Wednesday, September 29, 2004

SEND JIMMY CARTER TO FLORIDA! From the Independent, news of Butterfly-ballot LePore's latest pre-fraud efforts in Florida:
After the 2000 débâcle, an unrepentant Theresa LePore was told by the state of Florida that she and her fellow election supervisors would have to replace the punchcard machines that had exposed the state to such ridicule. She flew to California, where she was quickly seduced by an electronic touchscreen voting system used in Riverside County, just east of Los Angeles.

She was told that Riverside's system had performed flawlessly in November 2000, even as she and her canvassing board had been hung up for weeks examining punchcards for dimpled, hanging or pregnant chads. But Riverside's tabulation system had in fact suffered meltdown on election night, creating the first of many controversies about the reliability and accuracy of its Sequoia Pacific machines.

Blissfully unaware of this, LePore spent $14.4m on her own Sequoia system and unveiled it for local elections in March 2002. It seems to have fallen at the first hurdle. A former mayor of Boca Raton, Emil Danciu, was flabbergasted to finish third in a race for a seat on Boca Raton city council. A poll shortly before the election had put him 17 points ahead of his nearest rival.

Supporters told his campaign office that when they tried to touch the screen to light up his name, the machine registered the name of an opponent. Danciu also found that 15 cartridges containing the vote totals from machines in his home precinct had disappeared on election night, delaying the result. It transpired that an election worker had taken them home, in violation of the most basicprocedures. Danciu's lawyer, his daughter Charlotte, said some cartridges were then found to be empty, for reasons that have never been adequately explained.
People are still fighting over the Sunshine State's notoriously Dem-specific voting-roll felon purges, but in Brother Bush's Florida, apparently you can always set another fire while they're stamping the first one out.

Florida's basically a banana-Republican state, and the current Justice Department is ill-equipped to deal with electoral inequities. It may well be time to call in independent monitors. Why not? What's the impediment? That it might damage our image before the world? You must be joking.

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