Saturday, October 28, 2006

Voting machine "glitches"

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I know the polls are favoring the Democrats as we head into this election. But I'm not confident. And the reason I'm not confident is because of the voting machines. One reason, of course, is that they're owned by Republican leaning companies and have been known to be programmed to flip votes for Republicans. But the second reason is the simple unreliability of the machines. Take a look at this excerpt from an article by Steven Lesser entitled "Election 2006 - Electronic Voting Machines Are Already Failing":

"I tried to hit the letter 'A' and instead the machine kept displaying that I had typed 'S'". Such was the experience of Allan Greene of St. Petersburg, Florida when he attempted to select write in Florida Gubernatorial candidate Omari Musa . According to Nancy Whitlock, spokesperson for Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark, the culprit was machine calibration.
Elections personnel now overwhelmingly depend on computerized electronic voting machines. Anyone familiar with running a moderately sized Information Systems department, particularly on the Operations side, knows that it is a challenge to keep machines running even under the best of circumstances. I have fourteen years of experience working on the Operations side of the IS/IT departments of large and prestigious firms. I can tell all of my readers that being able to guarantee that a couple of hundred machines will definitely work on a specific day for the entire day under heavy use is a difficult task for even the best IT professionals. Yet, this is exactly the task that now faces elections staff of every county in the country every two years.

Now that's bad enough. But then there's the nefarious tampering that you know is going on. Take a look at what's happened in Virginia:

As been reported by the AP press, Jim Webb, Democratic challenger for U.S. Senator in Virginia to Republican incumbent, George "Macaca" Allen, has had his last (Webb’s) name chopped off or "hacked" off by electronic voting touch-screen

What is being called a "glitch" by Hart InterCivic spokespersons, three cities in Virginia -- Alexandria, Falls Church and Charlottesville -- will not properly display Jim Webb's name on the November ballot summary screen. Voters will only see 'James H. "Jim"' on the ballot, instead of James H. "Jim" Webb.

To make matters worse, the candidates will have "their party affiliations...cut off" even after navigating through the summary screen nearly blind. To put some perspective and clarity to this, in Alexandria, Falls Church and Charlottesville, Virginia, voters will not be able to recognize Jim Webb by his full name OR by his party’s affiliation!

The AP is also reporting, "Jean Jensen, secretary of the Virginia State Board of Elections, pledged to have the issue fixed by the 2007 statewide elections." How generous of her, to have the "issue" fixed by next year! In the mean time, unsuspecting voters, in these three cities, will show up on Election Day and not even find the name "Webb" on the ballot summary screen or be able to find Jim Webb’s party affiliation – Democrat – once they do find Mr. Webb’s full name.

That is correct; the vote stealing “black boxes” of 2004 are back with a new trick! Not only are the people designing and operating these machines “hacks”, not only do they allow their machines to be “hacked” into for political gain, now they program these dubious devices to “hack off” candidates names and party affiliations. Somehow, we are all supposed to believe – after all the deception in 2004 – that it is just another coincidence that it happened to a democrat – again!

Whether it’s just another “oversight” by the republican-owned and controlled electronic voting machine companies, or further proof of the malicious attempts by the GOP to suppress voter information and perpetrate election fraud, it is another glaring example of why these machines must be banned immediately.


Now why is it that the computer problems always seem to favor Republicans? It's a close race in Virginia. Yes, that's right: close enough to steal.

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