by Kevin Zeese:
This will be the last news summary before Election Day and it is one that will make you uncomfortable.
The last few days of voting news, see below, have some real pre-election scares in them. Perhaps most frightening is a letter published by the U.S. Election Asstance Commission from a Michigan election official describing how an ES&S optical scan machine got inconsistent votes in logic and accuracy testing. The October 24th letter, published today, raises serious doubts about the machines. The Michigan official wrote:
"While problems with the performance and design of the M-100s have been documented, this is the first time I have ever questioned the integrity of these machines. The issue is this – four of our communities or eight percent – reported inconsistent vote totals during their logic and accuracy testing with the ES&S machines. The same ballots, run through the same machines, yielded different results each time."
Kim Zetter from Wired notes "ES&S tabulators were responsible for counting 50 percent of the votes in the last four major U.S. elections, according to the company. Some 30,000 of them are now deployed in 43 states."
The problem is the machines get dirty during use (like on busy election days!) and cannot be cleaned as maintenance voids the warranty. ES&S is the same company that makes touchscreen machines that have reportedly flipped votes in five states. Combining the ES&S problems with Diebold’s (aka Premier) admission that their machines can lose the votes of entire precincts and it is difficult to be confident about the vote count.
Other news shows the beat goes on — long lines in multiple states, officials and judges refusing to extend the voting day to make up for it, purging of voters continued in Colorado after a judge ordered it stopped and leaves Colorado voters confused., a variety of people put forward various ways in which the election could still be stolen. Even Oprah Winfrey found her voting machine failing to count her presidential choice! But, election integrity activists are also doing what they can. Black Box voting puts out several videos on what you can do to protect the vote and numerous obervers, poll watchers and election hot lines will be in force tomorrow, along with army’s of lawyers inside and outside the campaigns. If you want to get a visual of how arrogant election officials can be, watch the video associated with the last story from Philadelphia.
It is hard to imagine how Election Day can go smoothly. Why would it be anything but a concentrated repeat of early voting — long lines, registration challenges, voter suppression, machine problems and litigation. Is this any way to run an election? Is this really the greatest democracy on Earth!?
If you haven’t taken action on our last two alerts (1) urging the networks and AP to keep the exit poll results before they are reconfigured to match the voting results (something that could be the most effective audit of the election we have); and (2) seeking the intervention of international observers for any post-election battles — there is still time to do so. See http://truevote.us/action.php.
Judge Refuses Last-Minute Election Changes in Va.
McCain sues to force Va. to count military ballotsGeorgia: Fulton, Clayton won’t extend voting hours, urge patience
Colorado’s Purged voters in the dark over Election Day status
Combat Vote Suppression posted
Could voting meltdown history repeat itself?
Concerns continue to shadow e-voting
Short-Circuiting the Vote
Touchscreen Voting Machines Cause Long Lines and Disenfranchise Voters
Black Box Voting on Protecting the Vote Count on Election Night
EAC Publishes Michigan Letter Raising Doubts About ES&S Machine
Glitch reports mount for e-voting machines
On Eve of Election Day, Is the Nation’s Voting System Ready?
How McCain Could "Win"
Report: ES&S Voting Machines Can Be Maliciously Calibrated to Favor Specific Candidates
Carper calls for re-evaluation of voting system
How is Jennifer Brunner, Ohio’s embattled Secretary of State, holding up as the election (and the likely accusations of impropriety) approach?
Florida Democrats file lawsuit against GOP
Colorado Voting Machine Removed, Quarantined, After Vote Flips Multiple Times to McCain
Advocates demand ballots for all
UCSB Put Finishing Touch on State’s Touch-Screen Voting Machine Ban
The State Of The Ballot Fight In Battleground States
Pitfalls at the polls
A Brief History of Ballots in America
Ed Felten on E-voting: What Can Go Wrong
E-voting Groups Are Watching a Handful of States
Fears of US ballot-box overload trigger citizens’ army