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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-04 07:30 PM
Original message
Pentagon offers troops a new way to vote
Edited on Fri Sep-17-04 07:34 PM by Snazzy


Pentagon offers troops a new way to vote
Procedure requires scanning, e-mailing and faxing the ballot

By Chip Reid
Correspondent
NBC News
Updated: 8:03 p.m. ET Sept. 17, 2004

Mail call for today's military often involves e-mail. Even for troops in Iraq, news from home is just a few clicks away. But when it comes to voting, they still do it the way their great grandfathers did in World War II paper absentee ballots, sent through the mail.

"You never know what might happen to an absentee ballot traveling 12,000 miles; it could get lost in the mail or forgotten," says 1st Lt. David Markgraf.

So the Pentagon, as part of its effort to make every military vote count, is now giving states the option of allowing troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to vote by e-mail.

Here's how it would work: A soldier fills out an absentee ballot, scans it into a computer, and e-mails it to the Pentagon. It's then faxed to the voter's local election office.

....

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6030168 /

----------------

But the potential vote theft fiasco is much wider than MSNBC is getting at--or anybody seems to have picked up on.

It includes a pool of 6.4 million potential overseas voters--far out numbering the military voters that articles on this topic focus on. That number includes contractors and US citizens abroad, eligible to fax their votes in 23 or more states, many of them swing states like Missouri, Florida and Penn.

Rumsfeld is directly responsible for all overseas votes, as appointed by Shrub under something called the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).

http://www.fvap.gov/laws/uocavadefinition.html

See the below LA Times article for example, mentioning the Republican contractor Omega and that 20+ states will accept faxed then send them on to local elections officials in those states which accept faxes. For this 'service' the DOD paid Omega some $10 million dollars.

(I tried to get this to Palast, nothing back so far, could use help!)

---------------

LAT:

THE RACE TO THE WHITE HOUSE
Bush and Kerry See Openings in Military Vote

With wars in Iraq and Afghanistan having an unclear effect on service members' leanings, both campaigns are working hard for their support.

By Esther Schrader, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON Kevin Dellicker stays away from politics when he reports for duty at the National Guard armory in Harrisburg, Pa. But out of uniform, the captain in the Pennsylvania National Guard does everything he can to persuade the people he served with in Iraq to reelect President Bus

... (skipping to the point relevant)

Subsequently, the Defense Department said that members of the military would be allowed to vote by faxing or e-mailing their vote, but only after waiving their right to a secret ballot. Under the Pentagon plan, a contractor, Omega Technologies, will accept the ballots on a toll-free line, then send them to appropriate local elections offices.

But under that system, the contractor, the Pentagon and county officials would all know which candidates individual military voters had chosen.

Critics have pointed out that Omega's chief executive, Patricia Williams, has donated $6,000 in this election cycle to the National Republican Congressional Committee and serves on the committee's business advisory council. They say such partisanship leaves open the possibility that votes will be tampered with, as does the nonsecret ballot.

Missouri and North Dakota will allow e-mail voting by the military. Twenty other states will permit faxed ballots, also to be handled by Omega.

....

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-milvote17sep...

----------------

Some research on this topic by me in this thread:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Contact Greg Palast:

http://www.gregpalast.com/contact.cfm

palast@gregpalast.com

Contact who else? I am convinced this is entwined in the absentee push we are hearing about and could well play a huge role in the election, and will certainly play a role in a close or disputed election. Because these 6.4 million potential voters are discussed under the rubric of being military voters (and processed by the Defense Dept. to aid that claim), questioning the legitimacy of these votes will be a hot potato like not 'supporting the troops.'

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briang5000 Donating Member (115 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-04 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. sure... that will work like a charm
I wonder who will be responsible to make sure all those faxes are sent on time ... and who will be mannign the fax machine at the BOE to make sure it doesn't jam and miss important votes.
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-04 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. What, at gunpoint?
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-04 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. Perhaps you could contact the new international observers, BBV,
Seymore Hirsh...
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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-04 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Thanks.
Palast seems to be the media authority on vote theft. Going to email him some more. But yeah, I should figure out how to get some of the voting activists aware of this--but they certainly have their hands full with the high tech version of vote theft. This may be the low tech fallback.

And yeah, who are the observers? Will try that too.
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-04 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Bev Harris and
the folks at verifiedvoting should be alerted in case they don't know. Also, let Democracy for America know as well as ACT.
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Ravy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-04 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. Of course. Perfect solution. No one at the Department of Defense has...
.. no interest in the outcome of the voting. Why not let them look at your votes before faxing them to the states?

Give me a break. Could they be more obvious?

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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-04 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
5. Military coup
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-04 03:26 AM
Response to Original message
8. I passed this on to verifiedvoting.org
...though hopefully they already know about it.

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS -- DON'T STEAL THEIR VOTES!!
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-04 05:31 AM
Response to Original message
9. This SUCKS!
I can not believe (yes I Can) they are going to steal Military votes again!

:grr: :grr: :grr:
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eriffle Donating Member (218 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-04 06:24 AM
Response to Original message
10. WTF? Really?
So, you scan in your ballot, the DOD prints it out, then faxes it to the corresponding county clerk? I can't believe this, all it would take would be a high school kid and MS Paint to forge this. You really can't tell me that some poor kid my age patrolling the streets of Baghdad is going to vote for four more years of this. This is the only way for the Pentegon/Rumsfeld/Bush to stop a military voting revolt. I'm sure the CO's in Iraq are telling them to email their ballots too....jeez...
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-04 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
11. So they abandoned their "internet voting scheme" in favor of
something else that could still serve be tampered with. How conveeeenient.

And what's this shit about losing your confidentiality?

Also, we all know the postal service is far from perfect, but just how much "lost mail" happens these days? It's just NOT a huge problem.
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-04 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. 'losing your confidentiality' is also one of the anti-paper ballot
Edited on Sat Sep-18-04 09:46 AM by leftchick
excuses.
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oneighty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-18-04 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
12. Shoot me
Edited on Sat Sep-18-04 09:44 AM by oneighty
but I am of the opinion that the military should NOT be allowed to vote at all.

Does the seaman aboard a ship get to vote for a new Captain?

Does a private get to vote for a new Company Commander?

So why should they be allowed to vote for/against their commander in chief?

Makes sense to me.

But then I ain't overly smart. Sigh.

180
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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-20-04 01:36 AM
Response to Original message
14. kicking this one
Edited on Mon Sep-20-04 01:40 AM by Snazzy
'cause I saw this one:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


EDIT:

I will be emailing media and calling my Congress people on this this week.

The linked new story above is about how this website, FVAP.GOV (which resides on a DoD server) is now blocking access from places like France.

This is so freakin' obvious the whole thing. Hoping if somebody calls them on it, and quickly, this will get cancelled. The fax voting, through a contractor, is absolutely absurd.


:mad:
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