I'm constantly ranting about voter suppression (Voter I.D. laws and other restrictions on registration included), hatred of President Obama, and super PAC money interfering with Democratic wins in the November elections. And with good reason. Disenfranchisement alone can prevent up to 5 million voters from casting ballots.
I've also mentioned major, and valid, concerns about flawed, easily hackable, or disastrously inaccurate voting machines, as in my post of a few weeks ago, Florida optical-scanners declared the incorrect “winners” of elections.
Our friend Brad Friedman at The BRAD BLOG, the go-to source for all things election fraud, corruption, voter fraud, and voting machine disasters, has some more disturbing news for us. Here are a few excerpts, but please follow the link... these few snippets don't come close to doing his detailed reporting justice:
New paper ballot optical-scan computer tabulator systems used to tally millions of votes in New York --- as well as "swing states" such as Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin --- do not tally votes correctly. That stunning admission comes courtesy of a new report released by the private company which manufactures, sells, services and programs the systems which are now believed to have mistallied tens of thousands of ballots in New York in 2010.
The votes of more than ten million voters could be affected by a newly revealed failure in the voting systems set for use in those four states in this year's Presidential election, and in more than 50 different jurisdictions in Wisconsin during next month's historic recall elections.
Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S), the largest e-voting machine company in the U.S. and the maker of the paper ballot op-scan tally systems in question, have confirmed that their systems may overheat when used over several hours (for example, during an election!), and that they then may mistally and/or incorrectly discard anywhere from 30% to 70% of votes scanned by the machines. [...]
The Sequoia WinEDS system is currently in use in 285 jurisdictions in 17 states, where it's set to tally the votes --- either accurately or inaccurately --- for some 25 million registered voters this year in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
After the Sequoia system failures came to light in Palm Beach County --- along with Dominion/Sequoia's attempts at covering them up --- Susan Bucher, their Supervisor of Elections, told The BRAD BLOG that she'd be delighted to switch to a different system made by a different manufacturer, "but they all have similar problems, as I've come to understand it."
Bucher understands it correctly.
Machines like these can potentially throw future elections. As Brad points out, "publicly hand-counting hand-marked paper ballots on Election Night, at the precinct" can restore confidence and democracy simultaneously.
It would take a lot longer, (see below) but at least we'd have a tangible paper trail, the ability to recount votes, and a real person (or people) to track down should there be any suspicion of wrongdoing. That's okay, we can wait.
If you're in favor of going back to that method, raise your hand. Better yet, mark a paper ballot.
Correction: Brad tells me that's not necessarily so. In New Hampshire, hand count towns were often done before Diebold towns. Thank you, Brad!