The US Mainstream Media (USMSM) is sadly blowing off stories of voting irregularities. I just trolled CNN.com a few minutes ago and saw almost nothing regarding reports of vote-problems. Luckily, loads of online sources seem to be covering this story. Let's hope it continues and let's also hope CNN.com decides to do more than just offer their "voter problem" page (here: politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/category/voter-problems ). Talk about treating a problem improperly. What they do by putting all the stories about voting problems on one page and nowhere else is, essentially, ghetto-izing news about our democracy failing us.

If you think a few votes here and a few votes there are no big deal, you clearly don't recall how tight the Bush wins were in 2000 and 2004. Also, a handful of reports can often be the tip of the iceberg. Not everyone is going to notice or be sure that they just had a problem voting. This is why it's so important that election irregularities stay on the front page of EVERY news source on the planet (yes, the planet, since the guy running the USA tends to bomb a lot). If you know of election stories that aren't being covered, why not start your own blog and post about it? Or email your favorite news sources and ask them why they aren't covering these stories? It's just our democracy in the balance.

All this said, plenty of stories are reaching the 'net on non-USMSM sites. Here's a nice round up for you:

Phony Flier Gives Va. Dems Wrong Election Date
In Virginia, a phony flier purporting to come from the state election board has circulated to prevent Democrats from voting on Election Day. The flier tells Democrats and independents to vote on November 5th, the day after the election.
www.democracynow.org/2008/10/29/headlines#4
How are we not supposed to blame the Republicans for something like this? (Mind you, I'm a registered independent.)

Report: Sequoia Voting Machine Prone to Hacking
a new Princeton University report... ...says a machine made by the California-based Sequoia Voting Systems can be hacked in about seven minutes.
www.democracynow.org/2008/10/29/headlines#5
NICE! Sequoia were the blokes said to be behind the "hanging-chads" from 2000.

Your Last Chance to Pull That Big Red Lever
This Tuesday is supposed to be New Yorkers’ last chance to use the old-fashioned voting machines! That is, if everything goes as planned. New York state is already behind in the attempt to switch to newer voting technology in accordance with the Help America Vote Act. According to City Limits, “Using New York state’s old-fashioned lever machines is difficult for people who aren’t able to see the choices or flip the levers.”
idealistnyc.wordpress.com/2008/10/29/your-last-chance-to-pull-that-big-red-lever
I was unaware of this--and I'm a New Yorker now. Sheesh. I should say that I think the argument using disabled voters as the excuse to switch entirely to electronic "ballot marking devices" (or BMDs) is a weak one since disabled voters are a fraction of the people who vote. Also, forcing them to use BMDs isn't fair to them, either. Can't we just create a job where someone is in charge of helping disabled folks vote?

ELECTION DAY TEST LOOMS FOR NEW VOTING DEVICES
Nov. 4 should be the beginning of the end for the city's lever voting machines, as New York continues its belated effort to comply with the Help America Vote Act.
www.citylimits.org/content/articles/viewarticle.cfm?article_id=3643
This is a decidedly positive view of the same story from IdealistNYC. These guys seem to really only care about these complying with federal law and not with the possibility that these devices work or are at all trustworthy. It's funny, I'm a total tech-head and I'd never trust technology with my democracy.

More Vote-Flipping in TX by Machines Other Than Those Made by ES&S
Direct Recording Electronic Voting Systems Made by Hart InterCivic and Diebold Also Reportedly Now Flipping Votes From Democratic to Republican in TX...
www.bradblog.com/?p=6584
Previously, I've blogged about reports that all the vote switching has occurred on just one kind of machine from just one company--the iVotronic from ES&S (blogged here and here). However, according to BradBlog.com the problems are popping up in voting machines from a number of different companies, so no voter using an electronic/computerized voting machine is safe from this kind of "glitch."

National groups laud W.Va.'s response to vote switching
A pair of national voting rights groups say other states should follow West Virginia's lead when it comes to touch-screen voting machines.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University and Verified Voting are touting Secretary of State Betty Ireland's decision to urge counties to recalibrate their machines each morning.
wvgazette.com/News/200810290417
While this sounds like good news, it really isn't. These machines shouldn't need to be recalibrated EVER. As I blogged last night, my iPhone has a touchscreen, too and I never have to recalibrate it--why is it that American Democracy seems to have a crappier touchscreen than my iPhone?

The Vote Grab: Voting machines are unreliable and inaccurate
As early voting in the US presidential elections gets underway, ES&S iVotronics touch-screen electronic voting machines have been observed in four separate states flipping the votes – mostly from Barack Obama to John McCain but sometimes to third party candidates too. This has already occurred during early voting in the states of West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri and Texas.
blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/the-vote-grab-1.html
This is somewhat old news, but at least they're covering it. Also, just because it's old news doesn't make it untrue. What's nice about this piece (written by Peter Tatchell) is that it goes into some nice detail into the background of these kinds of problems. This makes it a good primer for anyone who hasn't been following this stuff for years.

So, while it's nice to see some print and foreign news sources covering this stuff, it's still not reaching as many people (or as many Americans) as it needs to. Back in 2004 a bunch of us screamed about it, but were ignored. We all need to scream about this stuff. Regardless of who "wins" on November 4, the win won't mean a thing to anyone who respects the truth and the will of the American People.

I'm one of those people.

For the latest news on vote switching your best bet is to do a Google news search here:
news.google.com/news?q=vote%20switching

If you see any weirdness at your polling place please one or all of the following (especially the first two items):

Call 877-GOCNN-08 That's CNN's voter problem hotline

Call 866-MYVOTE1 That's an independent hotline run by the guys behind www.infovoter.net

Go here: www.votersunite.org/electionproblems_submit.asp and describe what you experienced.

Comment here at ThePete.Com or at any other blog covering election irregularities

Blog about it yourself

If you brought a camera with you to vote, take pictures or video and upload it to the VideoTheVote.org.

In the end, it's up to every American citizen to not just vote, but to do their part in making sure that vote means something.