Posts Tagged ‘election fraud’
No doubt about it, Governor Branstad has earned the prize of Turkey of the Year. A true GOP warrior, he has done everything on the national party’s agenda but in our view there is nothing worse than his ludicrous witch hunt of people attempting to exercise their right to vote.
Not satisfied with arresting Iowans who inadvertantly registered to vote while completing the paperwork to get their drivers license reissued, Iowa taxpayers are being forced to pay for the state to harass some Iowans for “voter fraud.” This in the context of attempting to do nothing about providing health care for all Iowans or coming up with a decent plan to clean up our act on factory farm pollution. “More arrests” are coming according to SOS Matt Schultz.
It boggles the mind that once a person has served his or her time, they are now banned from voting permanently. Even if you stipulate that it might be defensible to suspend a person’s voting rights while in prison, once you have served your time, what is the point of denying that citizen in good standing the right to vote forever? Felonies aren’t always murder. A person can go to prison for too many OWI charges or drug charges. Oftentimes these individuals go to treatment, get clean and sober, and re-enter society as responsible working people, yet they are now forever banned from voting? Stripping these Iowans of their fundamental right to vote was Terry’s first act as governor upon re-election.
Here are some links to the recent ongoing shenanigans by the evil twins Branstad and Schultz.
All Iowans need to remember that state and local elections have consequences.
“..on the day that he reclaimed the governor’s mansion in January 2011, Republican Terry Branstad overturned a 2005 executive order that had automatically restored the franchise to released convicts. Branstad hailed the reversal as a “major priority” of incoming Secretary of State Matt Schultz, a Republican who’d been elected on a platform of smoking out voter fraud in the swing state.
The now-defunct executive order, signed by former Gov. Tom Vilsack, restored voting rights to an estimated 100,000 Iowans. Branstad’s new order, by contrast, has made Iowa one of just four states where felons’ voting rights are rarely restored.”
And here’s what they’re up to now.
Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz said Monday he may ask state lawmakers to consider implementing a signature verification system, given that nearly half of Iowans who voted in the Nov. 6 general election did so by voting early or casting absentee ballots.
Schultz said he also planned to ask state lawmakers during the 85th General Assembly to consider requiring voters to provide a photo identification to receive a ballot as well. A similar proposal stalled in the split-control Iowa Legislature, and the General Assembly will convene next month with Republicans holding a 53-47 majority in the Iowa House and Democrats in control of the Iowa Senate by a 26-23 margin, pending the outcome of a special election in Senate District 22 next month and two recounts of legislative races decided by close outcomes.
Schultz said his office is conducting an internal audit to determine what caused the Secretary of State’s Web site to stall about 90 minutes in posting results after polls in Iowa closed at 9 p.m. on Nov. 6, Election Day. He expected to have audit results before next month’s special election.
“We’re looking at that and making sure that we have a procedure in the future so if that happens again, we can put it on an alternative site so that people can still get that information,” he said.
Schultz also said he expected more arrest warrants would be issued in an ongoing voter fraud investigation being conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation beyond those issued in Pottawattamie, Page and Dallas counties.
By Sean Flaherty
I am co-chairman of Iowans for Voting Integrity, a nonpartisan citizen group that works for voting systems worthy of the public trust. We have worked for six years for two reforms that both we and many of the world’s leading computer technologists consider essential to fair elections:
- First, we believe that all computer voting systems must provide a reliable paper record of every ballot cast.
- Second, we believe that following every election, election officials should routinely conduct a manual tally of a sample of cast ballots to check against electronic tallies.
This column revisits an issue well-known both to the small community of advocates and technology experts who work on electronic voting issues and to an untold number of conspiracy theorists around the nation, but largely unknown outside those communities. This issue is the centralized marked power of the nation’s leading vendor of election equipment and services, Election Systems and Software (ES&S), and the opacity of ES&S’s ownership.
I’d like to share some highly judicious and disturbing comments about ES&S that I heard June 7 at a reading at Prairie Lights by University of Iowa computer scientist Douglas Jones.
Along with his co-author Barbara Simons, Jones recently published an important book, Broken Ballots.”(Note: Simons serves on the board of my former employer, Verified Voting, but I have no financial interest in the book’s sales).
The reading was livestreamed on the Internet, and and audio archive should be available soon.
During Q and A after the reading, I asked Jones what we know these days about the ownership of ES&S, whose equipment counts probably more than two thirds of the nation’s ballots (and also provides ongoing service to an undoubtedly large but untold number of jurisdictions around the country).
Jones, in my view, hit the question out of the ballpark. He said that an activist named Bev Harris looked into the subject years ago and found a number of reciprocal partnerships, but nothing definitive. He said that some have tried to tie ES&S to former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, not always successfully. He said that the voting machine industry is a very low-profit business, and those in the business do what they do for love, not money.
The question, however, what do they love? Is it democracy?
Jones noted wryly that ES&S headquarters in Omaha is on a street called John Galt Boulevard, which to readers of Ayn Rand’s novels implies conservative politics.
Some years ago, the wonkier element of what we might call the “e-voting movement” made a sort of collective decision not to raise careful questions about ES&S and its power in the election services market. Too many conspiracy theories made it a complicated task, and there was also a risk of being perceived as partisan.
All in all, though, I believe that this decision was a serious, and perhaps even tragic, mistake.
In 2004, a large portion of America’s electorate was galvanized by Diebold CEO Wally O’Dell’s letter saying that he was committed to delivering Ohio’s electoral votes for then-President Bush. As e-voting worries go, this was actually a rather jokey one: only a few counties in Ohio back then used Diebold machines.
But the O’Dell letter concentrated the minds of many citizens and policymakers, and I believe laid the groundwork for useful reforms in the next several years.
Now the e-voting movement is stalled, with only half the states performing any kind of hand-count sample, and with a shocking 25 percent of the electorate still forced to depend upon unverifiable paperless voting machines.
And concern about the concentrated market power of ES&S is not a joke.