Blogged by Brad from the Road...
Yup, still on the road, and largely "off the grid" for another day or so (with much going on, sorry, I'll catch up soon, I hope! Not even able to check email!) --- but caught this in the carbon-based version of the NY Times this morning. No time for context other than to mention our previous report on Maryland's Republican Governor who wants to see Diebold's paperless touch-screens banned in the state along with the Democratic-majority House which voted a bi-partisan 137 to 0 to ban them recently, along with the Democratic Board of Elections Director, Linda Lamone, who has been fighting for them since Day 1, and still is. Search BRAD BLOG for the links to all of those stories.
Point is, as we've always said, this ain't an issue of Right and Left, it's an issues of Right and Wrong. That said, here's the letter printed in this morning's NY Times (who has been horrendously delinquent in reporting on any of these matters, and still buys into the Voting Machine Company's "it's just glitches" meme)...
To the Editor:
Re "Common Sense in Maryland" (editorial, March 23):
I am the chief Democratic election judge for District 21, Precinct 2, in Prince Georges County, Md. We have used the Diebold AccuVote-TSX machines since the 2002 primary election. From the start they did not encourage confidence in them.
When they were turned on in the 2002 elections, some of them refused to start unless we reseated the memory cards. In the 2002 primary, one of the machines chose to lock up just as the poor voter pushed the "cast ballot" button on the screen. The technician we got in to check the machine insisted that the vote was counted. Then why did we have 30 paper voter authority cards for the machine and only 29 votes recorded?
In the 2004 general election, two of our machines refused to start up. We got in another two machines, and one of them refused to use the electricity from the wall. Its internal battery was not enough to run the rest of the day, so we shut it down. These machines are quality only if you spell quality with a capital K.
Surely the Free State could find a far more reliable replacement than Diebold's TSX machines. The rest of the nation should, too. Preferably one with a good paper trail.
Paul D. Motzenbecker Jr.
University Park, Md.
March 23, 2006
Letters to the Editor --- especially from Elections Officials, but regular old Voters are just as good --- make a difference. Especially to papers like the Times who refuse to properly investigate and report on this stuff! Please write one today!