Could double-vote marks for SC 1st Congressional District Special Election candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch have affected the outcome? NOPE.*
Inside Baseball Report: How refusing to run an election, price-gouging on recount can be a political end game
judge ignores destruction of evidence in Jaffrey, shrugging off obstruction of public right to verify the election. Despite ballot retention laws, judge claims "The ballots are controlled by the town of Jaffrey."
Voting machine-wielding counties jerking cities around: $20 per vote for your election? Or we won't do it at all!
"The Voice", popular vocal contest TV show, hacked; all online and text votes thrown out
Colorado partisans rudely swap out 100 years of time-tested election processes with new shiny things they do not understand
Bill passes NY state senate to allow return to lever machines for local elections
Court rules ballot-tracking illegal
State Supreme Court dodges constitutional right to know issue on public right to examine ballots
Voting machine test lab scorched: Ciber, Inc., the Voting System Testing Laboratory that authorized most US voting machines under investigation for misleading shareholders & state of Pennsylvania yanked Ciber's $8.6 million PennDOT contract.
USA - NATIONAL
Citizens United lawyer appointed to special counsel position for Republican National Committee
Election officials caught connecting ballots to voters
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(CA) 5/13 - CALIFORNIA VOTERS HAMMERED BY PROVISIONAL BALLOTS -
More than one in ten voters who shows up at the polls in California is being given a provisional ballot. |
I did a spreadsheet analysis using a pile of U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) data and found that voters who show up to vote in California are getting hit hard with provisional ballots, making it more difficult to vote and expanding disenfranchisement.
In Riverside County, a whopping 14.4 percent of all polling place voters were given a provisional ballot in 2010, and 17 percent of the provisionals were rejected.
San Mateo County gave a hefty 7.5 percent of all polling place voters provisional ballots in 2006, which grew to 10.7 percent in 2010; then rose to a stunning 16 percent in 2012. According to San Mateo 2010 stats, one out of every five provisionals were only partially counted, disenfranchising local candidates and issues, and one out of 30 of provisional voters were rejected because somehow an absentee vote had already showed up in their name.
Statewide, over 10 percent of all 2010 polling place votes in California were subjected to provisional balloting. (EAC 2012 figures are scheduled to be released later this year). By comparison, the state of Alabama had a 0.2 percent rate, and the state of Arkansas also had a 0.2 percent rate. I have not yet run all the states; clearly an expanded analysis is in order.
I laid out California's provisional data on the gurney for diagnosis. 2010 data indicates that about one in 10 of rejected provisionals are thrown out for not being on the voter list (with San Bernardino County tossing out one in every five for this reason).
Past research of mine in Tennessee indicates that last-minute registrations stand a high chance for disenfranchisement, because voter registration offices don't get them entered into the computer timely.
But there are other reasons Californians are being given provisional ballots. Fifteen percent of all provisionals in California are being only partially counted, because either the name or the voter is showing up in the wrong precinct. According to California rules, those ballots are counted anyway, but votes on the local votes/issues are thrown out. Riverside County's 2010 data shows that of every person who showed up at the polls, one in 5 had ballots only partially counted, with local candidates and issues the victims.
According to California voting integrity advocates I've been quizzing this weekend, the new online registration system seemed to have been shuffling newly registered voters into an automatic absentee option, apparently unbeknownst to the voter. When new voters show up at the polls, they get hit with the "surrender rule" -- in other words, they were supposed to carry their unused absentee ballot into the polling place to surrender it for precinct-voting. Unfortunately, according to election integrity advocate Judy Alter, a poll worker, many new registrants appeared unaware that they ever requested such a ballot, and some say they never received the ballot they hadn't requested. An overly large quantity of provisional ballots are slapped on hapless new voters, sometimes accepted but often rejected for various reasons.
According to election integrity advocate Mimi Kennedy, California officials often make it difficult to obtain crucial information on why provisionals were issued, and how many were issued at which precincts. Such information is necessary for transparent election accounting, and is difficult or impossible to obtain, concurs Dr. John Maa, a concerned voter who filed for and bankrolled the Prop 29 recount in June 2012.
As Virginia Madueño, a Stanislaus County Mayoral candidate from the City of Riverbank learned, election officials make it prohibitively expensive to examine the envelopes to learn why provisionals were issued or whether the large numbers of provisionals are bona fide. She was charged over $10,000 just to examine a few hundred provisional ballot envelopes.
Additional informati... More
(CA) 5/13 - INSIDE BASEBALL REPORT -
Yesterday, I told you about a troubling situation whereby counties controlling voting machines were jacking up costs and sometimes refusing to do elections for the cities within the county.
Sure, that's undemocratic and wrong in so many ways; but that's also a situation that can be abused for political reasons.
HOW COULD IT BE ABUSED? HERE'S A POLITICAL BACKSTORY
The Riverbank City Council (Stanislaus County Calif.) needs its fifth member elected to replace former member Richard O'Brien who is now Mayor of Riverbank. They currently have a 2-2 deadlock between the Old Guard and the New Crew. Refusing to run that election potentially extends the deadlock, and prolongs the power of the Old Guard. (However, as it now stands, Riverbank has pulled an end-run on Stanislaus's refusal to run the election by hiring its own private firm to do it.)
Riverbank is over 50% Latino. The first Latina on the City Council was Virginia Madueño. Earlier, Madueño and her supporter on the City Council, Dottie Nygard, had alienated the Old Guard by going up against the White boys.
By "White boys," I mean Jesse James White and his grandfather, Dave White, who at one time made up two of the five-member Riverbank City Council. Nygard and Madueño had supported a recall attempt against the Whites.
Councilman Jesse James White somehow managed to hang onto his position despite a drug conviction and a DUI, but it really hit the fan when he had another DUI in which he wrecked the car and ran away from the scene, leaving his injured four-year-old son in the car.
To fight the effort to remove Jesse James White from office, fellow councilmember/Grampa Dave White and a couple cousins secretly bankrolled a political organization; when it was finally discovered that the the money behind it was coming from the Whites, that stepped up efforts to unseat Dave White as well.
Jesse James White and Dave White are now off the council, but the four current members are split 2-2. The tiebreaker was Richard O'Brien.
O'Brien left the city council when he ran for mayor against Virginia Madueño. O'Brien had been one of the councilmembers who was against recalling Jesse James White until it became just too unspinnably unsupportable (at which time he announced that he supported unseating Jesse James).
When O'Brien was announced as the new mayor, he left a vacancy on the City Council; potentially, the election demographics of Riverbank might be expected to tip that balance 3-2 against the Old Guard. Refusing to run an election to replace O'Brien would have kept the council deadlocked, but for their surprise decision to hire a private firm (Gladwell Governmental Services) to do the election.
According to Stanislaus County's mayoral election results for Riverbank, O'Brien beat Madueño by just 53 votes for mayor. When she sought a recount, Stanislaus County charged her what could calculate out to $2000 per hour for the recount.
Madueño was especially interested in examining documentation on hundreds of provisional ballots that showed up in the mix, but Stanislaus County registrar Lee Lundrigan told Madueño that "the provisional ballot total for one city is not readily available"
When Madueño asked to at least see the envelopes for the Riverbank provisionals, out came the hefty price tag. Ultimately, Madueño's team was charged $10,217.28 for her attempt to look at a few hundred provisional ballot envelopes. Defeated, she gave up.
I spoke with Stanislaus County Registrar Lee Lundrigan a few weeks ago. Lundrigan explained that looking at the provisional ballot envelopes is extremely time consuming because they are just kept jumbled in bags and it requires stacking them up neatly and sorting them.
At the time, I couldn't understand why it was so important to look at those envelopes, but now I know.
If you wait until after the election, and you know you only need 53 votes, someone could just insert them into the provisiona... More
(CO) 5/13 - COLORADO VOTING RIGHTS GROUP URGES VETO OF DANGEROUS, SECRETIVE ELECTION CHANGE BILL -
Colorado partisans rudely swap out 100 years of time-tested election processes with new shiny things they do not understand:
HB13-1303, a bill which will enact high-risk large-scale alterations in the Colorado election process, was developed behind closed doors by partisan legislators working closely with a quasi-governmental organization called the Colorado County Clerks Association (CCCA). The CCCA uses public funds for private activities, claiming it is not subject to sunshine laws.
"More than one hundred private individuals spoke in opposition to the current bill...none of their concerns have been addressed or questions answered," writes the Colorado Voter Group, a nonpartisan public interest voting rights organization.
"At least six key county clerks representing more than a million electors oppose the bill and have spoken and written against its adoption. The state's official election agency, the Colorado Department of State, is opposed to the bill.
"These officials have explained that the bill is technically flawed, establishes an infeasible timeline, and establishes a very high probability of an embarrassing failed election."
Onward marched the powerful CCCA, to a strong-armed wholly partisan vote. Not a single Republican legislator supported the bill. It passed, with the only remaining remedy being a veto by Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, who may be reluctant to buck the Colorado Democratic agenda.
What is not mentioned even by the Colorado Voter Group's articulate dissection of the bill's bad policy is this: Colorado has been surreptitiously adding ballot tracking marks on mail-in ballots that tie voted ballots back to voter names. The bill, HB13-1303, will require mailing a ballot to every voter, whether or not the voter wants to vote absentee. The voter has the option of bringing the ballot to a polling place to cast the vote, but what this does is add ballot identifier codes onto POLLING PLACE VOTES (in addition to the absentee votes, which now make up more than half of all Colorado votes.)
Always beware of proposed legislation over five pages long. This 120-page bill includes all kinds of little time bombs, including a mandate to move towards electronic pollbooks and same-day registration, but lacking any safeguards for either.
Below is the letter from Colorado Voter Group; In additional posts in the discussion section of this item, I'll post excerpts from another of Colorado's brilliant voting rights minds, Harvie Branscomb.
This quote, though, from a separate Colorado Voter Group letter, sums up not only what is happening in Colorado, but in California, where two anti-democratic bills are thundering through (AB-19 and SB-360):
"...we have observed a disturbing increase in the likelihood of a major election problem and a simultaneous decrease in the rights of citizens to verify election processes and results." -- Colorado Voter Group
* * * * *
Colorado Voter Group letter to the Governor:
Colorado Voter Group letter to Governor John Hickenlooper: , Colorado Voter Group, 5/5/2013, BlackBoxVoting email, permission to distribute granted
Colorado Voter Group
May 5, 2013
John W Hickenlooper, Governor
136 State Capitol
Denver, CO 80203-1792
Dear Governor Hickenlooper,
Do you recall how thrilling it was for you on Election Night 2010? Do you recall what you said?
"I am humbled and honored by the decision Colorado's voters have made -- and I accept the challenge you have entrusted to me to lead our state as governor. This is not the end of our journey. This is the beginning. And it starts with bringing people together. Starting tonight, we set aside our differences and work together to rebuild hope in our state and get our economy back on track. That's what our friends and neighbors want. That's what Colorado needs."
Today you have a unique opportunity to demonstrate that you are truly committed to the princ... More
(USA) 5/13 - "THE VOICE" TV VOCAL CONTEST ONLINE VOTING HACKED THIS WEEK -
The host for popular TV show "The Voice" just admitted that due to "irregularities" in the vote, all text and online votes could not be counted. "But it didn't affect the result."
Internet voting fans: Are you sure you want to subject the fate of the free world to such a system?
No further details are available as of this posting.
UPDATE: Link -
Aside from the elimination results, Carson revealed at the top of the show that there were some voting irregularities, but the company that monitors them corrected the problem. While the text and online votes were thrown out for fairness sake, Carson said removing them did not effect the outcome for any team. More
(CA) 4/13 - GUEST EDITORIAL: STUPIDITY ON STEROIDS -
I am posting below an excellent guest editorial by Richard Tamm, Co-Chair of The Voting Rights Task Force -- Bev Harris, Executive Director, Black Box Voting
* * * *
by Richard Tamm, April 26, 2013
On April 23rd, the AP Twitter account got hacked very publicly, and a false tweet went out saying there had been two explosions in the White House and that President Obama had been injured, causing widespread and immediate consternation. The stock market dropped sharply, temporarily wiping out about $150 billion in stock value. Once again we had glaring proof of the dangers and insecurity of the internet.
This very same afternoon, four of our California Assembly Elections Committee Democrats: Rob Bonta, Raul Bocanegra, Isadore Hall III, and Henry T. Perea, worked with another Assembly Democrat from San Francisco, Phil Ting, attempting to bravely deny these facts and reality. They scrambled to throw together enough last-minute amendments to AB 19 to attempt to get us to believe that they could make a fool-proof Internet Voting system for California.
April 23rd was also the birthday of William Shakespeare. In some of his greatest tragedies, the weather cooperated to add emphasis to a tragic turn. This AP Twitter hack was just such a lightning strike in the background storm to add emphasis to the tragedy of these four bumbling Democratic Assembly Members running to the aid of Assemblyman Phil Ting to bring an Internet Voting bomb into the still somewhat safe house of California.
Before they passed it, each side was allowed 10 minutes to state their case, for and against Internet Voting. The for side had one person. The side against Internet Voting had representatives of the Secretary of State's office and Common Cause, a world-renowned cyber security expert who works for Lawrence Livermore Labs, Dr. David Jefferson, and close to two dozen election integrity activists and concerned citizens, all speaking intelligently about the dangers and strongly urging a NO vote. But for naught.
The decision was made long before the meeting.
What fools we elect! It's amazing to me. How many times do the experts need to tell them: "Don't lick that frozen pole." "Don't stick your finger in that socket." "Don't drive shit-faced drunk." "don't, don't, don't, ..." How many long lists of cyber-security experts need to warn against Internet Voting? How many glaringly extreme examples of the insecurity of the Internet do we need (Google, the CIA, the Defense Department, ...) ? I feel like we elected a bunch of teenagers. If they affected themselves only with their actions, we could eventually give up in exasperation and let them self implode. The problem with these Assembly Members is that they will bring down our whole republic with them.
