Tuesday, July 27, 2004

If you live in Florida (or elsewhere), your vote may not be counted. At least one other state, California, has taken emergency action by barring the use of electronic machines in a few urban counties. But here, Governor  Jeb Bush is standing by Glenda Hood, the Secretary of State who oversees elections and defends the machines, even though she already produced an error-filled list of thousands of  felons, mostly black and Democrats, who were mistakenly barred from voting while omitting any Hispanic felons (mostly Republican). She didn't back down or publicly reveal the list of names until the Miami Herald obtained a court order to get the names and found that thousands of people mistakenly listed as ineligible to vote.

She also insists that the balky electronic voting machines don't need independent auditing or any paper trails to see if they're accurate, despite already missing hundreds, if not thousands, of votes in a few smaller-scale elections. In a close election with the presidency at stake, can we afford to have voting machines that either don't work or are open to fraud (as Paul Krugman argues), abuse and mistakes? If you want to protest this burgeoning scandal ,  go to moveon.org's website for a petition to sign.

Realistically, it may be too late to guarantee the security and accuracy  of the vote, especially in Florida. John Kerry doesn't need just lawyers here, but probably U.N. election observers as well.

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