Guest Blogged by Kevin Zeese
EDITOR'S NOTE: Kevin Zeese is an independent candidate running for the U.S. Senate in Maryland. His following "Open Letter to the Maryland Media" comes on the heels of Thursday's news of Republican MD Governor Robert Ehrlich's letter announcing, amongst other things, that he "no longer [has] confidence in the State Board of Elections' ability to conduct fair and accurate elections in 2006." In the letter, Ehrlich expressly singles out Democratic Election Administrator Linda Lamone, charging that she and the SBE have been "working primarily on behalf of partisan legislators and their interests" and questions her claims that Diebold's paperless touch-screen voting machines --- deployed across the state in 2002 as part of Diebold's "showcase" roll-out of their new system --- could not be replaced by voting devices with voter-verified paper trails in time for the 2006 election. Ehrlich called for paper ballots in his letter.
It was also revealed on Thursday, that Lamone had allowed uncertified Diebold voting machines to be used in elections in Maryland in both 2002 and 2004. Diebold's election equipment has since been show to be hackable, prone to massive failure, and has lost votes in recent elections according to a recently released non-partisan GAO Report, a recent "hack test" in Leon County, FL, and scores of other confirmed reports, studies and analysis from around the country. Lamone is also the curent President of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED).
Given the national implications of this matter and the media's general lack of coverage of these important matters, we're happy to honor Zeese's request to run the letter in full here at BRAD BLOG.
OPEN LETTER TO THE MARYLAND MEDIA
There is an unreported elections scandal in Maryland. Part of the story has been reported on the web in an article I wrote, at RAW STORY and at TrueVoteMD.org at the hearing. It has yet to be reported in the traditional media.
Kelly Brewington in the Baltimore Sun demonstrated in an article today ("Voting machine maker says new system doable by fall") that whenever Linda Lamone makes a claim, the media should either ask for documentation or get independent verification - from somewhere other than Diebold. Lamone testified in the Senate this week that it was not possible to get new machines by the fall, but the manufacturer told Ms. Brewington that they could provide appropriate equipment in time for the elections.
As someone running in what will become a close three way race for the U.S. Senate, I am very concerned that Maryland have voting equipment that voters can trust and that can be counted in an open and transparent manner in 2006. Every legislative office in the state and the governor is up for election. Maryland cannot afford to use insecure machines, that have a history of machine failure and that do not allow for an independent recount. Therefore I favor leasing an optical scan system for one year and use that time to develop a long-term solution that ensures accurate, transparent and trustworthy elections in Maryland.
LETTER CONT'D BELOW...