A Diebold Lobbyist Runs for the U.S. Senate...as a Democrat!
By Brad Friedman on 1/8/2006, 6:25pm PT  

In case you haven't heard of them, the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) is a "trade association" who set up the Electronic Technology Council (ETC) as an "astroturf" group at the behest of Electronic Voting Machine companies. Harris Miller was President of the ITAA and instrumental in convincing the Voting Machine Vendors to band together and give the ITAA money to create the ETC to spread the "good word" about Electronic Voting to Americans and Boards of Elections everywhere. Now Miller is reportedly about to announce his run as a Democratic(!) challenger for the U.S. Senate seat from Virginia currently occupied by Republican George Allen.

Greg Priddy, over at TPM Caf, appropriately calls him on the carpet as precisely the type of Democrat the Democrats don't need in office...Big time...

"We oppose the idea of a voter-verified paper trail." --- Harris Miller

Most of you haven't heard of Harris Miller, who departed earlier this week as head of the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), a lobbying group for big information technology corporations. But you will certainly hear about him next week, as he is expected to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, as a Democrat from Virginia, running against George Allen. In fact, the media trial balloons this week have treated him as a presumptive nominee, who has the backing of the party leadership, even though they haven't made any formal endorsement.

The quote above, obviously, gets at the reasons why this should concern us, as Democrats.

As head of the ITAA, Miller specifically lobbied Congress against verified voting, on behalf of the interests of Diebold and other manufacturers of paperless e-voting machines --- members of ITAA.

Priddy goes on to quote a report about Miller as saying "Introducing paper into the mix, he says, defeats the improved efficiency and reliability e-voting promises."

No, seriously, that's what he said.

Priddy's full post is here. An alternative for the VA Senate seat Democratic nominee, who Priddy recommends to Miller, is James Webb. We don't know anything about Webb, but we'll risk it and say he'd be more appropriate than Miller. So would a turnip. The link to the Webb site above allows you to sign a Draft Webb Petition. Given Priddy's post, we'd recommend that you sign it!

(Hat-tip David Edwards for the link!)

CORRECTION: We originally had identified the ITAA as the "astroturf" group created the Voting Machine Vendors. In fact, the ITAA had been created in 1964. It was the ETC, in fact, which was set up by the ITAA as the official "astroturf" group for the Voting Machine Vendors. We regret the original confusion.