Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day Open Thread

What are you sitting around reading blogs for if you haven't voted yet? Go tell the electronic voting machines what you think, then let's hope it matters.

No posting for me for much of the day, so let me pose the question to readers about Texas that Doc Berman posed about Congress: What will today's elections mean for issues related to Texas sentencing and criminal justice reform? How do you think the different gubernatorial candidates would differ on criminal justice? Tell me your election day thoughts in the comments.

UPDATE: Commenters mentioned the chance of Democrats retaking several Dallas judicial seats that were long considered firm GOP bastions. I'm also reminded of the jail bond votes in Howard and Bandera counties. What other local judicial races, in particular, do Grits readers think we should be watching today in Texas?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

With luck maybe we'll get some better judges up here in Dallas County, anyway. Cross your fingers!

Poverty Lawyer 1 said...

Here's for hoping for better judges in Dallas...

I don't have much hope for the gubernatorial candidates. We know what we'll get with Perry, and it ain't good. Strayhorn (or whatever she goes by now) scares the daylights out of me. Bell is an unknown commodity. He sounded good in the debate I saw, but who knows how that would translate to the governorship. And Kinky? I don't know; some days I think he's the only answer, others I think he'd be a disaster.

We'll just have to see.

Anonymous said...

I tried voting, twice, and was defeated both times by people at the polls specifically to cheat the system.

I will never trust anything that can be compromised so easily, and with such impunity.

Carol said...

When I voted a couple of weeks ago in Houston I noticed a trend on the ballot so I counted and took notes:

State appelate court there were five races. FOUR had republicans running unopposed.

District judges 22 unopposed republicans out of 29 district elections.

Family court judges: 7 unopposed republicans (including one who's daughter was arraigned for intoxicated manslaughter after killing her boyfriend while driving drunk at six times the legal limit not to mention being 19 so she couldn't drink at all legally) out of 8 races.

County judge: 1 unopposed republican in 1 race.

County court at law judges: four races, four unopposed republicans.

County criminal court judges: 11 unopposed republicans out of 15 races.

County probate judges: 4 unopposed republicans out of four races.

So that means that 53 local officials (JUDGES for the love of God) will take office without even having to get more than 1 vote (BTW I declined to vote in ANY of these races). What the hell? Where are the democrats? The libertarians? The independents for fuck's sake?

Let's just say I'm not thinking positive when it comes to getting Harris County off the "sends most people to death row" list.

pissed off patricia said...

I'm in Florida and watched your gov debate on C-span. It looked to me like Bell was your best choice. I am going by only that debate when I say this. Kinky looked like he had made too many bad comments, too many bad jokes. The elderly lady was like she was on a high from drugs. She made me nervous just watching her. Perry seemed to know that he hadn't much of a chance of being beat. Bell did appear smarter than the others and maybe more normal. After the debate was over, I told my husband that I felt sorry for you guys in Texas. I know a lot of people aren't happy with Perry, but those others on the list didn't seem to have much to offer either.

So there you go, a total outsiders point of view. :)

Poverty Lawyer 1 said...

The old lady looked high and made you nervous...that's classic. She must be high and, trust me, she makes all of us very nervous!

Thanks for making me laugh on election day.

Anonymous said...

I think democrats stand a real chance to make some headway in Dallas County. As far as state races having an impact on criminal justice reform, I have my doubts. Republicans will still hold the state legislature and Governor Perry will still have his veto pen.

Michael said...

I voted in Montgomery County (Woodlands/Conroe) and noticed that two or three 9th Court of Appeals Justices (Beaumont) were the sole candidates and only one Democrat was running against an incumbent Republican District Judge (there were several unopposed R incumbents). A few weeks back, the paper said that the Democrat (McCoy) was the first Democrat to run for District Judge in Montgomery County in twelve years. I think there are five District Courts in Montgomery County. Definitely the most Republican place in Texas I've ever lived.

Anonymous said...

I only had a couple of competitive downballot judicial races where I voted in Austin - both on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. I voted Democrat, mostly because I didn't know the candidates and Sharon Keller is a Republican.

Otherwise, I split my ticket voting for both Rs and Ds - Abbot for AG, Bell for Governor (the least objectionable of the anybody but Perry choices). I also voted for some Libertarians just to protest my lack of choices.

If nobody's going to run in these judges races I wish we didn't have to vote on so many of them. Who even knows who these people are?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

UPDATE: The Dallas judges' races look REALLY close - many of them within just a point or two with half the precincts reporting (see here). It looks like it could go either way, depending on what precincts are still out.

Anonymous said...

Here's an update: Dems swept Dallas county, winning the judges races AND the DA!!

Enlightenment said...

Now that our side has a majority in both houses they should actually USE the subpoena power and launch a REAL independent investigation into 9/11.

One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying "We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]". Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I've ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four "pilots" among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake "pilot" of the bunch, with someone who was there when he was attempting to fly a small airplane saying that Hanjour was so clumsy that he was unsure if he had driven a car before. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports after Mohammed Atta supposedly leaves two rental cars at two impossibly far-removed locations. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn't work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn't work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won't let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you "aren't supposed to think about". Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name ("Hi mom, this is Mark Bingham"), more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn't respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn't happen, not even close. Somehow these "hijackers" must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn't have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were "supposed to see". Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these "hijackers" wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces most no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn't even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying "We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down" attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers' magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be "Muslim hijackers" the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don't laugh) one of their passports was "found" a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously "surviving" the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also "survived" the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be "indestructable" like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn't bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Further making themselves look guilty, the Bush administration steadfastly refused for over a year to allow a commission to investigate 9/11 to even be formed, only agreeing to it on the conditions that they get to dictate its scope, meaning it was based on the false pretense of the "official story" being true with no other alternatives allowed to be considered, handpicked all its members making sure the ones picked had vested interests in the truth remaining buried, and with Bush and Cheney only "testifying" together, only for an hour, behind closed doors, with their attorneys present and with their "testimonies" not being recorded by tape or even written down in notes. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastic far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the "nineteen hijackers" is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.

Debunking Popular Mechanics lies:
http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=6880
someone else debunking Popular Mechanics crap:
http://www.serendipity.li/wot/pop_mech/reply_to_popular_mechanics.htm
still more debunking Poopular Mechanics:
http://letsroll911.org/ipw-web/bulletin/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5505
and still more debunking of Popular Mechanics:
http://www.reopen911.org/ericreubt.htm

Poopular Mechanics staff replaced just before laughable “debunking” article written:
http://www.reopen911.org/hiddenhand.htm
another neo-con 9/11 hit piece explodes, is retracted:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/august2006/180806hitpiece.htm
Professor Steven Jones debunks the N.I.S.T. “report” as well as the F.E.M.A. one and the 9/11 commission "report":
http://www.infowars.com/articles/sept11/wtc_buildings_collapse_steven_jones.htm
N.I.S.T. scientist interviewed:
http://www.teamliberty.net/id235.html
F.B.I. says no hard evidence linking Osama bin Laden to 9/11 which is why his wanted poster says nothing about 9/11:
http://forum.afghansite.com/index.php?showtopic=9349
Fire Engineering magazine says important questions about the Twin Tower “collapses” still need to be addressed:http://fe.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=25&ARTICLE_ID

