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After mobilizing in 2004 as an official (frustrated) observer for the Democratic Party, I decided that this time around, I would become a Precinct Election Official.  That way, I could help ensure that voters got to cast a regular ballot, instead of being virtually disenfranchised into the hell of provisional ballots.  This weekend, I attended the mandatory training session and ooohhh doggies, did I get an earful from the trainers.  How did I miss hearing about how badly the May primary election went off the rails? Oh yeah, because it was never publicized.  
More after the break...

In case you haven't noticed, the average age of a Precinct Election Official is 75, which means that a whole lot of our local septuagenarians are getting their very first exposure to computers this year. Of the 40 people who showed up for training with me, only a handful were under 60.  One official was on an oxygen tank and kept asking the same question all day, one drove a cute lil Rascal Scooter over people's feet, and one guy in a wheelchair with only one leg kept freaking me out by standing up to reach stuff.  More people in the group had buckeye shirts on for Ohio State gameday than had their own cellphones (I asked around).  Several people said very loudly that the only reason they were coming back to work this election was because of its political importance, that because of the voting machines they would never work another election again.

The May primary was the first major election in Franklin County in which voters used the new ES&S Ivotronic I touchscreen machines.  In public and on their website, the Franklin County Board of Elections sounds a lot like the old guy from "Are You Being Served?", telling all the local election workers and the voters that "You've all done very well!!" You can take a look at the official training video online [here https://www.franklincountyohio.gov/boe/content/election/precoff.html], if you're in the mood for an alternate version of reality.  

In May, it was categorically proven that the Precinct Election Officials could not follow the directions shown on the screens of the voting machines, which help them open and close the polls.  The acronyms used to identify memory cartridges, cords, and data ports were so counterintuitive that people were unable to figure out what steps they were to follow.  The big message from the BOE trainer to prevent problems in November was "Follow the checklist and wait. Just wait, wait, wait until the machine tells you what to do."  

Because of all the problems that were experienced with the first use of these machines, the manual used for the May and August elections has been thrown out and new manuals are being used to train officials for the November general election. The manual is 139 pages long and comes with a companion DVD (and how many 75 year olds have DVD players, do you think?)

Here's some of the highlights lowlights from the May primary:

-The new ES&S voting machines have two plastic doors that fold over the unit for storage. They are opened up to expose the touchscreen for use and to provide privacy for voters.  In May, the doors were sealed shut by the Board of Elections with a wire security seal to prevent tampering.  Before the machines were ever turned on, Precinct Election Officials attempting to remove the wire seals and open the plastic doors effectively BROKE over 600 new voting machines.  The small plastic holes at the top of the doors for the seals that are supposed to provide some semblance of security are easily ripped apart. The doors will need to be replaced so that they can be sealed for future elections. The wire cutters that were provided to cut the wire seals will now be velcroed to the supply box, in plain sight.

-The flash memory cards (which are just like the ones used in digital cameras) that store the results for individual machines were protected from tampering by another wire seal that held the sliding access doors closed.  The plastic loops that this seal was attached to were torn off the voting machines when Election Officials couldn't get the wire seals off.  There went another couple hundred voting machines.  A tamper-resistant security tape will be used instead in November.

-The memory card, the power cord and the data port are located at the top of the machine in plain sight, directly next to each other. Many voting machines lost power in May because the officials knocked the power cord loose when they used the data port to print out opening machine count tapes.  The battery back-up for the machines will only last for an hour, if you're lucky. During the November election, Precinct Election Officials are supposed to push in the data line and power cords during the day. They're also cautioned to watch out for lively babies (!?!)yanking out the cords, thereby disrupting the election by bypassing the paper log and recorded vote.

-All Presiding Election Officials at each precinct are given a cell phone and confidential Hotline number to call for advice and technical assistance.  During the May Primary, by 7:00 p.m. every single phone line used by precinct officials to call the Board of Elections for help with the new machines was out of order.  ATT was blamed for the failure, according to the trainer. An entirely new phone system is currently being installed, just 3 weeks away from the big election.  

-The portable printers that are used to provide official result tapes at the beginning and the end of the day failed at many precincts. Their batteries could not be charged to allow them to function for the whole day; at the end of the day they would only function after being plugged in for at least 45 minutes (which nobody knew and with all the phones down, precinct officials could not get in contact with BOE unless they used their own phones).  When the officials couldn't get the tapes to print, they sent voters home.

-The voting machines have a time/date memory log which prevents Precinct Election Officials from closing down the polls until the legal 7:30 closing time.  The time/date memory on many machines were set wrong, so the machines would not allow themselves to be shut down until THEY thought it was 7:30. This cannot be resolved without a technician visiting from BOE. In November, there's a new step that requires officials to call BOE for a technician to come and reset machines to the correct time so the polls can actually be closed down on time.

-The paper Real Time Audit Log is the official record of votes cast in case of a recount- it's the paper tape that's under glass so the voter can read it to verify their votes.  Depending on the length of the ballot, the tape can only accommodate 50 voters before the tape must be changed and resealed in the machine by a technician visiting from BOE. Not surprisingly, the tapes ran out and voting machines had to be closed down in May. This November, Officials are supposed to check the counts and call for service during the day BEFORE all their machines run out of paper tape.

-Precinct Election Officials didn't really understand that the little flash memory cards were important, so they either left them in the machines (like the machines they couldn't use) or didn't turn them in to BOE on election night in May.  According to the trainer, several Officials went out to dinner or went home to bed, thinking they could turn in the memory cards and log-books the next morning.  The BOE called out the County Sheriff to roust the Officials and make them retrieve the flash memory cards, wherever they ended up. In November, the BOE has changed their procedures to force Officials to recognize that they need to turn in more than the old log-book and paper poll results.

-Finally, one problem that really has nothing to do with the Voting Machines- the provisional ballots were printed backwards, so that directions on how to complete them and how to process them at the polls were inaccurate. No word on how many voters and officials just gave up on completing the ballots, or how many were invalidated from being counted because of errors.

Amazingly enough, after all of these technical problems were addressed by various fixes, the big thing that was stressed by the trainer had NOTHING to do with voting machines. Instead, they spent most of their time talking about the new VOTER ID requirements that people are going to be encountering this November. VOTER ID law changes in Ohio mean that many, many people will have difficulty establishing their identity and legal address so that they can vote on a regular ballot, instead of a provisional ballot.

If a person doesn't have a current driver's license with an address that matches their voting registration, they are in for a world of trouble come election day.  In order to avoid processing thousands of provisional ballots, the BOE wants Precinct Election Officials to send people home to get their ID, or bring back a utility bill or bank statement to prove their legal address.  If you don't drive, if you don't get a paycheck with an address on it or your utility bills aren't in your name, you may be out of luck. Teen voters will have trouble providing legal ID, as will poor voters, unemployed voters, people who rent their homes, etc. To add to this mess, women who have changed their name because of marriage are now required to cast a provisional ballot if there's a variance between their voting registration and their legal ID, when previously a simple Name Change Form would have been sufficient to vote a regular ballot.

The new state Voter ID law is so flawed that the BOE has determined that these documents are NOT acceptable ID to vote, typically because they don't have an address:  Social Security card, Birth Certificate, Home/Car Insurance Card, Military ID, US Passport, State Employee ID, College ID, Notices from the BOE.  Thanks to Ohio House Bill 3, a parting gift from the Ohio Republican Party, it is now easier for an American citizen to enter the United States from a foreign country than it is to vote in the State of Ohio.

UPDATE: Well, this sure took off like a rocket, but then again it looks like Kos has informally declared this to be Ohio Day over on the main page. To clarify a couple of things: -Everybody who was training as an official had difficulties in absorbing the various procedures required to set up and close down the voting machines. The acronyms used to refer to various pieces of the equipment was needlessly obtuse, as were the directions in the overly long manual. However, the people who consistently had the most difficulty in the group of 40 were the oldest election officials. That was particularly disheartening to see, given that many members of that group had years of election day experience to fall back on, yet still had problems reconciling the technology with the voting process. Bad directions on poorly configured interfaces will bring a bad outcome, particularly if you're uncomfortable with using the hardware. -Supplementary training will be available for Precinct Election Officials in Franklin County during the weekend before election day. If the 4 hour class, the DVD, the 139 page manual and the online video isn't enough- we can go get more help from the BOE trainers then. -You can review Ohio's new Voter ID law at this PDF linked from the Secretary of State's website: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/ElectionsVoter/HB3126thGA.pdf Put simply- it sucks.

Originally posted to histopresto on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:15 AM PDT.

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    BONUS!!!
    Things that totally worry me now, that I didn’t have clue about before:

    Every secured cart that holds the voting machines out in the polling places overnight can be unlocked by using the exact same key.

    The memory flash cards that these machines use can be purchased at any computer store, or pulled out of my camera.

    The average age of Precinct Election Officials is 75, so most of them have no fricking clue about computers and just can’t manage these machines.

    You can effectively shut down all the voting machines in a precinct by flipping one power switch, because the power supplies to the machines are daisy-chained in sequence and they have a very limited battery back-up.

    A single phone number is all the election officials have to use to help resolve problems at the polling places. It’s already failed once and it would be easy to overload it again.

    "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

    by histopresto on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:12:27 AM PDT

  •  So the old tactics turn out to be the best? (37+ / 0-)

    In lieu of electronic voter tabulation fraud - the old standbys of roll purging, insufficient training, poll asset distribution, intimidation, new voter targeting, polling place location changes and misinformation regarding ballots etc. etc. work the best?

    Disgusting.

    don't block my tubes...

    by a lynn on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:19:30 AM PDT

    •  Yes, and very few people are appreciating the (14+ / 0-)

      impact that the new law will have on this election.

      That's why there's no reason to be sanguine about any Brown lead over DeSwine. If DeSwine does win, you can bet that Dems in general will immediately know more about this law, and become enraged about the changes it mandates.

      This is also why I am voting absentee, which we can all now do in Ohio. I believe that Franklin county even has early voting, in which you can show up in person and cast your vote at one of the Diebold machines (though I might be wrong about the county).

      •  Vote absentee, avoid the polls (10+ / 0-)

        Absentee ballots are the best way to vote in this election.  Still not perfect, but at least there is the chance that the paper trail provided by your ballot will mean that it is counted.

        Repubs strategy has not changed:  suppress the vote in Democratic areas.  Keep all the machines for rich Repub districts.  It worked in 2004, and it will "work" to select more repugs in 2006!

        •  In California - I voted already (absentee) - but (8+ / 0-)

          The absentee ballot is fed to an electronic votescan. Also, the central tabulation is the same pool.

          We do have receipts at the top of our ballots; however, checking on how your vote was tabulated is impossible for an idividual - I tried. There was nothing credible about checking my vote because how it's tabulated centrally has no audit for an individual - even if they give me a copy of my ballot by number - dig?

          Or did I make that confusing? Basically I checked my last 4 votes since 2000, and I still have no proof of how my vote was counted. We use paper ballot marked choice with receipt attached through vote scan. How they are tabulated and what software drives it -- is nearly unauditable.

          don't block my tubes...

          by a lynn on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:14:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not necessarily (11+ / 0-)

          Absentee votes aren't even counted in some precincts unless the general vote is closer than the number of absentee ballots. Also, absentee ballots come in early enough for people to do all kinds of mischief with them.

          I'd be amenable to a solution like Oregon's, where everyone has to vote absentee, but really the solution is clean elections, which means throwing out these scum, repealing their dishonest laws, punishing their voter suppression efforts, and putting plenty of checks and balances in place to keep there from being too many shenanigans and dirty tricks of any description.

          Oh, and GOTGDV.

          •  Shenanigans and dirty tricks (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oldjohnbrown, rolet, flumptytail

            are nice words for fraud.

            don't block my tubes...

            by a lynn on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:39:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sory, but that is complete BS (0+ / 0-)

            Absentee ballots are always counted.  In Ohio, by law, they are counted BEFORE votes cast at the polls are counted.  The polls close at 7:30 pm.  At 7:31, the process of counting absentee ballots begins.  The ballots are not opened until election day.  Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) expects so many absentee ballots they are petitioning the SoS, the horrible Ken Blackwell, for a waiver allowing them to at least start opening them on the Saturday before the election.

            •  NO, not true. (0+ / 0-)
              They are not counted if they are not received on time.

              They are not counted if the election officials find what they think is a mistake on the ballot (an unrecognizable signature perhaps)

              And in most places - the voter never knows whether or not her absentee ballot was counted.

              •  That isn't what Oldjohnbrown's comment (0+ / 0-)

                was talking about.  He said absentee ballot aren't counted unless a candidate's margin of victory is less than the total number of absentee votes.  That is nonsense.

                Of course an absentee ballot isn't counted if it doesn't arrive in time.  Nor should it.  

                if the signature is obviously a forgery, of course the ballot isn't going to be counted.  Nor should it.  

                Don't know about other places, but where I live, you can call the B of E and they will tell you if you they have recieved your absentee ballot.

                Also, in most states, you can look up an individual's voting record.  Many school administrators check to see if teachers and other employees voted in a election with a school issue.  All you have to do is check your own record.  If your record shows you voted in the 2006 general election, your vote was counted.  

                •  It's not nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                  It happened in my own precinct.

