Has The US Election Already Been Stolen?
This November's presidential election will be observed by international monitors amid growing concerns that faulty machines and the manipulation of voter registration lists could lead to a repeat of the Florida fiasco of 2000.
"For the first time, experts from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will observe the presidential election, after a formal invitation from the State Department. "The problem is, what will they be able to observe? Electronic voting machines that leave no paper trail will be deployed in many States. How do you observe the proper handling of votes that cannot be seen?
Ronnie Dugger at The Nation has a damn good look at what is going on:
"Some 98 million citizens, five out of every six of the roughly 115 million who will go to the polls, will consign their votes into computers that unidentified computer programmers, working in the main for four private corporations and the officials of 10,500 election jurisdictions, could program to invisibly falsify the outcomes.
The result could be the failure of an American presidential election and its collapse into suspicions, accusations and a civic fury that will make Florida 2000 seem like a family spat in the kitchen..."
You simply CANNOT be sure that these machines are not rigged, unless you can examine the source code. And the only source code that can be examined is what's called Open Source - avilable to everybody. Companies won't let anyone examine their proprietary source code because that is their intellectual property. So should the voting systems use Open Source code? No, because it would be open season for hackers!
In other words, there simply is no such thing as a 100% safe and reliable electronic voting system in today's world. I should know - I work in the computer security software industry.
Let's imagine Bush wins the election, with key wins in States that use the paperless voting machines. If you lived in one of those states and you voted against him - and particularly if most people you know also said they voted against him - how would you feel? There could be riots, folks.
Or, let's imagine Kerry wins, but the Bush team claim there were computer errors in key States with paperless machines. What then? Bush refuses to hand over power, the whole thing goes back to the Supreme Court... and the Supreme Court is still stacked with Republicans. More potential for riots.
The whole idea of electronic voting machines is wrong. Even if you DO get a paper receipt when you vote, your receipt is not what is counted - the electronic signal goes into a database and that is what's counted.
If the code is rigged and the results are in doubt, are people going to rock up to City Hall waving a million dirty, scrunched-up dockets in their hands? It's all just too bizarre...
The time to protest against this is NOW, before the election, while there is still time to organize proper paper ballots.