-- "Officials assess e-voting glitches: Confidence in electronic systems may be wavering" Oakland Tribune, 1/19/06
Such was the sometimes contentious, sometimes exasperating atmosphere, apparently, in Sacramento this week when State Senator Debra Bowen, transparent election champion and Democratic candidate for Secretary of State convened a hearing on the current electoral mess in the Golden State. The hearing was held by the Senate Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments Committee which she chairs.
County Election Registrars from all over the state were called to give a report on how things are going (not well, apparently) and Election Integrity advocates filled the gallery to witness the goings on.
There was actually quite a bit of coverage by the media, some better than others, but overall, it's nice to see an open forum for oversight and discussion of the state of democracy in this state. All the while, so much that is involved with the most fundamental element of democracy --- the vote --- has been done in secret corridors of power, darkened Boards of Election back rooms, Private Corporation board rooms, and of course, inside the uninspected, none-of-your-business software of completely untrustworthy, unaccountable electronic voting machines.
Articles hit late this week on Wednesday's hearings in the LA Times, Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Vallejo Times Herald and elsewhere. While the "facts" offered by some of the reports were at times less than accurate, we note that it's remarkable how many Journalists deign to cover such issues when they are granted "legitimacy" by an officially sanctioned Government Inquiry. (Just a thought to those of you who actually get paid for this sort of thing, from someone who doesn't...but we've long advocated Journalists cover what is newsworthy. Not only what politicians have instructed them to be newsworthy.)
Let's take a look then at some of the coverage, including our own on-the-air conversation on Friday evening with Bowen...