"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." Communist Tyrant Josef Stalin

More on Absurd Internet Voting

March 14, 2000 NA (Network America) e-wire


More on Absurd Internet Voting

Part of the purpose of the Network America e-wire is to put "on the record" what until the advent of the internet - remained hidden. It remained hidden partly because of the censorship of the establishment media, partly because the Democratic and Republican parties have a stake in crooked voting. And partially because we at Network America and Citizens for a Fair Vote Count have not been able to attract the financial support to force the issue ourselves. But the internet solves all of that.

If you don't have time to read the NA e-wires now, put them in a folder and read them later. As yesterday, NA comments will be interspersed in the following article.

Today's article:

Arizona citizens vote online in presidential primary

By The Associated Press

Special to CNET News.com

March 7, 2000, 11:40 a.m. PT

PHOENIX--Mary Rose Wilcox made election history today simply by touching a computer mouse.

At 12:01 a.m., the Maricopa County Supervisor voted in Arizona's Democratic presidential primary via the Internet, the nation's first such ballot cast in a binding election for public office. . . .

(NA comment: It's appropriate that this absurdity took place in Maricopa County, the county so infamous for helping to crook the 1996 Arizona Primary against Pat Buchanan. Maricopa County, which houses Phoenix, issued 3 white "voting permits" for every voter in the county for that primary, and never tried to remedy the situation. The county also set up special polling places - different from the usual ones - so that people could migrate from polling place to polling place and vote 3 or more times without fear of being detected by neighbors. Also, eye-witnesses watched Maricopa County election workers barge into polling places and take ballots in the middle of the day. This was no doubt to see what the trend was and how much the computers would have to be fixed to sink Buchanan. The state assembly, believe it or not, passed a special law that there would be no re-count for this one primary! )

"We've made history," Wilcox said to cheers at Democratic party headquarters early this morning. The Republicans had their primary last month and didn't have an online option.

Wilcox was one of more than 60,000 Arizona Democrats expected to vote either via the Internet or by mail during early voting for Saturday's primary.

Early voting runs through Friday.

(NA comment: Of course, voting by mail, as was done in Oregon a few years ago for the Senate race, is almost as absurd as internet voting, although we're splitting hairs here. Again, absentee ballots are just as absurd. In all cases votes go into the central government vote-counting department [the Board of elections] and we the citizens are at the mercy of those government employees to tell us whether or not we threw out the incumbents. The additional dimension of absurdity is added in internet voting because there is not paper trail at all, only a transient bleep of energy.)

By using the Internet, participants will be able to cast their votes from wherever they can plug in a computer. Some may roll out of bed and vote before the coffee's ready.

"It is a milestone," said Phil Noble, president of Politics Online, a South Carolina-based election consulting company. "There will be problems ... but it will work, and when people see that it worked, they'll remember Arizona was the first."

(NA comment: And when they remember that, let's hope they will also recall the election officials who instituted in were eventually convicted for subverting the election process, and stripped of their citizenship. But I'm probably hoping for too much at this juncture. But I'll continue to hope. … Also, Mr. Phil Noble, any system will "work" if we don't hold it to any standards.)

To vote, registered Democrats visit Election.com, which leads them to the Web page where they can cast their vote. They have to enter a personal identification number along with state and date of birth to vote.

On primary day, other voters will have to go to one of 124 polling places where they can use either a traditional paper ballot or a computer.

Results will determine the proportional split for Arizona's 31 delegates to the Democratic National Convention. A candidate must receive at least 15 percent of the vote to claim any delegates.

Democratic Party officials hope online voting will increase participation.

"This is a quicker, faster, easier way to vote than we've ever had in the United States," said State Party chairman Mark Fleisher.

(NA comment: We don't want quicker, faster, easier ways for lazy, apathetic Americans to be able to vote. If an American doesn't care enough to register at least 30 days in advance - so that the local Board of Elections can mail a postcard to the address they claim they live at and see if it comes back as undeliverable before clearing that American to vote at that precinct - then he doesn't care enough to vote. Voters who move in that period, who are out of town, or are too sick to get out of bed, or are in the military - simply can't vote that year. I'm not happy about that - but the right of those individuals to vote does NOT outweigh the necessity to have a fair and verifiable election - an objective impossible to obtain as long as electronic, machine, absentee, and mail in votes are part of the process.)

It wasn't easy getting there.

The party and Garden City, N.Y.-based Election.com, a private company that helps organizations with elections, had to set up dozens of polling places, establish ballot security protocols and fight a federal lawsuit.

The Virginia-based Voting Integrity Project's lawsuit argued that an online election would harm the voting rights of the poor and minorities who have less computer access than wealthier whites.

(NA Comment: See tomorrow's e-wire for comment on the quizzical Voter Integrity Project.)

A judge refused to stop the election, but the Voting Integrity Project plans to challenge the results.

"We can't leave an entire segment of the community at the wayside," said Tim Casey, an attorney for the group.

Copyright © 2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

(End of Article)

More on internet voting tomorrow . . .


Jim Condit Jr.
Director, Citizens for a Fair Vote Count

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