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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:05 PM
Original message
Election Reform, Fraud, & Related News, FRI. 12/15/06 Utter Distrust
Voter Registration Database

My daughter was disenfranchised on her very first election experience through the incompetence of the Los Angeles County Registrar's office. It is official now.
I wonder how many more voted on provisional ballots which were through no fault of theirs not counted and dropped from the registered voters.
As of late November 6, 2006, I called the registrar's office, and they were still inputting data from the registrations they had received. Those would be new and address as well as name changes.
The preceding Friday, we were told still thousands to go. Worse, suggestion was made to fill another form, when in fact, California election laws would basically invalidate the first in my daughter's case, since the second one supersedes the first, this would make her registration date after the cutoff. There is no previous registration record since she turned 18 on 10/27.

My concern, from the beginning in my daily phone calls to the registrar was the possibility of a registration ending up not being logged in the database due to time constraints, man power or who knows what. And of course, leading up to the election, the periodic reports filed with the county supervisors by McCormack - everything is smooth and according to schedule.

How is it, that mailings sent out on October 5 all arrive at their destination but the registration of my daughter? Which is implied by the registrar's office. However, if in fact they were still inputting data of eligible registrants after the election, we can reasonably assume her second affidavit canceled the first, disqualifying her from voting, due to the cutoff date of October 23.

As I inquired whether her provisional vote counted - of course, they only have a record of her second registration. And even that, this registration was filled out on November 3, it shows she came in on November 9, no, then, "it shows" she came in on November 4, then, it was input on the 4th. However, I was assured at the time, that this second registration will not be input until after the election. Perhaps I am anal, but this misinformation and disarray at the office of the registrar is very disturbing to say the least. When We The People are to abide by the registration cut off date, I surely would like to see some integrity and competence on their side.

McCormack pointed out that on election night a total of 1,762,547 ballots were counted. This included 370,825 absentee ballots and 1,391,722 precinct ballots cast at 5,028 voting precincts throughout the county. However, those numbers represented only 87% of the total valid votes cast in the election. Another 270,572 votes were validated and tabulated during the four-week vote canvassing period. The following is a breakdown of the additional ballots that were tabulated countywide following election night:
160,558 Absentee ballots received the day before or the day of the election (by law, all absentee ballots received by mail must be signature-verified prior to removal from envelopes for counting).
110,915 Provisional ballots cast on election day by persons whose names were not on the voter file, requiring verification of each voters eligibility prior to counting (NOTE: 88.3% of provisional ballots were validated and counted).

54,000 Ballots cast in the precincts on election day but which had to be re-made prior to counting (primarily due to voters casting ballots outside of their assigned voting precincts, but also due to torn/damaged ballots, etc.)
1,692 Ballots containing handwritten write-in votes for candidates who were not listed on the ballot which had to be checked and verified prior to counting.
Final election returns revealed a 52% voter turnout in Los Angeles County encompassing 2,033,119 voters. This compared to statewide turnout of 8,802,703 which represents 56% of the states electorate. How Los Angeles County voters chose to vote whether prior to or on election day is shown by the statistics below:

1,501,736 Voted on election day at one of the countys 5,028 precinct voting locations, representing 73.9% of the total votes cast.
506,697 Voted by mail using absentee ballots, representing 24.9% of the total votes cast; and
24,686 Voted at one of the 17 early voting locations during the ten days preceding the election representing 1.2% of the total votes cast.

(Emphasis mine)

This time, the total registered voters as reported on October 23 by McCormack to the State and the final certified number from the elections from LA did not differ. Should it not increase if they were still inputting data, if they were still verifying the registrations and gave themselves 10 days of mail delay (mailed and stamped on the 23rd) to be received, of which they were still inputting data on the day before the election?

All I know, my daughter's provisional was not counted, along with another approximately 13,000 provisionals if my math is correct.
The only way for We The People is mail in the registrations by certified return receipt requested or walk it in, or it is your word against theirs.

I utterly distrust this voting process from beginning to end. Do not be complacent with paper ballots. LA County uses paper ballots!


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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. CO: Violation of election laws?

James Shea

Daily Press Writer

MONTROSE The Montrose County Clerk and Recorders Office might have violated several election laws during preparations for the November election, according to a representative with the secretary of states office.

John Gardner, the election equipment specialist with the secretary of states office, discussed the technical aspects of the countys voting machine equipment, which is manufactured by Hart InterCivic, along with numerous procedural errors by the clerks office. He, however, was not prepared to make recommendations to the Montrose County Election Review Task Force when it questioned him Thursday.

Gardner said it appeared the clerks office did not test the voting equipment prior to the election, as required by law. He presented printouts of the clerks computer logs that did not show proper testing of the machines.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
By Bo Lipari, New Yorkers for Verified Voting
December 15, 2006
Issues, Status and Projections for Voting Machine Testing

Adequately tested voting systems are a prerequisite for well run elections and to ensure public confidence in election results. When it is completed, the current process of testing voting systems will culminate in New York States four Election Commissioners deciding to approve, or certify those systems which meet the States regulations. Certification testing is ongoing and is proving to be a mixture of good and bad news.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
3. CA: Nevada County To Purchase New Voting System

Selection And Advisory Committee Announced

By: Nevada County Elections Office
Published: Dec 15, 2006 at 09:17

Kathleen Smith, County Clerk/Registrar of Voters of Nevada County, announced today that a selection committee has been formed to review proposed voting systems and make a recommendation to the County Clerk.

The seven-person selection committee, comprised of a former elected official, representatives of the disabled community, a current county poll worker, a representative county voter, and the assistant registrar will kick off the selection process with a educational meeting on December 19 at 3pm in the Community Room at the Madelyn Helling Library.

The selection committee will participate in several meetings where they will review scoring of the vendor proposals, in response to the County's RFP released on October 16, 2006, review vendor reference checks, and participate in vendor demonstrations tentatively scheduled for mid-January.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. AZ: Council tables '07 all-mail ballot plan
Arizona Daily Star

By Rob O'Dell
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.13.2006

The Tucson City Council put off a decision Tuesday on going to all-mail ballots for the 2007 elections electing to get more information from the city clerk before deciding next week.
Before the unanimous vote, Mayor Bob Walkup said he would be against going to the all-mail ballots with limited polling places open on Election Day. He said he would rather find out the cost of continuing to operate the city's 135 polling stations.

The city will hold primary elections in September and the general election in November for mayoral and council seats.

The issue was triggered by the fact that most of the city's polling stations do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The city reached a settlement in 2005 requiring all city polling places to meet that standard, City Clerk Kathy Detrick said.
The agreement was made with the U.S. Justice Department after it had conducted an audit that found many of the city's buildings didn't meet ADA standards, Detrick said.
Detrick said she couldn't comply by next year's elections with the Federal Voting Rights Act in giving people adequate access to polling places because fewer than 30 of the city's polling places meet ADA standards and those are not spread uniformly throughout the city.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
5. NIGERIA: Nigeria Elections Mired With Problems (registrations)
Voice of America

By Catherine Maddux
Washington, D.C.
15 December 2006

Thursday, December 14, was the deadline for registering about 65 million voters for next year's elections in Nigeria. But with less than one-tenth of voters registered so far, the national electoral commission is widely expected to announce an extension until February 14. With the process so far behind schedule, concerns are growing that the government has not adequately prepared the country for elections.


And this time, the electoral commission said it was committed to making improvements by computerizing the process for the first time ever. INEC ordered some 30,000 registration kits that included computers and cameras to verify people's identity, a process known as direct data capture.

But, so far, only a few thousand machines have been delivered. Chris Albin-Lackey, a Nigeria researcher for Human Rights Watch, says INEC was convinced it could implement this highly ambitious technical process.

