By Brad Friedman on 10/25/2010, 1:54pm PT  

I've seen a lot of horrific articles on e-voting in my time. At this point, given all that we've come to learn over the last five years or so about the utter failure of these systems, I usually just ignore such pieces as no longer really worth my time to even point out.

However, Richard Wolf's article last week in USA Today was so spectacularly bad, and so astonishingly unbalanced in favor of e-voting shills and unapologetic proponents who have been proven wrong time and again over the years, that I must take a moment to at least flag it here, given it's length, publication in a prominent, national MSM outlet, and extraordinary lack of a single quote from any real Election Integrity experts or e-voting critics.

Wolf's article, "10 years after Bush v. Gore, new concerns about voting" would better be headlined "10 years after Bush v. Gore, MSM still quoting long-discredited e-voting flacks."

With what appears to be dead seriousness, Wolf reports that ten years after FL 2000, our elections in the U.S. are in much better shape, as he writes: "The verdict? Elections are more accurate: There is less chance that voters will make mistakes, and there are safeguards in case they do."

Mr. Wolf must have been living in a cave from 2000 until just last week. Given the roster of discredited e-voting shills he quotes in the piece, almost exclusively, it's clear he's, at the very least, living in another time, say 2004 or so...

His article reads like a "report" from the Election Technology Council (ETC), the e-voting industry's astroturf/PR lobbying/lying group, singing the praises of e-voting, while decrying the lack of new government funding for even more of it.

Among the long-term, long-ago discredited e-voting proponents (many of whom have worked in various capacities for the e-voting manufacturers themselves over the years) quoted in this "news article" include: Kimball Brace, president of Election Data Services; Doug Lewis, executive director of the Election Center; Charles Stewart of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Merle King, executive director of the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University; Thad Hall, an elections specialist at the University of Utah; and Dan Tokaji, an elections expert at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law.

The election integrity advocates or e-voting critics quoted in the story include: Well, none. There's Demos' Tova Wang, an expert on phony "voter fraud" claims, speaking about how FL 2000 led to a "Pandora's box" of changes to our voting system and the Brennan Center's Lawrence Norden, quoted on the fact that there is no official database of reported e-voting system failures. But that's it. And even those quotes --- decidedly not speaking to the mountain of scientifically documented failures of e-voting over these past many years --- are quickly followed with this graf from Wolf:

That's not to say the electronic machines aren't an improvement over levers and punch cards. They cut down on mistakes by warning voters who vote more than once in the same contest, so that they can fix it. The touch-screens offer privacy for voters with disabilities, including the visually impaired.

Not once, naturally, does Wolf even touch on the fact that it is strictly impossible to prove that even one vote, ever cast in any election for any candidate or initiative on any ballot, has ever been recorded accurately as per any voter's intent on a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) voting system.

Contrast Wolf/USA Today's embarrassment from last week with Dave Schechter's smart, honest coverage today at CNN's website (even if Schechter and CNN are still a week or three behind the coverage you'll find at The BRAD BLOG ;-) ). Or with the investigative piece set to run on HDNet's Dan Rather Reports tomorrow night.

Major fail, USA Today and Richard Wolf. Major. Any wonder the entire country is still saddled with these failed systems all these years later? Next Tuesday will be fun. Thanks!

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