The only Assembly Member who spoke of the problems of Internet Voting, the insecurity of the Internet and the total inability to audit or recount an IV vote, was the Democratic chair of the California Elections & Redistricting Committee, Paul Fong, who voted against the bill.
He was like the tragic hero in this play, surrounded by fools, for the four other Democrats and the two Republicans on the committee seemed to be blinded by the unproven belief that Internet Voting will bring in more young voters who will increase the Democratic plurality in future elections. So the Democrats voted for AB 19, hoping for more Democratic votes, and the Republicans voted against it, to prevent more Democratic votes.
They fail to get it that the young will come out and vote in greater numbers and more Democratic when they are offered real champions of the people, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren - people who will fight for them and won't bow to every demand of the corporate, wealthy, and big government interests.
But then, do we expect too much? Bob Dylan sang: "and the politicians make the rules for the wise men and the fools."
California's Internet voting experiment, in the form of Assembly... More
(USA) 4/13 - CIBER THE BRIBER, AND OTHER ELECTORAL LAUNDRY -
By Bev Harris
permission to reprint or excerpt granted, with link to http://www.blackboxvoting.org
Next time you hear that voting machines are reliable and safe "because they have been tested and certified," think of this important article, which reveals proven corruption, payoffs and bid-rigging connected to Ciber, Inc., a firm that signed off on our voting machines. Ciber's okay was the foundation for federal acceptance of voting machines all over the USA.
A few weeks ago, I decided to examine electoral fraud from the other end. What happens if we start with known public corruption cases and work backwards to the intersection with elections?
What I found were kickbacks and bid-rigging schemes in New Orleans and Pennsylvania which both connect back to Ciber, the firm that supposedly tested and then signed off on most of the U.S. voting machines currently in use in all fifty states, on behalf of the federal government.
I learned of a now-admittedly corrupt government technology official who had placed, as one of his first priorities, setting up an Internet voting system.
And while looking into money-laundering systems, the mechanism that provides the juice for such corruption, I learned of a particularly odious situation: a New York City Democrat who bribed New York City Republicans to help him run for Mayor (as a Republican). "You pull this off, you can have the house. I'll be a tenant," he said.
As part of the New York deal, the bribe facilitator was to be appointed New York City Deputy Chief of Police when the would-be-mayor got into office.
My purpose in writing this is not to disgust you with politics. My goal is to show you what kind of corporations and people will inevitably end up in positions of control, to illustrate that insiders must never be "trusted" when it comes to conducting elections. There can never be a place where counting votes in secret, or governmental snooping on how we voted, or hidden money behind campaigns, or hiding records on elections, can be accepted by the public, yet that is happening right now.
THE REAL WORLD IS NOT ON TV
Vendors who do business with the government do participate in bid-rigging and kickback schemes, and both politicians and government employees sometimes deprive the public of honest services.
Take the situation in New Orleans, for example, involving former Mayor Ray Nagin, his chief technology officer Greg Meffert, technology vendor Mark St. Pierre, and go-between Ed Burns, who was facilitating payments through a company called Ciber Inc. These guys were doing an overhaul on the city's technology infrastructure after Hurricane Katrina. They were providing traffic and crime cameras. They were paying themselves for work never performed. They were taking kickbacks. They were bid-rigging. They were lavishing donations, trips and perks on candidates they chose.
What hit the front page was crime cameras and infrastructure, but a small news item contained this gem: One of them, Greg Meffert, was also hoping to set up Internet voting for the city of New Orleans.
"Greg Meffert, the New Orleans CIO ... said today that one of his priorities is to provide a secure Internet voting system," write Ellen OBrien and Charlie Russo of SearchCIO.com. They quote Meffert as saying:
"Hey, were going to do Internet voting for real, in a real election, and you're going to vote and use kiosks..."
And they report that: "Meffert plans to model the New Orleans Internet voting system on the controversial model the Department of Defense had proposed using for overseas military."  (The Pentagon later scrapped that idea due to concerns about fraud.)
When you understand that whoever controls the Internet server controls the election, and that with online voting, the public loses its ability to see or authenticate any of the essential processes; when you learn that a technology official who has admitted to taking $860,000 in bribes, planned to set up his own ... More
VIDEO: Protect the Count (Part 1)
VIDEO: Protect the Count (Part 2)
VIDEO: Protect the Count (Part 3)
VIDEO: Protect the Count (Part 4)
VIDEO - Election Reality TV - Face to Face with the recount guys
VIDEO - Election Reality TV - 9 Minutes on the Road w. Butch & Hoppy
VIDEO - Election Reality TV - The Jeannie Dean Video
VIDEO - Election Reality TV - Butch & Hoppy II - Pack o' Lies
VIDEO - Election Reality TV - Butch & Hoppy Ia: Chase begins
VIDEO - Election Reality TV - Butch & Hoppy Ib: Chase begins
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