Carter Baker report on elections generates anger and laughter in Caracas

September 20, 2005

All day in radio talk shows the news of
the contents of the Carter-Baker report on
elections caused hilarity, anger and spite against the former US President. I
had read about it early this morning
in PMBcomments, but
was surprised by its absence in any of the news media today. But radio talk
shows were having a ball at quoting straight from the report. This one
generated anger:

-Congress should pass a law requiring
that all voting machines be equipped with a voter-verifiable paper audit trail
and, consistent
with HAVA, be fully accessible
to voters with disabilities. This is especially important for direct recording
electronic (DRE) machines for four reasons:(a) to increase citizens’ confidence
that their vote will be counted accurately, (b) to allow for a recount, (c) to
provide a backup in cases of loss of votes due to computer malfunction, and (d)
to test — through a random selection of machines — whether the paper result is
the same as the electronic result.

While this one generated

-To undertake the new responsibilities recommended by this report and to build
confidence in the administration of elections, Congress and the states should
reconstitute election management institutions on a nonpartisan basis to make
them more independent and effective. U.S. Election Assistance Commission
members and each state’s chief elections officer should
be selected and be expected to act in a nonpartisan manner,
and the institutions should have sufficient funding for research and training
and to conduct the best elections possible. We believe the time has come to
take politics as much as possible out of the institutions of election
administration and to make these institutions nonpartisan.

This one made people wonder if it was the same Jimmy Carter that came to Venezuela to
oversee the recall vote:

States should adopt unambiguous procedures
to reconcile any disparity between the electronic ballot tally and the paper
ballot tally.The
Commission strongly recommends that states determine well in
advance of elections
which will be the ballot of record.

While this one led them to conclude it had to be a different guy:

-State and local election authorities should publicly
test all types of voting machines before, during, and after Election Day and
allow public observation
of zero machine counts at the start of Election Day and
the machine certification process

And how about this one, where was Carter last year in August 14th.? He
certainly did not have this access and neither did even the members of the
Electoral Board that were not pro-Chavez.

-All legitimate domestic and international election observers should be
granted unrestricted access to the election process, provided that they accept
election rules, do not interfere with the electoral process, and respect the
secrecy of the ballot. Such observers should apply for accreditation, which
should allow them to visit any polling station in any state and to view all
parts of the election process, including the testing of voting equipment, the
processing of absentee ballots, and the vote count.

It was indeed weird to hear all these
wise remarks from the same guy that certified the results of the Venezuela
recall last year, without any of the above conditions being met at all. In fact
NONE of the above was even closely satisfied.

But that’s Jimmy for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: