On today's BradCast, our coverage of what suffices in the U.S. as a Presidential election "recount" continues, in no small part, because someone has to cover what is actually going on there. [Audio link to show posted below.]
A federal court ruling [PDF] issued late yesterday in Michigan has effectively stopped the counting of paper ballots in the state following an earlier 3-Republican judge state court ruling that Green Party candidate Jill Stein is not an "aggrieved candidate" and, thus, not entitled to any type of "recount". Moreover, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith finds there is no federally recognized right to a "recount" and, in any case, Stein presented no "evidence of significant fraud or mistake" while asking for one. But, of course, how could she, without being allowed to examine the evidence in question? State Republicans described the suspension of ballot counting as "a victory for the taxpayers and voters of Michigan."
That, even as scores of precincts across the state --- hundreds in Detroit alone --- were deemed "unrecountable" by election officials under MI's horrible statutes disallowing the hand-count of votes when human error or computer vote tabulator failure leaves Election Night ballot totals off by as little as a single ballot, as compared to the number of names signed in to pollbooks. Even in just three days of counting before it's suspension today, many such precincts were found to be "unrecountable", despite totally unreconciled vote tallies.
"It is an outrage that the voters of Michigan are being denied their right to have their votes properly counted," rails longtime election integrity advocate and attorney John Bonifaz, one of those who initially argued to both Hillary Clinton and Stein that a post-election count was necessary. "Because of a partisan state appeals court decision, Americans will never know the truth about what happened in this election."
Bonifaz was joined by many longtime computer science and voting systems experts, such as Douglas Jones of the University Iowa, who warns today: "In a healthy democracy, elections are run with sufficient transparency that partisans of the losing candidate can convince themselves that they lost fair and square. Recounts in close elections are a necessary part of this transparency, particularly when the margin of victory is exceeded by an unusual number of ballots that were cast without reporting any vote in the election." Jones is referring to the 75,000 ballots in MI said to have no vote for President at all, nearly twice as many undervotes as reported in 2012, despite a 10,000 vote margin between Trump and Clinton in MI, where some 5 million votes were cast. That case is headed to MI's Supreme Court, where Stein is demanding two state Justices recuse themselves after being named by Donald Trump as potentially U.S. Supreme Court nominees.
In Pennsylvania, a similar, if even worse case of lacking "evidence" of fraud has served to block forensic analyses of the otherwise 100% unverifiable touch-screen voting and tabulation systems used across most of the state. Late Wednesday, Stein filed a new court challenge in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), seeking the type of examination that computer science and voting systems experts have been desperately calling for. A similar challenge was rejected yesterday in Philadelphia for...you guessed it...lack of evidence of fraud.
And in Wisconsin, observers of the ongoing counts and retallies are calling for a federal suit --- which, I'm told, could be filed on Friday --- seeking a statewide hand-count of paper ballots, after a state court previously found a new law passed by Republicans last year allowed most of the largest (and Democratic-leaning) counties to "recount" by the same computer scanners that initially tallied votes (either correctly or incorrectly). The computer tallies, and a number of other concerns revealed to date, have led some of those observers to describe the current process as a "farce", and declare: "The most urgent issue in America right now is to be able to confirm that every vote was counted fairly, accurately, and honestly, and if not, for patriotic Americans to raise bloody hell about it."
And so, we do. Even as the corporate media continue to misreport or ignore altogether what is actually going on in all three longtime "blue" states where just 3 votes per precinct recorded for Clinton instead of Trump would have meant that she, not he, would be considered the President Elect right now. Citizen oversight of election results matter. As simple as that should be, the struggle to achieve any such post-election oversight or verification, in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, is astounding and an outrage.
Also today, speaking of outrages and science ignored by corporate media and elected officials alike: Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on Trump's shocking choice to head the EPA, on another oil pipeline rupture --- this time not far from the contested Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota --- and temperatures in the Arctic are now from 35 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit warmer today than they normally are this time of year...
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READER COMMENTS ON "Evidence? What Evidence?: 'Recount' Stopped in MI, Stein Appeals MI, PA, WI: 'BradCast' 12/8/2016" (10 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/8/2016 @ 8:14 pm PT...
I am usually one of reserved words and non-expletive word choice... but... Holy shit... I'm not sure what country I live in any more if these developments are in the realm of judicial common sense. The founders of our democracy would be horrified of the "Walmart-ification" of our values. Cheap. Superficial. And screwing over the common good for the sake of expediency. Brad, thanks for your reporting on this, my friend.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/8/2016 @ 8:34 pm PT...
Our entire election system has now been exposed (to those paying attention) as a bloody-horror.
I start wondering----Were US elections EVER accurate and un-tampered with?
Well, some must have been honest. Otherwise all our presidents would have been Conservative businesspeople, and we never would have had FDR, TR (in 1904) and a few others.
But I am now convinced, the GOP has not actually WON a Presidential election since at least Nixon, and have probably STOLEN every "win" their Prez candidates have had since the 70s, at least.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/8/2016 @ 8:40 pm PT...
I think part of the problem is our absolute frothing desire to have an answer regarding "who won" on the night of the election. Should it go even a day later, people are beside themselves with apprehension. Yet if we could slow it down... do hand counts of paper ballots... get the result of elections a few days later, how great would that be. That'll never happen in our post-9/11 24-hour news cycle. But that's what it should be. The system as it exists (with priority on fast answers and blind acceptance of numbers thrown around) is absolutely ripe for tragedy.
First, thanks for the kind words. Second, you may be confused (misinformed) about how precinct-based hand-counting (Democracy's Gold Standard) is supposed to work. It should not take days to hand count. Towns that do it, in NH for example, are often finished with their counting before the Diebold op-scan towns are completed.
If it takes too long, then we just need more precincts (which would be good anyway!) or more counting teams. Either way, while your general sentiment is correct, your info about hand-counting on election night isn't. I blame me for that.
If it takes "days", that means the ballots have been moved to a central location and secure chain of custody risked in the bargain. Hand count at the precinct with everyone watching and post results (decentrally) right then and there, before ballots are moved anywhere.
That's the theory, at least.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/8/2016 @ 10:00 pm PT...
75,000 michigan voters didnt select apresidential candidate.... ok
COMMENT #6 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/9/2016 @ 7:42 am PT...
My new analogy for our 2016 election. HIT & RUN.
Our hit and run driver elections don't seem to care that our behavior is reckless/dangerous and when we come across problems, we just keep moving forward as if there were no school children in the crosswalk.
We can't go back and review that something might be wrong with our car (election systems), we can't go back to find out if their is a problem with our driver (election /political officials) or decision making (media's lack of good information so voters can make a good decision), we just need to keep moving forward and praise ourselves at the progress we have made. If we even bother to evaluate we blame the voters for being in the crosswalk.
Call the police and stop the HIT&RUN driver!!
Brad We know you've been calling the police for years.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/9/2016 @ 7:46 am PT...
@ Brad re: COMMENT #4....
Well, phrased, and thanks for that clarification. So, really, there should be no disincentive to go with paper ballots, hand-counted on election day... If we can have 75,000 people in Michigan not register a vote for president, and that doesn't generate enough outrage to spark a true forensic investigation (among many other things you've mentioned over the years) - then it makes me wonder what the "tipping point" really is to make accountability (and "countability") happen. Maybe that can be the title of the next documentary on this... "Countability".
COMMENT #8 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/9/2016 @ 8:59 am PT...
What a great summation of the Stein recount so far! I wish everybody would listen to this.
If these rulings that the ballots can never be hand counted because there isn't any proof of fraud stands, and we continue to use the voting machines, democracy is dead in America. RIP.
I have a real hard time with "elected" Democrats never fighting for their elections. Where is Hillary, now that judges are ruling Stein doesn't have a dog in the fight? Why aren't all the rest of the Democrats screaming? I'm more sure then ever that they are more comfortable in the good cop role then governing. Thanks a lot guys. As they say: "You're no Jack Kennedy".
COMMENT #9 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/9/2016 @ 2:38 pm PT...
Okay, so I'm listening to your show... now WHAT THE HELL DO WE DO?! Shit our pants and cry? Every day I listen and it's just a litany of injustice. So what are our options? Are we just wallowing in despair at this point? Is it time to say "okay, they stole it, let's move on"?
COMMENT #10 [Permalink] ...
said on 12/13/2016 @ 11:03 pm PT...
the rats and dogs are triggered. If you were here illegally and voting you would be scared too.
the borders open with millions of illegal voters, that didn't work.
recount, that didn't work
russian hackers, that didn't work
death threats to the electors, that didn't work
what next ALIEN INVASION FROM OUTER SPACE!?
soros and all the rest of the communists are planning a riot and insurrection, but it won't work. Instead will be PUT DOWN and LOCKED UP like the DOGS and RATS you are.
I suggest the retards read USC 18 about attacking a NEW president. Might just find your ass in GITMO.
The illegals will be removed from this country.
The NWO fraud is done.
This blog is co-opted by green special snowflake poo. You had 12 years of flawed climate math.
Soon you will say it's fraud off your own tongues!