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Old 7th September 2022, 04:08 PM   #1
Stacyhs
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GOP Efforts to Undermine Fair Elections

I can't find a proper existing thread for this so I'm putting this here. If the mods can find a more appropriate thread, feel free to put this there.

We know about gerrymandering, passing restrictive voting laws, etc. but the GOP party in Michigan is going into the "undercover agents" training business declaring that breaking the rules is OK if they can 'get the goods' on the evil Dems:
Quote:
Michigan GOP leaders encourage rule breaking at poll worker training session

The evening before Michigan's state primary, Wayne County GOP leaders held a Zoom training session for poll workers and partisan observers -- warning them about "bad stuff happening" during the election and encouraging them to ignore local election rules barring cell phones and pens from polling places and vote-counting centers.

"None of the constraints that they're putting on this are legal," former state senator Patrick Colbeck told trainees on the August 1 call.
As far as cell phones, "I would say maybe just hide it or something, and maybe hide a small pad and a small pen or something like that because you need to take accurate notes," Cheryl Costantino, the GOP county chairwoman and host of the call, told participants.
Some participants raised concerns about being tossed out if they broke the rules. "That's why you got to do it secretly," Costantino replied.

Poll workers have to swear an oath that they will be non-partisan in their work no matter their personal party affiliation or leanings.

Quote:
During the Wayne County training call, obtained by CNN, the presumption that Democrats cheat -- thus justifying Republican rule-breaking -- permeated the discussion. It offers a snapshot of one of the ways Trump-backing, MAGA-minded conspiracy theorists are intervening in the election process across the country, sometimes encouraging poll workers or volunteer observers to violate election rules in hopes of finding evidence that Democrats might be doing the same.
It's an approach election experts fear could spur chaos and conflict in November's mid-term elections and in 2024.
Quote:
Like its counterparts in fellow battleground states Arizona and Pennsylvania, Michigan's Republican Party has conspiracy believers pushing for influence over the election process at all levels, from candidates for statewide office down to poll workers and observers. As CNN has previously reported, that's partly due to a strategy by Trump allies of ceaselessly recruiting conspiracy-minded MAGA volunteers for rank-and-file party positions.

Earlier this year, unsuccessful GOP gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley called on Michigan poll workers to unplug election equipment "if you see something you don't like happening."
Quote:
Towards the end of the Zoom call, Costantino told the trainees, "So you are all, really, undercover agents. Congratulations. That's undercover training."
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Old 7th September 2022, 07:27 PM   #2
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At least it seems to be getting a lot of press. The GOP really does seem to oppose any democratic effort that it doesn't win. More and more they are just the conspiracy theory and paranoia party.

Conservatism has its values, but the modern Republican party is not reflective of that.
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Old 7th September 2022, 08:42 PM   #3
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Wayne county is pretty sharply divided in terms of race an population. They heavy Republican parts of the county are overwhelmingly white. They also had the worst anomalies in terms of voting irregularities in the county in 2020. Trump's supporters wanted to throw out Detroit where there were irregularities but not as bad as say, Livonia, which is full of Trump supporters.

Unless these people are working in Detroit they will be looking for problems where Republicans already are going to lead in the vote count. There are a few suburbs that are more mixed in racial make up. Westland, where I live, is one of them. This is one of the few places where they might have an impact.

Ultimately they will end up getting themselves kicked out and slow down the vote count. But since the state legislature still has not passed a law to start counting mail in ballots before election day the count will still take extra time anyway just like it did in 2020.
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Old 8th September 2022, 07:08 AM   #4
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It is stated that Wayne County Michigan was where some of the worst voting irregularities took place in 2020. I am curious to know what those irregularities were? I looked at some news articles and they do not document that claim. One was an Associated Press news story -- AP seems like a pretty neutral source -- from November 13, 2020, reporting on efforts by Republicans to halt the vote certification in Wayne County. David Kallman, a lawyer for Republican challengers, sued on the basis that Republican challengers were illegally removed from the TCF Center while absentee ballots were being processed, ballots were backdated, signatures on ballot envelopes weren’t verified and suspicious vehicles rolled up with ballots before dawn on Nov. 4. AP reported:
Quote:
Officials, however, said there were plenty of GOP representatives in the convention hall, though access at times was restricted because of COVID-19 rules.

