E-Voting Machine "Error"
In Ohio Gives Bush Thousands Of Extra Votes
by Evan Augustine Peterson III,
Once again, Tuesday's national election revealed the basic problem with
e-voting machines. In a nutshell, they are prone to errors --
whether through intentional programming or accidental malfunctions --
that can be undetectable.  For instance, the e-voting precinct
of Gahanna in suburban Columbus, Ohio, recorded about seven times more
votes for Mr. Bush than there were actual votes cast in the entire
Fortunately, this error was so grossly in
Mr. Bush's favor that it was noticed by voters in that precinct when
they saw Gahanna's impossible vote totals on television, thus prompting
corrective telephone calls to their registrar's office. However,
we don't know how many more e-voting "errors" have resulted in
the misallocation of votes in Mr. Bush's favor, but have gone
Hence, it's at least theoretically possible
that enough undetected e-voting machine "errors" occurred in
Ohio to give Mr. Bush his 136,000-vote margin of victory. Of
course, that number of errors would be highly consequential, because if
Mr. Kerry had won Ohio, he'd have lost the nationwide popular vote, but
won the presidential race in the Electoral College by a margin of 272 to
266. Hence, he would be the next president! 
By the way, significant e-voting machine
errors also occurred on Tuesday in North Carolina and San Francisco.
And those are just the e-voting errors that have already been discovered
and revealed to the public, so they could be the tip of the iceberg!
Two Conclusions Are No-Brainers: (A) at
minimum, the election results from every e-voting county nationwide
should be thoroughly scrutinized for as-yet-undetected
irregularities caused by e-voting machines; and (B) under the US
Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment equal protection of e-voters
nationwide, Congress should immediately pass uniform election
legislation to mandate that e-voting machines cannot be used in another
general election in any state unless they have paper-printer attachments
which can generate hard-copy verification of the voters' intent! 
 Here's why it matters. George W.
Bush won the nationwide popular vote by 3.5 million votes.
However, the US Constitution mandates that results are dispositive
within the Electoral College, which has a total of 538 votes. Thus,
American candidates must win at least 270 electoral votes to win the
presidency. Tuesday's final tally in the Electoral College
accorded 286 votes to Mr. Bush -- including Ohio's 20 -- and 252 votes
to Mr. Kerry. Therefore, if Ohio's 20 votes had gone to John
Kerry: (a) he'd have won in the Electoral College with 272 votes; (b)
Mr. Bush would have lost with 266 votes; and (c) Mr. Kerry would have
been the USA's next president. See the New York Times'
state-by-state chart of presidential-election outcomes by using this
Author: Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D.,
is the Executive Director of the
American Center for International Law
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