On California Elections Officials: 'Democracy is in the Hands of People Who Regard it as More Trouble Than It’s Worth'
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2006, 5:59pm PT  

Tribune Media Services columnist, Robert Koehler, has declared 'No Confidence' in the recent Busby/Bilbray special U.S. House election about which we've been reporting extensively on here at The BRAD BLOG over the past week.

In his latest column, online today, in papers tomorrow, Koehler discusses "democracy extremists" such as yours truly (who he refers to as "democracy maven Brad Friedman" so how could we not like him?) and the mess of an election held last week in San Diego where the world's most hackable voting machines --- Diebold's --- were sent home for overnight with poll workers in the weeks preceding the election.

The sleepovers, Koehler confirms, are in direct violation of the CA Sec. of State, Bruce McPherson's own recent security mitigation procedures for use of Diebold systems, apparently violating their certification for use in last week's election, as we reported in detail earlier today.

Koehler's as appalled as we are and writes in his tremendous column (please read the whole thing!):

A spokesman at [San Diego County Registrar Mikel] Haas’ office subsequently confirmed the “sleepover” (as Friedman put it). And another spokesman, at McPherson’s office, who took the better part of two days to return my calls, refused to answer a simple, point-blank question: Were chain-of-custody requirements violated in San Diego County? Instead, she e-mailed me a copy of the secretary of state’s certification process, which seemed to confirm that indeed they were. Further calls to McPherson’s office have not been returned.
...
I don’t know whether the secretary of state’s allegiance is to partisan politics or just a quick count. But like others who have looked on appalled at the procedural sloppiness of this election, I have no confidence in Bilbray’s 4,732-vote “victory” over Busby. Worse, I fear that democracy in the electronic era is in the hands of people who regard it as more trouble than it’s worth.