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07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn

07.03 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]

News Media Matters

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [48:58 video]

07.17 Why Democrats’ oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump

07.17 Here's the real reason Trump is attacking 'the squad': he's scared of their politics

07.17 'Good,' Says Elizabeth Warren, After Billionaire Right-Winger Peter Thiel Says She's 2020 Democrat He Is 'Most Scared By'

07.17 The American Right Defines Patriotism As Complacency About Racism

07.17 This is what today's America looks like. The squad is us

07.16 As Trump Sows Discord, Chief of Staff Mulvaney Reportedly Focused on 'Building Empire for the Right Wing' [And the South shall rise again...]

07.16 George Will's startling assessment of Donald Trump

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]

Justice Matters

07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]

07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]

07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]

07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]

07.17 Trump’s Unlawful Asylum Policy Is a Jab at Mexico

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]

07.14 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]

07.13 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]

07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]

07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]

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  Maryland Moving Toward Reliable Voting System

STATE NEWS:

Maryland Moving Toward Reliable Voting System

Legislature and Civic Groups United for Voter Verified Paper Ballot Legislation SB713 filed, with 23 co-sponsors Coalition for paper ballot increases to 23 statewide organizations

SOURCE: Linda Schade, Executive Director TrueVoteMD.org
Maryland is on the verge of enacting legislation that will ensure transparent elections that voters can trust. When HB 244/SB713 becomes law Maryland will move from a state with the least secure and least transparent election system to a state with one of the most secure and transparent systems
February 7, 2006--Today, the Senate version of the ‘paper trail’ bill (SB713) was filed with 23 co-sponsors of both parties, with 24 needed for a majority vote. All members of the Senate Committee responsible for election issues support the bill. On the House side, Delegates are expressing confidence that HB244 will pass in a near unanimous vote. Civic organizations covering a wide range of interests support voter verified paper ballot legislation.

“Maryland is on the verge of enacting legislation that will ensure transparent elections that voters can trust. When HB 244/SB713 becomes law Maryland will move from a state with the least secure and least transparent election system to a state with one of the most secure and transparent systems,” said Bob Ferraro of TrueVoteMD.org.

Linda Schade of TrueVoteMD.org added “The widespread support for this bill in Maryland – inside the legislature and out – shows the state has come together in support of the basic proposition that voters should be able to trust that their votes are counted as case. We applaud Delegate Hixson and Senator Hollinger for showing leadership on this issue.”

The list of statewide organizations supporting paper ballot legislation has grown considerably this year, with 25 major statewide groups as follows in favor of paper ballot legislation:

American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland
American Council of the Blind of Maryland (ACBM)
Anne Arundel Peace Action
Baltimore Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance
Common Cause Maryland
Democracy for Maryland
League of Women Voters of Maryland
Maryland Area Guide Dog Users, Inc.
Maryland Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities
Maryland Christians for Justice and Peace
Maryland Green Party
Maryland National Organization of Women (NOW)
Maryland Public Interest Research Group (MaryPIRG)
Maryland Populist Party
Montgomery County Progressive Alliance
NAACP – all Maryland branches and chapters
Prince George’s County Civic Federation
Progressive Democrats of America – Maryland chapter
Progressive Maryland
Republican Women of Anne Arundel County
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1199
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Maryland and DC State Council
Sierra Club – Maryland chapter
Southern Maryland Council of the Blind, and
TrueVoteMD.org
###

Dear Delegate,

Thank you for your support on HB244 - the Voter-Verified Paper Record bill.

After more than two hours of testimony for HB244 in last week's Ways and Mean hearing, a number of individuals, particularly State Election Administrator Linda Lamone testified against HB244. TrueVoteMD offers the following documented corrections to a number of inaccuracies in opponent testimony. Please feel free to contact the TrueVote office for any clarifications at 301-270-6150.

Thanks again,

Linda Schade
Executive Director
TrueVoteMD.org


Corrections to Testimony of Opponents of HB244

To augment information provided for the February 1, 2006 Ways and Means hearing on HB244, TrueVoteMD offers the following documented corrections to a number of inaccuracies in opponent testimony.
  1. Significant Understatement of Costs of Current Diebold Voting System: The State Board of Elections (SBE) testified that the operating budget for the current Diebold system is ‘under one million dollars a year’. TrueVoteMD has attached correspondence from the Department of Budget & Management, which clearly states that annual operations and maintenance costs for the Diebold system $5 million in 2005 and $9 million in 2006. It also shows lease payments for the Diebold system at $9 million in 2005 and nearly $6 million in 2006.[1] Recommendation: The State and legislators should consider a full audit of the SBE’s budget and expenditures so an independent evaluation of the system costs can be made.

