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Drama in the States, 9 
. California
. Florida
. Missouri
. Nevada
Newspaper Reports, 15
Fraud, Dirty Tricks, Politics, Lies, 36

9. Drama in the States

California

Open Letter to the Voting Systems and Procedures Panel and Secretary of State Bruce McPherson - 6/30/05 from Jim March, Member of the Board of Directors, BBV.

Kim Alexander's Weblog , California Voter Foundation President and Founder Kim Alexander highlights news coverage of emerging voting technology issues and provides insights in her weblog.

Down For The Count by Andrew Gumbel. June, 2004. Mischelle Townsend, Riverside Countyís Registrar of Voters, had abruptly quit her job mid-term. She said she wanted to spend more time with her family, and nurse her father-in-law through his impending knee surgery. Worthy sentiments, for sure. But she didnít mention anything about a controversial March 2 election for county supervisor that was still being contested, and the recount that had become entangled in problems attributable, in part, to the countyís electronic voting machines. Nor did she mention anything about potentially explosive new details regarding the possible manipulation of those machines. Likewise, no mention of the big list of questions to this effect from Los Angeles CityBeat sitting on her desk since last Saturday.

Secretary of State Kevin Shelley's statements on DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) voting machines and decertification of the Diebold TSx, issued 4/30/04:
Directive on DREs
Directive to decertify the Diebold TSx
Phase II - County Voting System Review prepared by R&G Associates, LLC, April 19, 2004
Staff reports, etc.

Panel: Don't use Diebold touch-screen voting machines by Jim Wasserman, Associated Press Writer, sfgate.com. April 22, 2004.

BIG NEWS (2 items):
1. Unanimous California Voting Systems Panel Weighs in Against Paperless Diebold Electronic Voting Machines .
2. California election officials on Thursday recommended banning some Diebold Election Systems voting machines and referred an investigation into the company to the attorney general for possible civil and criminal sanctions.

E-voting probe finds no reason for glitches by Ian Hoffman, Oakland Tribune. April 13, 2004. Electronic devices that held the key to digital voting in Alameda County's Super Tuesday primary failed in at least a half-dozen ways, hobbling the $12.7 million voting system at a quarter of polling places. ... Also, after the Oct. 7, 2003 recall election, when Diebold's vote-tabulating software wrongly awarded 9,000 Democratic absentee votes to a Southern California Socialist, Diebold decided its computer was overwhelmed and replaced it. In the March primary, Alameda County workers eased the load on Diebold's computer by scanning absentee ballots one party at a time. But San Diego County fed its absentee ballots in as a mix, and Diebold's software misreported almost 3,000 votes. In the worst case, it switched 2,747 Democratic presidential primary votes for U.S. Sen. John Kerry to U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, who had dropped out of the race. Diebold's latest explanation says its vote-tabulation software apparently could not handle results from multiple optical-scanning machines, processing ballots with large numbers of candidates and precincts. That vote-tabulating software, technically known as GEMS version 1.18.18, is used by 18 California counties.

From the Voter Verification Newsletter, Volume 2, Number 5, April 1, 2004:
. The California Voting Systems and Procedures (VSP) panel will meet at 10:00am on April 7.
. The VSP has scheduled another meeting on April 21-22 to discuss voting systems for the November 2004 election, among other matters. VSP encourages the public to submit written comments on agenda items no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 6th to ensure their delivery to the VSP members prior to the meeting. If you wish to provide information or present an oral statement at the meeting, please contact Michael Wagaman at (916) 657-2166 or mwagaman@ss.ca.gov. In all cases, the presiding officer reserves the right to impose time limits on presentations as may be necessary to ensure that the agenda is completed. For more information on submitting VSP comments, see http://www.verifiedvoting.org/article.asp?id=1666 and for more information about the VSP meeting see http://www.verifiedvoting.org/article.asp?id=1667

Key Documents On Electronic Voting Systems

Press release about Secretary of State Kevin Shelley's draft standards for AVVPAT and welcoming comments until April 19, 2004. Read the Draft Standards for AVVPAT.

The My Vote Counts web page of Kevin Shelley, Secretary of State of California, includes a link to the requirements he set forth on February 5, 2004, for "Security Measures for Touchscreen (DRE) Voting Systems for the March Election."

County sues to stop paper order by Michael Coronado and Michelle DeArmond, The Press-Enterprise, March 24, 2004. Riverside County Registrar of Voters Mischelle Townsend this week joined a lawsuit against Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who wants the county to add printers to its touch-screen voting booths by 2006.

Put Registrar on Paid Leave, County Urged. Allegations of conflicts of interest and improper access to machines during ballot counting. By Seema Mehta, Times Staff Writer

ACLU Wants Investigation Of Touch-Screen Voting Machines . Voting-Machine Failures Reported Tuesday. NBCSandiego.com. March 3, 2004.

Registrar Of Voters Apologizes For E-Voting Debacle . Malfunction Caused By Faulty Voter Cards. March 2, 2004. SAN DIEGO -- Voting machines proved problematic in San Diego Tuesday primarily because of the cards used to activate them, NBC 7/39 reported. NBCSandiego.com.

VerifiedVoting.org reports on the January 15, 2004, meeting of the Voting Systems Panel.

Diebold Gets Stay in California by Kim Zetter, published by Wired.com, Jan. 17, 2004.

The California Secretary of State reveals that Diebold machines used in California's recall election were not certified. California Voter Foundation Newsletter .

E-Voting Undermined by Sloppiness by Kim Zetter, published by Wired.com, Dec. 17, 2003.

On September 9, 2003, Jeremiah Akin observed the Riverside County (CA) Logic and Accuracy Testing Board's test of their Sequoia voting machines. His report reveals deficiencies in the testing procedures, as well as other problems.

Florida

Voting Machines In 11 Counties Have Audit Flaw The Associated Press, June 15, 2004.
Fla. Voting Machines Have Recount Flaw , AP, June 12, 2004.

Policy on Felons and Voting Is Still Unclear in Florida By Abby Goodnough, The New York Times, June 10, 2004.

State elections chief resigns by Gary Fineout, Miami Herald, June 8, 2004. Ed Kast, the director of the state Division of Elections, abruptly resigned from his job Monday, just months before the 2004 presidential election. Just last month he ignited controversy by pushing for a new purge of voters identified as felons ineligible to vote.

Count Crisis by Matthew Haggman, Miami Daily Business Review, May 13, 2004. A scathing internal review of the iVotronic touch-screen voting machines used in Miami-Dade and Broward, Fla. counties, written by a Miami-Dade County elections official, revealed that the tabulation of results may be flawed. The review, contained in a June 6, 2003, memo revealed that the vote images and audit log created by these voting systems omitted some machines and ballots, but reported other machines that were not actually used, as well as "phantom" ballots.
In response to the problem, Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood attempted to reassure voters by telling them that touchscreen voting machines are not computers! (Miami Herald, May 28, 2004, "Secretary of state tries to calm voters" by Lesley Clark.)

State: Purge felon voters on list . Some question the validity of the list of felons. By Gary Fineout, Miami Herald, May 6, 2004.

Urgent: Contact FL Senate Judiciary Committee re: S 3004
Wednesday, April 7, 2004
By Vincent J. Lipsio

S 3004 is a voting reform bill that was introduced at the request of the Secretary of State, Glenda Hood. Most of its provisions are good or neutral, but buried in it are provisions to prohibit manual recounts on touchscreen machines. That is, even if a voter-verified paper audit trail is added to touch screen voting machines, it will be illegal to use that paper trail for a recount.

The bill has to clear five committees before it comes to the Senate floor for a vote. Last week, it cleared its first committee, Ethics and Elections, by a vote of 8 to 1. The single "Nay" vote was by Rod Smith, who is the only person on that committee who is also on the next committee to hear the bill, the Judiciary.

On Monday, April 12th, the Senate Committee on Judiciary meets at 2:45-4:45 PM and is expected to hear this bill. Seeing that it passed so easily last week by senators of both parties, we need to call the members of the Judiciary Committee and ask them to not approve the bill as it is; specifically, the following must be struck from the bill:

In Sections 1,12, and 29, the definition of "paper ballot" and references to that term are changed to "marksense ballot". This makes only optical scan ballots the subject of recounting.

