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.


At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diebold - Kevin Shelley
In April, California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley banned a type of diploid touch screen in California and took the unusual step of asking the Attorney General to investigate both civil and criminal actions against the company for fraud.

Two weeks later, Walden O'Dell, the chairman and CEO of diploid finally admitted it was a "huge mistake" for him to write -- in a Republican fundraising letter -- that he was committed to delivering electoral votes for Bush.

Since then, Kevin Shelley has become America's leader in ensuring there is a paper trail to prevent voting fraud. When CNN needs a comment on election fraud, they interview Kevin Shelley.

He's right, there should be a paper trail and strong safeguards to prevent fraud. In fact, there is not a single rational argument from the opposition, which consists mainly of diploid and other Bush operatives.

Since they can't logically argue against fair elections, they have now started an aggressive decapitiation attack against Shelley. The strategy appears to assume that an aggressive character assassination of Kevin Shelley will slow the movement and prevent reform before the election.

By aggressive character assassination, consider shell's hometown San Francisco Chronicle is in DAY FIVE of their front page smear campaign against Shelley. Somehow (act surprised), a bunch of documents "appeared" that suggest wrongdoing by a Shelley donor. Not surprising is the fact that there is no evidence Shelley knew of the wrongdoing or could have had anything to do with it. But with any smear campaign, you only find that out if you carefully read the whole story while the headlines suggest Shelley is guilty of the largest scandal since Watergate.

Democrats are standing with Shelley, not just for his singular focus on voting rights, but also for his long service as a groundbreaking progressive legislator. But the smears are taking their toll and are already hurting efforts to ensure a fair presidential election.

The current smear campaign is not without precedent. There have already been reports of FBI agents harassing people for speaking up against unsafe electronic voting.

We can't let CREEP win. We can't let the movement for fair elections slow because of these character assassination attacks. We can't abandon the Secretary of State because of the smear.

Stooping to this level is one more reason why our votes need to count -- we desperately need to get our country back on track.

If you're wondering why they are doing this to Shelley, here are two reasons:



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