NC SBE Ignores Voters, Approves Touchscreens: 'BradCast' 8/23/19
Ransomware Attacks in 22 TX Cities Before 2020: 'BradCast' 8/22/19
GOP 'Political Malware' as NC Elections Begin: 'BradCast' 8/21/19
Domestic Shootings by White Men Prevented: 'BradCast' 8/20/19
Petition to Recall AK's GOP Guv Catches Fire: 'BradCast' 8/19/19
Election Software Obsolete, Servers Found Online: 'BradCast' 8/16/19
JUDGE BANS GA'S OLD TOUCHSCREEN SYSTEMS: 'BradCast' 8/15/19
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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Inexplicable Tallies from Electronic Voting Machines in Tarrant County, Elsewhere in State Require Full Recount and/or Contest, According to Campaign Manager
'Serious mistakes were made,' Understates Candidate, Former Texas Justice Steve Smith
By Brad Friedman
on 3/22/2006, 5:40pm PT
A Conservative Republican former Texas Supreme Court Justice, who ran against a Republican opponent backed by Gov. Rick Perry, is considering a challenge to the tremendously flawed Primary Elections held in the state two weeks ago on new Electronic Voting Machines.
The campaign for Steve Smith announced last week in a Press Release received only last night by The BRAD BLOG (and posted in full below) has filed a "Public Information Act request with the Tarrant County Elections Administrator seeking to review public documents relating to the Republican Party primary election in Tarrant County" on March 7th.
As discussed in their press release, but elaborated upon to The BRAD BLOG in an interview this afternoon with Smith's campaign manager, David Rogers, the results reported from all across the state seem to make little or no sense.
For example, though his was a statewide race, Smith's home county is Tarrant where in 2004, according to Rogers, Smith "outperformed the statewide results by 13%, but this year, according to the results, he underperformed the statewide results by 23%."
"Something doesn't make sense here," he noted, adding that turnout went up this year by 12,000 votes, but apparently a full "11,000 of them did not go to Smith."
Amongst the many concerns alleged by Smith's campaign are that audit tapes from the voting machines are only available on 103 of the 211 election day voting locations, making it impossible to audit all of the races. "No audit can be correctly performed on more than half of the machines in the state," says Rogers.
Perhaps more troubling still, is this item from Smith's press release:
Winkler County, which went for Smith by margins of 260-92 (74%) and 468-249 (65%) in the 2002 and 2004 elections, went against Smith by an unbelievable 0-273 (100%) margin. Governor Perry received only 83% of the vote in Winkler County, and no other contested candidate topped 80%. The propositions on the ballot topped out at 93%.
Due to time-constraints (we were supposed to hit the road about five hours ago), we weren't able to confirm those incredible Winkler County numbers. But if they are true, they are indeed mind-blowing.
As previously reported, Tarrant County saw some 100,000 votes added incorrectly to the election totals on Hart InterCivic and ES&S voting machines on Election Day. As well, The BRAD BLOG reported on a whistleblower who worked for both Hart and later at Tarrant County. In July of 2004, he sent letters warning the Texas Secretary of State and Attorney General about serious problems which he regarded as both "criminal" and "fraudulent" both at Hart and in Tarrant County's Board of Elections. His letters, he told us, were completely ignored by all of the officials.
And yesterday, that same Sec. of State in Texas was forced to shut down a mandated recount in Tom Green County when the Hart InterCivic machines were reporting results that differed by some 20% from the original totals as reported on Election Night.
We wonder if he might decide to go back and talk to our whistleblower now. Apparently both the Smith campaign and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (as we learned earlier today when they contacted us for more info) suddenly have an interest in doing so.
Rogers indicated to The BRAD BLOG this morning that they were seriously investigating a complete challenge to the election statewide and hope to get a much closer look at those Hart and ES&S machines in order to try and make sense of whatever the hell happened in Texas.
We'd like to see that happen, of course. And now that a conservative Republican may have had his own ox gored by these infernal machines, perhaps it'll actually become a reality.
The complete Press Release issued by Smith's campaign --- detailing even more "irregularties" in the race --- follows. [emphasis in the original] ...
Steve Smith For
Texas Supreme Court, Place 2
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (March 16, 2006)
CONTACT: David Rogers, Campaign Manager, (512) 923-6188
Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Steve Smith may file an election contest or request for recount, says "serious mistakes were made."
Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Steve Smith announced today that he has taken the next step towards filing an election contest or request for recount in his race for Texas Supreme Court, Place 2. "Serious Mistakes were made in the counting of ballots in Tarrant County. We want one fair, accurate and complete count," Smith said. "To that end, we have filed a Public Information Act request with the Tarrant County Elections Administrator seeking to review public documents relating to the Republican Party primary election in Tarrant County," added David Rogers, Smith's campaign manager.
"Unfortunately, the true result in Tarrant County may never be known," said David Rogers, Campaign Manager for former Justice Smith. Though there were 211 election day voting locations for the 635 precincts, audit tapes reporting the election results in each machine were run in only 103 locations. One hundred and eight (51%) of the voting locations did not have properly run audit tapes.
Initial results in Tarrant County included 27,895 phantom votes. The final statewide margin between Smith and Willett was 5,441 votes. The first "corrected" result reported by Tarrant County was a margin of 7,922 (62%-38%). That margin is larger in terms of raw votes than the margin in Harris County, Dallas County or Bexar County, all of which have substantially larger populations than Tarrant County. The "corrected" results switched the first and second place results in Tarrant County's 342th District Court.
Those numbers for Tarrant County are suspect in part because Tarrant County voted for Smith in the 2004 primary by 11,423 to 10,331 (53%-47%), and Smith only lost Tarrant County in the 2002 by 17,411 to 15, 215 (47%-53%). In 2002 and 2004, the statewide margins were substantially higher (7% and 6%, respectively) than the statewide margin in 2006 (less than 1%). The combined statewide margin between Smith and his primary opponents over three elections is less than 1/40th of one percent (417 votes). (Smith: 841,586; Rodriguez, Green & Willett combined: 842,003.) If Smith's margin in Tarrant County is actually the same as his margin in either 2002 or 2004, he won statewide.
Despite the fact that Tarrant County Interim Elections Administrator Gayle Hamilton has expressed a desire to count the Tarrant County ballots correctly, attorneys for the Tarrant County District Attorney's office and the Secretary of State's office have told Hamilton she may not count the ballots without a court order, an election contest or request for a recount.
"To date, there has not been a correct count of Tarrant County ballots," said Rogers. "There has been an incorrect count and there has been an attempt to correct the errors in that count. What we want - and what we understand the County Elections Administrator and the County Republican Chair want - is a single correct count of the ballots in Tarrant County. We know for certain that mistakes were made, and the acknowledged mistakes changed the Tarrant County result by a number of votes more than double the remaining statewide margin. Former Justice Smith thinks that a single accurate count is a reasonable request."
The Texas Election Code requires that a recount for a statewide office would require that all paper ballots statewide be recounted in addition to the ballots in Tarrant County, and that the expense would be borne by the party requesting the recount.
Additionally, in far west Texas, Winkler County, which went for Smith by margins of 260-92 (74%) and 468-249 (65%) in the 2002 and 2004 elections, went against Smith by an unbelievable 0-273 (100%) margin. Governor Perry received only 83% of the vote in Winkler County, and no other contested candidate topped 80%. The propositions on the ballot topped out at 93%.
Winkler county used machines from Election Systems and Software (ES&S), a company that was severely criticized by county officials in Webb county for programming errors and delays during the primary election, according to reports from the Laredo Morning Times of March 14, 2006. ES&S machines operate in 144 of Texas's 254 counties.
Beyond that, Duval County, made infamous by Lyndon Johnson's 1948 theft of the U.S. Senate election in that county, has reported an astonishing 55% turnout, with allegations of vote farming and vote fraud, as reported in the March 16, 2006 Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
Additionally, Jefferson County vote totals were changed by more than 1,500 for each candidate in a race for Jefferson County Judge when a recount was held on Monday, according to reports from the March 14, 2006 edition of the Beaumont Enterprise. Jefferson County had double-counted some ballots, including 644 Republican ballots. (The Jefferson County margin between Smith and Willett is 325 votes.) Some precincts had reported more votes than voters. Tarrant County double, triple, quadruple, quintuple and sextuple-counted some votes. The Enterprise reported that ES&S would cover the cost for the recount in Jefferson County, estimated at $8,000.
According to a March 16, 2006 report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Tarrant County will charge any candidate who wants a recount. No mention was made of any offer by Hart InterCivic, whose machines were used in Tarrant County, to pick up the cost of a correct count.
Smith won 152 of 254 counties. No Republican primary was held in 18 counties, and the candidates tied in 2 counties. Willett won 82 counties (33%).
Steve Smith is best known as a conservative former Justice of the Texas Supreme Court who was elected in 2002 despite opposition from insurance industry interests. In private practice, Smith was best known as the attorney who filed, litigated and won the Hopwood case that ended racial preferences at Texas universities from 1996 through 2003. Smith served as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court from Nov. 20 of 2002 until Dec. 31, 2004, and was one of only two Republican justices who did not accept contributions from insurance industry front group Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
Political Communication paid for by Steve Smith for Texas Supreme Court,
Susan Smith, Treasurer, P.O. Box 926, Austin, Texas 78767
UPDATE 3/28/06: Election Contest now filed. Details and full complaint here...
Reader comments follow below ad...
READER COMMENTS ON
"CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN FORMER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE IN TX CONSIDERING CHALLENGE TO STATE PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS!"
(20 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 3/22/2006 @ 6:24 pm PT...
If all types of these machines aren't all pulled from use across the country NOW, can you imagine the mess we'll be in come Nov.?
The money spent buying them in the first place and now the money being spent to recount or even hold a new election could pay for a lot of people to hand count the ballots.
The incompetence of the manufactures of these things is beyond belief.
An abacus has nothing more than beads on rods and is far better for this very simple task of counting than these machines can ever dream of!
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 3/22/2006 @ 6:33 pm PT...
Methinks 'tis not incompetence, Bluebear2. Would that it were. Methinks the rats are gamboling very boldly through the timbers of our sinking ship of state, caring little at this late date who notices and deplores.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 3/22/2006 @ 6:43 pm PT...
Maybe the vote rigging software gets totally confused if there are two republicans in the race?
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 3/22/2006 @ 7:40 pm PT...
Ya, unfortunatley it sure looks that way. I think River has a good point too!
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 3/22/2006 @ 9:45 pm PT...
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 3/22/2006 @ 10:49 pm PT...
River, Thats the first thing I thought of when I was reading the article
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 3/22/2006 @ 11:52 pm PT...
How does the Ciro Rodriguez vs. Henry Cuellar primary race factor into these machine malfunctions and failures?
Wasn't Webb County (and Jefferson?) one of the key counties that was hung up, and late reporting, in their CD race?
Some of these candidates need to connect with each other to pool their resources here, damn the attorneys and their red tape obstructions. Steve Smith and Ciro Rodriguez uniting in a call for a fair count/recount would make themselves heard clear across the country.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 1:10 am PT...
So now a conservative Republican gets screwed. Well, now at least one of them has to come to terms with this being a reality. What an unholy mess this all is!
**'Expose Tom Feeney'**
"SUPPORT CLINT CURTIS!"
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 3:14 am PT...
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 4:11 am PT...
This is it, the BIG one.
This is where the fight for democracy and voting rights in America will be won or lost.
Tom DeLay and his minions in the state legislature need to be thrown in jail and HAVA overturned as a result of this blatant criminality.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 4:49 am PT...
...Peg C said on 3/22/2006 @ 6:33pm PT...
Methinks 'tis not incompetence, Bluebear2.
I know this is not incompetence. As BBV, Harri Hursti and Brad has eloquently showed the Diebold voting machines can be preloaded with a negative number for the issue or person you want to lose and a positive number for the wannabe winner, the two numbers adding up to zero so as not to report a vote total greater or less than the actual number of voters.
What BBV and Hursti showed in Leon County, FL, was that 2 real 'yes' votes and 5 real 'no' votes came out, after traveling through the Diebold machine, as 6 'yes' and one 'no' vote.
Now, how can I say that this must be a deliberately designed feature? Well, before any voting is done, a zero-check - a printout of the totals - is done to assure that the machine isn't prematurely stuffed with votes. That zero-check must show zero votes for either candidate for any voting to be done on the machine.
I don't know if BBV or Brad has realized this yet but to get the Leon County results in the above mentioned demonstration the code must have been something like this:
Subroutine initialize(string wn, string ln, int offset) (
winner_name = wn;
looser_name = ln;
winner_count = 0 + offset;
looser_count = 0 - offset;
Subroutine zeroCheck() (
sleep until event zeroCheck; // wait for button
// pressed to launch the zero check
print("Total for ", winner_name, 0); // instead of
// printing '0' literally you could print
// winnercount + looser_count, but why bother?
print("Total for ", looser_name, 0); // -"-
Subroutine reportVotes() (
sleep until event reportVotes; // wait for button
// pressed to launch the vote report
print("Total for ", winner_name, winner_count);
print("Total for ", looser_name, looser_count);
Subroutine collectVotes() (
sleep until event collectVote
or event closeVote; // wait for vote
// or close vote button pressed
if (event collectVote(v) (
if (v == winner_name) winner_count +=1;
else if (v == looser_name) looser_count +=1;
initialize("Yes", "No", 4);
Now, why would anyone need an extra subroutine for printing the totals for the so called zero check? Well, to enable cheating of course!
I said above I wonder if BBV or Brad has realized this must be a design with some forethought. If they actually have they ought to bring a lawsuit based on that realization only.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 5:58 am PT...
To clarify a bit my #12:
initialize("Yes", "No", 4);
line I inserted in the program wouldn't actually be there, it just represents the effect of the Hursti-hack. Though to not detect the hack at the zero check you'd have to have a special routine for printing the zero check totals as shown in no #12.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 6:45 am PT...
