Conspiracy Theories Well-Researched and Responsible Investigative MSM Report Actually Informs Viewers About Usually-Unreported Yet Very Well-Documented Dangers of Touch-Screen Voting, Horrendous Administrative Oversight Prior to Upcoming Presidential Primary...
By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2008, 3:09pm PT  

It's February 8th, 2008, and it's now official: One member of the broadcast MSM has officially joined the ranks of those "crackpots" and "conspiracy theorists" over at The BRAD BLOG!

Congrats to Pittsburgh's WTAE's Team 4 for their excellent, responsible, and appropriate reportage on the serious concerns facing Pennsylvania's Allegheny County voters in the upcoming election. Their investigative report asks "Is Your Vote Safe With County Voting Machines?" and the clear, well-reported, fair and balanced answer comes back as an unambiguous, no punches-pulled: Absolutely not!

The report's "conspiracy theories," confirmed by video, photographs and on-the-record statements from both public officials and Election Integrity experts, as detailed by Team 4's Jim Parsons on WTAE-TV's evening news yesterday (transcript and video both here), include some of these well-known-to-BRAD-BLOG-readers, if still-stunning and rarely-reported-in-the-MSM, items...

  • Election officials promising to ensure Pittsburgh's ES&S iVotronic touch-screens will be "safe and secure" as the doors to the warehouse where those voting machines are stored are left wide open and fully unattended.
  • Acknowledgment that access to the Personal Electronic Ballot (PEB memory cartridges) for these machines can allow easy tampering of the systems, and that several such PEB's were never returned after their last election.
  • Admission that "A week before each election, Allegheny County sends all of its electronic voting machines from the warehouse to hundreds of schools, churches and other polling places, where they sit, often open to the public."
  • "Little plastic zip tie thing with a number on it" used to "secure" the systems, "wouldn't defeat anyone motivated" to hack them.
  • Allegheny County's iVotronic's have recently been banned in several other states after scientific studies found that they were vulnerable to attacks by items as simple as magnets and personal digital assistants.
  • There are no background checks done for criminal convictions of election workers despite state law which would disallow criminals from holding such positions. Team 4 found 13 such election judges with recent criminal convictions and charges against them for things such as felony robbery, gun and drug charges.
  • Such election judges have "sole possession of the PEBs for several days leading up to an election."
  • "An Allegheny County Council advisory panel has issued a report, calling on the county to scrap the Ivotronic machines," but they will be using them in Pennsylvania's upcoming crucial Primary election anyway.

If a few thousand more such MSM outlets turned into such BRAD BLOG-style "conspiracy theorists" (read: responsible reporters telling their audience what's actually going on) we might get to go out of business and go back to what we were doing before, or otherwise report on something else for a change! We'd welcome either eventuality!

Please go check out Jim Parsons' Team 4 report and let us know if any of it sounds familiar to you long-time BRAD BLOG readers. And thank you Team 4!

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