Saturday, October 22, 2005

Good Blog Writing

The recent GAO report (1.3MB PDF) on security flaws in electronic voting machines is likely to be a big topic in the Blogosphere.  US Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has a nicely-written post on the subject, here.  Voting machine security is an important issue, obviously, but the report speaks for itself and I won't belabor that.  What got my attention was not so much the conclusion of the report (there are serious security problems), but the way that Conyers blogged about it.

Mr. Conyers has long been an advocate for fair voting practices.  He wrote a book about the problems in the 2004 Ohio vote: What Went Wrong In Ohio: The Conyers Report on the 2004 Presidential Election.  (A 3.2MB PDF version is here.)  Given Conyers' ardent activism in this matter, one might expect that he would blog about it with fire and brimstone.  Instead, he says this:
There have been discussions and debates about whether this or that election was "hacked." I would like to suggest putting that discussion aside for the moment (or longer -- I understand some such discussions can result in a ban from this blog community). In this context, we should focus on what we all agree on, and what the GAO found: these machines have substantial problems. To me, in addition to being an issue that goes to the heart of our democracy, this is a consumer protection issue. There are certainly voting machine manufacturers who produce a good product. But by and large, when it comes to a voting machine, the average voter is getting a lemon -- the Ford Pinto of voting technology.   We must demand better. [emphasis added]
He avoids casting this as a partisan issue.  Rather, it is an issue that affects everyone.  We all are affected by the security of our voting machines, and we deserve good security.  We're spending a lot of money on these machines, and we deserve to get a good product for our money.  

By avoiding the temptation to turn this into a polarizing, conspiracy-theory-laden, partisan polemic, he focuses on the main point: there is a serious problem here that we all should be concerned about.

Categories: Politics
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