There are many excellent, highly informative notices, essays and articles across the web on the problems with our voting systems. Here's a very recent one I found by John Gideon of VotersUnite.Org and VoteTrustUSA.Org, on The Brad Blog, which regularly reports on the disaster that we call our US voting system. Yes, it has always been problematic. Yes, the article is alarmist. Yes, we should take it as seriously as possible and be as active in our local communities as possible to ensure that uncertified, flawed or otherwise screwed up voting systems (from the striking of people from the voting rolls to the disenfranchisement of former convicted felons to undercounts and miscounts in areas with large numbers of poor and working-class voters to harassment, intimidation and electioneering, etc.) and machinery (easily hackable, non-robust, no paper trails, etc.) are not in place. There are have extensively documented problems with every major election since 2000, including the ones last year and earlier this year.
The Brad Blog: 'E-Voting 2006: the Approaching Train Wreck"
Normally this space is taken with my ideas of what are the "Top 5" voting news stories for the week. Today I am going to use this space to talk about what I see as the beginning of a disaster in the making with our elections. This isn't the election fraud that some point to when they talk about the vendors and some elections officials. It's not about recounts or audits. This is a real, get your hands around it, happening problem that will disrupt our election process if we do not do something about it now. While we have been involved in all of our issues about Direct Recording Electronic (DRE or "touch-screen") voting machines or paper ballots the electronic voting machine vendors have been wreaking complete havoc across the country.
So far this year two states have conducted primary elections. In Texas there is at least one candidate who has stepped forward and has challenged the election because of anomalies in vote counts and known voting machine failures. One county's machines counted some votes up to 6 times which resulted in approximately 100,000 more votes being counted than were cast. Though the vendor, Hart Intercivic, initially blamed the problem on human error, they finally had to admit that it was a programming error and not poll workers or voters who had erred. In Illinois some county officials are threatening to withhold final payment of funds on contracts with Sequoia Voting Systems because of failures with their machines that ended with results in the primary not being known for over a week after the voters went to the polls. In both states the involved vendors were very successful in the media with deflecting the blame from their machines to "human errors" or "glitches". However, when you listen to people who were there and who saw and worked through the problems you get a very different picture...