Nevertheless, one could conjecture that absolutely nothing will change in Ohio for the primaries. Her recommendations will not be implemented because there isn't the cash, nor the time now, to put her recommendations into place for '08. We will keep using the DRE's, certainly in every other county save Cuyahoga perhaps. Her recommendation may not be enough to solve the great challenges that lay ahead for Ohio voters in '08. If the past is any indication, the primaries are guaranteed to be a mess when once again we expect to be told by elections officials that everything went "just fine", "just trust is" and "move along. There is nothing to see here." However, as Bev Harris of Black Box Voting pointed out recently, appeals of "just trust us" don't wash anymore with voters. This is not about "just trust us." This is "prove our vote count is correct beyond a doubt by implementing the proper checks and balances." Harris is spot on. We the people are entitled to full transparency in our elections and we are just not there. We are angry and we are still waiting for genuine election integrity by means of genuine transparency.
I am dreading the March primary. Ohio doesn't have the money for the Secretary's recommendations to shift to optical scanners and paper ballots for '08. Where will we ever find the money? Even if we did have the money, are we to understand her recommendation would be to continue rewarding the vendors— the vendors who sold taxpaying voters a bill of goods in the first place and whose only punishment will be?.... drum roll please... A BRAND NEW CONTRACT for the manufacture of 2 billion-dollars-worth of NEW ELECTRONIC Voting machines!? Oh, that again. I can see it now just as clearly as a train coming down the track and guess who is tied to the tracks? The voters are. The taxpayers are. That is just not going to wash with us anymore. We are tired of spending billions for questionable elections. We want verifiable election results. Anything less than total transparency is unacceptable. We want our money back so we get get back on track—that is, on the train, not the tracks. Methinks it is not only time for real transparency but that it is time for some hefty lawsuits filed against the vendors for the biggest democracy-killing taxpayer rip-off in history. Vendors shouldn't be rewarded, they should be decertified, then they should be sued.
If we ever do get our money back, which I doubt, we should spend it on hiring randomly selected independent auditors to conduct in-precinct random 10% hand-count audits against the optical scanners counting our precious, real paper ballots. Now THAT would prevent the cheaters from cheating. Yes. It would offer genuine checks and balances by the people, for the people offered the freedom to verify their own election results. That's real transparency. Remember, it's not about "just trust us" anymore. Accustomed to disappointment once again though, voters get coal for Christmas. We have been duly informed that in-precinct audits are off the table by Secretary Brunner.
Though some of Brunner's recommendations on the surface appear to be actually quite good, like the 12-day window voters would be given to cast their ballot in "Super-precinct polling stations", the recommendations do nothing to address the urgent need for real transparency. Consider for example, what might happen if some unscrupulous individual counted super-precinct ballots early and was able to use the early results like an exit poll that could be used to fine-tune a rig? The possibilities for fraud are stunning. For another example, weak links in the chain of custody exist for the transport of millions of paper ballots to an ill-conceived "Central Tabulation" point in each county. Without polling station audits with citizen oversight, we still won't know if our vote truly counted.