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Putting two and two together...

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I was sitting here posting an article to OpEdNews. It was about how the electronic voting machine corporations are tag-teaming Ion Sancho so that he misses the HAVA deadline and gives Florida the pretext they need to oust him from his job as Supervisor of Elections. For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Sancho, he has been an outspoken critic of electronic voting. He invited computer security expert Harri Hursti to Leon County, Florida, to attempt an authorized hack of the memory card of Diebold's Accu-Vote OS 1.94w optical scanner, which has been also used in California and Maryland. The success of the hack brought much needed attention to the vulnerability of these machines. December 13, 2005, was a pivotal day, indeed, for opponents of electronic voting.

I have read positive things about Vote-PAD, a non-electronic voting device for disabled voters. Developed by Ellen Thiessen, founder of VotersUnite, it is user-friendly to disabled of all varieties, is simple, inexpensive and has no costly maintenance expenses (electronic voting machine yearly maintenance cost projections are now up to 1000% higher than previously thought, so this is a legitimate concern). Vote-PAD has been approved for use in Yolo County, CA, as well as in Wisconsin.

All of a sudden, the proverbial light bulb went off in my head. Why not bring these two together - election boards and Vote-PAD?

I'm asking you to contact voting activists and public officials in your state. They are either unaware of Vote-PAD or are unable to think beyond the pending contracts and HAVA deadlines. Our voting integrity and the future of our elections are too important to be decided under such immense artificial pressure. Let Vote-PAD be examined, let officials consult with their counterparts in Yolo County and Wisconsin and share that information with their own electorate.

Perhaps, we have been going the long way around. Perhaps, right under our noses lies a very simple solution to disabled voting and HAVA compliance that will neither break the bank nor threaten voting integrity. If benefit of the doubt has to be given, I vote for honoring the integrity of the vote. What do you say?

Don't wait. Pass this around. Make a few calls, send out a few emails. Maybe together we can turn this thing around. It's certainly worth a try.

Your local government will thank you when they end up with money in the bank by choosing a better, more reliable and less expensive option which protects the voter's right to vote and be sure that vote is counted properly and accurately. This is certainly a win-win situation all around.

(The website for Vote-PAD is Check it out!)

Joan Brunwasser, Voting Integrity Editor,
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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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