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Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News Sunday, August 20, 2006

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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:30 AM
Original message
Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News Sunday, August 20, 2006

All members welcome and encouraged to participate.





Link to previous Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News thread:


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. AK: My turn: Will every vote be counted correctly?

My turn: Will every vote be counted correctly?


By Kay Brown


Whether your vote will be counted properly is an open question. Alaska's vote-counting system has flaws that could threaten the integrity of upcoming elections, according to voting technology experts.

...snip

The task force found more than 120 security threats that affect the three most common electronic voting systems. Alaska has two of these systems: 1) Diebold optical scanners, and 2) Diebold touch screen machines with voter verified paper trail, to be used here for the first time in August.

The touch screen machines are particularly unreliable, insecure and vulnerable to attack. Diebold's ubiquitous optical scanners also are vulnerable.

In Alaska, questions remain about the vote counts from Diebold's optical scanners that showed a massive misreporting of votes in Alaska's 2004 general election, with turnout reported at more than 200 percent in 16 of the 40 state House districts and other anomalies. The Alaska Democratic Party has sued the Division of Elections in an effort to get public records from that election. A court hearing will begin Sept. 25 that will determine whether the State must release the electronic database containing those votes.

Since Walden O'Dell, Diebold's former chief executive, infamously told Republicans in an August, 2003 fund-raising letter that he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year," questions have mounted about the reliability of Diebold's voting systems. (For an eye-opening account of what happened in Ohio in 2004, see the article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in the June 1, 2006 Rolling Stone magazine.)


More: http://www.juneauempire.com/stories/082006/opi_20060820...
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orpupilofnature57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
2. Ain't it the truth! Diebold needs examining by Congress
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
3. Ohio: Voting details to go online

Voting details to go online
Tallies from machines in Franklin County will be on Internet, allowing skeptics to tabulate own results


Sunday, August 20, 2006
Robert Vitale
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH


Anyone, anywhere will be able to count votes cast in Franklin County this fall under a plan by local officials to counter public distrust of new elections technology.

After the official counts and canvasses for the Nov. 7 election, information from more than 4,500 touch-screen voting machines will be posted online so skeptics can conduct their own reviews, Franklin County Board of Elections Director Matthew Damschroder said.

The agency also plans to ask county commissioners to pay for an independent post-election hand count of votes from the paper tapes that track peoples choices on each machine.

A report released last week in Cuyahoga County found that paper tapes and electronic memories from voting machines in more than a third of reviewed precincts produced results that varied widely. Some were off by more than 200 votes.

More: http://www.columbusdispatch.com/?story=dispatch/2006/08...
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
4. Ohio: Make it electronic, and reliable

Make it electronic, and reliable


As a backwater of Cleveland politics, the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has, for many years, been a dumping ground for partisan hacks, an agency that manages to run the local election system with varying degrees of speed and competence.

Such a political cesspool would not seem to be the ideal laboratory for a test of Ohio's main voting system, but that is what could be at stake after a consultant's report challenging the accuracy of touch-screen voting devices used in Cleveland and 46 other jurisdictions, including Lucas County.

More than half of the Buckeye State's 7.7 million registered voters cast ballots via machines made by Diebold, Inc., so it is incumbent upon election officials at the county and state levels to resolve questions raised by the Cuyahoga County consultant.

The Election Science Institute reported after the May 2 primary election that nearly 10 percent of the county's ballots were "destroyed, blank, illegible, missing, taped together, or otherwise compromised," an alarming situation that would have made an accurate recount of a close race impossible.


More: http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060...
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
5. DeLay's troubles put Republicans in bindBy JAY ROOT

DeLay's troubles put Republicans in bind


By JAY ROOT
Star-Telegram STAFF WRITER

More photosSUGAR LAND -- Charity is rare in partisan politics, and nobody ever accused Republican powerhouse Tom DeLay of cutting Democrats any slack. But the former House majority leader's resignation could be handing Democrats the gift he seemed to cherish most: his own seat in Congress.

In any other year, it might be a minor embarrassment. But Democrats are close enough to retaking the U.S. House that the 22nd Congressional District, where DeLay has withdrawn and left Republicans with no candidate on the ballot, could be the race that puts liberal U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the speaker's chair.

