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Archive for the ‘voting machines’ Category

The Courage of their Convictions

Posted by Charles II on December 17, 2011

One of the grimly ironic activities of observing politics is separating out what the parties fundraise over vs. what they actually do. Here’s an advertisement from the Guardian of 12/17 and the link to which it leads.

Ad placed by the Democratic Governors' Association in The Guardian

What you get if you follow the link:

And this is what you get if you look through their press releases, news, and so on on voter suppression:

Yes, this is the sum total of what the Democratic governors are doing to end voter suppression: using it as a wedge issue and fundraising tool. And even this is narrowcast to readers of a left-wing British newspaper. They don’t even have the courage of their convictions to stand up and say what needs to be said publicly–that denying the vote to significant numbers of people destabilizes a country, leaving those who are disenfranchised with no stake in the nation. They aren’t taking steps in states where they have control to extend the franchise as widely as possible. Nothing forbids California, for example, from automatically registering every US citizen who pays taxes; buys a license from the state; has a child enrolled in the schools; or otherwise interacts with the state.

Nor are Democrats safeguarding the vote. In one of the most notorious cases of suppression of minority votes, a Democratic Secretary of State (later indicted, though not convicted as of this date) acting under a Democratic Governor had to be sued to get the state to address ballot spoilage rates vastly higher than those in Anglo-majority areas. Why should citizens have to spend the enormous amounts of money required to sue a state just to get voting machines that work? Is it really controversial that votes should be counted?

Maybe the Democratic Governor’s Association will do something to make me believe that they take the issue of the franchise seriously. But so far, the courage of their convictions extends only as far as their strong belief that they need more money.

Posted in Democrats, voting machines, voting rights | 1 Comment »

While The Corporate Media Was Busy Talking About Ginny Thomas’ Bizarre Voice And E-Mails

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 20, 2010

The following things happened:

Republicans are ramping up voter-intimidation and suppression efforts, to the point where the Justice Department is now investigating.

— Speaking of Republican efforts at voter suppression, they actually thought Latino voters would be fooled by this ad telling them, in Spanish, not to vote. Ooops. Univision flatly refused to run it, and now the ad is the talk of the Latino community — and not in a way that’s good for the GOP. (One of the ad’s talking points is that the Democrats couldn’t get the DREAM Act passed. Of course, what it doesn’t say is that Republicans opposed the DREAM Act and every single Senate Republican filibustered it when the Democrats brought it to the floor as part of a must-pass defense bill.

Carly Fiorina showed herself to be so unqualified to be California’s next governor that even FOX’s Chris Wallace lost patience with her inability to hit any of the T-Balls he so helpfully set up for her to hit.

Income inequality is killing America. Literally.

But you’d never know about this if you got your news solely from network TV, drive-time radio, or web news portals like Yahoo or AOL. Instead, Ginny Thomas’ strange behavior gets headlined.

Posted in 2010, GOP bullying, GOP/Media Complex, media, Media machine, mediawhores, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, voting machines, voting rights, working the refs | Comments Off on While The Corporate Media Was Busy Talking About Ginny Thomas’ Bizarre Voice And E-Mails

Alice Marshall’s Working On A Book

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 22, 2009

You might be interested in helping her write it:

About this Project

I am an independent PR practitioner with a longtime interest in voting machines. With your help I can write a book that chronicles the story of how the reputation of this technology went from perfect solution to alleged conspiracy.

The book I propose would be entirely about the reputation of voting machine technology. Others have written about the merits of the voting machines; I do not propose to address that aspect of the story. I am solely concerned with the reputation meltdown of the machines. When they were first brought to notice, they enjoyed widespread confidence. Now they are seen as insecure at best and the instrument of conspiracy at worst. How did such a thing come about? This article I wrote for the Daily Dog will give funders a sense of my approach.

So far as I am aware, this was the first case of an online campaign directed against a specific technology. I propose to write a detailed book that traces the story from the obscure websites that attacked the machines to when the machines became the subject of late night comedy. It will be necessary to conduct hundreds of interviews with activists, computer scientists, corporate leaders, lawyers, elections officers, reporters, and politicians. I am particularly eager to interview the public relations teams of the companies involved to get their side of the story. What is it like to be on the receiving end of this sort of pressure campaign?

Obviously, this will require a great deal of time; if I write this book I will not be able to accept any additional PR clients. It will be necessary to subscribe to Lexis/Nexis and similar data bases. I also anticipate that I will require a research assistant. It is my ambition to publish the book before the end of October 2009. There are elections this year in Virginia, New Jersey, and Kentucky. An October release would be the best timing for a book such as this.

This book will be aimed at public relations professionals. Robert French, who teaches public relations at Auburn University, has agreed to review the book on his blog infOpinions, so funders can be confident that the book will receive some publicity.

Project location: Washington, DC

Alice is a longtime online activist whose online history goes back to the early days of Salon‘s Table Talk. She’s been one of the heavy lifters on the subject of electronic voting. Her planned book is worth the support you can give it.

Posted in activism, blogs and blogging, organizing, Table Talk, voting machines | 1 Comment »

Stealing America Vote x Vote

Posted by Charles II on August 15, 2008

One of the few really good guys in American politics, Ion Sancho, explainsour banana republic electoral system.

Posted in Florida (where magical things happen), voting machines | Comments Off on Stealing America Vote x Vote

Why Privatizing Our Elections Is Not a Good Idea

Posted by MEC on January 20, 2008

When states buy voting machines, they often buy related services from the manufacturer: programming the machines, training elections workers, etc.

In Maryland, the state’s contract with Diebold Election Systems (now officially renamed Premier Election Solutions) includes transporting the machines from the warehouse to the polling places. Apparently, there’s nothing in the contract to prevent Diebold from subcontracting this work.

So they hired a company owned by the former chairman of Maryland’s Republican party to take custody of the machines “for hours at a time”.

These would be the Diebold machines that “produce no paper trail and have experienced glitches that have invited close scrutiny after previous elections.”

We’ve seen numerous demonstrations of how easy it is to hack a Diebold machines. We’ve seen numerous reports of Republicans using unethical and illegal means to rig the election outcomes.

But according to state legislatures all over the country, the real threat to the integrity of our elections is voters who don’t have government-issued identity cards.

Posted in capitalism as cancer, Diebold, election theft, voting machines, wrong way to go about it | Comments Off on Why Privatizing Our Elections Is Not a Good Idea

Immaculate election

Posted by Charles II on January 6, 2008

Clive Thompson, NYT Magazine, has a meaty article about how electronic voting machines fail (via BradBlog). Some highlights:

Michael Shamos, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University who has examined voting-machine systems for more than 25 years, estimates that about 10 percent of the touch-screen machines “fail” in each election. “In general, those failures result in the loss of zero or one vote,” he told me….

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in election theft, Media machine, mediawhores, voting machines | 3 Comments »

Yes, Computerized Voting Machines Are Still Bad

Posted by MEC on July 31, 2007

Because promising to fix the security flaws is not the same as actually fixing them.

Posted in election theft, voting machines, voting rights | 1 Comment »

Another Test Shows Voting Machines Are Unsafe

Posted by MEC on July 31, 2007

The New York Times (via Truthout) reports:

Computer scientists from California universities have hacked into three electronic voting systems used in California and elsewhere in the nation and found several ways in which vote totals could potentially be altered, according to reports released yesterday by the state.


Matthew A. Bishop, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Davis, who led the team that tried to compromise the machines, said his group was surprised by how easy it was not only to pick the physical locks on the machines, but also to break through the software defenses meant to block intruders.


The reports also said the investigators had found possible problems not only with computerized touch-screen machines, but also with optical scanning systems and broader election-management software.

The evidence is piling up that any computerized voting machine presents a serious risk of falsified results. Paper ballots, either sheets for optical-scan machines or audit copies for touchscreen machines, don’t provide much assurance that the machine’s programming isn’t rigged to produce false results. The calculated total will only be questioned if a race is very close or the outcome is significantly at odds with previous elections (e.g. a candidate of one party gets a decisive margin in a precinct where the other party has always won).

Why not count all votes by hand? It can be done if there are enough volunteers. Let’s have a federal law requiring employers to provide time off with pay for employees who sign up to be poll workers; federal funding to pay those poll workers enough to provide a strong incentive to sign up; and state or federal oversight to make certain the poll workers are adequately trained.

I’ve been a poll worker. It’s a long and tiring day, but it’s satisfying work. If enough people volunteer for the job, each precinct could have two shifts of workers, and plenty of people at the end of the day to divide up the ballots to be counted by hand, with at least two people reviewing each group of ballots to ensure accuracy.

Canada counts ballots by hand, and the Canadians get their election results reasonably soon after the election. So why do we have a system that destroys confidence in the results?

Posted in election theft, voting machines, voting rights | 3 Comments »

What a Difference a Democratic Majority Makes

Posted by MEC on March 24, 2007

Task Force Formed to Investigate Florida 13th Election

Nearly five months after Florida Republican Vern Buchanan narrowly defeated Democrat Christine Jennings in the state’s 13th District, a congressional committee has organized a task force to investigate the controversial election.

California Democratic Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, on Thursday announced the formation of the task force, which she said was needed to investigate “possible voting rights violations” in Florida’s 13th, where Buchanan prevailed by 369 votes. [Ed. note: And where thousands of ballots from Democratic precincts recorded no vote for the Congressional race.]

Bandele McQueen, Millender-McDonald’s chief of staff, told on Friday that Millender-McDonald formed the task force after an August 2006 letter surfaced last week in which Electronic Systems & Software Inc. (ES&S) – the company that manufactured the electronic voting machines that were used in the Florida 13 election – told election officials that the voting screens exhibited slow response times during testing.


Millender-McDonald said the task force will “review and raise questions such as, ‘What went wrong, how long before the election did state and county officials know of this malfunction, and why were safeguards not taken by state and county officials.”

The Dems make it clear they know what’s been going on in our government.

Gonzales told on Friday that Democrats recognize the role of the courts but said that “nevertheless, there’s a role for Congress reflected in the Constitution of the United States” regarding contested elections.

McQueen said that the legal system could no longer be “relied upon.

Posted in Congress, election theft, Florida (where magical things happen), getting a clue, voting machines | 2 Comments »

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