Thursday, October 28, 2004


BBC Television News On-Line
Tuesday Oct 26, 2004

New Florida Vote Scandal Feared - Greg's Latest Report For BBC Newsnight TV

A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.

Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list".

It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.

An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day."

Ion Sancho, a Democrat, noted that Florida law allows political party operatives inside polling stations to stop voters from obtaining a ballot.

Mass challenges

They may then only vote "provisionally" after signing an affidavit attesting to their legal voting status.

Mass challenges have never occurred in Florida. Indeed, says Mr Sancho, not one challenge has been made to a voter "in the 16 years I've been supervisor of elections."

"Quite frankly, this process can be used to slow down the voting process and cause chaos on election day; and discourage voters from voting."

Sancho calls it "intimidation." And it may be illegal.

In Washington, well-known civil rights attorney, Ralph Neas, noted that US federal law prohibits targeting challenges to voters, even if there is a basis for the challenge, if race is a factor in targeting the voters.

The list of Jacksonville voters covers an area with a majority of black residents.


Florida Computers Snatch Thousands of Votes from Kerry


Before one vote was cast in early voting this week in Florida, the new touch-screen computer voting machines of Florida started out with a several-thousand vote lead for George W. Bush. That is, the mechanics of the new digital democracy boxes "spoil" votes at a predictably high rate in African-American precincts, effectively voiding enough votes cast for John Kerry to in a tight race, keep the White House safe from the will of the voters.

Excerpted from the current (November) issue of Harper's Magazine by Greg Palast

To understand the fiasco in progress in Florida, we need to revisit the 2000 model, starting with a lesson from Dick Carlberg, acting elections supervisor in Duval County until this week. "Some voters are strange," Carlberg told me recently. He was attempting to explain why, in the last presidential election, five thousand Duvalians trudged to the polls and, having arrived there, voted for no one for president. Carlberg did concede that, after he ran these punch cards through the counting machines a second time, some partly punched holes shook loose, gaining Al Gore160 votes or so, Bush roughly 80.

"So, if you ran the 'blank' ballots through a few more times, we'd have a different president," I noted. Carlberg, a Republican, answered with a grin.

So it was throughout the state - in certain precincts, at least. In Jacksonville, for example, in Duval precincts 7 through 10, nearly one in five ballots, or 11,200 votes in all, went uncounted, rejected as either an 'under-vote' (a blank ballot) or 'over-vote' (a ballot with extra markings). In those precincts, 72 percent of the residents are African-American; ballots that did make the count went four to one for Al Gore. All in all, a staggering 179,855 votes were "spoiled" (i.e., cast but not counted) in the 2000 election in Florida. Demographers from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission matched the ballots with census stats and estimated that 54 percent of all the under- and over-voted ballots had been cast by blacks, for whom the likelihood of having a vote discarded exceeded that of a white voter by 900 percent.

Votes don't "spoil" because they are left out of the fridge. Vote spoilage, at root, is a class problem. Just as poor and minority districts wind up with shoddy schools and shoddy hospitals, they are stuck with shoddy ballot machines. In Gadsden, the only black-majority county in Florida, one in eight votes spoiled in 2000, the worst countywide record in the state. Next door in Leon County (Tallahassee), which used the same paper ballot, the mostly white, wealthier county lost almost no votes. The difference was that in mostly-white Leon, each voting booth was equipped with its own optical scanner, with which voters could check their own ballots. In the black county, absent such "second-chance" equipment, any error would void a vote.

The best solution for vote spoilage, whether from blank ballots or from hanging chads, is Leon County's: paper ballots, together with scanners in the voting booths. In fact, this is precisely what Governor Bush's own experts recommended in 2001 for the entire state. His Select Task Force on Elections Procedures, appointed by the Governor to soothe public distrust after the 2000 race, chose paper ballots with scanners over the trendier option -- the touch-screen computer.

Although the computer rigs cost eight times as much as paper with scanners, they result in many more spoiled votes. In this year's presidential primary in Florida, the computers had a spoilage rate of more than 1 percent, as compared to one-tenth of a percent for the double-checked paper ballots.

Apparently some Bush boosters were not keen on a fix so inexpensive and effective. In particular, Sandra Mortham - a founder of Women for Jeb Bush, the Governor's re-election operation - successfully lobbied on behalf of the Florida Association of Counties to stop the state the legislature from blocking the purchase of touch-screen voting systems. Mortham, coincidentally, was also a paid lobbyist for Election Systems & Strategies, a computer voting-machine manufacturer. Fifteen of Florida's sixty-seven counties chose the pricey computers, twelve of them ordered from ES&S which, in turn, paid Mortham's County Association a percentage on sales.

Florida's computerization had its first mass test in 2002, in Broward County. The ES&S machines appeared to work well in white Ft. Lauderdale precincts, but in black communities, such as Lauderhill and Pompano Beach, there was wholesale disaster. Poll workers were untrained, and many places opened late. Black voters were held up in lines for hours. No one doubts that hundreds of Black votes were lost before they were cast.

Broward county commissioners had purchased the touch-screen machines from ES&S over the objection of Elections Supervisor Miriam Oliphant; notably, one commissioner's campaign treasurer was an ES&S lobbyist. Governor Bush responded to the Broward fiasco by firing Oliphant, an African-American, for "misfeasance."

Even when computers work, they don't work well for African-Americans. A July 2001 Congressional study found that computers spoiled votes in minority districts at three times the rate of votes lost in white districts.

Based on the measured differential in vote loss between paper and computer systems, the fifteen counties in Florida, can expect to lose at least 29,000 votes to spoilage-some 27,000 more than if the counties had used paper ballots with scanners.

Given the demographics of spoilage, this translates into a net lead of thousands for Bush before a single ballot is cast.


For the full story, read "Another Florida" in the November issue of Harper's, out now. Mr. Palast, a contributing editor to the magazine, is author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. See the film of his investigative reports for BBC Television, "Bush Family Fortunes," out now on DVD.

Watch a segment at

Monday, October 25, 2004

Even with a paper trail you could not do a recall.

Even with a paper trail you could not do a recall.

the problem is 2 fold:

1) The software that counts the votes does not produce an internal audit trail. There is no log of what votes were counted. The damn things only tally numbers. They do not record who voted, when and for what. That is the essence of an audit trail. Without that there can be no recount.

Once the machines are finished the election day, they are hooked up to a computer in the precinct and the tallies are uploaded. Then the machines are wiped clean...poof goes the proof.

The computers upload to the state level computers which report the results.

2) The software is secret and not open to inspection or forced to comply withy any standards for accuracy or security.

If you wanted to steal an election you'd do it this way:
- You'd get GOP Congress to write legislation allowing that the machines not produce an audit trail, and allowing the companies to keep the source code used to count the votes secret.
- You'd then give the contracts to GOP controlled companies.

This way if the software allowed manipulation of the results the truth could not come out and you could do what you wanted and never get caught.

No audit trail, no public disclosure of the very mechanisms used to count our votes.

Congratulations America. While we slept they put in place the technology and mechanisms to endue GOP control of Congressional, Senate and Presidential elections for a generation to come, unless of course we take over this process from them.

Please visit and www.blackboxvoting for more and much deeper insight that I can provide here

Judge Dismisses Touch-Screen Voting Suit

Fla. Judge Rules State Won't Have to Create Paper Trail for Votes Cast by Touch-Screen Machines

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Oct 25, 2004 — The state will not be forced to create a paper record in case of recounts in elections on touch-screen voting machines, a federal judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn ruled in favor of Secretary of State Glenda Hood and Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Theresa LePore.

The suit, filed by U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, a Boca Raton Democrat, sought a paper record for manual recounts in close elections like the contentious 2000 presidential race. He had been seeking a way to help determine voter intent when no votes were recorded, known as "undervotes."

The state issued a new rule Oct. 14 for manual recounts to replace one thrown out by a state judge.

However, Wexler argued recounts aren't possible with the paperless machines because there is nothing to review by hand. The machines produce a form showing votes and instances where no votes were recorded.

Cohn heard three days of testimony in the trial, calling it a "case is of great public importance" and promising a written order subject to quick appeal by the losing side.

In his ruling, Cohn said Wexler didn't meet the legal burden required for issuing an injunction.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

- end -

Guess that settle that now dosen't it?

Sit your ass dowen and stfu because you don't have a right to a recount no matter what.

I am having the BadGimp "I Fucking Told You So" t-shirts done as we speak.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Jeb Bush Ignored Felon List Advice - "going live this weekend"

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ignored advice to throw out a flawed felon voter list before it went out to county election offices despite warnings from state officials, according to a published report Saturday.

In a May 4 e-mail obtained by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Florida Department of Law Enforcement computer expert Jeff Long told his boss that a Department of State computer expert had told him "that yesterday they recommended to the Gov that they 'pull the plug'" on the voter database.

The e-mail said state election officials "weren't comfortable with the felon matching program they've got," but added, "The Gov rejected their suggestion to pull the plug, so they're 'going live' with it this weekend."

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

Well now, ain't this a surprise, NOT! Remember folks the GOP will stop at nothg to make sure GW stays at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for four more years.

Bush Lawyer Anticipates Delay in Tally (Planting the seeds for the theft of the election)

sub required

By Jo Becker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 16, 2004; Page A07

President Bush's top campaign lawyer said yesterday that the winner of next month's presidential vote may not be known for "days or weeks" after Election Day if the contest is close.

Experts predict that a large number of absentee ballots will be cast, which could take time to count. For the first time nationwide, voters whose names do not appear on the rolls will be allowed to cast "provisional ballots," which will be counted only after a post-Election Day review determines their eligibility.

In addition, some battleground states will count overseas military ballots received after Election Day as long as they are postmarked before Nov. 3. In Florida, for instance, military ballots received through Nov. 12 will be counted.

Tom Josefiak, the Bush-Cheney campaign's general counsel, said he worries that the uncertainty caused by potential delays could undermine confidence in the outcome. "If it's a close election in any one state, it may be days or weeks before we know who actually is the winner," he said. "I hope that doesn't happen.

Josefiak's comments came as most national polls show Bush and Democrat John F. Kerry in a dead heat. Four years ago, a similarly close race between Bush and Vice President Al Gore deadlocked in Florida and produced a 36-day whirlwind of lawsuits as Democrats sought to recount votes and Republicans pushed to stop while Bush was ahead.

Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Jenny Backus denounced Josefiak's comment. "It seems like the Republicans want people to somehow think that the results they see on election night aren't accurate, which is a far cry from where they were in 2000," she said. "Maybe they think they're going to be behind."

During a conference call with reporters, Josefiak and Bush-Cheney campaign manager Ken Mehlman said that the Democratic legal strategy to keep third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader off the ballot is aimed at disenfranchising overseas military voters, who may be more inclined to vote for Bush.

Mehlman charged that "in target states . . . Democrats, led by the Kerry campaign, have waited until the last minute" to file lawsuits to keep Nader off the ballot. "The effect of this litigation has been to prevent state and local elections officials from printing and mailing ballots overseas," he said. Mehlman noted that in 2000 Democrats fought to disqualify overseas military ballots in Florida.

Bob Bauer, the DNC's national counsel for voter protection, called Mehlman's charge against the Kerry campaign a "shameful accusation that is utterly without merit."

Mehlman pointed to Pennsylvania as a case study, but Bauer said the court there threw Nader off the ballot for good reason, citing thousands of fraudulent signatures including those of cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Fred Flintstone.

"Nobody is conspiring against any class of voters by seeking to have the law upheld," Bauer said. "And to the extent there are issues around this Nader effort, the Republicans and their henchmen who funded the effort to get him on the ballot bear the responsibility."


The settng of lower expectations.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Thousands in Florida may be turned away at polls due to faulty registration

(10-01) 16:38 PDT TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) --

Thousands of Floridians who think they're registered to vote could be turned away at the polls Nov. 2 because their voter registration forms weren't completely filled out, officials said Friday.

Secretary of State Glenda Hood said some groups registering voters are turning in application forms with information missing, such as unchecked boxes asking whether applicants are citizens, mentally incompetent or felons.

A group that's been seeking copies of the incomplete applications in an effort to help people complete them said Hood's office, citing state law, has begun blocking them.

"Clearly, way over the number that could determine the election" won't be able to vote, said Judith Browne, a lawyer with the Washington-based Advancement Project, which promotes multiracial participation in voting. She was referring to President Bush's disputed 537-vote victory in Florida that gave him the presidency in 2000.

During that election, state and local election officials were criticized on a host of issues, from people mistakenly removed from voter rolls to the infamous "butterfly ballot" in Palm Beach County that may have led Al Gore supporters to vote for third-party candidate Pat Buchanan instead.


Here we GO again..

Unreal, except it's really happening.