Monday, August 30, 2004

Greg Palast on how Theresa LePore ...

Greg Palast on how Theresa LePore is making sure she gets to count the ballots in her own re-election campaign:

This time, Theresa's in a hurry to get to the counting. She began tallying absentee ballots on Friday in her own re-election race. Not to worry: the law requires the Supervisor of Elections in each county to certify poll-watchers to observe the count. But Theresa has a better idea. She refused to certify a single poll-watcher from opponents' organizations despite the legal requirement she do so by last week. She'll count her own votes herself, thank you very much!
And so far, she's doing quite well. Although 37,000 citizens have requested absentee ballots, she says she'd only received 22,000 when she began the count. Where are the others? Don't ask: though she posts the names of requesters, she won't release the list of those who have voted, an eyebrow-raising deviation from standard procedure.

And she has no intention of counting all the ballots received. She has reserved for herself the right to determine which ballots have acceptable signatures. Her opponent, Democrat Art Anderson, had asked Theresa to use certified hand-writing experts, instead of her hand-picked hacks, to check the signatures.

Unfortunately, while Federal law requires Theresa to allow a voter to correct a signature rejection when registering, the Feds don't require her to permit challenges to absentee ballot rejections.

I know what you're thinking. How could Madame Butterfly know how people are voting? Well, she's printed PARTY AFFILIATION on the OUTSIDE of each return envelope. That certainly makes it easier to figure out which ballot is valid, don't it?

And dear Reader, please take note of the implications of this story for the big vote in November. Millions have sought refuge in absentee ballots as a method to avoid the dangers of the digitizing of democracy. Florida and other states are reporting 400%-plus increases in absentee ballot requests due to fear of the new computer voting machinery. Some refuge. LePore is giving us an early taste of how the Bush Leaguers intend to care for your absentee ballot.


For the uninitiated, this is the woman who designed the infamous Butteryfly Ballot in the 2,000 election that cost Al Gore the election. Of course to be fair it's only one of the many ways the state of Florida swung the entire election to W.

$100 says they do it again...

Monday, August 23, 2004


Vote count at mercy of clandestine testing
Monday, August 23, 2004 Posted: 1440 GMT (2240 HKT)

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (AP) -- The three companies that certify the nation's voting technologies operate in secrecy, and refuse to discuss flaws in the ATM-like machines to be used by nearly one in three voters in November. ..

"I find it grotesque that an organization charged with such a heavy responsibility feels no obligation to explain to anyone what it is doing," Michael Shamos, a Carnegie Mellon computer scientist and electronic voting expert, told lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

The system for "testing and certifying voting equipment in this country is not only broken, but is virtually nonexistent," Shamos added.

Although up to 50 million Americans are expected to vote on touchscreen machines on November 2, federal regulators have virtually no oversight over testing of the technology. The certification process, in part because the voting machine companies pay for it, is described as obsolete by those charged with overseeing it. ..

But critics led by Stanford University computer science professor David Dill say it's an outrage that the world's most powerful democracy doesn't already have an election system so transparent its citizens know it can be trusted.

"Suppose you had a situation where ballots were handed to a private company that counted them behind a closed door and burned the results," said Dill, founder of "Nobody but an idiot would accept a system like that. We've got something that is almost as bad with electronic voting."

You have to hand it to the GOP. They have managed to make is such that we do not even have the right to know how our votes are being counted and the machines that count them are certified. It's all fucking secret.

So shut the fuck up people and watch them work.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

CBS News: E-Voting: Is The Fix In?

CBS) To avoid a fiasco in this fall's election, Congress offered the states $3.9 billion to buy modern voting equipment, reports David Pogue, technology editor of The New York Times.

This fall, 30 percent of us will cast our votes by touching a screen on a computerized voting machines. No muss, no fuss - and no chads.

This year, instead of being handed a ballot, some of these voters will receive a smart card.

"They simply touch the name of the candidate that they'd like to vote for," says Alfie Charles, a spokesman for Sequoia, the second-largest voting-machine maker.

Simplicity is only one of the virtues.

"It prevents voters from over-voting, it prevents or notifies voters if they under vote, it also allows them to see all the selections they've made before casting a ballot," says Charles.

You can even vote unassisted if you can't read, you don't know English, or you're blind.

Maryland used these machines in three recent elections. Gilles Burger, Maryland's election-board chairman, gives them his vote of confidence.

"Voters are delighted with the system," he says. "We have completely accurate results, so we're very high on the system."

The good news is, these machines don't have any of the problems of paper ballots. The bad news is, they may have much worse problems all their own.

California's experience was nothing like Maryland's, according to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley.

"There was a wholesale breakdown in the election last March in one of our major counties that most Americans are familiar with, San Diego," says Shelley. "And untold thousands of individuals were turned away and denied their right to vote because the voting equipment couldn't start."


If you ask me, the FIX is definitely in.