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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, February 3, 2023
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Discussing NH, and the 'Progressive' Crackpots Who Don't Believe Ballots Should Actually be Counted in Primary Elections...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2008 12:05pm PT  

10 minutes on this morning's Stephanie Miller Show. Discussing why things like actually counting the ballots in New Hampshire would have been a great idea. And on the lunacy and self-destructiveness of progressives (like this uninformed front-pager over at dKos, and his even lesser-informed followers, such as Markos himself) buying into the conspiracy theory that the dozens of verified, independent, multiple-sourced pre-election polls were wrong, but the unverified and uncounted election results, as announced, are somehow magically known to be accurate.

The results might well be right. But unlike the transparent and verifiable polls, no human being has actually bothered to count or even examine 80% of the ballots in NH. So whose the irresponsible crackpot here? Some of these folks are digging their own November grave.

We stay up all night without sleeping and go on Steph's show, you decide...




'Even Our Own Exit Polls, Taken as People Came Out of Voting, Showed Him Ahead'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2008 2:47am PT  


Even the Exit Polls showed that Obama should have won, according to Chris Matthews on Hardball today. It's the first specific indication that we've seen that the raw, unadjusted Exit Poll data, which only corporate mainstream media folks, not mere mortals, are allowed to see, confirmed pre-election polling which predicted an Obama win.

He introduced his segment today this way (video at right):

MATTHEWS: So what accounts for Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire? What we don't know is why the victory is so much different in fact, than the polling ahead of time, including what we call the Exit Polls were telling us. Obama was ahead in those polls by an average of 8 points, and even our own Exit Polls, taken as people came out of voting, showed him ahead. So what's going on here?

Good question. And one that we asked, verbatim, all night long last night.

"Why were the polls taken, of people coming out of the booth, so off?," Matthews tries to ask his guests again and again. And again.

All of them twisted and turned and contorted and grappled and speculated, coming up with every possible unverifiable, backwards-engineered explanation, save for the one that must not be named. The 600 lb. canary in the virtual living room...the fact that no human being has bothered to check what was actually on NH's vast majority of ballots (80%) which were "counted" by error-prone, hackable Diebold optical-scan machines, all controlled by one bad, horribly irresponsible private company, who has no business being anywhere near a public election...

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




Analaysis Shows Candidates 'Positions Swapped' Where Ballots Counted by Hand Versus 'Counted' by Machine...
By Brad Friedman on 1/10/2008 1:47am PT  

It's been an exhausting day, as a few folks in the world are finally beginning to open their eyes, and realize that not counting ballots, and trusting instead, in error-prone, hackable machines for "faith-based results" doesn't make a lot of sense. Particularly in an election for which nobody --- and I mean nobody --- has come up with a legitimate explanation for the surprising results. Oh, there's been plenty of speculation, but no actual facts. So why it's so difficult for folks to realize that the biggest unknown here --- what the ballots actually said on them --- has gone wholly unexamined in 80% of NH, continues to elude me.

That point eludes Tribune Media Services columnist Bob Koehler too. So I hope you read his eye-opening take on that for Thursday's corporate mainstream papers.

As promised, in my long, and much-updated original piece from last night, first expressing concerns and asking questions about the NH results, folks today have been looking at the precinct numbers to compare the difference between those which "counted" ballots on Diebold op-scan systems (for about 80% of NH's voters), versus those that still hand-count ballots in the Granite State (about 20% of the votes).

Ben Moseley of The Contrarian, most succinctly covers what other folks have found as well today. Namely, a 7 point overall bump for Clinton over Obama where the machines were used instead of hand-counts...

I just spent the last two hours putting together a spreadsheet of the Democratic results of the NH primary for each town with almost all but a few towns reporting, and the results were somewhat surprising.
...
I say "somewhat" because some people will say this entirely foreseeable. What the informal statistics show is that Hillary Clinton received a 4.5% boost in towns using Diebold voting machines compared to towns that didn't. Meanwhile, Obama was hurt in these towns showing a 2.5% decrease in the Diebold towns.

Moseley responsibly notes, however, that there could well be other reasons for Clinton's popularity in areas where Diebold's machines are used, in lieu of actually counting ballots. For example, hand-counting in NH is generally done in the more rural areas and smaller precincts. Perhaps Obama is more popular, or Clinton less, in such areas for any number of reasons.

The comparisons are only anecdotally useful for that reason. However, had the hand-counted results matched up similarly to those in Diebold areas, it might well have been a sign that there was little to worry about. (Even if I personally think not counting ballots is always something to worry about. But that's just me, one of those whacky pro-Democracy fellers, I guess.)

Moseley a blogger and political science student from American University, writes about Clinton's Diebold bump: "Does this show election fraud? Right now I'm not sure, but the possibility definitely remains and must not be taken off the table."

Then, in two updates, he offers a coupla more eye-brow raisers...

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




Ken Hajjar, Director of Diebold's Exclusive Sales & Service Provider in New England Pled Guilty to Criminal Charges in 90's
Does the Sec. of State of NH --- or CT or MA or VT or ME --- Even Know About It?...
By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2008 8:47pm PT  

Does the Secretary of State of New Hampshire have any idea that a key executive in the private firm that programs and "counts" 80% of the state's ballots on hackable, error-prone Diebold voting machines is a convicted narcotics trafficker?

In 1990, Ken Hajjar, the Director of Sales and Marketing for LHS Associates, and childhood friend of company owner John Silvestro, was arrested and pled guilty to charges of "Sale/CND" (Sale of Controlled Narcotics/Drugs) which earned him a 12 month sentence, according to documents received via a public records request and posted this evening at BlackBoxVoting.org.

LHS Associates, as BBV's Bev Harris points out, programs "every single voting machine in New Hampshire, Connecticut, almost all of Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine."

Hajjar himself is also the the guy who showed up in BRAD BLOG comments, at one point last summer, to let us know we are "totally full of shit" and "deluded...paranoid...looney idealogues" to boot. Well, maybe. But at least we don't have a secret felony conviction, even while owning almost complete control over every vote cast and "counted" in New England.

The newly-revealed felon's impolitic rant here earned him the boot from the Secretary of State of Connecticut, where he is now barred from working, as guest blogger Dori Smith pointed out in another BRAD BLOG story last November, detailing the horrors that are LHS Associates, Silvestro and Hajjar.

When Smith asked Hajjar about his admission that he and his company regularly replace voting machine memory cards (the keys to the kingdom!) at will, in the middle of elections, he told her, "I mean, I don't pay attention to every little law."

We'll say!

Go check out Harris' new article tonight, which includes more details and the arrest record --- along with the note that "until recently, LHS employees were listed on the company Web site. Now the pages identifying who programs New England voting machines have been taken down."

Now ya know why.

Even if you still don't know who actually won the New Hampshire Primary.

(What say we actually count the ballots and put the questions to rest? Just sayin'...)

For good measure, we'll also post again below the rare video footage of Silvestro, along with the first-hand BBV footage of the infamous and stunning Leon County, FL hack of a Diebold optical-scan machine --- the very same ones used across NH on Tuesday --- and the one originally seen in HBO's Emmy-nominated Hacking Democracy...

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




Syndicated Columnist Robert Koehler Writes for Tomorrow's Papers: 'Possibility of Tainted Results, a Prospect Most of Media Can't Bear'
Notes Problems With NH's Diebold Machines 'Remain Unsolved'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/9/2008 4:35pm PT  

Syndicated Tribune Media Services columnist Bob Koehler bumps up our serious concerns about last night's wholly untransparent, and still-uncounted (by anything but a hackable Diebold computer, and a company with an executive criminal past, to say the least) New Hampshire Primary election results, from "blogger conspiracy theory" to mainstream media concern.

Here are the first few grafs of his column, set to run in tomorrow's editions of subscribing mainstream media papers...

PRIMARY CONCERNS
By Robert C. Koehler
Tribune Media Services

As the breathless sports coverage of the presidential primaries bursts around me this morning, I’m doing my best to resist surrendering to the contrived drama about “comeback kids” and the flying shrapnel of numbers and hold onto my troubled skepticism about the electoral process, or at least most of it.

First of all, before we get too enthusiastic about feminist solidarity or wax knowingly about New Hampshire Democrats’ traditional soft-heartedness toward the Clinton family, let’s ponder yet again the possibility of tainted results, which is such an unfun prospect most of the media can’t bear to remember that all the problems we’ve had with electronic voting machines — and Diebold machines in particular, which dominate New Hampshire polling places — remain unsolved.

Did the Hillary campaign really defy the pollsters? She had been trailing Barack Obama by 13 percentage points, 42 to 29, in a recent Zogby poll, as election watchdog Brad Friedman pointed out. And the weekend’s “rapturous packed rallies for Mr. Obama,” as the New York Times put it, “suggested Mrs. Clinton was in dire shape.”

So when she emerged from the Tuesday primary with an 8,000-vote and 3-percentage-point victory over Obama, perhaps — considering the notorious unreliability, not to mention hackability, of Diebold machines — the media might have hoisted a few red flags in the coverage, rather than immediately chalk the results up to Clinton’s tears and voter unpredictability. (Oh, if only more reporters considered red flags patriotic.)

The fact is, whatever actually happened in New Hampshire voting booths on Tuesday, our elections are horrifically insecure. For instance, Bev Harris, of the highly respected voting watchdog organization Black Box Voting, recently wrote that the Diebold 1.94w optical scan machines used in some 55 percent of New Hampshire precincts (representing more than 80 percent of the state’s voters) are “the exact same make, model and version hacked in the Black Box Voting project in Leon County (Florida)” a few years ago. They haven’t been upgraded; the security problems haven’t been fixed.

National, or at least media, denial about this situation doesn’t say much for the strength of our democracy.

The rest of the column is just as good, in which he discusses the MSM's "inability to incorporate news of ongoing voting-machine insecurity into actual election coverage."

Full column now posted here...




Says We Put 'Too Much Stock' Into Something That Is Often Wrong As Was The Case In New Hampshire
Guest Keyllyanne Conway Concurs And Points Out That Exit Polls Were Also Wrong In The 2000 And 2004 Presidential Elections...
By Alan Breslauer on 1/9/2008 3:28pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

Neil Cavuto wonders why "we put a lot of stock" into exit polls when pollsters "get it wrong a lot." Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway agrees that we put "too much stock" in exit polls. Conway goes on to blame the media, "who are running their own polls" and reminds viewers that, "these are the same media who ran polls in 2000 on election night declaring Al Gore the winner, 2004 declaring John Kerry the winner according to exit polls and here we are again." And even though she claims to be a pollster, Conway strangely adds that, "exit polling is not scientific. It's illustrative. It's fun."

Finally the conversation turns to the question of race in exit polling where, according to Conway, "people use pollster to lie to themselves". The reason for this is that people like to "make themselves sound more progressive".




Other Pre-Election Numbers, For Republicans and Rest of Dems, Nearly Dead on the Money...
By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2008 8:49pm PT  

[UPDATED several times at end of article, and still developing with new updates...]

I'm not sure why Obama would have conceded so soon, given the virtually inexplicable turn of events in New Hampshire tonight.

What's going on here? Before proceeding, I recommend you read the third section of the post I just ran an hour or so ago, concerning the way the ballots are counted in New Hampshire, largely on Diebold optical-scan voting systems, wholly controlled and programmed by a very very bad company named LHS Associates.

Those Diebold op-scan machines are the exact same ones that were hacked in the HBO documentary, Hacking Democracy. See the previous report, as I recommend, which also includes a video of that hack, and footage of the guy who runs LHS Associates.

That said, the the pre-election pollster's numbers (NOTE: that's not Exit Polls, but Pre-Election Polls!) were dead-on, for the most part, on the Republican side, as well as on the Democratic side. Except in the do-or-die (for Hillary) Clinton v. Obama race. I'm watching MSNBC right now, and they all seem to agree that the results, for the moment, defy explanation.

I concur.

Here's a screenshot of a round up of all of the latest polls from RealClearPolitics.com tonight, and more, to get an idea of the serious concerns here...

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




Reports of 'Voter Fraud' in Dixville Notch, Dem Ballots Unavailable to Voters, Both Debunked by The BRAD BLOG
Though Reasons Remain for Concern About Tabulation on Diebold Machines...
By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2008 5:42pm PT  

-- Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

Our Spidey-sense started tingling before going to bed last night and hearing reports, on MSNBC, that there were 17 paper ballots cast in Dixville Notch, NH, in its midnight, first-in-the-country voting. The report said that there were only 16 registered voters in the tiny voting precinct, yet 17 votes had been cast --- suggesting that somehow, paper ballot "voter fraud" skullduggery was afoot.

Following on that, reports throughout the day appeared that NH precincts were out of paper ballots, and voters were unable to vote.

Trouble is, both reports are either completely untrue, or wholly misleading, or both, as The BRAD BLOG was able to confirm with two simple phone calls.

Each of those reports, however, would seem to go a long way towards giving the impression that paper ballots are a bad idea, and that "voter fraud" is easy to commit when using them. Given that one of those reports seems to have begun on The DRUDGE REPORT earlier today, we're not particularly surprised that the MSM kept repeating the easily-debunked stories running all day.

That, even while there are reasons to be concerned about how the paper ballots used in the New Hampshire Primary will actually be counted by the hackable Diebold optical-scan systems used in the state, as controlled and programmed by an outrageously bad private contractor there...

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




By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2008 7:35am PT  

I was interviewed last week by IT Business Edge technology reporter, Carl Weinschenk, on the current state of e-voting as we head into yet another big election year.

During the course of the conversation, poor Carl was clearly growing increasingly distressed by the answers I had to offer to his questions. Understandably, he was looking for signs of hope. Here's a few snippets from what we'll call "the hopeful sections" of the full interview published over the week, and headlined "Bits, Bytes and Votes"...

Question: Are there hopeful signs?
Friedman: We're beginning to turn the Titanic around. I think that people finally are beginning to understand.
...
Some folks like me have been running around with their hair on fire for years but were being virtually ignored by corporate mainstream media, government and election officials. The voting machine companies ran expensive campaigns to turn people like me into conspiracy theorists. As we now have seen, particularly late [last] year, one study after another is showing that those of us with those concerns are not conspiracy theorists. Now that all scientific reports across the country show that it is no longer just a theory that the system is vulnerable. Furthermore, and most disturbing, is that it doesn't take a conspiracy [to impact an election] because a single person can flip an entire election without detection.
...
Question: You said the Titanic is beginning to turn. While I may have used another ship in the metaphor, the sense is that there is at least some good news.
Friedman: Here's the good news: More people understand the threat and are concerned. More citizens are watching, more are paying attention, working at polls, asking questions. That makes it harder and harder for bad guys to mess with elections or for errors to go undetected. The answer is not to rely on media, not to relay [sic] on government because it will fail us, but to rely on people. People are really, really concerned about the issue and are paying attention.

The entire Q&A, including the less hopeful sections, is published right here...




Dennis Kucinich Sues ABC for Similar New Hampshire Debate Snub...
By Brad Friedman on 1/7/2008 6:08pm PT  

Ron Paul says his exclusion from last night's debate on Fox "News" is an "awful embarrassment" for the Republican propaganda outlet.

The Republican Presidential candidate points out, during an interview this morning on CNN, that he received 10% of the vote in Iowa, where he finished well ahead of Rudy Giuliani --- who was allowed to participate in the Fox debate --- and that he's beating him "2 to 1" currently in New Hampshire. As well, Paul points out that his campaign has "raised more money than any other Republican candidate in the last quarter."

He also notes both the impossible and the obvious in a single sentence when he charges: "I think they're making a mockery of the whole situation...because they've lost all credibility."

Fox claims their criteria on deciding who would participate in the New Hampshire debate was based on who was receiving at least 10% in the national polls. RAW STORY has the story and video.

Paul supporters are seen in this video, chasing Fox "News" and ABC radio propagandist Sean Hannity down the street last night in New Hampshire, chanting "Fox News sucks" and yelling reminders to the Republican party mouthpiece that he is not, in fact, as his fans would otherwise claim, "a great American."

Similarly, Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich was not allowed to participate in Sunday's (capital "D") Democratic debate on ABC. The Ohio Congressman is filing a complaint with the FCC, which points out, among other things, that the Disney-owned network is "violating its obligation to operate in the public interest," and that he "is the only Democratic presidential candidate who has qualified for Federal matching funds who is being excluded by ABC."

Meanwhile American democracy (small "d") gently weeps.




Cover Graphic Shows Exploding Voting Booth with 'WARNING' Label: 'Your vote may be lost, destroyed, miscounted, wrongly attributed or hacked'
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2008 2:50pm PT  

The entire debate over e-voting may well be just about to change. Hopefully for the better. Big time.

Editor & Publisher's editor Greg Mitchell, has tipped off The BRAD BLOG late this afternoon, that the New York Times Magazine is set to run a "massive" cover-story this Sunday, on the entire e-voting disaster titled "The Bugs in the Machines."

Better late than never?

Mitchell describes the story as "quite chilling" in the exclusive preview he's just posted to his new personal blog. Here's the first coupla grafs from his scoop...

Coming between the Iowa and New Hampshire tallies, this Sunday's cover of The New York Times Magazine ought to strike a chord. It shows a man inside an exploding voting booth with a WARNING label over it and the words: "Your vote may be lost, destroyed, miscounted, wrongly attributed or hacked."

The massive Clive Thompson article, titled "The Bugs in the Machines," is quite chilling. "After the 2000 election," it opens, "counties around the country rushed to buy new computerized voting machines. But it turns out that these machines may cause problems worse than hanging chads. Is America ready for another contested election?" One key passage: "The earliest critiques of digital voting booths came from the fringe --- disgruntled citizens and scared-senseless computer geeks --- but the fears have now risen to the highest levels of government."

One expert says that "about 10 percent" of the devices fail in each election.

UPDATE 1/5/08: The entire, nearly 8,000 world article, is now out, and posted right here. It looks very good on first glance. But more later as we get a chance to review it in full.

And no, for those who've asked, The BRAD BLOG was neither consulted for, nor mentioned in the Times lengthy story (unless you consider "fringe...disgruntled citizens and scared-senseless computer geeks" to be a mention. Though we guess it's better than the Times original take on us, from November 20, 2004, which referred to election integrity issues as "the conspiracy theories of leftwing bloggers," just after we began investigating and reporting on the very issues which make up the basis of today's 8,000 word, better-late-than-never, New York Times report.)

We accept your apology.


One quick inaccuracy in the story, for now, which is small, but we feel important to correct for the record: Once again, Prof. Ed Felten of Princeton University has misled the NY Times about the origins of the Diebold touch-screen system his team used for their landmark virus hack in the summer of 2006.

He is interviewed in the story, in relation to the study, in which his team was able to easily implant a virus. It's reported, in the story, that the machine was "anonymously donated" to him. It was not. Which he well knows...

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




By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2008 7:24pm PT  

Obama wins for the D's, Huckabee wins for the R's. Consider this an Iowa horse race Open Thread, as you wish...

For my part, I'll take the opportunity to open it up with a few bragging rights, along with a simultaneous warning to those who think Huckabee will be easy for the D's to beat if he were to win the nomination.

Back in January of '07, after seeing Huckabee interviewed for the first time (on The Daily Show), I wrote:

...on the Republican side, I might suggest one of the dark horses that Democrats should be most concerned about is Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. His recent appearance on The Daily Show may give you an idea why. That is, if he can make it through the hard right phony "conservative" hurdles of the primary process.

Daily Show's Huckabee Interview on Vid here: Part 1, Part 2.

I stand by that prediction, and think Dems would be foolish to misunderestimate Huckabee. Period. Discuss.




Discussing Accountability, Iowa Caucuses and Election Integrity Concerns with Guest Host Bree Walker...
By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2008 12:19pm PT  

Me, on the Stephanie Miller Show this morning, with Guest Host Bree Walker, talking about the Iowa Caucuses, and various concerns thereof.

(Appx. 15 mins) Download MP3, or listen online here...

{Broken audio link now fixed. Sorry about that. --- BF}




Brunner's New Directive Also Requires Such Ballots Actually Be Counted Before Unofficial Results are Released to the Public, Media
Concerns Remain About Centralized County Tabulation, However...
By Brad Friedman on 1/3/2008 11:01am PT  

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner issued a short, unambiguous and to-the-point directive [PDF] last night, to all 56 counties in Ohio still employing unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting machines, that they must make a paper ballot available at the polling place to any voter who wishes to vote on one.

Brava!

Her directive even goes so far as to require those paper ballots actually be counted "on election night as part of the unofficial canvass."

Brava again! The requirement to actually count those paper ballots before unofficial results are release to the public and media is a key component that has been missing from the various federal legislative efforts, including Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) latest bill as currently drafted, as well as his previous one (HR811), that would begin to put paper back into the polling place.

Every state in the country should follow suit! As well, we recommend that, at the very least, Brunner issue a further directive that signs shall be conspicuously and clearly posted in each polling place to inform voters of their right to vote on paper, if they wish. Better still, a directive that requires every voter to be asked by voting officials, before they vote, if they wish to vote on paper. We have previously recommended such a "paper or plastic?" requirement for any jurisdiction in America that still allows for the use of horrible DRE systems (including those with or without a useless, so-called "paper trail").

Until then, Democracy advocates in the Buckeye state will need to launch an important, and potentially expensive (but crucial), education campaign to inform voters of their right to vote on paper!

With the very good general news from Brunner, let's hope she soon realizes the underlying reasons for serious concerns about, and the great dangers of, not counting and posting precinct voting results at the precinct, before they are sent back to county headquarters for central tabulation.

Brunner's recent independent testing of Ohio's e-voting systems (known as EVEREST) led her to recommend the abolishment of all DRE systems in the state, although she did not issue a binding directive to that end. At the same time, her recommendation to ban precinct-based counting, in favor of central-based counting, has drawn a great deal of criticism from Election Integrity advocates. Rightly so, in our opinion, even if she came to her recommendation through well-meaning advice from some of the folks who advised on the study, including computer security experts, and election officials of the sort who would be inappropriately entrusted with complete control over that dangerously centralized counting process.

(You can read our direct challenges to Brunner on that point, and her explanations for the decision, in our recent exclusive interview with her, just after the release of EVEREST.)

One quick note to Mark Niquette and Columbus Dispatch concerning their coverage of this issue in this morning's paper...

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




'Huckabee is a Scab' Say Union Picketers Who Question 'Trusting Him as a Future President'...
By Brad Friedman on 1/2/2008 10:46pm PT  

On the eve of the caucuses in Iowa, Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee appeared this evening on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno, claiming not to have understood, according to AP (the show has yet to air out here in the West), that he was crossing a picket line to do so, as writers for the show continue to be on strike.

Republican Mike Huckabee appeared on Leno despite his apparent confusion about the strike and a bid by picketers to keep him away...
...
Huckabee said he supports the writers and did not think he would be crossing a picket line, because he believed the writers had made an agreement to allow late-night shows on the air. But that's not the case with Leno; "Huckabee is a scab," read one picket sign outside Leno's Burbank, Calif., studio.

The writers guild urged Huckabee not to cross their picket line after he flew out to California. But Huckabee appeared on Leno, even showing off his electric guitar playing with the band.

"Huckabee claims he didn't know," chief union negotiator John Bowman said. "I don't know what that means in terms of trusting him as a future president."

Most of the other late-night talkers also returned to new broadcasts tonight, but only David Letterman on CBS, along with Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, which follows him, did so under an agreement with the striking writers.

AP has more coverage of all of the returning late-night shows tonight. If we can get the video from Huckabee's appearance, we'll update this item.

UPDATE FROM ALAN: Video now available below...

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




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