Saturday, May 29, 2004

CNN Suing Florida to Obtain 2004 Voter Purge List

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WOODRUFF: In Florida, county election boards are reviewing a list of state felons to determine if they will be properly denied the right to vote in November. Well, today, CNN sued the state for a copy of the list claiming the information should be made public, four years after Florida was at the center of a disputed presidential election. CNN and the public were invited to view the documents and state election headquarters in Tallahassee, but were prevented from making copies or from even taking notes. Civil rights advocates charge that in 2000, thousands of eligible voters were prevented from casting ballots because they were improperly listed as felons.

Thanks to gulfcoastliberal a member over at
post link


Interesting indeed - I will stay on this to see if CNN gets anywhere.

Florida continues to be the hot bed of this kinda crap. Jeb Bush has so massively corrupted Florida politics to support his brother. This man needs to be tried, convicted and sent to prison. Real Prison!

Absentee ballot law is a joke that isn't funny

Jim DeFede/Miami Herald

``Every vote should count.''

-- Jeb Bush, upon signing into law a measure doing away with witness signatures for absentee ballots

Our governor -- what a kidder!

If we counted every vote in Florida, Jeb's brother would be spending all of his time -- and not just some of his time -- falling off his bicycle on his Texas ranch.

The only thing the bill Jeb signed Tuesday guarantees, is that Florida's elections will continue to be a joke. By taking away the witness requirement, the governor and the Legislature not only made it easier for corruption to take place -- which in itself is a fairly amazing feat -- but they have also made it more difficult to catch.

The folks in Tallahassee, at the urging of elections supervisors across the state, claim the witness requirement was too burdensome on some people and that 2,000 absentee ballots had to be discarded this year during the presidential primary because they didn't have the required signature.

You don't change the rules just because a few people can't follow them. You work on making the rules better understood. After all, how hard is it to get someone to witness a ballot? Anyone can do it. A family member. A friend. A neighbor. The mailman. Anyone.


The election supervisors in this state should be ashamed of themselves. It is becoming increasingly clear they are not interested in operating fair elections as much as they are interested in running quick and easy elections.

''Doing it easy is not necessarily doing it well,'' says state Rep. Dan Gelber, a Miami Beach Democrat who spoke out against the no-signature requirement. ``A smooth election is important, but it is more important it be done right and honestly.''

Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, an attorney with the Election Reform Coalition, agrees.

''I don't think the people who run our elections think of themselves as being responsible for protecting the integrity of the system,'' she said. ``For them it is just about increasing turnout and counting votes with as little hassle as possible.''

The problem with doing away with the witness signature should be obvious to anyone who has lived in Miami. Absentee ballot fraud has long been a problem in South Florida, with candidates often buying ballots, or worse, stealing them from unsuspecting people in nursing homes and condominiums. A city of Miami election in 1997 was overturned after such fraud.

''If you have the same witness sign 100 or 200 ballots, it at least makes you suspicious that there might have been coercion or fraud and it gives you a place to start investigating,'' says Rodriguez-Taseff. ``Now without the witness signatures, there is no paper trail to follow.''


She believes that some of the politicians who voted to do away with the witness requirement, did so with the worst of intentions.

''The only logical reason to get rid of the one and only safeguard for absentee ballots is that there are politicians in this state who are interested in manipulating elections,'' she charges. ``Now some people are saying it is a Republican plot to try and steal the presidential election.

''I don't believe that. I don't believe it's a Republican plot,'' she continues. ``I think there are politicians in both parties who want to try and control the outcome of their own elections and this will help them do that. Rather than allow the will of the voters to be heard, this is a means they can disenfranchise voters and stay in office.''

Rodriguez-Taseff's assessment may be scary, but I'm afraid she's right. There are politicians who every election live and die by absentee ballots. Some work the system honestly, others don't. In the past, when absentee ballot fraud has been caught, it was the witnesses who often went to jail, who in turn could point a finger at the politician. Now that link is gone.

Crooked politicians and lazy election supervisors can breathe a little easier today.

As for the rest of us, well, at least our governor has a sense of humor.


Fucking Jeb Bush - What a fucking criminal asshole.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Florida - Secretary of state tries to calm voters

Secretary of state tries to calm voters

Secretary of State Glenda Hood hopes for a scandal-free election in November, even as she acknowledges a swirl of questions about the state's new voting machines.


Amid controversy over touch-screen voting machines and a purge of felons from the voting rolls, Secretary of State Glenda Hood sought on Thursday to reassure anxious voters that 2004 won't be a rehash of the 2000 presidential debacle.

Hood, addressing the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County, said she has ''great confidence'' that the state's 67 elections supervisors are ready for the November election -- and the scrutiny that will accompany it.

''I want the attention to be on Florida, but I always want it to be in a positive way,'' she said.

But Hood acknowledged her office is investigating a voting machine glitch in Miami-Dade County, which she said was not properly reported to the state.

