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Ohio SoS Seeks Emergency Stay from Justice Stevens:

From the New York Times report on the Sixth Circuit's 10-6 en banc decision in Republican Party v. Brunner.

The court decision requires Jennifer Brunner, the Ohio secretary of state, to provide the names to local election officials by Friday. Once the local officials have the names, they may require these voters to cast provisional ballots rather than regular ones, and they may ask partisan poll workers to challenge these voters on Election Day. Both possibilities could cause widespread problems when the voters show up at the polls.

Concerns about those problems led the Ohio Attorney General's Office to file an appeal of the decision to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Ms. Brunner on Wednesday night.

The state's appeal went directly to Justice John Paul Stevens because he oversees the Sixth Circuit. It argued that the Republican Party had nearly two years to raise complaints about the process of screening voter registrations and failed to do so. Any changes now to the process would disrupt preparations for the election, it contended.

More on reactions to the ruling from the Columbus Dispatch and Cleveland Plain Dealer.

UPDATE: The Ohio State election law guys are on top of things (as usual) and have posted Brunner's stay application here, and SCOTUSBlog covers the stay application here.

Richard Aubrey (mail):
As another blogger noted, SoS is complaining there is no time to straighten this out while dragging out litigation to insure there is no time to straighten this out.
It is becoming more difficult to see good faith in this.
10.16.2008 11:15am
Houston Lawyer:
So the Secretary of State sees it as her job to ensure that the maximum number of fraudulent votes are cast. Clearly, she doesn't want even the possibility of an investigation into the mis-matched data. Does she get commissions from ACORN for registering the ineligible?
10.16.2008 11:36am
AntonK (mail):
Boy, they're so worried about the outcome of the election that they're willing to outright steal it at any cost and via any means.

Time to throw the tea into the harbor, me thinks...
10.16.2008 11:42am
Sarcastro (www):
It's clear to me that the ONLY reason Brunner could possibly do this is to steal the election. No other possible reasons exist at all. And if Stevens or the Court agree with her, well, they're stealing the election too.

And if you try to tell me otherwise, I'll just know you're in on the conspiracy, or a "useful idiot." So good luck trying to convince me otherwise!

Plus I've been hoping for an armed revolution for a long time! Now that AntonK is with me, people may finally stop laughing!
10.16.2008 11:55am
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

Well I guess it's time for Republicans to start stealing elections.
10.16.2008 12:02pm
calmom:
The more this Democrat S of S tries to steal the election, the bigger the backlash will be. People are steaming mad about this ACORN fraud.
10.16.2008 12:06pm
Grover_Cleveland:
As another blogger noted, SoS is complaining there is no time to straighten this out while dragging out litigation to insure there is no time to straighten this out.
It is becoming more difficult to see good faith in this.


She's only following Bush's strategy from Florida 2000.
10.16.2008 12:07pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Grover.
Difference there is that Bush had more votes. Even without the disallowed military votes. Some of which were in a federal court awaiting a hearing. Which became moot when Bush won.
As you know but hope the rest of us don't.
I have to give you credit for keeping on keeping on. In my heart, I think your persistence, and that of your friends might, after all, become considered the truth. Just out of sheer persistence.
You guys just never quit. Admirable, after a fashion.
10.16.2008 12:12pm
PC:
People are steaming mad about this ACORN fraud.

If people are steaming mad it's because they are buying into the conspiracy theory being pushed by Fox News and the Republican party. 9/11 was an inside job, there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll, ACORN stole the election. The impressive part is people are buying into a preemptive conspiracy theory. That will certainly help sell it to people that are susceptible to such things.
10.16.2008 12:15pm
richard cabeza:
The other guys lie. Why else would they be successful?

You have to lie with passion to get the underclasses to feel betrayed.
10.16.2008 12:16pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
PC.
So is the lie that this stuff isn't happening, or that this stuff, which is happening, is a plot?

See, if it weren't really happening, you'd have an easier time making the case that it's a lie.

But the dems dined out on the selected/elected story for so long and apparently think it was useful, that perhaps the republicans are taking a lesson. Remember, it's a mark of respect that people learn from you.

Somebody, maybe Reagan, referred to the Cold War arms race as one in which only one side was actually racing. Having both competing makes for more excitement, don't you think?
10.16.2008 12:26pm
Sarcastro (www):

The other guys lie

Ain't that the truth! I would ad the corollary that my guys never lie.
10.16.2008 12:29pm
Phil Smith (mail):
Does anyone have a take on the (undisputed) fact that approximately 200,000 of the 666,000 new registrations are faulty? Is the fact that roughly one third of new registrants - without assuming chicanery - are incapable of a fairly simple task to be expected?
10.16.2008 12:53pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Phil.
Either that or chicanery.
What's your take?
Is there a third option?
10.16.2008 12:55pm
TruthInAdvertising:
"Does anyone have a take on the (undisputed) fact that approximately 200,000 of the 666,000 new registrations are faulty? "

Wrong. Those registrations have a mismatch between the registration info. and what's in the database. That doesn't make the registration faulty. Ask "Joe the Plumber" - his name is spelled wrong in the database. Should he be prevented from voting?
10.16.2008 12:56pm
PC:
Does anyone have a take on the (undisputed) fact that approximately 200,000 of the 666,000 new registrations are faulty?

I'm worried that there are 666,000 registrations. It's the registrations of The Beast.
10.16.2008 12:58pm
Angus:
Does anyone have a take on the (undisputed) fact that approximately 200,000 of the 666,000 new registrations are faulty? Is the fact that roughly one third of new registrants - without assuming chicanery - are incapable of a fairly simple task to be expected?
As I understand it, the SoS is claiming that the foul ups with the registrations in question are mostly the fault of the state bureaucracy and a poorly put together and maintained database rather than the voters who submitted applications. My assumption is that the truly fraudulent registrations were already denied by elections boards (as we've read about repeatedly in Ohio) before being submitted to the state office.
10.16.2008 1:01pm
Loops:
Is this not the plan?

