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Bello, Fitrakis and Wasserman write: "Will you cast your vote this fall on a faulty electronic machine that's partly owned by the Romney Family? Will that machine decide whether Romney will then inherit the White House?"

Companies with ties to the Romneys own a lot of voting machines. (photo: Getty Images)
Companies with ties to the Romneys own a lot of voting machines. (photo: Getty Images)


Does Your E-Vote Now Belong to the Romney Family?

By Gerry Bello, Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, The Free Press

20 October 12

 

ill you cast your vote this fall on a faulty electronic machine that's partly owned by the Romney Family? Will that machine decide whether Romney will then inherit the White House?

Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States.

In other words, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, and his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall's election. These machines cannot be monitored by the public. But they will help decide who "owns" the White House.

They are especially crucial in Ohio, without which no Republican candidate has ever won the White House. In 2004, in the dead of election night, an electronic swing of more than 300,000 votes switched Ohio from the John Kerry column to George W. Bush, giving him a second term. A virtual statistical impossibility, the 6-plus% shift occurred between 12:20 and 2am election night as votes were being tallied by a GOP-controlled information technology firm on servers in a basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In defiance of a federal injunction, 56 of Ohio's 88 counties destroyed all election records, making a recount impossible. Ohio's governor and secretary of state in 2004 were both Republicans, as are the governors and secretaries of state in nine key swing states this year.

As we have previously reported, H.I.G. Capital has on its board of directors at least three close associates of the Romney family. H.I.G. Capital directors John P. Bolduk and Douglas Berman are major Romney fundraisers. So is former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve. H.I.G. employees have contributed at least $338,000 to Romney's campaign. Fully a third of H.I.G.'s leadership previously worked at Romney's old Bain firm.

But new research now shows that the association doesn't stop with mere friendship and business associations. Mitt Romney, his wife Ann Romney, and their son Tagg Romney are also invested in H.I.G. Capital, as is Mitt's brother G. Scott Romney.

The investment comes in part through the privately held family equity firm called Solamere, which bears the name of the posh Utah ski community where the Romney family retreats to slide down the slopes.

Unlike other private equity firms, Solamere does not invest in companies directly. Instead, Solamere invests in other private equity funds, like H.I.G. Capital. Solamere calls them “partners.” These partners, like H.I.G., then invest in various enterprises, like Hart Intercivic, the nation's third-largest voting machine manufacturer.

As reported by Lee Fang of The Nation, Solamere was founded by Tagg Romney and Spencer Zwick, Papa Romney's campaign finance chair. Ann Romney and Mitt's brother G. Scott Romney are also invested. Mitt himself threw in $10 million "seed money" to get the fund going, and spoke personally to its first full investors conference. Solamere's public web presence has been reduced to a front page only, so a complete list of it's “partners” can not be found. But reportage by the New York Times, Boston Globe, Esquire and the Nation have slowly given us a partial picture of which funds are being funded by Solamere. Some $232 million has been raised so far, according to SEC filings and industry publications.

In addition to Romney's finance chair Spencer Zwick, Solamere has also provided the campaign with its finance director, Richard Morley, and a western regional finance coordinator, Kaitlin O'Reilly. O'Reilly is listed as an “executive assistant” at Solamere, and also at SJZ LLC, which was founded by her boss Spencer Zwick. The SJZ LLC campaign finance consulting firm has billed Mitt's campaign over $2 million this election cycle as well as doing another $9,687,582 in billing to various Congressional Campaigns. The host of the private fundraiser at which Romney made his infamous "47%" speech was Marc J. Leder, co-CEO of Sun Capital, another "partner" of the Solamere fund.

As in virtually every close presidential race, Ohio may well hold the key to the Electoral College decision as to who will become the nation's next chief executive. The presence of Hart Intercivic machines in Hamilton County, home to Cincinnati, means there is a high likelihood the votes that will decide the presidency will be cast on them. Major media like CBS have begun reporting that Cincinnati could be "ground zero" in this year's election.

But these Hart machines are deeply flawed and widely know to be open to a troubling variety of attacks and breakdowns. There is no legal or other means to definitively monitor and re-check a tally compiled on Hart or other electronic voting machines. Ohio's current governor and secretary of state are both Republicans.

Does this mean the Romney investment in Hart Intercivic through H.I.G. Capital and Solamere will yield it not only financial profits but the White House itself?

Tune in during the deep night of November 7, when the electronic votes in swing state Ohio are once again opaquely reported to the nation and the world, without meaningful public scrutiny or legal recourse.

 

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+93 # brenda 2012-10-20 21:06
Romney is the perfect stooge to do the 1% filthy rich’s bidding. His conscience has long been seared against feeling any compassion for those who are affected by his corporate looting of the many companies that Bain Capital has bought and raped. He's no better than the Mafia Dons who sell dope to low income adults and children. He is ideal candidate for the Revelation Anti-christ position. What’s even funnier, is hearing that his Mormon religion, long listed as a cult in Billy Graham’s Baptist shit list of cults and false religions, has been removed from that list. I guess Billy doesn’t mind who you are, or what you believe in, just as long as you espouse the Right Wing-nut positions being held by “Neo-Nazi, racial hating, gun toting, confederate extremists”, and the rich bustards who would sell the American dream down the river to the third world for fun and profit. I remember the words that the Communist Governments said about the rich bourgeois, that they would “sell the Communists the rope with which they [the communists] would hang the free world with”. But when the world is embroiled in the threat of World War III, it’s going to be the lower and middle class’ sons and daughters whose lives will be put on the line to die and get maimed for the greedy rich’s protection of their damn foreign investments, while the rich hide their money, sons, and daughters in the Caiman Islands. Any poor/middle class person voting for Romney is either a bigot, fool or American turncoat.
 
 
+45 # independentmind 2012-10-20 22:08
Everyone in Ohio that will have to vote on those machines should do mail in votes (paper votes!). As there are NO PAPER TRAILS on the electronic voting machines, there is no way of completing an audit. They should be illegal. They need to be replaced by optical scanning machines.
 
 
+13 # Vardoz 2012-10-21 10:30
But they won't be stopped hacking the voting machines. I say if it is so easy to remotely hack into these machines Obama should hire some tech wizards and HACK BACK!!!!!! wE CAN'T LET THE MFs get away with it. This is so engraging! Bush stole the election and look what he left us with. Romney will do a Bain Capital on our nation. He will deregulate, defund and privatize as he gives, trillions to the rich, the military and corporations and tax the middle more and perhaps even cut our mortgage deduction. He will take apart our safey nets like he said he would and further impoverish the middle class and the nation, as well as, abolish the EPA, FDA and all of our protective agencies, AS HE SAID HE WOULD, and then he will sell off our nation piece by piece as they are already doing in some red states. He will double the defict and suck us dry. MARK MY WORDS - this is what he does best. He is still, by the way. outsourcing jobs to China and if he creates 12 million they will be for salve wages.
 
 
+14 # doneasley 2012-10-21 20:04
Quoting independentmind:
... As there are NO PAPER TRAILS on the electronic voting machines, there is no way of completing an audit. They should be illegal. They need to be replaced by optical scanning machines.


This whole criminal conspiracy has been in place since 2004 when the Sec'y of State of Ohio mentioned in the article was Ken Blackwell. The original machines were manufactured by Diebold, whose CEO said he'd do anything to see Bush win - and evidently he did. Having worked in and around the computer industry for many years, you can't tell me that you can't design and manufacture a voting machine with printer output - a ridiculous statement by the manufacturer.

I have several questions:
1. Why isn't this process under the control of the Federal Election Commission - i.e., the design, manufacture, production, and use of the machines?
2. How do you ever do a recount or a proof count without printers on each machine?
3. Why are private companies in control of the machine-related election process - especially companies controlled by a presidential candidate and his family?
4. The GOP has stolen 2 presidential elections (2000 and 2004). Why are the Dems and the Justice Dep't so quiet about this overt criminal enterprise?
5. Why are Ohio votes being tallied in Tennessee? And...
6. Pray tell me, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???
 
 
+39 # Regina 2012-10-20 22:40
Looks like Mitt set out about 6 years ago to buy the U. S. presidency for himself, and has managed to "arrange" it. Solamere sounds very similar to Bain, in terms of its actual operations -- the Romney M. O. As for Ohio, their "operator" Blackwell had an easy time "arranging" the victory for Dubya in 2004, since it was all set up "mechanically." The combination of "leaky" voting machines and screaming billboards against their mirage of voter fraud, we're havin' a royal setup.
 
 
+33 # wrodwell 2012-10-20 23:15
Faulty voting machines made by corrupt right wing sympathizers are the perfect example that elections really are about "the vote". And the Right Wing will do anything to get that vote. During the Bush years, it was the Diebold Company, heavy contributors to the Republican Party, who just happened to make voting machines that were vulnerable to hacking. Now, it looks as if the Hart Intercivic Company has hacking capabilities built right in to its machines. Technology marches on. (I wonder how many other "borderline" states use Hart Intercivic machines?)
The only time the right wing demonstrates any kind of "creativity" is when they're doing something nefarious. From Nixon's "plumbers" to suspect voting machines made by Republican sympathizing companies, the right wing thinks of everything it can to get their way no matter what. As a result, the country is the poorer for it - and getting even poorer.
Question is, what can be done about it?
 
 
-52 # Rain17 2012-10-20 23:16
Did it ever occur to any of you that, in 2004, the voters simply didn't want Kerry and thought Bush was the better candidate? Did it ever occur to you that, sometimes, despite the Democrats' best efforts, the voters sometimes do pick Republicans in close elections?

I agree that there are voter suppression issues, including the billboards posted in inner-city neighborhoods, curtailing early voting efforts, mislabeling legitimate voters as felons, and removing citizens mistaken for non-citizens. I think that those issues are important.

These voting machine conspiracies only make it harder for those other issues above to be taken seriously. No one is ever going to believe in these conspiracies and it makes progressives look crazy.
 
 
+18 # Tje_Chiwara 2012-10-21 07:44
Quoting Rain17:
Did it ever occur to you that, sometimes, despite the Democrats' best efforts, the voters sometimes do pick Republicans in close elections?

I agree with you, I hate conspiracy theories, and Democrats do lose quite normally . . . but the lack of transparency, validation, and extreme contradictory polling data, AND the business involvement produce a STRONG appearance of possible impropriety. Just as in the conduct of judges, the appearance is enough to invalidate the result, as democracy depends on the credibility of its voice.

I also believe the Democratic Party should take on the issues of Non-Partisan Redistricting, and Campaign Finance Reform, two other issues that cloud the sunshine of Democracy with the ugliness of power, money and manipulation, the hallmarks and apparent moral core of that other party . . . .
 
 
+29 # reiverpacific 2012-10-21 10:10
Quoting Rain17:
Did it ever occur to any of you that, in 2004, the voters simply didn't want Kerry and thought Bush was the better candidate? Did it ever occur to you that, sometimes, despite the Democrats' best efforts, the voters sometimes do pick Republicans in close elections?

I agree that there are voter suppression issues, including the billboards posted in inner-city neighborhoods, curtailing early voting efforts, mislabeling legitimate voters as felons, and removing citizens mistaken for non-citizens. I think that those issues are important.

These voting machine conspiracies only make it harder for those other issues above to be taken seriously. No one is ever going to believe in these conspiracies and it makes progressives look crazy.

You have a point but.
Being Europen, does it ever occur to you that only in America would an incurious, dangerously ignorant and total failure at everything else he ever did (or a clapped out "B" Movie actor) be even taken seriously as a candidate?
THAT's the scary part, along with the medievalist Electoral College system, without which Gore (I don't care for him) would have won easily in 2000.
Now you have Citizens United to tilt the balance even farther from a level playing field.
Remember the intimidation of the recount staff in Talahassee? Remember Ohio's Secretary of state being Dimwit's 2004 campaign manager? Katherine Harris' voter purgings? And more.
No conspiracy, eh?
 
 
+12 # Sadie6083 2012-10-21 15:54
I was in Ohio in 2004. College students and people in low income neighborhoods had to wait long hours in the rain because there were too few voting machines in their polling places. Flawed machines were exposed by the previous Ohio secretary of state but the new sec has done nothing. The Bain machines are in Hamilton County where you will find the largest number of rich republicans. Given that the current sec has done everything he can to suppress voting, do you really believe that THEY will not rig the election? Can we afford to think it might not be true?
 
 
+9 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-10-22 06:59
No it never occurred to me Rain17! Is it your contention that Bush WAS IN FACT the better candidate? What hogwash; excuse my unFrench language. Are you saying that after 4 years of Bush and the facts established regarding the stolen election of 2000, that the voters are still going to consider Bush the better candidate? I guess living in Washington, DC does indeed affect your ability to reason. You do understand that the definition of insane is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result each time?

So, Rain17, as I said from the beginning, it never occurred to me, because I am not insane!
 
 
+18 # Janice 2012-10-20 23:25
this is unconscionable.
 
 
+33 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-10-20 23:42
Does My E-Vote Now Belong to the Romney Family?

Very possibly, on the border of probably!

But, what do you expect from a country that elects its leaders with only half the eligible voters actually taking the time and effort to vote?

Churchill said that people get the government they deserve. If this wise leader was correct, then I truly hope that this time is the exception to the rule, and we get something better than we deserve, for we do indeed deserve better than what Romney and Company have to offer.
 
 
0 # Jim Young 2012-10-23 08:21
Living in California, I have the opportunity to test the counting of my ballot without any danger of "wasting" a vote in the Presidential race. If Obama is clearly going to win, I will write in Sheila Bair of Paul Volcker, since they best express my frustration with the neglect of any meaningful reform of the finance sector (one that let speculative "investing" grow to over 5 times the type of honestly insurable risk Glass-Steagall rules were so effective at). Even investment banks were much more careful about what investments/rea l ("uninsured") risks they took before the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the bailout without consequences or reinstitution of rules that really worked (or simple new rules).

I will vote for Obama if it looks close, but would like to test the quality of the system with a write in for Sheila Bair, or the adviser (Paul Volcker) that Obama used in the campaign but listened to less, after he installed the Goldman-Sachs alumni Clinton used (maybe only slightly less dangerous than the Bush Goldman-Sachs alumni).

No matter what else Romney is, he is too dangerous with the rest of the team that comes with him, especially Ryan. That VP choice (and anti-PBS talk) has me unalterably opposed to the Romney/ALEC team.
 
 
+31 # X Dane 2012-10-21 01:02
The republicans are the only ones committing voter fraud in a myriad ways.
Shredding ballots, preventing people from registering. Giving dates to Latinos 2 DAYS AFTER THE VOTING TOOK PLACE,
faulty machines, and too few machines. Ways almost too numerous to mention.

There MUST be a way we can check the votes that were cast, particularly in Ohio. WE CAN OT LET THEM STEAL THE VOTES AND ELECTION AGAIN.
 
 
+29 # Barbara K 2012-10-21 06:58
X Dane: I think that anyone with an interest in the voting machines should not be allowed to run for office, including their family members. I agree too, that all people in states with these machines, should vote Absentee, and maybe they will count those this time. In 2004, they found a closetfull of Dem ballots found, uncounted, and the trunk of a Republican's car was full of Dem ballots uncounted. I lived in Michigan, near Toledo, Ohio at that time and it was a real scandal in the news and newspaper. The crookedness runs deep and I hope the Dems will be on hand and diligent at the voting polls. I hope the Dems have a computer hacker of their own to make sure that the machines work properly.

VOTE STRAIGHT DEMOCRATIC, our future is at stake.
The alternative is a snake in the grass.
 
 
+41 # kentuckywoman2 2012-10-21 01:09
I've been reading about Tagg Romney's (Mitt's son) involvement with the e-voting machines. How in the hell can that even be legal? How can you ask people to vote on a machine owned by one of the candidates', in a manner of speaking? WTF? I'm not a fan of e-voting because those machines are too easily hacked. They should be banned, unless they have a paper ballot to back it up...and then, what would be the point. I don't trust the Romney's - they even look evil!
 
 
0 # Jim Young 2012-10-23 08:30
It would be interesting to see what happens if all voters were given the choice of type machine or ballot they wanted at the polling place, and see how many voted for each candidate on the specific kind of ballot. If I don't get any other choice, I'll have to go to a mail in ballot, and encourage its use by all the voters the Republicans try to suppress. It would also alleviate the shortage of polling places, weather, transportation, or other impediments to all eligible citizens voting.

I'd also like to eliminate the electoral college, require ranked ballots to reduce splitting tickets that allow disasters like the Le Page victory in Maine, and Australia's requirement that citizens vote (or pay a nominal fine if they fail to) to keep people from becoming avoiding the bother of voting.
 
 
+33 # Dave_s Not Here 2012-10-21 01:25
And you Americans can't understand why the rest of the world looks on with astonishment.
 
