This is it, friends….

Jonathan Simon lays it out for us:

Good Friends of Election Integrity:

THIS IS IT, FRIENDS!! If the Busby race goes unchallenged, it will be replayed in 50 more races in November, scattered all over the country like runaway horses, another “shocking Republican trend.”

Right now we have in front of us ONE bucking bronco, a race that may or may not have been stolen but whose vulnerability and lack of procedural integrity are manifest. The machines used in District 50 (a blend of OpScans and HAVA-engendered DREs) were taken home and stored by a variety of poll workers, entirely without chain-of-custody protections. This lack of security of course permits switching of memory cards and any other elementary tampering schemes to go undetected.

The GOOD news is that most of the ballots were in fact OpScan counted and therefore can be RECOUNTED. The purpose of such a recount would be to establish the actual margin of verifiable votes (absentee and OpScan), leaving only the far smaller batch of unverifiable DRE ballots out of the count. Depending on the margin of that recount, it may well bring to light gross disparities in the two sets of votes (verifiable and unverifiable), even a flat-out Busby victory (if the DRE ballots can not make up the victory margin). We have seen such disparities before and we expect to see them again, though by November many districts such as this one may well have gone to all-DRE, all-unverifiable systems. We won’t have many chances like this one.

Here’s what we should all STOP EVERYTHING ELSE to do:

1) Find out the latest on this race and what’s being done about it at Bradblog (Brad’s taken the lead in sounding the alarm on this race and fully understands its enormous implications not just for the politics of November but for the Electoral Integrity of November):
URL: http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00002924.htm and updates.

2) Call Busby’s office(s) (phone strongly preferred, follow-up with email) and let them know why further action must be taken by them, including demand for such a recount of the verifiable ballots:

Francine Busby for Congress

Cardiff Office – Main Headquarters
2121 Newcastle Ave.
Cardiff by the Sea, CA. 92007
(760)479-0114

Encinitas Office
144-C W. D St.
Encinitas, CA. 92024
(760)753-6300
(866)632-3066 (Toll-Free)
(760)753-5211 (Fax)

Email:
Info[at]BusbyforCongress[dot]org
Volunteer[at]BusbyforCongress[dot]org

3) Contact Lou Dobbs, who surprisingly has sounded the alarm, and let him know how the Busby race fits into the grave concerns he has expressed. Ask him to call for such a recount and talk about the appalling lack of even basic security of the voting apparatus. If you can find a phone contact, please share it. By all means, contact other members of the media, but Dobbs should be a primary focus given the recent attention he has paid to this.
http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form5.html?9

4) Spread the word on this to all you know who might be moved to act. If you have contacts to major groups such as DFA or DNC, use them for this. We see the same pattern over and over. Here, in Busby-Bilbray, we see it in glorious isolation. But it is the model for the electoral fog we are sure to see in November. We need to act on this NOW, all other priorities notwithstanding. We need to act in force.

With great appreciation–Jonathan Simon

Busby/Bilbray race in doubt–WHERE'S THE PRESS????

Busby/Bilbray Election in Doubt: The Silence is Deafening…
AP, ABC, et al Run Unverifiable Reports on Results of Tuesday’s Special Election
There is NO BASIS for Confidence in the Reported Election Results. Period.
ABC News is featuring this AP story on their website:

Republican Wins Bellwether House Race

Ex-GOP Congressman Wins California Race for Scandal-Rocked House Seat As 8 States Hold Votes

By ROBERT TANNER – The Associated Press

– A former Republican congressman narrowly beat his Democratic rival early Wednesday for the right to fill the House seat once held by jailed Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a race closely watched as a possible early barometer of next fall’s vote.

Republican Brian Bilbray emerged victorious after a costly and contentious special election race against Democrat Francine Busby, a local school board member who ran against Cunningham in 2004.

Okay, AP. Prove it. I dare you. You can’t.

Not without a 100% manual, hand-count of all the optically-scanned paper ballots and touch-screen “paper trails” from Tuesday’s CA 50th Congressional district race for the U.S. House of representatives. And even then, depending on the margin of difference after the op-scan ballots are hand-counted, you will be unable to prove that the race was decided correctly if it should turn out the number of votes cast on touch-screen machines was more than the margin of difference after the op-scan ballots are actually counted (by hand!)

The deafening, dumbstruck silence after I posted my article yesterday, headlined Results of Close Busby/Bilbray U.S. House Special Election in Doubt!,” is deafening.

Yes, I know the headline is unsettling. As are the implications of the piece. I will hope, however, that most of you who know what I report at The BRAD BLOG also know that what I report, I source with independently verifiable information. So you don’t need to trust me. And you shouldn’t. No more than you should trust the words of San Diego County’s Registrar of Voters.

The arguments presented in yesterday’s article are airtight. The have been vetted by a number of election experts and computer scientists. So far, not a single human being has presented me with a flaw in my logic or contentions.

Mind you, I have never reported that any election was “stolen.” Not even the 2000 Presidential (which wasn’t stolen, as much as given away by the Supreme Court), nor the 2004 Presidential Election, which evidence shows would most likely have gone to Kerry had the votes actually been counted. But I have never claimed that election was “stolen” either, because we simply do not know. Until there is evidence, I do not report it as such.

I am not saying, in my article yesterday, that the Busby/Bilbray election was “stolen” either.

Nor have I charged there has been any fraud. This is (for now) about confidence in verifiable results in an American election. So far, there is no basis to have any.

Nor am I one of those who believes that legitimate elections can only be carried out on 100% hand-counted paper ballots.

This one, however, given the specific machines in use, which have been proven to be easilly tamperable and hackable, without a trace being left behind, (and admitted as such by even the company who makes them!) is a different matter. Add to that, security measures were completely comprimised by sending the machines home with poll workers, in some cases, for weeks at a time, prior to the election and we’ve got a no confidence case on our hands.


The burden is now on elections officials — who we pay to run accurate elections — to prove the race was counted accurately. Let’s see them do it.

I do not champion, nor traffic in, “conspiracy theories,” as those of you who know my work likely already understand. What I reported in yesterday’s story was not editorial or “conspiracy theory,” but plain scientific fact, resting on an enormous body of peer-reviewed, undisputed, scientific evidence. The contention offered in the piece then is summarized thusly — presuming the integrity of the chain of custody for the paper ballots and the “paper trails” is still demonstrably secured:

Unless every optically-scanned ballot is counted by hand — and only if the resultant margin after that count is larger than the number of votes cast on the touch-screen systems — can there be any confidence that the results of the U.S. House race for CA’s 50th congressional district are accurate.

I challenge anybody to prove otherwise. Anybody. It cannot be done.

I welcome any and all questions about the logic or accuracy of my contentions. So far, I have received none.

If, after reading yesterday’s article in full — and asking any questions of me concerning the logic or evidence (I will try to keep an eye on comments left here) — you still do not understand what’s going on here, and what’s at stake in your elections, then you are simply heading into November while whistling past democracy’s graveyard.

That goes for you, AP. (And ABC, since you’re running the article on your site and yet have failed to run extremely important stories on American election integrity issues which, unlike AP’s story, are demonstrably provable and feature actual evidence.)

Do you both, AP and ABC, stand behind this report? If so, I dare you to prove the contentions made in your article are backed up with any verifiable evidence. You can’t. And you won’t. The contentions made in my article, however, certainly are. I feel it’s my responsibility to be sure of that when I file a report. Why don’t you?

Elections should be verifiable and provable. This one, at least as of now, is most decidely not.

URL: http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00002928.htm

Op-scan snafu in the Show Me State!

Op-Scan Voting Machines Miscount Ballots in Iowa Republican Primary! Hand Count Reveals Other Candidate Leads By Far!
Machine Counts for Halted in All Races After Hand Count of Absentee Ballots Finds 128 Vote Margin for Incumbant Instead of 20 Vote Margin for Challenger Reported by Op-Scan System!
More shortly concerning my reporting on the questionable Busby/Bilbray elections results in the U.S. House special election to fill “Duke” Cunningham’s CA 50th congressional seat. In the meantime, this article from yesterday’s Daily Nonpareil in Iowa, about Tuesday’s Republican primary there, underscores precisely what I was talking about in my report on Busby/Bilbray yesterday.

