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Voter "Fraud" or voter disenfranchisement?
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2022 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trump was finally right about Michigan voter fraud. But very wrong about the culprits.

Donald Trump was right. I never thought I’d write those words, but he did warn us that there was a “giant scam” in Michigan involving the state’s election. Of course, Trump made that claim about the 2020 presidential election in the state, where he lost by over 150,000 votes.

Photo illustration: A red colored map of Michigan over a piece of paper with signatures.
Photo illustration: A red colored map of Michigan over a piece of paper with signatures.
The bureau said the fraud was so widespread that after it struck the invalid signatures, five of the 10 candidates were lacking the requisite 15,000 valid signatures needed to remain on the ballot.

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While that assertion was false — per numerous audits, lawsuits and a 55-page report the Republican-led Michigan Senate released in 2021 debunking each of Trump’s election lies — there is actually a significant election scandal in the state. But it involves the 2022 election for governor and Republicans, including some who have peddled Trump’s lies about the 2020 election. Ah, karma.

To get on this year's ballot for governor in Michigan, state law required candidates to collect at least 15,000 signatures from registered voters and submit them by the April 19 deadline. Securing that many valid signatures in a state of over 8 million registered voters shouldn’t be that hard. That is, apparently unless you are one of the 10 Republican candidates running to take on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The state’s Bureau of Elections, which reviews the submitted petitions to ensure the signatures are valid, said after examining the petitions of the GOP gubernatorial candidates that it found a “volume of fraudulent petition sheets” that it had never seen before. The bureau said the fraud was so widespread that after it struck the invalid signatures, five of the 10 candidates were lacking the requisite 15,000 valid signatures needed to remain on the ballot. This included the two front-runners: former Detroit Police Chief James Craig and businessman Perry Johnson. In Craig’s case, the bureau reported that his campaign submitted over 21,000 signatures, but more than 11,000 were invalid, leaving him with just 10,192 “facially valid” signatures, well below the requirement.

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Part of what made the bureau suspicious, as detailed in its report, was some petition sheets not showing evidence of “normal wear” that would be found if a person carries a petition around for hours or even days to gather signatures. It also said some petitions appeared to be “round-tabled,” meaning people took turns signing lines on the petitions in an attempt to make the signatures appear authentic. Plus, it said it found the petitions included fake signatures of many dead voters. Looks like Trump was right again, this time about dead people getting involved in elections.

Election experts, including two at the University of Michigan, have explained that in the past, campaigns relied on volunteers to gather signatures. In recent years, however, more campaigns have hired commercial firms that pay people by the signatures they collect, work often done with little supervision. Still, in most cases, valid petitions are submitted. That wasn’t the case this time.

Why didn’t the campaigns double check the petitions before submitting them to the state?

The Michigan Bureau of Elections is not alleging that the candidates knew their petitions contained fraudulent signatures. But why didn’t the campaigns double check the petitions before submitting them to the state? As Lansing attorney John Pirich, an election law expert who has worked for both Republican and Democratic candidates, told the Detroit Free Press, "You don't have to be a handwriting expert to look at many, many of these signatures to see that they're almost virtually identical."

You would’ve thought that at least Johnson, who claimed at a debate this month that Trump legitimately won in 2020, would have reviewed the petitions in detail before submitting them, especially given that he recently stated that he views "voter integrity as one of the single most important issues in the state." Johnson is a big Trump loyalist who has run a campaign ad in which he vows to "hold Detroit accountable" when it comes to future elections. It's a transparent play on Trump’s lie that there was voter fraud in Detroit during the 2020 election.

In response to the news that he may be dumped from the ballot, Johnson made a statement that implied he was taken advantage of by “criminals.” Another Republican of the five identified by the bureau, Michigan State Police Capt. Michael Brown, dropped out of the race, saying he “cannot and will not be associated with this activity.”

On Thursday, the bipartisan, four-member Board of State Canvassers ruled the remaining four GOP candidates were disqualified from the ballot. Craig told NBC News he plans to file "an immediate appeal in the courts." We can expect to see similar lawsuits from the other disqualified candidates, which will extend this battle ahead of the August primary.

Say what you will about Trump — and believe me, I have — but he was right to be on the lookout for election fraud in Michigan. He just got the political party that was committing it wrong.

when good people stay silent the right wing are the only ones heard.
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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2022 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

are there any journalists out there.

I decided to look at dominion the vote machine company. They bought out Ess and s and Diebold's vote machine companies. Diebold was a republican party chair of Ohio. ESs was a right winger CEO from i think nebraska where he won a future election out of nowhere Chuck Hagel.

