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Ubiquitous e-voting

Whoa -- 80% of voters used electronic voting machines manufactured by two unregulated companies in the 2004 elections.

I was reading this article in Tikkun by Shelia Parks, and this quote jumped out at me:

"Currently there is no government agency that regulates the voting machine industry in the United States. Roughly 80% of votes in the 2004 presidential election were cast and counted on machines manufactured by two private companies, Diebold and ES&S (Election Systems & Software, Inc.), both controlled by registered Republicans."

I had no idea electronic voting machines were already so ubiquitous. And two companies effectively having 80% market share of our electoral system is practically a monopoly. The companies are unregulated and top Republican donors. That's really, really bad. Read up on Diebold here.

Parks article is about pushing for paper ballot reforms in 2008 -- a very good and simple, practical alternative to what's going on.

Also, if you go and read that Tikkun piece, take a look at how they've inserted a plug to subscribe/sign up, interrupting the middle of the text. I don't mind it at all, but I'm wondering if that's the kind of thing that bothers anybody.

Jan Frel is an AlterNet staff writer.