Jun 122013
 

Risner

J.T. Waldron

For the past seven years, Pima County used every conceivable legal maneuver to evade a simple audit and forensic exam of the 2006 RTA ballots. It’s time to abandon formalities and refer to this two billion dollar bond election for what it is: a fraud perpetrated by the County against the people.

Like the scandals we are inundated with on a national level, the hard lessons learned involve judicial corruption, selective justice and complicit media. “Operation Fast and Furious”, NSA surveillance and the National Defense Authorization Act caused the nation to witness a compliant judiciary, a retaliatory justice department, and a collaborative press. Regardless of how offensive or outrageous these crimes become, the nation remains in a state of stagnation or paralysis unable to restore any semblance of law and order. In Pima County, Arizona, citizens remain in a stupor as they watch the continued destruction and construction of roads and infrastructure funded by a regressive half percent sales tax that was likely never approved by the electorate.

In the past seven years, we’ve watched Pima County’s Superior Courts rule in direct opposition to the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions, refuse to comply with the appellate court ruling and deny requests that Pima County follow existing election laws.

You might remember when Superior Court Judge Kyle Bryson ruled in defiance of the Appellate court, claiming there was no jurisdiction to provide prospective relief for rigged elections.

As a result, the Libertarian Party was forced to make the same appeal with the same arguments to the same appellate court.  Apparently, Pima County was not comfortable with that same argument being made to the same appellate court.  In a convoluted series of events, Pima County advocates succeeded in gaming the system and forcing a change in the venue.  By producing an amicus curiae brief through Republican party operatives, they managed to involve Sean Brearcliffe, a lawyer who was waiting to be selected by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer as a Superior Court judge.  An amicus brief is a vehicle by which representatives of special interest groups are able to express opinions on matters before the Court.  It’s never required by the Court, but is a voluntary option.  Looking at the substance and timing of this brief, it’s clear that the intent of exercising this option was to force a change of venue for the upcoming appellate court decision in this case.

Sean Brearcliffe’s law firm, “Rusing, Lopez & Lizardi, PLLC”, recently acquired J. William Brammer, Jr. as a partner.  Brammer served as an appellate court judge in Division Two until his recent retirement.   Due to his law firm’s connection to Division Two’s appellate court, Brearcliffe’s involvement with this amicus brief created a conflict of interest and forced a move from Division Two  (where the appellate court judges ruled in favor of prospective relief) to Division One.  Brearcliffe received  his appointment and is now a Superior Court judge.

In Division One, the case will be met with a whole new set of judges.

This could be history’s most contrived conflict of interest and serves as a reminder that somebody is truly sweating a forensic exam of the RTA ballots.  If the state’s Attorney General was willing to do the dance, should we be surprised to find a new Superior Court judge directly involved with this disco?   Let’s face it.  Election integrity and Pima County’s Superior court judges just don’t mix.  Let’s assume Maricopa’s appellate court suddenly decides that  Arizona’s reputation as the “Methlab of Democracy” is unbecoming and they rule in favor of prospective relief in rigged elections just like Pima County’s appellate courts.  Do you think Pima County’s Superior Court judges will abide by that decision?   AUDIT AZ ‘s John Brakey would like to find out.

“Is this how judges are made? They have to prove their worth to the puppet masters?  If we lose this appeal, the argument that Pima County and now the Republican Party is making about the finality of an election is much more important than stopping cheating in the future, will be locked into law,” Brakey said. “No candidate of any party will be able to ever challenge an election,” which Brakey states is basically the case already, but now would be sanctioned by the courts.

The substance of the brief approved by those claiming to be in charge of the Republican party is almost diversionary in its bizarre statements.  They spend a great deal of time arguing that repeated cheating is less important than the “finality” of elections.  That is quite an endorsement of Pima County by the Republican party especially when Pima County’s bureaucrats are more closely aligned with elected officials dominated by Democrats.  Since Arizona is a party oversight state for elections, the ‘finality argument’ created by the Republican party inadvertently suggests that the Republican party would prefer to relinquish its power to oversee elections in favor of supporting the finality of the vote.  It’s little wonder that Karen Shutte, the Chairman of the Republican Election Integrity Committee, resigned shortly after the brief was filed.  It’s important to note  that a number of familiar Republicans known for transcending partisan politics on behalf of election integrity were not involved in this amicus brief.

The state’s organizing body claiming to serve justice in Arizona treated Pima County much the same way Eric Holder coddled megabank HSBC.  After admitting that he was aware that Pima County managed to access evidence in violation of a court order, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard refused to perform a forensic exam to make sure Pima County didn’t access the ballots during the years leading up to his investigation.  In fact, Goddard’s possession of the ballots (without allowing party oversight of the chain of custody), involved merely counting the ballots to determine if the figure was close to the tabulated 2006 election result.  A rudimentary audit characteristic of a white collar investigation comparing one set of numbers to another was certainly possible but refused by Arizona’s Department of Justice.

Poll tapes stored with the ballots could have served this auditing function.  They were also handy for detecting electronic fraud involving the memory cards from which these poll tapes are printed.  Goddard refused to examine the poll tapes despite requests by the Democratic party and a number of election integrity advocates.  One year later, the Democratic party was finally able to find out why.  Upon gaining access, they discovered that 44% of the poll-tapes were missing or didn’t match the final database and they happen to be closely matching the precincts suspected of foul play in the electronic data records.

