As we get closer to Election Day, questions of vote manipulation have surfaced.

It was only a matter of time before folks started talking about the systems we use to track our votes. After the 2000 “Hanging Chad” election, many states in the US made major changes to the way votes were counted. The resulting replacement of mechanical voting machines with computer-based tabulators caused a great deal of concern over potential fraud of a different sort.

It’s unfortunate that it took this long, but considering the volume of lies and deceit being thrown around during this campaign, it’s not really a surprise. Just three weeks and some change out from this year’s election, questions are being raised about the machines we use, particularly in swing states like Florida, Colorado and Ohio.

With so much at stake, here are three articles you should read on the subject. My short take: A paper ballot is the only way to be sure your vote is counted properly.

If you have any concerns at all about the machines you’re supposed to use, avoid using them completely. The rules for absentee balloting and paper balloting vary by state. I suggest you take the time right now to go and investigate. This election is too important to be thrown on a questionable piece of equipment that can be so easily manipulated, especially when one of the candidates has ties to the manufacturer of some of these machines.

Call it paranoia. Whatever you may think, I have to wonder where we would be now if Gore had won the election in 2000, and so should you.

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