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"The Results Are In, and the Winner Is...Or Maybe Not"

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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 09:27 AM
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"The Results Are In, and the Winner Is...Or Maybe Not"
http://nytimes.com/2004/02/29/opinion/29SUN3.html

By ADAM COHEN

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga.

Rob Behler isn't saying Max Cleland's Senate seat was stolen by rigged electronic voting machines, but he insists it could have been. Mr. Behler, who helped prepare Georgia's machines for the 2002 election, says secret computer codes were installed late in the process. Votes "could have been manipulated," he says, and the election thrown to the Republican, Saxby Chambliss.

Charlie Matulka, who lost to Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska the same year, does not trust the results in his election. Most of the votes were cast on paper ballots that were scanned into computerized vote-counting machines, which happen to have been manufactured by a company Mr. Hagel used to run. Mr. Matulka, suspicious of Senator Hagel's ties to the voting machine company, demanded a hand recount of the paper ballots. Nebraska law did not allow it, he was informed. "This is the stealing of our democracy," he says.

Defeated candidates who think they were robbed are nothing new in American politics. But modern technology is creating a whole new generation of conspiracy theories easy to imagine and, unless we're careful, impossible to disprove. The nation is rushing to adopt electronic voting, but there is a disturbing amount of evidence that, at least in its current form, it is overly vulnerable to electoral mischief.

Among the growing ranks of electronic-voting skeptics, Mr. Cleland's loss in 2002 and Mr. Hagel's wins in 1996 and 2002 have taken on mythic status. There is no evidence the wrong man is in the Senate today. The problem is, there is no way to prove the right man was elected, either.

Mr. Cleland's loss was, some say, a surprise. He was said to be leading in the polls before Election Day, but ended up losing decisively. Many political observers attribute his loss to President Bush's strong support for Mr. Chambliss, and attack ads picturing Senator Cleland with Osama bin Laden. But others are suspicious of the new voting machines in Georgia.

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cosmicdot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:30 AM
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1. "vulnerable to electoral mischief" ...
is that what the reporter considers outside his mentioned "conspiracy theories", or is that the 'theories' in total?

whatever ... on the bright side ... at least it's a current topic in the Media

any aspiring journalist would 'get on it' as it may well turn out to be 'the story' in November and 2004 ... likely on Rove's list of October Surprise material ...


sounds like something from a book-made-to-movie thriller
Mr. Cleland's loss was, some say, a surprise. He was said to be leading in the polls before Election Day, but ended up losing decisively. Many political observers attribute his loss to President Bush's strong support for Mr. Chambliss, and attack ads picturing Senator Cleland with Osama bin Laden. But others are suspicious of the new voting machines in Georgia.



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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 11:51 AM
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2. I wouldn't be surprised.
The real surprise was how Sonny Purdue won in a race where he was trailing decisively.
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evil_orange_cat Donating Member (910 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 11:53 AM
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3. there's the appearance of impropriety, but no proof...
we need proof :argh:
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