Twin Towers’ construction certifiers say they should have easily withstood it:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/november2004/121104easilywithstood.htm
USA Today interview with the last man out of the South Tower, pursued by a fireball:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2001/12/19/usat-escape.htm
Janitor who heard explosions and escaped has testimony ignored by 9/11 whitewash commission:
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/ignoring_9-11.html
Janitor starts speaking out about it and his apartment is burglarized, laptop stolen:
http://kurtnimmo.blogspot.com/2005/08/apartment-of-nine-eleven-hero-william_28.html
Firefighters tell of multiple explosions:
http://www.wnbc.com/news/1315651/detail.html
Eyewitnesses tell of explosions:
http://research.amnh.org/users/tyson/essays/TheHorrorTheHorror.html
Interview with another firefighter telling of explosions:
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/Banaciski_Richard.txt
Firefighter saw “sparkles” (strobe lights on detonators?) before “collapse”:
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/Fitzpatrick_Tom.txt
Other eyewitnesses talk of seeing/hearing explosions:
http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2005/11/more-proof-911-inside-job-witnesses-to.html
Surviving eyewitnesses talk of multiple explosions there:
http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/veliz-bombs.htm
Cutter charge explosions clearly visible:
http://www.rense.com/general63/cutt.htm
The pyroclastic wave (that dust cloud that a second before was concrete) and how it wouldn’t be possible without explosives:
http://st12.startlogic.com/~xenonpup/physics/
Detailed description of the demolition of the Twin Towers:
http://gordonssite.tripod.com/id2.html
Freefall rate of “collapses” math:
http://www.911blimp.net/prf_FreeFallPhysics.shtml
More about their freefall rate “collapses”:
http://www.serendipity.li/wot/second_wave.htm
Video footage of the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers:
http://www.plaguepuppy.net/public_html/video%20archive/
Video footage of the controlled demolition of WTC # 7 building:
http://911research.wtc7.net/talks/wtc/videos.html
More of WTC # 7 controlled demolition:
http://www.wtc7.net/
Naudet brothers' video footage of the North Tower crash:
http://www.911blimp.net/vid_Naudet.shtml
Photos of the Pentagon’s lawn (look at these and see if you can tell me with a straight face that a jumbo jet crashed there):
http://www.911blimp.net/cached/HuntTheBoeing!.htm
More photos of this amazing lawn at the Pentagon:
http://cryptogon.com/docs/Introducing%20the%20amazing%20Penta-Lawn%202000!%20(9-11).htm
Very unconvincing fake “Osama” “confession” tape:
http://welfarestate.com/wtc/faketape/
More about the fake “Osama” tape:
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/osamatape2.html
Fake “Mohammed Atta” “suicide” letter:
http://www.welfarestate.com/wtc/fake-letters.txt
Commercial pilots disagree with “official” 9/11 myth:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/september_11_us_government_accused.htm
More commercial jet pilots say “official” myth is impossible:
http://www.masternewmedia.org/2001/10/31/commercial_jet_pilots_analysis_of_the_twin_tower_attack.htm
Impossibility of cell phone calls from United 93:
http://www.physics911.net/cellphoneflight93.htm
More about the impossible cell phone calls:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO408B.html
Experiment proves cell phone calls were NOT possible from anywhere near the altitude the “official” myth has them at:
http://physics911.ca/org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=9
Fake Barbara Olson phone call:
http://www.vialls.com/lies911/lies.htm
Where the hell was the Air Force?
http://www.welfarestate.com/wtc/af-scramble.txt
More about the Air Force impotence question:
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0331-11.htm
Sept. 10th 2001, Pentagon announces it is “missing” $2.3 trillion (now why do you think they picked THAT day to announce it? So it could be buried the next day by 9/11 news):
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/29/eveningnews/main325985.shtml
Unocal pipeline-through-Afghanistan plan:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0513/p05s01-wosc.html
Unocal pipeline-through-Afghanistan plan mentioned:
http://thetyee.ca/Views/2006/05/19/OutOfAfghanistan
More on Unocal Afghan pipeline:
http://www.newscentralasia.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1031
The attack on Afghanistan was planned in the summer of 2001, months before 9/11:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm
Pentagon deliberately misled 9/11 Commission:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=EGG20060802&articleId=2887
Evidence destruction by authorities and cover-up:
http://www.flcv.com/coverup.html/
9/11 whitewash Commission and NORAD day:
http://fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/071204_final_fraud.shtml
The incredible fish tales of the 9/11 Commission examined:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=%20GR20051213&articleId=1478
Jeb Bush declares state of emergency 4 days before 9/11 for Florida, saying it will help respond to terrorism:
http://www.eionews.addr.com/psyops/news/jebknew.htm
Steel debris removal from Ground Zero, destruction of evidence:
http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/groundzero/cleanup.html
Over two hundred incriminating bits of 9/11 evidence shown in the mainstream media:
http://thewebfairy.com/killtown/911smokingguns.html
Tracking the “hijackers”:
http://www.welfarestate.com/911/
“Hijacker” patsies:
http://911review.org/Wiki/HijackersPatsies.shtml
“Hijackers” receiving flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0208/S00085.htm
Several accused "hijackers" still alive and well, wondering why they are accused:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1559151.stm
Yet the F.B.I. insists that the people it claims were the "hijackers" really were the "hijackers":
http://www.prisonplanet.com/fbi_denies_mix_up_of_911_terrorists.htm
No Arabs on Flight 77:
http://www.sierratimes.com/03/07/02/article_tro.htm
Thirty experts say “official” 9/11 myth impossible:
http://911fraud.blogspot.com/2005/06/us-governments-offical-911-story-is.html
“Al Qaeda” website tracks back to Maryland:
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/alqmaryland.html
Al Qaeda videos uploaded from U.S. government website:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2004/140704governmentwebsite.htm
Operation: Northwoods, a plan for a false-flag “terror” attack to be blamed on Castro to use it as a pretext for America to invade Cuba, thankfully not approved by Kennedy back in 1962 but was approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and sent to his desk:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/us_terror_plan_cuba_invasion_pretext.html

Anonymous said...

about those machines and the media's polling efforts:

from:
http:// electiondefensealliance.o...n_2006_election

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Major Miscount of Vote in 2006 Election:
Reported Results Skewed Toward Republicans by 4 percent, 3 million votes
Election Defense Alliance Calls for Investigation

BOSTON, MA - November 16, 2006
CONTACT: Jonathan Simon 617.538.6012

Election Defense Alliance, a national election integrity organization, issued an urgent call for further investigation into the 2006 election results and a moratorium on deployment of all electronic election equipment, after analysis of national exit polling data indicated a major undercount of Democratic votes and an overcount of Republican votes in U.S. House and Senate races across the country. “These findings raise urgent questions about the electoral machinery and vote counting systems used in the United States,” according to Sally Castleman, National Chair of EDA. This is a national indictment of the vote counting process in the United States!

As in 2004, the exit polling data and the reported election results don’t add up. “But this time there is an objective yardstick in the methodology which establishes the validity of the Exit Poll and challenges the accuracy of the election returns,” said Jonathan Simon, co-founder of Election Defense Alliance. The Exit Poll findings are detailed in a paper published today on the EDA website.

The 2006 Edison-Mitofsky Exit Poll was commissioned by a consortium of major news organizations. Its conclusions were based on the responses of a very large sample, of more than 10,000 voters nationwide*, and posted at 7:07 p.m. Election Night, on the CNN website. That Exit Poll showed Democratic House candidates had out-polled Republicans by 55.0 percent to 43.5 percent – an 11.5 percent margin – in the total vote for the U.S. House, sometimes referred to as the “generic” vote.

By contrast, the election results showed Democratic House candidates won 52.7 percent of the vote to 45.1 percent for Republican candidates, producing a 7.6 percent margin in the total vote for the U.S. House — 3.9 percent less than the Edison-Mitofsky poll. This discrepancy, far beyond the poll’s +/- 1 percent margin of error, has less than a one in 10,000 likelihood of occurring by chance.

By Wednesday afternoon the Edison-Mitofsky poll had been adjusted, by a process known as “forcing,” to match the reported vote totals for the election. This forcing process is done to supply data for future demographic analysis, the main purpose of the Exit Poll. It involved re-weighting every response so that the sum of those responses matched the reported election results. The final result, posted at 1:00 p.m. November 8, showed the adjusted Democratic vote at 52.6 percent and the Republican vote at 45.0 percent, a 7.6 percent margin exactly mirroring the reported vote totals.

The forcing process in this instance reveals a great deal. The political party affiliation of the respondents in the original 7:07 p.m. election night Exit Poll closely reflected the 2004 Bush-Kerry election margin. After the forcing process, 49-percent of respondents reported voting for Republican George W. Bush in 2004, while only 43-percent reported voting for Democrat John Kerry. This 6-percent gap is more than twice the size of the actual 2004 Bush margin of 2.8 percent, and a clear distortion of the 2006 electorate. There is a significant over-sampling of Republican voters in the adjusted 2006 Exit Poll. It simply does not reflect the actual turnout on Election Day 2006.

EDA’s Simon says, “It required some incredible distortions of the demographic data within the poll to bring about the match with reported vote totals. It not only makes the adjusted Exit Poll inaccurate, it also reveals the corresponding inaccuracy of the reported election returns which it was forced to equal. The Democratic margin of victory in U.S. House races was substantially larger than indicated by the election returns.”

“Many will fall into the trap of using this adjusted poll to justify inaccurate official vote counts, and vice versa,” adds Bruce O’Dell, EDA’s Data Analysis Coordinator, “but that’s just arguing in circles. The adjusted exit poll is a statistical illusion. The weighted but unadjusted 7 pm exit poll, which sampled the correct proportion of Kerry and Bush voters and also indicated a much larger Democratic margin, got it right.” O’Dell and Simon’s paper, detailing their analysis of the exit polls and related data, is now posted on the EDA website.

Election Defense Alliance continues to work with other election integrity groups around the country to analyze the results of specific House and Senate races. That data and any evidence of election fraud, malicious attacks on election systems, or other malfunctions that may shed more light on the discrepancy between exit polls and election results will be reported on EDA’s website.

This controversy comes amid growing public concern about the security and accuracy of electronic voting machines, used to count approximately 80 percent of the votes cast in the 2006 election. The Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy, in a September 2006 study, was the latest respected institution to expose significant flaws in the design and software of one of the most popular electronic touch-screen voting machines, the AccuVote-TS, manufactured by Diebold, Inc. The Princeton report described the machine as “vulnerable to a number of extremely serious attacks that undermine the accuracy and credibility of the vote counts it produces.” These particular machines were used to count an estimated 10 percent of votes on Election Day 2006.

A separate “Security Assessment of the Diebold Optical Scan Voting Terminal,” released by the University of Connecticut VoTeR Center and Department of Computer Science and Engineering last month, concluded that Diebold’s Accuvote-OS machines, optical scanners which tabulate votes cast on paper ballots, are also vulnerable to “a devastating array of attacks.” Accuvote-OS machines are even more widely used than the AccuVote-TS.

Similar vulnerabilities affect other voting equipment manufacturers, as revealed last summer in a study by the Brennan Center at New York University which noted all of America’s computerized voting systems “have significant security and reliability vulnerabilities, which pose a real danger to the integrity of national, state, and local elections.”

The most prudent response to this controversy is a moratorium on the further implementation of computerized voting systems. EDA’s O’Dell cautioned, “It is so abundantly clear that these machines are not secure, there’s no justification for blind confidence in the election system given such dramatic indications of problems with the official vote tally.” And EDA’s Simon summarized, “There has been a rush by some to celebrate 2006 as a fair election, but a Democratic victory does not equate with a fair election. It’s wishful thinking at best to believe that the danger of massive election rigging is somehow past.”

EDA continues to call for a moratorium on the deployment of electronic voting machines in U.S. elections; passage of H.R. 6200, which would require hand-counted paper ballots for presidential elections beginning in 2008; and adoption of the Universal Precinct Sample (UPS) handcount sampling protocol for verification of federal elections as long as electronic election equipment remains in use.

The Exit Poll analysis is a part of Election Defense Alliance’s six-point strategy to defend the accuracy and transparency of the 2006 elections. In addition to extensive analysis of polling data, EDA has been engaged in independent exit polling, election monitoring, legal interventions, and documentation of election irregularities.

*The sample was a national sample of all voters who voted in House races. It was drawn just like the 2004 sample of the presidential popular vote. That is, precincts were chosen to yield a representative (once stratified) sample of all voters wherever they lived/voted--including early and absentee voters and voters in districts where House candidates ran unopposed but were listed on the ballot and therefore could receive votes. As such, the national sample EDA worked with is exactly comparable to the total aggregate vote for the House that we derived from reported vote totals and from close estimates in cases of the few unopposed candidates where 2006 figures were unavailable but prior elections could be used as proxy. It is a very large sampling of the national total, with a correspondingly small (+/-1%) MOE. There were four individual districts sampled for reasons known only to Edison/Mitofsky