Friday, March 17, 2006

WaPo: Eyes Wide Shut

Yesterday, WaPo published a blurb called How to Steal an Election, with a graphic that shows how much better protected Las Vegas slot machines are guarded than voting machines. Much better. In fact, it ought to be a national shame that voting machines are practically unregulated. Of course, WaPo couldn't admit to themselves or their readers that this is and has been a serious problem:
It's easier to rig an electronic voting machine than a Las Vegas slot machine, says University of Pennsylvania visiting professor Steve Freeman. That's because Vegas slots are better monitored and regulated than America's voting machines, Freeman writes in a book out in July that argues, among other things, that President Bush may owe his 2004 win to an unfair vote count. We'll wait to read his book before making a judgment about that. But Freeman has assembled comparisons that suggest Americans protect their vices more than they guard their rights, according to data he presented at an October meeting of the American Statistical Association in Philadelphia.
The curious statement that they, i.e. WaPo wankers, will wait to read Freeman's book before "making a judgment" about the likelihood that Bush benefitted from an unfair vote count, among other unfair voting irregularities, is truly remarkable.

Apparently, WaPo is unaware of the Conyers report or any of the hundreds of other reported "problems" that all occurred with DREs, always adding to Bush's tally and never to Kerry's. Or the nonsense going on in Alaska where officials claim that vote data from Diebold machines is a state secret. Or the audit tapes recently released from Florida DREs that show pre-loaded votes. Or that the third highest ranked election worker on Cuyahoga County Board of Elections was recently indicted in Ohio for "mishandling" ballots and is the third such indictment in that state. Or that a voting machine vendor employee blew the whistle on "glitches" with machines in 2004 or that these glitches resulted in some 100,000 uncast votes magically appearing in vote totals during the recent Texas primary. No, WaPo editors seem unaware of all of this.

Apparently, they are also unaware of their own published stories.
In northeastern Ohio, in the fading industrial city of Youngstown, Jeanne White, a veteran voter and manager at the Buckeye Review, an African American newspaper, stepped into the booth, pushed the button for Kerry -- and watched her vote jump to the Bush column.

In Youngstown, 25 electronic machines transferred an unknown number of votes for Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to the Bush column.

In Columbus, Cincinnati and Toledo, and on college campuses, election officials allocated far too few voting machines to busy precincts, with the result that voters stood on line as long as 10 hours -- many leaving without voting. Some longtime voters discovered their registrations had been purged.

...irregularities associated with machines in three traditionally Democratic counties in southern Florida may have delivered at least 130,000 excess votes for Bush

Some regular voters filed affidavits stating that their registrations had been expunged.

Voters in most Democratic wards experienced five-hour waits, and turnout was lower than expected. "I don't know if it's by accident or design, but I counted a dozen people walking away from the line in my precinct in Columbus,"

In Knox County, some Kenyon College students waited 10 hours to vote.
The cases where too few voting machines were allocated were all heavily Democratic precincts. But all of this, it would seem to WaPo editors, was just the result of random mistakes, random mistakes that weren't random at all; they always went to Bush's benefit.

But at least WaPo published the piece. It may not be enough to wake up the nodding heads in the editors' room. Will it be enough to wake up the rest of us?


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