electoral dysfunction

I took yesterday off from work, because of the blood-filled eyes. I was going to just rest them all day, but then I ended up getting on the computer and trying to catch up on the Ohio recount. In the process, I stumbled across an interesting comment on Metafilter that I thought was worth sharing. It’s all stuff I’ve written about here before, but I liked how the author set out to bring everything together. Enjoy… and share. (I haven’t checked all the sources, but the ones I did go to seemed legitimate. If you notice any that aren’t credible, or know of other links that make the particular case better, just leave a comment and I’ll update the list.)

Does this look like a Democracy?

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: ES&S and Diebold.

2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight of the U.S. voting machine industry.

3. The vice-president of Diebold and the president of ES&S are brothers.

4. The chairman and CEO of Diebold is a major Bush campaign organizer and donor
who wrote in 2003 that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”

5. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S. He became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.

6. Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, long-connected with the Bush family, was recently caught lying about his ownership interest in ES&S by the Senate Ethics Committee.

7. Senator Chuck Hagel was on a short list of George W. Bush’s vice-presidential candidates.

8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in the U.S. and counts almost 60% of all U.S. votes.

9. Diebold’s new touch screen voting machines leave no paper trail. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

11. Diebold is based in Ohio.

12. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as senior managers and developers to help write the central compiler computer code that counted 50% of the votes in 30 states.

13. Jeff Dean, Diebold’s Senior Vice-President and senior programmer on Diebold’s central compiler code, was convicted of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree.

14. Diebold Senior Vice-President Jeff Dean was convicted of convicted of planting back doors in his software and using a “high degree of sophistication” to evade detection over a period of 2 years.

15. None of the international election observers were allowed in the polls in Ohio.

16. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the security was so bad. Despite Diebold’s claims that the audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do it!

17. 30% of all U.S. votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

18. Allnot somebut all — the voting machine errors detected and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.

19. The governor of the state of Florida, Jeb Bush, is the President’s brother.

20. Serious voting anomalies in Floridaagain always favoring Bush — have been mathematically demonstrated to be unlikely and experts are recommending further investigation.

OK, some of the arguments aren’t terribly strong, and some of the strongest arguments aren’t dealt with (like the fact that early exit polls showed Kerry to be leading in Ohio and Florida by a wide margin), but I still liked the idea of pulling everything together into a link-heavy narrative. (If I had more time, I’d keep working on it.)

While we’re on the subject of election irregularities, Keith Olbermann was back at MSNBC with an update today. While a few folks, like the people at the Blue Lemur site, took issue with how he presented the Clint Curtis story, it seems to me that, all things considered, he’s one of the more trustworthy sources out there. (He’s also the only mainstream newsman following this story.)

So, take all that stuff for what it’s worth. At the very least, we have a seriously flawed system that could fall victim to fraud. While I’m not willing to join the folks that believe this election was stolen yet, I believe, knowing what we already know, it would be absolutely un-American to walk away from this issue now, before the issues are resolved. (If we don’t take on election reform now, it’ll haunt us until the next American revolution.) So, let’s bring it up for a vote in Congress and see who’s willing to stand up and say that they aren’t all for making sure that every vote counts and for auditable paper trails. Let’s get it on the record.

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3 Comments

  1. Teri
    Posted December 22, 2004 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    From the Columbus Free Press:

    COLUMBUS — As Republican officials stonewall subpoenas and subvert the recount process, Rev. Jesse Jackson has pronounced Ohio’s vote fraud fiasco “the biggest deal since Selma” and has called for a national rally at “the scene of the crime” in Columbus January 3.

    Read the whole thing. It’s a good article.

  2. Posted December 22, 2004 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    It’s so hard to get politicians to address an issue like this and go on the record. What factors make them reluctant? Sure, as you have written before, many have dark secrets to hide from past elections. Maybe we can get them to focus on the voting process of the future, forgetting about the past to which they are magnetically opposed.

    The 9/11 Commission seems to have had some power–something that can’t be said for many political initiatives of the past (e.g., campaign finance reform). Can we form a commission that has a make-up similar to the 9/11 Commission? Of course, it was the direct link of some of the members to the 9/11 tragedy that gave the group and its findings power in the media and in Washington. What can we do to establish such regard for an elective process committee? Would focusing on race be the answer? I would suggest focusing on socioeconomic factors, but that always coaxes the enemy into crying “class warfare” (whatever that means–aren’t the rich at war with the poor, anyway?).

  3. Meta
    Posted April 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Video of Mr. Curtis testifying.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1thcO_olHas

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