R.I.P. Mechanical Lever Machines!
As we count down to yet another chance to put the country on a progressive path, or not, one thing can be agreed on by all sides: this will be the most electronicized election in history.
We now have a majority of elections being conducted on semi, or entirely, unverifiable voting machines that can be easily hacked, are harder to use (thus disenfranchising the computer illiterate poor/old etc.), are hard to set up except by trained operatives from 2-3 companies, who are all Republican, and which were probably used to toss Ohio into the Bush camp in 2004, taking the election from Kerry. The answers to THAT died with the plane crash that killed Mike Connell, Karl Rove's IT guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DglTfefw80. This plane crash has never been properly investigated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1yqlki3y1A&feature=related.
For what's currently unverifiable, read here: http://electionfraudblog.com/ or the brad blog: http://bradblog.com/
Here in New York, we are going to be using optical recognition systems for the first time, after using completely verifiable, nearly tamper-proof mechanical lever machines since 1892 (if someone takes a hammer to a mechanical lever machine, you know it!). These machines, cheap, easy to operate, and highly reliable, are now being sold for scrap.
Although these machines, like most machines used in the country, have paper ballots, not all voters verify their ballots before leaving the station, and they have no way of knowing if the machine tally agrees with the ballot; the assumption is that it does, but these are two different recordings, so there's no guarantee.
More distressingly, there are several organizations that have successfully hacked voting machines, including The Computer Security Group at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), The dept of Computer Science, Univ. of Santa Barbara, Black Box Voting (who did it in 4 minutes for $12 in parts!). There are too many examples to list; Bing returns 11,200 results to the query: Hacking Voting Machines!
Does this sound like the makings of an open and verifiable election to you?
So, when political pundits like Robert Creamer write articles in Huffington Post like, Time for the Pundits to Take a Deep Breath -- Why Democrats Will Not e Routed In November, saying it may not be a rout of Democrats this Fall, one has to wonder whether any of his well-thought-out reasoning make any difference, or if it will all come down to what candidate a circuit board and a few hackers select.