the lead attorney in the Voting Rights Act division, still stands.

Today Eggen reports that such staff opinions are now completely banned in Bush's Department of "Justice"!

The Justice Department has barred staff attorneys from offering recommendations in major Voting Rights Act cases, marking a significant change in the procedures meant to insulate such decisions from politics, congressional aides and current and former employees familiar with the issue said.

Disclosure of the change comes amid growing public criticism of Justice Department decisions to approve Republican-engineered plans in Texas and Georgia that were found to hurt minority voters by career staff attorneys who analyzed the plans. Political appointees overruled staff findings in both cases.

The one ray of hope that Eggen offers is that Sen. Arlen Spector (R-PA) is considering Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings...at least on the Texas redistricting case.

We often bristle when we hear those on the Left criticize the Bush Administration as Fascistic. It's simply too easy to ascribe to them the worst possible traits as a blunt political weapon. But if the issues discussed above don't send a shiver down the spine of every democracy-loving American it's either because they don't understand what's actually at stake --- and being dismantled in the process --- or they simply don't give a damn about this country's most important legacy to the world: A free and fair electoral system where all citizens are given an equal voice in the selection of our leaders...or at least a system as close to that as we can possibly muster.

Our Republic is in grave danger.

Another in our series of occassional and annoying reminders that it is your support that allows us to keep going. Please help support The BRAD BLOG with a donation if you can. It means the world.



Diebold Insider --- First Reported by BRAD BLOG --- Offers Additional Revelations in New Interview...
By Brad Friedman on 12/6/2005 12:03pm PT  

RAW STORY's Miriam Raftery unleashes a terrific new piece today based on an interview with the Diebold Insider, dubbed as "DIEB-THROAT", who we originally introduced in our BRAD BLOG EXCLUSIVE back in September.

Raftery previously delivered the terrific San Diego CityBeat story in October on all manners of electile dysfunction since the November 2004 election mess, right on up to the recent Mayoral boondoggle on Diebold machinery in San Diego. She's covered the Election Reform and Diebold beat in various outlets for some time.

Amongst the revelations reported by Raftery for RAW from her exclusive interview with the anonymous whistleblower who has chosen to keep their identity undisclosed for the time being due to "a continuing sensitive relationship with the company":

  • DIEB-THROAT blasts "the dishonesty" of the Diebold company and their CEO Walden O'Dell who has come under much fire since announcing his intention to "deliver the state of Ohio" to George W. Bush in a Republican fundraiser."
  • Says Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell is "the number one culprit" in putting pressure on employees to "make the numbers."
  • More quickly disproved statements from Diebold spokesperson David Bear who describes the company as having "a sterling reputation in the industry." Denies (at first) that paper trail rolls in Ohio's '05 election came in completely blank.
  • DIEB-THROAT blasts the "corporate takeover of elections" as a "very dangerous precedent that needs to be stopped"
  • DIEB-THROAT compares the massive new wave of Electronic Voting Machines to a Civil Rights-era "denial of rights"
  • New details on the Georgia 2002 gubernatorial election where Diebold installed patches to the software described as "never certified by the state." DIEB-THROAT was involved in some of those allegedly illegal and apparently malfunctioning patches. Heavy Democratic counties ended up electing Republicans.
  • The source says Diebold has installed such patches "many times," it's just that they "got caught in Georgia and California."
  • Uproar from the public for paper ballots was the reason Diebold finally conceded to add "paper trails" to their touch-screen machines for jurisdictions who specifically requested them.
  • Details on a failed Cook County, IL test of the Diebold touch-screen machines.
  • Details on several convicted criminals (for "computer-aided embezzlement" and "cocaine traffick[ing]") who were key to Diebold's software development and deployment, one of whom may still be working to program Diebold ballots around the country.
  • Refers to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which DIEB-THROAT once, but longer supports, as "a big money grab."
  • Describes Diebold machines as "purposely complex and poorly designed."
  • Much more and full details in RAW's complete article here...




    Measure Approved by Attorney General Even After 4 of 5 Staffers Wrote 51-Page Memo Advising Against Law
    (Election-Related News Actually Makes WaPo's Front Page!)
    By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2005 1:57pm PT  

    A page one story in today's Washington Post reports that a 51-page memo obtained by the paper, shows Dept. of Justice staffers had rejected a controversial new Photo ID requirement law for voters in Georgia, but that their recommendations were overruled and the measure was approved anyway by the Bush appointed Attorney General.

    Georgia's new law was recently rejected as unconstitutional by two Federal Courts who equated it to a "Jim Crow-era poll tax" after its approval by the DoJ despite the recommendation against it by 4 out of 5 staffers in the DoJ's Voting Rights Act division.

    The law would have required all voters to present a Photo ID at the poll, available for $20 to those who did not have one. The measure, which, like all such measures currently being pushed around the country by Republicans, is alleged to be disproportionately disenfranchising to minority (read: Democratic-leaning) voters.

    Despite a complete dearth of evidence to demonstrate that Photo ID requirements are useful in combatting the non-existent epidemic of "Voter Fraud" in America, Republican legislators in Georgia and other states are attempting to ramrod such measures through their state legislatures. Even the creators of the Georgia law were unable to cite a single example of fraud in the state which would have been held off by the new legislation.

    Indeed, the self-described "non-partisan" GOP front-group calling itself the American Center for Voting Rights has been fervently attempting to perpetrate the hoax of a "Voter Fraud" epidemic on voters for at least the past six months. They've made the cause their number one plan in attempting to further disenfranchise millions of minority, elderly, poor and urban-dwelling voters, all of whom are far more likely to vote Democratic and not own drivers licenses.

    The Voting Rights Act of 1965, parts of which are up for renewal by this Justice Department in 2007, requires states such as Georgia to have any such new laws that may effect voters to be "pre-cleared" by the DoJ.

    According to WaPo...

    State Rep. Tyrone L. Brooks Sr., a Democrat and president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, said he was not surprised by the Justice Department's position in the case.

    "Some of my colleagues told me early on that, because of politics in the Bush administration, no matter what the staff recommendation was, this would be approved by the attorney general," Brooks said. "It's disappointing that the staff recommendation was not accepted, because that has been the norm since 1965."

    UPDATE 12/2/05: Bush DoJ does it again! This time with a unanimous decision against Tom DeLay's Texas redistricting! Turns out that too was overruled by his DoJ cronies!

    UPDATE 12/10/05: Now the DoJ has barred staffers from offering opinions at all! Democracy crumbles...

    For more information on the "non-partisan" tax-exempt ACVR scam and the snakeoil salesmen who invented it, Bush/Cheney '04 National General Counsel Mark F. "Thor" Hearne and RNC Communications Director Jim Dyke, please see BRAD BLOG's full Special Coverage of the "American Center for Voting Rights" at http://www.BradBlog.com/ACVR.
    This is another in our series of occassional and annoying reminders that it is your support that allows us to keep going. Please help support The BRAD BLOG with a donation if you can. It means the world.



    Conyers: GA Legislature Should Have Never Passed 'Modern Day Poll Tax'
    By Brad Friedman on 10/18/2005 3:11pm PT  

    A federal judge has just issued an injunction to keep the new Photo ID requirements at polling places in the state of Georgia from moving forward. As reported many times on The BRAD BLOG, the requirement for photo ID at the polls would disenfranchise anywhere from 10 to 20 million Americans who do not have driver licenses --- mainly the elderly, minorities, the poor and other urban dwellers.

    The call for Photo ID at the polling place is the latest attempt by Republicans who hope to further disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters across the country. The effort has been pushed hard by the self-declared "non-partisan" phony GOP "voting rights" group calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights and was called for by the shameful Baker/Carter National Election Reform Commission, which was led by disenfranchisement expert and Bush family crony James A. Baker along with high-level GOP operatives from the ACVR.

    This just in from AP...

    ATLANTA (AP) --- A federal court has barred Georgia from enforcing a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.

    In the ruling issued today, the U.S. District Court in Rome agreed with critics who claimed the law amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax.

    The U.S. Justice Department approved the law in August. The department said that while Attorney General Alberto Gonzales did NOT object to the state's voter I-D requirement, the federal agency's approval did NOT preclude lawsuits against it.

    The Republican-backed measure sparked racial tension during the state's legislative session last spring. Most of Georgia's black lawmakers walked out at the state Capitol when it was approved.

    In a news release just issued to The BRAD BLOG, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), ranking minority member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, lauded the decision to stop what he referred to as "a modern day poll tax."

    Says Conyers in the release: "Truth be told, the issue should have never reached this point - the Georgia Legislature should never have passed this modern day poll tax, the Governor should not have signed it, and the Justice Department should have intervened to stop it. That is why 21 Members and I asked the Department to prevent this law from taking effect."

    The full press release from Conyers office follows...

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




    Stock Fall Another 3.3% Today...
    (And More Trouble Still To Come for Diebold, Our Sources Tell Us...)
    By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2005 9:46am PT  

    With Diebold, Inc.'s financial and ethical and political chickens perhaps finally coming home to roost, Andrew Gumbel, author of Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America comes out with some more troubling information on the voting machines sold by America's largest Voting Machine Company.

    As we write this morning, Diebold's trouble stock prices, which fell nearly 20% over two days last week alone, continue to tumble. DBD share prices are down 2.33% so far in early trading today closed down another 3.3% today!

    The trouble reported by Gumbel today, comes out of Georgia, vis a vis the Democratic Secretary of State down there and what appears to be some less-than-above-board contractual shenanigans with Diebold and their hardware and software. The report also suggest that votes may have disappeared entirely from Diebold voting machines.

    Gumbel reports, in a Huffington Post blog item today based on several original documents and contracts obtained via public records requests made by CountTheVote.org's Roxanne Jekot, that recent "elections were run on software that was not only untested but also uncertified, that key components broke down during live elections, that county officials were left clueless on how to operate the new machines because of a breakdown in the training schedule, and that the cost of installing the electronic touch-screen system jumped dramatically beyond the advertised $54 million, without proper legislative oversight or approval."

    While Gumbel's concerns seem to be used to question Sec. of State Cathy Cox's fitness for office as she makes a 2006 gubernatorial bid, it's Diebold's complicity in keeping security issues with their machines quiet that caught our eye. Amongst the items reported by Gumbel based on records reviewed (more links available in his original article):

    � Georgia ran its first all-touch screen election, in November 2002, with software for which no evidence of legal certification had been submitted. Certification documents were still not forthcoming, in fact, as late as March 2003. Because of a meltdown in the schedule for training county election workers, Georgia ended up abdicating control of the election to Diebold technicians, who ran it on the state's behalf � without the voters being told.

    NOTE: The 2002 election questioned above, was when Senator, War Hero and 3-time amputee Max Cleland (D-GA) lost his seat in a surpise victory by Republican, Saxby Chambliss who had run advertisements questioning the patriotism of Cleland, and comparing the Vietnam War hero and 3-time amputee to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

    Gumbel continues...

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




    By Brad Friedman on 12/7/2004 1:02pm PT  

    Many folks have had trouble find information about the FDOT Investigator who was said to be working on the case, and who Clint Curtis says in his Affidavit (PDF), was close to a break on the case. Curtis quotes him as saying "he had tracked the corruption 'all the way to the top'".

    The newspaper obit for Lemme follows...

    As well, I have about 25 more pages of documents on the Lemme case from the police records (all public records, by the way, from the Valdosta Police Dept).

    I'll be posting much of that shortly here as well!

    [Originally published at BRAD BLOG TOO while The BRAD BLOG server was down.
    Comments left by readers on the original article can be read at the above link.]



    While 150,000 Votes Already Miscounted or Lost!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2004 11:50am PT  

    Yesterday Bev Harris' BlackBoxVoting.org site began issuing "Bandwidth Exceeded" messages to users attempting to access the site. Such a message generally occurs when more users are attempting to access the site than the server can comfortably handle or when the bandwidth allocated by the domain's Internet Provider is exceeded.

    Today, attempts to access the site now simply return a "Cannot Find Server" page, leading me to believe that hack attempts and/or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have been successful for the time being. [UPDATE: BlackBoxVoting.org is now finally back online. At least for now.]

    We have had such attacks here at the BRAD BLOG for the last three days which have taken us similarly down and/or greatly slowed page retrieval at various times. Given the much higher profile BBV has had, it's little surprise that folks who'd rather see patriotic efforts like theirs discontinued would work feverishly to disrupt it.

    Ms. Harris and BBV has been spearheading a huge "Freedom of Information Act" filing to collect and review audit logs and other materials from the election in some 3,000 US counties, and thus, her group has attracted quite a bit of attention in the past week. BBV has been attempting to warn Americans for at least the past year about the ticking time-bombs of unregulated, unauditable, and privately owned Electronic Voting machines and their corporate owners (the vast majority of them very closely tied to the Republican party).

    Attempts to silence and/or disrupt sites like hers and ours, I believe, speak volumes in support of the underlying charges that we've been making. If there was nothing to fear in examining the inner-workings of these companies, and the way that our votes our counted --- specifically in last week's election --- there would be no reason to attempt to silence and disrupt those who are attempting to do so.

    In other words, if the election was clean and fair, what's the fear of giving it a close inspection?

    Now perhaps the problem at BBV really is simply related to an overage of bandwidth demand, however, given past attacks the site has received, similar attacks here, and the message changing from "Bandwidth Exceeded" to "Cannot Find Server", I'm inclined to believe that the problem is hostile attacks.

    To those who claim that the roughly 150,000 (so far) documented votes that have been reported and confirmed by Election Officials as being mis-allocated would not have changed any election results, I'd point out:

    1) Those are just the numbers reported by a mainstream media which by and large went "on vacation" after Kerry's "concession" last Wednesday.

    2) Many of those mistabulated and/or lost votes discovered were due to software errors that likely exist on many other identical computers in many other counties in America where they may not yet have been noticed and/or reported.

    3) The results of at least one ballot initiative last Tuesday has already been reversed when 70,000 previously mis-counted votes due to "software error" were "discovered" in Broward County, FL!

    4) There has been a long record of elections in this country being mis-tabulated and/or reversed due to Electronic Voting Machine error in recent history.

    Chapter 2 of Bev Harris' book, Black Box Voting outlines tons of those recently overturned elections. Here's the PDF version of Chapter 2, but since it's currently offline as of this posting, here's a summary of just a few such recent incidents summarized courtesy of Hunter over at DailyKos:

    In the 2002 general election, a computer miscount overturned the House District 11 result in Wayne County, North Carolina. Incorrect programming caused machines to skip several thousand partyline votes, both Republican and Democratic. Fixing the error turned up 5,500 more votes and reversed the election for state representative.
    ...
    Voting machines failed to tally "yes" votes on the 2002 school bond issue in Gretna, Nebraska. This error gave the false impression that the measure had failed miserably, but it actually passed by a 2 to 1 margin. Responsibility for the errors was attributed to ES&S, the Omaha company that had provided the ballots and the machines.
    ...
    An Orange County, California, election computer made a 100 percent error during the April 1998 school bond referendum. The Registrar of Voters Office initially announced that the bond issue had lost by a wide margin; in fact, it was supported by a majority of the ballots cast. The error was attributed to a programmer's reversing the "yes" and "no" answers in the software used to count the votes.
    ...
    Software programming errors, sorry. Oh, and reverse that election, we announced the wrong winner. In the 2002 Clay County, Kansas, commissioner primary, voting machines said Jerry Mayo ran a close race but lost, garnering 48 percent of the vote, but a hand recount revealed Mayo had won by a landslide, receiving 76 percent of the vote.
    ...
    In the November 2002 general election in Scurry County, Texas, poll workers got suspicious about a landslide victory for two Republican commissioner candidates. Told that a "bad chip" was to blame, they had a new computer chip flown in and also counted the votes by hand --- and found out that Democrats actually had won by wide margins, overturning the election.
    ...
    In 1986 the wrong candidate was declared the winner in Georgia. Incumbent Democrat Donn Peevy was running for state senator in District 48. The machines said he lost the election. After an investigation revealed that a Republican elections official had kept uncounted ballots in the trunk of his car, officials also admitted that a computerized voting program had miscounted. Peevy insisted on a recount. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "When the count finished around 1 a.m., they [the elections board] walked into a room and shut the door," recalls Peevy. "When they came out, they said, `Mr. Peevy, you won.' That was it. They never apologized. They never explained."
    ...
    A software programming error gave the election to the wrong candidate in November 1999 in Onondaga County, New York. Bob Faulkner, a political newcomer, went to bed on election night confident he had helped complete a Republican sweep of three open council seats. But after Onondaga County Board of Elections staffers rechecked the totals, Faulkner had lost to Democratic incumbent Elaine Lytel. Just a few hours later, election officials discovered that a software programming error had given too many absentee ballot votes to Lytel. Faulkner took the lead.
    ...
    In a 1998 Salt Lake City election, 1,413 votes never showed up in the total. A programming error caused a batch of ballots not to count, though they had been run through the machine like all the others. When the 1,413 missing votes were counted, they reversed the election.

    If an official investigation doesn't take place immediately, there is little hope of determing the correct winner of any number of races from last week's election. Not the least of which is the race for President of the United States. And I would think, especially after four years of questions about George W. Bush's legitimacy as "President" that even the Right Wingnuts would like to be able to demonstrate once and for all to the American People that he was, in fact, legitimately elected this time.

    For more on the suddenly silent Right Wingers, see my recent BuzzFlash Editorial. And be sure to sign this Online Petition calling for an immediate investigation!




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