Friday, July 30, 2004

The Gang That Couldn't Vote Straight 

So Gov. Bush says the electronic voting machines ARE just fine, dammit, and paper trails are evil and communist if not downright liberal. But then who is this "President" Bush who thinks Republicans should get absentee ballots if they want to make positively, absolutely sure their votes get counted?

(via Palm Beach Post, although every paper in Florida has picked up on this, as well as LA and Billings, Montana):
After spending months blocking Democratic efforts to equip touch-screen voting machines with printers to produce paper ballots, Gov. Jeb Bush on Thursday found his position at odds with his own party.
In a mailing to Republicans in a Miami-Dade County state House district, the Republican Party of Florida urged voters to cast absentee ballots, warning that "electronic voting machines do not have a paper ballot to verify your vote in case of a recount."

The argument is identical to the one U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach, has made in federal and state courts in hopes a judge will order Secretary of State Glenda Hood, a Bush appointee, to equip touch-screen machines with printers before the Nov. 2 presidential election.

"The Republicans should send that flyer to Gov. Jeb Bush and tell him to get his head out of [the sand] and create a paper trail for all voters so that we can be sure that every vote is counted," Wexler said. "This is an appalling disgrace."
Okay, Wexler really did say "head in the sand", I just put those brackets around it to make you think he really said what I *know* all of you naughty people would have said if it was you.

But let's take a look back at how this whole Flyergate thing came about in the first place. You know who started it? The Indians! For this we consult the
S. FL Sun-Sentinel:
The Republican apology stemmed from a glossy mailer paid for by the GOP [which] featured a smiling President George W. Bush and urged voters not to take a chance with the touch-screen machines.

"The liberal Democrats have already begun their attacks and the new electronic voting machines do not have a paper ballot to verify your vote in case of a recount," the front page of the mailer reads. "Make sure your vote counts, order your absentee ballot today."

The GOP flier was mailed to voters where incumbent Rep. Juan-Carlos Zapata, a Republican, is running in the primary against challenger Frank Artiles.

Zapata downplayed the mailer and insisted that he had no involvement in its distribution.

However, he said it surfaced as a response to an earlier mailer distributed by the Miccosukee Indian tribe that also used the president's image on behalf of the write-in contender.

"The Miccosukee brochures had George Bush all over it, and I think the party, just from a political standpoint, felt uncomfortable with something out there like that that wasn't for a Republican candidate, and they wanted to get something out there," Zapata said.
Maybe Mr. Zapata should spend more time explaining why one of the contenders in a Republican primary isn't a Republican. Any time he has left over he can spend explaining the importance of paper trails to his party leaders.

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