After optically scanning absentee ballots in a Republican Primary on Tuesday in Pottawattamie County, a popular, long-time incumbent was trailing a first-time college student candidate by 20 votes. Since that seemed odd, the County Auditor decided to count the absentee ballots by hand and indeed found that the incumbent had won the count instead!… By 128 votes instead of having lost it by 20!

Anybody beginning to get this yet? (…thump, thump…is this thing on?…)

In this case, the new optical scan computers being used for the first time were reportedly made by ES&S. (The ones used in Busby’s San Diego race were made by Diebold).

Tasini for senator!

Tuesday’s Huffington Post reported that Connecticut Democrats, fueled by grassroots internet campaigning are rallying around Senator Joe Lieberman’s primary opponent, Ned Lamont. Lieberman is now in serious danger of losing his seat thanks to the work of our progressive compatriots in the Constitution State.

Wouldn’t it be truly historic if we could put the same fear into Senator Clinton? Well, we can. If we can get Jonathan Tasini on the ballot the major media and political establishment will no longer be able to ignore him.

The following is the petition collection schedule for the remainder of this week. I apologize in advance if you have already seen this but the campaign asked me to make sure that as many people as possible know when and where they can help out. If you have not collected signatures before, it is really a very simple process that can be explained in a matter of minutes once you arrive at one of the locations below.

Friday, 6/9 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Tribeca Community Street Festival (meet at Murray St. & Broadway)

Saturday, 6/10 10:00 am to 8:00 pm Brooklyn Pride Parade (meet at the corner of Prospect Park West & 9th St.)

Sunday, 6/11 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Central Park (meet in front of Museum of Natural History)

If you have any further questions get in touch with me or the Tasini campaign directly at www.tasinifornewyork.org

This is an important book

The Open Society Institute and The New Press cordially invite you to attend a panel discussion focused around the recently released book

Conned
How Millions Went to Prison, Lost the Vote and Helped Send George W. Bush to the White House

by

Sasha Abramsky

The forum will address the effects of mass imprisonment on voting rights and democracy, along with national campaigns underway to challenge felon disenfranchisement policies in the courts, legislatures, and communities.

Tuesday, June 20th 2006

at

Open Society Institute, 3rd floor (Room 3AB)
400 West 59th Street, New York

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Panelists:

Sasha Abramsky, Soros Justice Media Fellow / Author of Conned
Monifa Bandele, Field Director of The Right to Vote Campaign
Joseph “Jazz” Hayden, Lead Plaintiff in Hayden vs. Pataki and consultant
Marc Mauer, Executive Director of the Sentencing Project /Author of Race to Incarcerate

Moderated by Kristen Levingston, Director of the Criminal Justice Program of the Brennan Center for Justice

RSVP to Nidia at ncordova[at]sorosny[dot]org

Eric Mann on post-Katrina New Orleans

FrontLines Press

Eric Mann:
New York City
Booksigning &
Movement Strategy Discussion

The Brecht Forum
451 West Street, New York City
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
7:30PM

As part of the East Coast launch of his new book, Letter in Support of a Black Reconstruction in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, Eric will be discussing the centrality of the Black Liberation Movement for the entire U.S. Left and programmatic proposals for a new reconstruction in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

No tolls on the Internet!

No Tolls on The Internet
By Lawrence Lessig and Robert W. McChesney
Thursday, June 8, 2006; A23

Congress is about to cast a historic vote on the future of the Internet. It will decide whether the Internet remains a free and open technology fostering innovation, economic growth and democratic communication, or instead becomes the property of cable and phone companies that can put toll booths at every on-ramp and exit on the information superhighway.

At the center of the debate is the most important public policy you’ve probably never heard of: “network neutrality.” Net neutrality means simply that all like Internet content must be treated alike and move at the same speed over the network. The owners of the Internet’s wires cannot discriminate. This is the simple but brilliant “end-to-end” design of the Internet that has made it such a powerful force for economic and social good: All of the intelligence and control is held by producers and users, not the networks that connect them.

The protections that guaranteed network neutrality have been law since the birth of the Internet — right up until last year, when the Federal Communications Commission eliminated the rules that kept cable and phone companies from discriminating against content providers. This triggered a wave of announcements from phone company chief executives that they plan to do exactly that.

Read more.

FBI has STILL failed to investigate Ohio vote fraud!

From the excellent Larisa Alexandrovna:

In light of RFK’s piece on election fraud and his reference to my
article on the Clermont stickers, I thought I would send this out
again. To date, the FBI has yet to conduct a full investigation of
the Clermont case despite having witness statements, video footage,
and the public record of an official who slipped up and admitted to
tampering with ballots, despite all that, the FBI has done nothing.
The people who came forward – initially a far bigger number – did so
despite being intimidated and harassed while the people they spoke
out against are still in their jobs.

Is it not time yet to demand that the FBI look into the footage
captured via cell phone by one of the poll workers at the very least?
Or perhaps they could take time out to speak to just one person who
went on the record or any number of people who were willing to talk
to them off the record?

So here is my article again, which at the time did not get the
attention it should have. Perhaps now these folks can feel
vindicated. Their names are there if anyone wishes to interview them
and/or push their story forward.

Article

Here is the letter Congressman Conyers sent to the FBI and the response

Here is RFK JR. article in Rolling Stone

(hat tip to Mark Crispin Miller and Brad Friedman)

Paul Lehto on Prof. Tokaji

Facing facts on Tokaji: the DREs he’s successfully litigated for, with the secret vote counting they enable, are the equivalent of a 24/7 Warren County lockdown. But this time the lockdown is on democracy itself and all elections. These DREs have the ancillary effect of forcing election activists into debates about “paper records” or Paper ballots on DREs as some kind of attempt to mitigate the effects of the 24/7 DRE lockdown on Democracy, with the debate being between those who argue that “first steps” are needed and those such as myself that say it won’t work and that once somebody has jammed their hand down your pants pocket you can’t negotiate with them to remove their hand, but only part of the way. This will be explained more in the followup piece to Cramdown, Stripdown Lockdown on US Democracy. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0604/S00233.htm

I sent the following email to Tokaji, which received the following reply, indicating that I may have prompted him to blog on an issue he wasn’t fully prepared to engage. I wrote back to him and challenged him to a debate, promising to attempt to recruit up to 200 of my “closest friends.” I’ve heard no response since that time, and it’s been around four days now. Prof Tokaji apparently receives EAC grant money. He’s taken what I consider to be a world class election disaster-course by representing the plaintiffs in Stewart v Blackwell (6th Cir. 2006) in which, as the suit is framed by Tokaji, none other than Ken Blackwell gets to argue the anti-DRE position! This led to a published case that upheld the constitutionality of DREs (and precinct count optical scan) and found central count optical scans and punchcards to be unconstitutional violations of equal protection based on Bush v Gore and an analysis of the voting systems’ relative “residual vote” rates. The problem is, residual vote rates are a prominent symptom of current and past election fraud and suppression methods, which of course were and are targeted at minorities (read: Democrats). So Tokaji’s answer to this is to use that residual vote data with its minority disparate impact, and use it to knock out the technologies of voting when it’s the people that do most or all of the damage, and to uphold DREs instead WHERE THE PRIMARY METHODS OF ELECTION FRAUD NO LONGER INVOLVE DETECTABLE RESIDUAL VOTE RATES. In other words, with DREs on board, one no longer needs to worry about voter suppression — let them all vote!! The election cheaters can just shave 1/20th off of all Democratic votes instead of stealing entire ballots from African american voters. SO Tokaji will bring us DREs (precinct based opscans can be later challenged on language and other grounds) and pronounce success in bringing on a “modern” technology. In the end I’d not be surpised once we have mostly DREs to see a “golden age” of universal suffrage. All made possible by Prof Tokaji’s quest for DREs. (Write to the ACLU and tell them they are litigating us out of the frying pan and into the fire).

Paul

Ron Baiman finds more flaws in Manjoo's hit-piece

From Ron Baiman:

In his June 7, 2006 reply to Kennedy’s rebuttal of his earlier critique Farhad Manjoo citing Mark Blumenthal, claims that:

a) The exit poll margins of error for Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, and Ohio were between 5% to 7%. This is preposterous. Rather than relying on Mark Blumenthal (an unreliable source for quantitative analysis), I urge Manjoo to download the National Election Pool a “Methods Statement” for the Edison Mitofsky (EM) exit polls (produced on Nov. 2 2006) at:

http://www.exit-poll.net/election-night/MethodsStatementNationalFinal.pdf

The second page of this statement sets 95% confidence intervals for these polls (for a “characteristic” held by roughly 50% of those polled, for example a Presidential candidate preference for which there is a close to even split) squarely at 4% for sample sizes of 951-2350 – the range of reported sample sizes for these states. However, as Blumenthal knows, the reported sample sizes (also in the methods statements) are about half of what they really are (see Mitofsky correspondence in Baiman June 5 Free Press AAPOR report). For these true doubled sample sizes of 2351-5250, NEP’s own estimated confidence interval falls to 3%. This clearly puts the Ohio discrepancy of about 4% outside of the margin of error – even using NEP’s inflated margins of error. My margin of error calculations (and I believe Freeman’s) find a 2% margin of error with a 30% cluster adjustment factor. As I have stated in my earlier response to Manjoo, this puts Ohio well outside the margin of sampling error with odds of less than 1,900 that Kerry’s reported result is true given the exit poll result. This is not “slight” evidence but rather highly statistically significant, especially one considered with the inexplicable pro-Bush exit poll discrepancies in the two other key battle ground states of Florida and Pennsylvania. As Freeman and I have stated, the odds that these “sampling errors” (in the same direction and of these magnitudes) would occur for these three states simultaneously in less than one in 182,000,000 (i.e virtually impossible – this number is based on doubled sample sizes). Moreover, when one looks at precinct level exit poll data , and not just aggregate state polls, the evidence in even more striking and inexplicable. A fact that Manjoo has not addressed at all.

The question that has to be asked is why are Manjoo (and Blumenthal) trying to dismiss the statistical significance of the exit poll discrepancies when even Mitofsky (in his January report) concedes that they were the largest on record and highly statistically significant?

b) Manjoo’s efforts to dismiss what he calls the “purported rural vote shift” is even more outlandish. As Kennedy points out he doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a popular incumbent who earned more votes statewide than Gore in 2000 and a former Republican judge from Cincinnati who got a “favored son” boost in that region; and an unknown, under funded, very liberal judge from Cleveland, who got 24% less votes than Kerry statewide, inexplicably getting more votes that Kerry in 12 of the most conservative counties (judging by their Bush vote shares) in Ohio!

Moreover, these same 12 counties just happen to be among the only 14 (out of 88 counties) where Bush’s vote is larger than Moyer’s (the incumbent conservative judge) by more than 43%. Moreover, the amount of “excess Bush” vote (more than Bush’s state average of 21% more than Moyer) just happens to roughly match both by county and for entire state the “lost Kerry” vote (what Kerry would have gotten if he had received his state average of 32% more votes than Connally in these counties) without any overall substitution from Moyer to Connally (Moyer’s vote is larger than the state average and Connally’s is smaller than the state average in all but one of these 12 counties).

Farhad, do you understand how absolutely remarkable such a series of “coincidences” is?!!

I challenge you or anyone else to provide a plausible non-vote shifting explanation for these patterns.

Note that the Bush to Moyer ratio is independent of the Kerry to Connally ratio when there is no substitution between Moyer and Connally. It is simply impossible to understand why, out of all the 88 counties, 9 out of 14 cases where Bush does extraordinarily well relative to Moyer, just happen to be in the same counties where Connally does extraordinarily well relative to Kerry?!!!! And it is even more impossible to understand why the relative magnitudes of these impossible undercounts for Kerry and over counts for Bush should so closely match!!!!

I would take this evidence to a trial. Clearly a crime was committed in Ohio. There is simply no other explanation for these patterns other than vote shifting. The only thing we don’t know is who did it and how. And exactly this kind of information is necessary to get serious electoral reform – that you claim to support.