How the West will be stolen?

October 24, 2006

Concerned about masked elephants in black coveralls tip-toeing away in the dead of the November 7th night with all the votes innocently entered into touch screen “voting” machines? It’s a valid and natural fear.

But a lot depends on where you’re voting. If you’re in Georgia or Maryland, of course, your vote is as good as vanished, because both of them have state-wide mandated paperless touch screen machines courtesy of Diebold. If you’re in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, the methods vary, but you’re pretty sure to have an honest vote (precinct-based optical scan, or hand counts).

Ohio has gone almost entirely to “electronic” machines – though only two counties are getting theirs from Diebold. So, did the GOP pull its funding from the DeWine Senate bid because Sherrod Brown had pulled too far ahead, or because they have it in the bag? We’ll learn in due course. But they are continuing to fund Steele, even further behind in Maryland. And they’re pouring money into Tennessee, which is mostly gone over to E-voting this year.

If you want to check out local stealability conditions, this page from Verified Voting is a godsend. It shows, county by county on clickable maps, just what machinery is in use everywhere in the USA. Bear in mind that “precinct based” optical scan machines are the good ones; “centrally tabulated” optical scans are the bad ones, where votes can be switched at the central machine. But even for the CT OS, vote switching is a big risk, and can’t be done too blatantly, because the paper trail remains and the fraud could be found out.

My guess? They can jigger all the close House races in Indiana, the Senate in Tennessee and Maryland, and a number of others. But they can’t steal enough votes in enough districts to keep the House. For that, they’ll have to depend on their staples: vile last minute push polls, massive voter suppression, tons of money behind tons of lies. And fear.

If Steele loses in Maryland, and DeWine in Ohio, it will mean that they really can’t jigger the machines. Yet. It will be instructive to watch.


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