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Vote fraud outrage?

No, not Florida. New Mexico.

Amazing that some can be so angry about Florida yet completely ignore New Mexico. You know, the state that Al Gore "won" on election night in 2000 only to flip to Bush during the audit process, then return to Gore when several additional ballot boxes were "found". I guess vote fraud is only a concern when it's against your candidate.

Anyway, looks like the Secretary of State (a Democrat) is now playing games with state election law:

But the hottest spot for pre-election litigation this year is New Mexico, a state Al Gore carried by only 366 votes. On Monday, a Democratic judge tossed Ralph Nader off the ballot after another judge rescinded a similar order she'd issued because she'd contributed $1,000 to the Kerry campaign. Nader forces have accused Democratic Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron of railroading their man using legal pretexts that have never been applied in New Mexico.

Earlier this year, Ms. Vigil-Giron issued guidelines saying that a new state law--which mandates that voters who register without an election official present must show a photo ID at the polls--doesn't apply to registrations collected by groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (Acorn), but only to those people who sign up to vote by mail. So far, such groups have helped collect 112,000 new registrations, or one out of nine of the state's voters.

Mary Herrera, the clerk in Bernalillo County, which includes Albuquerque, says her office has received over 3,000 suspicious registration forms. A 13-year-old boy received a voter card in the mail. Acorn organizers admitted that registration was submitted by one of their employees, who has since been fired. But in a court case this month, Acorn director Matt Henderson invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer whether his group illegally copies voter registration cards before turning them in to election officials. Previously, he had admitted to the Albuquerque Tribune that it did so.

All this has prompted U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to form a statewide criminal task force. "Mischief is afoot and questions are lurking in the shadows," he told reporters. But Ms. Vigil-Giron, whom Mr. Iglesias named to his task force, told me that "the U.S. attorney is the last person in line who should look at vote fraud. It's seen as Big Brother getting involved and won't help anything." Citing the burden on local election officials, a local judge has declined to overrule her decree that most new voters don't have to show ID--even though he acknowledged the law is "clear" and "unambiguous."


I heard John Fund talk about this on the John Bachelor show on WABC. Election fraud is outrageous no matter who does it and both sides do -- and those in charge of overseeing often do have a political bias.

HR 3295 was a small step towards giving states money to modernize their equipment, but it didn't do much to set any standards and the Bush administration has shown little interest in the issue since signing the bill.

Personally, I think it would be very easy to set up a fool proof system. Such a system would require some sort of redundancy, where there would be both an electronic and a hard copy record of each vote in the bigger cities and something lower tech (with the same standards) for rural areas.

I don't see why it can't be done. The fact of the matter is that we spend so little on our elections. For years, we have been rounding up senior citizens with the day free and some ancient machines and then we hope it isn't too close.

Now we have new machines with new problems. The systems vary state to state, but it seems that hackers across the country think rigging these machines could be more fun than taking down Microsoft. In which case, we could blame not just Republicans or Democrat officials, but some unknown non-political kid.

I think we are all to blame because I believe if we can create a tamper resistant slot machine, we can create a tamper resistant voting machine. It can be done. We just got to care enough to get it done.

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