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Maryland Governor Wants Paper Ballots 433

Posted by kdawson
from the republicans-for-paper-trails dept.
supabeast! writes, "Fed up with all the problems in the state's electronic voting system, Maryland Governor Robert Erlich wants the state to scrap the entire system and return to paper ballots. He's threatened to call a special session of the legislature to change the law to allow paper ballots. What makes this particularly interesting is that Erlich is a Republican — the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems — and his attempts to clean up Maryland's voting problems are being opposed by Democrats, the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting!"
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Maryland Governor Wants Paper Ballots

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  • Partisanship (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pudge (3605) *
    Of course, Democrats are more well-known for exploiting paper ballots.
    • by creimer (824291)
      Yeah... Getting all those hanging chads pregnant.
    • by SengirV (203400)
      Amen. Nothing like the long metal rods used in Chicago to punch hole to invalidate stacks of paper ballots from "Republican" sections of town.
  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:17AM (#16154260) Homepage Journal

    Not a problem: Diebold will get into the pre-checked ballot printing business.
  • Mistake (Score:3, Funny)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:17AM (#16154265) Homepage Journal
    What? A politician who wants verifiably fair elections? There must be some kind of mistake...
  • Why the reversal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by republican gourd (879711) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:18AM (#16154268)
    I live in Maryland. We are historically a blue state.

    The way politics works these days is as follows:

    In the red states, the Republican party is crooked as hell.
    In the blue states, the Democratic party is crooked as hell.
    • by Atzanteol (99067) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:30AM (#16154369) Homepage
      corrolary:

      The losing party thinks election results are being modified by the winning party.
      The winning party thinks the election results are just fine.

      I never understood why people were so silly around here to think that the Republicans are the only dirty party? As far as I'm concerned, Al Gore is just mad that George Bush was able to 'modify' more votes than he could.

      • by bill_kress (99356) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:53AM (#16154565)
        For that matter, why do people insist on differentating between republicans and democrats at all? It's not like they are controlled by different people.

        What's the first thing Clinton did when he got in office? While pretending to deal with gays in the military (Lots of discussion), he quietly used all his might to push NAFTA through.

        NAFTA is simply a gimme to corporate interests, it is one of those issues that is completely conservative, anti-democrat.

        What does Bush do? Try to make illegal imigration legal and get more mexicans into the country? Conservatives hate this, dems are supposed to be somewhat okay with it, but again, corporate interests love it. If you really wanted to stop immigration, you'd just set up some serious fines or jailtime for employing immigrants. It'll never happen.

        Why do they fight so hard for elections if they are the same party? Splitting the republicrat party into two wings and having them battle for control is a great system!

        After seeing what Bush can do, the far left-wing doesn't dare vote green, and if fox can keep coming up with reasons to hate clinton, it'll keep the far right-wing away from voting libretarian.

        So the infighting actually secures both parties.

        My personal solution is, except in presidential positions or positions where there is actually a "Good" republicrat canidate, I always vote for an alternitave independent--even Libretarian (Which I'm kind of against). If you're ultra-conservative and you can vote dem, repub or green--start voting green. Until they actually start winning elections, all you are doing is showing support for the alternative parties.

        If you think your vote makes a difference in the presidental election, go ahead and vote republican or dem, but in other elections, stay away from the republicrats!

        ---------------
        Why doesn't slashdot have a spellcheck function?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rjung2k (576317)
          "What's the first thing Clinton did when he got in office? While pretending to deal with gays in the military (Lots of discussion), he quietly used all his might to push NAFTA through."

          "Bill Clinton was the best Republican President we ever had."
          --Michael Moore

          The idea that the Clintons were these wild-eyed radical lefties never ceases to amuse me.
        • Re:Why the reversal? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by nuzak (959558) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:22PM (#16154844) Journal
          > It's not like they are controlled by different people.

          Hey Ralph Nader, you got your guy into office, you can stop this line now. Yes, the Democrats attract the same venal and base scum as the Republicans, but let's talk about what's going on now, and that's that the GOP is controlled by folks like PNAC [newamericancentury.org], who are some seriously scary Amerika Uber Alles folks. To say nothing of the religious right. Both of these overtly fascist movements operate with the blessing and these days, funding of the GOP.

