Friday, February 17, 2006

NM Requires Paper Ballots; More Setbacks For Diebold

The Albuquerque Journal on Wednesday published an AP report (archive) that the New Mexico House passed a measure requiring counties to use paper ballots. No compliance deadline was set and the counting methods still appear to be dubious. Governor Bill Richardson supports the bill that must still pass the (state) Senate.

In Maryland, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. made waves Thursday with this letter (.pdf) obtained by Ehrlich wrote the letter to the MD State Board of Elections, stating:
"I no longer have confidence in the State Board of Elections'’ ability to conduct fair and accurate elections in 2006."
Ouch. And all because the Board wants to plow ahead with Diebold despite the mountain of evidence indicting the manufacturer's equipment. Ehrlich cites not only the well known security flaws that have been exposed, but also the partisan connections and the enormous increase in maintenance costs. All of which are arguments that have thus far fallen on deaf and willfully ignorant ears here in Humboldt.

This really isn't too different from my calling for the resignation of local elections officials who have denied these problems and defended our indefensible election conditions. That is, by claiming "no confidence" (a beloved GuvWurld refrain), Ehrlich is helping to establish a zero tolerance policy for the bullshit up-is-down mentality of those advocating voting systems that are already debunked.

Worse still, Raw Story also on Thursday reported:
The Maryland State Board of Elections allowed Diebold Election Systems to operate its touch-screen voting machines during the state's 2002 gubernatorial election and the 2004 presidential primaries before the state agency actually certified the controversial machines, according to recently disclosed documents.

That is a violation of state law, according to Linda Schade, executive director of, an election integrity group.
GuvWurld has repeatedly addressed Diebold's acknowledged California crime of installing uncertified software. Diebold's problems continue to mount.As I wrote two weeks ago, mail-in voting is being given serious consideration in the California State Assembly, an obvious reflection of the lack of confidence in the electronic options. Earlier this week AB 707 was converted to an "urgent" bill that could pave the way for mail-in voting to be used for this June's primary.

At a time when local news has repeatedly reported on vandalism, robbery, identify theft, slow/lost mail and improperly secured mail stored outdoors, who is really convinced that this is going to create a basis for voter confidence? Certainly not Ed Stoner, former Eureka Postmaster put on administrative leave for "undisclosed reasons." As if that lack of transparency weren't enough, consider that mail-in voting will still be subject to the same secret vote counting (scanning) method currently provided by Diebold and other partisan corporate creators of election stealing machines. Mail-in voting in CA right now would be like re-arranging the proverbial deck chairs of the Titanic.

For a set of conditions likely to ensure conclusive election outcomes and create a basis for confidence in the results reported, see the Voter Confidence Resolution.



Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic! Dave, you are genius!


By Anonymous Jon Koriagin, at 6:49 PM  

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