Sunday, October 29, 2006

Crock The Vote

So when Diebold's chairman promises in writing to deliver Ohio for the Republicans, it's just a slip of the tongue, but when Sequoia -- which actually gives you a paper receipt, unlike Diebold -- gets bought by Venezuelans, we gots to get our investimagate on:

Sequoia Voting Systems Inc., based in Oakland, Calif., said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, was conducting the formal inquiry into it as well as its parent software company, the Smartmatic Corp., at the firms' request after news articles suggested improper ties.

The inquiry was focusing on last year's acquisition of Sequoia by Boca Raton, Fla.-based Smartmatic, which is owned by three Venezuelans, and whether Chavez's leftist government has any influence over their operations.

As the article says, this is at the companies' request, but still, it seems to be the wrong end of the equation to be looking at. The need for verifiable paper trails, and the the ability to foil potential hacking and tampering, are far more important aspects to be looking into than whether every Venezuelan is a Chàvez lackey. Perhaps one of them donated money to his campaign, as Diebold's did to Bush.

Not to mention the stone hypocrisy; how many electoral processes around the world over the past century have we sobverted or outright tampered with?

If you didn't know better, sometimes you might just get the impression that it's more important to maintain the feel and veneer of democracy, than to actually take principled, meaningful steps to ensure that every citizen has at least some say in how their government is run. But that would just be paranoid, wouldn't it?

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