E-Poll books, too much room for corruption

While SOS Gant and other state auditors are pushing for E-Poll books (purchased from the same companies that give money to their campaigns and PACs) I am a bit leary after reading stories like this;

State election officials plan to look at the histories of voters who participated in the Republican primary in Davidson County this month to help determine if voters were routinely given the GOP ballot by default.

Mark Goins, the state’s elections coordinator, said Tuesday that he wants to figure out if Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall’s experience was isolated or common. Advocacy group Tennessee Citizen Action announced publicly Monday what Goins had known for 11 days: that Hall, an elected Democrat, had voted in the Republican primary after poll officials failed to give him a choice.

While they go on to talk about how this may have been ‘operator error’ I say ‘hogwash’. If we implement E-Poll books you could see all kinds of wiggle room for election officials to manipulate the vote. You must also take into account that the very companies that sell this computer equipment and software give money to elected officials that run our elections. That in itself is scary as all-get-out.

H/T – B.J.

9 comments ↓

#1 Tom H. on 08.29.12 at 2:40 pm

If you think that’s scary, look at what’s being proposed in Minnesota.

If the voter ID amendment passes, people without IDs get to cast provisional ballots, which can then be validated at a later date. Or, to put it another way, AFTER some ID-less citizens have voted, some official gets to decide whether their vote gets to count or not. Tell me there’s not some major potential for vote manipulation there.

Also, consider the effect on a close election if we have to wait weeks to get final results from these provisional ballots. Think Florida-2000-level craziness.

#2 Guest Poster on 08.29.12 at 6:47 pm

There are 26 states right now in the hands of GOP ALEC led state legislatures changing the rules on who will vote this November.

There are at least 37 states where the votes will be limited this year by actions taken utilizing the requirements of the Help America Vote Act to limit American citizens of their right to vote (true Orwellian Doublespeak) .

As long as there are means to centrally control who can vote, central control of the vote counting process and the ability to ‘legally’ block us from marking a ballot, we will not be able to be true citizens any longer. We will be resident aliens in our own homes. Guest workers in our own businesses.

Are there South Dakotans who understand or care how harmful this is to us as members of free society?

What do we need to do to educate the greater public to this theft or the loss of our rights? In the time left before the November vote, what do we need to prove this theft is progressing. When you go to the polls in November will you be ready to have your vote not count?

The theft is so subtle in some areas and so blatant in others.

We have a 24 / 7 major cable television network operating as the voice for this movement and Americans listen to it as if it was Walter Cronkite. The anti-American ALEC Faux news movement is defining the talking points to such a level the “Democrats” actually use their terminology and points. This movement lies constantly and America just sits back and just absorbs the lies. The more they watch, the more they ‘believe’.

Orwellian lies becoming the truths.

We have more SD lies and shenanigans to publish as long as L3wis allows. This is not a Republican versus Democratic project. This is a project to bring to the forefront longstanding problems needing to be addressed to keep our system operating properly.

#3 Bob Mercer on 08.30.12 at 5:17 am

Folks,

We already use provisional ballots in South Dakota. In the view of many people it’s an acceptable half-way step: A person seeking to vote isn’t turned away unable to vote, but is allowed to makr a ballot while officials later determine if the person was eligible to vote. The one argument I fail to understand about requiring voter i.d. is this: At some point every citizen who wants to vote has to get an i.d., so why the beef? This typically happens via the driver licensing process. Maybe a voter i.d. card could be issued as part of the mandatory draft-registration process for all males in the U.S. ages 18-25. Maybe we simply require all persons, males and females, ages 18-25 to register for a voter-i.d. card nationwide?

As for e-poll books, the advancement that Minnehaha County and the secretary of state are attempting is progressive. It makes voting easier, through the use of voting centers rather than precincts, as part of a person’s normal routine on Election Day. It’s possible e-poll books might reduce the opportunity for fraud, because the central system can track if someone has already voted. On the other hand, digital isn’t as reliable as paper in some ways; in other ways, digital is better than paper. I agree it’s probably much easier to manipulate digital data than thousands of slips of paper.

#4 cr on 08.30.12 at 6:02 am

So, when it comes to voting…..

the previous commentator is suggesting we opt for “easier” even at the risk (digital) of creating more fraud!!!

#5 Craig on 08.30.12 at 9:27 am

There are places where technology can be helpful… as far as the polling books themselves I tend to think it might be ok because if people are turned away we will know it – and we can raise a stink about it.

What concerns me is the actual usage of electronic voting machines. Those things scare the crap out of me because there is too much room for someone to manipulate the results. Some of our nations largest and most secure companies have been hacked including companies that specialize in technology. Am I really to believe these voting machines can’t be hacked in some way? They all have to be networked in order to tabulate the results, so there is always room for someone to infiltrate the system and wreak havoc.

I will only be comfortable with voting machines when they produce a printed receipt showing how a person voted, and when there are random audits to verify that person’s recorded votes match the receipt. Even then I’m a bit leary of the idea and I’d rather see paper ballots (although even the machines that count the ballots can be manipulated thus I’d like to see audits there also).

#6 Detroit Lewis on 08.30.12 at 11:10 am

Paper ballots, multiple precincts and hand counting is the way to go, IMO. If there is one place government shouldn’t cut corners on in cost, it is elections. If we can give millions in refunds to Canadian oil companies, we can afford to provide safe reliable elections.

#7 Tom H. on 08.30.12 at 12:43 pm

At some point every citizen who wants to vote has to get an i.d., so why the beef?

I’m not so sure this is true. Although we like to think that everybody drives, the fact is that it’s not true. About 11% of US adults over age 18 do not have driver’s licenses. This trend is also increasing among younger urban adults. Also, isn’t the idea of a national ID card supposed to be the nightmare of a ‘true conservative’?

#8 Craig on 08.30.12 at 1:14 pm

Yea I don’t recall having to show ID when I registered to vote, so why should I need it when I actually vote?

Let’s be honest – the actual number of cases of legitimate voter fraud where someone was convicted of voting as someone else or voting as a dead person is something like 89 in the last 6 or 8 years. 89 votes nationwide isn’t enough to change any election, so the whole voter ID subject is nothing more than a distraction to A) energize the Republican base as they attempt to tie it to illegal immigration, and B) a way to prevent the poor, elderly, and minority voter from bother to register and/or vote. It is nothing short of a modern day poll tax – and it has nothing to do with preventing voter fraud (because if fraud was really the issue, there are far better ways of preventing it).

On this same point, there is an argument to be made for the real reason we have a war on drugs (namely marijuana), and it is because once those people are arrested and convicted, they can no longer vote. Thus the war on drugs has systematically purged hundreds of thousands of people from the voter rolls since the 1980s. Any idea which political direction the legalization crowd happens to lean?

Either way it is pretty sad that anyone who claims to love America would go out of his or her way to prevent citizens from voting. We helped to create a democracy in Iraq which made it easier for the citizens to vote than it is in the US. All they needed to vote in Iraq was a thumb that could be dipped in ink to prevent them from voting twice… beyond that no proof or ID was required.

#9 Guest Poster on 08.30.12 at 6:29 pm

Bob Mercer’s comment has us buzzing. Where to start except at the beginning:

“We already use provisional ballots in South Dakota. In the view of many people it’s an acceptable half-way step: A person seeking to vote isn’t turned away unable to vote, but is allowed to mark a ballot while officials later determine if the person was eligible to vote.” This is a bogus statement made by ALEC, ES&S, partisans and avid Frank Luntz followers. What will happen is the provisional ballot is marked and presented only to have it never be validated or have the problem causing the special ballot resolved. Hence the ballot is thrown out of consideration. A legal multi-decade voter is disenfranchised because they are guilty of not having a proper “ID”. Flat out there should be no special ID required to vote. The voter should be able to walk into a polling place and swear they are a resident of the neighborhood and vote. We used to do it in South Dakota before we became such a single party, winner takes all state. North Dakota has done neighborhood voting system for many years with great success. Bob, are you telling us we are not as trustworthy as our northern neighbors?

“The one argument I fail to understand about requiring voter i.d. is this: At some point every citizen who wants to vote has to get an i.d., so why the beef? This typically happens via the driver licensing process.” Not everyone has to have an ID to exist in this society. The thousands of elderly, poor, non-drivers do not have driver licenses / ID cards. Not everyone has the $200.00 and time required to get a valid ID as we did for my parent.

“Maybe a voter i.d. card could be issued as part of the mandatory draft-registration process for all males in the U.S. ages 18-25.” What about the individuals who do not go through this process? Why should we base our country’s future on a war machine?

“Maybe we simply require all persons, males and females, ages 18-25 to register for a voter-i.d. card nationwide?” And what purpose do we have for national or RealID cards except allow ChoicePoint and other data mining companies to know more about us? These cards will be the hottest commodity for ID theft, what did we gain?

“As for e-poll books, the advancement that Minnehaha County and the secretary of state are attempting is progressive.” What is progressive by centrally controlling who can vote or be able to wash thousands of legal voters from the rolls through partisan actions like those being done in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and over 30 states this year?

“ It makes voting easier, through the use of voting centers rather than precincts, as part of a person’s normal routine on Election Day. It’s possible e-poll books might reduce the opportunity for fraud, because the central system can track if someone has already voted.” There is almost no documented voter fraud in the USA. We are wasting millions of dollars chasing a nonexistent boogeyman. And voting centers, a way to force people who do not drive to travel long distances so they can stand in a line for hours to mark a ballot (Columbus, OH 2004).

“On the other hand, digital isn’t as reliable as paper in some ways; in other ways, digital is better than paper. I agree it’s probably much easier to manipulate digital data than thousands of slips of paper.” So you are saying we shouldn’t trust paper because it cannot be mass manipulated? In what way is digital better than paper?

Bob, we know you used to work Governor Rounds, but your reporting on many issues the last couple of years has given us an opening in to your ability to look at corruption and conflicts with a more open mind. On this issue, you appear to be drinking the Kool-Aid of the corruptors.

What can we do to educate you and the other Kool-Aid drinkers? Is our lack of proper civics education now showing the results our founding fathers feared?

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