Friday, November 17, 2006

Why Didn’t I Think Of That?

I posted last week my speculation as to why the Democrats were “allowed” to win enough seats to take over Congress, but I missed the most obvious one. Maybe they did fix the election, they just didn’t do a very good job of it.

The exit poll data has now been analyzed, and like 2004, the results don’t match the actual vote returns, but this time it appears that the exit poll data had to be weighted more heavily this time in order to make them work. There is speculation that a bug was installed to skew the count, but it was inserted into the machines a month prior to the election and that changes on the ground during that time made the fix not enough to keep the Republicans in control. I guess there weren’t enough Homeland Security agents available to “lockdown” enough vote counting centers in order to get the “right” result this time.

Studies like this one do not prove conclusively that the election was hacked, but they do shed light on the problems of electronic voting and on our vulnerable election systems as a whole. We really do need an overhaul of the system and we need private businesses out of the equation. We cannot have our votes counted on proprietary software! It should not be up to free and fair election activists to prove that our votes aren’t being counted accurately, it should be up to the private businesses that are making money counting our votes to prove that they are.


Blogger Howard Martin said...

If you don't believe they, at the very least, tried to fix things to their advantage, you aren't paying attention!

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You can't be having it both ways. Either the GOP is so inept that they can't do nothin' right, or they're so fantastical in their Rove-y-ness that they can't help winning.

Lots of Democrats nationwide ran good races, and insinuating (even as a goof) that their victory is not their own is bad news.

Maybe you're joking, but I just thought I'd put that out there.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous GeoCrackr said...

I've been chewing this over for the past week, LG. I believed all the way up until Wednesday morning that we were going to wake up to another "surprising" inexplicable reversal in the returns wherein the Rethugs staged a last-minute "resurgence". I've never been so happy to be wrong.

But the question remains: what the hell happened? The Rethugs have proven that they know how to employ criminal voter suppression tactics and the well-documented security holes in the electronic voting systems. So why didn't they work this time?

I'm not at all convinced by Will Bunch's speculation that Rove et al intentionally threw it so that the Dems would be the fall-guy for the inevitable train-wreck as they try to clean up the mess the Rethugs have gotten us into. Sure, it's possible, and we like to think that they're that devious. But considering their venality and the profit-motive of them retaining power even as we get sucked down the whirlpool, I think it's highly unlikely. Will's reasoning is reminiscent of the most idle speculations of 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

If this report is to be believed, then it reinforces what I've been suspecting -- the Rethug organization has come off the rails so completely that their aptitude for criminal behavior could no longer compensate for their incompetence at everything else. This is most likely the result of a combination of all the visible factors (congressional scandal overload, public disatisfaction w/ the war, etc) plus a variety of things that "librul" media won't tell us -- Shrub back on the sauce, for example, or Cheney's heart problems making him have to take long naps in the afternoon, and Rove having to spend valuable processing cycles fending off Fitz (and who knows what kind of deal he struck to avoid getting indicted?!).

I also think that it turns out (happily) that David Sirota was probably right when he said during his appearance at Town Hall earlier this year, "I've been looking at voting systems all over the country, and yes, there is a serious problem, but it's not as widespread as some people believe. And the answer is to increase voter turnout so that it overwhelms any voting fraud." There's... well, let's just say there are a few things open for discussion there. But overall, given what we know so far it's hard to argue with.

Thank christ! Now let's see of the Dems are going to make it worthwhile.

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that our paranoia always sounds so much more plausible then their paranoia?


-- ml

11:45 AM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...


Will--I've never believed that Rove is as much of a genius as he's been made out to be, he's just willing to play dirtier than anybody else. The GOP is inept AND they cheat, I don't see a contradiction in that.

Yes, Democrats nationwide ran good races, so good that they were able to overcome any vote shifting the GOP employed. That makes them even more impressive than winning a fair race so I’m sorry, but I don't see how my post takes away from their victories.

GeoCrackr--I think you make perfect sense.

