NOTE: Another guest post by Andrew Gumbel
It seems I may have under-estimated the impact of the Carter-Baker commission's recommendation of a voter-verifiable paper audit trail on electronic voting machines. Already, two of the country's toughest hold-outs against a paper trail, Cathy Cox of Georgia and Linda Lamone of Maryland, are caving and, at the very least, using the commission report as a cover for the multiple other pressures they face on this issue.
Cox, Georgia's Secretary of State who has ambitions to run for governor next year, has out-and-out embraced the paper trail, while Lamone, who heads the Maryland State Board of Elections, says she will now give it active consideration. Both women were instrumental in making early statewide buys of Diebold machinery, spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars even though they were both told the touch-screen machines weren't up to snuff, and then expended considerable energy covering up for Diebold's shortcomings and stonewalling on demands for public accountability, including proper paper recounts. (Note to Bush-Diebold conspiracy theorists: they are both Democrats.) Neither are friends of the cause of representative democracy -- for reasons I lay out in detail in my new book Steal This Vote -- so their capitulation is cause to cheer. Loudly.
Shameless plug dept.: For those of you in the LA area, I will doing a book reading tomorrow (Thurs) night at 7pm at Dutton's in Brentwood, and another next Wednesday, Sept 28, at 2000 Plus Bookstore in Long Beach, also at 7pm.