October 23, 2012

How to address voting machine company ownership and presidential elections

With skepticism about the accuracy and security of voting machines going beyond knowing how they can misperform, going beyond even big campaign donations to GOP candidates by voting machine companies  like Diebold, we now read liberal conspiracy theory about Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg, investing in such companies. As Think Progress points out, this is about 95 percent untrue/overblown.

However, the first parts are true … and an investment issue like this could pop up among a future GOP — or Democratic — candidate.

So, what can be done?

Legislation can be done, if Democrats will step to the plate — both federal and state legislation.

Here’s a suggestion:

No candidate for federal (state) office shall own stock in any publicly traded company that manufactures, sells, markets or services voting machines, nor shall said candidate have an ownership share in any privately held company that manufactures, sells, markets or services voting machines, nor shall said candidate own stock in any publicly traded company or have an ownership share in any privately held company that owns, invests in, or has any stock or ownership share itself in any publicly traded or privately owned company that manufactures, sells, markets or services voting machines.

Said restrictions shall also apply to all relatives within the third degree of consanguinity of said candidate, as well as spouses or other persons who have a legally recognized personal relationship with said candidate or candidate’s relatives within the third degree of consanguinity.

And, after Democrats got the cojones to pass this at the federal level, use the stick of threatened withdrawal of federal voting assistance funds to muscle states to pass similar laws.

And, speaking of that ….

While we’re at it, let’s get a law passed, at the federal level, which stipulates something like this:

Given that the election for President of the United States is an interstate election and therefore a form of interstate commerce, voting standards for elections for President of the United States shall solely be determined by the government of the United States.

For presidential elections at least, it kicks everything from fake vote fraud campaigns to butterfly ballots and Bush v. Gore in the seat of the pants.

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