"Absolutely atrocious" is the phrase Eric Thode, who got his start in politics putting up yard signs for DeLay in 1978, uses to describe that scenario.

"No question it's possible," said Thode, GOP chairman in DeLay's home county until a few months ago. "I would hope that any logical thinking Republican will realize where the blame lies. The blame lies with Tom DeLay."

More: http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/nation/15319345.htm
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
6. TX: Paper trails and tribulations

Paper trails and tribulations
Electronic voting backups no panacea


By BEVERLY KAUFMAN


A vocal minority continues to call for a "voter verifiable paper trail" to be used in conjunction with Harris County's electronic voting system. The simple fact is that without a clear statutory framework, the expenditure of public dollars for this effort would be a misuse of funds and create a tremendous problem during a post-election review of the conduct of an election.

Twenty-seven states have mandated the use of such a paper trail with their electronic voting systems, but only half of these states have incorporated this paper trail as a reflection of voter intent for use in an election recount. Understanding that critics of electronic voting systems mean well, it is important to dispel a number of falsehoods that continue to be espoused.

The evolution of voting systems has revealed that a shortsighted approach may easily create unintended consequences. For those jurisdictions around the nation that have incorporated this voter verifiable paper trail, problems with printers have compounded the difficulties with conducting elections. In addition, these printer problems can often result in overprinting of ballots in one section of the audit trail, thereby negating the very intent and use of this voter verifiable paper trail.

For voters who are unfamiliar with this ongoing discussion on the use of electronic voting systems, it is important to understand that elections are not performed in a static environment.


More: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/4...
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rrasile Donating Member (214 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
7. Info
Looking for a link to the mytube on "fat lips".
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
8. TX: Ballot backstop

Ballot backstop
Texas should join the states mandating a paper trail to verify the accuracy of electronic voting machines


Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

In in an electronic age haunted by computer viruses and hackers, many people cling to paper security blankets, whether they come in the form of ATM receipts, itemized credit card charges or monthly bank statements.

Yet in the essential civic exercise of choosing our representatives, Texans who use electronic machines are forced to trust a fallible computer program with no way to check the accuracy of the results. Such a system amounts to faith-based voting.

With the knowledge that no computer is tamperproof and a growing list of malfunctions by direct recording electronic machines (DREs) during elections, 27 states have enacted laws requiring voting systems that produce paper ballots that voters can verify (VVPBs). After individuals make their selections and cast their vote electronically, a hard copy of the ballot is printed showing the selections. The voter views the results to make sure their vote is accurate, and then drops the ballot into a sealed box, providing a record independent of the electronic machine that can later be audited.

Texas, unfortunately, has no such requirement, and Harris County, which uses the Hart Intercivic machine and also conducts municipal elections, has no plans to purchase the company's optional printer system to create a paper trail. County Democratic Party officials are clamoring for such a system, as well as increased security and voting machine tests for accuracy.

"If folks can hack the Pentagon," Harris County Democratic Chairman Gerry Birnberg said, "they can certainly hack a machine in Harris County."


More: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/4127457.h...
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. discussion
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
10. ELECTION MACHINE SECURITY

ELECTION MACHINE SECURITY


Sunday, August 20, 2006
David Sarasohn
T he House Science Committee sounds like the geeky part of the House of Representatives, the kind of committee where representatives look through microscopes while all the cool congressmen are off naming bridges after themselves or going on golf vacations with lobbyists.

But a hearing last month produced a number that could make even the most sociable members put down their fundraiser cocktails and pay attention.

Acting like people who know what has to be done, but don't want to do it, the Science Committee, together with the House Administration Committee, listened to people testifying on the reliability of voting machines -- the first and only hearing on the subject by this Congress. True to the spreadsheet wonkiness of the topic, the hearing seems to have produced only a single newspaper story.

But what the congressmen heard got their attention.

"It would take somebody relatively unsophisticated to hack into a machine," reports Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore., who a month later is still talking about the hearing. "But the biggest problem isn't hacking, programming errors.

"In some cases, the margin of error is 9 percent."

The roomful of politicians, most of whom at some point won or lost an election by less than 9 percent, apparently noticed.