                  •  Iowa only counts (0+ / 0-)

                    absentee ballots in close elections?  Someone needs to be filing a lawsuit.  I'm pretty sure that's a violation of some law or constitutuonal right.  If this is state law, are you lobbying to change it?  What is Chet Culver's position on this?

                    How are elections officals selected?  Are they elected or appointed?  If they are elected, have worked to defeat the person who made this decision, if it was made at the cunty or precint level?  If the elections offical is appointed, who makes the appointment?  Are you working to remove these people from their positions of authority?

        •  Put double stamps on absentee ballots!!!! (0+ / 0-)

          Word is that one is not enough, and then guess what- your ballot is tossed in the trash by the Post Office!

          •  24 cents additional for "oversize" mail (0+ / 0-)

            One more example of incompetent Diebolders running amok.  The Diebold produced Absentee Ballots here in Maryland also use an oversized envelope.  Sheer incompetence or planned?  With Diebold it is hard to tell, they make some real junky hardware, then don't even bother testing it until election day.

      •  Democratic voter education efforts? (5+ / 0-)

        Are the Dems out there telling people what they need to bring with them to vote?  An ounce of prevention ... and all that.  A lot of people are not going to come back if they are sent away to return with a utility bill or such.  Also, I imagine people might normally throw them out -- if they had warning they can set them aside as proof of identity.  Is the party getting its people out there to let people know what they face when they get to the polls?

        You mention absentee ballots.  Is there still time for people to request them?  If so, is the party out there letting people know that?  I love voting by absentee.  I have a standing request for an absentee ballot.  It means I don't have to wait in line and I can help with gotv on election day.  

        When you are going through hell, keep going! - Winston Churchill

        by flo58 on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:00:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A list of VOTE Orgs for you to join here (4+ / 0-)

          by alphabet
          HERE

          and be prepped for issues occuring by state and supporting compendium of articles HERE

          A detailed list of known electronic issues by state shortcut HERE.

          don't block my tubes...

          by a lynn on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 12:25:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  IMO not enough is being done. Even voters who (3+ / 0-)

          are somewhat educated--they have voted before (hey, it's a broad gamut) don't know about it.

          I have been promoting absentee ballots within my family and friends, because the DANGER DANGER DANGER is presuming that people even know about their options. A lot of people even don't know about provisional ballots. They think: "Oh, they changed the law, and I [moved/married/got-a-traffic-ticket, etc.] so I can't vote.

          You are absolutely right about an ounce of prevention. I think that the emphasis is too much about turning out the vote (laudable and necessary) and not enough about enabling the vote--really punctuating that Dem choice with an exclamation point.

          I think that Ohio Dems are not making a big issue of it because they fear that even mentioning potential problems might inhibit turnout by setting nightmarish expectations. I don't think that this is a wise decision.

          There is still plenty of time to vote absentee--at least in Cuyahoga county, where the deadline for requesting one is at least three days before the election. However...the ballot must be received (not postmarked) by the board of elections by the time that polls close on election day.

          People can return their ballot in person, hence these deadlines.

          I know that people are worried about absentee ballot manipulation but that simply begs the question about why anyone would even bother to vote at all. I don't see any advocates of that option because that is simply nuts.

          So, it's a wall boys (and women), but opting out...that's not an option. Hit those barricades.

          •  NOT talking about it suppresses the vote... (6+ / 0-)

            ...IMHO.  

            I think that if we don't talk about it now, many people will remain under-informed, the word will not spread to those who need to hear it, and it will give the very wrong impression that Dems don't care about our votes or about the sanctity of our elections.

            Tell the Dem consultants to knock it off!  Tell any of those lilly-livered naysayers that we need EVERY SINGLE ELIGIBLE VOTER TO VOTE on Election Day, to spread the word, and to pay attention!

            VOTE and keep your eyes and ears open for anything irregular, and report back anything weird.  Velvet Revolution.us, Voter Action.org, and  BRAD BLOG will be gathering the evidence, and say they will have more info soon on how to coordinate and consolidate all of our election protection efforts.  I think the DNC has a voter complaints line, too, but need to double-check that.

            Spread the word -- Get out and vote, or we won't have witnesses to any fraud, tampering, or meltdowns should they occur!

            •  I'm a volunteer poll gal (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Steven D, flo58, khereva

              this time, and I have camera phone and digital video cam handy. I voted absentee already so I can work the shift.

              Best part is they pay me for it... Bwahahah. CA Sec. of State just announced today that all voters can use paper if they request it - which makes me highly suspicious of recent Diebold certification and California central tabulation changes...

              I mean, why would he conceed the paper ballots if he didn't have a back-up plan?

              I voted for Debra Bowen (Sec of State of course) but, I am a prime example of the type of theories that are given fuel from a lack of leadership or fairness/disclosure in government.

              don't block my tubes...

              by a lynn on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 04:06:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  In Ohio (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flo58

          a person can file an absentee ballot in person at the B of E until the close of polls on Election Day.  The deadline for requesting a ballot by mail is the Friday before the election.  Any absentee ballot can be returned to the B of E by 7:30 pm (poll-closing time) on Election Day.

          Let's say you're arrested and in jail the day before the election.  At least in Lake County, if you call the B of E, they will send one Dem and one Repub to the jail with an absentee ballot for you to complete.  This team will take the ballot back to the B of E.  If you become ill and admitted to a hospital, again, if you notify the B of E, they will send a bi-partisan team to the hospital with an absentee ballot for you and will take your completed ballot back to the B of E.  I don't know if other counties do this, but we do, and more.

          In-person and by mail absentee balloting began 35 days before elction day.

          Starting with this election, Ohio now has no-fault absentee voting.  It has been very sucessful; the prediction is about 30% of the votes will be absentee.

  •  Oh, wow. I'm just shaking my head here. n/t (8+ / 0-)
  •  So, what do you make for being (6+ / 0-)

    a Precinct Election Official?  

    My quess is $39.00 for a full day's work.

    "What would the Democrats do? First off, we'd tell the truth."

    by egarratt on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:23:10 AM PDT

  •  Hmm (23+ / 0-)

    Mixing the elderly with computers. Sounds like a winning idea!

    I'm glad to see this interest in elections. I thought I was the only one. I'd pimp my own diary on the subject, but I don't know how to link.

    (Yes, I'm aware of the irony of me making fun of old people who can't work with computers when I can't post a link. So don't bother pointing that out)

    "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!"

    by droogie6655321 on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:23:53 AM PDT

  •  Your diary makes it crystal clear (20+ / 0-)

    that our voting system, not just the new Ohio machines, is broken. Very frightening. Thanks for posting.

  •  Thanks for the Details (12+ / 0-)

    And thanks for volunteering - the best way to counteract these problems is to step up and get involved yourself.  Those old grassroots again.

  •  It is (15+ / 0-)

    obvious that in one fell swoop, the voting process has technologically outstripped the ability of a vast majority of poll workers to handle the situation. I'm glad to know you are working as a poll worker.

    Glad to know the training session prioritized, and who cares what those little cards are anyways, yikes!

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."-George Orwell

    by Babsnc on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:28:20 AM PDT

  •  Unbelievable (16+ / 0-)

    Great diary, and a big gold star on your nose for becoming a Precinct Election Official!  Sounds like a lot more are needed.  And also as if you're going to need a prescription for a good sedative before it's all over.

    Computers can be such a nightmare.  I started my work life just barely before they became ubiquitous in the workplace and all these years later it's clear to me that they still waste a lot more time than they save and cause more confusion and screw-ups, security breaches and stress of every kind than their mechanical and paper ancestors ever did.  

    They are excellent for some purposes (such as this!), but voting is the last place we need them.

    "Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own has never been the place for middle- and working-class women. We work with interruptions." - Ananya Chatterjea

    by sarac on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:28:21 AM PDT

    •  I'm a computer professional (14+ / 0-)

      and have been for over 20 years, and I agree with you 100 percent. Even I can't make them be more productive than we would be without them. The only thing they are really good at is replicating a fixed set of information far and wide, and it's only been in the last 5 years that that application has become widespread enough to be useful. Another 10 years and all your local businesses will have websites too.

      •  I'm a computing professional, too... (3+ / 0-)

        ... and the problem is not the computers or the software, but the users, plain and simple.  It stlll boggles my mind how a person's IQ immediately drops 40 points when they sit in front of a terminal.  Every attempt to "dumb down" the systems to try and make it "easier" like Windows, MacOS, etc. has, IMO, only made the problem worse, because people are no longer expected to think.  In the old days, when all you had was a prompt and nothing else, it forced you to think, learn, and figure out what to do to make things work.  Ironically, back then, NO ONE complained how "hard" it was to use a computer.  Nowadays, people have it so "easy", they sit there whining, mindlessly staring at the screen, paralyzed like they were hypnotized or something, then blame someone else for their obvious screw-ups.  Users have been WAY too coddled.  Time for some toughlove, IMO.  There is absolutely NO reason nowadays to say that it is "too hard" to use a computer.  It has NEVER been easier.  So, suck it up, use your brain, and you'll figure it out.

        Thanks,

        Mike

        •  Heh, I'm the kind of person you'd slap upside (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oscarsmom, yoduuuh do or do not

          the head. Computers are scwary.

        •  Try again (9+ / 0-)

          It's not the desktop that is the big problem in the work environments I've been in.  It's crappy software, badly designed databases, crappy computerized cash registers, and these voting machines sound like yet another case in which bad design is touted as 'the latest technology'.

          And you, my dear, sound way too much like all the arrogant techies who have asked me (and many others) if I had rebooted and everything was plugged in when in fact I had a problem that took them a good hour and eventually a new hard drive when I finally forced them to come down to my office and see for themselves.  

          "Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own has never been the place for middle- and working-class women. We work with interruptions." - Ananya Chatterjea

          by sarac on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:22:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This is romanticized (7+ / 0-)

          Besides, anyone who thinks they've "dropped down" to a "low level" anything when they launch a UNIX shell is crazy. The shells and their tools are very high level and they do all kinds of nifty behind-the-scenes work for you. Often they provide abstractions that the GUIs do not (find me the Windows equivalent of the pipe operator in sh). The whole point of computers is to take care of mindless, repetitive or computationally intensive tasks, so the progression toward "smart" interfaces is inevitable. Look at Perl, or Python.

          Anyone who yearns for low level computer work is more than welcome to go back to the days when you'd type raw hex into a prompt and then bring up the disassembler to see if you got it all right. Text editor? What's that? If you got it wrong, type it over. I've been there, done that, designed, written and debugged assembly code with a pencil and paper, and frankly I'll take Mac OS X (and its bash shell).

          Back on topic, there are three problems with computers: The people who use them because they think that the simple fact of a computer is an improvement over whatever came before; the so-called engineers who design a Fiero when the spec calls for a pickup truck; and the so-called developers and designers who feed the computers crap, which they faithfully execute. Computers are amplifiers: If you tell them to do the right thing, they will do the right thing thousands or millions of times faster and more accurately than we can. If you tell them to do the wrong thing, or if you are so sloppy that you don't tell them anything unambiguous, your users are in for a world of shit. I wouldn't blame senior citizens for failing to understand these machines. It's the designers' responsibility to make the machines understandable, and in this case the designers have clearly failed. If I mocked up a voting machine on a Linux box, it sure as hell wouldn't require a 139 page manual(!) and the instructions sure as hell wouldn't be wrong.

          The line between incompetence and sabotage in this instance is small enough to be academic.

        •  Wrong. Just plain wrong. (0+ / 0-)

          Back in your "old days" only an elite crew used computers. Even this elite complained about ease of use and became the pioneers who created Windows, Mac and UI improvements.

          Today, the masses are using computers with improper preparation, often diving in with both feet without any assistance. It's a scandal all it own.

          Now you, LordMike (that nickname sure isn't pompous) you are telling 70 year old retirees to "suck it up"? That's just dumb and irresponsible. Perhaps you should start a local "senior aces" club and teach the elderly modern computing techniques and put your Lordlyness to good use.

      •  Heck, 9/10ths of them have websites now! (0+ / 0-)

        And that's quite handy.  And the physicists I know are about 100 times more productive with computers than they could possibly be without them.  It's a question of quality design and appropriate application.

        "Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own has never been the place for middle- and working-class women. We work with interruptions." - Ananya Chatterjea

        by sarac on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:24:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why do we need them? (6+ / 0-)

      We don't need computers to have an election. America had elections before computers without dire consequences, and countries all over the world hold elections today without using them. The only advantage to using computers, so far as I can tell, is that the votes can be counted faster. And so what? Why not wait a couple of days and put the right candidate in office rather than rush through and have the whole process be subject to tampering and electronic fraud? Look, this can be really simple. White piece of paper with names printed on it. Put an X next to your chosen candidate. Place the paper in a sealed ballot box. Then slowly and carefully count the votes later. We're spending millions to get tainted results and reduced voter confidence because we're complicating something that isn't inherently complicated.

      The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

      by Korkenzieher on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 12:44:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Speed is a critical component (3+ / 0-)

        of the media's need to "scoop" the competition.  If we, as a society, did not think faster was always better, and corporate media were not pushing for a faster result, there would be no need for these "improvements".

        Let me add, I have been working with computers since 1968, program in several languages, have followed the development closely, and fully understand the "freeze" many people of my generation experience when confronted with something so foreign to their experience.

        There is absolutely no reason the instructions for setting up and operating a voting machine have to be complicated.  Bad technology is complicated.  Good technology is transparent to both the operator and the user.

        This is a great diary, by the way - just lay off us old farts that developed these systems you complain we are too old to use!  <g>

        "I'm seriously considering suing George Bush, Cheney and the gang for making an illegal and unauthorized remake of Brazil." Terry Gilliam

        by Granny Doc on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 01:08:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the Great Con Job (tm) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yoduuuh do or do not

        i'm more convinced than ever that local and state elections officials have been con'd by election technology manufactuers like ES&S and Diebold.  this is the key question! why do we need this technology, and why is it so difficult to operate for officials (including elderly volunteers)?

        these elections officials, or whoever signs these technology contracts, need to be held accountable for spending millions and millions on this bogus technology.

        i have no doubt that you could design an excellent, secure, e-Voting system, but it would be very expensive.  and i have a masters in computer science and 10 yrs experience to back that up.  iow, you get what you pay for...

      •  Every hear of the election of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Korkenzieher

        1876?  Not to mention 1948 Senate race in Texas, and a governor's race in Ky in the 1890's that resulted in the murder of one of the governors (both candidates were declared the winner at some point and both were sworn into office.)?  I could go on about all of the elections held without computers that had "dire consequences"  

        I am not necessarily defending electronic voting.  I'm saying don't develop some sort of romantic view of past where there were no problems.  That past never existed.

        •  Valid points (0+ / 0-)

          I agree with you, but obviously any system designed by fallible human beings is going to be imperfect. But was their ever a time when we had such widespread, almost ubiquitous distrust of the voting system? Voting is an easy concept, but we've turned it into this whole Rube Goldberg thing that barely works when it works, and frequently doesn't work at all.

          The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

          by Korkenzieher on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:13:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with you to a certain point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Korkenzieher

            But most of the problems with the current system are due to poor management and poor training. The equipment we use, which is the same equipment discussed in this diary, is actually very simple to use and is pretty user-friendly for the voter.  Our voters had almost universal praise for it.  The B of E also take machines out to shopping malls, grocery stores, senior centers, etc. so that people could see it and use it.  For the voter, I would only change one thing:  the need to "confirm" your vote after it has been "cast".  But, I thought this would be a major problem in the primary and not one person failed to "confirm" the vote.  Perhaps that's because our poll workers were trained to inform each voter about this extra step.  Perhaps we were just lucky.

            Again, we had pretty through training, so we had very few problems in opening and closing the machines.  We have the typical pollworkers-mainly retired people in their '70's.  They didn't seem to have much trouble understanding how to operate the equipment.  We gave them training in smaller groups and it was hands-on.  We gave them an 8 page manual with pictures demostrating what needs to be done.  Our management decided to do this.  Management also decided to train teams of "rovers" to troubleshoot any problems and answer questions.  My "rover" partner and I decided to give the pollworkers our personal cellphone numbers.

            As a suburban county, (It's pretty evenly divided, however.  Shurb won about 52-48 and Dems won both state House seats.) perhaps we have resources that other counties don't have.  But, introducing new electronic equipment in a large training class and then handing out a 100+ page manual is recipe for disaster.  My point is that this doesn't have to be the recipe.

  •  All this when my wife.... (21+ / 0-)

    ...will be voting for the first time in her life.  She's 28, and has always been apathetic to anything political outside of a woman's right to choose (pro-choice) and the death penalty (pro-death)...

    At least until this year, when she finally started listening to what I've been screaming about for years, she registered to vote and is looking forward to it.  I've spent the last few months coaching her on who we like (D) and who we don't like (R).

    My wife loses her I.D. like other people lose socks in the dryer and I fear if they were to send her home for her I.D. she's likely not to come back.  If that could happen to her with me in her ear for a week telling her to remember her I.D., I wonder what will happen with those who don't have a royal pain in the a$$ like myself reminding them.  You can be sure the local GOP won't spread the word...

    •  Vote absentee (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      histopresto, oscarsmom, flumptytail

      Seriously, go to your local BoE web site, download and print an absentee ballot application. I voted absentee  a while ago when I was going to be traveling on business on election day and it really is a better way to do it. You can vote at your pace and search for information on candidates and issues. You also avoid the ID requirement and you get to send in real paper ballots for auditability.

    •  I suggest you hold her hand (0+ / 0-)

      all the way to your polling station, tell the poll workers she is sightless, go into the voting booth with her, and cast the votes for her. Seriously.

      •  I'm not sure what it is you're suggesting... (0+ / 0-)

        ...but my wife is more than capable of taking care of herself.  No amount of cajoling on my part could make her change her mind about anything, and I wouldn't expect it to be any different in this.  I've never been able to change her support of the death penalty, but I love her all the same.

        And when I talk of coaching, its more teaching her who these people are, the issues they (allegedly) stand for, and some of the larger issues at hand.  If she doesn't know, its because her interests up until this time haven't been political. She wants to be informed before her vote, as I would hope everyone would want to be.

        As for losing her I.D....?  Well, she is blond....

        •  I was half kidding, but also (0+ / 0-)

          half serious. Sorry, but the way you described your wife (first comment), she sounded like she couldn't, or wouldn't, know what to do on her own:

          I fear if they were to send her home for her I.D. she's likely not to come back.

          I'm also married and am far more politically engaged than my wife, so I appreciate your position there.

          However, I also know of a number of women who vote the way their husbands tell them to. Some have even changed their party affiliations because their husbands told them to. After reading your second comment, clearly this is not the case with you and your wife, but when I read your first comment, that was the impression I got. And even though I appreciate the new Democratic voter, I hate the thought of a woman voting the way her husband tells her to, even when for a Democrat.

          I admit that I was more snarky than I should have been, and I apologize for that. Clearly, 21 other Kossacks felt you deserved a recommend for your comment. I wasn't one of them, but for my mean remark, I am sorry.

      •  In Ohio, anyone of the voter's choosing (0+ / 0-)

        can accompany a voter into the voting booth and assist in voting.  Except one's employer or an offical with one's union.  

        As for telling them she's sightless, each precint in Ohio now has at least one ADA and HAVA compliant machine that produce an audio ballot.  The voter is given a headset and listens to the ballot, with instructions on how to cast a vote.  The blind can now cast a truely secret ballot.

        And yes, OH Mark, I know you were just joking.

  •  I don't live in Franklin County... (10+ / 0-)

    ...but I do live in Ohio and I am voting absentee. Of course, my vote may not count then either, so it's sort of a gamble either way.

    George W. Bush--the "W" stands for WATERBOARDING

    by buckeye blue on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:33:54 AM PDT

  •  It's not too late for anyone (21+ / 0-)

    to help out at the polls.

    Please sign up with Pollworkers for Democracy.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:35:02 AM PDT

  •  the legal 7:30 closing time... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    histopresto, SallyCat, Rogneid

    Let me get this straight... if you are in line at 5:00 and don't get to the machine by 7:30, you are not allowed to vote?

    •  No, anybody in line gets to vote (11+ / 0-)

      An official will go to the end of the line at 7:30 and be the "end".  Of course, in 2004 at the precinct I worked, it took another 3 hours to finish because of long lines. The real trick is keeping people there who need to go home for kids/dinner/job...

      "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

      by histopresto on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:40:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I plan on being the first person in line. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        histopresto, Rogneid, flumptytail

        Although it was kind of fun waiting in 2004 just so I could heckle the one jerk who was giving the election officials a hard time.  Our line wasn't as long as some (max 45 minute wait), they let us wait in the auditorium when it started raining and it was early morning so practically everyone there had somewhere they had to be that day.  Then Ms. Self Important started getting all huffy.  No one actually told her to put a sock in it, but the thought crossed many mind.  I didn't attack her, I just made sure that the election officials knew they had my support.

        We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

        by Fabian on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:53:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm lucky (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          histopresto, GayHillbilly, Fabian

          I live (in Michigan) in a wealthy, all-white, heavily Republican precinct.  Needless to say, there is never any wait.  Whole process takes 10 minutes tops.

          Course, I don't like my neighbors... and the DeVos lawn sign is burned into my retinas... but you can't have everything.

          I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. -- Mark Twain

          by vinifera on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 10:56:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There were rumors that the Repubs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fabian

          were sending ringers to stand in line and bitch.

          Bitch about the long lines and how incompetent the poll workers are.  How awful it is that you have to wait in line so long because people don't know what they're doing.  As they got near the head of the line, they would just say, "Well, I can't wait here any longer" and leave in a huff.

          It only takes one person to do something like that to get a crowd agitated.  People waiting in line will get so frustrated that they will just give up and go home.  

          Did you see Ms Self Important actually vote?

          •  She was behind me. (0+ / 0-)

            I just did my civic duty and went back to my 24/7 parenting job.

            Interesting bit if psy-ops if that rumor was true - but my precinct is upper middle class, white and heavily Republican.

            We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us.

            by Fabian on Tue Oct 17, 2006 at 02:48:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Then how do the machines "turn off" at 7:30? n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  They can't be shut down until then (0+ / 0-)

        When the machine time reads 7:30 (official closing time in Ohio), the Precinct Election Official has the option of closing down the machines. They're not supposed to do that until the voters on line by 7:30 have all voted.

        "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

        by histopresto on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:06:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The machines we use will close at (0+ / 0-)

          7:30 pm.  But, when the poll worker puts the activator cartridge into the "closed" machine, a dialogue box appears asking if you want to cast a ballot.  An extra step that takes about 15 seconds at most.

          The previious equipment we had didn't automatically close down.  This was a new directive from-guess who-the Ohio Secretary of State.  J. Kenneth Blackwell.

  •  Election Integrity (13+ / 0-)

    Thanks for posting this diary and thanks for becoming an official poll worker.

    Added the "Election Integrity" tag.

    Folks interested in this topic are pooling information at
    http://groups.yahoo.com/...
    and check dkosopedia on Voting_Rights for further resources.

    Please think about volunteering to be a poll worker in your local precinct too
    Serving_as_an_election_official

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at http://solarray.blogspot.com/2006/03/solar-video.html

    by gmoke on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:38:13 AM PDT

  •  wow. Talk about dysfunctional. (19+ / 0-)

    Are you sure a voter doesn't have to bring along a deed to prove that he owns land, a piece of paper from the Selective Service to prove that he's male, and a Caucasian purity certification from a geneological institute?

    As for those voting machines, I don't know where to begin to assign the group incompetence involved.  Ohio's legendary ability in that department is about to be enhanced once again.

    Renewal, not mere Reform.

    by killjoy on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:40:22 AM PDT

  •  Vote Absentee (15+ / 0-)

    Several of my friends are precinct captains in Summit Co. and they are all saying vote absentee because election day is going to be a nightmare.  They cite the same things you do. Poll workers who aren't well trained. Voter ID requirements. Machine slowness and problems.

    They are saying to tell everyone I know to go to the county board of election web site and download an absentee ballot application.

    One friend told me that the Summit Co. board has already received over 25,000 absentee ballot applications.  So the word must be getting out.

  •  Wow - ours is different (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    histopresto, oortdust, Timothy J, whl

    or maybe it's my neighborhood. Our precinct people (Northern CA) are between 50-70 and sharp has razors! They are using optical scan machines...and our county has no intent at this point to change.

    A lot of the precincts the workers are in their mid-30's.

    Good luck with the November election...I have my concerns about them stealing...but not willing to go down that path.

    All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian. Pat Paulsen

    by SallyCat on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:46:42 AM PDT

  •  drivers licenses (5+ / 0-)

    at least in my state, can show your mailing address which might not be where you live.  

  •  Good job. But what a mess! (7+ / 0-)

    I have a lot of family in Ohio; I'm going to try to make sure they know about all this.

    The eyes of the future are looking back at us, and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time...Terry Tempest Williams

    by Fasaha on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:55:47 AM PDT

  •  Thanks to J. Kenneth Blackwell, Sec of State (16+ / 0-)

    for this collosal clusterfuck. And for an encore, Mr. Blackwell wants to screw up the entire state of Ohio as Governor. Nice resume, idiot.

    Newest GOP slogan: Keeping Voter Turnout Low So That the Corporate Criminal's Grandchildren Never Have to Work.

    by bobinson on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:56:38 AM PDT

  •  if ever there was a reason (17+ / 0-)

    for every Kossack Dem in Ohio to volunteer on election day, be aware of the issues with the machines and be very observant if working at the polls, this diary shows it in spades. Most election day workers at the precincts are older. They get some $$ and most of the work involves sitting. They don't have to go to work, etc. It's the same in my town (and county) except most of us vote on PAPER and two people from each party COUNT the ballots, then switch ballots and recount. Of course we only have about 1,000 voters in my town. Man, I feel for you Ohioans. Get out there on election day and good for the diarist who became an election day worker.

    Calling George Bush shallow is like calling a dwarf short, Molly Ivins http://www.just6dollars.org/

    by philinmaine on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 09:56:42 AM PDT

  •  How do we stop them from stealing another (9+ / 0-)

    election, people?  This is so obvious, so blatant, so overwhelmingly infuriating, I want to scream.

    Why fix it if it's not broken?  I worked the primary in California a couple of months ago and we used simple, easy to open and close, Ink-A-Dot voting machines, using paper ballots.  It worked well and quickly for all voters, no ID required, just their name and address on the voter registration.  

    To see that precinct workers are faced with all these obstacles is so obviously a Rethug way of disenfranchising all Americans from choosing their government and overthrowing our democracy in the process.

    Can we get out a call to all Dems to vote absentee this cycle and have some paper to back up their vote?  Please???

    I'm working the polling place again in November, but my husband and I are voting absentee, just in case!

  •  Beta testing? (11+ / 0-)

    What's annoying is how many of these issues could have been solved by having an efficient ofice manger who is used to getting big documents out on time and a fairly smart IT person involved from the outset.

    I am far from a computer specialist, but why weren't the machines and programs beta tested under real world conditions?  and redundancy is vital-daisy chaining the power supply and all the computers with a measly one hr battery backup is just plain stupid.  139 page instruction book will just about guarentee that no one will read it.  And the office anager could have told them that changing to a new phone system 3 weeks before a high demand situation is a recipe for disaster.

    Grr.  more bananarepublicanism.  we'd be better off voting with counting sticks.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 10:06:05 AM PDT

  •  a goddamned disgrace (12+ / 0-)

    and rhetorical question: who the fuck is the BOE they won't permit 2 valid proofs or one fuckin US fuckin passport ... OR correspondence from their own fuckin offices????

    after reading yesterday about diebold-packaged MSFT fuckin access (TM) ballot databases in TN, i jess didn't believe any greater insult to injury possible.

    but no. what we got here is another rethug crime scene,
    a HAVA wreck perpetrated by the 107th, 108th, 109th congresses.

    your volunteering to be there to defend and assist voters, of course, notwithstanding. BIG up, histo.

    Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

    by MarketTrustee on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 10:06:20 AM PDT

  •  Unless election fraud is stopped (8+ / 0-)

    no other of our so called freedoms are able to be exercized.  This is a bottom line issue.  The Republicans have already proved in two elections that the vote of Americans are of no value.  Excuse my rant, but I fear this elections is already lost to Repub fraud.  

    I don't have a suggestion for recourse at this time.  Maybe it will will come to protesting in the streets.  I hope not.    

    •  I think it needs to be our issue (2+ / 0-)

      when we take back Congress.

      Here's a few ways we can make it happen.

      "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!"

      by droogie6655321 on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:06:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree..actually (9+ / 0-)

      this is the single most terrifying diary I've ever read on DKos. I worked phones in N.Kentucky last election and couldn't believe the number of people calling because precinct captains had given mis-information. One even told me that the precinct captain made her pull the lever to vote for Bush when his name came up everytime she selected Kerry. He said she was only allowed 5 minutes in the voting booth and that the only way to clear the machine for the next voter was to register the vote even when it was wrong. On top of that, someone had marked all of the Republican candidates on the ballot with a sharpie that couldn't be erased all day.
      -Just when did we become so ignorant about our voting rights that they can continue to pull these stunts with no repurcussions?

      •  The precint captain was in the voting (0+ / 0-)

        booth with your friend?  Did she ask him for his help, or did he just barge in?  If it was the latter, I would think she could have had him arrested.

        Most states have a time limit on voting, but it is rarely enforced.  But, one of the problems with this election is that most people will be voting on new equipment for the first time and a very long ballot.  

        The ballot language for the state constitutional amendment takes up 3 screen pages.  There are 2 similiar-sounding, but very different, smoking issues.  These will take time for most voters to read.  The more time a voter spends in a voting booth, the longer the lines get.  

        Another reason to vote absentee.

    •  Still...vote. The more vote, the harder to spin (3+ / 0-)

      GOP fraudulent win, and the more people available for the marches in the streets. Everyone else in the world has the courage to march for their democracies, why aren't we prepared to do so? Life too soft and cushy?

      Damn it, they're on to us! Quick, break out the fearmongering MSM noise machine, or we'll all wind up in prison! --Fearful NeoCon Fascists

      by Enough Talk Lets Get Busy on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 12:37:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stuff like this is exactly why (7+ / 0-)

    I volunteered to be an Election Official in November.  Haven't heard back yet whether I'm needed or not, but here's my take on it:  Missouri is introducing the Diebold machines this year, and not to be demeaning to the awesome civic-minded retirees who do this job, but I think most of them are only somewhat aware of how bad the security situation on these machines is.

    How difficult is it for somebody with a little social engineering to convince one of them that the memory card they're inserting contains a critical patch to the software?  I'll be impartial, but I'll also be looking out for funny business, and won't hesitate to ask for the certification record of the software and credentials of the person applying it.

    Of course, I'm hoping nothing odd happens, and I'll be pleased if everybody gets to cast their ballots without incident.  Mainly I have an interest in the process, and I like talking with older folks, so I'm figuring it'll be a fun day.  Hope I get chosen to help, especially if I get to participate in an election that turns politics-as-usual on its head!

    "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power." Benito Mussolini (1883-1945)

    by ShowMe Indie on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 10:21:48 AM PDT

  •  New Voter ID laws... (9+ / 0-)

    I guess it was my understanding of the voter ID laws that my ID was only required to prove IDENTITY, not my  current address. (I have an out-of-state drivers license as a student, with my parents' address on it)
    My problem is that I live in university housing, but all of the mail has to come to our building's front desk (a different address), so that's the address I had to register under. The problem is of course that my rent bills say the address of the building, not the address of the desk. So I literally do not have a single thing that has my address on it.
    I am hoping not to get screwed here, because I am reasonably likely to throw a fit over it, which will not be pretty. :)
    If I only have to prove my identity, I will have no problem, but if I have to prove my address, things will be horribly ugly. The great irony, of course, is that I had no trouble voting before.
    Any clarity anyone can offer on this would be great.

  •  Precinct Judge here in OH (10+ / 0-)

    Don't have any class to teach on Tuesday so decided to work at the precinct again.  First time was rather interesting, myself being the 24 year old youngster working with a group of retirees.  We had typical Diebold touch screen machines, lost one of them about 2 hours in to the primary election when it froze up.  Lost another around 2 PM to the same problem.  Luckily we had 4 machines and it was only a primary, or it could of been real trouble.  It was an interesting experience, and I recommend anyone with a free day on a Tuesday to go and give it a try.

    "Dude, Wheres the soul of the Democratic Party"

    by marcvstraianvs on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 10:27:56 AM PDT

  •  Up here in Cuyahoga Cty... (6+ / 0-)

    I must be spoiled. My poll workers here all seem to be polite, knowlegable and all across the spectrum on ages. The longest I had to wait to vote was maybe two mins while the guy in front of me had to get a provisional ballot. The only way it could have been more painless would be if they offered punch and cookies. (And why not, the easiest way to get people to go to anything is to offer free food.)

    Of course, this may not be reppresentative of anything except my specific precinct which has a good concentration of MoveOn-ers and Liberal Drinkers who are involved in the election process on many levels. So I guess I'll take this as an object lesson that if we put effort into our electoral process we can make it into what we think it should be.

    Now if I could only believe that Diebold is going to fairly count my vote, I'd be happy.

  •  So is anyone planning a campaign... (3+ / 0-)

    to educate voters about what they need to do to make sure they can cast a ballot? (Please say YES!)

    Remember: Our margin of victory in November will have to outpace the Republican's ability to cheat.

    by jzilliac on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 10:32:04 AM PDT

  •  Plausibility factor? (5+ / 0-)

    This diary makes the point, in a way, as to why Rove & Bu$h seem unconcerned about the elections.  Rove smiles & the Chimp smirks because they are of the opinion that the deal is down, they've got it covered & the fix is in.

    It appears as if they may be wrong--if there are plenty of observors & quick interveners & on-the-spot attorneys to straighten things out quickly. It also appears that Nov. 8-9-10, etc., may turn out to real nail-biters in a few senate races.

    In my opinion, Rove wrote off the house about a year ago.  The Bu$hInc strategy is/was to hold on to the senate & preclude overturning all of their legislative thuggery.  That plan looks more evident each day as this plays out.  But it also looks as if they may fail, miserably.

    Bush XLIII only needs to survive 2.25 more years.  Then it's off to South American for fun & Sun in Paraguay.

    Hasta la vista, babee.

    Impeach. Convict. Imprison. End this REIGN OF MISERABLE FAILURE.

    by whl on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 10:33:44 AM PDT

  •  question on Election Officials (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    histopresto, aimeeinkc

    How on Earth did it end up that this is a volunteer position staffed as described in this diary? Why not have civil servants do the job?

    •  They effectively have 5000 temp positions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leberquesgue, aimeeinkc

      You are hired for the day, plus a training session.

      "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

      by histopresto on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:12:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds abusable (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aimeeinkc

        With all due respect to well-meaning old ladies, I'd prefer to see this done by public officials.

        •  I'm one of those well-meaning old ladies (5+ / 0-)

          and I'm quite computer literate, thank you very much. And yes, I frequently have to compensate for people less competent than myself who have difficulty parsing the badly written poll instructions. I'm also a civil servant, and guess what?  I frequently have to compensate in my job for less competent people.

          Less try to avoid these gross over-generalizations. There's an over-representation of retirees working polls because they don't have to take a day off work to work the polls. Make election day a federal holiday, and you might get more people willing to work the polls.

          •  Ok (0+ / 0-)

            Generalisations are wrong. The way it works in Britain (I believe) is public servants may take the day off work to work the polls without penalty. Adopting something along these lines might get more volunteers than making the day a public holiday -- who wants to work on a holiday?

        •  Where are you going to get the civil servants (0+ / 0-)

          from?  Our county has about 215 precints.  Each precint, by law, has to have 2 Dems and 2 Repubs, so 4 people per precints.  That's a minimum of 860 people to just work the polls.  Plus, the elections marshalls and technicans, and you're easily talking 900 people.  Do we shut down the courts, the child support bureau, the libraries to get these civil servants?  Since it is well past an 8 hour day, you will also have to pay the civil servants overtime, or shut the county down on Friday so they don't go over 40 hours.

          While your thought is admirable, it just isn't practical.

  •  Be sure to watch the "watchers" (6+ / 0-)

    At our polling place one of the Republican "observers" tried to mess around with our ballots (paper, here in Oregon). It was such a problem that they had to confine the "observers" to one area where they could look, but not touch.

    One nation, under surveillance, no liberty, nor justice for us

    by SisTwo on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 10:37:45 AM PDT

  •  new trick (6+ / 0-)

    This seems like a new trick!  To further slow up precincts with long lines.

    For EVERY ballot to be cast after 7:30pm, the machine will display "Close Option" and the precinct worker must "Exit This Menu" to enable each vote after 7:30

    There is always a line at 7:30pm and poll workers identify the last person in line allowed to vote at that time.  Can you imagine how much this might slow up later voting, or even accidentally close the machine after every post-7:30 vote..

  •  Diebold strikes in Cuyahoga County (6+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the post. There's also bad news out of Cleveland (Cuyahoga County). In a nutshell, because of the problems in the May primary, the Board of Elections did further testing. When those tests failed, they decided to get entirely new machines (courtesy of Diebold), which have never been tested or certified and have not arrived yet! Three weeks before the election!

    From today's Plain Dealer:
    Out with new, in with newer: Latest vote-counters untried

    The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is five months past one of its worst performances in its history, when new electronic voting technology got the better of the board and delayed results for a week.

    So what's the plan for the general election next month?

    To count the votes with technology so new that it has never been used in any election.

    ...

    The May experience left elections officials wary of unforeseen technological glitches, so they want to test the new card-counting devices before using them in an election, but time is running short, and the machines have not arrived.

    Although the devices have been federally certified, Diebold does not have its letter of approval yet from the National Association of State Election Directors, so it cannot deliver the machines. Approval is expected any day.

    So when Cuyahoga County's votes get screwed to high heaven, guess who'll jump in and certify the votes? Secretary of State Ken Blackwell!

    •  that better not be why the GOP pulled out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snakes on a White House

      of ohio , in terms of RNC cash.

      ive had little spars with DEMfromCT and others about diebold. its a question that wont die.

      and comments like this are prbably why. i hope you are wrong, but what can we do besides hope? that is the ?

      •  My hope (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Snakes on a White House

        After reading this article this morning, the GOP pull-out of Ohio was the first thing I thought of.

        Let me tell you, though, I think Ohio voters are finally getting disgusted with GOP rule and corruption. I live in a very conservative suburb of Cleveland, and I'm seeing more Strickland stickers & posters than Blackwell, and about even on Dewine & Brown, which is good considering my area.

        My hope is that if the final vote is significantly different from the last polls, that there will be a public outcry. I hope so, anyway.

        •  your response (0+ / 0-)

          is the same comment i gave to another kossack who read the WaPo article about rove being confident as hell, then concluding that rove had some 'october suprise'

          i explained that the gop is like a 6th grade bully. even when you do finally confront them and bloody them, they come back to school on monday talking even more shit about you than they did before. so in a nutshell, no 'conspiracy theory'

          that doesnt mean i dont like to spout off new ones as soon as i think them, however...

          but i agree with DemFROMct about polls, in his new front page diary. they are shaky, statistics is VERY complicated and numbers are easier-than-you-think to manipulare. the MOE alone makes exit-polling on Nov 7th an absolute NECESSITY. maybe ill sign up to do that...if they use diebold in soCAL.

          in fact, if ohio is lost to the GOP, it will be ppl  who saw the difference on the ground, who will be left wondering how they pulled it off again, despite yard sign demographics.

  •  So disturbing (7+ / 0-)

    This diary & comment section is mind boggling.  No wonder the GOP has stopped pouring $$$ into Ohio.  It's not because they've given up on DeWine...it's because they have the whole thing covered with programmed mass confusion & planned disenfranchisement of voters in selected areas?

    "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man."- Capt. Gilbert, US Army Psychiatrist, at the conclusion of the Nuremberg trials.

    by 417els on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 10:44:00 AM PDT

  •  Poll worker question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    histopresto, aimeeinkc

    The Franklin online training (in the review questions)
    Q: "How many machines do you print from for zeros and results tapes?"

    A: "1 - The last one for both opening and closing"

    Is this really correct??  You really only record zeros tapes from on machine??!!

    •  There is a master memory cartridge (0+ / 0-)

      It collects the results in sequence from each machine. When you reach the last machine, it's effectively slaved to the memory cartridge to do collective results from all machines that were opened at that location. If you missed a machine, it won't let you proceed until that machine's results are collected in the memory cartridge.

      "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

      by histopresto on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:14:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huh??! (0+ / 0-)

        THese are networked??!  And what if one machine quits working, you can't get the master read becasue it expects 4 machines for precinct.

        •  This is where it will get interesting, huh? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ray Radlein

          The machines aren't networked, only their power is daisy-chained.  The master memory cartridge is the only thing that takes results from one machine to the next. If you had a problem machine or one won't poll, then you're into menus that the officials will be seeing for the first time, unless they've identified the problem early enough in the day to get technical assistance from the BOE.

          Yeah, this is stupid, but it's supposed to keep a crooked judge from making all the dems vote on one machine, then not count that machine.

          "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

          by histopresto on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 12:03:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ok (0+ / 0-)

            so a master DRE memory card is used to record the whole precinct and that gets printed out(?) So I assume the process is to check each machines count, and totals and then run the master card through them all to close out all the machines.  And then you would (?) compare the precinct totals on the final printout versus adding up all the individual machine totals.

            •  That's basically it. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Snakes on a White House

              Of course, despite having gone through the training, watched the video and read the manual, I would like to think that I would feel more confident in saying "yes" to that question.

              In the manual, I came across a fairly ominous warning about putting two memory cartridges right next to each other. It suggests that you can totally screw them up by having two infra-red ports next to each other for too long. No idea what that's all about, but it just sounded bad.

              "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

              by histopresto on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 01:03:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  actually, they are "network capable"... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Snakes on a White House

            if I understand correctly, the machines actually are networked, but the folks at the voting machine companies don't generally admit it until forced to do so.

            I remember reading that on BRAD BLOG -- a Diebold rep said that the machines didn't have infrared ports (and something else in addition to that, I don't remember exactly right now), which turned out to be a boldfaced lie.  Perhaps he was just an extraordinarily misinformed spokesman for the company.

            Don't have time to look up the link right now, but it's there, probably under the tag "Diebold", although that by no means should be construed as a Diebold-ONLY "feature".

            •  These aren't Diebold machines (0+ / 0-)

              in Franklin County, OH.  Or in Lake County, Ohio, where I live.

              Histopresto is basically correct about the cartridge.  One master cartridge is used to open the polls, and print out a zero tape for each machine.  If one machine doesn't open, the other machines will work.  The zero tape for the non-functioning machine can be printed seperately after it has been repaired.

              Each precint has one master cartridge and at least 2 "activator" cartridges.  Once the master has been used to open the machines, it is not to be used until the polls are ready to be closed.  I have personally used the master cartridges both in the primary and during testing phases before the primary and during the testing we are currently doing.  You can rub two of them together and nothing will happen.

              A poll worker uses an activator to access the precint's ballot, which is what is stored on the memory card.  Votes are not registered on the activator.

              Votes on the ES&S machines being discussed here are not stored on a memory card.  They are stored internally in the machine.  The master cartridge is used to shut down each machine and collect its votes.

              These machines are not networked.  They do not "talk" to each other, nor are they on-line or networked to the B of E office or to any other machine.

              •  well, this guy says they ARE networked.... (0+ / 0-)

                look lower down on this thread.  Electile Dysfunction says they are, and he's in Ohio.

                You guys can fight it out.  All's I'm saying is that just because the company reps and the company literature says the machines are not networked is no longer a good enough reason to believe they are correct this time.

                No matter which e-voting machine company they shill for -- the reps tend to lie, er, be mistaken about the actual capabilities of the machines they promote.  They've made far too many of these "mistakes", far too often.

  •  Crips and Chairs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, AskQuestions

    "and one guy in a wheelchair with only one leg kept freaking me out by standing up to reach stuff."

    May I suggest an incredible book by a Dem activist?
    Too Late to Die Young

    http://www.amazon.com/...

    Harriet McBryde Johnson

    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

  •  Democrats never pushed (10+ / 0-)

    the Diebold problem and the disenfranchizement problems and now we're three weeks out from the shit storm.

    kos and other left blog leadership were absolutely hostile to those they called fraudsters and now we're three weeks out from the shit storm.

    The issues should have been championed and pursued especially in the blogosphere, but the opposite happened and now battleground elections will depend on uncertified machines, crooked election officials, bad laws, and an army of undertrained volunteers who are generally unfamiliar with computers.

    Maybe we'll have a landslide. Maybe we'll squeak through. But you guys turned a sure thing into a nail biter.

  •  This will be my first election working at a poll (5+ / 0-)

    and I'm happy to say that at least 12 high school students from my daughter's government class have also volunteered.  I assume that students from other classes also signed up.  I explained to my daughter's government teacher (he is the keeper of the required paperwork) how overjoyed the SOS office was when I called to volunteer-they are in dire need of poll workers.  

    True, these students can't yet vote and may not return to help in future elections, but the odds are improved with early involvement.  

  •  Ugh. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    histopresto, JanL, oscarsmom

    Ohioan here--I live with a family member; we recently moved. We both filled out our voter change of address at the same time and turned them in at the public library. Family member's registration was updated over a week ago, but mine hasn't been. I don't know if I'm going to have to vote provisionally or what. And I don't receive the bills at my current address, nor do I receive a paycheck to my home address, so it looks like I might have to go get my driver's license updated again . . .

    No one comes into the world without crying.

    by Kaitlin on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:03:20 AM PDT

    •  Check with your county's Board of (0+ / 0-)

      Elections.  The director in our county has said the photo id does not need to show the current address.

      BTW, if you move, state law requires that you update your driver' license and vehicle registration when you move.  I think you have either 3 or 6 months to do so.  While this law is rarely enforced, I recall the Ohio equivalent of the BMV sent out letters to random licensed drivers.  The letter said something like you need to show proof of insurance.  The letter was non-forwardable.  Anyone who moved, but hadn't notified the BMV had his letter returned.  The BMV put a notice in the file of each of these people.  So, if you moved, but didn't notify the BMV, you got fined when you tried to renew your license.

      Again, I think the photo id law is awful, it's a poll tax and it nothing but an attempt to suppress the vote.

  •  Bring a mini video camera to vote, if possible (7+ / 0-)

    For those of you who own a video camera that can easily fit in a purse or bag, bring it with you on voting day.

    To be of maximum benefit:

    1. Turn it on and start recording before you enter the voting site so it's ready to go. The mic will still pick up the sounds.
    1. Choose a voting booth out of site of the precinct workers, if possible, so that you can record discretely , if necesary. Malfunctions of e-voting machines would be great to catch on tape.
    1. Upload your video to youtube, or another video site if you get anything interesting. Ask here if you don't know how to do it.
    1. Hopefully there will be no problems at your voting site, but if there are having it on videotape is invaluable.
    •  hello??! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Radlein, sccs

      Umm, depending on the state this is probably illegal.

      Please don't tell people to do stupid stuff like this.  Consult a lawyer and tehn decide if it is legal to do this.   An audio recording might be discrete enough.  A camera might be used if a machine malfunctions.

      If I saw you walk in with a camcorder, I'd have you arrested for voter intimidation.

      •  for emergency only (0+ / 0-)

        Did you read my comment?

        Keep the camera hidden in a bag. It is for capturing an emergency situation only, not for flashing around and intimidating people.

        Capturing a voting machine malfunction on video at a live election would be invaluable, even as an anonymously posted video on youtube.

        I look at this like basketball, if you want to defend your basket you don't hold back on giving hard fouls in the paint. Failure to do that lets your opponent know they can score at will at no cost. In this case the GOP is playing all sorts of games with the election, not only the machines, but also the voter ID laws and various challenge provisions. If they know that many of the voters are ready to produce a video camera at any moment they're going to think twice about doing anything to over the top, that or it will be all over the internet.

        There is no law against carrying a video camera into a polling site in a personal item, provided it is not used.

        •  While we're at it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          khereva

          remember the data card swap on the Diebold video?  And how they use the same data cards as are in cameras?

          If there's a virus designed to transfer onto any data card that gets inserted into the machine, then if you stick a blank card into the voting machine, you'll get the virus onto the card.

          And then you have proof -- albeit somewhat illegal proof -- that the elections have been stolen.

  •  What can we do? (0+ / 0-)

    We need solutions people...

  •  holy shit (5+ / 0-)

    A military ID isn't valid to vote?
    You mean a government card isn't valid to vote in a government election?

    We're retired military and those cards are (usually) acceptable everywhere.

    I looked like a bobble head doll, shaking my head over and over throughout your excellent diary.

    Why did we bother to beat the Soviet Union if we were just going to become it? Molly Ivins

    by offred on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:33:38 AM PDT

  •  well.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    histopresto

    More people in the group had buckeye shirts on for Ohio State gameday

    At this point, it's obvious the group is NOT credible, reliable, or good looking.... ;)

    < snark >

    Republican recruitment for the 82nd Chairborne at an all-time high...

    by topicalstorm on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:34:58 AM PDT

  •  More info on the OH primaries debacle.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, oscarsmom

    can be found, naturally, at BRAD BLOG -- both Brad and Voters Unite.org have been all over the debacle that was the spring primaries across the country.  

    Go to both sites and look up your state to get a full dose of what happened in your primary election, and everybody else's, and what hijinx those krazy kids at the voting machine manufacturers -- and their political enablers in the system, usually Repugs but not always -- have been doing since then to ensure this Election Day will be filled with plenty of melty, "glitchy" goodness.

    E-voting machines were breaking down in Maryland so much that voters were turned away and told to come back later because there was nothing for them to vote on or with -- because MD doesn't have any paper, either ballots or trail, in their elections AT ALL.  Nothing to recount or audit.  Clever, isn't it?

    The voting machine meltdowns aren't usually "publicized", as you mention in your diary, because the voting machine manufacturers simply claim that any problems are simply "glitches" or "human error", that they are isolated incidents instead of widespread failure wherever these machines are used.  (that 20-30% failure rate in one 12-hour day would never be acceptable for any other vendor at the state level... can you imagine if that were, say, the daily failure rate of streetlights or police cars?)

    Keep spreading the word -- there is still time to be a pollworker (i just signed up!) or poll watcher -- and you can call your Registrar of Voters today and ask if they are making emergency paper ballots available, tell them you want to vote ON PAPER.

    How they are counted will be another problem, but there's no time now to implement safety measures before Nov. 7th.... but at least there will be a piece of paper that can be counted and recounted, that proves how you actually voted.

    Share the wealth of info -- if you tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on...

    DO IT NOW -- we need to get everybody you know (who is legally eligible) registered, and get them out to vote --

    Tell them to keep their eyes and ears open and report any shady dealings, whacked voting machines, flipped votes, intimidation, disenfrachisement, or dirty tricks...

    With a show of force, there can be some safety in numbers.  

    GOTV
    GOTV
    GOTV, baby!!!!!!

    •  you just don't get it.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bdevil89, ucla grad102

      What is wrong with big orange??!  Why must it ALWAYS be the day AFTER the election before you guys get it!

      People bring up these issues and are called "Eeyores" and conspiracists and too negative.  Helllo?! I was there in Ohio in 2004.  You GOT OUT THE FUCKING VOTE!  You got hundreds of first time voters in one small neighborhood.  Many black young men and women in my neighborhood who never voted before (and probably won't do it again).

      It's NOT ABOUT GETTING OUT THE FRAKING VOTE!  There was plenty of voters in Ohio who couldn't wait for three hours, or voted provisional, or were told to vote somewhere else.

      What happens when 2 of 4 machines have a windows crash?  Or all machines run out of paper.  THEY WILL.  What happens when Diebold and ES&S technicians are too busy to fix stuff?  What happens if there is lightning and power goes out for 30 mins?  What happens when hundreds are sent home to get a license.  What if you are poor and have no license or bill in your name??!

      What if last time you voted, you waited three hours in the cold and rain, and you finally go vote again and are turned away because you got divorced and your hypen name is different.

      Eeeyore this. Take your purple donkey plush doll and shove it up your asses.

      •  Amen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sclminc

        brother,

        Everyone here is seriously deluded in thinking we didn't get out the vote last time (thanks in part to Rove's supposedly brilliant GOTV and Evangelical crew, as well as the msm's constant refrain of the amazing and unprecedented turnout by the Repub base).

        Well that's a load of bull puckey, you want to know why?  Well they've never shown evidence for it except in the computerized vote count.  Repeat after me, the computerized vote count.  How do we know the computerized vote count is inaccurate, well there were numerous anomalies showing massive votes for Bush in Bush counties (more votes than registered Repubs or people for that matter), plus they were votes for local officials but not for President in many democratic counties, on top of that they were massive vote subtracting and adding going on.  I'm using Ohio as the reference, I'm sure Florida was also a hot bed for the fraud.

        So, the massive Repub GOTV was not real but manufactured within the Computer tabulators, Can you guys understand that?  

        Read STeven Freeman's "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?"  In it is the analysis of the "uncalibrated" exit polls which show Kerry winning by at least 6 million votes and the presidency comfortably, but the vote count showing a shift to Bush with  a 3 million vote margin.  Freeman pretty much says that it's an impossibility based on statistics to have that much of a discrepancy between exit polls and the vote count.  And did you know where the discrepancy occurred most?  In places where they had e-voting and optical scan machines.

        To all the potatoheads out there, listen, I agree GO
        TV like it's the last thing you do on the planet.  but realize this the Media, the pundits, Rove, the Repubs are maintaining the mantra of the amazing Repub GOTV and now the new meme "microtargeting".  This is pure BS, and not supported by any facts, in fact, there's massive evidenc against that.

        Read the top headline at Huffington Post, 22 days.  In the article it says there hasn't been any poll like this for the opposition party in decades, yet they always mention the Repub GOTV machinery being the deciding factor.  It's already a fact and law to the pollsters, pundits, and MSM that Repubs can turn out voters.  The guy even writes how this has been happening since the 2000 elections right when one of the biggest election debacles occured and continue to occur.  Coincidence, I think not...

        Be prepared to march onto DC, bc it's going to happen.  I'm going to vote, and I hope people come out and vote like they really did in 2004.  But what we need more than ever is Independent Non-Partisan Polls for all the major races and close races.

        I'm not listening to the Mainstream News Polls, after seeing that they had to "calibrate" the polls to fit the vote count.  I've lost faith with them, and won't have any until we get paper ballots, hand counted by non partisan election observers, on a national holiday, where everyone has plenty of time to vote and know that their vote will be counted fairly.

        May the best candidate win and not the machines.  Peace.

        •  interesting (0+ / 0-)

          i haven't read that before.  in terms of the whole framework of the massive GOP GOTV effort being an integral part of the mythology of 'exit-polls being incorrect' and last minute machine totals jumping to another candidate.    I never considered that falicy is critical to people buying it.

          Is there a way to prove a failed GOTV from GOP & Rove's machine.  Maybe that would be another avenue to disarm the monkey business.  I think GOP might not get out and vote this year.  Why would they in Ohio with Ney, Taft, Hicks, Noe, Blackwell, DeWine, etc. etc.

          •  Read (0+ / 0-)

            Conyer's Report on what happened in Ohio.  It's the only investigation that was even done in any state.

            It will blow your mind, literally that should a best seller just like the 9/11 commission report, but it doesn't get as much attention, of course.

            What we can hope for now, is that we get Indepedent Non-Partisan Exit Polls for all major and close races.

            The Election Defense Alliance is raising money for this, check out their site, there's some really good articles, press releases, and videos on what happened in 2004 and what we must do to prevent it.

            Look, this is the same scenario playing out again, polls are showing overwhelming support for Dems, but the meme being put out is that the Repubs will have the amazing turnout they've been supposedly having (thanks to e-voting) and now they're even "microtargeting" potential Repub voters.  That's the mantra right now, watch every pundit, msm, and Repub operatives.  They've already built in the excuse. and from not contesting the previous elections from 2002 on, it's become a reality for them.  

            But we know better, and will march to DC, have at least 10 million just roll into DC and set up camp.  That's the only way,  The fraud is coming but are we prepared to do what must be done, and not sulk and roll back to our house and wonder why we don't have the balls to stand up to power?

            •  i have (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AlanF

              look i've read all reports.  heck i was part of the recount in Ohio.  notice my username.  yep created after election nonsense.

              What I was saying is the argument that the GOP's 72-hour Rove thing...  Is KEY.. but not in the fact that it works.  But in the fact that it appears to work.  It is critical for the narative they setup and that the media spits out, is this GOTV.  So, would anyone believe the exit polls were wrong, if they didn't point to Rove's 72-hour plan.

              The reason the media claimed is that exit polling.. yada yada, Bush voter voted earlier, or later.. etc. etc.

              •  Yeah I hear you (0+ / 0-)

                Dr. Freeman analyzes the exit polls and the discrepancies with the vote count.

                He takes all the different hypotheses and tries to find evidence backing up each claim.

                Primarily, were Bush supporters less likely to particpate in the exit poll (the Mitkofsky explanation) or was there systemic bias within the vote count itself?

                Well, to make a good book short, the conclusions come to that the systemic bias (i.e. vote fraud in terms of the counting, esp where machines were counting the votes) is the reason that is backed up with sufficent evidence, whereas Mitkofsky's explanation has no evidence to back it up both statistically and circumstantially.

                So, I've been reading all these news articles about Rove being upbeat and that the turnout is key, turnout of who, even Repubs are sick and tired of the corruption from their own party, Who the heck is Rove turning out,

                the answer: no one, it's all in the voting machines (just like it was in previous elections),

                People, it's coming, the meme is being touted, The media are talking already that what if despite all the crap hitting the fan, that repubs maintain control thanks to the "amazing GOP GOTV operation and microtargeting".   Repeat there is no evidence of the GOP GOTV except for what the computer vote count said at the end of the night.  How do we knoe this is inaccurate, well the "uncalibrated" exit polls showed a huge discrepancy from the vote count.

                In fact, google the Alaskan Dem Party suing the Alaskan Election for access to the Election Data.  There was a significant discrepancy between district numbers and the actual vote count recorded.

                Can you also restate your So, would believe the exit polls were wrong?  I'm not quite understanding what u are trying to say,  thanks

      •  obviously you didn't read my post. (0+ / 0-)

        GOTV is still essential.  

        I never said we didn't get out the vote in 2004.  We got out the vote big time, at great personal sacrifice for many people.  

        But if people don't get out and vote in huuuuug numbers AGAIN because they think it won't be counted, then we have nothing.

        Btw, I WAS THERE, TOO, a**hat.

        Get off your high horse and try reading first before you tell me that I "don't get it".

  •  No Passports? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GayHillbilly, sclminc, flumptytail

    That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Well, that along with the rest of the fiascos in this diary.
    So glad I live in Oregon, with nice, universal paper vote-by-mail. No polling places, no ID nonsense, no worries on paper trail, no taking time off work... You see where I'm going with this.

  •  Problems (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckeye blue, oscarsmom, Allogenes

    It seems to me that the problems associated with electronic voting far outweight the benefit. If it were up to me, I would use paper ballots that can be machine counted, and re-counted if needed by hand.

    Our Democracy is too important to lose in a power outage.

    Democrats want better government, government that serves real people and not just those with power and influence. Nevada Appeal, Carson City NV

    by Tuba Les on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:51:33 AM PDT

  •  OMG!!!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BenGoshi, mrblifil, a lynn, JanL

    I can categorically state that, for most of my adult life, the address on my driver's license has not matched my voting precinct card.  Anyone who moves every year or couple of years will have the same problem, because most states DO NOT REISSUE YOU A NEW LICENSE every time you move!!!  And frankly, most people, even responsible people, don't bother to change their address immediately on those documents every time they move!!

    This is unbelieveable.  Thanks for the diary.

    Never give up! Never surrender!

    by oscarsmom on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 11:55:06 AM PDT

  •  Where's the Ohio Democratic party? (5+ / 0-)

    They should have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to enjoin the enforcement of this law on constitututional grounds.

  •  Please Tell Me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GayHillbilly, Allogenes

    that the first thing our new Democrat-led Congress will do is draft and pass legislation to get the voting situation under control.  This is ridiculous.  The most advanced country in the world (or at least one of them) cannot devise a secure and easy to use balloting system?

  •  Tiz the season (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bdevil89, Lefty Mama

    to be a felon...

    This is the pre-election season where in past election cycles since 2000 that we know of:

    • 1.) Voter fraud occurs in both classic and electronic ways with increasing severity and decreased exposure/risk for perpetrators.
    • 2.) The MSM loyalists aid the perpetrators with news reports that set up plausible deniability, or false reprots of voter demographics (Nascar Dads, Soccer Moms etc.), public opinion trends (War, Terror Therats, Security Moms), misrepresented polls (Gallup etc), "issues" based motivators (Gay Rights, Flag Burning) and false flags (Jon Benet Ramsey) all designed to obfuscate election fraud.

    We have proof of fraud in so many ways, the HAVA bill is a joke that enables the fraud, and still we question?

    I think it's time to be prepared that yes, FRAUD is happening and will continue with increasing skill versus past hamfisted attempts. There is currently very little in the way of organization, funding and will to stop it.

    SO give your concern over to fixing it - volunteer or donate to one of the small, underfunded organizations fighting it.

    A list of joinable/active clean vote organizations is here, and a list of problems by state for your preparation is here.

    don't block my tubes...

    by a lynn on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 12:13:18 PM PDT

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlanF, sclminc

      that's why I've given zilch to any candidate, and invested money into Election reform organizations, specifically for Independent Non-Partisan Exit polls for all major and close races.

      That's the only way we are going to know if the vote was fair or fraudulent.

      If there's fraud in any race esp. with e-voting, I'm ready to march down to DC. There should be a stream of millions pouring into DC and rushing the whitehose and the Capitol so we can personally handcuff the Idiot and his entourage.

      People, if we don't do this now, we're done for, forget '08,

      This is the reality based community and not the Kos and co.'s based community.

      Kos doesn't understand the catastrophic effects of e-voting and the fraud from it.  Instead he addresses the old school type of fraud, which is certainly bad, but when you have the elephant of e-voting fraud sitting right in front of your face, it calls into question the sanity of Kos and his crew.

      Watch the media, they had a Ohio political science professor on CSpan today that brushed any signs of voter fraud that may have occured in Ohio, and repeated the meme of the Repub GOTV in Ohio being amazing.  Absolute BS, this guy should be hung gulag style, he's a professor of political science and he's making statements that are refuted with clear evidence of the fraud peretrated.

      •  This is where you lose me (0+ / 0-)

        Recommending that somebody be hung is where we part paths. You need to reconsider this comment, buddy, because it's over the top.

        "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

        by histopresto on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 01:34:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fine (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a lynn

          it's over the top, but when people are just talking about GOTV as if we didn't last time, we need a sledgehammer to wake people up.

          Bc if you look at all the evidence and the analysis of the exit polls and the discrepancy with the vote count, you'll realize that there was a massive GOTV for Kerry that really did show, and that gave him the presidency.

          The amazing Repub GOTV is a myth, there's no evidence that backs it up,  Give me the proof, where is it?  It's in the computerized vote count, oh, really?  It's in the "calibrated" exit polls that were so manipulated it's beyond belief...

          Give me a break, wake up and smell the massive vote fraud going on.

          You can get out the whole world to vote, and still lose bc as Stalin says it's not who and how many vote it's who counts the votes, and sadly friend Diebold and company are counting the votes.

          •  Appreciate your concession. (0+ / 0-)

            But no way are we starting this whole fight again in this diary. If you want to wade back into this particular end of the issue, try it in your own diary, please. After getting a lot of solid comments here, I would rather not have to delete this diary as yet another Ohio discussion that got out of control. I'm trying to look forward and head off some problems by proactively identifying problems now. I'm not looking to reenact 2004 as a dramatized Antietam-on-the-Ohio.

            "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

            by histopresto on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 02:07:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Here's the Repug GOTV, and it ain't a "myth" (4+ / 0-)

            the concept is micro-targeting of voters, house by house, coupled with info from each Registrars office on which absentee voters haven't turned in their ballots yet.  It's a concerted effort that gets GOP staffers and rabid volunteers to the homes of those absent-minded absentee voters to sit with them until they fill out their ballot, and then "conveniently" deliver it for them.  Now that's what I call service!

            Go here to read an excellent article on the GOP's GOTV machine:  "The GOP Knows You Don't Like Anchovies".  They already made this happen in the Busby/Bilbray special election in CA-50.  They were able to roust 10,000 absentee votes in three days.  Quite a stunning effort, no?  

            Especially since Bush's very own Election Assistance Commission buried the results of a study showing that most balloting fraud occurs with ABSENTEE BALLOTS.  

            It sent chills up my spine when I heard a computer expert posit that there is no reason to assume that those grocery store 'membership' cards aren't linked, or data-mined, in some way for political gain.  No need to phone bank when you can track a voter's every move and share info.  

            Not that they'd ever do such a thing.

            •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

              The busby/bilray election which didn't even count the votes, where the House of Reps just decide to inaugurate him, without finishing the recount.

              I hear you the microtargeting is the new "meme" or whatever the word from Orwell's 1984 is...

              It's not as powerful as you think, come on man, think...

              A majority of people were so fed up with this president from 4 years of disaster.  You had moderate Repubs, Indies, practically the entire Dem wing, and the youth (a majority voting against bush).  And you're telling me that the Repubs still beat that with some amazing GOP turnout and that according to some partisan computerized voting that counts the votes.  Well the "uncalibrated" exit polls didn't match the vote count and in fact showed Kerry winninig by 6 milllion votes.  I respectfully ask you to read Freeman's "Was the 2004 Election Stolen" for the exit poll analysis  and go to the Election Defense Alliance website, and realize for yourself what the hell has been really happening here.

              Look at the Article for the Alaskan Dem party on the website, they requested to see the ballots/voting info from the 2004 election bc there was some obvious discrepancies from vote totals from various districts, but supposedly the data was accessed and manipulated several times by the Alaskan Election Board.  I mean I remember the 2004 Alaksan senate race with the Dem leading in the polls and then all of sudden he lost to the Repub.

              I mean, you've bought into the doublespeak.  There are more common sense minded people(from all parties) than there are diehards.   Get it...  

              You're going to see the same scenario play out, this time the repubs know they're going to lose a few seats bc the public is beyond frustrated. But they'll make sure they have control of at least of the Senate and perhaps a slight loss to the Dems in the House, but I wouldn't doubt it for a second that they keep control of both houses in light of all the scandals, the negative polls, and basically the entire world hating the REpub government.

              Go out and vote, but prepared to revolt once the fraud goes down again (Why do you think Bush is so confident?)

          •  It is rather treasonous (0+ / 0-)

            so, instead I would prefer a court trial by jury process and sentence/penalty rather than lynching...

            but, I feel ya - it makes me pissin' mad too. Not the "string up" type mad but prosecution under existing laws mad.

            I mean, I hope we serfs have learned something from our pitchfork ways of yore...

            don't block my tubes...

            by a lynn on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 03:44:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Besides (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          khereva

          who the hell asks a poli sci prof if a computerized election was stolen?

          James Randi once pointed out that, when you're investigating alledgedly paranormal abilities, you don't ask a scientist what they think.  Scientists are brilliant at what they do, but they tend to think directly.  You ask a professional magician, because they know how to look for fraud -- they're trained to trick you.  Similarly, you don't ask a poli sci prof their opinion about a stolen election.  What the hell does he know?  He's not familiar with the evoting systems.  You ask a comp sci prof about the possibility of the election being stolen.

  •  No wonder the GOP is saving it's money (3+ / 0-)

    They've already bought the best clusterfuck money can buy.

  •  They won't steal it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, annan, Allogenes

    They'll smash it. The election will degenerate into such chaos when the machines stop working that any results will be considered illegitimate.

    After all, look at Iraq. They're much better at smashing than stealing.

    I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin.

    by sagesource on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 12:18:19 PM PDT

  •  GOP's new vote-theft cover: incompetent election (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dnn

    officials mis-handled the machines. I.e., it wasn't the machines, their manufacturers, the questionable visits by "technicians" that changed machines' behaviors. It was the ignorant, poorly-trained elections officials and poll workers whut did it.

    Welcome to the Cheney/Bush/Rove soft dictatorship's new  tack on election corruption. Ain't it grand?

    Damn it, they're on to us! Quick, break out the fearmongering MSM noise machine, or we'll all wind up in prison! --Fearful NeoCon Fascists

    by Enough Talk Lets Get Busy on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 12:31:29 PM PDT

  •  Nothing Short of Treason (6+ / 0-)

    This crap is NOT just incompetence, although there is plenty of that. The ONLY way this system could be this badly screwed up is by design.

    Denying Americans their right to vote and have their vote counted is, and should be considered, an act of treason and nothing less.

    How many of our fore-fathers died so we would have the right to vote?

    How many of our current service men and women have died to (alledgedly) give Iraqi's the right to vote?

    Your vote has been stolen. Thanks for playing.

    by TekBoss on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 12:57:25 PM PDT

  •  I was just told (11+ / 0-)
    after sitting on the phone for 45 minutes that Cuyahoga County does not need any more poll workers or technicians, that they have plenty! Remember this, folks, in case we need to revisit it on November 8. I am under 75, computer-savvy, have the entire day off work and can drive anywhere in the county. I am even familiar with election law. I was wondering why I had never heard back from them after filling out an application weeks ago and so I called. That was what I was told. They said that  because I am in Cleveland Heights, they probably have plenty of people in my area. I had told them I was willing to go anywhere, even the inner city (which is a mere ten-minute drive from where I live) and I reiterated it. The guy I talked to said that they would start looking at other places they needed workers and start placing people and calling them, maybe this week or maybe ???? But time is getting short and with all my campaign work, I might not be able to do the training.

    Remember this: they say I am not needed in anywhere in Cuyahoga County. So I guess everything is going to run absolutely perfectly!

  •  Howard Dean, where are you???!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annan

    Seriously: there's a lot of junk and interesting but news-free discussion on Daily Kos, but, when someone posts a front-page-newsmaking diary like this, someone in the Democratic Party should be in touch with the diarist IMMEDIATELY to try to verify the story, then, if the story to checks out, to work with PR people to get diarist on talk shows.

    If this diarist is willing to be a named source (even if that may mean that the diarist has to give up on being a precinct official), and the diary information here is verifiable, and this person doesn't end up in a bunch of news stories, that's just further evidence that the Democratic Party PR apparatus has to be completely overhauled.

  •  Yep that's the GOP scam (0+ / 0-)

    destroy democracy to preserve their grip on power. It makes my blood boil and the hair raise up on the back of my neck. These idiots will drive this country to another civil war.

    •  I think the key is to be prepared. To have a (0+ / 0-)

      plan to rise up, en masse, and hit the streets for days or weeks, surrounding government buildings, stopping traffic, refusing to purchase anything, until they count our votes.

      Refuse to be governed by the deceivers!

      Stand up!  As a massive group of voters who were turned away or disenfranchised or who's votes were registered for the opposition.

      Without an honest vote count, this it no democracy, people.  It's government by fiat.  And if the people go along with it, we've bowed to the traitors to our democracy.  We've given up democracy in our lifetime!

      Please, please, please, let's come up with a cohesive plan for the moment they announce that Rethugs have "miraculously" kept control of both houses, despite the exit polls, or polling places turning voters away.

      WE MUST MARCH EN MASSE FOR DAYS OR WEEKS AND DEMAND OUR VOTES BE COUNTED!

  •  If manning the precincts... (0+ / 0-)

    ...were like jury duty, you wouldn't have these problems.

    "Nothing is 'mere'." — Richard P. Feynman

    by Migeru on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 03:04:10 PM PDT

  •  We're Screwed (0+ / 0-)

    Who needs central counting computers that have internet connections when you can just obfuscate the voting process until neither the polling officials or the voter can understand how to do it.

    Damn.

    Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. - Lao Tzu

    by FLDemJax on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 03:08:18 PM PDT

  •  What say Ohians repeal this voter ID law? (0+ / 0-)

    First order of business after the election:  Repeal the Republican "elephant stomping out voters" voter ID law.  Start with the legislature, but simultaneously circulate an initiative petition to put it on the ballot if the legislature balks.  

  •  Diebold in Alaska (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.computerworld.com/...

    Anyone who who says there's too much emphasis on diebold is out of their fucking mind.

    •  I just mentioned this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ucla grad102

      in my other reply,

      I hope people see this and realize what is going on.  they're changing the vote data to make it look more legit, when if fact there was massive vote manipulation going on through the optical scanners and the e-voting.

      Wake up people, this is what has been happening for the past 6 years.   This is not a test, this is for real.  Accept it and let's do something about it.

      Get Independent Non-Partisan Exit Polls for all major and close races or else we'll really never know if an election was fixed or not.   Right now, this is the best way to protect against fraud with e-voting.

      Go over to Election Defense Alliance and see what they're trying to do.

      •  I'm ANGRY! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        truong son traveler

        Get fucking angry people or you will be ruled by beasts like many third world countries are. Various countries ended up with their beasts in various ways. But few as pathetic as ours. Here it happened because Americans forgot their origins, forgot our Founder's brilliant conception of government and sold out the Constitution for a little fake security.

        Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

        by moon in the house of moe on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 08:34:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Added this (0+ / 0-)

      to the Election integrity timeline. Thanks!

      Must read: MLKJ's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." It will surprise you.

      by AlanF on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 08:23:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, histo! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rolet, flumptytail, ucla grad102

    I worked as an election official in Franklin county in 2004 (I was temporarily unemployed after finishing grad school and thought doing that and canvassing was the best use of my abundant free time). The poll workers really are all retirees and stay-at-home moms. It is over-generalizing to say none of them know how to work computers, but even the old technology in the 2004 was too much for some. The old machines were clunky and cumbersome, but they seemed to work ok, when they had enough of them there--although there was no way for voters to check the paper tape, since it only printed at the end when the poll closed.

    That ID law is just ridiculous! The incredibly well-meaning church ladies who were my fellow precinct officials had enough trouble keeping all the ID requirements straight in 2004...this is going to be a mess.

    There is something very comforting about having my absentee ballot here with me where I can double check that all the circles are filled in correctly (not like the damn punch card I used at the BOE). I should remind my parents to make sure they sent in their absentee ballot applications!

    Oooo, do you know much about the ballot initiatives? I'm away at school in Boston, and I'm having trouble deciphering all of the legalese. Will issue 2 really raise the minimum wage? Is it issue 5 that actually bans smoking? What does issue 1 really do to workers compensation? Help? Anyone?

    "...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..."

    by megs on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 03:33:31 PM PDT

    •  Quick recap of issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      megs

      Issue 1 is off the ballot, so I've been told, due to a recent court decision. Votes cast may not be counted.

      Issue 2, the minimum wage thing, looks to effectively raise the minimum wage for Ohio, but does so through a constitutional amendment. From the practical standpoint, that's not a good mechanism to achieve this change, since it effectively establishes the need to amend the fricking state constitution to make future increases. I'm not sure I'm thrilled with this, but I'm on the verge of deciding it doesn't matter if it gets the wage up (and to hell with all those public policy classes).  

      I think that Issue 3 makes some very substantive changes to the workers comp system- it's really long. Some look good, some look bad, but on the whole I've decided to vote against it on the principle that any change that 's enacted while this bunch of robbers and embezzlers is in office is probably bad. Your mileage may vary.

      For the smoking issues- the bad one is Issue 4, which was put forward by the tobacco company stooges. It allows smoking in some public places.

      Issue 5 is the one that limits smoking more extensively. For people working in these bars/restaurants and those with breathing problems, voting yes will help protect them from public exposure to smoking. I'm voting no on Issue 4 and yes on Issue 5.

      Does that help?

      "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

      by histopresto on Tue Oct 17, 2006 at 02:34:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I totally screwed that up. (0+ / 0-)

        That's what I get for not double-checking. I think that Issue 1 is the workers comp changes, which has been set aside.

        Issue 3 is the Earn & Learn thing, which sets up some kind of educational fund IF voters will approve casino style gambling. Bad on two grounds, in my opinion. Once again (as with the lottery in ye olden days) they are linking educational costs to something that's not sustainable enough to provide a reliable basis for educational funding. We also get the classic bad effects of casino gambling on local economic redevelopment- slot machines don't create high quality jobs over the long term.

        "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

        by histopresto on Tue Oct 17, 2006 at 03:51:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  excellent (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          histopresto

          You have confirmed what I was getting from my research and attempts to read the issues, so that was a great help!

          Thanks!!!

          "...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..."

          by megs on Tue Oct 17, 2006 at 08:21:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Comedy of errors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rolet

    Good lord, I wonder if they have the same problems in my area.

    Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself. --Marcus Aurelius

    by arb on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 03:37:03 PM PDT

  •  I see 70-somethings use ATMs...and... (0+ / 0-)
    so its the voting machine design and human interface that is the problem, and I agree that there are many others in younger age groups who would be as baffled by the set up on these machines.  If banks were able to get ATM designs that most people can use, then voting technology should be as simple and reliable.  India uses a very effective semi-high tech voting method and they have far more voters to deal with than we do here, and their system is reliable based upon what I've heard about their system.

    We have to seriously change this road we are on, allowing Diebold to count our votes without reliable audit trails.  

    I'm worried about this November's elections.

  •  We use the same equipment in Lake County (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail

    and the memory card does not hold the votes.  It contains the ballot.  At least here, the ballot for every precint is stored on the memory card.  The poll worker puts the PEB cartridge into the I-vo.  The PEB cartridge (looks like an game cartridge from an Atari system) is precint specific.  Putting the PEB into the macine calls up the ballot for that specific precint.  At the end of the day, each machine is closed with the precint master PEB and the votes on each machine in the precint are transfered to the master PEB. These PEB's are transported by a member of each party to regional collection center.  From there, they are escorted to the B of E by a member of each party.  At the B of E, each master PEB is downloaded, read and the results immediately posted.

    We used the ES&S equipment in the May primary and had almost no problems.  Not a single door was broken, for instance.  Although we a pretty good-sized county, we are no where near the size of Franklin.

    Does Franklin use Marshalls or "Rovers"?  These are 2 person, bi-partisan teams that have higher training than poll workers.  I was a Rover in May; my partner and I were given 4 polling places in close proximity to each other to cover.  We were never more than 5 minutes from a polling place.  We gave our cell phone numbers to the presiding judge of each precint.  They were instructed to call us if there was a problem and we would either answer by phone or go immediately to the polling place. We had 2-way radios to the B of E, eliminating the problem with phone lines.  We also checked the day and time of each machine in our territory.  If the time was wrong, we fixed it.  However, the machinery is programmed to shut down automatically at 7:30; another step must be performed on the machine for each voter after 7:30.  Adds about 10 seconds to the time needed to vote.

