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Brad Jones: No fingerprint? No vote!

by: Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 06:00:56 AM EDT

Finally something coming out of the Republican leadership that I can get behind.  The leadership in the house and senate has been surprisingly quiet the past few weeks during the budget process and the mini scandals that have erupted.  But this time Brad Jones gets it right.  The Boston Herald is reporting that Jones has asked for fingerprint ID systems be installed as a check against phantom voting.

A top Republican lawmaker, outraged by voting abuses by colleagues, is urging House leaders to buy fingerprint verification technology to prevent reps from phantom voting violations that are undermining basic democratic rules.

"It's not right and it's bringing down the entire institution," Rep. Brad Jones (R-North Reading) said of phantom voting scandals that have periodically rocked the House. "Voting is a big part of the job, and if you don't want to take the time to do it, you probably shouldn't be here."

Jones filed a budget request seeking the verification technology after state Rep. Charles Murphy (D-Burlington) was found to be in the Virgin Islands last week when he was recorded as taking seven roll call votes in the House chamber. Murphy has said he did not authorize anyone to vote for him.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers said phantom voting has re-emerged as a widespread practice in the House chamber, where members cover for their colleagues by voting for them when they're absent.

Nice work by Casey Ross on continuing to press this issue.  The new 303 Cafe down the street from my house has a fingerprint control on its cash register. I think the house can afford a system for voting.  It doesn't need to cost a million dollars as Sal says it would further on in the article.  Maybe that's why government is so bloated, because Sal and company always look to the most expensive option...

Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno :: Brad Jones: No fingerprint? No vote!
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Why doesn't he (0.00 / 0)
1. File an ethics complaint against Murphy?

2. File an ethics complaint against DiMasi for his personal involvement in a bid-rigging scheme that netted his pal $100k fee?

Sounds Expensive .. (0.00 / 0)
Nice idea but Im not paying for it. You want to take up the collection?

It doesn't need to be expensive. n/t (0.00 / 0)
[ Parent ]
Charlie Murphy isn't the Criminal (0.00 / 0)
He didn't cast an illegal vote.  He claims he never authorized anyone to vote for him.  Whoever pushed his button committed a serious criminal act and should be impeached and thrown in prison.

Sure, not being there to vote may make him a bad Representative.  Yet, assuming he he being honest, he is victim here.  So are the citizens of his district and the Commonwealth as a whole as our voting rights are being violated by an illegal process.

Catching these people would be cheap and easy with just a few more video cameras within the House and Senate chambers.  Violators would either stop or get caught.

"Never Head of Michael Graham." - Gabriel Gomez.

The House sessions (0.00 / 0)
USED to be video'ed in their entirety on Channel 44 (GBH). It ought to be brought back. Maybe some wealthy Republican sponsor could fund it.

And don't be so fast to let Charlie Murphy off the hook.

Most of the amendments on which he was recorded were lop-sided party-line votes, and his vote wasn't needed. This suggests strongly that his button was pushed as a favor to him, and very possibly not unsolicited.

At least, that was the (crooked) protocol when the phantom voting was endemic in the 1980's. Nobody hits someone else's button without their permission-- that was the golden rule. Most of the time, it was a bunch of hacks who didn't want to leave the poker game in Ways & Means.

[ Parent ]
Fair Enough (0.00 / 0)
I did say "assuming he's being honest."  He could very well have lied and committed an ethics violation, I just have no direct evidence of it yet.  We can say that at least one person has definitely committed voter fraud here and that person is whoever actually cast the illegal vote.

I view illegally casting someone else's ballot without their consent as a more serious offense than pushing someone else's button the way they would want as per their request.  Yes, both are clearly wrong.  Both are serious. Just a matter of degree.  

"Never Head of Michael Graham." - Gabriel Gomez.

[ Parent ]
Hear, hear! (0.00 / 0)
Well said, Mr. Jones!  Such a system will require a substantial upgrade to Edison's original design for indicating member's votes, but these fingerprint readers are not so terribly expensive.  (Gosh, we could even install energy saving LEDs in the big tote board!)    

shhhhh (0.00 / 0)
Sal must have a buddy that sells Million Dollar fingerprint scanners.........

Full Disclosure

[ Parent ]
Well, he may not know the guy, (0.00 / 0)
but Dickie McDonough will be getting to know him right quick.

By the way, this McDonough fellow who represented Cognos -- he happens to be the son of Patrick J. "Sonny" McDonough.

[ Parent ]
I like the idea...... (0.00 / 0)
If we find that fingerprint machines are too expensive then maybe retinal scanners or some other equivalent.  In fact, I would like to see the citizenry use the same technology in their votes.  It is better than a driver's license because the libs couldn't argue that it is restrictive - hell, everyone has a fingerprint or a retina.  Good for Brad Jones.....

Ed Markey is now the official 'cheapest' man on earth.  1.5 percent to charity while the average American gave 3 times as much...

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