By Brad Friedman on 1/26/2008, 1:29am PT  

Blogged by Brad from Santa Cruz, CA...

This is how bad it's gotten:

Columbia (WLTX)- In hopes of averting another weekend of voting problems, the South Carolina Progessive Network is offering online paper ballots.

It's in response to last weekends Republican primary disaster in Horry and Florence counties. More than 80 percent of the voting machines in Horry County didn't work.

As a result, many voters were told to come back at another time to cast thier votes. The state Election Commission says voters should have been allowed to use any scrap paper to cast thier votes.

SCPN is suggesting that voters go to their website and print out the paper ballot to take with them to the polls Saturday.

To print out your online paper ballot, click on the following link:

Last week, as The BRAD BLOG reported, machines in 100% of the precincts in Horry County, SC couldn't even be made to start working until noon or so in the Republican Primary. Folks were voting on any scrap of paper they could find, reportedly even paper towels. So now, it's print your own.

South Carolina uses DRE (touch-screen) voting systems made by ES&S. It will be literally and physically impossible to verify that a single vote has been recorded accurately on any of them. 100% faith-based voting. So, short of machines breaking down leading to the outrage of people not being unable to vote at all, or a huge undervote rate in some area (as we saw when 18,000 votes "disappeared" on the exact same machines in the 369 vote margin Jennings/Buchanan race in Sarasota's FL-13 Congressional election in '06 on the exact same machines) we'll likely have little to say about the results of today's Democratic Primary in the Palmetto State one way or another. Our guess will be as good (or bad) as theirs. Best of luck to ya, South Carolina.

By way of depressing reminder: This Election Year is just 26 days old.