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Sunday 'Undesirable Outcomes' Toons
You can chalk up PDiddie's latest weekly toon collection to the rightwing radicalism still unmooring our nation from facts and reality...
Attempted Stolen Election, Stolen Docs, and Yes, Murder: 'BradCast' 5/12/22
McCarthy subpoenaed for J6; New fed grand jury for Trump; Eastman advised 2020 election theft in PA; Trump, meatpackers deadly collusion; DeSantis FL gerrymander nixed...
'Green News Report' 5/12/22
  w/ Brad & Desi
Great Barrier Reef bleaching again; Global warming and new diseases; Interior cancels offshore lease sales; PLUS: AZ, CA move to enact more severe drought restrictions...
Recent GNRs: 5/10/22 - 5/5/22 - Archives...
It Ain't the Supply Chain or War. It's the Greed: 'BradCast' 5/11/22
Guest: Inequality.org's Omar Ocampo: Also: NE, WV primary results (who cares what they mean for Trump?); Federal court allows assault weapon sales to CA kids...
Greene Let Off Hook in GA for 'Insurrection', Challengers Appeal: 'BradCast' 5/10/22
Guest: FSFP President John Bonifaz with updates on ballot eligibility challenges in GA, AZ, NC; Also: Leaked SCOTUS 'Roe' opinion shaking up midterms...
'Green News Report' 5/10/22
Raging wildfires in NM; Siberian fires out of control as Russian military otherwise busy; CA plan to cut cow burps; PLUS: Arctic wildfires speeding Arctic ice melt...
'2000 Mules', 74M Repub Dupes, and GOP Fraud Continues: 'BradCast' 5/9/22
Convicted election fraudster D'Souza makes a 2020 election fraud doc; Also: White GOP voter fraud criminal gets no jail time for voting twice...
Sunday 'Mothers Day' Toons
'More of a collection that reflects a future for women who'll be forced to become mothers as a result of someone else's edict'...
After Justices Lied About 'Roe', GOP Ducks, Dems Mount Response: 'BradCast' 5/6/22
Guest: Heather Digby Parton; Also: Biden's record jobs; Trump wanted to bomb Mexico...
Not Everything Sucks. Organized Labor is Rising: 'BradCast' 5/5/22
Guest: Jordan Zakarin of Progress Report, More Perfect Union; Also: Obamas on SCOTUS gutting Roe's Const'l freedoms; Big Oil's record profits, wartime profiteering...
'Green News Report' 5/5/22
EU proposes Russian oil embargo; Plummeting reservoirs prompt 'unprecedented' cutbacks, expose grim secrets in West; PLUS: CA A.G. probes plastic recycling scam...
Midterm Primary Season Kicks of With Voting System Failures in OH: 'BradCast' 5/4/22
Also: Brown defeats Turner in OH; Trump-endorsees win in OH, IN; Amazing appeals court hearing in Cawthorn eligibility case; Trump wanted to shoot BLM protesters...
'Green News Report' 5/3/22
Unprecedented heat in India, Pakistan; 20% of reptiles face extinction; Denmark to ditch natural gas; PLUS: Mass extinction in oceans could be avoided...
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...


Senator's Office Confirms use of Great Seal in Fundraising Letter Violates FEDERAL Law!
(His Ohio STATE Law Violation in Letter is Last Week's News)
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2005 1:10am PT  

It appears that Ohio Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell (who served as both the state's Election chief and Co-Chair of the state's Bush/Cheney Re-Elect Committee) may not only have violated Ohio state law by asking for illegal corporate contributions in a recent fundraising letter for his gubernatorial bid, but it appears that he may have broken the federal Rule of Law as well!

