Watch Dan Rather Tonight on HDNet 8pm EST

I have to say I’m incredibly proud of the work we do at HDNet .

We have great people who work hard to make great shows. Tonight’s Dan Rather Reports is another great example. You can catch a Sneak Preview of the show here You can read Frazier Moore’s AP story on the show here

This is not your basic “look what we found” 12 minute segment. This is exactly what we set out to do with Dan Rather Reports. We wanted to find stories, uncover the news and report it in the best way possible. Dan’s show is normally 1 hour long. Not only will this story take up the full hour, but Dan asked for and got another 15 minutes to make sure we covered the entire story.

Fans of foes of Dan’s, or of any story related to politics will assume there was some political motivation behind the story. There isn’t. I will show you exactly where the story started with the following . There was nothing new to say until the following happened:

“A CRITICAL LEGAL DOCUMENT IN THE BATTLE OVER FLORIDA’S TOUCHSCREENS WAS FILED FAR FROM SARASOTA, HERE AT THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT IN MINNEAPOLIS, IN A CASE THAT ALMOST ONE EVEN KNOWS ABOUT.

THE CASE, BERGQUIST VERSUS HARTFORD CASUALTY, BEGAN TWO YEARS AGO. IT SEEMS AT FIRST A SIMPLE DISPUTE BETWEEN A POLICYHOLDER AND INSURANCE COMPANY OVER COVERAGE AND LIABILITY. BERGQUIST, THE COMPANY THAT MANUFACTURED THE SCREENS USED IN THE ES&S IVOTRONIC WAS SEEKING REIMBURSEMENT FOR COSTS INCURRED IN RECALLING AND REPLACING THOUSANDS OF POTENTIALLY DEFECTIVE TOUCH SCREENS, MOST IN VOTING MACHINES IN FLORIDA.

AN AFFIDAVIT IN THE CASE, RECENTLY FILED, LOOKS LIKE JUST ONE MORE DOCUMENT IN A MOUNTAIN OF COURT PAPERS. BUT THE AFFIDAVIT OF DR. PATRICIA DUNN, A FORMER MATERIAL SCIENTIST FOR THE BERGQUIST COMPANY, WAS A BOMBSHELL.

PATRICIA DUNN’S EXPERIMENTS AT BERGQUIST SUGGESTED THAT MORE SCREENS WOULD GO OUT OF CALIBRATION OVER TIME, ESPECIALLY IN HUMID PLACES…. LIKE FLORIDA.

ACCORDING TO DUNN, IN 2002 SHE URGED A RECALL OF MANY BERGQUIST SCREENS FROM MANILA…BUT COURT EXHIBITS SUGGEST IT WAS REPORTS IN 2003 OF SCREEN PROBLEMS IN LEE COUNTY, FLORIDA THAT WAS THE TIPPING POINT FOR MANAGEMENT AT BERGQUIST, ES&S AND PIVOT.

Thats the start of it. From there Dan will take you to the factories in Manilla where voting machines were made to show you why and how there will problems. He interviews the people involved who raised the issues, to no avail. Then he follows the problems from Manilla to Minnesota and beyond.

And thats just the start of the story.

check it out tonight at 8pm or 11pm EST

20 thoughts on “Watch Dan Rather Tonight on HDNet 8pm EST

  1. Mark, I took your advice and started watching the piece.

    A bit of history about me, I am a libertarian with fiscally conservative views and liberal social positions. And to me, Dan\’s piece tonight seemed nothing more than a bit of sour grapes.

    We have had touch screen voting machines here in rural Indiana for almost the past decade and have never had any problems that Florida seems to attract. Of course there are problems with voting technologies, but each election board makes the decision to purchase their own machines.

    I was looking at the voting setup from the former employee, and frankly it is incredibly stupid to put three votes so close to each other with all of that open screen. If the local election board decided to do this, it\’s their fault.

    I will watch the rest of it Mark, but I honestly am not impressed with this piece. Dan really doesn\’t do himself any favors by taking up the cause of a Democratic candidate, especially when there are many other more notable elections where Republican candidates loss by a similar margin.

    Comment by Brian -

  2. Get in a warm pool, Mark, and swim, float, and splash about. This will help loosen up any stiffness remaining from your surgery. You don\’t have much free time, I know, but this will make a big difference.

