The World's Most-Read 'Progressive' Blogger Continues to Misinform His Readers, Seems to Have No Understanding of How Our Electoral System Works (or Doesn't)...
By Brad Friedman on 1/29/2008, 3:50pm PT  

With "friends" like Markos Moulitsas at Daily Kos, Democrats may not need Republicans to help them lose this year. Once again, the namesake of the largest supposedly-Progressive blogsite in the world misleads his readers, confuses issues of Election Integrity with unmade allegations of "conspiracy theories," and otherwise makes all-new extraordinary claims which are wholly unsupported by any evidence, extraordinary or otherwise.

The damage he and his minions are personally causing to the fight for verified, transparent elections is becoming greater than we can possibly describe. But we'll try...

In his latest irresponsible, evidence-free, hit-piece on Election Integrity advocates, Moulitsas compares concerns about New Hampshire's primary results --- showing a Clinton win, in contrast to pre-election polls, as 80% of the paper ballots in the state went completely uncounted or unverified by anybody other than hackable, error-prone Diebold optical-scanners --- with what he describes as "silence" concerning Obama's win in South Carolina on wholly unverifiable touch-screen voting systems.

He finds some dark conspiracy of "irrational Clinton hatred" fueling concern about New Hampshire's reported results, charging, without evidence, that those of us who think ballots should actually be counted by someone up there, have alleged "dark conspiracies"...

But funny how there's nothing but silence out there [about South Carolina]. Is there any doubt that if the results were reversed, and if Hillary had outperformed the polls by 12 points, that people would once again be crying about fraud, demanding recounts in the Palmetto State, and concocting all manners of fantastical theories to rationalize their skepticism? Apparently, since Clinton didn't win South Carolina, the voting machines worked perfectly.

Perhaps the cries of fraud in New Hampshire had little to do with actual concerns about electoral integrity, and everything to do with irrational Clinton hatred and the pathological need to see dark conspiracies even were none exist?. (Apparently the Clinton cabal is capable of the darkest, most sinister conspiracies, but the Obama cabal is not.)

New Hampshire was crying "wolf!", and for all the wrong reasons. As a result, they did the legitimate cause of electoral reform few favors.

Apparently Markos is not interested in either facts or Election Integrity. We're quite sure he hasn't bothered to follow what's actually going on in New Hampshire, nor did he read our take on South Carolina, posted before the election even got under way, explaining that...

South Carolina uses DRE (touch-screen) voting systems made by ES&S. It will be literally and physically impossible to verify that a single vote has been recorded accurately on any of them. 100% faith-based voting. So, short of machines breaking down leading to the outrage of people not being unable to vote at all, or a huge undervote rate in some area (as we saw when 18,000 votes "disappeared" on the exact same machines in the 369 vote margin Jennings/Buchanan race in Sarasota's FL-13 Congressional election in '06 on the exact same machines) we'll likely have little to say about the results of today's Democratic Primary in the Palmetto State one way or another. Our guess will be as good (or bad) as theirs. Best of luck to ya, South Carolina.

Also, it shouldn't be necessary to note, but it is, since Kos continues to spread disinformation concerning issues of Election Integrity (and is even banning those who question him or his other front-pagers if they dare to question them, or god fobid, post actual facts), but no serious Election Integrity person that we know of has charged either "fraud" or "dark conspiracies" in New Hampshire.

Rather, it is charged that 80% of the ballots were never counted or verified by anyone after they were tabulated on the very same error-prone, hackable Diebold op-scan systems seen flipping an election undetectably, save for actually counting the paper ballots, in HBO's Hacking Democracy (video of that hack here).

Markos seems to be more than ready to believe anything he's told about election results, with no need whatsoever to verify a single vote has been recorded accurately. If he can prove that just one vote on a SC touch-screen system was recorded as cast on Election Day, dinner, a retraction, and a full apology are on me.

But he can't. It's literally impossible. So he continues with his self-destructive belief in faith-based elections, and his indescribably damaging assault on Election Integrity experts.

He concludes by defying his own dictum that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" by writing:

I'm just pointing out that Hillary won New Hampshire fair and square, just like Barack won South Carolina fair and square. And yes, South Carolina needs to move to voting machines with a verified paper trail. Like New Hampshire

The evidence to prove that "Hillary won New Hampshire" has barely been examined by anyone, but what has been examined has revealed a host of mistallies. While it may or may not be true that Clinton won, Kos cannot prove it at this time.

No evidence exists that "Barack won South Carolina." None.

And if SC had a "paper trail" like NH (actually NH has paper ballots, not "paper trails"), would Kos care if anybody actually counted them or not before declaring a winner?

Apparently not. Counting ballots is apparently for losers, "crackpots," and conspiracy theorists in the Kos' Wonderland, it seems, even if a huge majority of his own readers would seem to disagree.

(We attempted to contact Markos privately via email before posting this article, in hopes of explaining to him what he doesn't seem to understand, or just doesn't care to, in lieu of this rather ugly public kerfuffle. He has yet to bother to reply to that inquiry. The invitation is still open for a private discussion so any concerns can actually be answered with facts. Or, if he'd prefer to debate these issues publicly, to air out both points of view, in any forum whatsoever, we'd be happy to do that as well. We believe the progressive community, as well as American voters as a whole in this Election Year, would be very well-served by such a public debate. We take no joy in calling out either Markos or Daily Kos like this, as we've defended them from the real bad guys in the past, and hate to see an unseemly public "fight" between two folks who are ostensibly on the same side of most issues. Unfortunately, if misinformation and those issuing it, for whatever reason, are not either corrected or called out, the fight for Election Integrity in America will continue to get even more difficult than it has already become.)

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