Elections and Voting, 2004:
From AP at The Baltimore Sun: January 8, 2004
Voting firm hit by hacker By Ted Bridis
Break-in: A developer of electronic balloting security software reveals it suffered a breach last year, but says the culprit has been identified.
WASHINGTON - A company developing security technology for electronic voting suffered an embarrassing hacker break-in that executives think was tied to the rancorous debate over the safety of casting ballots online. VoteHere Inc. of Bellevue, Wash., confirmed last month that U.S. authorities are investigating an October break-in of its computers during which someone roamed its internal computer network. The intruder accessed internal documents and may have copied sensitive software blueprints that the company planned eventually to disclose publicly. ...
From The Miami Herald: Thu, Jan. 08, 2004
New system no easy touch for 134 voters in Broward BY ERIKA BOLSTAD
Today's recount in the House District 91 race is likely to raise questions about electronic voting, including whether paper records are necessary.
Three years after helping render punch-card voting systems obsolete, Broward County voters have proven that no election system is foolproof. In Tuesday's special election to fill state House seat 91, 134 Broward voters managed to use the 2-year-old touch-screen equipment without casting votes for any candidate. How so many happened to cast nonvotes remains a riddle. Unlike with punch cards or paper ballots, there's no paper record with electronic voting that might offer a clue to the voter's intent. ... In a seven-candidate field, Ellyn Bogdanoff beat Oliver Parker by just 12 votes. ...
Opinion at Star-Telegram: Fri, Jan. 09, 2004
Ruthless power grab disregards voting rights By Bob Ray Sanders
A new congressional redistricting plan for Texas, designed to eliminate several powerful Democratic incumbents, took a giant step toward reality this week. The Republican steamroller driven by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugarland, continues to make its trek toward this year's elections by destroying practically everything in its path, including communities of interest, rural voting strength and any semblance of minority political power. ...
At The Baltimore Sun: January 30, 2004
Md. computer testers cast a vote: Election boxes easy to mess with
In Annapolis, tales of trickery, vote rigging
By Stephanie Desmon - Sun Staff
" ... Wertheimer said he thinks there will be a need for some type of paper receipt, what some call a voter-verified paper trail - basically a printout of each vote as it is cast for the voter to check before leaving the polling place. Without a paper ballot, many say, a proper recount is impossible. ... Diebold "basically had no interest in putting actual security in this system," said Paul Franceus, one of the consultants. "It's not like they did it wrong. It's like they didn't bother." ... "
Also in TODAY'S EDITORIALS At The NYT: January 31, 2004
How to Hack an Election
" ... The Maryland study confirms concerns about electronic voting that are rapidly accumulating from actual elections. In Boone County, Ind., last fall, in a particularly colorful example of unreliability, an electronic system initially recorded more than 144,000 votes in an election with fewer than 19,000 registered voters, County Clerk Lisa Garofolo said. Given the growing body of evidence, it is clear that electronic voting machines cannot be trusted until more safeguards are in place."
From Wired News: 02:00 AM Feb. 09, 2004 PT
E-Vote Machines Drop More Ballots By Kim Zetter
Six electronic voting machines used in two North Carolina counties lost 436 absentee ballot votes in the 2002 general election because of a software problem, raising increasing doubts about the accuracy and integrity of voting equipment in a presidential election year. ... The same ES&S iVotronic machines were implicated in election votes lost last month in Florida. ... Several Florida county officials have asked the state to mandate a voter-verified paper trail in the state. But Gov. Jeb Bush and state legislators have said they're not interested.
From Wild Matters: February 11, 2004
Bush v. Kerry: The Power Elite’s Dream Ballot By Michael Colby
From the Tallahassee Democrat: Thu, Feb. 12, 2004
Judge dismisses suit about voting receipts
WEST PALM BEACH - A congressman's lawsuit seeking to require electronic voting machines to produce a paper trail was dismissed Wednesday when a Palm Beach County judge ruled he did not have the standing to sue. U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, filed the lawsuit against Florida Secretary of State Glenda E. Hood and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore, claiming the use of machines that do not produce paper duplicates of the votes cast violates voters' rights. Without that paper trail, a manual recount isn't possible, Wexler argued. But Circuit Judge Karen Miller ruled Wexler did not have the standing to file the suit, since he could not prove he had been hurt, either as a citizen or as a public official, by the voting system. ... In her ruling, Miller wrote Leon County, where Hood is based, would have been the proper venue for the suit. Miller stressed the courts have no place in determining the remedy Wexler is seeking, since it would require them to determine a system for recounts, how to fund and oversee that system and how to resolve potential problems. She also cited a California case where a voter's claim that the lack of a paper ballot violated her right to equal protection and due process was denied. That should convince Wexler that alleging "the lack of a paper ballot violates his constitutional rights would be futile," Miller wrote. ...
From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: February 14 2004
State bans recounts of touch-screen ballots By Scott Wyman, Staff writer
State elections officials banned any attempt to recount votes cast on touch-screen voting machines Friday, reversing an earlier decision as counties prepare for the presidential primary less than a month away. ... Under its new ruling, the state Elections Division concluded that counties are not permitted to print out ballots. State law requires uniform standards and sets none when it comes to counties with touch-screen ballots because there is no way to discern voter intent other than what is registered on the computer, the state concluded. ... The state election administrators concluded that the Legislature was aware that there could be no manual recount with the ATM-style machines when legislators rewrote election law after the 2000 election. The only work needed during a recount with the machines is to recalculate individual totals from each machine to ensure there is no mathematical error. ...
From The Independent (UK): 16 February 2004
Voting chaos looms for American election By Steve Connor in Seattle
The electronic voting system designed for the forthcoming American election is fundamentally flawed and could undermine the trustworthiness of the entire US democratic process, a scientist (David Dill, professor of computer science at Stanford University in California) has told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. ... "The system is in crisis. A quarter of the American public are voting on machines where there's very little protection of their votes. I don't think there's any reason to trust these machines," he said. Such a system is even vulnerable to fraud by employees of the machine's manufacturers, who could rewrite the software to rig an election he said. ...
At Wired News: 02:00 AM Feb. 16, 2004 PT
The Computer Ate My Vote By Kim Zetter
From The Associated Press at Wired News: 02:35 PM Feb. 17, 2004 PT
Move to Block California E-Vote
At The New American: Vol. 20, No. 5 March 8, 2004 issue
Bipartisan Bonesmen by William F. Jasper
The two leading contenders for the U.S. presidency are both members of Skull and Bones, one of the oldest secret societies in America. Why is this not a major election-year issue?
At AntiWar.com: March 5, 2004
2004: Choose Your Favorite Pro-War Candidate by John Pilger
A myth equal to the fable of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is gaining strength on both sides of the Atlantic. It is that John Kerry offers a world-view different from that of George W Bush. Watch this big lie grow as Kerry is crowned the Democratic candidate and the "anyone but Bush" movement becomes a liberal cause celebre. ...
At Wired News: 02:00 AM Mar. 29, 2004 PT
How E-Voting Threatens Democracy By Kim Zetter
From The Independent (UK): 22 April 2004
US heading for another election fiasco as reforms fail By Andrew Gumbel
The United States may be on the way to another Florida-style presidential election fiasco this year because legislation passed to fix the system has either failed to address the problems or has broken down because of missed deadlines and unmet funding targets. Such is the conclusion of a damning new report by the US Commission on Civil Rights, a bipartisan government body which previously looked into the Florida mess and found alarming evidence of voter disenfranchisement among poor and minority groups, incorrectly compiled voter rolls and other glaring irregularities. "Many of the problems that the commission previously cautioned should be corrected yet prevail ... Unless the government acts now, many of those previously disenfranchised stand to be excluded again," the report said. ... The commission's criticisms focused on the failure to implement President George Bush's Help America Vote Act (Hava), passed in October 2002 ... It said that out of 22 key deadlines that have come and gone since the act's passage, only five have been met. Most seriously, an oversight committee designed to advise states on streamlining their voting procedures and implementing the act's provisions was not appointed until last December, 11 months behind schedule. Most states are unlikely to make reforms before the presidential election on 2 November. ... When the Commission on Civil Rights convened an expert panel in Washington this month to discuss its report, the Republican Party delegation walked out before the proceedings began ...
From Wired News: 11:56 AM Apr. 22, 2004 PT
Diebold Machine May Get Boot By Kim Zetter
SACRAMENTO, California -- A California voting systems panel recommended Thursday that the secretary of state decertify an electronic voting machine made by Diebold Election Systems, making it likely that four counties that used the machines will have to find others for the November election. ... The panel discovered last November that Diebold had installed uncertified software on the machines. The voting panel also recommended to Shelley that he ask the state attorney general to examine the possibility of bringing civil and criminal charges against Diebold for violating California election codes ...
From AP at My Way News: Apr 23, 2:06 PM (ET)
Legislators Wary of Electronic Voting By RACHEL KONRAD
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - A growing number of federal and state legislators are expressing doubts about the integrity of the ATM-like electronic voting machines that at least 50 million Americans will use to cast their ballots in November. Computer scientists have long criticized the so-called touchscreen machines as not being much more reliable than home computers, which can crash, malfunction and fall prey to hackers and viruses. Now, a series of failures in primaries across the nation has shaken confidence in the technology installed at thousands of precincts. Despite reassurances from the machines' makers, at least 20 states have introduced legislation requiring a paper record of every vote cast. ...
From Reuters at IWon: Apr 28, 4:47 pm ET
Activists Urge Congress to Add E-Vote Printers By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Voting activists from 16 states urged the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to require electronic voting terminals to print out ballots as a way to avoid the recount battles that marred the last presidential election. ... The House Administration Committee has no plans to take up the bill, a spokesman said. Rep. Bob Ney, the committee's chairman, said in a March letter that paper ballots could disenfranchise blind voters or those who do not speak English. In the Senate, a similar bill has not advanced since it was introduced last December.
At Black Box Voting: Thursday, April 29 2004
The Secret Service Wants Your Name: Will "subpeona" this web site By Bev Harris
" ... Under the Patriot Act, "hacking" crimes were turned over to a new division, called the CyberCrimes division, and placed under the auspices of the Secret Service. And let me tell you what they want from me now: They want the logs of my web site with all the forum messages, and the IP addresses. That's right. All of them. A giant fishing expedition for every communication of everyone interested in the voting issue. This has nothing to do with a VoteHere "hack" investigation, and I have refused to turn it over. So, yesterday, they call me up and tell me they are going to subpeona me and put me in front of a grand jury. Well, let 'em. They still aren't getting the list of members of BlackBoxVoting.org unless they seize my computer -- which my attorney tells me might be what they have in mind. ... "
From Reuters: Fri Apr 30, 2004 07:50 PM ET
Calif. Electronic Voting Suffers Big Setback By Adam Tanner
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California set tough new standards for electronic voting on Friday, barring a third of existing machines from November's ballot and ordering new security measures before thousands of others can be used. California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley also called for a criminal investigation into the state's largest e-voting machine supplier, Diebold, a firm he called "reprehensible." ... Shelley said he nearly acted to bar all electronic voting machines, but then said he would give all but four counties the chance to use them if they can provide a paper receipt and fulfill other conditions. ...
At The NYT: May 20, 2004
Kerry Woos Nader, Who Deems Him 'Very Presidential' By David M. Halbfinger
At The NYT: May 23, 2004
Demand Grows to Require Paper Trails for Electronic Votes By Katharine Q. Seelye
WASHINGTON, May 22 - A coalition of computer scientists, voter groups and state officials, led by California's secretary of state, Kevin Shelley, is trying to force the makers of electronic voting machines to equip those machines with voter-verifiable paper trails. ... in the last year election analysts have documented so many malfunctions, including the disappearance of names from the ballot, and computer experts have shown that the machines are so vulnerable to hackers, that critics have organized to counter the rush toward touch screens with a move to require paper trails. ... There are no national standards to help resolve the disputes. The federal commission that Congress created after 2000 to guide states is behind schedule, and the research body that was supposed to set standards for November 2004 has not even been appointed. ... "People are demanding this," said Representative Rush D. Holt, a New Jersey Democrat who has introduced a bill to require that by November, all voters be able to cast ballots that they can verify. ...
From AP at Yahoo: Sat Jun 12, 7:09 PM ET
Fla. Voting Machines Have Recount Flaw
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Touchscreen voting machines in 11 counties have a software flaw that could make manual recounts impossible in November's presidential election, state officials said. A spokeswoman for the secretary of state called the problems "minor technical hiccups" that can be resolved, but critics allege voting officials wrongly certified a voting system they knew had a bug. The electronic voting machines are a response to Florida's 2000 presidential election fiasco, where thousands of punchcard ballots were improperly marked. But the new machines have brought concerns that errors could go unchecked without paper records of the electronic voting. The machines, made by Election Systems & Software of Omaha, Neb., fail to provide a consistent electronic "event log" of voting activity when asked to reproduce what happened during the election, state officials said. ... Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., has asked state Attorney General Charlie Crist to investigate whether the head of the state elections division lied under oath when he denied knowing of the computer problem before reading about it in the media. A spokeswoman for Crist said he was reviewing the request. The elections chief, Ed Kast, abruptly resigned Monday, saying he wanted a change of pace. ...
At Intervention Magazine: Sunday, June 13, 2004
The Tangled Web of American Voting By Elaine Kitchel
From Wired News: 02:00 AM Jun. 24, 2004 PT
Digging for E-Voting Skulduggery By Kim Zetter
The woman who launched the controversy over electronic voting machines has formed a nonprofit consumer group that plans to investigate election officials who may have conflicts of interest with voting companies. Washington-based publicist Bev Harris recently formed Black Box Voting in an attempt to improve the integrity of the election process and represent the interests of voters. ...
From Reuters: Wed Jul 7, 2004 05:43 PM ET
Lawsuit Challenges Florida Ballot Recount Rules By Jane Sutton
MIAMI (Reuters) - Voting rights groups sued Florida election administrators on Wednesday to overturn a rule that prohibits manual recounting of ballots cast with touch-screen machines, a lawsuit with echoes of the state's disputed 2000 presidential election voting. The lawsuit said the rule was "illogical" and rested on the questionable assumption that electronic voting machines perform flawlessly 100 percent of the time. It also said the rule violated a Florida law that expressly requires manual recounts of certain ballots if the margin in an election is less than 0.25 percent of the votes cast. ... The lawsuit was filed against the Florida Department of State, which oversees elections and which issued the rule in April. Plaintiffs included the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the nonpartisan political group Common Cause and other voter education and civil rights groups. ... Fifteen Florida counties containing about half the state's population use electronic touch-screen voting machines. They include the three most populous counties -- Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach -- that were at the heart of the 2000 punch card ballot recount battle. Florida banned punch card ballots after 2000, but there have already been glitches with the electronic machines that replaced them in some counties. Audit tests using the new touch-screen machines last year showed some of the data recorded on the Miami-Dade machines were not transferred to electronic logs that would need to be reviewed in a recount. ...
From The NYT: July 10, 2004
Florida List for Purge of Voters Proves Flawed By FORD FESSENDEN
Florida election officials used a flawed method to come up with a listing of people believed to be convicted felons, a list that they are recommending be used to purge voter registration rolls, state officials acknowledged yesterday. As a result, voters identifying themselves as Hispanic are almost completely absent from that list. ...
From THE ASSOCIATED PRESS at The NYT: July 11, 2004
Florida Won't Use a Flawed Felon List
MIAMI, July 10 (AP) - Florida elections officials said Saturday that they would not use a disputed list that was intended to keep felons from voting, acknowledging a flaw that could have allowed Hispanic felons to cast ballots in November. The problem could have been significant in Florida, which President Bush won by just 537 votes in 2000. The state has a sizable Cuban population, and Hispanics in Florida have tended to vote Republican more than Hispanics nationally. The list had about 28,000 Democrats and around 9,500 Republicans, with most of the rest unaffiliated. ...
At Centre for Research on Globalisation: 11 July 2004
E-Democracy: Stealing the Election in 2004 by Steve Moore
From Newsweek at MSNBC: July 19 issue
Exclusive: Election Day Worries By Michael Isikoff
American counterterrorism officials, citing what they call "alarming" intelligence about a possible Qaeda strike inside the United States this fall, are reviewing a proposal that could allow for the postponement of the November presidential election in the event of such an attack, NEWSWEEK has learned. ... Ridge's department last week asked the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel to analyze what legal steps would be needed to permit the postponement of the election were an attack to take place. ... Soaries, a Bush appointee who two years ago was an unsuccessful GOP candidate for Congress, wants Ridge to seek emergency legislation from Congress empowering his agency to make such a call. ...
From The Associated Press at MSNBC: 1:36 p.m. ET July 12, 2004
E-voting critics sue Diebold By Rachel Konrad
Lawsuit filed under California whistleblower law
SAN FRANCISCO - Critics of electronic voting are suing Diebold Inc. under a whistleblower law, alleging that the company's shoddy balloting equipment exposed California elections to hackers and software bugs. California's attorney general unsealed the lawsuit Friday. It was filed in November but sealed under a provision that keeps such actions secret until the government decides whether to join the plaintiffs. Lawmakers from Maryland to California are expressing doubts about the integrity of paperless voting terminals made by several large manufacturers, which up to 50 million Americans will use in November. The California lawsuit was filed in state court by computer programmer Jim March and activist Bev Harris, who are seeking full reimbursement for Diebold equipment purchased in California. Issues cited by the case include Diebold's use of uncertified hardware and software, and modems that may have allowed election results to be published online before polls closed. They are asking California to join the lawsuit against Diebold. The state has not yet made a decision. ...
From AP at Yahoo: Thu, Jul 15, 2004 11:22pm ET
Fla. Lawmaker Says 2000 Election 'Stolen' By ALAN FRAM
WASHINGTON - Think the passions from the 2000 presidential election have cooled? Certainly not in the House, which voted Thursday to strike a Florida representative's words from the record after she said Republicans "stole" that closely fought contest. The verbal battle broke out after Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., proposed a measure barring any federal official from requesting that the United Nations formally observe the U.S. elections on Nov. 2. His proposal was approved 243-161 as an amendment to a $19.4 billion foreign aid bill, with 33 Democrats joining all 210 voting Republicans in voting "yes." Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., and several other House Democrats have made that suggestion. ... "I come from Florida, where you and others participated in what I call the United States coup d'etat. We need to make sure it doesn't happen again," Brown said. "Over and over again after the election when you stole the election, you came back here and said, 'Get over it.' No, we're not going to get over it. And we want verification from the world." At that point, Buyer demanded that Brown's words be "taken down," or removed the debate's permanent record. ...
From AP at CNN: Wednesday, July 28, 2004 Posted: 7:53 AM EDT (1153 GMT)
Florida officials: Some voting records wiped out
MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- A computer crash erased detailed records from Miami-Dade County's first widespread use of touchscreen voting machines, raising again the specter of election troubles in Florida, where the new technology was supposed to put an end to such problems. The crashes occurred in May and November of 2003, erasing information from the September 2002 gubernatorial primaries and other elections, elections officials said Tuesday. The malfunction was made public after the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition, a citizen's group, requested all data from the 2002 gubernatorial primary between Democratic candidates Janet Reno and Bill McBride. ...
