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Our reporter on the ground in Maryland dissects WaPo lead story

By       Message Mary Howe Kiraly     Permalink
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Here is my take on the Washington Post coverage today
(and there are amazing people who have worked
diligently to get the Post focused on this issue).

"The main focus is on whether people know how to
properly use the machines, particularly the large army
of volunteers who staff the polls at most precincts."

No it is not.

The main focus is that these machines are flawed and
vulnerable and should not be used, as currently
configured, to record and count votes. This system
undermines our democracy.

There is no national standard for machine
manufacturers. The current certification process is
controlled by the manufacturers and is closed to
review. The "certification process" has NEVER
uncovered the blatant flaws and vulnerabilities that
we learn about. These system failures were found by
expert activists, and largely ignored by the press.

Moreover, because these machines are flawed and
vulnerable, layers of cumbersome "security measures"
have been added to prevent them from misuse. It takes
poll workers hours to set them up before an election,
and take them down after. Layers of additional
proprietary encryption software have been added, and
this makes retrieving the election data a lengthy
process. The human error that should be covered is
the corporate effort to foist these systems, for
billions of dollars, on our democracy.

For reasons, which I do not fully understand, the
print media continues to cave in reporting domestic
political stories, especially around election issues.
The Washington Post, since Bush's lame "win" in 2000,
appears to have a policy of- what I call- equivalency.
It is the technique that D. Rumsfeld refers to as
"putting an intractable problem in a larger context."

Using that method, a large scale vulnerability in the
technology of voting- all across the county- receives
the same emphasis as a situation of "human error" in
one county in Maryland. What is ironic is that the
incident of human error pointed directly to the large
scale vulnerability which could not be discussed for
what it is.

Because the press has a self-prohibition on reporting
stories that could reinforce the idea that elections
could produce an illegitimate outcome. The press
should be informing Americans about how to protect
their votes, so that they are recorded and counted
accurately.

Mary

here is the link to the WaPo article discussed above:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/16/ar2006091600885_pf.html

 

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Mary Howe Kiraly is a voting activist living in Maryland.

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