"The chairman of INEC was very enthusiastic and very insistent from the beginning that INEC was going to make use of these portable machines that can capture biometric data from people who register and, then, also from voters," says Albin-Lackey. "Basically, the idea being that by using these machines they would vastly reduce the possibility for fraud both in compiling the voter's registry and, then, on election day itself. Because people would have to actually give their thumb print on these machines in order to get a card and, then, when they vote, they would again have to, using their thumb print, prove that they are actually a person who is in the voter registry."

But Albin-Lackey says there have been a host of problems. For instance, of the few machines that actually made it to Nigeria, some broke down and no one knew how to fix them. He adds many election staffers were not given proper training in their use. With so few machines, people have been forced to travel far distances and wait in long lines to register.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. AR: Secretary of State Agrees that Change is Needed in State's Early Voting Law

DECEMBER 15, 2006 - Posted at 7:11 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels agrees with Pulaski County officials that the state's early-voting laws need to be changed to close off the possibility of double voting. Daniels told lawmakers yesterday he would support changing the early voting schedule.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
7. FL: Secretary of state named
Sun Sentinel

Elections supervisor to take post; health care chief selected.

The Associated Press
Posted December 15 2006

TALLAHASSEE Gov.-elect Charlie Crist said Thursday that Pasco County elections supervisor Kurt Browning will serve as his secretary of state and a hospital executive will lead the Agency for Health Care Administration.

By picking Browning, who has overseen Pasco's voting since 1980, Crist is signaling that elections will be the top responsibility for the Department of State, which has numerous functions.

"In Florida, elections have had their day in the sunshine and I think it's very important that we are focused on ensuring the integrity of the elective process," Crist said.

Dr. Andrew Agwunobi will be the secretary overseeing the regulation of 32,000 hospitals and health care facilities and the management of the $16 billion Medicaid program.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
8. TX: Thousands will be cut from county voting rolls
Laws require officials to drop those who haven't cast a ballot in federal races lately

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Thousands of Harris County voters who have not participated in the past two federal elections will be purged from the voter-registration rolls this weekend.

Federal and state laws require county election officials in Texas to purge voter-registration rolls at the end of each year.

For Harris County, that means a drop from about 2 million voters to 1.7 million. Officials say the numbers will swell again for the 2008 presidential election.

"We swing back and forth every purge to losing a little over 200,000 down to 140,000 voters," said Tax-Assessor Collector Paul Bettencourt, the county's voter registrar.

"What basically happens, though, is that in every presidential election we'll still hit a new high because these voters will be replaced by new registrations or re-registrations.

"It happens like clockwork every four years."
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
Velvet Revolution's
"A paper BALLOT for every vote cast in America"

sign here: /


link from BradBlog


Campaign to End Use of Electronic DRE Voting Systems Launched by Several Former Supporters of Rep. Rush Holt's HR550 Election Reform Bill
Citizens Asked to Join Effort and Send Letter to Their Own Congress Members...

More than 35 non-partisan Election Integrity organizations, many of them previous supporters of Rep. Rush Holt's HR550 Election Reform legislation, are launching a campaign today designed to send a clear message to Congress that American Democracy needs nothing less than a paper ballot --- not a "trail" or a "record" --- for every vote cast.

A press release from the groups is now posted here., of which The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder, has worked with a number of other leading national non-partisan Election Integrity organizations --- including,, the National Voting Rights Institute,, the Dolores Huerta Foundation --- and many state and local groups to release the following Open Letter this morning.

This is a crucial moment as Congress finally begins to introduce Election Reform legislation that --- we hope --- may go a long way towards correcting so many of the ills plaguing our democracy since the introduction of the horribly flawed Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
10. States Need Better Strategies for Improving Electronic Voting Systems, Says Government Insights

Government Insights - December 14, 2006

Although fears of substantial failure largely proved unfounded during this November's elections, the effectiveness and security of new electronic voting technologies still have a way to go in uniformly assuring accurate, timely, and secure voting processes, according to market research firm Government Insights, an IDC company. One concern: whether jurisdictions afford the upkeep of voting systems they purchased with HAVA funds.

Government Insights believes that as electronic voting systems mature and become the norm, the choices jurisdictions make in future purchases of voting equipment must be more strategically informed, although tactical solutions - such as implementing particular technologies or physical security guidelines - are necessary for short-term remediation. The study proposes measures to satisfy long-term strategic goals of ensuring that jurisdictions make well-informed ongoing technology purchasing decisions.

"Nearly 82 million registered voters in the United States used different voting equipment in November 2006 than they used six years earlier," says Jim Pettler, senior research analyst for Strategy, Governance, and Reporting at Government Insights. "But because state and local jurisdictions did not have enough information to support strategically informed purchasing decisions, many of the current electronic voting systems remain complex, unproven, and as least as controversial as older systems," adds Pettler.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
11. VA: Gate City's embattled, former mayor arrested for assault
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 03:48 PM by rumpel
Times news

Published 12/15/2006 By RAIN SMITH

GATE CITY - The former mayor here, convicted on 13 counts of election fraud Tuesday , is currently behind bars in Duffield where he worked as a jailer.

According to Gate City Police Chief Jason Cox, at about 8:15 Friday morning Police responded to Charles Dougherty's residence, 600 Sherman St., after a call of a man tearing up the house. The responding officer found a drunken Dougherty unstable on his feet, and observed visible signs of injury on his wife's arms and legs.

"(Dougherty) made the statement that if he hit her he was too drunk to remember," Cox said.

A spokesman with the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority said Dougherty has yet to go before a magistrate for a bond hearing, and no court date has been set.

In February Dougherty was found not guilty of conspiracy to hinder the free voting rights of two voters . In that case, the two testified they sold their votes for cigarettes and money to buy liquor.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
12. LA: Chinese Sheriff Lee Influences Jefferson Parish's Re-Election
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 03:54 PM by rumpel

AsianWeek Staff Report, Dec 15, 2006

JEFFERSON PARISH, La. Political analysts are attributing U.S. Rep. William Jeffersons (D-La.), recent re-election to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee.

"Lee certainly had a heck of a big influence ," said Ed Renwick, a political scientist at Loyola University in New Orleans.

On the Tuesday before the Saturday, Dec. 9, runoff, Lee, who is Chinese American, held a news conference and declared his "utter contempt" for Jeffersons opponent, State. Rep. Karen Carter, for her criticism of Jefferson Parish officials evacuation efforts during Hurricane Katrina. In Spike Lees film, When the Levees Broke, Carter, labeled the actions by law enforcement officers "disheartening and unacceptable" and called for the police involved to be "reprimanded accordingly."


During the Dec. 5 press conference, Lee, who has been sheriff since 1979, also urged Jefferson Parish residents to stay home and not vote. It apparently worked as the final tally shows that while 28% of registered voters cast ballots in the primary, only 15% voted in the runoff election.

Susan Howell, a political scientist at the University of New Orleans, said Jefferson might have won without Lees move, but that the sheriff "made it a landslide."
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
13. Off to greatest! Thanks Rumpel ! n/t
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 04:12 PM by Melissa G
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. thank you.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
15. OH: Defiance County approves 'a little higher' budget
Crescent News

Todd Helberg
16 hours ago

The 2007 general fund Defiance County commissioners passed Thursday is nearly 5 percent higher than what was approved for this year.

The 2007 general fund stands at $10,877,001.30, or 4.96 percent higher than the 2006 adopted figure of $10,362,527.42. Estimated revenue for 2007 is $11,931,802, according to Commissioner Tom Kime.


Meanwhile, the board of elections budget will go from $215,200 to $245,791 (a 14.2 percent increase), primarily for postage expenses and a maintenance contract with Diebold Election Systems on new voting machines.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
16. NC: Printers on county voting machines had failures
News Record

Friday, December 15, 2006

By Mark Binker
Staff Writer
GREENSBORO -- The system meant to produce a paper backup of votes cast on Guilford County's electronic voting machines failed in many cases during the election Nov. 7.

