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USA Today via Voter Action:

With the primary elections approaching, six states have lawsuits pendng to end the purchase and use of computerized electronic voting machines. Voter Action filed Thursday against Colorado (and nine counties).  There were similar lawsuits in California and Arizona this spring and New Mexico last year. Others targeted computerized electronic voting in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Six of these states will be using some touch screen voting machines.

Claims being made are the machines are vulnerable to software tampering, don't keep a recountable printed record, may miscount, switch/not record votes, and add phantom votes.


In California, where a primary is Tuesday, after a March lawsuit, several counties switched to printed ballots that will be counted with optical scanners. Six of the eight states will have some electronic balloting, which records votes by touch screens.  In addition, Texas and Illinois had problems with electronic voting machines during their primary elections.  

According to Electronic Data Services (EDS),one-third of the USA's 3,114 counties use some type of electronic systems.  Half the counties use optical scanners which read dots or mark that voters pencil in on ballots.  Parts of New York and Connecticutt use lever type voting machines and some smaller communities use hand-counted paper ballots.

There has been no litigation specifically claiming the intentional manipulation of electronic voting, however, according to Black Box Voting, a Finnish expert found security flaws for a Diebold Election Systems model.

Although electronic voting was used for over five years, it was not widespread until after 2002, when Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). HAVA required states to replace old voting methods such as punch cards as the results of the 2000 election in Florida are questionable. Congress gave states over than $300 million to replace older voting systems.  Although the funding was allocated, it was not used in Ohio.  

As written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.,

Under the Help America Vote Act, Ohio received more than $30 million in federal funds to replace its faulty punch-card machines with more reliable systems.(137) But on Election Day, that money was sitting in the bank. Why? Because Ken Blackwell had applied for an extension until 2006, insisting that there was no point in buying electronic machines that would later have to be retrofitted under Ohio law to generate paper ballots.(138)

As more questions re:  the 2004 elections have been raised,

we simply cannot be certain that the right man now occupies the Oval Office -- which means, in effect, that we have been deprived our faith in democracy itself.

Despite this, Paul DiGregorio of the federal Election Assistance Commission admits there are glitches but claims the system "can be trusted" if safeguards are in place. Although, nothing is stated to what those safeguards are.

Diebold, says the vulnerability is theoretical and will be fixed this year.

Oher defenders of electonic voting claim that problems occur because of hasty set-up before elections or poor training of poll workers. R. Doug Lewis of the Election Center, a group of state and local election officials,

"Certainly none of the allegations of security breaches on the equipment have ever been demonstrated to be true."

If Lewis is referring to a court of law in his statement he is technically correct.

For now.

Originally posted to Street Kid on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 03:02 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  hmmm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cho, epcraig, nyarlahotep

    Maybe I should have put a ? after my last sentence...

    xposted at ePM, in Green and at MLW

    "Do not go gentle into that good night." Dylan Thomas.

    by Street Kid on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 02:56:30 PM PDT

    •  If the allegations WERE true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      epcraig, Street Kid

      How could we ever know? I mean, when Clint Curtis came forward and said hey, I was paid to do election rigging, no one outside of BradBlog and his followers batted an eye.

      So the easiest way to say fraud has never been proven is to deny it when it occurs.

      And for the most part, we don't get Clint Curtis's coming forward. We don't have signed paychecks and records. Proving fraud would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible. That doesn't mean we should say it WASN'T fraud. Not being able to prove something doesn't suddenly make it untrue. Just unprovable.

  •  Los Angeles County only switched... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    epcraig, Street Kid, nyarlahotep

    ...because a bunch of us lobbied our Registrar and her bosses, the County Supervisors, repeatedly for a year. She's determined to bring Diebold into the county, and we still have touchscreens in early voting. But at least for the major portion of the election, held tomorrow, we'll be casting our votes on paper ballots.

    Remember though - all those paper ballots are still tallied by computer. Without a recount or an audit, the paper is worthless. So there's still much work to be done.

    Thanks for this interesting post.

  •  Elections! Elections! Elections! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    epcraig, Street Kid, Tamifah

    I got an email today from someone pointing out that it is similar to real estate, where the 3 most important things are location, location, location.

    In a democracy, whether you're concerned about health care, global warming, gas prices, the war, or anything else, it will always come down to these three most important things:

    Elections, elections, elections!

    Sooner or later it will be put to a vote. Will your vote count? Will it be counted accurately? Is the fix already in and the machines preprogrammed to throw the election the other way? If you don't know because you can't know, you don't have free and fair elections.

    I remember hearing Bush one time exhorting Fidel Castro to hold free and fair elections. Why not set an example, Mr. Bush? Show the world how it is done!

    •  Yeah! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Especially since the US is supposed to be "speading democracy"--or is it really corporate facism?

      "Do not go gentle into that good night." Dylan Thomas.

      by Street Kid on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 07:12:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Root cause (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      epcraig, Street Kid
      the root cause of every single problem we are dealing with in America today is that our politicians and representatives are not accountable to us through our balloting

      fix that, everything else falls into place sooner or later

      We need to be moving to make sure the system is more transparent even if we have to use clunky old paper ballots to do it and wait a while extra to know the results of an election

      I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

      by Tamifah on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 09:09:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Remember reading somewhere, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        paper ballots are still used in Canada.  Got to check into that a bit more.  Thanks for reminding me.

        fix that, everything else falls into place sooner or later

        And I am also in agreement your statement.  But, I am not going to shut up re:  health care.

        "Do not go gentle into that good night." Dylan Thomas.

        by Street Kid on Mon Jun 05, 2006 at 09:51:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Support Voter Action (0+ / 0-)

    Voter Action is a great organization. Greg Palast had a fund raiser for them during his stop in Seattle last Thursday. Holly Jacobson spoke briefly about their work. They want to take their campaign nationwide.

    Please give them money.

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