No transparent recount; No public access to ballots; No confidence

Sadly, Dorothy We are still in Kansas Kentucky.

Many are concerned with the accuracy and result of the election for Governor of Kentucky, many are not,  for instance from BradBlog:  Questioning the Unverified Computer Results of Kentucky’s Governor’s Race <read>

once again — on Election Day yesterday. We see, again, the nightmare scenario I’ve warned about for so many years: a U.S. election where all of the pre-election polls suggest Candidate X is set to win, but Candidate Y ends up winning by a huge margin instead and nobody even bothers to verify that the computer tabulated results accurately reflect the intent of the voters.

That’s exactly what happened in Kentucky on Tuesday, where Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway was leading by a fair margin (about 3 to 5 points) in almost every pre-election poll in his race for Governor, but then ended up being announced as the loser to ‘Tea Party’ Republican candidate Matt Bevin by a landslide (almost 9 points) — according to the state’s 100% unverified computer tabulation systems…

Bev Harris, of BlackBoxVoting.org, who I spoke with earlier today, described the higher vote totals in the down ballot races as a “significant anomaly”. She tells me that, at least until more records are requested and examined, the KY-Gov’s race “has to be looked at as a questionable outcome, particularly because of the discrepancies in the down ballot races. More votes in those races and not at the top…that just doesn’t happen.”

There are many other reasons for supporters to question the reported results in the KY-Gov’s race, as I detail during the show. Of course, the reported results could also be completely accurate. But, without public, human examination of the hand-marked paper ballots (which, thankfully, now actually exist across most of the state!) and other related records, we have yet another unverified, 100% faith-based election to leave supporters wondering if they really won or lost…

There are many other reasons for supporters to question the reported results in the KY-Gov’s race, as I detail during the show. Of course, the reported results could also be completely accurate. But, without public, human examination of the hand-marked paper ballots (which, thankfully, now actually exist across most of the state!) and other related records, we have yet another unverified, 100% faith-based election to leave supporters wondering if they really won or lost.

We’ve seen this before, of course. Too many times.

Is there a problem in Kentucky?  How will we ever know, if the public does not have access to the actual ballots or the public can observe and verify a recount or a sufficient post-election audit?  Of course, they cannot.

Without that satisfaction the results  will always be in question.  And even if the election results are completely accurate, they will always be in question.  Democracy will be viewed as lacking credibility and the elected officials will always be viewed with doubt by a significant portion of the public.

We note the subsequent developments, reminiscent of our post from way back 5 days ago, also courtesy of Brad: <read>

A KY newspaper fires their well-respected pollster rather than bothering to find out if the polls were right and the results were wrong; Another reminder of why hand-marked paper ballots like those in KY are swell, but only if you bother to actually count them; We weather a few attacks from progressives who charge us with forwarding conspiracy theories and don’t think we should bother to count ballots;

We are skeptical that the information will be made available or that a sufficient audit or recount will be performed. Yet Kentucky is not Kansas Look at this recent news from Kansas: Kansas: Statistician gets support for suit over voting machine tapes <read>

A Wichita State University statistician seeking to audit voting machine tapes after finding statistical anomalies in election counts is garnering legal and other support as she pursues her lawsuit. Beth Clarkson had been pursuing the case herself, but now a Wichita lawyer has taken up her cause. Other supporters have helped set up a nonprofit foundation and an online crowdsourcing effort. A Sedgwick County judge is expected to set a trial date and filing deadlines on Monday. Clarkson, chief statistician for the university’s National Institute for Aviation Research, filed the open records lawsuit as part of her personal quest to find the answer to an unexplained pattern that transcends elections and states. She wants the tapes so she can establish a statistical model by checking the error rate on electronic voting machines used at a Sedgwick County voting station during the November 2014 general election. But top election officials for Kansas and Sedgwick County have asked the Sedgwick County District Court to block the release of voting machine tapes.

Clarkson has analyzed election returns in Kansas and elsewhere over several elections and says her findings indicate “a statistically significant” pattern that shows the larger the precinct, the larger the percentage of Republican votes. She says the pattern could indicate election fraud.

“If she is right, it’s horrifying,” her attorney, Randy Rathbun, said Friday. “And so I visited with her and she has convinced me that she is right. So somebody needed to help her out because it kind of seemed like it was bullies pushing somebody around on a schoolyard since she was obviously out of her element in a courtroom.”

What would be good for Kansas and Kentucky would be good for Connecticut.  I have just returned from a League of Women Voters panel on Election Fraud.  The panelists, Political Scientists and Lawyers, saw no real need for FOIability of voted ballots.  As just one example, recall the 2010 Citizen Audit of ballots in Bridgeport.

Because the City of Bridgeport gave the CT Post access to the ballots, we were able to recount them all and assure the state that the declared Governor was actually the choice of the voters.  If Bridgeport had not agreed, we would still be wondering and questioning the legitimacy of Governor Malloy.

Unfortunately, the official Connecticut system was not able to recount those votes, and has never recognized or counted the votes of some 1,500 citizens of Bridgeport.

******
Update:  An earlier version confused Kentucky and Kansas.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.