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ES&S MELDOWN CONTINUES: Legal Actions Filed in Indiana and West Virginia - WV County Withholds $1.2 Million Payment to Electronic Voting Machine Company 4/28/2006 Brad Blog
A Small-Time Crime With Hints of Big-Time Connections Lights Up the Net 4/17/2006 NYT: "In 2002, there was a hard-fought Senate race between Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, the Democrat, and John Sununu, the Republican. On Election Day, Democratic workers arrived at five get-out-the-vote offices to find their phone lines jammed. It turned out that the jamming was being done by an Idaho telemarketing firm that was being paid by a Virginia consulting group. The fee for the jamming, reportedly $15,600, was paid by New Hampshire Republicans. The executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party and the president of the Virginia consulting group pleaded guilty for their part in the scheme. James Tobin, who was the New England political director for the Republican National Committee, went to trial and was convicted of telephone harassment last December. Now, Jack Abramoff and his Indian tribe clients have joined the cast of characters, and some records of phone calls to the White House have turned up, though the significance of both of these revelations is hotly disputed. The evidence that the phone-jamming scandal goes higher than Mr. Tobin remains scant. But the watchdogs are right about this: the news media, prosecutors and the general public should demand more information about what happened."
Thundering silence from Washington 4/16/2006 Portsmouth Herald, NH: "What we don’t have is the complete story - namely, just how high the chain of command went in this electronic-mugging operation. In a civil lawsuit being heard in Superior Court in Manchester, state Democrats want to compel testimony from White House officials and those at the Republican National Committee who received numerous phone calls from Tobin during a three-day period around Election Day. While Democrats want answers and to play some political hardball at the same time, it seems state and national Republicans would rather have the matter disappear or strangle it with stonewalling rhetoric. In an Orwellian twist on reality, a lawyer representing the state GOP played the victim card during a recent court appearance. The lawyer, Jon Shirley, said it was the GOP that had been damaged most by the scandal because Democrats had used it in 2004 and were using it again in 2006 "to cast us in a negative light." "
American Blackout 4/15/2006 Greg Palast: "PARK CITY "American Blackout," an engrossing, low-budget documentary, is a powerful examination of voting rights in America. The filmmakers intend to use the film as a political tool to galvanize voters. Director Ian Inaba, who is part of Guerilla News Network, an organization that covers stories the mainstream media overlooks, focuses on the disturbing incidents of voter disenfranchisement among African-Americans, who traditionally vote democratic."
Meet Mr. Republican: Jack Abramoff - The secret history of the most corrupt man in Washington 4/15/2006 Rolling Stone: [Extensive article never mentions the Sun Cruz caper] "And now it comes out that Diebold, the notorious voting-machine company, paid some $275,000 to Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig, with the apparent aim of keeping legislation requiring paper trails in the voting process from getting into the Help America Vote Act. Conveniently, Abramoff pal Bob Ney, one of the HAVA architects, blocked every attempt to put paper trails into law, even after the controversial electoral debacles of 2000 and 2004."
How American Elections Became a Criminal Enterprise by Michelle Mairesse - Part One 4/6/2006 The New Enlightenment: focuses on 2000
How American Elections Became a Criminal Enterprise by Michelle Mairesse - Part Two 4/6/2006 The New Enlightenment: focuses on 2004, has a link to Black Voter Net.
Protecting the ballot 4/3/2006 Miami Herald: "Florida Secretary of State Sue Cobb should take a cue from Attorney General Charlie Crist. Instead of berating Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho for trying to improve ballot security, the state should question vendors who can't guarantee tamper-proof systems. Mr. Crist is right to initiate anti-trust and civil-rights investigations of Diebold Inc., Election Systems & Software and Sequoia Voting Systems. The three companies refused to sell voting equipment to Leon County after Mr. Sancho conducted a test that showed Diebold machines were vulnerable to inside hackers. The companies deny that they have colluded in their decisions. Mr. Crist's investigation seeks to determine if that is true."
Special Coverage - American Center for Voting Rights 3/31/2006 Brad Blog
Ann Coulter Given 30 Days to Explain Vote Fraud Felony Allegation! 3/30/2006 Brad Blog
Fla. AG Subpoenas Voting Machine Companies 3/29/2006 AP: "Florida's attorney general said Wednesday his office has issued investigative subpoenas to the three companies certified to sell voting machines in Florida as he reviews a dispute between the firms and Leon County's elections supervisor. Diebold Inc., Election Systems & Software Inc., and Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. have refused to sell equipment to let disabled voters cast ballots without help in Leon County. Elections supervisor Ion Sancho has been outspoken about his concern that the devices can be easily manipulated to change race outcomes."
DEMOCRACY CRUMBLING: New Electronic Voter Registration Database Rejects 43% of New Los Angeles Voter Applications! 26% Rejected State-Wide in California! 3/29/2006 Brad Blog
New ID System May Block Voters 3/29/2006 LA Times: "Thousands of Californians who register to vote or update their records may not receive sample ballots or be able to vote as absentees because of the state's new method of verifying identities, election officials say."
Elections officials to query GOP pundit 3/29/2006 Palm Beach Post: "This time, claiming she doesn't even live here — as GOP pundit Ann Coulter has been doing on this spring's college speaking tour when she's questioned about her February election meltdown on Palm Beach — isn't going to cut it. Palm Beach County's elections supervisor has given the right wing's unofficial mouthpiece 30 days to explain why she voted in the wrong precinct."
Primary voting-machine troubles raise concerns for '06 3/28/2006 USA Today: "In Fort Worth, an initial ballot count showed about 150,000 votes even though there were only one-third that many voters, says David Rogers, campaign manager for the candidate, Steve Smith. And in San Angelo, balky new equipment and a close local race led to a recount that was halted after it appeared some votes were missing."
Election Whistle-Blower Stymied by Vendors - After Official's Criticism About Security, Three Firms Reject Bid for Voting Machines 3/26/2006 Washington Post: "Now, however, Sancho may be paying an unexpected price for his whistle-blowing: None of the state-approved companies here will sell him the voting machines the county needs. "I've essentially embarrassed the current companies for the way they do business, and now I believe I'm being singled out for punishment by the vendors," he said. There are three vendors approved to sell voting equipment in Florida, and each has indicated it cannot or will not fill Sancho's order for 160 voting machines for the disabled. Already, he has had to return a $564,000 federal grant to buy the machines because he has been unable to acquire the machines yet."
City, county rip voting machine firm 3/24/2006 Chicago Sun Times: "City and county election officials are threatening to withhold millions of dollars in payments to the company that provided voting equipment for Tuesday's primary. Chicago election chairman Langdon Neal said it is "embarrassing" that hundreds of machines failed to properly produce votes, while Cook County Clerk David Orr said he's having "very serious conversations" with Sequoia Voting Systems about the problems. Sequoia won the contract last year to provide $50 million in new voting equipment needed to comply with new federal voting laws."
Help Katrina Evacuees Vote: If you are an eligible New Orleans voter, request an absentee ballot until April 18 to vote in the primary 3/24/2006 Louisiana Elections Division
Programmer who alleged plot to steal Florida election runs for Congress 3/24/2006 Raw Story: ""Even Republicans know Feeney is a crook and they'd be glad to get rid of him," Curtis said. "I just have to persuade Democrats that I am Democratic enough." Curtis says his main campaign issue is eliminating election fraud. "This is not a partisan issue," he said. "I noticed recently in Texas there was a Republican that got some wild results in his primary. The Republicans can't run unless the people that control the machines want them to run.""
Did White House Direct Phone Jamming Scheme? 3/23/2006 Buzzflash: "A new report suggests that the national Republican establishment--including the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and even the Bush White House--may have had a role in the criminal Election Day phone jamming scheme that disenfranchised countless New Hampshire voters in 2002. The Union Leader today reported that "court records show Ken Mehlman's office received more than 75 telephone calls from now-convicted phone-jam conspirator James Tobin from Sept. 30 to Nov. 22 of that year." At the time, Mehlman--the current RNC Chair--was White House political director. [Union Leader, 3/23/06] This raises the disturbing question of whether Tobin, who worked for the RNC and the NRSC at the time and has since been convicted on two criminal charges for his role in the scheme, discussed the plan with one of the President's most important political strategists."
Voter Group Sues to Ban Touch-Screen System - It's called vulnerable to hackers seeking to change results 3/22/2006 SF Chronicle: "A group of California voters is challenging Secretary of State Bruce McPherson's approval of a controversial touch-screen voting system the group claims is vulnerable to hackers looking to change election results. The suit, put together by the voting rights group Voter Action, asks a San Francisco Superior Court to nullify February's conditional certification of Diebold Election System's AccuVote-TSx electronic voting system and ban the purchase or use of the system for the November statewide election."
