by Matt Stoller, Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 03:17:54 PM EDT
The Washington Post's Ovetta Wiggins has an article out on Maryland's 4th yesterday. Get ready for legal challenges, because Edwards won this election.
What's going on there is really bad, and it's a preview of what's coming in November considering that the Republicans have basically hired a criminal named Terry Nelson to head up the NRCC opposition 'research' department. So if you don't really know how to approach a situation like this, you should try to learn by watching it during the Edwards-Wynn dry run.
Here's the latest. The absentee ballots from Montgomery County were counted yesterday, and Wynn's lead was narrowed to 2800 votes. Most of these ballots were not in the 4th. I'm not sure if that's true about the provisionals, which are the key.
The polls closed on Tuesday evening, but voting machines in anywhere between two to eight precincts (probably controlled by Wynn's allies) were not brought in to the Maryland Board of Elections until the next day. On Wednesday at 5pm, observers saw a white moving truck pull up and deliver voting machines from several precincts in Wynn-favoring Prince George's county, one of which the Edwards campaign heavily canvassed. Though memory cards were supposed to be taken out immediately after voting closed, these machines had their memory cards still in them. Though no one can yet prove that Wynn's people tampered with the machines, the margin on those machines went for Wynn by around 65-35, which is out of line with the rest of the county. The rest of the county had it at 57 or so for Wynn.
The impact of the numbers appears to be about 1000 votes. Prior to these votes coming in, Wynn had a lead of less than 2000 votes, with 13,000 Montgomery County provisional ballots to be counted on Monday. Donna won that county by a substantial margin, which means she'll probably pick up anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand votes on Monday when those votes are counted.
In other words, what it looks like is that Wynn or Wynn's allies held the ballot boxes they controlled back until they knew the margin Wynn needed to win on Monday, and that's when they probably did their tampering. We'll see what happens on Monday, when the provisionals are counted.
Donna Edwards should probably be the next Congressperson from the fourth. She may yet be seated in Congress next session, though I wouldn't bet my life on it.