Show Details for February 10th, 2008

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This week’s Guests:

 — MARJORIE COHN on Current Constitutional Issues

— Diving Deep into the Mystery of Florida’s Lost 100,000 Votes, with SUSAN PYNCHON and KITTY GARBER
<> 6:00 pm CDT  – Headlines

— MARJORIE COHN on Current Constitutional Issues

Law professor MARJORIE COHN is a frequent legal analyst on The Monitor. She and Monitor co-host Mark Bebawi will discuss current Constitutional  issues.  Among the topics: using intelligence gained through torture; the recent CIA admission it used waterboarding on three prisoners; the investigation of the destruction of several hundred hours of videotapes depicting interrogations; and the stop-go-stop congressional debate on retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies, for cooperating with the federal government in surveillance on citizens.

Professor Cohn is the President of the National Lawyers Guild, and is a professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence, and international human rights law.

Her recent book is entitled “Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law.”

She lectures throughout the world on international human rights and US foreign policy. Professor Cohn has written columns for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the San Francisco Daily Journal, is a news consultant for CBS News, and a legal analyst for Court TV. She has provided legal and political commentary on BBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, Truthout, and Pacifica Radio.

She is co-author of the book “Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice.” She was a legal observer in Iran on behalf of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and she has participated in delegations to Cuba, China and Yugoslavia. She has lived in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish.

“Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law”
The six ways: illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq; the policy of
torture; war crimes; Guantanamo’s kangaroo courts; unconstitutional laws; and the
unlawful surveillance of American citizens.
— Diving Deep into the Mystery of Florida’s Lost 100,000 Votes, with SUSAN PYNCHON and KITTY GARBER

Sarasota’s iVotronic Voting Machines – Give These Things a Proper Burial!

Monitor co-host Pokey Anderson’s guests are SUSAN PYNCHON and KITTY GARBERSusan is executive director and founder of Florida Fair Elections Coalition and Florida Fair Elections Center.  Before moving to Florida, Susan was a reporter in Kennebunk, Maine, where she did environmental and investigative reporting.
Kitty is research director and co-founder of the groups.  She worked at a Washington, D.C. think tank previously, as a writer and editor on national policy issues for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
They spent a year writing a highly-documented investigation, “Sarasota’s Vanished Votes,” just released.  The mystery: What happened to some 18,000 votes in the tightly-contested congressional race for — ironically — the seat Katherine Harris vacated in 2006?
SUSAN PYNCHON and KITTY GARBER have examined boxes of records, 30,000 emails, pages of voting results, countless public records requests.  They looked at anomalies in six other Florida counties as well, trying to understand what actually happened.  They found more than they were looking for — not just 18,000 votes were missing.  They found 100,000 missing votes across Florida in the November 2006 election, somehow disappeared, vaporized, after voters used these same ES&S iVotronic electronic voting machines.
In the Sarasota area race, 15% of the ballots cast in Sarasota County on the iVotronic electronic voting machines (a total of 17,846 ballots) showed no vote for either candidate. This was many times the expected 1% to 3% who don’t vote in a high-profile election. The race was decided by a mere 369 votes, favoring Republican Vern Buchanan over Democrat Christine Jennings. Two lawsuits and a congressional/GAO investigation ensued, but Buchanan was seated in Congress.
Pynchon and Garber write: “There is no question that the 2006 contest for the U.S. Congressional District 13 seat in Sarasota was a failed election, where thousands of voters who thought they had cast a vote in this race did not have their votes counted.”
But wait. There’s more!
“What we uncovered in our investigation is shocking: The iVotronic voting
system failed to count over 100,000 votes in various races across the state of
Florida in the November 2006 election.
Furthermore, we have completely
refuted the theories that substantial numbers of voters intentionally withheld
their votes in the CD-13 race or that so-called “poor ballot design” was
responsible for the uncounted votes. By process of elimination, the only
remaining possible cause of the high undervotes is the catastrophic failure of the
iVotronic voting system. … [W]e found a badly designed, shoddily-built, poorly maintained,
aging voting system in a state of critical breakdown.
…In Charlotte, Lee and Sumter counties, astronomically high
undervotes occurred in the attorney general’s race,
ranging from an almost
incomprehensible 20-25%—meaning that the votes of one in four voters were
not counted in the AG race in these counties.”
  — “Sarasota’s Vanished Votes”
“Sarasota’s Vanished Votes:
An Investigation into the Cause of Uncounted Votes
in the 2006 Congressional District 13 Race
in Sarasota County, Florida”
January 2008
by Susan Pynchon and Kitty Garber
Florida Fair Elections Center


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