pageok
pageok
pageok
Chicago-Style Elections on Lake Erie:

The Cincinnati Enquirer's Peter Bronson thinks Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner -- "the most partisan state official in Ohio" -- "is doing her best to bring Chicago elections to Ohio."

Asher (mail):
Worrisome stuff.
9.24.2008 1:31am
CrazyTrain (mail):
Someone call the Waaambulance. The Republicans are crying about corrupt and partisan secretaries of state in crucial swing states. Waaaahhhh.

Sauce. Goose. Gander.
9.24.2008 1:59am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
As CrazyTrain says, but we needn't even leave Ohio. It would be awfully difficult for Jennifer Brunner to behave as badly as her Republican predecessor Kenneth Blackwell.
9.24.2008 2:05am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
I wouldn't take Bronson's piece as gospel. On the voting machine issue, he's just wrong. The Diebold machines in question are without a doubt insecure. Some election officials (who are usually petty politicians) may think that the concern is overwrought, but the computer scientists who have studied the machines don't think so. For example, Avi Rubin,
Professor of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University and Technical Director of the Information Security Institute concluded from his analysis of the machines that: "this voting system is far below even the most minimal security standards applicable in other contexts.". See Analysis of an Electronic Voting System. It is also established beyond any reasonable doubt (due to the availability of a large cache of internal email) that Diebold technicians have modified the software after state certification, in flagrant violation of election laws. The State of California has decertified Diebold machines.

Most if not all of Bronson's other points are dubious as well, but in my opinion the Diebold issue isn't even debatable. The machines are awful and the company has a demonstrated record of incompetent, deceitful, and illegal behavior. If Bronson doesn't understand that, he isn't someone whose judgment is worthy of attention.
9.24.2008 2:24am
David Warner:
CrazyTrain,

"Sauce. Goose. Gander."

Which is why you of course support torture of captured terrorists. Crazy indeed.

Where do I sign up as a citizen concerned with fair elections?
9.24.2008 2:46am
astrangerwithcandy (mail):
lovely, "its ok, bc they did it too"
9.24.2008 2:58am
Sarah (mail) (www):
And this (*) is why Republicans still have any chance at all of winning in a state where, two years ago, I would have bet my life savings not a single significant Republican would win anything statewide for at least a generation. I mean, my entire family -- including people who donated to and volunteered with the Taft campaign, as well as the Dole/Kemp local efforts and a couple of congressional elections -- went out of their way to vote for the "wrong" people in all the primaries purely out of spite. Two of my family members have changed their registration to bizarre third parties, and delight in telling RNC and Ohio Republican Party fundraisers exactly why, when they call.

(*) Not Brunner specifically -- just that the Ohio Democrats in general keep managing to kill their best arguments against Taft, Blackwell, etc. by producing their own models. I don't know why either statewide party is this screwy; the city and municipal officials are okay, at least in the areas I've lived. I don't really think Brunner is even close to the worst of the lot, though I do worry that she seems to think all of Ohio is exactly like Cleveland and that we all have just as much money as she'd like us to spend on her latest last-minute decisions. Diebold machines aren't perfect, but I'm not sure they're so bad that we ought to have to divert even more funds in a year where nearly every government in the state is laying people off and cutting essential (like snow removal and sheriff's deputies) services. "Raise taxes for perfect elections" doesn't seem like a very good slogan.
9.24.2008 7:21am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
What, not enough troops deployed from Ohio whose votes can be dismissed?
9.24.2008 8:58am
Norman Bates (mail):
CrazyTrain: As the US Supreme Court (9-0) pointed out, Katherine Harris was following black letter state law in the Florida election process (doctored Wikipedia entries to the contrary). In this case the Democrat Secretary of State is breaking black letter state law to disenfranchise people whose votes she doesn't like. Just because dirty elections are a Democrat tradition doesn't mean their right.
9.24.2008 9:28am
Roger F.:
The voting machine issue is not the only problem with this column. On the absentee ballot scandal, it states:

But that's contrary to state law and Brunner doesn't have the authority, according to the lawsuit and an opinion from Hamilton County's Republican Prosecutor Joe Deters.

Ohio law allows voters to request an absentee ballot on the back of a grocery sack if they want to, as long as they include their name, address, date of birth, signature and either a driver's license number, last four Social Security numbers or a valid picture I.D.

There is nothing in the law about checking a box to verify a qualified voter.


But that's not all state law requires; it also requires a statement that the requesting person is a qualified elector. Most absentee ballot forms in Ohio simply state this, for instance above the signature block. The McCain campaign's mistake was putting a check box there.

Which might seem a minor point, except that most would agree there's a substantive difference there. A statement above a signature block is being agreed to when one signs; a statement with a check box, which is unchecked, isn't necessarily. Thus, at least arguably, the requirement that the requester state he or she is a qualified elector has not been met.
9.24.2008 10:20am
Virginian:
Bringing Chicago style elections to Ohio? That's change you can believe in!
9.24.2008 10:35am
Not so fast, my friend (mail):

As CrazyTrain says, but we needn't even leave Ohio. It would be awfully difficult for Jennifer Brunner to behave as badly as her Republican predecessor Kenneth Blackwell.


Your argument has been squarely rejected by SCOTUS.
9.24.2008 11:27am
David Warner:
Sarah,

Same boat here. Anyone curious about Ohio politics might want to google Mark Dann.
9.24.2008 11:54am
Federal Dog:
Can we get an explanation of Katherine Harris's "corruption" in 2000?
9.24.2008 2:48pm
RPT (mail):
"As CrazyTrain says, but we needn't even leave Ohio. It would be awfully difficult for Jennifer Brunner to behave as badly as her Republican predecessor Kenneth Blackwell.

Your argument has been squarely rejected by SCOTUS."

Citation?
9.24.2008 2:51pm
Yankev (mail):

It would be awfully difficult for Jennifer Brunner to behave as badly as her Republican predecessor Kenneth Blackwell.
Blackwell at least was an equal opportunity jerk, e.g. his demand that petitions be on 24 weight paper. He and his staff (many of whom are civil servants inherited from Taft and bequeathed to Brunner) have the worst case of lifeguard syndrome I have ever seen.

I moved to Ohio 25 years ago and saw right away that no matter which party is in power, we manage to make Illinois look well governed.
9.24.2008 3:23pm
PLR:
Can we get an explanation of Katherine Harris's "corruption" in 2000?

Start with the Civil Rights Commission's report.

Bronson's column makes it clear that McCain's campaign staff and other Republican officials are mighty steamed that Brunner is reading their own admittedly screwed-up ballot as it was designed.

Film at 11.
9.24.2008 3:48pm
Federal Dog:
"Start with the Civil Rights Commission's report."

Feel free to explain what you mean.

In addition, SCOTUS found that Harris acted according to mandates of controlling state law. Should she have violated law directly governing her function as the state authority who certifies votes in that jurisdiction? If so, should all certifying authorities violate controlling law if some people do not like the result of a particular vote?
9.24.2008 4:17pm
Curious Passerby (mail):
In a close election this might matter. In a McCain landslide it won't make a difference.
9.24.2008 5:17pm
Roger F.:
It also won't matter if magical elves fly in from Mars and replace our government with a utopian wonderland full of fun toys and candy for every boy and girl.
9.24.2008 8:27pm