High-tech voting hits snags 3/21/2006 Chicago Tribune
California Voters, including Dolores Huerta, File Lawsuit to Halt Use or Purchase of Diebold Electronic Voting System - Illegal Computer Code, Security and Disability Access Problems Cited 3/21/2006 Voter Action: "A group of 24 California voters, including Dolores Huerta, social justice activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America, announced at a news conference today that they have filed a lawsuit against California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson to nullify his “conditional” certification of the Diebold TSx electronic voting system and to block purchase or use of the TSx in California due to serious security, verifiability and disability access problems."
How To Steal an Election 3/16/2006 Washington Post: "Freeman has assembled comparisons that suggest Americans protect their vices [casino gambling] more than they guard their rights, according to data he presented at an October meeting of the American Statistical Association in Philadelphia."
E-vote case puts actor in limelight - Diebold software leak makes whistle-blower a folk hero to activists 3/13/2006 Oakland Tribune: "The Oakland Tribune reported on the memos, and almost overnight they appeared on Web sites from Washington to California to New Zealand, then elsewhere. Two weeks later, Shelley withdrew his earlier approval of Diebold's flagship touchscreen voting system, calling the firm's behavior "fraudulent" and "despicable." It took more than two years and numerous improvements before Diebold again could sell its electronic-voting products in California. Heller himself remained largely unknown until two weeks ago when the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office charged him with a computer crime, second-degree burglary and receiving stolen goods — offenses carrying up to four years in prison — and propelled him to folk hero status among voting reform advocates, computer scientists and critics of electronic voting. The case poses the value of whistleblowing about an industry that zealously guards its secrets and counts the nation's vote against a bedrock principle of the legal profession, the sanctity of confidentiality that allows clients to share their troubles with their lawyer."
Leon County Election Supervisor Alleges 'Breach of Contract' After Security Test Revealed Hackable Elections Possible on Diebold Optical-Scan Systems! 3/8/2006 Brad Blog
No conspiracy needed to support paper trail 3/8/2006 St Petersburg Times: "If the goal is for Democrats to keep on accusing Republicans of stealing the last election, and Republicans to keep on calling Democrats sore losers and nutbags, then we don't need to do anything else. But if the goal is to get better safeguards in place for Florida's voting machines, then we have to make it possible for the rest of us, Republican, Democrat and everybody else, to get behind it."
Governor Bill Richardson 3/8/2006 Wings of Justice: "New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who served in the Clinton administration, gave hope to Americans who believe that every vote count should be publicly accessible. Last week, he signed a bill that will require the restoration of paper ballots in his state. According to a New Mexico publication, "Richardson has said the new paper ballot system will provide more accountability to the election process and will give voters' confidence that their votes will be correctly recorded.""
Election official hammered for telling the truth 3/7/2006 Miami Herald: "Ion Sancho may be a hero in California, where grateful election officials have verified the ''serious security vulnerabilities'' in Diebold voting machines that the Leon County election supervisor uncovered last year. Sancho is regarded a little differently in Florida. Florida's secretary of state's office disparaged Sancho's finding, demonstrating considerably more interest in propping up vendors than protecting elections. California, alarmed by Sancho's report, dispatched its independent, expert-laden Voting Systems Technology Assessment Advisory Board to conduct its own investigation. Florida, meanwhile, threatened to sue Sancho."
Making Every Vote Count 3/2/2006 Tom Paine
Whistleblower facing charges over Diebold documents 3/1/2006 Blogger News: "According to Bev Harris, author of the book Black Box Voting, the docs "provided evidence that the Jones Day law firm was helping Diebold to cover up the fact that they were installing uncertified software which, as it turns out, caused thousands of voters to be unable to vote just weeks later." Diebold was knowingly defrauding the state of California. Nonetheless, it is Heller who is being prosecuted by the District Attorney, on three felony charges. Diebold and Jones Day have not been charged. In fact, Heller's lawyer believes the 2 year wait to file charges was due to the then-impending 2004 election, and that Diebold and their attorneys didn't want the information to be made public in the lead up to the election."