What qualifies as more than just circumstantial evidence?  Let’s consider DNA samples in a murder case.  Whenever a DNA match is presented to the courts, prosecutors inform the jury about the probability of such a match occurring.

Why does it seem like only a pipe dream that someone may testify about the probability for the same precincts experiencing the same associated memory card errors correlating to the same missing poll tapes?  Statements claiming a lack of evidence for a crime are false claims by those who may be considered accessories after the fact.

The Republican party’s amicus brief states “there is no competent evidence that there was anything illegal or inappropriate done with regard to any of the 2006 elections in issue.”  One test of whether a judge is compromised or not is to see if he recognizes this statement as perjury.  Legal violations surrounding the RTA election have already been established in the courts.  Printing summary reports during elections is against the law.  The printing of such reports was indicated in electronic data files admitted as evidence in a previous court case.

Electronic data files containing details of this crime were first recovered in the exchange after the Democratic Party won the records lawsuit.  More detailed records remained in Pima County’s court vault until ten months later, when Pima County contractor John Moffatt somehow managed to obtain access to the remaining electronic data in violation of a court order.   Ironically, this violation was another unlawful act surrounding the 2006 RTA election.  In reality, this case is unique with the amount of evidence indicating that the 2006 RTA election was rigged.   There is a simplified RTA Fraud Flyer covering the basics and a more detailed “Statement of Facts” indicating what the Libertarian party intends to present if they receive a favorable ruling by one of the new judges in the upcoming appellate court decision.

Local media reaction to this crime has proven to be almost as scandalous as the crime itself.   We have provided past coverage showing how Pima County’s PR department uses taxpayer’s money to soak up employment slack as local media outlets shed their workforce in a failing local economy.  This results in reporters letting fear of retaliation and diminishing job prospects undermine critical coverage of the local RTA election.

The extent of public misdirection over the RTA election is best illustrated by the local weekly that actually claims to be independent and intent on informing the public with alternative news.  The Tucson Weekly’s editorial director at the time, Jim Boegle, published columns making dubious statements about a lack of evidence and chastising any public figure who suggested that the RTA election was rigged.

Their star political reporter, Jim Nintzel, actively sold the RTA plan to the public both before and after the plan had passed.  Nintzel’s primary strategy was to dismiss all evidence of fraud by drawing the public’s attention to a set of opinion polls.  Prior to our conducting a videotaped interview of pro-RTA advocate Steve Farley, Nintzel would pass along a copy of these polls hoping they would influence our discourse.  The polls were commissioned by an advertising agency called “Zimmerman and Associates”, a firm hired to promote approval of the RTA plan.

Zimmerman and Associate’s work included television commercials showing Steve Farley attempting to cross a busy intersection, an ambulance driver indicating how his precious cargo would continue to suffer if the RTA didn’t pass and a cluster of City and County employees pretending to voluntarily and spontaneously scream “Yes” in favor of the plan.   Bill Risner, the attorney representing the Democratic party during the RTA records lawsuit, spoke with a colleague who shared office space on the same floor of the Pioneer Hotel.  This colleague was involved with bundling the money from contributors for the RTA plan and passing the money onto the vendors.  He was complaining to Risner  about the  pro-RTA group’s last minute scramble to obtain more funds due to claims that polls are indicating that the RTA election is too close to call.

The circumstances leading up to the election were truthfully related by the actual money handler for the RTA, but no hard copy of the polls prompting this last minute scramble ever surfaced.  As a result,  Nintzel adopted a strategy to discredit election integrity advocates by using a strawman technique which attempts to dismiss the more valid evidence by placing emphasis on this perceptively weaker link.

Zimmerman and Associates were the only organization that paid for opinion polling for the RTA election.  Was the public privy to all the polling information provided to Zimmerman and Associates?  Opinion polling has only peripheral relevance to the rest of the evidence indicating election fraud, but for those choosing to ignore all the other evidence to place so much emphasis on Zimmerman and Associate’s opinion polls, it’s only fair to present this account by Carolyn Campbell, the environmental activist working on the pro-RTA campaign:

Would we have realized how overtly biased Nintzel’s reporting was without the ill-conceived decision to place the reference to polling among the eighteen various points surrounding the RTA election?   Probably not.  Months later,  watchful eyes did discover that Jim Nintzel’s brother Doug Nintzel was the chief spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), a stakeholder in the RTA election.  Some of the weakest moments for the Tucson Weekly can be found in the bottom of a 2008 Time Initiative article where the comments thread sheds light on this potential conflict of interest.

Would election integrity activists have the opportunity to see just how far Pima County was willing to go to avoid transparency if they allowed Attorney General Terry Goddard’s recount to dissuade them?   Probably not.  Unfortunately for election integrity advocates, the opportunity to conduct a real investigation of the RTA ballots was a secondary goal.  The most important accomplishment behind this pursuit was to prevent cheating in future elections.  This case had implications for both Pima County and the rest of the country.

It appears for now that citizens will not be able to vote in the United States with confidence in an accurate outcome.  Pima County advocates gaming the system to change the venue of the appellate court decision from Pima County to Maricopa County know integrity will likely be abandoned.  There is some satisfaction, however, in watching Pima County jump through all these hoops just to avoid a simple investigation.  No doubt the cost of cheating was certainly raised in this instance.

Obviously, Pima County’s efforts to prevent this litigation from proceeding would not be needed if the 2006 RTA election was not rigged.  If the RTA was not rigged, Pima County only needed to make the effortless gesture of allowing a simple audit and forensic exam of the RTA ballots.  Nothing undermines the legitimacy of elections more than way Pima County reacts to scrutiny.

Continue reading »

Nov 132012
 
By Andrew Kreig
 

Michael DunihoA software expert’s testimony last week may have thwarted a plot to flip enough votes to secure a victory for GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Building on years of efforts by activists, election software critic Michael Duniho testified in Ohio’s state court that secret software installed on Ohio machines could enable officials to flip enough votes to select a different statewide winner that the one chosen by voters. 

Duniho, a retired National Security Agency analyst, is shown at right in similar testimony in Arizona, where he is a local elections official. 

Jon HustedDuniho provided his explosive testimony first via telephone to a federal judge in a temporary restraining order hearing in the morning, and then to Franklin County Judge Mark Serrott to amplify his written affidavit, published here. The testimony supported an injunction request by election machine critics who have argued for years — with scant previous success in courts and in the media — that election machine software tampering has enabled theft of major elections, and thus poses a grave danger to the democratic process.

On Election Day 2012, their litigation and testimony raised the issue to unprecedented prominence. The litigation against state officials would have put any plotters on notice of serious threat of investigation and retribution. 

The contrary view is that no plot ever existed — and that Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, shown at left, and fellow Republicans are being falsely suspected of bad intentions. Husted has denied misconduct in court filings. I reached out to him also for more specific questions, and shall update this post with any comment he or his staff provide. The Ohio Secretary of State’s website contains background information.

This column reports Duniho’s testimony, and summarizes other evidence that election software poses a threat to fair elections. Reported also are: an Oct. 24 news conference announcing a chart alleging a Rove-linked “empire” of vote theft; a half dozen recent books on electronic election fraud; and a survey of a decade of major scandals, books, and articles.
The documentation draws on my previous columns, my research for a forthcoming book, Presidential Puppetry, and my ongoing interactions with research sources, several of whom asked my advice concerning their recent  news announcements in Washington. I suggested they announce litigation before Election Day because the public tunes out complaints from losers.

Update: I am scheduled to appear Nov. 12 on vote theft-critic Harvey Wasserman’s 3 p.m. (EST) radio show on the Progressive Radio Network to discuss next steps with him and his fellow pioneer in the election integrity movement, Robert Fitrakis, a 2012 Green Party Congressional candidate. Fitrakis, based in Columbus, is a professor, attorney, website editor, and co-author of several books with Wasserman. Fitrakis filed the suit alleging electronic voting theft in Ohio’s 2004 presidential election and elsewhere.

Theirs and my multiple roles are increasingly typical in modern communications. Many news makers blog and broadcast these days, thereby blurring the lines between being a news source and part of the media. 

An even greater departure from past categories is that Karl Rove covered the Democratic National Convention September on a press pass. This was while he was also in the process of spending an estimated $300 million to help Republican candidates via his American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS funds. Also, he was allegedly scheming to steal elections via software fraud and voter suppression. Rove, like Husted, denies wrongdoing, and failed to respond to my request for comment on specifics. Whatever the facts on election fraud, Rove clearly is part of the Washington punditry elite delivering news to the nation.

The Duniho Testimony
 
Michael “Mickey” Duniho is a volunteer election official in Pima County, Arizona. He became prominent this fall among electronic voting machine critics because of his videotape testimony in an Arizona case arguing that dishonest officials can easily steal votes electronically. The photo above portrays that testimony, not his remarks by telephone in the Ohio litigation Nov. 6.

Duniho worked nearly four decades as a National Security Agency computer expert before his retirement. NSA is far larger and more secretive than the better-known CIA. It has vast information gathering and storage capabilities reported, among other places, in a series of authoritative books by former NSA staffer James Bamford.

Duniho claimed that the United States faced the threat of vote theft in Ohio because Husted, Ohio’s secretary of state, had secretly installed software on voting machines covering 80 percent of the state’s population for no apparent legitimate purpose. The witness said the software could enable vote theft by officials, and no actual “emergency” required its installation throughout Ohio in violation of a state law requiring testing before installation. Also, Duniho said the voting machine company, Electronic Systems and Solutions (ES&S), appeared to be cheating the state on the cost of the software.

Clifford Arnebeck

Husted’s legal team rebutted Duniho’s affidavit and testimony. The presiding state court judge failed to issue the injunction requested by the plaintiff.

A whistleblower in Husted’s office prompted the litigation by telling the Fitrakis team Thursday that the state secretly installed the controversial software in September. The Fitrakis suit was one of several he filed in state and federal courts last week with the cooperation of Columbus attorney Clifford Arnebeck, at left.

