READER COMMENTS ON
"E-VOTING 2006: The Approaching Train Wreck"
(64 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 4/9/2006 @ 5:50 pm PT...
When only three companies do 90% of the electronic voting machines, the logistics are quite simple.
Screw up the machines of only three companies and then mass produce them.
Then you have screwed up the elections of any nation that uses them. Any state or county that uses them.
Then when they fail have the federal "gummit" come in and fix the freaking "ELECTION KATRINA".
Brownie noser, you are doing a heck of a job ...
Don't laugh ... this IS reality ...
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 4/9/2006 @ 6:51 pm PT...
I intend to send this out to my media contacts, along as part of an awareness campaign.
Also will recommend it sent to county officials across the state who blame our new state law for the upcoming chaos.
We really should give the credit for all H breaking loose to HAVA, the Helping America Vendors Act.
***Hey, can someone get Louis Black to read John's piece on the Daily Show?????
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 4/9/2006 @ 7:32 pm PT...
How do we know that this is not an INDIRECT way for Rove to mess up elections so much that a "state of emergency" must be declared, with Bush or Cheney or Rummy then appointed "acting dictator" (er. I mean, acting president) with no time limit?
I don't trust these people in any way. Rove is fully capable of using such a technique.
After all, how difficult can it be to make voting machines that actually work?
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 4/9/2006 @ 7:33 pm PT...
A major setback down here in Tennessee...
Our bill - HB 3211 and SB 3457 - mandating VVPB has been thrown into the "study" area and will almost certainly not be acted on this year.
The problem is mainly the Elections Coordinator, Brook Thompson - a Dem, by the way - who is in the pocket of the DRE vendors and has kicked our butts.
Our bill has been championed by a small group of patriots called Gathering To Save Our Democracy (once led by Bernie Ellis, and the host of the National Election Reform Conference one year ago...), a bunch also affiliated with Common Cause here. We have worked long and hard, but we're beat for the time being, unless somebody knows how to get the governor (who's a Dem up for re-election!) going on the issue to save us.
Below is a letter from one of our stallwarts, Thelma Kidd, detailing some of our problems to the Senator who sponsored our legislation. Help us somebody!
Thank you so much for your interest in paper ballots and your willingness to introduce SB3457. This issue really needed an advocate at a high level, and we found that in you. I understand that you have decided it is most prudent to put the bill in General Subcommittee. I don't begin to understand the workings of the legislature but I am sure that you know what is in the best interest of the bill.
I am disappointed that the actions by the House subcommittee is causing this to happen.
I attended that meeting on Wednesday afternoon and was sorely disappointed that none of us were called on to give another side to the comments Brook made. The opposition in the House subcommittee came mainly from Rep. Jones who was acting on misleading and incomplete information supplied by Brook.
The misleading information is: (1) every county would have to go back to the drawing board in choosing how to use the HAVA money, completely start over from scratch; (2) Shelby County could not get out of the contract for the Diebold machines; (3) since the machines are not on the Internet and are all tested prior to an election that they are not vulnerable to making mistakes; (4) the state would lose much of the HAVA funds because some of the counties could not comply quickly enough; (5) the disability community does not favor this law.
Relevant information that Brook did not mention: (1) counties that invest in DREs will have very high ongoing costs to maintain them; (2) if this or a federal bill requiring VVPB gets passed after many DREs have been purchased with HAVA money, the cost of replacing them with compliant machines or retrofitting them with printers will be very high; (3) the replacement of U.S. Congressman Bob Nye on the committee in Congress that is considering the Rush Holt bill H.R.550 (requiring paper ballots on all machines) makes the passage of that bill much more likely.
An important truth that Brook spoke but which didn't prompt any questions is that election officials do not want paper ballots. They don't want to deal with paper. That is a fact that we all agree on. We disagree on how much weight should be given to what the officials want. We acknowledge that it is difficult to get good poll workers however that seems to be a problem that should be addressed separately, not simply used as a reason to find a system that is the most convenient for them to use regardless of its reliability or verifiability.
The most troubling aspects of this entire issue is the process we have observed and tried to participate in over the past year, whereby this decision, involving over $55 million was made. No one is willing to assume responsibility for the decision:
(1) Secretary of State Darnell has abdicated all responsibility to the county election commissions and to Brook.
(2) Brook says that it is up to the counties to make the decisions and up to the vendors to decide what equipment they want to sell us.
(3) The State election commission says they have no power regarding setting standards for voting or voting machines except to certify what Brook brings to them for certification, which is what the vendors have asked to have certified.
(4) The county election administrators and commissioners say they are waiting to see what Brook says they can buy.
(5) The vendors say that no one has asked them to demonstrate the optical scan or the automatic marking devices that would make the optical scan accessible to persons with disabilities.
What we observe in actuality is that Brook and the vendors are controlling the whole process. From the beginning they have presented, often exclusively, the most expensive, least verifiable voting equipment to the counties --- the DRE --- Direct Record Electronics.
