Monday, March 06, 2006

Feds Threaten to Sue Pennsylvania Over E-Voting. Federal Funding Threated As Well.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the U.S. Justice Department has threatened the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a lawsuit if “its counties fail to be in compliance with federal law by the May primary election”. To become compliant with the federal law in question, the so called “Help America Vote Act” that was forced through Congress after the 2000 Presidential election by Republican leaders including Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) and Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), these counties must “upgrade” to electronic voting machines by the May 2006 mid-term primaries.

As witnessed in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, the use of electronic voting machines of questionable integrity, such as DieBold, and Election Systems and Software have caused a deepening rift of mistrust between the American people and their government. The actions of the Justice Department, using threats of lawsuits against Pennsylvania for refusing to employ unaccountable and clearly unsecured voting machines only serves to provocate Pennsylvanians who want nothing more than for their vote to count.

The machines in question have been shown to have serious security flaws in both its hardware and software. The manufacturers of these electronic voting machines have repeatedly refused to address these problems or the concerns of the voters in general. Meanwhile, representatives of these companies, in coordination with corrupt elements within the Republican Party have waged a campaign to gerrymander Congressional districts and force voters to rely on their unsecured voting systems to cast their ballots against their will and without the simple assurance of a paper receipt.

During independent testing, these voting machines have been hacked into, and manipulated with relative ease. More over, as it has recently been revealed by Brad on February 22nd, many electronic voting machines have been equipped with wireless inferred data transfer ports, making it possible to tamper with voting machines without ever touching them. With IrDA ports, votes could be manipulated from across the room or even through a window from across the street.

I do not believe that it is too much to ask for a simple piece of paper to put a voters mind at ease; an acknowledgement that their voice was heard. To deny such assurances in light of the past must be seen as a clear overreach of the federal government’s constitutional duties, and quite possibly, a veiled attempt at instigating some sort of reactionary response.

Pennsylvania, the incubator of America's core principle of a government of laws, not of men, can not be striped of her right to secure a fair and guaranteed voice for her citizens. This is a clear violation of our First Amendment rights. To threaten my right to vote is to threaten my right to speak. Only death may take my voice, and even then, he will chase my echoes in vain.

Residents of Pennsylvania can take action by following this link.

For more information on this subject, try these links.

"How To Hack an Election" and other NYT Articles

The Brad Blog

Where's the Paper At?

Analysis of an Electronic Voting System

Black Box Voting

Tags: Politics, News, Voting Rights, Corruption, Elections, Electioneering, Constitution, Diebold


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