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General News    H2'ed 9/21/10

O'Donnell LOST in Delaware

Mark Crispin Miller
Message Mark Crispin Miller
Apparently, Christine O'Donnell's "stunning upset victory" in Delaware was yet another stroke of electronic magic--just like Scott Brown's "stunning upset victory" in Massachusetts in February.
There, as the Election Defense Alliance has reported, it turns out that Martha Coakley won the hand-counted paper ballot vote by 2.8%, while Brown "won" his 5-point "victory" only where the "votes" were "counted" electronically (with no spot-checks of that "count," no systematic audit and no exit polls).
[The EDA's report, and my summary, are at http://markcrispinmiller.com/2010/09/did-scott-brown-really-win-in-massachusetts-must-read/.]
And now it turns out that Christine O'Donnell's "win" in Delaware was just as iffy; or even iffier, since she "beat" Mike Castle--electronically, which is to say, unverifiably-- by 6+ points, while Mike Castle actually beat her, according to the paper-based absentee ballots, by over 10 points. (Brad Friedman goes into the details below.)
It's all quite weird, of course. But what's far weirder is the total silence on such matters by both parties and the media. Somehow the doubtfulness of Brown's "win," and now O'Donnell's, hasn't raised the faintest question as to whether the Tea-Baggers really represent electoral majorities. And so the Standard Narrative we all keep hearing now --the Tea-Party's booming, the GOP is badly split, the Democrats are in big trouble, blah blah blah--is just about as useful as the horoscope in this morning's New York Post.

I'd like to know what it would take to get the press to pay attention to these wild anomalies--not just the two I've noted here, but also Alvin Greene's preposterous "win" in South Carolina, and all the many others of this campaign season and the last ten years.
It's starting to appear as if there's nothing that will make the penny drop inside the heads of all those jounalists and pundits, who couldn't any longer blather on about the game of "politics" (as they imagine it) if they allowed themselves to look into the by-now-overwhelming evidence that this whole game is rigged--and will stay rigged until we, as a nation, finally stop ignoring all the signs of fraud, and start
discussing what to do about it.
p.s. Publicly, Karl Rove's been lobbing many spitballs at O'Donnell, thereby creating yet another tasty "story" for the press, about the "rift" between the GOP's "insiders" and the "insurgent" Tea-Baggers, etc., etc.
I'd say we all should be a wee bit skeptical about Rove's noisy putdowns of his party's nominee. For one thing, we can generally tell that Karl Rove's lying when his lips are moving; and, secondly, it's not so easy to believe that Rove would have much problem with a candidate who, however "nutty" he may claim to find her, has the same good shot at "victory" on Election Day that she enjoyed last week., since Team Rove will no doubt themselves be running the election apparatus.
Perhaps I'm being too cynical. So let's just say that, if Rove is genuinely put off by O'Donnell's victory over Mike Castle, he should stand up, right now, and demand a thorough probe of her election. (Certainly no Democrat will do it.)

by Brad Friedman


Last Tuesday's hotly contested race for the GOP's U.S. Senate nomination in Delaware ended in victory for the state's moderate, much-beloved former Governor and nine-term U.S. Congressman Mike Castle --- at least according to the tabulation of ballots cast in the race which can actually be verified by anybody as having been recorded accurately as per the voters' intent.
From the State of Delaware's Elections website with 100% reporting:

Verifiable Paper-Based Absentee Results:
CASTLE: 54.7% - O'DONNELL: 45.3%

Unverifiable Election Day E-Voting Machine Results:
CASTLE: 46.7% - O'DONNELL: 53.3%

Nonetheless, the Tea-Party/Palin/DeMint-endorsed Christine O'Donnell, who was getting trounced by the popular Castle in pre-election polls until only recently after losing twice before in her quest for a U.S.
Senate seat, was declared the "winner" of yesterday's race and --- as The BRAD BLOG detailed yesterday --- nobody can prove whether the voters of Delaware actually selected her or not.
Appropriately enough for the far Rightwinger, the "victory" was 100% faith-based, since it's strictly impossible to know if even one citizen's vote cast yesterday on the 100% unverifiable e-voting machines Delware forces voters to use on Election Day was recorded accurately...

That said, while we've seen examples of similar disparities between paper-based absentee results and electronically cast results before (the unknown
Alvin Greene's "victory" over Judge Vic Rawl in South Carolina's recent Democratic U.S. Senate primary comes to mind) there are logical-ish reasons --- as there always are, in every election --- to justify O'Donnell's computer-reported "victory" yesterday.

As we
noted in response to a reader in comments on yesterday's Delaware item, O'Donnell received a late endorsement from Sarah Palin on September 9th, just 5 days before the election. That brought with it a surge of last-minute support from the "Tea Party" and others.
Moreover, the number of absentee ballots cast as a percentage of the total votes was quite small (1,499 absentee ballots, versus 56,083 cast on Election Day), so one should be careful of reading too much into those numbers as the bulk of absentee ballots were likely cast prior to O'Donnell's endorsements surge.

Those factors, and certainly others, could certainly explain the nearly-reversed percentages as reportedly cast on Election Day on the e-voting systems, versus those seen on the paper-based, human-countable, absentee ballots.

But the point here is: Who knows? Absolutely nobody does. I don't. You don't. O'Donnell doesn't. Castle doesn't. The State of Delaware doesn't. Even the manufacturer of the e-voting system, Danaher/Guardian, would be unable to prove who actually won or lost the race one way or another.

As we've spent years detailing, this continues to be no way to run a representative democracy based on self-governance. But we continue to do it anyway despite years of documented, scientific evidence proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's both insane and antithetical to the representative democracy and self-governance we pretend to have. It's also a disgrace and a horrible example for the rest of the world, which used to look to this nation as a beacon of democracy.
While the Republican establishment is beside itself after last night's reported results (Castle, whom they'd supported, was thought to be an easy win over Democratic nominee Chris Coons, while polls currently show O'Donnell getting trounced by him), the same 100% unverifiable e-voting systems will be used again in Delaware (and 20% of the rest of the nation) on Election Day on November 2nd this year. If O'Donnell loses the general election --- or wins --- there will be no way to prove that she did --- or didn't.

"Tea Partiers" who support O'Donnell, and who claim to give a damn about representative democracy and self-governance, would be wise to finally start taking notice of the real threats to our supposedly inalienable right of self-rule. HINT: The threat ain't ACORN.
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Mark's new book, Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of Democracy, 2000-2008, a collection 14 essays on Bush/Cheney's election fraud since (and including) 2000, is just out, from Ig Publishing. He is also the author of Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform, which is now out in paperback (more...)
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