          So yeah, goddamn skippy there is a difference. Don't talk to me about theoreticals, the ones who have the power have to go, and if I have to vote a straight blue ticket to do it, so be it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by inKubus (199753)
        Both sides exploit the weaknesses in the system and use their influence to rig it so they win/keep seats. The only loser in an election is the American People.. Because this provides them the means to lock out any viable 3rd party canditate. Why? Because no one expects them to get any votes. Even if a 3rd party canditate got a shitload of votes, they could just drop them out of the system and no one would ask any questions (least of all the media).

        Interesting.

    • Let me refine this for you:

      For a person in party X, party !X is crooked as hell. Party X is justified in 'bending' the rules because it's only to deal with something party !X has done.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by nebaz (453974)
        As a corollary to this, since my party X is "none", I should say that !X "all parties" are corrupt. This is probably true for the big main two, but like anything else, given enough people, critical mass is reached and it becomes corrupt. This is probably true of governments, companies, organized religion, etc. That's why I advocate that we all live in caves with at most 20 people. That would keep us from being corrupt.
  • Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:20AM (#16154277) Journal
    What makes this particularly interesting is that Erlich is a Republican -- the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems -- and his attempts to clean up Maryland's voting problems are being opposed by Democrats, the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting!
    You act surprised. You shouldn't be, sometimes the priority of one party is just to be against whatever the otherside wants. Regardless of whether or not they have a common goal. It's called "partisan politics" and it's been ruining the country for over 200 years. Both parties want this country to remain polarized for the next election because they feel they both have votes to gain from it. Therefore, they'll try to block anything the otherside tries to do in a knee-jerk reaction.

    And for those of you voting for your "team" regardless of the actual issues and goals are doing the country just as large a disservice.
    • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by krgallagher (743575) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:27AM (#16154346) Homepage
      "Both parties want this country to remain polarized for the next election because they feel they both have votes to gain from it."

      I believe that the real debate in Washington is how best to distract citizens from the real issues facing our country and the world. The polarization of the parties is simply a ploy to get americans to react on an emotional level instead of examining issues from a logical perspective.

      • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Informative)

        by eln (21727) * on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:50AM (#16154538) Homepage
        That's what wedge issues are for: They are issues people have deep emotional feelings about, no one is ever going to change their minds about them, and nothing substantial will ever get done about them. Every election cycle, the politicos in Washington start banging the drum about a selection of wedge issues, get everyone into a frenzy about them, and drop shortly after the election.

        You rarely see any politicians talking abortion, gun control, or flag burning in odd-numbered years.
      • Politics of sports (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Tony (765) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:58AM (#16154614) Journal
        I believe that the real debate in Washington is how best to distract citizens from the real issues facing our country and the world. The polarization of the parties is simply a ploy to get americans to react on an emotional level instead of examining issues from a logical perspective.


        Amen, Brother. They have turned politics into a sports show, pitting your favorite team against your favorite team's enemy. If you love the Browns, you hate the Steelers. That's just the way it is. You root for the Browns, or whoever is playing the Steelers. Life is great as long as the Browns win and the Steelers lose.

        As long as politics are like that, life is simple. You don't have to look at the voting record, public statements, or platform of a candidate. You just have to know their color, red or blue or some color not red or blue. You don't have to weigh the actions of a politician, you just have to say we have to support him because he's our President (or governor, or police chief, or what-have-you).

        Life is simple then. People like simple. It's all red or blue, no shades of purple.

        A friend of mine (hi, Thor) is a republican. Except for that, he and I are very much the same. He's a good guy. He supports democracy, and constitutional freedom, and peace. He and I have the same ideals, we just have different thoughts on how best to achieve (or maintain) those ideals.

        The blood in our veins is blue. The blood in our arteries is red. It's never as simple as one vs. the other, and I wish those in charge would stop exploiting the sports-mentality to distract us from domestic and international troubles.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eln (21727) *
      And for those of you voting for your "team" regardless of the actual issues and goals are doing the country just as large a disservice.

      I agree with you in principle, but at the highest levels of government (I'm looking at you, U.S. Congress), voting for your "team" is often the only way to get anything even close to what you want. On the vast majority of issues, the vast majority of the people in Congress will vote the same way everyone else in their party votes. Even if the person you elect spells out a
    • by giorgiofr (887762)
      Sometimes?!
      In my country they don't even pretend anymore to govern in the name some Greater Good - it's all about namecalling and pleasing your fanbois by attacking your opponent's ideas, even when they are clearly better.
      People criticize me for not voting. I criticize them for supporting this travesty called democracy - which, I dare remind everybody, translates DIRECTLY to "mob rule".
  • by not already in use (972294) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:21AM (#16154282)
    Thats why I hate politics. Bipartisanship causes one side to oppose the other simply because they are on the other side. I applaud a republican taking steps to get rid of electronic voting. Democrats are once again showing their incompetance. Instead of a steady effort to hold the current administration accountable for violating the law (according to the supreme court, no less), they are playing devils advocate or passing laws against violent video games. Since when was being a douche bag a requirment for holding office?
    • by wass (72082) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:44AM (#16154497)
      You're being easily misled by the deliberately provocative slashdot blurb (or you're a republican plant).

