Rigged U.S. elections? It's not just a rumour

I did a cartoon double-take when I read this headline:

Ireland has faith in touch-screen voting machines despite concerns in other states

What?? Surely we know better after the debacle that surrounded the near-introduction of these monstrosities. Thankfully, the article continues:

Secretary of State Betty Ireland is standing firm in her support of electronic voting machines, despite security concerns raised by other states. Thirty-four counties in West Virginia use Electronic Systems and Software’s iVotronic touch-screen machines.

Ah, it's those crazy Yanks. Still, despite our mistrust of Cullen's Folly, we have a hard time swallowing the story of Bush's machinations in the 2000/04 elections.

Oh, it's very easy to dismiss these things. We hear Gore should have won. Kerry should have won. The GOP will win again next time. All because of Diebold and other election shenanigans.

But now people have actually been jailed. That's right.

CLEAVELAND (AP) – Two county election workers were sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for rigging a recount of 2004 presidential election ballots so they could avoid a longer, detailed review.

But it's not just laziness or sloppiness.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Peter Corrigan allowed the women to remain free on bail pending appeal, but indicated he thought there was a more widespread conspiracy among election officials.

"I can't help but feel there's more to this story," Corrigan said.

Though gratifying, this sort of thing won't be surprising to people who watched programmer Clinton Eugene Curtis testify before the U.S. judiciary that republicans has paid him to hack into voting machines.

Time and time again, the 'conspiracy nuts' are proved right. Think twice before you dismiss these rumours in future, and do a little research instead (.pdf file).

Just thank your lucky stars that our own €52M machines are safely tucked away at a storage cost of €800,000 p.a. And, according to The Phoenix, the new facility built to house them turned out to be too small–I guess no-one bothered to get out the measuring tape and a calculator.

At one stage I thought we might potentially offload them on the Dutch again, but they now apparently no longer trust them either.

Our esteemed colleague Bock has written about this at length and with much more humour in evidence.