I’ve followed and written for a long time about issues with the mechanics of voting – the concern that in a highly polarized polity like ours, the legitimacy of elections is going to be tested, and to the extent there are valid grounds to doubt them, the outcomes will not be accepted.
It’s the old “it’s not the voting, it’s the counting” issue.
We ought to be more concerned. A lot more concerned.Right now is a four-month window before the June elections when many states are trying to decide how they will comply with the federal HAVA act. Here in California, we are about to be locked in a battle to decide if our votes will be processed – I won’t say counted – by poorly designed voting machines and systems.
Friday, the California Secretary of State conditionally approved (pdf) the use of the fatally-flawed Diebold voting machines, subject to some rather sketchy conditions. Take a look at the attached report (pdf) for the testing he commissioned.
This independent testing that the SoS commissioned found still more flaws – but suggests that it’s OK to use these machines anyway while we cross our fingers and hope.
I don’t think so, and I’ll be working hard to get as much attention paid to this as possible. Over the next few days, I’ll post some specific suggestions about what can be done.
Here are some of my earlier posts on this: