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Peter Lemkin
10-22-2008, 04:21 PM
AMY GOODMAN: Just days after reports that six early voters in at least two West Virginia counties claimed their votes were switched from Democrat to Republican, a couple in Nashville, Tennessee reported similar problems with paperless voting machines. In West Virginia, one voter said, "I hit Obama, and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.”


In Tennessee, a filmmaker couple also had difficulties casting their vote for the Democratic candidate, the Brad Blog reports. They had to hit the Obama button several times before it actually registered, and in one case it momentarily flipped from Obama to Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney. Patricia Earnhardt said, “The McKinney button was located five rows below the Obama button.” The couple in Nashville were using machines made by the same company as those in the counties in West Virginia—by Election Systems and Software.


Meanwhile, there are reports of long lines at early voting sites in several other states, including some counties in Texas, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico.


Mark Crispin Miller is a media critic who’s been focused on voter problems and election fraud in this country. He’s a professor at New York University, author of several books. Most recently he edited Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008. His previous book, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They’ll Steal the Next One Too.

Mark Crispin Miller now joins us in the firehouse studio. Welcome to Democracy Now!

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Great to be here.

AMY GOODMAN: What are your concerns right now, Mark?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, you’ve referred to a couple of them already. We now see a burst of vote flipping by machines, electronic voting machines in a couple of states. This is something that we saw in at least eleven states in the 2004 election, hundreds and hundreds of people coming forward to say, “I pushed the button for Kerry, and the button for Bush lit up.” So, clearly, this was a systematic programming decision by the people in charge of the machines, which in that case and this one is the Republican Party. We’re also seeing systematic shortages of working voting machines in Democratic precincts only. This is also something that did not happen only in Ohio in 2004, but happened nationwide. That election was, in fact, stolen.

AMY GOODMAN: How do you know that?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, I know because there’s been an audit of the vote in eighteen counties of Ohio by a researcher named Richard Hayes Phillips, who had his team literally scrutinize every single ballot that was warehoused in eighteen Ohio counties. They took over 30,000 digital photographs. This is not speculation, Amy. This is a meticulous, careful, specific and conclusive demonstration that John Kerry actually won some 200,000 votes in those eighteen counties only that were taken away from him. Bush’s official victory margin, you may recall, was about 118,000. So there is no question about it. Ohio was stolen.

AMY GOODMAN: When they—OK, so they have the pictures of all these—

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Pictures, there’s a CD with this book that you can—

AMY GOODMAN: But they have the pictures of the ballots.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Of the variously altered, mutilated ballots, yes. Ballots with stickers placed over the square that people had blacked in for Kerry/Edwards; somebody else blacks in Bush/Cheney. Thousands and thousands of ballots that were pre-marked before they were distributed, so that people would mark different boxes on them, and then they would be invalidated.

Even more chilling is the fact that after Phillips did his research, the boards of elections in fifty-five Ohio counties destroyed all or some of their ballots in defiance of a court order. So we have criminal behavior here of a kind of grand and systematic kind. But the point is—not to engage in what Sarah Palin calls finger-pointing backwards, the point here is to note that we’re dealing with a consistent pattern of subversive behavior by the Republican Party since 2000 and extending all the way up to the present. What we’re seeing now is an especially brazen and diverse range of dirty tricks and tactics that are being used both to suppress the vote and also to enable election fraud.

AMY GOODMAN: Ohio has been very much in the news this past week, not around the issue of voter suppression, but around the issue of fraudulent registration forms, the concern about them being handed in by the organization ACORN.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Yeah, the whole ACORN thing is a first-class propaganda drive. ACORN has done nothing wrong. ACORN has, however, been guilty of trying to register low-income citizens to vote. Because they’ve been in the sights of the Republican Party for several years now, they’ve always been extremely scrupulous about checking the registration forms that they garner from their volunteers.

You know, they pay people, basically, to register other voters. So, naturally, from time to time, some volunteer who wants the money will fill out a registration form, you know, with Mickey Mouse or the names of the Dallas Cowboys, something like that. Precisely because that is an ever-present possibility, the people at ACORN have always scrupulously checked the forms before submitting them.

And ten days ago, what they did was, in Las Vegas, their office in Las Vegas, they found a number of these suspicious forms, handed them over directly to the Secretary of State in Nevada, and his response was to turn around and say, “Aha! Here is evidence that you’re conspiring to commit voter fraud.” Now, that effort, that drive went from Nevada to Missouri to Ohio, and now we hear that the FBI is investigating ACORN.

The important point here, Amy, is that voter fraud is practically nonexistent. Several studies have taken a close look at this and found that there really is no voter fraud of this kind.

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films has put out a new short film about ACORN and the attacks against them. Let me play an excerpt.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: We need to know the full extent of Senator Obama’s relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.

GOV. SARAH PALIN: John and I are calling on the Obama campaign to release communications it has had with this group and to do so immediately.

CARMEN ARIAS: These attacks on ACORN are part of a pattern of voter suppression that the GOP has been carrying on for a long time.

PAUL WEYRICH: They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been, from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up as the voting populace goes down.

ANDREW SULLIVAN: The McCain campaign has now two camps. And one of them is already assuming that he’s lost, and he’s aiming for the post-election warfare in the Republican Party, and part of that is the ACORN strategy, which is trying to delegitimize the result in advance, if Obama were to win, by saying it was rigged by minority voters. That’s what this is about.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: Someone here keeps yelling “ACORN, ACORN.” Now, let me just say to you, there are serious allegations of voter fraud in the battleground states across America. They must be investigated.

NATHAN HENDERSON-JAMES: Let’s look at North Carolina. We turned in 28,000 applications in North Carolina, and there are investigations into four of them right now. Over 95 percent of the cards we turned in were error-free. So we’re talking about an extremely small percentage of the overall 1.3 million cards collected. To suggest that this is some kind of widespread criminal conspiracy is just absurd.

MONTAGE OF NEWSCASTERS: ACORN. ACORN. ACORN—is a left-wing—radical—extremist community group.

CARMEN ARIAS: This is hardly the first time that these Rove-style tactics have been used to suppress low-income minorities.

NATHAN HENDERSON-JAMES: They did it in 2000.

GREG PALAST: Voters were being removed from the registries by the Secretary of State, Katherine Harris.

NATHAN HENDERSON-JAMES: They did it in 2004.

UNIDENTIFIED: Evidence has emerged that in the last presidential election the Republican Party organized efforts to suppress the votes of active-duty military, low-income and minority voters by challenging their registrations. The Republicans put in motion a plan to hold down the Democratic vote in key battleground states. Many are convinced that Republican officials broke the law.

NATHAN HENDERSON-JAMES: And they’re doing it again right now.

CARMEN ARIAS: Suppressing the low-income minority voters can swing an entire election. A handful of improperly filled-out voter registration cards cannot.


AMY GOODMAN: That, an excerpt of a piece by Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films. Professor Mark Crispin Miller?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Yeah, well, I think he hit the nail right on the head. The important point to get here is that the party that is itself engaging in disenfranchisement on a massive scale, the deliberate, systematic disenfranchisement of arguably millions of Americans, is clouding the issue by accusing—essentially accusing its victims of doing the same thing. OK?

Voter fraud—I want to repeat this—is virtually nonexistent. There have been several academic studies of this notion of whether individuals actually stuffed ballot boxes or show up at polling places pretending to be somebody else. There’s actually not a single known case of any such type of voter fraud being prosecuted by the Department of Justice. And yet, that notion of voter fraud is used as the pretext for taking steps that do demonstrably result in tens of thousands of people being unable to vote, you see? It’s a really masterful strategy. And I only wish that the Democratic Party had all this time been aggressive in pointing out that the Republicans are the party engaged in disenfranchisement.

AMY GOODMAN: Mark Crispin Miller, we have to break. When we come back, I want to ask you about a man named Stephen Spoonamore—

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: —a prominent expert, supposedly, on computer fraud, and what he has to say. Stay with us.

