Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, February 18, 2005

P-I: Election expert praises King County

There's an article this morning in the Seattle P-I that everyone following the lawsuit challenging the election of Governor Christine Gregoire needs to read.

The article - Election expert praises county - by Neil Modie, effectively slams the door on the issue of the discrepancy in the voter rolls.

The regional progressive blogopshere has been trying for weeks to convincingly explain why King County’s variance between voters credited and ballots cast is an irrelevant. Now, we get this article in the P-I: a refreshingly different look and analysis of the "issue". An excerpt:
The head of the nation’s largest election system thinks King County displayed amazing accuracy in a bureaucratic process that the Republican Party is focusing on in its attempt to overturn the governor’s election.

But Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters Conny McCormack also thinks it’s irrelevant.

While King County officials defend the process in question as highly accurate and GOP critics call it shockingly inaccurate, McCormack said it’s a red herring, a flap over a postelection file-maintenance chore that has no bearing on the accuracy of the election returns.

“It has nothing to do with the ballot-counting. It’s a separate process,” she said this week. A nationally recognized authority on election administration and reform, McCormack made the comments in an interview given at the urging of King County election officials.

The criticism, she said, is “maligning the accuracy of the count based on something that has nothing to do with the accuracy of the count.”
Ouch. That's a major blow to Stefan and his cronies at SoundPolitics, who are always looking for anything questionable to use to attack the process as completely flawed.

The article also makes perfectly clear that the two processes - record keeping and reconciling the ballots cast - should not be mixed up:
After election results are certified, election workers electronically scan voters’ signatures into records. The purpose is to record, for future elections, who voted in the last one so that registration files can be purged of inactive voters and political parties and campaigns can obtain voters’ names and voting-frequency data.

Logan and McCormack said that record-keeping process, which they said is susceptible to human error, is being confused with the process of reconciling the number of ballots cast at each precinct and the number of people who voted at each precinct.

Those two numbers are supposed to be matched up before the final results are certified 15 days after the election. Logan said that’s the necessary check on election accuracy.

“It’s apples and oranges,” McCormack said. “I think someone is trying to confuse” the two (processes).
Or maybe the confusion is intentional. The "smoke and mirrors" Chris Vance keeps talking about is his own party's propoganda machine. It's manufactured confusion and manufactured outrage. If Republicans can get people to believe the process was flawed, then the pressure for a new election (because a revote is nonsense - you can't have a "re" vote) will be higher.

All this hype about the discrepancy is completely ridiculous. The discrepancy shouldn't even be an issue! And it wouldn't be an issue if people like Stefan Sharkansky didn't lie and distort the truth about the election. They're so focused on their goal of attacking the process that truth and honesty have no longer become important to them. The garbage that the Snark and his cronies post on SoundPolitics isn't about good democracy. It's all aimed at getting a Republican into the governor's mansion.

And Secretary of State Sam Reed has some words for people like Stefan, whose partisan zeal now supercedes his conscience:
Moderator: Anything, Sam, you want so say that you haven’t had a chance to address? Any urban myths?

Reed: Actually, there is, you are right. A frustration of mine as a person with considerable experience in the field of elections is that some of the rumors of errors, mistakes, illegalities, were absolutely incorrect, but because of the Internet, blogs and talk radio, they were circulated rapidly and extensively and helped contribute to the loss of confidence and trust in the system. I would hope in the future that the people who operate these blogs and the talk radio hosts will exercise the caution and ethics of the journalism profession, and that will help the citizery understand what really happened in the election process.
People like Stefan would do well to heed Sam's words.

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