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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:08 PM
Original message
Florida newspaper finds thousands of mysterious entries in voter database
State: Absentee vote count 'will not be a problem' in elections
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
March 4, 2006


With just days before elections, state officials were scrambling this week to determine whether they had a problem that could call into question tens of thousands of absentee votes.
The problem surfaced in the state's newly minted central voter database, a multimillion-dollar project that is supposed to cleanse the voter rolls of errors and prevent voter fraud.

The Herald-Tribune on Wednesday found thousands of mysterious entries in the tally of historic votes that suggested people had already voted in elections that haven't yet occurred.
The revelation launched a furious review by state election officials who worried that the entries could make it appear as though legitimate voters were trying to vote twice.


snip

The local elections Tuesday will be the first real test of the centralized voter system since it was activated in January.

snip

There are local elections scheduled in 14 Florida counties in the coming weeks. For those elections, 23,000 absentee ballots had been recorded in a way that at first made it appear the ballots had been cast.
If there is a problem, it will be particularly acute in a handful of counties: According to the state's January data, there were 7,750 absentee ballot requests in Collier County at the end of January; 3,883 in Escambia County; 3,028 in Okaloosa; and 2,342 in Pinellas County.

snip

The suspicious entries occurred when voters requested an absentee ballot. The requests were recorded under the voter's name in the central database in a way that has traditionally only been used to mark when a ballot has actually been cast.

The method was only employed by VR Systems, a private software company used by 60 of the state's 67 county election supervisors. It was done without the state's knowledge.

snip

http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=...

So, is this Katherine Harris' ace in the hole for her panicked campaign?

It's *little glitches* like this that destroy my confidence in absentee ballots.



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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Holy Crap! And there you have it.
They're leaking like sieves now that people know to watch them.
:applause:
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. Maybe we should just get rid of absentee voting all together.
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Teena Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
19. Re: Absentee ballots
In Ohio we tried to be able to use absentee ballots for any reason because the 2004 election was clearly flawed. Many of us thought that if this were allowed, then those who couldn't get to the polls, as well as those who would be out of town or do not trust computer voting would be assured that their vote was counted. With this revelation that absentee votes have already been entered into Florida's system BEFORE people voted, I now doubt that absentee voting would solve any problems. The problems are clearly criminals working the system, not the system itself. Gee - Somehow I don't think any of those millions spent to rework American elections through the HAVA act have done any good whatsoever.
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Teena Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #19
28. Meant to add...
that in Ohio, we were unsuccessful in getting absentee voting available for any and all reasons. There were five amendments to the Ohio Constitution that would have made voting easier and more fair across the board, but they all were voted down. Funny thing is though, the amendments were passing until right before the counting was just about over. Sounds like the 2004 election, doesn't it? And in the last election, a lot more counties had been made to purchase electronic voting machines which many of us already didn't trust. Is anyone suprised to learn that our Secretary of State, Kenneth Blackwell, was in charge of both elections and Bush's re-election campaign in Ohio?
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
32. I have a Greek friend who had to return to Greece to vote.
Can't think why that's a bad system. She did it, too.
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slampoet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #32
50. There were overseas Americans who were detained and not
able to get back into the country in time to vote in 2004
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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. NO it hasn't happen yet - they are going to nullify Democrats
Too many Democrats who have previously been disenfranchiezed from the voter rolls are going to find out if they show up at the polls instead of casting the absentie ballot their vote will be removed
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. Can't use bogus lists of "felon voters" forever, you know n/t
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Teena Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
20. Landshark -
I saw a site that stated that not only did Katherine Harris and her crew eliminate felons from the Florida voter rolls in 2000, they also eliminated anyone with the same names and birthdays of suspected felons.
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dmkinsey Donating Member (789 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #20
29. Absolutely
thousands of people with no criminal record whatever.
And Harris KNEW that were removing people improperly
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #29
46. Of course she did...
and now cosmic karma is coming back on her. The Wicked Witch of Voter Disenfranchisement is getting hers now.

:nopity:
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #29
78. Plus in order to be reinstated if you were falsely purged
you had to meet personally with the gubner jeddy and he made sure that he was very busy with busnuts.
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Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #20
36. This is covered in Greg Palast's book. He did a show for the BBC
that covered this whole vote scam in FL. Harris and Clayton Roberts, empowered and enabled by Jeb, were the prime movers in the scam that gave Bush the election in 2000.
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #20
39. they removed people for future convictions
that's right, they removed people for convictions that haven't occurred yet. Moreover, they removed people whose names were similar to convicted felons in other states, even from states where the right to vote has been automatically restored upon completion of the felon's sentence.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #20
48. And they only eliminated black felons because they tend to vote dem
They left white and hispanc felons alone, where there is a better chance of them voting republican.
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Land Shark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Here comes 'da spin: Aw Shucks, it happened to Ahhnold, too. n/t
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Peanutcat Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
6. Not to burst your bubble
But it could be a simple mistake. Yeah, yeah, I know that's the excuse they'll use, true or not, but as an Election Judge, I know who confusing some of that crap can be. All the boxes and choices and unclear language, it's much too easy to make mistakes. It's like the earlier controversy about the punch-card ballots in Florida. Many people have said they couldn't understand why people voting had such a hard time picking the candidate they wanted, but seeing a sample of the ballots they used, I wasn't a bit surprised. Crowded names, arrows not quite pointing the correct name, I could see it wasn't hard to make a mistake.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Yeah, simple
Too simple. They are already stealing votes!

What I want to see is the details about just which voters had already voted.
Are they just dems?

It should be real simple to find those deatils. It's all on a computer.
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Peanutcat Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. You don't quite get it, do you?
Someone registers as an absentee voter, and their name should put down as such, but someone pressing the wrong button, or clicking on the wrong entry instead registers them as having already voted. Now I'm not saying that's what happened, what with all the shit they've pulled in Florida before, I'm just saying it's not hard to make a mistake on something like this.

Now, having said that, here's why I think it's more likely something shady's going on. Like I said, I'm an election judge, and at least where I live, absentee ballots are sent to the proper precenct seperatly, and counted only when the regular voting has ended, or I should say, along with the regular votes after the polls have closed. So here's what should happen: Someone registers to vote absentee, gets a ballot at the appropreate time, votes the ballot, the ballot is then sealed without the votes being counted, the person is noted as having voted, but the results are not counted until after the polls closed. So if those absentee ballots have already been counted, as opposed to having merely voted, then something fishy IS going on.
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freedomfries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. the e-revolution in voter suppression
statewide computerized databases!
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Epiphany4z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #12
21. The thing that bothers me
is I know so many Dem's who vote absentee because they don't trust the paperless voting machines...so if this killing a vote from anyone who wants to vote absentee it is probably heavily dem votes.

It could be a mistake but ya know these little things are really starting to add up to a lot of votes not getting counted.
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Teena Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #12
24. I agree...
if the votes have already been entered, something fishy is going on. Absentee ballots are not counted until AFTER the other ballots are in.
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mirrera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #12
34. It was one computer company...
The article says

"The method was only employed by VR Systems, a private software company used by 60 of the state's 67 county election supervisors. It was done without the state's knowledge."

<snip>

"Manatee County Supervisor of Elections Bob Sweat said he doesn't understand why VR Systems is placing absentee ballot requests into a computer file reserved for voter history.

'The voter history is who voted in what election -- in the past -- that's what history is,' he said."

I don't think it is a local mistake. It may be innocent, but Florida does not have any benefit of the doubt in my book!



http://NoBullshiRt.com

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RaleighNCDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #12
90. That is exactly the point.
Something fishy IS going on.
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Teena Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
23. Yes, but...
since it was Harris and her assinine bunch who were responsible for making sure the ballots were not screwed up, I do hold her responsisble if the ballots were flawed. It was also very easy to see that people counting votes in the highly suspicious areas of Florida had stacked ballots and ran a long pointed object through the holes for Bush, so that it appeared that many voters had chosen both Bush and Gore or had the infamous "hanging chad." Those ballots, of course, were thrown out because they were considered "spoiled." And because the majority of those ballots were originally only punched through for Gore, he subsequently lost the election.
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bostonbabs Donating Member (465 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #6
35. your answer is ..it could have been a mistake?
...and your a judge?....I ask you:...just how many "mistakes" is Jeb Bush's Florida allowed before they call it this what it is...V-O-T-E-R F-R-A-U-D !
God Help Us.
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #35
40. IT'S ELECTION FRAUD!!! NOT VOTER FRAUD!!!
The VOTERS aren't the ones stealing elections!!!

It's a little thing that makes a

HUGE

distinction!!!!

Don't let the media spin this as VOTER fraud!!


:kick: :kick: :kick:
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #35
43. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #43
74. You must be simple, if you allude to a taradiddle as if it's
Edited on Mon Mar-06-06 05:23 PM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
significant.... and then dismiss it as unlikely to be of any insignificance or relevance. You don't seem smart enough to know the meaning of the word paranoid, but you sure can rave. You chose your username well.
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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #35
67. It's election fraud not voter fraud. The Republicans are comitting fraud.
There is a huge difference. The Republican candidates and the GOP are comitting election fraud.
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MGKrebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #6
41. Even so, the question for me is:
If the paper hadn't been doing an in-depth investigation, would this EVER have been noticed? If there is any significant likelihood that this problem would have gone undetected, the system needs to be re-evaluated.

We should not have to prove that there WAS fraud. Administrators must be able to prove that there HASN'T BEEN and CAN'T BE undetected fraud.
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Higans Donating Member (819 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #41
79. My thoughts exactly.
When people tell me "Prove there was fraud." I say "Prove there wasn't." when they say "prove that Kerry won." I say "Prove that Bush won."

It should not be the responsibility of the people to prove that the government cheated. it should be the responsibility of the government to prove that it didn't Cheat.
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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
51. There are way too many of these "simple mistakes" in Florida
for anyone to continue to believe that they are unless they are on an intravenous kool-aid drip.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
52. Ah shucks, explain to me why these problems ALWAYS occur
in Florida and always in such LARGE FRIGGING NUMBERS.

Mistake my ass.
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Peanutcat Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. Look
If you're not going to bother reading any of my other replies, I'm not going to bother tell you why I DO think something fishy is going on. THAT STILL DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE POSSIBILITY OF A MISTAKE! I swear to God, you people need to get off that paranoia wagon you're all riding and at least TRY to look at other explanations. You're the types of folk who give liberals and Democrats a bad name what with all your knee-jerk conspiracy paranoia.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. "You're the types of folk who give liberals and
Democrats a bad name"

I give liberals and dems a bad name? People like you lost us two elections.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #54
56. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #56
61. The total inability to face a situation as it is (or as it could very
well be) caused us to lose Florida for sure in 2000 and Ohio in 2004.

You need to be finding something else to do with your time. Being an election judge is a joke.
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Peanutcat Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #61
68. Does the possibility
that it just might have been a mistake scare you that much? Boy, those Rebuplicans sure have trained you good. You're letting them do your thinking for you now. If everytime something happens, you automaically think they're behind it, you're giving them all the power. Don't let your hatred do your thinking for you.
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lebkuchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. Once the scam is discovered, it's two years after
and the damage has been done.
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GuvWurld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. There is no basis for confidence in the results reported
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Higans Donating Member (819 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
80. Agreed. great link BTW
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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
9. What PARTY were these ppl that already voted
IMHO,,, it would be mainly Dems. But maybe not.
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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
11. Who do the "glitches" favor?
If only I had a way of betting on that it favors Repukees.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
14. So, VR Systems is a private outfit that "makes Florida its target market"

http://www.vrsystems.com/index.cfm

Wonder how hard they are working to *capture* Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County....


(Voter Registration Systems)

From VR Systems own web site:

VR Systems Inc. is a Florida Corporation which began serving Florida in 1992. We made Florida's 67
counties our target market rather than running the risk of creating an inferior system by attempting to span the needs of multiple states. With 12 clients in 2000, our customer-base increased to 60 counties by December, 2005. Most of our growth has come at the expense of out-of-state vendors who find it increasingly difficult to remain current with Florida's changing requirements.

snip

The rapid legislative changes following the 2000 election means that only a complete solution such as our Voter Focus product gave the Florida supervisors the security they required for their information processing and retrieval.

http://www.vrsystems.com/index.cfm?nav=1

More on this system:

"EVid is the complete system for early voting and electronic voter identification at the polls"

http://www.vrsystems.com/index.cfm?nav=100


And this:

79 years' experience in building industrial strength computer systems
Many of the systems used by the Supervisors are developed from "office automation" concepts. VR Systems' Voter Focus software system is based on large-scale systems concepts. Our systems developers have experience in large-scale database developments (communications and telecommunications databases; governmental web databases; financial and billing databases) within organizations such as the Federal Reserve Bank and Unisys is represented in the optimal performance and reliability of Voter Focus .

Focused on Florida statutes and practices
The 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and the enabling Florida legislation was tracked carefully by VR Systems' staff. A community of the Department of State and the Florida Supervisors of Elections worked on translating the Florida bill into practice through projects and procedure changes. VR Systems performed in this process as "contributing observers." We were, therefore, aware of the legislative mandates and the best practices arising from those mandates as soon as they were completed. Consequently, our clients received the software that enabled the HAVA procedures as each stage of the law came into effect.

This is the same process was followed for the 2001 Florida reform bill and the other Florida statutes prior to that. We are committed to keeping our clients' procedures current at all times.

http://www.vrsystems.com/index.cfm?nav=7


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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
15. I bet there's wiggle room with people who moved in from one county
to the other too. In the 2004 election we got one guy who practically confessed that he was voting twice. He said he had already voted via absentee ballot, but he received a call from someone (a Republican telemarketer) urging him to vote on election day. He came out to see if he was still able to do so, worried that we hadn't received his original ballot. So, there's a case where Republicans might be able to exploit a flaw in the system.
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Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
16. So when they come to vote, they will be told they already voted. If you
vote twice...it's a felony.
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-05-06 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
17. Fascinating that they let this little glitch be discovered! n/t
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Teena Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
18. Isn't it a bit early?
I don't understand why anyone would be requesting an absentee ballot for November's election in February or March anyway. There ought to be a date after which absentee ballots can be requested and not before.
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damnyanks Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #18
22. Why they request so early.
They are requesting ballots because they are currently in the military and over seas. I don't see how this is a Dem problem while the military is most likely Repubs.
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Teena Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. Thanks, damnyanks -
I hadn't thought about those in the military.
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whatelseisnew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #22
26. Hello , if you read the article, the elections are TOMMORROW!
Local elections and it looks like we are screwed.
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Peanutcat Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #26
45. Heh! Just what I was gonna say
I mean, that's why I made such a point of my being an election judge; I had just been called and informed which precenct I'll be working at. I'm the Roamin' Election Judge, I am! I go where I am needed! :woohoo:
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #45
75. Come back Duane Dobermann... All is forgiven!
Edited on Mon Mar-06-06 05:27 PM by KCabotDullesMarxIII
You are clearly needed as an official in a certain precinct.
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noclonyofthechimp Donating Member (656 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #22
30. I live in Bonita Springs which is Lee County, FL and our local elections
are tomorrow. We are right next to Collier County. I wonder what machines they are using as this is the first time I will be voting here.
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Libby2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #22
31. Bullshit
Sounds like rightwing talking points to me.
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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #22
66. Many people, not just military service men and women, vote absentee.
People who vote absentee also include the elderly, the disabled, those traveling and those who vote in Florida but who live in another state or country part of the year.
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whatelseisnew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #18
27. This is for local elections, TOMMORROW Tues March 7th
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Higans Donating Member (819 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #18
82. They me be requesting it early cause if U request it late U don't get one.
And then you show up at the polls, and they don't have you, so you vote provisional, and then they don't count it cause they can't confirm your address.

True story, happened to me. I voted, but my vote didn't count. I got a letter stating that my vote didn't count a month after the election.

I'm still pissed.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
33. Absentee ballots are subject to widespread mishandling.
I used to think absentee ballots were acceptable, but I don't any longer.

Several reasons:

For one, in late October 2004, thousands of absentee ballots requested by Broward Co., FL residents for the Presidential election NEVER ARRIVED IN THEIR MAIL! Broward County is a huge bastion of progressive/Democratic voters. The post office began its investigation, but it was TOO LATE FOR PEOPLE TO RECEIVE THEIR BALLOT to get it voted and sent back in time to be counted before the deadline! Unacceptable.

Also, with the almost certain possibility now that our first-class mail is subject to NSA tampering by *'s henchmen, my trust in the absentee vote is severely diminished... in both its potential for outside tampering and whether it will be "lost in the mail", with no accountability whatsoever.

For another reason, how does the voter EVEN KNOW that his/her absentee ballot arrived, was accurately counted, and was not altered or trashed?



IMHO, pen and paper voting at the poll on ELECTION DAY ONLY, with immediate hand counts at the poll's closing, under direct nonpartisan observation, and with results called in immediately to the Sec of State's Office is the safest, most secure method to ensure a fair, accurately counted vote.

Early voting sounds good in principle IMHO, but it opens up multiple days' voting tallies to more potential crimes, as many more people are involved, more numbers are crunched over several days, and added to different tallies..... chain of custody is very murky.


Why not just vote on ONE DAY ONLY.

Make it a holiday. This eliminates all kinds of shenanigans. One-day-voting and immediate hand-counting at the precinct opens everything up to transparency.

Diebold, ES&S, optical scanning, absentee voting, early voting etc., do not.


Another problem I have w/absentee: Do we even know how the military voted in '04?

Maybe I missed how the military vote broke down, but I have not seen any information about it. Add to this all the funny business in 2000 in several Florida counties when republican operatives were allowed into the Supervisor of Elections Offices to "add" information to the absentee ballot envelopes that was not completed by some military voters overseas....



IMHO, there are too many unknowns about how these absentee ballots are handled.


Then, there is the thorny problem of counting the absentee ballots with Republican corporation-owned optical scanning machines. This does not inspire confidence in the outcome.


The most important issue solved with returning to pen and paper ballots is transparency at every step possible. With paper ballots that are hand-counted on the spot under direct observation at the polling precinct, this fulfills that requirement.


Absentee ballots counted by some hidden machine or routed incorrectly to or from the post office makes me wary. If this were 10 years ago, I wouldn't be such a cynic, but today, I have come to expect any and all types of criminal activity associated with our voting process.

Just like any two-bit criminal, if they keep getting away with it, why do they need to change how they are doing it...


It's the voters who need to change what we are doing.



For most voting precincts, it is up to local county election officials to choose which voting method to use. In view of this, I think people should exert pressure on local election supervisors, in every county across the U. S., demanding pen and paper ballots for all upcoming elections.

IMHO, nothing short of this will restore our faith in free and fair elections.
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Peanutcat Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #33
47. Shakes head sadly
Ah, my poor, poor friend. What about the people who are unable to leave the house? What about me, an election judge, who goes where I'm needed and may not end up in the precinct I vote in? Or our troops overseas? How are they to vote? And absentee ballots are NOT counted by some hidden machine; as I pointed out above, they are delivered and processed at the precinct they belong to just like the regular votes. Now you DO have a point with ballots being "lost" in the mail, but what are you gonna do about that? Not allow the bed-ridden or shut-ins a vote? I myself just voted absentee today, with my voted ballot hand-sealed by my own hands inside three envelopes and dropped by my own hands into the locked collection box. I have no fear that my vote will not be counted properly.
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whatelseisnew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #47
57. Hand counted? or at least audited. I don't trust the scanners
I don't trust these central databases.

I might trust an optiscan of some type if a random sample were hand count audited .
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Peanutcat Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #57
85. Here's how it goes
In our area, each precenct has at least one tabulator; smaller precencts share one. The voter marks a paper ballot, then the ballot is slid into the tabulator,which count the votes for each precenct, then drops the ballot into a locked box.After the polls are closed, 4 copies of a paper tape with the results are printed. One is posted in public for everyone to see, and the others are sent back with the machines, which are then centrally added up.
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #47
58. Secure absentee for military, or the physically/geographically challenged.
That is not in dispute.


The point being, when large numbers of healthy, non-absent regular folks start voting en masse on absentee ballots, thinking that it is any kind of guarantee that their votes will be timely delivered/recorded accurately, that is a dangerous assumption.

Especially in Florida.



By the way, to illustrate further, why not have the overseas military people vote on pen and paper in their unit, followed by secure hand-counting and the tally called back to the States? This eliminates the problems of mail delivery both ways; it eliminates incomplete information on mailed absentee ballots, which leads to ballot disqualification; it also eliminates major expense.










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Peanutcat Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #58
86. Now that's a good idea
Maybe each unit could be treated like a precenct. I agree with you that the able-bodied who can get around shouldn't be allowed to vote absentee, but let's face it: many of them work, and may be out of town on business on Election Day.
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whatelseisnew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #47
71. Florida law change eliminates the manual recount in many circumstances
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Peanutcat Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #71
87. Yeah, I heard about that!
Now that's just plain WRONG!
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abester Donating Member (120 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #47
76. Aaah I'm so relieved
to know Roaming Election Judge Peanutcat is there to watch over my ballot to make sure my ballot is counted properly. Now I can sleep peacefully and know all is well.

Really sir, if you are what you claim to be, an election judge, I will move to a different state.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #76
88. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
beltanefauve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-07-06 03:29 AM
Response to Reply #88
92. If you're an election judge
Edited on Tue Mar-07-06 03:30 AM by beltanefauve
then how come you can't spell "precinct"?
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Peanutcat Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-07-06 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #92
94. Has nothing to do with being an election judge
I never could spell precenct, uh, precinct. I keep forgeting to use spell-checker. *I, not e; i, not e; i, not e*
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-08-06 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #88
96. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Higans Donating Member (819 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #33
83. well said.
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MGKrebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
37. Longboat Key? Isn't that Cruella's home town?
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seafan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. Yeppers! n/t
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Botany Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
42. Democracy in Action
"The Herald-Tribune on Wednesday found thousands of mysterious entries in the tally of historic votes that suggested people had already voted in elections that haven't yet occurred."

Good thing that nothing weird happened in Florida.
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loudsue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
44. So WHEN IN THE HELL IS THE MEDIA GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS??
This should be ALL OVER the media. How many years of thousands of e-mails does it take for the media to cover this shit?? THAT, in itself, is a huge story, in my book.

:kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick: :kick:
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whatelseisnew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #44
62. never
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AtLiberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
49. Millions of American citizens overseas were disenfranchised in '04
According to Mark Crispin Miller's Fooled Again, millions of American citizens were disenfranchised from voting in the presidential 2004 election. There were hundreds of complaints of citizens begging for absentee ballots months in advance (to meet the deadline) and never received them OR received them too late. The website to "assist" overseas voters "broke down" the last three crucial weeks and miraculously was "repaired" just after the deadline.

Guess who is charge of ALL overseas absentee voting, both military and civilian?

The Pentagon
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Patsy Stone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
55. How many of the pre-voters were dead?
We like to ensure that dead people's voting rights aren't infringed upon down here. :crazy:
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
59. Busted!
trying to set it up to look like people voted twice. Caught red-handed in the act!
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pat_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
60. Secret vote counts are intolerable. Period. Go after officials personally.
Edited on Mon Mar-06-06 02:17 PM by pat_k
Whatever the outcome of efforts to ban machines or add a "paper trail," unless voters can register (or verify their registration) in processes are simple and open, and have their votes recorded on official ballots that are counted in processes that are open to public observation, the election results must be rejected. Period.

