Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Freedom Gives Responsibility

Blackboxvoting.org has announced the largest Freedom of Information action in history

At 8:30 p.m. Election Night, BlackBoxVoting.org blanketed the U.S. with the first in a series of public records requests, to obtain internal computer logs and other documents from 3,000 individual counties and townships. Networks called the election before anyone bothered to perform even the most rudimentary audit. Perhaps they should go back to counting pebbles

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Among the first requests sent to counties (with all kinds of voting systems -- optical scan, touch-screen, and punch card) is a formal records request for internal audit logs, polling place results slips, modem transmission logs, and computer trouble slips.


The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a response to a press release from Diebold et al here(with Audio) - ref boingboing.net. Earlier today, I referenced the blackboxvoting.org report on hacking of the Diebold machines, and noted the India experience with EVMs.

The most free state in the world will have to think hard about disambiguation of the election process. As I heard on CNN, the Networks cannot be allowed to call the election for the leader of the free world. Another focus for reform should be the exit-poll managers and psephologists - although poor poll predictions are the bane of democracies the world over.

The International Herald Tribune says the international observers found significant flaws in the process

international monitors at a polling station in southern Florida said Tuesday that voting procedures being used in the extremely close contest fell short in many ways of the best global practices.
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The observers said they had less access to polls than in Kazakhstan, that the electronic voting had fewer fail-safes than in Venezuela, that the ballots were not so simple as in the Republic of Georgia and that no other country had such a complex national election system.


The Times of London opines,

Democracy in America is an expensive affair, yet it is worth the price. After an often bitter contest this year, the nation will come together afterwards. For as de Tocqueville contended more than 160 years ago: “What is understood by republican government in the United States is the slow and quiet action of society upon itself.”


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