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Turning up the heat with HAVA

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Message Paul Jacobs

Paul Jacobs reports on his latest effort to obtain election integrity in Riverside County, CA with allegations the county violated HAVA requirements.

I mailed my HAVA complaint to the U.S. Inspector General and a copy to Sec. of State Debra Bowen today (June 13, 2007). I allege that: 1) The Sequoia Edge II voting machines the county purchased in early 2006 were not certified to 2002 Voting System Standards as required by HAVA. 2) The voting equipment was purchased to satisfy a state mandate, which is not a qualified expenditure according to documentation by our own Registrar of Voters that I provided in my complaint. 3) The County amended the original purchase agreement with Sequoia dated March, 2000. This date is not within the timeframe HAVA provides for.
If the IG agrees with my allegations, the county may have to return several million dollars in HAVA funds. This penalty is the only way I know to send the message that the citizens really do have a role in the conduct of the people's business, especially when it comes to election integrity. Even at the cost of millions of our tax dollars, I don't think county officials will receive that message.
We have seen the last two presidential elections stolen from the voters in this country. Privatized, programmable electronic voting appears to be an accepted practice by the public at large, and a complicit news media asks no questions while excusing the found irregularities as "glitches."
Our illegitimate president has driven our country into an illegitimate war in Iraq that has caused the unnecessary deaths of 3,500 American soldiers and drained our nation's wealth. Citizens in other countries widely protest the actions of the present administration, but not here.
It is said that "money talks." Maybe a multimillion-dollar penalty will make a blip on the news cycle -- if Paris Hilton is behaving herself that week? Citizens lack the wealth held by government and the electronic election industry, and those forces have effectively silenced the collective voice of those who still believe in a democratic representative republic. Our efforts are like the proverbial straws and maybe citizens can gather enough of them to break the back of the camel that is trotting off with our democracy.
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Paul has worked in health care for the past 30 years and writes a weekly column for a local newspaper in California. He is involved in local civics, a member of Citizens for Democracy, Temecula Valley and active in the election integrity movement. (more...)
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