There are 120 ways to hack the vote on a computer; there are 5 ways to hack a Hand-Counted Paper Ballot system. See the resource list below for links to these reports. At the very least, please read the executive summaries.
We must return to a citizen count of paper ballots, at the precinct, before all who wish to observe. To participate in a Parallel Election being run in Central Ohio, contact me or my cohort, Marj Creech, at risenregan @ earthlink.net.
Ten percent of the nation will vote in the midterm elections without a paper trail. We have no basis for confidence in reported results of any election held on a paperless electronic system, because we can't count electrons. We simply have to trust politicians.
But, I assure you, a paper trail is useless unless it overturns official results when anomalies surface. In August, San Diego learned Ohio's lesson, if not "legally" blocked, at best recounts are meaningless. There, election officials charged $150,000 to count 164,000 ballots. To give this perspective, 04 Ohio Recounters paid $113,000 to count 5 million ballots. And Blackwell certified the Electors before the recount even occurred!
To remove citizen oversight completely, the San Diego Superior Court ruled in August that from here on out, Congress determines the outcome of federal elections - even if the election violated state and federal laws, even if the state didn't certify the election. So now we know how we stand come November. Want to recount a federal election now? Got a half million dollars for attorney fees, with no guarantee of being allowed to do so? http://www.bradblog.com/?p=3353 and http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/hl0608/s00338.htm
Democide, the death of democracy, is fully supported by our judicial system, starting on 12/12/00 when the US Supreme Court halted the recount that the news media later confirmed would have given Gore the presidency. Our public servants seem to have forgotten their place in a democracy. Elections belong to the people - not courts, not politicians, and certainly not corporations.
"But what about auditing these machines?" you ask. Audits are as effective as baby aspirin is for a migraine.
AS to TouchScreen (DREs), to audit, we are to be comparing what is produced inside the machine with what is produced (or reproduced with no oversight) inside the machine. Malicious software can report whatever results it wants to report.
As to Optical Scan machines that do use a paper ballot, if we only audit 1, or 3, or 10% of the electronic ballots, then we can only be confident in 1, 3 or 10% of the results. That is simply not enough to conclusively determine the results of an election. There is no reasonably certain result from counting only 10% of the ballots. Do I pass an exam if I only answer 10% of the questions?
Elections, audits, and recounts are all run by politicians who stand to benefit by the outcome. Do I get to grade my own paper, too?
And then to have our Chief Election Officer counting the vote of his own election? This is absurd; this is fascism.
And this is why those citizens who believe in democracy (demos = people; kracy = government) are running Parallel Elections. We want to know how our precinct voted. It only takes about 10 people and $100 to run an election for 500 voters. Ohio has over 11,000 precincts; pick one.