By Brad Friedman on 2/3/2012, 12:26pm PT  

There are at least a dozen things in this story out of Indiana that make my head wanna explode. I don't have time to really detail any of them in depth for the moment, so check it out in full if you're inclined and might like your head to explode too.

But one graf in the piece is begging me to highlight it.

The story, as I say, is about Indiana where, apparently, votes cast during the Early Voting period are considered to be Absentee Votes for some reason. Voting during the Early Voting period takes place on 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting machines (head, explode) in Indiana at Vote Centers. State law requires that Absentee Votes be identifiable --- in other words, that they can be tied to the person who cast them --- so that if a voter should die between the time they cast his/her vote and Election Day, officials are able to go in and remove the vote (kapow).

That is done --- with the Early/Absentee Votes cast on touch-screen machines --- by including an ID Number on each ballot which, some might accurately point out, robs the voter of a secret vote in the bargain (boom).

That's the background for the story. But then comes this remarkable comment, included as part of the explanation of what happens when/if a person dies before Election Day and their ballot must be removed [emphasis added]:

"There are checks and balances. The bipartisan [election] board would tell the vendor to cancel a number," [Wayne County Clerk Jo Ann] Stewart said. "The clerk can't individually go in and cancel a vote. I don't have the password. Only the vendor has it to protect the integrity of the election."

KABOOM!

My suggestion for a new Indiana state motto: "In Vendors We Trust".

What could possibly go wrong?

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