WHAT IF YOU VOTED FOR YOURSELF –
and THE MACHINE SHOWED YOU GOT NO VOTES?
From the Miami Herald:
Tiny town could be Waterloo for vote machines
BY FRED GRIMM
. . . Randy Wooten, owner of Randy’s Karaoke Bar out on Highway 14 and one of three mayoral candidates, received no votes. Not even his own.
”He voted for himself. I watched him,” said Roxanne Wooten, the candidate’s wife. ”I was standing right behind him. And then I voted for him,” she told me Monday.
Neither vote registered on the ES&S machine. Poinsett County election official insisted that their touch-screen machines were working just fine, that Waldenburg’s improbable undervote was due to “operator error.”
Not hardly, said Roxanne Wooten. She said, “I noticed that the machine was acting jumpy.”
But she made sure she voted for her husband. It was the one vote that mattered.
Randy’s two opponents split 36 votes. He came up empty.
Voting officials in Poinsett County, Arkansas, have the same problem as their counterparts in 15 of Florida’s largest counties. They’ve spent a huge amount of taxpayer money for unreliable voting machines, and now they’ve got to defend the damn things or look like fools.
”Imagine if the 13th congressional race [won by 360 votes – with 18,000 votes missing] had been as important as the Virginia Senate race ended up being. The country would have had a major crisis,” said Avi Rubin, a professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University and the author of Brave New Ballot, The Battle to Safeguard Democracy in the Age of Electronic Voting.
In January, civic activist Kindra Muntz started a petition drive toward a referendum to force Sarasota County to revert to a paper ballot system. (Not a paper trail or a paper receipt linked to the same wormy touch-screen software, she insisted, but a paper ballot system.)
She succeeded, despite a lawsuit filed by Florida Secretary of State Sue Cobb, who has demonstrated more interest in protecting the voting machine vendors’ reputation than voters’ intent.
The referendum passed with 55 percent of the vote. This week, Sarasota Elections Supervisor Kathy Dent, up to her ears in this voting mess, said she would comply with the voters’ wishes to junk touch-screens.
Maybe Sarasota’s uprising will inspire voters in Broward, Miami-Dade and other Florida counties stuck with touch-screen machines.
At least two voters in Waldenburg have lost their confidence in high-tech voting. ”If Randy had received just two votes, instead of zero, nobody would have said anything,” Roxanne said.
What would have happened, I asked, if those dubious machines had given him just one vote. She laughed. ‘Well, then I’d be in trouble. I’d probably have been divorced by now.”
I KNOW – IT WAS 20 DAYS AGO, ANCIENT HISTORY
But look at this sampling of dirty deeds:
- Handing out a flier in black neighborhoods labeling the Republican candidates “Democrat” and showing them endorsed by black leaders who had, in fact, not endorsed them. This was for a Senate race – it could have determined control of the entire Senate, had it succeeded – and its cynicism was really kind of breathtaking. As the Washington Post reported, black homeless Philadelphians, desperate to earn some cash, were bussed to Maryland, and given campaign T-shirts to wear and these fliers to hand out – for the “Democrats.”
- Phoning Virginians registered elsewhere as well (which is legal so long as you don’t vote in more than one state) to warn that they would be charged criminally if they came in to vote.
- Claiming that Illinois Democratic Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, who had lost both legs in Iraq, favored extending Social Security benefits to illegal aliens. Untrue, of course. But this mailing – sent out by the National Republican Congressional Committee to appear to be from the Social Security Administration – helped beat her by fewer than 5,000 votes.
☞ In Chicago, a half century ago, dead people voted for Jack Kennedy. But one really gets the sense that the dirty dancing, and Watergate bugging and the rest, are not evenly distributed across the political spectrum.
Quote of the Day
Capital is the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights.~Abraham Lincoln
Request email delivery
- Nov 26:
Carl And Carlson
- Nov 24:
Since You Won’t Be Able To Talk Politics At The Table Tomorrow . . .
- Nov 23:
A Crypto Optimist and a Crypto Skeptic Walk Into a Podcast Studio
- Nov 22:
Competence And Inflation
- Nov 20:
Gloom, Doom – Clarified
- Nov 19:
In The Meantime
- Nov 17:
The Right Way To Think About What’s Going On
- Nov 15:
- Nov 12:
Save The World AND Quadruple Your Money In 20 Months
- Nov 11:
Our Broken Patent System
- Nov 26: