Debunking the Debunker
Simplify! Simplify! Simplify! (H. D. Thoreau, Walden)
Complication of the election integrity issue works to the advantage of the status quo; which is to say, the increasing use of paperless, unauditable Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines. More complications abound as critics of the status quo attempt to prove that past, and presumably future, elections were and will be fraudulent.
In fact, the controversy can be reduced to two simple questions:
1. Can defenders of the status quo prove that the 2004 (and also the 2000 and 2002) elections were fair and accurate?
2. Can defenders of the status quo refute the critics?
The answer to the first question is simple and straightforward: they cannot, because the DREs (and also the central compiling computers) were designed to exclude proof. The software is secret, and thus closed to inspection and validation, and there is no independent record of the votes against which the totals can be verified. (Running the same computations again is not a â€œrecountâ€). Moreover, computing experts have found, and demonstrated, numerous â€œholesâ€ in the machines through which voting totals can be finagled, and reports of still more flaws continue to come in.
The response of the private election industry and the Republicans to demands of proof are (1) “trust us,” (2) ad hominem attacks on the critics. (“Sore losers,” “conspiracy theorists,” “get over it!”). And finally (with the collaboration of the mainstream media) (3) no response. There are no substantive proofs of validity because, once again, the machines are designed to exclude them.