About that Yahoo article…

As pointed out by DemocraticUnderground member RobinLynne the Yahoo article sounds like Rightwing spin on election problems – it sounds like the beginning of a drive to pass legislation to further block the vote:

This really looks like a Republican introduction to justify their “stop the vote’ campaign. Read it twice. It is saying the problem is with the voters and the people who register voters. That is WRONG! That is not where the fraud is, or the major fraud at least. this is an old story. Let’s clean up voter fraud…This is very bad and dangerous news, in my opinion.

Nowhere on the list is a mention of hackable software and voting machines, proprietary software, lack of paper and verification. just the opposite. the problem is the voters, and that some counties haven’t yet fully complied with HAVA….. Voter error, inaccurate voter applications, fraud from voter registration drives. This is the right wing spin. get ready.

It addresses such as problems receiving voter registration applications from motor vehicle agencies, addressing voter error issues with absentee voting, recruiting and training a sufficient number of poll workers, and continuing to ensure accurate vote counting.

At the same time, new challenges arose in the November 2004 election, such as fraudulent, incomplete, or inaccurate applications received through voter registration drives; larger than expected early voter turnout, resulting in long lines; and counting large numbers of absentee ballots and determining the eligibility of provisional voters in time to meet final vote certification deadlines.

Understatement of the decade

Inquiry finds problems in 2004 election

Many of the voting and counting mishaps of the bizarre 2000 general election were not fixed four years later and brand new problems arose, including a rash of fraudulent voter registrations in some areas, congressional investigators say.

A study of the 2004 election by the Government Accountability Office concludes that paper ballots continued to be used extensively by small jurisdictions, many polling places struggled to manage heavy early voting and new federal requirements for voter identification were applied unevenly by local officials across the country. The GAO released the study Thursday.

Altogether, 41 states were granted extra time to meet federal requirements to build statewide voter registration lists, meaning most such lists were not in place for the 2004 vote.

Read more.

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)