Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 29 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News   

VOV 1/30/08: Around the Country and the Counties

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)   No comments, In Series: Election Integrity
30 January 2008: Double Header on VoV

                “We are winning but certainly haven’t won.” –Brad Friedman

     Jim Strait of Renaissance Radio introduced this two-hour special edition of Voice of the Voters as “Around the Country and the Counties.” The first hour was spent interviewing activists from all over the country. The second hour focused in on listener questions and members of the establishment bureaucracy: the head of the National Association of Counties (NACO) and a commissioner from Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

     First to speak was more of a voice of America than one attached to a particular area, Brad Friedman, outspoken election-integrity activist and owner/editor of He said that from the electoral perspective this country is a mess and looked forward to Super Tuesday as Tsunami Tuesday. He perceives far more citizen awareness of the problems associated with our electoral system and noted that our movement has won some extraordinary victories. He said that the Los Angeles Times actually ran a two-part series on the issues, noting that “the battleF has been fought and won by activists.”

     In the 2800 words of the article not one activist was quoted; instead the reporter interviewed vendors and bureaucrats, even though Brad, along with many of his colleagues, was right there in L.A.

     He praised David Earnhart’s film Uncounted, adding that the results of presidential primaries are so far controversial enough and undoubtedly anticipate what is to follow this November.

     Susan Pynchon, a Florida activist who came up to New Hampshire to witness the primaries, along with Bev Harris and others, said she never dreamed she’d see what she saw—ballot swapping as if those in charge were part of organized crime. She referred listeners to for film clips and narratives. There was a road chase after a vehicle carrying paper ballots that took the activists over icy, winding roads in the dark at 75 mph.

     She described the situation in detail. The elections in most of New England, and 87 percent of New Hampshire, are controlled by a small firm, LHS, which has secret [proprietary] programming for counting ballots. Clerks run ballots through the scanners, and memory cards can alter election results if tampered with or if they are defective. The chain of custody is bad. Seals on boxes of ballots are broken. “There is room for anything when the people are unaware of any part of the election,” she said.

     Pynchon favors paper voting and criticized the present system that delivers the count according to the computer tallies on the evening of Election Day; the paper ballots are counted only days later. Mary Ann suggested requiring that the entire count be conducted in one evening, especially in small areas.

     She said that in Florida, her home state, the ES&S Ivotronics they voted on in 2006 lost one hundred thousand votes; in some counties 25 percent of the votes were lost. Yesterday the SoS publicized an opinion letter banning witnesses from counting rooms. The dilemma, analogous at the national level, is security versus transparency.

     Harvie Branscomb spoke next about his state, Colorado, which will use voter-verified paper ballots (VVPB) by 2010. In December the SoS announced that most of the voting machines there would be decertified. Then along came the legislature to rule that the SoS should reconsider his decision to decertify. The state senate will vote on this issue tomorrow (1/31/08).

     To help out in this unfortunate quagmire, visit this Web site. “Colorado voters have a right to paper ballots,” he said. Activists there are working on improving ballots and audits.

     Jason Osgood updated the audience on the situation in Washington State, which I recently envisioned as ideal for voters. In King County, where a good one third of the population lives, the electoral system is being overhauled. Optical scanners are being replaced with image scanners, which photograph ballots, which the machine absorbs and according to which it regurgitates results, the first system of this kind in the country.

     These machines are not certified—the SoS will provide provisional certification. All residents will be forced to send in their ballots by mail. “Experts predict an election meltdown,” Osgood said.

     The primary is not until August, so that where problems emerge there will be no time to fix them. The opposition is stymied. “Lots of meetings are needed to expose these problems,” he said.

     Virginia’s woes were the next to be aired—remember the state where the legislature voted to replace all their current machines with opscans?

     Well, the Verified Voting Coalition got two bills passed last year, both of which are threatened this year. SB292 allows for an optional audit and recount of paper ballots, but the judges won’t allow recounts.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Marta Steele Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Marta Steele is an author/editor/blogger who has been writing for since 2006. She is also author of the 2012 book "Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement's Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People's Vote, (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Heads Up! Bernie to Be Interviewed on MSNBC 9 pm Tonight with "Exciting" News

Review: Andrew Kreig, "Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney, and Their Masters"

Ohio Heroes On Path To Deposing Rove

Smart Security or Dumb Dollar$?

There Is Life on Mars, Not Just Water

Third Annual Women's March Converges on DC; Blocked from Capitol Building

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend