Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Irreparable voting problems in Ohio

The state that gave you George W. Bush's second term is suffering from an electoral dysfunction so severe that it cannot be corrected before the 2008 presidential election. That's the conclusion of a study conducted in Cuyahoga, Ohio's most populous county.

A nonprofit group hired to review the county's first election with new electronic voting machines found several problems with the May 2 primary, the results of which were delayed six days because roughly 18,000 absentee ballots had to be hand counted.

The absentee ballots had been improperly formatted for new optical scan voting machines. Poll workers also had problems operating the machines, some poll workers didn't show up, vote memory cards disappeared and one precinct opened hours late. Researchers also found that the four sources used to keep track of vote totals on machines did not always add up.

"The election system in its entirety exhibits shortcomings with extremely serious consequences, especially in the event of a close election," wrote Steven Hertzberg, director of the study by the San Francisco-based Election Science Institute.
Say it with me: PAPER RECEIPTS.

If Ohio and other states are so determined to inflict electronic voting machines on their citizens, there must be some way to verify that votes were properly recorded. This is just common sense. Anyone who fights such a suggestion is either stupid, crazy or corrupt.