Here we go again another recount debacle.
The Minnesota senate recount could have been prevented with technology. Every kid on the street has an IPOD but Minnesota can not afford electronic voting machines which could have stopped the inane fights over pen marks on ballots. There has never been any proof, or even any credible allegations for that matter, of electronic voting machines resulting in voter fraud. So why after Florida does Minnesota find themselves with this senatorial race a comedy of errors?
This is a travesty.
When are the citizens going to stand up and insist their votes count. Pulling mysterious votes out of thin air by looser’s to rip off an election is NOT ACCEPTABLE.
By TRENT ENGLAND
Sorry Minnesota, but the sequel is never as good as the original.
For those who watched the Washington State governor’s race recounts in 2004, the ongoing recount drama in Minnesota is just another rehash of the same script — albeit for a U.S. Senate seat that might put Democrats one vote away from a filibuster-proof majority.
Four years ago in Washington, Democratic Party candidate Christine Gregoire lost the first count, lost the recount, and then won a second, highly dubious recount by 133 votes. In Minnesota, where Sen.
Norm Coleman is defending his seat against comedian-turned-candidate Al Franken, the first count showed Mr. Coleman up 725 votes. Today, thanks to another dubious recount, Mr. Franken is apparently in the lead.
Razor-thin margins like these put election systems to the test. As the old proverb goes, they are a crisis and an opportunity. Yet the crises keep coming and the opportunities continue to be squandered. It’s time to learn the lessons of the recount wars and address the systemic flaws in our election processes. Indeed, the price of a continued decline in voter confidence is too troubling for most Americans to comprehend.
In Washington’s 2004 gubernatorial election, at least 1,392 felons illegally voted, 252 provisional ballots were wrongly counted, and 19 votes were cast from beyond the grave, according to Chelan County Superior Court Judge John Bridges’s opinion in a case brought by Dino Rossi, Ms. Gregoire’s Republican opponent.
Election workers in King County (where Seattle is located) “enhanced” 55,177 ballots to make it easier for tabulating machines to read them — even though the county had failed to establish written procedures as required by state law. In some cases, individual election workers modified voted ballots using black felt markers and white-out tape while observers were kept at a distance that prevented meaningful observation. Nine separate times, King County “discovered” and counted unsecured ballots.
Nevertheless, Ms. Gregoire lost to Mr. Rossi by 261 votes.
An automatic recount reduced Mr. Rossi’s lead to just 42 votes. The Gregoire campaign demanded a state-wide hand recount, a time-consuming and expensive process that state law says the challenger must pay for (if the result changes, the challenger is reimbursed). Big labor unions joined with far-left groups like MoveOn.org to put up the money for Ms. Gregoire’s third-time’s-the-charm ballot shuffle.
During the recount process, five counties found new, uncounted, unsecured ballots and added them into their totals. King County officials admitted publicly that ballot reconciliation reports were falsified in an attempt to conceal variations between the number of votes counted and the number of voters who voted (two elections workers were disciplined as a result).
By the end, 3,539 votes more than the number of voters who voted were tabulated. Four other swing counties provided an additional 4,880 mystery ballots. Ms. Gregoire was the victor by a margin of 133 votes.
That margin — 133 votes — happens to be the same number of ballots that Minneapolis election officials are currently missing. The initial vote tally in one Democrat-leaning precinct counted 133 more ballots than officials have been able to find for the Senate recounts. The Minnesota canvassing board decided on Dec. 12 to allow Minneapolis simply to ignore the recount and go with the original number. This provided a 46-vote boost for Mr. Franken, about the same as his current projected lead. The board also “requested” that counties reconsider rejected absentee ballots, a new and novel part of the recount procedure that is also expected to favor Mr. Franken.
Something is wrong when a victorious candidate owes more thanks to vote counters than to voters. Such was the case in Washington in 2004, and Minnesota is poised to follow in its footsteps in 2008.
It need not be this way. After 2004, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation produced a 42-page report offering a dozen solutions. While a few were implemented, most were simply ignored by officials content to cross their fingers and hope the next close election is in someone else’s jurisdiction.
Some reforms are simply educational and cultural; others are fundamental and essential. Election officials need to understand current federal and state laws and regulations governing the entire election process, including recounts. Those responsible for elections must also inculcate a culture of compliance among election staff, including temporary staff hired at election time.
From the moment they are printed, ballots should be isolated and guarded and their chain of custody recorded. Officials with rule-making authority are responsible for establishing processes that clarify how ballots are to be handled, stored, counted, and, if necessary, recounted.
Most important to maintaining and increasing public faith in elections is improving openness, especially leveraging Internet technology to make anyone a potential election observer. The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s project to put all 6,700 contested ballots in the Senate race on the Web, so people can compare their own judgments to those of the canvassing board, is but one example. Election officials who have nothing to hide should be putting as much as possible online as quickly as possible.
Citizens and the media might also take a closer look at some of the individuals and organizations involved in monkeying with and even overturning elections. Both Mr. Franken and Ms. Gregoire were endorsed by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — Acorn — a group under investigation in several states for suspected voter registration chicanery.
The man overseeing the Senate recount, Minnesota Secretary of State
Mark Ritchie, was also endorsed by Acorn, and his election campaign in 2006 was funded in part by something called “The Secretary of State Project.” This latter group, founded by MoveOn.org’s former grass-roots director, exists solely to install far-left candidates as secretaries of state in swing states.
Close elections will always stir controversy. They will often require recounts to validate the results. Yet the Washington and Minnesota recounts offer cautionary tales. The democratic process is too important to be disregarded until a virtual tie forces us to pay attention. Regardless of which candidates win our elections, the voters — not the vote counters — should win every time.
Mr. England is director of the
Citizenship and Governance Center
at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation.
Once I really started paying attention to Barack Obama and what was or was not being said about him I found the lack of TRUE confirmed information astounding.
Barack Obama essentially has no history other than that he has made up for himself. Because he has sealed his records and refuses to provide even the bare essentials required by law to become President of the USA. “We the people” literally know nothing about him.
This is disturbing on a number of levels.
Why the secrecy?
I can think of no reason that is positive can you?
Here are a few clips addressing the issues.
As we move forward now to the inauguration of Barack Obama we still do not know much about him.
He refuses to produce even the key information which proves him eligible for this office. There is grave doubt that he is a “natural born citizen”. That is a basic requirement to even be considered for this high office in our USA. Why does he refuse to provide this information?
Those required to insist this information be made public fail to do so.
There is only one answer that at this point is logical.
He can not and is not.
“We the people” are left clueless as usual.
This is a critical issue and to date few governmental officials are doing much if anything about it.
This website is intent on educating the public about the Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
These are the documents this country was founded on.
This is not about Barack Obama’s politics or race … IT IS ABOUT the preservation of the Constitution of the USA.
Here are four videos that should be shown to every person in the United States from the age of 12 upward. They are well narrated and easy to understand the basic concepts of economics with no bias. Truly amazing and unusual in today’s culture of blame and greed in Washington DC. The videos are presented by the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. Dan Mitchell from the CATO Institute is the moderator.
The first video explains the Laffer Curve and the relationship between tax rates, taxable income and tax revenue. It also dispenses with some myths about the Laffer Curve and economics.
The second video looks at real world evidence of changing marginal tax rates in the United States and other countries.
The third video explains our governments static policy of estimating taxes. Federal government stupidity at its finest.
The final video explains why Keynesian economic policy is so loved by democrats and dictators the world over. Basically this economic policy is used to justify the federal governments theft of wealth from some of it’s citizens and channeling the wealth to the citizens they favor.
Wonderful videos and a big thanks to the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Dan Mitchell, CATO and the Heritage Foundation.
The only area I disagree on is the flat tax as a good alternative to our tax code. The flat tax has been shown to be unworkable in the United States due to the corruption in Washington DC. The fair tax would take power from Washington politicians and is sorely needed as a recipe to fight corruption.
Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Chris Dodd. George Bush all favor Keynesian economics. The democratic party only seems to know Keynesian economics. Hopefully the people will get the fair tax passed by a massive uprising as the realization these politicians sold them into third world economic status.
Andrew Osborne recently submitted an article for the Wall Street Journal detailing Igor Panarin, a former KGB operative and dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s academy for future diplomats. Mr. Panarin has for a decade been predicting the break up of the United States around the year 2010. The reasons for the break up are the same cast of characters that has destroyed countless nations in the past. Moral collapse, economic collapse and racial diversity all plague the United States.
We are a divided country led by unscrupulous politicians who give the health and wealth of the nation little or no consideration. The only common characteristic Republicans and Democrats have is they backstab their supporters and opponents with equally vicious blows. Bush, Greenspan, Dodd, Frank, Schumer, Lott, Frist, Obama, Pelosi, Boxer, Reid, Daschle and many others have plowed the ground for a civil war to erupt. It’s been a long time coming. Beginning in the 50’s with the disintegration of our public schools, the 60’s with the disintegration of our immigration policy and border controls, the 70’s with the destruction of our capitalist economy by Nixon and Carter, and now the disintegration of our economy and the dollar. Simply put the politicians forgot who they worked for and pursued their own=2 0self interest. The founding fathers were mostly Libertarian for a reason. They had been through the dictators and theft by the powerful from the masses. With 44% of our money going to the government this lesson is repeated today. This was the lesson our leaders long ago lived and learned by in creating our country. Libertarian government works and the rest leed to legalized theft and tyranny.
To quote Mr. Panarin, “There’s a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur,” he says. “One could rejoice in that process,” he adds, poker-faced. “But if we’re talking reasonably, it’s not the best scenario — for Russia.” Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.
For those to point to Mr. Panarin as a crack pot he astutely points out French political scientist Emmanuel Todd. Mr. Todd is famous for having rightly forecast the demise of the Soviet Union — 15 years beforehand. “When he forecast the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1976, people laughed at him,” says Prof. Panarin.
The method of succession chosen this time will not be as dramatic as Fort Sumter back in 1860. The states will simply fail to require its citizens and businesses to pay Washington taxes. Starve the beast. A fairly simple non violent form of succession.
Here is a map of the divided United States predicted by Mr. Panarin.
Will this come about? History shows different languages, racial and ethnic groups and values split countries. Czechoslovakia broke up peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The USSR broke into 15 countries, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungry Empire and Rome. all broke apart The list is as long as recorded history. Why would we think we are any different? Who wants to live with people they share no values with or attraction to? We fight to have a place where we can live in peace not tyranny.
I must strenuously disagree with Mr. Panarin about the possible future composition of the divided United States. I am assuming a couple of things. First the governors involved will be intelligent enough to realize the need to maintain the military and its readiness. Second the basic attitudes of the indigenous people will be reflected in their leadership to some extent.
Strategically and militarily the best make up of a new country would be Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas , Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, the southern part of Virginia, Colorado. Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, the southern portion of Illinois, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Utah and Alaska. This would ensure access to the Pacific and Atlantic waters, nuclear arsenals and enough population to support the military financially. There are three types of nuclear forces, land, sea and air. The central states control two of the three. Extremely important militarily.
Letting Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland and the District of Columbia free to pursue draconian tax and society control policies would be a blessing for the newly separated country. Similarly letting Washington State, Oregon and California pursue their dreams would only strengthen the new country.
I do not fear a government with a constitution that states the principal of the founding fathers. Freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Strict limits on taxation and federal control should ring throughout the new constitution. Limit the new federal government to the military and the courts. Let the states social engineer. The break up of the United States is inevitable. We are too diverse and divided. Let’s do this in a civil manner like Czechoslovakia did in 1993. We can split the debt and live in peace. People can=2 0pursue and live under they type of government they wish to. The United States has been gutted like a pig and ripped off by the politicians once to many times. Kill the beast and be done with it.