The litigation failed to attract much news coverage from major news outlets. Historically, reporters ignore allegations of electronic vote fraud as, in general, too complex and controversial. NBC News Political Director and Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd sent a Tweet this fall claiming election machine fraud is a “conspiracy theory” unworthy of coverage. 

Similarly, the New York Times published on Nov. 8 what can only be described as a biased, mocking profile of Mark Crispin Miller, a New York University professor and author who has documented election fraud. The Times article was A Long Day for a Professor Suspicious of Voting Machines. In contrast to the snide approach by the Times reporter, a YouTube video garnered more than 80,000 views with its more straightforward interview, visible here: None Dare Call It Stolen: US Election Fraud in 2012?
Despite such handicaps, the litigation last week doubtless reminded elections decision-makers that civil and perhaps criminal investigation could await them if dubious election results occurred. A reporter such as NBC’s Chuck Todd can ignore a story. A defendant must respond in court, sometimes by sworn testimony that could potentially escalate into a criminal investigation that trumps secrecy provisions in official contracts with private vote tabulation companies.

The Secretary of State’s Role?
Several voting theft opponents allied with Fitrakis and Arnebeck helped publicize the Ohio-litigation with a news conference Nov. 5 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Speakers included Clint Curtis, a Florida IT consultant who helped pioneering whistle blowing in the field by alleging that a Florida congressman asked  him to help defraud voters in the 2000 election. Also speaking were Harvey Wasserman, a frequent co-author with Fitrakis of books and articles on the topic, and Lori Grace, who has helped provide funding for such research. The activist group Protect Our Elections created a video of the speakers.

Several days previously, Ben Swann, a television-consumer reporter based in Cincinnati for Fox News affiliate WXIX-TV, published an investigative report describing how electronic vote thievery can occur. Swann’s video was widely circulated until YouTube removed it for violating terms of service. Election theft critics hope that such news reports encourage the FBI to demand records and interview all those involved. 

Their view is that massive elections fraud can be accomplished by very few conspirators so long as the operators are sufficiently expert and corrupt.

Alleged Rove Electronic Vote Fraud 'Empire'

On Oct. 24, I  co-moderated with Arnebeck a news conference at the National Press Club. Alabama attorney Dana Jill Simpson and IT consultant Jim Marsh unveiled a new chart that they described as “Roadmap to Karl Rove’s Empire of Election Fraud.”

The chart is displayed at right, here on a downloadable link, and in larger size below. The relationship chart diagrams voting machine companies, and their ownership (including by Romney and Bush family backers).  Also, it asserts that a national training network runs a significant part of the nation’s back-office election operations through private companies hired by partisan officials who conduct operations in secret because the voting companies use proprietary software immune from outside scrutiny. 

Simpson, Marsh, and Arnebeck also announced formation of a new organization, Election Protection Action. This is one of several small civic groups across the country that have developed election fraud research for years, primarily in obscurity. 

Simpson has said she formerly worked with Rove and his allies on campaign opposition research that inevitably led, by her account, to campaign dirty tricks that soured her on the Republican Party. Among her allegations is that SmarTech, a Chattanooga IT consultancy, has played major role helping Republicans control elections, government websites, and government email  traffic both through the United States and globally.

Alabama Test Run For Election Theft?

Now a progressive, Simpson says that when she was a Republican volunteer opposition researcher she visited SmarTech in the days it was handling vast volumes of sensitive political traffic. Also, she has been reported to be knowledgeable on certain circumstances of one of the nation’s most notorious election software mysteries, the late-night switch of nearly 7,000 votes in rural Baldwin County that flipped Democratic Governor Don Siegelman’s reported re-election victory in 2002.
Speaking also at the Oct. 24 news conference was Siegelman’s daughter, Dana, 27. She said the family went to bed on Election Night in 2002 believing news reports that her father had won re-election, but awoke to learn that votes had been shifted electronically in Baldwin County for never-disclosed reasons. She said that Alabama’s Attorney General William Pryor, a Republican since elevated to the federal appeals court, threatened to arrest anyone who tried to investigate the vote-change. 

Therefore, she said, there was nothing her father could do except try to run again for governor in 2006. However, the Bush administration indicted him on corruption charges in 2004. When that case fell apart, they indicted him against before a different judge, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, who was able to help prosecutors secure corruption convictions by making many pro-prosecution rulings that have puzzled legal experts for years but have been affirmed by appeals courts, including Pryor’s. The convictions were primarily for Siegelman’s reappointment to a state board in 1999 of a Republican who had donated to a non-profit that Siegelman supported.

In 2007, Simpson broke with the Republican Party to swear that she was aware of a Republican plot for years to prevent Siegelman from running for re-election in 2006 by framing him on corruption charges with the help of “Karl” {whom  she identifies as most likely Karl Rove] and Fuller, whom she swore was picked to preside over Siegelman as judge because the judge “hated” the defendant and wanted to “hang” him.

Nonetheless, Fuller has remained on the case, and in August ordered Siegelman, now 67, to resume a seven-year sentence. Don and Dana SiegelmanDana Siegelman, at left with her father before his reimprisonment, is leading a nationwide petition drive to persuade President Obama to pardon her father. The petition is here.
 
She said it has been signed by 34,000 people so far, including an unprecedented group of 112 former state attorneys general who separately wrote the Supreme Court that Siegelman’s actions did not constitute a crime under the law. The Justice Integrity Project has gone beyond that finding and concluded that prosecutors and the trial judge framed Siegelman, thereby creating a notorious political prosecution of global significance. 
The Siegelman prosecution is the kind of result that can occur when vote thieves acquire the power to appoint prosecutors and judges. 

Simpson’s “roadmap” devised with Marsh is so other researchers, including the media and law enforcement personnel, can understand the ownership, operation, and goals of the nation’s vote-tabulation process. The critics allege that the process is increasingly secret and controlled by partisan officials seeking to rig outcomes in selected locales when the stakes are high enough.


Karl Rove
Rove has denounced her as someone who makes incredible allegations. Also, he states that he has never met her. Vanity Fair columnist Craig Unger examined her allegations, SmarTech’s responses and , and Rove’s denials in his recent book, Boss Rove. Unger found her to be more credible than Rove on the specifics.

I have reached a similar conclusion. Rove has failed to respond to my requests for comment, or an in-depth interview. Furthermore, representatives of the Romney family have denied that family or Bain investments in a voting tabulation company, HIG Capital, which controls Hart InterCivic, has a fraudulent purpose.

Historical Background of Software Fraud
 
Fitrakis, Arnebeck, and Wasserman have alleged election machine fraud for years, including in litigation alleging that the 2004 presidential election was determined by IT fraud. In their  books and unsuccessful lawsuits, they say Ohio’s electoral votes went to President Bush via what they call a “Man in the Middle” strategy whereby IT consultant Michael Connell helped arrange for SmarTech to have access to Ohio’s votes before they were announced to the public. 


Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, a GOP partisan, arranged Connell’s consultancy via his company, GovTech, which hosted its operations at SmarTech in Chattanooga. Blackwell denied any improper motive or result. Yet Steve Spoonamore, the top IT employee for 2008 GOP nominee John McCain, testified that the set-up enabled vote-switching without public knowledge. Connell described in a 2008 pretrial deposition the specifics of how he set up vote transfers. Connell died a month later when his airplane crashed. I summarized that history in a 2010 column. An appendix to the column provides hot links to nearly a decade of major books and articles in the field.

The concept of “election fraud” orchestrated via voting machine software is different from “voter fraud,” which typically refers to ineligible voters casting ballots. Republicans have enacted many harsh voter suppress laws to restrict voting by largely Democratic groups, as Huffington Post columnist Dan Froomkin noted Nov. 12, Voter ID: The More You Know, The Less You Like It. Some voter fraud does in fact exists, counters Melinda  Pillsbury-Foster, a host of World Truth Radio who formerly had close contacts with prominent conservatives. But, she says, whatever actual problems exist in voter fraud have been grossly magnified by the media to create a false equivalence with the much-greater problem of massive elections fraud.

Summing up
Conventional wisdom is that no plot existed this year, or ever in the past. But we’ll never know for sure unless the relevant operatives and officials are examined under oath. 

Michael Duniho took the process to a new level on Election Day, Nov. 6. Let’s hope that the beginning, not the end, of any questions.

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Nov 102012
 

ACLUAZ
Jon O’Neill

PHOENIX – A restrictive Arizona law helped invalidate thousands of ballots cast in the 2008 election, a new report by the ACLU of Arizona shows. The disfranchised voters, more than 13,000 of them, used provisional ballots, an option meant to help people who, for many reasons, wind up at the wrong precinct on Election Day. But Arizona law requires that even a provisional ballot be cast in the right precinct. All voters leave the polls expecting their ballots to be counted. But for one in every 10 Arizona voters who cast a provisional ballot in 2008, they didn’t.

The ACLU report, found here, which surveyed Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai and Coconino counties, shows:

There were 131,476 provisional ballots cast in 2008 in the five respective counties. Of those, 39,741 were spoiled. The number one reason that ballots were invalidated – with 13,467 spoiled ballots – was because they were cast in the wrong precinct.

More than 10 percent of voters casting provisional ballots probably left the polling place feeling as if they had voted, when in fact their ballots were never counted.

One of every 14 Maricopa County voters cast a provisional ballot in 2008. The county then rejected 29,531 provisional ballots, nearly a third of which might have counted had the voter been directed to the correct polling location.

Those who voted with a provisional ballot in Pima County in 2008 had a greater than one-in-six chance that their votes did not count because they were cast in the wrong polling place.

“Arizona’s requirement disfranchises the very people provisional ballots are supposed to help,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona. “Therefore, we are calling on lawmakers to rescind the requirement – but until it is, it will be up to voters to prevent wrong polling place rejections.”

A recent nationwide study showed that while 30 states have laws similar to Arizona’s, 15 other states have rules that are less restrictive and allow voters to use provisional ballot in the way they were intended to be used.

In response to concerns raised in the report and to help alleviate problems at the polls, the ACLU Voting Rights Project also issued new Arizona-specific Voter Empowerment Cards that include tips on where to vote, what to bring to the polls and who to call to report Election Day problems. The cards can be downloaded here.

The ACLU of Arizona is also urging people to make sure they’re registered by Monday, October 4 to vote in the November election, and to take advantage of early voting by requesting an early ballot by 5 p.m. on October 22nd.

“By remaining informed about precinct changes and the limits of provisional ballots, Arizonans can protect their right to vote and ensure their ballots are counted on Election Day,” added Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLU Voter Rights Project.

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Nov 092012
 

NoMoreFakeNews
Jon Rappoport

DID PROP 37 REALLY LOSE OR WAS IT VOTE FRAUD?

Hold your horses.

On election night, not long after the polls closed in California, the announcement came out: Prop 37 was losing.

A little while later, it was all over. 37 had gone down to defeat.

But is that the whole story? No.

As of 2:30PM today, Thursday, November 8th, two days after the election, many votes in California remain uncounted.

I tried to find out how many.

It turns out that the Secretary of State of CA, responsible for elections in the state, doesn’t know.

I was told all counties in California have been asked, not ordered, to report in with those figures. It’s voluntary.

So I picked out a few of the biggest counties and called their voter registrar offices. Here are the boggling results:

Santa Clara County: 180,000 votes remain uncounted.

Orange County: 241,336 votes remain uncounted.

San Diego County: 475,000 votes remain uncounted.

LA County: 782,658 votes remain uncounted.

In just those four counties, 1.6 million votes remain uncounted.

The California Secretary of State’s website indicates that Prop 37 is behind by 559,776 votes.

So in the four counties I looked into, there are roughly three times as many uncounted votes as the margin of Prop 37′s defeat.

And as I say, I checked the numbers in only four counties. There are 54 other counties in the state. Who knows how many votes they still need to process?

So why is anyone saying Prop 37 lost?

People will say, “Well, it’s all about projections. There are experts. They know what they’re doing. They made a prediction…”

Really? Who are those experts? I have yet to find them.

For big elections, the television networks rely on a private consortium called the National Election Pool (NEP). NEP does projections and predictions. Did NEP make the premature call on Prop 37? So far I see no evidence one way or the other.

NEP makes some calls for the television networks, but NEP is composed of CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, ABC, and AP. It could hardly be called an independent source of information for those networks.

NEP has AP (Associated Press) do the actual vote tabulating, and NEP also contracts work out to Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International to do exit polls and projections based on those polls.

Edison Media Research did the exit polls in the state of Washington for this election. How? They surveyed 1493 people by phone. Based on that, I assume they made all the projections for elections in that state, even though there is no in-person voting in Washington, and voters can submit their ballots by mail, postmarked no later than election Tuesday. So how could Edison know anything worth knowing or projecting on election night?

Both Edison Research and Mitofsky were involved in the 2004 election scandal (Kerry-Bush), in which their exit polls confounded network news anchors, because the poll results were so far off from the incoming vote-counts.

Edison and Mitofsky issued a later report explaining how the disparity could have occurred; they tried to validate their own exit-poll data and the vote-count, which was like explaining a sudden shift in ocean tides by saying clouds covered the moon. It made no sense.

So if NEP did the premature Prop 37 projections that handed 37 a resounding loss, there is little reason to accept their word.

We’re faced with a scandal here. An early unwarranted projection against Prop 37 was made, when so many votes were still uncounted.

Those votes are still uncounted.

Why should we believe anything that comes next?

Jon Rappoport

The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Nov 082012
 

Global Research
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

AMERICAThe election that was supposed to be too close to call turned out not to be so close after all. In my opinion, Obama won for two reasons:

(1) Obama is non-threatening and inclusive, whereas Romney exuded a “us vs. them” impression that many found threatening, and

(2) the election was not close enough for the electronic voting machines to steal.

As readers know, I don’t think that either candidate is a good choice or that either offers a choice. Washington is controlled by powerful interest groups, not by elections. What the two parties fight over is not alternative political visions and different legislative agendas, but which party gets to be the whore for Wall Street, the military-security complex, Israel Lobby, agribusiness, and energy, mining, and timber interests.

Being the whore is important, because whores are rewarded for the services that they render. To win the White House or a presidential appointment is a career-making event as it makes a person sought after by rich and powerful interest groups. In Congress the majority party can provide more services and is thus more valuable than the minority party. One of our recent presidents who was not rich ended up with $36 million shortly after leaving office, as did former UK prime minister Tony Blair, who served Washington far better than he served his own country.

Wars are profitable for the military/security complex. Israel rewards its servants and punishes its enemies. Staffing environmental regulatory agencies with energy, mining, and timber executives is regarded by those interests as very friendly behavior.

Many Americans understand this and do not bother to vote as they know that whichever candidate or party wins, the interest groups prevail. Ronald Reagan was the last president who stood up to interest groups, or, rather, to some of them. Wall Street did not want his tax rate reductions, as Wall Street thought the result would be higher inflation and interest rates and the ruination of their stock and bond portfolios. The military/security complex did not want Reagan negotiating with Gorbachev to end the cold war.

