OpEdNews Op Eds        11/7/2004

NEW!! Add your comments below

Author Unknown     Permalink
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
opednews.com

 

E-Voting Machine "Error"
In Ohio Gives Bush Thousands Of Extra Votes

by Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D.

OpEdNews.com


Once again, Tuesday's national election revealed the basic problem with e-voting machines.  In a nutshell, they are prone to errors -- whether through intentional programming or accidental malfunctions -- that can be undetectable. [1]  For instance, the e-voting precinct of Gahanna in suburban Columbus, Ohio, recorded about seven times more votes for Mr. Bush than there were actual votes cast in the entire precinct! 


Fortunately, this error was so grossly in Mr. Bush's favor that it was noticed by voters in that precinct when they saw Gahanna's impossible vote totals on television, thus prompting corrective telephone calls to their registrar's office.  However, we don't know how many more e-voting "errors" have resulted in the misallocation of votes in Mr. Bush's favor, but have gone undetected. 

Hence, it's at least theoretically possible that enough undetected e-voting machine "errors" occurred in Ohio to give Mr. Bush his 136,000-vote margin of victory.  Of course, that number of errors would be highly consequential, because if Mr. Kerry had won Ohio, he'd have lost the nationwide popular vote, but won the presidential race in the Electoral College by a margin of 272 to 266.  Hence, he would be the next president! [2]
 
By the way, significant e-voting machine errors also occurred on Tuesday in North Carolina and San Francisco.  And those are just the e-voting errors that have already been discovered and revealed to the public, so they could be the tip of the iceberg!

Two Conclusions Are No-Brainers: (A) at minimum, the election results from every e-voting county nationwide should be thoroughly scrutinized for as-yet-undetected  irregularities caused by e-voting machines; and (B) under the US Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment equal protection of e-voters nationwide, Congress should immediately pass uniform election legislation to mandate that e-voting machines cannot be used in another general election in any state unless they have paper-printer attachments which can generate hard-copy verification of the voters' intent! [3]
 
ENDNOTES

[1] Read John McCarthy's illuminating 11-5-04 CD/AP article, "Machine Error Gives Bush Thousands Of Extra Votes," now at this URL: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/1105-23.htm

[2] Here's why it matters.  George W. Bush won the nationwide popular vote by 3.5 million votes.  However, the US Constitution mandates that results are dispositive within the Electoral College, which has a total of 538 votes. Thus, American candidates must win at least 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.  Tuesday's final tally in the Electoral College accorded 286 votes to Mr. Bush -- including Ohio's 20 -- and 252 votes to Mr. Kerry.  Therefore, if Ohio's 20 votes had gone to John Kerry: (a) he'd have won in the Electoral College with 272 votes; (b) Mr. Bush would have lost with 266 votes; and (c) Mr. Kerry would have been the USA's next president.  See the New York Times' state-by-state chart of presidential-election outcomes by using this URL: 
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/elections2004/2004President.html

[3] Concerning the applicability of the US Constitution's 14th-Amendent Equal Protection Clause, see the US Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore (Dec. 12, 2000) at: 
http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/00-949.ZPC.html

Author: Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D.,
is the Executive Director of the
American Center for International Law ("ACIL").

©2004EAPIII

NEW!! Add your comments below

 

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Editor