Will your vote be counted in November? Maybe not.
ASK THIS | April 09, 2004
Bev Harris, a citizen watchdog from Seattle, is a pioneer in exposing the dangerous potential of new voting technology.
By Bev Harris
Q. What groups are the manufacturers giving money to? Do they include: The League of Women Voters; The ACLU; The Election Center; Secretaries of State; Citizen Activism Groups; youth groups? To what extent is our electoral system being co-opted by financial conflict of interest?
Q. Voting-system vendors have been assigned to oversee a public trust. Have they earned this trust? After reviewing the formal answers given by vendors to the media over the past two years, have any of the companies made misrepresentations more than once?
Q. Who is developing the training and talking points used by public officials and county elections supervisors to support paperless voting? Why are their responses so similar to each other?
Q. Why have defense contractors become lobbyists for, investors in, and partners with voting machine vendors? Is this an appropriate relationship?
These questions are important because the four largest manufacturers have gained a great deal of control over the design of our voting systems and intend to maintain secrecy over the counting of votes.
If, for example, we find that money is changing hands between voting companies and voting watchdog groups, this should be exposed so that citizens can evaluate the advice given by the watchdog groups.
Similarly, if vendors are providing financial support for the public officials who make purchase recommendations, citizens must be told.
Because voting-machine vendors insist that we must "trust" the accounting that these machines do, without the ability to audit, answers given to the media by vendors must be examined. If those answers show a pattern of misleading statements, this must be exposed so that citizens can decide how much trust to offer.
If public officials appear to be reading off the same page, often using the same words, it is important to find out who wrote that page. And, because defense contractors keep popping up inside the voting system, we need to ask why they are taking such an interest in it.