Friday, August 03, 2007


From the Politico:

A busted computer system hamstrung the House... for at least 45 minutes Friday on one of the tensest legislative days of the year.

The House electronic voting system malfunctioned at approximately 2 p.m.... Projectors that usually display how each member voted and show a tally of votes were not working, although votes were still being recorded on computers at various locations in the House chamber.

The mishap came during the final two days of legislative activity before a month-long recess, a time when tensions run high as lawmakers grind out last-minute agreements on a bevy of bills. Many lawmakers were already agitated from a rancorous episode last night when Rep. Michael R. McNulty (D-N.Y.) gaveled closed a vote before the tally was clear. McNulty apologized to his colleagues this morning.

The broken computers prompted protracted squabbles among lawmakers Friday afternoon. Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) questioned how they could vote if they were unable to see the usual tally. Lawmakers are accustomed to seeing how their colleagues are voting while they mull their own decision.

And yet they expect the rest of America to vote without real time election results. How can we ever make up our minds?

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