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Supreme Court refuses to let ex-felons vote 11/30/2005 SF Bay View: "With nary a peep from the mainstream media, the U.S. Supreme Court has stabbed yet another partisan knife into the American electoral system.
This time the court has let stand Florida’s infamous 137-year-old ban on voting rights for ex-felons. It was this same Jim Crow ban that the GOP used to disenfranchise thousands of Floridians in 2000, providing the margin by which George W. Bush took the presidency.
The ruling continues to take the vote from millions of African Americans and non-violent offenders – and, in practice, others who have broken no laws at all. It is highly likely to strengthen the lock of the Republican Party and its future candidates on the U.S. presidency."
N.C. judge dismisses voting machine case, vendor may pull out 11/28/2005 AP: "One of the nation's leading suppliers of electronic voting machines may decide against selling new equipment in North Carolina after a judge declined Monday to protect it from criminal prosecution should it fail to disclose software code as required by state law.
Diebold Election Systems is worried it could be charged with a felony if officials determine the company failed to make all of its code - some of which is owned by third-party software firms, including Microsoft Corp. - available for examination by election officials in case of a voting mishap.
The requirement is part of the minimum voting equipment standards approved by state lawmakers earlier this year following the loss of more than 4,400 electronic ballots in Carteret County during the November 2004 election. The lost votes threw at least one close statewide race into uncertainty for more than two months."
Sec. of State Spokesperson Evades Questions in Live On-Air Interview About California/Diebold Situation 11/28/2005 Brad Blog: "Though Demovic admitted on-air that she was at the meeting in question, and though it's been reported publicly that the Anti-Diebold folks far outnumbered the Pro-Diebold forces, she wouldn't even admit that much! …So it was a public meeting, on the public record, that she attended in her capacity as a tax-payer salaried "Communications Director" for our own Secretary of State, yet she refused to give the audience of a California radio station accurate information about what is occurring in our own state capital concerning our own electoral system."
Confusion, Misreporting Surround Reports on CA Sec. of State Diebold Voting Machine 'Hack' Test! 11/27/2005 Brad Blog: "On Friday, November 25, a news story appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle by political writer John Wildermuth reporting that the California Secretary of State's office would be allowing Election Reform activists to perform an attempted hack of voting machines on Wednesday, November 30th. That report was soon picked up by the Associated Press and other outlets where it was repeated, in part, in newspapers, radio and television across the nation. Headlines along the line of "Hacker to try to attack state voting machines" were blared across the media throughout the holiday weekend.
While the story seems to be based in some reality, reporting by The BRAD BLOG over the last several days has revealed that the matter seems to be a far cry from the way it has been reported by the Mainstream Media. In fact, while negotiations for such a test are ongoing, the parameters to be used are still being hashed out, no definite schedule has yet to be determined, and Finnish computer scientist Harry Hursti, who created this particular method for hacking into Diebold voting machines has made no plans at this time to travel to the United States to perform the hack attempt."
Voter paper trail might be a blind alley 11/27/2005 Roanoke
The Big Fix 2000 11/26/2005 Mad Cow: "Who own America’s elections?
Did Mobsters decide the fate of the election in Florida, in a contest that had nothing to do with counting hanging chad? While the nation’s eyes were riveted on punch cards being held up to the light, charges a new documentary, Mob-controlled companies that count America’s vote were slipping through the back door and stealing the election.
Top executives of the election companies responsible for the Florida Vote Snafu have been convicted of multiple election-rigging felonies, the show charges, and “look more like extras on the TV series The Sopranos than people we’ve entrusted with the sacred American right to vote,” snorts producer Daniel Hopsicker. “The big question, of course, is, ‘what happened in Florida? We found the answer in New Jersey.” "
The Big Fix 2004 - Part I 11/26/2005 Mad Cow: published 11/15/04 - "An investigation into the surprisingly-sordid history of America’s “election services industry” has revealed that executives and owners of the two largest companies, E S & S and Sequoia Pacific, have been convicted of bribery and suborning public officials in more than a dozen states.
And while a felony conviction may be enough to prevent you from voting in Florida, convicted felons can take heart in the fact that the “blemish” on their record in no way disqualifies them from owning companies counting the votes."
The Big Fix 2004 - Part II 11/26/2005 Mad Cow: "Sequoia Pacific has a more colorfully-criminal corporate history, we learned, than that of any organization this side of the Gambino Family. In fact, the Gambino Family and Sequoia Pacific have had more than a nodding acquaintance, according to newspapers in New York reporting on the intrigue surrounding the awarding of a multi-million dollar contract for election machines in New York City during the mid-90’s, where Sequoia’s representative in the bidding gained notoriety for attempting to grease the skids al little at a marathon luncheon hosted by Salvatore Reale, a Gambino underboss who later pled guilty to racketeering…"
CALIFORNIA - Hacker to try to attack state voting machines 11/25/2005 SF Chronicle
Poll Shock - Off by 40 points, newspaper's predictions may be disturbingly accurate 11/24/2005 Common Wonders: "The Columbus Dispatch’s survey of voters, conducted by mail, has historically been a reliable poll; it has been cited for its precision in the scholarly journal Public Opinion Quarterly and is considered far more accurate than telephone surveys. There is no faulty O-ring, in other words; the methodology doesn’t need changing.
And that’s why there’s a story here that must not be allowed to vanish.
The story is about how America votes, and evidence that pandemic chaos and perhaps even centrally orchestrated malfeasance are accompanying the spread of electronic voting machines to the nation’s precincts. We know there’s cause to worry about the state of our democracy because of the historical accuracy of the Columbus Dispatch voter poll.
Of the five proposed amendments on the Ohio ballot, only the first — a $2 billion state bond initiative to promote high-tech industry — was not related to the conduct of elections, and oddly enough its results were accurately forecast in the poll (predicted yes vote, 53 percent; final yes vote, 54 percent). Then it gets hairy.
Issue 2 would have made absentee voting easier in the state. It had lots of high-profile support, and the Dispatch poll predicted a cakewalk for it: 59 percent yes, 33 percent no, 9 percent undecided. The actual result: 36 percent yes, a whopping 63 percent no.
Then there was issue 3, which would have lowered the campaign-contribution limits that a lame-duck state legislature had raised a year ago. Prediction: 61 percent yes, 25 percent no, 14 percent undecided. Actual result: 33 percent yes, 66 percent no."
Voter disenfranchisement by attrition - With friends like FEMA, who needs Jim Crow? 11/23/2005 SF Bay View
BlackBox Voting Tests California Diebold Machines 11/23/2005 Slashdot: good set of posts to this note.
Voter ID memo stirs tension - Sponsor of disputed Georgia legislation told feds that blacks in her district only vote if they are paid to do so. 11/18/2005 Atlanta Journal Constitution: "The chief sponsor of Georgia's voter identification law told the Justice Department that if black people in her district "are not paid to vote, they don't go to the polls," and that if fewer blacks vote as a result of the new law, it is only because it would end such voting fraud.
The newly released Justice Department memo quoting state Rep. Sue Burmeister (R-Augusta) was prepared by department lawyers as the federal government considered whether to approve the new law. It also says that despite Republican assurances the law would not disenfranchise elderly, poor and black voters, Susan Laccetti Meyers, the staff adviser for the Georgia House of Representatives, told the Justice Department "the Legislature did not conduct any statistical analysis of the effect of the photo ID requirement on minority voters." "
Fasten your seatbelts - It's time to bring this thing in for a landing 11/17/2005 Black Box Voting: "Two testing labs in Huntsville, Alabama need to be visited by people with badges, guns and search warrants. The small offshoot office of Ciber Labs, run by Shawn Southworth, and the Wyle Labs office which has been supervised by Jim Dearman, are responsible for repeatedly certifying defective voting machines that violate Federal Election Commission standards."
Criticism of Voting Law Was Overruled - Justice Dept. Backed Georgia Measure Despite Fears of Discrimination 11/17/2005 Washington Post: "But an Aug. 25 staff memo obtained by The Washington Post recommended blocking the program because Georgia failed to show that the measure would not dilute the votes of minority residents, as required under the Voting Rights Act.
The memo, endorsed by four of the team's five members, also said the state had provided flawed and incomplete data. The team found significant evidence that the plan would be "retrogressive," meaning that it would reduce blacks' access to the polls."
Deekbold Computer Voting 11/16/2005 Buzzflash
Federal Elections Commission to investigate producer Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs - Meanwhile, blistering GAO report on insecure voting machines ignored – no scrutiny of election violations 11/16/2005 SF Bay View: "According to a press release issued by the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative “ethics” watchdog group that specializes in filing complaints against progressive politicians and groups, the FEC has notified the NLPC that it will take up a complaint against rapper Sean Combs for his 2004 “Vote or Die Campaign.” The NLPC website says the case has been assigned “matter under review number 5684.” The NLPC hypes the so-called investigation, though the FEC letter itself appears more tepid, almost a form letter."
Has American Democracy died an electronic death in Ohio 2005's referenda defeats? 11/16/2005 SF Bay View
Detroit, Michigan elections elections are now a significant concern 11/13/2005 Black Box Voting: "Procedures in the city of Detroit broke down in at least 26 precincts on Nov. 8. Seven memory cards were left in voting machines, two were taken home by a poll worker, and thousands of bogus votes appeared in results totals.
This triggered an investigation by state elections official Chris Thomas. However, he has previously demonstrated an unfriendly stance towards the right of public citizens to oversee elections."
Trial continued in James Tobin conspiracy case
Judge lets three charges stand in alleged phone jamming 11/11/2005 Bangor Daily News: "McAuliffe said that he would consider whether a ruling by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati applied to the count that Tobin violated the constitutionally guaranteed right to vote by allegedly participating in the phone-jamming scheme. That court ruled that in order to find calls were annoying and harassing, there had to be an implied threat of some sort. Prosecutors have conceded that the intent of Tobin and his alleged co-conspirators was not to threaten voters or people working at a get-out-the-vote phone bank.
Tobin allegedly referred a New Hampshire GOP staffer to a telemarketing service in suburban Washington, D.C., which then arranged to jam the phone lines of the Manchester professional Firefighters Association in 2002 during a close U.S. Senate race. The firefighters were offering rides to the polls in support of Democratic candidates.
A company based in Washington state made repeated hang-up calls to the firefighters' phone numbers between 7:45 and 9:10 a.m. EST Nov. 5, 2002. The phone jamming was halted after the chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Committee learned of it.
Tobin's Washington, D.C., attorneys argued in their motions to dismiss that a simple referral does not equal conspiracy."
Has American Democracy died an electronic death in Ohio 2005's referenda defeats? 11/11/2005 Columbus Free Press: "Issue Two was designed to make it easier for Ohioans to vote early, by mail or in person. By election day, much of what it proposed was already put into law by the state legislature. Like Issue One, it was opposed by the Christian Right. But it had broad support from a wide range of Ohio citizen groups. In a conversation the day before the vote, Bill Todd, a primary official spokesperson for the opposition to Issues Two through Five, told attorney Cliff Arnebeck that he believed Issues Two and Three would pass.
The November 6 Dispatch poll showed Issue Two passing by a vote of 59% to 33%, with about 8% undecided, an even broader margin than that predicted for Issue One.
But on November 8, the official vote count showed Issue Two going down to defeat by the astonishing margin of 63.5% against, with just 36.5% in favor. To say the outcome is a virtual statistical impossibility is to understate the case. For the official vote count to square with the pre-vote Dispatch poll, support for the Issue had to drop more than 22 points, with virtually all the undecideds apparently going into the "no" column.
The numbers on Issue Three are even less likely."
Attack of the Killer Voting Machines 11/10/2005 Nashville Scene: "Many election officials were tipped to the discrepancy between what Thompson said and what HAVA required by an ad hoc, grassroots group called Gathering to Save Our Democracy. The group formed after last year’s presidential election because of concerns that electronic voting machines in key precincts in Ohio might have been rigged. Wally O’Dell, the CEO of touch-screen computer company Diebold Inc. sent a fund-raising letter to Republicans saying he was “committed” to helping Bush win Ohio’s electoral votes. Democrats took that to mean Diebold’s machines would be configured accordingly. It didn’t help that a year before, researchers at John Hopkins University examined Diebold’s Windows-based software and concluded that it could easily be hacked into.
Save Our Democracy isn’t so much against computerized voting as it is for a paper trail voters can see before they leave the election booth. Each verification would remain with the computer and be the primary source for authentication in the event of a recount. The group also is concerned that the software inside electronic voting equipment is proprietary, meaning election officials can’t, in theory, look at the source code to see if it’s been tampered with. “We’ve evolved into a country that has privatized elections,” says Bernie Ellis, a retired immunologist and a Save Our Democracy organizer. “How we got to this point is beyond me. Our concern is the proliferation of machines controlled completely by private companies, companies that are highly partisan and in some cases owned by foreign corporations.”"
Nov 8 election problems article list 11/10/2005 Voters Unite: nice list of articles
ELECTION DAY: ELECTRONIC VOTING 'PROTOCOL BREACH' DENIES SCHWARZENEGGER AT POLLING PLACE! 11/8/2005 Brad Blog
'04 felon vote still in the air 11/8/2005 Olympian, WA
Local voters head to the polls 11/8/2005 The Press-Enterprise, CA: details numerous problems.
FBI to Investigate Absentee Ballots 11/8/2005 WXYZ, Detroit: "After an emergency hearing, Tuesday evening, the FBI began an investigation regarding the handling of absentee ballots by Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie and her staff.
The FBI requested that after all the absentee ballots are counted, the ones handled by Currie remain in the hands of the receivers from the county and state.
Judge Mary Beth Kelly granted the request and said the court found substantial irregularities in the handling of absentee ballots.
Currie’s program had elections assistants going to nursing homes and senior citizens’ homes to help them fill out absentee ballots. Many of the patients have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and have no idea what is going on."
Requiring IDs won’t stop election ‘fraud’ 11/7/2005 Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: "In April, over the objections of fuming Democrats, the Republican majority in the General Assembly and the Republican governor rushed through a law requiring all Indiana residents to show a government-issued photo ID before casting a vote in any election. Gov. Mitch Daniels (Bush’s former budget director and accomplice to his stratospheric federal budget) announced, ”I’m in favor of any bill that ensures no one’s vote is stolen through fraud.”
What fraud is he talking about? Daniels failed to demonstrate that ineligible people were getting into the voting booths. And he didn’t elaborate how voter IDs would solve this supposed problem.
In reality, this bill is Republican subterfuge to disenfranchise Hoosiers likely to vote Democratic. “Each time Republicans gain power, job No. 1 is consolidation of power and gaining electoral advantage,” said Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington."
Kerry Suspects Election 2004 Was Stolen 11/6/2005 Consortium News: "Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004, has told acquaintances over the past year that he suspects that the election was stolen, but that he didn’t challenge the official results because he lacked hard proof and anticipated a firestorm of criticism if he pressed the point.
“Kerry heard all the disquieting stories” about voting irregularities in Ohio and other states, said Jonathan Winer, a longtime Kerry adviser and a former deputy assistant secretary of state. “But he didn’t have the evidence to do more.”"
GOP tries to disenfranchise WA voters with false challenges 11/6/2005 Daily Kos: "King County is the latest setting for the newest series of Republican dirty tricks.
Using the 2004 gubernatorial election saga as an excuse, the Republicans have filed challenges to nearly 2,000 voter registrations within King County - Washington State's most populous county, and a Democratic stronghold.
Just days before this Tuesday's general election, thousands of voters have received letters in the mail informing them that their right to vote is being challenged by the Republican Party of King County."
Eligible to Vote in Arizona? Prove It 11/5/2005 LA Time: "A stringent new voter identification law being put into effect in Arizona — designed to keep illegal immigrants from voting — will also prevent thousands of legitimate voters from casting ballots Tuesday, election officials say.
Proposition 200, which voters approved last year, requires Arizonans to prove U.S. citizenship to register to vote and to show a photo ID at the polls… In Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, more than 10,000 people trying to register have been rejected for being unable to prove their citizenship. Yvonne Reed, a spokeswoman for the recorder's office, said Friday that most probably are U.S. citizens whose married names differ from their birth certificates or who have lost documentation.
Reed said she hoped the number of rejected voters would shrink as election officials explained the new requirements. But, she said, "there will be an amount of people who we will not be able to get on the rolls because of not being able to find the right documents or just losing interest."
