Dobbs Also Picks Up on BRAD BLOG's Chicago Voter Database Hack Story
By John Gideon on 10/24/2006, 9:11pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.Org

In this segment of 'Democracy At Risk' Lou and Kitty cover the latest cautionary report on voting and elections, in this report from Electionline.Org, a national non-partisan, non-profit group. Lou also reports on yesterday's breaking story from The BRAD BLOG regarding the elections security breach discovered in the Chicago, Illinois voter registration data base.


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

DOBBS: More evidence tonight electronic voting machines threatening the integrity of our upcoming elections. Many states are simply unprepared to deal with e-voting machines, and new procedures and lack of properly trained staff may likely create confusion and chaos at the polls.

Kitty Pilgrim has the report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ten states are on election watch for potential trouble with voting for various reasons.

DOUG CHAPIN, DIRECTOR, ELECTIONLINE.ORG: Where will the next election controversy be? And you can't predict that. But what you can do is identify places where there's the potential for the two major ingredients to come together. One, a close election, and, two, some kind of problem that puts the result in doubt.

PILGRIM: Electronic voting has turned into a giant problem across the country.

JOAN KRAWITZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VOTETRUSTUSA: In this election there are tight races all over the country. One of the biggest problems that we'll face is that so many counties, so many states have new and virtually untested equipment that has been rushed into place this year.

PILGRIM: One third of all voters will cast ballots on systems that have never been used in general elections. Poll workers find the new technology baffling and sometimes inoperative.

In Colorado, for example, the August primary generated problems. A lawsuit challenged the use of electronic machines, but the court ruled the same models would be used anyway. The report questions, "Will voters be confident in machines that need to be re-certified after the election?"

Connecticut, with the high-profile race of Senator Joe Lieberman running as an Independent against Ned Lamont, the report finds, "Will high turnout for the Senate election, coupled with new voting technology, lead to problems at the polls?" The Florida September primary had massive problems with the touch-screen system.

In Indiana, voting machine company ES&S had to pay the state $750,000 to compensate for mistakes, including late delivery of equipment and problems with tabulating votes.

Ohio is under scrutiny because an independent report questioned if the Diebold voting machines could be ready for on onslaught of general election voters, also putting it on election watch.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: With so little time before the election, some states are suggesting voters use absentee ballots. And another suggestion is to check in advance that your registration is still listed. There have been massive problems with the new electronic poll books, and people have found when they go to vote, their voter registration is not there --- Lou.

DOBBS: Kitty, thank you.

Kitty Pilgrim.

An election watchdog group claims it's discovered a serious flaw in Chicago's online voter registration database. According to the Illinois Ballot Integrity Project, the personal information of Chicago's 1.5 million voters was readily accessible. The group said hackers could easily meddle with the registration status of voters. That didn't happen, however, and the site was fixed immediately.

The Chicago Election Board has hired an outside consultant to double-check its efforts.