Making Your Vote (Not) Count

February 17, 2004 at 2:00 pm
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The second of today’s posts, like the first, is another example of the slow-motion train wreck of American Democracy.

Ever since the debacle of the 2000 Florida election, in which the voter rolls were illegally purged and tampered with by Katherine Harris, handing a 537 vote “victory” to George Bush, our attempts to preserve the honesty of voting in America have been met with increasing resistance. Let’s bring the problem up to date.

First, if you haven’t already, check out these stories about the basic problems of the electronic voting machines and their utter lack of security.

Then take a little trip down memory lane and remember all that Katherine Harris did in the 2000 election in this powerful animation from the ever-incisive Eric Blumrich.

Bring yourself up to date on the debate about electronic voting and the security issues therein with this MSNBC article from yesterday.

Then, explore the Verified Voting site to learn how you can fight for this issue in your state, and where you can donate to help the cause. True Majority has also set up a simple “store” where you can donate to their The Computer Ate My Vote campaign.

You can be sure that at least one California senator is trying to fight the good fight. See the response I got, below, from Sen. Boxer, to my letter to her about this issue.

But in Florida, Boca Raton Congressman Robert Wexler’s suit to force Florida’s voting machines to produce a paper trail has been dismissed.

If you care about your democracy–I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on–I hope you will contact your congressmen to insist on verifiable, secure voting. I wonder what they’ll say. Something tells me you’re not all going to get the kind of response I got from Sen. Boxer.


February 17, 2004

Dear Mr. Nelder:

Thank you for contacting me regarding
electronic voting. I appreciate the opportunity
to review and respond to your comments.

You will be pleased to learn that I
recently introduced legislation to address the
shortcomings of current Direct Recording
Electronic (DRE) voting systems.

The Secure and Verifiable Electronic Voting
Act (SAVE Voting), S. 2045, will ensure that
Americans have an electronic voting system that
is modern, secure, and verifiable by the upcoming
November elections. SAVE Voting would require a
voter-verified, permanent paper trail for each
vote cast. It would also impose greater security
standards by making sure that access to the DRE
machines and software is limited to approved
personnel who have had background checks.
Finally, SAVE Voting would provide financial
assistance to states to help pay for the costs of
adding printers to DRE machines.

Again, thank you for contacting me about
this issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me
in the future.


Barbara Boxer

United States Senator

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