Martin--I am acutely aware that I may be paranoid and because, as you point out, our paranoia seems more plausible than theirs, so logical in fact, I constantly question my reasoning and try to make sure that I seek out facts rather than relying purely on speculation (although speculation is fun). I never (well rarely anyway) claim to have all the answers, I just throw it out there for discussion in the hopes of learning something.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, I've never been big on international conspiracy theories. Whether the Protocols of Zion or the Necro-neo-con.

The corruption of the 2000 and 2004 vote was very much a Bush operation. And Bush is OUT. Those who backed him are looking about for a successor. And it won't be easy to find one.

I do suspect the vote went even more Democrat than was counted. That is probably true. But with a Dem victory, Congress must now see to it that Diebold and others are shut down and that voting is secure.

And what became of those rumours that Rove would be indicted this November? I expect things aren't going to look good for the Republicans for some time.

And what about that Media? What's with all these stories hinting at the vote being an endorsement of "conservative" values and that Pelosi's pro forma endorsement of Murtha was a defeat for her. Sheesh. If only the Media would report politics the way they report Sports, we'd take a lot more interest. "Fair & balanced"? Political reporting is so biased --imagine the Media reporting about the St Louis values of the Cardinals and claiming a moral victory for the Detroit Tigers. Ha.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

That has always been one of my main contentions - what the hell is up with this proprietary (and unashamedly, blatantly, rabidly partisan) software for public elections?

Doesn't anyone else think that is insane?

"Yes, we'll do whatever is in our power to ensure a Republican victory! No, you can't look at our software! You can't check the results! Got a problem with that?"


8:45 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

OK, this is just weird, but could explain a lot.

From Daily Kos.

New Signing Statement: "Democrat Party Victory not Binding"
by BentLiberal
Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 05:41:09 PM PST
On Friday, President Bush kept the nation in business by siging a temporary resolution to continue funding the government until Congress approves new spending:

Bush Signs Bill To Fund Government Agencies Through Dec. 8

HANOI -(Dow Jones)- With lawmakers still working on 10 appropriations bills for fiscal 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush signed a resolution into law that will keep government agencies running through Dec. 8. Dow Jones

But in a little known addendum to that resolution, President Bush issued a signing statement regarding the recent congressional elections:

"The executive branch shall construe the recent congressional elections in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President as Commander in Chief. The election of the Democrat Party will not hinder the Executive from protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks. This will assist in achieving the shared goals of the Executive and the American people who desire freedom." La Prensa Kostina

Sorry Dems, you thought you won an election? Pshaw! The Executive doesn't recognize you!

* BentLiberal's diary :: ::

We all wondered what Rove and Bush had planned now that they will no longer have the stamp of approval from the Rubberstamp Republican Congress. Now we know! The Administration simply will not recognize the new Congress!

"We've reviewed the Constitution and we feel our case is a strong one," said Presidential Spokesman Tony Snow. "The Democrat Party can either continue to be obstructionsists, or they can join with President Bush and the American people in moving the country in the right direction. La Prensa Kostina

That would explain why they've just announced new plans for a $125,000,000 Detention Center in Guantanamo, Cuba.

That would explain why Bush is putting up the same rejected nominees for the courts.

That would explain why Bush announced before the elections that he's going to reintroduce cuts to and privitazation of Social Security in the last 2 years of his term.

That would explain Bush's plan to re-nominate John Bolton to the United Nations.

That would explain why Bush decided to make his own study group insteaad of listen to the bipartisan commission's recommendations on getting out of Iraq.

That would explain Bush's appointment of a Contraception foe to head contraception programs!

That would explain Bush's arrogance in saying "that's not going to happen" when asked before the elections how he would work with a Democratic Speaker Pelosi.

He's not going to.

And it's so much easier this way.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

You wrote:"We really do need an overhaul of the system and we need private businesses out of the equation."
What other options did you have in mind?

3:49 AM  
Anonymous diane said...

Both my kids did exit polling in NYS.
They felt that the election in their area was pretty much accurate to who was elected.
They also found a great number of dissarisfied Republicans who voted democratic, many for the first time.

11:43 AM  

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