Sex in the Sub City
Do Electronic Voting Machines Dream of Paper Ballots?
shot of the month
I know that politics, and, in particular, electronic voting
machines, are not the sexiest of topics since when
have I ever taken the title of this column literally anyway?
so please forgive me. However, I cannot think of
another issue at the moment that is more important or urgent.
The fact is that the 2000 election, due to serious manipulation
and fraud by the republicans in Florida and elsewhere, the
ridiculous timelines placed on the recounts to ensure that
not all votes would be tallied, and the 5-4 majority in
the conservative-leaning Supreme Court, was not a fair contest.
Bottom line: we were robbed.
And where were our saviors? Our defenders? Nowhere. The
democrats let it happen. And this time, this time, what
have they done to protect us, to make sure it doesnt
happen again? Jack shit. After Florida, the big push to
safeguard our democracy was to allow private, unregulated
companies to produce electronic voting machines. Yes, our
government decided to put the fate of our elections in the
hands of corporations, those oh-so-trustworthy conglomerates
who, as we all know, care more about people than profits,
and have the best interests of their customers and employees
in mind. Right. And last night I licked Lauras bush.
The biggest manufacturer of electronic voting machines,
who just so happens to have gotten the exclusive rights
to distribute machines in Florida and in Ohio (2004s
likely Florida), is Diebold. Diebolds CEO, aside from
donating generously to Bush, has publicly pledged to do
everything in his power to make sure he wins the election.
Hello? Why is anyone not shitting their pants over this?
Our democracy is in the hands of a man who has promised
to help Bush win. And guess what? He probably will.
Electronic voting machines, you see, leave no paper trail.
Thus, one can enter in the name of a candidate John
Kerry, for example and have no way of knowing that
their vote has gone to him or to his opponent. Or, for that
matter, if it has even been counted at all. This might sound
like pure paranoia, if not for the fact that when these
machines were tested independently not by Diebold
serious, serious flaws were discovered.
Scientists at John Hopkins conducted their own investigation,
and discovered that they were incredibly easy to infiltrate.
A common hacker, or a company employee with access to the
machines, could take the vote that was cast, change it,
and then cover their tracks in seconds. Other tests have
yielded similar results. And Diebolds response to
this? Not true they say. The security is tight they claim.
At least publicly. In private, they have a different story.
In a series of leaked internal memos, they admit that problems
exist, and that they have no intention of fixing them. Instead,
they feel that their resources will be used more effectively
on a p.r. campaign to curtail all the negative publicity.
Sounds familiar, doesnt it? To view the memos, follow
For more memos about their role in the 2000 election, follow
For further proof of the machines failings, lets
look at the 2002 mid-term elections in Georgia, which, just
before, had installed the machines. Max Cleland, the much-beloved
senator, who was severely wounded in Vietnam, lost to a
relative unknown, while he was highly favored to win. Even
more strange, Georgia elected a republican governor. Not
so odd on the surface, until you discover that the last
time they had someone other than a democrat as governor
was in 1872! And no ones fucking going nuts about
So what can be done? California, at least, has decided
that the machines cannot be trusted, and has banned their
use upon further investigation and until the flaws can be
fixed. Other states are considering similar initiatives.
To make sure this happens, you can call your senators and
representatives and speed the process along. You can also
go to verifiedvoting.org to register your support for the
cause, and to find out how to take action in your community.
Blackboxvoting.com is another great site to find all the
latest information on this important issue.
Think of how different the world would be now if we had
just fought a little harder in 2000. And if you think the
same thing isnt going to happen in 2004, youre
nuts. These guys are willing to do anything, anything at
all, to win, stealing, altering and eliminating our votes
included. If we stand up to them and fight for our right
to a free society and fair elections, we can win this thing.
Ive already promised if Kerry wins to run through
the streets naked. And if international respect, safety,
security, a strong economy and a fair, accountable government
are not enough to convince you to devote your time and energy
to this issue, I hope the opportunity to see my penis is.
Whatever it takes my friends, whatever it takes.
E-mail: [email protected]