Wednesday, February 15, 2006

2006, Can't get rigged again?

February 15, 2006
By Patricia Goldsmith

I'm tired of playing the self-defeating electoral game. We have no reason to expect that in 2006, after six years of rigged elections, everything is suddenly going to work. In 2006, HAVA will really kick in; our situation could well be worse.

I know in my own state of New York, lobbyists are busily flogging voting machines. Now and then I get a notice from a committed activist, and I write e-mails requesting optical scanners with paper ballots, but it's a pretty secret process. Responsibility for purchase decisions passed from the state level, where legislators could be attacked en masse, down to the county level, and I just have this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that the people in charge of choosing our new black box voting systems can be bought for a not-too-fancy lunch.

There's a lot of money sloshing around out there, and there's a lot of takers. Even Democrats are lobbying for Diebold et al now, after years of being frozen out. Happy days!

The homophobic black preachers, the journalists taking payola, the 23-year-old Intelligent Design ignoramuses with jobs at NASA, and the good folks cutting deals for voting machines, on both ends of the transaction: yes, all the mosquitoes in this Okefenokee are so fat on our blood they can barely buzz. And this is the moment George W. Bush has chosen to declare himself dictator.

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