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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 12:00 AM
Original message
Election Reform, Fraud, & Updates Thread for Tuesday
Election Reform, Fraud, & Updates Thread for Tuesday

In order to organize and document MelissaB thought it would be a good idea to have a daily thread to place items related to reform, fraud, protests, and other items. This also make it easier to "catch up" when we are away from the computer for a while.

If you see something that isn't here post it with a link to the thread and a thanks to the author. MelissaB is busy for a while so I'm taking over and Need Lots of Help posting news items!
Thanks,
Melissa G

Link to previous thread
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. Hillary-haters seize on trial of fundraiser in bid to smear Clintons


Hillary-haters seize on trial of fundraiser in bid to smear Clintons
By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
10 May 2005


A former fund-raising director for Hillary Clinton goes on trial in Los Angeles today to face accusations of campaign finance irregularities that political opponents of the former first Lady turned US senator hope will help dent her chances of a successful run for the presidency in 2008.

To the growing band of Hillary-haters who have set up websites and political action committees to try, again, to stop her political career in its tracks, the case has all the hallmarks of sleaze and criminality they have long associated with both Mrs Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton.

The defendant, David Rosen, is accused of deliberately under-reporting the cost of a star-studded fund-raising event in Hollywood during Mrs Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign.

He is on record as having organised the event with the help of a convicted fraudster and cocaine-user called Peter Paul, who went to prison again after the 2000 election when he was convicted of defrauding investors in an internet venture he once hoped Mr Clinton would join after he left office.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?...
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 12:13 AM
Response to Original message
2. Pressure grows on Blair to resign as British leader


Pressure grows on Blair to resign as British leader
By Frederick Studemann in London
Published: May 10 2005 03:00 | Last updated: May 10 2005 03:00

Tony Blair, UK prime minister, yesterday finished reshuffling the junior ranks of his ministerial team, ignoring renewed calls from Labour rebels for him to promise retirement soon.


The prime minister made Lord Drayson, a Labour benefactor, a defence minister, and Andrew Adonis, a senior No 10 aide, a junior minister at the department for education and skills.

Lord Drayson, who will be unpaid, has enjoyed a close relationship with the government. His former company, PowderJect, made millions providing smallpox vaccine to the government after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Next week Mr Blair will present his legislative programme to parliament. It is expected to include several controversial measures, such as the introduction of identity cards, which could spark the first legislative showdowns with Labour rebels.

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/14584d96-c0f0-11d9-a3da-00000e...
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
3. RECORDS DETAIL LOBBYIST'S INFLUENCE, BILLING



WASHINGTON (AP) - For lobbyist Jack Abramoff, no politician was too big to pursue and no detail too small to charge his clients for.

Working to keep the Northern Marianas Islands free of new U.S. regulations, Abramoff sought help from Tom DeLay, other congressional leaders and high-level Bush administration officials.

At the same time, he charged the islands for such mundane tasks as securing tee times at the right golf courses for Washington visitors and obtaining an autographed copy of a book by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich.


Questions about Abramoff's billing practices arose well before a federal grand jury and two congressional committees recently began investigating whether he overcharged several Indian tribes for his lobbying work on gambling issues.
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1994&dept_id=226...
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
4. Paper gets thumbs up vote -Sydney Morning Herald


Sydney Morning Herald
Paper gets thumbs up vote
By Nathan Cochrane
May 10, 2005

The immediate future of a secure electronic voting system that people trust lies not with gee-whiz technologies but old-fashioned paper-backed systems, a Victorian Government inquiry has found.

The scrutiny of acts and regulations e-democracy subcommittee, chaired by Labor MP Michael Leighton, found that the internet and mobile phones were a poor second to paper.

It has recommended that e-voting for local and general elections be restricted initially to a few machines running open-source software that has been hardened by "white hat" hackers who have tried to break their security.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Next/Paper-gets-thumbs-up-vo...
That source code would be published on the Victorian Electoral Commission website.

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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
5. Electoral reform: Why it's time for change


Electoral reform: Why it's time for change
By Marie Woolf, Chief Political Correspondent
10 May 2005


The Government is facing calls for a wholesale review of the voting system after the general election was condemned as a "travesty of democracy". Politicians from all parties demanded that the first-past-the-post system be scrapped after Labour formed a Government with the smallest share of the vote for more than 100 years.

Constitutional specialists said Tony Blair was in charge of an "elected dictatorship" after Labour was able to win a majority with only 36 per cent of the vote. They say the Prime Minister is able to hold power with the support of just a fifth of the British adult population, the lowest figure since the Great Reform Act of 1832.

A national campaign for voting reform is to kick off this week with public meetings, a vigil outside Downing Street and a petition calling for the Government to look at introducing proportional representation systems similar to those in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Continent.

Although the Government privately admits the election result gave PR fresh momentum, the issue is likely to split the Cabinet, with electoral reformers such as Peter Hain and Ruth Kelly favouring a rethink and John Prescott and Ian McCartney sharply against. Many union leaders also fear it will lead to coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, and prevent Labour from governing again with an absolute majority
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?sto...
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Algorem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
6. Blackwell put off decision on machines
http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/index.ssf?/ba...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Julie Carr Smyth
Plain Dealer Bureau

Columbus- Secretary of State Ken Blackwell knew for more than a month that he would impose the January voting-machine decree that sent machine vendors and county elections boards scrambling.

Yet Blackwell delayed announcing the decision, according to memos and e-mails from a lawsuit settled Monday, while he and top aides assessed its practical and political fallout.

The order, which has since been reversed, was ultimately made Jan. 12 - four weeks after Blackwell signed off on it.

It mandated that only optical-scan voting machines be used statewide; a new order issued in April allowed Diebold electronic voting machines to be used as well...



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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. Election reform


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Election reform


Its unlikely that all Americans will ever agree on the accuracy and fairness of the 2004 election that gave Republican George W. Bush a second term in the White House. Pointedly, some critics of the outcome cite polling-place exit interviews that strongly suggested Democrat John Kerry would win the key state of Ohio, which he officially lost. The company that conducted the interviews later explained, without any apparent embarrassment, that the discrepancies stemmed from the fact that it didnt factor in the possibility that Kerry supporters would be more willing to talk about how they voted than were Bush backers.

A national group of statisticians doesnt buy a word of that. The organization, called US Count Votes, says the discrepancies ought to be investigated further.

To be sure, aspects of the 2004 election were not pretty. Election officials in parts of the country made voting extremely difficult or impossible for some citizens. Further, a number of people with considerable clout including the head of the company that makes electronic voting machines and top voting officials in the key state of Ohio had publicly committed themselves to winning Bush a second term.

In short, last Novembers election smelled. The odor wasnt nearly as foul as that of the 2000 edition, where voters in Florida were disenfranchised wholesale. But it stunk nevertheless. The question is what to do about it.



http://www.keenesentinel.com/main.asp?SectionID=43&SubS...
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
8. Protecting Every Vote


Protecting Every Vote
Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - Bangor Daily News


Wednesday could be a crucial day for Maine's approaching decision on what sort of voting machines it should have. A work session is scheduled for LD 1026, An Act to Provide Uniform Voter Verification and Recount requirements for Voting Machines.

The Legislature enacted a similar bill last year, but it contained a loophole. Advocates for the handicapped feared that insistence on a voter-verifiable paper trail, to permit recounts in cases of challenge, would interfere with demands that the new machines permit unassisted access by the sight-impaired and other handicapped persons. So last year's bill included an exemption from the paper-trail requirement for the machines specially designed for use by the handicapped.

The situation now is changed. Machines have been developed that provide both features, a verifiable paper trail and handicapped access. One example called AutoMARK is marketed by one of the major voting machine companies, Election Systems and Software. Others are in the works. So the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee should feel confident in going forward with a bill that would require both features in all machines.

Here is how the AutoMARK works: Any voter entering a polling place picks up a paper ballot. Most voters will mark their ballots with a pen in the usual way. A sight-impaired person can take advantage of a zoom feature that enlarges the ballot or an audio function enabling him or her to listen to the choices. A person unable to use his or her hands can use a puff tube to register ballot choices. The ballots all would go to a scanner, as in the current system, with the paper ballots retained for use if necessary in a recount.

http://www.bangornews.com/news/templates/?a=113384
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
9. Lawmakers poised to let counties choose voting machines


Lawmakers poised to let counties choose voting machines

By MICHAEL HILL
Associated Press Writer

May 10, 2005, 3:24 PM EDT


ALBANY, N.Y. -- After protracted negotiations over how best to modernize New York's voting booths, a key legislative committee is poised to let counties choose on their own.

The pending deal between negotiators for the state Senate and Assembly is designed to help bring New York into compliance with the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in time for the November 2006 elections. A stumbling block has been whether to replace old voting machines with either ATM-style, touch-screen machines or optical scan technology that allows machines to "read" marks made on a paper ballot.

Keith Wright, a Manhattan Democrat and chairman of the Assembly Election Law Committee, said Monday that despite months of talks, the two houses have been unable to agree on a single system. Instead, negotiators are working on a deal that would give individual counties the authority to choose a system.

Long Island Republican John Flanagan, chairman of the Senate's Elections Committee, said though voters in different counties would be able to vote on different types of machines, the machines would still have to meet HAVA standards.