The nonprofit organization that facilitates this teamwork between election coordinators and the vendors is The Election Center, an organization that receives part of its funding and many of its "perks" from voting machine companies. At last year's annual meeting in Memphis of the TN Association of County Election Officials, R. Doug Lewis, the Executive Director of The Election Center, was the keynote speaker. His speech was anything but nonpartisan as he belittled and discredited those people (the "conspiracy theorists") in the country who expressed concern about the problems in the 2004 election and the absence of any paper backup. He went so far as to say that those people were a threat to democracy --- that they were planting doubt in the minds of the voters. When a group of us met with Secretary of State Darnell several weeks ago he repeated that same admonition to us. The Commercial Appeal had a report in yesterday's paper that Shelby County is considering hiring The Election Center for $150,000+ to consult with them about their election problems! Sounds like the fox guarding the henhouse to me.
I know that you are aware that we have not just dreamed up this issue in Tennessee. In North Carolina, their coordinator of elections resigned from the board of The Election Center because it was seen as a conflict of interest. Perhaps it was that vacated seat that Brook Thompson filled.
Assuming you have read to the bottom of this email, thank you for indulging me! Those wiser and more experienced than I know that patience is a virtue and that good legislation takes time to come to pass. We know that this issue is not going away. The primary bad consequence in waiting is that the state will have wasted a lot of money --- but when it comes up again, we will be there ready to work with you on getting the right thing done. We are glad that you are in our corner. Thank you.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 4/9/2006 @ 8:18 pm PT...
I appreciate all the work you and Brad do in this area of revealing all the many, many problems with these e-voting machines.
In my opinion, it is a complete waste of time to send anything about this to the federal elected officials or the unelected ones occupying the White House. They want this trainwreck. It's easier for them to manipulate the vote when these gosh-awful eletronic voting machines don't work worth a damn to begin with! It is the federal officials who are behind this disaster.
And then we have people like that worthless Nancy Pelosi, for example. She STILL believes or pretends to believe that we have fair and legitimate elections in this country. That's how out-of-touch she is. She has outright dismissed calls for impeachment hearings for Bush and said that she wants our election to be the referendum on Bush. The same with Barbara Lee. She said the same thing before the 2004 stolen election. I heard clueless Howard Dean say on Air America that yes the 2004 election was probably stolen in Ohio but there wasn't anything that "we" (the pro-war Dead Democratic Party) could do about it. And they didn't even try!
Most Dims voters I talk with are in denial about this e-voting mess and I have found that it doesn't matter what articles or sources one shows them, they remain in denial. They pooh-pooh it and/or call one a "looney conspiracy theorist." Instead, they keep chanting support for one candidate or the other. I keep chanting: what about the voting machines? One must deal with them ****FIRST****. Then work for your candidate, if one ever expects to truly win.
Around in circles it goes.
Other than John Conyers, not a soul in the pro-war Dead Democratic Party has shown any interest in this disaster called e-voting. I have read a couple of articles from DC insiders saying that privately the Dims are quite comfortable being in the minority and this dead party "wants to keep their powder dry until 2008." Again, WHAT ABOUT THE VOTING MACHINES IN 2008?! (if there is an "election" then at the rate things are going!)
The pro-war Dead Democratic Party is either fully aware of the problems with e-voting and choose to ignore them, or they are in denial about it.
Either way, they have shown no interest in this.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 4/9/2006 @ 8:47 pm PT...
Do you ever get any on you?
Troll stroke for you
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 4/9/2006 @ 8:51 pm PT...
Do you ever get any on you?
Troll stroke for you
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 4/9/2006 @ 8:56 pm PT...
"Please forward to your local elections officials:
Credible first-hand reports have been received from multiple states recently that Diebold is making unannounced visits to counties, sometimes when the elections supervisor is out of town. Diebold has prevailed on assistants and managed to gain access to the voting equipment.
Elections employees have reported to Black Box Voting that their questions to Diebold are not being answered to their satisfaction." (black box voting dot org)
Troll stroke for you
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 4/9/2006 @ 8:59 pm PT...
Ralph, regarding your comment #3.
I agree with you. I put nothing past these people.
"Politics as usual" ended with the 2000 stolen election and it's as if the nation as a whole continues to think that we are still in a time of "politics as usual." We are not. These people are EVIL. They will do ***ANYTHING*** to accomplish their goals. But then Ralph, you already know that.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 1:09 am PT...
Serious said on 4/10/2006 @ 12:03am PT...
"Why isn't there extreme penalties and punishments for any company or individual found screwing with our democracy?"
I agree with you. Why aren't there extreme penalties and punishments? Well, it seems to me that the penalties and punishments would/should come from the federal level. And it's the federal level (specifically the Repugs) that are behind this disaster and benefit from it each and every time. Scum like Ken Blackwell in Ohio at the state level is also behind it and benefits from it. He "accidentally" invested in Diebold last year, you know. Imagine that! So there you go.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 5:29 am PT...
People I talk to are oblivious to the problems. They get almost hostile just mentioning rigged machines - like it can't happen here!! They plan to vote most politicians out of office in 06 and 08. Boy do they another thing coming! It needs to be on the front page of the paper and news to gain mass support!
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 6:34 am PT...
Election officials, in general, in the over 3000 counties in the 50 states are generally people who never say anything. Even when things are bad.
Here on this blog some of the rare, outspoken ones are quoted and given the attention of many bloggers. That rarely happens in the MSM.
The majority of election folk are covering up. We know the machines are mass produced, and therefore are all like the ones we hear about being hacked and being of inferior quality.
