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Pennsylvania: The Worst Place to Vote in America

By       Message Bev Harris       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   6 comments

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Okay, about Pennsylvania, which Black Box Voting has dubbed "the worst place to vote in America"

Most locations in Pennsylvania have no ballots: Strike one.

Pennsylvania fails to recognize that its own citizens have a right to oversee their own government, especially the elections that control who takes office: Strike two.

Pennsylvania has a hefty history of organized crime, including organized crime infiltrating government positions: Strike three.

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By these standards, many states in this nation have also struck out. But what makes Pennsylvania even worse:

- Bad public records laws, restricting who can see records, and making them difficult to obtain.

- One hand washing the other with the not-so-clean legislature glad-handing the HAVA-loving Pennsylvanian "expert" Michael Shamos -- the paperless voting cheerleader. Shamos is the expert that never noticed the problems with Diebold, not even GEMS, which a chimpanzee can manipulate. Shamos is the Pennsylvania expert that is ever-ready to testify to Pennsylvania lawmakers against paper ballots when Pennsylvania citizens try to get them.

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- Bad recount laws, and not even any so-called audits. Pennsylvania is the poster child for votes counted in secret, inside computers, with a secret chain of custody, which is both inside computers containing secret software and is then further made secret by poor laws for public records and obstructive behavior by officials.

Pennsylvania has some good people, like former election official V. Kurt  ellman, who has shown the intellectual honesty to do his homework, think independently, and -- most difficult for many people -- Bellman has been willing to rethink his positions from time to time. We often disagree, but it is always an informative discussion.

Pennsylvania has some awesome, creative, and tenacious citizens fighting for voting rights, like Alan Brau, who helped expose the improper use of the Advanced Voting Systems WinVote, and Mary Ann Gould, who has done an extraordinary job of communicating the issues to the public.

But Pennsylvania is still the worst place to vote in America.

Oh-- and did I mention, it also has a significant "Moonshine Elections" component. It's not often that states combine mafia connections with moonshine politics, but that's Pennsylvania. For more about Moonshine Elections, see these reports:

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I don't think you'll find many states that actually top Pennsylvania in citizen-unfriendly elections. Nominate some if you dare, but I think I'll be able to show you that Pennsylvania has them beat.

Pennsylvania's worse than Florida -- even -- because Florida has GREAT
public records laws, which have an important feature, they explictly
put ballots under public records laws.

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Bev Harris is executive director of Black Box Voting, Inc. an advocacy group committed to restoring citizen oversight to elections.

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