Perhaps it's a step up from "dissidents" as the AP once called them, but Election Transparency Advocates who turned out today at Arizona's Sec. of State Jan Brewer's speech to announce her re-election bid were labeled "anarchists" and "conspiracy theorists" by the woman who recently approved Diebold's flawed "AccuVote" touch-screen voting machines for use in virtually every precinct in the state.
During her speech today, according to the Arizona Star, "which boasted of the state getting rid of the last punch card ballots as part of her accomplishments since being elected in 2002 but one that never mentioned the Diebold contract" the Republican official in charge of ensuring free, fair and accurate elections in the state was repeatedly interrupted by advocates for transparent election who objected to the use of Diebold's failed machinery in the state.
Diebold's election equipment was recently shown to be hackable in a mock election test in Leon County, Florida, where the final results were completely flipped by computer security specialists. Over the summer, 20% of the same AccuVote touch-screen systems that Brewer approved on Friday, were found to have failed during a massive mock election test in California.
According to the Star, Brewer apparently dismissed the adamant concerns of the very voters she is (theoretically) in charge of serving:
"I don't think there is a problem with the Diebold equipment," she said. Brewer said a committee investigated the bids and the machines passed on the guidelines.
"I think that there are a lot of conspiracy theorists out there that are trying to blow this completely, totally out of proportion," she said.
In December of 2004, while members of several political parties had joined in challenging the results of Ohio's disastrously run Presidential Election, the Associated Press referred to those challengers who dared seek transparency in an utterly gamed election as "dissidents" which prompted one dubious American to reportedly ask at the time, "Great! So now we're dissidents?! What's next --- 'insurgents'?!"
No. Apparently "what's next" is that those who wish transparency and oversight and accountability in American democratic elections are now "anarchists." At least according to Arizona's shameful --- and hopefully out-going --- Secretary of State, Jan Brewer.
A useful thought for those considering running for the office of Secretary of State around the country: "It's the voters, stupid."
AZ SoS Email Contact Page: http://www.azsos.gov/info/contact_us.htm
AZ SoS Office: 602-542-4285
UPDATE 1/8/05: Brad was on Air America Phoenix today to discuss, amongst other things, the incident above on the M&M Show. The hosts, Fred and Steve McChesney, were amongst the "anarchists" and "conspiracy" --- and later called "brownshirts"! --- who made poor Jan Brewer's life so difficult. Audio available here.