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Will your vote count at all?

This should scare everyone, particularly in the 17 states in the high-risk category because there is no paper trail on these electronic voting machines. No matter where you stand on a candidate or issue, this attack on your fundamental right to participate in our democracy has happened right before your eyes.

Common Cause released a new report, “Malfunction and Malfeasance: A Report on the Electronic Voting Machine Debacle,” that outlines the security and reliability issues surrounding electronic voting machines. The sad truth is that nothing seems to be happening to ensure voters going to the polls in November will be able to cast a verifiable vote in these states.

With nearly 40 percent of voters in 37 states expected cast ballots on DRE voting machines in less than five months, Congress needs to stop ignoring the problems and take action to assure that citizens votes are counted as cast,” said Common Cause President Chellie Pingree. “We need legislation passed that would mandate random manual election audits of voting machines and require voter-verified paper trails, and citizens need to come to the polls knowing how to safeguard their vote.”

The report, “Malfunction and Malfeasance: A Report on the Electronic Voting Machine Debacle,” finds that 17 states, including critical swing states such as Pennsylvania, are at “high” risk of having election results compromised due to problems with voting machines known as DREs. States designated as high risk because they use DREs with no paper backup are: Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Twenty-three states are at mid-level risk of having election results compromised. Those states use a voter-verified paper trail, but do not conduct manual audits. Eleven states are at “low” risk for a compromised election because they require mandatory audits and use voting systems that have a voter verified paper ballot.

You can read the whole report here.

The lovely Litbrit has a post up (also at Shakes Sis) about the ongoing attempt by the GOP to make sure Dem votes won’t count by stalling and de-fanging the Voting Rights Act to enable the party’s “caging” activities.

The party in charge wants to de-criminalize actions they took in 2004, namely, challenging an unprecedented three million-plus voters at the polls by claiming their registrations had been removed or that their addresses were not legitimate, and then requiring these voters to submit “provisional” ballots. Over a million of these provisional ballots were never counted. And over 88% of them were cast by minority–read: Democratic–voters.

She points to the excellent coverage of this by The Guardian‘s Greg Palast.

Why didn’t the GOP honchos ‘fess up to challenging these allegedly illegal voters? Because targeting voters of color is AGAINST THE LAW. The law in question is the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Republicans target Black folk not because they don’t like the color of their skin. They don’t like the color of their vote: Democrat. For that reason, the GOP included on its hit list Jewish retirement homes in Florida. Apparently, the GOP was also gunning for the Elderly of Zion.

…Now that the GOP has been caught breaking the Voting Rights law, they have found a way to keep using their expensively obtained ‘caging’ lists: let the law expire next year. If the Voting Rights Act dies in 2007, the 2008 race will be open season on dark-skinned voters. Only the renewal of the Voting Rights Act can prevent the planned racial wrecking of democracy.

Below are the resources I featured in my last entry on this topic, Election reform now, which recounted the GOP caging strategy.

Sites to visit:
* Verified

* The Brad Blog, which covers vote fraud shenanigans from top to bottom.

* RFK, Jr.’s article in Rolling Stone, Was the 2004 Election Stolen?. Ohio’s Ken Blackwell ensures Bush wins Ohio.

* Your state may have its own grassroots effort to verify votes. Tar Heels, go here.

* Congressman Rush Holt‘s effort to pass voting reform, HR 550, The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act. He discussed it on Lou Dobbs’ program.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding