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Statement Suggesting Whites More Disenfranchised Than Minorities Because Minorities 'Die First' Before Becoming Elderly, Disputed by John Tanner's Predecessor, Former Colleagues
An 'Imus Moment' Declares a BRAD BLOG DoJ Source...
By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2007 1:09pm PT  

Paul Kiel at TPM Muckracker has picked up on, and advanced, our Exclusive report yesterday concerning the remarkable comments made last Friday by John Tanner, the Chief of the Civil Rights Division, Voting Unit, at the DoJ, concerning Photo ID restrictions at the polls.

In a follow-up report today, Kiel gets reactions from former DoJ officials, including the man who previously held the same job as Tanner at the DoJ, charging that the remarks and logic behind them were "frankly ludicrous" and "false" and based on "cherry-picking the data that he wants to use."

A DoJ source of our own wrote to us after yesterday's report and characterized the comments as Tanner's "Imus moment."

Tanner had told a group in Los Angeles last Friday --- and our own Alan Breslauer was there to catch it on video tape --- that non-minorities were more likely to be disenfranchised by such restrictive polling laws laws than African-Americans.

"It's probably true that among those who don't [have Photo ID], it's primarily elderly persons. And that's a shame," Tanner told the audience. He then added: "Of course...our society is such that minorities don't become elderly. The way that white people do. They die first." The implication being that, therefore, minorities are somehow less likely to be disenfranchised by draconian Photo ID laws at the polling place.

Tanner had approved a disenfranchising Georgia Photo ID scheme on behalf of the DoJ in 2005, despite the fact that 4 out of the 5 career civil rights unit staffers who had reviewed the law recommended against pre-approval under the Voting Rights Act. The law, once approved by Tanner, was later found unconstitutional by two federal courts, and described by one of the judges to be little more than a "Jim Crow-era poll tax."

ePluribus Media has much more on Tanner's resume and discriminatory reign as voting section chief in the Civil Rights Division.

Restrictive Photo ID laws, being strongly and strategically pushed by elements of the GOP around the nation, are controversial since anywhere from 10 to 30 million Americans, largely Democratic-leaning voters who are elderly, minorities, and/or urban dwellers, are believed to have no driver's licenses. Most states already have requirements for some form of ID when voting, though not necessarily state-issued Photo ID.

Further, the federal Help America Vote of Act of 2002 already requires proof of identity when a voter registers to vote. In the meantime, by even the DoJ's own numbers, voter fraud at the polls is exceedingly rare in America. That, despite GOP kool-aid drinkers like Rep. Duncan Hunter and his recent unfounded claims to the contrary.

According to Kiel at TPM Muck today, both Tanner's predecessor Joe Rich and the man who analyzed the numbers for Tanner at the DoJ in the Georgia case, Toby Moore, strongly dispute Tanner's comments, characterizing them as "not only wrong, but way off, and typical of the type of decision making" in the current DoJ's Voting Rights section...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Incredibly, John Tanner Argues Restrictive Photo ID Laws at the Polls Actually Give Minorities a Greater Voice!
Rest of Panel, Audience Members at 2007 National Latino Congresso in Los Angeles Strongly Disagree...
By Alan Breslauer on 10/8/2007 4:10pm PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer with additional reporting by Brad Friedman

Unbelievably, the Chief of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, John Tanner, contends that while it's "a shame" that elderly voters may be disenfranchised by new Photo ID restrictions at the polls because many don't have driver's licenses, minorities don't have to worry quite as much. Why? Because "minorities don't become elderly the way white people do. They die first."

Yes, that's what Tanner said last Friday at the National Latino Congreso in Los Angeles and The BRAD BLOG was in tow with video camera to prove it...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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University of Penn. Professor on Electronic Voting: 'If you haven't looked into this, it is worse than you can possibly imagine'...
By Alan Breslauer on 10/8/2007 9:32am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

University of Pennsylvania professor Steve Freeman, author of the important book, Was The 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?: Exit Polls, Election Fraud, and the Official Count, sat down with The BRAD BLOG at the 2nd Annual National Latino Congreso in Los Angeles on Friday.

Below are clips from our video interview with Freeman, broken down into five easy viewing segments, including his contention that his initial investigations into electronic voting led him to believe "There has to be some safeguard, it can't be this easy to corrupt. But it is. Even worse. If you haven't looked into this it is worse than you can possibly imagine."

The video clips, and text snippets of his answers to our questions, all follow below...

Who won the 2004 presidential election? - Freeman's short answer: John Kerry. He explains that while the official vote count gave George W. Bush a narrow margin of victory in Ohio of 120,000 votes and a slim electoral win, exit poll data indicates that Kerry actually won Ohio by 500,000 votes and won the national vote by a 6 million vote margin.

More video Q&A's follow below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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PLUS: BRAD BLOG Issues a Challenge of Our Own...
By Brad Friedman on 10/5/2007 3:00pm PT  

We've suggested that our friends at Why Tuesday? change their tagline ("Fixing our voting system, one question at a time") for what seems to us an obvious reason. They're doing good work so far on their new video blog site, but given the topics they're dealing with, we'd suggest our system is already "fixed" enough thanks.

That said, they recently issued a candidate challenge to all of the presidential candidates, asking them to respond to three specific questions concerning their plans for Election Reform.

We're hoping in the near future, they will add the following question to their challenge: "Do you support a paper ballot --- not a 'paper trail' or a 'paper record,' but a paper ballot, and one that is actually counted --- for every vote cast in America?"

In the meantime, we'd encourage those of you out there going to candidate events (both Republican and Democrat) to ask such a question of the candidates if you can, and capture it on video. Do that, and send us the clip (or a link to it on YouTube, etc.) and we'll get it up on The BRAD BLOG, and perhaps even on Why Tuesday? as well.

So far, the first response they've been able to get to their challenge is from Joe Biden when WT?'s Exec. Director Jacob Soboroff ran into him recently at a D.C. coffee shop. Biden's comments are at the right.

We'll note that, while not asked about it specifically, he first refers to a "paper trail," but later refers to a "paper ballot" and wants a standardized system used across the country. He also mentions that full public financing of presidential and congressional elections will do more than anything to reform the system as he sees it. Let us know what you think.

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U.S. Rep from the Golden State Makes Unsubstantiated Claim at Last Week's Republican PBS Debate...
By Brad Friedman on 10/4/2007 11:48am PT  

At last Thursday's Republican Debate --- the one which the four Republican front-runners refused to attend --- sponsored by PBS and hosted by (egad!) African-American broadcaster Tavis Smiley, the question of Photo ID restrictions on voters was raised by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Cynthia Tucker.

California Rep. Duncan Hunter's answer was interesting. And it's no small matter given that trying to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning voters seems to be Strategy #1 (once again, but moreso than ever) for the desperate GOP in 2008.

That's just one of the reasons why Barack Obama's block of the Dem "deal" to slide through the nomination of Bush's evil GOP anti-voter zealot, Hans von Spakovsky, to the FEC today is so important.

Tucker's question from last Thursday: "Many voting rights advocates are worried about rigid voter ID laws which require photo ID like a driver's license. Are you concerned that some eligible voters will be denied the right to vote simply because they don't have a driver's license?"

Hunter's imaginative answer: "We have right now a real danger of people that are illegally in the country being rounded up, herded into the polls, we've seen that in California, voting illegally. That disenfranchises everybody in that community."

Really? We've "seen that in California," have we? Undocumented (illegal) aliens being "rounded up [and] herded into the polls" and "voting illegally"?

Living out here in the Golden State, we hadn't heard of that one. And we do follow these issues fairly closely. So we checked with Hunter's campaign to find out if they could offer any examples of such illegal votes from herded aliens in our state...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Lonestar State's Republican Author of Disenfranchising Photo ID Law Captured on Camera Voting Multiple Times on Same Issue...
By Brad Friedman on 10/1/2007 4:14pm PT  

Good god. Hypocrisy in Texas? In the State Legislature? Whoddathunkit?!

Behold Republican TX State Rep. Debbie Riddle, who --- despite any substantive evidence to demonstrate that citizens are voting more than once in her state --- is the author of a disenfranchising Photo ID law that would do little more than keep lawfully registered voters (mostly Democratic-leaning voters) from being able to cast their votes.

When it comes to her own vote, however, and those of her colleagues in the state legislature, the rules are apparently quite different. Incredible...


Thanks to all of those who sent the link to this video to us.

And to Ms. Riddle, who has all kinds of excuses as to why her colleagues don't have time to vote --- excuses which apparently do not also apply to actual working citizens on Election Day, which also happens to be a work day --- please kindly go Cheney yourself.

