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November 20, 2005

California Voting Machines Emergency?

-- by Dave Johnson

Apparently the Republican Secretary of State in California may be stealthily REVERSING the previous Democratic Secretary of State's decertification of Diebold paperless voting machines! Raw Story and Brad Blog have stories about this (links below). Here's a summary: Democratic Secretary of State Shelley had decertified Diebold machines as dangerous to democracy. (He also sought to prosecute the company for lying to state officials.) Then, after the recall and Schwarzenegger's election Shelley was forced out of office on contrived charges, with a Republican appointed in his place. Now there is funny business going on and it looks like Diebold may be coming back. I tracked down a new document [Note - PDF] outlining requirements for voting machines, and the previous requirement that they produce paper ballot backups is NOT on the list.

THE BRAD BLOG: "California Sec. of State Disbands Voting Panel, Leans Toward Reversal of Previous Stance Against Diebold!"

Election reform advocates had hoped Diebold touch-screen voting machines would be permanently decertified in the country's largest "voting market" (as Diebold likes to refer to it) after a massive test of their AccuVote DRE machines earlier this year revealed a 20% failure rate. But a more recent test, secretly held at Diebold Election System's McKinney Texas headquarters, apparently in violation of California state law, has resulted in what appears to be a last minute about-face from California's Republican Sec. of State, Bruce McPhereson. The latest news has now thrown everything into doubt in the state concerning the future of electronic voting here.
Raw Story has:
On Monday, November 21st, California’s Voting System Panel (VSP) was slated to hold public hearings on whether to recertify Diebold TSX touchscreen machines.
The previous Secretary of State set up the Voting Systems Panel, and they recommended banning Diebold. The new Sec. of State disbanded the panel. Instead of a "hearing" before a panel who will decide the issue, the state will provide a room and a tape recorder. The people will speak into the tape recorder and that will be called a "public hearing." The location of the "hearing" was also kept secret.
“We had to be full time detectives to find out when this hearing would be held,” Healy stated, adding that CEPN discovered the hearing announcement posted on an obscure portion of the Secretary of State’s website, not the usual location for public meeting notices.

Election reform experts who had filled out cards at prior meetings asking to be notified of future events received no notification, she added.

Thru BadGimp there is also a web page from the "Election Justice Center".

More from True Blue Liberal, EMERGENCY - CA’s Republican SOS Plans To Steal Your Vote. This Should PISS You OFF!, Scatablog, California Voting Machines

Update - Action page here. A Kos diary on this is here.

Posted by Dave Johnson at November 20, 2005 12:36 PM

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Comments

Thanks for posting this Dave.

I swear if we don't stop them the GOP thugs will corrupt the electoral process in every blue state in the country. I never thought they would go THIS far but now I am alarmed in way and to a degree that I never imagined.

Posted by: BadGimp at November 20, 2005 3:26 PM

This is Arnold's only chance, and they know it.

Posted by: richard [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 20, 2005 3:37 PM

Contrived? I'm not up on all the details, but what I read looked pretty bad for Shelley. And I'm a SF leftie. I'd be interested in info showing the charges were contrived.

Posted by: ksh at November 21, 2005 12:30 AM

The best part in my opinion was the bit about having a tape recorder and stenographer there just in case somebody wants to comment. Comment? To an empty room? Unbelievable.

I'm going to miss our little "connect the arrows" voting system.

Posted by: Kvatch at November 21, 2005 5:38 AM

Schwarzenegger running again?? Diebold re-certified?? Hmmmmm? Coincidence?? Me thinks not! All of California should vow to vote ONLY by absentee ballot.....these paperless voting machines are beyond dangerous. Ohio should have taught us a huge lesson. Is it any wonder that so many citizens have come to believe that their votes really don't count?

Posted by: Scorpiowoman at November 21, 2005 8:47 AM

I, too, am a San Francisco leftie and would like to see evidence that Kevin Shelly was forced out of office on contrived charges. Frankly, Kevin Shelly is a pig, and above and beyond charges of financial improprieties, the way the man treated the people who worked for him, which was hideously, I shed no tears for his demise. The issue of Diebold voting machines and stolen elections is a serious one. We don't need an obfuscation about Kevin Shelly to cloud our vision.

Posted by: Shamus at November 21, 2005 7:54 PM

(916) 653-7244

Let's flood the G.O.P. secretary of state's office with phone calls of how we are going to protest him outside of his building, regardless of what state we are from. We are not going to stand for this sneaky trick he is pulling to defraud the voters, reinstall Schwarzenegger, and turn California red. No wonder Schwarzenegger was so falsely "humble" after he was defeated in his initiatives. He will just install those after he is put back in for a second term.

Posted by: WeClarkFan at November 22, 2005 4:39 AM

this information does sound alarming. but when you say stuff like calling the charges against Shelley "contrived", you damage your credibility. Shelley was a poster boy for corruption. he resigned for good reason - he was an embarrassment to the party.

Posted by: ca voter at November 22, 2005 8:28 AM

In the middle of a battle over requiring electronic voting machines to have a verifiable paper trail, Shelley was accused of misusing Federal election funds by "delaying the allocation of money to counties to buy voting machines".

In other words, he was accused by the Bush Administration of blocking the purchase of electronic voting machines.

He was also accused, by the Bush Administration, of spending too much money on "Voter Outreach" - namely registering too many Latino voters.

Mary at Left Coaster had a good piece on his resignation.

Posted by: Dave Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 22, 2005 8:37 AM

ONLINE POKER thanks alot

Posted by: Online poker at December 30, 2005 11:32 AM

Let's flood the G.O.P. secretary of state's office with phone calls of how we are going to protest him outside of his building, regardless of what state we are from. We are not going to stand for this sneaky trick he is pulling to defraud the voters, reinstall Schwarzenegger, and turn California red. No wonder Schwarzenegger was so falsely "humble" after he was defeated in his initiatives. He will just install those after he is put back in for a second term.

Posted by: blindb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 3, 2006 2:59 PM

Every day, a new star is born. I turned my head, blushed, fluttered my hand up to my collarbone prettily, and gulped the last of my champagne. I know when I’ve been beaten.

Posted by: blindb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 10, 2006 9:47 AM

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