  2. Inflated Fiscal Note Costs and the claim that TrueVoteMD did not account for devices for the disabled in our cost estimates: Ms. Lamone testified that an op-scan system would cost $55 million. Our estimate - $24 million - is based on what other states have paid for optical scanners and accessible ballot-marking devices—approximately $5,000 per machine.[2] TrueVote’s cost charts do, in fact, include ballot-marking devices for the disabled in the same quantity the state currently provides: one per polling place. While we have no objection to providing two accessible machines per polling place, as the fiscal note stipulates, legislators should be aware that this doubles our current accessibility standard for no apparent reason except to inflate the fiscal note. Please see our cost comparison charts and a more detailed commentary on this year’s fiscal note.[3]

    Recommendation: Revise fiscal note with improved data to more accurately reflect costs.

  3. Maryland Diebold Machines Vulnerable to Recent Hacking Test in Leon County, FL: Contrary to the claims of Administrator Lamone (and Diebold), Leon County Elections Administrator Ion Sancho[4] confirmed by phone that he did not give passwords to computer expert Harri Hursti. Hursti penetrated the security of the Diebold system by using a simple memory card to change the mock election result. This manipulation could occur at any point where someone could substitute a fraudulently programmed card for the real one without detection.

    This applies to all Diebold machines in Maryland because:

    1. We use the same optical scan machines as the one used in the test to count our Absentee and Provisional Ballots.
    2. In a January 5, 2006 letter to the State of Pennsylvania, Diebold confirmed that the federally banned ABasic “interpreted” code exists on all memory cards in Diebold systems including the AccuVote TS used in Maryland.[5]

    Recommendation: This newly revealed vulnerability is such a serious threat that it must be addressed immediately. It suggests that, at a minimum, our Diebold equipment should be required to go through re-certification, as has been recommended by several officials including the chair of the Security subcommittee of the Technical Guidelines Development Committee of the federal Elections Assistance Commission[6]. Once federal officials confirm that Diebold’s systems violate the federal standards, the State of Maryland is in an excellent position to escape the Diebold contract, and also possibly recover lost expenses. We recommend that this avenue be pursued by the State’s Attorney General. Maryland law requires the use of voting system which comply with federal standards, therefore the Diebold system currently appears to out of compliance with law.

  4. AutoMark Certified by Lamone’s NASED organization: The fiscal note for HB 244 states, “SBE advises that using optical scan machines may require the State to also invest in an AutoMark voting system which is designed to work in conjunction with op-scan systems to provide access to voters with disabilities. The Automark is a relatively new product and SBE is unsure whether it meets federal voting system guidelines.” In fact, the AutoMark device was certified by NASED – of which Lamone is President - last year to current (2002) federal standards,[7] while Maryland’s touch-screen machines were certified only to 1990 federal standards (though now Diebold is out of compliance even with 1990 standards).

  5. ‘Re-Training’ Difficulty Overstated for Op-scan Implementation: Since optical scanners were used for several decades in 19 of Maryland’s 24 counties until March of 2004, it may be unreasonable to argue, as Administrator Lamone did, that ‘re-training’ elections workers for this voting system would be difficult. Most county BOEs and their election judges are familiar with op-scan systems; indeed many election judges dropped out due to the complicated Diebold system. New election judge training and materials will need to be produced this year anyway because of other changes to election procedures such as early voting. Recommendation: HB244 does not mandate a specific technology. However, if Maryland wants a cost effective, transparent, recountable, secure voting system, optical scan is our recommendation. Last year Administrator Lamone argued that we shouldn’t be hasty about locking ourselves into a paper trail when other viable verification options exist. One year later, at the completion of the SBE’s studies which excluded op-scan, we have learned that none of the options studied are viable.

  6. Exaggerated Time Required for Audits: Ms. Lamone claimed that audits would require 4-8 weeks. We have canvassed several states from among the 33 that have verifiable voting in place. Washington State did a hand recount of their razor close 2004 gubernatorial race[8]. That state – which is typical - says most counties do a full recount in one day but their largest county might take four days. Reliable audits are the only way to ensure that our election results are trustworthy. We are uncertain why the SBE would argue against audits. Other states report that hand audits of paper ballots are relatively inexpensive. According to North Carolina estimates, we can estimate audit costs to be between $10,000- $27,000[9].

    Recommendation: The SBE may want to consult other states for tested audit procedures.

  7. The claim that touch screens can produce a paper record of all votes if needed for a recount: This paper record is not voter-verified, so, there is no way to know if these ballots are an accurate record of a voter’s intent. If there is tampering or if hard or software makes a mistake in recording the vote, it simply repeats the error on that unverified ballot printed from the same computer record. The point of a voter verified record is to have a document that clearly shows the original intent of the voter to be used for audits and meaningful recounts. In the November 2005 Virginia Attorney General’s race, the Virginia courts ruled recounts were impossible because many counties lacked an independent recountable record of the votes.

  8. The claim that there is no secure way to store paper: As professional accountant Delegate Barve argued, many businesses, banks, and state agencies use paper backups routinely. Further, secure procedures for storing paper ballots have been in place for decades and a cooperative elections agency could likely improve them. We believe that our elections administrators can safeguard paper ballots. If they cannot store paper securely, why should they be any more capable of safe-guarding electronic systems, which are far more complex and susceptible to corruption, data loss, and fraud?

  9. Dr. Alan Sherman's claim that we shouldn't be hasty about locking into paper when other technologies may offer more security in the future: Dr. Aviel Rubin addressed this well in his response to Delegate Cardin's question: If and when such technologies become available and are fully tested and proven, we can reconsider changing the law at that time. Dr. Rubin estimated that such technology is at least a decade away from being viable. But no such technologies are currently on the market, and we need verifiable elections now. It is not reasonable to say it will take years to put paper ballots in place, but that new yet undeveloped technology is just around the corner. National experts including Dr. Rubin consistently say that a paper-based verification system is the best and only method available now.

  10. Concern of county officials about financial impact: Precinct-based optical scan voting systems would save the counties and state money over the short and long term—please see our yearly cost comparison chart. The touch-screen machines we currently use are the most expensive way possible to vote, as well as the least secure.

    Recommendation: Consider op-scan system and pursue contract re-negotiation with Diebold.

  11. Ms. Dacek’s dismissal of voting integrity activists as being “a group, mainly located in Montgomery County, insisting on a paper trail”: TrueVoteMD is part of a coalition of over twenty major state organizations, including the MD Council of the Blind, Sierra Club, MaryPIRG, the NAACP, CommonCause, MD NOW, ACLU-MD, and others, that have made verifiable voting a priority[10]. TrueVoteMD itself has a membership of thousands in every county in the state. A recent Zogby poll in Pennsylvania showed that 85% of voters want paper ballots. This closely matches TrueVoteMD’s findings from door-to-door canvassing in Montgomery County. The National Democratic Party has recognized the problems with electronic voting and recommended paper trails as the solution, as has the bipartisan Carter-Baker election reform commission.

  12. Administrator Lamone’s claim that some of TrueVoteMD's information is inaccurate: The ‘inaccuracy’ Lamone referred to is an original document produced by the Montgomery County Board of Elections, so her argument about its accuracy is with them. We make every effort possible to verify the information we post, and to cite our sources. Please help us correct any errors we may have inadvertently posted on our web site: www.TrueVoteMD.org.

[1] See email from Maryland’s Department of Budget & Management.
[2] See North Carolina bidding contracts See Michigan ES&S contract.
[3] See Cost Chart for Diebold Retro-fit vs. Op-Scan
AND see Explanation of Cost Chart.
[4] Mr. Sancho can be contacted at the Leon County Election Board at 850-606-8683.
[5] See Diebold Memo.
[6] See Dr. Ron Rivest’s response to the Leon County hacking test. [7] See NASD Qualified Voting Systems
[8] See Washington State 2004 General Elections.
[9] Estimate derived from North Carolina Paper Trail Fiscal Note
[10] For list of MD organizations supporting verifiable voting in Maryland, click here.

 

Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on February 13, 2006.

 

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