Saturday, April 24, 2004

Time for Action - Saturday, April 24, 2004 6:36 AM Belinda to Al


I haven't been clear and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further.

Yes we've seen the DRE and know the software problems as the computer scientists testified and we do not deny that there is software problems. In Ohio, from what we can tell there seems to be a movement that a DRE will facilitate the vote only, print out a paper receipt and then a 3rd process would be to go to another mechanism that will read the vote and record it or give the voter that second chance to vote again if the information is not correct.

If we take that premise alone of a written paper ballot, there are no Braille mechanisms being developed for those who are Deaf and Blind that must have Braille because that is their only written language. As it comes to written that is our bottom line. Because this voter will need Braille instructions, would need Braille printout to go to the next verified process, when it is verified would have to read out Braille to make sure the instructions matched.

Also the DRE has an auditory function for those who are only Blind this function helps the voter go through the process of voting because once again the information is not in Braille. In the print out function again though, Braille would still be necessary to equal what you and I have in sight so the vote can be checked. I assume this will have to be so because everyone so far has said that there cannot be any disks and they don't like the smart card because even it could be programmed.

Any paper ballot process using electronic equipment, no matter what you call it, would have to have these minimal necessities. Every electronic machine would have to be gutted software wise and re done with new pass codes every election.

As far as the deception that a DRE can give a false reading of the vote...the same way our absentee ballots are not counted....not only were absentee ballots lost in Lucas County...some were counted twice...and this is the second time in two years that the Secretary of State had to step into Lucas County over vote tabulations. Sometimes absentee ballots are not counted, in Ohio, unless the election is close. Who is the person who decides close?

It is the same way Ohio lost 100,000 votes on punch card ballots in 2000...the same way you must trust Board of Elections to count the existing electronic votes...the same way lever machines were not set properly...or the losses because the rotation of the names of candidates was not done correctly leading to human error in Ohio 12th District where an entire House political office was recorded the total opposite of what the actual results were. The optical scanner has been losing votes across the country because they have problems reading the paper ballots. And let us not forget that in Florida there were numerous counts by hand because they continued to come up with different results.

Then you have an elected official who is in charge of elections and uses them to his best personal interest. The Secretary knows the errors and knows that in other states rules can be tightened and processes can be
mandatory but he chooses not to use them. In Ohio they 'don't like to tell
local people what to do" so they fall back to Local Rule which is the reason used not to correct the errors. So we know problems and we allow them
because it benefits the local people in charge instead of Democracy. It is
the same reasoning why it would be good for him to buy machines that he could manipulate. We get all that. But he manipulates the system now.

Things are wrong with your vote now...long before the electronic vote comes aboard and you aren't jumping all over them..just until the electronic voting machines shows up does anyone take an interest. It does not take a landslide to kill and election...It is the number of votes...there only has to be one to beat an opponent. Seemingly innocuous accidents in the system take 5, 8 and 11% of votes...isn't that already a manipulation of the system? What about all the other ways the election can be and is manipulated...Why aren't you upset about those?

I believe your question is really this...since we know there is a software problem with the DRE why don't we wait until the electronic voting issue is settled....since we've waited this long? Really that is it...right? Don't spend money on new equipment on less deserving people if it can wait until we get it right? Right?

Ultimately we've all been losing votes but at least in some form you have been provided a independent vote. And in some of our cases...we've never had a vote.

If you get your vote now...we want our vote now. If you take the chance that your vote is not safe, we want that same opportunity. If you want us to wait, we want you to wait. It is due process, equality and Civil Rights.
Don't ask us to do anything that you wouldn't want us to do.

Its not about manipulating the election, it already is in Ohio. It's not about the cost, look at the cost now and it is still failing us. Is it about a easier method of stealing elections? There is no easier method than having everything uncoordinated, only waiting to oversee until a citizen catches an error and sends it to the press.

Please tell me if I am missing anything.



continued at 7:50 AM

Gentlemen I also had another thought where you may be misunderstanding.

For a private independent vote it is the external components of the machine is what we need not the I making myself clear enough? The outside of the electronic voting machine is what we need what you want with the long as it allows us to vote on the inside. Or is there a misunderstanding that the inside of the machines must be kept in place?

Society has designed a mechanism for you to be able to vote but not for everyone.

You know though, as soon as this argument ends the next one will be who designs the software...Since the Secretary appoints the Election Board, why isn't there an elected or appointed citizen board to oversee the Secretary of State. Isn't that what we do now with the legislature to oversee the other two branches?

I keep reading over your messages but I cannot seem to get you to see the failure in your reasoning. Is it maybe because you don't have any experience with disability? I don't know how to help you...ask me some more questions.