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Saturday, April 15, 2006

The CA Diebold machinery: Status update

dr. elsewhere here

Joe recently raised an alert regarding Bruce McPherson’s inexplicable decision to recertify the California Diebold voting machines, previously and wisely decertified by his predecessor (who was dumped by The Terminator). To follow up on this story, I made some contacts, and eventually received a couple of helpful emails that I share in summary below.
Many who have been working on the problems of how votes are being counted in California see the recertification of the Diebold voting machines as one cog in the wheel of a major effort to turn California into a red state, going back to Gray Davis' recall.

A lawsuit, Holder v. McPherson, was filed in CA a few weeks ago. Jody Holder, the first-named petitioner, has been at this a long time. Another ally, Dan Ashby, works full time on the e-voting issues in California. He's living at subsistence level in order to work nonstop on trying to keep California from becoming red, which means he's hopping from emergency to emergency as the Republicans, using stealth and wealth, push forward. He is a spokesperson for one of the voting rights organizations supporting Holder v. McPherson and has been extensively interviewed on the subject of the lawsuit.

This of course does not affect just the state of California. Nationwide, we need to be concerned. According to Election Data Services (on the home page go to the link to the voting machines for 2006), 136M out of 170M votes nationwide in November of 06 will be counted on secret software (electronic voting machines and optical scanners). It appears that two companies, Diebold and ES&S, count 80% of those 136M votes.

To further refresh your memories of the 2000 fiasco, check out the great CD available here (it's an interactive multimedia CD, with lots of video clips and documents). There is also available here a DVD titled "Invisible Ballots" featuring Bev Harris, Avi Rubin, David Dill (Stanford computer security professor) and others. Also, Mark Crispin Miller, who recently wrote about the stolen election and 2004 and why the Republicans are likely to continue stealing them, did a great job on C-Span II Booknotes recently.
We'll keep you updated when we hear anything new. In the meantime, certainly the best ongoing source for all matters related to voting is the indefatigable Brad Friedman.

Keep your eyes open on this, folks. The integrity of our elections and our press is the core of our democracy. We're close to losing both, and therefore, all.

Thanks much for posting this. I've been saying myself that there is a plot to make CA's votes go red.
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