The good folks in Minnesota are still recounting votes in the Senate race. There will be a lot of heated discussion over how voter intent is decided by officials and my guess is that the courts are going to have to decide the winner and loser.
Tuesday is the runoff election for Senator from Georgia. They will be using the same Diebold voting system that is in question from the 2002 election. ...
Have been taking a few much-needed down hours over the last few days, as per my notice a few days ago. Has been good, if nothing else, for my wrist (which needs the rest, as noted, and as per doctor's orders). Hope to continue same for a while, though will be jumping in as needed and unavoidable, even as more Guest Bloggers will hopefully be coming aboard in the days ahead.
For your holiday weekend viewing pleasure in the meantime, I taped this show a few weeks ago, for airing on public cable channels in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere. The topic, incredibly enough: "Is there a liberal bias in the media?" As you can imagine, I had a thought or two on that, as did the other guests who joined me on the panel.
Full show, appx 26 mins, I'm in the first and last, of the three segments...
Note: A week or so later I was invited back to do another episode, this time on election issues, on which I was the only guest. I'll try to get that posted here as well as soon as Gregory makes it available on the Internets.
I have been asked often about my position on Instant Runoff Voting [also known as Ranked Coice Voting]. My answer is always that I just haven’t formed an opinion on the basics of IRV. I do, however, have a problem with the fact that those who are avid supporters of IRV quite often favor IRV over voting system issues. They tend to be willing to turn a blind-eye to the use of voting systems that I would never support because there are no voting systems that actually support IRV that are federally certified.
Two west-coast counties, Pierce in WA and San Francisco in CA, used Sequoia systems that were a mix and match of certified parts and tested parts that were never tested and certified to be used together. Officials in Minnesota are now talking about IRV for the future. When asked about a second or third count election, officials said they would hand-count those ballots, but officials who have done IRV say that would be a “huge nightmare”.
One of the two west coast counties is even now thinking of going back to the voters to ask that IRV voting no longer be used. We agree with this position but only until there is a system that can actually count the ballots and not be a “huge nightmare”....
...That it's our last legitimate opportunity to use the following photos:
Fake turkey in Iraq.
"I could really use a pardon."
(Your alternative captions welcome in comments.)
...And, among other things, that so many of you have joined me, for so long, during this bizarre and often horrifying journey, for so many years. My thanks to you all, and hopes for a peaceful holiday for you and yours. -- Brad
The “Daily Voting News” staff [all one of us] is going to take tomorrow off to enjoy family and friends. We will be back on Friday. We hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and have an opportunity to enjoy family and friends.
A three judge panel of the 6th US Court of Appeals in Ohio has ruled unanimously that a lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters in the aftermath of the 2004 general election can continue in US District Court. One judge said this about disenfranchising acts by some election officials, “"If true, these allegations could establish that Ohio's voting system deprives its citizens of the right to vote or severely burdens the exercise of that right, depending on where they live”....
Before the editors had at it, it was titled in full: "Democrats to the Blogosphere: Thanks for Everything, Now Go Away".
And, by way of value-added content here, these were the first two grafs of the piece before they were excised for length reasons on the published final product...
The Bush administration and Republicans in Congress stored up plenty of good will over the last eight years...for a Democratic sweep on November 4th. But it wasn't necessarily enough good will to lead Progressives to look the other way when Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership start snubbing those who brung 'em to the dance --- and both of them are getting a good start at it right out of the box.
Barrack Obama promised "change", but didn't necessarily explain "change from what". Somehow, many of those who supported and voted for him got the notion that his calls for "change" meant change from the old politics of both the failed Republican and Democratic party leadership. I don't know where they got that idea
Now go read the Guardian column which, largely, picks up after the above. Your comments there, and/or here, always welcome, of course.
In their outreach to blacks, Latino, Asians and other minority voters, the conservative operatives behind Proposition 8 neglected to mention a key aspect of the initiative that could contribute to rolling back minority rights for years to come.
Prop 8 not only rendered quaint the California Constitution's equal protection clause --- a foundational precept that instructs the state to protect the rights of all citizens equally --- it also rescinded the right to marry for California gays. This sets it apart from other states' anti-gay marriage amendments because it establishes a precedent for conservative efforts to curb minority rights using ballot initiatives and by other means:
Prior to election day we, VotersUnite.Org, counseled voters to not use straight-party voting. We put it on our website and I wrote about it in these spaces. Straight-party voting as it is used in Texas is rife for misunderstanding and mistakes by the voters. When someone votes a straight-party ticket but then also selects the name of a candidate within that party in a particular race, electronic machines "deselect" that candidate. If no other candidate is chosen, no vote is counted in that race. The best solution, in our minds, was to NOT use straight-party voting but we got a lot of push back from some party officials in the state. Now Dallas Co. Democrats have been in court in an attempt to get the county to count all deselected or emphasis votes. The Secretary of State and the county both say no. The court, after two days of hearings and the promise of a decision, has, at the last minute, decided that they may have no jurisdiction. There would be no problem at all if straight-party voting had not been pushed by party officials....
Our friend Mark Levine of Radio Inside Scoop gets Prop 8 fever and calls the Leftists out! No more marriage for those perverts! (Why don't we ever get such good callers when we're hosting on the radio?)...
RELATED...Princeton University moves to ban freshmen from the sidewalks: "The Princeton Proposition 8 campaign aims to secure the definition of Princeton University sidewalks as a means of pedestrian transit for sophomores, juniors, seniors, graduate students, faculty, staff, and other members of the university community, but supports the elimination of the right of freshmen to walk on sidewalks."
The majority supporters of the measure note that "they are not 'froshophobic' and that some of their best friends are freshmen, but they maintain that freshmen on the sidewalk degrade the sacred institution of sidewalks."
We concur with both of the above efforts. Details and video on the latter here. Minorities have gotten away with too much for too long in this country, under the guise of "rights"! We say that all must change now!
Math/statistics/poll-wiz Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight.com predicts the race between incumbent MN Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and challenger Al Franken (D) could result in a 27 vote win for Franken. That's right, just 27 votes.
With that in mind, every single vote matters, so it's of note that the Franken campaign is now wondering about some missing ballots in a number of counties. From Public Record's coverage last night:
According to the secretary of state's website, 1,074 people in Clay County voted on Election Day but only 1,069 ballots were produced by the county for the recount. In St. Louis County, 1,649 people voted on Election Day but the county turned over 1,646 ballots for the recount. And in Washington County, 1,464 voted on Election Day but 1,449 ballots were turned over for the recount. The shortfall can easily shift the election to Franken or Coleman's favor because the race between the candidates is so close.
That in mind, we'll take the opportunity to remind both parties in the recount of our earlier suggestion that they make public records requests (if they haven't already) for the invoices from printers of all of the original ballots, and then request that all ballots --- including unvoted ballots --- be counted as part of the final reconciliation of ballots. The number of voted, spoiled, and unvoted ballots should be exactly equal to the number of ballots shown as printed originally on those invoices. If not, there's a problem.
But while ballots have now turned up "missing," and absentees have been tossed from the hand count, the GOP seems to be preparing for a FL 2000 PR gambit to "win" at all costs...
We've got a few more notes/thoughts on a couple of related ballot issues that have bubbled up over the last few days as we've been driving across the country. Given the closeness of this race, these issues could ultimately end up deciding it one way or another, even as the GOP seems to be preparing a FL 2000 PR gambit to "win" at all costs, no matter the final outcome of the hand-count...
Diebold Touch-Screen Memory Cards and Other Documents Sought for Retention as Allegations of Racketeering Scheme 'to Corrupt Elections in the U.S. Over the Course of This Decade' Spread to Encompass '02 and '08 Senate Races in the Peach State...
The lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the civil RICO lawsuit King Lincoln v. Blackwell in Ohio has served a document hold request to Georgia Sec. of State Karen Handel in advance of the December 2nd run-off election between incumbent U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) and his opponent, Jim Martin (D).
Today's letter from attorney Cliff Arnebeck (posted in full at the end of this article) requests "any records of official investigation of the reported use of uncertified patches by Diebold in two Democratic Georgia counties in 2002, reported by former Diebold consultant Chris Hood."
It also requests "protocols, inspection and audit procedures that have been prescribed to protect against other introductions of uncertified patches into federal elections in Georgia."
