Monday, October 30, 2006

Potential for election fraud

I wanted to weigh in with my two cents on the potential for election fraud here in the Sunshine State. Am I scared about it? You bet your sweet bippy I am. And contrary to what some might think, it's the Democrats I'm scared of. They are pretty much the party of institutionalized election fraud and I'm pretty sure the Supervisors of Elections in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are Democrats. And whether there is fraud or not you can be sure that that the Dems will be screaming that there was. But we have nobody to blame but our dear Governer Jeb Bush for this mess. He pushed for the electronic voting initiative after the 2000 election debacle. Now we have these machines that have shown a propensity for error and we still have NO PAPER RECORD of the votes.

My first encounter with elections equipment was in High School. We used the old punch cards for our student council elections. If I remember correctly, the machines were rented from the Dade County Department of Elections. When used properly, these machines allow for very few mistakes in voting and tabulating. Most elections aren't close and the counting of the old style punch cards proved to be pretty reliable. But in 2000 when 6 million+ votes were cast in Florida, and the margin was about 500 votes, we all became instantly aware of what a chad is and the different types of chads there might be: hanging ones, pregnant ones, etc. The recount became a function of "interpreting voter intent", a concept nobody felt comfortable with. I'm even more uncomfortable with the current system. So here are my suggestions for future elections, one high tech and one low tech.

1. A printed record for each voter. Of course this would require purchasing a printer for each and every voting machine in the state. Why didn't anybody think of this before? They did and they discounted the idea. Still pisses me off. If we spend state funds on anything it should be to maintain the integrity of elections.

2. Bring back the old punch cards and voting booths. Why couldn't you simply have the poll worker that guards the ballot box instruct each voter to check his ballot for hanging chads or unregistered votes? Why can't the poll worker warn each voter that any vote not properly registered by removing the entire chad may not be counted?

For more info on the worry about the upcoming elections read The SunPost's article appropriately entitled "Electile Dysfunction?"


El Gusano said...

Amen, Henry. I vote for the low tech. Specially in light of the investigation that there might be a link between one of the manufacturers of electronic voting machines and hugo chavez.

Srcohiba said...

The issue is not Chavez. I've been a poll watcher and on the legal team for the GOP for several elections already. The issue with the electronic voting is that it is easy for a poll worker with an agenda, to cast phony votes. ALso, once a vote is cast on the electronic fraudulent or not, it cannot be undone.

The last election in 2004 was pretty good at least at the heavily democratic precincts I inspected. One kerry operative was trying to coerce the folks in aventura to allow illegal votes be cast on the machines, but she did the right thing and followed the law.

I'll be there again this election and would ask anyone, if you want to make sure there is no fraud, to volunteer to be a poll watcher. Let me know if you're interested.