Is it finally occurring to Texans, that our democracy has been stolen from us via e-vote machines?
It's stolen from registered Republicans, too. There are Republicans who vote for Democrats to get "fresh blood" in there, and their votes are being stolen, too. I am a registered Democrat, but I have voted before for Republicans. They are stealing votes on e-machines from Republicans who want a change. Like the Schmidt/Hackett Ohio election. That district is heavily Republican, meaning that a great % of Republicans voted for Hackett. Of course, Schmidt won 51%-49% after the machines went down in the bottom of the 9th, and came up with a miraculous amount of Schmidt votes. That election was a case of registered Republican's votes being stolen. They voted for Hackett.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 6:49 am PT...
Did DeLay even win that primary? Somehow, I believe Texans are not that stupid. I actually believe in them, and their votes are being stolen, like the rest of us. They are not stupid down there.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 9:40 am PT...
I believe they will pull saame old tricks in Nov. with the machines How can a Democrat win when the deck is stackedd against them? Lets hope they outlaw the machines.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 12:27 pm PT...
What about the other Texas Congressional races that DeLay funded. They deserve a recount no doubt.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 3/23/2006 @ 5:15 pm PT...
The first year the machines were used here in Texas, I voted 'straight ticket' Democrat. When you are through voting and the machine has registered your vote, a flag is supposed to wave on the screen. If it doesn't, you need to go back at least one screen and click on "cast your vote" again. I did this at least three or four times before I got the waving flag at the end. A worker came over and watched me do this after the second attempt and agreed I did nothing wrong.
Naturally, I am in a heavily Republican district. I know of many who were there who voted straight ticket Republican (including my husband) and were through in no time.
It's bad enough I am merely voting my conscience, with no impact on the final outcome, but to think that my vote was *maybe* not counted at all is truly sickening.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 3/24/2006 @ 6:04 am PT...
Thought Delay was way down in the polls. They used to say votes can be stolen in a tight race. Repubs are getting desperate. Can we email this judge? Maybe he would be more interested in fair elections since it has hit hime. Like the social security and port uproar. Public opinion still counts for something.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 3/25/2006 @ 6:35 am PT...
I love it when the criminals prove it's non-partisan! The key in this case being, the opponent is backed by Rick Perry. Maybe if enough Republicans get screwed, they will force the issue to the front burner for us!
As a Texan, I'm happy that we're finally getting enough blatant screwups to make good cases.
Thursday morning (23rd) there was a Citizens' Input hearing at the Sec. of State's office in Austin, to comment on whether or not Diebold should be recertified in Texas. The State gave approximately 24 hours notice of this hearing, preventing many of the players on our side from attending. Karen Renick and I attended, but only about 6 others showed up to speak. In spite of the fact they told us the meeting would last for two hours, Ann McGeehan, the TX Director of Elections for the State, opened the meeting by only giving us 5 minutes to speak (thereby crucifying my 10 minute statement, which I'd painstakingly prepared with great ammunition from Jim March of BBV and which included, of course, the news about the Leon County and the recent Utah hacks by BBV and Hursti.)
Karen offered to concede her 5 minutes to me in order for me to deliver the whole statement. Ms. McGeehan said, "No, we won't have that in that meeting!" with no further explanation.
35 minutes into the meeting, after I'd delivered one half of my statement and everyone else had finished, she looked like such an ass that she offered me the other 5 minutes, so I got to complete my statement and Karen got to deliver hers as well. However, we were basically speaking to a videocam, as the Voting Systems Examiners Board here have already looked at Diebold and sent their recommendations to the Sec. of State. Our statements are supposed to be delivered to him also for his consideration (yeah, right!) The yay or nay on Diebold recertification will happen sometime in April. Watch for more fireworks in Texas when the predictable actually happens.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 2:58 pm PT...
The Texas Secretary of State and Elections Commissioner, Roger Williams, is a Republican who recently stepped in for another speaker at a fundraiser at the last minute here in Austin. The Republican fundraiser raised $150,000 for the candidate, and the Austin American Statesman ran an article in which Williams declared he saw nothing wrong with his attendance and just wanted to be able to visit with old friends. Carol Strayhorn (Scott McClellan's mother), is an independent running for Governor. She chastised Williams and also threatend to file a lawsuit because Williams is making it impossible for her to gather the signatures in time to be on the ballot for governor. I wrote Williams on his website complaining of his participation at this fundraiser, and he tracked my e-mail address; contacted my employer via forwarding my email; jokingly asked my employer if he was mad at him (Williams); and who in turn asked if they could stop me from sending emails to him. I do not expect much from his investigation into voter fraud in Texas. He is a weasel.
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