Donna Edwards Speaks

Here's what Donna Edwards said:

I salute my supporters and everyone who struggled to vote on Tuesday.

I have heard from voters who made several trips to vote, some waited and waited in lines and still others had to cast provisional ballots.

In our democracy, voters expect to have their ballots counted. I am determined to know what happened in both Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties.

Thousands of voters made a tremendous effort to cast their ballot.

Voters need to have confidence that their vote counted.  I will fight for answers and make sure every ballot is counted.

Our democracy demands it.

Gore didn't say this.  Kerry didn't say this.  Democrats are castigated for not fighting and making sure that all the votes count, and this gives license to conspiracy theorists and crazy people to irresponsibly argue that democracy is pointless because it's all stolen anyway.  A genuine progressive, Donna Edwards took on a machine candidate, someone who regularly broke laws and had his staffers beat up and threaten Edwards people, and there was basically no press coverage.  There were massive voting problems, incompetence and downright shady behavior by a Republican-controlled Board of Elections which is heavily tied in with Al Wynn.

If you care about change, you need to fight for it.  That's what the right-wing does.  They fight for change, every day.  That's what we are beginning to do.  There are now activists on the ground, in Maryland, working to make sure that the votes are fully counted.  And yet we have a long way to go.  I believe that there are several excuses that we have for not acting, for not making change.  One of them is a demonically evil and omnipotent Karl Rove.  Rove isn't that good at what he does, but what sets him apart is that his supporters believe in what they are doing and always go to the mat, every single time.  Put Karl Rove in charge of the Democratic Party, and we would still lose badly.  Put Bob Shrum in charge of the Republican Party, and, well, actually, seriously, please put Bob Shrum in charge of the Republican party.  

Joke aside, I bring this up because of a disturbing habit I notice among progressives to argue aggressively for giving up.  I read this diary from the normally savvy David Kowalski, and a few Breaking Blue posts that continue to reiterate the bad numbers coming from the Maryland Board of Elections, and I want to knock my head into the wall.  These are not good numbers, and we should not consider them real.    

If smart progressive activists are willing to accept falsified numbers and illegitimate elections, then we are simply going to lose again, because it's pretty obvious to me at least that we are not really willing to fight.  Fighting for change means recognizing that old habits are inaccurate.  One of those old habits that no longer works is accepting numbers as accurate because it comes with 'Board of Elections' stamped on it.  It means understanding whether that 'Board of Elections' stamp comes from a board that is credible, or one that is not.  If the board is not credible, and there is ample evidence of strange problems, we must contest those numbers, and remembering the astericks going forward.

Now, we can't pretend like electoral fraud is omnipresent.  It's not.  And we have to face the fact that many of the noisiest proponents of the stolen election line are a little tin-foily at best.  This is a difficult issue, and we have to pick our battles.  In this case, there's an extremely credible progressive candidate challenging an incumbent with a history of illegal activity, and she's fighting.  We ought to back her.

Do I know if this election was 'stolen', with evil maniacal men cackling in backrooms?  Of course not.  But if you look back in history, to LBJ, JFK, and how some of our heros manipulated electoral machinery, you'd see that they often did it through planned incompetence.  This situation needs to raise hackles.  I hope it raises yours.  It certainly raises Donna Edwards', and she's not taking it lying down.

Go Donna.

Tags: Al Wynn, Donna Edwards, Machine, Maryland (all tags)

Comments

52 Comments

Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

I had the pleasure of meeting Donna Edwards back at Take Back America, even doing an interview with her.  I never got a transcript down because of background noise in the room, which made the tape inaudible, but her passion and courage never left my mind.  Her command of the issues was (and is) impressive.  She would make a great Democratic representative.

I agree, go Donna.

by Taylor Marsh 2006-09-14 09:34AM | 0 recs
Pound Cake vs. Pound "Cake"

Matt, thank you - that is perfect.  The votes are not "money" but at best rubles or monopoly money.

To bake an old-fashioned pound cake, you need a pound each of sugar, flour, eggs and butter.  If you take away the flour and try to bake it, you have "something," but you don't have a cake.

If on "Election" [sic] Day, you have precincts failing to open, opening late, giving out gross misinformation, not having back-up balloting mechanisms, not having ballots, not having a secret ballot, blatantly and contemptuously ignoring court orders to stay open, not communicating at all with the Boards of Elections in the midst of a major election crisis and outright losing all ballots in two precincts, you have "something" but you don't have an election.  Not in the United States, notwithstanding Bush v. Gore.

I urge cooperation with Donna Edwards, her staff amd her attorneys.

by Bruce Godfrey 2006-09-14 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

Well said.

What we do know so far is that the memory cards to program the machines weren't at the polls in time.

This could have been fraud.

This could have been purposeful gamesmanship.

This could have been incompetence.

This could have been simple human error.

Regardless, the result was the same. People were unable to vote in a smooth and orderly fashion that resulted in some people from being inhibited or stopped from voting.

This is a serious problem that puts the validity of the entire vote in question.

No computer system is completely secure.

No voting system is completely secure.

Where power and money are concerned unscrupulous people will do unscrupulous things.

Luckily, most people are not unscrupulous.

Sadly, where power and money are involved so to will unscrupulous people be attracted to getting involved.

The result is the absolute requirement for an open and transparent voting system with checks and balances, the highest degree of reliability and testing we can manage, verifiability, and auditability.

Our democrat process is too valuable to do otherwise.

And... it is public domain, not privat enterprise.

It is imperative that people get involved in ensuring that their local elections processes and procedures are transparent, auditable, and verifiable.

This is not tin foil. It is sensible.

We would require no less of our banking and other financial institutions.

by Andrew C White 2006-09-14 09:38AM | 0 recs
you know just once.

I'd love to see one of these inspiring, call to arms, rallying the troops sort of posts and NOT see a backhanded slap at all of the "tin foil hattery".

Does it even need to be said?
All of the blogosphere big names have established themselves as "skeptics who think the system should be fixed... etc."

By mentioning it in every post, even as an aside you draw attention to the most extreme aspects of the electoral reform/black box voting crowd. Why not just take a clear stand, keep things totally inspiring and not work so hard to repudiate those misguided souls who are concentrating on the wrong part of the problem?

-C.

PS: nice post, and I agree.

by neutron 2006-09-14 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: you know just once.

I'd love to see one of these inspiring, call to arms, rallying the troops sort of posts and NOT see a backhanded slap at all of the "tin foil hattery".

Yeah. It seems like every Democrat with a platform has to have a sister soulja moment -- or two or three.

Why slap down those who agree with you except to impress those who never will?

by Sitkah 2006-09-14 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: you know just once.

Because the tinfoilers aren't helpful.  Look at them bitching on Kos today about Diebold, without a mention of Donna Edwards.

by Matt Stoller 2006-09-14 12:30PM | 0 recs
ok, they should mention Edwards.

I agree, gutsy, strong moves should be bonus points.

But my beef isn't with them, that's like pissing in the wind dude, it's with you.

What goal did you accomplish by adding the caveat of tin foil hattery?

By just posting the very real need for true electoral reform and competence, and by praising a fracking great candidates willingness to fight it out until she drops to the mat you get everybody on board.

When you call out "tin foil hats" you just keep adding to the cause of division on a cause that really there is no argument against (that I can think of... competent fair elections? Come on who is against those that is sane or not corrupt?)

How is repudiating the "tin foil hatters" constantly any different then the DLC repudiating the "far left blogosphere" constantly.

If you don't like the conspiracy theorists, then work towards the very realistic and attainable goals of electoral reform and verified voting.

Or if you don't feel like doing that, or don't want to do that, then at least stop drawing attention to a very vocal (and yes frustrating) minority, and talk about the issue as if they aren't there.

They don't need to be Sistah Souljah'd.

-C.

by neutron 2006-09-14 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: ok, they should mention Edwards.

The tinfoilers are crazy and dishonest.  They don't care about real election reform, and don't care about real political power and real change.  They give the rest of us who actually do care about these things huge problems when we try to address them.

I am not going to sit back and let crazy politics as therapy losers define our politics.  If they care about change they would fight for change.  They don't.  They just want attention.

by Matt Stoller 2006-09-14 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: ok, they should mention Edwards.

YOU started this.  

The election in Md was fucked and it had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with fraud.  

by aiko 2006-09-14 08:05PM | 0 recs
this is turning into a strawman argument.

oh and also you're courting the WAAAAAH Vote here too.

Come on man,
I'm not here to defend conspiracy theories or further the cause of electoral fraud, i'm talking language here.

I think you are painting with a broad brush and it's damn dangerous.

I will ask you again, why was it necessary to mention them in this post with a backhanded slap?

I am not going to sit back and let crazy politics as therapy losers define our politics.  If they care about change they would fight for change.  They don't.  They just want attention.

So why mention them at all?
If they want attention don't give them any.

You can address electoral reform/verified voting/clean elections/this primary, without slapping down conspiracy theorists at every turn.

It's tiring.

-C.

by neutron 2006-09-15 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: you know just once.

I'm not a diebolder, but it seems to me that there's no need to jump them just because they focus on macro-election-theft rather than micro-election-theft. Different people have different specialties and we need you all to do your own thing.I'm all in favor of what both you and they are doing and see no need for broad based put-downs.

You did the same thing a while back when you attacked the "environmental movement" because you disagreed with the Sierra Club. That's like someone attacking the "progressive" movement (it will always be "liberal" to me) because they don't like what MyDD does.

by Sitkah 2006-09-14 08:04PM | 0 recs
Re: you know just once.

Yeah. It seems like every Democrat with a platform has to have a sister soulja moment -- or two or three.

or two or three hundred.

-C.

by neutron 2006-09-14 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: you know just once.

To wander just a bit, when I think of prominent Democrats putting down us base liberal types I can't help but think of Barack Obama. While channel surfing today I caught him just as Wolf Blitzer asked him about House ML Boehner's crack that Democrats want to help terrorists more than America.

Guess what his response was?

"I hope he wasn't talking about me!"

He threw his own party to wolves on live national TV. What an asshole.

by Sitkah 2006-09-14 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

Right on Matt.

I think you hit the nail on the head regarding the Right Wingers "going to the mat" every time. I think if progressives show that type of determination, some of the progressive leaning non voters may see a reason to actually go to the polls. If the activists are not excited enough to fight, we certainly can't expect others to.

by bjschmid 2006-09-14 09:46AM | 0 recs
Needlessly complex voting system

Matt, I would like more proof of this: "downright shady behavior by a Republican-controlled Board of Elections which is heavily tied in with Al Wynn"

I am more inclined to believe: that by computerizing elections we have over complicated an event that takes place only twice every two years.  This has needlessly resulted in a voting system that is too complex and too prone to human error.

I didn't make that up, I paraphrased Avi Rubin, a Maryland election judge and electronic voting expert.

http://avi-rubin.blogspot.com/

by aiko 2006-09-14 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Needlessly complex voting system

Matt has been short of substance on his vague charges. A little tin-foil hattery of his own perhaps?

by Sitkah 2006-09-14 10:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Needlessly complex voting system

Well I honestly don't buy the argument that a "massive conspiracy" was afoot by Ehrlich to make sure that Edwards didn't win. To me it seems like it was more a matter of incompetence than willful malfeasance. I don't think there was intention fraud committed.

I say this because Ehrlich would have seen to it that William Donald Schaffer had won the Controller's race. Schaffer has been one of his best Democratic supporters. Even Janet Owens has been somewhat "friendly" to Ehrlich. Ehrlich would not have wanted Franchot to win that primary. So if there was a "massive conspiracy", why was Franchot allowed to win then then?

I honestly think this is more about incompetence than intentional ballot-box stuffing or election fraud. I don't think any election in MD was "stolen".

by jiacinto 2006-09-14 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Needlessly complex voting system

whether it was incompetence or intentional- does it really matter in terms of the fact peo are being disenfranchised? And, also, how many election cycles does this have to happen before it goes from incompetence to willful indifference to what is obviously a likely occurence?

by bruh21 2006-09-14 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Needlessly complex voting system

But I think that you miss the point.  For many of us in Maryland, this is about a very flawed system of voting.  But when we start throwing around allegations of fraud and intent it muddies the water.  

Instead let's focus on fixing the voting system either by throwing out the computers all together and going back to paper or maybe some cross breed of paper and computers.

Instead of blaming others let's figure out how to fix, simplify and validate the process.  And then do it.

by aiko 2006-09-14 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Needlessly complex voting system

if you are more worried about your image than the substance then I really have nothing to say to that

by bruh21 2006-09-14 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Needlessly complex voting system

there is little to no substance to allegations of fraud or intent.  

by aiko 2006-09-14 07:57PM | 0 recs
well the word "stolen"

is the steel trap... that ensnares people.

here's a fact:
These electronic machines they used had all kinds of errors in them that are uncorrectable by software, and are likely uncorrectable with hardware upgrades.

Solution?
Don't use them.

Use something else.
Is that the end of the argument?
No! Of course not, there's a ton of other aspects to this, but it's something huge to consider.

At least in aspect to the bigtime Senate race.

do you argue that point?

-C.

by neutron 2006-09-14 01:46PM | 0 recs
Re: well the word "stolen"

I understand.

by jiacinto 2006-09-14 04:57PM | 0 recs
Explain why

These are not good numbers, and we should not consider them real.

Here we are, as usual, gathered around the ballot box decrying the actual poll results as "not real".

Here's what's real. In MD Tuesday, state and county pols were up for re-election. We have slates and preferred candidates arranged on sample ballots for voters, which the 'low-information' voters take with them to the polls. I received at least four by mail.

I worked the polls and watched as people approached, clutching their sample ballots. I saw how state and county pols friendly to Wynn had his smiling face on their ballots. He was locally-recommended in key areas, which carries a lot of weight and runs up vote totals. Vote padding can take place legally, you know.

What's "not real" about this? What is "not good" about the numbers?

by dblhelix 2006-09-14 09:47AM | 0 recs
Vote padding

dblhelix, that isn't vote padding, that's voting.

by Bruce Godfrey 2006-09-14 09:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Vote padding

I know ;-)

by dblhelix 2006-09-14 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

She shouldn't give up. This issue is more important than her, the Democratic Party or this election. Voting is about whether we have a functioning democracy or a third world banana republic. It's really that simple.

by bruh21 2006-09-14 10:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

I agree. Count all of the votes and make sure the process wasn't crooked.

by Sitkah 2006-09-14 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

There is no excuse for the polling issues that took place in Maryland this past week.  While the focus here is Montgomery County, there were also polling issues in Prince George's County (where the bigger chuck of the 4th Congressional District is) as well as Baltimore City.

The solution is state-mandated standards for conducting an election.  This would mean having the polling place certified as "ready" twelve hours before the polls open.  Missing cards and power cords is simply ridiculous mistakes that should no longer be tolerated without consequences.  Of course, this raises the issue of machine security, but if that means human security - then deal with it.  It's part of the cost of doing business.

No voter should be turned away - no matter what.  Using Provisional Ballots is not the remedy for lack of preparation.  There is no excuse for lack of preparation.

Here is where Congress must come in - there is no guaranteed right to vote in America.  There must be explicit legislation to equate the right to vote to be a basic, unalienable right for those qualified voters.  With this, voters can seek civil redress from being denied their right to vote.

As for Donna Edwards, I believe she has realized the fire within to work for the people.  Her message of inclusion and moral integrity obviously rang true with voters she was able to reach.  The clock simply ran out before we could reach all the voters we needed to.

Based on the unofficial tally from both counties, Donna trails by 2,991 votes.  That would take many of provisional and absentee ballots to change.  According to Maryland law, the vote must be certified complete by Friday, September 22nd.  Any petition for recount can not be made until Monday, September 25th.  The State Board of Elections must certify the November General Election Ballot by Saturday, September 30th.

Of course, courts may intervene at any point in the process.

 ,

by edterry 2006-09-14 10:17AM | 0 recs
Why the gratuitous slam on Gore and Kerry?

Good comment with the exception of one point.

"Gore didn't say this.  Kerry didn't say this."

This at least appeared to me to be a gratuitous slam on Gore and Kerry for not commenting on the vote in Maryland.  Elsewhere you send a message of unity among Democrats.

Are you claiming that neither Kerry nor Gore have ever said anything remotely like this more generally?

by Catch 22 2006-09-14 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Why the gratuitous slam on Gore and Kerry?

I think Matt meant that Goer and Kerry didn't stick up for themselves and their voters forcefully enough. Gore did do the recount thing, but always seemed defensive about it while Bush was proclaiming himself president. Kerry AWOL altogether.

by Sitkah 2006-09-14 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Why the gratuitous slam on Gore and Kerry?

Yes. Kerry was worse than Gore, not only because he folded, but because he should've known better and he actually TOLD us that he did know better and would fight for us if it came down to that.

And when it came down, he folded. Into tiny little pieces.

Many people will never forgive him for that.

by lightyearsfromhome 2006-09-14 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Why the gratuitous slam on Gore and Kerry?

dit

by Sitkah 2006-09-14 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

What are the estimated total number of outstanding provisional and absentee ballots?  If I were Donna Edwards I'd sit tight and demand a complete count.  It just ain't that difficult to count ballots, provisional or otherwise.  What is gained by conceding at this point?  My understanding is that the seat is fairly safe for the Dems, regardless.  If Winn is corrupt(ible), we really don't need him in office.  If we win, the margin is going to be slim and any bad apples will put the majority in jeopardy.

I say, hang in there, Donna.

by erasmus 2006-09-14 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

What are the estimated total number of outstanding provisional and absentee ballots?

In the precinct I worked the percentage of provisional/late ballots was about 10% of total votes counted.  We got our cards relatively early, so in other precincts it may be even higher.  I read something in the post today that the estimate for Montgomery County was 10-12K.   Of course, MD04 is less than a third of Montgomery, so not all of these will be involved in this race.

by Jay 2006-09-14 11:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

Put Karl Rove in charge of the Democratic Party, and we would still lose badly.

Gore fought it all the way to the US Supreme Court. What more could he do? After all Daschle, Kerry, et al were just waiting for him to fold so they could run for President. If Gore had called us into the streets would we have responded? Consider that four years later we couldn't even get it together to stop shopping for Not One Dime Day.

Kerry did not contest Ohio strongly enough, hell, without the Greens of all people there wouldn't even have been a recount.

I want to thank everyone who responded last year when I wrote diaries about Creigh Deeds and the Virginia recount. I want to thank everyone who sent Donna Edwards money and everyone volunteering for her on the ground. Everytime we stand with a Democrat who is prepared to fight one of these things we get stronger.

Oh yeah, one more thing, volunteer to be an election officer. As an election officer you can stop a lot of this trash before it gets started.

by Alice Marshall 2006-09-14 11:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

fight smarter- he didn't really get "it" until the Republicans were already controlling the debate which mostly occured because of his slow caculating response. Remember if he had called for the whole state- rather than the counties that would have helped him when then he could have had better control over the spin and as it turns out would have won according to independent audits.

by bruh21 2006-09-14 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

I agree with the gist of what Matt said, and think its very important.  My questions relate to exactly what steps need to be taken, by whom, and what backing (financial and otherwise) is needed by them.  

Its great to see Donna speaking out and it does seem important to back her up in whatever ways we can be helpful.

As to the "tin-foily at best" comment, I don't know enough about this stuff to have an opinion and, as someone who does research for a living, I'm not inclined to accept or reject any claims without reviewing the facts and state of the research.  But, bottom line, it seems clear that the Repubs do some things in this area that we want to stop, that there are plenty of voting-related areas in need of reform, and that further investigating of the facts is useful.  And, if Donna's willing to stand up and fight for "answers" as to what happened, we should support her in whatever ways we can.

by mitchipd 2006-09-14 11:17AM | 0 recs
This is crazy talk

I say again:  what happened in Montgomery was incompetence on a grand scale (actually on a small scale, as mistakes by only a couple of people caused this but with grand results), but to assert that this was caused by a Wynn-induced attempt by the state board of elections to influence the result is completely and totally insane.  

There was an article in the Post today (which appears to be inaccessible at the moment online) identifying by name who was responsible.  The head of the County board of elections and the employee who supervised packing the bags are probably going to lose their jobs over this.  These jobs pay $72K and $113K.  The idea that these people would kiss off their careers over something that could be so easily traced is ludicrous.  Or are you asserting, Matt, that Ehrlich and Wynn and the state board used orbital mind control lasers to induce them to do this?  Come now.

by Jay 2006-09-14 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: This is crazy talk

I understand Stoller's concern about the possibility, but there is no evidence thereof to date.  There is a big difference between raising a motive and potential means, and levelling an accusation.  I don't know that Stoller did the latter but all are wisely counselled to be epistemologically (not politically) conservative, i.e. tally and analyze evidence rather than engage in speculation in the heat of an election challenge.

It is possible that Wynn did beat Edwards.  We don't have reliable evidence for that proposition either.

by Bruce Godfrey 2006-09-14 12:07PM | 0 recs
but you have to consider fraud

You have to - one possibility for the screw-ups was that someone was trying to depress the vote in certain areas.

That doesn't mean it's true - but til you know for sure, you can't exclude the possibility.

Depressing turnout in your opponent's strong areas is a great way to steal an election.

Just like, say, if a wife is murdered, the police will entertain the possibility that the husband is a suspect. Not that he did it, but there is a history of husbands offing their wives.

The thing to do is compare voting totals in districts where there were screw-ups. Do these districts trend toward Edwards? Hmmm ... there might be something there. Or are they random, or do these districts trend toward Wynn? That is evidence against fraud by Wynn.

I am very glad that Donna Edwards is doing this.

by mightymouse 2006-09-14 01:24PM | 0 recs
Re: but you have to consider fraud

The thing to do is compare voting totals in districts where there were screw-ups. Do these districts trend toward Edwards? Hmmm ... there might be something there. Or are they random, or do these districts trend toward Wynn? That is evidence against fraud by Wynn.

Jeebus.  I wish the people making these wild accusations actually understood the geography of these events.  The voting cards were missing for all of Montgomery county.  This county has parts of three different congressional districts.  It is also the home base of Doug Gansler, the Democratic nominee for AG.  He has much more control over the Montgomery board of elections than Wynn does.  Do you think that he would stand for anything that would have pushed turnout down in his backyard?

by Jay 2006-09-14 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: but you have to consider fraud

Jeebus.  I wish the people making these wild accusations actually understood the geography of these events.

Jeebus indeed. Who exactly is making "wild accusations?" I said you need to consider fraud, til you have enough evidence to dismiss it. Because, let's face it, fraud happens.

The voting cards were missing for all of Montgomery county.  This county has parts of three different congressional districts.  It is also the home base of Doug Gansler, the Democratic nominee for AG.  He has much more control over the Montgomery board of elections than Wynn does.  Do you think that he would stand for anything that would have pushed turnout down in his backyard?

That is helpful information, thanks. Is there any pattern to it, or just random?

by mightymouse 2006-09-14 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: but you have to consider fraud

I said you need to consider fraud, til you have enough evidence to dismiss it. Because, let's face it, fraud happens.

Why do I have to automatically consider fraud?  Why not consider the possibility that Wynn had the entire Montgomery board of elections kidnapped by aliens and replaced with replicants?  Because, face it, that kind of thing happens too.  And in this case there is exactly as much evidence for one as the other.  Let's be reasonable about throwing around allegations that, if they were to be true, would involve people going to jail for a decent amount of time.

by Jay 2006-09-14 10:39PM | 0 recs
Re: but you have to consider fraud

Why do I have to automatically consider fraud?

Because it happens. Not to consider it is not to live in the real world. If the election went smoothly, OK, no need to consider it. But this election, yes.

For example, if a child comes home from school at the regular time, there is no need to wonder if something bad happened.

But if the child does not come home at the regular time, and is missing, yes, the parents and the police will consider whether something criminal happened.

Why not consider the possibility that Wynn had the entire Montgomery board of elections kidnapped by aliens and replaced with replicants?

'Cause that doesn't happen.

by mightymouse 2006-09-15 05:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks
I do not know where this "tin-foil" meme came from and how it was turned into a tar brush against those of us who are in the trenches working against the certification of Diebold, or to get the Democratic Party to PLEASE sit up and take notice that no matter how much money they pour into advertising, if the machines go down, or don't go up in two counties, and someone says that it is "human error" every time (Machines are supposed to be designed by engineers for people to USE)   and the Dem Party shuts up and concedes BEFORE the votes are counted, you can forget about it.
I don't know why it isn't the Democratic Party's business to make sure that the precincts are set up properly and the right number of voting machines are going to be there.  That is one of my best hopes for Howard Dean building up the local Party infrastructure-- that there will be people on the ground in each precinct and each county to have an oversight effect -- before, rather than after the fact.  Maybe this is the most important thing we lost when the Democratic Party switched their resources to "national" donors and media and candidates.  We lost the organization on the ground that policed the electin set-up.  And they have taken us to the cleaners ever since.
When they use the "tin foil" meme against us, and we are working, testifying at hearings, filing lawsuits, writing studies, disseminating them, working for honest sec'y of state candidates, trying to hold local boards of elections to task for cheap solutions and selling out to the manufacturers (as they are everywhere).  For some damn reason there seems to be NO good viable alternative for these Bd of Elections people that satisfies the HAVA.  Which I undertand was the handiwork of Ney and others from Ohio.
We desperately need some real honest solutions for voting systems so that the Bds of Elections have something to turn to when the Diebolds fail.
Thanks for your work here.  We need you,  We need the Democratic Party is who we really need.
Sandra
by syolles 2006-09-14 12:00PM | 0 recs
volunteer to work polls in MD general election

http://www.workingassets.com/webgraphics /WALD/pollworkerMD.html

sign up and see for yourself on Nov. 7 what is wrong and what isn't.  this really shouldn't be a partisan issue--i think we get further if it was seen as an issue that effects everyone.  

by aiko 2006-09-14 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks
PS.  I think the whole "tin foil" thing, and this whole stupid debate, in fact, is a red herring to keep us disengaged from looking at what is truly going on, and taking the action to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.  How is it that a candidate -- Kerry say, or a local candidate, will not challenge an election, or even wait til the votes are counted before conceding because he/she does not want to be called a name -"tin foil".  What?
Look at the facts and work for reform and forget the "red herring" debate.  It has distracted all of you and so many of you otherwise very smart and sophisticated people DO NOT know what is going on here-- all of the manufacturers are equally incompetent. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent by taxpayers on this worthless crappy equipment that no one is able to run, let alone octogenarians in drafty old schools and churches tha don't have any proper electrical hook ups.
There's a huge learning curve here.  There is a lot to learn.  You are all tech savvy -- Learn it.  Get over this debate about who is in charge of the debacle and learn what's on the ground.
HAVA mandates ! the Bds of Elections to buy this faulty equipment and threatens to actually put them in jail if they don't buy it.  I'm serious.
Get over deciding wh's to blame until you see the dimensions of the problem-- then you can start to debate about it.
I said yesterday that for a year I have been reading about this subject every day and asking  myself "Who benefits from the chaos?" and in one post, Matt Stoller went right to it.  I was amazed actually-- 'that would be a great way to steal an election -- forget the cards'.  Well it's true, and no one can deny it -- it would be a great way to steal an election, whether it happened that way or not is almost irrelevant.
These enormous gaffes have been happening in elections everywhere in counties throughout the country.  WHY is beside the point if it keeps us from taking action to fix it.--sandra
by syolles 2006-09-14 12:41PM | 0 recs
numbers not real?

Matt, can you clarify what you mean when you say that the numbers out there aren't real? For what reason(s), in particular, do you say that?

I agree that there a lot of reasons to be suspicious of what went on in this election in general. I'd like to know your specific reason for doubting the numbers that are out (I'm not questioning that you have a reason, I'd just like to know what it is).

Obviously those numbers don't take into account absentee and provisional ballots. We also know that some voters were disenfranchised (for various reasons, mostly that the machines were not set up or working, and they had to leave), and their votes obviously won't be included in those numbers. Other than that, are these numbers wrong, and in what way (what, specifically, would have to change to make them "right")?

To put it another way, is there any way these numbers will change (other than with the addition of absentee and provisional ballots)? Are there ballots missing somewhere? It would be impossible to recount the electronic votes, no?

If there's no way those numbers will change, then there "real" in terms of the effect they'll have on the outcome of this election. If questioning their validity is simply based on speculation about fraud (which is valid, don't get me wrong) that we don't actually have any evidence for, then saying "these numbers aren't real" seems kind of strong (saying that they are "suspect" or that "we'll never know if they're right" seems more accurate).

by grg 2006-09-14 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: numbers not real?

The numbers don't represent the will of the voters because the will of the voters was subverted.  

by Matt Stoller 2006-09-14 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: numbers not real?

OK, that's what I thought you meant, just wanted to make sure you didn't mean something more specific. I agree, though.

by grg 2006-09-14 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Donna Edwards Speaks

That's my thinking, too, Aiko. Donna Edwards should absolutely be supported, but it should also be made clear that this degree of chaos is flat-out intolerable.  It's not democracy once voting is a right given only to those people have an hour to spare on a workday.

by sb 2006-09-14 12:56PM | 0 recs

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