AMY GOODMAN: Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media, culture and communication at New York University is our guest. His most recent book, Loser Take All. Who is Stephen Spoonamore?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Stephen Spoonamore is a conservative Republican, a former McCain supporter and, most importantly, a renowned and highly successful expert at the detection of computer fraud. That’s his profession. He works for major banks. He works for foreign governments. He works for the Secret Service. Those are his clients.

He knows personally the principal players in Bush-Cheney’s conspiracy to subvert our elections through electronic means since 2000, and he has named these principal players. Specifically, he has named a man named Mike Connell. Mike Connell, according to Spoonamore, is Karl Rove’s computer guru. This is the guy who has helped Bush-Cheney fix election results through computers since Florida 2000, in Ohio in 2004, also in the stolen re-election of Governor Don Siegelman in Alabama in 2002, also in the stolen re-election of Senator Max Cleland in Georgia in 2002.

AMY GOODMAN: How?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, basically, they use a kind of architecture that’s called Man in the Middle, and it involves shunting election returns data through a separate computer somewhere else. This is something that computer criminals do all the time with banks. Spoonamore explains that the Man in the Middle setup is extremely effective and basically undetectable as a way to change election results.

Now, the scariest thing is that Connell told Spoonamore that the reason why he has helped Bush-Cheney still these elections for the last eight years has been to save the babies. See? We have to understand that there’s a very powerful component of religious fanaticism at work in the election fraud conspiracy. We saw a little bit of that in Greenswald’s film, where Paul Weyrich was talking about how we don’t want people voting.

AMY GOODMAN: The conservative activist.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, because the majority is a majority of unbelievers. They’re pro-choice. They’re corrupt. They’re evil. They don’t get it. It’s therefore necessary to fix election results in order to prevent the unjust and the unrighteous from taking over.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Mark Crispin Miller, you keep saying the election was clearly stolen in 2004. This is not a widely held belief. Why do you think more information is not known about this?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Because the press and the Democratic Party have steadfastly refused simply to mention, much less discuss, the evidence.

AMY GOODMAN: You talked to John Kerry.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: I talked to John Kerry. In fact, the last time I was with you, I was here to talk about that conversation with him. On October 28th, 2005, we met. I gave him a copy of my book Fooled Again, and we discussed the last election, and he told me, with some vehemence, that he believed it was stolen.

AMY GOODMAN: In Ohio in 2004—and Ohio, key battleground state right now—

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: And we remember at Kenyon, for example, those long, long lines in 2004, people waiting for hours.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: When you talk about the computer setup for 2004, explain further.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, what happened was, with the election results that were coming into Ken Blackwell’s website, right, in real time—

AMY GOODMAN: The former Secretary of State of Ohio.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: The former Secretary of State.

AMY GOODMAN: The former chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign there.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: And co-chair of Bush-Cheney and a big-time election thief and an ardent theocrat, by the way. The election returns went basically from his website to another computer that was in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee, under the control of Spoonamore and a guy with another private company, another evangelical. The data was shunted through that computer and then back to the Secretary of State’s website.

Spoonamore says that this Man in the Middle setup has only one purpose, and that is fraud. There’s no other reason to do it. And he believes that such a system is still in place in Ohio, it’s in place in a number of other states. And the crucial fact to bear in mind here, since we’re talking about John McCain attacking ACORN and so on, is that Mike Connell is now working for John McCain.

Now, on the strength of Spoonamore’s testimony, right, it’s driving a RICO lawsuit in Ohio. On the strength of his testimony, Connell has been subpoenaed. He was subpoenaed last week for a deposition, so that he can answer questions on the record, under oath, about what he’s been up to. He and a bevy of Republican lawyers have been very, very vigorously fighting this subpoena, because, of course, they don’t want him to testify ’til after Election Day.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Mark Crispin Miller, the Bradley Effect that is being discussed, explain what it is and how you feel it’s being used.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: The Bradley Effect is a theory which holds that African American candidates do better in pre-election polls than they do in elections, because white racists are shy about admitting to pollsters that they wouldn’t vote for a black man. So they will tell pollsters, “Sure, I’ll vote for him.” Then they sneak into the polling booth and listen to the inner Klansman, you know, they vote as racists.

Now, the problem with this theory is that there are almost no examples of its having happened. It’s named for Tom Bradley, the mayor of Los Angeles, who ran for the governor of California and did much better in polls beforehand than he did on Election Day. Well, it turns out, if you study that race, that the reason why he lost was that a lot of bad news about his tenure in Los Angeles came out just before the election. That’s the reason why people often lose elections. There are only two races that we know of where the Bradley Effect may arguably have obtained, both in 1989: Doug Wilder’s run for the governor of Virginia and David Dinkins’s first run for the mayor of New York, where Dinkins didn’t do as well as we thought he would. Well, in his second run, the polls were dead on.

The point is, we’re talking about two races that may form the basis for this idea that Barack Obama, with his enormous lead, may lose because of millions and millions of closet racists, you know, who will say one thing to pollsters, out of a fear of not seeming politically correct, and then vote a different way. I’ll tell you why I worry about this. Something that you very, very badly need to steal elections, aside from the apparatus and the volunteers and all the money and everything, is a narrative. You have to have a convincing rationale to explain an upset victory. Four years ago, the rationale was millions of values voters materialized on the horizon at the end of the day, and like Jesus with loaves and fishes, they suddenly multiplied and voted for Bush, and then they disappeared. Well, there’s no evidence that that actually happened. But it served as a narrative. This time, I’m afraid the primary narrative will be racism: Barack Obama actually lost, despite all predictions, because so many Americans are racist.

I think that this is, first of all, unverifiable. We don’t know that it’s true, whereas we do know all the stuff about vote suppression and election fraud. But I’m afraid that people will be encouraged to accept this line to prevent them from taking a hard look at the real reasons why Obama may have “lost”—and I put “lost” in quotation marks.

AMY GOODMAN: Mark Crispin Miller, I want to thank you for being with us. Mark Crispin Miller is a professor at New York University and author of, well, the latest book he edited, this came out just this summer, Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008.

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/10/22/votes

Miller's blog here: http://markcrispinmiller.blogspot.com/

Keith Millea
10-22-2008, 06:04 PM
America starts to awaken.......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONW43XIeR6E

COOL..:cool:

Peter Lemkin
10-24-2008, 06:45 PM
And very good talk on vote fraud in prior elections - and how they are still able to do the same this time around
http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=29027
He makes it clear in both 2000 and 2004 Bush did NOT win by votes, but by stealth and don't be surprised if something similar happens with McCain - the storyline for the 'upset' has already been laid - latent rascism. (Not that Obama will be our savior...far from it). The political, as well as the economic, system has been hijacked completely [always was in large part] and left the average person to simply be used - unless they resist en masse. The joke is that most feel their only democratic/political/social duty is to vote every few years....few do (though this year more than usual - due to Bush/Chaney) and when they do as Stalin said, "Its not who votes who counts, but who counts the votes."

Dawn Meredith
10-25-2008, 02:46 PM
And very good talk on vote fraud in prior elections - and how they are still able to do the same this time around
http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=29027
He makes it clear in both 2000 and 2004 Bush did NOT win by votes, but by stealth and don't be surprised if something similar happens with McCain - the storyline for the 'upset' has already been laid - latent rascism. (Not that Obama will be our savior...far from it). The political, as well as the economic, system has been hijacked completely [always was in large part] and left the average person to simply be used - unless they resist en masse. The joke is that most feel their only democratic/political/social duty is to vote every few years....few do (though this year more than usual - due to Bush/Chaney) and when they do as Stalin said, "Its not who votes who counts, but who counts the votes."


Or to paraphrase "It's not who votes but who steals the votes". RFK Jr. has been on this big time. If the neocons steal this election- (again)- there will be blood in the streets. I agree that Obama is not likely to turn into JFK but, compared to the McCain -Palin hate, rascist, fear and war mongering machine I believe there is a difference that is substantive. Of course he's controlled, you don't get where he is without some power group-like the Trilaterialists- running you. But... he does not have the neocon mentality that we have endured these last 8 years. Perhaps he would even try to restore some of the Constitution, dismantled by Darth Vadar and PNAC. Then there's Palin, who is terrifying.
Dawn

Charles Drago
10-25-2008, 03:08 PM
Last night I attended the NAACP-Providence Annual Awards Banquet.

Not once during an evening in which Obama's candidacy was wildly celebrated (this from officials of an organization mandated by law to be politically non-partisan) and the NAACP's legal might continually referenced did I hear one word about the presidential election thefts of 2000 and 2004, the potential for history to repeat itself in 2008, or what this venerable, powerful civil rights institution plans to do should Obama be denied victory by the thieves.

All we got was mindless cheerleading.

Realpolitik, Lewis Carroll style.

Peter Lemkin
10-25-2008, 09:53 PM
Last night I attended the NAACP-Providence Annual Awards Banquet.

Not once during an evening in which Obama's candidacy was wildly celebrated (this from officials of an organization mandated by law to be politically non-partisan) and the NAACP's legal might continually referenced did I hear one word about the presidential election thefts of 2000 and 2004, the potential for history to repeat itself in 2008, or what this venerable, powerful civil rights institution plans to do should Obama be denied victory by the thieves.

All we got was mindless cheerleading.

Realpolitik, Lewis Carroll style.

This IS going to be an interesting election. As I understand it, the Republican theft techniques have their limits of about about 6,000,000 votes maximum - of course with the concentration being on the contested 'swing' states. My sense is that Obama is likely to just win - though a true vote would have him win by a landslide - but maybe they have some new strategy to play. I agree, there would be unrest this time should Obama loose by fraud; ditto should he be killed in office. While I hold no great hopes for him being the man of the hour -compared to what we have and would be avoiding, I agree it will be better - but not good. It will be up to the People to push him and his administration and the huge Democratic majority in both the Senate and House to do something. After that, we need to get rid of both main parties [or should I say factions of the one party] and really take our country back. I voted absentee two days ago - a real struggle. When I was back in the USA recently I went to my registrar and turned in an absentee ballot request, giving my European address. Ten days ago I called them as to why I'd not yet received it. They said they had no record of my request - and I don't know what happened - but suspect this is one of the ways 'someone' controls votes that are not likely to be to 'their' liking. Anyway after a little yelling, threatening lawsuits, and faxing a copy of my passport, I did get one sent. We live in 'interesting' times.....but not nice ones.

Peter Lemkin
10-29-2008, 07:35 PM
Fasten your seatbelts - we are about to experience some turbulance! More {I suspect} by far than in 2000 and 2004!....don't hachet your chickens before they count....

AMY GOODMAN: The election is less than a week away. The battle is on for voting rights. Early voters across the country are reporting long lines and problems with electronic voting machines, including vote flipping.

Republicans, meanwhile, continue to file lawsuits that could stop thousands from voting because their registration information does not exactly match government databases. Legal rulings in Wisconsin, Nevada and Ohio have rejected these challenges, and the US Supreme Court also dismissed a case earlier this month relating to 200,000 new voters in the battleground state of Ohio. But last week, the White House got involved and asked the Department of Justice to investigate the integrity of these 200,000 new voter registration forms. Ohio Democratic leaders, as well as the ACLU, have sent letters to the Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, urging him not to intervene in the election dispute in Ohio.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, more than 11,000 voters in Denver have not received absentee ballots because of a mistake made by the company Sequoia Voting Systems. Sequoia was supposed to have delivered 21,000 ballots to a Denver mail processing facility on October 16, but the company only delivered about half the requested ballots.

I’m joined now by two guests who have been the watchdogs for voting rights. Harvey Wasserman is senior editor of the Ohio-based freepress.org, and he’s co-author of four books on voter rights. What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election and How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election and Is Rigging 2008 are among them. He joins me from Columbus, Ohio. We’re also joined via video stream from Los Angeles by independent journalist Brad Friedman. He’s the creator of “The Brad Blog” at bradblog.com and has reported extensively on vote rigging.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Harvey Wasserman, let’s begin with you. Talk about the latest around this issue of the 200,000 new voters’ new voter registration forms.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Well, the GOP is trying to disenfranchise these 200,000 people by challenging their right to vote, asking the Secretary of State here, Jennifer Brunner, to let the counties investigate and knock off the voter rolls, if they choose to, people who have minor discrepancies in their Social Security numbers or driver’s license numbers. And the Secretary of State has rightfully showed that many of these mistakes come from typographical errors when the numbers are entered in at the agencies. And so, essentially, what the GOP is doing is asking to disenfranchise people because of a minor typographical error. We are supporting the Secretary of State in resisting this attempt.

The US Supreme Court has rejected this challenge to these 200,000 voters, but now the Bush administration has ordered or has asked the Attorney General, Mukasey, to get involved. This is reminiscent of the interjection in the 2006 election, when nine federal prosecutors were asked to get involved in alleged voter fraud, which turned out to be nonexistent.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain further what is happening around the White House urging Mukasey to get involved, the ACLU saying he shouldn’t get involved? And go back a little in time to, well, really why his predecessor, why the former Attorney General, Gonzales, actually was forced out of office, resigned.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Yes. Attorney General Gonzales was forced out of office because he ordered nine federal prosecutors, nine federal employees, to prosecute voter fraud that didn’t exist. The idea was, on the part of the Bush administration, to disenfranchise as many people as possible by federal means in the 2006 election. And essentially, this is a replay here.

In Ohio, 200,000 votes exceeds substantially Bush’s alleged margin of victory in 2004. It’s a lot of votes out of 5.4 million that voted in 2004. So this is a very substantial attack on the ability—this is all about new voters, by the way, who have filed new forms. And it’s a very strong attempt to discourage new voters from coming into the place of voting and to affect the election. 200,000 votes thrown off the voter rolls here would be a very substantial chunk and could actually affect the outcome of the election.

AMY GOODMAN: There was another very important ruling that Bill O’Reilly of Fox was extremely upset about, and it’s the ruling by a federal judge that counties must allow homeless voters to list park benches and other locations that aren’t buildings as addresses.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Yeah, well, these people are still citizens. Many of them, in fact, are veterans. And it’s quite ironic that the great patriot Bill O’Reilly would want to disenfranchise veterans.

We are seeing this up and down the line here in Ohio. We had a sheriff in Greene County attempt to disenfranchise students, or at least make a move toward it. You know, there’s always a question whether a student votes at home or on campus, and in Greene County there are a number of colleges, and the sheriff there threatened 308 voters with prosecution based on where they registered to vote. He was forced to back off of that.

And we are having a pretty good counterattack by voting rights advocates in this state, unlike 2004, where the election was essentially stolen without people fighting for it. This time around, I think people are standing up, and it’s going to be, we hope, a very different outcome.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, who’s been challenged time and time again. Also, aren’t there a series of ads that the Republicans have begun running, many times a day, around the issue of voter fraud?

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Well, this is a total red herring. The Cincinnati Enquirer, a conservative Republican paper in Cincinnati, has investigated prosecutions for voter fraud since the 1950s and found less than ten, a bare handful. It’s really a false issue. It is a felony to vote fraudulently, and people just don’t do it. I think the Times, the New York Times, has run a statistic of something like eighteen successful prosecutions of voting fraud throughout the United—voter fraud throughout the United States in the last four or five years. So, it’s really a nonexistent problem. But the Republicans have seized upon it in an attempt to essentially de-legitimize this election and to discourage people from voting. We’ve seen the whole flap with ACORN and other instances where the Republicans are charging that there are massive hordes of people coming in to vote fraudulently. This is just not happening.

But we see a concerted campaign here in Ohio by the Republicans to de-legitimize the Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who we feel has been relatively even-handed. She is not like J. Kenneth Blackwell was in 2004, the co-chair—Blackwell then was the co-chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign running the election. This year, Jennifer Brunner is not the co-chair of the Obama campaign, and we feel that she’s had a pretty good even-handed impact on the election. In fact, she attempted here to provide paper ballots for all who wanted them, who came to the polls and did not want to vote on electronic voting machines. And the Republicans, who control the legislature and the purse strings, screamed that this would cost too much money and have not allowed that to happen.

AMY GOODMAN: Harvey, you have written four books on the subject of the elections and votes being stolen. What do you expect in these next—I mean, the election is, well, within a week, less than a week away.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Well, we expect a mix. We think it’s going to be much, much better than it was in 2004. A study in 2004 showed it took black voters in the state nearly an hour to vote, as opposed to white voters getting in in fifteen minutes or less. We don’t expect that to be rerun. We do expect some problems. We know in 2004 there was a selective shortchanging of black precincts on voting machines. We don’t expect that to happen again.

We will have thousands of observers at the polls, and we are urging everyone who’s interested to come out and be an election observer, come to the polls with a camera and make sure that if people are coming out of the polls with complaints, that they are recorded. And we will have hearings after the election to swear people in with affidavits so they can be used in court cases. In general, we—that their testimony can.

We generally expect a much smoother process this year, we hope, but we are still subject to electronic voting machines. As many as half of the people who vote at the polls on Election Day may be voting on electronic voting machines. We’re already seeing vote flipping from electronic voting machines in other states, as we saw in Ohio in Youngstown and Columbus in 2004. In both cases, people pushed John Kerry, and George Bush lit up. Now we’re seeing people pushing Barack Obama, and John McCain lighting up. We hope that that doesn’t happen again, and we’re going to have to fight that, because it’s very difficult to correct that on Election Day.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to break, and when we come back, Harvey Wasserman will stay with us, and we’ll be joined by Brad Friedman of Brad Blog. We’ll find out about the Sequoia Voting in Colorado. Stay with us.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: We’re looking at voting around the country. Yes, early voting, millions of people are doing it. Harvey Wasserman with us, senior editor at the Ohio-based freepress.org. His book, How the GOP Stole America’s 2004 Election and Is Rigging 2008, among four books he’s written on voting. Brad Friedman with us, independent journalist with “Brad Blog” at bradblog.com. He has reported extensively on issues of vote rigging.

Talk about Sequoia and Colorado. Welcome, Brad, to the video stream.

BRAD FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Amy. Great to be here.

Yeah, well, Sequoia is one of the big four voting machine companies. Of course, they have failed in state after state. Their most recent failure here—and it’s hard to keep up with them, when it comes to Sequoia—is the 11,000 ballots that they were—absentee ballots that they were supposed to print out and send. They didn’t. They lied about it. And hopefully, once they got caught, now they’ll hopefully be sending them out this week, and hopefully voters will be getting them.

But, to me, by far, the greater concern is these electronic touch-screen machines all over the country, which are beginning to fail in state after state. And officials are claiming it’s a recalibration issue; if they recalibrate the screen, that will take care of it. And I’ve got to say that advising anyone to touch these machines, to insert memory cartridges in them, which is needed for recalibration, while they’re programmed is absolutely insane. And the fact that the Democratic Party is doing little or nothing and allowing these machines to continue to be used, instead of pulling them and requiring folks to vote on paper ballots, is to their shame, and it’s somewhat maddening at this point this many years into this, knowing what we know about these systems.

AMY GOODMAN: Tell us more about vote flipping and touch screens in West Virginia, what’s happening there with early voting.

BRAD FRIEDMAN: Sure. And it’s not just—it’s West Virginia, it’s Tennessee, it’s Texas, Missouri, Nevada. Generally, what seems to happen here is people go in and vote for a Democratic straight party ticket or for Barack Obama, and the vote flips to a Republican or some other candidate. We’ve got video of that at bradblog.com that folks can take a look at, see it for themselves. And we’ve actually got an election official showing a machine with one of these problems, showing—suggesting that it’s a calibration—a screen calibration issue, showing how when you vote for one candidate, it flips to another. And then he says, “Look, here we’re recalibrating it now so it will now work fine,” and we actually see that it still doesn’t work fine even after he’s recalibrated it. He tries to make a straight party vote, and it ends up selecting Ralph Nader for president.

These machines need to be pulled out, because even when they work, the problem is that there is absolutely no way to ever verify that any vote ever cast on a touch-screen machine like this has been recorded as per the voter’s intent. It’s strictly impossible, even with a so-called paper trial. And that Democrats aren’t raising holy hell about it is maddening, frustrating and, frankly, to their shame at this point, knowing what we know.

AMY GOODMAN: Brad, let’s turn to some of the problems that have been reported with the electronic voting machines, as you were pointing out. Virginia Methaney from Jackson County, West Virginia, was one of the first people to report a problem with vote flipping last week after her attempt to vote Democrat was flipped to Republican. Videothevote.org spoke to Virginia Methaney about her experience.

VIRGINIA METHANEY: When I pressed to enter my vote for the Democrat, the checkmark jumped to the one above, to the Republican. Well, I pressed the Democrat again, and it jumped up again. So I asked a poll worker. I said, “Well, why would this machine not allow me to vote for my candidate?” She said, “Well”—she said, “It’s got a sensitive screen.” She said, “You’re touching it too hard.” She said, “Just barely use the tip of your fingernail to touch it,” which I did. Then I went to the next candidate, it did the same thing. I voted for the Democrat, it jumped up to the Republican. Well, then she told me, she said, “Just keep pressing the one that you want to vote for, and it will finally take.” Well, I did, and it did stay there, but I proceeded to have problems through—all through the ballot.

After I had the problem voting, I filed a formal complaint with the Secretary of State’s office. And her deputy investigator called me to ask me what happened. I told him. He said, “Well, it sounded like the machines need to be recalibrated, that when they’re moved, sometimes it messes them up.”


AMY GOODMAN: Videothevote.org also spoke to Jackson County, West Virginia county clerk Jeff Waybright about the vote flips on the iVotronic machines.

JEFF WAYBRIGHT: If the poll worker got to a machine and it was out of calibration, this is what would happen. I’m going to touch Barack Obama there, but notice, it jumped clear down to Chuck Baldwin, because the machine is out of calibration. Now it sent me to a screen to vote a write-in ballot. When I hit Barack Obama—the machine is out of calibration—it did not jump up to the Republican candidate, it did not vote a straight Republican ticket, and it did—it jumped down to Chuck Baldwin.


AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you, Brad Friedman of “Brad Blog,” what should people do? I mean, we heard from Virginia in West Virginia, and she did file a complaint. How do you know when it takes or if it hasn’t taken? And this whole issue of a receipt for voting, like we get when you get money from an ATM, is there a receipt anywhere in the country?

BRAD FRIEDMAN: Well, and that tape, by the way, of West Virginia of Waybright, as that tape continues, he shows what happens after they recalibrate the system, and the problems still occur. So, to recalibrate in the middle of an election is insane. That’s the most vulnerable point for these systems, where you can insert malicious software and anything else.

As to receipts, no, you don’t get them. You shouldn’t get them, because the fact is, we don’t want people leaving the polls and being able to buy and sell, you know, their vote. That’s why it’s so important to have transparency, to get it right in the first place. And any so-called receipt should be a paper ballot, hand-marked, that we all can go in—every citizen in the country can go in and take a look at after the election and assure that it was in fact counted correctly as per the voter’s intent. That is strictly impossible with any direct-recording electronic—these are usually touch-screen voting machines. It is strictly impossible, no matter what it says on the screen, to know, in fact, that that vote was counted as per the voter’s intent. That’s why these machines are so damn dangerous.

And I was on the air last week in Reno, Nevada with Harry Reid, who actually came on the air and said, “Well, we’re lucky here in Nevada, because we have a paper trail for all of our votes.” Fact is, in Reno, Nevada, they use illegally certified touch-screen machines, yes, with a paper trail, but 100 percent unverifiable as far as whether they’re recording the voter’s intent.

So you’ve got to fight for a paper ballot, you’ve got to ask for one where you’re allowed to have one, and, yes, please, bring a video camera, videotape your vote, put it out there on the web, videothevote.org, end up on YouTube. This time we’ve got to make a lot of noise about what happens. I promise you, if this happens to Republicans, they’ll be making noise. I’m disappointed that the Democratic Party and Barack Obama is not making the noise that they should be and demanding that these machines be removed and voters given paper ballots.

AMY GOODMAN: Brad Friedman, in the case of this West Virginia voter, the woman who described what happened, she’s sitting there with the poll worker showing her what’s happening. So, I mean, this ends privacy in voting. You’ve got to bring in the poll worker and show them who you’re trying to vote for?

BRAD FRIEDMAN: Yeah, that’s—unfortunately, that’s what has to happen, because if you don’t, A, they can’t help you with these machines—they’re very complicated to use—and B, nobody’s going to believe you that this problem occurred in the first place. They probably won’t believe you, even if you do have a poll worker over there. That’s why we’re suggesting people bring their cell phone, their video camera—cell phone video cameras and videotape this experience that they have when a vote jumps from one candidate to another.

But yeah, these are the hoops that we’ve been forced to jump through in order to try to cast our vote, to try and get it counted and to try and get it counted accurately. And after all of these years of, you know, folks like Harvey and myself running around with our hair on fire trying to warn people about this, it’s disappointing, to say the least, to see this going on now in state after state after state. It’s not just West Virginia, I promise you that.

AMY GOODMAN: Again, Brad of “Brad Blog” is joining us by video stream from California. This issue of the emergency declared by Governor Crist in Florida and allowing the lines—allowing the polling places to be extended to twelve hours, Brad, can you talk about this, these extremely long lines in Florida for early voting?

BRAD FRIEDMAN: Yeah, I can. And frankly, this is to Governor Charlie Crist, a Republican—it’s to his effort, especially in the midst of this all-out Republican war on democracy that we’re seeing all across the country. So I’m going to give Governor Crist credit there for trying to ease the lines. In fact, the Republican legislature had shortened the early voting hours some time ago. And they’re seeing all kinds of problems, all kinds of lines.

The bottlenecks, unfortunately, are tending to be at the registration check-in process. Once again, these computers that are used to check people in to register to vote, that seems to be the bottleneck, because, in fact, the state of Florida has moved to paper ballots. And I’ve seen some of these election registrars—supervisors of election down there in Florida ordering more optical scan machines into the polling places, when that’s not the holdup. The opscan process is done at the end of voting. The holdup is checking people in. The bottleneck is the computers, the voter registration computers.

And this comes back to some of the same draconian processes that, in fact, Charlie Crist did allow to be used, this “no match, no vote” process, where, you know, if I’m registered as “Brad Friedman” but my driver’s license says “Bradley Friedman,” I might be disallowed from voting. That’s the holdup down there. In either case, extending the voting hours each day to something like twelve hours is a very good idea. I give him credit for that. And, boy, I hope folks will take advantage of getting in there and casting their vote, come hell or high water.

AMY GOODMAN: This doesn’t bode well for Election Day. I mean, it does that he extended the time of the polling places, but this is still early voting. This is before November 4th.

BRAD FRIEDMAN: Yeah. And I’ll tell you, I’ve been calling this the November surprise for some time. I’m quite concerned that on Election Day, not only will the crowds be enormous, but that we are again going to see bottlenecks at that check-in procedure, where thousands, tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of voters around the country, state to state, find that they are suddenly no longer on the voting rolls. And I’ve been speaking with people within the last week who are saying, “Hey, Brad, you were right. I didn’t bother to check my registration. I voted in the primary. And suddenly, I’m no longer on the rolls.” That’s going to be a bottleneck at the check-in.

Republicans are going to be challenging voters in state after state, again, making what is going to be an extraordinarily huge turnout even worse, by simply challenging people at the polls. That’s going to lead to even longer lines. And, of course, Election Day is a work day, so a lot of folks can’t afford to stand around for three, four, eight, ten hours to cast their vote. We’ve got to do something about this mess.

But I want people to hang in there, to fight for their vote, help other people vote. Bring chairs, bring water, bring food. Help your neighbors. This is a time for courage and for people to step forward and fight for that right to cast that vote that so many have fought and died for over decades in this country. This is what democracy is about. It’s not a spectator sport. It’s a participatory democracy. We’re going to have to get in there and fight for each and every one of our votes this year, I’m afraid.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Brad Friedman of bradblog.com. Harvey Wasserman, also with us in Ohio, a battleground state. Harvey Wasserman, in Pennsylvania, John Bonifaz and all the voting rights groups filed suit to ensure that there be paper ballots not just when all the polling booths in a polling place are shut down, but if even one is shut down, because, of course, it will mean much longer lines. What do you expect to come of this?

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Well, it’s very important that we have paper ballots wherever possible. We want paper ballots available to people who show up and are confronted with a voting machine, an electronic voting machine, and would prefer to vote on a paper ballot. We’re also urging—here in Ohio, you can vote early and get a paper ballot. And we’re—as Brad has mentioned and my co-author Bob Fitrakis has often pointed out, it’s much better to vote on a paper ballot and to do it early.

There will be huge lines on Election Day, which is to the credit of the American people. But we expect, here in Ohio and in Pennsylvania, and especially in the key states, Florida, as well, that the Republicans will be in there challenging every voter, every little number in your Social Security number or your driver’s license, middle initials that show up on driver’s licenses but not on voter registration forms. These will all be at issue on Election Day. The Republicans have made it clear that they will challenge every vote that they possibly can and to introduce as much chaos as they possibly can into the election process.

We want people also, if you have a problem voting, to find a lawyer and give a sworn affidavit. I am a plaintiff in the King Lincoln Bronzeville civil rights suit. This suit has had an enormous impact. You know, Jennifer Brunner is getting a lot of justifiable credit here in Ohio for cleaning up the election process, but it’s been moved along by the fact that we’ve had a very effective federal lawsuit. Any discrepancies, any problems that people have voting, they should be accounted for with an affidavit, sworn testimony, so that these can be used in lawsuits in the post-election process.

AMY GOODMAN: Does that have to happen right at the point of voting? I mean, who is going to bring a lawyer to the polling place?

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Well, that’s the point. We want lawyers at the polling places. We want—as Brad has pointed out and as Bob has pointed out, we want everything videoed, and we also want lawyers available, so that people can have guidance. A lot of people are not clear on what the process is, and a lot of people have been intimidated by the Republicans, both in 2004, we saw it in 2006. We’re certainly going to see it in 2008 at the voting stations. The only way the GOP is going to win this election is to intimidate voters and knock as many of them off the voter rolls as they possibly can.

Brad also mentioned, people who may think they are registered to vote may come in for a nasty surprise when they get to the polls, and the time to check that is now. If you think you’re registered to vote or if you know people who think they’re registered to vote, check with your board of election now and make sure that things are in order, because if you turn up on Election Day and have a problem, you’re going to be part of the problem and not part of the solution.

AMY GOODMAN: Brad.

BRAD FRIEDMAN: Yeah, if I could add, in Pennsylvania, I’m really troubled about what’s going on there, because, in fact, we saw during the primary elections where voting machines were simply breaking down all over the state. Now—and they use touch screens almost everywhere out there. Now, never mind, you know, the hacking, the error, the fact that they don’t count correctly. The fact is, when they don’t start up, voters can’t vote.

And incredibly, the Democratic Secretary of State out there decreed that, as you said, no paper ballots need to be given out unless every machine breaks down in a precinct. Harvey can tell you what happened in Ohio when just one machine broke down in many of those precincts in 2004. And the fact that the Democrats aren’t raising holy hell about it and that, in fact, John Bonifaz and the NAACP had to be the one to file suit there and say, “Oh, please, give us paper ballots if a majority of machines break down”—the fact is, the state law already allows paper ballots to be given out if just one machine breaks down.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Well, we don’t think—

BRAD FRIEDMAN: But I’m afraid they’re not even going to have enough paper ballots out there. And, you know, we have a history. We know what has happened in Pennsylvania and all of the other states. And I can’t understand why Democrats aren’t demanding that there be enough paper ballots in every polling place for every voter this year, because I guarantee we’re going to be running out of them real quick.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Brad is absolutely right. You know, and this term he used earlier, “recalibration,” when you hear the term “recalibration,” you have to think stolen election, because recalibration is a cover for re-rigging electronic voting machines. And we know that this went on in Ohio 2004. It’s how George Bush got his second term. And recalibration means, essentially, that they’re rigging up the voting machine’s memory cards and general mechanisms to allow the theft of an election.

It is absolutely absurd that the Democratic Party has not stepped forward and demanded universal paper ballots everywhere. It should not depend on the breakdown of a voting machine to have universal paper ballots. To her credit, Jennifer Brunner here in Ohio requested that, did her very best to get it. We think she has to fight far harder to get universal paper ballots everywhere, whether the voting machines break down or not. And that’s an issue that the Democratic Party and Barack Obama really needs to take up now. As he said, one week. We’re really down to the wire. There need to be paper ballots everywhere, or this election could go the way of 2000 and 2004.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, are you talking to them in the Democratic Party? Why do you think—Brad has raised this over and over in this interview, that he feels that the Democrats are not pursuing this half as strenuously as Republicans are pursuing their issues.

HARVEY WASSERMAN: We have—I have absolutely no idea why the Democratic Party has fallen down. They fell down in 2000. They fell down in 2004. And they’re now—and we are in danger here. People are getting a little comfortable with Barack Obama’s apparent lead in the polls. That could disappear with the pulling of a plug or the recalibration of a machine. This is a very serious situation. The only solution is hand-counted paper ballots, which are observed by the media and by both parties when they’re counted. And there’s no other way to guarantee a free and fair election.

AMY GOODMAN: Harvey Wasserman and Brad Friedman, we will leave it there for now, but, of course, we’ll continue to pursue this. In fact, Democracy Now! will be broadcasting live for five hours, beginning 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday night in a Democracy Now! election special for every television and radio station to take around the country. And on the morning after, we’ll be expanding our broadcast to two hours, beginning 8:00 Eastern Standard Time in the morning. And we will be talking with people all over the country election night, and we want people reporting in problems that they are having or actually successes they’ve had in voting. You can go to our website at democracynow.org, where we’ll also be video streaming the broadcast in the evening and the morning after. You can call your stations and ask them what time they’ll be broadcasting Democracy Now!

Harvey Wasserman, thanks so much for joining us—

HARVEY WASSERMAN: Thank you, Amy.

Peter Lemkin
10-31-2008, 06:27 AM
More Mark Crispin Miller here http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=29143 I do feel there is slightly more awareness this time, than in the past, and I think we can expect some battles on election day - along with the usual dirty tricks. In this talk Miller outlines how the theft of 2004 was done and the philosophical underpinnings of it - in which those who stole it didn't think they were doing 'wrong' - due to their allegiance to what they believe is a 'higher good'. (i.e. the USA generally, and the Republican Party a bit more so, are in the hands of amoral, delusional, dangerous, madmen! - but that isn't really news...)

Peter Lemkin
11-03-2008, 04:40 PM
My last post before the 'election'. Do listen to this analysis of what dirty tricks are ongoing and might well happen tomorrow, as well as an interesting legal case [we'll know more about tomorrow!!!!] where Rove's computer-guy (who stole the 2000 and 2004 elections is being deposed today!).....just in the nick of time - or too late?.... http://www.democracynow.org/2008/11/3/on_eve_of_election_day_is

AMY GOODMAN: Election Day is one day away. Tomorrow, tens of millions of Americans will head to the polls. Is the nation’s voting system ready for the unprecedented turnout?


Already, more votes have been cast before Election Day than ever before. As of Saturday night, there were some 27 million absentee and early votes in thirty states, according to the Associated Press. But already, reports of voting irregularities, long lines, malfunctioning machines and badly managed polling stations are pouring in from across the country.


Despite documented irregularities, about a quarter of all voters will use electronic machines that offer no paper record to verify their choice was accurately recorded. Voting rights groups have filed lawsuits against election officials in Pennsylvania and Virginia, saying they have not stocked enough paper ballots to prepare for the expected turnout.


In Colorado, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia, voters have reported using touch-screen machines that have flipped their votes to the wrong candidate or party. Meanwhile, Florida has switched to its third ballot system in the past three election cycles, and glitches associated with the transition have caused confusion at early voting sites.


This all comes in the wake of voter suppression tactics that have seen tens of thousands of voters potentially lose their right to vote. In the battleground state of Colorado, voter rights activists recently won a major victory after state officials agreed to reinstate tens of thousands of people whose names had been removed from the voter rolls.


Mark Crispin Miller is a professor of media culture and communication at New York University. He is the author of several books, most recently Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000–2008. His previous book, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & Why They’ll Steal the Next One Too.

Welcome to Democracy Now!

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Thanks for having me back, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, let’s start where I haven’t seen much mention, and that is this man, Mike Connell, in Ohio, testifying. Who is he? What is his relevance to the big day, to Election Day tomorrow?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Yeah, this event in a courtroom in Columbus may be one of the most important things to happen in this whole election and may be one of the most important things to happen in American history. I mean, this sounds hyperbolic, I know, but it is true.

Mike Connell is—has been named as Karl Rove’s computer guru since 2000. The lawyers in the case refer to Connell as a high-IQ Forrest Gump, because he’s been on the scene of every dubious election we’ve had over the last eight years, starting with Florida 2000.

Now, he has been named by a man named Stephen Spoonamore, S-P-O-O-N-A-M-O-R-E, who’s a very unusual and particularly unimpeachable kind of whistleblower. He’s a conservative Republican; he’s a former McCain supporter. But above all, he is a renowned and highly successful expert at the detection of computer fraud. He works for big banks. He works for foreign governments, the Secret Service. His job is to figure out how computers are used to steal money or information or votes. Well, he’s named a lot of people in the Bush-Cheney election subversion conspiracy. He has worked with them. He knows them personally. And months ago, he named Mike Connell and his company GovTech Solutions as having played a crucial role in the—basically the electronic subversion of the vote in Ohio in 2004. And Spoonamore has actually described the computer architecture that was used to do this.

Now, on the strength of this testimony, the lawyers in the case had the judge issue a subpoena to Mike Connell last week. Connell defied the subpoena; he was in contempt. Late last week, the lawyers filed a motion to compel compliance, and to everyone’s surprise and delight, the judge ordered Connell to appear today and to be deposed for two hours about his role in this longstanding electronic plot, basically, to flip votes towards the Republicans.

Some of this deposition will be sealed, and I have to tell you the part that’ll be sealed. Apparently, Rove has threatened Connell. He told him that if Connell did not take the fall for this whole thing, the Department of Justice would start investigating Connell’s wife Heather for improper lobbying practices. Now, that part of the deposition we’re not going to know the answers to. But what’s astonishing to me—

AMY GOODMAN: Who does she lobby for?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Various politicians and so on. Whether she’s guilty or innocent is beside the point, because, as we know, the Department of Justice is a cudgel in the collective hands of the Bush administration. This would be more selective prosecution.

