State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
After you fill out your ballot and it goes into the machine that accepts your vote, you exit the polling place brimming with pride and confidence that you performed civic duty, assured your vote is tallied.
Ideally, that should be the case. However, during 2010, there are not guarantees.
This year’s elections are marred by reports of voting irregularities, again raising questions about voting integrity and shaking the confidence placed in the election system.
Our neighbor to the south,
The station says 404,000 registered
A headline called the
Imagine Joyce Ferrara’s surprise upon attempting to vote early at
Poll workers at a location in Harris County, Texas reportedly instructed voters they could only vote Democrat at that particular polling place.
Voting machines are imperfect. During the past decade, millions of dollars have been spent nationwide on new electronic voting systems to improve accuracy and dependability with the intent of eliminating hanging chads and miscounts. Lawrence Norden, a senior counsel for the
“These machines run on tens of thousands of lines of code, so inevitably, there are going to be software bugs,” said Norden. “What we haven't done nearly as much as we should be doing is, frankly, keeping track of these problems, following up on them and making sure that they're thoroughly investigated and that word gets out to all election officials when there are real problems. We don't have a federal agency that keeps track of most of the problems on the systems and is empowered to investigate them.”
Norden confirms, “There are all kinds of problems. The most serious problems are problems where voters are disenfranchised, where votes are not totaled correctly, where votes are dropped, where what are called phantom votes show up on the tally service. Whenever something like this happens, I think it, unfortunately, can shake people's faith in their voting systems.”
Generally, Norden believes most voting systems across the country work well with votes being counted accurately. However, the odds are that with so many machines in place, some inevitably break down causing long lines and tense situations in polling places.
Some may downplay the issue of voter fraud, but arrests have been made, prosecutions successful, violators caught on tape, and evidence is mounting in the form of voter registration cards containing false, incorrect, or duplicate information. Add it all up, and voters are angry, skeptical, even scared, scared their votes are being stolen.
A lessening of faith in our coveted election system, the best in the world, is a huge chink in our democracy armor. Voting only works with the system error-proof and honest. Citizens that cast ballots with qualms their votes may not be part of a final count illustrate a process that is broken and in need of repair.