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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:50 AM
Original message
Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News WEDNESDAY, 9/28/05
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 03:53 AM by autorank

National Summit To Save Our Elections
A Call to Rescue Our Democracy


http://summit.oregonvrc.org/info

Registration:
http://summit.oregonvrc.org/registration

Never forget the pursuit of Truth.
Only the deluded & complicit accept election results on blind faith.




Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News WEDNESDAY, 9/28/05



All members welcome and encouraged to participate.

Please post Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News on this thread.

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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:51 AM
Response to Original message
1. PORTLAND, OREGON: National Summit to Save Our Elections 9/30-10/2

About the National Summit to Save Our Elections
Portland, Oregon * September 30 October 2, 2005


Register Now

Our Goal: Rescue Democracy

This Summit arises out of the need to rescue our democracy by restoring the right of "We the People" to vote and to oversee the counting of our votes. The objective of this conference is to bring together all the latest information on efforts to restore public ownership and oversight of elections, and to ensure the fundamental right of every American citizen to vote and to have each vote counted as intended in a secure, transparent, impartial, and independently audited election process. There are many facets to this effort and it will take everyone to get involved in order to achieve the goal.

Our Presenters: Top Experts

The Summit agenda will feature an exciting mix of panel presentations, workshops, and keynote addresses presented by the nation's most active and knowledgeable election reform experts.* Speakers include Jesse Jackson Jr., David Cobb, Ronnie Dugger, Thom Hartmann, Jefferson Smith and many more. All presentations and workshops are scheduled to allow some time to take questions from the audience. We have designed the agenda to allow attendees to network and also attend presentations and workshops. (*The agenda is final but is subject to change if a speaker is unavailable.)

Exploring Beyond the Agenda

Throughout the Summit, attendees may explore the following ongoing sessions:
Oregon Election System Poster Session: Learn how Oregons Vote-by-Mail system works by viewing poster presentations and videos and have your questions answered by Oregon election officials and citizen experts.
Networking Lounge: Come here to have refreshments, meet each other and talk more in depth about your election reform questions and plans of action.
Information Tables: Summit sponsors will have information tables for you to peruse to learn more about their efforts to advance election reforms and how you can help.

Please Join Us at the Summit

The National Summit to Save Our Elections will provide you with ample opportunities to listen and learn, but also to interact and engage with both the speakers and your fellow concerned citizens who are coming to Portland from all over the country. We also hope the Summit will inspire you to take action that will help all of us successfully bring about the election reform this country needs and deserves.

Thank you for your interest in the Summit to Save Our Elections!
We hope to see you September 30 October 2, 2005 in Portland, Oregon!
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. GA: Americas Next Election Nightmare-Andrew Gumble,--"Steal this Vote"

Andrew Gumbel is doing our country a great service. He produced Steal this Vote which told the ugly truth about our distaste for policing elections. Now hes doing the hard work on this story of Georgia. WWJCDWhat Will Jimmy Carter Do? This is his state, the location of his vaunted Carter Center, specializing in clean elections. I want to take a moment to honor DUer boredtodeath who enunciated many of these points several months ago. He was a bit gruff (but lovable) and he was right on target.

America's Next Election Nightmare
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-gumbel/americas-ne...

Andrew Gumbel 27 September 2005

In the 2000 presidential election we had Katherine Harris. In 2004 it was Kenneth Blackwell. And now a new horror show is about to play out in the troubled landscape of Americas dysfunctional democracy yet another top state election official who also happens to be openly cheerleading for one side in a race for high office.

The new poster-child for how not to run elections is Cathy Cox, the Secretary of State of Georgia. Only she comes with an added twist. She wont merely be helping to run someone elses campaign in next years mid-terms; she will be running for office herself.

Cox, a Democrat, was the first Secretary of State to champion and purchase an all-electronic touch screen voting system for her state. She persuaded Georgia to spend an initial $54 million on a hitherto untried Diebold system in 2002, and has tried ever since to parlay the e-voting revolution she helped launch into a bid for the Georgia governorship in November 2006. Advancing the e-government revolution, is the slogan on her website.
Contrary to the fine rhetoric, however, a raft of official documents obtained exclusively by the Huffington Post including the original contract signed with Diebold and a flurry of six amendments that followed between July 2002 and December 2004, as well as official correspondence and legal papers show that Coxs management of Georgia elections has been little short of a disaster. The documents were obtained by way of multiple public records requests, most of them coordinated by the Georgia voting rights activist Roxanne Jekot and her organization, Count The Vote.

The documentary record shows that elections were run on software that was not only untested but also uncertified, that key components broke down during live elections, that county officials were left clueless on how to operate the new machines because of a breakdown in the training schedule, and that the cost of installing the electronic touch-screen system jumped dramatically beyond the advertised $54 million, without proper legislative oversight or approval. None of this has previously been made public.

Among the most shocking findings:
Georgia ran its first all-touch screen election, in November 2002, with software for which no evidence of legal certification had been submitted. Certification documents were still not forthcoming, in fact, as late as March 2003. Because of a meltdown in the schedule for training county election workers, Georgia ended up abdicating control of the election to Diebold technicians, who ran it on the states behalf without the voters being told.

While state officials were assuring the public everything had passed off swimmingly, they were telling Diebold they had found evidence of screen freezes and other calibration problems potentially affecting the accuracy of the vote count, the deployment of obsolescent memory cards, CDs supposedly containing county election results that turned out to be blank, memory failures in the tabulation process and a raft of other problems.

Two months before last years presidential election, Georgia and Diebold identified the need for a security adjustment to be installed on every terminal. But the state did not insist on having it certified and installed before the vote took place. Rather, Diebold was given a deadline of May 2005 six months after the election. In other words, Georgia went ahead with the election in the full knowledge that its security was compromised.
At the the same time, Diebold and the state of Georgia entered into a convoluted written agreement which appears designed to circumvent a legal requirement for voting equipment to meet standards approved by the Federal Election Commission in 2002. Although the language is ambiguous, contract experts say the agreement seems designed to grandfather in older standards drawn up in 1990 the Stone Age, in computer terms.

Although Cox claimed the 2004 election produced a record low number of missed or undervotes (just 0.39 per cent in the presidential race, compared with 3.5 per cent in 2000 when the state used punch card machines), records obtained from more than 30 counties through public records request suggest the missed votes were catalogued under a different criterion blank voted ballots. While the printouts from the touch screen terminals show nothing but 0s in the undervote column, the percentage of blank votes reaches as high as 39 per cent in some lower-order races.

When Cox first announced the contract with Diebold in May 2002, she said the $54 million price tag would include the equipment and software and also training and support to election offices in every Georgia county. What she did not say was that the bulk of those services were covered only up to the end of the November 2002 election. Whats more, the first contract amendments which, unlike the contract itself, do not appear to have been subject to legislative scrutiny show that the state committed to paying Diebold at least $10 million and as much as $20 million over and above the original $54 million, to cover an extension of the service warranty, various software upgrades and costs associated with having those upgrades certified. To this day, Georgia voters have not been informed of the substantial additional costs involved.

Georgias electoral system has been a subject of deep concern to voting rights activists for some time as documented in my new book Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America (Nation Books). Last year, a conservative group called the Free Congress Foundation gave the state an F-minus grade on its election management practices, the most dismal rate in the country. The new documents add considerable depth to those initial concerns and, in some cases, raise questions about the legality of the actions taken by the Secretary of States office. Running an election on uncertified software, for example, is, in and of itself, a violation of the law.

In the last week, Cox has made a surprising and entirely unanticipated volte-face on the question of adding a voter-verifiable paper audit trail to the touch-screen machines so they can, if necessary, be subject to a meaningful manual recount. Having vehemently opposed the introduction of such a paper trail, she has now come out in support ostensibly in the wake of the Carter-Baker commission report on electoral reform. Political sources in Georgia, however, suggest she is under mounting pressure over her record of electoral management over the past four years and may have decided that supporting a paper trail was the price she had to pay to keep her gubernatorial ambitions on track.

With the publication of these official documents, the question arises whether she is fit to hold any public office. That, ultimately, will be up to Georgia voters to decide
CLICK HERE to get quick access to Election Results and Discussion Forum on your Latest page.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. TN: County to Save $250k by Chauffeu Handicapped--Don't Buy Machines

If you forward one link today, please make it this one. The small market papers are so great. Today is no exception. Look at this, can you believe it. Its cheaper, by $250K to chauffeur handicapped voters to the polls than make HAVA voting changes. We have reached the point of no return on the lost highway of absurdist dreams.

Limos vs. voting machines
Chauffeuring handicapped less costly than mandated poll changes, Day says


http://www.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/news/050927/li...


By Chris Paschenko
The Decatur DAILY 27 September 2005

Perplexed by a federal election mandate, Morgan County Probate Judge Bobby Day said Monday the county could save $250,000 or more by chauffeuring voters to polling places in limousines.

Hanging chads and the 2000 presidential voting fiasco led Congress to implement changes at polling places, Day told the County Commission.

In an unfunded mandate, the Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires states to provide specialized handicapped voting machines, costing as much as $5,000 each, at every polling site, Day said.

"In my opinion, it would be less expensive to put the machines in polling sites at Decatur, Hartselle, Somerville and Lacey's Spring and haul the handicapped voters by stretch limousines" rather than placing a machine at each precinct, Day said.

<snip>

State election representatives were unaware how many voters would benefit from the machines, Day said.

At their next meeting commissioners plan to adopt a resolution supporting a bill that delays by 48 months the 2006 deadline for the state to comply with the voting requirements.

County officials would have to decide how they would chauffeur voters, whether by limousines, county transit vans or by other means.
CLICK HERE to get quick access to Election Results and Discussion Forum on your Latest page.


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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:09 AM
Response to Original message
4. NC: Disabled People Fear Loss of Voting Rights Due to HAVA Reforms
NC: Disabled People Fear Loss of Voting Rights Due to HAVA Reforms
Thats two, on the same day. Handicapped voters were used as a rationale for electronic voting machines. Now we have two articles, one showing the really hard part of voting, getting there, can be accomplished by drivers and accommodations for voting rather than machines. Now this. Blind voters, a key reason used by voting machine manufacturers and others to push the technology, see the HAVA inspired system in NC as useless. If things dont change, she said, disabled people are going to be without any prayer of being able to cast a real ballot. Thats true for disabled people AND for the rest of us, not a ballot that we can be sure was fairly counted.

Blind voters dont see eye to eye with election officials


http://www.yesweekly.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectio...

by Amy Kingsley Yes Weekly 27 September 2005

When Dottie Neely, a visually-impaired community activist, went to the polls in 2004, she encountered Direct Record Electronic voting machines ill equipped to handle her needs. None of the machines in her polling place, or the entire county, included a headphone jack allowing her to follow audio commands. Instead, poll workers moved a machine out of its dark but private carrel so Neely, who is not completely blind, could press her face close to the screen and vote independently.

Despite the hassle, it was the first time the 42-year-old social worker, who has never missed an election, cast her own ballot. Her past voting experiences included assisted voting under the watchful eyes of three poll workers. But Neely still sees room for improvement, and is working to represent the needs of other visually impaired voters.

Guilford County has used Direct Record Electronic, also known as touch screen, voting machines for 17 years and currently uses the Votronic system. Touch screen machines allow voters to choose candidates from a series of menus similar to a banks automated teller machine. The machines in Guilford County do not produce a paper record of the vote.

Since the Help America Vote Act was passed, we have been trying to get some blind people on , Neely said. They have not wanted that input.

<snip>

As of 2002, about one third of North Carolina counties used DRE voting and one half used optical scan ballots. Voters using optical scan ballots must fill in the blank next to their chosen candidate and feed the ballot into a scanning machine. Although this system includes a built-in paper backup, the state board and most counties prefer DRE voting.

The cost to replace Guilford Countys touch screen machines with optical scan ballots might be as low as $2 million. The state will provide grants to all 100 counties totaling $40-50 million to cover some of the cost of upgrading voting systems. Taxpayers must
pick up the part of the tab not paid by state funds.

<snip>

That said, blind voters are not waiting until the final decision is made to express their dissatisfaction with Guilford Countys machines and their preferences for the future. Groups have raised the issue at Guilford County Board of Commissioners meetings and in person at the board of elections. But one of Neelys most immediate concerns is simply the lack of a list of approved machines three years after the passage of HAVA.

If things dont change, she said, disabled people are going to be without any prayer of being able to cast a real ballot.
CLICK HERE to get quick access to Election Results and Discussion Forum on your Latest page.

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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:11 AM
Response to Original message
5. Haiti: Rice Calls for fair and inclusive Elections. How about for US h

"These elections must be free, fair and inclusive," Rice said :rofl: No further comment necessary.



U.S. eyes Haiti elections
Rice reaches out, emphasizes the need for 'free, fair, inclusive' presidential balloting in troubled country]
http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/world/ny-wohait...

BY LETTA TAYLER
STAFF CORRESPONDENT September 28, 2005

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Haiti needs to move swiftly to improve conditions for upcoming presidential elections, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned here yesterday amid growing fears that disorganization, and fraud and violence could mar the vote.

"These elections must be free, fair and inclusive," Rice said during a news conference with Prime Minister Gerard LaTortue, whose interim government has run Haiti since the controversial ouster 19 months ago of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. "The international community stands ready to help."

Rice's one-day visit appeared aimed both at spurring Haiti into action on the Nov. 20 balloting and showing the world that the United States hasn't abandoned its poorest and most troubled neighbor.

<snip>

In polite but firm tones, Rice chided LaTortue's government for holding two prominent Aristide supporters for months without formal charges: former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune and the Rev. Gerard Jean-Juste, a Roman Catholic priest who was banned from running as a presidential candidate because he is behind bars.

"Justice has to come in a timely fashion," Rice said, warning that otherwise, the government leaves itself open to accusations of "a political motive."

<snip>

In August, gunmen believed to be police joined machete-wielding thugs in executing nine people suspected of gang activity at a soccer match sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development. You cant make up stuff like this.

However, Rice told reporters here she believes the UN force and Haitian police are "capable" of keeping order during the elections. She also said that "concerns" about preparations for the presidential vote focus on problems that "are in many ways just technical," such as setting up voting booths.

Mark Schneider, a Haiti expert with the International Crisis Group think tank, disagreed. "Massive problems remain," he said, including inadequate security and poor voting registration drives. "If Haiti can't resolve these problems, which is questionable, they'll sink the elections," he said.
CLICK HERE to get quick access to Election Results and Discussion Forum on your Latest page.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:12 AM
Response to Original message
6. WI: Milwaukee voter Fraud Probe Ensnarls Republicans. Go Figure?
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 04:13 AM by autorank
Milwaukee was to be the epicenter of the fake Republican vote fraud organization headed by a Democrat (who ran Democrats for Bush). They were going to bury us there. Well, now that things are cooking, guess who is being turned out for election fraud. Milwaukee Republicans, is doing the perp walk worth it to help your national party put forth bogus charges of voter fraud?

http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/sep05/359112.asp

Political player accused of fraud
Ex-GOP official charged with federal election law violations




By JESSE GARZA
jgarza@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Sept. 27, 2005

A former Walworth County Republican Party chairman has been charged in a campaign finance fraud case in which thousands of dollars are alleged to have been illegally funneled to GOP campaigns.

Christopher R. Koceja, 45, of East Troy is accused in federal court of illegally donating $5,000 in 2002 from construction firm Mann Bros. to the gubernatorial campaign of then-Gov. Scott McCallum, according to an announcement from U.S. Attorney Steven M. Biskupic.

<snip>

Trail dates have not been set for Joseph P. Harvey, 42, former chief financial officer of Bielinski Bros., and David C. Busch, 57, a former consultant with the firm and a former vice president of administration for Roundy's Supermarkets Inc., who have both pleaded not guilty to aiding and abetting a wire fraud scheme.

Former Elkhorn mayor Paul D. Ormson, 60, has pleaded guilty to mail fraud and is awaiting sentencing.
CLICK HERE to get quick access to Election Results and Discussion Forum on your Latest page.
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Algorem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
7. Court rejects lawsuit seeking to halt ballot invalidation
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 01:07 PM by Algorem
http://www.cleveland.com/newsflash/cleveland/index.ssf?...

9/28/2005, 11:00 a.m. ET
The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a lawsuit stemming from last year's presidential election that sought to overturn the rejection of thousands of provisional ballots.

The lawsuit by the watchdog group, People for the American Way Foundation, wanted the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections to hand check the rejected ballots against voter registration cards, instead of computerized lists compiled from the cards.

Provisional ballots were cast by people who said they were properly registered but whose names weren't on the rolls.
The county had the most provisionals in the state at 24,472, of which about 33 percent, or 8,099 ballots, were rejected, mostly because there was no voter registration record for the people who cast them.

The watchdog group argued that the electronic lists were not complete lists and contained mistakes...

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
8. Now here's an election fraud story we hope you REALLY LIKE!


America's Next Election Nightmare
Andrew Gumbel

In the 2000 presidential election we had Katherine Harris. In 2004 it was Kenneth Blackwell. And now a new horror show is about to play out in the troubled landscape of Americas dysfunctional democracy yet another top state election official who also happens to be openly cheerleading for one side in a race for high office.

The new poster-child for how not to run elections is Cathy Cox, the Secretary of State of Georgia. Only she comes with an added twist. She wont merely be helping to run someone elses campaign in next years mid-terms; she will be running for office herself.

Cox, a Democrat, was the first Secretary of State to champion and purchase an all-electronic touch screen voting system for her state. She persuaded Georgia to spend an initial $54 million on a hitherto untried Diebold system in 2002, and has tried ever since to parlay the e-voting revolution she helped launch into a bid for the Georgia governorship in November 2006. Advancing the e-government revolution, is the slogan on her website.

<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-gumbel/americas-ne... >
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Bears repeating, and WE really LIKE it!
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