By John Gideon on 9/23/2006, 11:17am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

On last night's Lou Dobbs Kitty Pilgrim reported on what the media is just awakening to, problems with e-voting machines are nationwide and a threat to our democracy. Some of us have been telling all who would listen that this was the fact for years now. Finally some state's are listening and acting.

The text-transcript of tonight's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

Tonight, Kitty Pilgrim reports on states all across the nation suddenly alarmed by the vulnerability of e-voting technology and the threat to our democracy.

We begin tonight with Kitty Pilgrim --- Kitty.

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, problems with electronic voting machines are now nationwide. And activists and some government officials now are pushing for stricter rules, more security. They are even trying to decertify some machines altogether.


PILGRIM (voice-over): Across the country, there's a groundswell of action to challenge electronic voting machines and their use in November. In Colorado, half of the two million voters use electronic voting machines. But a nonpartisan group of activists has filed suit saying, state security testing was inadequate.

PAUL HULTIN, ATTORNEY FOR COLORADO VOTERS: The secretary of state completely delegated that to the vendors. All that's required is that the vendors submit their documentation and recommendations and the secretary of state says that's good enough and approves the security of the machine.

PILGRIM: In Maryland, after a botched primary last week, Governor Ehrlich wants to dump the electronic voting machines and go with paper ballots. The electronic voter records kept crashing. He says in the ensuing chaos, people standing in long lines were discouraged from voting.

GOV. ROBERT EHRLICH (R), MARYLAND: I doubt whether it can be fixed in seven weeks. And so my issue here is, you have an election coming, you're going to have a lot of people, a couple million people voting. Why take a risk? Let's just go low-tech. Let's err on the side of safety, get an election everybody can count on, and then go higher-tech next time.

PILGRIM: California was among the first states to require a voter verified paper trail in case a recount is needed. Back in 2004, California decertified certain Diebold machines and demanded those models be put through stricter security and reliability tests before they could be used. The state also demanded stricter federal testing.

In New Mexico, the governor simply gave up on touch screen technology, signing a law last March to require an all paper ballot. Governor Richardson said he wanted to restore confidence in elections.

(END VIDEOTAPE) PILGRIM: Now, we have word just now that the judge in Colorado has ruled that the electronic voting machines can be used in November. But he also said state officials will have to make sure that they can't be tampered with, and he also ruled that the secretary of state's office violated state law and did an abysmal job in testing those machines --- Lou.

DOBBS: Yet ruled that they can still proceed.

PILGRIM: Yes, but tighten up every rule and have them tested.

DOBBS: Amazing judgment ...

PILGRIM: Amazing.

DOBBS: ...or lack of it on the part of the judge. Good for Governor Richardson taking a stand he has. Good for Governor Ehrlich trying to protect his elections in Maryland. Thank you very much, Kitty Pilgrim.

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