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BBV: NYT: "a slapdash system that falls far short" (CA)

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nostamj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:20 AM
Original message
BBV: NYT: "a slapdash system that falls far short" (CA)
Electronic voting is no doubt the wave of the future, but it is being rolled out with too little thought, and without the necessary safeguards. The two new California reports, which are online at, provide strong evidence that this is the case. The study of electronic voting in the March 2 primary describes a slapdash system that falls far short of the minimum standards for running an election. A critical machine part failed on Election Day, causing more than half of the 1,038 polling places in San Diego County to open late and an unknown number of voters to be turned away. Faulty equipment in another county miscounted 13,300 ballots that had been mailed in. There were also widespread reports of teenagers' "rebooting" machines for poll workers who could not operate them, a clear security breach


Mr. Shelley's second report singles out Diebold, a leading manufacturer, as particularly blameworthy. Among other serious charges, it says that last year Diebold installed uncertified software in all 17 of the counties it served without notifying the secretary of state, as the law requires.

The answer to all of these problems is a "voter-verified paper trail," a paper record that the voter can check for accuracy. This paper trail will guard against computer tampering by creating a hard copy of votes that can be compared to the electronic results in a recount. Mr. Shelley has already directed that by 2006, every electronic voting machine in California must produce a paper trail. Now he must decide what to do about this year's election.


There is the practical question of whether an alternative system can be perfected in six months. It may be possible, by using a combination of more reliable machines and paper ballots, and perhaps some electronic machines fitted with printers. Given the short time frame, the best course is to proceed on two tracks: to work to put in place a system in which every vote creates a paper record, but to keep the existing electronic machines as a fallback.


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sophie996 Donating Member (224 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. the absentee answer
We're getting closer to safe in California, but in Florida the officials have decided the Diebold and Sequoia machines are just fine. (What a surprise.) However, Florida voters have a safety net--vote absentee. I doubt that will get much publicity, but letters to the editor can help. I have a soft spot for Florida, where I grew up, so I researched it. Maybe others could do the same for other states with problems.

Here are some Florida e-mail letters to editor addresses.

Gainesville Sun

Ocala Star-Banner
click here brings up form

Palm Beach Post
brings up form and guidelines

Miami Herald
guidelines and email address

Tallahassee Democrat (in state capitol)
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ParanoidPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. The folks in Florida should take a hint from us in California.....
.....Remember, the people in charge of your elections are your representatives NOT your leaders! They are there to do your bidding, not the other way around. You need to contact them at every opportunity and remind them of that fact. Call, fax, write and E-Mail them and politely demand voter verified paper ballots and laws that call for proper auditing of all elections. (At least 5% of the paper ballots according to auditing standards.) Without exit polling and proper auditing of the individual results, there is no way of knowing if fraud has taken place. Let your rep's know that you will be out there with everyone you can muster working to remove them from office if they don't represent your best interests in fair and honest elections.

Here's a short list of election officials to contact in Florida. Start with your Secretary of State and State Election Director but be sure to contact your County election supervisors because they are the ones that determine what equipment you will use in your County.

Good Luck and KEEP FIGHTING!


Secretary of State - Glenda E. Hood
Florida Department of State
R. A. Gray Building
500 S. Bronough
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250

Phone: 850-245-6500

Division of Elections, Director's Office
The Collins Building, Room 100
107 West Gains Street
Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-0250

Phone: 850 245 6200
Fax: 850 245 6217
Fax: 850 245 6218
Toll Free: 1 866 308 6739
TDD: 1 800 955 8771
Voter Fraud Hotline, Toll Free 1 877 868 3737

Department of State, Division of Elections
Bureau of Voting Systems Certification
Room 231, The Collins Building
107 W. Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250

Phone: 850 245 6220
Fax: 850 245 6237

Bureau of Election Records
Room 316, R.A. Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-0250

Phone: 850 245 6240
Fax: 850 245 6259
Fax: 850 245 6260

Elections Division Home
County Elections Supervisors
State Election Code
Voter Registration Information
Absentee Voting Information
Voting Equipment Page
Election Results Page (Historical)
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RedEagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
3. Help Out California!
Shelley will be under tremendous pressure. We want one thing, the big powers something else. I think the people should prevail, don't you? Remember, Arnold was selected, they need California's electoral votes.

Isn't it about time justice was done, in the name of the citizens?

This ain't over and you better believe we can't sit down and relax over this one victory.

People power, not corporate/administration power.

Write/email/fax and call- and CC the California legislature and the press. Make it very, very obvious where the people stand on this.

If Arnold says one thing about giving Diebold another chance, the payback should be huge. It's unpatriotic not to protect our vote, it's not right to not uphold California State law. Whatever happened to the three strikes and you're out clause? How many times has Diebold failed? I count at least 17 counties where Diebold is in violation of the law, let alone the latest round of activity. How many times must citizens be disenfranchised from voting? How many times can you sell uncertified equipment in violation of state law?

Throw the bums out!

To borrow from Paranoid Pat:

Call the State and Local elections officials NOW!

Thank them for this first step but politely and firmly DEMAND that ALL touch screen equipment be decertified until they offer voter verified paper ballots for allowing proper audit capabilities for our elections!
We won this battle but the war rages on. There are still 13 other counties using Diebold touch screens IIRC, they must be stopped as well.


Secretary of State - Kevin Shelly

California Secretary of State
1500 11th Street
Sacramento, California 95814

Phone: 916 653 6814

Elections Division

Phone: 916 657 2166
Fax: 916 653 3214
TDD: 1 800 833 8683 (No Charge to Calling Party)
Vote Fraud Hotline: 1 800 345 VOTE (8683) Recorded

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ParanoidPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. While you're at it, contact the California Attorney General.....
Ask him to hold Diebold accountable for the LIES they told when selling their crap in our state! :evilgrin:

(Hi guys! :hi: How's that ulcer doing Bob?)

Contact The California Office of the Attorney General


The Attorney General's Public Inquiry Unit seeks to assist you in answering questions on a wide variety of issues ranging from consumer fraud to public safety. It is generally a clearinghouse for consumer complaints and requests for information.

You can contact the Public Inquiry Unit at (916) 322-3360 or, within California, by calling (800) 952-5225.


California Department of Justice
Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. The supporters of Electronic voting ARE fighting back...
They are still trying to paint all of us who are demanding paper ballots as "internet conspiracy theorists."

Last night on KGO, northern California's largest radio station, talk show host Gene Burns had Professor Dan Tokaji on as his guest, who happily portrayed paperless electronic voting as a wonderful innovation with just a few bugs to be worked out...

You know, the same old crap: printer jams, hanging chads, etc....

In case you are interested:

A nice enough guy it seems, but he doesn't understand the technical issues at all, and worse, he doesn't want to.

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ParanoidPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks for that link Hunter.....
.....If anyone else feels like contacting the good professor here's his contact info. :evilgrin:

Professor Dan Tokaji
Phone: (614) 292-6566
Fax: (614) 688-8422
Web Blog:
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
4. Wow! I can't believe this issue has made it...
to the editorial page of the New York Times. The accomplishment of those involved in BBV cannot be overstated. Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you!
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