READER COMMENTS ON
"NY Times Calls For Ban on Touch-Screen Voting (Finally!)"
(20 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 2:35 am PT...
Brad, You are far kinder than I am.
The MEDIA BLACKOUT on the entire subject of electronic voting machines that do the counting, has allowed far too much damage to the United States by corporate fascists already.
In other words, the damage is done. While what we now call "NEWS" has been so neutered that we've lost many amendments to the constitution, been spied on, and sunk into illegal wars.
I am far less likely to forgive any of these bastards for that.
So now only when Dan Rather reports news is it actually news. What about the day after Dan Rather passes? Where will the news come from then?
If the New York Times wanted to make proper amends, they would also subscribe the the COMPLETE BANNING OF ANYTHING THAT COUNTS ELECTRONICALLY. (This is different than PRINTING) but that might be hard to actually FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS what with so much corporate fascist money flowing now.
If they were to make proper amends, they would, be advocating for impeachment DAILY, they would be asking what the hell happened on 911 exactly. They would be countering LIES that come out of the White House. Just because Tony Snow used words that have a certain meaning, doesn't mean that the words had that meaning. (Usually I Just reverse to the opposite, what comes out of the White House and that is usually the truth. Other times they tell you exactly what law their breaking.)
The New York Times SHOULD be doing much more than simply getting one story about electronic voting machines "half-assed-right."
What about all the DAMAGE those machines have caused?
Not to mention the FACT they have not even helped disabled Americans vote! That wasn't their GOAL! Stealing elections electronically was the GOAL!
Perhaps all this DAMAGE was not so damaging to big multi-billion dollar corporations like the New York Times!
But alas, I told you I am a lot less forgiving. These electronic voting machines have caused DEATH.
For the last few years, the language that I use when discussing Senators, Voting machines, Congress, Government, politics, Corporate Media and all the rest of this related crap--might sound like an episode of deadwood.
"New York Times Cock Suckers!"
To put it lightly.
I didn't serve in the Military to watch my country a constitutional republic, turned into a fascist dictatorship, with the dick in chief writing laws that go against the constitution.
Meanwhile the 4th estate was drinking whiskey and fuckin the whores for free.
But then, I am just one opinion, one stinky asshole.
I will believe the media is turned around when I start seeing it. And it's going to have to be a "wad" more than that.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 3:30 am PT...
Who would have thunk it? The New York Times going further than EI cult heroine Debra Bowen, the SoS of California?
This is actually a call for the federal government (congress) to exercise its view over the views of the 50 states, 3003 some odd counties, and far more municipalities.
And it would nullify Bowen's strategy in California, which is: a) some immediate progress, b) after that some more progress, and c) finally getting where we should have been all along.
The NY Times wants to avoid all the middle ground (a and b), and go straight to election heaven ( c ).
It is a tall order, since states, counties, and municipalities have wrongfully invested the people's money into bad election machines. Add to that the fact that there is some question, due to the vague nature of the Times article, as to whether or not congress has the constitutional authority to do what the Times suggests.
Here is a post I did a few threads ago here on Bradblog:
John, you quoted a questioner who asked:
Suppose an article had been introduced into the Constitution, empowering the United States to regulate the elections for the particular States ...
That train left the station long ago with the first version of the Constitution:
Although the states are responsible for running elections, Congress has authority to affect the administration of elections. Congress’ authority to regulate elections derives from various constitutional sources, depending upon the type of election. With regard to federal elections, Congress has constitutional authority over both congressional and presidential elections. Article I, Section 4, Clause 1, known as the Elections Clause, provides Congress with broad authority to regulate congressional elections
(GAO Report: "The Scope of Congressional Authority in Election Administration", emphasis added). I don't know which elections your quote is targeted at.
It behoves anyone who is enlightening voters about congressional authority in election matters, to specify whether or not the subject is a congressional, presidential, or state election the purported enlightenment is about.
Otherwise it can be just another one of those plentiful exercises these daze that merely casts sand in the eyes of the voters.
The article I linked to is a must read, especially for those seeking to become an enlightener in federal election matters.
Clearly congress cannot outright forbid the states to use bad electronic voting machines in state-only election campaigns (dog-catcher, state legislator, governor, etc., type campaigns), but clearly the congress can do that in federal elections (presidential and congressional campaigns).
But when they do mandate massive changes, they must provide funding under many circumstances. And that means a money debate.
So, sorry EI fundies at the NY Times, it is a lot easier to dream up things to demand, but it is much more difficult to figure out the applicable reality and work within it.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 5:22 am PT...
Time to clear up more Dredd-misinformation.
The Holt/Microsoft compromise bill had set aside $1 billion for the purchase of thermal reel printers as a bandaid for the DRE's. These printers have managed to produce an equally horrible track record as their parent machines (an impressive feat, see NJIT), and violate the anonymity of the voter to boot.
Had you considered that, rather than using that billion to pay for these so-called VVPATs, we could simply use that money to "provide funding under many circumstances"? Had you also considered that just under 1/3 of the original funding established by HAVA remains unspent and is still available to this day?
Funding is not an issue. However, we ought to make sure we don't throw good money after bad, which is what I'd call buying the printers that Holt's own State is getting ready to outlaw.
You are fond of the GAO link. But you need to be aware that Congress has stepped in and does have jurisdiction, under the right circumstances, with state and even local elections. Yes, it's true. See Voting Rights Act 1965 "To assure that the right of citizens of the United States to vote is not denied or abridged on account of race or color, no citizen shall be denied the right to vote in any Federal, State, or local election because of his failure to comply with any test or device in any State."
So, you have to pay attention to the framework of the argument. Congress doesn't have the authority, for example, to tell States that they need to use a specific machine in their elections. It does have the authority, however, to forbid States from using a machine that has been documented to disenfranchise voters, because at that point it is intervening on behalf of our Bill of Rights.
Whether intentional or not, DRE voting has disenfranchised millions of voters. When the argument is framed that way, Congress not only has the right but the responsibility to institute a ban on their use in our elections.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 6:29 am PT...
As Voter's Watchdog columnist here in California, I am delighted to see the NY Times call for a ban on touchscreens, something those of us who have researched this issue have believed is necessary for along time. Too bad the times allowed TWO presidential elections to be stolen before finally doing the right thing.
It's worth nothing, though, that a ban on touchscreens alone, while a major improvement, does not go far enough if paper ballots are still counted on computerized optical scanners. My interview with a Diebold Whistleblower for RAWSTORY back in '05 revealed that corrupt programmers can place hidden codes on opti-scan ballots that can alter votes or cause ballots for certain candidates to be rejected by the optical scan machines.
I am an advocate of hand-counting paper ballots at the polls, with stringent oversight and witnesses.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 7:04 am PT...
Good point, the NY Times has merely "called for" the ban of the bad machines. But like fundie EI folks, they do not exhaust the ramifications of their wish.
Nevertheless, this type of rhetoric must usually precede the actual event. It is cheap talk, but it does call for a good thing nevertheless.
"Time to clear up more [Bob]-misinformation."
It is a tall order, since states, counties, and municipalities have wrongfully invested the people's money into bad election machines.
This is not mis-information, it is my opinion. While I would agree with you that not every election official, every Diebold operative, or even some EI movement folks, would agree, my statement and opinion has a sufficient basis in reality.
The Bowen California report shows that the people's money has been invested in bad machines.
You also said:
You are fond of the GAO link.
You are officially on record thanking me for providing it to you:
Good link, Dredd; thanks.
(Bob's Post Thanking Dredd For GAO Link). I hope you are not doing a Senator Craig (R-Closet) "intent" thingy on me.
You also said:
... you need to be aware that Congress has stepped in and does have jurisdiction, under the right circumstances, with state and even local elections.
Wow, you lecture the guy who gave you the link in the first place. Yes, as Bush v Gore shows, states rights are not absolute. They cannot violate federal law where federal law applies to override state law.
But those prinicples do not reach jurisdiction to mandate what machines they can use in state elections. That was my point after all:
Clearly congress cannot outright forbid the states [from using] bad electronic voting machines in state-only election campaigns (dog-catcher, state legislator, governor, etc., type campaigns), but clearly the congress can do that in federal elections (presidential and congressional campaigns).
I doubt that a machine, even a bad machine, itself could violate any law. Misuse of a machine could. So check out what I said:
there is some question, due to the vague nature of the Times article, as to whether or not congress has the constitutional authority to do what the Times suggests.
There is no doubt in my mind that there is "some question" whether or not congess can madate that states use a certain brand or type of election machine.
And that gets down to money. The congress cannot mandate things on states without funding those things where law mandates it. Like homeland security issues, immigration issues, etc., that impact a state budget. They need to fund states and that means money Bob.
Read a little closer and be more of a gentleman and I will too.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 8:44 am PT...
Stuffing the DRE software virtual ballot box is potentially even easier to perpetrate than it was to rig Palm Beach County, FL punch card ballots to fail in November 2000. Any one of the small army of computer programmers who legitimately writes code destined to be loaded on each and every DRE system just prior to each election has the opportunity to privately stuff the eVoting machine software ballot box.
In the final analysis, software and ballot integrity issues surrounding DRE eVoting machines are so pervasive that, even if updated to print a paper audit ballot, they are just too complex and costly to resolve in any fully transparent election process.
This is a case where throwing more money and more technology at a problem only succeeds in making the problem worse. Pre-printed paper ballots marked by voters with a standard #2 pencil and run through an optical scanner is a simple and transparent process that any average citizen election volunteer can observe and certify. Such a process backed up with a random hand count of 10% of all optical scan counted ballots and statistically correlated to the scanner vote tabulation is the only way every state can 'uniformly' provide full election integrity and transparency.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 8:52 am PT...
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 8:56 am PT...
"The Bowen California report shows that the people's money has been invested in bad machines."
"You are officially on record thanking me for providing it to you"
The first time, yes. =)
"Wow, you lecture the guy who gave you the link in the first place. Yes, as Bush v Gore shows, states rights are not absolute. They cannot violate federal law where federal law applies to override state law."
Neither a GAO report nor recent litigation is necessary to remind me of what the 10th amendment succinctly stated decades earlier, Dredd.
"But those prinicples do not reach jurisdiction to mandate what machines they can use in state elections. That was my point after all:"
And that is where you misconstrue the argument.
Neither the NY Times nor those who support a ban on DRE are attempting to "mandate what machines they can use". They may use red machines, blue machines, tall machines, short machines, loud machines and quiet machines. They may use no machines at all! What they may not use are machines that disenfranchise citizens by regularly losing and compromising votes.
"I doubt that a machine, even a bad machine, itself could violate any law."
But history proves your doubts unwarranted. See VRA 1965. As indicated by the quote I already provided, the authors of what is widely acknowledged as the one of the most successful pieces of civil rights legislation ever written had no trouble at all banning any "test or device" which disenfranchised voters.
And that gets down to money. The congress cannot mandate things on states without funding those things where law mandates it.
Explain something, would you? How is it that you have no difficulty accepting that the Holt bill would appropriate $1 billion to purchase junky printers to attach to DRE's, and yet express grave concern about whether legislators could appropriate $1 billion to replace DRE's instead? How about we just cross out the part that says "buy VVPATs" and replace it with the words "replace your DREs"? Wasn't that easy?
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 9:17 am PT...
I don't think that it could be any more clear that the Dems are not on our side when it comes to banning DREs. They have been bought by the same people who own the GOP.
This is also true of the war in Iraq. This is true of universal single-payer health care. This is true of trade issues.
We're being played by a Good Cop/Bad Cop scam and we should wake up and realize that neither side has our best interests at heart regarding any important issue facing us today.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 11:41 am PT...
KKKarl rove and Thor hearne were right, there is rampant voter fraud everywhere you look. People coast to coast are registering fido to vote in the next election, felons and illegal aliens are only the tip of the iceburg.
SEATTLE - A woman who faced up to 90 days in jail for registering her dog to vote has agreed to a deal that could remove the charge from her record.
Jane Balogh, 66, won't be prosecuted on the charge of making a false or misleading statement to a public servant if she does 10 hours of community service, pays a $250 fine and avoids violating the law for the next year, District Judge Mariane Spearman said Wednesday.
Balogh registered her Australian shepherd-terrier mix, Duncan M. McDonald, to vote in April 2006 by putting her telephone bill in the dog's name and using that as identification when she mailed the form to election officials. She said she did it to protest a change in the law that she believed made it too easy for noncitizens to vote.
In November she wrote "VOID" across the first ballot sent to the dog and returned it with an image of a paw print on the signature line. An election official called and she admitted what she had done, but the dog still was sent absentee ballots for school bond elections in February and May.
Duncan M. McDonald was removed from the voter rolls in July, three weeks after the charge was filed against Balogh, who pleaded not guilty.
Click for source/link,..
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 12:39 pm PT...
Here is yet another constituent letter for anyone who so desires to copy, paste, and edit, to make it applicable to your own district.
Re say No to HR 811 AND to MoveOn
Dear Congresswoman Woolsey,
This is my third letter this week to you about this important topic, but it is so critical right now that you are aware of all the information circulating, because of the fast tracking of HR 811.
First, I encourage you and your staff to view this short (less than 10 minutes) video made by two very well-informed, very reasonable, and very concerned citizens.
Then, here are my further thoughts, as one of your constituents. The so-called "printer solution" that's been added to HR 811 is a false solution. A paper trail is not a ballot, nor does it verify that your vote was recorded and recorded accurately inside the machine. A paper trail is a meaningless waste of paper, ink, glue, trees, and money.
Elections, election data, and ballots belong to citizens and to states, not to electronic voting machine companies and to federal oversight agencies such as the EAC. HR 811 trades the transparency of elections, a transparency that is the right of citizens, for corporate interests. Electronic voting machine companies have bought their way into our democratic election process with their lobbying efforts, which I consider to be nothing more than a form of legalized bribery.
One of the biggest problems with HR 811 is that it surrenders to the EAC that which constitutionally belongs to states. Citizens should never have to go through any bureaucracy, such as the EAC, to get permission for a recount. What is the point in determining in a recount, three years after a rigged election, after jumping through all the bureaucratic hoops set up by the EAC to make it difficult for citizens to verify that an election was legal, that a Presidential election was rigged and the wrong person is serving in that office?!
And what is the point in even conducting a recount, when that recount would simply consist of the same rigged data in the software of the electronic voting machines that rigged the election in the first place?!
The worst part of this whole electronic voting machine debacle, in my view, is that right here in Sonoma County, in your district, our local elections officials run good, honest elections, with only one electronic voting machine per precinct for handicapped users if they desire it. We run good, honest elections by hand counting our ballots. Even during heavy turn-out elections, such as the most recent one in 2006, we ran a good, honest election by hand-counting our ballots. Why on earth are we not using our own Sonoma County's elections procedures as the gold standard for good, honest elections all across the country?!
You are in the perfect position on Capitol Hill to take this issue on, dump (yes, dump!) HR 811, and hold up Sonoma County elections for the rest of the country to look at as how to run good, honest elections, elections that are completely transparent TO THE CITIZENS (and not to the electronic voting machine companies).
We will be one step closer to completely losing our democracy if HR 811 is passed by the House. Please do all you can to stop this from happening.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 1:27 pm PT...
We are now on the same page.
I would vote to ban all electronic voting machines today or tomorrow, if for no other reason, to punish the vendors.
But my little fantasies do not hold much water in this world.
Likewise, if Debra Bowen had done so she would have to care little about all the politicians around her, who were also voted into office by the people.
They do not want to admit they purchased scandalous quantities of bad machines. She has to do something besides cold turkey, even tho I think she would trash all of them if she could, because she would run up against a brick wall and all of a sudden be surrounded by dangerous people (politically) out to get her.
If she isn't already.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 1:31 pm PT...
CHECK THIS OUT:
The appropriate election official at each polling place in an election for Federal office shall offer each individual who is eligible to cast a vote in the election at the polling place the opportunity to cast the vote using a pre-printed paper ballot which the individual may mark by hand and which is not produced by a direct recording electronic voting machine. If the individual accepts the offer to cast the vote using such a ballot, the official shall provide the individual with the ballot and the supplies necessary to mark the ballot, and shall ensure (to the greatest extent practicable) that the waiting period for the individual to cast a vote is not greater than the waiting period for an individual who does not agree to cast the vote using such a paper ballot under this paragraph.
(Holt HR 811 RH page 21, lines 16-23 thru page 22, line 7, emphasis mine).
Doesn't that mean we do not have to use the EVM, and instead must be allowed to cast a paper ballot vote instead? Notice further:
Any paper ballot which is cast by an individual under this paragraph shall be counted and otherwise treated as a regular ballot for all purposes (including, to the greatest extent practicable, the deadline for counting the ballot) and not as a provisional ballot, unless the individual casting the ballot would have otherwise been required to cast a provisional ballot if the individual had not accepted the offer to cast the vote using a paper ballot under this paragraph.
(id at page 22, lines 8-18, emphasis mine). It seems to me that it could be argued that anyone can cast a paper ballot under Holt HR 811 RH, and furthermore, it must be counted.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 2:03 pm PT...
The 2003 version of Holt’s HR811 bill was very clear. It stated:
No voting system shall at any time contain or use undisclosed software.
The bill, as re-introduced in 2006 was just as clear:
…source code, object code, executable representation, and ballot programming files [shall be made] available for inspection promptly upon request to any person.
The current version of Holt’s HR811 bill now up for vote on the House floor badly limits the public's right to inspect voting machine software and lets vendors keep secret the software and methods that determine our elections.
Sections (B) and (C) of the current bill apply only to the base DRE eVote application (and Microsoft Windows CE OS where used) software that comes preloaded on each new machine. The machine manufacturers are required to deposit their base software code in escrow with "an accredited testing laboratory under section 231."
Software written by contractor programmers that codifies local election ballots, and tabulates and records in memory voters’ ballot selections at each of the 1,142 county election administration offices (currently using DRE eVoting machines) immediately preceding each election is not mandated to be deposited with the accredited testing laboratory.
Even if language is added to the bill to specifically mandate access to locally written election ballot software, it would be logistically impossible for the 1,142 counties currently using DRE eVoting machines to deposit their locally written ballot software with the accredited testing laboratory that holds the specific version of eVoting machine software (with their unique variation of bug fixes) running on eVoting machines at each of the 1,142 counties.
Under this version of H.R. 811 county election administrators can legitimately decline to allow anyone to inspect the locally written election ballot definition software, even "parties to pre- or post-election litigation challenging the result of an election or the administration or use of the technology used in an election." It is this software locally written and loaded immediately preceding each election at each county election office that provides the greatest opportunity for nefarious behavior or simply sloppy programming work that results in vote flipping.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 2:07 pm PT...
You've stumbled upon one of those gems of the Holt bill's convoluted journey. Let me elaborate.
Originally (by which I mean HR811 as submitted by Holt), the bill required that paper ballots be on hand, as an emergency backup system, in case the machines ever crashed (*gasp*).
The bill went to House Admin Committee, and this provision appeared to survive. Or did it? About a week *after* the Committee reported its version to the House, the provision vanished! Just went poof.. funny thing about electronic data, how you can just make it go away like that, eh?
VotersUnite and several other grassroots groups pressed the question as to how the text of the bill could be modified out of order like this. To my knowledge, none of us has received a satisfactory answer (I personally have received none).
Later, rumors began to circulate that the bill, on life support for some time, was about to die off after all. Enter Steny Hoyer, who led secret meetings @ PFAW in order to rewrite the bill (the so-called Manager's Mark). Late Friday night, we got the press release from PFAW: DRE's were here to stay, this time with expensive toilet paper.
But we noticed one pleasant change- the provision requiring polling places to maintain a stock of paper ballots was back and, oddly, bolstered. As you correctly observe, it now requires that each voter be given the option to vote on paper, if she chooses.
Is this a good thing? Yes, its the one good thing that Hoyer/PFAW did to the bill. Unfortunately, its not nearly enough to motivate VotersUnite to support the thing.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 2:13 pm PT...
Dredd #13, let's change that first passage to read:
The appropriate election official at each polling place in all elections, including those for Federal office, shall offer each individual who is eligible to cast a vote in the election at the polling place the opportunity to cast the vote using an electronic voting machine. If the individual accepts the offer to cast the vote using such a machine, the official shall provide the individual with the instructions necessary to cast votes in this manner, and shall ensure (to the greatest extent practicable) that the waiting period for the individual to cast a vote electronically is not greater than the waiting period for an individual who does not agree to cast the vote using such an electronic voting machine under this paragraph, keeping in mind that, realistically, it may take a longer length of time for the voter to receive, understand, and follow these instructions. Poll watchers will be on the premises to watch out for the possibility of individuals being encouraged, with bribes or otherwise, to insist on using an electronic voting machine.
Dredd, I am a pollworker in Sonoma County, a county that hand counts paper ballots and ALWAYS manages to run clean, honest elections. The polling place I work at is the polling place for two separate precincts. We have two electronic voting machines (one for each precinct) at this polling place. Despite the unprecedented turnout at the most recent 2006 election, not a single voter at either of the precincts chose to cast their votes using the electronic voting machines, despite their high visibility, the training each precinct officer had received for assisting voters with these machines, and the ongoing interest and chatter throughout the entire day by the voters about the machines. There were zero problems in this election, all over the county. Paper ballots were easily and quickly hand-counted, including provisional ballots, which were available for anyone to use, in the event that they had been dropped from or not added to the list somehow or gone to the wrong precinct by mistake, which happened with a number of voters. Even with the extra work required to cross check provisional ballots, our election results were posted quickly, and I am completely confident that the results reflected the actual voters' will.
You cannot say this about polling places that offered electronic voting machines first, with paper ballots as back-up.
Why on earth are we not all using a voting and vote-counting methodology that works, works well, is completely transparent TO THE CITIZENS? Why on earth are we moving toward a system that's fraught with problems, extraordinarily vulnerable to all kinds of fraud, very expensive, and not accessible or transparent to our citizens? Why? The ONLY reason I can come up with, that makes any sense at all, is that a whole bunch of money was made available to Congress to "upgrade" elections processes all across the country, and instead of using the money to develop a comprehensive and systematic plan to assist individual states to develop and improve upon their own elections systems, the sharks in the water that smelled the blood went for it.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 8:57 pm PT...
Dredd #13 and Bob #15 -
I believe I can clear up a point or two. The provision you mention (referred to casually as the "Paper or Plastic" option) was added late in the mark-up process in the Admin Comm. by Rep. Capuano.
It's a great idea, if not completely well carried out. I had been asked about that amendment before it was added, and told them it was good but only if they specify that those paper ballots are to be counted prior to any announcement of either official or unofficial tallies.
For length reasons here, I'll not go into detailed reasons for the above right now, but most BRAD BLOG readers are likely familiar with the "Get it right on Election Night" slogan.
In CA, where we have a similar-ish provision allowing voters to vote on paper (if they know to ask for it, unlike the Capuano amendment above which is better because it requires officials ask the voter which they prefer to vote on), Registrar Mikel Haas in San Diego counted those paper ballots on the Thursday after the election. There was no law to stop him. He also didn't bother to have enough paper ballots on hand, but that's another matter.
In Los Angeles, outgoing Registrar Conny McCormack has stated that she doesn't have to 100% hand-count DRE paper trails (as now required by SoS Bowen) until after the election has been officially certified.
All said to underscore the point that the devil is in the details, that the provision needs to be amended to require counting prior to release of any official or unofficial tally. But the idea is certainly a very good one.
When that provision was added, the "Emergency Paper Ballots" provision was no longer needed, so it was dropped. Nothing nefarious about any of that, as far as I've been able to learn throughout the process.
Hope that helps!
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 9/6/2007 @ 11:30 pm PT...
THE IRONY. NY Times says NO to Electronic VOting but YES to Optiscans.. seems to me that Optiscams are Electronic voting. I SAY NO TO ALL FORMS OF ELECTRONIC VOTING.
I AM NO ZEALOT. I am however someone who has spent over 30,000$$ of my own money
A tons of time and effort in a lawsuit (read that carefully lawsuit) in Georgia
against Diebold and against the use of unverifiable elections. Visit the website www.voterga.org and you'll see what a group of Plaintiffs in Georgia say about electronic
voting that it does not and cannot be verified- We have gotten 2 counts approved by the state:
Key Events Since Lawsuit Filed
The governor requested that the Secretary of State prepare a proposal for implementing voter verified paper ballot audit trails;
The Secretary of State reversed her position twice that all voting machines would have to be replaced to implement secure printers for audit trails;
All three of our major opponents who blocked statewide voter verified paper ballot audit trails were soundly defeated in the 2006 elections;
Three candidates, a Democrat, a Republican and an independent write-in candidate have agreed to join our suit;
The State Election Board held three public hearings on the flawed audit trail pilot;
An Election Board member publicly told the AJC that the 2006 elections will probably be the last held on DRE equipment;
We have gained national and local media coverage on television, radio, newspapers and web based outlets.
The Elections Director who adamantly opposed our legislative initiatives has resigned and been hired by Diebold;
The Secretary of State’s Press Secretary has also resigned and been hired by Diebold;
The 2002 SOS Audit Trail report corroborates two count of our lawsuit against the pilot technology.
While some in that lawsuit think that optiscan with a randomized precinct level audit works, I PERSONALLY agree with 95% of the world's democracies who by your
own admission means those world governments must ALSO BE ZEALOTS because they use hand counted paper ballots. I just deployed AT&T software working on 60
Million AT&T handsets for selling games/ringtones etc. with a 91.6% accuracy and I know software as a 20 year telecomm veteran and I know this:
Paper once marked can never be altered except thru noticable means
Software can always be altered with little or no detection
ALSO THE ENTIRE COUNTRY OF IRELAND who bought over $40M Euros worth of electronic voting equipment went back to hand counted paper ballots when there was sufficient countrywide outcry
and an immediate understanding by the citizens and lawmakers alike that electronic voting (even a FOOT IN THE DOOR) as you call it begins to erode true democracy.
Paper ballots are not perfect, but fixes to age old problems like ballot box stuffing can be fixed by 2 locks costing $1.50 on the ballot box which is owned by citizens (Who remember
we do own the elections and the overwhelming majority of election integrity activists advocate a full move back to paper ballots, I did a survey of the over 150 organizations
that pursue election integrity and over 80% preferrred paper ballots.
So, sir on this particular issue and with folks who have lawsuits against voting vendors (2 counts of our VoterGA lawsuit have already been conceded by the now Republican
SOS in Georgia Karen Handel) and we have depositions from such Election Fraud Perpetrators such as Cathy Cox and Britt Williams and Ray Cobb all with very contradictory and unsatisfactory
answers to the most basic questions on Diebold security, on even Optiscam questions that make the skin crawl on your back that these were supposed to be the experts and none
of them understand that Microsoft is the underlying database, that the software was written by paid criminals (Jefferey Dean) both the Optiscam and DRETouchscreen software uses
same Gems server so please don't argue Optiscams are better because they require a paper ballot, because the 'pretension of safety' is no substitute for true ballot safety which arises
from the unbroken chain of custody of a citizen putting a GOD DAMN BALLOT Directly into a ballot box themselves. Versus the Optiscan broken chain of custody which breaks at least
4 but up to 12 times after you vote with your quote unquote 'paper ballot'. Go to your local office and demand photocopies of those optiscan forms, and watch them tell you NO WE CAN'T
release that or better yet, ask for the CD that the Diebold Optiscan ballots land on and hear worse that they can't release the CD for fear it may compromise terrorist acts
in worst and cause them to break legal contracts they signed with vendor in the best case.
You are talking to someone who DOES NOT WANT TO BE AN ELECTION INTEGRITY activist. I'd sure like to have gone on vacations around the world with that $30,000. I'd sure like to spend
my sundays and saturdays relaxing instead of reading deposition questions and having run around wondering if I run for office here in Washington state is it worth my time because
in the end they will buy optiscams and they will continue vote by mail which is also a broken chain of custody, broken way to conduct elections for many reasons not the least of which is
WOULD YOU TRUST THE US POST OFFICE (which can see your vote) with your vote???? really?????
so there are a lot of problems with the Holt bill and I'm thankful tonite so have many others complained against the bill, I don't care why, I'm hoping that happily and peacefully the Holt bill dies.
and don't tell me who has spent so much time on legal matters that I can't start a legislative action if the Holt bill dies. we as citizens can back any new bill and even start statewide ballot
initiatives banning DRE's and Optiscans, so don't tell me we will have no other recourse because as it stands today, Sir, your election integrity Zealots, folks like Bev Harris and Paul Lehto
and our wonderful maven of the integrity movement Ms. Lynne Landes all support killing that damn Holt bill.
we didn't have to kill it, the MIcrosoft lobbyists and others did that for us. and National Association of Counties who have not even been given the money to maintain the Diebold
$93.00 per machine yearly maintenance fees, they are brilliant for fighting this as well. that money part, it's the key/Biggest Problem. Tons of initial HAVA money to get the bastard
machines in the door but in Georgia Cox left the counties out to dry after the 3rd year counties had to pay out of pocket for a per machine $93/yearly maintenance fee that
the state would not even help pay. We don't have the money anymore and paper ballots is 100X cheaper than any electronic alternatives. ISn't spending Billions in Iraq and failing
banks enough to show that the US cannot handle any more financial drains on its treasury?
IF THE CITIZENS ARE TOO LAZY TO COUNT THEIR OWN VOTES, they don't deserve democracy. I am not too lazy to count my own votes and intend to do so at the next election.
read up on our lawsuit in Georgia. It won't matter what passes legislatively anyway if citizens in trenches sue en masse the SOS and State Boards and governments and vendors even after
the laws pass, sue sue sue for millions of dollars for being not only robbed of our taxpayer money, but delivered software that even a 10 year old can hack.
Hand counted paper is not the extreme position, Chris, but yours is.
We need the election integrity community such as yourself to call us personally and truly understand why any form of electronic voting COMPROMISE is giving away ALL OUR DEMOCRACY
and how that is not a zealot position in the least but a brave courageous stand to take for any citizen of the US.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 9/7/2007 @ 3:46 am PT...
Thanks for participating. I think that we have given some good food for thought, covered many bases, all to the benefit of the readers.
It is especially fun when those more in the know than I am pitch in and fine turn things.
Sometimes my style, which is hard hitting to the argument (but kindly disposed toward being even better friends after the debate) is misinterpreted to mean I am against the EI movement. Of course I am not.
But if we do not drill ourselves and become sharper, the opposition will drill us in a worse way.
Again, thanks for helping me explore these areas as a gift to Bradblog readers.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 9/12/2007 @ 6:06 am PT...
The NY Times had an article on the Siegelman case yesterday but didn't go near the election theft angle that lay behind it all.