by Goldy, 12/19/2004, 12:55 AM

As my regular readers know, I have strong opinions, and express them passionately. Thus I take considerable care to get my facts straight before presenting them as such, for fear of later being made to look the fool.

So it is with some embarrassment that I must now admit that I have previously misspoken by referring to the 723 ballots as “erroneously rejected.” In fact, after considerable research and analysis, I have come to the conclusion that they were not actually rejected at all.

While I hope a King County election worker will correct me if I’m wrong, here is apparently what happened. During the original canvassing, those absentee ballots for which there was no signature on file in the computer, were set aside for later verification. They were not “rejected”, and they were not mixed in with the rejected ballots. They were sorted and segregated into separate trays, but due to some unexplained error, were locked into the cage with the rejected ballots, and forgotten.

This is borne out by the TV video of the 150 ballots being found, in the cage, in their own separate tray. And it also explains why none of these 723 voters received notice that their ballot had been rejected due to signature problems… because they were never rejected.

Thus King County Elections is not seeking to recanvass these ballots, but merely to complete the canvassing that was started during the first count, but never completed.

This is a subtle, but important distinction. To say that these ballots are being recanvassed, implies that the canvassing board is seeking to add more ballots to the count by overruling prior decisions — right or wrong — of delegated election workers. In fact, no decision as to the validity of the signatures on these ballots was ever made, erroneous or otherwise.

Unlike the 1500 absentee ballots that were rejected by election workers due to signature matching problems, the signatures on the “723″ were never examined… for there was nothing to compare them to. And unlike the infamous 22 ballots recently discovered in the bases of polling equipment, these are not newly found ballots.

The “723″ are ballots that were included in the canvass of the first count, but were not counted because their canvassing was never properly completed. They were not “rejected.” They are not “new.” Those that are determined to be valid were simply “miscounted.”

This is exactly the kind of error a recount is intended to catch.

139 Responses to “The 723 ballots are no rejects”

1. Goldy spews:

And before any of you start arguing “chain of custody”, again, I remind you that these ballots were stored in the security cage until rediscovered, and that to this day they remain sealed inside their tamperproof outer envelopes.

You want to attack my analysis, have at it. But why waste our time rehashing the tampering issue, when no evidence has been provided that these ballots have been tampered with in any way.

2. Matt spews:

I appreciate the more detailed explanation that King County has never communicated or yet to. Still absolutely sloppy on their part and reasonably questioned due to timing and margin. I hope witnesses answer truthfully and the court rules with honor.

3. Chuck spews:

I remind you that these ballots were stored in the security cage until rediscovered,>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Here we go again!

4. Bob from Boeing spews:

For those of us who have worked in large scale production, or have supervised our own employees, your suggestion matches the facts and common sense.

King County was inundatd by a flood of voter material. They still use paper ballots, hundreds of thousands of absentees- closing on a million items……..some poorly trained, overtired, grunts started to verify these bllots against records, wasn’t easily done, tossed them into the later – when I can cope with more time for working these- that box- and there they remained. Forgotten, unworked to completion…..and the big election counting show rolled on.

Now we need to correct those processing errors….finish the job.

On target Goldy…..

5. Brian Baker spews:

Your analysis seems plausible. However some of your conclusions do not. I take issue with your use of the term “miscounted”, when by your own analysis it follows that “not considered for counting” would be more appropriate. And yes, I would agree that the voters are being punished for the failings of elections officials. Also your comment: “This is exactly the kind of error a recount is intended to catch” is open to debate and doesn’t seem to be shared by the courts so far. My own view also shared by my progressive(I’m not) friends down here in the SF Bay Area, is that you really have a tie here. It’s unfortunate you apparently have no provision for a run-off election, because that’s what you need. The true margin of victory in this election is just too small to be ascertained with any reliable degree of confidence.

6. Josef spews:

Comment by Brian Baker— 12/19/04 @ 7:21 am

This is my solution to the runoff problem: Have the state legislature do something of significance and write a provision, retroactive to 2 November.

7. DCF spews:

Ah, now the Rossi supporters are posting from the point of view that their guy might loose.

8. Bob from Boeing spews:

Not a tie. Winner tke all, by one vote or ten thousnd. Sorry for the faint hearted.

There will not be a runoff. Not a part o Wasgington history or election law.

9. Bob from Boeing spews:

I am greatly afraid the Rossi voters may suffering acute psychological trauma. Quite sriously. Their investment in this man is almost Messiah like. He is cast aa a savior, giant killer, many other quotes.

Old fashioned partisian politics between two spirited groups has faded into the rhetoric of the church and myth.

Rossi with only a 50 vote margin, looks like toast. If even y a small margin. I really do wonder if some of the Rossi folk need som psychological help in geting back to everyday life.

The same words are never assigned to any democrat. Historically to FDR in life, JFK in death.

10. bj spews:

The run-off idea is obviously just a further step in the repubs game plan, figuring they’d win that way — by getting most of the Libertarian votes, and after poisoning public opinion for two months now about Christine’s “malicious intents”. (By the way, it’s funny how there’s no issue about Dino’s malicious intents. The dems haven’t been attacking him, they’ve been attacking Chris Vance, who’s taken all the heat…)

11. Josef spews:

You know, now you’re questioning my intentions. And I don’t appreciate it. When Rossi was ahead by hundreds of votes, I called for a runoff and I did NOT need Ralph Munro to think for me!

Look, if you guys were smart you’d urge the State Dems in the legislature to pass one as their first piece of legislation either way – doubly so if Gov’r-elect Rossi becomes Governor. That’s what I see happening.

Josef

P.S. Rossi is the “messiah” to those whom have been bullied by the kleptocracy and sought the AG to protect them – and gotten otherwise. Like the children under DSHS’ care. Like yours truly trying to defend my right to tape a completely open board meeting. Like the Evergreen Freedom Foundation and the Seattle Weekly trying to get documents regarding the 7E7 deal from the state. I could go on…

Now you know. Maybe some of you should realize how some of us rightfully percieve Gov’r-elect Rossi is our last hope…

12. Mark spews:

King County’s imcompetence shouldn’t bend the rules after all deadlines are exhausted. Those votes are out, as wisely barred by a Judge. Just because K.C. is a buncha fuck-ups, dosen’t mean the rest of us are. Kind of funny how the only county out of 31 that just suppossedly “found” 700 plus votes. Could it be because it is the biggest Washington State Dems stronghold? Hhhhhmmmm…..

13. gb spews:

Josef – that is utter blather. All of us have had run ins with bureaucratic hooey. All of us. It is a statistical commonality in this urban, complicted society that we call the modern world.

You think some politician has done you personal wrong. Not true. You think IT IS HER FAULt, it is’t. You are coming unglued, and need to work through some of this angst.

Most systems work fairly well, then the screw up. Some problems are just ingrained in the system.

Sorry to tell you DSHS has been makng mistakes for 40 years. Make fewer now than ever, more staff, bettter training. IT IS NOT HER FAULT…..in the sense you use the phrase.

Tim Eymen whose bullshit was voted down in my county appealed to the same frustration you expound. Destroy Govt. — it takes our money and things are not perfect……even if I go to work everyday on a newly paved road and he schools are good where my kids go, and hey bought a new and expensive fire truck last year to maybe save my home and family….on and on.

In all my years I have never herd any Democrat call any political leader Messiah. Never.

Last hope for what? A state job? Democrats control the legislature- you could at best hope for mostly very partisian stalemate, and in the end Rossi would have looked like the do nothing Gov. number 6.

Just take it easy. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Rosi still has a future, maybe

14. Josef spews:

Comment by gb— 12/19/04 @ 10:01 am

GB: Are you a Gregoire campaign member? Me, I’m one of the mediumshot Rossi campaign volunteers…

Also, please note I put your word “messiah” in quotation marks again

Okay, that outta the way – Gregoire could do the following:

a) Demand, in writing, that DSHS cooperate with the State Auditor and toughen the reigns on that organization as AG-elect McKenna will…
b) Told her Assistant Attorney Generals to behave and stop making excuses for community college trustees whom think it’s okay to bully…
c) Gregoire could stop obstructing access to documents about the 7E7 with a wink, a nod and/or a phone call or e-mail… instead, she files arguments in court to rip up the public disclosure act
b) I forgot to mention this, but as State AG, Gregoire could have brought suit against the Marysville Education Association (MEA) and the Marysville School District to stop the epic 2003 strike – but NNNOOO, HER LOYALTY IS TO THE WRONG PEOPLE AT THE WRONG TIME AT THE WRONG PLACE!

Put bluntly: You are an apologist for the wrong side. Stop making excuses and reveal whether or not you are w/ the Gregoire campaign.

Josef

P.S. I do not think Eyman is the solution!

15. Josef spews:

Comment by Mark— 12/19/04 @ 9:44 am

It’s 39, but otherwise I have the same concerns. I would like to see Rossi win, a Democrat legislature impose a runoff and a loophole for these kind of continencies and us to move forward and get excited about another gubernatorial election!

16. Brent spews:

Mark, first of all there are 39 counties in Washington state. Secondly, those votes were not “supposedly found”, they were retrieved by elections workers in front of observers from the state Republican party, the state Democratic party and the media. Furthermore, the state Republican party’s mantra this entire recount has been “Don’t change the rules as you go along!” and you have just stated that allowing these 723 votes to be counted would be bending the rules. In fact, quite the opposite is the case. The state supreme court ruled that county canvassing boards are not required to re-canvass votes. However, during the case the justices were nice enough to point to state law where it states that if discrepancies and mistakes are brought to the attention of a county canvassing board, it has the legal right to decide to re-canvass. In addition, state law states that the decisions of canvassing boards cannot be challenged during a recount. However, in the case of these 723 votes, no decision was made as to their validity by either the county canvassing board or low-level elections workers. They had two piles of absentee ballots: ballots whose signature matches the one on file and therefore are valid, and ballots whose signature does not match the one on file and therefore are invalid. The 723 ballots in question were not placed in either pile. Instead, they were placed in their own pile inside the secure cage of rejected ballots. These signatures were neither accepted nor rejected because the signatures were neither a match nor a mismatch – there was no signature to cross-check. Since the ballots were not disqualified, the voters never received a letter informing them that their signature did not match and that they should contact the county elections board to address the issue. Voters whose ballots were rejected due to signature mismatches did, however, receive such a letter. State law clearly states that a county canvassing board can make the decision to re-canvass votes if it finds errors or discrepancies during a recount. In the case of these 723 votes, however, the process of canvassing them was never completed and therefore when they are canvassed it will be for the first time, not a re-canvass, which the state supreme court pointed out is perfectly legal anyway. Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican, I might add, was King County’s expert witness in the court case on Friday. Apparently the judge in the case was a newbie, judging from the fact that she couldn’t even properly interpret the Supreme Court’s ruling. Their ruling was that county canvassing boards will not be forced to re-canvass votes, not that county canvassing boards do not have the right to decide to re-canvass votes. Since they pointed out that state law allows for re-canvassing at the canvassing board’s discretion, and Secretary of State Sam Reed is King County’s expert witness, it is clear that the state Supreme Court will soon overturn Friday’s decision and will allow all of those 723 ballots to be canvassed, for the first time, in full view of observers from the state Republican party, the state Democratic party and the media. After these votes are canvassed, the legitimate votes will be counted and added to the total. Gregoire may or may not gain enough net votes during the manual recount to win without the 723 votes, but after the 723 votes are added, Gregoire will win the manual recount, the results will be certified by the Secretary of State and she will become governor-elect. Then we will see if the Republicans live up to their mantras of “Don’t change the rules as you go along!” and “Don’t drag this out with legal challenges!”.

17. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Boeing Bob: “I am greatly afraid the Rossi voters may suffering acute psychological trauma. Quite sriously. Their investment in this man is almost Messiah like. He is cast aa a savior, giant killer, many other quotes.”

So where’s the angst filled commentary about WHY ChrissyMissy didn’t sweep the state a la Mama Murray? Where’s the deep thought figuing out why she lost the black voters? How about the creative self analysis to discover why Kerry got 55% of the vote and she could barely muster 50% Could it possibly be that VOTERS REJECTED her ideas? You creative math libs are too funny – when Rossi wins TWICE (third time pending, discounting more outright Logan vote “finding”) by 261 and 42 respectively its a ‘tie”, but let ChrissyMissy go up by one and it’s a landslide! Now I know your governmnet schools all teach you kiddies that there is no A or F, there is no right or wrong and “YOU are ALL winners today!” (repeat ofter me now kiddies, “Yes beloved socialist teacher”) but in the REAL world there are winners and there are losers and being 261 votes down, being 42 votes down BEING 1 VOTE DOWN means you lost. One number off and you don’t get to take home the Lotto. One touchdown less and the Huskies leave the Apple cup losers – no do-overs, no reviewing, no appealing to the refs, no creative point tabulation: ONE winner and ONE loser – surely this concept is not that difficult to grasp… even for those of you indoctrinated (read brainwashed for the obtuse) by government schools.

18. Josef spews:

Comment by Brent— 12/19/04 @ 10:34 am

I watched the hearing on NWCN and the SecState was nowhere to be seen…

Also, if he was the expert witness – no doubt in my mind that the Dems would win.

19. Robin spews:

Rossi and Vance ought to get one of those mechanical signature things that Rummy uses and send letters to the 723 fellow countryman they are trying to disenfranchise. “Sorry we can’t allow your ballot to count because of the past voter trends in King County are not favorable to Republicans, we would however, have no objection if you lived in say Benton County.”

20. jcricket spews:

Goldy – excellent analysis. One definitely worthy of a lawyer (unlike most, I’m not a lawyer-hater). Perhaps you should get this in one of the papers?

21. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Boeing Bob: “I am greatly afraid the Rossi voters may suffering acute psychological trauma. Quite sriously. Their investment in this man is almost Messiah like. He is cast aa a savior, giant killer, many other quotes.”

So where’s the angst filled commentary about WHY ChrissyMissy didn’t sweep the state a la Mama Murray? Where’s the deep thought figuing out why she lost the black voters? How about the creative self analysis to discover why Kerry got 55% of the vote and she could barely muster 50%? Could it possibly be that VOTERS REJECTED her ideas? You creative math libs are too funny – when Rossi wins TWICE (third time pending, discounting more outright Logan vote “finding”) by 261 and 42 respectively its a ‘tie”, but let ChrissyMissy go up by one and it’s a landslide! Now I know your government schools all teach you kiddies that there is no A or F, there is no right or wrong and “YOU are ALL winners today!” (repeat ofter me now kiddies, “Yes beloved socialist teacher”) but in the REAL world there are winners and there are losers and being 261 votes down, being 42 votes down BEING 1 VOTE DOWN means you lost. One number off and you don’t get to take home the Lotto. One touchdown less and the Hushkies leave the Apple cup losers – no do-overs, no reviewing, no appealing to the refs, no creative point tabulation: ONE winner and ONE loser – surely this concept is not that difficult to grasp…even for those of you indoctrinated (read brainwashed for the obtuse) by government schools.

22. jcricket spews:

Oh – and I wanted to add that an excellent article in the PI yesterday pointed out that despite all the “sky is falling” commentary about how voters will take to the streets, it’s not gonna happen. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and people were all up in arms about Florida, and then he gets to pass a huge tax increase just months later.

If Gregoire wins (with or without the 723) there will be teeth-gnashing on the right, and then everyone will forget about all the wailing and moaning and go about their lives.

23. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Boeing Bob: “I am greatly afraid the Rossi voters may suffering acute psychological trauma. Quite sriously. Their investment in this man is almost Messiah like. He is cast aa a savior, giant killer, many other quotes.”

So where’s the angst filled commentary about WHY ChrissyMissy didn’t sweep the state a la Mama Murray? Where’s the deep thought figuing out why she lost the black voters? How about the creative self analysis to discover why Kerry got 55% of the vote and she could barely muster 50%? Could it possibly be that VOTERS REJECTED her ideas? You creative math libs are too funny – when Rossi wins TWICE (third time pending, discounting more outright Logan vote “finding”) by 261 and 42 respectively its a ‘tie”, but let ChrissyMissy go up by one and it’s a landslide! Now I know your government schools all teach you kiddies that there is no A or F, there is no right or wrong and “YOU are ALL winners today!” (repeat ofter me now kiddies, “Yes beloved socialist teacher”) but in the REAL world there are winners and there are losers and being 261 votes down, being 42 votes down BEING 1 VOTE DOWN means you lost. One number off and you don’t get to take home the Lotto. One touchdown less and the Hushkies leave the Apple cup losers – no do-overs, no reviewing, no appealing to the refs, no creative point tabulation: ONE winner and ONE loser – surely this concept is not that difficult to grasp…even for those of you indoctrinated (read brainwashed for the obtuse) by government schools.

24. Brent spews:

I misspoke. Sam Reed is taking part in the appeal to the Supreme Court. I read the scanned notice of appeal which I found on Northwest Cable News’ web site. The notice of appeal to the Supreme Court lists as the Plaintiffs the Washington State Republican party, as the Defendants King County and as the Intervener Defendants the Washington State Democratic Central Committee and Secretary of State Sam Reed.

25. Josef spews:

Comment by Robin— 12/19/04 @ 10:55 am

What a pile of BRAVO SIERRA. That’s not what this is about. This is about ensuring fairness and equity for ALL ballots. For you to continously target Dino Rossi for the mistakes of King County Elections is absolute ignorance. Even Chris Vance, the person who is hated by 99% of this beautiful blog’s viewers, says that if a chain of custody can be proven – then they should be counted.

Look, King County Elections – NOT Rossi – is breaking the law!

26. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

jiminy: “Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and people were all up in arms about Florida, and then he gets to pass a huge tax increase just months later.”
He won the electoral college – you know, the only one that actually matters. And he didn’t pass ANYTHING – Congress did. And it was a tax DECREASE not increase.

27. gb spews:

Josef – his attoney was there as an intervener. Same attorney the Sec. of State used in the first Supremes hearing First ruling of the judge to that oral motion to intervene- “granted”…

Yes, he was the only expert withness. That Judge is not too bright.

In fairness to this sort of situation….. taking sides with the polar opposite partisan parties and ignoring the more neutreal and more expert view of the Sec of State was abusrd. Of course, it is only Sam Reed, why should the R’ not walk all over him if they need to?

Bad decision….supid, confused Judge, get her off the bench before she does more horrible decisions. Send her to traffice tickets…….just horrible hearing.

28. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Boeing Bob: “I am greatly afraid the Rossi voters may suffering acute psychological trauma. Quite sriously. Their investment in this man is almost Messiah like. He is cast aa a savior, giant killer, many other quotes.”

So where’s the angst filled commentary about WHY ChrissyMissy didn’t sweep the state a la Mama Murray? Where’s the deep thought figuing out why she lost the black voters? How about the creative self analysis to discover why Kerry got 55% of the vote and she could barely muster 50%? Could it possibly be that VOTERS REJECTED her ideas? You creative math libs are too funny – when Rossi wins TWICE (third time pending, discounting more outright Logan vote “finding”) by 261 and 42 respectively its a ‘tie”, but let ChrissyMissy go up by one and it’s a landslide! Now I know your government schools all teach you kiddies that there is no A or F, there is no right or wrong and “YOU are ALL winners today!” (repeat ofter me now kiddies, “Yes beloved socialist teacher”) but in the REAL world there are winners and there are losers and being 261 votes down, being 42 votes down BEING 1 VOTE DOWN means you lost. One number off and you don’t get to take home the Lotto. One touchdown less and the Hushkies leave the Apple cup losers – no do-overs, no reviewing, no appealing to the refs, no creative point tabulation: ONE winner and ONE loser – surely this concept is not that difficult to grasp…even for those of you indoctrinated (read brainwashed for the obtuse) by government schools.

29. Josef spews:

Comment by jcricket— 12/19/04 @ 11:18 am

Okay, quick question: How did Bush “gets to pass a huge tax increase just months later”? Since when has Bush passed tax increases? He’s just as anti-government, right wing, fascist as Tim LIE-MAN. At least Dino Rossi believes in gov’t reform and in cleaning house – NOT rigging the house with dynamite!

30. Josef spews:

Gb – since you cannot spell or refute my earlier posting, consider yourself ignored. Maybe you’re Mr. Cynical in another guise!

31. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Well, well, well! ‘Censorship R Us’ here with those fearless defenders of free speech (see me roll my eyes). I guess it’s true, the only speech you consider free is that which you want to hear or with which you agree – how perfectly telling!

32. Josef spews:

Comment by ThinkerInSeattle— 12/19/04 @ 11:29 am

NOT ME. I just want some decency. You’re next on my “ignore” list. Call me a “babe” again and I’ll do just that… Maybe you too can be another Gregoire spokesperson!

33. gb spews:

Joseph – NO, not a staffer. Did not even donate to her campaign. I am a strong democrat and I think she will be a fireball gov……her personal style is just what we need to get focused on problem solving and out of the Locke Doldrums.

Rossi is a far righ stooge in smiley cloak. The media called him calm and cool. In fact he was rather stupid in a lot of ways. Replies in debates like ” I am not campaigning on that issue”, or I am not commenting on the initiatives because they don’t interest me….and got away with it. Funniest campaing plans I have ever heard. “Not campainging on that issue”…..Carl Rove style book.

34. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Josef: “I just want some decency.”
Right. That comes through so clearly with your foul language and invectives.

35. Brent spews:

gb, thanks for clearing that up. I guess I didn’t misspeak. He was the only expert witness at the trial, he’s a Republican and he sides with King County and the Washington State Democratic Central Committee. He’s also named as supporting them in their appeal to the Supreme Court. I was wrong for calling Sam Reed a partisan hack earlier. He’s not after all. During the recent case, the Supreme Court pointed to the part of state law where it states that canvassing boards are allowed to re-canvass if they decide to based on inaccuracies and mistakes which are brought to their attention during a recount. It is clear that the Supreme Court will side with King County, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee and Secretary of State Sam Reed and allow the 723 ballots to be canvassed for the first time, in plain view of observers from the state Republican party, the state Democratic party and the media. All King County has to do is return a net gain of 51 votes or more for Gregoire and she will be our next governor. It’s all over but the shouting.

36. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Boeing Bob: “I am greatly afraid the Rossi voters may suffering acute psychological trauma. Quite sriously. Their investment in this man is almost Messiah like. He is cast aa a savior, giant killer, many other quotes.”

So where’s the angst filled commentary about WHY ChrissyMissy didn’t sweep the state a la Mama Murray? Where’s the deep thought figuing out why she lost the black voters? How about the creative self analysis to discover why Kerry got 55% of the vote and she could barely muster 50%? Could it possibly be that VOTERS REJECTED her ideas? You creative math libs are too funny – when Rossi wins TWICE (third time pending, discounting more outright Logan vote “finding”) by 261 and 42 respectively its a ‘tie”, but let ChrissyMissy go up by one and it’s a landslide! Now I know your government schools all teach you kiddies that there is no A or F, there is no right or wrong and “YOU are ALL winners today!” (repeat ofter me now kiddies, “Yes beloved socialist teacher”) but in the REAL world there are winners and there are losers and being 261 votes down, being 42 votes down BEING 1 VOTE DOWN means you lost. One number off and you don’t get to take home the Lotto. One touchdown less and the Huskies leave the Apple cup losers – no do-overs, no reviewing, no appealing to the refs, no creative point tabulation: ONE winner and ONE loser – surely this concept is not that difficult to grasp…even for those of you indoctrinated (read brainwashed for the obtuse) by government schools.

37. gb spews:

Josef – since those who cannot keyboard well and make spelling misakes at not at your level – well Joe, I could give a shit.

You seem teribly confused abou your politics. That is not my problem. And your rhetoric is exacrly wht Timmie Eyman feeds on…..the sense that got. provides nothing and we can go back to log cabins with our guns and defend ourselves against the evil tax collectors.

It is like TV- don’t like my posts, turn the dial.

38. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

gb – you’re one of the annointed ones! See, you’re posts actually get through.

39. Brent spews:

ThinkerInSeattle, did the post to which you refer contain a link? At the bottom of the page it states, “(NOTE: due to recent blog spam attacks, comments containing links and certain keywords may be held for approval.)”

40. Robin spews:

Josef,
It’s a pathetic attempt on the part of Vance/Rossi to disenfranchise 723 legal ballots, belonging to citizens of King County. Pure ugly politcs, nothing else.

41. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Nope no link Brent – And I can’t imagine what ‘keyword” would trigger the censorship in as much as I don’t resort to foul language (which clearly is deemed acceptable). I believe it was because the post was heavy on facts and laden with sarcasm. Perhaps next time I will preface my posts with a disclaimer: ‘Caution: This post contains concentrated sarcasm, which may cause children to pass out, and strong adults to weep.’

42. Josef spews:

Comment by Robin— 12/19/04 @ 11:54 am

You said it – “legal ballots”! The law is clear on two points:

#1. Ballots CANNOT be added after certification
#2. Ballot security – there are serious questions about how some of these ballots were found in the first place… The proof of 100 percent ballot security lies on King County Elections Department – not on the WSRP to prove ballot tampering! Read what I posted a few threads back under “GOP Complaint”!

I could be wrong – that’s for eight or nine State Supremes to decide. But I highly doubt it…

43. gb spews:

Brent – one the same page. The howls of the R’s is just the only game they can play to keep Gegoire on the defensive. I am sure they were convinced that the Rossi Counties would send back bigger margins…..a nice 200-300 cushion. Now, they are on the brink, and their strategy is to confuse and howl and accuse and sue.

Won’t work. –but Gregoire may win by a very small margin of less than 100.

Since the Rossi lead is only 50 votes. and only the King count out…..she also may win without any disputed ballots.

You are correct in that the Supremes talked about the correction valve that allows canvassing boards to correct errors. I think it was the reason they proceed no farther, system already can self correct for error, we’ll keep out, no need to push anybody around. System esentially functioning.

See if they back up the prior talk. I have less faith in courts now—but still optomistic

44. gb spews:

Thinker- I don’t believe incarnte Golda locks anybody out

45. Josef spews:

Comment by Robin— 12/19/04 @ 11:54 am

That said, I am sad about this. I am really pissed about the certification rule, and I’d like to see it changed before the runoff.

That said, I have a suggestion: Why not, on a voluntary basis give voter registration your fingerprint so that if your signature is challenged, they can use your fingerprint to verify it’s you?

46. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Well, I’ve certainly tried with one comment this morning and it certainly has not shown up, so I guess I beg to differ on that point Brent. Any clues to be has as to what these “certain keywords” may be?

47. Brent spews:

gb, we have nothing to worry about. The state Supreme Court isn’t a group of amateurs or partisan hacks. The judge in the case on Friday was obviously either an amateur or a partisan hack. The Secretary of State’s position was upheld by the court in the first case and it will be upheld in this case as well. I’ve pointed to state law, the findings and rulings of the state Supreme Court and the positions of the Secretary of State. I encourage anyone to attempt to refute this evidence and attempt to present evidence of your own to help prove your position. All the paranoid conspiracy theories have gotten quite old. If you know of evidence of fraud, by all means, please present it. However, if you have no evidence of fraud, stop concocting mindless, unfounded conspiracy theories about Democrats trying to steal the election. Randomly calling people names and whining about how you’re going to stop paying taxes because your candidate got less valid votes doesn’t help your case. All you Rossi supporters need to grow up and learn to deal with the cold, hard reality that it’s all over for your guy.

48. Brent spews:

Thinker, e-mail Goldy and ask him what happened to that post. His e-mail address is on this site.

49. Brent spews:

Josef, why would it be bad to let the government scan your fingerprints? Hmm? You can’t quite figure out that one? You need to read 1984, Fahrenheit 451 and THX-1138 and decide if that’s the kind of world in which you wish to live.

50. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

The judge in the case Friday was a Locke appointee in 1999 – so according to your standards we can thank him for appointing incompetants or she is so darn clever she convinced him she was on his side when she wasn’t. So which is it Locke incompetance or conspiratorial partisanship?

51. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Thanks Brent – I suspect it’s that vile, horrible, ugly word ‘soci*list’. I’ll know if this gets through.

52. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Trying yet again, albeit with less relevance now…
Adding the DISCLAIMER…CAUTION: This post contains concentrated sarcasm, which may cause children to pass out, and strong adults to weep.
Boeing Bob: “I am greatly afraid the Rossi voters may suffering acute psychological trauma. Quite sriously. Their investment in this man is almost Messiah like. He is cast aa a savior, giant killer, many other quotes.”

So where’s the angst filled commentary about WHY ChrissyMissy didn’t sweep the state a la Mama Murray? Where’s the deep thought figuing out why she lost the black voters? How about the creative self analysis to discover why Kerry got 55% of the vote and she could barely muster 50%? Could it possibly be that VOTERS REJECTED her ideas? You creative math libs are too funny – when Rossi wins TWICE (third time pending, discounting more outright Logan vote “finding”) by 261 and 42 respectively its a ‘tie”, but let ChrissyMissy go up by one and it’s a landslide! Now I know your government schools all teach you kiddies that there is no A or F, there is no right or wrong and “YOU are ALL winners today!” (repeat after me now kiddies, “Yes beloved Soci*list teacher”) but in the REAL world there are winners and there are losers and being 261 votes down, being 42 votes down BEING 1 VOTE DOWN means you lost. One number off and you don’t get to take home the Lotto. One touchdown less and the Huskies leave the Apple cup losers – no do-overs, no reviewing, no appealing to the refs, no creative point tabulation: ONE winner and ONE loser – surely this concept is not that difficult to grasp…even for those of you indoctrinated (read brainwashed for the obtuse) by government schools.

53. Josef spews:

Comment by Brent— 12/19/04 @ 12:25 pm

I said voluntary and let me add this proviso: ONLY if the signature cannot be matched!

Also, as to your earlier post: A-gain, the burden of proof is on King County Elections. I do NOT know of any smoking guns – but I wonder what you’d say if it was SPOKANE or SKAGIT County Elections?!?

Comment by ThinkerInSeattle— 12/19/04 @ 12:38 pm

Nice to see you join the side of reason. Welcome into the fold. Now, tone it down a bit. And don’t go after Goldy too hard.

Also, I am a VP in a nonprofit that’s against Eyman because I believe Eyman has done more damage with his MOABs and atom bombs than good. Moreover, I believe gov’t has given me a darned good education and as I said in an earlier thread – good roads and a good standard of living. I just believe in accountability in state gov’t. Gregoire (and her apologist gb) do not.

54. gb spews:

Just a reminder when Democrats and other political folks expect R’s and their collaborateurs to be sensible.

The R’ party in this state went hard core right going on 15 years ago and is even more hard core this season. They nominated Ellen Craswell and John Carlson in the two past elections

Locked Dapper Dan Evans out of the R’ convention, fine ex. Republican Gov.- because the State of Wahington Republican Party was commited to Pat Robertson….TV evangelist running for Pres…. YES, I did not make that up.

So today it is asking too much that they make sense. They have not made sense in 20 years. Not my problem……but they are far right and speeding onward undaunted….
They did drop the clause about opposing witches out of the R platform, after much debate and very divided vote. YES, not making this up.

Thank some god or another……and the Dems….or we would be finishing the second term of the Ellen Crasswell 8 years as Governor. Horror to even think about the possibility.

55. Brent spews:

Gary Locke’s family is Republican and he was a Republican until he realized he’d never get anywhere in politics in this state as a Republican so he decided to call himself a Democrat. He forced us to pay for the baseball stadium after we told him we didn’t want to. I’ve never liked Gary Locke. I’ve simply tolerated him. Now Christine Gregoire will have to prove herself worthy of my support. We’ll see what she gets done during her first 100 days in office.

56. gb spews:

Thinker – hah, hah, hah…grunt, chuckle, fart and, hah, hah, hah some more. Can”t stop. …very good for my mental health.

57. Brent spews:

The burden of proof is not on the King County elections officials. The ballots were kept in a secure, locked cage with guards and video cameras everywhere. If you believe that this is not what happened, the burden of proof is on you. It’s not like they found these ballots just sitting around. They were retrieved from the locked, secure, guarded and video recorded cage by elections officials under close scrutiny by observers from the state Republican party, the state Democratic party and the media. If something happened to those ballots from the time they were received to the time they were discovered in the locked, guarded cage, you’re going to have to prove it. Where’s the videotape or witness of some Democratic conspirator tampering with the ballots?

58. Josef spews:

Comment by Brent— 12/19/04 @ 1:02 pm

This is not what I have heard. Had King County submitted that information last Friday, I doubt seriously the Pierce County judge would have thrown out the case. Go back a couple of posts and look for “GOP Complaint” – I, or more accurately, the complaint quotes the applicable law and judicial decisions.

59. Josef spews:

Comment by gb— 12/19/04 @ 12:47 pm

I’ll reply to this one and say I barely supported Rossi. He’s not a far-right-wing whack and is going to be held in check by the state legislature and the initiative process.

60. Josef spews:

Barely because the alternative was too dangerous…

I personally have concerns about his glib answers, but Gregoire’s just as bad.

61. jcricket spews:

King County has met the burden of proof, imho (as Brent pointed out). There’s been nothing specific leveled against them beyond aspersions and accusations.

And yes, I meant tax decrease (not increase) when I was referring to Bush. My point (if you read the article on the PI it will be clear) is that despite Bush losing the popular vote and lots of people calling his victory “stealing”, the country quickly got back to business-as-usual and Bush was able to push his tax cuts through congress. People weren’t rioting in the streets, and the average citizen didn’t believe Bush “stole the election”.

The same thing will happen here if Gregoire wins. The far-righters will wail and moan, but the average person will quickly just get back to their regular lives. They won’t think Gregoire “stole” anything, despite your fervent desire for them to do so. They have better things to do with their time.

Besides, a plurality of people (63%) want those votes to be counted and don’t have the problems with the hand recount that those of you here who support Rossi do. The average citizen is just fine with the waiting.

62. Robin spews:

Good thing Clinton didn’t make some stop over in Seattle as he would have been a great target in the tampering conspiracy.

63. Sue spews:

One of the rejected ballots is that of a friend of mine. He tells me he is a “perfect voter,” followed all instructions filling out his ballot, and, wanting to make sure his vote would be counted, dropped it off at the polling place instead of putting it in the mail. He has not told me who he voted for. Does that sound like fraud?

64. jcricket spews:

By the way – the real truth at the heart of this matter is that Democrats want the votes counted because they believe this will swing the election there way. And on the other side, the Republicans don’t want the votes counted because they are afraid (or know) that it will swing the election to Gregoire.

Behind that each side uses reasoning they think is the most compelling (legally or PR-wise). I happen to believe the Democrats’ case (valid secure votes improperly set aside, use their legal discretion to correct the clerical error) is more compelling. Some people here believe the Republicans’ case (invalid insecure votes not to be recanvassed) is more compelling. But let’s not kid ourselves – fundamentally we’re each more likely to believe evidence that supports the eventual election of our chosen candidate. It’s called “confirmation bias”, and along with its sister “subjective validation”, most of us are guilty of it.

Nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s why we’re not out there judging the validity of the claims. If the judges do their job, they’ll ground their verdict well by examining the evidence and the statutes. But unlike some Republicans, I don’t go around accusing judges of being “activists” for making rulings that interpret the law or clarify how the law applies in specific (new) situations – that’s their job.

65. Brent spews:

You said the Secretary of State wasn’t supporting King County in the case, and if he were their expert witness the Democrats would have won. Well, not only was he King County’s expert witness, he was the only expert witness, and he was completely ignored by the judge, who misinterpreted the Supreme Court’s ruling as stating that county canvassing boards cannot re-canvass during a recount, when in reality their ruling clearly stated that no county canvassing boards should be forced to re-canvass if they do not wish to do so. She didn’t even notice that the Supreme Court pointed out that county canvassing boards CAN re-canvass if they wish to do so. You need to read the appeal documents on the Northwest Cable News site. Read what she wrote, see who are all the parties involved in the appeal and then go back and read the Supreme Court’s ruling. It is certain that the Supreme Court will allow the 723 votes to be counted and added to the total, and it is also certain that the results of the manual hand recount, as certified by Secretary of State Sam Reed, will change the outcome of the election.

66. Goldy spews:

Thingie… Loyal readers know I am an Eagle’s fan, and thus I was out eating breakfast at a bar this morning. Loyal readers have also read the fine print that says that some comments may be automatically held for my approval, as a ward against blog spammers. So no more accusations of censorship.

Oh, and Thingie… if you think I’m such a “babe”, perhaps you’d like to ask me out on a date? Though I’m guessing my hairy legs and scruffy goatee might be a bit of a turnoff… not to mention my penis.

67. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

I doubt my husband would appreciate it babe and I prefer my men clean and unscruffed. Thanks for the offer though. Perhaps you should start a Screenname bastardization thread Golda… Moldy… Toady… endless possibilities for amusement there. Smooches!

68. Josef spews:

Folks, you have not read the GOP documents – I have. The mainstream media, in a blatant and biased attempt to withold documents is not hosting the GOP litigation docs at the moment. Google for “Pull on Superman’s Cape” when you come back from your rally. You’ll find the GOP documents noting lack of ballot security by SWORN statements that if perjured can result in a nice long stay at Walla Walla…

I frankly believe also that the law is clear on this, too: NO BALLOTS AFTER CERTIFICATION. But I’m not a Supreme Court Justice…

Odds are, if ballot security can be proven – then I’ll accept the Supremes’ ruling. I said odds.

And you need to stop blaming the Republicans – we Rossifarians are doing what you Gregocrats would if this was Skagit County or Spokane County and you know it, I know it and all the readers of this cool blog know it. And I would support you 110 percent, for… ballot security matters. One more time: Sue King County Elections Department for losing your ballot… you’ll get a revote. That is a position I have held before Ralph Munro shot his mouth off – and Goldy knows this.

69. Josef spews:

Comment by ThinkerInSeattle— 12/19/04 @ 2:14 pm

Okay, are you Kristin Brost? She’s single, bombthrowing and incredibly passionate from all reports and from what I’ve seen. Had to ask…

70. ThinkerInSeattle spews:

Nope Josef, as I said I haven’t a clue who that may be. And, as I explained to jiminy elsewhere, I’m a 50 something Mom from unincorporated S Kiev County, married (to the same man) for 25 years with 3 sons, one in high school (private tyvm so you can benefit from my tax dollars in the government schools) one about to graduate from WSU (bought and paid for with NO student loans) and one about to graduate from law school in NH. Nary a tattoo, piercing, unwed/unexpected pregnancy, arrest or Koolaid drinker among them.

71. jcricket spews:

BTW, you do realize that despite the fact that you “paid for” WSU with no student loans the education is subsidized for state residents, with your tax money. If you’d like to take the tax money away, would you be happy to pay the $25,000+ private tuition fee?

Also, since when are student loans a bad thing? People pay those back themselves with interest.

72. Jim King spews:

Folks- there was no expert witness at the hearing on Friday- nothing but attorneys, It was NOT a trial- it was a preliminary hearing.

Counsel for the Secretary of State is NOT an expert witness, was NOT qualified as an expert wintness, and did NOT provide expert testimony.

The judgeis neither a partisan hack, nor incompetent. She has presided very competently over some of the major and complicated trials in Pierce County in recent years, and receives high marks from the bar, the prosecutors, and the public defenders.

She took a very literal interpretation of RCW 29A.60.210. Her reading of that section is NOT unreasonable- it is based on a recanvass being allowed “Whenever the canvassing board finds that there is an apparent discrepancy or an inconsistency in the returns of a primary or election”- the key issue being the definition of “the return”. The judge viewed this as being the totalled data, so that an apparent discrepancy oran inconsistency” would be something like having a total of 253 votes when there were only 250 ballots, or some such error.

A very literal and narrow reading of the law, but not one worthy of the invective being hurled. Before proceeding further, people may want to see what the WACs have to say on these issues- WAC 434-262-050 is particularly on point.

The Supreme Court took a very literal and narrow view of matters in their previous ruling. There seemed at that time to be an assumption that the Court’s ruling would allow the inclusion of the disputed votes, under the safety valve of RCW 29A.60.210, but there was very little information on the disputed votes at the time of the hearing last Monday, and very little review of RCW 29A.60.210 by the State Supreme Court. It will be interesting to see how the justices rule, but it would not appear to be a slam dunk for either side.

73. Brent spews:

What is happening in King County happens in every large county which is responsible enough to admit it made mistakes and correct those mistakes. Elections officials in red counties candidly admitted that they didn’t even bother to do their job of checking signatures. Mistakes have been brought to the attention of county canvassing boards who have decided to ignore them and not re-canvass. The Democrats sued to try to force them to do their jobs, but the Supreme Court blocked their effort. So the issue of security in red counties has already been addressed by Democrats. This happens in every large county during a recount. It’s only the responsible counties who catch their mistakes and fix them in time. I’ve read the Republicans’ complaints and they are completely unfounded. They are making a huge deal over a normal process which has already happened in King and other counties during this election. The only reason they sued is because they know that Rossi is going to lose this recount and there is nothing that they can do to prevent it. They are only trying to prolong the agony. The state Republican party would be smart to realize that the best way to remove a band-aid is to just tear it off instead of pulling out each and every hair slowly. If the Republicans’ audacious claims have a shred of validity, I’m sure the Supreme Court will take it into consideration. If not, it’s quite obvious how they will vote. King county secures its ballots better than any other county in this state. The Republicans have a huge burden of proof and they will have to present it to the Supreme Court. Sam Reed believes these valid, secure, accounted-for ballots should be canvassed and counted. And they will be. And Gregoire will win. Face it, there is no way Rossi will win this recount.

74. Josef spews:

Comment by ThinkerInSeattle— 12/19/04 @ 2:19 pm

You must be a good mom. God Bless You.

75. Brent spews:

Why have Republicans only sued King county over this? The finding of additional votes has happened in other counties, but the Republicans don’t care about that. They only care about disenfranchising voters in King county because we’re intelligent enough to vote Democratic. Their claims are as yet completely unfounded and their restraining order was only accepted because the judge intentionally searched the law to try to find a technicality to use to change the rules which were set up before the election and stop King county from correcting errors the likes of which have been corrected by numerous counties numerous times since the initial count. I can’t wait until the whiny crybabies finally realize that Rossi is going to lose. I mean, come on. Gregoire only has to gain a net of 51 or more votes in King county. She will more than likely win the manual recount even without the 723 votes, but they will be included in the final count and Gregoire will win.

76. Josef spews:

Comment by Jim King— 12/19/04 @ 2:34 pm

Thanks for your reading of the law on the recanvass issue – I don’t like having to hide behind that matter and I prefer to let brighter minds handle that.

That brings me to Brent and “I’ve read the Republicans’ complaints and they are completely unfounded.” Okay, how do you call them “unfounded”? Did you note the Illinois & Washington State Supremes’ rulings? Or are you just dismissing them out of hand?

77. Brent spews:

Yes, I did notice the Washington State Supreme Court’s ruling. Did you notice how they went out of their way to point out that county canvassing boards can decide to re-canvass if errors or discrepancies are brought to their attention? This is a legitimate error, and Sam Reed not only agrees with King County, he’s fighting the Republicans’ lawsuit in court. Even the Republican Secretary of State is sick of the partisan bullshit spewing from the state Republican party and he’s legally fighting them tooth and nail over the issue. How can I call the claims unfounded? The burden of proof is on the accuser in this case, and so far they have absolutely none.

78. Jim King spews:

Folks- distinguish between new ballots- or more accurately, “previously rejected” ballots (and Goldy, I’m not taking sides on whether they are or not, just saying the allegation is that they are), and new votes found on the previously counted ballots (manual examination of previously-classified-as-under-or-over-vote).

To be understanding, the only example in the state, in either recount, of a “previously rejected” ballot being counted is the single ballot decided upon in Chelan County on Wednesday. The only cases of which I am aware of mislocated ballots that were then counted are the 7 in Whatcom County and the 224 in Snohomish County (in the first recount).

Every other change in vote totals apparently comes from the reexamining/recounting of previously counted ballots.

And I think the Republicans have indicated they would willingly givew up that one vote in Chelan County in order to block the ballots in King County…

And the Democrats will gladly let that Chelan County vote stand…

So, onto statistical minutiae that might really be important…

Last I heard (I’ve been off in the real world for thirty-six hours)

Paper or previous electronic records had been found for 311 of the 573- no number had been referenced for the 150 or the 22…

Rumors had Rossi having gained a net 15 votes so far in King County (unverified rumors, but as weird as it has all been, who knows?)

If we have at most 311 (instead of 573), and a similar proportion of the 150 (say, 82), that’s 393 valid ballots- IF signatures match. We’ll ignore that last IF for this. And then, IF these absentees break roughly the same as the universe of King County absentees, that’s a pick-up for Gregoire of 70 or so votes.

Now if Dino has picked up 15, three quarters of the way through King County, that could mean 20 in total, plus the currently 50 vote lead.

Or a tie. A real tie.

Now, there’s a lot of ifs in all of that. And there is the BIG State Supreme Court IF. But bottom line- none of the rage, none of the bluster, will change the State Supreme Court ruling, or the markings on the ballots left to be counted.

I, for one, am more interested in hard information. It is a shame King County does not post daily, likely Pierce County did.

79. Brent spews:

Jim King, It’s 723 ballots now and that’s roughly the same amount as were found in King County during the machine recount. Gregoire ended up with a 245 net vote gain. She only needs a 51 net vote gain. Do the math.

80. Jim King spews:

Brent- Go read my post before commenting on it.

81. Brent spews:

I did read your post. You cited 36 hour old data which I corrected. It is now 723 votes which have been found. That is roughly the same amount of ballots which were found during the machine recount. The machine recount produced a net gain of 245 votes for Gregoire. In the manual recount, Gregoire only has to gain a net of 51 votes to win. Your post assumes the statistics will stay the same from what they were at 36 hours ago, when a rumor had Rossi with a net gain of 15 votes and only 311 of the 723 votes had been verified. Your message assumes that no more votes will be verified and that no more ballots have or will be counted since 36 hours ago. Rossi got 40% of the vote in King county, so it is not unthinkable that he could have a net gain of 15 votes this early into the recount. King county isn’t expected to finish counting until Wednesday. If there are as many valid ballots amongst the 723 as there were amongst the less than 800 ballots discovered in the manual recount and the recount distributes in the same manner as it did in the manual recount, it would give Gregoire a margin of victory of 194 votes. The number of votes in the machine recount was slightly higher than 723, but even if you factor that in, Gregoire will still win handily. Without the 723 votes, I don’t know who would win, but with the 723 votes, Gregoire definitely wins. It’s all up to the Republican party to provide concrete, irrefutable evidence of elections fraud. If they cannot do so, the state Supreme Court will allow the 723 ballots to be properly canvassed and counted. Has elections fraud been committed? Will the Republicans be able to prove this to the Supreme Court? We should find out this week.

82. gb spews:

Logan was very angry in printed interview- when asked about the 15 votes ahead rumor – I think C Vance made it up, or perhaps it was related to a given day or segment of the counting.

Put no stake in it at all.

83. Jim King spews:

Brent- Thirty-six hours ago, I knew a total of 723 ballots had been located. I referenced that.

Thirty six hours ago, of the first 573 of those 723, they had located the SIGNATURE RECORDS- either paper or from earlier electronic databases- of 311 of them. Thirty-six hours ago, they had not even started to look for the SIGNATURE RECORDS of the latest 150…

Any of the 723 that they cannot find a signature record for, in order to match against, they are not going to be able to count no matter which way the court rules.

Now Brent- try it again…

gb- I know Logan was angry- I have heard that certain information was being made available to the parties on a confidential basis, and Vance was NOT supposed to be revealing any of that- both because it might be less than accurate in the larger scheme of things, and because nothing was being shared with canvassing board or media.

In other words, not made up, but related to a certain segment or day- and that IS data you don’t just ignore. It has more credibility than just extraploating forward from the last count, which most definitely did not work for figuring out the other counties…

But it doesn’t have a LOT of credibility…

84. gb spews:

Jim King – sorry buddy, but the pleadings and briefs of the Sec of State in the hearing are the exact equivelent of expert testimony-
The R’s met no test of immediate danger, and no facts in their briefs could out shine the Sec of State as the expert on ballots and processing them, and the law.

The judge was a nit wit. Period. You sem very convinced that there are no inferior judges—I have watched them at work a few times. She was one of them-

Sec

85. Josef spews:

Gents, I’m back in. All we Rossifarians need is the POTENTIAL of vote manipulation once the ballots are in King County’s hands…

I’m not going to repeat myself – no, I’m going to post on my blog my defense and then post the URL.

Hope the rallies were fun – I waved the Stars & Stripes when my fellow Rossifarians were on TV – WE’RE FIGHTING FOR EQUAL TREATMENT OF VOTES AND DUE PROCESS OF LAW! WE’RE FIGHTING FOR LEGAL VOTES ONLY! WE’RE FIGHTING AGAINST VOTER FRAUD AND BALLOT SECURITY!

Enough bombastic rhetoric – I have to go write.

86. Goldy spews:

Jim… thanks for the updated info. Though from what I’ve been told, the expectation is that signature cards will be found for the majority of the 723… after all, they wouldn’t have been sent absentee ballots if they weren’t registered. And it is not clear that if no signature card is found, there won’t be an attempt to verify the identity of the voter.

As to the +15 Vance was talking about… first it was +25, and nobody, but nobody in the state Dems or Gregoire’s campaign will own up to having any knowledge of the totals thus far. Of course, there’s no reason why they should tell me if they did.

So… at this point, I really wouldn’t trust anything coming out of Vance’s mouth.

That said, weeks ago I predicted a tie, and I stand by it. In fact, I had been planning a blog restating that opinion.

87. Jim King spews:

Goldy- I agree that they had to have been on record as a registered voter to have received an absentee. The larger counties do not check signatures on absentee requests, figuring they’ll do that check when/if the ballot is returned, so we do not know if they have a current signature on file. They should, somewhere- if they don’t, the SecState should. But I was a little taken aback on Friday am that they had only located 311 after having had a business week to search…

And I’m afraid they’ll be in a problematic situation for getting those ballots counted if they CAN’T find a signature already on file.

But I was more interested in trying to get some kind of a grip on the math, without using the snrkcel program. My Magic 8 Ball just keeps saying “Christine Rossi”…

Do you remember a few years back in Israel when Likud and Labor split the term in half, each getting a part of the top spot…?

88. Jim King spews:

Of course, Labor and Likud get along better than our R’s and D’s- that’s a BAD sign… They are even talking coalition NOW…

89. jcricket spews:

Jim, I look at it another way – if Israel’s fractious parties can agree to power share in order to facilitate a single important goal (Gaza pullout) then surely there’s hope for us.

90. Goldy spews:

On the topic of “Christine Rossi”… I know that has been brought up here, and according to “reliable sources” it was a ballot that had the circle filled in next to Gregoire’s name, and then “Christine Rossi” on the write-in line… but the circle next to the write in was not filled in. While the right-wing bloggers are claiming the canvassing board split on party lines, I’ve been told that the decision was unanimous to count this for Gregoire. And quite frankly, I have to agree.

For those who will now scream about divining voter intent, the machine would have counted this for Gregoire too.

91. jcricket spews:

It’s too bad that absentee voting doesn’t work like this:

1) Register to vote absentee
2) Get an envelope with ballot stock and a unique/special “code” in the mail
3) Go to the state web site, enter your code
4) Fill out a ballot online and print at home on the ballot stock you received (maybe has special markings or watermarks).
5) Print out ballot, sign and submit in the envelopes you’ve received.

This would ensure no accidental over-votes or unintentional under-votes. It would also make sure your hand-writing wasn’t an issue for write-in candidates. As long as the web site didn’t keep any record of the votes, and you didn’t have to submit any PII (personally identifiable information), your vote would still be totally secret.

92. jcricket spews:

And there’s no hacking issue, because you’d have your paper record (just like your current absentee ballot) before you put it in the envelope. Worst that happens is the state web site gets taken down.

93. Jim King spews:

Goldy- I was being facetious about “Christine Rossi”, which I think you know, but..

It was NOT a unanimous canvassing board decision- it was a partisan split. Satterberg’s position was that the canvassing board had previously rejected any ballot where there was a situation like this, that was not crystal clear. “Overwhelmingly likely” had not been the standard. I do NOT know if any “overwhelmingly likely” had previously been rejected. And I wonder how much- no evil intent, just being human- the knowledge of the closeness of the race will effect matters like this…

On another front- I keep looking for definitive news on the Supreme Court timetable… I am frustrated that KING 5 and NWCN play into the “biased liberal media” bullshit by posting only the Democrat’s documents… I note that both the SOS and Pull on Superman’s Cape do not bother to make sure ALL of their links to documents actually work (nice try, Josef, and I appreciate the effort, but I can’t read the two declarations if your friend’s links are no good…)

And Goldy- while the Eagle’s fly high. all the Seahawks need is for the Rams to lose to the Eagles anf the Jets, and we can be in the playoffs at 7-9… But the Mariners are looking good- hope all this election bullshit is over before spring training…

I’d say Let’s compromise and make Edgar Governor, but I suspect too many of you know he’s a Republican…

94. Goldy spews:

Edgar a Republican? Jim… I didn’t even know he was a citizen.

As I said, there are two different accounts of whether the vote was unanimous on the Christine Rossi ballot. Personally, I think that oval decides it.

Not that it should matter whether the decision was split or not. Canvassing board members are partisan positions, and since Democrats control the county government, they get to control the canvassing board members. Considering this, I think the members have made a genuine effort rise above their partisanship. It’s not always possible, but they are trying.

95. Goldy spews:

1) Register to vote absentee
2) Get an envelope with ballot stock and a unique/special “code” in the mail
3) Go to the state web site, enter your code
4) Fill out a ballot online and print at home on the ballot stock you received (maybe has special markings or watermarks).
5) Print out ballot, sign and submit in the envelopes you’ve received.

Actually, I’ve had a similar thought in trying to piece together something I call “Computer Assisted Voting.” In my system, in addition to printing a perfectly filled out optical scan ballot that is both machine readable and human readable, the ballot also includes a 3-D barcode that encodes the ballot information.

When the ballot goes through the scanner, both the barcode and the optical markings must match exactly, or else the ballot is set aside for hand counting.

These ballots could be produced at any computer with an internet connection and printer… it is much like creating a UPS shipping label online.

At the polling place, off the shelf PCs and printers can be used to generate ballots, and the existing scanners can be used with slight software modifications.

I’m not sure if ballots require special stock. Maybe for scanning purposes, but for security purposes I’m not sure that it is an issue. After all, each voter who requests one receives only one absentee envelope, and each voter at the polls must sign in and can only submit one ballot.

I plan to start a permanent thread on election reforms, and we can brainstorm more there.

96. jcricket spews:

Goldy – the CEO of VoteHere describes the audit trail their software produces as similar to the bar-code you mention. It wouldn’t have to be 3-D, just long enough to contain all the votes (which isn’t really that long). Also, if the ballot contains a section you can tear off that only prints the bar-code, you could check it once it’s read by the state’s machines and make sure the barcode was read the way you entered it (that is, someone didn’t replace your ballot with an entirely new one).

It’s my understanding that the web site couldn’t reconsititute your ballot for you (i.e. decode the bar-code into human readable form) because it might enable vote stealing.

Seems simple enough :)

97. Jim King spews:

Goldy- Edgar is from Puerto Rico- Puerto Ricans are United States citizens, just like New Mexicans… or American Samoans, or…. :)

98. Jim King spews:

In fact, Edgar could be President, without amending the Constitution…

99. jcricket spews:

BTW, what happens if there’s an actual tie (not just a statistical “within the margin of error” tie)? I know some other states have rules where the victor is selected by coin toss or picking a ball out of a hat, etc. Do we have any rules on the books?

100. jcricket spews:

Edgar seems capable of actual human emotion (I watched the “goodbye to Edgar” tribute on TV), so he’d probably make a better (in the sense of a better person) President than Ahnuld.

And although the last thing I want is the Gropinator as President, I support the idea of amending the constitution to allow foreign-born US citizens to run for President after some sufficient residency period. Seems fair enough.

101. Jim King spews:

jcricket- that’s the one thing that is clear. A real tie- the Legislature in joint session picks the governor- 74 votes wins.

It’s in the State Constitution…

102. bmvaughn spews:

wow, over 100 comments… I guess getting mentioned by SP, the unofficial home of the Ukraine County updates really drives traffic!

103. gb spews:

bm – this traffic is very typical. The other site is so wacked out by the far right – who would bother. Like an echo chamber – Chris Vance says it – and bing- a dozen of he same people repeat it as if they would get graded in some small town college class…….they have repeted every old stale politial cliche hundreds of times, as if it is fresh an innovative and exciting…….so boring, reeks with classism and nobbery. And so partisian, of course we all agree that Democrats worship the devil and eat children in between peverted sex acts and doing drugs………and not having any “class”…no jobs…no education…and too idiotic to vote correctly…..yuk…..no so strange you all tried to elect Ellen Craswell a few years back.. And Val Stevens sets the agenda for you in the State Senate.

104. Nelson spews:

Just in case you haven’t yet seen an editorial in tomorrow’s NY Times, Illl copy it here:

Count Every Vote

Published: December 20, 2004

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Every vote is supposed to count in America, but candidates too often maneuver to disqualify votes that they think might go to the other side. A month and a half after Election Day, battles are still raging in Washington State and in San Diego over whether to count all of the votes that were cast. The answer to that question must be yes.

