Something's rotten in the state of Denmark

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Here's what's clear

Here's what's clear.

It's ludicrous that in the post-Florida fear of chads -- hanging, punctured, poked, or prodded -- we went and rushed to embrace electronic voting without mandating that the electronic voting mechanisms and technologies we used did not produce a paper trail or paper ballots with inarguable marks, like in other countries.

It's also curious that we turned to private technology companies with clear ties to one political party -- what with Diebold's CEO telling Bush that he was going to help them win Ohio, and with ESS once being headed by Nebrasks Senator Chuck Hagel -- to administer so much of the transfer to touchscreen voting or Opti-Scan systems (as Diebold and ESS both manufacture equipment to read optical scan ballots.)

It's also ludicrous that the major networks the night of the election reported that there were no problems with the electronic voting technologies, when reports were already trinkling in that the otherwise was true.

It's ridiculous that no one has explained why in some precincts people were forced to wait five, six, eight hours to vote, and in other precincts, there were no such snags. In my precinct in Los Angeles, I had to wait an hour in line before I could vote. (Mine used optical-scan, with the little ink marks.) Also, for the first time in the seven years that I've voted in that district, they lumped two voting precincts together.

It's also bizarre that in a country with some of the best techheads in the universe, we did not have a secure system in place to protect any kind of hacking of the vote collation and tabulation processes.

Whatever happens with any push for answers and explanations in Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere, there has to be some effort to do this better in '06 and '08.

Because this -- this just won't do.