Monday, October 30, 2006

Hugo(t)Those Machines?

Here's a link to the New York Times

"But after a municipal primary election in Chicago in March, Sequoia voting machines were blamed for a series of delays and irregularities. Smartmatic’s new president, Jack A. Blaine, acknowledged in a public hearing that Smartmatic workers had been flown up from Venezuela to help with the vote.

Hitting my 54th year on terra firma on Election Day - November 8th. Going to start the day off with a stroll up to Kean for coffee and the Daily Southtown, clean the cat-box, and then up breeze east to the Quaker Meetin' House at 106th & Artesian to exercise the public franchise.

The good folks at the 23rd Precinct of the 19th Ward do their best to make the sacred process work ( Republican & Democrat) and leave the BS to Rush the Dope Fiend and Smarter- Than -God Crowd. Only thing is - that we, Chicagoans, are still strapped with Hugo Chavez's voting machines.Take a look at the NYT link above. I was bothered that my ballot needed to be treated like a handicapped blind man hitting icey pavement, by the Voting judges last go round and, not so much, by Hugo's peeing in George's Wheaties at the United Nations this summer.

Could be that Progressive America's favorite democratically elected dictator might be as swell as 'The Beard Himself.' What Chicago elected official helped buy these fine products and helped our Latin American friends?

He probably thinks that Noam Chomsky is a whacking good read, too. Go figure.


Anonymous,  4:43 PM  

Hugo's UN Speech was definitely the most hilarious political story of the year.

Pat Hickey 9:28 PM  

THe Devil, You Say!

Charles Lindberg,  11:49 PM  

Noam Chomsky is an intelligent man and an accomplished linguist.

Ronald Abolt,  11:53 PM  

I went to the hearings at the County on the election after the primary election. I heard computer experts, ancedotal stories, candidates ALL who told stories that NO ONE had answers to.
One candidate "Lost" 50,000 votes (Commissioner James Harris of the Sanitary District) Machines did not work. "Tapes" were not given.
The machines did not "merge" the data. Some machines said ZERO (0) votes. Votes were not received.

There were also security issues of people able to see how others voted. The "unnaccepted" votes thrown into a box. No "merge" on the early voting. Judges who had no idea what was going on. Lack of training on the new machines.


Than a week ago some computer hacker hacked into the Chicago Board of Election Computer and was able to take Social Security Numbers and this was a flaw for 5 years.

Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus,  12:15 AM  

Hickey, glad everything is A-OK in the 19th ward, no electioneering in the polling places, legitimate absentee ballots, no intimidation, and certainly no (audible gasp) patronage jobs.
Really thought Rich Remus was going to do better in the 19th ward, he was popular in the bars and guys I talked to but got very few votes--very odd--Rich was a bad candidate but a good man.

The problem with the Chicago election authority is:

1. TECHNOLOGY--nobody knew how to use the damn machines.

2. Vote counting--there was lost data and even one of the heavies has admitted this off the record to the press but there was damaged cartridges, and fluctuation of votes that may have affected the County Board President, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation, and local races (some) such as some of the Suburban (in that case Orr's office) committeeman.

3. The State's Attorney and others do NO real investigation, Wayne Strand (some guy who was a candidate I have a media friend on his email list that he forwards to me) and the Republican party identified 25,000 voters that are registered in two places simutaneously at least 500 them actually voted twice NO ACTION, NOTHING WAS DONE.

4. No real guilt, admission of a problem, responsibility by either David Orr or Langdon Neal--No sense of shame or wanting to fix a problem.

5. I will let Alderman Burke speak for himself but he had hours of hearings revealing MIKE KASPER, the politically connected lawyer/lobbyist protege of Mike Madigan lobbied extra hard and fast for SEQUIA despite questions and problems with the transfer and transition of the system and problems. ALSO, the shell companies and confusing foreign ownership. The breakdown of machines, lack of technical support, lack of counts was SYSTEMATIC in the City of Chicago.
In Penssylvania, Florida and now here professors, hackers and others have proven the system does not have sufficient security checks to protect data. Alderman Burke is not a drug taking right wing talk show host and either are the Black State Rep candidates in the old Bailey seat that had many problems among many many others. Burke's allegations deserve looking into.

6. The Board itself is flawed, which may be a reason of the inaction. Langdon Neal is a Daley loyalist (not a bad thing but maybe they should have a more objective and neutral party in the board of elections) and makes MILLIONS in no bid real estate takings and eminent domain work (through the family law firm of his late father Earl Neal and Associates ALL of the eminent domain work including O'Hare)
Also he gets contracts at the MWRD, Cook County and other governmental agencies. LOTS OF MONEY. Why would he even want to be the election authority unless to keep an eye for Daley. Problems with ballot access, decisions, politically connected lawyers 25,000 signatures for Mayor even though it is 5,000 for governor Highest ANYWHERE in the Country including more populous LA and NYC.
Now the very nice and kind pro-veteran Teresa (not Lillian) Petrone--she can barely hear, and she is the mother in law to the very nice Alderman Balcer, the Alderman of the 11th ward and the puppet of the thouroughly corrupt John Daley (committeeman and Commissioner) connected to Hired Trucks, Mafia bookies, insurance fraud, Sorich/Slattery, HDO elected officials connected to Heroin dealers, (YOU COULD NOT MAKE A BETTER FICTIONAL BOOK OR MOVIE)
Again, I applaud the work with veterans of both Teresa Petrone and her son in law and veteran Alderman Balcer BUT SHOULD AN ELDERLY WOMEN WHO CAN BARELY HEAR WHO IS THE MOTHER IN LAW TO THE 11th WARD ALDERMAN BE THE ELECTION AUTHORITY???????????
Petrone and Neal are there to keep things status qou for King Daley.

Voter fraud is a way of life in Chicago. The Sequia machines (International conspiracy or not) just brings it into the 21st Century.

It is very sad and makes us all cynical.

Pat Hickey 7:29 AM  

Ed Burke, a great scholar of things political, historiacal, as well as a fine musician, was the ONLY voice calling for a look into this shady deal.

You can tell about about a person, when no one seems to be watching, and I have witnessed Ed Burke ( who wouldn't know me if I walked on his Florsheims) on many, many occassions at Old St. Pete's - taking time out for the homeless and the very elderly. He sits way back with hoi poloi and takes care of business between him and the Three Guys.

NW burbs,  3:50 PM  

Why did people on the right side of the aisle only just now, a week before the election, wake up to the fact the Republicans did a p***-poor job of writing the ballot legislation more than two years ago?

How is Venezuala's tie to Sequoia Systems that much different than the chief of Bush-Cheney 2004's Ohio operation running Diebold Systems?

Republicans are the reason our elections may even be at risk in the first place. Hastert has refused to allow Rep. Rush Holt's (D-NJ) paper trail legislation to the floor despite the fact a majority of the House is co-sponsoring Holt's legislation.

One can only imagine why Hastert wouldn't want our votes to be verifiable.

If you're worried about Sequoia Systems or Diebold or any other electronic ballot machine you need to vote for Dems because they're the only ones who are taking our ballots seriously and the GOP has been blocking their efforts to make our ballots more secure.

Anonymous,  10:33 PM  

You may be right nationwide. BUT the Dems here did plenty of NOTHING to insure ballot security.
Politically connected lobbyists, contracts pushed through, systems that were not ready, no training....
This last election was fatally flawed. Board of Election employees have confided that the numbers were off. Scary and sad.

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