A good nonpartisan issue we might be able to agree on! Voting Machines
The text below from www.blackboxvoting.com pretty much says it all. This problem is a good nonpartisan, non black helecoptor issue and its very well documented and tons of legal challenges are happening. All our debates are meaningless if our elections become a complete mystery. The main issue is that people want paper printouts of every vote. Otherwise, there is no possibility of a recount. The conflicts of interest and the mistakes these machine make, the secrecy and the arrogant attitude of the people involved are unacceptable!
Sample article on the situation:
As Floridians went to the polls last Tuesday, Glenda Hood, Katherine Harris\'s successor as secretary of state, assured the nation that Florida\'s voting system would not break down this year the way it did in 2000. Florida now has \"the very best\" technology available, she declared on CNN. \"And I do feel that it\'s a great disservice to create the feeling that there\'s a problem when there is not.\" Hours later, results in Bay County showed that with more than 60 percent of precincts reporting, Richard Gephardt, who long before had pulled out of the presidential race, was beating John Kerry by two to one. \"I\'m devastated,\" the county\'s top election official said, promising a recount of his county\'s 19,000 votes.
Florida\'s official line is that its machines are so carefully tested, nothing can go wrong. But things already have gone wrong. In a January election in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, the victory margin was 12 votes, but the machines recorded more than 130 blank ballots. It is simply not believable that 130 people showed up to cast a nonvote, in an election with only one race on the ballot. The runner-up wanted a recount, but since the machines do not produce a paper record, there was nothing to recount.
In 2002, in the primary race for governor between Janet Reno and Bill McBride, electronic voting problems were so widespread they cast doubt on the outcome. Many Miami-Dade County votes were not counted on election night because machines were shut down improperly. One precinct with over 1,000 eligible voters recorded no votes, despite a 33 percent turnout statewide. Election workers spent days hunting for lost votes, while Floridians waited, in an uncomfortable replay of 2000, to see whether Mr. McBride\'s victory margin, which had dwindled to less than 10,000, would hold up.
This past Tuesday, even though turnout was minimal, there were problems. Voters were wrongly given computer cards that let them vote only on local issues, not in the presidential primary. Machines did not work. And there were, no doubt, other mishaps that did not come to light because of the stunning lack of transparency around voting in the state. When a Times editorial writer dropped in on one Palm Beach precinct where there were reports of malfunctioning machines, county officials called the police to remove him.
The machines WORK and if you try to say differently, we will have you arrested.
Last week, Representative Robert Wexler, a Florida Democrat, filed a federal lawsuit to require paper trails. He relies on the Supreme Court\'s holding in Bush v. Gore that equal protection requires states to use comparable recount methods from county to county. Florida law currently requires a hand recount in close races. That is possible in most counties, but the 15 that use electronic voting machines do not produce paper records that can be recounted. Under the logic of Bush v. Gore, Representative Wexler is right.
Go to www.blackboxvoting.com as a starting point. It doesn\'t matter if you are liberal, conservative or libertarian. This must be fixed for those labels to even have meaning. Then at least the powers that be will have to continue to buy the elections and the candidates will actually have to try and win our votes.