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U.S. voting-machine shocker:Does Hugo Chavez own 'em? [recycling 2006 post due to recent mention in
WorldNetDaily ^ | October 28, 2006

Posted on 10/29/2006 4:20:53 AM PST by Man50D

WASHINGTON – Just 10 days before Americans vote in midterm congressional elections that could result in a historic shift of power, the federal government is investigating whether anti-American Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may control the company that operates electronic voting machines in 17 states.

Many questions have been raised about the reliability of the new machines, which leave no paper trails for the purposes of recounts. But now federal officials are investigating whether Smartmatic, owner of Sequoia Voting Systems, is secretly controlled by the Castroite revolutionary leader of Venezuela who denounced President Bush as Satan in his most recent United Nations address, the Miami Herald reports.

An informal investigation of Smartmatic's ownership begun last summer has, the paper reveals, become a formal probe.

One of the other major concerns raised about the electronic voting systems is that they could, under the right circumstances, be tampered with to deliver fraudulent results.

The investigation stems from a May 4 inquiry to the Treasury Department by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., raising concerns about Smartmatic's purchase of Sequoia last year. Maloney said she was disturbed by a 2004 article in the Miami Herald revealing that the Venezuelan government owned 28 percent of Bizta – a company operated by two of the same people who own Smartmatic.

In a deal with twists and turns even federal investigators are having trouble following, Bizta bought back those shares after the article appeared, and Smartmatic now characterizes the deal as a loan.

Bizta and Smartmatic had partnered with the Venezuelan telephone company CANTV to win a $91 million contract to supply electronic voting machines for Venezuelan elections, including the controversial 2004 referendum Chávez won in a vote in which he was widely accused of fraud.

Despite the probe, Smartmatic categorically denies any link to the Chávez regime.

"Smartmatic is a privately held corporation, and no foreign government or entity – including Venezuela – has ever held an ownership stake in the company," Mitch Stoller, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail to the Miami Herald.

"The government of Venezuela doesn’t have anything to do with the company aside from contracting it for our electoral process," the Venezuelan ambassador in Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, told the New York Times tonight.

But the Venezuelan connections have haunted the company whose machines have been plagued with problems in U.S. elections.

When the Chicago City Council asked Sequoia executive Jack Blaine in April about problems in that city's voting, he said some Venezuelans had provided technical support during the election and that some of the glitches could be traced to a component developed in Venezuela to print and transmit results to a central tabulation computer.

The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners is withholding further payment to Sequoia until after the Nov. 7 election.

The Smartmatic investigation is being conducted by the Treasury-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, CFIUS – which determines whether deals involving foreign investors compromise national security.

Determining whether there really is a hidden connection to Chávez or anyone in his government is difficult because of Smartmatic's complex, though legal, corporate structure, reports the Miami Herald.

Stoller admitted the company is 97 percent owned by the four Venezuelan founders – two of them dual citizens: Mugica (Spanish and Venezuelan), Anzola, Roger Piñate and Jorge Massa (French and Venezuelan). The remainder of the company, Stoller told the paper, is owned "by employees of Smartmatic (past and present) and family and acquaintances of the founders."

The four top owners have not said whether they support or oppose Chávez.

"The government should know who owns our voting machines — that is a national-security concern," said Maloney, who started the investigation with her letter last May. "There seems to have been an obvious effort to obscure the ownership of the company."

Chavez has made it clear his goal in life is to bring the U.S. to its knees. He has stood with Iran against the U.S. and, as WND reported Thursday, he is providing documents that could help terrorists infiltrate the U.S.-Mexico, according to a new congressional report on homeland security.

"Venezuela is providing support – including identity documents – that could prove useful to radical Islamic groups," says the report of the subcommittee on investigations of the House Homeland Security Committee. "The Venezuelan government has issued thousands of cédulas, the equivalent of Social Security cards, to people from places such as Cuba, Colombia and Middle Eastern nations that host foreign terrorist organizations."

The documents can be used to obtain Venezuelan passports and American visas, which in turn allow the holder to elude immigration checks and enter the United States.

As WorldNetDaily reported, a Venezuelan military defector claims Chavez developed ties to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida – even providing the group with $1 million in cash after Sept. 11, 2001.

Air Force Maj. Juan Diaz Castillo, who was Chavez's pilot, told WorldNetDaily through an interpreter that "the American people should awaken and be aware of the enemy they have just three hours' flight from the United States."

Diaz said he was part of an operation in which Chavez gave $1 million to al-Qaida for relocation costs, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: chavez; electronicvoting; evoting; fraud; papertrail; sequoia; sequoiavotingsystems; smartmatic; venezuela; voterfraud; voting; votingmachines
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1 posted on 10/29/2006 4:20:54 AM PST by Man50D
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To: Man50D
What was it that Stalin once said...."it doesn't matter who *casts* the votes,it only matters who *counts* them."

In so many ways,Chavez is going right along with the playbook.

2 posted on 10/29/2006 4:23:18 AM PST by Gay State Conservative ("An empty limousine pulled up and Hillary Clinton got out")
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To: Man50D

R.Y.M.B!


3 posted on 10/29/2006 4:26:49 AM PST by Solamente (Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out...)
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To: Man50D

The Dems are too close to Hugo Chavez.


4 posted on 10/29/2006 4:34:49 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: Man50D

It is long past time to deny visas to all Venezuelan passport holders.

Any Venezuelans who wanted out of that Communist hellhole have left already.

Next, diplomatic ties should be broken and their embassage kicked out. They should not even be granted visas to attend the UN.

Lock them out.

.


5 posted on 10/29/2006 4:37:49 AM PST by Westbrook (Having more children does not divide your love, it multiplies it!)
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To: Man50D
Actually we deserve it - for laughing off the Dems when they said that they wanted a "paper trail".
6 posted on 10/29/2006 5:00:22 AM PST by BobL (http://www.brusselsjournal.com/blog/4556 (here is where the real Europe is going))
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To: Man50D

Incredible if true.


7 posted on 10/29/2006 5:12:31 AM PST by ZULU (Non nobis, non nobis, Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam. God, guts, and guns made America great.)
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To: Man50D
"Diaz said he was part of an operation in which Chavez gave $1 million to al-Qaida for relocation costs, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Why is this not on every newspaper's front page? And why hasn't this testimony been brought before the United Nations to deny Venezuela a seat on the security council.
8 posted on 10/29/2006 5:16:46 AM PST by rjp2005 (Lord have mercy on us)
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To: Man50D

Maybe we shouldn't have just laughed at all the DUmmies who whined about Diebold fixing elections. We should have taken that as a sign that the LEFT is going to try to "fix" the machines to fix the elections. Leftists are dirty, filthy lying, thieving, bastards. The world would be better off without them.


9 posted on 10/29/2006 5:24:07 AM PST by MichiganConservative (The US is so full of domestic enemies, maybe all we can do is slow the inevitable ascent of tyranny.)
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To: MichiganConservative
Agreed. I had the same worries about the left. I knew Karl Rove and our side couldn't rig the machines and keep it secret if our lives depended on it, since some low-level Dem would rat us out. But the Dems are much better at that - and now a bunch of US haters (even more so than the Dems) from down south could really turn our voting system inside out.
10 posted on 10/29/2006 5:47:56 AM PST by BobL (http://www.brusselsjournal.com/blog/4556 (here is where the real Europe is going))
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To: Man50D

...and you wondered why Carter and Sheehan thought this guy was OK.


11 posted on 10/29/2006 5:48:21 AM PST by Tenyaka
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To: Man50D
Yes. There is reason to be concerned about this.

According to Alvaro Vargas Llosa:

6. In December, 2004, a "gag law" was imposed making it easy to prosecute journalists. Chavez continually threatens to withdraw TV and radio licenses--the reason why there are no opinion programs on network TV.(My note; eerie resemblance to McCain-Feingold)

Another of his frauds involves the electoral system. Chavez has manipulated the voter registration rolls, adding two million phantom voters, including 30,000 who are 100 years old and citizens names "Superman."

**

And here

The Maisanta database includes every single registered voter in the country. I am still trying to get the latest version, the one I obtained is from last year, but the point is the same. It is likely the newest version represents simply a deeper and more widespread violation of our rights.

From this, we can have: his address, whether he signed or not to recall Chavez, his date of birth, address (sometimes with telephone), as well as the voting center that he uses. Additionally, he is "rated" as whether he is a good voter or not, based on his recent activity as a voter. Finally, the software is cross-referenced with whether the voter is a member of two of the Government's social missions, Mision Ribas, the program to graduate people from high school in a short time, and Vuelvan Caras, a "œscholarship" by which the Government gives people a monthly stipend to participate in projects to work against poverty and social exclusion

You may wonder how I knew the ID number of the Prosecutor General? Easy, the software has a very cumbersome sequential search tool that finds all of the Isaias Rodriguez' of the country, if by chance you did not know his ID number.

The software comes in a CD; you install it (3 Gbytes) and are ready to go. You don't know anyone that has it? Easy go to Plaza Bolivar in downtown Caracas and for Bs. 3,000 or 4,000 you have your own copy. (The Chavistas distributed over 35,000 of them last year for the recall vote and the regional elections).

This window has lots of information to discriminate, harass, classify and label people near wher you live. You have the ID number, age, whether the person signed petitions against the opposition, against Chavez, whether the person is rated as "opposition", abstainer and in columns not shown, whether the person signed or not against Chavez and if his or her signature were rejected or not. Then in the buttons below, you can print, search, filter according to categories or simply click on the button labeled "patriots". Press that and you only see the true "Aryans" loyal to the process, those that signed against the opposition. These are your revolutionary, fascist buddies, ready to die or whatever for the revolution. In fact, if they are not on your side but they participate in any of the misiones, you can threaten them with removal of their meager perks, if they don't want to follow orders. Cute, immoral and perverse, no?

12 posted on 10/29/2006 6:14:31 AM PST by Alia
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To: Alia

Imagine the chaos if machines spit out 100 percent votes for various candidates...


13 posted on 10/29/2006 7:32:35 AM PST by Gideons Trumpet
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To: BobL
Actually we deserve it - for laughing off the Dems when they said that they wanted a "paper trail".

I would find it hard to believe any sane Republican would not want a paper trail, especially after seeing how close the past six years of elections have been, and ESPECIALLY after seeing how some democrats like to not only vote early, but vote often, even after they are long dead.....

This is something that sounds like the plotline from a bad political thriller novel, but unfortunately it's a lot worse.
14 posted on 10/29/2006 8:02:42 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: Man50D

This is unbelievably bad...the enemies of the state are controlling the machines!

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=589189


15 posted on 10/29/2006 8:06:28 AM PST by eleni121 ("Show me just what Mohammed brought:: evil and inhumanity")
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To: Man50D
Chavez has made it clear his goal in life is to bring the U.S. to its knees

Which candidates will the Smartmatic's Sequoia Voting Systems machines need to elect in order to bring the U.S. to its knees?

16 posted on 10/29/2006 8:31:54 AM PST by MosesKnows
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To: Man50D
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may control the company that operates electronic voting machines in 17 states.

And those 17 states are...??????

17 posted on 10/29/2006 8:33:38 AM PST by MosesKnows
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To: MosesKnows
Where does Maloney stand on voter I.D.? I thought so....
18 posted on 10/29/2006 8:35:52 AM PST by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: Man50D
could result in a historic shift of power

Probably not historic even if Chavez wins, but it does point out that the Ds are after power, as are the enviros and the anti-wars, and every other interest group nobody is interested in.

19 posted on 10/29/2006 8:36:20 AM PST by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: Man50D

More likely Chavez is in this to secure his OWN elections rather than to influence US ones.


20 posted on 10/29/2006 8:39:53 AM PST by ez ("Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is." - Milton)
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To: eleni121

Truly scary bump.


21 posted on 10/29/2006 8:57:17 AM PST by Yaelle
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To: BobL
I have always wanted a paper trail, but I don't want voters to carry the voting slip out with them. It would set us up for coercion (i.e. union thugs forcing voters to show who they voted for).

The vote needs to print out and the voter then needs to drop it in a locked box.

22 posted on 10/29/2006 9:07:30 AM PST by FreeAtlanta (Search for Folding Project - Join FR Team 36120)
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To: MichiganConservative

You have a point. Whenever the left screams too loudly about something, it usually means they are doing it.


23 posted on 10/29/2006 9:09:35 AM PST by FreeAtlanta (Search for Folding Project - Join FR Team 36120)
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To: FreeAtlanta
AGREED - the slips would simply be deposited in a locked box, just as we did here in Texas with our punch ballots, before going "High-Tech". If an election is contested, open up a few of the boxes, compare with Chavez's software results, and, if not consistent, start counting paper.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why ANYONE is stupid enough to allow machines that stick our votes into software only to EVER be used in elections.

This is unreal.
24 posted on 10/29/2006 9:20:09 AM PST by BobL (http://www.brusselsjournal.com/blog/4556 (here is where the real Europe is going))
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To: Yaelle; All

Again from thew website I posted - the conclusion:

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=589189

"The legacy of Smartmatic is a tangled web indeed that has led investigators to Switzerland, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Italy, South America and elsewhere in an effort to solve the riddle. Obviously I have no knowledge about this personally and I am relying on The Miami Herald and Orlando Ochoa’s published research on the matter as two of my primary sources. Having said that, Ochoa’s research clearly suggests that while many of the individual players in this soap opera are largely concealed, it isn’t too far fetched to conclude that, due
to the obviously intimate connections, the Venezuelan government most likely has a major controlling interest in Smartmatic Corporation."


25 posted on 10/29/2006 9:23:56 AM PST by eleni121 ("Show me just what Mohammed brought:: evil and inhumanity")
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To: Man50D
Venezuelans had provided technical support during the election and that some of the glitches could be traced to a component developed in Venezuela to print and transmit results to a central tabulation computer.

This is beyond funny. "Don't worry... it's just the part that transmits the totals to the central tabulator..."

26 posted on 10/29/2006 10:41:55 AM PST by AmericaUnited
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To: BobL
For the life of me, I cannot understand why ANYONE is stupid enough to allow machines that stick our votes into software only to EVER be used in elections.

There are plenty of idiots in this country who trust things they either don't understand, or don't think will impact them.

People who don't think we need paper trails are of the types that end up as candidates for Darwin Awards, i.e., stupid and naive.
27 posted on 10/29/2006 10:43:59 AM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: Man50D

just another reason not to trust these voting machines. MD Governor Bob Ehrlich has been pleading with people to vote via absentee ballot because the MD systems have so many flaws


28 posted on 10/29/2006 10:52:18 AM PST by ChurtleDawg (Go Mike Steele!)
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To: BobL

what I can't understand is that everytime you use an ATM card or a credit card you get a reciept, even if you are just buying a bag of chips at 7-11

but you don't get a paper slip after you vote

WTF?


29 posted on 10/29/2006 10:53:59 AM PST by ChurtleDawg (Go Mike Steele!)
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To: MosesKnows
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may control the company that operates electronic voting machines in 17 states.

And those 17 states are...??????

I was wondering the same thing. So far, here's what I've found:

States designated as high risk because they use DREs with no paper backup are: Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Source: http://www.votetrustusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1420&Itemid=26

Another article from the same site:

With a $13.3 million contract signed Friday by Alameda County, Sequoia Voting Systems arguably became the dominant voting-system maker in California, with more counties than any other.

Outside California, a controversy has sprung up over the foreign ownership of Oakland-based Sequoia.

Politicians in the Windy City and CNN journalist Lou Dobbs suggested recently that the federal government was derelict in not having investigated Sequoia and its acquisition last year by Smartmatic, a Boca Raton, Fla., firm largely owned by Venezuelan businessmen.

After Chicago and Cook County were plagued with delays this spring in tallying a primary, city alderman Edward Burke suggested Sequoia's voting machines were part of a conspiracy by Venezuela President Hugo Chavez to manipulate U.S. elections.

"We may have stumbled across what could be (an) international conspiracy to subvert the electoral process in the United States of America," Burke told reporters. "Tell me a single, solitary reason there is to trace ownership through three shell corporations to the Curacao Islands and its roots to Venezuela, where they have already been involved with the dictator of Venezuela, who Defense Secretary (Donald) Rumsfeld says is an enemy of the United States."

Source: http://www.votetrustusa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1411&Itemid=51

I found another entry on a blog site from March of this year:

"Who would have guessed that Chavez and his cronies -- never content to demonstrate the evils of state ownership of private companies on just their own citizens -- now own the company that makes American voting machines!

Source: http://www.objectivismonline.net/blog/archives/000734.html

30 posted on 10/29/2006 12:32:17 PM PST by annie laurie (All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost)
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To: Man50D
Honestly, if we aren't worried about Diebold machines, in which exploits have been proven, then why are we worried about Chavez?

These machines have been independently certified and leave a paper trail.

Unless the DUmmies actually are on to something, to which I understand the concern, but if the technology is fine, there can't be a concern.

Right?
31 posted on 10/29/2006 12:57:40 PM PST by ConservativeMind
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To: Man50D

Other than going against the "we've got to know the winner the moment the polls close" tide, can someone please explain just what in Sam Hill is wrong with hand-counted paper ballots?


32 posted on 10/29/2006 3:17:32 PM PST by thelastvirgil (Lest ye put all your faith in the government to provide for you, check their track record.)
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To: ConservativeMind
Sure, but the real question is, are Lefties as suspicious/critical about Smartmatic machines as they are Diebold? It's the flip-side of the same coin. The CEO of Diebold a staunch Republican; Chavez an explicit Bush hater, and Dim suckup.

In simplest terms would the left see:

a GOP win in a Diebold machine district = voter fraud
a Dim win in a Smartmatic machine district = free and fair election

I think we know the answer. I have a feeling if districts across the nation started adopting Smartmatic machines the whole touch screen voting issue would fade away because the Left is OK if they assume any fraud with touch screen machines (not saying their is or ever has been) is going their way
33 posted on 10/29/2006 4:31:17 PM PST by The Hound Passer (I See, You See: Vote R and we won't be schooled by Pelosi)
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To: thelastvirgil

Problem with hand counted paper ballots is that we no longer have a civic sense of duty. Public schools have generated such apathy that the only people working voting booths are union thugs and older folks. The civic layer is gone. Eventually this will be completely automated because there will be noone to staff the precincts.