So we know the election officials are covering up because they are not saying anything nor in general is the local press in their area.
Meanwhile the people in those areas, which are the majority of areas around the county, are not aware that anything is wrong with the machines.
The people are quite aware, however, that they know this republican president and this republican congress is lying.
These republican politicians are in the 30's in "popularity" polls ... notoriety is more like it.
And the polls also show the people want the rubber stamp republican congress to be replaced by democrats. A democratic house and/or senate will not go easy on this wannabe dictator president.
The exit polls have also, in the past two elections, been in accord with the people's pre-election polls.
Yet the official election results have been the other way. The election officials who want to "advance" up the ranks tend to keep quiet about the train wreck.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 6:47 am PT...
A quote from the Theme Song for your Train Wreck Thread:
"Big-time negotiators, false healers and woman haters,
Masters of the bluff and masters of the proposition
But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency,
All non-believers and men stealers talkin' in the name of religion
And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend"
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
A Concerned Citizen
said on 4/10/2006 @ 7:20 am PT...
I agree with the ideas of others here of how all these illegal activities are accepted and not punished. I agree we have no hopes at all of changing a thing with the current path of the train, unless we can get a fair an honest election in '06 and/or '08.
I never have given thought to the "angle" of having the election process in such disarray to where they (the current slew of elected *cough* slugs across our country, mostly located in Washington) must maintain their posts until something is thought of to solve the problem. Nobody "will see this coming" until it's too late, just like Iraq, Katrina and so many other corporately-profitable and Constitutionally-illegal blunders. Wow, that is scary.
Thank you for keeping us informed.
I'm just getting back to the blogging slowly. Besides just being generally overwhelmed with the sadness of all the hopelessness and dishonesty I was reading every single day and had withdrawn some, I had major neck surgery on my spine and have been in this stupid neck brace for 3 weeks now and will be off work for 2 months - just in case anyone wondered what happened to me ) I still read what I can and still support all you do, Brad. Hope everyone is doing well and I'll try to catch up with the news in the weeks ahead. I've only had the TV to rely on, so we all know how misinformed I am right now!
I'll be hoping to see some stories ahead SOON of someone's idea(s) to save our country's election process!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 7:24 am PT...
When record numbers show up to vote it is not because they want things to remain the same...yet, they do. This cycle has been repeated through several elections. Many voters now realize their votes are manipulated to support the status quo and they are becoming angry with the illegitimate government. So how will this growing tinderbox become defused? Very interesting question in light of the manufactured "Latino" demonstrations being media-blitzed to the public. Meanwhile the e-voting scandel is buried.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 7:28 am PT...
The piecemeal approach to these problems will not work. We have voting activists trying to deal with voting issues, we also have 9/11 activists trying to deal with 9/11 issues, anti-war activists trying to deal with anti-war issues etc. This is another way to divide and conquer. All of these issues are related and stem from the same source, corruption and treason by the Republican and Democratic parties!
While it's not necessary for these various activists to physically or ideologically to unite, it's necessary for them to wield an effective issue to counter Democratic and Republican propaganda. The most effective issue available is the issue of rampant political corruption in both mainstream parties. This is the big picture that ties all the various activist issues into one overidding issue. As long as activists fail to deal with the big picture, the criminals will always be able to dismiss them as "crazy" or "conspiracy theorists" and the public will have an excuse to continue thinking in terms of "business as usual".
The best way to fight "business as usual" is by making a real issue of political corruption by both parties. Unless Americans are made aware that the two party system is seriously broken, by the sheer number of crooks and liars now in leadership and elective office from both mainstream parties, they will continue to think in "business as usual" mode. The great challenge is not so much in confronting the crooks, but getting people to realize the dire nature of our present situation. The American public is deep in denial, many don't even want to know the truth if it sounds too bad. People are literally paralyzed by fear of the truth! In short the public must be made aware that the unprecidented levels of corruption seen today make 'business as usual' no longer an option.
Since the situation is even worse than bad, blatant criminal corruption in both parties, on the national, state, and local levels is an issue that even those deep in denial may be able grasp. This could become just the motivation for taking long overdue action against both Democrats and Republicans for their ongoing roles in perpetrating massive fraud against the American public. Vote fraud, 9/11 fraud, and Iraq war fraud are part and parcel of this ongoing criminal activity.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 7:57 am PT...
Zell Miller #5 (link here)
The machines are constructed by republican owned corporations that support the republican president and the republican congress (both in the 30's in favorability in the polls). Like you virtually Zell.
Federal officials cannot take action to remedy the machine problems because there is no federal jurisdiction over the relevant problem domain extant within the machines.
Cite to us any federal statute that mandates how the machines are to be made or implemented that would rid them of the problems complained of. Or stop making unsupported allegations.
You say you support Brad and John yet you ignore the fact that their efforts point out that HAVA is not a mandatory statute in terms of verifiable paper trails and verifiable results. It does not mandate how electronic voting machines are constructed in the sense of providing specifications.
The only thing that can be done where HAVA is relevant, and that does not include specs, is the witholding of federal money if the machines are not HAVA compliant. Compliance would not ipso facto make the machines secure or solve the notorious problems because the standards being applied are from 2002.
There are over 3,000 counties in the 50 states and this is where the rubber meets the road. Local law, which the federal congress cannot or has not superceded, determines these functional issues inside the machines.
Take the issue of "interpreted code" for instance. Local law determines which specifications are or are not required, and under the states-rights doctrine, congress did not tell the states what to do.
To imagine a non-existent law then blame the minority party because that imaginary law is not being obeyed is inane, insane, and of disrepute.
That is why, as John says, a train wreck is coming. You and those of your ilk are taking one more section of track out (blame those you dislike for other reasons) and thereby insuring the wreck while at the same time saying otherwise.
Zell Millering some in the democratic minority only aids the distortion and insures less will be done about it.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 8:03 am PT...
I no longer vote or am registered. I was a lifelong Republican, but quit the party in disgust years ago. This is George W. Bush's legacy: the blatantly rigged election. Americans can never again trust the electoral process, thanks to Bush. It is too late for this country. America watched football and reality TV while the coup went down. Approaching train wreck? That's putting it mildly. Right now we've got millions of people marching for the rights of illegal immigrants. No one has been marching for impeachment. And now it's too late.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 8:06 am PT...
The AP has used an exit poll to determine that the Italian Berlusconi lost the election (link here).
Why were the 2004 and 2000 exit polls here in the US not honored by the AP?
They showed Gore and then Kerry winning!
I guess it is actually the THIRD train wreck that is coming around the bend ... in November.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 8:07 am PT...
What many Americans do not know is that by sending in an absentee ballot, which is allowed in ANY circumstance in my state of Ohio, the choices on that ballot are still entered into a computer voting machine.
There seemed to be some misunderstanding that was circulating around that if you send in an absentee ballot, you were skirting the possibility of fraud, poor equipment, or negligence on the part of election officials. Not so.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 8:07 am PT...
Folks, I know that many of you look at this as a conspiracy on the part of the right to steal our elections again. I don't disagree that this may be happening but this article is not about that. You miss the point if you think it is.
This article is about a few corporations who saw a way to make a lot of money fast by selling electronic voting machines to local jurisdictions. They are the new 'snake oil salesmen'. They have a poorly thought out design with poor workmanship and poor testing and they are now rushing it to the market with poor back-up services like ballot printing and ballot programming.
It's not a conspiracy so much as a bunch of huksters out to make a lot of money quickly. Our elections; our means of selecting those who will represent us, are at stake in all of this.
What can be done? Take them to court. Counties and states need to take these people to court and demand penalties and return of tax payers funds.
Publicity. Counties in Indiana think they are the only ones who are being affected. We need to get the word out that it is Indiana, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Texas, California and all the rest who are all suffering the same problems.
So, for the time being let's forget the right wing, neo-con, issues and look at this for what it is: hucksters of all ilk.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 8:12 am PT...
The Dems have realistic hopes of taking back both the Senate and the House this midterm election. Does anybody realize that a massive breakdown of voting machines across the country would very likely quash those hopes, esp. where incumbent Republicans are concerned? And with those hopes quashed, the hope for a withdrawal from Iraq, preventing a nuclear attack on Iran, investigation of Republicans for corruption, the motion of censure against the president and possible impeachment go with them. So, naturally, Republicans will be pleased with the massive breakdown of the election process, and we can say goodbye to any hopes for restoring democracy in this country. Does anybody have any ideas about what we can do about it?
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 8:35 am PT...
Cyteria #23 MASSIVE street protests, blog protests, mail in protests, work stoppage ... which will effect tax dollar flow, etc. etc.
You said "This article is about a few corporations who saw a way to make a lot of money fast by selling electronic voting machines to local jurisdictions."
It is that, and I get the gist and conform to your purposes for this thread.
But election officials are sworn to serve the people and the interests of the voters. They must not poison the system by being silent, negligent, complicit, or otherwise incompetent.
They must be punished first because they took an oath and thereafter violated it.
The corporations, to be sure, are also culpable, however, used car salesmen, or snake oil salesmen as you suggested, do not take oaths to protect the public.
We can't apply the laws that govern pilots to passengers. A passenger has a right to expect a good flight.
The pilot must not be silent, negligent, complicit, or otherwise incompetent about dangers on an aircraft when the passenger is choosing to get on or not get on board.
Election officials are like the pilot and they should not try to fly defective aircraft. And it is not the fault of the passenger for getting on board after having been lied to.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 8:48 am PT...
Dredd #24 - I agree in part. However, it is not the fault of most local elections officials that they had new voting machines forced upon them by a law that had a short time for compliance.
The vendors have taken advantage of that time to wreak havoc.
Unfortunately this has caused many, many good elections officials who made dumb decisions to have to defend those decisions.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 9:31 am PT...
John Gideon: But, if it was just for money, then how come 100% of the glitches favor Republicans? If it was random, it would be 50/50!!!
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 9:35 am PT...
And the "defaults"...why don't we as citizens, have published for us the "defaults" programmed into these machines? There should be not "defaults"...I think a lot of Republican votes are picked up in these "defaults". Where is a published list of e-vote "defaults"??? And why are there even any "defaults"??? I bet if this was published, GOP would be the default everywhere, and that adds up over millions of votes.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 9:41 am PT...
This is New Orleans after Katrina writ large: create (or step back and permit) an enormous, disastrous mess and then allow the Law of Intended Consequences to wreak its havoc on all civil processes. The death of democracy is thus accomplished at a remove from the actual perpetrators of the murder - through malign neglect and outright hucksterism and fraud.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 9:47 am PT...
I should add that in my rural county, we mark printed ballots and insert them into wooden ballot boxes. Volunteers count the ballots that night, under the watchful eyes of other volunteers. It's always worked quite well. I believe Canada still votes this way, although things may change under Harper.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 10:29 am PT...
"It is just about contractors who are out to grab every dollar they can get and they don't seem to care that our elections"
AHHHhhhhh.... Free Markets at their best!
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 11:00 am PT...
A related article:
ROVE SUGGESTS SOME US ELECTIONS LIKE
'THIRD WORLD DICTATORSHIPS...'
Rove thanks Republican lawyers for their work on 'clean elections'
In a speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association in Washington last Friday, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove thanked its members for their "work on clean elections," RAW STORY has found.
"I want to thank you for your work on clean elections," Rove said. "I know a lot of you spent time in the 2004 election, the 2002, election, the 2000 election in your communities or in strange counties in Florida, helping make it certain that we had the fair and legitimate outcome of the election."
Rove then suggested that some elections in America were similiar to third world dictatorships.
"We have, as you know, an enormous and growing problem with elections in certain parts of America today," Rove said. "We are, in some parts of the country, I'm afraid to say, beginning to look like we have elections like those run in countries where they guys in charge are, you know, colonels in mirrored sunglasses. I mean, it's a real problem, and I appreciate that all that you're doing in those hot spots around the country to ensure that the ballot --- the integrity of the ballot is protected, because it's important to our democracy."
[Ed. LOL! Sigh! Oh, these corrupt lying people just say anything! As if you give a damn about democracy, Karl Rove.]
Also in attendance on Friday was Mark "Thor" Hearne, the National General Counsel for Bush/Cheney '04 Inc. and also the Executive Director of the non-partisan American Center for Voting Rights, which Brad Blog described as "a Republican front group created by high-level GOP operatives expressly for the purpose of spreading disinformation to sidetrack the Election Reform movement in this country."
"I ran into Thor Hearne as I was coming in," Rove said. "He was leaving; he was smart, and he was leaving to go out and enjoy the day."
Other excerpts from Rove's speech:
I also appreciate all that you've done in our campaigns in the past. I know that for some of you it's meant your partners have been swept away to serve in the government, but don't worry, they'll be back with enhanced reputations and the ability to bill even bigger hours. And we really appreciate what you all have done on our judges. To think that this president has appointed 27 percent of the members of the federal judiciary, and most --- most of all, that he has been able to appoint such terrific individuals to the U.S. Supreme Court. John Roberts and Sam Alito will serve for decades with distinction and integrity, and it's going to be really --- (applause).
RAW STORY link
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 11:02 am PT...
Considering how unhappy the country is right now with the Republicans - I think that the smoking gun of election fraud will finally be confirmed if there is another big win for them in the next election. Sure the government and press will try to cover up the facts by saying it is all just a big conspiracy theory, but we will finally know the truth.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 11:25 am PT...
In Illinois, the state board of elections claims that no hand counting of paper ballots is allowed anymore, anywhere in Illinois.
BUT, they still have to hand count the ballots IF there are write-in candidates. The machine won't read it.
I wonder if we could WRITE-IN the Dem candidates, even if they are already printed on the ballot?
The reason being to try to somehow desperately get our votes counted in the midst of this e-voting farce?
We have ES&S with AccuMark.
Our county clerk claimed the recent primary election went fine.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 11:57 am PT...
Comannder wrote in COMMENT #32:
"Considering how unhappy the country is right now with the Republicans - I think that the smoking gun of election fraud will finally be confirmed if there is another big win for them in the next election. Sure the government and press will try to cover up the facts by saying it is all just a big conspiracy theory, but we will finally know the truth."
Comannder, well right now and in November can be two very different times.
Absolutely ANYTHING can happen between now and November. By November, the country (the sheep) could be in love with George W Bush once again. They are so damn gullible. The Bush Crime Family could stage another 911 and things could change instantly. I can hear much of the public saying, "Oh George Bush, please protect us. We'll support anything you want to do. Whatever you need to do even if it's suspending elections or the US Constitution or dissolving Congress, we understand you need to do whatever you need to do. We stand by you good man." (Now barf!)
Or, all Bush has to do is another one of this "shock and awes," killing more innocent people somewhere - this time on Iran, and I suspect most of the public will be brainwashed once again---the public don't seem to ever learn from history---by the state media (corporate media) and the public will once again be chanting "Rah, Rah Bush."
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 12:03 pm PT...
Why isn't there extreme penalties and punishments for any company or individual found screwing with our democracy?
This is not a trivial joke that incompetent and deceitful corporations can engage in and get away with scott free. Impose a corporate death sentence on any corporation found intentionally or incompetently interfering with our democratic process. Any politician found tampering with any democratic process should be thrown out of office, prohibited from ever holding office again, or from being involved in elections. Private individuals, should be fined, imprisoned, and denied the right to vote if found tampering with the democratic process.
All I've heard of is slaps on the wrist to mainly the little guys involved.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 12:26 pm PT...
Big Dan #26 and 27 - Please read the article. It has nothing to do with defaults or election fraud. It has everything to do with companies selling garbage to our counties and then telling us that this is what we have to vote on.
I chose to write an article to point out the non-partisan issues that can be embraced by everyone no matter what party or political belief.
This particular issue has nothing at all to do with what you are discussing.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 12:56 pm PT...
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 1:40 pm PT...
Sam, personally, I see NO reason to have "machines" invovled at all.. period. There's no reason we can't invest the extra few hours it would take (on a bad day) to count ballots by hand. NONE..
Generate CLEAR ballots.. use pens to mark each candidate CLEARLY.. count by hand.. easy as pie.. well, easier, actually.. no oven required, and no messy dishes after
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 1:41 pm PT...
Sam (regarding your comment #36),
In my opinion, this country should return to paper ballots/pencils with the ballots counted with members of the public present. Only then will we have any chance of restoring true democracy in this country. These e-voting machines belong in the trash whether they produce a paper trail or not.
Florida has made it illegal to return to paper ballots/pencils. And if memory serves correctly, Florida has also made it illegal to examine the paper trail produced by the machine, yet the only way to confirm the ballot is by examining that paper trail. Go figure. (They have this this thing all wrapped up.)
And paper trails are becoming meaningless as this articles says:
As Alito Takes Supreme Court Seat, Ohio GOP Guts Election Protection
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
Dr. Pasqual S. Schievella
said on 4/10/2006 @ 2:33 pm PT...
I am amazed and frustrated with the failure of all the contributers to this blog neglecting to recognize or address the major basic problem to our problems in America. To a large degree the fault has always rested with our schooling institutions that from time immemorial have pedominantly schooled our citizens instead of educating them. Our so-called "educational" mantra is the pits. I am aware that doing so now would not solve our problems. But one thing is certain, so long as the statis quo is maintained. Problems such as these will always arise.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
Dr. Pasqual S. Schievella
said on 4/10/2006 @ 2:37 pm PT...
Please correct "statis" to "status"
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 2:56 pm PT...
Dredd #20 (re: Italian elections)--Breaking News
Italy introduced a form of electronic voting in 4 regions in this election. Their form of e-voting seems to be quite different from anything used in the US. If I am reading it correctly, paper ballots are hand-counted in the polling place as usual, and the local results are put on a USB stick into a special computer and then sent via internet to the central counting place. In case of any questions, the paper ballots remain the official records.
(see here for more)
The first results are now coming out, and it appears that Berlusconi's party is doing far better than the exit polls had predicted, and it is possible that he may even win.
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 3:04 pm PT...
Interesting discussion here re: Rush Holt Bill (H.B. 550).
Apparently there are critical weaknesses in this bill that would actually prevent most of the paper ballots from being audited or used in a recount. It might not be smart to get this enshired into law. It would make it illegal for states who want to audit a higher percentage of the votes.
Attorney Paul Lehto has apparently been trying to point out the fatal flaws in this bill for over a year.
Quite a few major voter activists are registering their serious concerns about this bill. In its present format it appears to--ironically--be even worse than the current situation since it could prevent access to most of the paper ballots.
I'm holding off asking my legislators to support this bill--I don't think it should be supported in its current format.
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 5:41 pm PT...
I just got back from DC (from Denver) where I met with the I-Count Coalition to lobby congress to pass H.R. 550 "Voter Confidence and Accessibility Act." It's the "Golden Rule" in verifiable legislation. We still need 38 co-sponsors to get the bill to a vote.
I urge you with all my might to make a meeting with your congressional representative and ask them to sponsor this bill so that:
A. We can have a voter verified paper ballot
B. A 2% audit of all precincts/districts
C. Require all vendors to have an undisclosed source code.
This is an emergency! Mid-Term elections are in 7 months. I will not stand to hear anyone say, "Don't worry, it'll be worked out in 2008. Not good enough!
Set up an in-person meeting with your representative today. Take a copy of the bill with you - read it and then go to Common Cause.org and download the "TALKING POINTS" about the bill.
Get out there - DO SOMETHING - DO IT NOW!!!
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 5:56 pm PT...
I just read your entry, sorry I didn't catch it before. I'm in great disagreement with you on your assessment of HR 550. It's the best thing going to get our votes counted accurately and it has 177 co-signers. I would appreciate your reading the bill and then considering this again. What would your suggestion be, have NO audit whatsoever? Are you suggesting that we should not be able to verify our votes? What alternatives do you put forward? Another fine example of all talk and no action.
I can't bear the idea that we would let another election go by on the merits of no audit what-so-ever and whoever it was that talked about the election commissions not wanting to deal with paper - tough!!! This is our democracy at stake, we've already talked about lazy Americans drinking beer and watching TV, are you serious to just let laziness reign supreme? That's unforgivable and you should be ashamed of yourself!
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
said on 4/10/2006 @ 11:07 pm PT...
Daphne, your post sounds rather trollish IMO. Catherine has nothing to be ashamed of for having legitimate concerns about HR 550.
You on the other hand should be branded with a hot iron for your last sentence.
HR 550 is nothing more than fools gold. On the surface it looks great, to those who do not comprehend, or do not care, that the machines cheat. However, it will not stop fraud, it will not stop the machines that cheat - it will only institutionalize cosmetic steps to make our elections look better.
We need to get rid of the machines, instead of passing a feel-good bill that will only result in many more machines that cheat.
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 4:25 am PT...
Working successfully to change local election laws and regulations is not "letting laziness reign supreme". Framing it in this way is a trollish insult to effective election reformers across the country.
You clearly didn't read the discussion on the link. You didn't see the many well-known election reform activists who have voiced their deep concerns about this bill as currently worded. You appear not to have read or understood the implications of what is in the auditing section of the bill.
You are misguided if you believe this bill--supposedly a "gold standard"--will do anything for elections. Far from it. The weaknesses in the audit would be a retrograde step, from which it would be difficult to recover.
Better to improve things at the local level (counties and municipalities) where we can bring in very strong audits (ideally 100%). The last thing we need is a federal law that makes meaningful audits and recounts impossible.
Wake up and smell the fire. Don't let them fool you. While most of those supporting this bill are well intentioned, THE SERIOUS FLAWS IN THE AUDIT SECTION MAKE THE GOOD PARTS OF THE BILL MEANINGLESS. Even worse, THEY MAKE REAL AUDITNG IMPOSSIBLE--AND ENSHRINE THIS INTO FEDERAL LAW!
What good is having a paper trail when the bill simultaneously makes it impossible to use the paper ballots for meaningful audits or recounts?
This bill would provide a road map to those who wish to cheat, and simultaneously take away the possibility of identifying the cheating.
If this bill only said, "All federal elections must use a paper ballot which is the official record of the vote"--that would be great and it would be a big step forward. I'd support such a bill whole-heartedly.
It's the limitations on audits and recounts where the wolf sneaks in, disguised in sheep's clothing--just like what happened with HAVA. I will be asking my representatives to vote against this bill in its current wording.
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 7:09 am PT...
The Italian Elections are a mirror of some of our own elections. The difference is that the results are in agreement with the exit polls.
Exit polls predicted that Berlusconi would loose (link here).
The official results agree, even tho they went back and forth (link here).
Again, why does the AP trust exit polls in close elections in other countries, but not in the US where they predicted Kerry to win in 2004?
Exit polls are science (link here).
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 7:37 am PT...
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I believe I owe you an apology as I'm very awake and choking on the smoke from the fire and am tremedously worried - about just the things that you brought up. However, I think I was a bit harsh in my response to you and that was unneccessary.
Although I still believe in 550 because of the undisclosed source code provision especially I have been rolling the 2% around in my head. Many of my friends have asked if that's really enough.
I'm conflicted and upset and the mid-term elections are in 7 months.
COMMENT #49 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 7:40 am PT...
To John Dean,
I'll take my licks, but hopefully not with a hot iron. I slept on it and yes, the concerns are valid. Of course they are. I'm just as worried as all of you are, just a little sloppy about it. I believe in the 550 bill and there isn't another one out there that addresses the undisclosed source code issues. I'm reacting to the comment that Election Commissions don't want paper and that's driving me insane.
COMMENT #50 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 8:04 am PT...
A Concerned Citizen #15
You said "I had major neck surgery on my spine and have been in this stupid neck brace for 3 weeks now and will be off work for 2 months - just in case anyone wondered what happened to me".
Get well soon !!! And keep on bloggin ... we need you.
COMMENT #51 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 8:47 am PT...
Yes, it's frustrating and confusing, isn't it?
My personal take on this right now is that the audit provision is more important than getting the paper requirement into federal law. I think there is enough support being generated at county and state levels to build a groundswell for requiring paper. Requirements for paper are already happening right across the country.
The implications of a federal law setting a fixed upper limit on what could be audited is more dangerous to democracy and harder to change in the future. Having no federal law about auditing is better than putting a horrible federal auditing law on the books that prevents states or counties from using stricter auditing criteria.
It is easier for activists to create change by getting more and more good auditing requirements put in place. This process has already started--why derail it? Better to build on these local efforts, than to introduce a federal law that could prove difficult or impossible to change in the future which ensures that the paper ballots are worthless.
If you want your paper ballot to be audited and counted--don't support HR550. Very ironic that it should come to this.
COMMENT #52 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 8:58 am PT...
There is a concept in American Jurisprudence called "strict liability". Another is legal "proximate cause".
These are constructs that apportion liability (you used the word blame) in situations where negligence or intentional torts (where a degree of mens rea i.e. guilty mind) cannot be shown using "normal" court trial mechanics.
Why are election dynamics removed from strict liability or legal proximate cause dynamics and notions?
We should apply these concepts to the election arena.
In other words when someone puts on the robe of election head honcho, they should be held to a higher standard than a snake oil salesman or a used car salesman. They should be held to account for what goes wrong on their watch.
I agree that the law in any jurisdiction must be the primary factor, and also that when the law is coming from a macro level, for instance the state legislature, county officials who are powerless to change state law should not be held to liability or guilt ... unless they fail to speak out and reveal the facts to the public.
But the states and the counties go at these things differently. The people do not care about that and should not have to do the job for the election officials.
They just want fair and free elections without the blame shifting. There is no law that mandates screwed up elections, therefore when they happen it is a choice, not an accident.
A train wreck can be an accident or it can be a murder, depending on what the engineers had in mind and what actions they took or failed to take when they set in action a chain of events that hurt other people.
My default sentiment is to hold any election official to account if they keep silent, actively participate, or are ignorant of what is going on.
This way incompetent folk will tend to shy away from places they have no business being.
And allowing officials to say the Diebold devil made me do it is not going to change a damn thing. The officials must be held accountable along with the snake oil salesmen.
COMMENT #53 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 11:56 am PT...
Lots of us over 40 people have a hard time reading your webpage.
The black/green background & small typeface are the culprits.
I hope you'll consider seriously changing it.
RJ in Altadena
COMMENT #54 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 7:18 pm PT...
A lot of you over 40 can't read and want to blame it on colors.
A lot of us over 40 can read and do not have a problem with it.
So ... do you wanna have a cup of coffee about it or just get some troll strokes ?
COMMENT #55 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 9:24 pm PT...
Dredd, regarding your comment #54
Why do you have to consistently being such an ASS just because people express opinions with which you disagree?
If anything, YOU are the troll on here.
COMMENT #56 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 9:25 pm PT...
Dredd, regarding your comment #54
Why do you have to consistently be such an ASS just because people express opinions with which you disagree?
If anything, YOU are the troll on here.
COMMENT #57 [Permalink]
Dr. Pasqual S. Schievella
said on 4/11/2006 @ 9:30 pm PT...
Are there any contributors to this Blog that are interested in carrying on a dialogue on the fact that our SCHOOLING institutions on the pre-college level are “educational” pits? This is the case to a large extent even on the college level. They are, primarily shills for Corporate America. This fact explains why so many of our citizens are incapable of understanding how they are being controlled, not only in Orwellian fashion but Pavlovian as well, by the language of our “authorities,” political, religious, etc., who are in the driver-seats of our money-driven “Democracy.” If this inquiry is puzzling, check out my website: http://mysite.verizon.net/vsepglv8/index.htm or http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/schievp or “Orwellian language” and “Pavlovian conditioning” on Google.
COMMENT #58 [Permalink]
said on 4/11/2006 @ 11:54 pm PT...
Dredd #54, I think its a colorblind thang, people who are colorblind have a problem with reds and greens
So maybe a legit gripe for some ?
COMMENT #59 [Permalink]
said on 4/12/2006 @ 9:12 am PT...
I just re-read the bill 550 about the 2% audit. I've been mulling your thoughts over in my mind and you know what? You're right - in theory. I wanted to point out that the 2% is a minimum, a random check, it's not a limitation, it's a start....
Does that help?
COMMENT #60 [Permalink]
said on 4/12/2006 @ 7:16 pm PT...
I have been a poll worker in Los Angeles and am convinced that NO type of electronic voting machine or tabulating (for counting optiscan ballots) machine belongs in a democracy. The issue of ease for blind voters is a hoax also as blind voters in Canada simply use a braille template with their paper ballot.
We need paper ballots counted at the polling place with vote totals posted on the ballot box and at the polling place. That way numbers cannot be changed up the line and the vote can be reconstructed if necessary.
No more electronic voting machines EVER! They are expensive, hackable shit sandwiches that we should refuse to eat.
COMMENT #61 [Permalink]
said on 4/15/2006 @ 5:39 am PT...
Josh #55, #56
I was around here when you were in diapers ... well long before that ... you seem to still be in them.
A troll in one place is a regular at another place. I am the regular here and you are the troll.
When you go to someones's house, in case your mother didn't tell you, don't throw sand in the faces of the regulars.
Go back to where you are not a troll and this place will not miss you. Or behave decently and we will listen even tho you are so wrong on some things.
And you are beginning to break the rules against ad hominem attacks on others, and you are approaching censorship of such posts.
Also when you go to a place where you are a troll and not a regular, don't make fun of the colors of the walls and floor.
Evidently you have not yet been truly house broken like many others, and you have to be trained and if you can't be trained to fit in then you fit out.
COMMENT #62 [Permalink]
said on 4/15/2006 @ 5:52 am PT...
I don't criticize folk wanting everything to be their way, however, when they do not comment on point, do nothing but complain, and act as if they invented the place, like Josh, I take umbrage.
When I go to a blog for the first few months I try to learn how the regulars operate and try to be courteous, giving compliments for the good things.
It is trollish to begin to criticize and try a power play on the regulars and to subvert the nature of the blog. We have seen that over and over here, and it never has worked yet. When newbie bloggers enter trolldom the regulars know it.
COMMENT #63 [Permalink]
said on 4/15/2006 @ 9:07 am PT...
Daphne, if you're still here--
Read carefully the thread here. It includes a discussion of the 2% limit is likely to be interpreted--regardless of whether or not it is what the legislators intended. Various opinions are expressed on the thread.
The thread includes Rush Holt's response, and BBV comments to his response. You might find it worth a read.
COMMENT #64 [Permalink]
Freddy M from the eastside
said on 4/20/2006 @ 3:57 am PT...
Hey you stupid motherf*ckers!!!
GET OUT OF MY EYES!!!!!!
s*ck my d*ck