Aye, Caracas!

| Mon Oct. 30, 2006 5:01 PM EST

So let me get this straight. Diebold, an electronic voting machine company with spotty record run by extremely partisan Republican and major Bush contributor, not a problem.

Virginia electronic voting machines, made by Hart InterCivic, that just happen to cut off the name of the Democratic candidate in three of the most liberal areas of the state, not a problem. (Or a problem that's not fixable until after the election, according to the Virginia board of elections. And wasn't the whole point of electronic voting machines supposed to be that such problems could be simply reprogrammed…but I digress.)

What's the electronic voting machine scandal that makes the front of the New York Times and all the nightly newscasts? The implication that Sequoia, an American voting machine company that has Venezuelan investors, must naturally be under the influence of lefty strongman Hugo "el Diablo" Chavez.

Do we really think that Hugo Chavez's master plan to take over the world involves a multi-year complicated strategy of corporate mergers?

At least now that the right-wing conspiracy theorists are as agitated about electronic voting machines as those on the left, real reform might be possible.

(For more on disenfranchisement by machine, check out Sasha Abramsky's Mother Jones article: "Just Try Voting Here: 11 of America's Worst Places to Cast a Ballot (or Try)," and plus this fun cartoon by Marc Rosenthal. And for more regarding Sequoia and electronic voting machines, check out Brad Blog.)

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