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General News    H2'ed 3/1/20

California Spent $300 Million for WHAT?!

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California Spent $300 Million for WHAT?!

Danger Ahead: California "Readiness" for Super Tuesday?

My guest today is historian, election fraud investigator and author, Richard Hayes Phillips. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Richard.

Joan Brunwasser: We talked just a few weeks ago: "Election Analyst Delves into Bernie's "Electability."Now, I understand that you would like to discuss what is going on in California, with the upcoming primary looming. Please get us started.

Richard Hayes Phillips: The California primary will take place on Super Tuesday, March 3. There will be 416 delegates at stake, more than 20% of the number needed to win the nomination on the first ballot. My concern is that the vote count will not be verifiable, and therefore may not be trustworthy. Nearly half of the voters in California will not be allowed to mark their own ballots. A "ballot marking device" will do it for them.

Ballot Marking Device
Ballot Marking Device
(Image by Wikipedia)
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JB: Before we go any further, what's a ballot marking device and why doesn't it cut the mustard?

RHP: A "ballot marking device" (BMD) is a touch screen computer that generates a computer-marked printout which is then tallied on a computerized optical scanner. BMDs were designed for people who are unable to mark paper ballots with their own hands due to infirmity or disability. There is no legitimate reason to force the rest of the voters to use them.

The voting machine vendors contend that voters will verify that the printouts accurately reflect the voters' choices. But in a test run by the University of Michigan, 93% of the voters, even when prompted, even when told that they must check their ballot before it is cast, did not notice when the BMD changed one of their votes.

JB: So, help me understand. If BMDs are designed for people with disabilities, and have serious issues of transparency, why would the California Secretary of State agree to use them? Something is not tracking for me here.

RHP: These machines were not approved unconditionally. In fact, Alex Padilla identified dozens of serious issues with the BMDs that Los Angeles County had already purchased. He retroactively imposed conditions upon their usage, it being far too late to purchase other machines.

JB: As a long-time election investigator, this must have made you so mad. So, what did you do with that?

RHP: I wrote a letter, prior to Alex Padilla's ruling, as part of the public record, at the urging of Brad Friedman, one of my heroes. On the Brad Blog, and on his podcast, he asked us to speak up. Alex Padilla did have the authority to stop this. He could have refused to certify these "ballot marking devices". He had legal grounds to do so. The Voluntary Voting System Guidelines set by the United States Election Commission require that voting systems produce a paper record that can be verified. I researched the voting systems, county by county, for the entire State of California, and identified another fifteen counties where "ballot marking devices" will be forced upon all the voters. In these counties, whoever wants to audit the upcoming primary will have no reliable way of discerning voter intent, because the devices might not have marked the printouts as the voters intended.

16 California counties using BMDs, outlined in red
16 California counties using BMDs, outlined in red
(Image by Richard Hayes Phillips)
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JB: Wow. You had to dig deep to get all this information. How did you actually find out what voting methods will be used?

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
 

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6 people are discussing this page, with 9 comments


Stephen Fox

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What is to prevent Bloomberg from scamming (and I truly don't know how, when, or if such a theft would take place) a big chunk of California's votes with this machinery described in your article? Or, for that matter, how it could be prevented. I surely hope Bernie's Team knows the answer to that question.

After all, the Vice Chairs of the Texas and California's Democratic Parties have been Bloomberg's employees for quite some time now!

See my article here:

Bloomberg Has Hired Vice Chairs of Texas and California Democratic Parties

I was sad to observe that in the last election in 2016 with an egregious and stupendous election fraud/voter purge that went on in NY state with 128,000 black and brown voters purged and disenfranchised totally, in Brooklyn and in the Bronx, that Bernie's lawyer, Brad Deutsch of Washington DC, did file any kind of action whatsoever in Federal Court.

Was Bernie overwhelmed? Threatened? Trying to be accommodating? I really can't say.

I don't know who his lawyers are now, but everything you are saying about these voting machines is quite alarming to me, and is bringing back bad memories of very bad electioneering ripoffs in NY from 2016 and the unwillingness (apparently) of the candidate who suffered the most to do anything about it".

Even the California primary was manipulated by Associated Press a few days before their primary, if you recall.

Why AP Jumped the Gun

https://www.laprogressive.com/ap-names-hillary/

California is now and has been for some time Bernie's Firewall. There are stooges at work right now, both in the DNC and in Bloomberg's efforts to obliterate BERNIE'S FIREWALL, the voters of California (and of Texas as well).

We are not playing with political powers that play "Fair and Square."

In case you have forgotten those purges in NY, this video describes just a small aspect of the whole coldly calculated mess, with Mayor de Blasio asking for an investigation:

Submitted on Sunday, Mar 1, 2020 at 5:50:25 AM

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Michael Dewey

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Paper ballots and weekend voting are no brainers on fixing the election problems.

Submitted on Sunday, Mar 1, 2020 at 6:44:04 AM

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Joan Brunwasser

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I agree. They certainly would help a lot. They won't, however, solve the other deep-seeded problems, including voter purging, gerrymandering, voter intimidation, the lack of campaign finance reform, etc.

Submitted on Sunday, Mar 1, 2020 at 3:18:58 PM

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Tom Calarco

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One thing I got out of this conversation was that BMDs had been forced on South Carolina voters and noticed that in the final results of the primary, Biden got a significant increase in his plurality than any of the polls conducted just prior to the voting. It makes one suspicious. As the digital world has made government surveillance a reality, it also has increased the ability of autocrats to surreptitiously maintain their power. What possessed Padilla to approve this? That is something we should try to find out.

Submitted on Sunday, Mar 1, 2020 at 2:10:43 PM

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Joan Brunwasser

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Agreed. Call me suspicious but I can't help but think that the move to make our elections more opaque and less verifiable in state after state is not a good sign for either the state of our elections or democracy itself.

Submitted on Sunday, Mar 1, 2020 at 3:25:52 PM

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Marta Steele

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Good work, Joan! Please keep it up during this most crucial of seasons--we need your expertise!

Submitted on Sunday, Mar 1, 2020 at 5:18:00 PM

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Joan Brunwasser

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Thanks, Marta. But the truth is, this is a marathon that demands that as many of us as possible jump in and share the load. The only caveat would be if you truly don't care what happens and have no family or friends or children or neighbors or anyone who will pay the price for misguided, anti-democratic acts and mindset. In that case, feel free to stay on the sidelines and watch as our system implodes, taking us all along with it.

Submitted on Sunday, Mar 1, 2020 at 6:16:05 PM

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Josh Mitteldorf

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Some background:

Four years ago, the party establishment was caught red-handed (perhaps not the best metaphor) rigging the primary against Bernie Sanders. The evidence presented (thru Wikileaks) was sufficiently embarrassing to force the replacement of party Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and to change the rules for the "superdelegates," who are selected not by voters but by the party establishment. This year, we already have abundant signs that, once again, the party establishment is working to tilt the selection process against Sanders. Their public statements make no attempt to hide this. The party establishment has a great deal of influence, not just in messaging, but controlling who has access to the air waves and debate platforms. Their bias here is completely above-board and freely reported.

But the Party leaders also have influence over the mechanisms by which votes are recorded and tallied. Are they using this power as well to influence the outcome? Are they going beyond messaging to actually rig the election count? We all wish we lived in a world where we didn't have to ask such questions.


You can put an X in front of your favorite candidate's name with a #2 pencil, and you can be pretty sure that there will be no line of impatient voters waiting their turn because #2 pencils are in short supply. Think how many #2 pencils you could buy for the $300 million dollars were wasted on these awful machines? So, why would anyone want to use an $8,000 machine to mark a ballot?


Submitted on Monday, Mar 2, 2020 at 1:20:19 AM

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Joan Brunwasser

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Thanks for offering this context, Josh. Very useful.

Submitted on Monday, Mar 2, 2020 at 2:21:51 AM

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