1. ACORN keeps a list of fraudulent registrations prepared by its minions.
2. ACORN knows that votes submitted under fake names on fake registrations would not keep real voters from voting, so they would be hard to catch.
3. ???
4. Victory on election day!
10.16.2008 1:05pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Truth.
Nobody's suggesting Joe be prevented. I think you knew that.
The point is that when Joe votes, we would like to be reasonably sure it's Joe and not somebody's grandmother, passed on lo these many years.

But blaming the state for this is interesting. Have they been this bad in the past? If not, what happened this time? If they have been, did we miss a similar kerfuffle?

It's said that when the Mustang ranch got behind on taxes--passing up an opportunity for some word play here--the government took it over, and lost money. If you can't make money that way, I guess the same kind of folks could screw up registration forms. (More self discipline.)

If I were Joe and Obama's health care plan were in place and these clowns were in charge of the paperwork, I might be worried about having a hysterectomy or something performed on me when I went in for a bum ankle. (But at least the Canadians wouldn't be clogging up the hospitals.)

Question is, presuming it's official incompetence (which is different from the incomptence of officials), how does the state fix this in the time remaining and do the SoS' actions help or hinder?
10.16.2008 1:13pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Phil Smith: I'm no ACORN fan, but its not exactly correct to say that these 200,000 un-matched registrations are all faulty. Some part of them are surely due to errors in the databases against which they are matched, because of typos and the like.

I'm not sure what "normal" error rates for these sorts of databases are, but the error rates in the populations that ACORN targets are surely higher. For one thing, many poor people are functionally illiterate, so if, for example, their name is spelled wrong on their drivers license, they are less likely to notice and less likely to care enough to get it corrected.

This isn't to say that I support the Ohio SoS approach of just presuming that everything is fine. One of the problems is, nobody seems to know what sorts of error rates are to be expected, because nobody's ever made a serious systematic effort to do this before, as far as I can tell.
10.16.2008 1:14pm
Oren:
Loops, ACORN is required by law to submit any registration they are given, irrespective of whether they think it is fraudulent.
10.16.2008 1:14pm
Angus:
I came across an interesting example of a "faulty" type of updated registration.

Person A is registered to vote already. Person A moves to a new address and changes their voter registration to the new precinct. However, person A does not bother to wait hours at the DMV to get a new driver's license yet. Person A now has a "discrepancy" between the address on their updated voter form and their address in the Motor Vehicle database.

Should person A lose their right to vote?
10.16.2008 1:15pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
angus.
Again, nobody's suggesting they lose their right to vote.
That's homemade hysteria and you know better.

So does everybody else.
10.16.2008 1:19pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Angus wrote:

My assumption is that the truly fraudulent registrations were already denied by elections boards (as we've read about repeatedly in Ohio) before being submitted to the state office.

How would the election boards identify truly fraudulent registrations (that is, false registrations submitted with the intention of later using them to cast a fraudulent vote)? The local boards can screen out obvious junk like "Minnie Mouse" registrations, but the only way to find truly fraudulent registrations is to cross-check the information on the registration against other sources. That is exactly what the SoS is fighting.
10.16.2008 1:27pm
TruthInAdvertising:
"Again, nobody's suggesting they lose their right to vote. "

Tell that to the Republican Party in Ohio. They've made it clear that they plan on challenging every voter who's name has gotten flagged and forcing them to vote provisionally. Reviews of provisional voting has shown that it has higher rates of ballot disqualification or ballot error than standard voting. As that voter, your vote is being put at risk by being forced to vote provisionally.
10.16.2008 1:28pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Oh, and Angus?

I understand the concept of artistic verisimilitude. Still, I thought I would point out that it is not necessary to stand in line at the DMV for hours to change addresses. The SoS website will take it 24/7 from the comfort of your home.

You know that.
So does everybody else.
10.16.2008 1:29pm
DangerMouse:
I find it really disgusting that the Secretary of State is so committed to voter fraud. It's just amazing how she is blatantly resisting creating a clean record of all people who should be voting.

Does anyone really think we live in a democracy anymore, when all voting is treated as a numbers game by mafia figures working in the government or for "community organizations"?
10.16.2008 1:31pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
As to "Person A," they shouldn't lose their right to vote, but they *should* have to produce evidence that they really are Person A, and not somebody else, before voting.
10.16.2008 1:32pm
Phil Smith (mail):
Fair enough, thanks for the replies and correction of my verbiage. I'm still curious if this discrepancy rate is normal. I wouldn't really be surprised one way or the other.
10.16.2008 1:33pm
Fury:
If the emergency stay is granted, would the USSC hear the matter as a body before the election, or would that not be possible?
10.16.2008 1:33pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Truth.
Your point would be better made if you could tell us which error rate is more accurate.

Can you tell me why a flagged voter registration shouldn't be treated differently? Being forced to vote provisionally is hardly overkill when the very question of your eligibility to vote, to say nothing of your actual existence, is unanswered.
10.16.2008 1:33pm
PC:
It's true DangerMouse. There's a grand conspiracy.
10.16.2008 1:39pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
TnA: This is just ridiculous. You're beginning with the presumption that there is no voting fraud, ever (or that preventing it isn't justified). If you make this a partisan issue, you're making the Democrats into the Fraud Party.
10.16.2008 1:41pm
James Gibson (mail):
When I first heard of the Ohio registration I actually though they were being issued provisional ballots. Having worked as a clerk twice during my undergraduate years and then as the polling station lead, I have seen how provisionals work.

You see, one way people try and vote twice is by showing up at their required polling station to vote and then showing up at another location to do the same. At their required station they are on the roll of registered voters, and they have to sign the book to get the ballot. At the other station they don't show up on the rolls, but we have to take their word that they are a registered voter. Thats were the provisional comes in.

