Nader Challenges Black Box Voting
November 5, 2004 8:42 PM   Subscribe

Nader Challenges Black Box Voting in NH
posted by snakey (50 comments total)

 
Who?
posted by a3matrix at 8:55 PM on November 5, 2004


Kidding!!!

(ducks and covers)
posted by a3matrix at 8:56 PM on November 5, 2004


Wow, I'm in the mixed feelings division here. On the one hand, it's past time Ralphie got back to doing the work he was born to do, and under any other circumstances I'd be thrilled.

On the other hand, this is one parade that may suffer because of him trying to get in front of it. He's pissed off and alienated so many people, and brought so much contempt upon himself that he may harm this vitally important cause more than he helps it. So while I'd love to say "welcome back, Ralphie", I'm at least as inclined to say, "bugger off Nader, this is too important for you to get your cooties on it. You should have been working this cause instead of running for President, rather than after."
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:57 PM on November 5, 2004


FWIW, He pushed this issue back in August, back when the Nader Haters refused to listen. Nader has been pushing voting reform for a long time now -- don't be surprised to see a lot of support for Nader on this one
posted by snakey at 9:13 PM on November 5, 2004


If Nader cared that much about the outcome of the election... well, you know the rest.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 9:15 PM on November 5, 2004


See what I mean?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:21 PM on November 5, 2004


someone has to do it, and it looks like kerry's not going to.
posted by amberglow at 10:24 PM on November 5, 2004


And he's challenging it in a state Kerry won?
So he thinks the Democrats have agents at Diebold?

Matt, I look forward to your deletion reason for this one.
posted by wendell at 10:27 PM on November 5, 2004


It may just be a gambit to stir the Democrats to action. What was the comment on the other thread?

Maybe they need to be shown that its okay to fight them? I don't know. It bothers me on some levels that they caved so fast.

Nader sucks and I bet he doesn't even like himself very much. But he does have some valid thoughts and he does have a right to run.

I might just send him a little cash to help his cause. And ours.

On Preview: Read the link, wendell.

posted by fenriq at 10:33 PM on November 5, 2004


Ahhhh, fuck. Sorry I'm gonna go shoot myself now.
posted by fenriq at 10:33 PM on November 5, 2004


And he's challenging it in a state Kerry won?
So he thinks the Democrats have agents at Diebold?


Maybe he's not claiming that there was intentional fraud, but that the whole system is so unreliable that it doesn't matter which partisan side does or doesn't benefit-- the electronic voting system is just screwed up to begin with.
posted by deanc at 10:36 PM on November 5, 2004


And he's challenging it in a state Kerry won?
The reasoning is simple. The Republicans should be less likely to stonewall a recount requested by a third party in a state that won't alter the results of the elections in favor of the presumed loser. Better still, if they deny him a recount that would be inconsequential, it's a PR win for Nader, his party and Democrats. (That is, of course, if Nader can drag the media away from the man claiming mandate.)

On the other hand, if New Hampshire can be recounted in a reasonable time frame, namely before votes are certified, and the results change, a shadow of doubt will be cast on the validity of any state that used electronic voting. Nader is a disinterested third party. No matter how the recount is done, he doesn't hope to win or even gain any statistically significant or relevant number of votes. If his request is denied and Nader is capable of bringing light to this in the national media, it's a win. If a recount is done and it vindicates Diebold or Bush, then it's a win. If a request is granted and irregularities are found in either direction, it's a win.

There were massive numbers of reports of voting irregularities throughout the country. Just because Big Media didn't report on them or told you that there were no major problems to report doesn't mean that it's true. Various websites, of both national organizations and those who were filtering the national media for reports, kept track of incidents.

And to do it in New Hampshire, smack dab in the middle of blue state country here in the Northeast, Nader has access to a volunteer workforce that greatly exceeds the numbers of people that would turn out in Ohio or Florida. I've signed up for email updates and if the opportunity comes to contribute directly to his efforts for a recount, he can count me in.
posted by sequential at 11:32 PM on November 5, 2004


sequential, thanks for making it clearer. What's more, since he was on the ballot they can't say he doesn't have the standing to make the request. Not that that would be a valid thing to say in any event: surely in a democracy every citizen has "standing" in such matters; but sometimes when they don't want to hear a case they'll make excuses like that. Because it's him they won't have that out. His strength may not be so much in that he's a disinterested party, it may be in that he is among the (allegedly) aggrieved and therefore must be heard. The fact that he doesn't stand to gain by any forseeable outcome helps head off any perception of opportunism by making it clear that what's at issue is the integrity of the system, not the outcome with reference to himself.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:06 AM on November 6, 2004


Oh the irony. I love this for the slim chance we could have this headline.

Nader wins it for the Democrats.
posted by fullerine at 12:12 AM on November 6, 2004


sequential, you rock!
posted by shoepal at 12:24 AM on November 6, 2004


If Kerry is really willing to sell out his voters, then I say to Ralph, please continue. On the other hand, it strikes me that there is a senator who dealt with both Iran-Conta and BCCI as an investigative panel leader.

It strikes me he might have an excellent grasp of the potential danger to the country posed by the apparent anomalies posed by the new voting technologies.
posted by mwhybark at 12:34 AM on November 6, 2004


Run with it, Ralph!
posted by wsg at 12:43 AM on November 6, 2004


This is what Nader does. Why should this surprise anyone?

And actually, objectively, he's the logical guy to do it. Other than his own ego (which I do believe is one of his big motivators -- and so what), he's got no dog in the hunt. And a very surprisingly large number of Americans trust his integrity.

Furthermore, all the "bad blood" against Ralph right now is flowing in Democratic veins. And a lot of people know that.

So bully for Ralph. I may not be comfortable with what (I think) his motives are, but I do believe he's consistent. (And for the record, I actually thought the "debating with dolls" stunt was kind of clever in the way it trivialized the debates, while at the same time letting Ralph participate.)

I first read this as Nader coming out against BlackBoxVoting.com, and thought, "WTF?!" ... ok, on the road...
posted by lodurr at 1:41 AM on November 6, 2004


This is superb news. Diebolds are a transparently bad idea.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:52 AM on November 6, 2004


If Nader cared that much about the outcome of the election... well, you know the rest.

You know, hard though it may be to believe for a partisan such as yourself, some of us actually believe in the sanctity of the process itself. There are reasons for investigating voter fraud besides making sure your guy wins.

Nader is a hypocritical asshole (and was one long before this election) but even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 7:52 AM on November 6, 2004


I hope they do this, and I hope there is testing with the touch screens, which I have also read complaints about.

I can't believe the owner of Diebold is someone who is on record as saying he would deliver the Ohio vote to Bush, and wants a death penalty for gays. Why in the world would someone so radically political make voting machines, and why would we let him?

A recount is in EVERYONE'S best interests. You Republicans out there don't want everyone questioning these results for the next four years anymore than I don't want to have to. It's an election; it only makes sense that all the votes are counted, and counted until the results are as clear and undeniable as possible.
posted by xammerboy at 8:00 AM on November 6, 2004


I'm going to break with four years of practice and say something nice about Ralph Nader, as much as it kills me. This is the best news I've heard about the election all week. Someone has to fight these no-audit, no-inspection voting machines, and Nader has picked a great place to do it.

These machines are a huge threat to democracy. Even if you are a Bush voter who thinks this election was 100 percent fraud-free, you have to realize the danger that they pose in future elections. I think we're walking the path to tyranny by instituting vote-counting machines with no manner of verifying their results.
posted by rcade at 8:04 AM on November 6, 2004


If these numbers are right, we've got plenty to be scared about.
posted by gramcracker at 8:24 AM on November 6, 2004


It's a good thing big media isn't reporting on these irregularities. Damn media, not doing their job.
posted by photoslob at 8:41 AM on November 6, 2004


Nader is a hypocritical asshole (and was one long before this election) but even a stopped clock is right twice a day

Ah, you poor ungrateful saps. Hypocritical is the word I would use for how the left has turned against Nader, or worse, fought against democracy in trying to keep him off the ballot.

Nader was on the ballot in my state, I voted for him. If he wasn't, you know what? I would have written him in. You can't force people to vote for your party.

Even after the collosal failure of your sacred centrist Democratic party, you partisan hacks can't admit that your failure doesn't lie in the third party - it lies in voters, it lies in the media, and it lies in the centrist stooge you ran and lost against one of the most pathetic presidencies ever.
posted by iamck at 10:46 AM on November 6, 2004


Nader was only on ballots at all because Republicans mobilized to put him there as a potential spoiler. Let's talk about saps and hacks.

And 2 percent (if that's what the difference really is) is no colossal failure by any stretch of the imagination. A colossal failure was 1984 where 49 states went one way and 1 the other. Get real.
posted by amberglow at 10:51 AM on November 6, 2004


This morning, NH public radio said that he did not submit the required fee with the request, and since the deadline has now passed his request has been denied.
posted by anathema at 10:52 AM on November 6, 2004


If that's accurate, the deadline is completely unreasonable.
posted by Galvatron at 11:39 AM on November 6, 2004


A colossal failure was 1984 where 49 states went one way and 1 the other. Get real.

Against this incumbent, when most of your votes are coming from people who would vote for anyone but, and you still can't win? Yup, collosal failure. Time to rethink your strategy.
posted by iamck at 12:00 PM on November 6, 2004


I think it's time to rethink the strategy of fear and bigotry as a means of bringing people to the polls. And to rethink a closed, untransparent voting process that can be easily "fixed".
posted by amberglow at 12:23 PM on November 6, 2004


I think it's time to rethink the strategy of fear and bigotry as a means of bringing people to the polls. And to rethink a closed, untransparent voting process that can be easily "fixed".

Yeah, cuz people are always eager to get rid of what put them in power...
posted by rushmc at 12:45 PM on November 6, 2004


i know--i say it realizing it's futile.
posted by amberglow at 12:50 PM on November 6, 2004


Nader is the perfect person to do it. If Kerry tried, there would be charges of him being a sore loser...
posted by drezdn at 12:59 PM on November 6, 2004


Or possibly the democrats could rethink that moving to the center wasn't the best strategy, and they need to address the inherent flaws in our monopolistic capitalist system.
posted by iamck at 1:05 PM on November 6, 2004


Or possibly the democrats could rethink that moving to the center wasn't the best strategy, and they need to address the inherent flaws in our monopolistic capitalist system.

Yes...but they won't. I've already gotten emails from various party hacks going up the command chain and what they're talking about doing is going further right and chasing the magic "Evangelical Vote".

Fuck the Democrats. This was their race to lose, and they lost it. They turned like rats on the only real populist attempting the nomination. They put people at the top of the leadership chain who are completely and utterly incapable of running against the insanely effective machine fielded by the other team. They wouldn't listen to any of us at the local and state levels when we told them Kerry couldn't win.

They didn't run a campaign *for* Kerry, they ran one *against* Bush. And while that might be effective for a 3rd party candidate who is trying to break that 5% barrier, it's a stupid, stupid, stupid thing to do for major party. Hell, I don't know many people that were voting *FOR* Kerry. People just didn't give a rat's ass about him, other than the fact that he wasn't Bush.

I'll grant that the Republican machine was very good at getting out their voters. And the Dems were great at getting out the people who hate Bush. Hate isn't the way to win. Hope is. There was no hope in the Dem campaign, except the hope that Bush would be gone.

The Dems have lost the way. They're just as funded by corps and bad guys as the Republicans. They'll continue to field "safe" candidates until the day the top-dog dinosaurs keel over. They'll continue to take pages from the right-wing handbook (freedom of speech zone, anyone?). Most of those people wouldn't know "Labor" if it bit them in the butt. Please, most of those drop more on a cup of coffee than a minimum wage worker earns in an hour.

It's time to stop pretending like the Democrats are the only alternative. It's time to stop pretending that two parties are enough to represent the millions and millions of diverse Americans.

We need a radical shift of power in this country. Away from the political machines and back to the people. We need new parties, we need independents, we need verifiable voting systems and the end of the electoral college, we need a true republic. We need an Anti-Incumbent movement. One term, then you're done. No more people making careers out of something that was never designed to be a career path.

Throw the rascals out. All of em. Fuck the system. Tear it down, stomp on it until it can't get up. Rebuild.

Power to the People.

(I think it's fairly safe to assume that on the 5 states of grief scale, I'm still set on anger mode.)
posted by dejah420 at 1:31 PM on November 6, 2004


I am all for bringing down the two party system. What work need be done?
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:27 PM on November 6, 2004


what dejah420 said ... the republicans lie and manipulate the common people with fear and religion ... and the democrats throw us crumbs, preach to us and don't listen to much of anything we say
posted by pyramid termite at 2:36 PM on November 6, 2004


Kerry received more votes than anyone (except Bush) in a very long time. I think it's time to put to rest the idea that people were incapable of accepting Kerry as President.
posted by The God Complex at 2:47 PM on November 6, 2004


Forget Nader for a third party. We need him much more doing things like this.

But as far as restrategizing goes, I think it would be a huge waste to abandon the Democratic party now. Replacing the DNC chair might be a good start. Their focus on Vietnam was a big mistake.
posted by destro at 2:57 PM on November 6, 2004


This Diebold, it vibrates?

*ducks*
posted by red cell at 3:09 PM on November 6, 2004


It's time to stop pretending that two parties are enough to represent the millions and millions of diverse Americans.

We need new parties, we need independents,We need an Anti-Incumbent movement. One term, then you're done. No more people making careers out of something that was never designed to be a career path.

Throw the rascals out. All of em. Fuck the system. Tear it down, stomp on it until it can't get up. Rebuild.

Power to the People.


Oh my god!! I vote for you dejah420!!! You are spot on my friend.
posted by a3matrix at 4:03 PM on November 6, 2004


Ah, you poor ungrateful saps. Hypocritical is the word I would use for how the left has turned against Nader, or worse, fought against democracy in trying to keep him off the ballot.

By 'hypocritical' I was referring to his union-busting practices at his own non-profits, his careful cultivation of his image as a simply-living quasi-ascetic crusader while he has millions in assets, his abusive behavior towards his employees, etc. I don't give a damn if he runs for president or anything else; I signed a petition to get him on the ballot in this state, not because I agree with him, and not because I was trying to take votes away from Kerry, but because I believe, as you seem to, in the validity of third parties, that elections should be free and open, and that the two-party system is some fucked up shit. Which is why I voted for Badnarik.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 4:20 PM on November 6, 2004


This is getting off-topic but: our two-party system, with both parties adapting to chase the elusive center, is a byproduct of our winner-takes-all voting system. If you want new parties (and really, who doesn't), start by pushing for a voting system that is less vulnerable to the spoiler effect.

Of course, the real paradox is that it's not in the best interests of the duopoly to pass sweeping voting reforms. Such is the reality of living in a democracy designed two centuries ago.
posted by Galvatron at 4:43 PM on November 6, 2004


I am all for bringing down the two party system. What work need be done?

Ya know, I'm not really sure yet. Details have never been my strongpoint. And we have to assume that we cannot effect change through legislation, because they're not really like to vote themselves out of a cushy job. After all, they've got the only jobs that can't be outsourced.

I guess, were I someone else, I would start by determining if my political beliefs fell into line with any of the existing opposition parties; Green, Libertarian, etc., and if they did, then talking to the leadership of those parties to see how you can help them at the local grassroots level, or if you have the resources, at the national level.

Me, I'm going to try and figure out how to start a PAC with an Anti-Incumbent theme. I hates them all, my precious, horrid little congresscritters.

I'm going to find out who is behind all the nationally aired debates and start some serious lobbying action to force them to allow opposition candidates into the debates. Public money which fuels the airwaves should not be used to restrict our choices to the two guys chosen by a quorum of invisible gnomes.

