On today's BradCast: Some brakes --- some --- may now finally be applied to our ongoing Trump-induced national emergency, in the wake of his election two exhausting years ago. [Audio link to show is posted below.]
Despite shameful obstacles placed in front of voters across the country during Tuesday's midterms, Democrats managed to wrestle back control of the U.S. House of Representatives by flipping at least 27 seats, as of airtime, with the results of several other races still unknown, according to unverified computer tabulation in all 50 states. Setting aside partisan issues, women and diverse candidates were the biggest winners yesterday...along with the American people.
At the same time, the GOP reportedly picked up several seats in the U.S. Senate, even while Democrats racked up some very important (and, occasionally stunning!) wins at the gubernatorial level. Those wins and losses (including Scott Walker ousted and Kris Kobach denied!) are likely to reverberate for the next decade, as the next round of redistricting occurs after the 2020 census.
Today we review as many of the noteworthy reported results from House, Senate and Governor races as we can possibly jam into one single show....and then we hit several important ballot initiative results as well.
Moreover --- and, perhaps, as importantly --- we look at several "too close to call" races where no winner has yet been declared by media and/or a number of contests with outcomes worth questioning, including in Florida, Georgia, Texas and elsewhere. (If only every candidate sounded like Georgia's Stacey Abrams at the end of a reportedly very close election night!)
Election Day may be over, but the fight for public oversight of results may just be beginning.
Oh, and as we long predicted would happen if results didn't go Trump's way on November 6, today he fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions to begin his move against Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Nonetheless, for today at least, we won't allow Trump to hijack our news cycle on The BradCast...
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READER COMMENTS ON "DEMS TAKE HOUSE, GOVERNORSHIPS; GOP Holds Senate; Questions About Some Reported Results: 'BradCast' 11/7/2018" (8 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink] ...
said on 11/8/2018 @ 2:22 pm PT...
I just saw that Michigan passed a ballot initiative(Proposal 3) that, among other good voter and election related things, requires auditing their elections. Could that possibly be referring to the kind of random audit our tribe has been jumping up and down and screaming about for so long? Can it be true?
The answer may depend upon which "tribe" you're referring to. I'm not a fan of post-election random audits (they are too easily gamed, for my taste, while providing a false sense of security). Though I realize many in your "tribe" may feel otherwise.
That said, MI's Prop 3 does a whole bunch of other good stuff for elections and voters, so I'll not complain (even about the restoration of straight-ticket voting...which I am also not a fan of.)
COMMENT #3 [Permalink] ...
said on 11/8/2018 @ 10:39 pm PT...
Brad, what's the scoop on this guy?
David Becker, executive director and founder of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, whatever that is, in a WaPo opinion piece:
About 80 percent of all voters can vote with an auditable paper trail. That number continues to grow, with all states on the path to implementing all-paper ballots by 2020. Two-thirds of states with paper ballots audit them, and more and more states, including Colorado, Rhode Island and Virginia, are showing other states how to move to even better audits, using sophisticated statistical methodologies to best assure accurate results.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink] ...
said on 11/9/2018 @ 7:03 am PT...
Oh, I had no idea you felt/thought that way. If I'm not mistaken, Jonathan Simon and Stephen Spoonamore, at the very least, have mentioned the random audit as a good way of insuring election integrity if we were going to insist on keeping some of the machines(the opscans, of course). I didn't know there were two tribes in our tribe on this.
So you're position is hand-counted paper ballots, period? I'm, of course, all for that but figured getting that period would be a harder sell so that a good random audit could be a worthy compromise.
Is your reasoning that one could easily run into problems with who exactly is doing the auditing(and how they're doing it) and thus create the same sort of lack of transparency issues we suffer from now?
Yeah, that's probably your point(lemme know if there's more to it, please). Of course those sorts of possible snafus would be most easily remedied by publicly observed hand counts.
I'm unhappily prepared to adjust my thinking on this if you, my mentor, can talk me into it.(although I may have already done so my own self)
Don't get me started on that guy. I think he means well, but he has been undermining election reform for YEARS by calling for computer-marked paper "ballots", etc. I got into it (big time) with him years ago, when he was running PFAW's election operation and was pushing for the Holt Bill which would have resulted in a touchscreen Ballot Marking Device (BMD) for every voter....as Holt himself told me.
Now that you've thought it through a bit, sounds like you've figured out my concerns. I don't advocate AGAINST audits, in general, because anything that adds to transparency and offers a deterrent, in general, is not a bad thing. But you'll not find me going out expending energy/resources fighting for them, because they will offer a false sense of security and, ultimately, not solve the problem we face.
It drives me a bit nuts to see people I respect arguing for "audits" as if it solves the problem. Reminds me of when some of those folks argued for VVPATs on DRE systems.
Takes years for them to come around to what I've been trying to tell them. But they get there eventually.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink] ...
said on 11/9/2018 @ 1:25 pm PT...
Brad@6- Okay, I'm on board. I will delete the random audit as a reasonable compromise solution from my election integrity advocacy. Makes obvious sense when I thought about it for a second. I was swayed by Simon and Spoonamore cuz I think they're generally much more knowledgeable than I on the subject.
I'm stunned and somewhat abashed that I was unaware of your position on this. I've only been following you for 18 years. Sheesh.
Actually, since I don't work hard to advocate AGAINST, it'd be easy to misconstrue my opinion as joining those who I largely otherwise concur with on much of this. To help you avoid similar embarrassment in the future, other things I do not advocate loudly AGAINST but am not a big fan of, unlike some of my colleagues:
+ Vote-by-Mail (unless necessary)
+ Early Voting (unless necessary)
+ Straight Ticket Voting
+ Digital Ballot Images (for same reason I'm no fan of audits)
Also, I will not tolerate computer-marked "paper ballots", even as many of my colleagues have yet to figure out that they are VVPAT v2.0