READER COMMENTS ON
"UNCOVERED: CA Sec. of State Threatened Decertification for ES&S After Failures in Recent Election!"
(44 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 5:10 pm PT...
Like I said its time to get pissed off!!!!
This is how voters have their democracy work, and thats good news that both the state senators and secretary of state are blowing up!!!
What I want to know, is why the hell was Diebold allowed to hire Harri Hursti!???
Bev, Brad??? Do any of you have answers to this yet?
They claim that Harri Hursti & for a few hours Dr. Thompson, came in and tested all the equipment just this last week in a CLOSED DOOR session that no one has known about.
Nobody was notified about this test yet it is on their website. Do any of you know what happened and can explain?
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
Judge of Judges
said on 12/23/2005 @ 5:18 pm PT...
Its so easy to move over to the other side why not ?
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 5:40 pm PT...
Ultimately you just have to ask one underlying question:
Who really benefits?
Who benefits off of fake, insecure elections that no one is ever sure of what the result was?
Who cares who wins? When its all the voters who lose?
How can we ever be sure of WHO got elected, if we can not be sure of if our vote has been counted?
Answer: We CAN'T!
Therefore, whoever gets into office will always have the stench of illegitimacy as will the whole government. And the person who does get elected will likely have the same type of stench of corruption connected to them, all the way along through office.
The voters themselves are who get disenfranchised and not shown to have their voice heard.
While anyone who is elected in a TRANSPARENT government are more likely to not be secretive, corrupt, & later fall prey to the same special interest.
And remember it stretches across all parties....so we should expose the whole pattern.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 5:49 pm PT...
Wishing you a very merry and festive Holiday!
Diebold must die!
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
Senator Debra Bowen
said on 12/23/2005 @ 5:53 pm PT...
I've tried to verify the rumor that a test was done on Diebold equipment this week.
My latest information comes from Sherry Healey at the California Election Protection Network, who wrote the following in an email to my chief of staff:
I just called Jim March of Blackboxvoting.org to confirm this story, and he said he had Harry Hursti sitting in their office right now, and that "no testing" has occurred. They do not know where this rumor is coming from.
HAVA a great Holiday!!
I'll let Jim March, Bev Harris and Harry Hursti have the last word, but that's what I'm told, and Sherry Healey is a credible source in my book.
You will find my press release on Diebold and the Independent Testing Authorities at the Open Voting Consortium and on my Senate web site, which also has my other press releases and information about the proceedings of the Senate Committee on Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments, which I chair.
I will be conducting hearings on the adequacy of the certification process, on open source software, and on other issues in 2006. Suggestions for hearing topics are welcome at Senator.Bowen@sen.ca.gov
-- Debra Bowen
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 6:13 pm PT...
I'm not sure what really happened there but I have read at other places that Hursti did hack the machines last Tuesday.
This is confusing to me because I see it on multiple conservative, libertarian, liberal web blogs and I am hoping to get clarification on the matter from Jim March.
The most important thing is getting behind the ITA's and finding out why they failed to catch any of this atrocious process. Hopefully the Senate can get actively involved in this now, IMO, it would be a very good idea to contact Senator Chris Dodd(D) and Senator Chuck Hagel(R) on this matter soon.
Both head the committee on election issues and have understood the ES&S-vendor problem but have refused to hold hearings on the certification process.
With this new revelation in tow, I would hope that the Senate can now move out of stalemate and get complete hearings to address both the testing and voter verification of ballots IE: VVPB.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
John D. Hall
said on 12/23/2005 @ 6:38 pm PT...
For all that see these articles, greetings:
All those who refuse to take hard action after they
know the truth, have been approached by and
acccepted favors by both the lobbiest and personal
from both of the voting machine invironments,
and if they go against them, they will be in serious
troubles, even to the fact of jail time, after having
been convicted to assundry charges. Also, Its
about time to realize that the pResident is not the legal occupant of the Oval Office because of said
machines and the personel involved, who could and did change the votes, all over the country, so that
yours and my votes have not counted for a long
time. It's especially bad here in Utah, which for
over a million or so years, the repulicans have
reigned supreme(don't know why????)
Also, a little matter of interest, all or almost all of the automatic teller machines that handle your
money, both in the bank, and drive-up banking
are Diebold machines, rather curious, isn't it???
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 6:40 pm PT...
There might be more to Diebold's refusal to allow scrutiny of its source code than meets the eye - or current suspicions. What if... its present code uses illegally- pirated or reverse-engineered portions of Microsoft's own proprietary code?
Would Diebold want to risk such a discovery, should its code be made transparent?
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 6:45 pm PT...
Exactly Doug E. It's not just the Repubs in on this, obviously.
Was reading an interview with Mark Crispin Miller and he had some interesting things to say regarding the research for his book "Can't Get Fooled Again":
"Across the board, Republicans refused to answer questions; and a lot of Democrats were strangely eager not to talk about the numerous anomalies, contradictions, improprieties. Such stonewalling was a given, something that you had to work around..."
Full Interview is HERE
MCM also has a blog and it's pretty quiet over there. Maybe he should come guest blog here?
News From The Underground
This is a great piece Brad! Thank you!!
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
Bev Harris and Jim March
said on 12/23/2005 @ 8:03 pm PT...
The article that caused this discussion:
This mentions that Thompson and Hursti were able to change votes on a Diebold machine. That's a reference to the hacks in Leon County. There are also quotes from Thompson. That's from an interview, according to Hursti most likely by phone since Thompson has been on the East Coast.
Kim Zetter then says "Hursti conducted the same test for the California Secretary of State's office Tuesday."
However, Hursti was in our office today, and was surprised to see Zetter's reporting. He told us directly that that portion of her report is not true. We don't know where Zetter got her information. We don't know if she misunderstood something or someone else is rumormongering. We are interested in the answers.
At this point our best information is that Hursti's planned test cannot happen until after Diebold comes back with updated ITA information.
We completely agree with Senator Bowen that five weeks late with the information on this ES&S flaw is inexcusable. We got lucky because there were no local candidates in this race. Had there been any, they would not have had time to appeal the contest before court deadlines ran out for a challenge lawsuit. Had the secretary of state's office delayed this information in such a way as to prevent a challenge lawsuit, somebody would have had grounds for legal action against the secretary of state's office.
For this and other reasons, timely information of this nature needs to come out of the secretary of state's office.
Timely information also needs to be provided by elections offficials. In the Nov. 2004 election, we were unable to get key records from the six largest Florida counties. We have now learned that the Orange County (FL) records showed devastating flaws caused by ES&S. However, we not only could not get those records in time, but they were so exhorbitantly priced ($17,000) that we were dissuaded from obtaining them at that time. Now, from the fine work of the Florida Fair Elections Coalition, in an unrelated public records request, we have learned of correspondence with the Florida state elections chief Paul Craft which detailed horrendous problems with the ES&S tally in Orange County. Not to be left out, Orange County (CA) is also refusing to provide key election records, as are several others in California and elsewhere.
It is not enough to address the federal certification, although that is important. Even more critically important is our right as citizens to oversee our own elections, and part of that process is timely access to information.
We would like to see penalties for failure to provide public records in general, or at a minimum, penalties for failure to provide election-related records promptly. While working on technology, a simple and essential use of technology should be immediate access to audit information.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 8:23 pm PT...
Jim & Bev: Thanks for your answers on this.
What it sounds like to me is there has been a Karl Rovian operation afoot out there, to discredit BBV by making up false unrelated claims & somehow tying them back to the office so that the Secretaries of State do not have to deal with BBV.
With these kind of shennannigans afoot, I too would suggest that not only there be timely release of any public record requests but that the election officials who do NOT comply with records requests get fined by the court for each day they do not comply.
This would make sense and get everyone to start moving towards compliance, ie: NOT hiding flaws and information in order to serve their own fraudulent purposes.
Clearly in some states there are so many corrupt politicians, they like to hide this information rather than have the public see it. That is the practice which must finally be ended if we're going to stop the fraudulent ITA's and everything else.
This is the time when we rip apart companies like Diebold for their fraud and secrecy, so it should create new oversight for the whole election process. IMO nothing less should be required.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
Senator Debra Boewn
said on 12/23/2005 @ 8:58 pm PT...
Doug, Bev, & Jim --
I agree that the testing labs need some serious scrutiny, and I plan to provide it. No need to wait for the federal government to act.
I also agree that we need a look at how FOIA, and here in California, our Public Records Act, are working when it comes to election information. Again, there is no need to wait for the federal government to act.
Why do I say that?
In 1993 I carried a bill that put the California Legislature on line. There was a terrible battle over vendor control of the information, and another battle over whether we would "charge" people whose tax dollars had paid to create bills and committee analysis, not to mention the salaries of the politicians whose voting records I want to give everyone access to!
I had a nightmare about Thomas Jefferson hawking the Constitution for $19.95 on the Home Shopping Network, and I resisted anything other than full and free non-commercial access.
That set the gold standard for states, though I certainly did not fully comprehend at the time how important the precedent would be.
Five years ago I passed a California law that forced insurance companies to quit using the social security number as a health insurance ID number --- an obvious move to combat identity theft. Every large health insurer made the change nationally.
When California was the only state to require breaches of electronic data to be reported, no big retailer *dared* to tell Californians their data had been hacked without telling people in other states.
And from the activists' side: look at what BBV has done. Look at what has happened as a result of North Carolina, and look at what Brad's Dad did in St. Louis!
If something (like code, or how the labs work) stops being a secret in one state, it won't be a secret anywhere else for long.
Better, timely public records of election results is a little tougher to do from one state, but change is hard to stop once we get a foothold ...
No question, Doug, that this is essential to keeping democracy real, and that it's not a partisan issue.
Transparency should be our mantra. It's simple and it's right.
I look forward to the possibilities of continued change for the better in the coming year! Thanks to all who started rolling these rocks up steep mountains when it looked impossible.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 8:59 pm PT...
I'm sitting here kinda stunned, so maybe you can help me out.
You want to get Chuck Hagel investigating ES&S? And/or the ITAs?
Ummm....I dunno whether to laugh or cry.
Chuck Hagel had an ownership interest in ES&S at the time he won his first serious election...which was tallied by ES&S gear.
This was one of a number of bizarre conflicts of interests relating to voting machines that first got Bev Harris interested in the subject back in 2002. Her book "Black Box Voting" was originally planned as a theoretical discussion of the *potential* problems with electronic voting plus these conflicts of interest with Hagel planned as the "poster child" for that sort of thing, until of course Bev found the "Diebold Stash" in January of '03 and the discussion turned a LOT less theoretical, so much so that the info on Hagel was drowned out in the subsequent outrage.
See also the third chapter of Bev's book:
Doug, sorry man but this is why history *matters*.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 9:07 pm PT...
Doug sorry if I sounded harsh above, I was just non-plussed at the idea of Chuck Hagel investigating ES&S.
Senator Bowen: there are now several states with penalties for non-disclosure of public records. I have fought public records battles in California on multiple issues and can tell you that such a law copies from WA state or Colorado or similar would be a good idea.
If it can't pass in that form, at least do so in terms of election-related public records as these are tied into the area of public oversight of elections.
While we're discussing this: Election Code 15204 is a mess. It starts by making vote counting public. It then allows elections officials to lock up their computers. Most counties are using the second clause to negate the first by moving the entire vote count process "behind glass" for "security reasons".
This needs re-thinking in the most dire possible way.
We also have a "party centric" observation law in Election Code 15004 giving political parties more access to the election mechanics than voters. California is doing better than most states in that most of our election oversight laws are "public centric" instead of "party centric", however parties have no more rights than the people and therefore party-based observation laws must be reformed.
Thank you for at least listening,
Black Box Voting
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 10:52 pm PT...
This is from a while back and don't know if the resolution is still possible for Congress to vote on but focusing on clubs like the Kiwanis and churches (not RW) who are now getting involved in protesting torture might be a good way to get groundroot action since these people seem to be more involved in getting involved on a local level.
Please call your Representative and Senators. Ask for them to support the "Voter Confidence
Acts" H.R. 2239/S.1980
Please notice the paper printer that is located in each Diebold machine
Dear Secretary Cox,
Thank you for visiting and speaking to my Macon Kiwanis Club on Tuesday, May 25th.
Since Georgia installed electronic voting under your leadership, I believe that we now have a better system than ever before.
But I have seen some areas for concern.
Last Thursday (May 27th), I mailed you a DVD compiled from video I recorded in Bibb County,
Georgia on March 2nd, 2004.
It documents voting system problems related to human error, hardware failures, software instability
and possible data loss.
At Kiwanis, it sounded as though "conspiracy-theorists" may have polarized your opinion concerning the current Diebold technology. It would be unfortunate if you were backed-up into a
corner position where you may not be able to see some other broader issues.
In my dental office we back up data daily and we print a hard copy paper trail too. Every day this printout is reconciled between the paper ledger. Why? Because my computers have failed in many
ways for many reasons. Most of the time it is due to operator error. Over the past 12 years, our
verified paper trail has proved to be worth the extra effort.
It is my hope that you will keep an open mind to continuing the improvements to voting technology
US Rep. Rush Holt says this on his website, "The screen says your vote has been counted. As you
exit the voting booth, however, you begin to wonder. How do I know if the machine actually
recorded my vote? The fact is, you don’t."
Please see :
For specific technological suggestions to improve voter confidence in Georgia, please visit: Touch
Screen Machines With a Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail
Thank you, "
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 10:59 pm PT...
And Jim knows what it's like to be on both sides of that glass!
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 11:09 pm PT...
Yeah...that whole arrest thing was something nobody should ever have to go through again!
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 11:16 pm PT...
Even if a Congressperson is corrupt, they can be persuaded to vote for the right thing. I read recently that Hagel was supporting a Dem in something good. Maybe it was Conyers' letter for impeachment inquiry.
I don't trust Hillary and would never vote for her but signed Boxer's PAC petition supporting the Voter paper trail that she and hillary drafted together.
It is very good to know about hagel's corruption with his confict of interest with ES&S. I wish that more people had known what the Village Voice reported about John Kerry's shredding eyewitness evidence of more than a thousand POWs left in Vietnam. (bush senior threatened Perot who was trying to find the POWs and had been authorized by Congress because * Senior wanted to use the money for major drug trafficking from Vietnam - Perot told the author of "Kiss The Boys Good-bye" by a jounalist who quit a name newspaper because of disgust at the suppression of information about the fraud of the drug war and bush senior's complicity)
And the information about Kerry being taken off the Chairmanship of the Iran-Contra Hearings after the first part because he was covering up more information than revealing it and was placed there by the bush crime family for damage control.
It would have been a good thing if the newspapers even now would print information about Kerry and would have been even better before the 2004 Presidential "election". Even the liberal blogs do not touch the scandals Skull and Bones, Bilderberger Kerry has been involved with, usally involving the BFEE.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 12/23/2005 @ 11:18 pm PT...
Relating to comment #6, wasn't Sen. Hagel the owner of a voting machine company, prior to his election to the Senate? And in that same election, the machines made by his company were used? And he won?!? And now he is on a commission regarding election issues? I'm sorry, but I do not remember the name of his former company. I am not speculating about a conspiracy theory. But Sen. Hagel does appear to have a conflict of interests here. No need to add fuel to the fire.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 1:19 am PT...
That theory still makes me think alot...I read that the exit polls were wrong across gender lines. Meaning somehow the female kerry voters turned into bush voters & switched places...
Your analogy probably is not the explanation of what happened but its still interesting, because it would definitely show something fishy went on with those iVotronic touch screens...that affected women.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 2:45 am PT...
There's a crucial difference between the state laws in NC and CA--Debra Bowen take note.
In NC, the law required that the CEO of the voting company swear an affidavit that the code put in escrow was identical to what was put on the voting machines. Personal responsibility, personal liability.
THAT was why Diebold balked in NC.
CA and other states should include a similar requirement in their laws.
You see how effective it is, once personal responsibility can be legally assigned.
This could also be considered regarding the obligations of officials to provide public records in a timely fashion. If individual officials could be sued for non-compliance, we'd probably see much better (and quicker) cooperation.
Change those laws so that specific individuals can be held accountable. Otherwise don't expect the implementation element to change.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 12/24/2005 @ 3:08 am PT...
For Doug E.: My conspiracy theory was actually a spoof, with the underlying thought being that any machine sensitive enough to be influenced by the length of a voter's fingernails would a cinch to hack.
I'd be interested in seeing any gender-based info you have on 2004 voting patterns. Maybe some real-life version of my fantasy is possible.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 5:54 am PT...
Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but why don't we eliminate voting using machines and go back to paper ballots where you put an "X" by the candidate of choice? Yes, it would be a lot of ballots to hand count. Who cares? That can't be more expensive than dealing with all the issues with these voting machines. Let's say that we, at some point in time, get all the issues straightened out with all the machine vendors. So what? How much effort after that certification would it take them to once again rig the voting within the tabulators? Practically no effort at all. Computers are easily hacked and the hacks hidden. Paper ballots, not so easily. Other countries use paper ballots and don't rely on machines; why can't we?
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 7:27 am PT...
Good job uncovering news. We need news to be uncovered, because the MSM isn't doing their job. Informed American citizens should read Brad Blog and Raw Story daily, for real, uncovered, unsuppressed news.
KEEP UNCOVERING NEWS, BRAD!
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 7:32 am PT...
John D. Hall.
You hit the nail on the head. I've been saying that all along. What are our politicians doing (Dems included) in the face of known multiple experiments proving these machines can be hacked into without a trace? This is proof that elections can be stolen. These experiments, PLUS the exit polls being so far off of the "final count" (I have to laugh, when I say "final count"), are proof that our democracy was stolen by Corporate America. And I know Bev Harris wants to appear unbiased, but let's call a spade a spade: It's the GOP who is benefitting and stealing the elections, statistics prove. Let's just say it! I understand Bev is just out to prove electronic voting machines are not secure, and doesn't want to get into politics, but I am!
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 7:37 am PT...
Bringing politics into it is part of the proof, because statisticians from colleges and universities have done studies with the conclusion that it's hundreds-of-millions-to-one odds that electronic voting machine glitches would favor one party, the Republicans.
There's 2 distinct stories here:
1. That electronic voting machines are not secure and can be hacked into (Bev Harris on the job, thank you!).
2. And the other story is that it's by far being done by the Republicans.
If voting machines can be hacked into, then someone's hacking into them, right! Who is it? It's the Republicans. Sorry, but that's what the statistics show. Examine the studies done by the statisticians. It is actually unbiased to state the fact that it's the Republicans. It's is simply a fact.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 7:39 am PT...
When it comes crunch time and they catch these people, and they will be caught, it will be Republicans, or Republican backers or operatives. Just look at the stats! Who's benefitting from the electronic machines? Just say it...it's the Republicans!
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 7:44 am PT...
...and I'm by no means pro-Democrat. They stink, too. I have no respect for them, and I don't want to be associated with a party of wimps, who are saying nothing about vote fraud. Nothing's being done about vote fraud, because the Republicans are doing it, and the Democrats are sitting around with their thumbs up their asses. It's up to us. It was always up to us. Time to go 3rd party!
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 7:59 am PT...
I think that Catherine A is right on target with personal responsibility causing Diebold to finally give in regarding NC.
But, we need to realize that the voting machine manipulation is totally necessary because of 9/11. If another candidate were to win an election, we would not be able to fight this war on terrorism.
The votes had to be changed to keep Osama Hussein from attacking us with a Nuclear Bomb.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 8:10 am PT...
"But, we need to realize that the voting machine manipulation is totally necessary because of 9/11. If another candidate were to win an election, we would not be able to fight this war on terrorism.
The votes had to be changed to keep Osama Hussein from attacking us with a Nuclear Bomb."
You're joking, aren't you? I think your tongue is firmly planted in your cheek but sometimes I'm a little slow on the humor thing. . .
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 8:13 am PT...
There are so many obvious ways to fix this problem. We all know that Canadians can handcount paper ballots in a matter of hours...make it a matter of national pride (i.e. - we're not going to let them show us up, eh?), why can't we do the same? Well, the answer of course is that we can. So why won't we - as a national culture it's because of the media circus that surrounds election night. Everyone wants results now, now, now! Until people are convinced that it's OK to wait a day or two for election results(including media outlets and advertisers on those media outlets) then there won't be a consensual impetus to do so.
Personal responsibility is a brilliant legal clause. If you've seen the movie "The Corporation", you'll see that lack of personal responsibility is exactly why individuals are allowed to get away with criminal acts behind the shield of a corporate charter. And the fact that Diebold didn't press on in NC shows even to the casual observer that something ain't on the level.
We haven't seen the following on this blog, but I have heard it aplenty when I bring up voting fraud issues out here in the "real world" (I put that in quotes because the truth is that there is a role reversal - we are the real world, and out there people are living a fantasy) all Republicans can throw at me is the voting fraud in Chicago with Daly. That's simply a "Clinton did it" with a different face. So many still think it is a partisan issue, becasue it IS the Republicans who are perpetrating these treasons agains the American public - and so they must also be convinced that is is not a partisan issue. That's why someone like Hagel is so important - I think he has his hands in this, though. Mark Crispin Miller said he came to office on very suspect terms with the electronic machines in Nebraska. So who else in the R camp can we batter and flood with the truth? McCain?
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 8:51 am PT...
Happy Merry Holiday Catherine A,
just published in the Ft lauderdale Sun Sentinel from me:
It is now official. A couple of days ago, in Leon County Florida, Tallahassee, our state capitol. The Supervisor of Elections watched as votes on its electronic voting machine were easily manipulated with no record of the votes being changed.
This was on a computerized voting machine that has been used all over the United States, including Ohio where our last presidential election was decided. Many states in the country have now spent millions of dollars on these same machines assuring the voters that their votes are being tabulated accurately. "Take our word for it", is all that we voters have been offered.
Now, the Supervisor of Elections in Leon County says that he will never use this type of voting machine again. They are currently being purchased in almost every state,California's Election Supervisor is trying to get them and more are being bought for Ohio.
Today I am watching our Federal government praise the voting in Iraq as Democracy in Action.
I am demanding the same Democracy here in America using paper ballots and an ink stained finger.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 9:13 am PT...
Here, here! Glenn McGahee.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 10:40 am PT...
Debra Bowen is a bolt from the blue. And God bless her! Boy, does she get it, and she has embraced this issue like nobody's business. She is the exactly the sort of passionate advocate we need to get exposure on this issue and hold the stolen election regime's feet to the fire.
Now we just need a couple hundred more like her in the fricking Congress and the Senate...
Click here to ask Barbara Boxer to lead the fight for fair elections!
