Thursday, March 16, 2006

When Electronic Voting Comes to MY County

Betrayed, outraged, that the worst, most corruption-prone Vote system is Foisted upon my own community

by Rob Kall

Tonight I found out that my county's supervisors decided, along party lines, to dump its old, reliable, trustworthy lever machines and replace them with unreliable, electronic machines, with no verifiability, no paper ballots.

I feel horrible-- betrayed, exposed and outraged. Local activists have done yeomans' jobs of educating both the public and the commissioners about the liabilities and negatives of electronic "DRE" machines and the strengths of optical scanning (OC)machines with paper ballot records. The more verifiable, higher integrity OC machines have a lower cost over time, by millions of dollars.

In the recent OpEdNews/Zogby Peoples poll, Pennsylvania voters said that they favored paper ballor or lever machines over electronic machines 84% to 13%.

Why would the commissioners-- the two republican commisioners-- James Cawley and Charles Martin-- choose a more expensive, less trustworthy, less reliable device that a massive majority of the voters don't want? That's the question.

Why didn't PA Governor Ed Rendell (former DNC leader) influence this situation? Why did he appoint a Secretary of State, Pedro Cortes, who voting integrity activists report did all he could to prevent the adoption of the most reliable systems?

This doesn't add up.

Some say the machine manufacturers contributed to campaigns. It's clear that the machine manufacturers are in far too close and too tight with the Secretaries of state, nation-wide. They help pay to sponsor meetings. Check out the (PDF) National Association's of Secretaries of State (NASS) corporate affiliates. This association, NASS, could be a cesspool of corruption, where these mid level state bureaucrats, these Secretaries of State, like Ken Blackwell and Katherine Harris, some of the most crooked, dangerous enemies of Democracy have found ways to gain power. Harris stole an election for Bush and became a member of congress. Blackwell is running for governor of Ohio, helped no doubt because of his dirty work aiding in the theft and corruption of the Ohio vote (sue me you SOB, Mr. Blackwell. Let's air this out in court.)

Some say the Commissioners are crooked, that they were made promises by the manufacturers. Some say Rendell's campaign received contributions. But this is speculation.

In PA, there is already one lawsuit against Secretary of State Pedro Cortes, and more are in the works. That probably won't do much to fix the problem with the two county commissioners. Word is, that when the one Democratic commissioner voted against the electronic machines, the one Republican commissioner appointed by the Republican machine blanched. There's no doubt that the payback for the commissioners betraying the desires of the voters of Bucks county will be the most active campaign against Republican control in history. Of course, the Republicans will be controlling the counting of the votes.

Governor Rendell seems complicit in this outrage. Add to his abuse of democracy, by attempting to force a senate candidate, Bob Casey, jr., upon the electorate, without an open primary, and Ed ends up with an interesting situation. He may lose Pennsylvania-- lose the governor's race, cause the loss of the senate race (if Casey wins the primary) and lose the whole state, so it becomes a red state. Rendell may very well lose, if Casey runs, because Casey's issue positions are abhorent to women and blacks. If Casey is running, he will turn off Republican women who split their "tickets" to vote for Rendell and Casey, because of the women's rights/ abortion issue. That won't happen if Casey runs. Matter of fact a lot of progressive women are saying they're so disgusted with Casey, they certainly won't work for his campaign and may not even vote for him. They're looking at staying home or voting for a third party candidate.

Our OpEdNews/Zogby Peoples poll found that Casey's support by African Americans was literally cut in half when they learned his positions.

Add this situation to Rendells culpability in allowing electronic voting to happen across the state and you get a lot of angry voters who just may send a message to Rendell and the Democrats who think taking away safe voting and women's rights is the way to win elections.

I think you know what I think of these DLC, democratic fakes. I call them Republicrats, and I think we need to purge the Democratic party of them. But that's another Op-ed.

Rob Kall is editor of, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and organizer of several conferences, including StoryCon, the Summit Meeting on the Art, Science and Application of Story and The Winter Brain Meeting on neurofeedback, biofeedback, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology.


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