t r u t h o u t | Perspective
The complete article is currently (3/28/04) available on the
Truthout website at-- http://www.truthout.org/docs_03/102503C.shtml
"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" --Thomas Jefferson .
... Folks, let's look at this honestly. We are already deep into a horrible and expensive mess that
could all be avoided by skipping the computerized middleman and simply counting paper ballots.
Paper Ballots-A Radical Idea
The last, and to my mind, most grave error of judgment comes from those who think that returning to a hand-counted paper
ballot system is somehow impossible, that we can't go back to a simple process that works once we've stupidly and recklessly
I don't know about you, but that strikes me as an extremely dangerous perspective.
An MIT/Cal Tech study done in 2001 shows that manually counted paper ballots are the most accurate system out of the 5
systems used in the last 4 presidential elections. They are totally verifiable, and first-world nations across the globe still
use them, including Canada which counted their last presidential election in four hours. And yet I am told repeatedly by vote
reformers that there is no hope of America ever returning to paper ballots because too much money has been spent on the machines,
and because the public is being sold on their benefits. My argument is that the public must be immediately educated on their
dangers -- that should be the top priority of every serious vote reformer in the country.
My argument is that we should stop playing ball with these corrupt voting machine corporations and the sold-out government
officials who support them.
My argument is that we should remember we're Americans -- we don't ask for permission to secure our own freedom. We should
take these Trojan horses and burn them in the public square before our whole damn country crumbles before our eyes!
But all this debate is misleading. The bottom line is that a computerized vote count is a secret vote count - and that's
illegal. Technology cannot supersede the constitutional and mandatory provisions of election law, which require open and verifiable
elections. There is no way to do a public vote count with computers.
Listen, here's my idea. After the public Touch-Screen bonfire (we really need more community minded events, don't you think?),
we should march to our Secretary of State's office and demand the restoration of a hand-counted paper ballot system.
Picture it. Millions of citizens marching on the gates of power, demanding their keys back. It would be a quick, effective,
non-violent, American Revolution. And I think it's long overdue.
The fact is, with a well-designed ballot and see-through boxes (to prevent stuffing) the paper system can be simple, user-friendly,
and fosters community-based democratic participation. High school kids, even children, used to count the ballots in America.
We must have a strong, diverse presence of citizen watchdog groups to oversee the count, along with poll workers. The only
election officials who are truly independent, who represent the interests of all parties in an election, are the poll watchers.
The count must be done by hand, in public, video-taped, aired live on television, and the results posted on the precinct wall
-- just like they used to be. Ballots should be counted on the same day as the voting takes place, making it much more difficult
to alter ballots. ...
Victoria Collier directs a non-profit organization focused on building sustainable living systems that work on the
personal, community and global levels. A long-time writer and political activist, she continues to educate the public on the
subject of vote fraud in place of her father and uncle. She is the editor of http://www.votescam.com. Victoria is available
for interviews and can be
reached at 1-866-280-9090 and at email@example.com
© : t r u t h o u t 2003