Monday, October 30, 2006

Shoe on the other foot?

Speaking of electronic voting machines, Republicans haven't seemed overly concerned at the prospect of them being hackable.

But boy, this seems to have them in a tizzy:

The federal government is investigating the takeover last year of Sequoia Voting Systems of Oakland, a leading American manufacturer of electronic voting systems, by Smartmatic Corp., a small software company that has been linked to the leftist government of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

The federal inquiry is focusing on the Venezuelan owners of the software company, the Smartmatic Corp., and is trying to determine whether the government in Caracas has any control or influence over the firm's operations, government officials and others familiar with the investigation said.

Smartmatic denies any influence, and they may well be telling the truth -- although their connections to the Venezuelan government are more tangled than those of Citgo.

So to recap: A Republican-run company says its machines are secure despite mounds of evidence to the contrary? No problem. A leftist government may have access to our voting machines? Call out the dogs!

Okay, to be fair, the Diebold flap is an issue for state and local election boards, not the federal government, while a Venezuela connection is a federal responsibility. And frankly, I don't care how it happens; any attention or investigation that leads to actually doing something about the integrity of our voting process is a good thing.

But it's still pretty funny.

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