34 posted on 10/29/2006 4:31:31 PM PST by Rippin
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To: thelastvirgil
Other than going against the "we've got to know the winner the moment the polls close" tide, can someone please explain just what in Sam Hill is wrong with hand-counted paper ballots?

Because Dims are too, well, dim, to understand that Pat Buchanan isn't Al Gore.

35 posted on 10/29/2006 4:33:35 PM PST by The Hound Passer (I See, You See: Vote R and we won't be schooled by Pelosi)
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To: BobL
Actually we deserve it - for laughing off the Dems when they said that they wanted a "paper trail".

Once the "paper trail" is gone, say goodbye to real elections.

36 posted on 10/29/2006 4:47:55 PM PST by A. Pole (Joseph Stalin: "It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes.")
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To: af_vet_rr
I would find it hard to believe any sane Republican would not want a paper trail

Republicans are as human as Democrats are.

37 posted on 10/29/2006 4:49:31 PM PST by A. Pole (Joseph Stalin: "It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes.")
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To: Man50D
If the Democrats win big and Carter proclaims that it was an honest election. Watch out. He said the same for Chavez. See where Venezuela is now.
38 posted on 10/29/2006 4:54:10 PM PST by Doc91678 (Doc91678)
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To: potlatch; PhilDragoo; ntnychik; dixiechick2000; Grampa Dave


39 posted on 10/29/2006 4:56:01 PM PST by devolve ( classic_moments_in_political_history)
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To: annie laurie
States designated as high risk because they use DREs with no paper backup are: Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

In 2004 presidential elections out of these Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania got results favorable for Kerry.

40 posted on 10/29/2006 5:00:45 PM PST by A. Pole (Joseph Stalin: "It's not who votes that counts. It's who counts the votes.")
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To: devolve; ntnychik; PhilDragoo; bitt; dixiechick2000

41 posted on 10/29/2006 5:08:15 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: Man50D

Some more information including link to voting machine company site, etc.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1727794/posts


42 posted on 10/29/2006 5:21:10 PM PST by bobsunshine
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To: potlatch


Hmmmmmm

Very sharp potlatch!

Nice finds!

A little bigger matched BG on Chavez and...

A classic


algore looks Halloween-ish there


Much like that crazed preacher in HBO's "Carnival" series a few years ago


43 posted on 10/29/2006 5:25:50 PM PST by devolve ( classic_moments_in_political_history)
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To: devolve

I saved those sometime back, don't know if the Gore one could be a PhotoShop or not. I 'sized' the Chavez one to fit.


44 posted on 10/29/2006 5:28:39 PM PST by potlatch (Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?)
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To: ChurtleDawg
what I can't understand is that everytime you use an ATM card or a credit card you get a reciept, even if you are just buying a bag of chips at 7-11

A better example is lottery tickets - you "vote" anonymously, but your vote is recorded, AND you get a receipt, so that you can prove you voted for the winning numbers. We should give the voting machine contracts to lottery machine companies.
45 posted on 10/29/2006 5:33:53 PM PST by beezdotcom
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To: Man50D; Cincinatus' Wife
U.S. digs for vote-machine links to Hugo Chávez
Miami Herald ^ | October 28, 2006 | ALFONSO CHARDY achardy@MiamiHerald.com

 

46 posted on 10/29/2006 6:56:52 PM PST by windchime (I consider the left one of the fronts on the WOT.)
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To: Man50D

Now it's the turn of the right to be paranoid about electronic voting. Good. The sooner that both sides are satisfied that it's secure, the sooner we can get away from paper chads and all that rubbish.


47 posted on 10/29/2006 7:24:59 PM PST by dr_who_2
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To: devolve

I love your Hillary!
She really is a nasty clown.

Those guys need to get a room. ;o)


48 posted on 10/29/2006 9:38:17 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (There ought to be one day-- just one-- when there is open season on senators. ~~ Will Rogers)
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To: potlatch

Those are two excellently matched pics!


Gore looks like he's gonna blow any minute. ;o)


49 posted on 10/29/2006 9:39:51 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (There ought to be one day-- just one-- when there is open season on senators. ~~ Will Rogers)
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To: dixiechick2000; potlatch


50 posted on 10/29/2006 9:54:11 PM PST by devolve ( classic_moments_in_political_history)
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