All of Section 30, the official summary of which is: "Section 102.166, F.S., is amended to clarify that a manual recount is to be conducted on overvotes and undervotes only on marksense ballots, because a determination of voter intent cannot be made on touch screen ballot images (a touch screen ballot contains no extraneous markings indicating voter intent). In addition, language is included to clarify that a manual recount need not be conducted if "the number of undervotes and overvotes on marksense ballots is less than the number of votes needed to change the outcome of the election."

Section 30 has many problems, among which are:
* Excludes the possibility of machine error by explicitly addressing only "determination of voter intent" and only recounting because of "overvotes and undervotes".
* Only mandates recounts when "the number of undervotes and overvotes .. is less than the number of votes needed to change the outcome". This means that, for instance, in this year's presidential preferential election in Bay County, where in Gephardt had a 2-1 lead over Kerry, no recount would be in order. Although that is now the case implicitly, Section 30 makes that and recounts in other situations resulting from obvious machine failure to be not required the law explicitly. If that were not a race where a certain outcome had been expected, the error would have never been caught and the wrong candidate would have been declared the winner. The proposed law re-enforces that; it seems to intend to cover up obvious malfunction.
* Disallows use of a paper audit trail on Direct Recording Electronic machines by allowing recounts only for "marksense" (i.e., optical scan) ballots since the word "paper" is everywhere removed from the voting law, being replaced with "marksense". The staff's comments make it clear that this is the intent.

Missouri

Show Me Ballot Integrity . Missouri Legislature to Restore Veracity of Elections With Hand Count, By Christopher Bollyn, Updated May 3, 2004.

Testimony submitted May 5, 2004, to the Elections Committee of the Missouri House of Representatives in support of House Bill No. 1744 by Edward W. Spannaus. The witness, Spannaus, has been involved with the mechanics of elections and investigations of voting equipment for more than 25 years, and has prepared evidence for and testified in a mumber of legal proceedings. He is the Law Editor of EIR, founded by Lyndon LaRouche in 1971.

[Secretary of State] Blunt says voting machines must have paper backup. Associated Press, Friday, Feb. 27, 2004.

Nevada

Dean Heller, Nevada Secretary of State Blasts Naysayers of Voter Verifiable Receipts. News Release, March 9, 2004.



15. Newspapers

New articles are published daily, and the newsfeed is up to date. For an email clipping service for newspaper articles on voting machine issues from around the country, get on the e-mail list of resist@best.com.

Below is a partial list of items from The New York Times, Newsday, the Washington Post, The Economist, and the Wall Street Journal. The New York Times has dedicated a web page to their editorials on this subject, called Making Votes Count. WheresThePaper.org regrets that this list will not be kept up to date after July 1, 2004.

An Umpire Taking Sides, The New York Times, July 9, 2004. This year in Missouri, ... the secretary of state, Matt Blunt, who is active in the Bush-Cheney campaign and is himself a candidate for governor ... has insisted on staying on the job, and he has ruled on important election matters in ways that help his own campaign.

Justices Allow Redistricting in Georgia By David E. Rosenbaum, The New York Times, July 1, 2004. In a judgment that could eventually affect the composition of legislative districts in many states, including New York, the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower-court redistricting plan for the Georgia legislature that benefited Republicans.

Report Calls for Fixes in High-Tech Voting By John Schwartz, The New York Times, June 30, 2004. High-tech voting systems need quick fixes if they are to be used in the November election, according to a report released yesterday.... But Aviel D. Rubin, a computer security expert at Johns Hopkins University, said... "If your child was going to drink and drive no matter what you did," ... carrying out the recommendations of the report "would be like convincing them to wear a seatbelt."

This Time, Get It Right by John Fund, The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2004. Instead of "lawyering up," both parties should be working to prevent another Florida.

Women's Group Drops Support for E - Voting By The Associated Press, June 15, 2004. The League of Women Voters rescinded its support of paperless voting machines on Monday after hundreds of angry members voiced concern that paper ballots were the only way to safeguard elections from fraud, hackers or computer malfunctions.