Message to every election official who advocates and participates in the implementation of systems that make it impossible for us to have confidence in our elections:
  • Secret vote counting is Un-American and unacceptable. It is impossible for the public to have confidence in elections that rely on computer transactions that cannot be observed. It doesn't matter how many experts vouch for the system, if we cannot make an independent evaluation, we cannot have confidence.

  • Your systems make it impossible for us to have confidence in our elections.

  • We will not accept the suspicious election results obtained by such systems.

  • You can implement changes before the next election or watch your replacements conduct a new, valid election after the results of your suspect elections are rejected by the public.

  • We will not tolerate obstructionists who fail to replace suspect systems and processes by invoking deadlines, appealing to legal technicality and cynical misuse of our courts, or "running out the clock."

  • We will go after every official who fails to ensure a free, fair, open, and accurate election. We will go after every official who fails to fight for our right to have confidence in our elections personally. We will go after your jobs. We will sue for colluding with private corporations to betray the public trust. We will not hesitate to call you the names you deserve and subject you to public ridicule. We will be watching you like a hawk and will criminally prosecute your for participating in, or turning a blind eye to any suspicious actions.

Call meetings, pass out flyers. Call on your neigbors to sign on to these demands and commit to rejecting the results of elections that do not instill public confidence in the results.

Stop the Elections Theives Right Now!




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Buddyblazon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
63. I hate to be negative...
but I don't know if it even matters anymore. It's not like we have anybody powerful enough (or with a set of balls) to step up and actually do something about this crap anymore.

It's unbelievable to me. I'm so despondent that I'm not even sure we'll win back congress in November.

Oh we'll win it...but in the end...we won't actually "win it".

Sheesh this stuff depresses me.
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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #63
69. DEE-PRESS-SING!!!
This is sad, and your post is even more sad! And sickeningly true!
Who in our Democracy will stand up and throw a royal fit and NOT STOP after a couple weeks. This needs long term focus of resolve, and someone like, John Edwards, or Obama could reallllly be boosted by doing something about the election fraud, and guaranteeing that each voter gets to vote, cites dozens of facts showing votes not being permitted, delayed, or 'added' and 'subtracted'.

http://www.cafepress.com/deadeyerichard
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
64. "Done without the state's knowledge," eh? Oh, I'll bet Jebbie knows. n/t
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
65. Sounds like Katherine Witch Harris is at it again with her boss, Jebby
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Sancho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
70. Just in time to get your absentee ballots before going back to up North
so that they can vote in Florida AND the snowbird state...
:argh:
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rumpel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
72. Some insight into the software company
from their website:

Tallahassee Based - Florida Focused

VR Systems Inc. is a Florida Corporation which began serving Florida in 1992. We made Florida's 67
counties our target market rather than running the risk of creating an inferior system by attempting to span the needs of multiple states. With 12 clients in 2000, our customer-base increased to 60 counties by December, 2005. Most of our growth has come at the expense of out-of-state vendors who find it increasingly difficult to remain current with Florida's changing requirements.


snip

79 years' experience in building industrial strength computer systems
Many of the systems used by the Supervisors are developed from "office automation" concepts. VR Systems' Voter Focus software system is based on large-scale systems concepts. Our systems developers have experience in large-scale database developments (communications and telecommunications databases; governmental web databases; financial and billing databases) within organizations such as the Federal Reserve Bank and Unisys is represented in the optimal performance and reliability of Voter Focus


On the software itself:

Industry standard database and program technology
Voter Focus is based on the Microsoft SQL ServerTM Database and programmed in Microsoft Visual BasicTM. It is deployed on widely available, inexpensive computer hardware and standard communications technology. The product is carefully crafted to be easy-to-use to those familiar with other Windows applications.


snip

Interfacing with other vendors
As part of our service, Voter Focus provides interfaces with other vendors' systems. Systems include external printing services, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), web services, and a product that scans the precinct register to retrieve voting history rapidly.


and

EVID is an Electronic Poll Register intercommunicating with the Elections Office. (A must see graphic) "Voters at The Polling Station - Internet - Elections Office"
http://www.vrsystems.com/index.cfm?nav=103