What is curious is that voters don’t understand how politics really works. They get carried away with the political rhetoric and do not see the hypocrisy that is staring them in the face. Proud patriotic macho American men voted for Romney who went to Israel and, swearing allegiance to his liege lord, groveled at the feet of Netanyahu. Obama plays on the heart strings of his supporters by relating a story of a child with leukemia now protected by Obamacare, while he continues to murder thousands of children and their parents with drones and other military actions in seven countries. Obama was able to elicit cheers from supporters as he described the onward and upward path of America toward greater moral accomplishments, while his actual record is that of a tyrant who codified into law the destruction of the US Constitution and the civil liberties of the American people.

The election was about nothing except who gets to serve the interest groups. The wars were not an issue in the election. Washington’s provoking of Iran, Russia, and China by surrounding them with military bases was not an issue. The unconstitutional powers asserted by the executive branch to detain citizens indefinitely without due process and to assassinate them on suspicion alone were not an issue in the election. The sacrifice of the natural environment to timber, mining, and energy interests was not an issue, except to promise more sacrifice of the environment to short-term profits. Out of one side of the mouth came the nonsense promise of restoring the middle class while from the other side of the mouth issued defenses of the offshoring of their jobs and careers as free trade.

The inability to acknowledge and to debate real issues is a threat not only to the United States but also to the entire world. Washington’s reckless pursuit of hegemony driven by an insane neoconservative ideology is leading to military confrontation with Russia and China. Eleven years of gratuitous wars with more on the way and an economic policy that protects financial institutions from their mistakes have burdened the US with massive budget deficits that are being monetized. The US dollar’s loss of the reserve currency role and hyperinflation are plausible consequences of disastrous economic policy.

How is it possible that “the world’s only superpower” can hold a presidential election without any discussion of these very real and serious problems being part of it? How can anyone be excited or made hopeful about such an outcome?

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Nov 062012
 

Global Research
Larry Chin

As previously written, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the Republicans have ample opportunities to steal the 2012 presidential election.

The groundwork for such a scenario is in place. A privatized, hackable, corrupted electronic American election system controlled by Republicans. Rampant voter suppression and intimidation campaigns by Republican operatives. A corporate media that continues to be biased towards Romney/Ryan. A political climate tilted towards corporate power and the escalation of war (Republicans offer the faster, more brutal agenda).

There are widespread reports of early voting chaos, interminably long lines, disputed polling, mysterious electronic vote flipping, voter list caging, polling place intimidation, and disruptions of the entire process in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Just as no single factor contributed to the installation of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to power in 2000, Romney/Ryan and the neocons have the means, motive, opportunity, and an apparatus in place to install themselves in the White House today.

Yet there are those who insist that the neocons cannot possibly steal this election. That already rampant malfeasance is not happening.

It is not surprising to find those who wish to silence election integrity advocates and whistleblowers out in full force, nitpicking on minutiae, distracting focus from the central questions. Clearly, the whistleblowers, among them Brad Friedman, have hit a nerve. Among Friedman’s warnings:

•    Based on exhaustive evidence, including Ohio’s EVEREST study and California’s Top to Bottom Review, systems that are used throughout the country can be easily hacked via hardware and/or firmware.

•    Paper ballots are no guarantee. Recounts can be gamed.

•    There is no evidence that the Romney camp’s investment in voting machine company Hart Intercivic is “hands-off”, as Romney’s defenders insist.

[1. Denials about the importance of the Romney/Hart connection are primarily based on official denials and statements from the companies themselves. These denials also assume that laws are being followed. The Romney camp will not address this connection (which is at the very least a clear and unethical conflict of interest) any more directly, because it would lead to further disclosure of far more skeletons lurking in the much larger Romney financial closet, including a myriad of offshore entities. The Bush family’s Carlyle Group---also allegedly “hands off”--- has never gotten fully exposed either. 2. Factual evidence of national vote-rigging is overwhelming, dwarfing Hart/Romney, a single controversy. The professional “debunkers” are attempting to distract focus from the larger case. -LC]

There are no more election safeguards in place today than in 2000 or 2004. There are, furthermore, no appropriate judicial safeguards or processes. Legal processes in the wake of any election challenges (from the local to the national level) are at the mercy of partisan politicians—primarily Republicans—and ultimately, a right-wing Supreme Court.
The bottom line: the system that ultimately counts the votes is in Republican control. The Supreme Court, which will decide any final election challenge, is dominated by the right-wing.

Nightmare scenario

Is it possible for Romney/Ryan and the Republicans to steal the 2012 election?  The answer remains yes—emphatically, as previously written.

Is it possible for Republican operatives and Romney/Ryan functionaries to manipulate the vote, obscure their activities, and plausibly deny all of it? Yes. It is underway. They have planned for this moment for a long time.

Is there a deep political infrastructure in place to enable a Romney/Ryan criminal ascendency, and provide full support and reliable political cover in both the short and long term? Is there overriding elite support for Romney/Ryan? Emphatically, yes.

The stolen elections of 2000 and 2004 were not the product of conspiracy “theory”, but conspiracy fact. And there can be no denying the conspiracy fact that the 2012 vote is already compromised, given the widespread irregularities that are already taking place throughout the country.

Will history repeat itself?

