Since I feel these issues are important, I'm putting some links here:
Issue: Local, State and Federal Government Accountability:
DEMOCRACY AND THE VOTE.
Bluntly, we New Jerseyans need to REPLACE our VOTING MACHINES, now.
Why? Because our state of NJ screwed up. The (hundreds, thousands of?) Sequoia AVC Advantage machines that the state bought in 2005 from the politically well connected vendor, were an epic mistake in the world of government procurement, because even then we knew that the machines that we purchased were vulnerable to manipulation, impossible to properly audit, required a very expensive seal protocol and the staff to enforce it, to offer even marginal security, and offered no voter verifyable paper trail.
So WHY DID WE BUY THEM?
Please read the Princeton/Lehigh paper:
"Insecurities and Inaccuracies of the Sequoia AVC Advantage 9.00H DRE Voting Machine"
Here is a very short PDF file wih slides summarizing some of the problems:
Also see the Princeton/CITP blog Freedom to Tinker:
and Andrew Appel's expert witness submissions to the NJ lawsuit.
Additionally, doing a search on
(just like that) on any major search engine will bring up lots of material going back many years. Try other searches too.
Try a search on the Star Ledger for avc advantage
Here is a recent Star Ledger (October 2011) article on the machines. "Debate over malfunctioning voting machines heads back to court as election day looms" by reporter Lauren Zumbach
"Last year’s ruling already requires several such measures, but Appel says the state has failed to comply, describing their system of security seals as “mainly a piece of adhesive tape with a serial number on it.”
“The state had no clue how to manage seals, and they didn’t keep track of the serial numbers,” he added. “Without that, it’s just for show.”
And without inspections like the ones Cramer described, Venetis explained, there’s no way to know whether the machines have been attacked in the past.
“The conclusion that they’ve never been hacked is based on zero evidence,” Venetis explained.
But the plaintiffs are optimistic that their appeal will be persuasive, aided by a June primary election in Cumberland County in which voting software swapped vote totals for the executive committee candidates.
Because the town was so small, the losing candidates quickly caught the mistake and collected more affidavits from supporters than the 10 votes they supposedly got at the polls, going on to win a re-vote.
Venetis called it a “perfect illustration” of the importance of a paper trail.
“Most of the country now votes with voter verified paper ballots,” she said. “We’re hoping the judges will say enough is enough.”
Here's an entry on the "Brad Blog" detailing efforts by the manufacturer of the 80s era machines to prevent Princeton scientists from publishing their findings on the machines.
We need to replace these machines because democracy matters. Consider this. Countless people have given their lives fighting totalitarianism for democracy. The reason is that democracy works, it has built in checks and balances. When the vote fails, they fail, the checks and balances fail. That leads first to extreme arrogance in government. Then it often leads to the unspeakable. The two ARE connected.
An honest, secure vote is the ONE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT of democracy and without it we are not just arguably powerless to change anything, we then don't live in a democracy. When we turn our backs on this issue, when we "don't care" as some people feel, we are done for as a country.
That's it. Any voting machine issue is important.
I support A Single Payer National Healthcare Plan, for everybody, rich and poor, that replaces all "health insurance". Paid for by our taxes.
Single payer healthcare, paid for by taxes, would save a huge amount of money - enough so that ALL Americans could then receive care that was the equal or better of any other nation.
We cannot afford the other, fake "solutions", which I suspect, are designed to fail.
Issue: Vanishing Jobs:
End the Tax Breaks For Sending Jobs Overseas
Issue: Ending "Corporate Personhood":
Issue: Reducing Size Of and Increasing The Accountability/Value of Government Spending:
Federal Spending Pie Chart (military spending is arguably half of the Federal pie)
Issue: Public Education v. Neoliberalism, Free Market Extremism and Globalization:
The WTO and the Millennium Round: What Is at Stake for Public Education? Common Concerns for Workers in Education and the Public Sector.
For-Profit Education Service Providers in Primary and Secondary Schooling: The Drive for and Consequences of Global Expansion
Amy M. Steketee -Indiana University School of Law
The Critical Tension of Globalisation and Its Inﬂuence on Education