And, in an effort to preempt any planned improprieties in the upcoming Georgia run-off election between incumbent Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) and his opponent, Jim Martin (D) --- particularly given the 2002 history of Diebold-run Senate elections featuring Chambliss --- Arnebeck also requests Handel's "confirmation that all … records for the runoff election will be retained for the federally prescribed 22 month period."
That last request, echoing a call for same made recently by The BRAD BLOG, comes at a moment when the stakes for the Georgia election could hardly be higher. The 22-month retention of memory cards and hard drives from electronic voting systems is frequently ignored by election officials, despite the federal statute requiring all materials from elections be securely stored for that full period. Unfortunately, memory cards and hard drives are routinely erased and re-used, despite the federal law.
In Georgia, that has been a peach of a problem for those concerned with election integrity...
Thousands of Georgia absentee ballot requests have been denied because the voters did not sign the requests. Many of the requests are via a post-card provided by the RNC and the signature block is supposedly hard to find on the card. Over 7,000 requests have been rejected in Cobb Co and 2,800 in DeKalb Co.
Connecticut has submitted their reports done by UConn for the SoS office with regards to their voting systems to the EAC for inclusion in the “clearinghouse”. The state and the university have become good partners and are to be commended for the audits of memory cards that they accomplish before and after elections. Every state and local election official should be aware of these reports and the results of the audits. As well as being a font of good information and warnings they should also serve as a valuable example of what a state can do when they actually want to ensure that voting system problems are found. While the reports the EAC allows to be on their site are only a small portion of the reports that should be in the EACs clearinghouse, what is there is a beginning....
I wrote over the weekend of how the numbers of challenged ballots, by both the Franken and Coleman campaigns in Minnesota's U.S. Senate hand count, have been ballooning as the count proceeds. In some cases, there are good reasons to challenge ballots on the basis of whether the voter's intent is clear or not.
And then, there's the Coleman campaign's attempts to challenge ballots simply because the voter had voted for John McCain, and thus, as they argue, a vote for Al Franken, or for no Senate candidate at all must have been a mistake, and the ballot should be counted instead for Norm Coleman.
No, seriously, this is what they are arguing. Here's The Uptake's video report:
(Note: TheUptake.org has been featuring regular daily LIVE VIDEO coverage of the counting at a number of locations, in addition to their edited video features posted at their RecordTheVote.com site. Thank you, Uptake! I've been on the road, and off the grid almost every day for the last few --- and will be again for the next several --- so if you guys see any vids over there that folks ought to know about, please leave the links in comments!)
As long promised, The BRAD BLOG has covered your electoral system 2008, fiercely and independently, like no other media outlet in the nation. Please support our work with a donation to help us keep going. If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details on that right here...
The Minnesota Senatorial race is still the source of most of the news. The Minneapolis-St Paul Star-Tribune seems to have some of the best coverage of the recount. The link in the article below has not changed over the past few days but the story is constantly updated and changes as the news changes.
One of the counties that had problems on election day, readers will recall, was Kenton Co. Kentucky. You may remember that many of the county’s Hart Intercivic eSlate machines were not properly recording straight-party votes and they were taken out of service. The machines are sold, maintained and programmed by Harp Enterprises.
During an investigation of the Kenton Co problem the president of Harp told investigators that election officials in nearly 100 Kentucky counties failed to do any pre-election testing. If officials in Kenton Co had done the testing they should have found the problem that affected their machines. Of course, Harp has thrown the counties under the bus to some extent. It should have been their duty to warn the state that the testing was not happening. It is also important to note that Harp programs the machines in many of those counties so they are deflecting the blame to some extent...
Following reports of concerns from voters, election monitors, observers, and election integrity advocates about the voting equipment and procedures used during the November 4th election in which Prop 8 --- a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality for all Californians --- is said to have passed, Velvet Revolution is requesting that official complaints from citizens be filed with the CA Sec. of State, by Monday if possible. Any voters who may have witnessed unusual activity, or problems with voting equipment that may have affected the casting or counting of votes on Proposition 8, are asked to contact SoS Debra Bowen's office as soon as possible. More details are posted here...
Additionally, VR is posting a $100,000 reward for information leading to arrest and conviction for election fraud related to Prop 8. See this post for details...
[Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of Velvet Revolution.]