Ron Paul Supporters Concerned Diebold DREs Will be Used to Deny 'Groundswell of Support' for Surprisingly Popular Candidate...
By John Gideon on 7/15/2007, 10:34am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org

August 11 is the date for the Iowa GOP presidential "straw poll." In this "straw poll" Republican voters from all over Iowa will walk, drive, or share a bus to the campus of Iowa State University where they will be allowed to pay $35 each for the honor of casting a ballot for their choice for President.

This "poll" is semi-important within the world of Republican politics. Both McCain and Giuliani have decided to pass and will not participate. However, for the candidates who are lower down in the polls this "straw poll" may be all important. The supporters of Dr. Ron Paul, for instance, claim that he has thousands of supporters within the state and that they are going to do all they can to get them to Ames.

With all of that the supporters of Paul have got another gripe and concern that sounds much like the same concern many in the Election Integrity community have; the poll, which used to be done on paper ballots, hand-counted in public, will be conducted on Diebold Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines. The Ron Paul group is very concerned that the machines will be gamed in order to make their candidate's showing less than what it should be and in order to inflate the results for those whom the Republican National Committee (RNC) want to have a good showing.

The following email was sent by a member of Paul's support group to a large list of Election Integrity groups:

From: Ron Paul NoHo Meetup
Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2007 9:51 AM

Subject: VOTE FRAUD RED ALERT: Diebold electronic voting machines to be used at Iowa straw poll!

The Iowa GOP has decided to use Diebold electronic voting machines at the Iowa straw poll on August 11th. The straw poll has always been counted in the open with paper ballots...until now. They are about to deny the people the vote again, this time to turn back the popular groundswell of support for Dr. Ron Paul.

Please investigate and spread the word! Please reach across the aisle and help! This affects ALL Americans! PLEASE MONITOR THIS STRAW POLL!

Yours in support of Ron Paul for President,

Steven Vincent
North Hollywood Ron Paul Meetup

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.": Gandhi

Vincent is incorrect when he says that the straw poll has always been counted in the open and with paper ballots. In 1995 voting machines were used and there was some dispute because Sen. Dole and Sen. Graham got the same number of votes exactly.

Nonetheless, we'll keep our eye on this one, as it could be an interesting moment with touch-screen Diebold DREs at the center of national attention on that day. Particularly if something goes --- obviously --- wrong. Unfortunately, the trouble with DREs, is that most of the problems aren't obvious at all. Hence, the grave danger they pose to democracy...

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