      There are two prominent Democrats on the elections committee, and obviously the committee fucked up due to the elections issues. The two 'Democrats' mentioned in the article are those two on this committee whose asses are now on the line for the fuckups so of course these two are trying to fight saying they've been doing a good job so far.

      There hasn't been any general opposition by the Maryland Democratic Party, or even amongst a larger Democratic contingent. Erlich turned this into a partisan issue by pounding on the election irregularities by pointing to the incompetence of the election board, which has Democrats in the top spots. The race between Erlich and O'Malley for governor is quite ugly, these two have been bitter political rivals for the past few years already and there has been much ugliness previously (I've lived in Baltimore the past few years. O'Malley is the Democratic Baltimore mayor challenging Erlich, while Erlich is the Republican governor).

      Erlich has been a political douchebag tool since he took office, he ignored election problems in Baltimore in 2004, for instance, and fully supported using the Diebold machines. And he mildly brushed aside criticism of the Ohio 2004 election irregularities. He's not some election hero, he's just your typical political opportunist, suddenly supporting an issue he previously ignored just becuase it's politically favorable for him to do so.

      Remember, this guy is a candidate for governor, damn near everything he does in the spotlight has a political bent to it. He saw an opportunity and pounced on it.

      • by EggyToast (858951) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:18PM (#16154809) Homepage
        Yeah exactly. The brief blurb, obviously written by an outsider of MD politics, overlooks the fact that Erhlich was championing the machines 2 years ago, and was pushing everyone to spend a great deal of money updating the machines.

        Now that the money is spent, he says we should use a paper system, throwing away what we have. The democrats are saying "hey, idiot, we already spent the money, let's make it work since you were so gung-ho for it."

        So if we're talking about flipped political personalities, the Republican is a flip flopper, and the democrats are fiscally responsible!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Thats why I hate politics. Bipartisanship causes one side to oppose the other simply because they are on the other side.

      No, that's the definition of partisanship. Bipartisanship is exactly the opposite.

      Democrats are once again showing their incompetance....

      Great example of partisanship! And to think, all this time you thought you were being bipartisan.

  • Weird... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ResidntGeek (772730) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:21AM (#16154283) Journal
    What does it matter which party the politicians are in? They're the same party. You think Democrats wouldn't steal an election given the chance? You think a Republican won't pull a stunt like this to appear honest to get those last few votes to get him in office?
  • by ellem (147712) * <ellem52 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:21AM (#16154286) Homepage Journal
    Of COURSE there should be a paper trail if not paper ballots.
  • I don't care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:21AM (#16154288)
    I don't care which party he's in. As long as he's trying to get rid of electronic voting until such time that it can prove itself to be trustworthy, then he's doing the right thing.
    • by Zenaku (821866)
      Here, here! Nobody who knows me has any illusions about which side of the isle I am on, and it isn't the republican side. But if the governor in MD wants to scrap unreliable electronic voting machines and go to a simple, readable, paper ballot, then I'm all for it.

      Now, if Maryland's machines are already of the sort that have an electronic interface but produce a paper ballot that the voter can examine and then put in the ballot box, then it seems less of a big deal to me, and is probably a stunt to dis

    • I wish when they were working at the federal level to reform voting procedures that they had simply standardized paper ballots are released and leave it at that. For instance, they could have required ballots not to use the butterfly system, provide rules for listing candidates in random order, etc. They could even require the ballot to be scanned on the spot with the results displayed to the voter so that they could correct their ballot if they made a mistake (ie, the pimpled ballot, not filling in a circl
  • Nah, the Democrats have just figured out how to exploit the electronic voting machines this time round. ;)
  • Bias (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kevin_conaway (585204) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:21AM (#16154293) Homepage
    What makes this particularly interesting is that Erlich is a Republican -- the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems -- and his attempts to clean up Maryland's voting problems are being opposed by Democrats, the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting!"

    Thanks for showing your bias submitter. The story stood up on its own without you injecting partisan hackery into the summary. Enjoy the ensuing flamewar

    • by spun (1352)
      How exactly is this partisan, and who is it partisan towards? I'm not following. I think you're trying to say that the submitter has a republican bias because he is pointing out that although republicans are often maligned (meaning to speak harmful untruths about; speak evil of; slander; defame [reference.com]) for exploiting flaws in electronic voting system, in this case it is the democrats who are opposing moving back to paper ballots. But I'm really not sure. Could you clarify, please? Is it that you think the republic
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by kevin_conaway (585204)

        I believe that the submitter was framing the discussion as a Democrat vs Republican issue when that is really irrelevant to the discussion.

        The core of the matter is tha a Governor is switching from Electronic voting back to paper voting. Throwing in the remark about Democrats vs Republicans just seems trollish to me

      • This sentence

        "Erlich is a Republican -- the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems"

        Essentially, republicans blamed for twisting the vote

        Show evidence of Republicans or Democrats exploiting flaws in electronic voting - there might be some, but it is too easy to merely commit voter fraud via non IT means because you can pretend to be someone that died 5 years ago and people cannot ask you for your ID.
        • by spun (1352)
          Look up the word "maligned." Oh, wait, I did that for you, in the post you are responding to. How is saying that someone is falsely and maliciously accused of something blaming them?
    • by ellem (147712) *
      New to the dot I see.

      Welcome aboard. Down the hall you'll find vi vs. emacs, Macs vs. PC, Linux vs. FreeBSD, and Perl vs. everything.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SengirV (203400)
      Don't blame the submitter for doing this. He is simply writing for the audience. And /. leans WAY more left than right.
    • by uarch (637449)
      I wish I had mod points today.
      For what its worth I would have tossed a +1 your way.
  • High technology is overrated. Not that I'm a luddite or anything but in a lot of these cases all the technology does is cause more confusion. We've had mechanical voting machines for years and no one's ever complained that they were too hard to use. I mean how hard is it? You pull a lever under the name of the person you're voting for, and when you're done you pull a lever that releases the curtain and registers the vote. No electronics to be seen. We still use them because they Just Work.

    -uso.
  • by Rev Snow (21340) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:22AM (#16154300)
    At the very least each polling site should
    have enough paper provisional ballots at the ready to complete the election in case of complete machine failure. One of many problems in the recent primaries was an inadequate supply of provisional ballots to cover all the cases that led to their use.

    Next step beyond that would be to permit any voter who wants it, to use one of the paper provisional ballots instead of using the voting machine.

  • I think the proposed opinions of the parties reflect who's currently in power more than anything else. The people who won are suspect of gaining from election misconduct; the people who lost are suspicious of the system. That said, having a voter-verifiable trail (with the paper ballots being the 'official' votes) is certainly the most secure way to go. I'm not sure that the current voting machine technology actually gives efficiency gains (there are so many technical problems in maintaining the machines
  • It's easier... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KermodeBear (738243)
    Erlich is a Republican -- the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems


    It's easier to make accusations of cheating when you lose instead of accepting responsibility. This is one of the reasons I hate politicians so much. "Oh, we lost... So the other guys MUST be cheating!" Go home to your mommies.

  • by mekkab (133181) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:28AM (#16154353) Homepage Journal
    and his attempts to clean up Maryland's voting problems are being opposed by Democrats, the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting!"

    As a Maryland Democrat, I don't think you understand. We aren't the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting; we are the party that is usually complaining. PERIOD.

    /I just calls 'em likes I sees 'em
    //I complain about the ICC [iccstudy.org], too!
  • Please do not pretend that republicans somehow have a monopoly on trying to rig elections.
    Two words for you... Cook county
  • "What makes this particularly interesting is that Erlich is a Republican -- the party often maligned for exploiting flaws in electronic systems -- and his attempts to clean up Maryland's voting problems are being opposed by Democrats, the party that is usually complaining about electronic voting!"

    That comment strikes me as overly partisan and anti-republican.

    If you are going to mention efforts to clean up voting, mention the recent house vote.

    Democrats voted *AGAINST* requirements for presenting your ID to
    • by sheldon (2322)

      Democrats voted *AGAINST* requirements for presenting your ID to vote in federal elections

      Which is an overly partisan and anti-republican statement.

      Democrats are opposed to this, because they recognize that the only reason why Republicans are pushing for it is to disenfranchise groups of voters and keep them from the polls. Disenfranchise people who aren't eligible? No. People who don't have picture ID for whatever reason.

      So it's rather funny that you whine about bias, and post your own.

