View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, October 14, 2004

State of the State 

It's all vote fraud, all the time! The latest news pretty much fits the ongoing patterns.

First, it's someone responsible finally admitting that maybe full speed ahead into dead calm waters at night in winter isn't the best strategy for getting across the Atlantic in one piece:

Adams County Clerk and Recorder Carol Snyder said she processed about 3,300 provisional ballots in the 2002 election.

That wasn't a presidential election, and it was before the massive effort to register voters.

Snyder said she expects to get at least twice as many provisional ballots in November, but she has the same amount of time to process them.

Extra temporary workers have been processing voter registrations, recruiting election judges and preparing for the election since June, Snyder said.

More will be added if it becomes necessary, she said.

"We worked 18 hours a day in 2002. I don't know if I can ask my staff to work 24 hours a day for 12 days," Snyder said.

Overtaxing her staff could lead to errors, Snyder said, and in a close race, every vote can make a difference.

Gee, maybe we ought to be paying attention to that scraping sound on the side ofthe ship, after all.

Then, it's Democrats waving the Bloody Chad. I received an unrequited fundraising email from Al Gore, containing this gem:

We were forced by the limitations of our campaign funding to make a series of tough choices -- including a decision to go for it in Florida and scale back in Ohio. If we had been able to pay for a full TV ad campaign in all of the key battleground states, we might not have lost Ohio by a thin margin. And of course, even though I think we won Florida, well, you know what happened there.

Remember. Every recount showed him losing. There was no statistical evidence that blacks were disenfranchised at a higher rate than whites. The networks - all four of them - were the only one guilty of vote suppression, with their early call with the polls still open in Republican counties out west. But he thinks they won Florida. Must've been the brownshirts.

And it's not like Mike Feeley's bitter or anything, either:

"Donetta has a history of ... incompetence in administering elections. It's plainly obvious that she's not prepared to administer this one," said Democrat Mike Feeley, a former congressional candidate who sued Davidson over her reluctance to count provisional ballots in 2002. "If Colorado becomes Florida this year, you can lay the blame right at the feet of Donetta Davidson."

Naturally, any warning that illegal voting is, well, illegal, got a
nasty response from Democrats
. (How long before they start calling Secretary Davidson the "Red Queen."

"This is the classic move by Republican tacticians: create an environment of fear that discourages voters from showing up on Election Day, for this is the only way they know how to win," said Sue Casey, Kerry-Edwards 2004 Colorado state director.

Casey said the tactic had worked for Republicans in Florida in 2000.

"And now that they see Colorado slipping out of their previously firm grasp, they are bringing this tired tactic to the Centennial State."

These same Democrats had just been handed a golden gift by the Secretary's same-day registration rules. Trying to fix it so that we just look the other way while "vote early, vote often" is resurrected is contemptible.

The rules are confusing, and still up in the air, pending a court case. Final election judge guides haven't been issued, for instance. But Ms. Greene goes over the top here twice. First, the Secretary's office has issued a list of acceptable ID, so counties need not worry about that. Then this:

The "patchwork quilt" of election procedures, as some watchdogs call it, is not only confusing to voters, it may be illegal.

In the 2000 Bush vs. Gore case, the Supreme Court ruled that voting procedures must be consistent within each state. That ruling was echoed two years later when a judge sided with Feeley, who sued Davidson over disparate ways of counting provisional ballots in Colorado's new 7th Congressional District.

Of course, Bush v. Gore itself said that it was not to be used as precedent.

Look, I know this stuff is confusing. Worst case, which is starting to look like most likely case, is that we end up with a wildly permissive set of ad hoc rules, rather than a system. The good news is that if they get settled 3 days before the election, maybe the bad guys won't be able to figure out how to game the system in time.

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