Don't let Katrina survivors' voting rights get washed 3/1/2006 SF Bay View
Did 308,000 cancelled Ohio voter registrations put Bush back in the White House? 2/28/2006 Colombus Free Press: "In our 2005 compendium HOW THE GOP STOLE OHIO'S 2004 ELECTION & IS RIGGING 2008 (www.freepress.org), we list more than a hundred different ways the Republican Party denied the democratic process in the Buckeye State. For a book of documents to be published September 11 by the New Press entitled WHAT HAPPENED IN OHIO?, we are continuing to dig. It turns out, we missed more than a few of the dirty tricks Karl Rove, Ken Blackwell and their GOP used to get themselves four more years. In an election won with death by a thousand cuts, some that are still hidden go very deep. Over the next few weeks we will list them as they are verified. One of them has just surfaced to the staggering tune of 175,000 purged voters in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), the traditional stronghold of the Ohio Democratic Party. An additional 10,000 that registered to vote there for the 2004 election were lost due to "clerical error." "
Watchdog Group Questions 2004 Fla. Vote 2/23/2006 AP: "An examination of Palm Beach County's electronic voting machine records from the 2004 election found possible tampering and tens of thousands of malfunctions and errors, a watchdog group said Thursday."
We can't see as votes get counted in a black box 2/23/2006 Baltimore Sun: "Most computer-savvy people I know would never entrust something as important as picking the next president or governor to gadgets as unreliable as computers. Especially with no paper backup. Still, I was amused when our governor denounced Maryland's $55 million, Diebold electronic voting system as too flaky and unreliable to count the votes in his 2006 re-election campaign. Cynics might call Bob Ehrlich's last-minute conversion a political ploy. After all, he's trailing in the polls and needs a convenient scapegoat for losing the election - or for contesting the results."
AP: 100,000 ERRORS REPORTED ON SEQUOIA VOTING MACHINES IN PALM BEACH, FL 2004 ELECTION! 2/23/2006 Brad Blog
Incredibly Bad Press for Diebold...From Coast to Coast… 2/23/2006 Brad Blog
State gives flawed machines vote of confidence 2/23/2006 Daily Breeze, LA
Integrity of E-Balloting System Still in Doubt 2/23/2006 LA Times: "As the last two presidential elections demonstrate, ballot results are of profound interest to everybody — including determined hackers with partisan agendas. Therefore, it's proper to demand of the high-tech machines replacing the paper ballots and punch cards of yore that they be technologically bulletproof. The Diebold systems certified by McPherson — an optical scanner that reads hand-marked ballots and a touch screen that totes up votes directly — fall well short of that standard. How do we know this? It's the conclusion of a panel of computer security experts McPherson commissioned specifically to study Diebold's software. Three days after they issued their report Feb. 14, McPherson gave Diebold thumbs up, noting that the panel regarded the software problems it found as "manageable" and had said the risks could be "mitigated" if election officials took care."
Why do Diebold's Touch-Screen Voting Machines Have Built-In Wireless Infrared Data Transfer Ports? 2/22/2006 Brad Blog: "...we do know that the IrDA (Infrared Data Association) is an Infrared port used for wireless connection between two devices. We used to have one on the back of our notebook and desktop computers which we used to keep the two systems synched up via wireless data transfers over that Infrared port. A few election watchdog groups, including some members of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) who works with the federal authorities on these matters, have issued warnings about the IrDA port and protocols on voting machines. However, little -- if anything -- seems to have been done to mitigate the rather obvious security threat posed, as far as we can tell."
Averting Election Theft in Haiti By Rep. Maxine Waters, 2/17/2006 Alternet
McPherson gives conditional OK to Diebold voting machines 2/17/2006 AP
HACKABLE DIEBOLD MACHINES COVERTLY RE-CERTIFIED IN CALIFORNIA BY SOS! State Senator Outraged, Says Machines, Certification Violates State, Federal Standards and Law… 2/17/2006 Brad Blog
Poll worker told Coulter about address 2/17/2006 Palm Beach Post: "But the owner of the Indian Road home where Coulter is registered, Realtor Susanne Frisbie, told Page Two this week that Coulter never lived there. Frisbie was Coulter's real estate agent and allowed her to forward mail there. Registering to vote at the wrong address is a felony that could fetch up to five years in the slammer. Neither Coulter, who made merciless fun of Palm Beach County voters in the 2000 presidential elections, nor her agents could be reached for comment."
Maryland's Republican Governor Issues Devastating Blow to Diebold! 2/16/2006 Brad Blog: "Maryland was the "model state" for Diebold. It was amongst the first to roll out a near state-wide adoption of the new paperless Diebold DRE (touch-screen) voting machines after the 2000 election. Diebold plowed millions into advertising campaigns across the state in order to declare the dawn of their new electronic voting age. "It's Here!" screamed billboards on buses, billboards, mall kiosks and television commercials -- "Maryland's Better Way to Vote". Diebold's dream has become a nightmare for the once-great company. As of yesterday, and a letter from the Governor [PDF] of the state obtained by The BRAD BLOG, indications are that the dream may soon be on the way towards a crashing and fitting end. In the letter sent by Maryland's Republican governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. to the State Board of Elections on Wednesday, he declares that he "no longer [has] confidence in the State Board of Elections’ ability to conduct fair and accurate elections in 2006." Citing the "widespread national concern about the reliability and security of electronic voting systems," the decertification and denial of certification of Diebold around the country, and the need to "get aggressive in responding to citizens' concerns over public confidence in the elections system," Ehrlich says it's time to demand paper ballots once again in the State of Maryland. "It is my personal belief," writes Ehrlich in a letter to BoE Chairman, Gilles Burger, "that the voters of Maryland should be allowed to vote a paper ballot or have a voter verification paper-trail to electronic voting as reassurance to voters that their votes are being accurately cast.""
Rewriting Our Rotten History of Elections 2/15/2006 Alternet
House stays past midnight to pass paper ballot proposal 2/15/2006 Voter Action: "SANTA FE (AP) - The House has approved a Senate-passed bill to require all counties in New Mexico to switch to a paper ballot voting system. With the Legislature set to adjourn on Thursday, lawmakers are trying to wrap up work on the paper ballot bill."
Revote in Ohio After More Votes Than Voters Recorded on Diebold Touch-Screen Voting Machines! 2/6/2006 Brad Blog
Haiti Pre-Election Update 2/6/2006 NarcoNews: "In addition to its own violence and failing to control the violence of others, in addition to jailing a popular choice for president and hundreds of other political leaders (including the elected prime minister), the coup government further damaged the delayed elections by drastically reduceing the number of polling stations compared to previous years. Through it all, the leading candidate by far is a former President – the only one ever to serve a full term, from 1996 to 2001 – and Aristide ally, René Préval. The coup regime promises just over 800 polling stations in the nation of more than seven million. Haiti will have nearly 5,000 eligible voters per polling station, while India and at least some United States counties aim for under 1,000."
Pittsburgh Must Undo the Coup! 2/5/2006 Citizens for Legitimate Government: "Diebold Inc. soon may sell 5,600 touch-screen voting machines to Allegheny County. In 2003, then-chief executive officer Wally O'Dell -- a top fund-raiser for President [sic] Bush's re-s-election campaign -- sent out a letter to Ohio Republicans promising that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President next year." Diebold has told Allegheny County that it could deliver 5,600 machines by the May 16 primary election, at a cost of $11.9 million. But the county's elections board, which meets Tuesday, needs to decide soon."
FOIAs Reveal IRI working with OPL to facilitate the creation of an anti-Lavalas socialist coalition. FOIAs also reveal USAID $3m program with UNOPS to "even the playing field". 2/5/2006 Free Haiti: "Recent FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to USAID show that the International Republican Insitute (IRI) facilitated the creation of a socialist coalition between OPL, PANPRA, KONAKOM, and Ayiti Kapab. Research also shows that Marc Bazin's "moderate lavalas" candidacy has also been facilitated and supported by the IRI."
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - 2 NOVEMBER 2004 ELECTIONS - OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission Final Report 1/30/2006 Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe: published 3/05
Election Theft Emergency 1/27/2006 Alternet: "In New Mexico, for example, we're told that Bush won by some 7,000 votes. We know of over 17,000 Democratic voters who were unable to cast a vote for president because the touchscreen machines in their districts refused to record a vote for president. These 17,000-plus New Mexicans turned out to vote in Democratic areas, and they didn't record a vote for president. Seventeen thousand is 10,000 more than 7,000. That glitch alone can account for the ostensible victory margin of Bush over Kerry in New Mexico. Greg Palast's new book will have a whole chapter on New Mexico. It's hair-raising stuff, and we haven't heard a word about it. The same kind of thing happened in Iowa, where Bush supposedly won by under 10,000 votes. Tom Daschle was supposedly beaten in South Dakota by 4,500 votes. There was so much chicanery going on there, that it's easy to argue that John Thunes should not have won. I know Daschle believes he was robbed. This isn't only a matter of the White House, it's also a matter of the Congress. I don't believe that this government represents the people of this country. The people of this country, however frightened some of them may be by terrorism, are essentially not theocratically inclined. They don't want a Christian republic. They were not happy with the way the government dealt with the Terry Schiavo case. Americans basically believe in the American system of government. Checks and balances, the separation of church and state."
The GOP's Black Voter Suppression Strategy 1/26/2006 Black Commentator
Vote-PAD: The Simple Voting Device that May Save American Democracy! 1/26/2006 Buzzflash: "Yolo County, CA Spurns ES&S, Signs up to Use Vote-PAD for Voters with Disabilities, Other Jurisidications may be Right Behind! Made of paper, plastic and NO SOFTWARE AT ALL, the device works with a paper ballot and costs about one-tenth of flawed, hackable electronic voting machines...Could this be the HAVA voting solution America has been waiting for? "
State rebuffs raw vote demand 1/24/2006 Anchorage Daily News: "The state Division of Elections has refused to turn over its electronic voting files to the Democrats, arguing that the data format belongs to a private company and can't be made public. The Alaska Democratic Party says the information is a public record essential for verifying the accuracy of the 2004 general election and must be provided."
Was the 2004 Election Fixed? By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS 1/19/2006 Counterpunch: "Miller directs our attention to Bush's high-handed treatment of dissenters. If electronic voting machines programmed by private Republican firms remain in our future, dissent will become pointless unless it boils over into revolution. Power-mad Republicans need to consider the result when democracy loses its legitimacy and only the rich have anything to lose."
Group sues to block electronic voting machine 1/18/2006 Times, PA: "HARRISBURG - Critics of electronic voting machines have sued Secretary of State Pedro Cortes seeking to block county purchase of the new machines by the May primary and a redo of machine certification."
The Gun is Smoking - 2004 Ohio Precinct-Level Exit Poll Data Show Virtually Irrefutable Evidence of Vote Miscount 1/17/2006 PRWEB: "There is significant controversy about whether the 2004 presidential election was conducted fairly and its votes counted correctly. According to results of the major national election exit poll conducted for the National Election Pool by Edison/Mitofsky (E/M), Kerry won Ohio's pivotal vote, though the official tally gave the state, and thus the presidency, to Bush. The conduct of Ohio's election was formally debated by Congress in January 2005. The National Election Data Archive (NEDA) is the first mathematical team to release a valid scientific analysis of the precinct-level 2004 Ohio presidential exit poll data "The Gun is Smoking: 2004 Ohio Precinct-level Exit Poll Data Show Virtually Irrefutable Evidence of Vote Miscount" available at http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/OH/Ohio-Exit-Polls-2004.pdf. NEDA's analysis provides significant evidence of an outcome-altering vote miscount."
Voting Machine Company Betrays Agreement with Election Director Ion Sancho Just Days Prior to Jan 1 HAVA Deadline! 1/13/2006 Brad Blog: "Are the voting machine vendors now teaming up against an election official who dared reveal the vulnerabilities of their voting machines? As you'll recall, Ion Sancho, Leon County, Florida's courageous Supervisor of Elections stood up against both the state and Diebold and said that he would never again use Diebold's votingb equipment after he allowed for a test which demonstrated their election equipment was easily hackable. The results revealed an electronic optical-scan election on Diebold equipment could be flipped without a trace being left behind. After dumping Diebold, Sancho made a deal to buy machines instead from Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) on the promise that they would supply their optical scan machines for use along with the AutoMARK system which prints a countable paper ballot. AutoMARK has an agreement to allow ES&S exclusive marketing rights for their machines. But a strange thing happened after Sancho's agreement with ES&S and just prior to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) deadline on January 1, 2006. As reported by Susan Pynchon of Florida Fair Elections Coalition, a voice-mail message was left on Sancho's cell-phone on December 29, 2005 by Gary Crump, ES&S Chief Operating Officer. Crump was calling to inform Sancho that the company had decided to deal only with long-time customers due to equipment deadline considerations. Pynchon says that statement is "patently untrue, since ES&S went ahead and contracted with Volusia County, Florida after agreeing to sell to Leon County.""
Bush Supports Renewing 1965 Voting Rights Act, But… 1/13/2006 NNPA
The Soon-to-be-Indicted Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio's Connection To Electoral Fraud 1/10/2006 Brad Blog: "There's been a great deal of speculation over the last several days, particularly in the light of Jack Abramoff's recent guilty pleas, concerning the connection of Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) to Election Fraud in Ohio, vis a vis his stewardship and authoring of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) back in 2001 and 2002. The heavy-handed tactics he has taken since, in order to keep the flawed act from being changed in any way over the years, along with going to great lengths to keep the nation's eyes off of massive electile dysfunction in Ohio and elsewhere since 2004, may finally get the attention it all properly deserves. Both Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon have directly informed prosecutors of Ney's alleged wrong-doing in regard to money and gifts given to Ney in apparent exchange for support on various legislation and even personal business deals. Ney, who chairs the important U.S. House Administration Committee, has been fingered, and now subpoenaed, for accepting illegal trips, gratuities and other apparent quid pro quo deals with Abramoff's former firms, partners, friends and groups who had paid both him and Scanlon as lobbyists. His direct connection to the HAVA Election Reform bill passed in the wake of the 2000 Florida Election Debacle, and his various extraordinary efforts to specifically block amendments to the bill and to smokescreen attempted investigations into his home state's conduct during the 2004 Election Debacle, has been less widely reported. Until now. While Common Cause quietly reported in December of 2004 that Diebold -- the much-beleagured-of-late American Voting Machine company -- paid as much as $275,000 to Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig for lobbying work, The BRAD BLOG has now found additional details that begin to shed new light on Ney's personal connections to Diebold lobbyists. Such personal connections include those with Ney's former chief of staff turned lobbyist, David DiStefano, who has been working on behalf of Diebold, Inc. and at least one other Voting Machine Company as a registered lobbyist in the House going back to at least 2001. One of DiStefano's online bios crows about his having "an insider’s edge to hard-to-reach political officials." That "insider's edge" has proven to have been a very worthwhile investment for the Voting Machine Companies who'd purchased access into Ney's political office. Congressional lobbying records reveal that Diebold, Inc. has paid at least $180,000 to DiStefano and eventually his partner, Roy C. Coffee, to lobby for the "Help America Vote Act" and other "Election Reform Issues" in Congress since 2003. Another Electronic Voting Machine Company, AccuPoll, Inc., also paid DiStefano some $70,000 to lobby for HAVA on their behalf in 2002, although that relationship was apparently terminated once the legislation was passed by Congress. In turn, Ney's former employee DiStefano and Coffee themselves have given nearly $20,000 to Bob Ney's campaigns dating back to 2002. The connections of DiStefano and Coffee don't stop at Congress, however. Both lobbyists now work out of the new Washington office of the Texas-based law firm of Lock, Liddell & Sapp LLP -- the firm of George W. Bush's White House Counsel Harriet Miers. And Coffee, himself, had previously worked as a senior aide to then-Governor Bush back in Texas."
The End of One Person One Vote? 1/7/2006 Mother Jones: "Adam Cohen dredges up a little-noticed point about Samuel Alito today: namely, that Sandra Day O'Connor's purported replacement seems to disagree with the "one person one vote" decisions of the Warren Court in the 1960s."
Coalescing Evidence of Massive Voter Registration Fraud in Ohio 2004 12/30/2005 Democratic Underground: "I managed to get a large degree of confirmation from Norman Robbins, leader of the Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition. According to his figures, as communicated to me by e-mail, there were160,894 new voter registrations received by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in 2004 (compared to 31,903 new voter registrations in 2000). This was about 42,000 more registered voters than the 119 thousand increase in registered voters between March and November of 2004 indicated by the official figures (though Normans’ number of newly registered voters in Cuyahoga County is somewhat less than that identified by the New York Times.) The discrepancy between Robbins’ figures and the official figures could be due to purging of newly registered voters, or failure to process the new voter registrations, which Robbins describes in his report."
California Demands Repairs to Software for Voting Machines 12/25/2005 AP
CALIFORNIA SEC. OF STATE REFUSES TO RE-CERTIFY DIEBOLD VOTING MACHINES! 12/20/2005 Brad Blog: "In the letter, on McPherson's letterhead (complete letter at bottom of this article), Caren Daniels-Meade, chief of the Elections Division writes that "Unresolved significant security concerns exist with respect to the memory card used to program and configure" the Accu-Vote operating system and touch-screen equipment."
Bush to nominate voter suppression specialist to the FEC 12/17/2005 Daily KOS
Tobin guilty on phone jamming charges 12/16/2005 Bangor Daily News: "A federal jury Thursday found a Bangor man guilty of conspiring to jam the Democrats' get-out-the-vote phone lines three years ago and guilty of aiding and abetting the jamming of those phone lines. The jury of 11 women and one man, however, acquitted James Tobin, 45, of the more serious charge of conspiring to deprive New Hampshire residents of their right to vote on Election Day in 2002. The jury announced its verdict shortly before 5 p.m. after two full days of deliberations. The female juror whose hospitalization delayed deliberations the day before returned Thursday. Tobin shook his head no as a court clerk twice read "guilty" from the verdict form. He left the Warren B. Rudman Courthouse with his arm around his wife, Ellen Tobin. Her eyes appeared to be red from crying."
Volusia County, FL Dumps Diebold Too! 12/16/2005 Brad Blog
Long-time Republican operative named to head Federal Election Commission during 2006 election 12/15/2005 AP
New tests fuel doubts about vote machines 12/15/2005 Miami Herald
EXCLUSIVE: SECURITIES FRAUD LITIGATION FILED AGAINST DIEBOLD, INC! 12/13/2005 Brad Blog
DIEBOLD CEO WALDEN O'DELL RESIGNS! FRAUD LITIGATION IMMINENT! 12/12/2005 Brad Blog: "CEO Walden O'Dell has resigned due to what company officials describe in a press release as "personal reasons". Reuters is reporting that O'Dell will be replaced by the company's president and chief operating officer, Thomas Swidarski. As The BRAD BLOG reported exclusively late last week, the filing of a securities fraud class action litigation against the company, O'Dell and other current and former members of their Board of Directors is now imminent. The BRAD BLOG has learned that the case may be filed in Ohio Federal District court as early as today or tomorrow. We will, of course, have more details when that occurs. O'Dell has faced a great deal of criticism for his statement to Republican fundraisers, prior to the 2004 Presidential Election, that Diebold he (see correction explanation below) was committed to delivering the electoral vote of the state of Ohio to George W. Bush. O'Dell was part of Bush's "Rangers and Pioneers," a group of individuals who had raised at least $100,000 each for Bush/Cheney's 2004 re-election campaign."
With new legislation, Ohio Republicans plan holiday burial for American Democracy 12/7/2005 Online Journal: "A law that will make democracy all but moot in Ohio is about to pass the state legislature and to be signed by its Republican governor. Despite massive corruption scandals besieging the Ohio GOP, any hope that the Democratic Party could win this most crucial swing state in future presidential elections, or carry its pivotal US Senate seat in 2006, is about to end. House Bill 3 has already passed the Ohio House of Representatives and is about to be approved by the Republican-dominated Senate, probably before the holiday recess. Republicans dominate the Ohio legislature thanks to a heavily gerrymandered crazy quilt of rigged districts, and to a moribund Ohio Democratic Party. The GOP-drafted HB3 is designed to all but obliterate any possible future Democratic revival. Opposition from the Ohio Democratic Party, where it exists at all, is diffuse and ineffectual. HB3's most publicized provision will require positive identification before casting a vote. But it also opens voter registration activists to partisan prosecution, exempts electronic voting machines from public scrutiny, quintuples the cost of citizen-requested statewide recounts and makes it illegal to challenge a presidential vote count or, indeed, any federal election result in Ohio. When added to the recently passed HB1, which allows campaign financing to be dominated by the wealthy and by corporations, and along with a Rovian wish list of GOP attacks on the ballot box, democracy in Ohio could be all but over."
Diebold insider alleges company plagued by technical woes, Diebold defends 'sterling' record 12/6/2005 Raw Story: "In an exclusive interview with RAW STORY, a whistleblower from electronic voting heavyweight Diebold Election Systems Inc. raised grave concerns about the company’s electronic voting technology and of electronic voting in general, bemoaning an electoral system the insider feels has been compromised by corporate privatization."
Madsen: End of Year Update on Investigation 12/5/2005 Daily Kos: published 12/31/04
Grand Theft Election: Karl Rove's turd droppings all over this one 12/5/2005 Online Journal: published 10/5/04, by Wayne Madsen, former NSA staffer.
Texas to Florida: White House-linked clandestine operation paid for "vote switching" software 12/5/2005 Online Journal: published 12/6/04, by Wayne Madsen, former NSA staffer.
Wayne Madsen Q&A 12/5/2005 Revere Reports: published 11/29/04
The DeLay Scheme - Blatantly Buying Our Government 12/3/2005 Counterpunch: "As the expert witness upon whose testimony the career lawyers based their findings, I have long maintained that the real story about Tom DeLay's recent indictment in Texas goes far beyond the corrupt acts of a single individual. DeLay's intervention in Texas state legislative elections was part of a concerted, nationwide Republican plan to control our government through political gerrymandering at the expense of black and Hispanic voters. I have observed this process first-hand as the expert witness, not only in Texas, but also in the court cases challenging Republican congressional redistricting plans in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, and Michigan."
Election Company Has Long Criminal History - Thugs, Racketeers Counting American Votes 12/3/2005 Voters Unite: published 11/04 by Daniel Hopsicker
FBI plants sham candidate in West Virginia House race to stop election fraud 12/2/2005 AP
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