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02 May 2006

A letter to my governor.

The Honorable Edward G. Rendell
225 Main Capitol BuildingHarrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
May 1, 2006

RE: Voting machines

Dear Governor,

Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to visit us, courtesy of the Northampton County Latino Democratic Caucus. We thoroughly enjoyed your talk. Personally speaking, I have always been a big fan of both your political career and sports commentary career. I am also a fellow-Penn alumnus (C ’82)... Let’s Go Quak-ers!

You speak with greater candor than most politicians. While I recognize that politics may have seasoned you in some ways, I have always had a sense that you have held on to your core values. Where I feel that you have lost touch with those core values, is on this issue of computerized voting. You and I both know that these systems are easily hacked. The evidence is out there, and was presented at a forum 2 weeks ago at Lehigh University. Countless computer experts and our own federal GAO have said that these computerized voting machines are not trustworthy. It seems as if every week, there surfaces a new and more outrageous news story about voting-computer failure. The subjects of these reports are the very same companies who are selling to us!

There is solid, scientific evidence that the 2004 election was stolen-- stolen in part by way of these computerized voting machines. My only solace, up to this point, was that my Northampton County vote was more likely to be counted, on my good old lever machine. That is to say, it was my solace until my county announced that it had purchased new computerized voting machines. What’s the point in voting if my vote won’t be counted?

As you suggested, I am putting together a law suit. My attorneys tell me that I have a strong case based on a clear violation of existing statute. Do I have to sue? Wouldn’t it be simpler just to have the computerized voting machines examined by a reliable outside expert? You could save me thousands of dollars and a good deal of marital strife by saying yes!

You said that you were worried about the US Department of Justice. I now read that the US Justice Department has backed off from its litigation threat against the State of New York. Instead, New York will be given ample time to examine its options. Perhaps they will choose optical scanning of handwritten paper ballots? Optical scanning of handwritten paper ballots is both cheaper and more trustworthy than any computer option.

Here’s a suggestion: Let’s take a close look at HAVA, and find the most trustworthy and least expensive way of implementing the HELP that the Help America Vote Act promises. Let’s not use this law as an excuse to strip the people of their voting rights. Governor, I try to avoid hyperbole, but inattention to this critical problem will result in social catastrophe. Once politicians are free to act without fear of their voting constituents, our social order will devolve.

I conclude with this question:

How would you feel if you voted, and your vote was thrown out?

With sincere thanks and warmest regards,


At 2:25 AM, Blogger Kim said...

Gravity -- Great letter! I hope he gives it the answer it deserves.

At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Kim said...

Did you ever get a reply to this letter?


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