IMPORTANT Action on Votergate News Coverage

This is big! Aaron Brown of CNN's Newsnight is joining the lone voice of Keith Oblermann of MSNBC in covering the election "irregularities". It was only a few minutes but it was excellent. If he gets positive feedback on this, he will do more. (Keith Oblermann's ratings are soaring as a result of his coverage, and CNN is getting stiff competition from Fox news, so you can bet they will cover this if it improves their ratings.) Write Aaron Brown at
http://www.cnn.com/feedback/forms/form5.html?13 and thank him for his coverage, ask him to continue, tell him how important it is to you. If you have time, mention a few items -articles or links to check out, but make sure what you send is fact-checked, good investigative reporting. "With more than a quarter century of journalism experience to draw from, Aaron Brown is CNN's lead anchor during breaking news and special events."

Transcript from Aaron Brown's Newsnight on CNN, aired Tuesday, Nov. 23 http://premium.asia.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0411/23/asb.01.html

Below is the excerpt from the show transcript where he discusses the election:


BROWN (voice-over): Bev Harris, a citizen activist who first brought national attention to the problems with voting software, is now in Florida pursuing internal computer records for what she calls a forensic audit.

BEV HARRIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BLACKBOXVOTING.ORG: I think we can talk, you know, until the cows come home about what might happen and could happen and what's theoretical, and the best thing we can do is just go get the records and see what did happen.

BROWN: She's not alone. A number of experts are now looking and looking hard at not only fraud, but the possible effects of simple computer error, the kind of dumb mistake that ruined the Hubble telescope and sent Mars missions astray. So how accurate was the 2004 vote count?

DR. REBECCA MERCURI, VOTING TECHNOLOGY EXPERT: Basically, 80 percent of our votes, for the most part, we really don't know. We haven't taken the time to look into it.

BROWN: Some examples. In Franklin County, Indiana, a programming error was applying Democratic votes to the Libertarian Party. After a recount, the winner on election night is now the loser. In North Carolina, over 4,000 ballots are gone forever, lost when a voting machine passed its arbitrary limit. In South Florida, election officials were horrified to see vote totals start counting down after they hit 32,000.

What is even more disturbing, a statistical study done at U.C. Berkeley indicates that there could have been similar counting problems in all Florida counties that use touch-screen voting machines.

MERCURI: The type of testing that you need is really being done at Election Day, as opposed to being done before Election Day.

BROWN: In Washington today, in an office so new you could still smell the carpet glue, the Federal Election Assistance Commission admits it is only beginning the process of creating national standards.

DEFOREST SOARIES, CHAIRMAN, U.S. ELECTION ADVISORY COMMISSION: Every voting machine that was used this year was certified against standards that were 1990 standards.

BROWN: The chairman promises intensive federal audits, audits to guarantee eventually voter confidence.

SOARIES: We're going to go down to the ground on this much further than we've ever gone before. I don't take the opinion, and neither does my commission, that what you don't know won't hurt you.


BROWN: And the debate will go on.


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November 2004

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