I predicted, HRC won by a comfy margin yesterday--large enough to give her campaign a (literally) dramatic boost, and thus protract the agony of this long, bloody split within the Democratic Party. Her supporters are, of course, delighted; while the press--even those, like Keith Olbermann, who seem to hate her with a kind of pathological intensity--are all fixated on her "comeback," inasmuch as all this season's thrilling up and downs have made for really good TV.
Neither her supporters nor the watchdogs of the media seem to care at all about
exactly how she pulled it off--or rather, to be more precise, how it may well have
been pulled off for her. As the piece below reminds us, the voting system in PA is
eminently hackable, and completely unverifiable; and there were mammoth problems yesterday, all day, throughout Obama-friendly districts. Election monitors tried endlessly to call the state's election hotline--which no-one answered, a taped voice asking you to leave a message. Meanwhile, MSNBC assured us that there were no reports of voting problems in the state, which is, unfortunately, typical of how the press deals with elections, here in Bush & Co.'s America, just as in Putin's Russia.
That the Republicans have had a stake in boosting Clinton's numbers is no secret; and that they know how to rig the e-voting machines used nationwide has been established in state after state. While such manipulation is, of course, a stealthy practice, BushCo's party also has engaged in overt partisan subversion: Rush Limbaugh has been exulting loudly in what he calls "Operation CHAOS," his on-air crusade to get grass-roots Republicans to vote for Clinton in PA, not because they like her but in order to keep Democrats divided.
They'd be quite happy to have her end up as her party's nominee, but, failing that, are just as happy to prolong the rift within her party. (It's not a "split," which would imply a break right down the middle: Clinton has the firm support of a plurality of Democrats--and one that's smaller than the official numbers
have us thinking.) And they are doing all this not because they think that John
McCain can actually beat Clinton, or Obama, in November. They're doing it,
rather, to provide the crucial rationale for John McCain's surprising "win." If
they can manage to make the race seem "close" enough, they'll steal it for him;
and then the media will trot out that official "explanation" for what happened
--just as they're doing now.
For anyone who's interested, I can put you in touch with someone who was
right there on the ground in Pennsylvania, and saw what happened to the vote.
She knows other monitors as well. These are people who saw for themselves
what really happened yesterday, and who will talk about it.
PA primary will be unauditable; GOP blocks e-voting reform
By Jon Stokes | Published: April 21, 2008 - 02:30PM CT
On the eve of tomorrow's hotly contested and relatively close Democratic presidential primary in Pennsylvania, a number of voting activists are sounding the alarm one last time about the state's election systems. Over 85 percent of PA voters will vote on paperless touchscreen machines that are hackable, failure-prone, and fundamentally unauditable.
* Analysis: Clinton, Obama, and New Hampshire by the numbers
* A last-minute push to save e-voting before the November election
* Analysis: Why the "Hillary hacked NH?" story is important (Updated)
* Analysis: e-voting's success rests on chain-of-custody issue
The ever-vigilant Bradblog has a roundup of which models will be used in tomorrow's contest, and it's not pretty:
* Two PA counties, one of which, Montgomery, is the state's most populous, will use the same Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreens that are now the subject of an investigation in New Jersey because of their spectacular failure in that state's recent primaries.
* Sixteen counties will use the Diebold Accuvote TS touchscreen model. Regular Ars readers will recall that my 2006 article, "How to steal an election by hacking the vote," described in some detail how to steal an election using this machine. (I hope that nobody from PA decides that it would be a good idea to print copies of the free PDF of this how-to article to bring to the polls with them as a form of protest, because you would probably get in trouble. So don't do that.)
* 51 counties will vote on the infamous iVotronic touchscreen from ES&S. This is the same model that brought us the Florida 13 controversy that ultimately resulted in Florida scrapping touchscreens altogether.
So as is typical this cycle, the people of PA will vote tomorrow in an election that is impossible to audit, one in which the government cannot meet its burden of proof of election integrity.
A preview of November
As the state primaries wind down, the odds that the e-voting situation will be at all improved by November just got significantly slimmer, thanks to the success of the Bush administration and House Republicans in blocking e-voting reform.
This past January, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) introduced the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act (H.R. 5036), which proposed a last minute, federally-funded push to help states and counties phase out paperless touchscreen e-voting machines before the November presidential contest. In addition to setting aside $600 million to fund the implementation of a paper trail in the states and counties that rely solely on paperless touchscreens, the bill has a number of great audit-related requirements that would go a long way toward ensuring the integrity of our elections.
Holt's bill passed the House of Representatives Committee on House Administration with unanimous, bipartisan support, only to be blocked by House Republicans on a near-party-line vote when it reached the floor. The White House also spoke out against the bill, opposing it on fiscal grounds.
Rep. Holt then blasted House Republicans in his own statement.
"I'd like to ask the opponents how much spending is too much to have verifiable elections in the United States. I note that many people who opposed this legislation supported spending almost $330 million in recent years to provide election assistance in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. I would have hoped those who supported efforts to export democracy abroad would be equally committed to strengthening democracy here at home," Holt said.