In 2000, seasoned observers watched with horror as George W. Bush ominously rose to power. The Bush family’s long criminal history was sanitized and ignored. Bush could do no wrong, while Al Gore and the Democrats, playing by old-fashioned rules, seemed unable to do anything right—despite winning debates, and despite what appeared to be clear advantages on the ground, and regardless of campaign missteps by Bush and Cheney that should have sunk them. A close, stealable “contest” was manufactured. Dirty election tricks of every sort made sure of it.

Those who knew the threat posed by the Bush family sounded the alarms, which went unheeded.

Today, with world power at stake, an identical scenario has been set up for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. The atmosphere today is, as it was then, ominous and palpable.

As the state of Florida mysteriously flipped from Gore to Bush on election night 2000, the Bush family chuckled and gloated. They knew. The smug looks on the faces of George H.W., George W., and Jeb cannot be forgotten.

Have Romney and Ryan begun gloating?

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services
Nov 062012
 

Global Research
Larry Chin

elephant
As previously written, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the Republicans have ample opportunities to steal the 2012 presidential election.

The groundwork for such a scenario is in place. A privatized, hackable, corrupted electronic American election system controlled by Republicans. Rampant voter suppression and intimidation campaigns by Republican operatives. A corporate media that continues to be biased towards Romney/Ryan. A political climate tilted towards corporate power and the escalation of war (Republicans offer the faster, more brutal agenda).

There are widespread reports of early voting chaos, interminably long lines, disputed polling, mysterious electronic vote flipping, voter list caging, polling place intimidation, and disruptions of the entire process in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Just as no single factor contributed to the installation of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to power in 2000, Romney/Ryan and the neocons have the means, motive, opportunity, and an apparatus in place to install themselves in the White House today.

Yet there are those who insist that the neocons cannot possibly steal this election. That already rampant malfeasance is not happening.

It is not surprising to find those who wish to silence election integrity advocates and whistleblowers out in full force, nitpicking on minutiae, distracting focus from the central questions. Clearly, the whistleblowers, among them Brad Friedman, have hit a nerve. Among Friedman’s warnings:

•    Based on exhaustive evidence, including Ohio’s EVEREST study and California’s Top to Bottom Review, systems that are used throughout the country can be easily hacked via hardware and/or firmware.

•    Paper ballots are no guarantee. Recounts can be gamed.

•    There is no evidence that the Romney camp’s investment in voting machine company Hart Intercivic is “hands-off”, as Romney’s defenders insist.

[1. Denials about the importance of the Romney/Hart connection are primarily based on official denials and statements from the companies themselves. These denials also assume that laws are being followed. The Romney camp will not address this connection (which is at the very least a clear and unethical conflict of interest) any more directly, because it would lead to further disclosure of far more skeletons lurking in the much larger Romney financial closet, including a myriad of offshore entities. The Bush family’s Carlyle Group---also allegedly “hands off”--- has never gotten fully exposed either. 2. Factual evidence of national vote-rigging is overwhelming, dwarfing Hart/Romney, a single controversy. The professional “debunkers” are attempting to distract focus from the larger case. -LC]

There are no more election safeguards in place today than in 2000 or 2004. There are, furthermore, no appropriate judicial safeguards or processes. Legal processes in the wake of any election challenges (from the local to the national level) are at the mercy of partisan politicians—primarily Republicans—and ultimately, a right-wing Supreme Court.
The bottom line: the system that ultimately counts the votes is in Republican control. The Supreme Court, which will decide any final election challenge, is dominated by the right-wing.

Nightmare scenario

Is it possible for Romney/Ryan and the Republicans to steal the 2012 election?  The answer remains yes—emphatically, as previously written.

Is it possible for Republican operatives and Romney/Ryan functionaries to manipulate the vote, obscure their activities, and plausibly deny all of it? Yes. It is underway. They have planned for this moment for a long time.

Is there a deep political infrastructure in place to enable a Romney/Ryan criminal ascendency, and provide full support and reliable political cover in both the short and long term? Is there overriding elite support for Romney/Ryan? Emphatically, yes.

The stolen elections of 2000 and 2004 were not the product of conspiracy “theory”, but conspiracy fact. And there can be no denying the conspiracy fact that the 2012 vote is already compromised, given the widespread irregularities that are already taking place throughout the country.

Will history repeat itself?

In 2000, seasoned observers watched with horror as George W. Bush ominously rose to power. The Bush family’s long criminal history was sanitized and ignored. Bush could do no wrong, while Al Gore and the Democrats, playing by old-fashioned rules, seemed unable to do anything right—despite winning debates, and despite what appeared to be clear advantages on the ground, and regardless of campaign missteps by Bush and Cheney that should have sunk them. A close, stealable “contest” was manufactured. Dirty election tricks of every sort made sure of it.

Those who knew the threat posed by the Bush family sounded the alarms, which went unheeded.

Today, with world power at stake, an identical scenario has been set up for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. The atmosphere today is, as it was then, ominous and palpable.

As the state of Florida mysteriously flipped from Gore to Bush on election night 2000, the Bush family chuckled and gloated. They knew. The smug looks on the faces of George H.W., George W., and Jeb cannot be forgotten.

Have Romney and Ryan begun gloating?

Help Us Transmit This Story

  Add to Your Blogger Account   Put it On Facebook   Tweet this post   Print it from your printer   Email and a collection of other outlets   Try even more services