Monday, October 02, 2006

Aren't we being taken for fools? (LTTE of Eureka Reporter)

UPDATE 10/4 1am: This letter will be in Wednesday's Eureka Reporter and it is already on their website HERE. Also see cross-postings at Daily Kos and Democratic Underground for discussion.

Dear Editor:

Jerry Partain raises a good question: Aren't we being taken for fools? (9/30/06). On August 25 this paper covered the results of a recent Zogby poll showing 92% of Americans believe we have a right to know and see how our votes are counted. Why, then, does Humboldt County use optical scanners containing "interpreter code"? This type of computer programming obscures the public's view of the vote counting process by scrambling all of our ballot information into Diebold's proprietary language called AccuBasic.

Isn't it foolish to put blind trust in Diebold's "interpretation" of the results, when the CA Secretary of State, the Government Accountability Office, and independent computer scientists have all published reports explaining exactly how to hack the machines and change election results without leaving a trace of evidence?

Isn't it foolish for Humboldt County to do business with Diebold, a company that employs felons convicted of computer fraud, makes partisan donations and statements, and faces at least six class action lawsuits filed by its own shareholders alleging fraud?

Isn't it foolish to aggregate precinct vote totals using the GEMS central tabulator program labeled as a national security threat by the Department of Homeland Security?

Isn't it foolish for the media to report election results as fact without questioning or verifying the information provided by only one source - the very same government whose grip on power is at stake?

Isn't it foolish to believe that Democracy can coexist with secret vote counting?

Yes, as Partain says, we are being taken as fools. But worse, we are acting the part. Government (and media) legitimacy comes only from the Consent of the Governed. Isn't it foolish for the 92% of us who know better to Consent to such election conditions?

We must count the ballots by hand, the most transparent, secure, and verifiably accurate way to conduct an election. Isn't it foolish to assign legitimacy to any government that prefers counting votes in secret?

No fooling - if this letter is published, an annotated version will appear at with links to support every claim above.

Dave Berman
Eureka, CA

* * *


Posted by Dave Berman - 4:29 PM | Permalink
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Here are two more lines I wish I had included in the middle of this letter:

Isn't it foolish to believe that Humboldt is immune from problems with voting machines when the 6/9/06 Eureka Reporter revealed we had failed memory cards and scanners unable to transmit data to election headquarters during the June 6 Primary? You can even read about it here (.pdf) in the words of Elections Manager Lindsey McWilliams.

Isn't it foolish to think that County election administrators can guarantee conclusive and accurate results will put the correct candidate in office when the courts have decided to let Congress nullify elections and appoint their members, as happened recently in San Diego?

Posted by Blogger Dave Berman @ Oct 4, 2006, 12:58:00 PM
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