Thursday, December 23, 2004

Orwell Would be Proud

I have no personal stake in who becomes Governor of Washington. I do have a rooting interest, however, in the integrity of our voting procedures and the English language. So I find the following concerning:

Vote Recount for Washington Governor Tips to Democrat

"It's time for Democrats somewhere to draw a line in the sand and say we are not going to let bully Republican tactics determine who our governor is or how an election is going to be determined," he said.
The "bully Republican tactics" included: following the laws on the books as of election day, fighting the inclusion of over 10,000 ballots "found" two days before the election results were to be certified, and fighting the "enhancement" of hundreds of votes before the first recount. See, the deal is: when Republicans stick by the rules of the game and try to prevent fraud they are bullies, when Democrats change the rules of the game and do so in ways that pretty much ensure fraud, they are heroes. Here is more Repulbican bullying from the NY Times piece:

The Democrats repeatedly went to court to challenge the Republicans. The party's
communications director, Kirstin Brost, fired off a daily stream of news releases with biting words for Mr. Rossi, calling him a thief and the "accidental governor-elect" and deriding him for his "HypocRossi."
Whoops that wasn't the Republicans. Well, I'm sure the Republicans were bullying in some way, I mean they tried to claim victory on the grounds that they won the count and recount, right? Come on. Oh yeah: the NY Times piece features a picture of Democrat protestors one of whom is holding a sign that says: "GOP Wants to Change the Rules". Perfect.

Here is some more of the clearly fair and routine voting procedures from an article by John Fund. After allowing the newly discovered 10,000 absentee ballots to be counted, Rossi still held a lead. Then:

A local judge allowed Democratic Party officials to obtain the names and addresses of 723 people who had cast provisional ballots but were in danger of not being counted because of mismatching or missing signatures. Democratic officials then contacted voters and asked them who they had voted for in the race for governor. If the answer was Ms. Gregoire, the voter was allowed to correct his or her signature and thus have their ballot counted. Republicans belatedly began contacting their voters. The result was a net gain of some 400 votes for Ms. Gregoire. Mr. Rossi's lead fell to 261 votes.
Think about the numbers here. King County split 60-40 for Gregoire. From 723 votes she could expect 433 while Rossi could expect 290. Gregoire GAINED 400 votes. So either the Republicans didn't catch any of the 290 (Fund suggests they got a late start but doesn't indicate vote totals) or these 723 went 560 to Gregoire and 160 to Rossi. Given the fact that it is now clear that Democrats have difficulty engaging in the simple act of voting, perhaps these numbers are accurate, but they are certainly suspect.

Think also about this: "Democratic officials then contacted voters and asked them who they had voted for in the race for governor. If the answer was Ms. Gregoire, the voter was allowed to correct his or her signature and thus have their ballot counted." Do you want political parties calling your home and asking who you voted for? Would you trust them make it right? I would be highly suspicious if either party called me and claimed they were trying to validate my vote. Sidenote: I'm sure intimidation could never be a factor here, right? Remember when Republicans wanted to do nasty stuff like verify identification at polling places? Remember how intimidating it was suppposed to be to actually have to produce ID? Now we have people calling you at your home to verify your actual vote.

At that point, the state began a mandatory machine recount of all ballots. But in King County the recount went beyond running the ballots through the counting machines. Officials there "enhanced" some 300 votes that had been rejected by the machines, in some cases altering them with white-out or filling in the ovals on the optical scan ballots. Again, these additional ballots benefited Ms. Gregoire. In 38 of the state's 39 counties, only 208 net votes were added to either Mr. Rossi or Ms. Gregoire in the recount. Then came King County, which represents 30% of the state's votes. Ms. Gregoire, who won 58% of the overall King County vote, harvested a net gain of 245 votes--more than the changes in the rest of the state for both candidates combined[my emphasis]. At that point, with Mr. Rossi holding only a 42-vote lead, Democrats put up the money to pay for a third recount that would be conducted by hand, a process that most election observers, including those in charge of King County, view as less accurate than a machine count.
I guess you can make a case for filling in the ovals a little, but I'd prefer to have a disinterested machine determining votes. Altering them with white out? is that ensuring every vote is counted. That sounds like guessing which one of two bubbles the person "meant" to fill in and deleting the other. That is less "count every vote" than it is "pick up votes where ever possible."

On Dec. 7, more than a month after the election, King County said it had found 573 absentee ballots which had been rejected because they lacked or had improper signatures.
Missing signatures goes back to one of the fundimental issues: why bother having any voting laws at all. If the law says you must have a signature, then require a signature. Don't go back after the fact and change the law so that folks without signatures get a second chance. What about the 50% of folks who didn't vote at all? Do they get a second chance now that they know the outcome to go back and vote.

Improper signatures is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. Improper signatures sounds a lot like: someone else signed my name. There is a double problem there. First, vote fraud. Second, the 80-20 chance that the vote fraud selected the candidate you would have voted for had you gotten off your ass and voted. 80-20 because the idea that vote fraud is evenly divided between Ds and Rs is laughable.

In fact, the whole concept of Ds arguing R voting fraud is laughable. The D machine churns out untold numbers of illegal votes each election cycle as my wife's dead grandfather who to this day votes in Illinois can attest. Mayor Daley the elder bragged about being able to add 100,000 votes to the D column given two hours notice on election night. In 2000 the polls stayed open in downtown St. Louis hours after they closed in the county due to a court ruling. The next day it was discovered that the "man who filed the lawsuit" was in fact dead. And had been for a while.

On top of all this, the actual hand tabulation of the rest of the ballots in King County also saw a change in procedures midway through the count last week. Officials announced that they were overturning the policy of not counting ballots that had ovals filled in for both candidates ("over votes") and now would send these ballots to the canvassing board for final review. Officials said this represented no change in the rules, but the fact is that ballots are now being treated differently depending at what point in the recount they were examined.

So after all the other counties are counted, the most heavily democratic county gets to add in 10,000 votes, then gets to find another 723 votes after that, then gets to "enhance" 300 votes, then gets to add votes with "improper signatures", then gets to change the rules for counting votes.

But Dems in all seriousness talk about Republican bullying tactics and "GOP Want[ing] to Change the Rules". Priceless.


Blogger Tolles said...

"I do have a rooting interest, however, in the integrity of our voting procedures and the english language."

Step one is remembering to capitalize the "E" in "English."

Way to mention the Florida felon list, 2000 and 2004 editions. Although I see you did mention to get in a complaint about the 1960 election. Why not the 1876 election as well?

3:07 PM  
Blogger Max Power said...

OK, I corrected the E in English. Classic.

The rest of your comment flails wildly but doesn't hit the mark. "Way to mention the Florida felon list, 2000 and 2004 edition".

Well...first, I do say that electoral fraud is probably an 80-20 proposition which admits openly that Republicans do it too.

Second, Assume metaphysical ill will on behalf of Rs and pureness and light on behalf of Ds. The felon list doesn't change the 2004 results in FL. Since neither assumption is accurate, 2004 is fit only for moonbat conspiracy grievences.

Third, there were clear problems in 2000. Problems that very well could have thrown the election to Bush. You assume perfect ill will in that list. I assume 33% cheating, 67% bureaucratic incomptence. You assume all felons plus X number of non-felons were prevented from voting. I assume that the number of non-felons purged from the voting list was probably lower than the number of illegally cast votes in heavily democratic areas. So, yes, if you eliminate the felon purge problem but don't address any democratic chicanery, Gore would have won.

I don't get the next reference. I don't mention the 1960 election at all. I mention that Mayor Daley openly bragged about producing 100,000 fraudulent votes. That is in reference to the fact that Democrat machines in a lot of big cities turn out huge numbers of fraudulent votes. Period. Not in 1960. Every time. It also specifically references the fact that my wife's grandfather (who died in downstate IL in 1989) has "voted" in every election since then.

But since you brought up 1960, please remember that Nixon contemplated both a protracted legal conflict over the results and a scorched earth legislative strategy and turned both down, so Democrats should probably refrain from raising the issue.

What I find interesting about your comment is that you don't address AT ALL any of the issues of the post.

3:58 PM  

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