Democrats Have Their Nominee. Will the Machines Let Him Win?

America must still come to terms with problems in its voting system.
So now we have our nominee, and Hillary Clinton is going to "suspend" her campaign this weekend after one last victory rally on Saturday. But any Democrat that thinks all we have to worry about now is John McCain is a fool.

Brad Friedman has been all over the completely FUBAR voting system in this country for the last four years now. If you're not reading Bradblogevery day, you should be. Because when you go to vote in November, you have no idea what's going on inside that box.

I ran for county Democratic Committee this year after being recruited by a group of renegade Democrats in an attempt to topple the organization's pay-to-play, crony-driven, self-enriching Chairman. I didn't figure on winning, but it was a toe-dip into the political waters, because the town iin which I live is not only controlled entirely by Republicans, but no one from either party ever runs against the existing machine. I kid you not. We have elections every few years, but the only names on the ballot are the current mayor and council. Our mayor was busted in DWI charges last year with a cocktail waitress in the car, and his house is on the market. So who knows if he's even still planning to live in town? This year the council has allocated $1 million in a town of just over 9000 people to install artificial turf on the sports fields. The budget is determined behind closed doors, it's already been approved, and while you can go to the next open council meeting (there's only one a month) and voice your opinion (which I plan to do), it's already a done deal. This is part of the reason why voter turnout in at least my own voting district in Tuesday's primary was eight percent. Not eighty. Eight.

No, I didn't win, but I did get ten votes out of 37 votes cast, which I think is quite impressive considering I was up against a machine hack and my "campaign" consisted of a letter dropped off at around 20 houses. Imagine if I'd done a real mailing with follow-up. Of course, since the others running on my line got their asses profoundly kicked, I would have ended up on committee with a bunch of pay-to-play thugs, so it's actually a blessing that I didn't win.

But since I spent the last half-hour the polls were open as a "challenger", and stayed to get the numbers, I got to talk to the poll workers about what they do, and about the machines, and got a pretty good sense that these poll workers have absolute trust in the voting machines and absolutely no sense that these machines could be tampered with. Their "check" of discrepancies is to count the number of stubs from the tickets for each party they hand to voters against the machine's vote totals. Of course after I got through with them they had more of an idea of just how the software could be changed to produce a predetermined result, but my guess is they will continue to trust the voting machines, because what choice do they have?

In my county, we use the Sequoia AVC Advantage voting machine. The brochure for the machine(scroll down to the last page) states: