And a Concession in New Mexico...Despite Our Own Personal Best Efforts...
By Brad Friedman on 11/22/2006, 1:54pm PT  

Of course, we've been covering Christine Jennings's (D) refusal to concede and her stand in favor of the voters in the FL-13 fiasco. And though we haven't mentioned it lately, vote-rigging whistleblower Clint Curtis (D), rather than conceding, is convening a group of volunteers to verify the reported "results" of his race against the corrupt Tom Feeney (R) in FL-24.

But several other House candidates, from North Carolina to Ohio (but not New Mexico), are still fighting to assure the voice of the voters is accurately heard...


Larry Kissel (D), in perhaps the closest remaining House race, NC-8, wrote at dKos Monday, "What do you say? Do we deserve Democracy or something just shy of it?"

And on his own website he says: "I personally owe it to voters of the 8th district to work day and night until we are satisfied that every voter's intent has been correctly counted."


Victoria Wulsin (D) is not conceding as of Tuesday to Mean Jean Schmidt (R) in OH-2 despite AP calling the race for Schmidt: "With maybe 4,000 votes still to be counted, it wouldn’t be right for democracy for me to make this decision myself," Wulsin said. "We need to make sure every vote counts."


In OH-15, Deborah Pryce's (R) lead over Mary Jo Kilroy (D) may soon evaporate as some 19,500 absentee and provisional ballots in Franklin County are still to be tabulated. Of course, they must be counted by Franklin's Election Supervisor Matt Damschroder, the man who accepted $10,000 from a Diebold lobbyist on behalf of the GOP just before the 2004 election. Columbus Dispatch today reports that "Votes from about 30 electronic machines in 12 county precincts weren't counted on election night, he said, because poll workers didn't shut them down properly." Back on November 9th, they pointed out that "deputy sheriffs were dispatched to the homes of nine forgetful poll workers....The workers had gone home for the night, taking with them voting-machine memory cartridges they had neglected to turn in."

Not that anyone could ever affect an entire election by having unsupervised access to such cartridges.

Also this (take note touch-screen paper "trail" fans!): As an eye-witness at one of the OH-15 precincts reported today at Daily Kos, this discovery on one of the precinct's Diebold touch-screen machines: "the printer in fact had not been working all one had noticed throughout the day that the printer on this machine was in fact not working...Voters didn't notice it, the poll workers didn't notice it and I didn't notice it till the end. Pity the lowly voter verified paper trail."


Lastly, in the NM-1 race, with just over 800 votes between them in a "razor-thin" margin from among more than 200,000 votes cast, one ungodly mess reported to us by sources in the counting room, and not a single vote audited by New Mexico law despite the notorious inaccuracies and unreliability of the ES&S optical-scan machines used in the race, Democratic candidate Patsy Madrid conceded Tuesday morning to Rep. Heather Wilson (R).

Despite my own last minute personal efforts (including late-night conversations with the candidate and her attorney, as well as a flurry of email and phone conversations with folks at the DNC) Madrid decided not to fight. Nonethless, the DNC and others will fund a 2% partial recount anyway. For whatever that will be worth.

For the record here, it seems the villain in this matter appears once again to have been the DCCC. They apparently refused to fund any recounts after determining that a manual hand-count would not bring enough votes to give Madrid the victory. Lord only knows how the DCCC could make such a determination, given that not a single ballot was actually audited in the race. And given that election after election has been overturned this year alone after the same ES&S machines were found to have failed to count votes accurately.

Of course, due to NM's ridiculous election code, the candidate --- not the state or county --- is forced to pay for the recount, even with a .04% difference which would have triggered a state funded recount almost anywhere else. To make matters worse, the campaign estimated a full recount would cost an absurd $300k. We guess NM and Bill Richardson are just trying to make Ohio look good.

Additional reporting on this story by Desi Doyen.

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