A spokesman for Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor Constance Kaplan noted it was the county that detected the problem and said that Kaplan had sought to balance the need to report potential problems against unnecessarily alarming the public.

The glitch involves the auditing system of the iVotronic touch-screen machines Miami-Dade and Broward installed after the mishaps that plagued the 2000 presidential election.


Florida again ughhh..

Thursday, May 27, 2004

New Questions Arise About Touch-Screen Voting Machines

New York Lawyer
May 27, 2004

By Matthew Haggman
Miami Daily Business Review

For the second time in two weeks, an internal memo from a Miami-Dade County election official in Florida has exposed a new round of auditing flaws that have plagued the iVotronic touch-screen voting machines used in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

The memo also indicates that the problem had been brought to the attention of Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Constance A. Kaplan two months earlier than she had said she first had learned of it. Its disclosure has prompted charges that Kaplan violated state open records laws by failing to disclose the memo sooner.

The latest memo, dated Oct. 10, 2003, and addressed to Kaplan, said a review of the Oct. 7, 2003, mayoral and City Council primary election in Homestead, Fla., found that the iVotronic system's audit log failed to account for 162 ballots cast.

All of the votes, however, were accurately tabulated, according to the machines' manufacturer, Elections Systems & Software of Omaha, Neb.

According to the latest memo, the system's audit log did not recognize five of the touch-screen machines used in the Homestead election.


Solano County ends e-voting contract with Diebold - Posted 5/27/2004 12:41 AM

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (AP) — Nearly a month after touch-screen voting machines were banned in four counties, Solano County supervisors voted to terminate a contract with Diebold Election Systems.
Last month, Secretary of State Kevin Shelley banned Diebold e-voting machines in Solano, San Diego, San Joaquin and Kern counties in the November election because he said a lack of a paper trail made them unreliable.

Ten other counties that use older electronic voting equipment must meet nearly two dozen conditions in order to use their touch screen machines this year.

Diebold, based in North Canton, Ohio, had offered to pay for an optical-scan system for November's election as a temporary backup if Solano County would continue its $4.1 million contract to use the e-voting machines in the future.

"They wanted to mend the contract," said Supervisor John Silva. "But my feeling was enough is enough."


Enough is Enough indeed!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

San Bernardino County to defy state order on e-voting

(05-12) 05:29 PDT SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP)

Election officials in San Bernardino County say they will defy a ban on electronic voting ordered by Secretary of State Kevin Shelley in November's presidential election.

County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger said Tuesday that Shelley had previously encouraged counties to move toward electronic voting and was rash to change paths after many counties had invested in the new technology.

"If you really disagree with us, you tell us to stop," Hansberger said. "But have the court tell us that, because we were acting on your prior authorization."

The move comes as other counties joined a federal lawsuit filed by Riverside County that challenges the ban on touch-screen voting machines.

Doug Stone, a spokesman for Shelley, said the secretary of state intended to work with San Bernardino County officials to help them meet his directives. Under state law, all election equipment must be approved by the secretary of state, he said.

Shelley issued the order late last month after problems at polling stations in the March 2 election.

In Orange County, about 2,000 voters cast ballots in the wrong races after being given the wrong computer access codes. In San Diego County, an equipment malfunction prevented more than half the polling places from opening on time. And in San Bernardino County, a vote tally was delayed for three hours because election staffers improperly entered data into their main computer.

condt ............................

Ernest Partridge, Co-Editor
The Crisis Papers
May 11, 2004

It's an old story: Satan picks up the phone and calls St. Peter to challenge Heaven to a baseball game.

"Of course, we'll play," says Peter. "But have you forgotten? We have all the great baseball players."

"That may be so," replied Satan, "but we have all the umpires!"

John Kerry and his Democratic party face a similar problem: They may have the votes, but the other side has the machines that record and count the votes. How can the Democrats win?

A win over the Bushevik regime is not impossible, but it will be difficult and it will require considerable persistence and initiative.

Here are a few suggestions. No doubt, many who read this article will have still better ideas. Send them to us, ( and we may follow this up with a compendium of the best of those proposals.

condt .................

Get over there and read the above article!

Here is an excellent post over at SmirkingChimp by upu8:

VNS' sudden, inexplicable cessation of exit polling on election day showed me that not only was "the fix in", but that the Repugs were no longer afraid to flaunt that fix. This obvious and appalling elimination of the last remaining check on voting accuracy should have been cause for massive outrage by the American electorate. Instead--nothing happened at all and most Americans still don't even know about this event. Our democracy was already on 'life support' after the machinations of Coup 2000, but those of 2002 sounded the horrifying drone of 'flatline'. If an election can be stolen and the evidence of that theft is itself stolen with no repercussions, it may well be over for America as a democratic republic.

The problem of exit polling is that the Repugs have the upper hand and they will not accept ANY exit polling as valid, no matter who does it or how extensive and expertly it is done. This is obviously a partisan issue with them since they have systematically blocked all efforts to institute verifiable paper trails, so they will ignore, dismiss and deride any exit polling as well.

I'm afraid that only a supermajority that is impossible to scam will suffice in the 2004 election. This is going to be like winning against the homecoming team with the Devil's refs mentioned in the article giving the home team all the calls.

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Monday, May 03, 2004 Technology | E-voting oversight overwhelms U.S. agency

SALON - - - - - - - - - - - - - By Rachel Konrad

May 3, 2004 | SAN JOSE, Calif. -- As alarm mounts over the integrity of the ATM-like voting machines 50 million Americans will use in the November election, a new federal agency has begun scrutinizing how to safeguard electronic polling from fraud, hackers and faulty software.

But the tiny U.S. Election Assistance Commission says it is so woefully underfunded that it can't be expected to forestall widespread voting machine problems, which would cast doubt on the election's integrity.

The commission -- which on Wednesday conducts the first federal hearing on the security and reliability of electronic voting -- laments its predicament in a new report.

"We've found some deeply troubling concerns, and the country wants to know the solution," said DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., a Republican and former New Jersey secretary of state named by President Bush in December to lead the agency.

The Washington, D.C. hearing will focus on the security risks of touchscreen machines, which computer scientists say cannot be trusted because they do not produce paper records, making proper recounts impossible. Despite reassurances from the machines' makers, at least 20 states are considering legislation to require a paper trail.

After hearing from academics, elections officials and voting equipment company executives, the Soaries commission will issue recommendations -- for example, that poll workers should keep a stack of paper ballots handy in case machines fail to start. Machines in more than half the precincts in California's San Diego County malfunctioned during the March 2 presidential primary, and a lack of paper ballots may have disenfranchised hundreds of voters.

Created nearly a year after a congressional deadline, the Soaries-led agency took over the Federal Elections Commission's job of setting standards for ensuring the voting process is sound.

But the EAC lacks the authority to enforce any such standards and the agency's first annual report, released Friday, is apt to disappoint anyone who had high expectations.

Created under the 2002 Help America Vote Act that began funneling $3.9 billion to states to upgrade voting systems after Florida's hanging chad debacle, the agency's two Republican and two Democratic commissioners weren't appointed until December. Their first public meeting was in March. A bare-bones Web site only went live on Friday.

With only $1.2 million of its $10 million budget appropriated, the commission has so far been able to hire seven full-time staffers, borrowing some part-timers from other federal agencies.

The lack of funding has forced the EAC to abandon or delay much of its intended mission. For example, it won't be able to develop a national system for testing voting machines, according to the report.

Soaries intends to use his bully pulpit as chairman to highlight problems to state and local elections officials. But he said in a telephone interview that the EAC will need $2 million more this year and its full $10 million in 2005 to tackle its mission of restoring public faith in electronic voting.

"If you look at the evolution of voting in America, only in last four months has there been a federal agency whose exclusive focus is to deal with voting. It's the foundation of our democratic structure on one hand, but on the other we've really left it to the states to manage completely," Soaries said.

Most states have relied on guidance from the National Association of State Election Directors, a volunteer organization of retired and active election officials around the country. NASED, in turn, has certified three little-known testing companies to verify the integrity of every machine and every line of code in e-voting equipment nationwide, and it's up to elections officials in each state to get the equipment tested.

NASED plans to transfer its certification authority to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is supposed to update the decade-old standards the labs use to make sure voting equipment is secure and reliable.

But that also is on hold because NIST "did not receive funding to support the work," the commission report says.

"I wish the EAC luck, but oversight of these systems is illusory," said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation. "As long as federal voting system standards are voluntary, voters across the country will not have the peace of mind they need to feel confident in their voting systems."

Currently certified by NASED to test all voting hardware for U.S. elections is a Huntsville, Ala.-based division of Wyle Laboratories Inc. All software is tested by two other entities -- a Huntsville, Ala., lab operated by Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Ciber Inc., and Denver-based SysTest Labs LLC.

The labs may take a year or more to test voting equipment -- a bottleneck that may tempt manufacturers to install uncertified software in voting machines, Soaries said. "The minute I found out about this problem I started talking about it."

Shawn Southworth, who directs Ciber's voting software testing practice, said more labs would only add more confusion.

"You'd have a lot of different companies interpreting standards their own ways," he said. "It takes years to understand the election process and how the software is supposed to function."

The hearing Wednesday could turn contentious.

Executives from Diebold Inc., Hart Intercivic Inc., Election Systems & Software Inc., and Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. will speak, along with one of their loudest critics -- Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins computer expert who discovered numerous weaknesses in a version of Diebold's voting software.

Also invited is California's top elections official, Kevin Shelley. On Friday, Shelley banned a Diebold model touchscreen machine that was to be used in four counties and called for a criminal investigation. Shelley alleged that Diebold's use of uncertified software in the state's March 2 primary amounted to "reprehensible" fraud.

Diebold responded that it's confident in its systems and will work with elections officials nationwide to run a smooth election this fall.

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This is the entiore article...sue me