eTRICK or reTREAT? Nightmare of Elections Future

Editor’s Note:  Posted Halloween 2009.  Rush Holt has moved on from the House, yet we still face the danger of putting off needed reforms.

Like many voters, I am concerned about the integrity of this year’s election. Last night I was visited by three visions of elections future. From 2008, 2012 or 2016. I’m a little hazy on some of the details, but the visions were worse than anything yet imagined.

The Ghost Of Presidential Elections Future:
It seems the problems all stemmed from what happened in the 2008 election and its aftermath. Its a little hazy but the ghost warned of three possible outcomes:

  1. The polls are said to be very very wrong:
    The people chose one candidate for President, but manipulations of the data, voter suppression, or Supreme Court action made the other candidate the winner. The media covers every reason but the obvious one that goes unreported. The really scary part was that the voters docilely accepted it – instead of hitting the streets, we all ended up on the streets over time.
  2. The polls are only off a “little”: The predicted candidate won the Presidency by a small margin. Instead of the predicted 58-60 Democrats in the Senate and 20 more in the House, there were 54-55 in the Senate and 5 more in the House. Activists continued to object and present a wealth of facts. They are dismissed by the media as “conspiracy theorists”.
  3. The polls were accurate: The election results were as predicted. The predicted candidate won the Presidency. There were 58-60 Democrats in the Senate and about 20 more in the House. A few hard core activists remained, were completely ignored by the media, yet continued the fight for election integrity. The potential of election theft remained, while the potential for election integrity all but vanished.

To paraphrase Walter Cronkite, “Nothing has changed, but your votes are not there”. The nightmare continued:

Beltway Lugosi Appears, The D.C. Goblin:
How could this have happened? Surely by 2012 or by 2016 we would have had election integrity.

  1. Rep. Rush Holt proposes a better, stronger bill in 2009: The caucus says “what’s the rush Rush, come back later its too soon – we have important issues to deal with, there is plenty of time before the next Presidential Election”.
  2. A persistent Rush Holt proposes a better, stronger bill in 2010: – House Leadership says “its too much, work on it and come back next year”.
  3. Rush Holt proposes weakened bill in 2011 – Everyone says “Its too late, the election officials can’t get it done in a rush Rush, come back after the next election when there will be plenty of time”.
  4. Rush Holt proposes a better, stronger bill in 2009 and it passes the House – The Feinstein/Bennett bill is immediately resurrected in the Senate and passes – it is all put into a joint committee – the result is the “Star Wars” of voting with spending as far as the eye can see and even less voting integrity than 2008.

At least in Connecticut, we can rest assured that our votes will count, with our nickname, “The Constitution State”. Even if the voters approve the ballot question in 2008 to have a Constitutional Convention, surely we can rely on our other nickname, “The Land of Steady Habits” to carry the day and eventually, some day, protect our votes. The nightmare continued:

The Devil Is Truly In The details:

Connecticut earns its nickname, “The Nutmeg State“. When it comes to post-election audit law, the “Devil” is truly in the details.

  1. The Shays/Himes Congressional race is close, less than .5% There is a recanvass(recount). Since recounts are by machine, if Himes(D) loses, Secretary Bysiewicz(D) cannot call for a manual recount without being charged with being political. If Shays(R) loses, she would be under great pressure to reverse her decision to recount by machine.
  2. The Constitution question is close, less than .5%, and there is a recanvass(recount).
    Since recounts are by machine, if “No” loses, Secretary of the State Bysiewicz, a strong supporter of “No”, could not call for a manual recount without being charged with making a political decision. If “Yes” loses, she would be under great pressure to reverse her decision to recount by machine.Worse, a single statewide recount, by law, eliminates all post-election audits, even if the Shays/Himes Congressional race is close but over .5%.
  3. The Constitution question is close but over .5%:
    It will not be audited – questions are exempt from post-election audits in Connecticut
  4. The Shays/Himes Congressional race is close but over .5% and is not randomly selected for audit: We randomly select three offices for audit statewide. Instead of auditing close races for the U.S. Congress or the State Legislature we may waste resources excessively counting races with huge margins, or those with unopposed candidates, such as most races for Registrar of voters.

I am awake now. With hard work and some luck, the voters choices may be confirmed in the election results and the voters could awake after the election to stay eternally vigilant. Some may say that this is just a dream, but it is preferable to the alternative nightmare.

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One response to “eTRICK or reTREAT? Nightmare of Elections Future”

  1. The BRAD BLOG : 'Daily Voting News' For October 30, 2008 – Evening Edition

    […] National: eTRICK or reTREAT? Nightmare of Elections Future http://www.ctvoterscount.org/?p=910 […]

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