"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

February 19, 2006

Long gone are the days of reasonable expectations in the world of American government. Thus, it can no longer seem surprising when something like this happens:

In one of those moves that make you wonder how much Diebold has contributed to his campaign for election this fall, California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson, who was appointed to the job by Arnold Schwarzenegger as a good government Republican after Democrat Kevin Shelley made enough ethical mistakes to warrant his departure, waited until late Friday to announce that he was letting Diebold back into the state for this year’s elections. This came after McPherson had earlier bounced Diebold equipment because of security lapses in other states, and after he had sent the issue to the federal government for Diebold to demonstrate its compliance with the security provisions of the Help America Vote Act.

McPherson didn’t wait to hear back from the federal Independent Testing Authority on whether or not Diebold addressed the security concerns before he recertified them for use by counties. The machines that McPherson is allowing back into California are the same machines that have been hacked and yanked out of Florida, and have been flagged as failing security tests by university researchers. Furthermore, McPherson’s decision is undermined by the security analysis he himself issued, and flies in the face of his own requirement that the federal ITA review and approve the technology, which has to this day not happened yet.

California State Senator Debra Bowen, who is running against McPherson this fall has blasted McPherson’s decision, and will be making a large issue of this decision and McPherson’s motives behind it. There will be a public hearing on March 1 to take public commentary, yet McPherson’s office has yet to release any test reports so that members of the public can attend and demand an explanation of why McPherson violated state law in his decision.

I've been saying for years now that "it's the electronic voting machines, stupid". The devious, lawless Republican operatives that control the voting in this country are going to make sure that just enough selected districts will have the software fixed in the close elections so that the party in power stays in power. It started in Florida in 2000, and it will end only when our skeleton of a democracy has been pulverized and fed to the dogs of corporate hegemony, leaving us real American citizens fitfully trying to remember what it was like to have any control at all over our destiny.

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