The Press Catching Up With Koehler on E-Voting Problems

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By: E&P Staff

Eighteen months ago, Robert C. Koehler was virtually the only syndicated columnist commenting regularly about problems with electronic voting machines. Yesterday, he noted that some mainstream-media outlets are finally starting to catch up.

Koehler, who’s syndicated by Tribune Media Services, wrote: “A year and a half ago, when I first started writing about disenfranchisement and the troubling evidence of electronic voting fraud in the 2004 election, this was not a respectable topic for mainstream discourse. Those who broached it were relegated to a spectrum of mockery that ran from ‘sore loser’ to ‘conspiracy nut.’ But the ongoing horror show of ‘glitches’ perpetrated on democracy by touchscreen voting machines this year can no longer be ignored even by those who would prefer to, and e-voting disasters are now being reported with some regularity.

“Consider, for instance, the Washington Post story last week about the damning report just issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which advises the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Paperless electronic voting machines ‘cannot be made secure’ and, indeed, ‘a single programmer could ‘rig’ a major election,’ according to the report, which the Post calls ‘the most sweeping condemnation of such voting systems by a federal agency.'”

And voting machine “glitches” almost always benefit the GOP, strongly implied Koehler, who wrote: “Maybe this is just more crappy luck for the Democrats. (Remember how, in ’04, it was always, ‘I tried to vote for Kerry and Bush lit up on the screen’?) Or maybe these ghastly electronic voting machines are working just the way they’re supposed to.

“Yes, the Dems won big in the midterms. They recaptured both the House and Senate. Nationwide, their House candidates garnered 40.3 million votes, or 52.7 percent, while Republicans got 34.6 million, or 45.1 percent. But here’s something a little odd: According to the Election Defense Alliance, the Edison-Mitofsky exit poll results released by CNN on Nov. 7 at 7:07 p.m. EST showed Democrats winning nationally by a far wider margin, 55 percent to 43.5 percent. …”

Koehler, whose Thursday column was linked on, concluded: “As a nation we’re hardly ready to make that final connection, to accuse Bush Republicans of being so power-hungry they’d disenfranchise their fellow Americans in order to win. For now, I guess, we can only conclude that electronic voting machines are committing treason all by themselves.”

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