READER COMMENTS ON
"I Was Unable to Cast a Vote on L.A. County's ES&S E-Voting System (Again) Today"
(30 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 12:09 am PT...
Wow. Insane, and very real.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 12:46 am PT...
Yikes. Well, perhaps suggest a pilot for HCBP. The Netherlands went back to paper:
World watches as Dutch vote with pencil
The Netherlands is the first country to go back to voting with paper ballots, after making the transition to computers. Other countries are wondering if they should follow the Dutch example
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 2:06 am PT...
here in south bend indiana nobody cares and it is sad. tell someone their vote was completely unverifiable and they will just shrug their shoulders. even the ones that take the time to vote,cant wrap their puny little minds around this issue at all. i am considered a conspiracy theorist for pointing this out. faith based voting is here and nobody cares.
Welcome to ANIMAL FARM we do more with less.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 2:17 am PT...
The last picture says it all. "The InkaVote plus is here to protect your vote". Wow the protection process is to not let you vote but let the InkaVote system vote for you. What a great system. Can we have it worldwide anytime soon. LA county probably has money issues and then has this monstrosity that eats money and devours resources that better could be used for paper ballots.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 2:24 am PT...
Oh Brad, this is so sad. I know Dean is really trying. HAVA is the beast that ate LA, and a ton of other jurisdictions. The technology just was not there to make HAVA work, and the greedy folks who pushed it beyond reason don't care. I'm sitting in my office at 2.25 a.m. on Wednesday because our "new" Hava compliant system takes about three times as long to count votes as out trusty old punchcard system. Wake me when this nightmare is over.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 6:11 am PT...
Thank you Brad for taking the time to document the failure of our voting system. We do not know what the future holds, and the importance of documentation.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 6:12 am PT...
Who knows, maybe in a more just world , it will save us from the fate of countries like Germany.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 6:28 am PT...
I suppose you think that Captain America is a "real" superhero too!
I'm surprised that Bowen didn't do something about the InkaVote before this primary. Looking forward to that update.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
Mark E. Smith
said on 6/9/2010 @ 7:21 am PT...
Once again, I didn't vote in the faith-based election for candidates I wouldn't be able to hold accountable during their terms of office (the ONLY time they're supposed to represent me).
If I can't know that my vote will be counted and counted accurately, and that my vote constitutes a REAL voice in government, not just a sham vote for unaccountable tyrants who will make decisions without regard to the will of the public, I see no reason to grant my consent of the governed.
For ten years now the election integrity community has been documenting the fact that the popular vote doesn't count and often isn't counted. And there is no way to ensure that votes are counted, no less counted accurately, because thye Supreme Court found in 2000 that our Constitution does not grant us the right to have our votes counted.
Until and unless we oust our oligarchy by boycotting their sham elections and refusing to delegate to them our power or to grant them our consent of the governed, and we, as the Declaration of Independence states is not only our right, but our duty, establish a new Constitution that DOES grant us a citizen-owned, transparent, participatory democracy, I will not vote. I do not consent to tyranny.
I'm really sick of "progressives" who hold their noses and cast votes they know may not be counted for candidates they cannot hold accountable, and then spend the next few years protesting what those candidates do. YOU granted them the power and authority to do whatever they wished when you voted in their elections. Your vote is your consent to be governed not by whoever you voted for, but by whoever the voting machines and the media say "won" the "election." Knowing you couldn't hold them accountable, you delegated them the power to do whatever they wished.
JOHNBOY is correct but it isn't just South Bend. All voters in this country are totally apathetic people who couldn't care less that their votes may not be counted or that they're voting for candidates they can't hold accountable. Voters are people who blindly support a system they don't understand. Give them the slightest hope that they might elect a local candidate or derive some selfish benefit, and they'll vote to allow any candidate of their party to have the power to decide whether or not to destroy the planet.
People who really want democracy won't settle for and vote for tyranny.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 7:57 am PT...
I have been pollworking since the pres. primaries 2008 and have NEVER had anyone use the audio machine. I wonder what the stats are on how many use it, also how many use it for language reasons and how accurate that is.
I decided this time, in addition to mandatory training, to try the internet training, for which the county spent milliom$. After logging on successfully, and completing one section --- a confusing and not very helpful section on provisional voting --- I pressed "complete" button, thinking I was signalling I had completed that section and wanted to chose another section. However, it turned out I was now "completed", time expired, could not go to any other sections or anything else. I logged out and went back in, same thing. I suspect no one is keeping stats on how many people actually use this overpriced help program and what the level of satisfaction or information is by anyone who has used it.
Everything at my poll yesterday went relatively OK, with complaints too petty to go into here. The only thing of note was one person who voted provisionally put his ballot into the ballot box instead of his provisional envelope. Oh, well. I hope, Brad, you might attend the next CVOC meeting where you can address your issues in a sort of public forum.
Also, I suspect you know about the "snafus" in Marcy's district, in the precincts that happened to be those of her most ardent supporters. John Ennis wrote about them on HuffPo I read last night.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 8:31 am PT...
Computers should NEVER be allowed in elections. Its far too easy to make them print out one thing and save another in memory. And we have to get over this idea that machines are better than humans. We need to go back to a pencil on paper election system. I trust humans FAR more than I trust the humans who program those machines, and especially when the head of the company says that his job is to deliver the election to one or the other candidate (like Diebold's CEO said about W).
This system stinks to high heaven. HAVA was a sham, and needs to be repealed IMMEDIATELY. It was nothing but a way to keep stealing elections.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 9:15 am PT...
Ya know, I have to wonder how it is that the "birthers" haven't latched onto these machines as another method of attempting to prove Barack Obama can't be a legitimate President.
Seriously, could we maybe convince them that there's a secret cabal of powerful people on the left who have already made a list of Presidents for next decade or so, and that the voting machine companies have people who are in on it and that's why they're not taking security issues seriously?
Yeah, I know, it's devious and disingenuous, but you just know if Limbaugh and Beck picked it up, it'd go viral among the Faux TV News crowd and teabaggers - and from the looks of things, that may be the only way to get these !#$!! machines crushed and shredded and gone for good!
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 9:18 am PT...
Well suhPRIZE suhPRIZE suhPRIZE! So when was the last pretty much verifiable election anyway? HAVA is a joke. These e-machines are a joke, and obvously made cheap and/or hackable on purpose, since ATMs that make so few mistakes as to be statistically near-perfect have been around for decades now, made by the same companies.
My question is- with so many documented problems, with so many politicians cheated out of office, where is the big push (outside BradBlog, VR, Bev H. et al) to get rid of these democracy-killers? 10 years of epic failure at least, and only a handfull of precincts around the country moving away from e-voting... what's it gonna take?
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 11:06 am PT...
Brad & anyone else in La(this is tomorrow):
Councilmember José Huizar to Host 6/10 Forum on Election Reform
"Election Reform in Los Angeles: Idle, Moving Back or Moving Forward? An Exploration of Voting By Mail, Ranked Choice Voting & Changing Election Dates"
WHO: Councilmember José Huizar, Panel of Experts and Stakeholders
Moderater: Councilmember José Huizar
• Kathay Feng, Common Cause
• Antonio Gonzalez, Southwest Voter Registration & Education Project and the Willie C. Velasquez Institute
• David Holtzman, League of Women Voters
• Ron Kaye, RonKayeLA.com and the Saving LA Project
• Darry Sragow, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP
• Holly Wolcott, Office of the City Clerk, City of Los Angeles
WHAT: Forum on "Election Reform in Los Angeles: Idle, Moving Back or Moving Forward? An Exploration of Voting By Mail, Ranked Choice Voting and Changing Election Dates
(Play or download Councilmember Huizar talking about the forum on Off the Presses @ the 34 minute mark; read his piece on Proposition 15 in today's Fox & Hounds Daily.)
WHEN: Thursday, June 10, 2010 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
WHERE: Los Angeles City Hall-Council Chambers (3rd Floor) @ 200 N. Spring St. Los Angeles, 90012
WHY: There are two major election reform propositions on the California June primary ballot today. Hear how the proposals may affect your local area and what is being discussed for the City of Los Angeles. Get an update on what has happened since Councilmember Huizar's last forum and participate in the program.
There is no cost to attend and parking can be arranged by contacting the Office of Councilmember Huizar at (213) 473-7014. Light refreshments will be served. Please register above or send your info to Events@HeadingtonMedia.com.
This is a follow-up to the successful March forum on Campaign Finance Reform and will be held just 2 days after today's California June Primary Election.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 11:25 am PT...
will this ever end?
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 11:30 am PT...
Kim Kauffman @ 14:
"Election Reform in Los Angeles: Idle, Moving Back or Moving Forward? An Exploration of Voting By Mail, Ranked Choice Voting & Changing Election Dates"
At least two of those ideas are horrible ones. I will not be able to be there tomorrow to express why, so I hope you, and others in L.A. can!
Or else, we can continue to simply get beaten up by our own electoral system.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 11:33 am PT...
Freddie Oakley @ 5:
Your comments are especially appreciated, Freddie (for those who don't know, she is the Registrar/Clerk of Yolo County, CA --- and one of the greatest in the country, for that matter!)