From The Nation: [from the August 16, 2004 issue]
How They Could Steal the Election This Time by RONNIE DUGGER
On November 2 millions of Americans will cast their votes for President in computerized voting systems that can be rigged by corporate or local-election insiders. Some 98 million citizens, five out of every six of the roughly 115 million who will go to the polls, will consign their votes into computers that unidentified computer programmers, working in the main for four private corporations and the officials of 10,500 election jurisdictions, could program to invisibly falsify the outcomes. The result could be the failure of an American presidential election and its collapse into suspicions, accusations and a civic fury that will make Florida 2000 seem like a family spat in the kitchen. ...
About a third of the votes, 36 million, will be tabulated completely inside the new paperless, direct-recording-electronic (DRE) voting systems, on which you vote directly on a touch-screen. Unlike receipted transactions at the neighborhood ATM, however, you get no paper record of your vote. Since, as a government expert says, "the ballot is embedded in the voting equipment," there is no voter-marked paper ballot to be counted or recounted. ... The United States therefore faces the likelihood that about three out of ten of the votes in the national election this November will be unverifiable, unauditable and unrecountable. ...
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION: July 31, 2004
Florida Republican Voters Told to Use Absentee Ballots
From The Toronto Star: Aug. 1, 2004. 01:00 AM
Is Florida facing a new polling fiasco? By LINDA MCQUAIG
" ... On the floor of the Democratic convention, CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Florida Senator Bob Graham if the state had solved the problem of hanging chads and punch-card ballots, which had caused such havoc in the last presidential election. Graham noted that those problems had been solved, but pointed to another problem: about half of Florida voters will use electronic voting machines in November, even though "(We) do not have any verifiable backup in case one of those machines malfunctions or there's a challenge to the accuracy of the machines." Blitzer seemed shocked by this. "Well, how is that possible in this day and age you don't have a backup?" Graham's answer was stunning: "Because I'll say (Florida) Governor (Jeb) Bush and his administration have stonewalled the efforts to get a paper trail behind these electronic machines." ... Graham's charge is serious — that the governor of Florida, who also, of course, happens to be the brother of the president, is using his power to block efforts to protect the integrity of the voting system in his state, which is expected to be crucial in determining the outcome of the upcoming presidential election. ... The media's lack of sustained interest in this story is striking, given what happened four years ago, when disputes over the Florida vote led to the biggest electoral crisis in U.S. history. After 36 days of recounting and court interventions, the choice of George W. Bush as president was effectively made by the U.S. Supreme Court — an unelected body, the majority of whose members were appointed by an administration in which Bush's father was either president or vice-president. That election was also marred by charges of disenfranchisement, particularly among black voters. With that in mind, 11 Democrats in Congress recently called for U.N. observers to monitor the 2004 election — a call rejected by outraged Republicans. ... If the Florida voting is as close as expected, recounts will be inevitable — but impossible. Concerns about the lack of a paper trail have prompted some states to ban the machines in the November election. But Jeb Bush has brushed aside such concerns, refusing to even allow independent audits of the machines in Florida. ... "
From AFP at The Sydney Morning Herald: August 5, 2004 - 12:55AM
Springsteen headlines anti-Bush musical coalition
From The Associated Press at Tampa Bay Online: Aug 6, 2004
Florida Court Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Paper Trail for Touchscreen Voting Machines
By Jill Barton
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A state appeals court dismissed a lawsuit that sought a paper trail for Florida's new touchscreen voting machines, ruling Friday that voters are not guaranteed "a perfect voting system." ...
From AP at The San Francisco Chronicle: Sunday, August 15, 2004 10:01 PDT
Israel, the ultimate swing state? In Election 2004, true battlegrounds may be across the sea By RANDALL RICHARD
NEW YORK (AP) -- When decision time comes this fall, the real swing votes in the 2004 presidential election may not come from Pennsylvania, Ohio or even the notorious Florida. The ultimate Bush-Kerry battleground may turn out to be somewhere more far-flung and unexpected -- Israel, Britain, even Indonesia. And both political camps say they are getting ready for the fight, courting American voters who are living overseas and taking no chances that the expatriate vote will undermine them at the finish line. Although an official census has never been taken, between 4 million and 10 million American citizens are believed to be living abroad. Those over 18 are entitled to have their absentee votes counted in the state where they last lived -- no matter how long ago that was. And many are planning to do just that. ... Contrary to widespread belief, it was more likely American voters in Israel, not Florida, who put George W. Bush in the White House four years ago -- a phenomenon that has Kerry's supporters in Israel vowing to do whatever it takes to make certain that doesn't happen again in November. ... In 2000, according to King, Israel was one of the keys to Bush's success. No other foreign country's U.S. citizens contributed more to Bush's narrow Florida victory, he said. Harvard Professor Gary King, co-compiler of a survey analyzing Florida's overseas vote in 2000, has no doubt that expatriate Americans gave Bush his victory four years ago. ... Mark Zober, chairman of Democrats Abroad in Israel, said he has no firm figures but estimates that roughly 100,000 Americans in Israel are eligible to vote in the upcoming U.S. election ... Once in Israel, Zober said, Jewish voters are no longer guided by a presidential candidate's position on domestic issues. Instead, he said, they vote for whoever they think will serve Israel's interests. ... Israel is hardly the only country Bush and Kerry supporters are turning to for votes. Registration drives are under way in countries across Europe, Asia and Latin America. And in Britain, home to an estimated 224,000 American expatriates, voter interest is greater than ever, according to Democrats and Republicans alike. ...
From Reuters: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:06 PM ET
Thousands Registered to Vote in 2 States-Report
NEW YORK (Reuters) - About 46,000 people are registered to vote in two states, New York and Florida, a violation of both states' laws that could affect the outcome of the November presidential election, according to an investigation by the Daily News. ... The duel registrations have gone undetected because election officials do not check voter rolls across state lines, the newspaper said. ...
At The Guardian: Friday August 27, 2004
The billion dollar election
Despite caps on the obscene sums spent by presidential candidates, this year's campaigns look set to break the billion dollar mark, writes Philip James
From The Miami Herald: Sat, Aug. 28, 2004
Fla. judge requires manual recounts By Gary Fineout and Mary Ellen Klas
A state judge threw out a Florida Division of Elections rule barring the 15 counties that use touch-screen voting systems from conducting recounts by hand.
TALLAHASSEE - In a decision that could require the state to provide a paper trail of votes on touch-screen machines, a judge on Friday threw out a state rule that prohibits manual recounts in counties using the ATM-style equipment. The immediate effect of the ruling and its impact on Tuesday's primary election was unclear Friday night. But the groups that brought the lawsuit against Secretary of State Glenda Hood said the ruling means some sort of paper backup on electronic voting is required. ... More than 50 percent of Florida's voters reside in counties that use touch-screen machines, including Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. State law requires recounts when elections are decided by a razor-thin margin. ...
Earlier this year, a close state House race in Broward led to a manual recount. In the aftermath of that election, however, the state Division of Elections issued a legal opinion, and then a rule, saying that counties that use touch-screen machines were prohibited from doing manual recounts in the future. Despite the state law requiring manual recounts, the Florida Division of Elections argued that such recounts are pointless, since touch-screen machines do not allow voters to cast overvotes and that there is no way to figure out why a voter cast a blank ballot, or undervote, in a race. But the ACLU and other groups said the lack of a manual recount in counties that use the touch-screen machines would mean that outside groups may never learn if there was a malfunction with the machines on Election Day.
Administrative Judge Susan Kirkland said the no-manual-recount rule ''is contrary to the plain language'' of the law and that Hood and her agency exceeded its authority. ''The Florida Legislature made no distinction between voting systems using paper ballots and those not using paper ballots when requiring manual recounts,'' Kirkland wrote. ``If the Legislature had intended that no manual recounts be done in counties using voting systems which did not use paper ballots, it could have easily done so; it did not.'' The question remained late Friday how state elections officials would respond to the ruling and whether they would appeal it to the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. ...
At Greg Palast: Sunday, August 29, 2004
Madame Butterfly Flies Off with Ballots by Greg Palast
Florida Fixed Again? Absentee Ballots Go Absent
Opinion at The Washington Post: Monday, September 27, 2004; Page A19
Still Seeking a Fair Florida Vote By Jimmy Carter
Also at Reuters: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:51 AM ET
Carter Predicts Florida Poll Will Again Be Flawed
From Associated Press at Yahoo: Tue Sep 28, 6:18 PM ET
Observers Foresee Snags in U.S. Election By ERICA WERNER
WASHINGTON - Problems loom for the presidential election including voting equipment changes that could delay the outcome past Nov. 2, a group of international observers said Tuesday in a report. A five-member team from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a 55-state security group invited by the Bush administration, also pointed to problems with voter registration lists and provisional and absentee ballots, allegations of voter intimidation and slow implementation of the Help America Vote Act. "In general, the nationwide replacement of voting equipment, inspired by the disputes witnessed during the 2000 elections, primarily in Florida, may potentially become a source of even greater controversy during the forthcoming elections," said the 11-page report. Many of the new touch-screen machines that will be used by up to 50 million voters on Nov. 2 do not produce the paper ballots needed for a manual recount of votes, the report said. This "may cause postelection disputes and litigation, potentially delaying the announcement of final results," it said. ...
From Association for Computing Machinery: September 28, 2004
ACM Recommends Integrity, Security, Usability in E-voting
Cites Risks of Computer-based Systems
ACM Statement on E-voting
"Virtually all voting systems in use today (punch-cards, lever machines, hand counted paper ballots, etc.) are subject to fraud and error, including electronic voting systems, which are not without their own risks and vulnerabilities. In particular, many electronic voting systems have been evaluated by independent, generally-recognized experts and have been found to be poorly designed; developed using inferior software engineering processes; designed without (or with very limited) external audit capabilities; intended for operation without obvious protective measures; and deployed without rigorous, scientifically-designed testing.
To protect the accuracy and impartiality of the electoral process, ACM recommends that all voting systems—particularly computer-based electronic voting systems—embody careful engineering, strong safeguards, and rigorous testing in both their design and operation. In addition, voting systems should enable each voter to inspect a physical (e.g., paper) record to verify that his or her vote has been accurately cast and to serve as an independent check on the result produced and stored by the system. Making those records permanent (i.e., not based solely in computer memory) provides a means by which an accurate recount may be conducted. Ensuring the reliability, security, and verifiability of public elections is fundamental to a stable democracy. Convenience and speed of vote counting are no substitute for accuracy of results and trust in the process by the electorate."
From The Independent: 29 September 2004
Something rotten in the state of Florida
Pregnant chads, vanishing voters... the election fiasco of 2000 made the Sunshine State a laughing stock. More importantly, it put George Bush in the White House. You'd think they'd want to get it right this time. But no, as Andrew Gumbel discovers, the democratic process is more flawed than ever
From The Sunday Herald: 03 October 2004
New investigation uncovers more racism, voter intimidation and faulty poll machines
By Neil Mackay
BLACK people intimidated at the polling booth. Voting machines that register ballots wrongly. Welcome to the disaster-waiting-to-happen that is the US presidential election of November 2004. An investigation by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) into voter intimidation recounts a catalogue of incidents designed to suppress the black vote. ...
At The Guardian: Tuesday October 19, 2004
Dirty tricks return to the sunshine state By Oliver Burkeman in Tallahassee
US election begins with voting in Florida dogged by controversy over faulty machines and disenfranchised voters
From WJXT-TV at MSNBC: Tuesday October 19, 2004
New Duval Elections Chief 'Guarantees' Fair Election
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Gov. Jeb Bush Tuesday chose a Jacksonville real estate attorney with Republican connections to lead Duval County's elections office, effective immediately. Bill Scheu takes over exactly two weeks before the governor's brother seeks re-election as the nation's president. Citing medical reasons, second-term Duval County Supervisor of Elections John Stafford Jr. resigned Monday -- the day early voting for the Nov. 2 general election began. ... Scheu told reporters and voting activists gathered to hear the announcement that he will guarantee an open, honest and fair election. ... Scheu, an attorney with Rogers Towers, has been a significant financial contributor to GOP candidates. Campaign finance records show he has given thousands of dollars to several Republican candidates, including U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw of Jacksonville and even North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole. ...
From The Associated Press at The Washington Post: Monday, Oct. 25, 2004; 1:51 PM
Judge Tosses Fla. E-Voting Paper Trail Suit By Adrian Sainz
MIAMI -- Florida does not need to create a paper record for touch-screen voting machines in case recounts are needed in tight races, a federal judge ruled Monday, upholding the state's emergency rule that set standards for e-voting recounts. Touch-screen machines "provide sufficient safeguards" of constitutional rights by warning voters when they have not cast votes in individual races and allowing them to make a final review of their ballots, U.S. District Judge James Cohn ruled. ...
From The BBC: Tuesday, 26 October, 2004, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
New Florida vote scandal feared By Greg Palast
A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts ...
From The NYT: October 27, 2004
Judge Rules Against 10,000 Floridians Barred From Voting By ABBY GOODNOUGH
MIAMI, Oct. 26 - A federal district judge here dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday that was filed on behalf of more than 10,000 new voters whose registration forms had been rejected as incomplete. The judge, James Lawrence King, said the labor unions that brought the case had no standing because they had not proved that any of their members were affected. Judge King also said several other plaintiffs, people who had turned in incomplete registration forms, could not blame their local elections supervisors, who were named as defendants. ...
The suit, brought against elections supervisors in Broward, Miami-Dade and several other counties, charged that the rejected registration forms had come disproportionately from blacks and Hispanics. In some cases, the applicants did not check a box indicating that they were American citizens, though they signed an oath on the form affirming that they were. Some registrants corrected their incomplete forms before the Oct. 4 registration deadline, the suit said, but elections officials did not always process them in time, and did not let other registrants know that their forms were flawed. The suit is among several charging voter disenfranchisement that are being fought by the administration of Gov. Jeb Bush. ...
From the Los Angeles Times at Common Dreams: Friday, October 29, 2004
Bush Seeks Limit to Suits Over Voting Rights
by David G. Savage and Richard B. Schmitt
Administration lawyers argue that only the Justice Department, not the voters, may sue to enforce provisions in the Help America Vote Act.
WASHINGTON — Bush administration lawyers argued in three closely contested states last week that only the Justice Department, and not voters themselves, may sue to enforce the voting rights set out in the Help America Vote Act, which was passed in the aftermath of the disputed 2000 election. Veteran voting-rights lawyers expressed surprise at the government's action, saying that closing the courthouse door to aspiring voters would reverse decades of precedent. Since the civil rights era of the 1960s, individuals have gone to federal court to enforce their right to vote, often with the support of groups such as the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, the League of Women Voters or the state parties. And until now, the Justice Department and the Supreme Court had taken the view that individual voters could sue to enforce federal election law. But in legal briefs filed in connection with cases in Ohio, Michigan and Florida, the administration's lawyers argue that the new law gives Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft the exclusive power to bring lawsuits to enforce its provisions. ...
At Tom Flocco: October 30
Hacking The Presidency
At Dissident Voice: November 1, 2004
If this Election is Stolen, Will it be by Enough to Stop a Recount? by Lynn Landes
From The Associated Press at Yahoo: Wed, Nov 03, 2004 4:50pm ET
Bush Wins Second Term As Kerry Concedes By Cal Woodward and Ron Fournier
WASHINGTON - President Bush won four more years in the White House on Wednesday and pledged to "fight this war on terror with every resource of our national power." John Kerry conceded defeat rather than challenge the vote count in make-or-break Ohio. ...
Comment at WarFolly.com: 11-05-04
American Sunset by John Kaminski
At CommonDreams.org: Saturday, November 6, 2004
Evidence Mounts That The Vote Was Hacked by Thom Hartmann
At American Free Press: November 6, 2004
Private Company Still ‘Controls’ Election Outcome By Christopher Bollyn
Secretive company administers almost every last aspect of ‘democratic’ election process
At The Free Press: November 7, 2004
None dare call it voter suppression and fraud By Bob Fitrakis
problems reported in the media about the 2004 general election
At International Labor Communications Assn.: Monday, November 08, 2004 7:31AM
Media Blacks Out Voting Problems By David Swanson
At BuzzFlash: November 10, 2004
GOP Wants to End Exit Polls
At The Free Press: November 10, 2004
And so the sorting and discarding of Kerry votes begins By Bob Fitrakis
Are the provisional ballots in Ohio being thrown out? A new rule for counting provisional ballots in Cuyahoga County, Ohio was implemented on Tuesday, November 9 at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon ...
At Greg Palast: Friday, November 12, 2004
KERRY WON OHIO, Just Count the Ballots at the Back of the Bus By Greg Palast
At OpEdNews.com: 15 November 2004
Evidence of Electoral Fraud in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election: A Reading List
by Michael Keefer
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
2004 U.S. Election controversies and irregularities
At What Really Happened: TUESDAY NOV 16 2004
VOTE FRAUD: Volusia County on lockdown
At Wired News: 12:18 PM Nov. 18, 2004 PT
Researchers: Florida Vote Fishy By Kim Zetter
At The Orlando Weekly News: 11/18/04
WAS IT HACKED? By Alan Waldman
From AFP at Yahoo: Tue Nov 23, 4:45 PM ET
US Congress to investigate irregularities in November 2 vote
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Government Accountability Office, the investigating arm of the US Congress, will probe allegations of irregularities in the November 2 US presidential vote, lawmakers said. ...
From AP at Yahoo: Wed Nov 24, 8:35 AM ET
Judge Denies Demand for Ohio Recount
TOLEDO, Ohio - A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request by third-party presidential candidates who wanted to force a recount of Ohio ballots even before the official count was finished. Judge James G. Carr in Toledo ruled that the candidates have a right under Ohio law to a recount, but said it can wait. The judge wrote that he saw no reason to interfere with the final stages of Ohio's electoral process. Officials have said the results will be certified by Dec. 6. ...
At BreakForNews.com: 24th Nov 2004
Dems Pocket $52 Million, CNN Ignores Evidence, and Officials Stonewall...
What Vote Fraud?
by Bev Harris, BlackBoxVoting.org in posts on Democratic Underground
At The New Statesman: Monday 29th November 2004 edition
Did Dubbya rig the election? By Michael Meacher
From the Online Journal: December 6, 2004
Texas to Florida: White House-linked clandestine operation paid for "vote switching" software By Wayne Madsen
The manipulation of computer voting machines in the recent presidential election and the funding of programmers who were involved in the operation are tied to an intricate web of shady off-shore financial trusts and companies, shady espionage operatives, Republican Party politicians close to the Bush family, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) contract vehicles. An exhaustive investigation has turned up a link between current Florida Republican Representative Tom Feeney, a customized Windows-based program to suppress Democratic votes on touch screen voting machines, a Florida computer services company with whom Feeney worked as a general counsel and registered lobbyist while he was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, and top level officials of the Bush administration. ...
From The NYT: December 7, 2004
As Questions Keep Coming, Ohio Certifies Its Vote Count
By JAMES DAO and ALBERT SALVATO
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 - The Ohio secretary of state officially certified on Monday that President Bush won that swing state by roughly 119,000 votes, but an array of Democrats, third-party candidates and independent groups continued to question the results, issuing new demands for a statewide recount and a formal investigation of the vote. ...
At OpEdNews: 12/12/04
Smoking Gun of Election Fraud is in Ken Blackwell’s Hand By Anthony Wade
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