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny...
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 04:14 PM
Response to Original message
10. Political junkie claims mystery machine



Political junkie claims mystery machine

By Dan Stober

Mercury News


The mystery of the Florida voting machine that seemingly fell out of the sky into a Palo Alto residential neighborhood last week has apparently been solved.

Its owner bought it on eBay in 2001, when 560 of them were sold by Palm Beach County as political mementos of the infamous hanging-chad presidential election of the year before.

The buyer? EBay's own vice president of government relations, Tod Cohen. A political junkie who once worked for Bruce Babbitt's brief quest for the presidency, Cohen paid $300 for it, with no discount for being an eBay official.

One recent night, Cohen left his Volkswagen Passat parked on Melville Avenue in front of his house. In the trunk was the voting machine ``because I kept meaning to bring it into my office,'' Cohen said Monday. ``It was the classic leaving-your-car-unlocked.''

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/s...
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
11. Conyers online chat update/report
Emlev's thread on Conyers online chat update/report

Edited on Tue May-10-05 02:39 PM by emlev
Either they began witn one of my questions or are only showing me the answers to my own question. Either way, here's what I'm getting:


emlev
What is being done to investigate and call to justice those individuals and organizations who interfered with the 2004 elections? In what form is your investigation into the 2004 presidential election proceeding, Representative Conyers, and will it extend to the massive problems beyond the state of Ohio?

Rep. Conyers: First, I want to thank every one for participating. In terms of the wrongdoing, we have asked GAO to investigate, the DOJ, and state law enforcement officials in Ohio. We have not gotten any satisfactory responses as of yet, but we will continue to pursue the matter. Your help and tips have been helpful, and we are trying to get the media to cover these stories as well.

We have also demanded hearings from the Judiciary Committee in the House. So far, they have been stalling. We have also begun to investigate irregularities in all 50 states and we will compile them all, just as we did with Ohio. I want to thank everyone who gave information for my Ohio report and I would like anyone with any information about irregularities in Ohio or any other State to contact me with that information.

Thanks to Emlev for the post!

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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UrbScotty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
12. Possible FRAUD in Milwaukee: More votes than voters
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-mil ...

About 4,500 more ballots than registered voters were cast in the election last November in Milwaukee, investigators said Tuesday.

Also, more than 200 felons voted improperly in Milwaukee, and more than 100 instances of suspected double-voting were found.

No charges have been filed. Investigators found no widespread conspiracy, just isolated incidents, U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said.

"I don't think there's an election in this municipality or this state that would have been decided differently even with those numbers," said Mayor Tom Barrett, a Democrat.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
13. Jim Lampley: The Biggest Story of Our Lives


05.10.2005

Jim Lampley

The Biggest Story of Our Lives

At 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Election Day, I checked the sportsbook odds in Las Vegas and via the offshore bookmakers to see the odds as of that moment on the Presidential election. John Kerry was a two-to-one favorite. You can look it up.

People who have lived in the sports world as I have, bettors in particular, have a feel for what I am about to say about this: these people are extremely scientific in their assessments. These people understand which information to trust and which indicators to consult in determining where to place a dividing line to influence bets, and they are not in the business of being completely wrong. Oddsmakers consulted exit polling and knew what it meant and acknowledged in their oddsmaking at that moment that John Kerry was winning the election.

And he most certainly was, at least if the votes had been fairly and legally counted. What happened instead was the biggest crime in the history of the nation, and the collective media silence which has followed is the greatest fourth-estate failure ever on our soil.

-snip/more-

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/archive/2005/05/b...

Thanks to Tandalayo_Scheisskopf for posting the discussion...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

...and for a really cool User Name. :)
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
14. The Keene Sentinel Editorial: Election Reform


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Election reform

Editorial

Its unlikely that all Americans will ever agree on the accuracy and fairness of the 2004 election that gave Republican George W. Bush a second term in the White House. Pointedly, some critics of the outcome cite polling-place exit interviews that strongly suggested Democrat John Kerry would win the key state of Ohio, which he officially lost. The company that conducted the interviews later explained, without any apparent embarrassment, that the discrepancies stemmed from the fact that it didnt factor in the possibility that Kerry supporters would be more willing to talk about how they voted than were Bush backers.

A national group of statisticians doesnt buy a word of that. The organization, called US Count Votes, says the discrepancies ought to be investigated further.

To be sure, aspects of the 2004 election were not pretty. Election officials in parts of the country made voting extremely difficult or impossible for some citizens. Further, a number of people with considerable clout including the head of the company that makes electronic voting machines and top voting officials in the key state of Ohio had publicly committed themselves to winning Bush a second term.

In short, last Novembers election smelled. The odor wasnt nearly as foul as that of the 2000 edition, where voters in Florida were disenfranchised wholesale. But it stunk nevertheless. The question is what to do about it.

