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Arrested For Trying To Watch Vote-Counting Machine

excerpts from a report from BlackBoxVoting via Scoop (New Zealand). July 28, 2005

Jim March, a member of the Black Box Voting board of directors, was arrested Tuesday evening for trying to observe the Diebold central tabulator as the votes were being counted in San Diego's mayoral election on July 26. According to Jim Hamilton, an elections integrity advocate from San Diego, he and March visited the office of the registrar of elections earlier in the day. During this visit, March made two requests, which were refused by Mikel Haas, the San Diego Registrar of elections.

1) March asked that the central tabulator, the computer that tallies up the votes from all the precincts, be positioned so that citizens could observe it. According to Hamilton, this would have required simply moving a table a few feet.

2) March also asked for a copy of the ".gbf" files -- the vote tally files collected during the course of tabulation – to be provided for examination after the election.

During the tallying of the election, the Diebold computer was positioned too far away for citizens to read the screen. Citizens could not watch error messages, or even perceive significant anomalies or malfunctions. Unable to see the screen, March went into the office where the tabulator was housed. Two deputies followed him and escorted him out.

According to Hamilton: "He was not belligerent, not at all. After he went inside the tabulator room he came [was escorted] out and he said clearly 'I’m not resisting.' They handcuffed him, took him out of the building. They put him in a squad car. They’re going to take him to the police station, book him and take him to jail," said Hamilton. "He’s getting charged with a felony, 'interfering with an election official.'"

You have been reading excerpts from "Viewing The Diebold Vote-Tallying Screen Prohibited" from BlackBoxVoting.org via Scoop of New Zealand. You can read the entire piece here: tinyurl.com/aksv9. Thanks to BlackBoxVoting.org and scoop.co.nz.

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