October 30, 2008
STOP US IF if you've heard this before: Yesterday, there were at least three voting lawsuits pending in various state and federal courts. It was a testimony to the lack of coherence in election law - and a promise of confusion, and maybe worse, on Tuesday, Election Day. Not only do election policies differ from county to county, but interpretations of those policies can differ from polling place to polling place. The 2000 election debacle highlighted the fragility of the U.S. electoral system.
October 30, 2008 |
A federal judge yesterday ordered Pennsylvania election officials to issue emergency paper ballots if 50 percent or more of any precinct's machines fail at any one time on Election Day. Delays caused by voting-machine breakdowns on Tuesday could unduly burden citizens and deprive them of their right to vote, Chief Judge Harvey Bartle III ruled. "The evidence, not surprisingly, demonstrated that DRE [direct-recording electronic] voting machines, like all other machines, sometimes fail.
October 24, 2008 |
A coalition of Pennsylvania voters and civil-rights groups sued yesterday to seek emergency paper ballots for voters if electronic machines fail. "When a machine breaks down, it can turn people away and disenfranchise thousands of voters," said John Bonifaz, legal director of Voter Action, a national organization. Many people can't wait hours in line without risking their jobs or missing day-care pickup times, he said. The groups want paper ballots available to voters if 50 percent or more of the machines at one polling place fail.
August 22, 2008 |
Stealing America: Vote by Vote begins with a quote from founding father Thomas Paine: "The right to vote . . . is the primary right by which other rights are protected. " Dorothy Fadiman's persuasive documentary ends with accounts of massive vote switching; hacked, whacked voting machines; and destroyed voting records. Both of George W. Bush's presidential wins are called into question. If the film shows a liberal bias, it also makes the point that rigged elections are antithetical to everything this country stands for. In one of many clips from Jon Stewart's The Daily Show mixed in with the talking-head interviews (economist Paul Craig Roberts, pollster John Zogby, Ohio State Sen. Bob Hagan)
March 10, 2008 |
WOLF BLITZER declared recently on CNN that in the primaries, "some states are already finding serious problems with their electronic voting machines, and they are ready to give E-voting a grade of F. " On Election Day 2004, the Verified Voting Foundation had more than 500 reports of E-voting problems, including malfunctioning machines, ill-trained poll workers and an inadequate supply of terminals. The lever machines of the past had problems at times with preserving votes, but after being replaced in some places with punch cards, decades went by with little demand for any changes.
November 14, 2007 |
Camden County election officials yesterday conducted a court-ordered count of votes that went missing after poll workers forgot to retrieve electronic cartridges from voting machines on Election Day. The count, which took place in a warehouse where the machines are impounded after the election, didn't change the outcome of any race or public question, said Ken Shuttleworth, spokesman for the county government. The count discovered the votes of 114 people who voted on electronic voting machines in Camden and in Gloucester City, Shuttleworth said.
November 10, 2007 |
A Superior Court judge yesterday ordered eight Camden County voting machines whose totals were not counted on Election Day to be opened and the computer cartridges that record votes to be removed. County elections officials said the votes would be counted next week, with revised totals expected on Tuesday. The uncounted votes are not expected to change the results of any election, officials said. The voting machine cartridges - from Camden, Gloucester City, Winslow Township, Cherry Hill and Pennsauken - are impounded for 15 days after an election, said Elections Superintendent Phyllis Pearl.
November 9, 2007 |
New Jersey's attorney general yesterday asked a judge to open eight Camden County voting machines whose votes were not retrieved by poll workers after the election Tuesday. Camden County election officials had said they would ignore any votes cast on the machines, which poll workers mishandled on election night, for now. But after The Inquirer raised questions about that decision, Attorney General Anne Milgram's office yesterday petitioned Superior Court to open the machines and keep any votes from being disregarded.
October 18, 2007
Distasteful how bakers ignore trans-fat risks Re "Just for tradition's sake, trans fat might stay," Oct. 11: Trans fats kill or disable by heart attack or stroke. That is a fact. So what we have is a gang of greedy merchants who sell pound cakes, cannoli, chrusciki or other killer pastries and are asking for the right to continue killing and disabling. In the article, one of these merchants said she represented "the blue-collar bakeries" whose customers could not afford higher prices.
October 9, 2007 |
I have made a point, in recent elections, to ask for paper verification of my vote, but I always know the answer in advance: "We can only verify that you voted; we can't show you how you voted. " This year, the poll worker remembered me and declared, "This is an honest shop. " I assured him that I trusted the good citizens on duty, but I did not have the same level of confidence in the integrity of electronic voting machines (a.k.a. computers). I learned later to my surprise that New Jersey already had passed voter-verified paper record legislation in 2005.