Tags: Get | Ready | for | Vote | Fraud | and | Chaos

Get Ready for Vote Fraud and Chaos

Monday, 04 November 2002 12:00 AM

The biggest problem: Florida and other states are trying out voting systems for the first or second time.

Doug Chapin, director of Election Reform Information Project, said three states bear the most watching.

"The potential hot spots are obviously Florida, especially south Florida; Georgia is rolling out new touch screens to all 169 counties; and the state of Minnesota has all kinds of concerns because of absentee ballots after Sen. Paul Wellstone's death."

More than 100,000 absentee ballots were sent out before Wellstone, D-Minn., died Oct. 25. Democrats last week decided to replace Wellstone with former Vice President Walter Mondale. Democrats want an absentee vote for Wellstone to count automatically for Mondale, even though the voter might not have wanted Mondale.

There are also other states that could get into trouble, Chapin said.

"Missouri has new provisional ballot rules, a close race and a history of distrust between the parties," he said. The 2000 election was marred by massive Democrat fraud, especially in St. Louis, where, for example, polls were illegally kept open late in Democrat-ruled slums.

"Texas is also using new machines in Harris County; E-slate touch screens.

"Another state that has had minor problems is Maryland, but it's nothing like Florida," Chapin said. Both have had problems with touch screens.

"Other states to watch, not so much for chaos, but because they could be interesting are Colorado and California that have questions on ballot on Election Day registration," Chapin said.

Democrats so far have been implicated in vote fraud in

Nowhere will the spotlight glare more relentlessly than in

Volunteers were late, many of them were not properly trained and were so baffled by the ATM-like voting devices, they couldn't turn them on. Polls were late opening by as much as four hours in some locations.

After the polls closed, transmission of the ballot counts and printouts took hours and hours. The result of the Democrat primary was not known until a week after the election.

On Tuesday, the polls and their surrounding areas will be packed with people trying to ensure it doesn't happen again.

There will be plenty of voters to be sure, but there will also be media with cameras, voting-machine technicians, police officers to keep the peace and official monitors from all over the globe.

"It's going to be a circus out there," said Jim Kane, editor of the "Florida Voter" newsletter.

Ten of the observers are from the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, including some from Russia and Albania where they have a history of election problems of their own.

They say they will look at Florida's electoral laws and their application. They also want to know the ways U.S. practices fall short of the standards imposed on emerging republics around the world.

Center for Democracy, which has never monitored a domestic election before, also is in Miami. Other teams are from Congress, the Justice Department, "civil rights" organizations, both political parties and voters' rights organizations.

Led by former Clinton attorney general Janet Reno, Democrat-ruled Miami-Dade County has managed to stop a delegation from the Emergency Committee to Stop Bill McBride, from entering the polls and told the police to remain outside the precincts.

In addition, counties will be using their Emergency Operations Centers, the same ones used during hurricanes, to help the monitoring process.

"We have to deal with this as if it were a hurricane or the Super Bowl," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas. "We have no margin for error."

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The biggest problem: Florida and other states are trying out voting systems for the first or second time. Doug Chapin, director of Election Reform Information Project, said three states bear the most watching. The potential hot spots are obviously Florida, especially...
Get,Ready,for,Vote,Fraud,and,Chaos
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2002-00-04
Monday, 04 November 2002 12:00 AM
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