A spot check of election results in Palm Beach, Florida (land of questionable elections) turned up a few inconsistencies, so a judge ordered a hand recount of the ballots that had been tabulated using a computer system from Sequoia Voting Systems.
Why did it take a judge to order a recount? Because, hand counting ballots in Florida is now illegal. (Seriously. Who came up with a stupid law like that?)
The hand count found that the electronic system had declared the wrong winners in several races. According to the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections “Frankly, without paper ballots and without audits, we would have let the wrong winners serve. I have a feeling that this isn’t the first time, but we never noticed.” Indeed, the spot checks are a new thing in Florida, and without them there would have been no way to tell that there might be problems.
The same voting system is widely used across the country. In fact, similar systems will be used to count 70% of the votes to be cast in this year’s presidential election. Do you have any trust at all that the results will be reported accurately?
Why not have both? Have the electronic voting machine generate a paper ballot, so you can count both electronically and you have a hardcopy that can be counted the traditional way.
What is more outrageous IK is that a quick search using BING from MSN.com revealed that the top return was the BradBlog you quoted and the other hits were all just local news and blogs. I search in Google revealed Political Irony as the top return followed by the BradBlog and then local news.
With an issue that strikes at the core of our democracy, the vote, I am bewildered that this is not on any national outlets. Well, now I guess we can consider this site a national news media since it was Google’s #1 return. Great job rising to the top of network news. Finally a national source to turn to and see the facts.
Morrius, these were not electronic voting machines, they were automated optical scanners for paper ballots (the ones you fill in with a pencil or pen). The bizarre Florida law makes it illegal to do a manual recount of paper ballots after they have already been tabulated by a computer. Good thing the Judge ordered that they violate this law.
PSgt, so does that mean I’m now part of the lame-stream media? I’m not sure if I’m happy about that!
But it is absolutely incredible that this is not being mentioned in the news, especially considering how much press they gave to purported voter registration fraud from ACORN.
IK: This does indeed make you a part of the lamestream media. Expect Sarah Palin to attack and/or try to write a post for you in the near future.
I work in legal services. Our minimum allowable accuracy rates for scanning of paper information, or for processing of electronic data, are 99.5%. It is unbelievable that something as criical as voting would be held to a LOWER standard.
A big problem is a disengaged, passive, entertainment-focused audience that tunes out anything they actually have to think about. Discussing real voter fraud resulting from the use of optical scanners…wait, what’s an optical scanner…ooh, look, pretty flashy graphics over here on Fox News with somebody screaming about how this ACORN guy registered Mickey Mouse to vote.
The worst thing about Fox News is the influence it has had on other news outlets. CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, etc., perceive Fox as a competitor. So they fight for market share, rather than admitting that Fox News provides entertainment, not news. The genius of Fox News (and I do mean that sincerely) is that they thwarted this argument before it could ever be made. They did this by incessantly accusing other news sources of liberal bias, despite empirical evidence to the contrary. The other outlets then had to focus on defending themselves against these accusations, rather than actually investigating the news.
Furthermore, because they view Fox as a competitor, they feel they have to cover the same crappy stories from the same angle, rather than focusing on things that matter and giving insightful commentary. That’s why no one on any of the other networks argued that ACORN was not a huge scandal, because voter fraud and voter registration fraud are vastly different things and only the former really matters.
Disengaged populace + profit-centric media = no real news media = bad for democracy
Michael, well put.
But we got PI. Thats gotta count for something. And IK I think you’ve risen above the LSM. At least you’ll allow an opposing viewpoint and even debate it. Most of the LSMs present only 1 side and cut to commercial.
And then there’s this. I’m curious to see what becomes of this story.
Quick summary: Michigan’s constitution says new laws go into effect 90 days after the session ends at the end of the year (e.g., if the law passes in Jan. 2011, it goes into effect at the end of Mar. 2012), unless 2/3 of the legislature votes for immediate effect. Since the GOP took over the legislature and governorship in 2010, they have passed 566 new laws, with 546 going into immediate effect. Since the House split is 63/47, 10 Dems have to vote in favor to meet the 2/3 immediate effect requirement.
However, there is sufficient evidence that the GOP-controlled legislature is illegally putting laws into immediate effect in violation of their state constitution. The video clip includes footage (at minute 13) of a party-line vote in which the Speaker claims immediate effect passed, despite the fact that 63/110 = 57% < 2/3. It’s gotten so serious that the Michigan Democratic party has sued the House of Representatives.
If these claims are validated, this is a serious, serious problem, as it suggests that the GOP is willing to ignore the rule of law in order to push through a radical agenda before the next election cycle.
Michael, thanks for the link to that story. Talk about tyranny in America.