8 December 2005
The DRE Museum: Part 2
Just because we have a democracy doesn’t mean it’s perfect. A few of the guards will commit torture.
–Condoleezza Rice, in Europe, quoted by NPR 12/8/05
ON LESS THAN TWO DAYS’ NOTICE, the crowds in front of the board of elections (and voter registration) office in Doylestown, the county seat of Bucks County, PA, milled around a display of two DREs. Notice had been so short that the other two manufacturers, Danaher and ES&S (the only certified PBOS manufacturer so far, as in New York; the only one willing to sell PBOS because they cost less than DREs; the largest manufacturer of its kind in this country), couldn’t be there.
Though the display was open to the public, those who attended, around thirty to forty when I was there in the morning for about an hour and a half, were all activists, all vociferously opposed to paperless DREs that so far are running ahead of other options here. All asked bladed questions to the hapless displayers, undoubtedly hired because of their sang froid, though the displayer I spoke to the most rubbed up against me pleadingly, sensing a kind heart behind my kind smile, mumbling under her breath in exasperation at one point that she didn’t make these machines. The manufacturer in this case was Advanced Voting, a company I hadn’t heard of previously.
I spoke at length also with Councilman Jim Crawley, who told me to call him Jim, the only member of the council present. A juror/officer of elections in a red dress came up to us briefly to voice her disappointment at the small number of people present, but scurried off before I could get her name or be refused this information.