Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Monday, October 22, 2012

Yes, the Romneys Own Shares in a Voting Machine Company

Posted by on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Some bloggers are already getting ready to call this election rigged. This video is making the rounds:

And a bunch of stories about Mitt and Tagg Romney's owning shares in Hart Intercivic, a company that provides voting machines in a number of states including Ohio and Washington, are making the rounds. ThinkProgress today explained why this isn't something we should obsess over right now:

Dwelling on the possibility that a company tangentially related to the Romney family may tamper with their own product distracts from the very real and far more insidious ways that conservatives are trying to manipulate the election. For starters, the Republican National Committee and state-level Republican parties hired a voter registration firm that is openly fabricating and even destroying voter registration forms. Though the Republican Party has attempted to cut ties with this firm, its operatives are still hard at work on its behalf. Besides these operations, Tea Party group True the Vote plans to dispatch hundreds of volunteer poll watchers whose only role is to try to discredit voters before they cast their ballots. Some local classes have been caught instructing these volunteers to challenge legal voters. If they could simply flip a switch on a machine to negate a voter’s choice, there would be no reason to push voter ID laws, purge voter rolls, disseminate misleading information, or threaten to fire employees if they don’t vote for Romney.

The rigged machines myth is not only distracting, but harms the effort to get out the vote.

Look: I'm not saying that voting machine fraud is fiction. It's very real. But people are already getting Truther-y about this, and predicting a conspiracy is not the best use of your time. The Romneys owning huge chunks of Hart Intercivic is a known issue. Journalists and, presumably, Democratic lawyers will keep a very close eye on the counties that use Hart Intercivic's machines. This kind of fear mongering on progressive blogs just makes voters feel powerless and encourages them to not bother "throwing away" their vote.

Rather than trying to predict ways that the election can go wrong, why not spend your energy trying to make sure the election goes right? Why not help battle the very real Republican efforts to discredit and marginalize the votes of Democrats by joining the team that is prepared to fight these efforts? Sure, volunteering your time to a Get Out the Vote organization is harder than forwarding blog posts around and predicting what would be the most obvious conspiracy in the history of the United States, but it's a hell of a lot more useful.


Comments (14) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Pope Peabrain 1
For every rat you see, there's fifty that you don't.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on October 22, 2012 at 11:45 AM · Report this
Good post. We have more important things to deal with in real time such as pushing for increased voter turnout and fighting voter suppression. If you use this distraction as a reason to sit and whine and complain, you are a worthless dick. Get to work!
Posted by dbgill56 on October 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
Posted by neoanderthal on October 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
I'm not saying that voting machine fraud is fiction. It's very real.

Is it, now?

That's a pretty strong, unequivocal assertion you've got there.
Posted by robotslave on October 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM · Report this
amyl 5
Wait, Washington votes by mail.…
Does Washington State even use these voting machines?
Posted by amyl on October 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Don't machines count ballot papers, even mailed in ones?
Posted by originalcinner on October 22, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 7
I love how all these supposed voting problems (rigged machines, in person fraud, etc.) are conveniently forgotten until a couple weeks before the election, at which point a bunch of last minute, knee jerk, shit legislation gets passed that typically ends up either disenfranchising eligible voters or else disgusting people into abandoning the whole system altogether.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on October 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM · Report this
I can't believe that it's become so normal for private companies to own the apparatus for counting votes that it's not even considered worthy of comment. No matter who owns the voting machines, it's a conflict of interest. Counting votes is not a task for the private sector.
Posted by Proteus on October 22, 2012 at 12:42 PM · Report this
In a post-Citizens United democracy...
-where untold amounts are donated by unknown parties to fund campaigns,
-where new voter registration & polling i.d.'s are being required,
-where early voting is reduced or eliminated....and where the family of one of the two major candidates owns interests in voting machines....what could possibly go wrong???

it is going to be amazing if somehow Obama wins re-election....the gop/tea will be outraged.
Posted by TampaDink on October 22, 2012 at 12:44 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 10
We're falling into a pretty disturbing habit in this country of having a substantial portion of the electorate openly and seriously questioning the legitimacy of presidential elections. Even if you think one of those claims may have had some substance to it, you have to admit that this is not the sort of thing that bodes well for a representative government.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on October 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
"...Truther-y ..."

Typical Paul Constant douchebagger comment --- completely sums up his knowledge on everything --- exactly ZERO! Never read jackshit, have you Constant?

Certainly consistently has demonstrated himself to be the most ignorant hire at The Stranger -- not exactly a vault of knowledge or wisdom!

Reminds me how some of the staff of The Stranger gushed on about Ted Olson when he took up a lawsuit on behalf of gay marriage.

Did anyone there ever familiarize themselves with effing Olson's lengthy background of lobbyist and attorney perfidy? Against ALL American rights, workers' rights, etc.?

Negative, naturally.

Why would anyone ever be concerned as to the owners of the top three voting machine companies, which will be responsible for around at least 68% of the vote count nationally?

Why would anyone ever bother to actually READ the FCIC report? The Warren Commission Report? The 9/11 Commission Report?

Not Constant, for as Allen Dulles lectured, when he was part of the Warren Commission, "...Americans don't read..".

Yup, that's Paulie the douchebagger.

Profile of a Lobbyist/attorney, Ted Olson:

Worked for Richard Mellon Scaife's "Arkansas Project" -- digging up any dirt and fiction on the Clintons.

Argued before the Supreme Court, Gore v. Bush, to steal the 2000 presidential election and avoid indictments of Katherine Harris and ChoicePoint people.

Served as Bush's Solicitor General, where his wife number three was involved in the 9/11 tragedy, died aboard Flight 77, and after the insurance settlement came through, immediately moved on to wife number four.

Served as counsel to Koch Industries, and argued Citizen's United before Supreme Court (that's pro-Citizens United decision).

And, Ted Olson (some Wiki entries):

Olson was a founding member of the Federalist Society. (Premier ultra neocon outfit -- s_d)

From 1981 to 1984, Olson served as an Assistant Attorney General (Office of Legal Counsel) in the Reagan administration. While serving in the Reagan administration, Olson was legal counsel to President Reagan during the Iran-Contra affair's investigation phase.

In 2006 Olson represented a defendant journalist in the civil case filed by Wen Ho Lee and pursued the appeal to the Supreme Court. Lee sued the federal government to discover which public officials had named him as a suspect to journalists before he had been charged.[5] Olson wrote a brief on behalf of one of the journalists involved in the case, saying that journalists should not have to identify confidential sources, even if subpoenaed by a court.

(Yup, you can put a lot of FAITH in anything Paulie Constant prattles on about .....)

Posted by sgt_doom on October 22, 2012 at 1:44 PM · Report this
@9, is dead on ---- regardless how many votes Obama receives, in all probability it will be announced that Romney "won" .....

Representative democracy my ass .....Democritus was far too intelligent to ever bother with all this bullcrap.
Posted by sgt_doom on October 22, 2012 at 4:35 PM · Report this
Knat 13
Tea Party group True the Vote

What the fuck does that even mean, Teabaggers?
Posted by Knat on October 22, 2012 at 8:21 PM · Report this
watchout5 14
You know why? The problems of 2000 weren't really fixed. The problems of 2004 definitely weren't fixed. The problems of 2008 were almost completely ignored. The problems in 2012 will be just as obvious once the dust settles. Open source voting with a paper trail or only paper ballots. It's not that fucking hard every other democracy does it, what the fuck is our problem?
Posted by watchout5 on October 22, 2012 at 8:37 PM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy