And If You Thought the Indiana Vote Was Wacky…

7 05 2008

YOU REALLY SHOULD VISIT TEXAS SOMETIME

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WILL AUSTIN DUMP E-VOTE MACHINES IN `08?

(DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH)

Here in Austin, Texas, local officials are at least considering dumping those unpopular and unreliable electronic voting machines which have generated so much controversy here, there, and everywhere.

Sounds promising, but…don’t hold your breath, friends.

This brilliant idea might just work (and is working) in other states, other cities…but here in the home of two of the most notorious election-stealin’ presidents in American history (LBJ and our current despot, George W. Bush), that’s a mighty tall order.

You will please pardon my cynicism, but as a longtime Austinite deeply rooted in Texas politics and as a journalist who has been covering this dirty game for nearly two decades, I can only say:

Election reform in Travis County? Surely you jest!

Our illustrious election officials (most of whom are Democrats, btw) have been fudging votes since long before anyone ever heard of E-Slate or electronic voting machines.

We’ve been doing this for a long time. What good Texan could forget how “Landslide Lyndon” Johnson won his Senate seat in 1948? Box 13, anyone?

Fixing elections is hardly a new concept in Texas (or anywhere else, for that matter)…although e-voting certainly makes it much easier to do, and a lot harder to get caught.

So, whether Texans cast their ballots on paper or in the ether this year, I’m not wholly convinced that it will make much difference. Remember that it’s just as possible to steal an election with paper ballots as it is electronically. 

Anyway, hats off to Vote Rescue for holding our County Clerk’s feet to the fire on this issue. Hell, we just like to see Dana DeBeauvoir’s pretty little pedicured toes sweat a little…

…and remember, Dana…We ARE watching you!!!!!

 

AUSTIN PLANS REVIEW OF HART INTERCIVIC MACHINES IN LIGHT OF FEDERAL FRAUD LAWSUIT

Travis County ClerkDana DeBeauvoir said she is committed to a point-by-point review of the county’s eSlate machines, in the wake of a federal whistle-blower’s lawsuit alleging that Hart InterCivic overpromised and underdelivered on the machines.

The organization Vote Rescue was on hand at Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting to provide copies of Hart technician William Singer’s lawsuit, which alleges that Hart stretched reports of the performance of the eSlate in Ohio in order to secure its share of the $4 billion set aside in the Help America Vote Act.

DeBeauvoir said she’s not yet willing to pull the plug on the machines but would if she found significant problems in light of the lawsuit’s allegations. Vote Rescue would prefer the county return its machines and choose to count ballots by hand.

From Friday’s Austin Chronicle

More on this from Brad Blog | Singer’s futile July 2004 efforts, attempting to notify the Secretaries of State in both Texas and Ohio, were originally reported in exclusive detail by The BRAD BLOG in March of 2006.

Following discussions we had with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after our report, he and his radio co-host, Florida attorney Mike Papantonio, filed a federal qui tam whistleblower suit on behalf of Singer.

The complaint charges fraud and other violations of the False Claims Act by Hart, including allegations the company failed to test its products properly, and frequently at all; withheld information from prospective clients about the potential loss of votes in its voting systems; dummied-up machines, reports, and test results presented to clients in sales presentations; and much more in an attempt to win state and county contracts and the federal money that came with them…

Despite having some direct involvement in the case from the beginning, The BRAD BLOG has been unable to report any details on it for going on two years — unable to offer the names of the plaintiff or defendant in the case — since originally reporting that it had been filed in federal court, due to the fact that it was under seal, waiting for the U.S. Attorney General to decide whether the DoJ would join the suit or not.

Singer’s suit is the fraud case which originally made waves when it was first filed two years ago, with the aid of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Florida attorney Mike Papantonio, until it then went “underground” due to the legally mandated seal disallowing the plaintiff and his attorneys from offering any specific details to the public.

As AP reported recently, the seal on that federal qui tam (fraud, false claims) complaint, brought on behalf of the United States by Singer against Hart, one of the big four American voting machines companies, has now been lifted, and the case may finally proceed as originally filed.

• The complaint may be downloaded here [PDF, 45 pages].

Read Brad’s full blog entry here .

STOP THEM BEFORE THEY DO IT AGAIN!

And don’t forget that RFK Jr. and Greg Palast have launched a new investigation into allegations of election fraud in the 2008 election. Right now, they need your help exposing this corruption! Get the story here.

(To learn more about VoteRescue’s fight in Texas, check out a recent radio broadcast which delves into this and one of the other lawsuits against the Texas Secretary of State’s office and the Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir filed in June 2006 by David Van Os, former candidate for Texas Attorney General; Nelson Linder, President of the NAACP in Austin; the NAACP; and citizen Sonya Sontana, in an attempt to stop the use of the Hart InterCivic E-Slate machines in Travis County.

The lawsuit alleges that various sections of the Texas Election Code and Texas State Constitution have been violated by the SoS’ approval of the Hart Intercivic e-Slate (as well as, the Hart E-Scan and the Diebold and ES&S DREs and scanner systems although they are not a part of this lawsuit) for use by Texas voters.

The show can be heard in the Austin area at 90.1 FM; and is archived online at www.wtprn.com (“We the People Radio Network”).

 

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