First, we didn't do it.
Second, via KHOU in Houston:
The Harris County Election Technology Center, located on Canino at Downey, caught fire around 4:20 a.m., and the blaze quickly grew to three alarms.
The warehouse stored more than 10,000 pieces of equipment, including voting booths and eSlates, the computer-based machines used for collecting votes.
The fire comes just months before the general elections on November 2, which include the governor’s race. Early voting is scheduled to begin in October.
Former KPFT (Houston Pacifica) radio host and election integrity advocate Pokey Anderson tells us there are some 1.8 million registered voters in Harris County, the third largest in the nation. "Harris County is huge," she writes via email this morning, "est. pop for 2006 is 3.6 million people, which is larger than the population of 23 states. That is about the size of Iowa and Vermont combined."
KTRH NewsRadio reports County Clerk Beverly Kaufman is hoping to "depend on other counties around the state, even across the country, to donate similar machines." Until God tried to intervene this morning, Harris County used 100% unverifiable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems made by Austin-based Hart Intercivic.
A source familiar with Hart Intercivic tells The BRAD BLOG that the nation's fourth-largest e-voting company has fallen on hard times of late and does not have machines to ship to replace those lost in the fire.
If they can't get "similar machines" from somewhere, how, oh, how will the citizens of Houston be able to have elections this year?! Especially since pieces of paper, pens, eyeballs, citizen oversight and common frickin' sense were all long ago outlawed in Harris County, Texas, apparently.
Also related: This year's Harris County Pac-Man Tournament has been canceled.
UPDATE 8/28/10: The early work into determining the cause of the 3-alarm blaze, whether or not it was an accident or arson, is underway...along with determining the plan for how the county will proceed with the upcoming elections in the wake of the loss of $30 million dollars worth of unverifiable electronic voting machines...