READER COMMENTS ON
"MARYLAND MELTDOWN: Republican Governor Calls for Paper Ballots in November!"
(23 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 1:24 am PT...
Congratulations, Brad! It's very gratifying to see your relentless, pioneering delving into e-vote issues finally bearing fruit. This has to be the first of a wave of states to finally wake up to the evil the repugnitrons have foisted on us. We all owe you a huge thank-you!
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 1:49 am PT...
Ms. Lamone what kickback did you get ...$106 million purchase ...trust who ?
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 2:54 am PT...
This should be a big boost to the "Let America Vote Act"!
Tell your congressman about this when you call him. Tell them they're going to be awfully embasrrased if they don't do something and we tell everybody it could have been prevented afterwards!
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 5:29 am PT...
Great idea Larry #3 above and I will use it when I call today! My Alabama reps are so far into Bush's pocket, they might as well change their name to Bush. LAVA is the option I was hoping for as an optimist. Bravo for the idea and the chorus to sing it's praise.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 5:44 am PT...
jeebus i hate idiot dems who can't seem to get it in their heads that voting is a good thing. i guess the dems in the md senate can't be bothered with trival things like protecting the democractic process.
...and brad, we hope you'll come to our party in oct. corrente has sent an invite to your public address, we'd really love for you to be there. there will be some media coverage, so it's another chance for you to spread the Word. thanks again for your efforts, Hero.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 6:02 am PT...
I really wanted to send all my email contacts this story and the LAVA story, but the email to a friend link is not working. Anyone else having that problem?
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 6:26 am PT...
You should know that in PG county Maryland there are many memory cards that are lost. They are trying to retrieve them. Some were not brought back by pollworkers. In at least one case, there was no card in a machine and they had to burn data to a new card using data retrieved from the hard drive! What is the chain of command here? Days of unsupervised cards! So, don't think that just because they re-posted some numbers on the election website that they mean anything.
The Post article Brad mentions was top-center front page! Plus, there were 2 front page Metro articles as well!
If Paper Ballots Restore Trust in Elections, Let's Switch
“Well into the second decade of the television era, the machines still conked out, a lot. “TV’s” on the fritz again,” folks would say. There was such a thing as a TV repairman, who would come to your house. Now, TVs work.
"Here in the relatively early stages of the computer era, these vastly more complex machines still lock up and shut down. Yet we’re so enraptured by computers’ power that we want them to do everything–even handle the sacred core of our democracy, voting.
"But the machines aren’t yet reliable, at least not 100%. Maryland voters learned this firsthand in last week’s primary, and now the state has less than seven weeks to gin up a credible smooth general election.
"The obvious solution, as Gov. Bob Erlich said yesterday, is to put the machines in the closed (actually, returning them to the store is an even better ides; does anybody in Annapolis still have that receipt for $106 million?) and go back to paper ballots. The governor bemoaned flaws in the Diebold electronic poll books that Maryland used for the first time last week to check in voters: “Technology is a wonderful thing, but clearly, given their apparent inability to function appropriately–when in doubt, go paper, go lower technology.”
"But going back to technology that works means giving up on cutting-edge modernity, admitting error and angering a giant corporation that has been pushing states across the country to go electronic. This will not be easy. Erlich said he may even call a special session of the legislature to rework the law requiring Maryland to use electronics rather than paper.
"I asked the states’s election administrator, Linda Lamone, whether Maryland wasn’t just a bit too quick to adopt electronic voting. Doesn’t the computer at your desk ever freeze up on you?
“No,” she replied.
But surely people in your office have had that experience?
(Maybe we’ve found the solution to Maryland’s voting problem: Everybody head on down to Linda Lamone’s office, where the machines work 100 percent of the time.)
"Does this sound like a woman who is open to solving the problem or more like someone beholden to a $106 million contract with Diebold, the machines’ Ohio-based manufacturer?
“My role is to run an election with the equipment I have,” Lamone said.
"Here’s the question no one seems able to answer: What, exactly, was so awful about the old, paper-based voting system?
"Diebold’s marketing guy, Mark Radke, said last week’s mess was not the fault of the machines; it’s the people running them who cause problems. Seems some of the volunteer poll workers who make Election Day possible “were plugging the poll books into the wall” instead of into a computer hub. Radke thought this was the height of humor.