Its the same ballot, only after its completed its placed in an envelope which is then signed by both me (as poll lead) and by the voter. It will then only be opened after the voter's name has been checked to see where he/she is supposed to vote and if that name is crossed-off the book at his regular polling location. If it isn't, and other provisionals haven't been found by this person in other ballot boxes, the provisional ballot is taken as the vote and counted. If however his/her name is lined out in the book from the station where he/she was supposed to vote the provisional is both invalidated and becomes evidence of vote fraud. Only the regular ballot dropped in at the required voting station is accepted.

Provisional ballots is just one way to prevent fraud. Another is requiring people who asked for absentee ballots, but then show up at their voting station to bring the unused absentee ballot. There have been more then a few times when people say they didn't get the mail-in ballot or they haven't mailed it. They therefore get a provisional, in case the missing or unmailed mail-in shows up at the counting station. One time a woman demanded that I give her a regular ballot to fill out while clutching the absentee ballot she had been sent. She absolutely wouldn't fill out the absentee and then drop it in the box, she wanted a regular ballot. She finally saw reason and gave me the absentee in trade for the regular ballot. I stopped doing volunteer work at the polls after that election
10.16.2008 1:44pm
DangerMouse:
It's true DangerMouse. There's a grand conspiracy.

You seem to be under the deluded impression that that all government corruption must support a grand conspiracy, PC. However, an official improperly using her office to support criminals happens all the time (I grew up in NJ). It's not surprising that you'd blindly assume a government official is acting as a beacon of fairness and justice - liberals are always deficient when it comes to a critical eye towards the government. Still, there is little doubt that people are engaged in voter fraud and that the Ohio Secretary of State is actively supporting such fraud:

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien confirmed that he is investigating alleged voter and registration fraud involving 13 newly registered voters who came to Columbus for a get-out-the-vote campaign and used the same address, a small East Side home.
10.16.2008 1:50pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
truth:

Those registrations have a mismatch between the registration info. and what's in the database. That doesn't make the registration faulty. Ask "Joe the Plumber" - his name is spelled wrong in the database. Should he be prevented from voting?


Please keep in mind that people with nice, God-fearing, American names like Smith and Jones are not likely to have this problem. Then again, some people come from other countries, and have long, complicated names, and are somewhat less American than the rest of us.

pdx astutely observed another aspect of this.
10.16.2008 2:16pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

The SoS website will take it 24/7 from the comfort of your home.


Some people are so poor they don't have the internet in their house. Imagine that!

And they might be working two or three jobs, and have a lot of others things on their mind. And guess who these people want to vote for. The GOP understands all this.
10.16.2008 2:16pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.
Wait until I get my Kleenex put away.....
That's better, sniff.

I suppose they don't have a library card, either. Free internet at the library.
If they're working two or three jobs, they probably have money to have internet.
Besides, Angus' hyperbole aside, you don't wait hours at the DMV. My errands there are usually completed faster than a haircut. I go at lunch, or at close of business, not your slowest time.

Point is, after we wipe our noses and dry our eyes, your point is that we should allow people who aren't registered to vote to vote. Do you remember the old television show "Queen for A Day"/ It rewarded sob stories. Under the juke rules, you show up at the polling place with not a single piece of identification as to who you are, where you live, are you registered and simply start sobbing. Works for me.
10.16.2008 2:29pm
PersonFromPorlock:
TruthInAdvertising:

Reviews of provisional voting has shown that it has higher rates of ballot disqualification or ballot error than standard voting. As that voter, your vote is being put at risk by being forced to vote provisionally.

Maybe the reason is that higher rates of voting fraud are attempted by provisional voters?
10.16.2008 2:33pm
Marvin (mail) (www):
The Sec. of State's duty is to ensure a fair and legal election.
She is participating in this fraudulent activity, yes, some of the 200,000 mismatches are not fraud, but some of them are fraud.
This Democrat Sec. of State is willfully aiding and abetting illegal activity,
by not even trying to verify these registrations.

I bet that Justice Stevens will grant the stay.

and I pray that the full court will overturn, and reinstate the TRO issued by the Federal District Judge.
10.16.2008 2:40pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Slightly OT. Case in CA about a republican being investigated and--per usual with the feds, hassled for obstruction (means the investigators couldn't take notes right)--for writing to people in the district in which he was running that only citizens could vote.
I just can't wait for Obama to take charge of these bozos.
But, anyway, it appears that the DoJ thinks that telling non citizens that they can't vote is voter suppression. Which, when you think about it, it is.
10.16.2008 2:40pm
Greg Q (mail) (www):
Concerns about those problems led the Ohio Attorney General's Office to file an appeal of the decision to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Ms. Brunner on Wednesday night.

It's concern that illegal voters won't be able to vote that's driving her actions.

Any legitimate voter in those 200,000 can get a provisional ballot, and vote. And, once he or she has proved to be a valid voter, that vote will count.

Will that generate more work for the S of S and her department?

Yes.

Tough.

Preventing vote fraud is more important than making life easy for a corrupt partisan hack.
10.16.2008 2:50pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Difference there is that Bush had more votes. Even without the disallowed military votes.

We didn't know that at the time. All we knew was that it was a really close election and that Bush was slightly "ahead" in a count that might or might not be accurate.

The fact is, Bush's strategy was exactly the same as the SoS' strategy is here-- Bush wanted to make sure a lead, which might or might not have been legitimate, stood up, and the way to do that was to delay the recount process. And it worked, as the Supreme Court ultimately held there wasn't enough time for further recounts.
10.16.2008 2:59pm
Sarcastro (www):
I find revenge is awesome when it's for my side!
10.16.2008 3:06pm
Abdul Abulbul Amir (mail):

I came across an interesting example of a "faulty" type of updated registration.

Person A is registered to vote already. Person A moves to a new address and changes their voter registration to the new precinct. However, person A does not bother to wait hours at the DMV to get a new driver's license yet. Person A now has a "discrepancy" between the address on their updated voter form and their address in the Motor Vehicle database.

Should person A lose their right to vote?