I'm withdrawing any and all support from the major parties. They never call, they never write...except to ask for money. It's like having a kid in college without the payoff of having a neurosurgeon in the family.

I'm going to try and reach power brokers and money people like George Soros and convince them to support my PAC.

Everytime I see a negative ad campaign, no matter which side runs it, I'm going to do my best to debunk it publicly.

I'm going to resist this "forgive and forget" meme that Bush and Kerry are trying to spread. I will not surrender to a regime that would force my brothers into the closet, my sisters into the back alley abortionists, and my child into slavery to government debt.

I will actively work to destroy the status quo....staying within legal and ethical boundaries, naturally.

But, ya know, that's just me.
posted by dejah420 at 4:48 PM on November 6, 2004


If Kerry tried, there would be charges of him being a sore loser...

Can you imagine such a concern stopping Bush? Did it in 2000?

Democrats care waaaaaay too much about what other people think of them and waaaay too little about doing the right thing and letting history be the judge.
posted by rushmc at 5:47 PM on November 6, 2004


Democrats care waaaaaay too much about what other people think of them and waaaay too little about doing the right thing and letting history be the judge.

also vice versa. Democrats aren't arrogant enough to call out Republicans as sore losers.
posted by destro at 8:13 PM on November 6, 2004


I'm going to find out who is behind all the nationally aired debates and start some serious lobbying action to force them to allow opposition candidates into the debates. Public money which fuels the airwaves should not be used to restrict our choices to the two guys chosen by a quorum of invisible gnomes.

It's the Commission on Presidential Debates. The Arizona Libertarian Party (Arizona State University being the location of one of the debates this year) is taking the CPD to court over this. If the Greens & Co. had any sense they'd join the AZLP in this lawsuit and make a big deal out of it. The publicly-funded debates are an illegal campaign contribution, pure and simple. The government has no place endorsing only major-party candidates.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:07 PM on November 6, 2004


Cool, thanks Ismael.
*crosses one task off list*
posted by dejah420 at 9:16 AM on November 7, 2004


I am all for bringing down the two party system. What work need be done?

Leave the party you're in, and start a new one. Then, get people to join it.

The Democratic and Republican parties ultimately can't do anything without members. They won't have people to run the phonebanks, lick the stamps on the mailers, or to give money. Terry McAuliffe and Ed Gillespie can sit in their corporate offices and devise all the campaign strategeries they want, and none of it will matter dick if no one's listening.

The difficulty is that doing the organizational work is easier said than done, and that by breaking one of the major parties down, you're going to be letting the other one win for a while. Ballot access, matching money, registration, etc., are all things that need front money to happen if you want them to happen with any kind of reasonable speed.

The other solution is to remain a Democrat (or Republican) and cut the DNCC out of it. I was fortunate to work on Alan Bates' campaign, which did just that. They turned down a hundred thousand dollars of DNCC money (and the control that comes with it), and won anyway in a swing district. You talk about, what're the Democratic Party bigwigs really afraid of? That's it. You can win without money and without 'central command' if you're willing to work hard enough at it.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 2:30 PM on November 7, 2004


I participated in the first day of the NH recount. In addition to the Presidential race, there was a State Senate race being recounted which had been decided by only 150 votes, so there was a lot of interest in the whole process from local politicians.

The Secretary of State's office ran the recount and staffers were very polished and well trained, as if they had done this sort of thing every day for a month. Watching them go through the votes, I had the impression of watching skilled blackjack dealers at a casino.

Observers represented each of the main candidates and there were about half a dozen groups doing recounts most of the time. In my group, we had a Kerry rep who had been involved in the national campaign, a Bush rep who had worked for Bush locally, an observer for the losing State Senate candidate, a Badnarik observer (there only for the first hour or so) and myself (a Nader volunteer from Massachusetts).

During the course of the day, we reviewed about 4,000 paper ballots. We found almost no problems with the vote counts in the wards (part of towns) that we recounted. I think that we found only three changed votes for Nader out of the 4,000.

It was a most positive experience and I have posted pictures from the day on my Nader for President blog .
posted by notmtwain at 1:57 PM on November 26, 2004


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