Last night I had a long discussion with Brad Friedman, who runs the election-reform news Web site Brad Blog. Over and over, he said, "My biggest concern here is that 80 percent of the vote is uncounted by any human being." His request is simple and straightforward: "Why not count the damn votes?"And on Bill Maher's show on HBO:
He's right. Why not count the votes?
And thanks to Kucinich, that's what will likely happen now. It will probably take some time; weeks, if not months. But soon, we'll know what happened.
But as many voting-reform experts have argued, manually counting the votes should be a routine in any race. There are logistical reasons why it would be impractical to hand count every vote in every election. But if we're going to use machines -- optical-scan machines that use paper ballots, that is; touch-screen machines everywhere ought to be burned -- we should, at least, conduct a randomized, accountant-approved audit of ballots.
Experts skeptical results will change.MAHER: I'm not saying something went wrong, but it does bother me that a private company runs the polling machines and that only they certainly, seem to know what went on in that [New Hampshire election].Tony Snow then immediately brings up Photo ID, completely and entirely out of context, and suggests, incorrectly, that the issue is "voter fraud". It's not. It's election fraud. The voters are doing fine. Leave them alone.
CRIER: What I'm glad about is that whole controversy's come up and that they're going to go back and take a look. It's going to elevate the whole voting machine issue in the minds of the American people before the elections
MAHER: We have so much debate, and there's so much interest in this election…but it all comes to naught if we can't trust what the result is.
Thankfully, Maher quickly destroys Snow in return. As does Crier.