On Monday night's All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC, New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg joined Hayes to discuss "smart gun" legislation she helped pass in her state. But it was the curious assertion by a supporter of the technology, claiming that electronic voting machines are now "fool-proof", which kinda just blew my mind.
Mark Glaze, spokesman for Everytown for Gun Safety, a group which, according to its website "brings together survivors of gun violence to share their stories and advocate for laws that will prevent future tragedies," said twice during the conversation, that e-voting systems are now "fool-proof."
While there were once concerns about e-voting systems, he said (see his full remarks below), those worries have now been assuaged thanks to "public and private partnerships at both the federal and state level that guaranteed that these machines were fool-proof".
Huh, what?! When did that "partnership" take place? And how did they "guarantee" such "fool-proof" results? Was that before or after, for example, the 2012 election in Palm Beach County, FL, when a paper-ballot optical-scan computer tabulation system (made by Sequoia Voting Systems) was discovered, through pretty much a stroke of luck, to have inaccurately declared the "winners" of three different elections, such that the contests were overturned and a hand-count by human beings found that the computers had declared the wrong "winners" in two of them? After that incident came to light, the Vice-President of Dominion Voting, the e-voting vendor which now owns Sequoia, admitted that the bug which caused the wrong "winners" to be named by the computer tabulator exists in all versions of it's Sequoia systems --- both paper-ballot op-scan systems as well as touch-screen systems --- in use across the country.
"And guess what?," Glaze continued telling Hayes on Monday night's show, "Today, there are very few questions about electronic voting machines." Really? Someone must have forgotten to tell that to the voters in St. Lucie County, FL, where hundreds of votes were mistabulated thanks to faulty memory cards in the county's computerized paper-ballot tabulation system (made by Diebold) in the contested U.S. House race between Rep. Allen West (R) and Patrick Murphy (D), also in 2012?
I could go on --- and on, and on --- with similar recent examples along those lines, but I'll spare you. For now. You're welcome. Hopefully you get the picture.
Glaze then went on to assert that, whatever the initial concerns may have been about electronic voting and tabulation systems, "we figured out how to get around it and today electronic voting makes things more fool-proof and easier and reduces the risk of fraud."
Yes. That's actually what he said. And on television, where everyone could hear it!
We've sought comment from Glaze, asking for details in support of his remarks --- and on his great, if unconfirmed news about electronic voting systems! --- and will update this item when and if we receive a response.
Here's the segment from the 5/5/2014 segment of All In. Mark Glaze's gob-smacking comments on e-voting begin just after the 4:20 mark, and I've transcribed them in full below...
When it became clear that some of the first electronic voting machines were mostly gonna be made by a very conservative company, there was all sorts of progressive concern. And guess what happened? You dealt with the problem by public and private partnerships at both the federal and state level that guaranteed that these machines were fool-proof. And guess what? Today, there are very few questions about electronic voting machines.
Like every kind of change, change takes time. But, again, I think electronic voting is a good analogy. Ya know, there were lots of concerns on the Right and Left that the government is not gonna count your vote, is gonna count your vote the wrong way, or is going to create a list telling people how you voted and somehow manipulate that.
But, we figured out how to get around it and today electronic voting makes things more fool-proof and easier and reduces the risk of fraud. I think that there's a great lesson to be learned there.
For the record, despite his claims, many states and counties are still using the very same, 100% unverifiable, easily-hacked and oft-failed "first electronic voting machines" that Glaze would seem to be referring to. The rest are using technology that is of the almost identical generation, for the most part, with absolutely none of it either "fool-proof" or anything remotely close to it. Unfortunately.
[Hat-tip for the heads-up to Carl Howard on Facebook...]