Blackwell's use of a facsimile of The Great Seal of the United States in his constituent fundraising letterhead and on its envelope (both shown in the graphic at the bottom of this article) is in apparent violation of Title 18 of the U.S. Code which states, according to an official U.S. State Department publication [PDF] available on its website, that "all* uses of the Great Seal and the design...are official"

The State Dept. document discusses the Great Seal, its history, and is quite clear on its illegal uses according to United States Code:

Title 18 of the U.S. Code, as revised in January 1971, prohibits use of the likeness of the Great Seal or any facsimile in...any advertisement, circular, book, pamphlet, or other publication, play, motion picture, telecast, or other production...for the purpose of conveying a false impression of sponsorship or approval by the U.S. Government under threat of a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both.

Though the version of the seal used by Blackwell, is modified in the slightest of ways from the official version of the seal (there is a solid ring around the official version, instead of ring of stars for example), the use of its "likeness" or "facsimile" clearly seems intended to endow his fundraising letter with the appearance of an official notice.

The seal, in its proper and legal use, is meant to convey the authority of the President of the United States, a fact which may raise the eyebrows of those who have suggested that alleged malfeasance in the Ohio elections by Blackwell was done in favor of his candidate and President, George W. Bush.

However, the official State Dept. document states, "The seal can be affixed only by an officer of the Department of State, under the authority of its custodian, the Secretary of State."

We will presume that refers to the United States Secretary of State, as opposed to the one from Ohio.

Further the State Department document discusses requests for uses of the seal for nonofficial business (which would seem to exclude candidates seeking funds for quixotic gubernatorial bids):

Requests To Use the Great Seal and Coat of Arms

All of these uses of the Great Seal die and the design, or coat of arms, are official. Often private, nonofficial requests to use one or the other come to the Department of State. The Great Seal can be affixed only as provided by law [P.L. 91-651, Title 18 USC], and impressions of the seal cannot be made for display purposes or in response to requests for souvenirs or samples. This position has been applied not only to impressions made from the present die but also to impressions from earlier dies still in existence.

The sorts of documents on which the seal may be used by the U.S. Secretary of State after countersigning along with the President of the United States include:

  • Instruments of ratification of treaties and other international agreements;
  • Proclamations of treaties and other international instruments;
  • Appointment commissions of ambassadors, Foreign Service officers, Cabinet officers, and all other civil officers appointed by the President whose commissions are not required by law to issue under another seal; and
  • Assignment commissions for consular officers.
  • Our work load of late has kept us from being able to contact Blackwell's office for comment on this second apparent disregard for the Rule of Law in a single fundraising letter. We hope, however, that other media outlets may be able to do so shortly, and The BRAD BLOG will report on any explanation Blackwell's office may have when and if they do.

    It should be noted that it was AP who originally reported on the letter's illegal request for corporate funds in violation of Ohio state law. Blackwell's campaign office attributed the illegal request to "a printers mistake." In that same article, Blackwell is quoted as saying, "I have an obligation to follow the law."

    It was, however, the Internet-only RAW STORY who exposed the letter originally even though AP failed to give them credit for their exclusive.

    An original scan of the controversial Blackwell letter, composed while the Ohio recount was still underway, can be seen at RAW STORY with both uses of the Great Seal facsimile.

    A text-only version of the full letter can be read in our earlier story on the matter.

    Ken Blackwell's conscience and regard for the Rule of Law are still elusive at this time.

    UPDATE: Confirming our report, Sen. Lautenberg (D-NJ) office says use of Great Seal in campaign letter is illegal. RAW STORY has the story. Natch. Also, Stephen Koff of the Cleveland Plain Dealer seems to have been working on the same issue concurrently as The BRAD BLOG and they published their story on it this morning, which was in turn picked up by the Subscription-Only newsletter National Journal.

    A Blackwell representative is quoted in the reports as explaining that the seal is "official-enough looking to grab the letter recipient's attention" but "different enough to be legal."

    The Dept. of Justice would seem to disagree with that since they gave warnings about using the seal in this way to several Democrats and Republicans as many as 21 years ago according to the above reports. We'd urge you to read them both.

    As well, The BRAD BLOG has learned that that DoJ warning doesn't seem to have stopped the campaigns and PACS of J.C. Watts, Bob Barr and several others from using the fake seal recently on their own fundraising letters.

    One reporter with whom we spoke about this issue, when asked about the triviality of this apparently breach of Federal law has told us, "I have three words for you: 80-Pound Paper."

    UPDATE 1/14/05: HOUSE DEMS REQUEST DOJ CRIMINAL PROBE OF BLACKWELL! Requesting Special Prosecutor for Illegal Use of Great Seal as Originally Reported by BRAD BLOG! Click here for details!




    ...And other weekend points of note...
    By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2004 4:06pm PT  

    As you've likely imagined, I'm currently working on a number of items related to the Curtis/Feeney/Yang affair. Some small items I'll pop here shortly this evening, some larger fairly breathtaking items will be coming tomorrow or Monday. As well, I'm trying to get the original BradBlog.com moved over to a new server that can better handle the traffic so we can resume reporting back at home sweet home in the not too distant future.

    Because of all of that, I have been unable to give the proper attention to the affairs on the ground relating to the recount in Ohio.

    There have been some notable, and some disturbing developments over the last day or so however, and to that end, I associate myself with the good Mr. Joseph Cannon's coverage of some of those troubling events seeping out of the Buckeye State...

    Another lockdown in Ohio. The Ohio recount effort quickly ran into an obstacle, and his name is Ken Blackwell. From the Ohio Election Fraud site:

    On Friday December 10 two certified volunteers for the Ohio Recount team assigned to Greene County were in process recording voting information from minority precincts in Greene County, and were stopped mid-count by a surprise order from Secretary of State Blackwell's office. The Director Board of Elections stated that "all voter records for the state of Ohio were "locked-down," and now they are not considered public records."

    A voter record is not public? How can a recount take place without access to the data?

    A poll book, apparently, was physically yanked out of the hands of a recount volunteer.

    Ohio Revised Code Title XXXV Elections, Sec. 3503.26 that requires all election records to be made available for public inspection and copying. ORC Sec. 3599.161 makes it a crime for any employee of the Board of Elections to knowingly prevent or prohibit any person from inspecting the public records filed in the office of the Board of Elections. Finally, ORC Sec. 3599.42 clearly states: "A violation of any provision of Title XXXV (35) of the Revised Code constitutes a prima facie case of election fraud within the purview of such Title."

    Blackwell's outrageous attempt to impede a legal recount not only makes him a candidate for what used to be called "the big house," he has also created further grounds for a revote. The law is there; only the political will to enforce it remains missing.

    Alas, Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro seems to be a Republican ideologue; don't expect anything from an elephant except elephant crap. Perhaps we will get better results from the lawsuit Democrats filed against Blackwell.

    It gets worse: A recount volunteer named Katrina Sumner told a writer at Democratic Underground that the Board of Elections offices were kept unlocked during last night's "lockdown." Someone must have made his way into the place, because in the morning she found that a light was on that had not been on the night before.

    A janitor? Maybe. Even so, we can't rest easily knowing that anyone could have walked in and tampered with the evidence.

    Check back for more soon...

    [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.]



    By Brad Friedman on 11/23/2004 1:37pm PT  

    Predictably, the promised "Did E-Voting Work?" coverage from CNN's Judy Woodruff didn't add much to what we've already covered here. The only notable issue is that she discussed the GAO investigation reported in the previous item here and other concerns about E-Voting, as well as giving a mention to the up-coming Ohio Recount and the quarrels about thereof. Reporting on those items at all on CNN is a step up at least! So we'll take that as a luke-warmish good sign. (CNN's report on the GAO Investigation is now online. Woodruff's report on video is here.)

    In the meantime, real reporter Erica Solvig of the Cincinnati Enquirer slightly advances the Mysterious Goings-On in Warren County where you'll recall, unlike any other county in all of Ohio, all media were locked out from witnessing the vote tallying on Election Night. Warren County was amongst the last to report their results and one of the top Bush counties in Ohio. The reason given by Election Officials for the lockout was due to "terror warnings" they were said to have received from FBI/Homeland Security officials. It turns out the FBI has denied giving any such warnings to anybody in Ohio.

    In today's Enquirer Solvig reports that the lockout was planned in advance:

    County Commissioner Pat South has said the decision to lock the doors election night was made during an Oct. 28 closed-door meeting (the Thursday before Election Day). But in e-mailed memos dated Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 - released Monday after an Enquirer public records request - other county officials were already detailing the security measures, down to the wording of signs that would be posted on the locked doors.

    Not sure what we learn from that, other than the plan to lock-out reports was made in advance and Election Officials have been inaccurate about even that. Still no word on why it was all done at all, but hopefully Solvang will keep digging!




    Need $113,000 to pay for it!
    Paging Mr. Soros...Paging Mr. Soros...
    By Brad Friedman on 11/11/2004 4:10pm PT  

    In a bit of exciting news (which also tends on personal-level to give me some confidence that I I voted correctly), Green Party presidential candidate, David Cobb --- who was on the ballot in all 50 states, I'm sure you're surprised to learn --- and Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik will likely be calling for a full recount in the state of Ohio!

    KPFK (90.7 FM in Los Angeles) broke the news yesterday in an interview with Mr. Cobb...

    Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb declared that in all likelihood he would demand a recount of all the votes in the Presidential election in the state of Ohio. Since David Cobb's name appeared on the Ohio ballot, it is his legal right to ask for a statewide recount.
    ...
    In order for a statewide recount to proceed in Ohio, candidate Cobb will have to raise approximately $113,000; or ten dollars per precinct. The deadline to demand a recount occurs after the State's results are deemed official by Ohio's Secretary of State, which won't take place for a few days.

    The full radio interview can be heard here...

    They have issued a Press Release on the matter this morning with further details.

    Well, this could be it folks! As a presidential candidates in Ohio, Cobb and Badnark are within their rights to demand a recount! And I'd hope that there's enough folks with a few dollars left in their pockets to cover those costs for the Ohio recount!

    This is big (and very encouraging) news for a number of reasons, the least of which will be the ability to give all of the many punch-card ballots in the state a fresh look.

    One of the stories I haven't covered here, while many others have, is Greg Palast's "Kerry Won..." article. Palast discussed the sizeable number of potentially "spoiled" ballots that were not counted for Kerry in Ohio during the initial count. A recount, and I don't know yet if that means it'll be a "manual" recount or not, may likely shake out as many as 93,000 possible new Kerry votes (by Palasts reckoning anyway). It's unlikely that all of the spoiled ballots would go for Kerry, of course, many are likely for Bush, or have no vote or more than one vote on them and "spoiled" for good reason. But the idea of a carefully monitored recount is good news by any definition.

    (Perhaps we'll even get to figure out what the hell went on in Warren County on Election Night!)

    On this blog, I've mainly been focusing on the many computer-related counting errors and/or possible cases of fraud, since those are the issues that I find most haunting as the country moves towards its mandated 2006 deadline for all-electronic voting. So, I've not bothered to point out the more speculative nature of reports like Palast's until now, because until a re-count possibility came into play, his theory was mostly unprovable speculation. That may all now be changing...

    DONATIONS can be made for the recount to either of the following sites. They're working together...Can you imagine that?!:

  • David Cobb's website: www.votecobb.org
  • Michael Badnarik's website: www.badnarik.org
  • Third parties are good for America...don't ya think?

    UPDATE: 11/15/04 Recount fundraising goal has been met! Now seeking funds for "mobilization" costs and also volunteers to serve as "recount witnesses"! Click here for more info...




    The Higher the Vote Turnout, the Fewer Votes for Kerry!
    Go figure!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2004 4:54pm PT  

    There's been much talk about the 97,489 more votes than voters cast in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. A plausible explanation for the huge difference between votes and actual voters, as reported via the Cuyahoga County website), is being attributed by County Officials to the strange method they have for including absentee ballots into the vote counts separately from the Election Day voters. Or something.

