Special Election Shenanigans

Yesterday, I posted about an ethically-challenged lobbyist winning the special election in California to replace Duke "Hookergate" Cunningham, and over at my place, my co-blogger Spudsy said, cheekily, "So... I'm assuming Diebold voting machines were in use?"

Well, guess what.

The [Diebold] voting machines used in Tuesday's election were sent home with volunteer poll workers the night before the election, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office today. As well, The BRAD BLOG has received reports that in some cases, poll workers may have had the machines alone at their houses, unsupervised, for a week or even two prior to Tuesday's election…
The New York Times quoted three different computer scientists and security experts who reviewed the newly revealed flaws in San Diego's touch-screen voting systems as "astounding" and "the most severe security flaw ever discovered in a voting system"…
The most vulnerable voting machines ever created and used in an American election were given to random, volunteer poll workers in San Diego to keep in their houses overnight to do with as they please. The systems were "guarded" by little more than a thin strip of plastic "tamper tape" over some, but not all, of each machines' dozens of vulnerable physical access points.
A spokesperson this morning from the San Diego Registrar of Voters office confirmed to The BRAD BLOG that "Yes, the machines were sent home with poll workers the night before the election."
There’s more at the link.

The point Brad is making is not specifically to challenge the outcome of this election so much as to raise important questions about the process and point out that, unless these concerns are addressed, we're looking at a future in which the validity of every single election is questionable. "Is this what we want in our American elections? Questions about the validity of every single race from here on out? Because that is precisely where we are now at. So now who is going to do anything about it?"

What I find particularly frustrating about this state of affairs is that, until we are guaranteed fair and honest elections, nothing that we do every day matters a whit. Not bloggers, not activists, not candidates. We can write, raise money, raise awareness, protest. We can slowly but surely convince a majority of the American electorate that the GOP is bad for them and bad for the country. But if we can't depend on fair elections, none of it matters.

This should be the Dems' #1 priority. I really cannot fathom why it isn't.

(The BRAD BLOG; crossposted at Shakespeare's Sister.)

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