Monday, October 18, 2004
I couldn't let this one go
Computer problems reported at some early voting sites
Wow. Four years to fix this, and they didn't get it done. All they had to do was adopt a simple, easily recounted ballot. Back home in Oklahoma, we always used a form similar to this one:
This ballot is machine read (the technology is similar to the Scantron(c) technology used by many schools to grade multiple guess tests, but is easily recounted by hand. Just draw a line to connect the arrow next to your choices. Easy to decipher, easy to do, easy to recount.
Now, Florida opted for "state of the art" touch-screen ballots, etc., etc. Call me crazy, but I really don't think I would want my state to volunteer to beta test someone else's software.
In any event, it's all Bush' fault anyway (Jeb or George, same difference):
At the Tamarac branch public library, where voting stopped after the computer glitch, Sally Zwanger, a poll watcher for the Kerry campaign, claimed the problems reflected on the inability of Gov. Jeb Bush's administration to fix voting problems left over from the 2000 election.
"The worst thing to hear was, 'I support Kerry, but I can't wait in this line,'" she said. "We are having a repeat of 2000, and it's only in Florida that this could happen. This administration would do anything to ensure that he [Bush] stays in office."
Zwanger said at one point there were 63 people in line, most of whom had gone home without voting by 11 a.m.
so, some folks decided that they really didn't want to wait in line for a few hours while the local, DEMOCRAT CONTROLLED County Election Boards tried to hide the fact they were as incompetent now as they were back in 2000, and that is somehow Bush's fault?
Most of the voters waiting in the line were seniors, and many shared Emert's frustration. They repeatedly uttered phrases such as, "This is ridiculous," and "This is so frustrating."
In Palm Beach County, the center of the madness during the recount four years ago, a Democratic state legislator said she wasn't given a complete absentee ballot when she asked to opt for paper instead of the electronic touch-screen machines. And in Orange County, the touch-screen system briefly crashed, paralyzing voting in Orlando and its immediate suburbs.
Also coming out of the polls on Monday, Steve Perez, 44, said he came early to cast a ``protest vote'' for Ralph Nader.
``What's important is that you vote. I didn't want to get in all the hoopla with all the turnout in Election Day,'' said Perez, a substitute teacher.
Good man. Hope a lot of your fellow travellers will do the same.
State Rep. Shelley Vana was not so happy. She said the paper absentee ballot she was given at a Palm Beach County site was missing one of its two pages, including the proposed amendments to the state constitution. She said election workers were indifferent when she pointed out the oversight.
``There was absolutely no concern on the part of the folks at the Supervisor of Elections Office that this page was missing. This is not a good start. If there are incomplete ballots out there, I can't imagine I would be the only one getting it,'' she said.
County elections supervisor Theresa LePore did not immediately return a call for comment.
LePore, a Democrat, was also in charge during the 2000 electoral fiasco. The voters of Palm Beach County, Florida didn't see fit to replace her, and they act surprised that they are still having voting problems?
To be fair, as screwed up as the system was in 2000, it is unlikely there were many strong candidates anxious to challenge the incumbent for a chance to be intensely scrutinized by world media this year.
Of course, the circus came to town early this year, too:
In Miami-Dade County, about 150 people gathered Monday morning for a rally led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. Some people were carrying homemade signs that said ``Early Voting Counts'' and ``Every Vote Matters.''
And my brethren in the legal community have mobilized:
Even as voters turned out, lawyers were going to court in Fort Lauderdale to argue a lawsuit over the lack of paper backup on the electronic machines.
Wow. Get some popcorn and soft drinks. This will be entertaining, at least.