Friday, November 03, 2006

VA Voting Shenanigans

This freaked me out a little. And it doesn't seem to be getting too much press (at least that I've seen). Perhaps I'm just overly sensitive.

An article in the Online Journal says:

"What is being called a "glitch" by Hart InterCivic spokespersons, three cities in Virginia -- Alexandria (my note: population 128,283 in 2000), Falls Church (pop. 10,377 in 2000) and Charlottesville (pop. 45,049 in 2000)-- will not properly display (~Democrat) Jim Webb's name on the November ballot summary screen. Voters will only see 'James H. "Jim"' on the ballot, instead of 'James H. "Jim" Webb'.

To make matters worse, the candidates will have "their party affiliations . . . cut off". To put some perspective and clarity to this, in Alexandria, Falls Church and Charlottesville, Virginia, voters will not be able to recognize Jim Webb by his full name OR by his party's affiliation!"

Those of us who live in VA know that those 6-year-old census numbers have done nothing but skyrocket since they were recorded. So the number of voters seeing incorrect (or incomplete) information on their ballots is going to be significantly higher than the 183,709 recorded in '00. Nice. The last couple of elections have been won and lost by what...27...maybe 30 votes? 100k shouldn't matter at all...right?

While on the subject, did anybody happen to catch HBO's "Hacking Democracy" last night about the ultra creepyness of the Diebold voting machines? Scary stuff. I only watched a few minutes of it (but I recorded it for later viewing pleasure), but I have to say the ease with which they were tampered was startling.

Edited to change my population data. Evidently I used the total population of VA (7+ million). Duh. The data has been corrected. However, my point still stands. With a race that came down to 6,000 votes (as of last night), that 100k+ still could make or break somebody. I guess we'll see after all of the the recounts and lawsuits are done.