No, but person A should not be allowed to vote at both the old and the new polling place.
10.16.2008 3:17pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Dilan. And independent audits afterwards showed he was right.
The Ohio case isn't about votes--or if it is, somebody spilled the beans too soon--but about flawed registrations. To follow your point, the SoS is trying to delay the conclusion so as to have the maximum number of flawed registrations. This is good for somebody.
10.16.2008 3:21pm
Loops:
Loops, ACORN is required by law to submit any registration they are given, irrespective of whether they think it is fraudulent.

Right. And that makes sense for the most part.

My point was that ACORN already has all the information it would need to commit widespread fraudulent voting if identities on voter registrations cannot be verified by the local officials. For that matter, any organization with a big database of fake voters could potentially cause a very big problem if the voter verification system doesn't have a good series of checks in it.

It doesn't seem to make sense to keep state DMV information from the local election officials, given the circumstances.
10.16.2008 3:22pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Abdul (may his tribe increase).
You're pretty hard on this issue. Really hard. Anal, even.
One vote per person.
No nuance there, by golly.
10.16.2008 3:24pm
Russ (mail):
If you make this a partisan issue, you're making the Democrats into the Fraud Party.

Welcome to the real world!
10.16.2008 3:24pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Russ.
A bit late, but the ninety and nine will still welcome the one that was lost.
10.16.2008 3:26pm
Greg Q (mail) (www):
Dilan Esper,

There's one big difference that you, and the other "liberals" are ignoring:

Bush was fighting for the laws to be enforced as they had been understood before the voting.

Gore was trying to get the law changed, after the voting, because he was aware that enforcing the laws as they existed would lead to him losing.

Brunner is trying to ignore the law. The Republicans are trying to get it enforced.

So no, there is no reversal here. it's the same old thing: Republicans respect the law, Democrats only respect power.
10.16.2008 3:27pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Greg.
I'm presuming you're telling Dilan this in order to impress upon him that everybody knows better. Certainly, Dilan is smart enough to know better. From time to time, he thinks the rest of don't and can be rolled.
10.16.2008 3:30pm
Greg Q (mail) (www):
PC bables,

If people are steaming mad it's because they are buying into the conspiracy theory being pushed by Fox News and the Republican party. 9/11 was an inside job, there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll, ACORN stole the election.


Um, PC, here's a hint. If you don't want people to believe something, you shouldn't act as if that something is true.

If there aren't fraudulent votes in there that the Democrats are counting on, then there's no reason to get upset about disseminating that information. The legitimate voters can cast provisional ballots, everyone will be happy.

It's only if you want fraudulent votes to be cast that you should have a problem with disseminating that information. So the fact that you're siding with Brunner tells us that you think that pro-Democrat fraud is likely to take place.
10.16.2008 3:33pm
Sarcastro (www):
Greg Q clearly knows what the law is. He sure could have saved us a lot of time 8 years ago!
10.16.2008 3:38pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Greg.
Not perzackly.
I think pro-Dem fraud is likely to take place. But I'm not siding with Bruner.

I think it would be more accurate to say that those siding with Bruner WANT pro-Dem fraud to take place. It's perfectly possible, as with me, to think it's going to take place and yet not side with Bruner on the issue.
10.16.2008 3:40pm
David Warner:
Richard,

"From time to time, he thinks the rest of don't and can be rolled."

If I had Juke's linkskillz I could provide several examples to refute this claim. Also unlike Juke, Dilan demonstrates the capacity to imagine other viewpoints and express them with sympathy. Sorta like Obama.

In this case, he likely doesn't "know better". Or perhaps he knows better than you know. The two of you give different weight to different data points in your respective understanding.
10.16.2008 3:45pm
PC:
Greg Q, um, the right wing is trying to push a narrative. I identified the narrative on this blog when it started and the narrative is continuing to develop. McCain forwarded the narrative last night. If I thought the people pushing the narrative were actually concerned about legitimate voting instead of creating a cloud of illegitimacy, I wouldn't be pointing this out.

The reason I think the people pushing the narrative are being disingenuous is simple. There are much bigger problems in our electoral system than fraudulent registrations. Some of these problems are worse by a few orders of magnitude.

Watch this interview with a former Diebold contractor to see what I'm talking about. You know, since it's now acceptable to offer up conspiracy theories.

Changing the votes in electronic voting machine doesn't require the coordination of a large number of people, something that a fraudulent registration and fraudulent voting scam would. Electronic voting machines have easily exploitable flaws and it would require the actions of one person to change the results for an entire county. Compare that to fraudulent registration and voting.

Adding a secretary of state to the fraudulent registration conspiracy is certainly an interesting twist, but I guess it's not totally unexpected.

But coming from the party that thinks Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster, I guess nothing is really unexpected.
10.16.2008 3:47pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Question for Spanish speakers (esp. US regional variants): What does the word "emigrado" mean? I've seen it generally translated as "immigrant," but even in English this term has now become rather vague.

It used to be that there were two kinds of immigrants - aliens and naturalized citizens. But then we decided that the term "alien" was not nice, so aliens became "immigrants." By extension, at least in government speak, the term "immigrant" no longer included naturalized citizens.

Would a naturalized citizen be ordinarily referred to as an "emigrado"? I'm not talking about technical governmental definitions, but rather what an ordinary Spanish speaking resident of the US would understand.
10.16.2008 3:56pm
Sarcastro (www):
[PC but what is the purpose of the narrative? Allowing them to live with themselves if the election is lost? Firing up the troops that are already fired up?

Thinking there's going to be voter fraud doesn't mean more votes for your side except indirectly.]
10.16.2008 4:00pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
PC.
You're not that good when you're good. But when you accuse the reps of being the party which thinks Hillary killed Vince Foster, you're not even good. I wish you would put that at the beginning so that I could avoid what follows, rather than at the end when I discover I wasted lifespan.
10.16.2008 4:06pm
PC:
Sarcastro, I'm guessing it's to help delegitimize an Obama administration before he would be sworn into office. It's the same type of thing the partisan democrats did with Diebold conspiracies and "stolen election" themes. Dragging Bruner into it may be payback for the crap that was slung at Katherine Harris in 2000.
10.16.2008 4:06pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
PC: Alright, you've convinced me that Diebold sucks. What kind of reforms do you advocate to fix the problem?

(or is your "narrative" that everybody does it, so its OK?)
10.16.2008 4:07pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
David Warner.
I suppose your view would be valid if Dilan, juke, and I were looking at a Picasso.
But in matters of actual fact, "What is truth, anyway?" doesn't get it.
And "What is fact, anyway?" isn't a useful response.
I could weight data points all day long in support of being able to fly by flapping my arms. But if I crashed and burned, referring to data points isn't going to help my orthopedic guy any.

Dilan and juke are smart enough and obviously well enough informed to know what is generally available to be known.
When they assert something which conflicts, I have a choice. Ignorance or trying to roll us.
Somehow, seeing their very obvious intellectual capacities, ignorance just doesn't work for me. Maybe if I weighted my data points a bit more....

When being put on by the nutcases of a faith-based social justice group I used to belong to, I had a litany of my shortcomings I would roll off. And then I'd say, "If I know better than this, how about all the smart people? Which is practically everybody."

What does bother me, to be more serious, is that these guys never, ever give up. Ever. By sheer persistence they will be enshrining partisan-favoring falsehoods as reality.
10.16.2008 4:15pm
PC:
PDXLawyer, electronic voting machines should at least have the same requirements for accuracy and security that gambling machines have.

And no, I don't think dirty elections are okay. We should do everything we can to promote legitimate participation and make the process transparent. There are numerous places we need reform in our electoral process.
10.16.2008 4:17pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
pc:

electronic voting machines should at least have the same requirements for accuracy and security that gambling machines have


Yes. And I think ATMs are another relevant example. We take for granted that an ATM can produce a slip of paper that gives us some kind of proof of what just happened.
10.16.2008 4:20pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.
That's because it's in the bank's interest that we all be on the same page.
There is no reason to think a voting machine could not be programmed to receipt the voter according to the vote and register a vote which could be different.
10.16.2008 4:32pm
PC:
By sheer persistence they will be enshrining partisan-favoring falsehoods as reality.

The irony is not lost. ACORN has gone from an organization that has some low wage workers that are filling in some registration cards so they can meet quotas to an organization that is "destroying the fabric of democracy." (McCain's words last night)

Speaking of data points, my day job involves writing software that collects huge amounts of data from the internet. That makes identifying various narratives as they emerge rather simple once you drop the data into various visualizations. One really cool thing about data visualization is the ability to identify whether narratives develop from the bottom or are pushed from the top.
10.16.2008 4:35pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
PC.
Considering the results, not the crap wages ACORN pays to its otherwise unemployable minions, both can be true.
ACORN is not merely the sum of its semi-literate slackers forging registrations. It is also the use to which those are put before they get caught, if they do. That means we have some interest in what the folks running the plan actually do.

It ought to be remembered that ACORN was one of the noisy ones pushing stupid mortgages.

Keep in mind that a persistent, unrelieved track record of error is frequently the object of lawsuits. I'm told that attorneys and PR people tell business people never to apologize as that can be taken as an admission of responsibility for something going wrong. ACORN, in this case, has acknowledged its ongoing errors and, basically, told the rest of us to deal. If even a pro forma apology can be used in a lawsuit, how about such a forthright admission?

It would be hard to think of another entity doing anything at such a low level of accuracy as ACORN that wouldn't cause us to suggest they stop until they figure out how to do it right.
10.16.2008 4:50pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
PC.
What does it matter whether narratives come from the top or the bottom.
It would be strange if the guy on the street had a clue about ACORN's screwups of his own experience. It would be strange if he heard it from the MSM until other sources had made enough noise about it.
So it will look as if it's pushed from the top.
Doesn't make it illegitimate.
10.16.2008 4:53pm
PC:
Richard Aubrey, I didn't mean to suggest that a narrative that is driven from the top down is illegitimate. It's just interesting that it is oftentimes easily identifiable.
10.16.2008 5:12pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
PC. So it's identifiable. It's probably spread in English, too.
Unless you had a point, what's the point?
When you come right down to it, narratives which spread from the bottom don't spread very far before taking a dogleg through the top. That's how they spread beyond networks of friends. It takes time to work through six degrees of separation.
So any narrative could, with some cherry-picking, be top-down.
The reason for being interested is what, exactly?
10.16.2008 5:19pm
PC:
Richard Aubrey, yes, it's being spread in English. Apparently foreign blogger don't care too much about this conspiracy theory.

The point is that there is a narrative being developed around ACORN and the election. It is being pushed from the top down so there is some level of coordination. Bottom up narratives spread more slowly until they reach a tipping point and then there is a huge spike. That movement is identifiable and I'm not seeing it in the case of the ACORN narrative.

So when a narrative is identified, the next question is what is the goal? I've offered a potential answer in the case of the ACORN narrative: it's an attempt to delegitimize the election.
10.16.2008 5:40pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
PC.
How about it's an effort to legitimize the election. Knock out fraudulent votes and you make things more legit. After all, if the repubs lose, not having ACORN to kick around would be better than having a big, fat, juicy target to simmer in the body politic.
Mine's just as good as yours.

Anyway, the problems with ACORN are the problems with ACORN and they will have some kind of result. And if unchecked, probably a bad result. So I don't see a issue with trying to straighten them out, or something. And whether there's a coordinated effort from on high (ACORN) to cheat, or a coordinated effort from on high (Repubs or the DoJ) to catch them is a separate question.
10.16.2008 5:45pm
RPT (mail):
Noun-verb-ACORN Day 4. Time to call Ken Blackwell and Joe the Plumber to clean out the pipes. At least Brunner is not the state Democratic campaign chairperson a la Katherine Harris and Blackwell.
10.16.2008 5:47pm
davod (mail):
How long has she been witholding the information?
10.16.2008 5:57pm
PC:
Richard Aubrey, again, that one is easy. There are much bigger problems with our election system than fraudulent registrations. Electronic voting machines can give a criminal much more bang for their buck than a fraudulent registration and voting scheme. If the GOP had shown any interest in making sure we have secure voting machine then I might believe they are doing this because they are honestly concerned about the legitimacy of the election.
10.16.2008 6:05pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
PC: So you want voting machines that are as secure as gambling machines? Does that mean you want to have polling only in a relatively few places? After all, one major reason gambling machines are secure is that they are under constant visual surveillance. Another reason is that they are linked by a secure network which is physically separated from outside networks. You can't meet either of these conditions in voting without radically changing how polling places are configured.

Any suggestions of *practical* steps that might be taken?

BTW, I'm no computer guy, just a dumb ol lawyer.
10.16.2008 6:49pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
aubrey:

There is no reason to think a voting machine could not be programmed to receipt the voter according to the vote and register a vote which could be different.


There's always going to be a way to commit fraud, if the crook is sufficiently motivated. But generating paper makes it a little harder. One approach is to have the machine hand the voter a printed slip. The voter verifies what's on the slip. The slip then goes in a ballot box. Now you have a manual backup that can be used to audit the data that is later read from the machine.

The slips can be cards designed to be easily fed into an OCR machine. That machine can read the cards very easily and quickly. But the printed information is also human-readable, which means humans can do a count to make sure the OCR machine isn't rigged.

This stuff isn't rocket science. We just have to be motivated to get this done. That hasn't happened yet.

pdx:

Any suggestions of *practical* steps that might be taken?


See above. Very simple. Very practical.
10.16.2008 7:07pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
OK, jukebox: Anybody making such slip-generaing voting machines? Wouldn't help in Oregon, because we have vote-by-mail (all absentee, all the time). But I'd be glad to add my voice to yours calling for their adoption in other states. Anything else I can do?
10.16.2008 7:21pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
PDX.
Okay. Once we get that solved, we still have bogus registrations and a resistance to identification at the polling place.
IMO, until the resistance to identification at the polling places ceases, there is no reason to stop being suspicious of anything of any kind which provides an opportunity for fraud, whether it be flawed registrations, mixed-up state data bases, or funny machines.
Because the resistance to identification at the polling place can have only one goal, which is fraudulent voting. As long as that motivation exists, no voting system will be sufficient.
10.16.2008 7:33pm
loki13 (mail):
Richard Aubrey,

Here's the problem with your analysis. While you might think you are being all fair-minded (and in an idealized world, you might be), we live in the real world. In the real world, the two parties compete for votes. The GOP has a smaller number of the total population that would regularly vote for them. They are also more motivated. That is why these seemingly 'benign' calls for ID are almost always partisan attempts to suppress voter turnout. As has been pointed out numerous times, the problem we see most often is with absentee ballots; however, since those (still) tend to skew GOP, there is no effort to get to the heart of that problem from GOP partisans. Moreover, greatly simplifying the entire registration process would also be a great boon; we see few efforts there.

I would be in favor of minimal identification requirements along with fee waivers for the indigent (combined with provisional ballots for those who are unable to find their ballots on election day) if we curb the other abuses at the same time. But this is not a grand bargain the GOP is interested in.

In my state, ID requirements and voter identification is used for a simple purpose- so the GOP poll 'monitors' can harass legal voters and discourage them from voting. That, to me, is fundamentally wrong, and why I view rhetoric such as yours with a deep suspicion.
10.16.2008 8:44pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
loki.
You know, I would really, really like to have a poll monitor harass me. I figure I've got a couple of more election cycles left in me. What do I have to do to find one?
IOW, I'm "deeply suspicious". For one thing, what's in it for republicans to keep legitimate voters from voting? And what are the monitors going to do if a voter simply walks past? (Pleasepleaseplease, I'll go to church, I'll tithe, anything just let one of those clowns.....
pleasepleaseplease) It seems that doing things like telling non-citizens not to vote is actionable. Jeez. You don't have to worry much with that kind of DoJ behind you. You can not only get all the legit voters you want, you can get illegal immigrants. I don't see what you're worrying about.

And I am not at all impressed with the complaint that dem voters are lazy and incompetent so we must leave open the door for fraudulent votes.

If dems depend on lazy, incompetent and thus probably ill-informed voters, that's their problem. Come to think of it, that's their advantage.

Where was I? Oh, yeah.

What do you mean by "can't find their ballots"?

I have no problem with fixing absentee ballots. How'd they do in Washington state, btw?

Rantburg has a video of an "aide" forcing a disabled man to vote against his wishes--which means for Obama--over the man's objections and the same from his family. Nice the dems are willing to help the less fortunate.

However, the point stands. There is no legitimate reason to oppose an ID requirement at the polling place. Those who continue to resist it demonstrate that there is still a desire to have fraudulent votes cast. Until that resistance goes away, everything is open to suspicion. The presumption of good faith errors and trust are simply the tools the fraudsters use against the gullible.
10.16.2008 9:15pm
PC:
PDXLawyer, I don't know of the "right" answer on making secure voting machines, but the verifiable slip of paper idea has been floated to no avail. We've had eight years to work on this problem and we are further from a workable solution than we were in 2000.

Richard Aubrey, I'm not averse to the idea of requiring ID when you go to vote. Of course I've never witnessed the problems that others have described, so I'm unaware of the scope of negative impacts.

PDXLawyer, what are the arguments against Oregon's mail-in system? Are there voter fraud concerns? I heard Colorado has a large percentage of voters using mail-in ballots this year.
10.16.2008 9:34pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
It appears that Ohio's SoS has too little time and too few resources to check on the 200k flawed registrations. Some have said it wasn't ACORN, but it was the state's own incompetence. Whatever the case is, this is a problem.
But it is nice to know that the mighty forces of the state have checked out Joe the Plumber's licensing.
Somebody asked if they're checking on the licensing of various illegal immigrants doing such work. He guessed not.
I have to go take a walk. The accumulation of fairness and good faith on the part of the dems has made me feel low and inadequate, indeed.
And I can only hope to be transported last when the One takes the reins of machines which can operate like this on their own. With his command, the sky's the limit.

