READER COMMENTS ON
"EAC Seeking Public Input on '08 Election"
(26 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 12/3/2008 @ 2:40 pm PT...
Thanks for the heads-up Brad,
Here's what I just sent them.
As a citizen extremely interested in the integrity of your election systems these are the changes I would dearly love to see.
1. Repeal HAVA and start over.
2. Do away with easily hackable electronic voting machines, which is to say all, of them.
3. My understanding is that Germany, Canada, and Great Britain hand count paper ballots in their elections. If they can do this and have confidence in their election outcomes, why can't we?
4. Create a public domain national exit poll to help ensure the integrity of the vote as they do in many other countries.
5. Make election day a holiday.
6. Create simple, efficient, uniform standards for voter registration and voting.
7. Create a new position in the Obama Administration whose specific task is to create and oversee an efficient, equitable voting system.
8. Make election fraud and voter suppression felonies and prosecute.
9. Make it illegal for a Secretary of State to chair any party's presidential campaign.
10. Bring full transparency and citizen oversight back to our election process. Private companies should not be allowed to claim proprietary rights to any aspect of our public voting system. It's is OUR system. It is NOT Diebold's, or ES&S's, or Sequoia's, or any private company's.
Voting, our sacred right, is the foundation upon which all our other rights depend. Please fix our incredibly dysfunctional system. No one should have to wait hours to vote. And no one should go to vote and find themselves incorrectly purged from voter rolls. Voting should not be an ordeal. It should be a pleasure.
Thank you for your time.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 12/3/2008 @ 3:16 pm PT...
I just sent one off too and a funny thing happened.
after I clicked send I went and looked in the sent items folder.
I signed my name then had "Citizen Voyer" instead of voter.
OMG they'll think its Larry Craig writing them!!!
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 12/3/2008 @ 3:26 pm PT...
Wow! What an incredibly generous lead time to be given to get the word out about this! Before I put together my letter, I'd like to send a special note of thanks to the EAC for providing us with such a generous 5-day thinking- and getting-out-the-word period. Thank-you!
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 12/3/2008 @ 5:05 pm PT...
Wow, David Lasagna covered most of the bases! The only thing I would add is during the hand counting of the ballots, there must be oversight by all parties of the counters.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 12/3/2008 @ 7:52 pm PT...
Please note that the invitation for written testimony is for testimony on items that are on the meeting agenda.
One of the items on the agenda is the EACs Strategic Plan for the next few years. My comment, amongst others, will be a suggestion that the EAC wait to issue that plan until after it can be commented on by the new administration and congress.
An effort to push this plan through now, before Jan. 20, seems to be a wish to rush a plan through now so it does not negatively commented on by the new administration and congress.
I also find it amazing that it has now been 5 years since the EAC was stood-up and 7 years since HAVA was signed into law. The EAC has just now decided that they need a plan on how to provide guidance to the states on HAVA Title III; AND, they are giving themselves another two years to figure it out.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
karen from illinois
said on 12/3/2008 @ 10:00 pm PT...
david provided good list but electronics r so ingrained in hava now that we cant forget
get rid of third party sites like seo software for reporting...because if they hand count and send to soe we will still get "fixed" results
i also dont like the new computerized stacks of cards that pass for the old registeration book,,,,i want what every1 signs to be a list that can be counted
i agree with jg..at this point there is no reason to rush`
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 12/3/2008 @ 11:32 pm PT...
... karen from illinois said...
i agree with jg..at this point there is no reason to rush
Ah, but you are wrong. There's every reason to rush... when even someone as pro-corporate as Obama will be forced to ask "WTF?!" upon any independent review of the EAC's actual performance... much less the very real questions as to its purported purposes, methodology and actual relevance to election reform.
The EAC is trying to show themselves as self-regulating "we can handle it, don't mind us" types while simultaneously attempting to entrench the HAVA travesty permanently into the American electoral process.
Yeah, they've got to hurry...
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 10:09 am PT...
David forgot to include in his list, "11. And then go away."
Consult the Constitution for further details.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 10:34 am PT...
Shoot, I'm going to have to edit myself on this one!
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 11:19 am PT...
I think I'll start it out with...
Hey there my little dendrite,
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
karen from illinois
said on 12/4/2008 @ 11:28 am PT...
i didnt communicate my thoughts well, the part i dont want rushed is the perm entrenchment of these neocons ideas of "oversight"... the system they have allowed to be created is an alice in the looking glass sceniorio that makes no sense to any logical thinking person.
i am especially concerned about the soe software becoming a perm fixture for reporting results, as i think it will allow "them" to move numbers with much more ease and less chance of detection
remember the larger an area is that reports together, the easier it is to "flip" numbers
sadly my hometown has used this software for 3 elections.... in the primary i voted about 2:30 in the afternoon.. it was kind of a big deal as it was my daughters first time to vote, so hubby joined us and we went together
we have paper ballots and we feed them into a counter.... the number on the machines counter goes up every time a ballot is fed in
at 2:30 the number was over 600 (2 precincts vote together).. we were talking about the low turnout and commented that we should have at least 800 votes by closing, i remember this because of thinking about bevs 500/voters per precinct idea
when soe software reports for the primary it shows precinct 6 with 263 ballots cast and precinct 9 with 285 ballots cast, less than the 600 plus i remember from hours before the polls closed
[ed note: karen, I did a little editing, putting in some spaces and fixing really mangled typos, because some people need to have their computers read this stuff to them and this comment would have been hopeless. Please try to slow down just a jot, be more careful. Thank you. --99]
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 11:41 am PT...
Dear Agent 99,
David forgot to include in his list, "11. And then go away."
Thanks for the addendum. I thought I'd left some stuff out. I also miswrote "our election systems" as "your election systems" in the beginning making me sound like someone from another country or planet. Do you think that will give my words less import with the EAC if they suspect I'm off planet?
When I saw my representative Barney Frank and recommended abolishing the EAC he was opposed to the idea. He thought once the Democrats regained power it'd be a good thing to have. Ah well. Being really smart, which I believe he is, doesn't mean you see everything clearly. I realize this again and again and again in many contexts.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 12:09 pm PT...
Hey there Johnny Mustard Seed,
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 12:15 pm PT...
Zappkitty, what were those sunset laws again?
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 12:30 pm PT...
You dropped the "n" from your own screen name?
Dump yer cookies and try again.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 12:32 pm PT...
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 2:28 pm PT...
That response from Barney Frank is "... but they're our planes now..." all over again.
And the sadly funny thing is that those who are screaming "FEDERAL CONTROL OF ELECTIONS NOW NOW NOW!" don't seem to realize that it wasn't the Feds who led and still lead the way in election reforms... it was citizens and then some academics and institutions, and then certain local officials and then certain state officials...
I think the Founders would have said "Told ya so!"
All the Feds have done was first to support and then to mandate and enforce a corrupt and corporate-controlled regime. No, not Bushco... e-voting.
And I think the Founders would have said "Told ya about that too!"
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
karen from illinois
said on 12/4/2008 @ 3:52 pm PT...
ty for the editing...i know my typing stinks,,,and believe it or not,if i slowed down anymore ,i would be going backwards...lol
can u or brad recommend a voting rights group in illinois? i just want the result tapes from the primary for bloomington but im terrified to do the foia myself as i work for peops that might not like the idea
there would be 21 tapes (as some precincts r combined)and i would be glad to pay any fees
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 4:09 pm PT...
I think you should get a friend to fill out the FOIA request for you then. I don't know anyone in particular to recommend for it, but maybe John or Brad do....
Spaces between words. Don't type like you are texting or chatting. Type as though it were a letter to someone in the analog world and then the computers can make out what you are saying well enough to read it to the hard-of-seeing who frequent this blog. If you want to say peops instead of people, spell it peeps, so the machine can at least pronounce it right. Right now I can just hear the computer voices out there going "pee-ops"....
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 5:17 pm PT...
THANK YOU, BRAD! I distilled it down to my favorite nobody-else-cares-about-this point.
Dear Madam Chairwoman:
Thank you for your time and for offering me the opportunity to comment on voting system performance for the EAC's December 8th public meeting.
All computers, paper and people will inevitably fail at some point. Until we understand this and consider that our election laws can and should be the failsafe step of every election, independent of voting methods, we cannot guarantee the integrity of any election. Election laws must be upgraded to be on par with technology, to recognize voting anomalies and statistically improbable results, and to define and enforce immediate corrective action.
As an example, Florida ping-pongs from one faulty solution to the next without addressing that most basic problem. What should we do when the election fails for whatever reason? Bad ballot design, programming error, defective touchscreens, fraud… In the end, the type of failure doesn’t matter as long as we have a procedure to catch the failure, regroup, correct and if necessary rescind and do over. Florida’s election laws already contain some, “if this happens, do that.” But we’ve proven it’s not enough. In the event of an election fault, the country waits for the courts to decide the people’s choice, while the political party in power ultimately controls the win.
Our 2000 debacle resulted from Florida’s failure to maintain the voting equipment properly and inferior card stock. However it was the failure of Florida's election laws that permitted the chaos that followed. In 2006, it was the failure of Florida's election laws that permitted Sarasota’s election with statistically improbable results to stand. While no one even questioned 2006’s 89K missing votes statewide in the Attorney General’s race. Same high undervote, same machines. Had Florida's election laws been more comprehensive, the 2000 and 2006 elections would have been automatically rescinded in the questionable counties.
As Americans we can individually and independently choose to vote for our future… or not. Our vote is our power to be heard, to take an active part in our own destiny. When that right is taken from us by negligence, error, incompetence or an accident of technology, it is an insult to this country and those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms. None of us, not red, not blue, not independent, not indifferent should accept this chipping away at democracy.
Lani Massey Brown
Former election systems manager
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 5:30 pm PT...
Right now I can just hear the computer voices out there going "pee-ops"
No problem, it's usually easy to figure things out. "pee-ops" must be like psyops only with a lot of wet work...
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 12/4/2008 @ 7:34 pm PT...
LOL, Zap.... Yuh, a lot of wet work.... LOL
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 12/5/2008 @ 5:27 am PT...
Oh the irony.
Hello U.S. Election Assistance Commission,
Well, it's only been since 23 August 2008, since the last time I commented on how you failed and wasted everybody's time.
In that light nothing has changed since that time. Your still using electronic vote tabulation devices, and now you've allowed vote caging.
You ask for public input but you provide no feedback, and you ignore advice.
In that light, this request to me to provide comments, will save my own time, as you obviously care less about citizens and your just going through your Standard Operating Procedure motions, be honest, you don't give a crap what the people say.
So this comment will be a simple cut and paste of the SAME THING I TOLD YOU LAST TIME. This way it takes me 5 minutes instead of 7 hours.
(Snip Original Message for brevity)
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 12/5/2008 @ 3:01 pm PT...
I'll add to David Lasagna's Top Ten:
• Voter Verified "Receipts" are NOT ballots! (Moot point if the DREs go away)
• MANDATORY AUDITING!!!!
• FREE RECOUNTS!
• Up the recounts to be mandatory if a margin LESS THAN 2%
• OPEN SOURCE CODE for Machines for the handicapped
• I like #10 which can be restated NO OUTSOURCING THE COUNTING, TALLEY, TRANSPORT OR PUBLISHING OF THE VOTE!
• And #3 "Get rid of HAVA and start over" can be replaced with HAND COUNTED PAPER BALLOTS AT THE PRECINCT LEVEL!
Looking forward to His Bradness on the PBC Show tonight! THIRD HOUR!
TUNE IN KRXA AM 540 www.krxa540.com
OR Green 960 http://www.green960.com (for podcasts, too!)
Call Toll-Free: 1-888-5-PeterB, that's 1-888-573-8372
(WHAAA HAPPENED? My post got cut off! OOPS! Board doesn't like the "less than" sign by itself! MODS delete my previous two SNAFUs! thx!)
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 12/6/2008 @ 1:44 pm PT...
Allow all counts and processes to be open to any member of the public. If its too crowded, put them on live and recorded video, or behind a glass window. And post and publish when they will all take place. Once enough people are able to observe the maze of shams, and start asking questions, the problem will take care of itself.
Or at least the easily changed problems will, and then focus can be concentrated on the harder, hidden problems.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 12/8/2008 @ 3:51 pm PT...
We should vote on paper ballots, put in PREVIOUSLY LOCKED boxes that cannot be opened until counting time. ALL of these LOCKED boxes should be delivered to one assigned area per state, where the counting will take place by humans, with many witnesses attending count. Few people have keys for these LOCKED boxes and the opening of these boxes will be witnessed, also. The boxes will be numbered so there will be no chance of missing votes. All boxes must be INSIDE the vote counting area and be signed for by two adults before count starts. ALL voters in precincts will use the same box or couple of boxes, determined by number of registered voters in that area. Each person who handles or transfers each box will log name, time and date.