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Democracy in Jeopardy

Reported by Eleanor - July 30, 2004 -

On CNN's Lou Dobbs (July 29, 6:41 p.m.), Rush Holt, Representative from New Jersey, talked about a bill in Congress to require paper receipts on electronic voting machines.

It seems that Florida found the votes that were missing from the 2002 election on a compact disk. Holt emphasized the fact that computer votes are open to computer malfunction and fraud, and many of the current machines have no paper trail for voter confirmation and recount. The votes are totally unverifiable. As long as a possibility exists for a miscount, there should be a paper trail. Ideally, a receipt in hand that can be left at the voting place.

Why a push back on this? The answer: Republicans think it's the democrats trying to get even for 2000, the technology and the cost; even though the money was put aside in 2002, and the companies who make the voting machines also make ATM machines. (Can you imagine not being able to get a receipt for your bank withdrawal or deposit?). Holt said that if candidates were forced to sign a waiver that they would accept an electronic vote count as is, they might think twice about voting against the legislation. A recount is meaningless on a paperless machine because you get the same count over and over. They just don't seem to understand that without a paper receipt a recount is worthless.

Ironically, a recent development in this voting scandal is that the republicans in Dade County Florida have sent mailers to republicans to vote by absentee ballot.

Comment: I think that anyone objecting to a voter paper trail is either ignorant of computers, dishonest, or involved in voter fraud. And why would they restrict the paper count to a recount? Why not count the paper and compare the votes before verifying the electronic votes? If the votes are different, the paper should be the vote that counts.