Now, on who runs the company, not much was found:
There are 2 registered companies by a similar company name in FL. The company in question is: VR Systems Incorporated was established in 1992, listed officer's & directors are Jane M. Watson & David S. Watson
http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/cordet.exe?a1=DETFIL&n1=V...
There is also a Watson Family Limited Partnership, same people.
Another(?) Ms. Jane M Watson ran a company with a Mr. Vince Arrigo, who appears to be a developer in Saratosa.
Mr. Arrigo is the only person I was able to find anything on for political contribution. Campaign contributions to a Mr. Wayne Poston (Mayor, City of Brandenton)
http://www.votemanatee.com/PDFClass.asp?idnum=81&period...
Mr. Poston has entered into some campaign violation consent decree with the Florida Election Commission in 2002, Tallahassee.
Poston: Development, Photo op with Katherine Harris
http://harris.house.gov/Photos/?PhotoID=7980
Poston: interesting case in the Florida Supreme Court, about the "Good Ol' Boys Club" in Manatee
http://www.firn.edu/supct/pubinfo/summaries/briefs/00/0...

Interestingly the other is called VR Systems Corporation first registered in 1989, and is inactive and was dissolved on November 9, 1990. The corporation was registered by a Michael Self. google hit on Michael Self reveals a case which is related to a telecommunication business. Interesting only because the above company claims to have developers who have experience with database development for telecommunication companies, as well as billing.
Now the previous company and owners appear to have nothing to do with the one in question.
http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/cordet.exe?a1=DETFIL&n1=K...

FTC v AMERICAN TELNET, INC., a corporation,
MICHAEL ABRAHAM PARDES, individually
and as an officer of American TelNet, Inc.,
TED LIEBOWITZ, individually
and as an officer of American TelNet, Inc., and
MICHAEL SELF, individually
and as an officer of American TelNet, Inc., Defendants.
http://www.ftc.gov/os/1999/06/atncmp.htm

The other: VR Systems Incorporated was established in 1992, officer's & directors are Jane M. Watson & David S. Watson
http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/cordet.exe?a1=DETFIL&n1=V...

As I am not familiar with the Florida geography or detailed local politics, I would be interested to get more input as to whether you see any connection & corruption related to this VR Systems, Inc and local politicians, which may ultimately lead to more insight.
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
73. As a non-citizen, can I apply to be an election observer?
If so, a) where do I sign up, and b) what can I do to ensure things like this aren't happening? Do election observers get unfettered access to the whole process?

Thanks, Mark.
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demo dutch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #73
77. No
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mwooldri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-07-06 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #77
95. Why not?
Would I expose fraud by doing so?
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twaddler01 Donating Member (800 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
81. It's so sad how complicated it seems to be able to count votes
:eyes:
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Higans Donating Member (819 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #81
84. Especially considering the two party system that our government has
Installed. you would think that voting could be so simple. Seriously. it should be simpler then understanding Binary.

I could do a better job by having two of those clickers that the door man at a club has and an ink pad. here is how it works:

If you wanna vote for Bush, you push the button on the clicker on the right marked "Bush". If you wanna vote for Kerry, push the button on the clicker on the left marked "Kerry". once your done, press your finger against the ink pad and go on about your day.

I realize that it would need to be a little more complicated, to prevent people from pressing the button multiple times, but still, it should be not near as complicated as Die Bold would have it seem.
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texpatriot2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-06-06 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
89. So Florida STILL can't count ! More manufactured "elections" nt
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-07-06 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
91. What a difference a headline makes
Compare:

State: Absentee vote count 'will not be a problem' in elections
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
March 4, 2006

with

Florida newspaper finds thousands of mysterious entries in voter database
Posted by seafan
Added to homepage Mon Mar 06th 2006, 08:00 AM ET

The first is from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the second, what I consider to be a fairly objective recap of the article, is from the DU home page. Look at the friggin spin, even when something insidious is found, the headline writer does their level best to spin it in favor of the right.

Sheesh!
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Wordie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-07-06 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
93. Kick...amazing... eom
Edited on Tue Mar-07-06 01:23 PM by Wordie
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