Also, see Tan Nguyen in CA.
10.16.2008 9:40pm
richard cabeza:
Sarcastro @ 10.16.2008 11:29am: Kid, you're taking my act.
10.16.2008 10:08pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
As to Oregon, it just isn't a battleground state. We're deep blue and likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. There's no reason for people whose focus is on national politics to come here (or spend money here) to try to sway the election.

Of course, on a county-by-county level things are different. Local politicians have a strong incentive to engage in voting fraud, but the flip side of that is that local voters are much better positioned to find it out. We have our share of public corruption, but election stealing never really took hold here AFIK.

There's a pretty big pool in every state of good government types here (as I suspect there is in most states) who do poll work. Overcoming this force for honesty requires concentrated efforts, which I haven't seen.
10.16.2008 10:29pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
As to the idea of a slip of paper that has been "floated to no avail," let me at 'em. Whose fault is it? What public figure introduced legislation to make this work? What bad guy torpedoed it?

Reading you, PC is like reading a pro se complaint. Actually, its more like reading a pro se counterclaim to a straight-up collection case. Do I have to drag your case out of you by playing 20 questions all night?
10.16.2008 10:41pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
Richard Aubrey:

I looked at the Tan Nguyen thing in California. It raises a lot of interesting questions. I sent an email to EV suggesting he comment on it, since some of the issues are First Amendment. Also it is local to him.
10.16.2008 10:56pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
PDX. I think the desired result is what is known as the "chilling effect". IOW, we may not be able to put you in jail but you'll be working for your lawyer for the next fifteen years.
10.16.2008 11:13pm
PDXLawyer (mail):
If the desired result is a chilling effect, then the correct response is to promote an extensive, reasoned discussion, which will lead to a backlash against such an abuse of governmental power.

Personally, I think the whole thing is a lot more complicated and interesting. Given that this sort of think would be a boneheaded political mistake, I'm less than 100% confident that this isn't some sort of false flag operation.
10.16.2008 11:48pm
loki13 (mail):
Richard Aubrey,

Perhaps you live in a blessed state. Let me explain how things work in my state (and no, I am not making this up):

Each party gets to send in a (partisan) poll monitor. The ones trained by the democrats are instructed, specifically, to make sure that everyone (GOP or Dem) gets to exercise their right to vote legally.

The GOP has a different plan. Despite it being a misdemeanor for challenging without a good faith belief, we regularly see the GOP monitors with lists of voters (culled by *ahem* party ID and/or any caging operations they have recently run) challenging individuals. Often they will do it for no cause (this often happens on the 'East' side of town, and never happens on the 'West' side of town). These monitors are rude to the people they interrogate (yes, interrogate), to the poll watchers, and to the other poll monitor. In addition, they often purposefully engage in long challenges of multiple individuals on the 'East' side of town in order to slow down the line- strangely, the 'West' side has no lines and easy access, while the 'East' side always has too few polling stations and, in major elections, lines that can last over four hours.

So yes, I am a little peeved. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And sometimes 'voter fraud' is really a way to use un-American tactics to keep legitimate voters from voting.

You give, you take- if the GOP took voter fraud seriously, they would be using different tactics. Most reasonable people (myself included) do not mind some sort of ID requirement- but that's not what's really going on.

I enjoy the political game as much as anyone, but I draw the line at depriving people of their right to vote whether it be through false mailings, trojan-horse 'voter fraud' laws, or outright intimidation.
10.16.2008 11:53pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
I don't know if I live in a blessed state, or not. But I have never in my life seen a monitor of any sort. Never. I regret the lack.
However, should I be so fortunate as to be accosted by one, I should be one step closer to bliss.
If there have been poll watchers, or monitors, they have been so unchallenging as to be invisible.
Decades ago, a young woman I was tasked to get safely from point A to point B remarked that at times I have the gaze of a rattlesnake. So perhaps poll watchers and monitors have seen me communing with myself and taken their business elsewhere. But the gaze, serpent-like or not, is not entirely inward. I have never, ever, not even once in my life seen another voter being hassled, accosted, challenged, delayed, or even communicated with except to greet friends.
So it's your word against my experience.
You'll excuse me, I'm sure.
10.17.2008 12:23am
loki13 (mail):
Richard,

You are excused. I hadn't had any problems either. It wasn't my rattlesnake gaze- it was because I lived on the West Side of town. I was never aware that those extra two people at the polling station were poll monitors instead of election workers.

But then I learned my state's election law, and how it works WRT challenges. And I observed how it functioned on the East Side. And now I'm a poll monitor, because it helps to have someone with some legal training stand up for the rights of voters.

But keep going with your rattlesnake eyes. Maybe you can use them to look up your own state's election laws.
10.17.2008 12:32am
loki13 (mail):
I'm also guessing you aren't able to read other articles with your rattlesnake eyes.
10.17.2008 12:35am
PDXLawyer (mail):
loki13, Do you care to tell us what hell hole of Republican-dominated pseudo-government you live in? Those of us who try to be fair minded can't help you unless you give us some actionable facts.

The article you cite to gets the basic facts of the Ohio case wrong, so I hope you'll excuse me for not taking it as gospel.
10.17.2008 12:52am
Elliot123 (mail):
The SCOTUS blog said, "The Ohio Republican Party went to court, claiming that the Secretary of State had turned off this vote verification process."

Does anybody know what "turned off" means? Was this a computer system to which the counties had access from their own local offoces? How does it work? Is it a system where counties can input data against the state's databases? This type of check can have any number of designs, but I'm curious as to what "turned off" means. What would it take to "turn it on?"
10.17.2008 12:55am
PDXLawyer (mail):
The Sixth Circuit's en banc opinion is here:

http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/08a0374p-06.pdf

Starting at page 2 of the opinion they set out what "turned off" means.
10.17.2008 1:51am
Greg Q (mail) (www):
Sorry, loki13, but you're full of crap.

The GOP has a different plan. Despite it being a misdemeanor for challenging without a good faith belief, we regularly see the GOP monitors with lists of voters (culled by *ahem* party ID and/or any caging operations they have recently run) challenging individuals. Often they will do it for no cause (this often happens on the 'East' side of town, and never happens on the 'West' side of town).

How do you know it's for "no cause"? Gee, I wonder, might they have lists of voters who are "registered" at invalid addresses? Or where 50 people are registered at the same address? Or people who've been reported to be dead? Or living in another state?

There are lots of reasons why specific individuals might be suspected of voting illegally. Good for the Republicans for going after such people.
10.17.2008 4:37am
geokstr:
From the Columbus dispatch:

"Under the federal Help America Vote Act passed after the 2000 presidential debacle in Florida, new voters must provide either their driver's license number or last four digits of their Social Security numbers when they register."

So these 200,000 mismatches aren't because someone changed addresses, or spelled their name differently, or used their middle initial and it wasn't in the database. It was because the driver's license number or the last four digits of the social security number didn't match. Those two items are basic data and it is rather improbable that 1 out of 3 people would get that wrong on their own form, non? Assuming that they filled them out that is.

The same democrat SOS disallowed thousands of registrations forms sent in from people who had received the forms in the mail from the McCain campaign, because they did not have a specific box checked that they were a "qualified elector" because Ohio law required that box to be checked.

But why was she willing to ignore 200,000 likely democrat registrations (many submitted by ACORN and other democrat organizations) that were definitely questionable under the law, but was going to throw out those from likely republicans even if that same key data was correct but a box was not checked that was much more irrelevant? (She was forced to accept those forms after a judge ruled that the box was in fact irrelevant.)

Double standard, perhaps?

This is the same democrat SOS who found a way to allow same day registration and voting on a technicality that the state election legislation did not anticipate, even though the law specifically said you had to register 30 days before the election. This allowed ACORN and other leftist groups to set up hourly bus runs between all the universities, the homeless shelters, and other heavily predominantly democrat areas, and the polling stations. The democrat "community organizations" had plenty of advance warning that the SOS was going to try this, evidenced by the fact that they were able to get lots of out of state workers to come in and help "get out the vote" just for this purpose.

One of the earlier posters mentioned it, but this led to one case where 13 out-of-state residents who had come to Ohio to help "get out the vote" actually registered to vote in Ohio all using the same residential address. A number of them actually voted, and several others got absentee ballots, but no one knows for sure if they sent them in or not.

Additionally, while out-of-state college students generally may vote either in the state of the college or their own home state, there does not seem to be any cross-checking between states to be certain they have not voted in both. I believe it has been found that many people who retired in Florida were able to get away with voting in both states as well.

The only way we will ever get this under control is with some kind of national photo ID where you have to prove that you are a citizen to get it, and a national database that gets crossreferenced to flag any multiple votes (and as a conservative, I find that the prospect of a national ID very troubling.) Computer systems are certainly sophisticated enough to be able to handle that much volume.
10.17.2008 4:45am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
loki.
There may be two extra people in our polling place(s). I wouldn't know because I don't know the required count. But if there are watchers and monitors, they do so little that they are, in fact, invisible to me. A couple of people standing in the corner talking to each other and ignoring the voters don't seem like a threat to the democratic process. For all I know, one's the custodian.
But here's the process for me.
I walk into the Methodist church. There's a table in the narthex with forms to fill out with name and precinct and DOB and address. Nobody's there except form fillers-out. I walk up to the table for my precinct and hand the form to somebody sitting with a big register. He spins through it, finds my name, verifies my address with the form I got them, sees I haven't already voted, and passes me on to the next person who hands me a ballot and points to the booths. Nobody approaches me until I have deposited the completed ballot in the appropriate box and then somebody offers me an "I VOTED" sticker.
With the exception of changes in technology, this has never varied.
If somebody wanted to challenge my, say, residence, I have my drivers license. If that does not suffice, too bad for him. He should get out of my way quickly. I do wish, however, that my license was requested each time as a matter of the process. Unfortunately, it is not.
But, if Loki is correct, I am missing a lot of fun.
Story of my life.
10.17.2008 9:12am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
pdx:

As to the idea of a slip of paper that has been "floated to no avail," let me at 'em. Whose fault is it? What public figure introduced legislation to make this work? What bad guy torpedoed it?


If you want to learn about the political and technical issues of electronic voting, the blog to read is here.

You won't like his politics, but I think you won't find any other source who covers the subject as thoroughly. I think you will also find specific answers to the questions you raised.
10.17.2008 11:41am
New Pseudonym:

I'm still curious if this discrepancy rate is normal. I wouldn't really be surprised one way or the other.


Data from Harris County, Texas according to the Houston Chronicle

ACORN: 35,000 registrations, 14,000 rejected (3800 duplicates.)

League of Women Voters: 4,000 registrations 4 duplicates

Harris County Democratic Party: 3,300 registrations 5 duplicates.

Now, let's try the "only reason for so many bad registrations is we have to turn them all in, even if we know they are fraudulent" story again. And this is not a comparison of right and left wing registration drives.

Story at http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/politics/6061198.html
10.17.2008 1:23pm
JosephSlater (mail):
So, I know this is an old thread, but the Supreme Court has just sided with Brunner. No standing for the Ohio GOP.
10.17.2008 1:31pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

@ TruthInAdvertising:


"Wrong. Those registrations have a mismatch between the registration info. and what's in the database. That doesn't make the registration faulty. Ask "Joe the Plumber" - his name is spelled wrong in the database. Should he be prevented from voting?"


Of course the problem with your assertion is that it is completely lacking in logic.

You assume that Joe the Plumber is a new registrant when in fact there is no justification for this.

Plus the 600,000+ number refers to -new registrants for this year- and not existing voters.

I'd suggest that having 1/3rd of all new registrants incapable of filling out a very simple form without a significant error is a bit much. We're talking about SSN, address and drivers license information.

If you don't know your own SSN, address and drivers license information then perhaps your identity should be questioned.

Eh?
10.18.2008 12:53am