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/
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?