On Once-'Quixotic' E-Vote Coverage From BRAD BLOG: 'We're Watching History Bend Their Way'
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2008, 10:45am PT  

Over at HuffPo, Nancy Scola files a nice piece asking whether or not "New Media's obsessiveness" can save democracy, given that "Elections in the U.S. involve countless moving parts and...so many different players [that] Improving the way we vote demands sustained, focused attention --- not exactly the strong suit of the American Press."

It's a job for bloggers, she suggests, since the corporate media have, at least so far, not proven up to the task. She may be right, even though the thought simply exhausts me more than I am already.

She goes on to mention a few of us (yes, she names me specifically) who have been fighting this battle for quite some time. "From the sidelines, their campaign often seemed quixotic," she writes, "But [as electronic voting machines are now being scrapped for junk, recycled and/or sold on eBay] we're watching history bend their way."

Nice. Though not as nice as the following turn of phrase, so well writ that I had to share it:

When it comes to injustice, there are the "overlooked Americans": soldiers and other overseas Americans voting still have to hop over hurdles to cast their vote. (While I'm on this point, it's inconceivable to me that someone serving in Iraq or Afghanistan should have anything less than a ballot served to them on a silver platter that's then carried directly to the ballot box in the beak of a bald eagle.)

Game, set, match. Well done, Nancy.

With that, one friendly critique for her if I could be so bold: Paperless electronic voting is not the problem --- as she suggests in the piece --- as if adding "paper trails" to touch-screens makes a damned bit of difference (this article and its accompanying video from the Computer Security Group at UC Santa Barbara should make that crystal clear, no matter what some computer scientists like Princeton's Ed Felten and Verified Voting's David Dill keep saying out loud.) The problem is that democracy in this country demands nothing short of the transparency offered by a hand-marked paper ballot --- one that is actually counted, and counted accurately --- for every vote cast in America. Period.

And that point should be served from a silver platter, and carried directly to every election official and election official in the country, in the beak of a bald eagle.