More: http://www.oregonlive.com/commentary/oregonian/index.ss...
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. discussion
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
12.  Web site compiles nationwide voter resources and information

Web site compiles nationwide voter resources and information


8/19/2006

The National Association of Secretaries of State has launched a national voter education campaign to provide eligible voters from all 50 states with the information they need to cast their ballots in 2006. The campaigns centerpiece is a Web site, www.CanIVote.org, that provides voters with step-by-step instructions for voting no matter where in the U.S. they live.

The Can I Vote? campaign is designed to help answer the two questions voters most often asked in 2004, according to data collected by the Election Protection hotline: Am I registered to vote? and Where is my polling place? The campaign Web site provides links to online voter registration look-up tools and polling place locators on state and local Web sites. It also includes an interactive directory of local election officials.

The campaign and its Web site will also provide additional information voters need, including the voter registration deadlines and polling place hours for every state and each states voter identification requirements.

CanIVote.org features links to sites that allow voters to check their voter registration records, download a registration application, locate polling places and determine what kinds of identification are necessary for voting. It also includes a list of primary/caucus election dates and a schedule of polling place hours for each state, as well as links to information about early or no-excuse absentee voting early for those states that allow it, and it directs voters to Web sites that provide information about candidates and officeholders in their districts.


More: http://www.eurekareporter.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?Artic...
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
13. Haitians fight for equal representation in Fla. government
Haitians fight for equal representation in Fla. government
JENNIFER KAY
Associated Press
MIAMI - When the Haitian man sat for a passport photo at the shop doubling as Dufirston Neree's campaign headquarters, he was handed a black suit jacket to wear over his bright blue T-shirt.

It's a perk Neree gives customers at Ben Photo. It elevates them, he says, makes them look more professional. He does it, too: He arrives for an interview in khakis, but briefly excuses himself to don a pinstriped suit.

Haitians need, he says, to be better represented - in passport photos and in person. Hoping to be the first Haitian elected to Congress, he has challenged incumbent Kendrick Meek in the Democratic primary Sept. 5 in Florida's 17th District.

...snip

Either immigrants themselves or the children of immigrants, these Haitian candidates say they can relate to potential voters who express having difficulty adjusting to life in the U.S. - and they can do it in Creole, the language that separates Haitians from other black voters.

Haitian leaders advocated for Creole to be included as a protected language in the Voting Rights Act, the recently renewed civil rights law that opened polls to millions of black Americans when it was first enacted in 1965.


More: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/mld/sanluisobispo/15320140...
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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
14. At election time, many black men not on the scene (Baltimore)
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 09:19 AM by MelissaB

At election time, many black men not on the scene


By C. Fraser Smith
Originally published August 20, 2006

The profile of a voter in Baltimore is roughly this: a black woman of about 40, a churchgoer with a decent job. Black men, whether professionals or "brothers on the corner," often aren't in the picture. Many don't see why they should vote - or they're disqualified by virtue of involvement with the criminal justice system.

These are rough approximations of reality, but they are close enough to the truth for political purposes. And the implications are troubling, to say the least. An important part of the black community offers political leaders no reason to care about or address its concerns. If you don't vote in this country, you don't count politically.

As a candidate for the state Senate in Baltimore's 40th District, Tara Andrews found her interest in this problem grow into a pragmatic concern. A survey of the electorate in her center-city senatorial district confirmed her worst fears. She knew young black men didn't vote. It's part of a pattern.

"If there's a negative indicator of status in this society, black men are always at the bottom: in education, employment, whatever," she says.

But the numbers she found were even more profoundly distressing.

Of approximately 47,000 registered black voters in her district, about 4,300 were between 18 and 35. Between 1994 and 2002, only 2,500 went to the polls, and that's a cumulative total for all the elections in this eight-year period.


More: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.fr...
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. The war on drugs had an added benefit for the Republicans...
Making blacks felons who can't vote in most states. Was this the plan all along?
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
15. RISKING THEIR LIVES for democracy MEXICANS Challenge STOLEN Election
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 11:24 AM by autorank
Go here (it's deja vu all over again!).

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


The Truly Elected President of Mexico.
Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador

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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
17. 92% of Americans Favor Public's Right To Know How Votes Are Counted
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
18. K&R. Thank you, MelissaB!
:bounce:
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-20-06 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
19. Thank You MelissaB!
Edited on Sun Aug-20-06 09:09 PM by Melissa G
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