About 9 percent of the printers attached to the county's voting machines had a jam or other problem. In many cases, that problem made the paper record generated unusable for purposes of a state-mandated audit, according to county elections director George Gilbert. The electronic records were not affected and remained intact, he said.

Guilford County voters cast ballots on direct record, or DRE, systems that have a computer touchscreen. During the past several years, some computer scientists and voting advocates have charged this type of system is susceptible to error and fraud.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
17. FL: Gambling On Votes? Experts Say You Do
The Tampa Tribune


Published: Dec 15, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - Using a newer laptop to do your taxes? Planning to try your luck at the slots in Atlantic City?

Chances are those devices had to meet tougher technology standards than the electronic voting machine you used to cast a ballot in the general election last month.

That's what a contingent of frustrated computer experts sees as the real problem with electronic voting. While lawmakers and attorneys debate the need for a paper record of votes, engineers and programmers say their concerns run deeper - down to the design and security standards under which voting machines are produced.

State and federal standards fall short of what industry or government requires for off-the-shelf commercial software, aircraft electronics, even casino slot machines, critics say. With democracy at stake, they say, shouldn't the bar for voting machines be set as high?

On Dec. 7, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission updated its standards for federal certification of electronic voting machines. Compliance by states, which set their own standards, is voluntary.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
18. CA: Republicans amend lawsuit against Brown
Inside Bay Area

Effort to halt oath of office hinges on legal inactivity of attorney general-elect
By Josh Richman, STAFF WRITER
Article Last Updated:12/15/2006 10:30:06 AM PST

A group of Republican activists has revamped its lawsuit challenging outgoing Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown's eligibility to serve as state attorney general.
The amended complaint filed Wednesday in Sacramento County Superior Court seeks to prevent Brown, 68, from taking the office to which 56 percent of voters elected him Nov. 7.

While the original lawsuit, filed Oct. 19, named local voter registrars as defendants in an attempt to get Brown booted from the ballot, the new complaint names Secretary of State Bruce McPherson and state Controller Steve Westly in an attempt to keep them from spending any taxpayer money to certify, swear in or pay Brown.
Brown who served two terms as California's governor and two terms as Oakland's mayor remains a defendant as well; the plaintiffs want an injunction preventing him from taking an oath of office.

The lawsuit still hinges on California Government Code section 12503, which states, "No person shall be eligible to the office of Attorney General unless he shall have been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the state for a period of at least five years immediately preceding his election or appointment to such office."
Brown earned a degree from Yale Law School in 1964 and was admitted to the State Bar of California in June 1965 but was an "inactive member" from Jan. 1, 1997, through May 1, 2003, bar records show. "Inactive members have chosen this status voluntarily and may transfer.
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
19. VT: Salmon leads in auditor recount
December 15, 2006
By Louis Porter Vermont Press Bureau

MONTPELIER Challenger Tom Salmon is leading in an as-yet incomplete recount of votes in the race for state auditor of accounts, but state officials and the two candidates who still are vying for the post said Thursday the result remains undecided.

An informal Associated Press tally of the 13 counties that have completed their recounts showed Salmon in the lead by 2,404 votes. In the regular election, incumbent Auditor Randy Brock won Chittenden County by a 2,202-vote margin, so if those results do not change during the ongoing recount, Brock would be about 202 votes shy of retaining his seat.

Many of the votes that have changed during the recount have been in towns with paper ballots of which there are relatively few in Chittenden County.

But Brock, Salmon and Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz warned Thursday against concluding that Salmon will win the post at this point based on incomplete results and unofficial tallies. That is because both candidates have gained and lost votes in different parts of the state for different reasons, and the same could hap-pen in Chittenden County.
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livvy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
20. And yours is only one story. How many stories are there?
A country is in real trouble when the voice of the people is so feared.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
21. There you go. Very nice. KR n/t
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-16-06 02:36 AM
Response to Original message
22. Thank you, rumpel
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