Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Columns

October 1, 2007

STUMPTALK: Save our ballot system

Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything — Josef Stalin

Those words could never be applied to American elections. Or could they? The foundation of self-government, whose main purpose is to promote the ideals of liberty, is an honest voting system. In order to provide an easy and uncorrupted system as possible, early election organizers applied sound economic theory, i.e., a division of labor. That is, the three functions of a secret ballot system, (1) registration, (2) voting, and (3) counting, were made separate and independent. Sure, there has been voting scandals in the past, but conscientious citizens keep working out the bugs.

The 2000 presidential election fiasco, however, exposed some troubling mechanical difficulties with current voting methods, e.g., hanging chads. The universal solution across the country was to replace the old systems with those dangerous voting machines which combines both voting and counting in one machine, thus providing absolutely no accountability. This bad decision has put the entire election system in jeopardy. Software engineers testified before congress that these machines are very vulnerable to vote rigging without anyone the wiser. In fact, there is evidence that an Ohio election in 2006 was rigged by a hacker to reverse the results. The American people should be outraged and demand these machines be abolished.

But wait, all is not lost with the touch screen voting machine. These devices are convenient, fast and easy to understand. However, the voting and counting functions should be split between two machines that have no connection other than the election official passing a ballot copy from one machine to the other. Physically separating the voting and counting functions - as they previously were - makes corruption of the process much more difficult. Furthermore, it is important that the private companies contracted to build the two individual machines must have absolutely no connection.

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Columns
  • veteran GARY'S WORLD: Thank our veterans this weekend A tremendous opportunity presents itself in our community this weekend — an opportunity to honor those who served in the Vietnam War. Personally, after attending last year's first Welcome Home celebration, I wouldn't want to miss this. It was an emotional event for both Vietnam veterans and ordinary citizens. It was a great way to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day in Tennessee, March 29.

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  • antique RANDOM THOUGHTS: "Antiques Roadshow" comes to Tennessee If you are one of the 10 million who watch each episode of the “Antiques Roadshow” mark your calendar. The three upcoming Mondays, March 30, April 6 and April 13, were all taped in Chattanooga last July.

    March 24, 2009 1 Photo

  • LION AND THE LAMB: An open letter to Sharon Baier I was happy to read your well-written article, printed in last week's Chronicle. It makes a strong case, in the story of Al and Jennifer, that "To make money, you have to spend money." That misguided couple thought that they ought to cut down on their purchase of supplies, to save money. They did so, week after week, until they lost their business.

    March 24, 2009

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Veterans storm the Hill When young men and women risk their lives and sacrifice both physical and mental health for their country, a grateful country should at least provide them with shelter, food, and health care. But there is a lot of hypocrisy between what some windbag says on Veterans Day and what the country actually does for veterans.

    March 24, 2009

  • child crying THEREFORE I AM: Kids stress out parents? Well, duh! This just in: According to an expert, children can add stress and strain to a marriage. In other news, further expert studies have indicated that the sky is in fact blue, Paris Hilton is a tad spoiled, peanut butter and chocolate taste great together, and the Middle East has issues. Thank goodness we have experts to tell us these things.

    March 23, 2009 1 Photo

  • shackles INSIDE THE FIRST AMENDMENT: With shekels come shackles When President Obama launched his faith-based initiative at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 5, he promised not only to sustain the Bush administration’s signature domestic program — but to expand it.

    March 19, 2009 1 Photo

  • loneranger THEREFORE I AM: Jim Croce and I will keep you safe and sound My philosophy of life is simple: When in doubt, follow the advice of a dead folk-rock star. I always found Jim Croce to be particularly handy in this capacity. Don’t tug on Superman’s cape. Don’t spit into the wind. Don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger, and regardless of how badly you may want to, do not, under any circumstances, mess around with Jim.

    March 16, 2009 1 Photo

  • STUMPTALK: Stimulating a war on prosperity and freedom Near Bush’s sunset, Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed chairman Bernanke terrified the nation with “the sky’s falling and America is doomed” unless the government steps in with new regulations, institutional takeovers and massive lending.

    March 16, 2009

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Thoughts on bringing a recession to heel Responding to the recent full-throated baying of conservative “economic watchdogs,” I slogged into the swamp of their icon Adam Smith’s murky tome, “The Wealth of Nations,” to see if they had finally treed anything of value.

    March 10, 2009

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Reality Dim blue of early morning shines into the living room

    while you flip through television channels.

    March 10, 2009

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