Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Voting Theatre

I love stuff like this. This is a great story. Can't you just picture this all in you mind's eye? Sweet!

Black Box Voting files Public Records lawsuit against Palm Beach County

NOV 30 2004: Today's lawsuit was filed naming Teresa LaPore as defendant, citing her for failure to comply with the Black Box Voting public records request of Nov. 2, 2004.

Black Box Voting filed the lawsuit this morning in Palm Beach County, served it per Florida law on LaPore's attorney. Black Box Voting then made a surprise visit to the podium at the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections meeting held today in Orlando, where LaPore was scheduled to make a speech on records retention.

We went in through the kitchen, using a reconassaince map provided by a colleague, led by Kathleen Wynne dressed as hired help. Black Box Voting investigator Kathleen Wynne, in black jeans and a white polo shirt had earlier traveled through the route to the back entrance to the supervisor's meeting, nodding to the waiters.

"Very nice, very nice," Wynne said authoritatively.

Wynne led Bev Harris and Andy Stephenson through the back way without raising so much as an eyebrow, since she looked like hotel staff.

Harris went onto the podium and introduced herself to the crowd. "I know I'm interrupting. This will only take a minute." She turned to LaPore, "Since we can't get your attention any other way, I'm serving you with a courtesy copy of the lawsuit we served on your office this morning."

LaPore glared, turned her back on Harris, and refused to take the lawsuit, so Harris set it on the table in front of LaPore.

Stephenson stood up in front of the crowd of perhaps 200 Florida elections officials.

"This was a courtesy call on Ms. LaPore for failing to produce public records," he said. "For any of you who have not complied, we have more of these coming."

Black Box Voting has identified 13 Florida counties who have earned litigation due to failure to comply with public records requests.

The elections officials erupted into deafening shouts, boos, gavel-pounding, and then Wynne stepped up smack dab in front of the crowd, took a sturdy stance and panned the crowd with her video camera.

"This is what democracy looks like," she said, as the officials scowled and shouted for the sergeant at arms.

Unfortunately, the sergeant at arms was nowhere to be found. (Perhaps imbibing in the Sequoia Voting Systems lounge, just down the hall? We may never know.)

Harris, Stephenson and Wynne made haste out the back door, but accidentally tripped a loud screeching alarm. The meeting broke up and people fanned out all over the place seeking to capture the rude individuals from Black Box Voting.