Thursday, January 10, 2008

Voter Fraud in New Hampshire

Just reading a few articles alleging voter fraud in the NH primary.

link (just examples, there are quite a few others on both sides R and D).

I am a little familiar with computers, some of the difficulties developing tamper resistant (no such thing as proof) voting systems, and some of the technical problems /controversy with the Diebold machines. I think it is certainly possible for these systems to be compromised. The stakes are certainly high enough (both to I find the fact that our choices are selected (shall we say appointed) rather than elected, disturbing. be honest or dishonest). However I am disinclined to believe that any fraud occurred. So I decided to a little research. I found some raw results comparing machine vs. hand counts. Sure there is some variance, even to the degree of 7% in favor of Romney. But, at the end of the day McCain still won, and everyone else lost. Which brings me to my next point, the selection process.

This election has been an education for me, I used to think that our process was basically one big run off with candidates that were selected by each state's popular vote from a crowded pool of party affiliated candidates. Then I learned about open primaries(great!) and closed primaries (Whats this?), caucus (eh? Is it a noun or a verb :-)), and conventions (WTF). Some of these processes seem a little more democratic to me than others, perhaps its just me......

That brings us to the next sad chapter, delegates. What this insightful article glosses over is some subtle issues about delegates. Delegates are often party insiders that simply vote the way they choose. An astounding 40%(842) of Democratic delegates required to win are so-called 'un-pledged' super delegates. Interesting process for the so-named 'Democratic' party. Not that the Republicans are that much better. 463 (slightly shy of the D's 40%) are 'un-pledged' delegates. 123 of them are RNC members.

What a system! Why even debate and have popular votes with such a loaded process? Do some research to see how many 'un-pledged' delegates are currently pledged and despair!

I am disturbed that our choice for president is essentially selected (dare I say appointed?) by an extremely small number of insiders. I acknowledge the fact that there are actually more political parties out there that may operate differently. Also, that the parties are private institutions free to nominate whomever they see fit.

Perhaps these processes are the real fraud in NH as in the rest of the states. Its time that the major political parties change these intrinsically undemocratic practices. I do not believe they have any place in our political process.


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