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The Clint Curtis Story: How Voting Machines Could Destroy Democracy

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The Clint Curtis Story: How Voting Machines Could Destroy Democracy
Many Americans are very cynical about our country’s so-called democratic process. Not long ago, TSW reported that “nearly half of all Americans polled feel as though the current election process is rigged and unfair”. (1)

Yet, it is pretty safe to say that these are not just conspiracy theorists or the uber-paranoid that have these feelings. These people are regular, everyday Americans that have formulated a certain amount of distrust over voting and elections across the United States.

Once the public gets the slightest whiff of the possibility of a rigged election, they do not soon forget. A prime example of this unforgiving attitude toward rigged elections and the possible proof they exists is the Clint Curtis story.

Clint Curtis is a former computer programmer who once worked for the likes of NASA, ExxonMobil, and Yang Enterprises. Curtis has also made several unsuccessful attempts to run for public office. However, he gained national fame and attention when he alleged that a then Florida state legislator, Tom Feeney, approached him in September 2000 with the idea of compromising touchscreen voting machines.

According to the documentary, Murder, Spies & Voting Lies (the Clint Curtis story), Feeney asked Curtis to “write a program for a touchscreen voting machine that would make it possible to change the results of an election undetectably.” (2)

People Losing Faith in the Election Process

Curtis’ claims were met with mixed results. Feeney, of course, denied the claims and others felt as though he fabricated them, even though he did pass a polygraph test in 2005. However, there are quite a number of people who feel as though Curtis is a hero for exposing government corruption and voter fraud. When Clint Curtis campaigned for congress in 2006, this is what the Orlando weekly had to say:

More importantly, he’s walking, talking proof of a GOP conspiracy to rig the 2004 presidential election. For Democratic activists wondering how John Kerry lost to President George W. Bush when exit polls predicted otherwise, Curtis offers a satisfying explanation: Kerry didn’t lose. Bush stole it again. (3)

However, Curtis’ legacy did not die with his bid for congress. This past August. Florida’s Sunshine State News published an interesting article about Rick Scott’s campaign for re-election as Florida’s Governor.

Though the article itself made no connections to the Clint Curtis story, the readers certainly did. In the comments section of the article, one reader said, “Jeb has still got enough mob connections around to use those Clint Curtis chips to make the scanners elect Rickey Poo.” (4)

While another stated, “The trouble is Jeb Bush and tom Feeney had a guy named Clint Curtis fix a little computer chip that they can put in the optical scanners and no matter what the paper ballot says you voted for that little chip will select the one the mobsters want in office.” (4)

These comments not only prove that people are losing faith in the election process, but also a scandal that is more than a decade old can easily resurface.

electronic voting

Can Voting Machines Be Hacked?

The idea of a voting machine being hacked to give a candidate the ability to steal an election is not out of the realm of possibility. Computers are hacked everyday.

Though hacking voting machines would be quite detrimental to the democratic process, it may not totally destroy it.

However, the voter disgust and the loss of faith in the election process that results from the tampering of the machines is what could easily put the final nail in the coffin of America’s democracy.

It is time for Americans to stand up against any and all voter fraud before American democracy and the democratic process become a thing of the past!

References & Image Credits:
(1) TSW
(2) Wikipedia
(3) Orlando Weekly
(4) Sunshine State News
(5) Video Sift
(6) kalebdf via Compfight cc
(7) bjmccray via Compfight cc

Originally published on

  • granny6x

    There are certain criteria for a fool-proof honest way to vote, and electronic voting machines, of any kind, can never meet those criteria. Keep in mind that voting is an incomplete transaction, in that the voter casts his vote and that’s it. He can never follow to see that it was properly counted and recorded as he can with, for instance, a bank transaction.

    So the process itself must provide complete protection for him. Thus, counting must be done in public. Machines count in secret. The vote count must be posted at the precinct where the voting takes place, and posted publicly before it goes anywhere. Two people must do the count. If these simple criteria are followed, there is really no way to cheat.

    If people feel that the voting system is honest and reliable and foolproof, they will be more willing, even anxious, to vote.

    And Democracy starts with voting. Without an honest voting system the governed are powerless, and government tends to act accordingly.

  • Though I do not necessarily disagree… it will take more than just the counting in public to achieve that. All that would do is move the potential for fraud upstream. The only way to truly avoid election fraud is to move to a purely open and public system of voting. Honestly, not only is America not ready for such a system of voting, but public voting opens up an entirely different set of issues.

  • granny6x

    It seems we do agree. Sunlight on the initial result, more than one person doing the public count, and you have covered the basics. Checks and balances all along the way. Paying the people involved in this process would be cheaper than buying and maintaining these machines, for sure, but alas, the American people are very far from seeing the value of all those criteria, as you say.

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