September 8, 2009

Electoral hardware: another arm of the privatization monster

With all the talk of privatization of the public school system, it's easy to lose sight of all the other ways corporations are changing the way our government operates.

Naomi Klein spoke a couple of years ago about the "faulty logic of the Bush administration's vision of a hollowed-out government run everywhere possible by private contractors":
According to this radical vision, contractors treat the state as an ATM, withdrawing massive contracts to perform core functions like securing borders and interrogating prisoners, and making deposits in the form of campaign contributions. As President Bush's former budget director, Mitch Daniels, put it: "The general idea — that the business of government is not to provide services but to make sure that they are provided — seems self-evident to me."
It's happening with our electoral system as well.

Some watchdog groups are examining the machines NY and other state governments are being persuaded to purchase. They're scared, and they're calling for people to get involved.

The message I received from one of these groups invites you to learn more about the ramifications of turning over our electoral system to contractors and their optical scanning technology:
Our state expects a deficit this year over $2 billion.
In 3 years our expected deficit is $18 billion.

In spite of this, we are moving ahead to privatize our elections with expensive paper ballots and optical scanners (vote-counting computers).

New York counties have already objected to proper security for the paper ballots and scanners because security is too expensive.
There are two sessions being offered:
Sat., Sept. 12, 12:30-4 PM, 28 E. 35th St. between Park and Madison Aves in Manhattan
Saturday, Sept. 26, 1:30-4:30, 40 E. 35 St. between Park and Madison Aves in Manhattan
Anyone can attend, just RSVP via email or phone (Teresa Hommel, 212 228-3803) and include your phone number.

More info at these links:
Legislative Memo , 186 Failures of optical scanners, and WheresThePaper.org

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