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Reply #9: What percentage of the scanned ballots is compared to the machine totals? That is the question. [View All]

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-11 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. What percentage of the scanned ballots is compared to the machine totals? That is the question.
The states with optiscan systems (ability to verify--HALF the states don't even have this) generally do only a 1% automatic audit (comparison of ballots with machine totals). This is a miserably inadequate. Experts whom I respect say that 10% is the minimum needed to check for machine fraud.* And the REASON for this miserably inadequate audit is the SAME as the reason that this PRIVATIZED, CORPORATE, NON-TRANSPARENT, 'TRADE SECRET' CODE-RUN 'voting' system got spread like a plague across the USA: filthy dirty lobbying.

Having a paper ballot that is scanned into a corporate-controlled system using 'TRADE SECRET' code, with only a 1% audit, is no guarantee against fraudulent miscounts. In fact, it carries the opposite guarantee: there WILL BE fraud.

We have got to ask the basic question: WHAT are corporations DOING in our voting system AT ALL--let alone tabulating all the votes with 'TRADE SECRET' code?

To say "we have a paper ballot" ignores the critical NEXT questions: WHO is counting those ballots? Are they ALL being counted? And are they being counted in PUBLIC VIEW?

If you were, say, in Colombia, and you voted on paper ballots, and a rightwing paramilitary soldier came in and took the ballot box to an undisclosed location, 'counted' the ballots and announced the winner, would you trust the result?

In an optiscan system, as described, you are trusting a PRIVATE corporation to tell you the result.

And in 80% of the voting systems in the U.S., we are talking about one, private, FAR RIGHTWING-CONNECTED corporation--ES&S, which just bought out Diebold.

I don't know whether ES&S is operating in Wisconsin (the system could be called "Premier," aka, Diebold, aka, ES&S), but it really doesn't matter. The corporations running the other 20% of the voting systems in the U.S. also use 'TRADE SECRET' code to tabulate the votes, and the main one--Sequoia--is Republican Party-connected.

What's wrong with this picture? WHAT are private corporations DOING running ANY PART of our voting system--let alone the MOST critical part, the tabulation?

Our election system has become a complicated, sophisticated SCAM for stealing elections. But it's not just the filthy money, and it's not just the filthy lobbying, and it's not just the filthy media. It's the 'TRADE SECRET' voting machines, which can turn one of the most progressive states in the country, Wisconsin, into an ikon of fascism. With these machines 'counting' our votes with 'TRADE SECRET' code, we have no chance to reverse things--no matter how hard we work to elect good people.

Our most basic rights and power as a people, and the bottom line of democracy--voting--has been PRIVATIZED. It has been taken out of the public venue. That WAS the coup d'etat.

Here is how it happened and here is the remedy: The Anthrax Congress appropriated a $3.9 billion e-voting boondoggle in 2002 (in the same month as the Iraq War Resolution!). That money spread these diabolical machines all over the country, very quickly, during the 2002 to 2004 period. But they did NOT mandate that state/local jurisdictions must buy corporate voting systems. This coup was accomplished entirely by filthy lobbying. The decision power over voting systems remains at the state/local level, where ordinary people have more potential influence than we do in Washington. Your county registrar, for instance, may live right down the street from you. Most Americans do not live that far from their state capitol. The remedy is a broad-based citizen campaign at the local/state level to demand restoration of TRANSPARENT vote counting. Until we restore vote counting that everyone can SEE and understand, we not only have no chance at reform, we do not really have a democracy.


*(All U.S. states now use 'TRADE SECRET' code, corporate systems. Half the states do NO AUDIT AT ALL (no ballot to count). The other half do only a 1% audit. Venezuela uses OPEN SOURCE code electronics in their voting system--code that anyone may review--and they furthermore do a whopping 55% audit (comparison of ballots to machine totals). Could this be why they now have universal health coverage, with free health care in local community health clinics for the poor majority? Could this be why Venezuela was just designated "THE most equal country in Latin America" on income distribution, by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean? Could this be why they have a government that fights "organized money"--as FDR put it--on behalf of the poor majority? I think it is. Let corporations run your elections, and you will get just the result that we are getting: utter scumbags forcing the corporate/war profiteer agenda on the rest of us. Bear in mind, too, that Venezuela has worse media than we do. Yet they have twice elected the most progressive government in the region, by big majorities--in internationally certified elections that are far, FAR more transparent than our own. They do have the USAID pouring millions of our tax dollars into rightwing political groups. But that hasn't mattered much either. The key to progressive government is TRANSPARENT vote counting. They have it. We don't. )
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