 
+34 # grouchy 2012-10-21 01:53
If my memory is correct, in a past election the Republicans had someone on their side who lived in Ohio and who was owner of a company that also made ballot counting machines--Diebo ld I think--who back then boasted that he could/would assure the Repubs won Ohio. Never knew if there was any followup on this. I don't know why this nonsense cannot be stopped. Maybe someone is benefitting from the status quo?
 
 
+15 # Regina 2012-10-21 12:37
Keep in mind that Diebold's ATMs work just fine. Their slippery voting machines are deliberately malfunctioning. It's disgustingly obvious who's benefiting from this arranged slippage. And that's not enough -- now they're all-out preventing certain groups of citizens from voting altogether. The only thing still missing from this picture is brown shirts on this gang of Nazis.
 
 
+24 # postpen 2012-10-21 04:23
Well,that's it. Election decided. Romney wins, votes across the country counted by machines that he and his family own.
Be sure to vote, but know that your vote will not be counted if your state vote outcome is going to Obama and especially if it's a key "swing" state that will decide the election.
 
 
+23 # Akeel1701 2012-10-21 05:22
Ye're absolutely right. It's high time the American people took the country beck from the 1% Hi-jackers!
 
 
+26 # walt 2012-10-21 07:38
Is there any end to where Romney's loot is not invested??

America does not need a vulture capitalist as a president who would make the country more corporately controlled than it already is.

Romney's 47% comment alone should have removed him from all consideration for office.

Wake up, America! Government of, by, and for the people!
 
 
+9 # fredboy 2012-10-21 08:44
This election's possibilities seem like a fringe monster movie. Kind of like 9/11. Katrina. Iraq. And 2008.
 
 
+11 # panhead49 2012-10-21 09:12
We went Permanent Absentee Ballot by mail after the primary. I had to argue with a poll worker to get a non-partisan ballot - there were actually 7 different ballots to choose from but she'd only pulled out the R, D and Indie voter ballots.

Absentee gives you plenty of time to look things over, less chance of your vote getting flipped and you don't have to wait in line for hours on end. It also makes for more voters and saves money.
 
 
+9 # Okieangels 2012-10-21 09:20
I'm amazed that this is even legal.
 
 
+4 # Regina 2012-10-21 12:40
Legal??? Who enacts all those state laws to suppress the votes that might go against the manipulators???
 
 
+9 # suzyskier 2012-10-21 10:34
How can this be legal? It smells to high heaven! This is absolutly insane! Of course it's the R's who are always claiming voter fraud. I guess they know something about it and since they do it they expect the other party to do it too. What incredible hypocrites these right wing nut jobs are!
 
 
+7 # natalierosen 2012-10-21 11:23
This is SICKENING, DISGUSTING, IMMORAL, UNETHICAL and any other term to describe the miserable rancid RepublicRAT party. What kind of a party have you got IF the ONLY way you can win is by committing fraud stealing it! They will tell you we are whining but oh how THEY whine if the situation were reversed.

I say do unto others what they would do to you...DEMOCRATS GO OUT AND HACK THOSE SWINE BACK!
 
 
0 # Jim Young 2012-10-23 08:44
I hit the thumbs up too early, I'll never condone fighting as dirty as Republicans. I left the party after 5 generations, back to the founders and even those before the founders of the Republican party since they proposed it. I left because a fund raiser told us we had to fight dirtier than Democrats then I began seeing the effects of Newt Gingrich's GoPac memo (something like the Cato Institute recommended using Lenin's propaganda techniques). More recently I've become aware of the ALEC types going far beyond Reagan's call for business people to get more involved in finding better solutions for all of America. They got busy alright, but seem co-opted by the Kochs and others to just look out for their own self-interests as they choke off the growth of the rest of us, dragging our overall economy down. They have managed, whether on purpose or obliviously, to drag our velocity of money (in the real productive part of the economy) down to those reminiscent of Great Depression era velocities of money. We need real growth in the 99% of the economy where a better velocity of money makes so much more possible.
 
 
+3 # RODNOX 2012-10-21 18:21
people should go to jail for destroying records----govt should jam all wi-fi near voting machines till voting over---forensic evidence was strong that some of fraud was remote---other was pre programmed---sh ould go back to paper ballets
 
 
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-10-21 18:35
Where is Ethics in these machines allowed to be the ones taking votes if Romney Family has interest in it. How long was this known?

