Voting in Florida–Here We Go Again

Brother Jeb’s promises to clean up the Florida election process–which lacked all credibility to begin with–have proven to be (TA-DA!) a sham.

MIAMI, July 14 – Three years after Gov. Jeb Bush announced a new voting system that he called “a model for the rest of the nation,” Florida is grappling with some of the same problems that threw the 2000 presidential election into chaos, as well as new ones that critics say could cause even more confusion this November.The touch-screen voting machines intended to cure many of the ills of 2000 have raised a host of other concerns here just four months before the election. A new state rule excludes the machines from manual recounts, and the integrity of the machines was questioned after a problem was discovered in the audit process of some of them. Voting rights groups filed a lawsuit last week challenging the recount ban, and a Democratic congressman has also sued to request a printed record of every touch-screen vote.

The controversy over the new equipment is just one of Florida’s challenges, which also include confirming which voters are ineligible, training poll workers on new policies and processing a flood of new registrations.

This is called ‘baffling them with bullshit’. Touch-screen systems have been notorious for their unreliability for at least four years, so Jeb buys…wait for it…touch-screen computers! Of course. After the controversy surrounding Florida’s illegal manipulation of the ineligible voter lists (yes, folks, what they did with them in 2000 is against the law), they ‘reformed’ the system this year…by hiring the same people and ordering them to do the same thing except this time they were to leave Hispanics off the list altogether. See, the ineligibility list is disproportionately loaded down with the names of innocent black folks, who vote Democratic, while Hispanics–who vote Republican, at least in Florida–were missing completely, innocent or not.

That list, thanks to those pesky watchdog groups, has been junked by the state after a judge ordered them to release it and the clumsy manipulation of it was plain for everybody to see. But you may rest assured that Jeb isn’t going to let that stop him from ensuring his brothers win in Florida by hook or–preferably–by crook. He has a lot of tricks up his sleeve yet, and time is running out. Unfortunately for poor Jebby, though, people are watching this time. The US Civil Rights Commission is holding hearings on the list they tried to slip through, and voting rights groups are centering in on every move he makes.

But I have a question: Who’s watching Ohio, the home state of Diebold and its loyal GOP chairman? You know, the one who said he would do everything he could (and he owns the machines that do the counting) to get Bush elected? Anybody tracking him?

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