23 May 2005

Ballots cast on machine require scrutiny

Kat L'Estrange - May 23, 2005

Voters typically believe the people have the power to vote unpopular leaders out of office. The reality, as was discovered in 2004, is that dirty tricks and schemes designed to disenfranchise voters make free and fair elections impossible today. With the proliferation of electronic voting machines, plus partisan secretaries of state, state and county elections officials are having difficulty conducting fair elections in which legally registered citizens get to vote, and to have their votes counted.

[...] Something went wrong in the 2004 election, and one needn't look further than Ohio to figure out what. As in Florida in 2000, a Bush victory was assured by a secretary of state who served as state co-chairman for the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign: J. Kenneth Blackwell.

[...] Election day in Ohio proved disastrous for urban, mainly minority, voters. Reports of widespread disenfranchisement led Green Party candidate David Cobb and Libertarian nominee Michael Badnarik to request a recount in all of Ohio's 88 counties.

However, because the recount lacked the support of the two major political parties, it was doomed from the start. Lawsuits to prevent Blackwell from certifying the election until after the recount failed.

[...] Because of continued uncertainty, the public must demand a moratorium of all voting and vote counting by electronic voting machines until the system can be regulated. Secretaries of state should be banned from leading political campaigns. Hand-counted audits should be established to ensure that votes are being counted accurately, with control returned to local officials beholden to their communities' voters.


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