      • by brennz (715237)
        I restated the vote, and what the terms of it were.

        You can look at the House record also. It says "Providing for consideration of the bill (H.R. 4844) to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to require any individual who desires to register or re-register to vote in an election for Federal office to provide the appropriate State election official with proof that the individual is a citizen of the US"

        I put that into plain english.

        Going to claim that is biased too? Checkmate.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dr Reducto (665121)
        How can you claim to be serious about vote fraud without be in favor of requiring ID to vote?

        And it's not disenfranchisement either. You need ID as a prerequisite to get a job, cash checks (and even if you are poor, welfare checks, other government assistance), open a bank account, etc. I don't know how anybody could not have an ID unless it was a matter of purposefully not wanting one. I mean, when you are born, you get a birth certificate (which I believe is enough to prove ID under the proposed law)
      • by uarch (637449)

        Democrats are opposed to this, because they recognize that the only reason why Republicans are pushing for it is to disenfranchise groups of voters and keep them from the polls.

        What people still haven't been able to sufficiently explain is exactly how having a picture ID will disenfranchise voters. Especially when the majority of these efforts have gone hand-in-hand with offers to provide free ID's to anyone who didn't have one.

        What's so wrong with making sure that someone only votes once?

        Between this

  • You know, I'm as cynical as the next guy, but there are people in the USA who hold elected office and actually believe in the principles of democracy.

    This is not about Democrats or Republicans. It's about the security and future of the country.
  • that this guy may very well be the only sane person in the US government.

    up here in Canada, we're still using paper ballots in every federal election. no need for any error-prone card-punching machine. just take your pen and drawn an X in the circle of you guy you want to vote for. simple!

    anyone who advocates computerized voting needs a reality check in the form of a brick upside the head.

    why no one can clue in on this down there...
    • by acaben (80896) *
      And I think if you're in Canada and don't understand American politics, you probably shouldn't comment on it.

      The man you call "the only sane person in the US Government" isn't part of the US Government. He's the governor of Maryland.
  • Why not simply use paper ballots as a backup system so recounts can occur?

    Why not have a user go into a booth, make their election choices, and have a printout they submit? That way you have the best of both worlds - automated counting and a paper backup.
  • Ballots from 1988 and earlier (I believe; my memory is fuzze) were conducted with a purely mechanical system: you'd pull a big lever to draw the curtain, decide, pull down levers (which would bring down red plastic arrows indicating who you were voting for), and the act of pulling the lever to open the curtain would count the levers you'd pulled down. Being mechanical, they could be a little persnickety.

    The 1996 and 2000 balloting where I was in Maryland was conducted using a standardized ballot, a black

  • BOTH Dems and Republicans have the ability to exploit electronic voting systems. I have the ability to do it too. Blindly assuming the Republican's have with out irrefutable proof is wrong. Even though media which IS biased to either side depending on the source (Reps to Foxnews and Dems to CNN)may have made there own supposition, I am pretty sure noone has really been fingered for this yet because if they did, we'd be using paper or some other means already.
  • by saddino (183491) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @11:57AM (#16154605)
    IMHO, Ehrlich (how it's actually spelled) is only trying to setup a platform for challenging the results if the election ends up being close. It is pretty much impossible to replace the entire voting system with paper ballots in time before the election, and since Ehrlich knows this, the only reason he'd state such a position is to seed FUD prior to the election date. If a recount or court challenge is needed by the GOP in Maryland, the public might be more receptive to his position (which will likely be "voter fraud") if they've been "educated" that the electronic system in Maryland is broken.
  • If you're like me and want to see a return to paper ballots, or at least a move to a system that leaves a paper trail, then contact Governor Ehrlich and tell him "Thank you!" for trying to get rid of these machines!

    Either send his office an email [state.md.us] or give him a call. Non-MD residents can call his office at 800-811-8336, local residents can call 410-974-3591.

    I'm not from Maryland, nor do I live there, but I just called and wrote Mr. Ehrlich's office to show my support for eliminating these machines fro
  • from TFS:
    >What makes this particularly interesting
    >is that Erlich is a Republican -- the
    >party often maligned for exploiting
    >flaws in electronic systems -- and his
    >attempts to clean up Maryland's voting
    >problems are being opposed by Democrats,
    >the party that is usually complaining
    >about electronic voting!"

    I suppose that you have forgotten that those claims of manipulating electronic votes were not valid, and typical hyper-partisan drivel. Maybe it has been repeated as
  • As a Marylander, I have to say "YAY for Erlich!"

    Of course, Maryland carried the Democrats in the last two presidential elections, so Diebold must not be focusing thier effors here.
  • by nuggz (69912) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:08PM (#16154708) Homepage
    This is the annoying thing about US politics, it seems many want every issue to be Red or Blue clean and simple.
    It's not that simple and it's pretty unreasonable to make such baseless claims against the party as a whole.

    I think the interesting thing is how many of the very powerful and respected politicians are making significant breaks with their party. In the US this infighting seems to be much more common when they're arguing with the president.
    I think it is important to note that many if not most from both parties who really want to have fair elections, even if they're not quite sure how to achieve that.
  • by CustomDesigned (250089) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @12:42PM (#16155043) Homepage Journal
    For those surprised that Republicans hate unauditable voting also, here is an excerpt from a right wing political email.
    This "Christian Response" e-Alert is a special message from RightMarch.com:

    ALERT: You know how you hate it when liberals claim the election was stolen? The fact is, if we had paper trails, we wouldn't have to deal with that incessant whining any more.

    But for the most part, we don't. Last November, as many as 50 million voters cast their ballots on electronic voting machines that lacked a voter-verified paper audit trail. As a result, there is NO way to resolve questions about reported tallies.

    As former Congressman Bob Barr recently wrote, "The pell-mell rush to electronic voting machines was launched after the 2000 presidential election debacle in Florida. It was fueled by Congress' knee-jerk reaction to that fiasco in passing the 'Help America Vote Act' in 2002, along with a boatload of taxpayer dollars -- nearly $4 billion."

    Unfortunately, this well-funded fascination with electronic voting machines has proceeded with virtually NO comprehensive study or development of national standards to ensure the integrity of the machines and how they're utilized. Each state sets its own standards -- or doesn't -- and follows its own rules in letting contracts for the machines.

    ...

    As you can see, the only difference is who is to blame for electronic voting - those whiny Dems, or those slimy Reps. What is interesting to me, is that despite the grassroots of *both* sides being outraged by the shoddy e-voting - they continue to buy more of the machines. Clearly, both parties are just puppets.
  • I don't blame him (Score:3, Informative)

    by Wansu (846) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:12PM (#16155341)

    I urge everyone to request absentee ballots early. I don't want my vote disappearing in a Diebold machine.
  • by Art_XIV (249990) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:25PM (#16155996) Journal

    Your party is corrupt. Your party is money-grubbing and is only concerned about their own power.

    Only idiots vote for a party that is as non-logical as yours. Your party has been taken over by extremists who only want to destroy the United States as we know it!!

    Your party is nothing but a bunch of Useful Idiots who support the New World Order!!

    Your party doesn't even care about the people any more. Your party is only worried about getting more money from Special Interests.

    Look at all of the voting fraud your party is involved in. Do you know why your party doesn't complain more loudly about vote fraud? It's because your party doesn't want the extend of their own involvement known to the general public! It would destroy your party!

    Your party only fields idiots and crooks for office. They have to be idiots to support the things that your party believes in. You, know things like gay marriage, abortion, and the war? Idiots! I, however, will not associate with idiots, so I belong to my party.

    Sure, my party has a few crooks in it, but I would never support it if it had as many crooks as your party does.

  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:27PM (#16156015) Homepage Journal
    The one out of power has fewer opportunities to cheat and doesn't have the power to rig the whole process.

    Crooked elections perpetuate the rule of whoever's in charge.

    One key virtue of democracy is that it allows throwing out incompetent, dishonest, or damaging rulers (if anyone cares) without blood in the street. Crooked elections hurt because they block the vital function of throwing the bums out and putting another set of bums in.

    The only reason vote fraud looks like a Republican issue is that Republicans are in power. We'll have the same fight forever, be it Greens, the Reform Party, or the Natural Law Party in charge.
  • by CptNerd (455084) <adiseker@lexonia.net> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @03:02PM (#16156352) Homepage
    Service in legislatures should be just like jury duty. Every adult over 21 in each district should be registered in a database indexed by SocSecNo, and every two and six years some random person in each district is selected and made to go serve as Representative or Senator. Once their term is up, they are removed from the database for 12 years and aren't subject to being picked again during that time. We'll get losers that way, but we'll also get some smart people, none of whom will be able to keep their seats long enough to get burned out. No more politicking, no more election ads, no more parties. Lobbying will still go on, but make it illegal for someone who has served to lobby for the term immediately after their term is over.

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