By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2006, 11:48am PT  

Blogged by Brad from the road...

I was able to listen in via cell phone to the Press Conference just held outside the San Diego courthouse where Attorney Paul Lehto has filed a lawsuit to contest the results of the Busby/Bilbray election.

I wasn't able to hear everything...but here are a few quotes as transcribed as best as I could from speakers Lehto, Judy Hess, Barbara Gail Jacobson and Mimi Kennedy...

LEHTO: "This action is to send a message to the country that these voting machines are getting out of control, security is being ignored, and election officials need to take these issues seriously...especially when dealing with voting machines where one person can tamper with a machine, affecting every other machine in the race, and nobody would ever be able to tell..."

LEHTO: "[San Diego County Registrar of Voters] Mikel Haas cannot prove that Bilbray won this race....We're calling for a count of all of the ballots."

LEHTO: "We want the public to be involved in the voting which they can't when these machines are used and that's a threat to democracy."

LEHTO: "This action focuses on the Busby/Bilbray race...we'll likely file another action that focuses on November."

Q: Do you want to end electronic voting? Yes or no?

LEHTO: "Personally, I do, but this action has nothing to do with that. It's about accountability in the Busby/Bilbray election"

Judy Hess, organizer of the CA50 Action Group, introduced the speakers and pointed out herself, in response to media questions about how the machines should be deployed (since Haas has claimed in several media interviews that "sleepovers" with poll workers are the only way he can think of to deploy all of the voting machines on Election Day) that in Washington state, where Lehto is from, they serve half a million voters and deploy all of the voting systems on the morning of Election Day with just nine trucks.

Mimi Kennedy (national chair of PDA) spoke about the need to maintain security on these systems in this, the first year that the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is giving states and counties $3.8 billion to encourage them to "upgrade" to these systems.

Barbara Gail Jacobson, who filed the hand count request which was stymied by Mikel Haas spoke: "I filed this not for any partisan reason, but because the public deserves accountability in elections. We are drawing a line in the sand...America needs to know that their votes are counted the way they intended."

San Diego television channels 10, 8, 7 and several print media were on hand I was told. "About a dozen media" as it was reported to me. I hope to get a copy of the suit as filed today posted here at The BRAD BLOG as soon as it's made available.

Lehto is confirmed to appear on the nationally syndicated Ed Schultz Show at 5:30pm ET (2:30pm PT) today.

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