Democrats Pass on Challenge to
Secret Vote Counting in South Carolina
This is the place to affix the STAMP. Link
South Carolinians mounted a serious protest to the onerous "Stamp Act" imposed on the colonies by British rulers. The act levied a tax to pay for the "Seven Years War" which established Great Britain as the world's dominant colonial power. South Carolinians resisted funding their own domination through payment of the tax.
Today, the Palmetto state faces a challenge beyond the Stamp Act. Their state constitution is clear, if not elegant, in its definition of the basic elements of elections:
All elections by the people shall be by secret ballot,
but the ballots shall not be counted in secret.
Touch screen voting machines like those used throughout South Carolina are inherently private. Citizens and officials are barred form accessing the fundamentals of the voting machines. As a result, meaningful information on errors or fraud is off the table.
Once a voter touches the box next to their candidate, the machine takes over turning the vote into an electronic ballot that cannot be examined, even with access. This voting machine right of privacy is written into agreements signed by election officials all over the country. It's called "faith based voting." We vote and then have faith that the machines will do their job.
That adds up to a clear case of "ballots ... counted in secret," direct defiance of the prohibition of counting ballots in secret referenced above..
Challenging the Privacy "Rights" of Voting Machines
The obvious contradiction of the state law and the state's privatized voting systems spurred voting rights, judicial reform and media activist Mark Adams of Florida to object strenuously. He began by writing John Edwards an open letter asking him to oppose the process. Absent a favorable response, on Wednesday of this week, he sent letters to each of the democratic candidates.
In his plea to Clinton, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, and Obama, Adams argued this point:
In case you are not aware, Article II, § 1 of the Constitution of South Carolina states, "the ballots shall not be counted in secret." No one can see a computer count, and therefore, computers count in secret and using computers to count votes in secret violates South Carolina's Constitution!