But what’s really astonishing here is that Karl Rove could make that threat with such impunity. This shut Connell up, and he was, you know, earlier inclined to talk about what was going on. Then he got himself three very expensive Republican attorneys who promised that they would make sure he could not be deposed before Election Day. Well, hallelujah, he’s being deposed before Election Day. And the reason why—

AMY GOODMAN: Today.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Today. The reason why this is so important and the strategy behind the early part of this case all along has been that if we can shine a spotlight on the perpetrators of this kind of fraud before Election Day, make them nervous, make them pull in their horns, distract them, there’s a good chance that they might not try to do what they’re clearly ready to do, because, let me just add, Connell is on the McCain payroll. He’s working for McCain right now, and he specializes in a particular kind of computer architecture whose only purpose, Spoonamore says, is to steal votes.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go back to two issues. One, how do you know Karl Rove made these threats? That’s a very strong allegation.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, it is a very strong allegation that comes from the lawyers that the lawyers were evidently told by Connell or someone close to him. But this stuff has been on the website of Velvet Revolution. Raw Story has reported it. The media, however, has remained over-focused, of course, on ACORN, which is a nothing story. But let me make clear that the brouhaha over ACORN, right, this orchestrated propaganda drive about ACORN, has many distracting purposes, and one of them, I promise you, is to distract us from this case. This case is an Ohio RICO case. Well, lately, the Republicans filed an Ohio RICO case against ACORN. And I think the purpose—

AMY GOODMAN: RICO, meaning racketeering?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: It’s a racketeering case. Ohio has the strongest racketeering statute in the country. This is one of the reasons why the lawyers decided to go there and do this.

AMY GOODMAN: What do you mean he specializes in the computer architecture, the internet architecture, that can steal elections?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, it’s a system—if people go to the website for Velvet Revolution, particularly www.rovecybergate.com, they’ll find the documents that Spoonamore has filed describing the setup that’s known as “Man in the Middle.” This happened in Ohio in 2004.

It involves shunting the data that comes from the website for the Secretary of State—I mean, the election returns—taking those election returns as they come to the website in real-time and shunting them to a computer somewhere else. What happened in 2004 was the election returns from Ken Blackwell’s website were shunted to a computer in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee, under the control of a very partisan private company to which Connell was connected. The data was shunted to this strange computer in Chattanooga and then directed back to the Secretary of State’s website. As Connell—I mean, sorry, as Spoonamore has said, the only purpose of doing this Man in the Middle thing is to commit crime.

Bev Harris of Black Box Voting has lately reported that there are similar Man in the Middle setups in Colorado, Illinois and Kentucky. So it’s very important that tomorrow, when we’re out there engaging in election protection and working to make the turnout as large as it possibly can be, because the larger the turnout, the harder the theft, people have to be paying very close attention to the numbers. They have to be watching the traffic at different precincts, and so on.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to the issue of voting all over the country. What have—you’re following it very closely. You’re going to be with us Tuesday night for our five-hour broadcast, to be monitoring what’s happening in all the states, especially the key swing battleground states. What have you learned? It’s estimated about a quarter of people have already voted.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Yes, an astonishing number of people have voted. And I take that as very good news, not because that necessarily ensures their votes will be safe; I take it as good news because it indicates to me that an awful lot of Americans understand that the voting apparatus that we have out there is untrustworthy, and they’re taking, you know, special steps to see to it that their votes count.

But what we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks is basically a replay, on steroids, if you will, of what we saw in 2004—vote flipping by machines in West Virginia, Texas, Tennessee and Missouri, that we know of. And let me make something clear, Amy. All the flips go in one direction. It’s all from Obama either to McCain or to Cynthia McKinney, as it happens.

We did hear of three people who claimed that their votes were flipped from McCain to Obama in Tennessee. But they’re all related to a Republican official. Their numbers are unlisted. And they told the local newspaper and not the election commission, so I have my doubts about those three cases.

But there have also been, as usual, very long lines in Democratic precincts only. We’re talking about a calculated kind of shortage that magically does not afflict Republican precincts, only Democratic ones.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, now, in these pre-voting, in these long early lines, not all precincts are open, right?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Right, not all precincts. This is something that’s happening in some parts of the country.

AMY GOODMAN: Thirty-one states.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: And I want to make something clear here. Turnout on Election Day, massive turnout, unprecedented turnout, is all-important, because, again, the larger the turnout, the harder the theft. The more people show up at the polls, the better it is, which means that those people who vote early should also go out on Election Day and be physically present at the polls to help to build that national mass.

AMY GOODMAN: Mark Crispin Miller, I want to put off our break for a minute, because I want to play for you a piece from Pennsylvania and then get your comment. Pennsylvania, of course, a key battleground state, many believe could propel either John McCain or Barack Obama into the White House. The American News Project went to Pennsylvania to cover potential voting problems on Election Day. They filed this report.

REPORTER: Most polls suggest the presidential race in Pennsylvania is neck-and-neck, so the vote in Philly could easily determine whether the state goes red or blue. During the primary election on April 22nd, 2008, a strong warning sign of potential November 4th problems emerged when widespread machine breakdowns led to very long lines and lost votes. And with over 200,000 new voters in Philly, voter rights groups are worried that the city is unprepared for the upcoming surge in voting. And unfortunately for voters, the people in charge seem surprisingly unconcerned.

FRED VOIGT, Philadelphia Deputy Commissioner: Forget a long line. A long line is not justification for anything except waiting.

MARGE TARTAGLIONE (D), Chairwoman, Philadelphia Voting Commission: Anybody have anything to say now? Or forever hold their peace.

REPORTER: Your deputy commissioner Fred Voigt told me that “a long line is not justification for anything except waiting.” I was wondering if the commission has any response to that comment.

MARGE TARTAGLIONE: Did you see people waiting for baseball tickets all night long outside? Did you see the line that they wanted a new iPod? They all waited overnight and waited in line. Do you go to the supermarket? You see people waiting in line? They complain, they grumble, some of them. Some of them just talk. So what is the difference?

REPORTER: I’m sorry. Are you comparing voters who possibly have to work during the day to people who are standing in line to get an iPod or a Phillies ticket?

MARGE TARTAGLIONE: Yeah, it’s the same people. Same people. Same people. Come on! You’re mixing apples with—sit down!

ANGEL COLEMAN: It’s a right for every single person. I always vote, ever since I turned eighteen, the first election that I could vote in. It’s very, very important to me to be able to vote.

I got to the school. I noticed that there were a lot more cars than in the past when I’ve come to a vote, and I thought, great, you know, there’s more people out voting. But then, when I got to the door, I noticed a couple people walking out, and people were saying that they didn’t get a chance to vote. The line was too long; they couldn’t wait. When I got inside, I definitely saw longer lines of people wanting to vote. And unfortunately, it wasn’t just that there were more people voting; it was that two out of three machines were broken down.

REPORTER: Single mother Angel Coleman has joined the NAACP and a coalition of groups called the Election Reform Network in suing the state of Pennsylvania. They hope to improve access to emergency paper ballots in case machines break down again. The groups argue that long lines amount to a form of voter disenfranchisement, and they note that the response of election officials to the impending crisis has been woefully inadequate.

ANGEL COLEMAN: This is real. This is a real problem. You know, it happened to me, it happened to the people that I saw walking out, it happened to the other people that were testifying in court with me yesterday. So this is a for real problem. This is all happening in Philadelphia to those people, to me. And it is representative of thousands of other people around the country.

MARGE TARTAGLIONE: I don’t want these stories going out there’s going to be long lines. These poor senior citizens are going to pick up the paper and say, “Oh, my god! Do I gotta wait two hours in line on my feet?” Never happened in Philadelphia. I’m tired of this propaganda that they put in, that they put in! Everybody wants a story. It’s going to be my story, the lines are going to be so long. Knock it off! Knock it off! Trying to run a smooth election. You can say what you want about me, I don’t care. Spell my name right.

REPORTER: Just hours after this hearing ended, a federal judge ruled in favor of Angel Coleman and the voters of Pennsylvania, which means that paper ballots will be issued as a backup to faulty machines. Officials like Voigt and Tartaglione are the ones responsible for implementing the court order.


AMY GOODMAN: That report, by American News Project. We’ll be getting reports from them throughout Tuesday night for the five-hour broadcast and Wednesday morning for our expanded two-hour broadcast the morning after. That voice, especially for our radio listeners who didn’t see her identified on the TV broadcast, was that of Marge Tartaglione. She said make sure you “spell my name right.” T-A-R-T-A-G-L-I-O-N-E. She is the chairwoman of the Philadelphia Voting Commission. Mark Crispin Miller, the significance of what she said—people wait all night for baseball tickets, they wait all night to get an iPhone—what’s the problem?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, that kind of contempt, that cavalier attitude towards people voting, and equating voting, which is like a crucial civic function, with waiting in line to get the latest toy, you know, demonstrates how weak a commitment these people have to democracy. I mean, she’s a Democrat, whoopee. All over the country, given how corrupt our political culture is, we have Democrats and Republicans essentially working together against the voters. The problem in Philadelphia with the long lines and so on, we’ve seen this elsewhere in the country. Just yesterday in Georgia, people were waiting over ten hours to vote. So this is something—

AMY GOODMAN: And who this disadvantages? You might say, well, everyone waits on the line.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: No, that’s just it. Here again, as with the vote flips, which go in one direction, the shortages afflict basically one side. They happen in the inner cities. They happen in Hispanic neighborhoods. They happen in college towns. You see? So these people give up; they have to go to work, and so on, and they can’t vote.

AMY GOODMAN: And even if the same—even if people from across the economic spectrum wait on the same line, the issue is, who can wait? If you’re a worker who’s got to get back to work, if you have to work that day, versus if you can take time off.

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, that’s absolutely true. I’ve yet to hear, though, of any long lines afflicting, you know, the polling places in the suburbs or small towns, you know, where there’s a lot of Republican voters.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Mark Crispin Miller, voter assemblies, what are they?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Yeah, crucial, very important. I mean, there’s a lot of things people can do and must do on Election Day to keep this thing from being stolen. They’ve got to make sure they’re registered. They have to know the hotlines: 1-866-OUR-VOTE and 1-866-MY-VOTE-1. If anything happens to you on Election Day, if you’re told you’re not registered when you know you are, when people tell you that, you know—when the machine flips your vote, for example, when you’re intimidated, if there’s a police presence at the polls, if you get disinformation telling you your election day is the next day, anything at all happens, let somebody know. Call those numbers. If there are people from the media there, tell them. If there are Election Protection people there, tell them. But make sure the story gets out, because this is the kind of evidence that has to be gathered and preserved, because on election night, sure as shooting, on the networks they’ll all say, “Well, things went really well today. There were nowhere near as many problems as we thought there were.”

But finally, and most important, in the event something untoward happens and John McCain is right and he wins late at night on Election Day, as he recently said he’s going to do, any kind of an upset like that, people should be prepared to attend voter assemblies. This is something that’s being run by Liberty Tree as part of their pledge for No More Stolen Elections! The website is libertytreefdr.org, libertytreefdr.org. The aim here is to organize voter assemblies so that on November 5th people will turn out, nonviolently, convene, discuss what’s going on and press for the proper kinds of investigations.

AMY GOODMAN: And if you voted early, you think you should go back to the polls?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Not to vote, obviously. Even though I’m from Chicago, I don’t recommend that. I think people should go back to the polling places and be visible, be present, be out there. In other words, treat this Election Day not as your opportunity to make a political choice—of course it’s that or should be that; treat Election Day as a day for the assertion of your right to vote. That’s the all-important thing. And show this system that we’re not going to take our disenfranchisement lying down.

AMY GOODMAN: Mark Crispin Miller, I’ll see you right here tomorrow night, Tuesday night, with your computer, monitoring voting around the country. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media culture and communication at NYU, New York University. Most recent book, Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000–2008.

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http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Documents_reveal_how_Ohio_routed_2004_1031.html for details on how the elections were stolen in 2000 and 2004 - it involves more than just rigging the machines!
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And here is part of the story on Rove's Computer Guru cum Hacker:

by Steve Heller of VelvetRevolution.us

The Republican IT guru, recently described as a "high tech Forrest Gump" for his proclivity to be "at the scene" of so many troubling elections since 2000, and even at the heart of the "lost" White House email scandal, has been ordered by a federal judge to appear for an under-oath deposition next Monday in Ohio.

The BRAD BLOG has learned that Mike Connell, the Republican IT guru whose company, GovTech Solutions, created Ohio's 2004 election results computer network, appeared in federal court today, as compelled, and has been ordered to appear for his deposition on Monday, November 3, just 24 hours before Election Day 2008.

Today's court order came after a contentious hearing, at which Connell was present. The hearing was part of a long-standing voting rights violations lawsuit, King Lincoln v. Blackwell, as previously covered by The BRAD BLOG and by Velvet Revolution's Election Protection Strike Force here and here.

Though Connell's attorneys have fought to quash the subpoena, recently issued after the judge lifted a stay on the case several weeks ago, it looks like his options to avoid testimony, or at least jail for avoiding it, may have come to an end. The attorneys in the case have said that Connell's testimony may well lead to the subpoenaing and under-oath questioning of Karl Rove, who, they say, would be unable to use Executive Privilege as an excuse to avoid such a subpoena in a civil RICO case...

For more details on Connell, and his role in the '04 election and within the GOP, see the video clip at right from John Ennis' recently-released documentary Free For All.

The issues in the King Lincoln v. Blackwell suit are complex, but in a nutshell, some Ohio voters filed a lawsuit alleging voting rights violations and election irregularities in the 2004 Presidential election in the Buckeye State. Taking the sworn deposition of Connell, the man who set up the computers for reporting election results, and re-routing them through his company's own Tennessee servers late on the night of the '04 election, has been a high priority for Election Integrity advocates and attorneys in Ohio.

While this story is still breaking and developing, from what we've been able to learn so far, sources tell us that Monday's depo will have a time limit of two hours. Any information gathered regarding trade secrets related to Connell's company, GovTech Solutions, will be under seal, as per the judge's order today.

Also under seal will be any and all information gathered about allegations that Connell has been the victim of witness intimidation by Karl Rove and/or Rove's associates. As reported on by The BRAD BLOG reported last Summer, plaintiff's lead attorney in the case, Clifford A. Arnebeck, had sent an email to Attorney General Michael Mukasey on July 24, 2008, stating in part:
"We have been confidentially informed by a source we believe to be credible that Karl Rove has threatened Michael Connell, a principal witness we have identified in our King Lincoln case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, that if he does not agree to 'take the fall' for election fraud in Ohio, his wife Heather will be prosecuted for supposed lobby law violations."

In related news, our friends at RAW STORY have an article today headlined "Documents reveal how Ohio routed 2004 voting data through company that hosted external Bush Administration email accounts." That company was SmarTech, Inc., and the architecture for the 2004 election results reporting system in Ohio has been at the heart of this case.

As reported by RAW's Larisa Alexandrovna today:
Newly obtained computer schematics provide further detail of how electronic voting data was routed during the 2004 election from Ohio’s Secretary of State’s office through a partisan Tennessee web hosting company. … The flow chart shows how voting information was transferred from Ohio to SmarTech Inc., a Chattanooga Tennessee IT company known for its close association with the Republican Party, before the 2004 election results were displayed online.

See her story for more, including the schematics for both the '04 and '06 web servers in Ohio. Of course, we'll continue to update this story as the case proceeds...

Additional reporting by Brad Friedman http://www.bradblog.com/?p=6600