Turning the vote theft issue on its head
By Bev Conover
Journal Editor & Publisher
Feb 22, 2007, 00:59
The issue isn�t voter fraud; it�s politicians and election
officials who opt for the convenience of computerized vote counting -- whether
it�s optical scanners or touch screens containing memory cards.
The name of the game is blame the voters. Make them jump
through hoops to cast their votes. Make ballots as confusing as possible. Pass
laws that severely restrict or totally ban hand recounts of optically scanned
ballots. Add to the mix an insufficient number of machines that cause
unconscionably long waits in districts where you want to suppress voter
turnout, in case intimidation and dirty tricks aren�t enough to keep the number
Yes, optically scanned ballots create a paper trail. But
what good are they if the machine count is manipulated enough not to trigger
the percentage the law requires for a hand recount or if the law prohibits hand
Touch screens or direct electronic recording (DRE) machines
leave no paper trail. Even if the courts reversed themselves to allow election
officials, independent computer experts and the public to look at the
proprietary computer code, votes can be flipped with no electronic trace.
Yet, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) would have people believe that
his bill, HR 811, to require voter verified printouts would solve the problem.
As Bev Harris, founder of Black Box
Voting, has pointed out,
among other flaws in Holt�s bill, that it would cost $7,000 per machine for
185,000 polling places for the text conversion technology to produce printouts.
Apparently Holt, like most politicians, favors expensive,
complicated and impractical devices that accomplish nothing, while conning
people into believing the contrary, over inexpensive simple solutions. Can you
say Rube Goldberg
The simple solution is hand-counted paper ballots. Paper and
pencils are way less expensive, require no company technicians to set them up
and maintain them, and have no need of costly storage facilities. Moreover,
local printers would benefit from printing ballots.
Limit each voting district to 500 voters to reduce waiting
time for both voters and the time it takes to count the votes. Open the doors
so the public, in an orderly fashion, can witness the counting.
Provide each registered voter with a registration card,
which is all that is required to cast a ballot, rather than the ridiculous
number of documents some states are now mandating as proof of identity --
something which The New York Times reported is
keeping people away from the polls.
voting on Sundays, as many countries do, or even on Saturdays would get some
religious folks� knickers in a twist, make the Tuesday primary and general
election days holidays for national and state elections.
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