In Washington’s gubernatorial election, Dino Rossi, a Republican, and Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, finished in a virtual dead heat. With nearly 2.9 million votes cast, Mr. Rossi initially led by 261 votes. A machine recount took his lead down to 42. Ms. Gregoire requested a hand recount. During it, King County, a heavily Democratic area that includes Seattle, found 723 absentee ballots that had not been counted because election workers made errors like failing to verify the voters’ signatures.

Republicans, fearing that those ballots would throw the election to Ms. Gregoire, have gotten a lower court judge to prevent them from being counted, at least temporarily. But there is no reason these ballots and other valid ballots that have turned up during the recount should not be counted. The right to vote cannot be taken away because an election official did not do his or her job correctly.

In San Diego, the No. 2 choice of the voters for the mayor’s job may be headed to City Hall. Donna Frye, a write-in candidate, came within 2,108 votes of defeating Mayor Dick Murphy. But Ms. Frye’s vote total does not include more than 5,500 ballots on which voters wrote her name, but failed to darken a bubble next to it. There can be no doubt that those voters, who would easily give Ms. Frye a majority, tried to vote for her, but were tripped up by poor ballot design. The voters’ intent should be recognized.

In Ohio, where a recount of the presidential election is underway, it is becoming clear that as important as recounts are, they are not enough to ensure the integrity of our elections. Representative John Conyers Jr., a Democrat from Michigan, has charged that an employee of a company that makes vote-counting software used across the state may have tampered with one county’s vote tabulator after the election to make the recount come out right. If people other than election officials have free access to the tabulation software, it can make a recount an empty gesture.

Clearly the American election system needs significant improvement, starting with voter-verified paper trails for every vote cast electronically. In the current flawed system, the best chance we have of producing accurate results is to be on guard for manipulation of electronic voting machines and tabulation software, and to conduct conscientious recounts when the outcome is at all in doubt.

105. Chuck spews:

Has anyone stopped to think that with the human element interjected in this count, it is probably the most inaccurate????

106. Jim King spews:

Goldy:

In rereading your explanation of how things happened, I find I cannot reconcile what you have written with the written report by Bill Huennekens from last Wednesday, which is an exhibit in the current court case.

You described things thusly:

“While I hope a King County election worker will correct me if I’m wrong, here is apparently what happened. During the original canvassing, those absentee ballots for which there was no signature on file in the computer, were set aside for later verification. They were not “rejected”, and they were not mixed in with the rejected ballots. They were sorted and segregated into separate trays, but due to some unexplained error, were locked into the cage with the rejected ballots, and forgotten.

“This is borne out by the TV video of the 150 ballots being found, in the cage, in their own separate tray. And it also explains why none of these 723 voters received notice that their ballot had been rejected due to signature problems… because they were never rejected.”

But in Huennekens’ report, he describes a process where if a signature image could not be found, the ballots were set aside WITH the ballots where there was a signature mismatch, to be viewed bu more senior staff.

He then goes on to describe these ballots being mail-merged and letters being sent, and says they can confirm 423 letters sent.

He goes on,”Before certification of the election on November 17, 2004, each of these ballots were reviewed again and researched. At certification of the election these ballots were accounted for in the mail ballot report as mis-comparisons.”

And Goldy, what I saw on TV was election workers going through trays of ballots removing those which were marked or coded no signature on file.

What we have, unfortunately, was that these ballots WERE (improperly) mixed with the other rejected ballots, and WERE formally rejected by the canvassing board in its action of November 17, 2004.

Chris Vance is making a big to-do about this staff report today, and (unfortunately) it bolsters the position that the ballots WERE rejected, howver mistaken that rejection was.

107. gb spews:

Chuck— you may be the last person in he state who remains convinced this recount was’t better that the one preceeding it. Really……..all those mistakes in all those counties are now corrected by the HAND court. More accurate that the previous two counts by machines. Chuck, look at the facts…..Really, the earth is round.

108. Chuck spews:

Yes the earth is round, but a bunch of democrats hanging onto antiquated traditions had most of the people convinced it was actually flat…much like the hand count.

109. Chuck spews:

You want to know what would be hilarius at this point? A dead nuts tie!

110. Goldy spews:

wow, over 100 comments… I guess getting mentioned by SP, the unofficial home of the Ukraine County updates really drives traffic!

BM… now that’s just narcissistic. I hadn’t realized Snark had honored me with another insult, but it looks like this thread had 87 comments before his blog was posted.

The reason why (un)Sound Politics gets more traffic, but HorsesAss.org gets considerably more comments, is because we actually encourage real debate here, instead of the yahoo-chorus type crap that goes on over there. If I didn’t stop by over there once in a while to liven things up, SP would be no fun at all.

111. Goldy spews:

Jim… I had not seen Huennekens memo, and in fact was only informed it existed this evening. I tried to piece together the process as best I could from the scraps I had, and that’s why I couched my description as “apparently.”

But I don’t think it changes my main point, that these ballots were not “rejected” they were simply left unverified… the canvassing process was never completed.

112. Brent spews:

Jim King, the 723 ballots in question were kept in the same cage as the rejected ballots, but they were kept separate from the rejected ballots. You pointed out that they were marked as “no signature on file” not as “accepted” or “rejected”. There has only been one person out of the 723 who has publicly commented on whether or not they received a letter informing them that their ballot was rejected. He says he definitely did not receive such a letter. This makes sense because after all, as you pointed out, these ballots were put in the “no signature on file” pile, not the “accepted” or “rejected” pile. You are also correct that these ballots were set aside to be reviewed by a higher-level elections official. Since this did not happen, the original canvassing of those votes did not complete. You site evidence that the ballots were not rejected as evidence that the ballots were rejected, and you point to evidence that the ballots were set aside to be reviewed by a higher-level elections worker as evidence that the ballots were reviewed and rejected by a higher-level elections worker. Keep on trying, Jim. Your efforts do nothing but weaken the credibility of your position.

113. Brent spews:

Vindication! KING 5 Staff and Wire Reports have reported that ” With or without the hundreds of disputed ballots, the recount of King County’s 900,000 ballots could change the outcome.” This is what Goldy, myself and others have been saying. If Goldy’s math is accurate, and I have no reason to believe otherwise since it has been accurate thus far, it shows that the manual hand recount will return an 81 vote win for Gregoire without the 723 votes.

114. Brent spews:

The math to which I refer is contained in Goldy’s post at 12/17/04, 5:10 pm. Gregoire +327 to Rossi +196 = Gregoire +131. Subtract Rossi’s current 50 vote lead and you get a win for Gregoire by 81 votes without the 723 contested ballots.

115. zorkpolitics spews:

In contrast to the original post here, the Supervisor of Elections, Bill Hunnenken provides a detailed report of the original 573 ballots. He Indicates that they had all been checked at least three times and rejected as valid votes.
You can read his memo here:
http://www.soundpolitics.com/ExhibitO.pdf

116. Brent spews:

If the 723 ballots are not allowed to be added, Gregoire will win the manual recount by approx. 81 votes. If the 723 ballots are allowed to be added, Gregoire will win by more than 81 votes. If Gregoire wins the manual hand recount, the outcome of the election will be reversed and the Democrats’ down payment will be refunded and tax payers will have to pick up the tab, in addition to the tab for the automatically triggered machine recount. This would bring the tax payers’ tab to over $1 million. Both Gregoire and Reed have stated that they would not support a runoff election, regardless of the winner of the manual hand recount. Chris Vance is the only person who has stated that he has not ruled out the possibility of a runoff election. He would only want a runoff election if Gregoire won the hand recount and the state tax payers end up having to pay over $1 million for the two recounts. Vance would certainly have an extremely tough time convincing the courts, the legislature and the state tax payers that it is in their best interest to pay an additional $4 million for a runoff election. The courts, taxpayers, Gregoire and Reed will reject inflating the tax payers’ bill to over $5 million for the recounts and runoff election. If somehow there does end up being a runoff election, Democratic-leaning voters will be extremely pissed off about having to pay an additional $4 million so the Republicans can try to steal the election from their candidate. If there ends up being a runoff election, Gregoire would win handily. The only way I can see that Rossi can win the election is if the 723 ballots are not added and King County returns 82 less net votes for Gregoire than Goldy’s math suggests will happen. If Gregoire loses after all the legal, valid, verified votes are counted, she has said she will concede. Vance has said that if Gregoire wins the manual hand recount, he might support a runoff election. Vance went on and on about how Democrats might extend the process for too long through court battles, but now that he knows Rossi is toast, he’s considering extending the process for much longer through a runoff election. The Republicans are running scared. My prediction for the final outcome of the election: Gregoire by about 80 votes if the 723 are not added, Gregoire by 200+ if the 723 are added.

117. Chuck spews:

69% of king county in Rossi still has a 58 vote lead…

118. Brent spews:

Chuck, site your source of information. King County doesn’t post the results on its web site until the count is finished.

119. Jim King spews:

Brent: I was providing information from Bill Huennekens staff report- Bill Huennekens, the King County Director of Elections- which contradicts all your bullshit. And I was not taking a side on this, I was providing some information to Goldy that I had not previously noted, nor had Goldy. As you seem to have no accurate sources of information, please be advised I really don’t care what you think, and will not bother reading your posts. So blather all you want…

120. Brent spews:

Jim King, everything I’ve said has been articulate and supported by evidence. Where is the evidence of any of the bullshit you’ve said? Reference credible news sources or provide documents to prove what you’ve said. You have zero credibility and I’ve never cared what you think. The Supreme Court will make a ruling regarding the 723 ballots before Reed certifies the election. Just because the numbers aren’t in your candidate’s favor doesn’t mean that they are incorrect. You’re already acting like a sore loser. By the end of business on Thursday, Reed will certify the results of the manual recount and Gregoire will become governor-elect.

121. Chuck spews:

The NWCN news channel (Noththwest cable news) On my TV it is channel 2.

122. Jim King spews:

Brent- I cited Bill Huenneken’s memo0 it is exhibit O on the KING 5 website. The Director of King County elections contradicts just about everything you’ve asserted. You provide no citations, no memoranda, no “proof” other than your own assertions. You are terribly uninformed, and apparently only capable of regurgitating in undigested but nevertheless distorted form various opinions you’ve scanned from the web. If you weren’t such a left-wing idiot, I’d assume you were but another incarnation of the Cynical Motormouth.

123. Brent spews:

Chuck, NWCN hasn’t mentioned the results of the King County manual recount. It has been reporting that 69% of the total state-wide vote is in, leaving Rossi ahead by 50 votes. They have been reporting that King County expects to report its results on Wednesday, but they have not reported any results of the King County manual recount.

124. Chuck spews:

If that was the case why did they have half of King County greyed in while they said “with 69% of the King county vote in…”

125. Brent spews:

The document proves my point. The ballots marked as “no signature on file” were mistakenly grouped with the “signature mis-match” ballots. The “signature mis-match” ballots were rejected. The “no signature on file” ballots were not rejected. They were simply mistakenly grouped with the rejected ballots. The ballots were accounted for as “mis-comparisons” not mis-matches, and therefore they were not rejected. They were simply not verified and counted. State law states that the King county canvassing board has the legal right to add these votes to the count even if they were rejected. The canvassing board is allowed to re-canvass. But these votes were never rejected. They were simply placed with the rejected ballots and not verified or counted.

126. Brent spews:

Chuck, NWCN has been reporting since Friday that 69% of the total vote statewide is in, and it has left Rossi ahead by 50 votes. Their top story right now is that only King county is still counting votes and Rossi is ahead by 50 votes. The number didn’t change all weekend. If they were getting the results as the votes were counted, Rossi’s lead would have changed. I just saw the report to which you refer. King county was completely transparent and they said that 69% of the total recount vote is in. I have seen them report the same exact thing many times over the weekend and it has been exactly the same every time. Every time King county is transparent, not half-greyed in as you say, and every time they report that 69% of the total vote is in and Rossi’s lead is 50 votes.

127. Brent spews:

The ballots in question were mistakenly labeled as “mis-comparisons” because they were kept in the same area as ballots whose signatures did not match. The judge on Friday interpreted the Supreme Court’s ruling as stating that canvassing boards are not allowed to re-canvass, but their ruling was actually that canvassing boards will not be forced to re-canvass. State law states that canvassing boards can decide to re-canvass if they find errors during the recount. This is an error and state law states that King county has the right to correct it. The Secretary of State agrees that these ballots should be counted. Also, the Supreme Court pointed out that canvassing boards are allowed to re-canvass if they decide to do so. This is an open-and-shut case. Unless Vance can produce hard evidence of elections fraud, those 723 votes will be counted and Gregoire will win.

128. jcricket spews:

I like how unSound Politics states that voter confidence diminishes with each new “Christine lawsuit”. As if Republican lawsuits don’t piss people off, and voter confidence in them never decreases despite arrests for corruption (phone jamming in VT, Tom Delay’s cronies, Halliburton), exposure of hypocritical moral value zealots (New Gingrich, Jerry Falwell, etc.). And each time Republicans go to court to prevent votes from being counted I don’t get a little closer to believing the “conspiracy theorists” out there that believe Diebold is “stealing” the 2004 election for Bush. C’mon.

The confidence of anyone I know that considers them a Democrat in the transparency of the voting process was diminished by Florida in 2000 and the constant Republican gerrymandering of counties. Not to mention their financial and moral scandals, and their use of courts like a “hammer” to prevent the public from exercising their rights of dissent.

Sure, Republicans don’t look at that evidence and have their confidence shaken, because they willfully ignore it.

Just like Democrats (and a lot of feminists) can brush off evidence of Bill Clinton’s moral turpitude (or “bad behavior”) because they believe in his “greater good”.

I’ve said it before – we each brush off evidence that is incongruent with our already held assumptions about our party/candidates. Any Republican who claims they’re not doing that is full of it.

129. jcricket spews:

Chuck – I’m not going to argue with your statements that Rossi’s ahead in the King County recount. I haven’t seen any reports (official, media, blogs, etc.) so I can’t comment directly. But I wouldn’t put stake on anything until all the precints are in. The nature of these recounts include a lot of see-sawing back and forth as the different precints report. For example, even though King County went 60%/40 Gregoire/Rossi, there were precints that went more heavily Rossi, and some that went heavily Gregoire. So if the heavily Rossi precints report first (which they might, because they’re smaller), it will appear Rossi’s gaining. If the very heavily Gregoire precints report last, Gregoire will surpass Rossi.

Same thing happened in other counties (in reverse, sometimes). Lots of swings as each bach of ballots/precints went in.

Again, I’m not ruling out a final Rossi gain in King County, just saying that 50, 60 or 70% of the precints reporting giving Rossi an additional 8 votes or 50 votes doesn’t portend anything (nor would the reverse).

130. Brent spews:

jcricket, you don’t have to believe conspiracy theorists to believe that Debold stole the election for Bush. All you have to do is believe Walden O’Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc. – who was active in the re-election effort of President Bush. Read the article on commondreams titled “Voting Machine Controversy” by Julie Carr Smyth dated August 28, 2003. The article starts out with this paragraph:

‘The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”‘

google ‘”deliver the electoral” ohio’. The first result is the commondreams article.

131. Bob spews:

1st – This whole situation proves big government can NOT be trusted!!!
2nd – State law clearly states a retabulation, not corrections, not recanvassing, not rethinking, not changing the standards (as they are doing) but retabulating. Go read it for yourself, it is very clear!
Don’t like it, call the legislator and get it changed for the NEXT election!!!

132. Brent spews:

Bob, you obviously didn’t hear the state Supreme Court point out that state law allows canvassing boards to re-canvass if they decide to do so. Their ruling was that county canvassing boards cannot be forced to re-canvass if they decide not to do so. State law clearly states that King county has the legal right to include these ballots. Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed is an intervening defendant in the restraining order filed by the Republicans against King county. Both Reed and the Supreme Court have pointed to the part of state law which states that these votes should legally be counted. If you don’t like the current state law, attempt to change it. If you don’t agree with the state Supreme Court and the Secretary of State, that’s too bad for you.

133. jcricket spews:

Brent – believe it or not, I voted for the same person you did for Governor, and I’m not in the habit of providing any “automatic trust” for Republicans (or Republican-affiliated corporations).

Yes, I’ve heard the quote from the head of Diebold, but I don’t think that automatically makes them guilty of fraud.

My problem with electronic voting is less one of outright fraud, and more worries about programming errors, machine break-downs, and hacking. The lack of transparency (no voter-verifiable audit trail) definitely worries me, because I don’t have faith in things that can’t be audited (good thing we’re able to do that now with punch-cards and optical scan ballots). But after reading the evidence (on many left-leaning blogs, like dailykos, TPM, Pandagon, etc.) I’m not convinced there was intentional voter fraud in favor of the Republicans in Ohio.

134. Brent spews:

The fact that the chief executive of Diebold was active in the re-election effort of President Bush is an obvious conflict of interest. I would assume in all cases that if the chief executive of an electronic voting machine company was active in the campaign for one of the candidates, he committed elections fraud. Why would anyone assume anything else?

135. jcricket spews:

Brent – because some of us like to save our accusations of voter fraud (a felony) until we see hard evidence. I can push for serious election reform (open source computerized voting, verifiable audit trails, non-partisan ownership of voting companies, etc.) without also assuming that companies are actively committing fraud.

Personally, I think it’s a fraud that we don’t have a single national voting standard that’s open-source (both technologically and process-wide) with a voter and 3rd party verifiable audit-trail. But I guess I’m more worried about the possibilities of undetectable error and individual hacker fraud than I am about corporate widespread fraud.

We obviously come at this from different angles. You’re free to promote your opinion, I’m certainly not here to stop you.

136. Brent spews:

The issues of undetectable error and individual hacker fraud are a result of the coding of the machines by the electronic voting machine company. If the chief executive of Diebold, who has an obvious conflict of interest, wanted the machines to be improperly coded or for malicious code to be inserted, he could do so quite easily without anyone knowing about it. After the machines were certified, patches were applied which uncertified them. The most thorough investigation of this issue has been performed by blackboxvoting. Google “blackboxvoting” to find their web site.

137. jcricket spews:

Brent – stop badgering me. I’ve read the blackboxvoting web site. I’ve read “wheresthepaper” web site. I went to a talk where the CEO of VoteHere described how their software worked, and the history of all the voting methods we use.

I actually have enough of a background in computers to understand how intentional and unintentional errors/fraud could be inserted into any electronic system.

But all those suspicions don’t confirm, for me, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Diebold committed voter fraud.

I support any law that will mandate voter verifiable audit trails, and I don’t think we should use electronic touchscreen voting machines until they all have those trails.

138. Brent spews:

Josef, I just read the article “WA Governor’s Race: An Interview” on the pull on superman’s cape site. The “brief interview” given by King County Elections Director Dean Logan and King County Elections Superintendent Bill Huennekens is quite obviously a joke. All Logan says is “every vote counts!” repeatedly, and at the end of the “interview” the author says he’s “just kidding”. You used this obvious joke to try to prove some sort of liberal bias of the media because they did not report it. You never had any credibility to begin with, Josef, but now your comments are just outright stupid.

139. bby spews:

This debate is GREAT- very interesting, great site