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Saturday, April 17, 2004

Faking Democracy: Americans Don't Vote, Machines Do, & Ballot Printers Can't Fix That by Lynn Landes. Via Google Web Alerts.

Machines will produce 99.4% of the election results for the upcoming 2004 presidential election. With all the hoopla over voting machine "glitches," porous software, leaked memos, and the creepy corporations that sell and service these contraptions, and with all the controversy that surrounds campaign financing, voter registration, redistricting issues, and the general privatization of the election process--we are missing the boat on the biggest crisis facing our democracy.

Americans aren't really voting. Machines are. Call it faking democracy.

[Think of voting as a three-step process: marking, casting, and counting ballots. Once a machine is involved in any one of those steps, the result is hard evidence of the machine's output--and only circumstantial evidence of the voter's input.]

And no one seems to be challenging it. As far as I can tell from my own investigations and from discussions with law professors, attorneys, and others, there has never been a lawsuit that challenges the right of machines to be used in the voting process.

...

The only fix that will give Americans back their constitutional right to vote is to ditch the machines.

(Yes, I linked this story earlier from CounterPunch.org)
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