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It's the Voters' Fault. The DOG ATE MY BALLOT and Other URBAN LEGENDS!

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Message Lani Massey Brown
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Florida's Secretary of State, Kurt Browning kicked-off Election Day in spin-mode saying, 99% of the problems with touch screen voting machines can be traced back to people (you and me) or pollworkers.

Nothing wrong there, right? Nothing except pollworkers are YOUR team, YOUR watch, Mr. Browning. If your systems are too complex, if your procedures aren't clear, if your pollworkers aren't trained, that's not a people problem. It's your system, your problem. As for the voting machines, were they too complex to be used successfully? Was voter training required? Or did the machines malfunction? It's still your system, your problem. If you don’t know you’ve got a problem, Mr. Browning, you can’t fix it.

By nightfall Browning skewed history, "We're finding a lot of this stuff is like urban legend, where there's a report of something happened, but when you investigate it, there's nothing to it." Nothing to 18,000+ votes lost and unaccounted for? Florida still doesn't know who won in Sarasota’s 2006 Congressional District-13. Do you? If you don’t know you’ve got a problem, Mr. Browning, you can’t fix it.

Lest we forget last summer’s blunder, Browning questioned, “ if the amount of time spent in defending the voting system & trying to prove to the public that it's accurate & secure is worth the effort when we should be spending our time running good elections.” Oops. The voting system is not secure & until it is, you can't run a good election. Still, his words drill to the core of Florida's voting woes. There's time to do it over, but never time to do it right. Ironically, Browning’s comment immediately followed state tests conducted by California and Florida that revealed significant problems with the voting machines. California Secretary of State Debra Bowen decertified California’s machines. Kurt Browning continues to defend Florida’s. If you don’t know you’ve got a problem, Mr. Browning, you can’t fix it.

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A Margin of Error: Ballots of Straw is featured on When a high-tech stalker invades America’s voting machines, only one woman can stop it – one woman and the man sent to spy on her.

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Author of A MARGIN OF ERROR: BALLOTS OF STRAW, featured in "Small Press Bookwatch" - Politics is a tough career, with more knives in (more...)

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