01 August 2004

Is Florida facing a new polling fiasco?

Linda McQuaig - Toronto Star - Aug. 1, 2004

[...] On the floor of the Democratic convention, CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Florida Senator Bob Graham if the state had solved the problem of hanging chads and punch-card ballots, which had caused such havoc in the last presidential election.

Graham noted that those problems had been solved, but pointed to another problem: about half of Florida voters will use electronic voting machines in November, even though "(We) do not have any verifiable backup in case one of those machines malfunctions or there's a challenge to the accuracy of the machines."

Blitzer seemed shocked by this. "Well, how is that possible in this day and age you don't have a backup?"

Graham's answer was stunning: "Because I'll say (Florida) Governor (Jeb) Bush and his administration have stonewalled the efforts to get a paper trail behind these electronic machines."

Here, then, was an issue with some real meat on it, an issue that throws into question the very viability of the U.S. democratic process.


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