-snip/more/leave comments:

http://www.keenesentinel.com/main.asp?SectionID=43&SubS...

Thanks to helderheid for posting the discussion.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
15. Cong. Ney Said to be Under DoJ Investigation for Role in Abramoff Scandal


Congressman Bob Ney Said to be Under DoJ Investigation for Role in Abramoff Scandal!

Ohio Republican Who Ought to Recognize Phony 'Front Groups' Claims to have Been Duped by Phony 'Front Group'

Blames Abramoff, Indian Tribes and Democrat Christopher Dodd. Another Republican in favor of personal responsibility we guess.

Blogged by Brad on 5/10/2005 @ 9:37am PT...

An excellent article just out from June's The American Prospect suggests that Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH), one of the sponsors of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is now under...

An excellent article just out from June's The American Prospect suggests that Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH), one of the sponsors of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) is now under Dept. of Justice investigation for his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the money received from the Tigua Indian tribe to finance a golf trip, like Tom Delays, to Scotland.

Our good friend, Tom Feeney, by the way, was also on one of those Scotland Golf Trips. Just thought it worth mentioning.

The Prospect article outlines in detail in how Ney had used Christopher Dodd (D-CT), without Dodd's knowledge, to suggest that the two of them would be able to add a rider to HAVA which would be favorable to the Tigua Indian tribe. Of course, Dodd never seems to have been a party to any of this.

Ney, who chairs the House Administration Committee, recently held hearings on the Ohio Election 2004 mess during which -- as originally reported by BRAD BLOG -- he invited friends from the phony GOP front group calling themselves the American Center for Voting Rights to testify, and yet the Prospect article reports that he claims to have been fooled by an Abramoff front group in relation to the trips he was purchased:

-snip/more-

http://www.bradblog.com/archives/00001384.htm
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
16. (LA-CA) Vote procedures changed for primary


Vote procedures changed for primary (I think they mean run-off)

By Rachel Uranga, Staff Writer

Following criticism of ballot-counting methods during the mayoral primary, City Clerk Frank Martinez said Monday that he's invited the secretary of state and the two mayoral candidates to monitor the process in next week's runoff.

Martinez was blasted after the March 8 primary for his decision to have workers pre-sort and re-ink ballots without informing candidates or election officials -- a procedure that added hours to the counting process.

He also ordered a software change in ballot-reading equipment without getting prior authorization from the Secretary of State's Office.

-snip-

Also, instead of using the InkaVote system, in which the ballot is placed in a machine, voters will use a non-smudge pen to mark their choices on a paper ballot, he said.

-snip/more-

http://www.dailynews.com/Stories/0,1413,200~20954~28609...
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
17. Election's absentee totals draw suspicion


Tuesday May 10, 2005

Election's absentee totals draw suspicion

By Jerry Hinnen / Demopolis Times writer

The numbers have come in for the House District 72 special election, and while they didn't look good for Albert Turner Jr., opponents of voting fraud say they didn't look good for proponents of fair, clean elections in the Black Belt, either.

In a public statement issued Wednesday afternoon, prominent anti-fraud organization the Democracy Defense League expressed both deep suspicion of the election's absentee voting totals and exasperation with state leaders who they say have done little to confront them.

"It is worth noting that in Hale County, AL, 59 percent of Howard's opponent's vote total was cast via absentee ballots," the statement reads. "There, the absentee vote totals were: Turner-813 and Howard-43. This represents the latest of many red flags that Attorney General Troy King and Governor Bob Riley have, to date, either totally ignored or have only paid lip service to.

"These two elected officials have the legal and constitutional OBLIGATION to intervene when residents of their state are disenfranchised due to obvious criminal activities surrounding the voting process," the statement continues. "Where are they?"

-snip/more-

http://www.demopolistimes.com/articles/2005/05/09/news/...
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
18. (NJ) ACLU finds 9 counties illegally bar ex-offenders from registering


ACLU finds 9 counties illegally bar ex-offenders from registering

By JEFFREY GOLD
Associated Press Writer

May 9, 2005, 5:06 PM EDT

NEWARK, N.J. -- Nine of the 21 counties in New Jersey illegally prevent ex-offenders from registering to vote, according to a survey conducted by the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and released Monday.

Under New Jersey law, people in prison, or on parole or probation, cannot vote. Those who have completed their sentences are eligible to cast ballots.

The ACLU said nine counties failed to automatically register ex-offenders, illegally requiring that the ex-offenders provide "proof of release." Those counties were: Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cumberland, Hudson, Passaic, Hunterdon, Ocean and Salem.

The group, which released the survey on the final day voters could register for the June 7 primary, said its study illustrates how each of the state's counties acts on its own.

-snip/more-

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-...
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-10-05 11:55 PM
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19. .
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