Why Vote On Paper? Tales from Georgia and Massachusetts

In Geogia they are claiming that all electronic voting is unconstitutional <read>

We will have to wait for the court to rule on the constitutionality issue.  But we don’t have to wait for paper ballots and stronger election integrity nationwide, Congress can pass the “Holt” bill.

A case brought by election integrity advocates in Georgia claiming that unverifiable electronic voting, or E-voting, is unconstitutional could spell trouble for the controversial practice, as it heads to the Georgia Supreme Court for a ruling.

E-voting first started in Georgia. In 2002, the state became the first to use the Diebold AccuVote TS-R6 machines statewide after then-Secretary of State Cathy Cox entered into a 54-million-dollar agreement with Diebold…

Of the 13 counts listed by VoterGA in their lawsuit, two argue that E-voting is in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which states that “No State shall… deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process.”

Count 12 also claims that E-voting violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law because Georgians who choose to vote with an absentee ballot are able to do so on paper, while those who vote on Election Day must use the E-voting machines.

“The electronic-only voting cannot provide equal protection in terms of voter verification…” Favorito said.

Questions will always remain about the 2002 election in Georgia when Max Cleland was defeated for the Senate and Sunny Perdue was elected Governor.  Especially questions raised by Bev Harris in her book Black Box Voting.

Contrast this to Massachusetts where Recounts of ballots can occur.  Mistakes happen but they don’t have to result in the voters’ intent being bypassed.  Clerk does not know why votes weren’t counted <read>

Two months after the recount on the library override, Town Clerk Ron Fucile said the town might never know why nine ballots were not counted in the June 6 election.

A total of 5,726 ballots were documented as cast in the June 6 election, when Walpole voters barely approved a Proposition 2 1/2 override to partially finance the construction of a new library…

The town clerk said he has been poring over records from election day and he hasn’t been able to figure out what happened to the nine ballots – six of which were from Precinct 1.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the bottom of it,” said Fucile.

The Massachusetts story hints at the emotions behind resistance of election officials to paper ballots.  With lever machines or paperless touch screens there can never be an actual recount or audit, there is little reason or basis to question the equipment or lapeses in the process.

No paper, no problem!  Yet, also less integrity and no credibility!


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