He Pushed the Hot Button of Touch-Screen Voting By Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times, June 15, 2004.

A Verifiable, Accessible Vote, June 14, 2004. In a letter to the editor, Lighthouse International, New York City's oldest and largest vision rehabilitation agency serving people of all ages who are blind and partially sighted, says they see no contradiction between accessible voting and verifiable voting for all Americans.

Gambling on Voting, The New York Times, June 13, 2004. "...gamblers are getting the best technology, and voters are being given systems that are cheap and untrustworthy by comparison. ... a vote for president should be at least as secure as a 25-cent bet in Las Vegas.

The Disability Lobby and Voting The New York Times, June 11, 2004. Disability-rights groups have been clouding the voting machine debate by suggesting that the nation must choose between accessible voting and verifiable voting. Was money an incentive for some?

Venezuelan Recall Is in Dispute Even Before the Vote By Juan Forero and John Schwartz, The New York Times, June 11, 2004.

Policy on Felons and Voting Is Still Unclear in Florida By Abby Goodnough, The New York Times, June 10, 2004.

A Reliable Voting Machine Letter to the Editor, June 5, 2004. "We have sent people to the Moon. Why can't we build a voting machine that meets basic standards and is reliable?"

Who Tests Voting Machines? New York Times Opinion, May 30, 2004.
"[T]here is, to begin with, a stunning lack of transparency surrounding this process. Voters have a right to know how voting machine testing is done."

A Really Open Election by Clive Thompson, May 30, 2004. [I]s the counting of votes -- a fundamental of democracy -- something you want to take on faith? No, this problem requires a more definitive solution: ending the secrecy around the machines.
. First off, the government should ditch the private-sector software makers. Then it should hire a crack team of programmers to write new code. Then -- and this is the crucial part -- it should put the source code online publicly, where anyone can critique or debug it. This honors the genius of the open-source movement. If you show something to a large enough group of critics, they'll notice (and find a way to remove) almost any possible flaw. If tens of thousands of programmers are scrutinizing the country's voting software, it's highly unlikely a serious bug will go uncaught.

Who Hacked the Voting System? The Teacher By John Schwartz, The New York Times, May 3, 2004.

High-Tech Voting System Is Banned in California By John Schwartz, The New York Times, May 1, 2004.

California Bars a Firm's Voting Machines in November Election By John Schwartz, The New York Times, April 30, 2004. California will prohibit the use of 15,000 of voting machines from Diebold Inc. in the November election because of of security and reliability concerns.

A Compromised Voting System . The New York Times, April 24, 2004. California's secretary of state, Kevin Shelley, is expected to decide in the next week whether the state's electronic voting machines can be used in November. His office has just issued two disturbing studies - one on machine malfunctions in last month's primary, another on misconduct by one of the nation's leading voting machine manufacturers - that make a strong case against the current system. Refusing to certify the state's electronic voting machines at this late date is a serious step, but there are compelling reasons for Mr. Shelly to decertify some, and perhaps all, of them.

When the Umpires Take Sides . When Katherine Harris had to decide which candidate won Florida in 2000, many people were disturbed to learn she was both the state's top elections official and co-chairwoman of the Florida Bush-Cheney campaign. This year, that kind of unhealthy injection of partisanship into the administration of a presidential election could happen again. The New York Times, March 29, 2004.

Congress Must Act Now to Prevent '04 Election Debacle By Norman Ornstein, Roll Call Contributing Writer and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Roll Call, March 17, 2004.

Election flawed, Don't Repeat Florida in 2004 . No matter what candidates you support, your vote means zilch if it's not properly counted. Without a voter-verifiable paper trail to let people know their votes have been recorded as cast, there's no true recount. So votes can vanish into cyberspace, jump from one candidate to another, or appear from nowhere - all without recount. The last presidential election ended with a Supreme Court decision that essentially stopped the recounting. This year, we must avoid an election that turns on disputed votes on machines that won't even let a recount start. Newsday, March 14, 2004.

Florida as the Next Florida. Four years after Florida made a mockery of American elections, there is every reason to believe it could happen again. The New York Times, March 14, 2004.

Preventing a repeat of the 2000 debacle . By Bryn Nelson, Staff Writer. Newsday, March 2, 2004. Diebold is caught distributing a partial quote from Dr. Rebecca Mercuri's research--by using only part of what she said, they changed the meaning of her conclusion and created the false impression that their machines are accurate and reliable.

The Results Are in and the Winner Is . . . or Maybe Not By Adam Cohen. It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting. The reliability of electronic voting should be checked by use of a "voter-verified paper trail" which is retained, and made available for recounts. The New York Times, February 29, 2004.

Electronic Vote Faces Big Test of Its Security By John Schwartz, The New York Times, February 28, 2004. Gentle Reader, Do not get excited. The major manufacturers of electronic voting systems have NOT agreed to allow an independent recount of any elections conducted with their machines. It is only a "big test" of how their machines interact with the voters--do the machines crash? Do they switch your vote to a different candidate while you are still looking at the screen? It is NOT a test of whether or not they record and count the ballots accurately.
Note: The map with the article, which shows the states using electronic voting machines, fails to show that in Nebraska about 85% of the ballots have been counted by ES&S machines since 1996 when former ES&S owner Chuck Hagel was elected to the US Senate. Also, the map may not show all the counties in Alabama where touch screen machines are in use.

Elections With No Meaning. Drawing district lines in ways that eliminate contested elections can make the elections meaningless. The New York Times, February 21, 2004.

How America Doesn't Vote. Voter registration lists have been poorly kept, with the result that many people have been prevented from voting. The New York Times, February 15, 2004.

Budgeting for Another Florida. Editorial. The New York Times, February 8, 2004.

Online Voting Canceled for Americans Overseas By John Schwartz. The New York Times, February 6, 2004. Note that although the Department of Defense has decided not to use online voting in November, 2004, the project to develop online voting will continue.

How to Hack an Election. Editorial. The New York Times, January 31, 2004.

Bipartisan Request Seeks Halt to Internet Voting By Dan Keating. Washington Post, January 30, 2004.

Security Poor in Electronic Voting Machines, Study Warns By John Schwartz. The New York Times, January 29, 2004. Read the Study .

The Perils of Online Voting. Editorial. The New York Times, January 23, 2004.

Democracy at Risk By Paul Krugman. The New York Times, January 23, 2004.

Good intentions, bad technology The Economist, January 22, 2004.

Report Says Internet Voting System Is Too Insecure to Use By John Schwartz. The New York Times, January 21, 2004. You can read the report for yourself.

Fixing Democracy. Editorial. The New York Times, January 18, 2004.

Electronic Voting Security Firm Hacked By Ted Bridis. Newsday, December 29, 2003.
Our comment: The public has been asked to "trust" electronic voting systems that were designed with no way to confirm the final vote tallies. Yet this is the third major vendor of electronic voting products that has had major security failures of their own (Diebold and Sequoia are the other two).

Considering Computer Voting By John Schwartz. The New York Times, December 15, 2003. (The article mistakenly says that Clinton's bill "would require a paper trail" -- in fact her bill allows but does not require it.)

A Paper Trail for Voters. Editorial, New York Times, December 8, 2003.

Hack the Vote listLeftOut'>By Paul Krugman. The New York Times, December 2, 2003.

Machine Politics in the Digital Age By Melanie Warner. The New York Times, November 9, 2003.

File Sharing Pits Copyright Against Free Speech By John Schwartz. The New York Times, November 3, 2003.

Report Raises Electronic Vote Security Issues By John Schwartz. The New York Times, September 25, 2003.

Computer Voting Is Open to Easy Fraud, Experts Say By John Schwartz. New York Times, July 24, 2003.



36. Fraud, Dirty Tricks, Politics, Lies

list of dirty and illegal tricks to suppress the vote.

College Republicans Milk Seniors.

In West Virginia, "calls made by cell phone from the Eastern Panhandle Republican Headquarters were made to Eastern Panhandle democrats telling them...they wouldn't be able to vote on Election Day. Upset citizens called the voter registration office to make sure they were registered to vote [and] they were.

American Progress Action Fund, Election Outrages of 2004.

Placebo Ballots: Will "Fail-safe" Voting Fail? October, 2004 report from Demos, A Network for Ideas and Action. Idaho and Minnesota will not offer provisional ballots to first-time, newly registered voters who can not show identification. Ten other states will provide, but AUTOMATICALLY INVALIDATE provisional ballots cast by "voters" who do not present identification. Thirty states and the District of Columbia will invalidate provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct -- even when voters are selecting candidates for president or statewide offices, where polling place error is immaterial.

Votes in Wrong Precinct Don't Count , By David Royse, Guardian Unlimited, October 22, 2004. In many states voters will be given provisional ballots to vote on, but these ballots will be thrown out.

Purged! How a Patchwork of Flawed and Inconsistent Voting Systems Could Deprive Millions of Americans of the Right to Vote , Demos, the ACLU and the Right to Vote Campaign found that millions of eligible voters may again be prevented from casting their ballots on November 2 due to flawed felon purges. None of the fifteen states surveyed requires its officials to use any specific or minimum criteria to ensure that an individual with a felony conviction is the same individual being purged from the voter rolls. Two-thirds of the states surveyed do not require elections officials to notify voters purged from the voter rolls, denying these voters an opportunity to contest erroneous purges.

Are you still registered to vote? One county in Ohio dropped approximately 66,000 voters since 2000. Were any of them notified? Will they find out when they go to vote in November? Ohio voter purge via Hamilton County continues: Ex-felons' voting rights misstated (August 4, 2004) Reform advocates fault Hamilton County --Hamilton County elections officials are providing "misleading and erroneous" voting information to ex-felons, a Cincinnati-area prisoner advocacy group said Tuesday. The Prison Reform Advocacy Center found that one in five ex-felons don't realize they can re-register to vote, and some election boards were unaware of the law. "This is absolutely unacceptable that boards of elections that are supposed to know Ohio law ... are giving misleading, inconsistent and flat-out wrong information to ex-offenders," said David Singleton, executive director of the center. Singleton said the Advocacy Center is "particularly disturbed" by what was found in Hamilton County. Ex-felons who try to register to vote by mail in Hamilton County are required to attach a document from the state prison system or adult parole authority proving they are no longer in prison. Singleton said the requirement is unnecessary under Ohio law.

Texas Dems Want DeLay Censured By Elizabeth Owens, Scripps Foundation Wire. Capitol Hill Blue, July 28, 2004. The Texas Democratic Party chairman, Charles Soechting, sent a letter to the House ethics committee Tuesday urging a broadened examination of charges against House Republican leader Tom DeLay of Texas. The letter accused DeLay of placing Soechting's constituents in danger of toxic poisoning. A railroad company with political ties to DeLay has proposed a railway line that would carry hazardous chemicals through his district.

Lost Record '02 Florida Vote Raises '04 Concern By Abby Goodnough, The New York Times, July 28, 2004. Almost all the electronic records from the first widespread use of touch-screen voting in Miami-Dade County have been lost, county elections officials said, stoking concerns that the machines are unreliable as the presidential election draws near.

Fear of Fraud By Paul Krugman, The New York Times, July 27, 2004. Let's not be coy, says Krugman, as he describes insider tampering with computerized election results, stonewalling by election officials, and disenfranchisement of voters falsely listed as felons.

Confusion of Myth and Fact in Maryland , July 19, 2004, is Dr. Douglas Jones' response to the Maryland State Board of Elections' brochure, Maryland's Better Way to Vote -- Electronic Voting: Myth vs. Fact. ..."public trust in the voting system is essential if the government is to be seen as legitimate in the eyes of the electorate.... Sadly, Maryland's Myth versus Fact defense contains a sufficient number of misleading assertions, straw-man arguments and outright errors that it may well do more to fuel public distrust than it does to assure the trustworthiness of the system it defends.... A more appropriate defense might have involved squarely admitting the defects in the current system and clearly documenting, for each, the actions taken by the Board of Elections to deal with the problem.

Machine at Work By Paul Krugman, The New York Times, July 13, 2004. Mr. DeLay, who has been described as the "chief enforcer of company contributions to Republicans," exerts control of members of his party via corporate cash, some of which has flowed through Americans for a Republican Majority, called Armpac, a political action committee Mr. DeLay founded in 1994. By dispensing that money to other legislators, he gains their allegiance; this, in turn, allows him to deliver favors to his corporate contributors. Four of the five Republicans on the House ethics committee, where a complaint has been filed against Mr. DeLay, are past recipients of Armpac money. The complaint, filed by Representative Chris Bell of Texas, contends, among other things, that Mr. DeLay laundered illegal corporate contributions for use in Texas elections.

An Umpire Taking Sides, The New York Times, July 9, 2004. This year in Missouri, ... the secretary of state, Matt Blunt, who is active in the Bush-Cheney campaign and is himself a candidate for governor ... has insisted on staying on the job, and he has ruled on important election matters in ways that help his own campaign.

Bush Forces Now Driving Nader Ballot Efforts in At Least Five Battleground States: Oregon, Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania & Michigan The American Right has now openly launched a full-scale campaign in support of getting Nader on battleground state ballots. While in 2000 such support was covert or provided so late that disclosure was only required after the election, in 2004 there is now an open alliance: It's the GOP, Bush, Dick Armey... & Ralph Nader. The "support" from right-wing Bush groups now seems to dwarf Nader's own campaign organization. In Pennsylvania alone, and fresh from its Nader work in Oregon, Dick Armey's right-wing "think-tank" Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) boasts an organization of 10,000 volunteers to get Nader on the ballot[1]. In Michigan, meanwhile, the state GOP has announced the Party will actively circulate petitions for Nader's ballot campaign[2]. Such massive reactionary forces backing Nader's campaign calls into question whether Nader needs any campaign allies or organization at all -- it hardly matters if the Green Party refuses Nader ballot access, or if the Reform Party grants it. Nader's campaign is now the golden child of America's most powerful political machine -- the Corporate and Religious Right. And there's no question about why this is taking place. Bush forces are quite explicit. As CSE put it in the phone script for their Oregon campaign for Nader: "...Ralph Nader is undoubtedly going to pull some very crucial votes from John Kerry, and that could mean the difference in a razor-thin presidential election. Can we count on you to come out on Saturday night and sign the petition to nominate Ralph Nader?"[3] Perhaps Nader has been correct all along: he's been saying he'd get lots of conservative support. But please, Mr. Nader, let's not confuse the Pro-Bush Right putting you on the ballot with them actually voting for you. They know how much harm your campaign can do to progressive causes. We only wish you could face the same reality.
Published by the Progressive Unity Voter Fund, sponsors of RalphDontRun.net, DontVoteRalph.net, and PollWatch04
[1] http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/front/9074661.htm
[2] http://www.mlive.com/newsflash/michigan/index.ssf?/base/news-16/108930358925780.xml
[3] http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/front_page/108816503613780.xml

ASIAN-AMERICAN STUDY, Right to vote was hindered By Robert Polner, Staff Writer, New York Newsday, July 7, 2004.

A Wine Region's Future Is Centered on 2 Rivals By Carol Pogash, New York Times, July 6, 2004. About 90 Democratic voters mistakenly received absentee ballots for another county district, which did not include [the contested race]. On election night, the winner [was declared] by 52 votes, but that was before anyone noticed that the optical-scan vote-counting machines were unable to read certain inks. ...a documents expert [found] ... more than 30 [absentee ballots] in which one ink was used throughout the ballot except on the [contested] race, where... ballpoint pen had been used. Almost all of those ballots were marked for [the winning candidate]. [The judge denied] time to allow the expert to analyze palm prints on the ballots. [The losing candidate] ... pointed out in court that 26 county employees had keys to the election office. He also hinted that county workers who had entered the building during the weekend before the final count was finished, including [the winner's] daughter-in-law, could have gotten into the registrar's office by climbing over an eight-foot-high divider.

Congressional group asks U.N. to monitor this year's presidential election By Todd J. Gillman - (KRT), July 3, 2004. Still smarting from the 2000 Florida recount, a group of congressional Democrats led by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas has asked the United Nations to monitor this year's presidential election.

Democrats serve cops, prosecutor By George Whitehurst, Fredericksburg.com, July 2, 2004. The state police and the U.S. attorney have been subpoenaed by Democrats in an eavesdropping lawsuit. The controversy began in 2002 when the Republican Party of Virginia's top staffer secretly listened to and taped a pair of Democratic conference calls.

Former GOP consultant pleads guilty to jamming Democratic phones on Election Day San Francisco Chronicle, July 1, 2004.

Justices Allow Redistricting in Georgia By David E. Rosenbaum, The New York Times, July 1, 2004. In a judgment that could eventually affect the composition of legislative districts in many states, including New York, the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower-court redistricting plan for the Georgia legislature that benefited Republicans.

False polling data that is publicized before an election can pursuade people that false election results are correct. Is Fox News engaging in this kind of preparation of the electorate? Talking Points Memo compares several polls' results. June 25, 2004.

1 million black votes didn't count in the 2000 presidential election It's not too hard to get your vote lost -- if some politicians want it to be lost By Greg Palast, The San Francisco Chronicle, June 20, 2004.

E-voting regulators often join other side when leaving office By Elise Ackerman, The Mercury News, June 15, 2004. Shortly after leaving office, former California Secretary of State Bill Jones sent letters to each member of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, reassuring them that the electronic voting machines they wanted to buy were reliable. One month after Jones sent the letters, the Republican became a paid consultant for Sequoia Voting Systems, a touch-screen manufacturer that was bidding for Santa Clara County's $19 million contract and ultimately won it. Critics say Jones' move illustrates a troubling reality of elections in the electronic age: close, often invisible, bonds link election officials to the equipment companies they are supposed to regulate. ...the sudden availability of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal subsidies, has raised questions about counties' dependence on private firms. While a revolving door between government service and private-sector jobs is common, some observers argue such cozy familiarity has led public officials to overlook flaws in controversial electronic voting systems, putting elections at risk.

Policy on Felons and Voting Is Still Unclear in Florida By Abby Goodnough, The New York Times, June 10, 2004.

Delays, Purge Hit Voter Rolls By William March, The Tampa Tribune, June 7, 2004. For the second straight presidential election, Florida's law against former felons voting, a law grounded in Old South racism, may prevent thousands of people from voting. Some of those people may be legally entitled to vote. Others won't be able to navigate the bureaucratic hurdles of the state's clemency process to get their rights restored in time for the election. But the state government is concentrating on removing as many former felons from voting rolls as possible....

Vanishing Votes by Gregory Palast, from the May 17, 2004 issue of The Nation.

"We Can't Do That" Attitude. Voters unable to have printed receipt By Luisa Yanez, April 20, 2004. Miami-Dade election officials say they can't install printers on the county's 7,200 voting machines in time for this year's presidential election because they lack state approval and the technology.

Bad New Days for Voting Rights . It has been years since the bad old days when Southern blacks were given "literacy tests," and voting rights activists were beaten and killed. But blacks, Hispanics and Indians are still regularly discouraged from voting, often under the guise of "ballot integrity" programs that are supposed to be aimed at deterring fraud at the polls. April 18, 2004.

Absentee ballots may not require a witness By Erika Bolstad and Michael Vasquez, ebolstad@herald.com, April 13, 2004. TALLAHASSEE - With thousands more Floridians expected to use absentee ballots to vote in November's presidential election, state election officials are calling for changes that critics say could invite fraud. Election supervisors across the state want to do away with requiring absentee voters to find a witness to sign their ballots, even though witness information proved crucial in overturning a rigged 1997 Miami mayoral race.

Half-Truths, Inaccuracies, and Omissions. Until their convention in June, 2004, the national League of Women Voters supported the use of unauditable electronic voting systems with half-truths, inaccuracies, and omissions. Here is the response to that position from leading computer scientist Dr. Barbara Simons, Past-President Association for Computing Machinery and Member, League of Women Voters of Palo Alto, California.




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