Saturday, September 13, 2008

GOP will steal another election if we don't stop them

Once again, here we are at the 11th hour and it's becomes increasingly clear that our biggest problem is not the polling but rather the polls, meaning the ballot box. Early races are turning up disturbing problems with the voting machines that remain unresolved eight years after the debacle of 2000.

Palm Beach County held an election on August 26. One of the races for judge ended up extremely close, only 60 votes separated two candidates. As election officials began preparations for a recount, they found that 3,500 ballots were missing.

Rumors abounded that the ballots ended up in a landfill. Assistant County Administrator Brad Merriman, who was investigating the missing ballots, found them at the vote-tabulating center.

A somewhat proud-sounding Merriman reported, “The ballots were found in this room, not in garbage bags, not in the trunks of cars.”

Some of the uncounted votes came from an electronic cartridge on a voting machine. The votes were counted but were never transferred to the tabulating center.
These are not Diebolds. This is the Sequoia Voting Systems, the other major machine in use across the country. And this is not the only anomaly that's turned up in just the past week. Brad blog pointed to this WaPo report yesterday.

D.C. election officials blamed a defective computer memory cartridge yesterday for producing what appeared to be thousands of write-in votes that officials say did not exist.

The glitch caused initially inaccurate results in several contests, including two high-profile council races, ...

Those answers were still in short supply yesterday, although the board said the confusion did not change the outcomes of the contests. They included the defeat of longtime Republican council member Carol Schwartz.

The episode has sparked uncertainty over whether the board, after apparently botching a routine local primary that drew about 13 percent of registered voters, can handle the general election in November. Officials expect the presidential race to drive a record number of voters to the polls.
I'd like to know how they can be so sure that the glitch didn't affect the outcome and who were the mysterious write-in votes for anyway? The piece doesn't say. One thing is clear though. The problems are unlikely to be resolved before November.

So the question is, what are we going to do if the GOP steal another election? And is it too late to raise a demand for paper ballots? I know that's not perfect either, but at least there's a little more transparency.

[cross-posted to The Reaction]

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]

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Blogger rockync said...

We use the paper system here. You fill in the circles with a pencil and then place it in the reader as you leave. If the machine can't read it, it beeps so that they retry and if all else fails, they shred the card on site and you re-do your vote card. Obviously this takes more time and is better suited to rural areas like mine but even in metropolitan areas it could be workable by opening more voting centers.

12:12:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Of course they use that here too. Noho had a similar system and it's much a bigger town. I can remember using lever machines though in Hartford and Danbury.

Still, anything but Diebold and Sequoia would be better. I don't want an GOP run company counting my vote. I think I'm going to vote absentee just to be sure.

1:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For starters, if there is any reasonable doubt that the election was rigged, we stop paying taxes. All of us. Period. End of story.

4:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For starters, if there is any reasonable doubt that the election was rigged, we stop paying taxes. All of us. Period. End of story.

4:14:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Anon, it's a nice thought but I doubt if you can get many people to buy into that action. I don't know what we can do, but you can be sure if it's close, they will steal it.

8:38:00 PM  

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