West Virginians have reported electronic voting machines flipping votes for Obama to McCain.
- Virginia Matheney and Calvin Thomas said touch-screen machines in the [Republican] county clerk's office in Ripley kept switching their votes from Democratic to Republican candidates.
"When I touched the screen for Barack Obama, the check mark moved from his box to the box indicating a vote for John McCain," said Matheney, who lives in Kenna.
When she reported the problem, she said, the poll worker in charge "responded that everything was all right. It was just that the screen was sensitive and I was touching the screen too hard. She instructed me to use only my fingernail."
Even after she began using her fingernail, Matheney said, the problem persisted.
Here's what another WV resident had to say:
- Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.
"I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican," she said. "I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.
"I asked them for a printout of my votes," Ketchum said. "But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way."
But Ma'amselle, you say, maybe it's just a computing error and not anything intentional. Then why is it that there has never been an instance of GOP votes switching to Democratic in the 4+ years this has been happening?
Congress has been remiss in passing legislation to ban these pernicious electronic voting machines. My least favorite Democratic Senator next to Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein--who has voted recently for things like telecom immunity and unwieldy blanket copyright legislation--introduced this stupid bill in May that would force electronic voting machines to print out a record of your vote as some sort of receipt. Here are the problems with that:
- The legislation would not go into effect until 2012 (2 years after I've voted Feinstein's dumb ass out of Congress and 4 years into the Presidency of whoever wins this November), so it doesn't actually do anything of any use to anyone right now. Way to posture on empty promises again, Feinstein, you jerk!
- A machine's "source code" is the software programming that outlines, "When a user does this, the computer responds by doing this." The source codes of these machines are proprietary; that means that the companies who write these codes into the machines (like Diebold, owned and operated by Republicans) will not let anyone see the codes. Their defense is, "If we were to show you the code, someone might steal it, and then our company would no longer be competitive in manufacturing voting machines." (Heaven forbid.)
Hey, Dianne Feinstein, someone at one of these companies could write something into the code that said, "Change an Obama vote to a McCain vote, and then print out a receipt that says, 'Obama'," and no one would ever be able to catch it.
I bring this up because 2006 saw the defeat of two incumbent Republican Senators, George Allen of Virginia (the "Macaca" guy) and Conrad Burns of Montana. These guys were defeated by very narrow margins--so narrow that they were entitled to state-sponsored recounts (i.e. they wouldn't have to pay anything for them). Even though they both could have asked for recounts--free of charge--neither accepted, each conceding the race to his Democratic challenger. Everyone wondered, why? Why would these morally bankrupt, thieving, lying scumbags who would stop at nothing to win suddenly have a change of heart and gracefully step into the shadows?
Well, because their exit polls were off! Challenger Jim Webb (full of awesomeness) beat Allen in the exit poll 52%/47%; the election itself yielded a victory of only 49.6%/49.2%--a five percentage point discrepancy. Challenger Jon Tester (full of super-uprising-awesomeness) beat Burns in the exit poll 53%/46%, while the election itself was 49%/48%--a six-point discrepancy. Just about everywhere else in the country saw accurate exit polling that year--a huge step up from the 2004 elections and partially the effect of the rejection of electronic machines in some places; however, these two places had voting machines, the only electoral tools that could have possibly produced errors such as those stats--errors far beyond the human capacity to have been that wrong by accident.
Here's my point: any recounts in those areas would have required the manufacturers of the systems to reveal their source codes. They would have had to go inside the machines to expose not just which votes were logged for whom but exactly how they got logged inside the system. Burns and Allen, Republican jokers both, knew this and couldn't concede fast enough to protect their shadowy conspirators from having to demonstrate exactly how their machines took all those Democratic votes and turned them Republican magically. (For a fantastic and in-depth look at this, please visit this truly awesome article on InTheseTimes.com.)
Are you still not convinced voting machines are a bad idea? Really? Fine. Watch this Princeton prof. hack into a machine in one minute:
This electronic machine monkeybusiness is still legal, everybody, because Congress has been sitting on its lazy ass passing things like making November National Methamphetamine Awareness Month. I mean, really! I am a total stoner, and I can only imagine if there were a "Marijuana Awareness Month" to alert people to the dangers of smoking weed. Let me tell you, hardly anyone is more aware of danky herb than I am, and if I were to hear people talking about awareness of the ganj day in and day out, I would compulsively have to smoke bowlz. Oh, Congress!
But I digress. Some places have been passing local resolutions to ban electronic voting machines, and we should all pressure our local elected officials to do the same. Check out what the Deputy Secretary of State in West Virginia (a Republican) had to say:
"Sometimes machines can become miscalibrated when they are moved from storage facilities to early voting areas," Bailey said Friday. "We get a couple of calls about this each election year."
Miscalibrated! Like one of those pesky zeroes in the software code accidentally flipped to a "1" when someone shook the machine too hard! That makes total sense! And even assuming that could happen, she obviously suspected it could happen and didn't care--didn't bother to recalibrate any machines or check to see if they were working beforehand. Well, exactly! She's a crooked-ass elected official!
Look, O.K.? you don't want this to happen:
ACORN bullshit is a real story--an actual arrest in California:
- SACRAMENTO (L.A. Times) -- The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario over the weekend on suspicion of voter registration fraud.
State and local investigators allege that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that all signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California. His firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM, collects petition signatures and registers voters in California and other states.
So I said it up there but I will say it again: go visit Steal Back Your Vote.org. They can't steal the election if we all turn out!