Contary to Sen. Schumer, the problem here is not that there’s too little “competition” in the business of e-voting. (See below.) The problem, rather, is (a) e-voting itself, and (b) the very fact that it’s a business.
Voting is a vital civic process; and so conceiving it as an acceptable commercial enterprise is deeply inappropriate–and dangerous. Certainly no private companies ought to be managing our votes. Those corporations are as unaccountable, and non-transparent, as Blackwater/XE, Titan, DynCorp, CACI, KBR and all the other outfits that now suck up our tax dollars to conduct the (outsourced) “business” of the state. (Also just like Blackwater and KBR and all the rest, moreover, ES&S and Diebold/Premier and Hart InterCivic, among others, are owned and managed by right-wing Republicans.)
And e-voting is a sucker’s game, whether it’s monopolized by one big corporation, or largely run by four, or six, or ten. It too is non-transparent, and so should not, cannot, be deployed in any democratic country, or that country is no longer democratic.
(There’s also a major practical objection that should be bigger news–or news at all–in these hard times, with states slashing education budgets, and cutting many other vital programs: All these electronic systems are enormously expensive, costing many millions that we tax-payers simply can’t afford–and couldn’t even if those systems were not always freezing, shutting down, miscounting or not counting ballots, flipping votes and otherwise malfunctioning.)
This whole debate would be more useful if those taking part in it, and the reporters covering it, knew just a little more about what’s actually been happening in our elections since 2000.
What they know is only, or mainly, what the media has bothered to report; and since the media consistently ignores the evidence of (vast) election fraud, we keep on hearing that the system is essentially okay, except for certain “foul-ups” here and there. That’s the frame used not just by the AP piece below, but by the coverage everywhere–even on the left.
So let’s get on the stick, and start demanding that the press, at least, address this issue at long last.
(Obama and the Democrats don’t want to hear about it.) Otherwise, you can be sure that, in this next election, there will be many more far-rightist candidates installed through “upset victories” that bear no relation to the wishes of the actual electorate. (And maybe–who knows?–Sarah Palin will find herself “elected” president in 2012!)
If you want a pretty good example of that sort of thing, read Wikipedia’s account of “Sen.” Jim Bunning’s “re-election” in 2004: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Bunning#2004_Senate_race.
Then go read Brad Friedman’s reports on the election fraud conspiracy that was going on for years in that state’s Clay County. Start with http://www.bradblog.com/?p=7627.
Is a voting machine merger too big to stand?
By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – The largest voting machine company in the country bought its biggest competitor six months ago without advance fanfare. Now the Justice Department is investigating whether to unwind the merger that put a privately held Nebraska company in control of the voting machines in nearly 70 percent
of the nation’s precincts.