MediaRights.org have a call to action here, raising all the appropriate questions.
Millions of American voters will use electronic voting systems when they cast their vote for president this year. Many of these machines will get their first test on March 2, Super Tuesday, when voters head to polls in ten states. If more states install these new machines, the repercussions for American democracy could be worse than any hanging chad.
Since election reporting began last fall, network news coverage of the switch to e-voting has been little more than a blip. Media for Democracy analysis shows that since October 2003, ABC, NBC and CBS nightly news programs broadcast only four stories on e-voting machines. A look at CNN.com and FoxNews.com yields an even smaller assortment: a total of three reports between September 2003 and February 20, 2004, all on CNN.
Despite the already checkered history of the new machines — which includes evidence of political favoritism by the executives of the primary manufacturers of e-voting terminals, and tests that reveal extensive flaws to their software — the networks have failed to consider electronic voting worthy of coverage. As a result, few voters will see news reports about these glitch-riddled systems before they come face to face with the voting machines on Election Day.
Handing over control of America’s electoral system to a handful of corporations constitutes the privatization of America’s most public endeavor. Media for Democracy members must pressure mainstream media to focus more reporting on this important threat to democracy.
Tell news executives today that the problem of e-voting is a story they can’t ignore.