The equity group that bought them in 201 had worked at Carlyle group that is a ultra right wing defense contracting media and control company.

for instance, one of their retires Glenn Youngkin
Governor of Virginia

Dominion Voting Systems Corporation was founded in 2002 in Toronto, Ontario, by John Poulos and James Hoover.[22] The company develops proprietary software in-house and sells electronic voting hardware and software, including voting machines and tabulators, in the U.S. and Canada and retains a development team in their Serbian office.[3] The company maintains headquarters in Toronto and in Denver, Colorado.[2] Its name comes from the Dominion Elections Act.[23][24]

In May 2010, Dominion acquired Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems, Inc.) from Election Systems & Software (ES&S). ES&S had just acquired Premier from Diebold and was required to sell off Premier by the United States Department of Justice for anti-trust concerns.[25] In June 2010, Dominion acquired Sequoia Voting Systems.[26]

In 2018, Dominion was acquired by its management and Staple Street Capital, a private equity firm.[27][28]


The co-founders of Staple Street Capital, Stephen D. Owens and Hootan Yaghoobzadeh, are veterans of The Carlyle Group and Cerberus Capital Management, respectively, and first worked together in Carlyle's US Buyout Group starting in 1998. Our team has completed over 100 transactions involving complicated corporate carve outs, operational turnarounds, management led buyouts, public-to-privates, restructurings, refinancings and/or recapitalizations.

background of past ownership...

About half of the largest ballot-counting corporation, Election Systems & Software (ES&S), is owned by the Omaha World-Herald Company, which publishes the city’s conservative daily newspaper, and about a fourth is owned by the McCarthy Group, an Omaha investment fund that is identified with Republican causes.

John Gottschalk, publisher of the World-Herald, recruited Chuck Hagel into American Information Systems (AIS), an Omaha-based vote-counting company. Hagel worked there five years, eventually becoming CEO and part owner. In 1995 Hagel resigned to run for the Senate from Nebraska, where AIS would be counting the votes in his election contest. A Gallup/World-Herald poll the Sunday before the voting showed Hagel and his Democratic opponent in a 47-47 dead heat. Hagel won two days later by a fourteen-point spread. Easily re-elected in 2002, Hagel is a likely GOP candidate for President in 2008.

Hagel’s investment in the McCarthy Group is valued in his reports to the Senate at between $1 million and $5 million. I asked him if a US senator should be an investor in, as well as close friends and allies with, the leading owners of the largest vote-counting company in the country, which counts his own contested elections and expects to count about 61 million votes in November. Hagel replied: “I have no direct investment in ES&S. I have no discretion over McCarthy Group investments. But more importantly, disclosure is the answer [to] these dilemmas and questions. The people of America can determine if members have serious conflicts of interest.”

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According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Michael McCarthy, the CEO of the McCarthy Group, and his wife gave $28,750 to Republicans, nothing to Democrats, in the past three election cycles. Executives and employees of the firm have contributed almost six times as much to the GOP as to the Democrats ($74,245 to $13,300) in the past five and a half years.

Diebold CEO Walden O’Dell has bundled $100,000 or more in contributions for George W. Bush. O’Dell and his wife have given $19,965 to GOP candidates and campaign entities, nothing to Democrats. Since a letter was revealed in which he said he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President” in November, O’Dell has withdrawn from politics and prohibited all Diebold executives and employees from making political contributions. Since 1991 Diebold had given the Republicans $343,366 and the Democrats $2,700, a ratio of 127-1.

David Hart, chairman of Hart InterCivic, said that because of the business he’s in he doesn’t contribute. A major investor in Hart InterCivic is Tom Hicks’s investment firm, Stratford Capital Partners. Hicks was in the group of investors who bought the Texas Rangers from Bush and others for nearly three times their investment in it. Hicks has also been a lavish donor to Bush campaigns.

Executives and employees of one of the independent testing authorities (ITA), Ciber, Inc., favored the Republicans 57-1 over the past three election cycles, $101,900 to $1,800. The executives and principal owners of SysTest Labs, another ITA, appear to shun political giving. In the past three cycles employees at Wyle Laboratories, the third ITA, made a total of five contributions to five Republican recipients

still just irresponsible that any voting machine does not have a human easily readable vote print out. agency: Voting software vulnerable in some states
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2022 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

long read not all copied

How a County GOP Chair Coordinated a Voting Machine Breach

DOUGLAS, GEORGIA—The Georgia Secretary of State claims it’s investigating how a local election supervisor gave a cadre of 2020 election truthers improper access to an election computer system—what initially seemed like the latest example of rogue actors misusing their government positions to cast doubt on President Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump.

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But that investigation may expose a far more sinister plot than previously suspected.

According to text messages obtained by The Daily Beast, the covert access granted to Atlanta bail bondsman Scott Hall and his technical team was actually part of a coordinated effort to find election irregularities. And the effort, it turns out, was led by a local elections official and the chair of the rural county’s Republican Party—who was also one of former President Donald Trump’s infamous slate of fake electors.

Last month, The Washington Post revealed that the Secretary of State’s office was investigating the matter. But the never-before-reported text messages shed new light on who arranged the possibly illegal access to the computer and who was on the team that traveled south to do it. The Secretary of State’s office is already fighting off a lawsuit over the security of the state’s voting machines and may face tough questions before a federal judge next week, given that the Coffee County incident demonstrates the state’s inability to keep its machines off limits.

The situation has election cybersecurity experts concerned about the actual danger to election systems posed by these vigilante expeditions, which are mainly driven by disproven conspiracy theories.

“Everything we have seen so far shows that the people who have been doing this have no fucking skills. You have an elephant in a porcelain store. They can accidentally install malware, accidentally cause all kinds of havoc,” said Harri Hursti, a Finnish computer programmer with extensive experience analyzing election systems.

The text messages acquired by The Daily Beast show two separate conversations in which former Coffee County GOP chair Cathy Latham and elections board member Eric Chaney lay out a plan to bring in a team of computer experts to access the computer voting system. The Daily Beast has verified that the conversations were real and remain stored on an iPhone.

In the weeks after the November 2020 election, people who refused to accept the results scrambled to find evidence of alleged vote tampering.

That included Misty Hampton, then the Coffee County elections supervisor, who made a viral video claiming to show how Dominion Voting System machines could flip votes. Her video fueled the quickly coalescing conspiracy theories and came at the perfect time—just as Trump advocate lawyer Sidney Powell and others launched so-called “Kraken” conspiracy lawsuits with bogus allegations of voting fraud.

While those bogus lawsuits clogged up the courts, ex-Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne and QAnon-friendly attorney Lin Wood funded independent efforts to send teams of “hackers and cybersleuths” to access voting computer systems across the country. It’s in that atmosphere that Coffee County became another front on the election denial battlefield.

At 4:26 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, as the Capitol building in Washington was under attack, another plan was in the works 607 miles away in the small town of Douglas, Georgia.

Chaney, the elections board member, received word that the county GOP chair was on the phone with an Atlanta businessman who wanted access to the voting system computers there.

“Scott Hall is on the phone with Cathy about wanting to come scan our ballots from the general election like we talked about the other day. I am going to call you in a few,” Hampton wrote to her boss in a text message conversation we obtained.

The next morning, the operation was underway. Text messages show that a group of five people traveled south from Atlanta to the government elections offices in Douglas. According to the texts, the team was led by Paul Maggio, an executive at a computer forensics and data storage company in the city.

Maggio and his firm, SullivanStrickler, played a role in perpetuating the myth of a Trump victory in 2020 as hired expert witnesses supporting a lawsuit against Antrim County, Michigan—another locality that was mired in bogus allegations of vote tampering—and the text messages show that the team headed to rural Georgia also included Jeffrey Lenberg, a man heralded by rightwing media as a “systems vulnerability expert” who also reviewed the voting machines in Antrim County.

Hall chartered a plane for a team set on copying a computer server that housed the elections management system, something that Hall, a member of that team, would later reveal on a call with an elections rights activist.

“Team left Atlanta at 8… 5 members led by Paul Maggio… Scott is flying in,” Latham texted on Jan. 7 at 9:46 a.m.

“I trust you all!” Latham wrote.

An hour later, a small single-propeller plane flying in from DeKalb-Peachtree Airport appeared on the horizon just north of the small city, according to flight records obtained by The Daily Beast. It landed at 11:06 a.m. at the Douglas Municipal Gene Chambers Airport. A short time later, Latham checked in on Hampton.

“Scott has landed and the rest of team is almost to Douglas,” Latham wrote.

Hall and the team made their way to the windowless Elections and Registration building. Hampton would later tell The Daily Beast that Chaney and Latham were there, and she recalled telling her junior assistant, Jil Riddlehoover, to stay quiet.

“I told her, ‘You sit over there. You don’t say anything. You don’t know what’s going on,” Hampton recalled.

While others did technical work, Hampton went and bought pizza for the crew across the street, she told The Daily Beast. The operation continued for hours. At 3:48 p.m., Hampton updated the GOP chair.

“Going great so far,” she texted Latham.

when good people stay silent the right wing are the only ones heard.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2022 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this was end of march.

Federal judge overturns parts of Florida election law, citing ‘horrendous history’ of racism


The decision will likely be appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, where a majority of judges were appointed by GOP presidents.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A federal judge on Thursday struck down key provisions of a 2021 Florida election law championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and, in a remarkable move, ruled the state must get court approval for the next 10 years before it enacts further changes in three areas.

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, in a blistering 288-page decision, said the law placed restrictions on voters that were unconstitutional and discriminated against minority citizens. Those included limits on drop boxes used for mail-in voting, on giving items to voters waiting in line and new requirements placed on voter registration groups.

The ruling comes less than six months before the state’s first major election since the new law was passed, with primaries scheduled for Aug. 23. It also comes amid a wave of restrictions put in place by Republicans in other states like Texas following the 2020 election.

Walker, who was appointed to the bench by former President Barack Obama, framed Florida’s law as another in a long line of changes that were aimed at Democrats but wound up placing an illegal burden on minorities.

“At some point, when the Florida Legislature passes law after law disproportionately burdening Black voters, this court can no longer accept that the effect is incidental,” Walker wrote. “Based on the indisputable pattern set out above, this court finds that, in the past 20 years, Florida has repeatedly sought to make voting tougher for Black voters because of their propensity to favor Democratic candidates. In summation, Florida has a horrendous history of racial discrimination in voting.”

DeSantis, who is running for reelection this year, vowed to quickly appeal the ruling to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, where a majority of judges were appointed by GOP presidents.

“This is a judicial equivalent of just pounding the table,” DeSantis said at a press conference Thursday in West Palm Beach. He added that Walker did not have either the “facts” or the “law” on his side.

“I think it was performative partisanship,” he said.

Florida had a smooth election in 2020, with DeSantis even boasting that the state had shed its reputation as a laughingstock based on the 2000 presidential recount and other incidents. But amid former President Donald Trump’s false assertions that the 2020 election was rigged, DeSantis and legislators pushed through the changes.

Walker’s ruling followed a more than two-week trial and included thousands of pieces of evidence, including emails and text messages that showed a crackdown on mail-in ballot requests was seen as a way for the GOP to erase the edge that Democrats had in mail-in voting during the 2020 election.

The judge’s decision placed a permanent injunction on several parts of the new law, such as restrictions on when drop boxes could be used by local election officials. As part of the order, the judge also put in a preclearance requirement if legislators want to change laws regarding voter registration organizations, drop boxes or so called “line warming” activities with voters waiting to cast ballots at the polls.

There was immediate skepticism as to whether this rarely-used remedy under federal law will survive once it reaches a higher court.

Richard Hasen, professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine, called the decision a “blockbuster” ruling on his Election Law blog but said in an interview that the judge’s finding that the Legislature intentionally discriminated could be overturned by a higher court. Even if appeals judges agree with Walker’s conclusion, he added, they still may not go along with a preclearance requirement.

“It’s a big imposition on Florida’s sovereignty to say it has to get federal approval,” Hasen said.

An appeals court could reject Walker’s main findings and send it back down for further consideration, he said.

Parts of the new law, however, will remain intact despite the lawsuit filed by an array of civil and voter rights groups, including the Florida NAACP and the League of Women Voters of Florida.

Walker, for example, did not strike down a requirement that voters must offer additional identification — such as a driver’s license number — in order to get mail-in ballots. He said the groups suing did not produce enough evidence to suggest a disparate impact on voters. Walker had previously rejected a challenge to another part of the law that prevented someone from collecting more than two ballots from nonfamily members.

But Walker asserted that legislators knew about the potential impact of the changes on minority voters, ignored them and did not provide any true rationale for why they were being adopted. He even chided what he called the “racial tropes” used by Republican senators while defending the bill during contentious debate with Democrats. One senator, for example, suggested that if someone could not vote after the changes then they were “lazy.”

Legislative leaders reacted sharply to the tone of Walker’s ruling, with Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) calling the judge’s comments on senators “appalling” and his ruling “unprofessional, inaccurate and unbecoming of an officer of the court.” House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R-Palm Harbor) called the decision “illogical” and “unsupported” and said the preclearance requirement was “an egregious abuse of his power.”

Democrats and the groups that challenged the law hailed Walker’s decision and said it confirmed their position that the law violated Black voting rights.

“Governor DeSantis may wish to run our state otherwise, but in Florida, we still believe every vote should be counted and every voice heard,” said Andrea Cristina Mercado, executive director of Florida Rising, one of the groups that challenged the law. “No matter how many barriers Governor DeSantis tries to throw in the way of Black and Latino voters having our voices heard and vote counted, we will knock them down.”

Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz, in a statement, said the ruling confirmed what the Party had been saying for at least a year.

“Instead of governing, Ron DeSantis and Republicans in the Legislature spent two years passing unconstitutional and discriminatory laws that were destined to be struck down by the courts,” he said.

when good people stay silent the right wing are the only ones heard.
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