I appreciate that "Dean is really trying". I have no doubt of that, in fact. No matter, however, the system completely and utterly broken down. An unmitigated disaster.
I'm not really looking to blame anyone at this point. You've identified the major culprit. I am, however, looking for someone to do something, anything about it.
Once again, I am merely a canary in the coal mine. We'll see the true consequences of this nightmare in the future. (Again.) At least no one will be able to say they weren't warned (though they probably will anyway.)
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 2:21 pm PT...
I went to my local polling place to help out yesterday. Despite the low turnout while I was present, 5 people (out of 7) had to vote provisionally while I was there. Sorry, Logan is not trying hard enough and never should have been installed. And there is too much outsourcing of the whole process to corporations. There shouldn't be a single corporation involved with the voting process. Not a one.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
Mark E. Smith
said on 6/9/2010 @ 3:41 pm PT...
What's its gonna take, COLINJAMES, is an election boycott. People have to stop trying to reform a system that is rotten to its core, and establish a system that isn't.
As long as there are a significant number of voters willing to vote in easily rigged, totally unverifiable, and easily overturned elections, for candidates they may love but cannot hold accountable, and for issues they may care about deeply but have no say in (other than allowing officials they cannot hold accountable to make decisions that can cause irreparable damage like the Gulf oil spill), there is no reason for the government to allow honest elections or a democratic form of government.
Indeed, as long as there are suckers who will vote in faith-based, unverifiable, easily rigged elections, for candidates who, no matter how lovable cannot be held directly and immediately accountable by their constituents for any harm they do, there is every reason for the oligarchy not to worry about proposed reforms.
Even if you got hand-counted paper ballots with full citizen oversight, the Constitution does grant you the right to have your vote counted and the Supreme Court can stop the vote count, as it did in 2000, any time it wants. Constitutionally. Congress can seat unelected candidates without regard to the actual results of the election and without bothering to investigate Federal Election Contests. Constitutionally. Our Constitution, Article 1, Section 5, says that Congress, is the sole judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its members. If Congress says somebody was elected, it doesn't matter at all if they really weren't. That was so important to the founders that it is in the very first Article of the Constitution. Preserving the oligarchy because they felt that those who owned the country should rule it and that there shouldn't be "too much democracy."
To ensure that there wasn't "too much democracy," they didn't allow ANY, and then they lied about it and said we had a republic, where the people can exercise their will through their elected representatives, but gave us no way to directly hold those representatives accountable. You can't exercise your will through somebody by petitioning them, as our founders learned when they petitioned King George.
Honest elections won't happen until people stop voting in dishonest elections, and democracy won't happen until people realize that we don't already have one.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
Mark E. Smith
said on 6/9/2010 @ 4:05 pm PT...
Oops, type. That should be "...the Constitution does NOT grant you the right to have your vote counted."
That's the primary right in any democratic form of government.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 5:05 pm PT...
Mark E. Smith said @ 19
What's its gonna take, COLINJAMES, is an election boycott.
We already have one. The majority of voters eligible to vote, don't bother. That "boycott" has done no good.
I've done my best to avoid responding to Mark's exhausting, and ridiculous attempts to convince people that not trying to have their votes counted, or even voting at all, is somehow a "solution" to something. It isn't. But having gone round and round with him about that for years, I don't have much of an interest in doing so again.
Suffice to say, if you don't want to vote, don't vote. I have no problem with anyone who chooses not to vote. But if you do choose to vote, I believe you're vote ought to be counted, and counted accurately and transparently (so that everyone can know it's been counted accurately).
Beyond that, I'll wish Mark luck in his imaginary (and counter-productive) movement.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 7:11 pm PT...
As is our practice, we will review the detailed account of your experience at the polls yesterday. We will perform due diligence in assessing what occurred, contacting those who were involved and determining what follow-up is necessary or appropriate.
Due diligence you think, would of been applied before the election even occurred.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 7:26 pm PT...
Jeez Brad, I don't see what the big deal is. The blind people would feel a lot better, since they did their civic duty and voted... What's all this concern about votes being counted correctly? Seriously though, it boggles the mind that there could possibly be that many snafus and obvious problems in a system that costs millions of dollars. What a bunch of fuckheads.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 7:31 pm PT...
Election boycotts only prove that you don't care about politics to whoever is in power. There is no threat there, Mark. How does that work? Where is the big stick to smack them over the head with ala voting them out of office? Good luck with that one achieving anything of note...
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 6/9/2010 @ 8:35 pm PT...
Brad, great job of documenting your experience. Thanks you. A few comments:
As one or more people noted above, it is extremely rare that the "accessible" voting options are used. Nationally, we have spent BILLIONS in order to (try to/pretend to) satisfy the requirements for voting methods that are "accessible" and (1) they suck and (2) nobody uses them, in spite of the very vocal groups that demand them. This should stop. Provide human assistance to those who need help and junk all this... junk.
And while we're junking things, how about we junk HAVA altogether? Again, it is costing us billions with little or no return. In fact it has made things worse. One part of HAVA most people aren't aware of is the state wide voter registration requirements. Again... BILLIONS nationwide. Every county in the country has had to or is in the process of figuring out how to do their jobs locally while satisfying the requirements that their database sync with a statewide database that provides virtually NO VALUE to anyone but costs a fortune, much of it in hidden costs that nobody sees. Vast resources have been spent on this and still are. California has just in the last few weeks entered train-wreck mode with their VoteCal project, designed to REPLACE the state wide voter registration database they put in place over ten years ago and functions adequately. And all this, keep in mind, provides NO added value, but we're all paying for it.
Brad, has there been any serious movement within the election integrity movement or Congress to just simply repeal or massively change this ill-conceived and stupid piece of legislation? HAVA must go away.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 6/10/2010 @ 9:54 am PT...
Today I received an email from Bowen's campaign asking for my help. Its spin was typical for any politician.
At the polls yesterday, Republicans chose as their nominee for Secretary of State --- the person responsible for ensuring election integrity --- someone who has said he wants to bring back the electronic voting machines that independent scientific reviewers commissioned by Debra Bowen determined were not secure, accurate, reliable, or accessible....
Thanks to Bowen those electronic voting machines that were not secure, accurate, reliable, and accessible are still here. How could her challenger want them back. She never got rid of them.
She has enhanced public access by expanding the Secretary of State website, strengthened election fraud prevention efforts, and expanded voter education --- all the while streamlining operations and cutting the agency's budget by more than 20%.
In her responses to activists who made official complaints she claimed was underfunded and understaffed. Now she claims she has streamlined operations (less staff to enforce the law), and reduced her budget by 20% (now underfunded even more).
She is well aware of the the continuing failure of the electronic voting systems. Of county officials that ignore her so-called mitigations to compensate for the defective voting systems that should have had their approval removed in August 2007 after the study by her hired experts. She did not, has not, and clearly will not enforce the requirements of California's Election Code.
LA County has been playing loose with HAVA funds, citizens' votes, and hiding their failures and conflicts of interest since at least 2002 when they paid Diebold a large sum to develop a custom system.
If I was Debra Bowen I certainly would not be sending out emails gloating about cutting her staff so the citizens of this state have even less protection of their vote. The LA system has for years been suspect, hidden from view, and treated like it was sacred. When all the systems used in the state were supposed to have been personally reviewed under Shelley, LA County's system was not. The SOS relied upon what LA County TOLD the investigators.
For seven years, multiple elections, hundreds of citizen complaints and evidence, official reviews, the counties continue to use these defective systems.
Now the Attorney General who should have enforced the Election Code that the SoS refused to, is running for governor. What a sham! This is not a state or nation that is governed by the consent of the governed. I have no confidence in our elections.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 6/12/2010 @ 9:37 am PT...
I'm quite confident Bowen is doing a better job than any Republican challenger would. That is not to say she couldn't do better, but she has done a lot.
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 6/14/2010 @ 3:30 pm PT...
This is (another) one for the "Truth is Stranger than Fiction" file.
You can't make this stuff up.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 6/15/2010 @ 10:53 am PT...
Originally Senators weren't even voted on, the state's legislature's picked the senators. The Constitution doesn't say a majority vote will pass legislation & such in the U.S. Senate. It just says the 'Senate shall decide' issues. We have a pretty good system, but there are plenty of wrinkles and torn frayed edges.
The only silver lining to the current electronic voting machine debacle is that it may wake up the public to the importance of being in control of their own government. People are often screaming in the streets about 'taking back their government' or 'taking back their country', but do they yell about 'taking back their vote'? Nope.
Americans know what they want. Corporate America knows what they want. Advertising firms know what they want and produce campaigns to ensure people know this is what corporate products will give them. BUT, corporations also know they can sell products which do NOT give people what they want or what the ads say. Heavens, Ronnie Raygun even repealed the law which required ads to be truthful. America is great at getting the money without putting out the product. Lying is the main product these days.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
Robert Ken Francis
said on 6/23/2010 @ 1:35 pm PT...
THIS is what we are fighting for in Afghanistan and Iraq? THIS CORRUPT PROCESS???
Truly no one needs the results of an election instantly. Let's go back to verifiable paper at least so you have something to recount!!!