    We did have a few problems with the power cord and data port.  The design is pretty poor.  I am also concerned about the plastic doors, which have VERY sharp edges.  I am also concerned about the rather flimsy legs on the machines.  The legs face the voter, not the opposite way.  This increases the possiblityl of a leg being knocked over, collapsing the machine on a voter or child.

    Our B of E has made a concerted effort to recruit younger poll workers.  Many h.s. government teachers have been contacted and asked to recommend 18 years old who would like earn some money, perform a civic good and get a day off school.

    I agree that the photo id requirement is bogus and legalized voter suppression.  Our elections director, a Repub, told us that a current address does not have to appear on the photo id.  The real purpose of this this law is shown by the fact that a voter who completes an absentee  ballot in person at the B of E office does NOT have to show a photo id-only a driver's license/state id number of last 4 digits of the SSN.  

    •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

      Franklin County is designed to for failure.

      There are no Rovers, or 2-way radios.  Or even any staff at BOE going around to precincts.  There is ONE phone bank, which AT&T convienently 'couldn't handle the load' on.  So it non stop busy signal.

      What seems insane is that it is so poor, that Franklin kept 10% of voting machines in warehouse to be delivered on election day, in case of some emergency or something happening to machines stored at precinct.  So in 2004, they 'found out' at 4pm that a whole ton of machines had not been delivered.  So you have to now assume that NO ONE CALLED and complained about missing machines (like 1 of 4) that were not delivered.  And when the BOE did have those machines delivered at 4pm (they called the trucking company / warehouse)... None of those machines were activated.  So again, they claim they were delivered... but precincts, just said.. screw it, these three machines and 2 hour lines have been working so far, lets just not activate this machine.  Which is total crap.

      In 2004 many judges were given wrong information.  They told judges the polling location that had always been the same fore last ten years... had moved..  in fact it had not, and people were driving cross town to wrong locations.  

      Does Lake County do anything with totals?  Do you compare printout / machine totals to what gets stored on master PEB?  Does machine level info get verified against the precinct totals (stored on master PEB)?

      Also, in Franklin Co, they have 5 distributed tally centers. Instead of everything going back to BOE, they go to one of 5 tabulation centers. These are networked with central BOE which has  master tabulator.  This I feel is problematic also.

  •  "The Monster that Ate My Vote" ( a new cartoon ) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bdevil89

    The Corporate elite, who,  "with intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this democracy with envious eyes,and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.  And early in the twenty-first century came the great deception."
        Yes, the Robber Barron's are back, and this time they have locked down the voice of the people with Electronic Voting Machines.   These technological terrors have ( in my opinion ) tipped the outcome of many elections in favor of the Corporate Masters.   Now on the eve of what seems to be a democratic victory in the House and Senate, the shadow of these vote eating monsters looms over our greatest hopes for a return to a Jeffersonian democracy.  My latest cartoon "The Monster That Ate My Vote" can be seen at my website.

  •  all of a sudden.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail

    I feel like I need a drink.

    A good, stiff one.

    Maybe several.

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

    by Erik the Red on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 07:07:25 PM PDT

  •  If you care about voting . . . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlanF, Steven D, flumptytail, ucla grad102
    read Bradblog.com.    Brad Friedman's incomparable blog, devoted to voting rights news.

    Sign up for John Gideon's daily email newsletter - 7 days a week - of every voting news story published nationwide.

    Signup is at Votetrustusa.org.

    And verifiredvoting.org has a nationwide pollworkers/pollwatchers organizing campaign going on.  If your precinct has enough pollworkers, you can be a pollwatcher.
    Both are needed!

  •  Failure to win also begins at registration (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail

    Some handy hints from someone who is temping at the Elections office...

    1. WRITE LEGIBLY. Don't assume someone can read your scrawl. Take some time and write out your information keeping in mind that someone on the other end has to try to decipher.

      2. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. When the form says the Registrars Office needs information, and provides space to fill in same, FILL IN THE FREAKING BLANKS.

      3. IF YOU KNOW IN ADVANCE THAT YOU WILL BE OUT OF TOWN ON ELECTION DAY AND WANT TO REGISTER TO BE AN ABSENTEE VOTER: a) don't wait until the last day or the day after the last day to register to decide that fact. b) make sure you're registered to begin with c) don't think that your spouse can fill out the form and sign it for you. d) don't assume that faxes and fed-ex deliver on time. e) make note of #1 and #2 above.

      4. IF YOU MOVE - RE-REGISTER

      5. IF YOU CHANGE YOUR NAME - RE-REGISTER

      6. IF YOU CHANGE YOUR PARTY AFFILICATION - RE-REGISTER

      7. IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS - Re-Register or contact the Elections office PRIOR to when voting peripherals are mailed out. If something is returned UNDELIVERABLE chances are, you will be booted from the list.

      8. DON'T "BORROW" SOMEONE ELSES MAIL FROM ELECTIONS OFFICES to send in for yourself. Pick up the freaking phone or pen and get your own. If it looks like someone is usurping someone elses stuff, more than likely both will be booted.

      9. DON'T TRY TO REGISTER RELATIVES WHO HAVE NEVER LIVED IN THE U.S.

     10. IF YOU'VE CHANGED YOUR SIGNATURE - Contact the elections office and make sure they have your "new" and hopefully improved "John Hancock"

     11. DON'T DECIDE YOU'LL GO BY YOUR MIDDLE NAME INSTEAD OF YOUR FIRST right before any election. Pick a better time to get "artistic" with your sobriquet.

     12. IF YOU'VE REGISTERED AS A PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTER, could you please remember that fact instead of sending in double, triple OR EVEN QUADRUPLE copies of requests.

     13. KNOW WHICH FREAKING COUNTY YOU LIVE IN. Don't try to register in one county when you live in another. Oh, yeah....REMEMBER WHICH STATE YOU LIVE IN TOO.

     14. REMEMBER THAT P.O.BOXES ARE NOT RESIDENTIAL ADDRESSES.

     15. WHEN THE FORM ASKS FOR A STAMP, put one on or better yet, drop off your form.

     16. KNOW WHICH VOTING DISTRICT YOU LIVE IN, sometimes you just can't vote for the Representative that you really want to vote for, because they're not running in your district. Yelling at the Elections folks behind the counter won't change that fact.

     17. IF YOU ARE DOING A REGISTRATION DRIVE, get some training from the Elections staff on how to fill out the form before you go and give wrong advise, and, remember to turn the forms in on time.

     18. CONSIDER YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION FORM A LEGAL DOCUMENT and SIGN AND DATE IT before you turn it in.

     19. DON'T TRY TO REGISTER AS SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE.

     20. Be thankful that there are hard working, truly dedicated people trying all year to make an election happen. It doesn't happen overnight. It often takes HOURS trying to read and input a single registration when there are problems  that could have been easily prevented. It takes weeks of preparation and training of people to man the polls, to answer the phones, to deal with the press, to deal with the various campaigns and the sycophants that often accompany same. It takes months trying to get places to even host the polling stations. And, yes, it does cost money.

    and...for Buddha's sake...

    that actually surprised me...

     21. KNOW WHERE YOUR POLLING PLACE IS. Sometimes districts are combined or a regular polling place is no longer available. Sometimes you get a new place to vote. Make a mental note of where your polling place is and when you want to go vote...before work, during lunch, after work...or take the day off and vote.

     22. KNOW WHEN ELECTION DAY IS!

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 07:41:35 PM PDT

  •  NAACP to monitor Ohio election (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL

    NAACP to monitor elections in 10 states

    BALTIMORE - The NAACP said Monday that it will monitor voting in 10 states next month, sending observers to polling places, taking citizen complaints and notifying the Justice Department of any serious problems.

    Maryland, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

  •  I've got an MSEE (from Purdue even!) (0+ / 0-)

    If there was an EE at each and every polling station, then this election would run as smoothly as a Yugo with three spark plugs.

    -5.75 -4.72 3.14159 2.71828

    by xynz on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 08:20:06 PM PDT

  •  license as ID (0+ / 0-)

    I just attended a voting rights conference in Columbus, Ohio, and received a bunch of literature and direction on identification needs at the polls.  A drivers license may contain a person's current OR former address.  Even the Franklin County Board of Elections website states this.  If they are training poll workers to tell people to go home if their license doesn't have a current address, that is against the law.  We should not allow poll workers to require a provisional ballot for such cases!!!!  They may never be counted.

    •  What was the name of the conference? (0+ / 0-)

      And can you give a link to it? I'm trying to keep track of election integrity conferences. Also, what did you think of the conference itself? Would you consider writing a diary on it?

      Must read: MLKJ's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." It will surprise you.

      by AlanF on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 08:26:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Voting Rights Revival (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AlanF

        The conference was great.  Here's a link to some info:  http://freepress.org/...  It had multiple sponsors, which are listed on that site.  Some of the highlights were a preview of the documentary, Eternal Vigilance, about the 2004 election voting fraud; a presentation by Steve Freeman, from U of Penn, who wrote the article and book on exit polling discrepancies; a showing of the documentary of Doris "Granny D" Haddock - the 89-year-old woman who walked across the country for campaign finance reform - and a speech by her, which, when I heard it, I thought rivaled King's Letter from Birmingham Jail; a Secretary of State debate forum; the documentary American Blackout - a Sundance winner; and workshops on various volunteer opportunities related to voting reform including conducting parallel elections, videotaping the vote, election protection, and adopting a Board of Elections.

        I have never done a diary - but I thought I might try one and report on the various opportunities available for volunteering on election day and after to help in the continuing fight for voting reform.

  •  human error (0+ / 0-)

    And then they say that it was "human error" that caused the problems, and the media repeats that without any question, and as comical and as tragic as this scene is, it is never told unless it is told by one of us -- you or Avi Rubin -- who volunteers as a poll worker and makes the report.
    Technical equipment is useless unless it can be used.
    The use of this equipment must be a contractual part of the deal.  If it cannot be used by septagenarians
    in places with low tech wiring, then it must be tossed. Their training and their materials and instructions are faulty and opaque. We must sue them for selling us a bill of goods --telling us their customers that the stuff was usable and reliable-- or we must CALL THE POLICE.
    This is FRAUD.  I have been saying it over and over.  If you sell the people stuff they cannot use for hundreds of millions of dollars and it cannot be used for the purpose for which it was intended, under the conditions for which it was purchased, it is called FRAUD and the people who sold it to us should GO TO JAIL.  Somebody CALL THE POLICE on these guys.

  •  Get cases full of absentee ballots (0+ / 0-)

    and dump the machines in the trash.

  •  The age thing (0+ / 0-)

    bugs me. This 54 yo mama is constantly fixing computers, printer, cameras, memory cards, usb ports ,modems, yadda yadda yadda for my twenty-something kids. OTOH maybe I can just play dumb and tell them to fix their own frigging whatever.  

    Since Bush took office I feel like we're stuck in the Twilight Zone.

    by Shappy on Mon Oct 16, 2006 at 08:58:46 PM PDT

  •  oh my fucking god (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ucla grad102

    by the way... vote early, vote on paper. that's what i did today in WI.

  •  Practical Advice from a former poll watcher (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    histopresto, bewert

    If anyone is reading this far down the thread, here's my advice for Democratic State & County officials and members:

    1. Identify the precincts with a large number of voters registered as Dems, plus those where canvassers have found many supporters of Democraticc candidates (check out the places where there were lots of problems in 2004). Work in those areas and do the following.
    1. Go to the African-American ministerial associations of the churches that serve those precincts. Go quickly. Talk to them about voter suppression. Suggest that they have volunteers distribute information about IDs for voting. Take hand-out literature about the identification needed to vote. No pushing of particular candidates, just emphasize interest in increasing votes.
    1. Do the same with Union organizations, progressive associations, etc.
    1. Encourage Democrats to volunteer on election day through the state party.
    1. Donate working cell phones to each targeted precinct.
    1. Ditto providing 3 prong adapters for precincts with old wiring.
    1. As people and associations are contacted, encourage absentee voting as long as it is still possible.
  •  where do all these f@#(ing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    maroons come from? god help the republic and the state of ohio. i have spent most of my life in IT and have seen small company order management systems with better redundancy, better ease of use and better security than these damnable things that diebold has foisted on us.

    more than anything the voting machine scandal should be what gets the sheeple up and motivated. the foley thing etc are small  potatoes compared to this.

  •  Yikes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    No wonder Bush and Rove are feeling so upbeat about this election...

  •  Ohio blacks, bring a golf club to the precinct (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    AlanF

    If any NEOCON vote suppressor wants to stop you from voting, SWING FOR THE HEAD AND SWING TO KILL!!!!!

    •  You are out of your everloving mind. (0+ / 0-)

      If the time hadn't already expired to troll-rate this piece of crap, this malicious little comment would be concealed from public view in Hidden Comments, where it so clearly belongs. I only hope your family keeps you away from blunt objects, because it's clear that you are off your nut. If I were your family, and I am so thankful that's not the case, I would sleep with one eye open, just in case you decided that I was looking at you all "suppressor" like and came out swinging.

      "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

      by histopresto on Wed Oct 18, 2006 at 04:16:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mass revolt in Ohio is clearly the only answer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cwaltz

    Ohio is becoming a fascist tyranny.

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