You have to give a lot of credit to NPR’s Diane Rehm.
Just last week, on a program devoted to voter ID laws, she asked the perfect question of an Electionline.org public relations shill. I don’t think Diane is allowed to determine who she has on the show. Another problem I’ve noticed is that the most important questions are always asked at the very end of the program and don’t don’t have time to evolve into a good discussion.
Diane’s question was a very simple one:
But how can you know [the machines are] working properly?
There is only one answer to that question, which anyone without a certain motive or with any brains could give, especially if they were getting paid to be an election expert:
Here is the complete conversation at the end of the program where Diane follows up diligently on this important issue. You can tell me if you think shill is too harsh of a characterization of Mr. Chapin:
And the only thing that voters can do is take care of themselves, make sure that they are registered, that they know where to vote, that they know what’s on their ballot, they know how to operate their voting machine. We have a responsibility to one another as fellow voters. But, in many ways, when it comes to Election Day, you have to make sure you are the moving part that’s working most properly.
And you’ve raised at the very end of the program the issue I’d like to raise with you and that is the voting machines themselves. There are an awful lot of people worried about those. What can you say to them?
Well, I think there are election officials who are worried about them. I mean, just anything else that you buy at state and local government, you’ve got maintenance and upkeep issues. Again, if you’re a voter, know how your machine works, know how to fill out your ballot, know the rules for correcting a ballot if it makes a mistake. Machines of any kind can work well. They can work poorly. Your responsibility on Election Day is to make sure your vote not only goes in the front of machine but comes out properly through the back.
But how can you know that it’s working properly?
In a precinct count optical-scan state, for example, know what happens, how to look for a machine kicking back a ballot for — over votes.
How do you know that? How do you know that?
You can reach out to local election officials. You can ask questions to poll workers. One thing that election administrators are very good at is making lots of information available. You have to know how the machine works, and if you don’t know, ask questions because people are there to help.
But if you’re asking questions and holding up the line, as one of our earlier callers said, you know, that can get pretty difficult for voters.
Yeah. But I think that’s the lesson for voters, is that voting doesn’t begin and end on Election Day. Just as ideally you want to know who you’re going to vote for before you enter that voting booth, you should know how the process works. And if you’re not comfortable with the process, there is an opportunity, and I would even suggest the responsibility, to make sure you know how the process works.
So you need to know how that voting machine works before you go into the polling booth?
Ideally, you should, yes.
But how do you have that opportunity?
Again, I think you reach out to your local election official. I think most of them have websites. There are opportunities to do demos with voting machines. Sometimes it’s familiar. But if it’s a new technology, don’t be afraid to ask questions ’cause there’s no shortage to people willing to answer them.
Doug Chapin, director of Electionline.org at the University of Minnesota, Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice and Hans Von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation, thank you all so much. And thanks for listening. I’m Diane Rehm.
Complete program, including audio and full transcipts.
Thanks for trying Diane!
Speaking of election fraud shills. Behold John Fund:
And eight years ago: