Executive director of the Rhode Island Board of Elections Robert Kando has his own agenda, one that does not include verifiable open elections, or even his own board of directors. Last month Kando submitted election-related legislation on the board’s behalf without actually giving the board or their lawyers a chance to review the proposals. According to the Providence Journal ‘Political Scene’ (3.11.13) — “Kando’s future on the agenda?” — the board has since held a closed-door session to meet with Kando; results unknown. He never should have had the position in the first place; he was unqualified, and the report goes on to say that Kando “. . . had also been fired as deputy clerk of the District Court in 1987 by the court’s chief judge, Albert E. DeRobbio. Kando appealed, but the state Supreme Court upheld his dismissal, citing him for “flagrant insubordination” and other alleged failings.”
Kando’s unilateral proposals included “banning future mail ballot recounts except where there is “competent evidence of irregularities.”” While voter fraud at the polls has proven to be a myth ginned up by Republicans to suppress voting by likely Democratic supporters, the mail ballots, beloved by Republicans, is where real voter fraud is more likely to occur . . . but let’s not look too closely at those.
Now comes news that Kando is floating the idea that our voting machines need replacing (see today’s PolitiFact report on Kando’s recent testimony before the House Oversight Committee). Something tells me he has succumbed to the blandishments of the electronic voting machine lobby, pretty much a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican party. (Romney family: Forbes 10.20.11)
In 2011, the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory (run by the Department of Energy) found that “Voting machines used by as many as a quarter of American voters heading to the polls in 2012 can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education.” (Salon)
And check out “How secure is your electronic vote?” at CNN Tech. More than 45 million U.S. voters, or one out of every four who go to the polls, will cast a ballot on a machine that stores votes electronically, but doesn’t create a paper ballot. Let’s not join that cohort; scanners work well and leave behind something to recount. Oh, and it’s time to fire Kando.