This Changes My Opinion

Critics: Convicted felons worked for electronic voting companies:

“A manufacturer of electronic voting machines has employed at least five convicted felons as managers, according to critics demanding more stringent background checks for people responsible for voting machine software.

Voter advocate Bev Harris alleged Tuesday that managers of a subsidiary of Diebold Inc., one of the country’s largest voting equipment vendors, included a cocaine trafficker, a man who conducted fraudulent stock transactions, and a programmer jailed for falsifying computer records.”

Before now my thinking was that it’s a little bit too wild to try to say that there really was a PLAN to steal elections. My thinking was that the voting machines were not secure enough to ensure AGAINST this happening, and against loss of data if a machine malfunctions — that it just didn’t make sense to have voting machines that didn’t have a way to verify that the voters’ choices were what was recorded and counted. AND, if I WERE going to try to fix an election, I’d need to have people in on the plan that I could count on to be dishonest enough, and to keep quiet.

But no, all this is starting to look more than a little suspicious:

  • The companies are owned by hard-right wingnut Republicans.
  • The companies sacrifice the extra profits from the add-on sale of printers.
  • The companies resist changing in response to criticism and adding printers. They don’t fix software flaws that are pointed out to them. Instead they hire PR firms to tell lies and smear and ridicule their critics (a typical REPUBLICAN response.)
  • They sneak in uncertified software.
  • Republicans in the Congress refuse to co-sponsor bills to fix this problem.

    So what IS going on here? And how long do we all have to wait to be sure that our election process is NOT being stolen? It’s the “be sure” part of that sentence that is important to me. I saw David Dill speak recently, and he began his talk by saying that democracy depends on the losers accepting the results of elections. Whether The Party is involved in a scheme to steal elections or not, this has gone too far. I can’t accept that the results of elections conducted with these machines are fair because there is no way to know for sure.

    Now, I was in the computer business for a long time, and of course a computer hardware crash or software bug never happened to me in all that time. An intentional virus never happened to me, either. And I’m sure none of these things never happened to you. Right? They certainly never happened to the election officials who are buying these machines. So you and I and the election officials never had any reason to make backups of our critically important data. Right? But, theoretically, just theoretically we know that these things could happen to us, probably in an alternate universe, but they could happen. So, theoretically, we should be backing up our data. Right? So shouldn’t our voting machines also have a way to verify that our votes are counted correctly?