Chronicling community action, revolutionary and revealing thought

Sunday, June 06, 2004

More on Electronic voting, and arbitrary detention

Apparently, there's a wee bit of the conflict of interest thing going on in regards to the electronic voting happening in the U.S. When layers of ownership are stripped back, you find that they are linked to global firms, defence contractors, even an offshore tax shelter with Saudi investment.
 Let's see. It goes something like this: a public official is offered a position with a voting machine vendor, then immediately awarded a huge salary, kind of an indirect payoff, then some of those officials go running for office. A secretary of state is in charge of a voing registry list. Secretary of State Bill Jones left office, took a position with Sequoia(sp?) Voting systems then started running for office at the same time. He has a paid association with a voting vendor. Same goes former Florida Secretary of State Sandra Mortham, who began to tout touch screen voting after taking part in a major purging of black voters in Florida. In South Carolina a $32 million ES&S (Electronic Systems & Software) contract was suspended when it was discovered a Committee Director who awarded it worked with an ES&S partner company.
  American votes are being counted by private companies with no disclosure, or foreign companies. Diebold, ES&S, and Sequoia are all Republican-controlled voting machine companies. Diebold processes all the Ohio votes; Ohio is as decisive as Florida was 4 years ago.
  Represantative Rush Holt, a democrat in New Jersey, has authored a Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act in an attempt to reform and heighten the security of voting systems. In the act, or HR2239, all voting machines would produce a voter verified paper record suitable for a manual audit. It would also require the source code of software in the voting machines be made available for inspection by any citizen. It also bans wireless communications in any voting system. It has 141 co-sponsors, more then 1/4 of the House; but less than 10 are Republican.
 (Why the hell am I not surprised...?)
  The bill languishes at the Committee on House Administration where it was referred a YEAR ago. (?!?!)
  Yeah, I mean something like that's not terribly important, ya know...
  Cindy Cohen, legal director of EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) says a trend in the courts is yet to be established since many of the lawsuits over botched votes are thrown out over procedural issues. She cites 18 incidents over the last 2 years where people were disenfranchised, votes were lost, when you voted for one person machine said you voted for another... "These are serious voting problems. And there are a lot of them."

  Oh, yeah. The UN released a report saying the U.S. may be guilty of war crimes in IRAQ.
  (wha... MAY?!?!)
  The UN was under intense pressure from the US and Britain- there's Abu Ghraib-style photos from brit soldiers, too- to soften the wording.
  (Can you say the US uses the UN like a hand uses a hand puppet? I will... )
  Some say the report doesn't go far enough.
(ya think??)

Thought I was forgetting Canda? Oh no...

  Serurity Certificates: heard of them? Well, you should. Amnesty International has some harsh criticism for Canada regarding them.
  They've been used incresingly since 9/11 for the indefinite detention and ultimate deportatin of foreign nationals who the Canadian government consider a threat to national security. They're held without evidence, it's not even made available to the person's legal representative or the wider public. Five men, all Arabs and/or Muslim are currently being held. Three have been held for over 2 years. Evidence can be presented without the detainees or their legal representatives being present in court. This violates basic international human rights that Canada's a signatory to. Not to mention what they're doing also assists in tme implicit criminalization of Arab and Muslim communities.

The link