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
Senator Debra Boewn
said on 12/24/2005 @ 12:02 pm PT...
I'm aware of some of the issues you raise, and one thing the community of voting activists excels at is doing its homework well.
I know about your experience "behind glass" (and bars!) and have had my own far less eventful experience wondering what was going on 50 feet away, behind guards and plexi, seeing the trays of ballots (we'll assume that's what they were) coming and going (from where, and into what?) in and out of the plexiglass enclosure.
Half the battle is implementation, though --- no matter what the law is, if it's ignored or the intent is subverted, the whole thing comes apart. "Eternal vigilence is the price of liberty." (a quote attributed to the great mind of Thomas Jefferson, who got the idea of voting right, but missed a few things on the implementation --- in most states you had to be white male, and own at least 50 acres of property.)
We'll work on both the law and the implementation.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 12:04 pm PT...
Jim March, I want to say great minds.... but I am glad to know my recall abilities are still functioning. And the great minds comment was not an attempt to blow my own skirt up, it was just neat to see.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 12:17 pm PT...
No you make an excellent point and I have read into Hagel's background thoroughly.
Personally I don't see too much to trust about either Dodd or Hagel but they ARE some of the most important voices needed on the election reform issue.
As you know they held hearings earlier this year on the VVSP issue. Now whether that was something about voting machine security, or really just dealing with whether voting technology being compliant for the disabled I'm still not clear about.
But like LenaDavid has pointed out, we should get some of them in that Committee involved so that HR-550 or a similar verified paper ballot bill can be voted upon in bi-partisan fashion.
What we DON'T want above all, is to have to deal with the kind of war waging in Ohio now. Ohio got so out of synch, that now Blackwell rather than respond to the Judges, is passing his OWN voting laws to restrict everyone's right to vote- and may need to be removed and arrested.
In fact HB-3 is the worst voting law anyone has ever seen, and allows literally no oversight of the machines in addition to Jim Crow voting laws for all who are participating.
Because Blackwell got paranoid and overly defensive, he no longer wants to play at all and has taken his ball home. "Fair" is not in his vocabulary. People of this nature will have to be convicted in court just to get the whole corrupt, destroyed government back under control again.
As for other states like Florida and Georgia, well they speak for themselves. On one hand there is Cathy Cox who has blocked literally every effort to outfit anything to Diebold's machines, and does fundraisers for them. And then there is Jeb Bush who is known to personally purge voters and hold extravagent lobby ventures for Diebold employees.
Gives new meaning to the word "Inside Access" and I assure you, that is what happens whenever the vendors & politicians get completely in bed with eachother.
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 12/24/2005 @ 12:27 pm PT...
The mind boggles. If someone has long fingernails, that person's vote is likely to be tallied for the wrong candidate on an electronic machine?
In a four-mile stretch of Route 25 in Monroe, Connecticut, where I live, there are no fewer than five parlors were madame may go to have her nails trimmed, twinked, tipped, truncated, taloned, tinted, tapered, thinned, or thickened. These parlors all employ illegal aliens who work for peanuts, making them hugely profitable and explaining why there are so many of them around.
Here's a conspiracy theory for you: Karl Rove secretly paid off nail parlor owners in Ohio and Florida. They were to ask their customers whom they were voting for, and to make sure the Democrats' nails were sharpened in such a way as to cause their Kerry votes to flip to Bush. Meanwhile, the women who said they were voting for Bush received normal treatment.
By this theory, of course, Katherine Harris would have had to vote for Kerry, because her nails are about 11 inches long and her vote would certainly have flipped on a touch-screen machine.
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 2:14 pm PT...
I seem to recall that the election-monitoring group (with which Jimmy Carter is associated) can't monitor our own elections since the US doesn't even meet the minimum requirements for monitoring.
The biggest stumbling block seems to be a labyrinthine miasma of local laws instead of clear, basic, simple federal regulations (beyond which non-conflicting local laws could apply).
How can we hold up our example of democracy when our voting process is so fractured that it can't stand up to fair and open monitoring?
IMHO, Steve Muench.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 12/24/2005 @ 3:30 pm PT...
Big Dan- I don't think I need to keep saying this.
The fraud stretches across both parties.
Sure, it favored only republicans in the senate & presidents race of 2004--- but then what about the Council, Governor, Congressional races? In Washington, Georgia, Florida all over the map there was electronic fraud which favored democrats.
Cathy Cox & her friend Joe Lieberman was just another example. They didn't WANT to check the machines at all!!! And then you got Denny White, which was elected three times in Ohio on these machines and nobody does a thing with him!
Dan wake up, these were ALL just as obvious as the republican fraud. The only reason you're focused just on the republican fraud was because it was in the presidential races, BUT literally if you look at them all as March was saying the fraud is everywhere.
And the only way to stop it is get EVERYONE to denounce the fake voting machines made by corporate america which are electing crooks. It might look bad on the surface, but what is underneath is a rotten core of our political system.
Even Gregorie's race in Washington was never settled. (I really do not know who won that, because the judges did not allow inspection of all the machines & several council members lost their seats.)
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
Robert Lockwood Mills
said on 12/25/2005 @ 8:06 am PT...
I'm sure Glenn is kidding in #33. But his satire accurately demonstrates the "end justifies the means" mentality that right-wingers and neo-cons embrace.
Elections and Iraq are of a piece, philosophically. Regarding elections, it's "We can't afford to let liberals get control of our government. Anything we can do to prevent that is worth the effort." Where Iraq is concerned, it's "Anything we can do in the fight against (______) is justifiable."
The blank space represents any and all of the following; all represent the means-to-an-end for neo-cons: 1) A worldwide Muslim caliphate, 2) All future threats to Israel's security, 3) The failure of democracy in Iraq (ha ha), 4) Terrorism, and 5) Opposition to domination by multi-national oil companies. There might be others I've forgotten.
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 12/25/2005 @ 3:00 pm PT...
This PROBLEM to me is the same problem we are faced with in every area of our government: Fraudulent systems created by the republican party to achieve and maintain power. In order to do this they have had to create a proverbial wool blanket over every aspect, from filling the courts with pro business(disguised as anti-abortion) judges to keeping history off the annual test required by the federal government(or so I've heard). So if you are ignorant of our history, you're bound to repeat it, right? Trying to kill Headstart, so kids can start off disadvantaged and perhaps become part of a prison system that make goods for private companies, to bills designed to make life as difficult for the average Joe and voting machines that manage to usurp our last civilized hope of ending their parasitic grip on our nation.
Paying people to kill everything that was good and decent about perhaps the most respected form of government on our planet(as of 5 years ago, of course)should be called what it is treasonous.
I'm even tired of our Democrats constantly playing the wait and see game... the president has ENOUGH POWERS...trying to eliminate checks and balances without congress is treasonous and ALL OF US KNOW THAT!
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 7:30 am PT...
For Lena David:
Though many well-intentioned election activists support VVPT, Harri Hursti's hack on the Leon County Diebold opscan counters this past summer included the conclusion that printers could be added that would allow the paper "receipt" to record one way, while the software records another. This discovery should, IMHO, lead to everyone dropping the cry for VVPT and go for paper ballots, hand-counted in public view.
Unbelievably fine work by BBV, Harri Hursti, Dr. Hugh Thompson, and Brad, as well as so many others who have been fighting the good fight for years now! I feel the tide is turning! All I wanted for Christmas is the demise of e-voting, and it appears that Diebold, and now ES&S, may be heading down the trail of tears! HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!!
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 12/26/2005 @ 5:26 pm PT...
Correction to paragraph #1:
California's Democratic SoS, Kevin Shelley, was responsible for the decertification of Diebold machines --- NOT McPherson, who only took that office in March 2005.