    So setting that oddity aside for the moment, take a look at this interesting graph. I have not been able to confirm the specific numbers it shows, so I can't testify to it's accuracy, but I'm posting it here because, if accurate, this seems worth getting out to the world for further scrutiny.

    Though it's difficult to read this small, the trend-lines are all that really matter here (The full sized graph is here).

    If correct, this graph would seem to show that precinct-by-precinct in Cuyahoga County, Ohio --- where Cleveland is, and thus it's a heavily Democratic county --- the larger the turnout in each precinct, the smaller the percentage of the vote for Kerry!

    The GREEN trend line is the size of voter turnout in each precinct, and the BLUE trend line is the percentage of votes for Kerry.

    While conventional wisdom is often wrong, if the above numbers are accurate, it does seem a bit odd to say the least that the higher the turnout in a strongly Democratic county (Kerry won Cuyahoga 63%-33% if I recall correctly), would result in a smaller percentage of votes for the Democrat!

    I don't know what to make of it, or how to explain it, but it seems worth putting out there for the armchair investigators.

    UPDATE: I was asked what the balloting/counting methods are in Cuyahoga County. Apparently punch card, as counted by machines made by our old friends at ...Election Systems and Software, Inc. (ES&S). Source




    By Brad Friedman on 11/10/2004 4:25pm PT  

    Apparently this story appeared last Friday, but I missed it. I'm trying to keep all of these stories straight, report them only once, and attempt to confirm them before passing them on.

    In this case, as many as 22,000 miscounted votes were caught in time to reverse the results of two different races in state races in North Carolina according to the Charlotte Observer.

    Agriculture, education races change as counties fix vote-tally errors

    The Guilford totals didn't change President Bush's win in the state, but did shift the vote total by 22,000.

    Please remember the announced margin of "victory" for Bush in Ohio was about 135,000 in a state of 5.5 million. How many of these types of errors went undetected and/or unreported in Ohio?

    How many more of these types of articles do you we need, folks? The system is a disaster, and Congress is sitting on their hands waiting for the Electoral College deadline to pass.

    Sign this online letter now if you haven't already! And this one too!




    Apparently, it's up to us to find the answers.
    (Sshhh...Don't wake media.)
    By Brad Friedman on 11/9/2004 9:25pm PT  

    Excellent and cogent analysis and action items concerning Florida and the Exit Polls from Ian Welsch over at BOP. Please give it a look and see if you can help.

    I would add one further question/action item to Ian's list. It would be useful to learn what type of counting machine was in use in Broward County when it began subtracting votes from the tally, due to a bug in the software, and what other counties in Florida and/or the rest of the country used the same machine and software. 70,000 votes were "found" in that incident, and a local initiative overturned with the discovery of them.

    The code used in these machines is not written separately for each individual machine that I know of. If the error occurred once in Broward (and was reportedly noticed), where else did it also occur and not get noticed?

    Ditto for the UniElect machine in North Carolina that entirely lost at least 7,000 votes in a single county because it's memory chip only held 3005 votes instead of the 10,000 that manufacturer UniLect had promised. Where else was the same type of computer in use? I know Ohio used UniLect machines, and they reported unfixable problems with them on Election Day, but I haven't been able to tell if they were the same type as those in North Carolina.

    (It must be up to us to figure this crap out, because the MSM is enjoying their well-deserved nap.)




    All Media Locked out of Counting due to
    Warren County Bush Vote Nearly Highest in State!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/8/2004 9:36pm PT  

    Citing "homeland security concerns", Warren County, OH was alone in locking out media from their counting of ballots on Election Night. They were amongst the last to report their tallies that night, and according to Ohio's Election Night website Warren County ended up having the highest percentage of Bush votes amongst all of Ohio counties that had a total vote turnout greater than 22,500.

