Sorry about the lack of blog posts since Tuesday on the topic of voting irregularities--I needed a couple days off after all the election fun. I still have to do my election recap-post and talk about a few things I got wrong. It's nice being wrong once in a while :) But that's for another post. Here come the latest stories of irregularities, most of them from BradBlog.com. I did do find a few non-BradBlog-based stories that I found actually a little disturbing. Let's get to those first:

Voting Problems Minimal on Election Day
For all of the worrying over voter fraud, voter suppression, and voting machine meltdowns, this year's presidential election went surprisingly smoothly. That's not to say that there weren't any problems, but that simply problems weren't widespread or severe enough to cause any doubt about the winner of the election.
www.switched.com/2008/11/07/voting-problems-minimal-this-election-day
Switched.com is some sort of gadget blog--I've never heard of them before today, but they're part of AOL's network of blogs, so they've got to be reasonably accurate, I suppose. Sadly, this post, while factually accurate plays down the very problems it reports in the first paragraph of the post (excerpted above). So, voting problems not that big of deal? Then why are you covering them? I love this odd contradiction--there's no story here, they just wanted to let us know that there was no story. Too bad there is a story here. And not everything is about the presidential races. Nice of the post to admit that there is still work to be done, though. Funny how he fails to mention the undecided races still out and about.

Again, this is about more than just the president.

Recount Reverses Results in Kent County District 29 Race
State Rep. Pamela Thornburg, a Republican lawmaker from Hartly who thought she lost her District 29 seat on election night, was told Thursday evening that she won.

The Kent County Court of Canvass overturned election results that initially gave the seat to Democratic challenger W. Charles "Trey" Paradee III.

...

... it appears to be that the Diebold scanners used in the District 29 race may be to blame for the initial miscount. She said an expert is being brought in from Tennessee to examine the problem.

"We're waiting for an explanation as to why there is a problem," she said.

Wright also noted that it seems that the problem with the scanners only occurred in the District 29 race and not with any other districts in the state.

www.wboc.com/Global/story.asp?S=9310325
See? It's not just presidential elections that can suffer because of ballot machines gone screwy--and you should note that this story is about optical scanners--not touchscreen computerized voting. This is about the machine that scans the ballots and counts the votes. Yeah--if this kind of machine is fallible, can I just ask what's so wrong with hiring people to do this counting? Sure, humans are fallible, too, but hiring people to count creates jobs and then we can hire an extra couple people to recount what the counters just counted. Sure, it will take longer, but that's OK. As I've said before, I think our democracy is worth it.

Officials: State Experienced a Few Glitches on Election Day
Secretary of State's Office reports county elections officials experienced no more problems than usual on Election Day despite worries about "vote flipping" on touch-screen voting machines.
www.statejournal.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=46508
Wow, start your article up with a blurb like that and your readers won't keep reading! Why should they if there were "no more problems than usual"? And what the heck does that even mean? "no more problems than usual"? So, usually votes don't get counted and it's cool? No big deal? What about in tight races like the Franken/Coleman race in Minnesota? Coleman is ahead of Franken by 239 votes. Certainly the usual number of votes uncounted in an election wouldn't matter in a case like that, would it?

RNC May Challenge Integrity of 'Computerized Voting'
On Tuesday, Forensicon, a Chicago computer forensic company, said that it was contacted last week by a security firm last week to assist the Republic National Committee (RNC) in challenging cases of "computerized voter fraud."

"If the election returns vary significantly from the polled numbers in any precincts that proves crucial to the election outcome, I expect that a legal struggle over the validity of the election results will ensue," said Forensicon's President, Lee Neubecker in a press release.

The move seems to indicate a future move by the RNC to challenge certain voting results, in some contradiction to past RNC actions regarding electronic voting, which includes recent legal actions in Pennsylvania.

www.pubrecord.org/component/content/470.html?task=view
This is interesting considering that the more prominent electronic ballot machine companies are owned by Republicans. The head guy in charge of Diebold, back in 2004, got in trouble for actually admitting in a campaign fund-raising letter that he was determined to deliver Ohio to George W. Bush. Odds are he meant "by raising a lot of money" but it does seem like a bad idea to put it the way he did when you're running a company that provides computerized ballot machines to a buttload of America.

'Daily Voting News' For November 05, 2008
As we suspected tabulation of ballots has revealed problems with voting systems from all of the vendors. Hillsborough Co Florida is rethinking their contract with Premier/Diebold for $6M after having big problems counting votes. Manatee Co Florida also had a problem with Premier. Palm Beach Co had bad memory cartridges from Sequoia. Counties in Pennsylvania and South Carolina had problems with their ES&S system. We also have a run-off for senator from Georgia and a recount for senator from Minnesota.
www.bradblog.com/?p=6639
The post goes on to touch on a HUGE number of problems from various corners of the US.

Al Franken's Razor-Thin MN Senate Race Counted on Flawed Optical-Scan Systems
PLUS: Details on 'What in the Hell Happened in Alaska' and Georgia and Oregon...
www.bradblog.com/?p=6641
This is the story I touched on above--only this BradBlog post is a couple days old. And yep, those optical scan machines are the same kinds of devices that went wrong in the Kent County story above. The added fun here is that when Franken was still on Air America Radio, he was the only AAR host who didn't want to talk about voting irregularities. Two words: eye ronic.

All Diebold Touch-Screen Systems Impounded by Judge in PA County
Straight-Party Ticket Votes Failed to Allow Voters to Review Names of Presidential Candidates Before Casting 'Ballot'
Same Flawed, Hackable, Unverifiable Machines Being Used in GA Senate Race, Elsewhere...

www.bradblog.com/?p=6643
I'll just take the first paragraph from the post since it explains things just right:

All 185 of the completely unverifiable Diebold touch-screen voting machines used in Northumberland County, PA's election were ordered impounded by a judge Tuesday night after complaints from both the Republican and Democratic parties. Officials from both parties had filed requested action following reports from voters that straight-party ticket votes were not showing voters the names of their selection for President on the summary screen near the end of the 100% faith-based touch-screen voting process.


Weeeee...?

SOMETHING SMELLS VERY FISHY IN ALASKA
Turnout Rate Reported as Lowest Ever in State, Down 11% From '04 Even With Both Palin and Obama on the Ballot
Hanging in the Balance in the Diebold State: Felon Ted Stevens' U.S. Senate Race, Corrupt Don Young's House Race & Much More...

www.bradblog.com/?p=6644
Check out this excerpt:

In Alaska, more people voted for George W. Bush in 2004 than for Sarah Palin on Tuesday despite an identical 61-36 margin of victory. Yes. Only four years ago 54,304 Alaskans got off their sofas and voted for Bush, but decided to sit home and not vote for Palin in 2008.

In turn, I have to ignore the 30,520 Alaskans who felt progressive enough in 2004 to vote for John Kerry, but weren’t inspired enough to get out and vote for Barack Obama.


It goes on, too--calling this "fishy" is understating it seriously. I'm going to try and keep an eye on this story--it seems like Alaskans got seriously shafted here.

BradBlog.com is the single best place to learn about election irregularities. Don't wait for me to cover them--just head over there!

Those are all the stories I have for now. I'm sure there will be more.

So, I hope you have a good idea of why voting irregularities are still important things to pay attention to. In a presidential election like this one, with a massive landslide, it's easy to see what the intent of voting Americans is. But in tighter races where every last vote counts, we need to have a system that does a much better, and much more reliable, job of counting votes.

Thanks for reading! Please pass this on to others!