A federal court victory for Jill Stein in Wisconsin; a federal court hearing in Pennsylvania; the fight to restart counting in Michigan; and the case for a recount in Florida. Yes, in Florida. But that's just the tip of the iceberg on today's very busy BradCast! [Audio link to complete show follows below.]
First up, some encouraging news from the New York Attorney General concerning his intentions to hold Donald Trump's nominees to head up the Environmental Protection Agency and Dept. of Labor accountable to the rule of law. Then, a bit more good news out WI today, where a federal court dismissed a Team Trump attempt to stop the ongoing Presidential "recount" in the state.
Meanwhile, a federal court in PA heard Jill Stein's case calling for a statewide count and forensic analysis of voting systems today. And, following the the hearing, in a press conference outside the courthouse, University of MI Computer Science and voting systems expert Prof. J. Alex Halderman explained again why such a study is necessary.
"Over the past ten years, we've found every one of the [voting and tabulation systems in the U.S.] susceptible to hacking. Doesn't matter whether they're plugged into the Internet directly or not," he said. "The evidence on the paper ballots, the evidence on the software in the machines --- that's what we're asking to examine. And that's the only way we're ever going to know for sure whether our votes were counted correctly or not in the 2016 Presidential election. We think that by looking at that evidence, which seems to me like just a common-sense security precaution, we can increase voter confidence, and help everyone know their that their votes really counted." Those comments come on the same day that the Obama Administration announced plans to release a report on charges that Russian hackers attempted to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.
Then, we're joined by long time election integrity champion, Susan Pynchon, founder of Florida Fair Elections Coalition and a central character in HBO's Emmy-nominated 2006 documentary Hacking Democracy, joins us to discuss a lawsuit [PDF] filed late last week calling for a statewide hand-count of paper ballots in FL(!)
Pynchon explains the reasons why it was filed, which include not just the surprising result in the state's Presidential race, but also reports that a Florida-based corporate vendor by the name of VR Systems --- a company contracted by about a dozen states --- was reportedly hacked earlier this year. She says they provided "voter registration and other services in 64 of Florida's 67 counties. Voter databases, management and tracking of mail-in ballots, and election reporting services on election night." (And here is that Exhibit T [PDF] from the complaint that I referenced during the show, concerning troubling voter registration problems reported on Election Day in several Sunshine State counties, including Broward and Lee.)
Also, Pynchon details the high "invalid vote rate" ("votes that weren't actually counted --- undervotes, overvotes, and invalid write-in votes"), which she says is "more than double in this election than it was in 2008 and 2012. We need to take a close look at that because it's not normal. It's not typical of past elections." She goes on to describe how one county was also found to have "ordered duplicate sets of [security] seals," asking: "So how secure is that when you're sealing a ballot box with a seal that could then just be replaced with your duplicate set of seals?"
Coincidentally, part of Halderman's remarks from outside of the federal courthouse in Philadelphia this afternoon, which we play in full on the show today, referred to how easy it is to break into those voting machine security seals. He says they are "easy to remove in just a few seconds with a hairdryer or a screwdriver."
"You know, if you'd asked me this ten years ago, I would have said, well, maybe it sounds like science fiction, someone hacking into a country's national election by tampering with the voting machines," warns Halderman. "I think it's only a matter of time before this happens, if it hasn't happened already."
Finally today, an incredibly chilling missive was confirmed to have been sent to the U.S. Dept. of Energy from the Trump transition team, seeking the names and details of scientists and other employees there and at national laboratories involved in climate change and other related studies...
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READER COMMENTS ON "'Reality is Just as Hackable as the Lab': 'Recount' Legal Battles in WI, PA, MI and FL (Yes, FL!): 'BradCast' 12/9/2016" (9 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/9/2016 @ 7:30 pm PT...
We should really have hand-counted paper ballots, counted at each voting-place in front of the people.Results should be tallied and reported by posting on the window of the polling place before being sent to the county or state.
Until we have that, we could also to a lot worse than to simply set aside one voting machine and don't use it for counting actual votes. Instead, the poll workers would just keep voting on it throughout the day, perhaps using a set of black and white balls to decide who to vote for, or Black beans and kidney beans. Just something that could be easily counted by hand. Then the machine's total and vote breakdown could be checked at the end of the day against the 'bean count', to see if the machine is biasing the outcome a certain direction.
Interesting "bean counter" suggestion. Unfortunately, it does nothing to protect against manipulation at the central tabulator, which is the easiest and most direct place to game the results of the entire countywide tally in one fell swoop.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/9/2016 @ 11:13 pm PT...
It seems the national socialist party is alive and well in the US, except they are calling themselves alt right. We now find that they were getting a bunch of help from the Russians in getting Trump elected.
I have read many articles of Trump supporters telling people who are of minority racial status to "go back where you came from." May be should tell the national socialist to go back to Russia where they came from. (at least there would be a higher percentage of white people there so they could feel more comfortable).
COMMENT #4 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/9/2016 @ 11:53 pm PT...
This Russian angle is pretty crazy, but I heard Lindsey Graham and other Republicans are joining the effort to find out if there's any truth to it.
If it gets us into the machines, I don't care if it's the martians that are doing the hacking.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/10/2016 @ 12:23 am PT...
The folks who hacked into the DNC just might be the same folks who orchestrated the "red-shift" (vs exit polls) in swing-state tabulations, IMO.
I know there's a lot of reporting on the Russians supposedly hacking the DNC, but I haven't found solid evidence yet it in any of the article about it ---- NONE. Just suspicious cyber-hints, but as yet unconfirmed to be of Russian Origin.
IMO, it is just sensible to suspect GOP/Corporate operatives along the lines of Karl Rove/Mike Connell in BOTH the DNC hacking AND the "red-shift" in the swing states.
I hate the McCarthy-ist rants coming over MSNBC and others. Give ne some real EVIDENCE I can hang my hat on, and sure, I'll condemn the Russians too.
Bu this is rather like a jury trial, and I have not yet seen evidence to shake my reasonable doubt that it was Russia who did the hacking.
The GOP are much closer-to-home, have lots of resource$ and desire to do dirty tricks, and HAVE DONE THEM BEFORE IN OUR ELECTIONS. Just lok how they manipulated the vaunted FBI in this election!
The GOP is a much more likely suspect than Russia in the DNC hacking. Not even close, when you think about it.
But you know--It could still be Russia.
Just give me the frikkin' EVIDENCE, please!
I have no tolerance any more for Judith Miller-type games in the mass-media.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/10/2016 @ 3:23 am PT...
We now know that the CIA thinks Russia did it, however, their Boss In Chief thinks some dood in Joisy did it:
The hacking, he said, “could be Russia, it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”
COMMENT #7 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/10/2016 @ 9:40 am PT...
Yeah. I watched Greg Palast's movie night before last. There's a plethora of evidence from that movie and many other sources over the years of an organized effort to steal elections. Anybody here knows it's even out in the open now and has even been touted in public by some Republican leaders.
I would put the possibility of a Russian plot to hack the voting machines way down on my list of who would carry that out. I tend to believe Bernie Sanders's mysterious exit poll shift would have come from within, but not from the Hillary camp.
That being said, it's possible the only way to get Americans, and especially republicans, to believe the voting machines could be hacked is by blaming big bad Russia. They sure haven't given any thought to a domestic plan, thanks to the media.
There are self described computer whizzes all over that just, plain, discount the possibility of a corporate voting machine being hacked in an election. I call that computer illiteracy with a totally straight face, even if they haven't heard one thing about what's been going on ever since congress forced us to put our trust in these abominable pieces of shit.
If we somehow blame this on Russia without letting the known experts, (not Shamos or Hans von Spakovsky), into the machines in Pennsylvania, we'll know something else is up.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/10/2016 @ 11:41 am PT...
A new twist to the old practice of election corruption:
In February 1994, after Stinson had already taken office, a federal judge ordered he “be removed from his State Senate office and that [his opponent, Bruce Marks] be certified the winner within 72 hours.”