Says Dobbs, 'Voters all across the country are demanding action now'
By John Gideon on 10/3/2006, 8:02am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Yesterday Lou reported on the "We Count 2006" gathering in Cleveland, Ohio which featured Bev Harris, Bob Fitrakis and many others. Also reported is that the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has asked for oversight of the complete election process from the Center for Election Integrity at Cleveland State University.

UPDATE: Video now available below, hat-tip to the democracy-lovin' folks at Election Defense Alliance whose banner can be seen at the conference in the video!


-- Windows Media Player version...

The text-transcript of Monday's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

DOBBS: Growing alarm over the threat electronic voting machines pose to our democracy, five weeks before the November midterm elections, and these machines remain vulnerable to tampering and outright fraud. And, in most cases, no one has done a thing about it.

Voters all across the country are demanding action now.

Kitty Pilgrim has the report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Cleveland, several hundred people from citizen groups gave voice to their worst fears: Electronic voting machines can fail and can be hacked, and little is being done about it, just five weeks before the election.

The conference, We Count 2006, was open to the public, and drew its share of outrage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just what the hell are people in America doing?

PILGRIM: The conference drew activists from as far away as Massachusetts and Oregon. Signs told the story: "Stop Election Theft."

Bev Harris of Black Box Voting complained, voting machine companies have too much power.

BEV HARRIS, BLACK BOX VOTING: This is lawlessness. This is not a democracy.

PILGRIM: There was outrage that the voting machine software is a trade secret of the voting machine companies.

BOB FITRAKIS, EDITOR, "THE FREE PRESS": Private, partisan corporations are secretly counting our vote with proprietary software --- is that the system does not meet any minimum standard of democracy. And that has to be said over and over and over again.

PILGRIM: The latest estimates find in the last six years, 63 percent of the country's registered voters switched to new voting equipment, most to some kind of electronic system. Many very small jurisdictions have made that switch in just the last year.

KIMBALL BRACE, ELECTION DATA SERVICES: We're very concerned and worried that these small jurisdictions don't have the resources to deal with the conversion process. That conversion process is very strenuous and fraught with potential problems, as we've already seen this primary season.

PILGRIM: Eighty-four million people will use optical scan equipment, but 66 million voters will use touch screen or electronic systems. Activists say the riskiest technology is a touch-screen machine without a paper trail.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: Also, in Cayahoga County, Ohio, the scene of an election primary disaster, the board of elections has just unanimously agreed to let election results be audited by a public monitor. The Center for Election Integrity will run two different audits to make sure that election results are valid --- Lou.

DOBBS: Kitty, thank you very much. Kitty Pilgrim.