June 09, 2005
I join with Stace in saying a sad goodbye to HCDP Executive Director Susan Gates, as she and her husband prepare to move to Portland next month. I haven't known Susan for as long as Stace has, but like him I've found her to be a warm, engaging, dedicated, and energetic presence within the Harris County Democratic Party. Among other things, she was the driving force behind the creation of the Houston Democrats blog, which has been a good and needed addition to the local blogging scene. Best of luck in Portland, Susan. I know I speak for many when I say we'll miss you down here.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 09, 2005 to Local politics
We need everyone who loves democracy on board. Especially, the Harris County Democratic Party should lead in returning evidence to elections and proving our democracy with paper ballots.
A system where real evidence is removed is unaccountable, such as the case with removal of ballots in e-voting. And leadership should know that.
Let us wish Susan well, but also, let us use this opportunity to choose a leader who will build alliances for the return of paper ballot evidence and for accountable democracy.
To quote a very strong statement by Lynn Landes:
Democrats, paper `trails' aren't good enough; count the damn ballots!
By Lynn Landes
Get rid of the machines. Or, at least don't wait for a recount. Count the damn ballots the first time. Again, what are they thinking? Either the Democrats are unbelievably naive or they've been bought off.
Perhaps, the Democrats need a crash course in Voting 101. There is an enormous difference between people marking, casting, and counting ballots and machines performing these same functions. People can be observed and machines can't. If poll watchers can't observe the process, then they'll have no real opportunity to discover if vote fraud or miscounts occur. It's that simple. But, it's a simple truth that seems to elude congressional Democrats.
It's an open invitation to vote fraud with minimal chance of discovery.
How should we be voting?
Voting is a 3-step process: marking, casting, and counting votes. For this process to be secure, paper ballots must be privately and manually marked and then publicly and manually cast and counted by citizens in a polling precinct on Election Day only. This must be done in the presence of election officials, poll watchers, and the press. And, they must watch the voting process from beginning to end, uninterrupted. This is sometimes called the Australian Ballot Method.