Monday, October 27

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

NY Times - A New York Times analysis of campaign finance records looking for obvious anomalies in donor information quickly found more than a dozen contributors to Mr. Obama using obviously fictitious name. This was a tiny fraction of Mr. Obama's donor pool, but it appeared from the analysis that Mr. McCain had far fewer apparent fake names among his donors. Unlike Mr. Obama, Mr. McCain provides on his Web site a searchable database of all of his donors, including those who fall below the $200 threshold that the Federal Election Commission requires campaigns to itemize in their reports. . . . Other news reports have surfaced recently of people discovering credit card charges they had not made to the Obama campaign. And The Washington Post reported this week the tale of Mary T. Biskup of Manchester, Missouri, who received a call recently from the Obama campaign asking if she had donated $174,800 to the campaign. Ms. Biskup said she had not and told the Post it appeared someone had used her name but not her credit card number, because nothing had showed up on her own bills. . . The main problem, according to Ms. Franzi, seems to be that Mr. Obama's Web site apparently does not require that the donor's information match the information on the credit card making the contribution, while Mr. McCain's seems to have stricter standards.

George Will - Ninety-five percent of what the government does is redistribute wealth. It operates on the principle of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs. Case in point: we have sugar subsidies. Costs the American people billions of dollars but they don't notice it it's in such small increments. But the few sugar growers get very rich out of this. Now we have socialism for the strong - that is the well-represented and organized in Washington like the sugar growers. But it's socialism none the less and it's not new.

John McCain on why Palin is qualified to be president - She has more executive experience than Sen. Biden and Sen. Obama, together. She took on the governor of her own party because she had seen what she's thought was corruption. She's been a mayor. She has 24,000 people underneath her. Her husband is a, uh, works the third shift on the oil who...in...facilities in the North Slope. He's a, ah... the-they have a won...she has executive experience...

That TV host who interviewed Joe Biden in such a hostile way is married to a GOP media consultant.

Ralph Nader
claims to have set a Guiness Book record by delibering 255 minutes of speeches in Massachusetts on one day. The previous record was 150 minutes.

WATCHING THE COUNT

McClatchy Newspapers -
Disclosure of an election computer glitch that could drop ballot totals for entire precincts is stirring new worries that an unofficial laboratory testing system failed for years to detect an array of flaws in $1.5 billion worth of voting equipment sold nationwide since 2003.

Texas-based Premier Elections Solutions last week alerted at least 1,750 jurisdictions across the country that special precautions are needed to address the problem in tabulation software affecting all 19 of its models dating back a decade.

Voting experts reacted skeptically to the company's assertion that election workers' routine crosschecks of ballot totals would have spotted any instances where its servers failed to register some precinct vote totals when receiving data from multiple memory cards.

Like nearly all of the nation's modern voting equipment, Premier's products were declared "qualified" under a voluntary testing process overseen from the mid 1990s until 2005 by the National Association of State Election Directors.

Computer scientists, some state officials and election watchdog groups allege that the NASED-sponsored testing system was a recipe for disaster, shrouded in secrecy, and allowing equipment makers to help design the tests.

The federal Election Assistance Administration, created in 2002, took over the testing responsibility in 2005, but has yet to certify a single voting machine.

As a result, charged Susan Greenhalgh, a spokeswoman for watchdog group Voter Action, the systems on which Americans will decide the race between Barack Obama and John McCain in November are "scandalously flawed"' and "the integrity of this election is in question."

Brad Friedman, Brad Blog
- We've been reporting for the past week on what we see as the dismal failure of the DNC/Obama's much-vaunted team of "thousands of attorneys" ready to pounce on any reported problems in the electoral system around the country. . . We've had to report on Democrats in Pennsylvania being sued by the NAACP, because neither the DNC nor the Obama campaign was willing to stand up for voters to demand that emergency paper ballots be made available to voters in Pennsylvania before every machine in a precinct breaks down. . .

We've taken no joy in any of that criticism, or in our assertion that the effort appears to be a slightly beefed-up version of John Kerry's 2004 effort. Now, it seems, the Obama/DNC has finally come out of hiding to share what they are doing. Unfortunately, they just can't tell us what that is. . . My colleague Steven Rosenfeld, over at AlterNet, who, after previously reporting the DNC's limp efforts at dealing with concerns about electronic vote counts some weeks ago, offers an explanation from the DNC as to what they claim they are doing to protect your vote. Turns out, they're doing plenty, if you believe the DNC. They're just doing it in complete secrecy "behind the scenes," offering no evidence for it, while all of the actual available evidence to the contrary that we can see with our own eyes is to be completely ignored, apparently.

John Gideon, After Downing Street - In a stunning admission Sequoia Voting Systems has admitted to not printing and mailing over 11,000 absentee ballots to Denver, Colorado voters. Their spokeswoman claimed they "made an unfortunate mistake". In fact, the company had failed to notify the city of this "mistake" and when originally asked they lied and told the city they had delivered all 21,450 ballots they were supposed to print and deliver to the post office on Oct. 16. Sequoia claims they will have ballots printed and delivered to the post office by tomorrow, Monday. Voters have until election day to get those ballots marked and either back in the mail or delivered to any early polling site. Not mentioned by anyone is if any overseas voters or military are affected by this failure.

In Jefferson Co Arkansas voters will vote on ballots that don't have some alderman races on them. The county discovered their error too late and they have now fixed it but all early voting has been done without those races being voted on by the voters. The county will just forget all of those voters and hope that none of the races are close which would open them up for potential lawsuits.

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