READER COMMENTS ON
"'Daily Voting News' For March 02, 2006"
(4 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2006 @ 4:19 am PT...
Va. Mayor Indicted in Votes-Bribe Probe
By SUE LINDSEY
Associated Press Writer
March 2, 2006, 8:32 PM EST
WISE, Va. --- An investigation that began with allegations of cigarettes, alcohol and pork rinds being offered for votes led to the indictment Thursday of a small town's mayor and 13 others on charges of election fraud and corruption.
Prosecutors allege a May 2004 election was fixed in Appalachia, a coal town of about 2,000 in Virginia's rugged southwest corner. Also named in the 269-count indictment were a town councilman, a police captain and a police officer.
Mayor Ben Cooper, who also is the town manager and runs the police department, faces about 240 charges and "more time than he could possibly serve," said special prosecutor Tim McAfee.
Others indicted included Councilman Owen "Andy" Sharrett, his father, mother, brother and several other members of their family.
The investigation began after residents of a government-subsidized housing complex said they were approached by a supporter of one of the candidates and offered cigarettes, liquor and in one case a bag of fried pork skins for their votes.
Such offers in themselves are not illegal, McAfee said, but state police found a web of voting misconduct.
The Wise County indictment alleges a conspiracy to elect a slate of three candidates to the five-member council. Once they took office, the police department engaged in drug trafficking and illegal seizure of money and personal possessions from residents, the indictment said.
On Election Day, McAfee said, an unspecified number of voters were allegedly escorted inside the polls and had votes cast for them. The indictment also alleges 55 instances of tampering with absentee ballots
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2006 @ 5:17 am PT...
One voting machine hacked can blow away the votes of an entire city in a nano-second.
Voters are victims, not the problem.
The problem is hackable voting machines. You should spend some time here.
It is a non-partisan election integrity site. Enjoy.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2006 @ 6:51 am PT...
Happy to see that people are getting savvy about the importance of paper ballots - finally! However, if paper ballots are counted by "opti-scan" machines, they are still problematic and can be hacked. Also, has anyone thought about the potential for NSA wiretapping to intercept those voting numbers which may be transmitted by computer lines or phone lines?
It's great to get enthusiasm mustered for the next elections BUT IF THE VOTING SITUATION IS NOT CORRECTED, machines will be hacked and one's vote will definitely NOT count - so why bother with all of the campaign money, time waiting on line, etc. if it's an "inside deal" to begin with????
I believe the ultimate answer to all of this is returning to hand counted (and monitored) paper ballots and CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM. Remember candidate Al Gore?? This was one of his primary concerns and it's now coming home to roost with the lobbyists and corporations spinning out of control with their greed and corruption. I suspect that he was absolutely right and no one would listen....
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 5/2/2006 @ 5:48 am PT...
I am very interested this theme, with attention I will read following informations.