  • Warren 92,251 votes - Bush: 72.1% Kerry: 27.53%
  • There were only four counties with a higher percentage vote for Bush, and they all had 22,279 voters or less:

  • Mercer 20,058 votes - Bush: 74.89% Kerry: 24.55%
  • Putnam 18,631 votes - Bush: 76.20% Kerry: 23.34%
  • Holmes 10,976 votes - Bush: 75.61% Kerry: 23.89%
  • Auglaize 22,279 votes - Bush: 73.78% Kerry: 25.71%
  • So what happened that night in Warren County when all of America was waiting for the counting to finish in Ohio to decide the election? Why was it the only county in all of Ohio where media was not allowed to witness the counting?

    The Cincinnati Enquirer explained it this way:

    Citing concerns about potential terrorism, Warren County officials locked down the county administration building on election night and blocked anyone from observing the vote count as the nation awaited Ohio's returns.

    County officials say they took the action Tuesday night for homeland security, although state elections officials said they didn't know of any other Ohio county that closed off its elections board. Media organizations protested, saying it violated the law and the public's rights. The Warren results, delayed for hours because of long lines that extended voting past the scheduled close of polls, were part of the last tallies that helped clinch President Bush's re-election.

    "The media should have been permitted into the area where there was counting," Enquirer attorney Jack Greiner said. "This is a process that should be done in complete transparency and it wasn't."

    Warren County Emergency Services Director Frank Young said he had recommended increased security based on information received from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in recent weeks.

    Commissioners made the security decisions in a closed-door meeting last week, but didn't publicize the restrictions that were made until after polls closed.
    ...
    Typically, the Warren County commissioners' room is set up as a gathering place for people to watch the votes come in. But that wasn't done this year.
    ...
    A representative of The Associated Press, which had stringers at every Ohio board of elections site, said no such election-night access problems were reported outside of Warren County.

    It's ashame both Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are apparently now dead, isn't it?

    UPDATE: MSNBC is reporting that "the federal government" was involved in the lock-down!:

    the decision got more dubious still when County Commissioners confirmed that they were acting on the advice of their Emergency Services Director, Frank Young. Mr. Young had explained that he had been advised by the federal government to implement the measures for the sake of Homeland Security.

    Connect. The. Dots. People.

    UPDATE: 11/10/04 5:5pm PT Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown --- virtually the only major media organization giving this story the coverage it deserves --- has just reported that both the FBI and the Homeland Security Dept. have denied giving warnings in Ohio to anybody about anything. That would be contrary to the claims made in this report which quotes a letter from the President of the Elections Board in Warren explaining that the lockdown was due to warnings they'd recieved from the FBI. The letter says in part:

    In a face to face meeting between the FBI and our director of Emergency Services, we were informed that on a scale from 1 to 10, the tri-state area of Southwest Ohio was ranked at a high 8 to a low 9 in terms of security risk. Warren County in particular, was rated at 10 (with 10 being the highest risk).

    Okay. So now who's telling the truth? And why did they lock down Warren County and, unlike every other county in Ohio, disallow reporters from witnessing the vote tallying?

    UPDATE: 11/23/04 Cincinnati Enquirer, the paper which broke the Warren County Lockdown story originally, reports that the county had been planning the action for at least a week prior to the election. Details...




    Troubling Evidence is Beginning to Mount!
    By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2004 5:38pm PT  

    Folks are beginning to pay attention, guys!

    Wired Magazine is now reporting that three Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee are now calling for an investigation of the troubling incidents that we've been reporting concerning irregularities in Tuesday's vote counting!:

    Three congressmen sent a letter to the General Accounting Office on Friday requesting an investigation into irregularities with voting machines used in Tuesday's elections.

    The congressmen, Democratic members of the House of Representatives from Florida, New York and Michigan, cited a number of incidents that came to light in the days after the election. One was a glitch in Ohio that caused a memory card reader made by Danaher Controls to give George W. Bush 3,893 more votes than he should have received. Another was a problem with memory cards in North Carolina that caused machines made by UniLect to lose 4,500 votes cast on e-voting machines. The votes were lost when the number of votes cast on the machines exceeded the capacity of the memory cards.

    There were also problems with machines that counted absentee ballots in Florida. Software made by Election Systems & Software began subtracting votes when totals surpassed 32,000. Officials said the problem affected only certain countywide races on one of the last pages of the ballot. Elections officials knew about the problem two years ago, but the company failed to fix the software before the election this year.

    Reports from voters in Florida and Ohio also indicated that some of them had problems voting for the candidate of their choice. When they tried to vote for John Kerry, they said, the machine either wouldn't register the vote at all or would indicate on the review page that the vote was cast for Bush instead.

    Click for complete story...

    Keep up the noise, guys! They're starting to listen! I've had other unconfirmed reports about both Dems and the Kerry campaign beginning to take notice of all of this as well!

    UPDATE: House Judiciary Committee Letter to GAO, as mentioned above, available here in PDF format. (Hat tip "Shari H-D" for the link!)




    What a Difference a Day Makes.
    By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2004 11:53am PT  

    I'm happy to report that folks are starting to catch on to all of this. Hunter over at DailyKos gives a very sober and detailed analysis of where things are at this point in regards to both counting votes and the serious potential fraud being looked at, much of it that we've reported over the last two days here in various items.

    Lots of good and new information in that piece is offered as well. Including this little "anomaly" discovered in the released Franklin County, OH voting results in PDF format:

    Franklin County, OH: Gahanna 1-B Precinct
    638 TOTAL BALLOTS CAST

    US Senator:
    Fingerhut (D) - 167 votes
    Voinovich (R) - 300 votes

    US President:
    Kerry (D) - 260 votes
    Bush (R) - 4,258 votes

    AP has now picked up that story, and some of the others I'd been telling you about over the last couple of days. But perhaps even more notably, Drudge(!) is also now pointing to that article!...So I guess it's now officially "news"!...DEVELOPING HARD...




    Pay Attention...Or Not.
    By Brad Friedman on 11/4/2004 2:02pm PT  

    I'm sorry if there are some of you who would rather "move on". I'll err on the side of accurately counting "the will of the people in a Democracy". If, like so many of the wingnuts out there, you'd rather not examine such matters accurately (and I can hardly blame the wingnuts), you are welcome to read other blogs more likely to repeat to you what you wish to hear.

    To that end, there are continuing questions about the results in Ohio, New Mexico, and yes - Florida. Since Democracy demands both vigilance and an accurate reflection of the will of the people, I will do my best to stay on top of these matters as so many of your Emails have requested of me. I hope to have more information for you about those states later today.

    In the meantime, here's a report just released by AP concerning at least 4,500 votes that Election Officials admit were lost in North Carolina in just one county due to inaccurate information provided by the makers of the E-Voting machine in use there:

    Local officials said UniLect Corp., the maker of the county's electronic voting system, told them that each storage unit could handle 10,500 votes, but the limit was actually 3,005 votes.

    Expecting the greater capacity, the county used only one unit during the early voting period. "If we had known, we would have had the units to handle the votes," said Sue Verdon, secretary of the county election board.

    Officials said 3,005 early votes were stored, but 4,530 were lost.

    [UPDATE]: The link to the AP story is now dead. Here's another one with the same info.

    That was just one county in North Carolina. Pay attention...

    UPDATE: More problems with UniLect machines now reported! This time in Ohio where they used thousands of UniLect machines:

    "I don't know what happened," said James Bennington, who had been assured Friday that all 250 of the county's touch-screen units had been checked and rechecked. The county has 100 voting precincts.

    Keith Jenkins, director of the county's computer department, agreed that it was a software malfunction and said repeated calls to UniLect Corp., the company that sold the machines to the county in 2001, failed to resolve the problem.




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