Election Integrity Hero Makes Deal With New Voting Machine Company
PLUS: VIDEO of FL Sec. of State, Sue Cobb, Explaining Why She Closed Monday's Open Meeting
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2006, 1:20pm PT  

{ED NOTE: This story, posted earlier today, was somehow corrupted and comments were lost. Now restored here. Apologies for whatever happened.}

He came in prepared for a grilling, but embattled Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho left the Leon County Commission chambers Tuesday with a unanimous vote of confidence.

The commissioners gave Sancho a green light to pursue a deal with a Louisville, Ky.-based company to provide voting equipment for disabled people. The company, IVS, was the last option on the table that would make Leon County compliant with federal elections law come the September primaries.

As BRAD BLOG readers know, Sancho is the hero who helped discover last December that Diebold optical-scan machines were hackable and could have their results flipped without a trace being left behind. Since that discovery, all three voting machine companies certified to do business in Florida, have refused to do so with Sancho. And Jeb Bush's cronies in the FL Sec. of State's office have been been attacking the 18-year elected Elections Supervisor Sancho ever since, even while acknowledging the grave security flaw he found in their systems. For them.

We particularly enjoyed this nugget from the Tallahasse Democrat coverage from which we've been quoting here:

Commissioner Cliff Thaell, a Democrat, wanted to have the commissioners recognize Sancho as a hero for liberty - an idea that had many members of the public clapping thunderously; Commissioner Tony Grippa, a Republican, drew hisses from the audience when he called Thaell's comments "grandstanding" and asked the audience how many of them were Republicans.

The reply from one woman in the crowd: "How about taxpaying citizens?"

By the way, the Democrat has been doing a tremendous job of covering this story of late! Each of their reports have also included multi-media audio and video in addition to their written reports, so it's worth clicking through to catch some of those. The report linked above also features a short video [WMV] interview with Sancho speaking after the meeting mentioned above.

As well, there is also a very enlightening one-hour audio interview with Sancho speaking to members of the Tallahassee Democrat editorial board concerning the problem he discovered with the Diebold machines in Leon County, attacks on him by both the State and the Voting Machine Companies, and other E-voting problems across the country.

Yesterday we covered the meeting --- ironically enough, on the first day of Florida's "Sunshine Week", celebrating "open government" --- which Jeb's appointed Sec. of State Sue Cobb called in Tallahassee to put the heat on Sancho. It was to have been an open meeting, until Cobb closed it, slammed the door, and called the police to remove reporters from the hallway.

The Tallahassee Democrat coverage of the story included a short video of Sue Cobb explaining why she closed the meeting. We believe it's worth a quick look to understand this woman's reasoning for yet more secrecy in dealing with these issues of public importance and transparency.

-- Video in Streaming Flash format...
-- Video in Windows Media Player format...

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