"What Diebold and the politicians who brought us electronic voting don’t get is that elections are an inappropriate forum in which to test new technology. Voting is about trust; the goal is to use the least-complicated technology so it is transparent and accessible to all.
"At this point, tech-savvy readers will grumble that I’m an unreconstructed Luddite. But I’m in learned company. As Johns Hopkins University computer science professor Avi Rubin puts it, “Computer scientists are pretty unanimous in our opposition” to electronic voting.
“I am the anti-Luddite,” said Rubin, an expert on electronic voting who opposes Maryland’s system. “I have more gizmos and gadgets than anyone you’ve probably ever met. But part of technology is having unexpected results. A system like this voting software has millions of lines of code. The technology obfuscates the voting experience for average people. The answer is to move back to a paper-based system.”
"When I asked Lamone if it’s possible to revert to paper by November’s election, she stared at me: “Are you crazy?” she said.
"Crazy or not, if that’s what it takes to restore trust, that’s what has to happen. People trust paper ballots because they’re real. You can hold them in your hand and count them again if you need to. This isn’t about resisting change; it’s about rejecting change that enriches one company at the expense of public confidence.
"Diebold’s contract requires the company to hold six training sessions statewide for poll workers. Never mind that Diebold’s project manager, Tom Feehan, told me it would take four hours to train a computer moron like me to run the voter sign-in machine. Diebold held those six sessions. “We fulfilled our obligations,” Feehan said. How’s that for public service?
"As usual, Comptroller William Donald Schaefer cut through the excuses: “Everything’s been whitewashed pretty good.” Then he wondered about the results of this messy election: “Maybe I didn’t lose after all.”
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 6:36 am PT...
And get freaking this! (also from today's Washington Post" (which you can access online)
"Mark Radke, a Diebold spokesman, said many of the poll books crashed because software created exclusively for Maryland caused the machines' memories to fill up after about 40 people had checked in to vote.
He said the company was investigating the synchronization problems."
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 7:30 am PT...
Democratic Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. is against the idea of using paper ballots. He told WaPo, "We paid millions. These are state-of-the-art machines"
OK, what's with this guy??????
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 8:02 am PT...
More news from wtop:
“…Fallout from election day continued Wednesday as Gene Raynor, administrator of the Baltimore Board of Elections, submitted his resignation. At a hearing Tuesday, where Baltimore City Council members expressed great displeasure with the way the election was conducted in the city, Raynor said his authority to run the election was undermined by the five-member city election board.
Lamone disclosed a potential new problem in Prince George's County at the Board of Public Works meeting, saying she had just learned that some votes might not have been counted.
Democrat Donna Edwards, who trails Rep. Albert Wynn by a few thousand votes in the 4th Congressional District race, said electronic voting machines from 26 precincts still had the electronic cards in them that record the votes, making it unclear whether they were included in the final precinct tallies.
Robert J. Antonetti, interim elections director for Prince George's, did not return a phone call seeking comment.
At the Board of Public Works meeting, Lamone said there were no problems with the electronic voting machines, which also are made by Diebold and were first used in Maryland four years ago.
"Random parallel testing showed that the count was 100 percent correct," she said.”
Here’s the rest:
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 8:21 am PT...
Random parallel *testing*? What the f*ck does that mean?
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 8:24 am PT...
I've worked and trained on these machines. Just the training manual alone is laughable and incomplete. I'm a little computer savvy but had a MAJOR headache after attending one of Diebold's training sessions.
We have Bob Ney, who introduced HAVA to Congress to enable people with disabilities to vote. That was supposed to be the ONLY reason for a voting machine. Ask a poll worker what happens when a disabled person needs to vote. The poll worker has to put everything on hold, call a supervisor, because the process is so hindered and timely that the poll worker is out of commission for other duties while attending to the disabled voter for almost 15 minutes, maybe more. Hardly effective for what these machines were intended for.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 9:08 am PT...
ready for 2012 bay-bee!?
Oh wait I mean 2008.
It's probably out of date of the current reality. But.
YOU WANT MY VOTE? GET RID OF THIS.
WHAT'S THAT, YOU DON'T WANT MY VOTE?
I won't get this kind of ID, I already did it to get my CURRENT ID.
Unless I am changing POLITICAL PARTY I ain't showing you NO ID! Hell you mailed me my ballot? The question is DO I TRUST YOU ANYMORE?!
I also have ZERO INCOME. You gonna PAY FOR IT? NO? Then you have broken your oath of office to protect the Constitution.
I don't want to cuss anymore.
Nasa can't even deal with FOD (Foreign Object Damage!)
Who are the RETARDS in CHARGE of our country!?
Gimme a list and I will give you a list of folks that need to have their security clearances revoked.
Two months people, Two MONTHS PEOPLE!
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 9:23 am PT...
Oh hey, now that California want's to change it's ID format to all electronic, then how are you going to VALIDATE IT? hmmm? Just like our elections our ID's can be cracked too now?! hmmm?
People we have problems. And the problem is you are looking at the WORST CORRUPT LEADERSHIP IN HISTORY!
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 10:32 am PT...
Voting using a Diebold Machine??
You might as well be placing your vote in a slot machine. Probably have a better chance of getting counted.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 12:29 pm PT...
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 12:52 pm PT...
C'mon, Brad, do you really think that Democratic State Senator is "in denial?"
The Democratic Party leadership is opposed to voting rights. They were in 2000, they were in 2004, and they still are now.
I posted a diary about LAVA to Daily Kos, a left gatekeeper and Democratic Party cheerleader site. It sank like a stone. One supposed election integrity activist recommended the diary, but then posted two inane criticisms of it, and when that didn't work, he removed his recommendation. He is a Dem loyalist and they didn't even allow any mention of election integrity issues there prior to JFK's breakthrough Rolling Stone article. Whether he was actually ordered by the Dem leadership to sabotage the story and remove his recommendation, or simply did it on his own under standing orders from the party, I'll never know, but please be aware that Democratic Party operatives have infiltrated the election integrity movement and only pretend to support it.
LAVA will give us, if nothing more, a firm handle on where our elected representatives and their political parties stand when it comes to protecting our votes, if any of us didn't get the message in 2000 and 2004.
The San Diego chair of the Democratic Party, Jess Durfee, is an election integrity activist. I'm going to see if some of the CA50 people can contact him with regard to LAVA. Quite a few lifelong San Diego Democratic stalwarts and large donors have already withdrawn their support from the party in order to donate money and resources to the appeal of the CA50 lawsuit. If the party opposes LAVA, it is possible that they might lose a lot more votes and donations than they expected.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 4:21 pm PT...
...idiot dems who can't seem to get it in their heads that voting is a good thing. i guess the dems in the md senate can't be bothered with trival things like protecting the democractic process.
They are no worse than the self-proclaimed "liberal" superblogs that flame, ban, and delete any talk about free, fair, open, and verifiable elections;
Let's be sure we spread the blame for this to ALL responsible parties - its the repugs, dems, MSM, and even virtually ALL of the blogosphere.
Personally, I believe the self-appointed "liberal mouthpieces" (NOT!) in the blogosphere are more contemptable than the others - at least I can understand why the corporate owned media and politicians do not want honest elections.
What's the excuse from kos, atrios, fdl, c&l, americablog, digby, greenwald and gang? They get up on their soapboxes every day - multiple times a day - and scream "LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!"
But they also refuse to carry this message - anyone know why?
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 4:22 pm PT...
If the "superblogs" put half the effort into this that they put into the self-promotion and 24/7 about disney and "fitzmas", we could actually do something about this.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 5:32 pm PT...
Would some one Please BITCH-SLAP the Dem's...HARD!
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 5:59 pm PT...
Chubaka #20 I will I will, If I could only get close enough.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 6:38 pm PT...
My thoughts are that there are two things that could really bring the house down, (both of them, plus the executive and judicial)!
I don't know if the lefty blogs in question, (the ones that have been called out by the 9-11 truth movement), are afraid of that possiblity, or if they're complicit at this point! People asking questions are not nutcases, and I think we need answers from all those who say they don't want those answers!
Before the election of 2006!
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 9/21/2006 @ 7:34 pm PT...
AP is reporting Governor's comments differently from the Washington Post - says he is talking about eliminating the e-poll books but does not say anything about paper ballots - just return to paper registration. Anybody know the truth? (couldn't find anything on the Governor's web site.) One place to find the AP story is here: