Tamper proof

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The Florida Department of State eased Florida's collective mind last week by finally, and authoritatively, putting to rest the specter of botched and/or stolen elections -- just like the one that put Little Shrubbie in the White House in 2000 -- via electronic voting machines. It's simple, really. "There are no ballots to count, there are no ballots to recount," Division of Elections Director Ed Kast was quoted as saying in the Miami Herald.

In other words the liberals should stop their infernal caterwauling about the Republicans gearing up to filch another one, because it can't happen. Why? Because it can't, that's why. It's the same logic your mom used, and she was always right, right?

In this case Mom is Secretary of State Glenda Hood, who is ultimately in charge of elections in this state. And Orlandoans know that when Glenda tells us to sit down and shut up, we'd better do it or we won't get any dessert.

Glenda doesn't think there's anything amiss with electronic voting machines. "We're working very hard to educate the voters, to build the comfort level and to get rid of some of the myths out there," Hood told the Herald. "I think these things are raised for political purposes and distractions. Any effort to undermine that public confidence is a tactic that is wrong and I believe it weakens our democracy by causing voters to doubt if their vote has been counted." She's not against having a paper record as a backup; she just doesn't think it's practical yet, and won't be until after the November elections.

Bev Harris, an electronic voting expert and author of the book "Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century" (see www.blackboxvoting.com) must not know Glenda like we do. That's one possible reason for Harris making the following remark about Hood: "There are only two possible explanations for Hood's statement: 1) She is willfully stupid. 2) She is deliberately trying to destroy the democratic process."

What about option No. 3: All of the above?

Watch this space

Sick of reading those ads teasing some kind of "new" Orlando Weekly that is "coming soon" but never seems to get here? So is your humble columnist. Which is why I'm tickled to report that next week your Weekly is gonna look and feel different. It might smell and taste different too, depending on what you use it for. See, we've spent the last year or so tweaking this baby. It's now blown, balanced and blueprinted, with a bitchin' candy-apple flame job. We chopped and channeled it, and are still contemplating suicide doors, even at this late date. It will probably run mid 11s in the quarter mile, if we can get the fuel injection sorted out and the rear end to hook up off the line. Should be fun.

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