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Electile Dysfunction?

Be vigilant, America. We're in for a bumpy ride. From The Washington Post ...
An overhaul in how states and localities record votes and administer elections since the Florida recount battle six years ago has created conditions that could trigger a repeat -- this time on a national scale -- of last week's Election Day debacle in the Maryland suburbs, election experts said.

In the Nov. 7 election, more than 80 percent of voters will use electronic voting machines, and a third of all precincts this year are using the technology for the first time. The changes are part of a national wave, prompted by the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 and numerous revisions of state laws, that led to the replacement of outdated voting machines with computer-based electronic machines, along with centralized databases of registered voters and other steps to refine the administration of elections.

But in Maryland last Tuesday, a combination of human blunders and technological glitches caused long lines and delays in vote-counting. The problems, which followed ones earlier this year in Ohio, Illinois and several other states, have contributed to doubts among some experts about whether the new systems are reliable and whether election officials are adequately prepared to use them.

In a polarized political climate, in which elections are routinely marked by litigation and allegations of incompetent administration or outright tampering, some worry that voting problems could cast a Florida-style shadow over this fall's midterm elections.

"We could see that control of Congress is going to be decided by races in recount situations that might not be determined for several weeks," said Paul S. DeGregorio, chairman of the federal Election Assistance Commission, although he added that he does not expect problems of this magnitude.
More.

A personal note: If we have another election a la Florida, circa 2000, I'm out in the streets. I hope you'll be with me. It is unacceptable for this to be happening, and if there is any serious doubt about the final counts in the 2006 mid-terms, it is our duty to participate in widespread demonstrations. The people want change, and this year's vote will be a sweep for the minority party. Make no bones about it; if the votes are not counted correctly and some races take weeks to determine, we must take to the streets and make our voices heard. The message is simple: Change. Now.

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