Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, November 21, 2009 10:49 pm

Oh, NOW we know what we’re talking about

Filed under: Black-box voting — Lex @ 10:49 pm
Tags: ,

I’ve been more or less involved in the issue of paperless touch-screen voting machines for — wow — coming up on seven years (how time flies when you’re having fun). From the outset, I never saw this as a partisan issue, if for no other reason than if machines can be manipulated or can malfunction during general elections, the same thing can happen during primaries. But for most of this time, there has been a pretty clear division between the two major parties regarding this subject: Democrats have tended to be more concerned about the dangers than Republicans.

Unlike a lot of activists, I never saw “black-box voting” as a Republican plot, and to this day I know of no conclusive proof that anyone has ever used these machines to manipulate an American election. I simply acknowledge that the possibility that it could happen is too great to be tolerated.

But I find it interesting, though not entirely unpredictable, that Republicans should start to get religion on this issue only after one of their own goes down in a high-profile, nationally watched election:

GOUVERNEUR, NY – The computerized voting machines used by many voters in the 23rd [Congressional] district [election on Nov. 3] had a computer virus – tainting the results, not just from those machines known to have been infected, but casting doubt on the accuracy of counts retrieved from any of the machines.

Cathleen Rogers, the Democratic Elections Commissioner in Hamilton County stated that they discovered a problem with their voting machines the week prior to the election and that the “virus” was fixed by a Technical Support representative from Dominion, the manufacturer.  The Dominion/Sequoia Voting Systems representative “reprogrammed” their machines in time for them to use in the Nov. 3rd Special Election. None of the machines (from the same manufacturer) used in the other counties within the 23rd district were looked at nor were they recertified after the “reprogramming” that occurred in Hamilton County.

Once again: Vote security is not a partisan issue.  It goes to the heart of our system of government and everyone ought to care.

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