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The problem isn’t that California and Florida studies reveal flaws with the voting machines. The problem is that they didn’t find them before the machines were purchased. Today on NPR, FL Secretary of State Kurt Browning drilled to the heart of this problem when he asked if the amount of time spent in defending the voting system or trying to prove to the public that it’s accurate and secure is worth the effort, when we should be spending our time running good elections.

All that time Browning’s spending now proving and testing should have occurred well before the voting machines were installed. Standard business quality assurance. We’re not picking out speak-and-spell toys at the local toy store. We’re running a country.

If we are to secure one voter, one vote…every-time integrity in our election process, we must think more like corporate America. Until we implement high-bar stringent guidelines for voting machine providers and elections officials to uphold, until we fix our election laws to protect us from machine and human error, and human interpretation our election process will continue to be broken.

Lani Massey Brown
A MARGIN OF ERROR: BALLOTS OF STRAW, a novel

Hi :)

You're right - HAVA was pushed through in an hysterical rush to do something about Florida in 2000. The vendors were happy to sell all their unsecure and unverifiable machines to dozens of states claiming - incorrectly - that HAVA forced the states to do so. That time period was absolutely where the problem started and where American citizens dropped the ball.

As for thinking more like corporate America, I don't know. I know that we need to get corporations out of the voting process and return to voter-marked paper ballots that are the official measure of the election. DREs are not able to be made secure - that's a fact. Any stringent standards of the sort that corporate America would employ are a mirage.

She makes a good point but for the wrong reason:

We need to learn how to think like corporate America so we'll understand the ways they try to screw us, from producing shoddy products to buying favorable laws. If we understood the distinct possibility that evoting machines were likely to be either deeply flawed or rigged to produce a particular corporate-friendly result, we'd have checked them before we bought them. The problem is that we tend to assume - on the basis of nothing more than faith - that the machines will work the way they're supposed to.

Very naive.

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