Saturday, May 12, 2007

San Diego chance for fair 2008 election...

From my point of view, San Diego's voters are screwed. This whole set-up stinks to high heaven. Wonder how much US Reps Issa and Hunter have to do with this ... to say nothing of the all-Repub Board of Supervisors .... Don't like it one damned bit.

From San Diego Union-Tribune:

New registrar of voters already coming under fire
Ties to vote-machine makers questioned
By Craig Gustafson
May 12, 2007

A former sales representative for Diebold Election Systems – maker of San Diego County's electronic voting machines – has been hired to run elections countywide.

Deborah Seiler, 57, who is assistant registrar of voters in Solano County, will take over as San Diego County's registrar starting June 4. She will make $150,000 annually.

Walt Ekard, the county's chief administrative officer, said Seiler's experience will be invaluable as the registrar's office prepares for perhaps its busiest year ever in 2008.

But Paul Lehto, co-founder of Psephos, a nonprofit group that focuses on election integrity, questioned the hiring of Seiler based on her work with Diebold and Sequoia Pacific Systems, which also makes voting machines.

“Seiler is known as one of the best PR people or apologists for secret vote-counting that exists in the nation, and she's coming to San Diego County,” Lehto said.

Seiler's hiring is the second in as many months to raise concern among voting-rights activists who believe electronic voting machines threaten the integrity of the election process.

Last month, the county hired Michael Vu as assistant registrar of voters.

Vu had recently resigned as executive director of elections for Ohio's Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, after a tumultuous, 3½-year tenure that included a disastrous May 2006 primary in which the county began using new electronic voting machines.

Media reports said many poll workers failed to show up or were ill-prepared to deal with the machines. They also lost dozens of memory cards containing vote counts.

Seiler has nearly 30 years of elections experience. She worked for Diebold from 1999 to 2004.

“I would just hope and trust that people would look at the full extent of my background in elections. . . . I have a good, broad understanding of various voting systems and some of the strengths and weakness of all of those systems,” Seiler said.

Seiler also served as a commissioner for the state Fair Political Practices Commission and held various posts in the California Secretary of State's Office.

Seiler replaces Mikel Haas, who county officials promoted to deputy chief administrative officer of the Community Services Group in March. He will be Seiler's direct supervisor.

Craig Gustafson: (619) 293-1399;


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