02 February 2008

I'm not going to allege vote fraud...

...but I believe it's only fair to point out some problems. During the South Carolina primary I was monitoring internet forum discussions, and found this posted in one thread...
I asked if the results would be read at the precinct when the polls close. The answer was no. They take the cartridges from the machine to the election commission (the head poll worker at each precinct takes them). I asked how that was possible, since the SC constitution states that the ballots would be counted in public. The answer was that I "could see them reported on TV...that's public."
Here's the relevant part of the South Carolina constitution:
All elections by the people shall be by secret ballot, but the ballots shall not be counted in secret. The right of suffrage, as regulated in this Constitution, shall be protected by laws regulating elections and prohibiting, under adequate penalties, all undue influence from power, bribery, tumult, or improper conduct. South Carolina Constitution, Article II, Section 1
This happened shortly after the New Hampshire primary generated some unusual activity, documented by some ladies with videocams who checked the "chain of custody" of the ballots in New Hampshire and found that the ballots were not locked up during the night and the boxes were not securely sealed (with a vigorous discussion at Reddit).

Again, I'm not suggesting that any malfeasance of the election process has occurred. But if the United States is going to continue to promote democracy overseas, the process here should be like Caesar's wife - not only pure, but above suspicion.

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