Something curious seems to be cooking in the sunny state of Hawaii. In his September 6, 2004 article
Milo Clark writes,
Very recently, Hawaii bought enough DREs to put one in every precinct and to make them the only method of voting available for walk-in voting in 2004.
Hawaii election officials chose a machine made by Hart InterCivic, a Texas-based supplier. Normally, government procurement practices require open bidding with the sale going to the lowest bidder who meets specifications. Those specifications are set forth in some form of Request for Quotation (RFQ) or Request for Proposal (RFP). These are assumed to be open documents.
In late July, I asked Mr. Yoshina for information on the procurement process for DREs. I was told that such information was not available during the procurement process. He could tell me nothing at that time. I told him that people are very concerned and worried about DREs. A plank of the Hawaii Democratic Party platform expresses this concern.
Is it coincidence or plan that puts this purchase off to the last minute? With a primary scheduled for Saturday, September 18, does it make sense to keep the public in the dark until mid-August on this important decision?
Given wide-spread problems with the DRE equipment,- such as the situation
in Riverside County, California and this security issue
with the Diebold
's DRE equipment,- Milo Clark
's words quoted above sound alarming to say the least. But that is not the whole story. According to Clark,
In Florida, Georgia and Riverside County, California, electronic voting machines turned out to be part of the problem. The C.E.O. of Diebold, maker of one such machine, is quoted as saying he will do all in his power to assure that George Walker Bush is elected President in 2004.
Well, those who manufacture or service electronic voting machine can almost certainly do quite a bit to make sure that the candidate of their choice emerges victorious. In fact, such an outcome may well be within their power. Yes, that may require behaviour that is both illegal and morally repugnant,- but there is no guarantee that morality or respect for the rule of law are their strong suits.
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