In Pima County, home to Tucson, 60% of those who tried to register initially could not. Chris Roads, chief deputy recorder and registrar, said all appeared to be U.S. citizens but many had moved to Arizona recently and couldn't access birth certificates or passports."
Was the 2004 Election Stolen?: A Debate on Ohio One Year After Bush's Victory 11/4/2005 Democracy Now: "A year later, questions remain over the outcome of the Ohio election and whether George W. Bush fairly won the state and the presidency. We explore some of these questions with a debate between Mark Crispin Miller and Mark Hertsgaard. [includes rush transcript]
There were widespread reports of voter intimidation; suspiciously long lines in heavily Democratic areas; faulty voting machines; mishandled absentee and provisional ballots; election results that contradicted exit polls…and then there were the electronic voting machines. For years critics of these machines have warned that they could be manipulated in ways to fix elections.
Last week the Government Accountability Office – the investigative unit of Congress – issued a major report [Download PDF of report] on the safety of electronic voting machines. Although the report has received little attention in the corporate media, its findings have startled critics of electronic voting. There are three main problems the GAO found with the machines: First, some electronic voting systems did not encrypt cast ballots or system audit logs, and it was possible to alter both without being detected. Second, it was possible to alter the files that define how a ballot looks and works so that votes for one candidate could be recorded for a different candidate. Third, vendors installed uncertified versions of voting system software at the local level."
King County GOP engaging in voter harassment and intimidation 11/4/2005 NW Progressive Institute: "Apparently, all of those people who are having their right to vote challenged will have their ballots set aside. Then they'll have to show up in person for an administrative hearing, likely causing them to miss time from work or other commitments. Many of course, won’t be able to attend the hearing."
Still angry, Kerry supporters nationwide try to change Ohio elections 11/3/2005 AP: "There were so many questions and allegations about voter fraud, vote machine tampering, that it really frightened me," said Elizabeth Schrader, 50, of Old Hickory, Tenn. "Serious voter reform is necessary in all 50 states."
She added: "If Ohio can start the ball rolling, then more power to 'em."
The four constitutional amendments on Tuesday's ballot in Republican-dominated Ohio would expand voting by mail, limit campaign contributions and create bipartisan boards to draw districts and oversee elections -- jobs now done by politicians. The amendments were proposed by Democratic-leaning groups." [Amemdments 2 & 3 were supposed to pass like 1 did, but with a literally overnight drop of over 20% in the polling, they did not…]
Mitofsky Claim to "Rule Out Vote Fraud" is Bunk 11/3/2005 Scoop: "George W. Bush could have won the 2004 presidential election due to large-scale vote fraud without election data showing the patterns that the Election Science Institute (ESI) and pollster Warren Mitofsky claim must exist if vote fraud had occurred. The analysis that exit pollster Warren Mitofsky presented at the October 14, 2005 American Statistical Association fall conference has been proven mathematically useless for testing exit poll data for vote fraud."
New Mexico Law Suit Delves Inside Voting Machines 11/3/2005 Scoop: "Highly disturbing facts and allegations have already emerged in this well-run but under publicized case. For example, in one majority Hispanic precinct, the voting machines produced exactly zero votes for John Kerry. More issues will arise as the Plaintiffs’ legal team digs deeper into the highly irregular events of Election Day 2004. Remarkably, these events occurred at a much higher rate in predominantly Hispanic and Native American precincts."
New Mexico Law Suit Delves Inside Voting Machines - Election Errors Threaten Future Voting Rights in New Mexico 11/3/2005 Scoop: "Lopategui et al versus the State of New Mexico is proceeding at a surprising pace, with the litigants currently in the “discovery” phase of the trial, the point at which lawyers are allowed to question key witnesses and dig for facts and opinions with wide latitude. The targets of discovery right now include Sequoia Elections, two of the big three voting machine companies; Rebecca Vigil-Giron, New Mexico Secretary of State; state and local election officials; and officials of the state’s voting systems support vendor.
Highly disturbing facts and allegations have already emerged in this well-run but under publicized case. For example, in one majority Hispanic precinct, the voting machines produced exactly zero votes for John Kerry. More issues will arise as the Plaintiffs’ legal team digs deeper into the highly irregular events of Election Day 2004. Remarkably, these events occurred at a much higher rate in predominantly Hispanic and Native American precincts." [Sequoia was founded by Lewis Wolfson, whose bribery of Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas caused him to resign.]
Absentee ballots tainted? Some Detroit voters are incapacitated, without valid addresses, raising question of mayoral election's fairness. 10/30/2005 Detroit News
Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They'll Steal the Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them) 10/28/2005 Buzzflash: "For example, Miller highlights Bush's dismal approval ratings all under 50% days before the 2004 election as well as record democratic voter registration and voter turnout. He debunks the myth that waves of evangelicals came out of the woodworks to carry Bush to victory or account for the host of statistical miracles that no pollster can seem to adequately explain. And Miller astutely observes that it was the progressive and liberal bases that were united whereas the conservative base was fractured. Miller's book is best thought of as a closing argument, and if one approaches the topic like a juror with an open mind, its difficult to conceive of any other verdict for the Republican Party other than guilty as charged for stealing the 2004 election."
Suppressing Voter Registration ... and Other Insults to The American Way 10/28/2005 Buzzflash: "We have already had reports of some of the unlawful ways that Republicans have tried to keep people from voting . . . letters telling them they were not registered, people listed as felons, long lines, crooked software . . . these tactics and the above bill gets to the heart of the rottenness of this Bush GOP trying to constantly strangle the very life out of this country, if they haven't succeeded in killing enough people on their illegal battle grounds. Do these people ever get punished for this, or do they just get their hands slapped? Well, actually, they get elected to Congress (Katherine Harris). If our voting is to be important for every American . . . the use of "dirty tricks" would not be so funny, if there were heavy fines handed out and people lost their jobs automatically. It's just more dirty tricks as usual to try and control votes through legislation in Congress."
Watergate-style money laundering indictments stoke Ohio's stolen election fires 10/28/2005 Columbus Free Press: "As federal probes rack Team Bush in Washington, three huge indictments for money laundering and other pro-Bush election crimes involving Ohio "Coingate" lynchpin Tom Noe have stoked powerful new Watergate-style financial fires under Ohio's stolen 2004 election scandal.
A close associate of key Republicans from George H.W. Bush to George W. Bush to Ohio Senator George Voinovich to Ohio Governor Robert Taft and many, many more, Noe has long been known as northwest Ohio's "Mr. Republican."
He has also been at the heart of speculation on how huge numbers of votes in the Toledo area may have wrongly found their way into the Bush column, helping the GOP again take the presidency in 2004.
While media attention focuses on Plamegate and on Noe's financial scams, it overlooks many years as Chair of the Board of Elections in Lucas County. He was deeply involved in controversial procurement deals that brought Diebold opti-scan vote counting machines into inner city Toledo precincts. Many of those machines suspiciously malfunctioned at key times on election day. Sworn testimony in hearings conducted by the Free Press after the election confirm that thousands of inner city voters were disenfranchised due to Noe's decisions."
House Attempt to Suppress Voter Registration Efforts 10/28/2005 People for the American Way: helps you send a message to your elected reps.
Voter ID Law Is Overturned - Georgia Can No Longer Charge For Access to Nov. 8 Election 10/28/2005 Washington Post
When the votes don't add up - Making a case for how the religious right hijacked the '04 election 10/23/2005 Sun Sentinel: "Miller has done his homework, and his sources are numerous and scrupulously footnoted. He comes close to convincing an open-minded reader that the 2004 election was a gigantic fraud. His exhortation to Democrats "not to milk it for partisan advantage but to use it to promote, and realize, electoral reform" is the book's stated purpose, and Miller does make a strong case for reform.
Among other things, he recommends doing away with electronic voting, which he says "can never be entirely secure," and using standard paper ballots instead. He also would federalize the electoral system so as to replace "local bigots or politicos" with trained civil servants at the polls."
GAO Report Finds Flaws in Electronic Voting 10/21/2005 Truth Out
BREAKING: NON-PARTISAN GAO REPORT CONFIRMS CONCERNS ABOUT SECURITY OF ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES! 10/20/2005 Brad Blog
ELECTIONS - Federal Efforts to Improve Security and
Systems Are Under
Way, but Key Activities
Need to Be Completed 10/20/2005 GAO
MONKEY BUSINESS - A look at vote-counting mischief and the potential for more 10/19/2005 San Diego City Beat: "Registrar employees aren’t the only ones with access to voting machines and memory cards. During San Diego’s recent mayoral special election, 713 voting machines containing memory cards were sent home overnight with poll workers, Harris noted. Seals protecting memory cards could be opened with pliers and reinstalled without detection, she added. Employees of Diebold also have access to voting equipment, such as repairing machines that break down during elections.
“Most counties don’t send machines home with poll workers,” Harris observed. “It’s bizarre. You should have them under lock and key…. You wouldn’t send a full ballot box home overnight.” "
JIM CROW RETURNS TO THE VOTING BOOTH
DOES AMERICA HAVE AN APARTHEID VOTE-COUNTING SYSTEM? 10/19/2005 Seattle Post-Intelligencer: first published 1/05, by Greg Palast
Afghan Election Staffers Fired for Fraud 10/16/2005 AP: unlike Ohio…
Election Official Thwarts Recount Using Phony Vote Totals 10/15/2005 Mad Cow: published 12/14/04 - "Pinellas County voters defeated the gambling initiative by more than 17,000 votes. But the official state record says the exact opposite, the result of a “mistake” by the office of Pinellas Elections Supervisor which would have gone unnoticed, said local reports, had it not been caught by outside observers."
Voting Rights, Human Rights 10/14/2005 NYT: "The United States has the worst record in the democratic world when it comes to stripping convicted felons of the right to vote. Of the nearly five million people who were barred from participating in the last presidential election, for example, most, if not all, would have been free to vote if they had been citizens of any one of dozens of other nations. Many of those nations cherish the franchise so deeply that they let inmates vote from their prison cells."
Corporate Control of the Final Vote Count: Centralized Voter Registration Databases 10/6/2005 Scoop
National Summit to Save US Elections – Days 2-3 10/5/2005 Scoop
National Summit to Save Our (US) Elections – Day 1 10/3/2005 Scoop
National Summit to Save Our Elections 9/30/2005 summit.oregonvrc.org: "This Summit arises out of the need to rescue our democracy by restoring the right of "We the People" to vote and to oversee the counting of our votes. The objective of this conference is to bring together all the latest information on efforts to restore public ownership and oversight of elections, and to ensure the fundamental right of every American citizen to vote and to have each vote counted as intended in a secure, transparent, impartial, and independently audited election process. There are many facets to this effort and it will take everyone to get involved in order to achieve the goal."
More Trouble for Diebold, This Time in Georgia… 9/27/2005 Brad Blog
DIEB-THROAT Weighs in on Diebold's Stunning 15.5% Wednesday Stock Plunge 9/22/2005 Brad Blog: "Back in July, Diebold told investors during its conference call the election revenues were sound and expected to grow." Yes, DIEB-THROAT was on that conference call. "Now all of a sudden Diebold's [CEO Walden] O'Dell tells investors of $10 million in lower revenues from election systems alone. Perhaps what Diebold isn't talking about is the $500,000 a month in legal fees they were spending in California, or the current rash of problems with touch screen systems that freeze up when votes are cast. Using Hurricane Katrina is a poor excuse for bad products - the last time this kind of deception occurred it was called Enron."
2004 U.S. Election: An International Perspective - NOVEMBER 2004 UNITED STATES ELECTION OBSERVATION REPORT 9/21/2005 Fair Election: "This report summarizes the election observation conducted by 15 election experts and
democracy advocates from five continents who observed voting activities in Florida,
Ohio and Missouri. These observers are part of a larger group of 30 civic leaders, members
of parliament, diplomats, lawyers, electoral officials, academic specialists, journalists
and veteran election observers from around the world who volunteered to apply their
decades of experience supporting, administering, and building democracies in more than
100 countries to further electoral transparency and reform in the United States."
Diebold's O'Dell Adds COO Role Amid Glum Results 9/21/2005 Forbes
Not American enough - Photo IDs lock some citizens out of voting booths 9/19/2005 Working For Change
A DIEBOLD INSIDER SPEAKS! DIEB-THROAT : 'Diebold System One of Greatest Threats Democracy Has Ever Known' 9/15/2005 Brad Blog: "In exclusive stunning admissions to The BRAD BLOG some 11 months after the 2004 Presidential Election, a "Diebold Insider" is now finally speaking out for the first time about the alarming security flaws within Diebold, Inc's electronic voting systems, software and machinery. The source is acknowledging that the company's "upper management" -- as well as "top government officials" -- were keenly aware of the "undocumented backdoor" in Diebold's main "GEM Central Tabulator" software well prior to the 2004 election. A branch of the Federal Government even posted a security warning on the Internet."
Georgia's New Poll Tax 9/12/2005 NYT: "The American Civil Liberties Union is planning to challenge Georgia's law. It will have several strong legal claims, starting with the 24th Amendment. The Supreme Court said in 1966, in striking down the poll tax, that "the right to vote is too precious, too fundamental to be so burdened." It still is."
Political Landscape May Shift on Displaced Voters 9/11/2005 LA Times: "Government officials and legal experts have begun wrestling with an intriguing question posed by the evacuation of New Orleans: What happens to the politics of a region when a significant part of the electorate suddenly disappears? The migration of hundreds of thousands of people from this urban center, many of them low-income and black, could have a dramatic effect on the political makeup of a state delicately balanced between the two major parties. If most of the evacuees choose not to return, Katrina's political legacy could be that it made Louisiana a more Republican state… Civil rights groups are focused on keeping track of Louisiana's displaced black voters and on ensuring that they can continue to vote in the districts they left behind until they make a decision to permanently resettle elsewhere.
Ernest Johnson, head of the Louisiana NAACP, called Friday for Congress to pass emergency legislation to extend special protections of the Voting Rights Act that expire in 2007. The law is meant to ensure access to the polls for black voters.
Johnson says the hurricane has potentially disenfranchised 1.5 million voters, many of them black."
Election fraud continues in the U.S. - New data shows widespread vote manipulations in 2004 9/7/2005 SF Bay View
Evoting Paper Trail Is Littered with Obstacles 9/6/2005 Personal Democracy Forum: "Evoting companies like Diebold and MicroVote have DRE prototypes with printers ready. Election Systems and Software (ES&S) has a model that prints out every action performed, from turning on the power switch to shutting down the machine. But until states push through the bureaucratic dance of deciding on specifics like paper weight and size, rolling tabulation or separate sheets, voting companies are left with their hands tied. Even then, production of each printer-equipped DRE model will remain small, as individual states could have unique requirements. While labyrinthine regulations often stall tech research and development, the apparent lack of official rules governing paper balloting in certain locales could also prompt enterprising voting companies to take the reigns by promoting solutions that have worked elsewhere."
The Silence of the Scams: Psychological Resistance to Facing Election Fraud - Diane Perlman, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist 9/5/2005 Commonweal: published 4/20/05, excellent summary with good links.
Two Ohio Election Officials Indicted for 2004 Election Recount Conduct! 8/31/2005 Bradblog: "Two Cuyahoga County elections officials were indicted Tuesday on charges of not handling ballots correctly during the recount of the 2004 presidential election.
Kathleen Dreamer, manager of the board's ballot department, and the assistant manager, Rosie Grier, were each charged with six counts of failing to follow Ohio laws that spell out how ballots are selected and reviewed during a recount."
Justice Dept. OKs Georgia Law Requiring Voters to Show Photo ID at Polls 8/28/2005 Black America Web
Congressman Conyers Urges Kerry and Edwards Not to Withdraw From Ohio Recount Case 8/23/2005 Ohio Election Fraud
Don't Prettify Our History 8/22/2005 NYT: "This reaction seems to confuse three questions. One is what would have happened if the U.S. Supreme Court hadn't intervened; the answer is that unless the judge overseeing the recount had revised his order (which is a possibility), George W. Bush would still have been declared the winner.
The second is what would have happened if there had been a full, statewide manual recount - as there should have been. The probable answer is that Al Gore would have won, by a tiny margin.
The third is what would have happened if the intentions of the voters hadn't been frustrated by butterfly ballots, felon purges and more; the answer is that Mr. Gore would have won by a much larger margin."
Special prosecutor subpoenas election workers 8/22/2005 The Plain Dealer: "A special prosecutor investigating charges of illegal conduct in election recount last December has subpoenaed employees of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. The employees will testify before a Cuyahoga County grand jury Tuesday. The special prosecutor, Erie County Prosecutor Kevin J. Baxter, said that subpoenas were sent to as many as 10 people last week."
What They Did Last Fall 8/19/2005 NYT: "By running for the U.S. Senate, Katherine Harris, Florida's former secretary of state, has stirred up some ugly memories. And that's a good thing, because those memories remain relevant. There was at least as much electoral malfeasance in 2004 as there was in 2000, even if it didn't change the outcome. And the next election may be worse.
In his recent book "Steal This Vote" - a very judicious work, despite its title - Andrew Gumbel, a U.S. correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent, provides the best overview I've seen of the 2000 Florida vote. And he documents the simple truth: "Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election." ...Our current political leaders would suffer greatly if either house of Congress changed hands in 2006, or if the presidency changed hands in 2008. The lids would come off all the simmering scandals, from the selling of the Iraq war to profiteering by politically connected companies. The Republicans will be strongly tempted to make sure that they win those elections by any means necessary. And everything we've seen suggests that they will give in to that temptation."
Election Fraud: It's Time to Make a Stand. 8/16/2005 Democratic Underground
Ohio GOP Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell cannot certify how Federal election assistance money was spent. 8/15/2005 Wayne Madsen Report: scroll down this archive - "Documents from the Ohio Secretary of State's office and the federal General Services Administration (GSA) provided to WMR indicate that some $30 million provided to Ohio as part of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was not spent on preparations for the 2004 presidential election, as required by the law. In addition, of another $10,384,931 of Section 101 HAVA funds allocated to Blackwell, only $6,870,659.47 was obligated as of December 31, 2004. Even though the Section 101 funds were for education and training of Ohio voters and poll workers, accessibilty for voters, reporting vote fraud, and other administrative requirements, some of the money spent went to firms whose owners were top Ohio GOP political contributors."
Election Fraud Continues in the US
New Data Shows Widespread Vote Manipulations in 2004 8/13/2005 Common Dreams
GOP Pays Legal Bills in Vote-Thwart Case 8/11/2005 AP: "Despite a zero-tolerance policy on tampering with voters, the Republican Party has quietly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide private defense lawyers for a former Bush campaign official charged with conspiring to keep Democrats from voting in New Hampshire."
Choicepoint 8/11/2005 EPIC: "ChoicePoint is an Alpharetta, Georgia-based company that sells information in three markets--insurance, business and government, and marketing. According to a recent quarterly statement filed at the Security and Exchange Commission, ChoicePoint sells: "claims history data, motor vehicle records, police records, credit information and modeling services...employment background screenings and drug testing administration services, public record searches, vital record services, credential verification, due diligence information, Uniform Commercial Code searches and filings, DNA identification services, authentication services and people and shareholder locator information searches...print fulfillment, teleservices, database and campaign management services..."
ChoicePoint has managed to attain a large share of the commercial data broker (CDB) market with strategic purchases of other businesses. Since its spinoff from Equifax in 1997, ChoicePoint has acquired a number of information collection and processing companies."
Tobin's legal bills -- $700,000 and counting -- are being paid by the Republican National Committee 8/11/2005 Talking Point Memo: This blog is tracking an interesting case of Republican vote fraud in New Hampshire - "For years -- literally years now -- we've been telling you about the Republican election-tampering scam from New Hampshire on election day 2002. This was the case in which the state Republican party hired a company to jam the phones of Democratic and union phone banks doing get out the vote work on election day in what was expected to be a tight race between now-Sen. John Sununu and then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. Election-tampering pure and simple."
American Center on Voting Rights 8/9/2005 AC4VR.com: Republican front group tasked to make it appear as if Dems are guilty of vote fraud on a larger scale than the Republicans. Interesting reports on line.
Ohio Election Activists Say Voters Fed Up 8/9/2005 AP: "Reform Ohio Now, a coalition of labor unions and Democrat-leaning activists, on Tuesday filed petitions with 521,000 signatures for each of three issues with Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio's chief elections official.
The group cleared its first hurdle on Tuesday when the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously dismissed a lawsuit seeking to keep the issues off the ballot.
One of the ballot issues would change the way congressional and legislative districts are drawn, another would create a state elections board and the third would lower the individual limit on campaign contributions.
Backers say Ohioans need to take more control of their elections because of the current investment scandal involving majority Republicans at the Statehouse and an elections system they see as flawed."
Election Law and Civil Rights in 2004 8/9/2005 Moritz College of Law
ACVR, America's Fake 'Voting Rights' Group, Enlists Fake 'Democrat' to Shill for Fake 'Election Fraud' Report! 8/8/2005 Brad Blog: "Nonetheless, the Rightwing Blogosphere keeps attempting to flog the story, despite so much documented evidence to show that the ACVR's a complete scam run by high-level GOP operatives hoping to distract from the real Election Fraud and myriad of Irregularities last November committed by their paymasters from Team Bush/Cheney.
After finally finding a "Democrat" that the ACVR could quote from in hopes of misleading and distracting from the fact that the self-proclaimed "non-partisan" group of high-level GOP operatives is actually anything but, it turns out that the use of this "Democrat" is simply more disinformation from these disdainful anti-American, democracy-hating ratfuckers. They're still hoping to spoof the country into believing they are "Voting Rights" advocats rather than pure, unabashed Republican operatives (in the worst sense of the word) hoping to distract from the mountain of GOP "Election Irregularties" last November and further disenfranchise millions of more American voters through their insidious schemes to keep potential Democratic voters from being able to actually cast a vote on Election Day."
Special Coverage - American Center for Voting Rights 8/8/2005 Brad Blog
'Study' is political fraud 8/8/2005 Pittsburgh Tribune Review: "The supposedly nonpartisan American Center for Voting Rights -- which purports to expose voter fraud -- is a fraud. The organization's 368-page study "Vote Fraud, Intimidation & Suppression in the 2004 Presidential Election," which was released last week, indicated that Democrats were the instigators in every case from Alabama to Wisconsin -- except two.
It also said that the two complaints regarding Republicans had no merit.
The "findings" about Democrat wrongdoing are not surprising considering that the three public faces of the nonpartisan group are very partisan Republican operatives -- including one who claims to be a sounding board for senior White House adviser Karl Rove."
Did the GOP steal another Ohio Election? 8/5/2005 Columbus Free Press: "The Republican Party has -- barely -- snatched another election in Ohio. And once again there are telltale symptoms of the kind of vote theft that put George W. Bush in the White House in 2000 and then kept him there in 2004.
This time an outspoken Iraqi War vet named Paul Hackett led the charge for a Cincinnati-area Congressional seat, earning 48% of the vote… In one instance, an entire precinct was shut down because the voting machines were locked in the office of a school principal, who called in sick. Someone also placed the wrong type of ballot scan markers in heavily Democratic Toledo precincts, causing a high rate of uncounted, machine-rejected votes without the voters knowing it.
Overall, experts estimate more than 7,000 votes were stolen outright from John Kerry under the Noe's supervision in Lucas County 2004.
Whether similar theft defeated Paul Hackett remains to be seen. Hackett ran extremely well in a district thoroughly gerrymandered as a permanent Republican safe seat. Democrats are now crowing about how well Hackett did in "serving notice" that the GOP may be in trouble. But the bottom line is that the Republicans still won the election.
As of 1 am this past Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Hackett was within 3600 votes---about four percent---of Schmidt.
But election officials announced a mysterious "computer glitch" that delayed reports from Clermont County, which accounted for roughly a quarter of all the ballots cast in the district.
When things finally settled out, Clermont gave Schmidt 58%, and a 5,000 vote margin there. And thus the election."
The Lunde Hop 8/3/2005 Roger Ailes Blog: "In an effort to backfill and fend off the "trolls" who have boarded his dinghy, Mister Ed cites Brian Lunde as proof that the American Center for Voting Rights isn't the creation of Bushlicking shills. You see, Lunde once worked for the Kentucky Democratic Party (in the Carter era) and for the DNC.
But Mister Ed's spyglass doesn't work so well. His Google search apparently didn't turn up "Brian Lunde, National Executive Director of 'Democrats for Bush.'"
Linking to opensecrets.org, Mister Ed also asserts "His [Lunde's] only campaign contribution in the past four years went to Congressman Mike Ross (D-AR)." "
None Dare Call It Stolen - Ohio, the election, and America's servile press 8/1/2005 Harper's Magazine: "The press has had little to say about most of the strange details of the election - except, that is, to ridicule all efforts to discuss them. This animus appeared soon after November 2, in a spate of caustic articles dismissing any critical discussion of the outcome as crazed speculation: "Election paranoia surfaces: Conspiracy theorists call results rigged", chuckled the Baltimore Sun on November 5. "Internet Buzz on Vote Fraud Is Dismissed", proclaimed the Boston Globe on November 10. "Latest Conspiracy Theory - Kerry Won - Hits the Ether", the Washington Post chortled on November 11. The New York Times weighed in with "Vote Fraud Theories, Spread by Blogs, Are Quickly Buried" - making mock not only of the "post-election theorizing" but of cyberspace itself, the fons et origo of all such loony tunes, according to the Times.
Such was the news that most Americans received. Although the tone was scientific, "realistic", skeptical, and "middle-of-the-road", the explanations offered by the press were weak and immaterial. It was as if they were reporting from inside a forest fire without acknowledging the fire, except to keep insisting that there was no fire."
Voting Machines Gone Wild 8/1/2005 In These Times: printed 1/04
Court Denies NFB Motion to Prevent Use of Ballot-Marking Devices in Volusia 7/21/2005 Verified Voting: "A federal court denied the motion of the National Federation of the Blind to obtain a preliminary injunction that would have required Volusia County to purchase e-voting machines without a paper trail in time for an upcoming October 11, 2005, election."
Internal documents reveal more Diebold ethics problems 7/20/2005 Black Box Voting
The Unanswered Question: Who Really Won In 2004? 7/18/2005 Scoop
New Jersey Says No to Paperless Voting 7/15/2005 Verified Voting: "In the shadow of a lawsuit demanding that New Jersey update state laws to reflect its increasing use of electronic voting machines, New Jersey's acting governor recently signed into law legislation that will require all voting machines to produce a voter-verified paper record by 2008.
(I-Newswire) - While applauding the law's requirement of voter-verified paper records, litigants in the case vowed to continue their suit to ensure that New Jersey voters do not have to wait until 2008 for a secure vote. The case, called Gusciora v. Codey, was filed by the Rutgers Law School Constitutional Litigation Clinic on behalf of New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora."
Case Against Diebold and Florida Division of Elections 7/11/2005 Black Box Voting
American Council of the Blind Passes Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail Resolution 7/8/2005 Verified Voting