Get your number when you sign in, ask for it to be proven what you voted. Demand your rights
 
 
+5 # Beluga 2012-10-21 20:28
Has anyone else heard the buzz that Federal Law Enforcement agents have successfully infiltrated the GOP political machine in Ohio and other states vulnerable to election machine fraud? A criminal case is being made as we speak and the hammer will drop soon.
 
 
+3 # suzyskier 2012-10-22 10:48
Beluga I sure hope this is true! It would regain my confidence in the election process. I will cross my fingers.
 
 
+5 # chizables 2012-10-21 22:02
Doesn't anyone remember Election Day in Ohio in 2004? The Democrats were winning according to all the exit polls - which had always been reliable before.... The media were beginning their predictions/pro jected winners and it looked like things were going Kerry's way....... BUT then, all of a sudden, the results from these voting machines started coming in and, lo and behold, Bush was winning!

Everyone was astounded.... But no one challenged it. The American sheeple do not question things. We all just go on with our lives. We are too busy with our ipods, iphones, and ipads to care.

So I am guessing this will happen again.

We Democrats are such WIMPS. We get what we deserve.
 
 
0 # Bill Clements 2012-10-23 15:38
Well, where was the FEC, the FBI? Why weren't these anomalies investigated?
 
 
+2 # oldibtgdy 2012-10-22 07:39
Yes, it's sad -- but "hack back"? At what point do you become the pig when you join him in his wallow? The Diebold fiasco was a case of using a wide open, consumer-grade database to record the votes -- by district. No password needed; poll persons at central tabulating places could simply go in and change the fields from (say) Kerry to (say) Bush. No more difficult than modifying your excel spreadsheet. In fact, a columnist reported they did just that -- personally -- under the direction of a Republican poll watcher. So "hack" in? Didn't need to. Just go in and pick the winner.
Now, as for the Romney's output-less voting machines -- imagine an entertainingly illuminated machine with a big handle ----. You got it. The house dials in the odds it wants and guess what? It gets 'em. Surprise! Voter suppression, gerrymandering and election misinformation in Spanish aside. The last line of fraud is the box itself. I was wondering why they didn't appear too worried about the actual vote when they declared war on women and the poor. Now we know -- they own it. Vote early and often. Maybe you'll pass the literacy test when it comes time to be counted. Maybe not. Might depend on the test -- just like the good-old-days.
 
 
+1 # logical1 2012-10-22 13:16
This has been scaring me for the last year or so. President Obama has to make a requirement that no ballots are destroyed until results are confirmed.
The enormous wealth of the ultra rich now make it so the election process can and is being taken over by endless advertising money and ownership of media and yes voting machines used in key states to tilt elections. This has been occurring and will only increase as extreme money power takes over control of government. The Supreme Court is another victim if the right gets another judge, there will only be bias and no check or balance in the future. This is the most important election in our lives!
NOT ONLY THE PRESIDENCY, but EVERY SENATE AND CONGRESSIONAL ELECTION. We need to vote out every ultra right wing candidate.
 
 
+1 # Rebecca 2012-10-22 16:03
The headline and picture are bit misleading. Here's some clarification: I have been voting in Hamilton County, Ohio, since 2008 and have never used an electronic voting machine akin to the one in the photo. We vote on paper here--whether by absentee ballot or at the BOE or polling places--not electronically. The paper ballots are fed into a machine to be counted. The machines could be programmed to miscount or shift votes. But the votes aren't owned by the makers of the machines. The tallies may be proprietary. But each county has a paper trail that, if not destroyed prematurely, is available for a recount.

Also, the problem in 2004 was not shortage of machines. People did stand in line in the rain until well past midnight at minority polling places (or gave up and went home). That was because the Secretary of State understaffed the polling places and they could not accommodate the voters timely. Every voter must show I.D. to a worker and sign the rolls. Then they are given a paper ballot and directed to an individual "booth" to fill it in. There might be only a half-dozen booths. So people must wait for them to become available. Then each voter feeds the ballot into a machine. That last part takes a second or two. It's waiting for the worker to find your name, check your I.D., have you sign then compare your signature to one on the roll, then waiting for a booth to open up that backs up the process. That's why Ohio enacted early voting-to avoid a repeat of 2004.
 

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