The judge [Timothy Kenny] said he was especially swayed by an affidavit from Chris Thomas, the respected former state elections chief, who was hired in September to help Detroit prepare for a flood of ballots. Thomas at each turn knocked down what Kenny described as “speculation and guesswork about sinister motives.” Thomas acknowledged that Detroit “utilized a rental truck to deliver ballots” to the TCF Center, the judge said. “There is no evidentiary basis to attribute any evil activity by virtue of the city using a rental truck with out-of-state license plates.” Link to AP report
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Old 8th September 2022, 07:47 AM   #5
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LOL wanting fair and open elections is just a Liberal Political Position, which means you are biasedly biased biasing against Republicans.

Republicans can't win in fair elections ergo ipso facto e plurbiusm enum if you want fair elections you are just a Liberal who hates the Right. Biased! BIASED I SAY! I HEREBY DIAGNOSE YOU WITH THE BIAS!
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Old 8th September 2022, 11:39 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
It is stated that Wayne County Michigan was where some of the worst voting irregularities took place in 2020. I am curious to know what those irregularities were? I looked at some news articles and they do not document that claim. One was an Associated Press news story -- AP seems like a pretty neutral source -- from November 13, 2020, reporting on efforts by Republicans to halt the vote certification in Wayne County. David Kallman, a lawyer for Republican challengers, sued on the basis that Republican challengers were illegally removed from the TCF Center while absentee ballots were being processed, ballots were backdated, signatures on ballot envelopes weren’t verified and suspicious vehicles rolled up with ballots before dawn on Nov. 4. AP reported:
There were local news reports on this but likely not easy to find anymore. The County Clerks office web page had them listed.

From what I remember, Livonia was the worst but likely voted for Trump. The activists only wanted Detroit precincts excluded and tried to ignore the suburbs that were worse.
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Old 8th September 2022, 12:35 PM   #7
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I'm quoting a local news report -- from Bridge Michigan, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization in Michigan -- from December 1, 2020. The headline on the story is
"Weeks after vote, 13 fake fraud claims persist in Michigan. Here’s the truth."
Quote:
The post followed GOP Wayne County Board of Canvassers members’ initial decision not to certify the county’s election results, citing concerns about too many “out of balance” precincts. This means that the number of voters recorded in poll books did not match the number of ballots cast.

It’s not unusual for precincts to be out of balance. There can be simple explanations, such as voters getting tired of long lines and leaving, or paper jams that cause ballots to be read twice. The imbalances are not indicative of extra or illegal votes. In Detroit, 70 percent of absentee counting boards were out of balance and unexplained for the November election. In most instances, the ballot counts were off by fewer than four votes, and the total number of votes at issue is roughly 450 in an election Biden won by 154,000 votes. Bridge Michigan article link
I think the lesson is, the Republican strategy -- keep repeating the same accusations, no matter, how many times they're disproved -- has worked. To the extent, people have heard 'voting irregularities' so many times that, after a while, people assimilate it. 'I've heard this so many times it must be at least partly true.'
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Old 8th September 2022, 01:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
I'm quoting a local news report -- from Bridge Michigan, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization in Michigan -- from December 1, 2020. The headline on the story is
"Weeks after vote, 13 fake fraud claims persist in Michigan. Here’s the truth."


I think the lesson is, the Republican strategy -- keep repeating the same accusations, no matter, how many times they're disproved -- has worked. To the extent, people have heard 'voting irregularities' so many times that, after a while, people assimilate it. 'I've heard this so many times it must be at least partly true.'
But but but, they counted the black votes!!!! Think what our founders would think of letting the lesser races vote!

If you look at legitimate votes (white male property owners) Trump won easily.
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Old 8th September 2022, 01:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by newyorkguy View Post
I'm quoting a local news report -- from Bridge Michigan, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization in Michigan -- from December 1, 2020. The headline on the story is
"Weeks after vote, 13 fake fraud claims persist in Michigan. Here’s the truth."


I think the lesson is, the Republican strategy -- keep repeating the same accusations, no matter, how many times they're disproved -- has worked. To the extent, people have heard 'voting irregularities' so many times that, after a while, people assimilate it. 'I've heard this so many times it must be at least partly true.'
It's evidence of the truth in this classic quote attributed (but unproved) to Joseph Goebbels: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

Hitler was right when he wrote in Mein Kampf:

Quote:
that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation….
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Old 8th September 2022, 02:04 PM   #10
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It’s fun the times you encounter a election denier online. Despite all these other claims they made theirs are invariably a variation of “I was watching the returns…and there were “X” counted votes for Biden, then a moment later there “X+1500” votes for Biden!! I don’t know how that could have happened!?” Uh, yeah, some county returns came in dude.

After that they start muttering about “irregularities” that they can never get specific about but start demanding forensic vote counts.
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Old 8th September 2022, 02:10 PM   #11
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They tend to recycle the same old disproven nonsense as in the Mein Kampf quote above:

"Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation".
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Old 8th September 2022, 02:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
They tend to recycle the same old disproven nonsense...
The sad part is, it seems to be working on enough of the public to make matters very dicey. Which is where we are today. A recent CNN poll found:
Quote:
In January 2021, shortly after the attack on the US Capitol, 59% of Americans said they had at least some confidence that US elections reflected the will of the people. That included 36% who were very confident that elections were representative of the public's wishes. Now, a year and a half later, only 42% have some confidence, and just 16% are very confident.

The biggest shifts over that time have come among Democrats and independents, even as Democrats remain the political group most likely to express confidence in American elections. In early 2021, 90% of Democrats said they were at least somewhat confident that elections reflected the will of the people; now, just 57% are. Among independents, the share who have at least some confidence has fallen from 54% to 38%. Among Republicans, by contrast, confidence has modestly increased but remained low, from 23% confident then to 29% now. Link to CNN report
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Old 8th September 2022, 03:57 PM   #13
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That's an oddly worded question.

For example, some (especially Democrat) respondents may think that it fails to reflect the will of the people due to gerrymandering and the electoral college.

Respondents of all political flavors may vote negatively because they feel they are not given a true choice of who they might want to vote for.

If the idea is to draw conclusions about election validity itself, they should ask whether the respondent thinks the outcome reflects the true vote counts.
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Old 8th September 2022, 04:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
That's an oddly worded question.

For example, some (especially Democrat) respondents may think that it fails to reflect the will of the people due to gerrymandering and the electoral college.

Respondents of all political flavors may vote negatively because they feel they are not given a true choice of who they might want to vote for.

If the idea is to draw conclusions about election validity itself, they should ask whether the respondent thinks the outcome reflects the true vote counts.
Exactly my thoughts.
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Old 12th September 2022, 09:44 AM   #15
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So, this Colbeck guy published a book titled Information Technology Roadmap for Professional Service Firms.

And he thought his Zoom-call instructions to break the law would not be leaked?

There was a time when crooked politicians lived by the creed: treat every room as if it were bugged. Now we have folks who can’t even treat live cameras and microphones as threats to secrecy.

ETA
maybe I’m not paying enough attention to “ None of the constraints that they're putting on this are legal,"
Maybe he is going with it is not immoral to break an unjust law.
With the follow up of laws protecting the safety of poll workers are inherently unjust.
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Old 12th September 2022, 12:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
There was a time when crooked politicians lived by the creed: treat every room as if it were bugged. Now we have folks who can’t even treat live cameras and microphones as threats to secrecy.
Learned the wrong lesson from noticing that most people get in trouble when their attempts to cover it up are revealed.

Predicted (with partial success) that if you don't even try to cover it up it's sometimes surprisingly difficult to make anything stick.
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Old 12th September 2022, 12:43 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ladewig View Post
There was a time when crooked politicians lived by the creed: treat every room as if it were bugged. Now we have folks who can’t even treat live cameras and microphones as threats to secrecy.
Because the evil people of the world no longer care if the truth gets out because their followers have no limits on how proudly stupid and wrong they are willing to be to defend them.
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Old 12th September 2022, 03:08 PM   #18
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Democracy has a built-in ticking time bomb that brings about its own destruction. The mass of people who will eventually, through a Big Lie, vote it away. Politics is cyclical. Man's impetuous inconstancy cannot have it otherwise.
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Old 12th September 2022, 09:45 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
Democracy has a built-in ticking time bomb that brings about its own destruction. The mass of people who will eventually, through a Big Lie, vote it away. Politics is cyclical. Man's impetuous inconstancy cannot have it otherwise.
A frightening thought, but is it truly borne out? First we'd even have to say what that would look like, historically. Would you look at all democracies that have ended, and see which ones voted to abandon it, as opposed to losing it by force?

If you modify the thought to say, "All democracies that aren't forced away eventually vote themselves away" isn't a very informative thought. Considering there's a theoretical time limit to everything, that's like saying all coin flips that don't land on heads will land on tails.
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Old 13th September 2022, 03:24 PM   #20
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A Republican Board of Elections commissioner from Rensselaer County (NY), a mostly suburban county just east of Albany, was arrested this morning by FBI agents and charged with 12 felony counts of unlawful possession and use of a means of identification. Jason Schofield was able to locate personal information on at least eight people, and then use it to obtain and vote absentee ballots last year.

The Albany (NY) Times Union newspaper reports:
Quote:
The indictment accuses Schofield of using an online state Board of Elections portal to request absentee ballots on behalf of eight voters who had no interest in voting, did not request absentee ballots and didn't know that Schofield was using their personal information to obtain the ballots. The indictment alleges Schofield "falsely certified" that he was the person requesting the ballot when he entered the voters' names and dates of birth in the portal. The ballots that were delivered to the Rensselaer County Board of Elections were subsequently filled out and submitted in last year's primary election, the general election, or in some instances both. In some instances documentation was completed falsely claiming the ballots were mailed to the voters at their residences. Times Union news link
The Times Union added, "Schofield had been scheduled to play in a Republican-sponsored golf tournament today but it was cancelled." No reason for the cancellation was given.
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Old 13th September 2022, 03:36 PM   #21
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Does this surprise anyone? It seems that almost all the illegal voting going on was being done by Republicans. An accusation is a confession when it comes to the GOP.
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Old 14th September 2022, 01:50 PM   #22
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FBI seizes Pillow Guy's cell phone.
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FBI agents seized a cellphone belonging to Mike Lindell, the MyPillow founder and prominent election denier, as part of a federal investigation into an alleged breach of voting machines in Colorado, according to Lindell.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/inves...-fbi-mypillow/

Question: How much information can be recovered from a cell phone? Obviously the contacts list would accessible. But if texts and call logs have been deleted, can they be restored? What can the FBI actually get from a cell?
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Old 15th September 2022, 06:41 AM   #23
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Location data, verify what other devices have been in proximity to it and when, and a whole lot of things you don't even realize your smartphone records. Also, yes, deleted data can be restored. They may not even need the phone itself to do that. The data may still exist on the service provider's or app developer's servers. The phone can simply be used to verify it was, in fact, the person in question's device sending and receiving these messages.
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Old 15th September 2022, 06:47 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
They may not even need the phone itself to do that. The data may still exist on the service provider's or app developer's servers.
Although having the phone may give them access to messages that have been sent with an App that uses end-to-end encryption
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Old 15th September 2022, 07:03 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Although having the phone may give them access to messages that have been sent with an App that uses end-to-end encryption

There was an article in the new Skeptical Inquirer about lynch mobs in several countries that have killed multiple people based on baseless accusations started using chat apps with end-to-end encryption, so there was no way to determine who was responsible for starting them.

"That guy in the out-of-state car [who was actually visiting his grandmother] is here to abduct children and harvest their organs." (He was beaten and then burned to death.)

"Get your people ready to storm the Capitol after the speech."

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Old 15th September 2022, 07:58 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Although having the phone may give them access to messages that have been sent with an App that uses end-to-end encryption
Unless they already have the device of another participant in the conversation, the developer already gave them the decryption keys/relevant data, or they already decrypted it themselves.
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Old 15th September 2022, 09:53 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Although having the phone may give them access to messages that have been sent with an App that uses end-to-end encryption
Do you seriously believe Lindell is smart enough to know how to do that?
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Old 15th September 2022, 09:55 AM   #28
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It doesn't take a lot of grey matter to use Signal or Telegram.
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Old 15th September 2022, 01:44 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
I can't find a proper existing thread for this so I'm putting this here. If the mods can find a more appropriate thread, feel free to put this there.

We know about gerrymandering, passing restrictive voting laws, etc. but the GOP party in Michigan is going into the "undercover agents" training business declaring that breaking the rules is OK if they can 'get the goods' on the evil Dems:
Yes exactly; and I hasten to point out, it is not a position that is an organic reaction to "election fraud" conspiracy theories they've fallen into believing; rather the purpose of creating and pushing the accusations of election fraud in the first place, was to facilitate this response.

Though I don't think you're "wrong" in the practical sense when you say "every accusation is a confession", when it comes to wild conspiracy-mongering like with the "stolen election" claims, I would say that in concept and intent the accusations are more like rationalizations or alibis than confessions. Republicans positively want to rig elections. Everyday individual Republican voters, positively want rigged elections in favor of Republicans. They also know that it would be morally wrong and doesn't square with a performative commitment to democracy and the rule of law though - thus, the need for the conspiracy theories. They knowingly create and support false claims of widespread election fraud by Democrats because if those claims were true, it morally justifies fighting fire with fire. It's no longer unfair for Republicans to rig elections if Democrats did it first, it's just compensatory - not actually weighting the scale, but just zeroing the needle. They can't be the ones betraying and breaking democracy if Democrats already did that.

Because the response is more important than the factuality of the claims used to justify it, absolute belief in the veracity of the claims is required no matter what, in order to protect the moral defensibility of supporting the response.
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Old 20th September 2022, 03:37 PM   #30
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And more wooden ties are pulled out from under the democracy railroad.

Originally Posted by CNN
The Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity agency this summer turned down a multimillion-dollar proposal to protect election officials from harassment ahead of the midterm elections, multiple people familiar with the matter told CNN.

The plan's rejection comes as some DHS and cyber officials have expressed concern about their work to stem disinformation being cast as "partisan," according to multiple people familiar with DHS policy discussions. Last month, DHS shut down its high-profile Disinformation Governance Board after Republicans criticized the expert chosen to lead the board as being overly partisan.
"DHS got very spooked after the failed rollout of the Disinformation Governance Board, even though the message [from administration officials] was clear that we can't back down, we can't be bullied by the right," a senior US official told CNN.
The proposal, which was made by a federally funded nonprofit, also included plans to track foreign influence activity and modestly increase resources for reporting domestic mis- and disinformation related to voting.
https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/20/p...r%20told%20CNN.
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Old 20th September 2022, 04:00 PM   #31
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Referring to my OP, just released is a video of those same 'agents' inside the election office in a restricted area.

Quote:
Newly obtained surveillance video shows for the first time what happened inside a Georgia county elections office the day its voting systems are known to have been breached on January 7, 2021.

A Republican county official in Georgia and operatives working with an attorney for former President Donald Trump spent hours inside a restricted area of the Coffee County elections office that day. Among those seen in the footage is Cathy Latham, a former GOP chairwoman of Coffee County who is under criminal investigation for posing as a fake elector in 2020.

CNN previously reported that Latham escorted operatives working with former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell through the front door of the elections office on January 7, 2021. The new footage appears to undercut previous claims by Latham that she was not “personally involved” in the breach.

The new video, obtained as part of a years-long civil lawsuit in Georgia related to the security of voting systems there, shows Latham remained in the office for hours as those same operatives set up computers near election equipment and appear to access voting data.

The footage also features the two men Latham escorted into the building earlier that day, Scott Hall and Paul Maggio, both of whom have acknowledged they were part of a team that gained access to Coffee County’s voting systems.
Sure seems to me that it's the Republicans who are screaming about election fraud who are breaking the law.
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