Will Other Elections Officials Across Country Have Decency to Do Same?
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2006, 6:09pm PT  

In what ought to be the first of a wave of resignations by Elections Officials across the country who have utterly failed the very voters they are supposed to be serving, one of three commissioners of the Denver Board of Elections has resigned today in the wake of the city's e-voting meltdown last Tuesday. He has apparently shown a measure of grace and responsibility far too rare in most Elections Officials...

Denver Clerk and Recorder Wayne Vaden resigned today amid chaos in the Denver Election Commission which he oversees.

Citing his belief "that accountability is the underpinning of honorable public service," Vaden said he was resigning from a "personal disappointment over my efforts" with the commission.
The resignation came exactly one week after a disastrous election in which absentee and provisional ballots still haven't been counted. Computer glitches caused voters to wait in line up to three hours. Many complained they were unable to wait that long and thus were unable to vote.

[Denver Mayor John] Hickenlooper acknowledged Vaden's frustrations, adding that Vaden's acceptance of responsibility without blaming others "is a reflection of his strong character and commitment to Denver."
Vaden, as clerk, was one of three election commissioners overseeing the voting process for Denver's 350,000 registered voters. The two other commissioners, Sandy Adams and Susan Rogers, are elected.

Of course, apparently the Washington Post --- who editorialized on Sunday that "the system worked" --- doesn't read the Denver Post, so they don't know about Denver's "disastrous election." Or they simply don't care.

We've come to expect such failures from the country's national media, but the larger question now remains: will other failed Election Administrators have the decency to do what Mr. Vaden did?...

Failed administrators like Sarasota, Florida, Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent, who fought against any sort of verifiable paper trail on her voting machines until 18,000 votes simply "disappeared" in the latest U.S. House race in the 13th district? Or Florida's Sec. of State Susan Cobb, who continues to fight the voters in the 13th who, ironically enough, passed an initiative on Nov. 7th calling for such paper ballots in their county?

Will Mikel Haas, the disastrous San Diego County Registrar of Voters, be man enough to step down amidst his failures? Or Deborah Hench, the Registrar-Clerk in San Joaquin County, CA, who lied to her voters when she told The Record last March concerning her Diebold touch-screen systems that "The state tested this system seven ways to Sunday...They didn't find anything wrong"?

How about Arizona's horrible Secretary of State Jan Brewer, who told AP last January that Election Integrity advocates in her state were "anarchists" and "conspiracy theorists"?

Or the insipid Linda Lamone, who has sold out the state of Maryland to Diebold despite years of knowing their machines didn't work, that they were flat out unsecure at any speed, and then went about apologizing and making excuses for them for years on end.

All of those officials, and many many more around the country (far to numerous to name here) have all presided over Elections this year in which voters were disenfranchised due solely to their own inexcusable decisions about what sort of voting equipment to use. They chose to believe the documented lies of the Voting Machine Companies (who had billions of dollars at stake on which to base those lies) over their own common sense and a mountain of evidence revealing the systems they had chosen were not fit for use in any American election.

Those officials, and many others like them, chose to put their own careers over the needs of their own constituents --- the voters --- and they ought to have the decency to step aside so that folks who give a damn about democracy might take their places and try to clean up the messes these people have wrought.

It's the least they could do. Though somehow we have a feeling the ones we've named above at least won't be able to dredge up such a sense of responsibility and accountability and decency. We applaud Mr. Vaden, at least, for doing so.

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