Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Disenfranchised, Diebolded or Dumbed-down?

With just 26 percent of the votes in, it looks like Issues 2-5 have failed in Ohio -- spectacularly -- despite all polls going in showing a comfortable lead for almost all of them.

Are Ohioans schizophrenic at the polls? Did the Republican negative campaigning work? They sure spouted off the fear rhetoric: saying these issues target wallets, are bad for Ohio, etc.

Like letting a partisan hack such as Kenneth Blackwell have power over the voting apparatus is good for Ohio? I think not.

Of course, it could be that so many people who waited nine hours to vote for Kerry in Democratic strongholds throughout Ohio were just not feeling much like a reprise, especially in an off-year election.

Many people at the largest progressive blog on the Net, Daily Kos, my frequent haunt, suspect that Ohio is now a red state. I call bullshit on that one, based on pre-vote polling alone.

If the Issues truly were defeated -- if Ohioans really don't want absentee voting, independent means of vote tallying, fair districting and campaign contribution oversight, fine. I'll reserve my opinion on the collective intelligence needed to support further disenfranchisement of the people from their vote.

But those new spiffy Diebold machines we used today? They scare me. If Diebold can, and does, make ATM machines that not only operate perfectly fine 98 percent of the time but also provide a verified paper document with each transaction why can't they do that with the voting machinery?

Or a better question might be - why won't they?

Regardless of political affliation, if all Ohioans don't get vocal and active in support of verified voting, then we really are schizophrenic, disenfranchised and dumb. And destined to stay that way for the long haul.
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