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ALSO: Supreme Court to Hear Photo ID Case...
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2007 12:51pm PT  

We're getting really tired of picking on Democrats. But with clueless Senators like Nebraska's Ben Nelson, it seems like we continue to have little choice.

Picking up from where we left off yesterday regarding this morning's vote in the Senate Rules Committee on whether or not to send a recommendation for approval on the FEC nomination of the DOJ's GOP "Voter Fraud" flim-flam operative, Hans von Spakovsky, to the full Senate. Again we again defer to Paul Kiel's TPMMuckraker report that the Democrats, thanks to a defection from Nelson, were unable to reject the nomination outright and will have to pick up the fight on the Senate floor, where the GOP (unlike the Dems) will march in lockstep to get what they want. Even from the minority...

This morning's result: faced with the defection of a Democrat on the committee, later revealed to be Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) chose to agree to send all four nominees, two Democrats and two Republicans, to the floor without recommendation. In other words, the committee did not vote to approve von Spakovsky, but he got through nonetheless.

Next up is a vote before the full Senate, and how that vote will occur will be determined by negotiations between the Democratic and Republican leadership. Republicans are likely to seek a vote on all four nominees at once and have threatened to spike all the Democratic nominees if Democrats seek to block von Spakovsky.

Feinstein only said during the hearing that a Democrat had advised her that he would support von Spakovsky's nomination. In comments to reporters after the hearing, she identified that senator as Sen. Nelson.

More on the evil von Spakovsky here.

More details on today's negotiations here, including Feinstein's statement: "I don’t feel that this is an unbiased individual." Minority Leader Mitch McConnnel's (R-KY) hardball in return: "None of these nominees will move across the Senate unless they move together."

In related your-right-to-legally-cast-a-vote-is-under-attack news, as Arlen Parsa covered for us in a bit more detail earlier, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Democratic challenge to Indiana's voter disenfranchising Photo ID law.

The very smart Election Law Blog's Rick Hasen sees this as good news for opponents of such laws, but we've got our money on a 5 to 4 ruling in favor of the GOP law, created (by Thor Hearne and Friends) in the hopes of keeping Democratic voters from being able to cast their votes on Election Day. We hope we're wrong, but Bush's Supreme Court hasn't given us much to be hopeful about.

You'll note the supporters of the restrictive, Jim Crow-type legislation have been unable to offer a single case of a voter in the state voting as someone else at the polling place.

Perhaps Sen. Ben Nelson would like to issue a resolution in support of such laws? Idiot.

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By Arlen Parsa on 9/26/2007 10:56am PT  

Guest Blogged by Arlen Parsa of The Daily Background

The good news is that for the first time, the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the issue of whether or not GOP-supported laws that require voters to present specific types of photo identification at polling places are constitutional.

The bad news: it's Bush's Supreme Court.

The New York Times reports today that SCOTUS will consider the issue after mixed rulings in several states where photo-ID laws have both been upheld and struck down. A bit of background from the Times:

All of the laws have been enacted since the disputed Florida vote in the 2000 presidential election, and all have been pushed by Republican legislators who maintain that the laws are necessary to deter voter fraud. The laws have been resisted and challenged by Democrats who argue that they exaggerate the dangers and incidence of voter fraud while impermissibly sacrificing voter access. The case the court accepted was brought by Democrats from Indiana.

Democrats argue that the laws place a particular burden on eligible voters who are poor or elderly and who lack driver’s licenses and ready access to substitute forms of identification. Under the Indiana law, passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2005, the photo ID must be current, so that an elderly person who is no longer driving would not be able to use an expired license as identification.

Both the ACLU and the NAACP plan to argue the case, which is an appeal from a lower court, against the Indiana law before SCOTUS in the coming months. Remarked the lone dissenting judge from the lower court ruling, Terence T. Evans, "Let’s not beat around the bush. The Indiana voter photo ID law is a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout by certain folks believed to skew Democratic." Now there's a judge that doesn't mince words!

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Santa Cruz, California's Election Clerk Comes Back for Another Helping...
By Brad Friedman on 9/21/2007 3:58pm PT  

[UPDATED POST-SHOW]

Santa Cruz County Clerk, Gail Pellerin joined us on the Peter B. Collins Show again tonight, live, to follow up on last week's interesting and rather spirited (at times, contentious-ish) hour.

The audio archive and full text transcript of last week's hour is posted here if you missed it.

The audio from this week's show, along with the transcript, courtesy of Santa Cruz voter Emily Levy of VelvetRevolution.us.

Since last Friday's show, CA SoS Debra Bowen has pronounced that the voting machine "sleepovers" Pellerin told us she'd planned for her Sequoia voting systems again in 2008 "don't comply with the security requirements" for those voting systems in California.

As well, we've gotten the opportunity to chat a bit via email with Pellerin since then, and are encouraged that we can begin working more together than apart, as is necessary, I think, for Election Integrity advocates and Elections Officials. It's the voting machine companies who are the real villains in this matter, and they've been quite successful at driving an opportunistic wedge between advocates and officials.


UPDATE, AUDIO & TRANSCRIPT: The show went very well. Pellerin stuck around for the entire hour and it was a great discussion with several interesting and newsworthy revelations, along with some very good callers as well. I think we may be getting somewhere. At least I'm hopefully tonight for the good folks of Santa Cruz...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Tight Three-Way Race Falling Victim to Crappy Voting Technology - Who Could Have Predicted It?
RELATED: Federal Bill That Wouldn't Have Corrected the Problem - Rush Holt's HR 811 - Back 'In the Freezer' in the House, According to Roll Call...
By Brad Friedman on 9/20/2007 2:16pm PT  

We were in Nashville a couple of months ago, at a meeting of the Davidson County Board of Elections. We tried to warn them that they would run into trouble with their ES&S touch-screen voting machines, probably sooner, rather than later. But the Kool-Aid drunk Republicans on the board would have none of it. "Paper ballots are the biggest scam ever perpetrated on America," one of them told us. To our astonishment, he actually seemed to believe himself.

That GOP blend must be some very tasty Kool-Aid.

Meanwhile, the nice Democrats who were in the majority on the board sat there and said and did nothing. They were very very nice. And completely clueless.

And now, next door in Memphis (Shelby County), where they use equally bad Diebold touch-screen machines, Mayor Willie Herenton is calling for an end to Early Voting, which began this week, as reports of votes flipping began coming into his office just after polls opened...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Debra Bowen Says 'Sleepovers Don't Comply With Security Requirements...It's Really Simple'
Reply to BRAD BLOG Question During Conference Call Monday, Most Direct, Definitive Statement on the Controversial Practice Since She's Taken Office...
By Brad Friedman on 9/18/2007 4:15am PT  

She's hinted as much previously, and her new security requirements issued in the wake of her landmark "Top-to-Bottom Review" of e-voting systems would seem to preclude them, but CA Secretary of State, Debra Bowen has now given her most direct comment to date on the matter of voting machine "sleepovers".

"Sleepovers don't comply with the security requirements," Bowen said in response to a question we submitted on the matter during a conference call with the Secretary sponsored by the Courage Campaign.

"It's really simple," she added, after a pause following her immediate, direct reply to the question.

She went on to explain how unauthorized access to a single machine, by a single person, could allow an entire county's election to be flipped, putting everyone's election at risk.

The complete question and Bowen's full answer is transcribed at the end of this article.

The matter of voting machine "sleepovers" --- the practice of sending pre-programmed, election-ready voting systems home with pollworkers, often days and weeks prior to elections, for deliver to polls on Election Day --- first became a controversy last year after The BRAD BLOG exposed the issue as it occurred during San Diego's special election to replace disgraced Republican U.S. House Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Our exhaustive coverage (see: Busby/Bilbray category) of the resulting scandal, continued throughout some 100 articles here.

The special election in San Diego was the first federal contest to have taken place after several analysis of Diebold's e-voting system found that the systems utilized undisclosed software code prohibited by federal standards. The particular type of code is banned at the federal level since it can be exploited to flip an election undetectably.

Subsequent studies at Princeton University and elsewhere revealed that inappropriate access by a single person, to a single machine, could virally affect every other machine used across the same county.

The revelations made the notion of voting machine "sleepovers" all the more stunning to those of us who recognized the remarkable threat the practice posed to the security of our elections...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Rep. Hinchey 'Deeply Disappointed,' Calls Unwillingness to Debate Issue a 'Shame'
AlterNet Covers Latest Political Landscape Surrounding HR 811...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2007 2:06pm PT  

Citing "recent developments outside Washington that bolster critics who say DRE [usually, touch-screen voting] systems are too insecure and unreliable for use in elections," AlterNet's Steve Rosenfeld surveys the political landscape in regard to Rush Holt's impending time-bomb of an Election Reform Bill, known as HR 811.

The controversial bill that refuses to die is again said to be headed back to House Rules Committee this week, where a rule concerning whether or not amendments will be allowed to the bill when/if it reaches the House Floor will be set.

Rosenfeld reports Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office is being dodgy about whether or not Rep. Susan Davis's (C-CA) amendment to restrict the use of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) touch-screen systems will be allowed for debate. "I don't have an answer for you," a spokesperson told him, "I have no way of knowing. This is a comprehensive bill. This is a process that is moving."

Last week, Davis said, in a statement sent to The BRAD BLOG, that "we are still ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room," in regard to Congress's fear of discussing whether or not to allow the use of DRE systems which are now being banned by states across the country.

Her amendment was followed by an editorial from the New York Times charging that "electronic voting has been an abysmal failure," and calling for a "provision banning the use of touch-screen voting machines" to be added to Holt's bill. They add that such a provision should be in place in time for the 2008 election, though Davis's amendment, as currently written, only calls for a restriction to one DRE per polling place, by 2012.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has been a supporter of HR 811 since a secret "compromise" version, recently brokered behind closed doors by out-of-touch DRE-supporters, People for the American Way (PFAW), and Holt was agreed upon several weeks ago.

Pelosi has remained largely mum concerning her position on the bill, which does not require paper ballots, despite the blatant lie that Holt offered Rosenfeld in a report some weeks ago after CA SoS Debra Bowen's independent study at University of California found "severe vulnerabilities" in DRE voting systems. Such vulnerabilities, her study found, would not be safe-guarded against use of the paper trails that the Holt/Hoyer/PFAW compromise bill mandates.

Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), now a co-sponsor of Davis's amendment --- along with Barbara Lee from California --- and a previous critic of the Holt Bill, is now critical of the Democratic leadership. He seems to indicate, in comments given to Rosenfeld, that Davis's amendment will not be allowed for consideration:

"The potential for manipulation of national elections with the use of touch-screen machines is much too serious for this Congress to allow their continued use --- let alone to encourage additional states to convert to DREs," he said. "Regrettably, the Democratic leadership was still unwilling to allow the Davis amendment to be considered before the full House."

"That's a shame, because this is an important issue about which many voters are justifiably concerned," he said. "I'm deeply disappointed that we won't even have the opportunity to have an open debate about the merit of these very dangerous touch-screen devices."

Quoting an industry watcher who straight out proclaims "The DRE is dead," Rosenfeld reviews a number of national and media developments that support that assessment.

Apparently, that message hasn't gotten through to Holt and the tone-deaf, out of touch Democratic Leadership on the Hill, however.

"While these events and trends are unfolding," Rosenfeld astutely sums up, "in Washington the House Democratic leadership has been accommodating interest groups that want to see continued use of the very voting systems that are being discredited across the country."

You may reach your Congress Members, along with Hoyer and Pelosi's office, to register your own opinions, via the Capitol switchboard at: 1-800-828-0498.

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County Clerk Has 'Faith' in Her Sequoia Voting System, Plans to Continue Voting Machine 'Sleepovers' in 2008...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2007 9:05am PT  

I'll withhold most of my personal thoughts here for the moment, since Gail Pellerin, County Clerk for Santa Cruz County, CA, has agreed to come back to continue this discussion on the Peter B. Collins Show this Friday. For the moment then, I'll just let you listen and offer your own thoughts on this conversation from last Friday's show.

Pellerin and I appeared on PBC's radio show to discuss issues of Election Integrity, CA SoS Debra Bowen's "Top-to-Bottom Review" and the Sequoia Voting System that Pellerin uses in Santa Cruz, the hometown of former CA SoS Bruce McPherson.

She is on the public record as having said last July at the public hearing in Sacramento for Bowen's TTB Review: "I can guarantee that every eligible vote is counted accurately," about which, you can imagine, I challenged her on the show. As well, in the interview (complete audio below) she commits to sending her voting systems home yet again on "sleepovers" with poll workers in next year's elections. I also had a thing or two to say to say about that, as you may have guessed. Suffice to say, it was a lively interview.

Pellerin --- presumably a Democrat, as she once worked in the CA state assembly for then-Speaker Willie Brown --- was scheduled only for the first half-hour of the show, but fortunately called back for the final segment to answer some of the questions that I didn't have time to ask her about when she was on the air. I greatly appreciate her willingness to do so and to stand up to the fire.

You'll want to stay tuned for that final segment.

As well, be sure to tune in this Friday at 5pm on the PBC Show (listening link here), where she has agreed to come back and pick up where we left off. I greatly appreciate her willingness to do so. The continued discussion can only benefit voters both in Santa Cruz (one of the locations where Peter's show is heard live on the air) and across the nation, where Elections Officials and Election Integrity advocates must continue to find ways to work together to solve our problems and push back at the damaging, cynical, divisive, selfish, and inaccurate propaganda being forwarded by the Voting Machine Companies.

NOTE 9/22/07: Pellerin returned for another full hour on 9/21/07, the week following this broadcast, in order to follow up on this week's interview. That subsequent second interview and text transcript has now been posted here...

-- Santa Cruz County, CA, County Clerk Gail Pellerin and Brad Friedman on the Peter B. Collins Show, 9/14/07 (appx 41 mins. w/ commercials now removed):

Complete text-transcript of the hour now follows below...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2007 11:00am PT  

Well, that's somewhat amusing. An 800 number that I just gave out to folks while on the Thom Hartmann Program for the U.S. Capitol Switchboard has now apparently been switched to an "adult" phone service! Whoops!

Please use this one instead: 1-800-828-0498

I've just tested it, and it gets you through to Congress. Successfully. Though perhaps not as much fun as the other number, this one will allow you to ask for your Congress Members and tell them it's time to ban DRE touch-screen voting machines once and for all! No more excuses.

Even the New York Times editorialized just last week that "electronic voting has been an abysmal failure" and then they went on (finally!) to call for a federal bill "banning the use of touch-screen voting machines."

Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) has filed an amendment to the fatally flawed Holt Election Reform Bill (HR 811) that restricts such machines, but even that doesn't go far enough. Worse, the House Rules Committee may not even allow her amendment to be debated or added to the bill. So call your reps, and demand that they amend the Holt Election Reform Bill (HR 811) to ban touch-screen voting machines and to require a paper ballot for every vote cast in America!

Holt's bill does not do that right now --- no matter how much propaganda you are given to the contrary by the bill's supporters!

Please don't dial the other number that I gave out on the air. As Peter B. Collins --- who's sitting in for Hartmann today --- said: that number is apparently for Sen. David Vitter's private use only. Our apologies for the confusion. Especially to the Senator.

ReddIt this story!



Will House Democrats Seize the Opportunity Before Them?
By Bob Bancroft on 9/10/2007 9:33am PT  

Guest Blogged by Bob Bancroft of VotersUnite

Just over a month has passed since California Secretary of State Bowen’s ground-breaking “Top to Bottom” review was made public. The study, conducted over the course of nearly half a year, took a comprehensive look at electronic voting machines that directly record and tabulate votes. The results were unambiguous.

According to the report, “all systems analyzed were inadequate to ensure accuracy and integrity of the election results”. Computer scientists found that the secret software “contains serious design flaws that...attackers could exploit to affect election outcomes.” Despite the oft-cited rationale that e-voting expands the franchise for people with disabilities, the report starkly concluded that “[N]one met the accessibility requirements of current law”.

This report, along with countless others, leaves little doubt as to the correct course of action. As the New York Times put it in a recent editorial, “Electronic voting has been an abysmal failure.” The editors of "The Paper of Record" joined election integrity activists and watchdog groups across the country in calling upon Congress to ban these machines.

In fact, some members of Congress have caught on. Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) said in a recent statement, “The wealth of data and opinions on this topic are so strong that I feel Congress would be remiss if we do not allow a debate on the question of whether and how Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Voting Machines should be used in federal elections.”

Despite all of this, Democratic House leadership continues to push Rep. Rush Holt's HR 811, a bill so badly compromised that one member of the powerful House Rules Committee reportedly referred to it as “Microsoft 811”. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) was referring to the fact that some of the bill’s most vital protections were stripped, replaced by new, vendor-friendly language allegedly supplied by Microsoft.

So it seems the most vocal opposition to this Democrat-sponsored bill comes from fellow Democrats. The irony was not lost on House Republicans, who took some satisfaction pointing out the in-fighting. All of this begs the question: why does House leadership continue its stubborn support of e-voting?

Only Majority Leader Steny Hoyer knows for certain.

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

ReddIt this story!



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