    I\’m rooting and voting for you.

    Comment by Theresa M. -

  3. Well, this is just typical US. Here in Sweden we havn\’t got these kind of election fraud problems.

    Comment by ugg -

  4. Election fraud isn\’t about left and right, it\’s about wrong and right. And the same can be said for election incompetance and even that bain of Republicans, voter fraud. Totally agree with you.

    Comment by Dansko -

  5. Speaking of HDNet, what\’s the situation with Comcast? Any progress in getting them to add your channels?

    Comment by Lugosi -

  6. Chris Monahan comments this is nothing new — I agree

    Comment by laptop battery -

  7. Thanks Mark for getting behind this information. Election fraud isn\’t about left and right, it\’s about wrong and right. And the same can be said for election incompetance and even that bain of Republicans, voter fraud.
    Dan Rather does America a favor by showing the outragious production of this equipment. Should such poorly made, poorly regulated gear be used to safeguard our most basic American right, the right to choose our leadership??? Any reasonable person would have to say, \”NO!\”
    And don\’t y\’all be telling me that because you trust bank machines you trust these voting machines. A bank machine can be verified in any number of ways. Computer voting machines cannot unless there is a voter-verified paper ballot which can then be audited. And in such a case, why spend all the money on such computers at all?
    One cannot trust a computer voting machine and know what\’s going on inside it anymore than one can know what\’s going on inside your own computer. You don\’t know when a virus or a worm is doing it\’s dirty work. You can\’t know unless it shows you, and many times it\’s too late then. Haven\’t any of y\’all ever owned a computer?
    I work the polls, too. I do all the required checks to see if the machines are working, but I don\’t know what\’s going on inside anymore than I know if my desktop has a virus right now. And, I have access (along with thousands of others…) to the machines, and, if I wanted to do so, could hack them myself and throw any election I wanted to change for the whole county…
    Some times the old ways are the best. How \’bout pen, paper, locked clear plastic box with the cast ballots inside? Brillient, huh? Then we open it up and count it in full view of everyone as soon as the polls close. We could still know the results by morning…

    Comment by Hines Linden -

  8. Dear Mark,

    I thank you for the great piece by Mr. Rather tonight on voting. You have raised good points for all Americans who believe in Democracy, on the Left Right or Center. Bottom line, a vote in this country is sacred and something our soldiers have died for in the past and continue to do so even now. I would like to share a link to a Wired article from 4 years ago about Australia and how they handled the situation.

    http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2003/11/61045

    In the end I appreciate you bringing up this topic but people in power and with the means need to then start a company that will make American Made voting units that are transparent and not hiding behind \”proprietary information\” B.S.

    That means you Mark. I don\’t expect you to spend all your money on it but you can find the capital from sources and help build a better and more transparent mousetrap.

    Just a thought.

    Comment by Pete -

  9. I\’m glad this isn\’t about diebold.

    Comment by Morgan Warstler -

  10. As Chris Monahan comments this is nothing new.

    And I guess you have never seen Hacking Democracy, from HBO.

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=hacking+democracy

    Comment by Matador -

  11. Lol, Leonel is weird. I\’m looking forward to the show. Is humidity in Florida really comparable with Manila? I went on vacation there and everything was climate controlled and comfortable.

    Madison self storage

    Comment by carpet -

  12. Mark: I look forward to watching this program. I need more information to get me trough the day. like don\’t have ay thingelse to do i,m alredy pissedoff before i read this okay

    Comment by leonel lopez avalos -

  13. I met an older couple who are so paranoid and untrusting of voting in general and nonpaper ballot in particular that they are certain that someone with a cell phone in the parking lot of a polling station can dial a number and change the vote tallies of all the machines.

    Perhaps a closer examination of the system would provide some incite. I worked as a poll worker last November and had to spend several hours training on the touch screen machines – their set up, use and closure procedures. Each machine had its own coding and the vote tallies were electronically collected. Each machine also had a paper back up. After the polls closed, the votes were tallied for each election and each precinct. the votes were posted on the polling place wall for all to see. The Electronic and Paper back results were taken to county election headquarters. The whole day was monitored by representative from both parties.

    More important, the County Clerk of Elections decides on the voting method with oversight from both major parties. I find it hard to believe that one side would knowingly allow any possible kinks in the system that could systematically sway an election.

    Any problems in Florida with Touchscreen voting machines could just as easily have recorded \”Gore/Lieberman\” instead of \”Bush/Chaney\” and visa versa.

    my $0.02

    Comment by Kevin -

  14. Sorry everyone, disregard #9. I had a separate window open that hadn\’t been refreshed and thought my first comment got taken down.

    Comment by Jeremy C. -

  15. I will certainly be taking a look at this but along with a with a large grain of salt.

    Dan\’s previous piece on Medical Marijuana was so one-sided (towards the Federal Government\’s propaganda) and unnecessarily alarmist that I was nearly yelling at the screen. Because of the piece, I have trouble even respecting him as a journalist.

    One example from the episode:

    Dan tours the facility where the federal government grows loads of marijuana at the University of Mississippi. He mentions how the government sells (profitably) the bounty to researchers. He unquestioningly nods as the federal representative makes his statements. Dan completely fails to even make mention of three VERY key points:

    – The federal government actually SUPPLIES \”medical marijuana\” to five U.S. citizens via a program that was started in the 80\’s and then quickly shut down by the first Bush administration. These five patients receive a canister of approx 350 marijuana cigarettes EVERY MONTH from Uncle Sam while the government continues to argue that there is ZERO benefit from the \”falsehood of medicinal marijuana\”.



    – The quality of the marijuana grown at UM is FAR LOWER than what is widely available in California dispensaries and therefore not nearly as useful to researchers.

    – The UM project holds a TOTAL MONOPOLY on legal production of marijuana for research purposes. A Professor Craker from UMass Amherst has been battling for years to be allowed to grow marijuana for research. An administrative judge for the DEA has even recommended for the approval of his request. That judgment is not binding and the director of the DEA continues to stonewall his efforts with no stated reason.

    http://www.maps.org/mmj/DEAlawsuit.html

    This is just a single segment and basically the entire episode is filled with missed opportunities to present a dissenting view.

    http://www.mpp.org

    Comment by Jeremy C. -

  16. Brian,

    You are missing some of the points.

    1. Electronic voting is sketchy at best. If something happens there is zero real time backups of the data. And no paper copies.

    2. Why are voting machines, of which, are the heart and soul of America\’s democratic republic, not manufactured in the US? And even more frightening, made in Manila with Chinese parts by a company owned by a family well known to not be credible?

    3. Why is there not a standard US wide? It is up to each states\’ elected official to make the final decision on contracts. And we\’ve all seen the results of politicians with zero checks/balances.

    4. The Floridian case is just the most high profile issue. Happens to land against the GOP. HDNet and the story, is a news piece without an agenda, but a story about a sales tax increase in rural Idaho not passing because of voting machines just doesn\’t have the right sex appeal.

    Comment by Total Sports Direct -

  17. This is nothing new. All the touchscreen voting machines have come into question and MANY elections have been stolen. HBO did an hour special last year and hell, Votescam was written 30 years ago. But touchscreen voting machines make it so much easier to steal an election. Check out blackboxvoting.org

    Comment by Chris Monahan -

  18. Thanks Mark and Dan! As an avid supporter of Ron Paul I think we have quite a bit in common and this might explain the latest Straw Poll results!

    Comment by Corey -

  19. I hope this gets so much coverage that Comcast is left with no choice but to add HDNet and HDNet movies to my lineup!

    In the meanwhile I hope you\’ll consider some kind of simulcast for these reports with iTunes or another venue. I\’m sure here in San Francisco there would be more than a handful of people who\’d pay $1.99 to see this.

    Comment by Robert Seidman -

  20. Mark: is it GG before LL before BB? I look forward to watching this program. I need more information to piss me off today! Rasputyn\’s leaving the white house made me cheer, although I heard rumors he was headed for Florida, hmmm. A friend recently made a comment that all Presidential transfers of power are very non-eventful, but I think Cheney might use force! I like Dan Rather and respect him as a journalist. I was once the victim of a corporate drive by shooting. Kudos Dan the Man…..

    Mr. Adams may I suggest you take your lack of respect to Iamanaco.com!

    Comment by Mary Clemente -

Comments are closed.