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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Never a conspiracy missed

--posted by Tony Garcia on 8/09/2006

Outgoing Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) is not one to miss a good conspiracy theory.

Remember, this is the same McKinney who thinks that the United States government was behind 9/11.

Remember, this is the same McKinney who believed there was a conspiracy of racial motivation against her and so she slugged a security officer.

Yesterday was primary day for her...and right off from the opening bell she began advancing a new conspiracy: voting irregularities.
Shortly after the polls opened on Tuesday, allegations of voting irregularities began appearing on U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s campaign Web site.

At 8:14 a.m., the first complaint appeared: “Less than an hour into voting, McKinney’s name is not on ballot, opponent’s is,” read an item on her blog.

Other similar allegations would follow throughout the day as 4th Congressional District voters decided whether to send McKinney back to Congress, or give the Democratic nomination to runoff opponent, Hank Johnson, a lawyer and former DeKalb County commissioner.

The McKinney Web site noted voting machines not working or mysteriously casting incorrect ballots, “insecure” voting equipment, police harassment, and poll workers refusing to hand out Democratic ballots.

At one campaign stop Tuesday, McKinney said, “We also had a problem at Midway [elementary school polling place], where my name was not on the ballot,” McKinney said.

“My opponent’s name was on the ballot. … We are disappointed that the secretary of state’s office has not dealt adequately with these electronic voting machines and the deficiencties. Also, polling places have opened up and some of the machines were not zero-counted out. … And that is a problem. That is a serious problem.”

Dana Elder, the precinct manager at the school, said there was a power failure around 2:20 p.m. affecting one machine that lists registered voters in the precinct, but it posed no problem because there was another backup machine. The broken machine was fixed within 10 minutes and did not affect the actual voting machines, Elder said.
Now, c'mon, Cynthia (and Democrats who have been doing this for 6 years now). Glitches occur (and where was your outrage during "Landslide" Johnson's victory, or JFK's winning through questionable practices?). A glitch, which seems to have been fixed immediately does NOT warrant casting doubt on the entire election. Now, if the machine were not fixed immediately OR there were more than one machine with a long-lasting glitch...then you may have a case for a tainted result (but still not a conspiracy).

If there were a widespread problem then why was it only McKinney's campaign (and not even McKinney potential voters) that were complaining?
The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office kept an eye on the elections, with 15 roving monitors on the ground in the 4th District, said spokeswoman Kara Sinkule.

Sinkule noted that the complaints were only coming from the McKinney campaign. “We are not having voters saying we are having equipment malfunctions,” Sinkule said.

McKinney has always held a distrust of the state’s new touch-screen voting machines. She has appeared at events promoted by activists opposed to electronic voting in Georgia. One of her congressional aides, Richard Searcy, was one of the most outspoken critics of Georgia’s electronic voting platform before taking a job in McKinney’s office.
And what I hate about politicians (and their loyalist supporters) is that a claim is only a problem if they are not benefited.
When McKinney beat out five opponents in the Democratic primary in 2004 to re-claim her congressional seat, she did not question the voting machines’ accuracy or the results. On Tuesday, she was anything but silent on the issue.

“Voters should be able to go into the precinct with the assurance that their vote is actually going to be cast, first of all, and counted,” McKinney said Tuesday. “But at this point we have had voters to tell us the voting machines took several tries before they would actually even cast the correct ballots.”

McKinney made other claims about voting problems but did not elaborate or take questions before disappearing into a truck.
Interestingly she took the typical approach by politicians: run away from tough questioning.
The DeKalb County elections office released a statement addressing complaints from the McKinney campaign.

In answer to an allegation that a voter tried to vote for McKinney, but the machine popped up a vote for Johnson, the office said:

“Upon investigation by the manager, it was determined while the one candidates’s name was touched by the ball of the finger, the fingernail hit the name,” the statement read. “We do not expect voters to cut their nails to vote, but we are cautioning everyone to make certain they are satisfied with their choices before they hit the ‘cast ballot’ button.”
Wait...so people have a chance to review their selections and they are STILL VOTING INCORRECTLY! Sorry, Charlie, you have no ground to complain on.
“We don’t have a problem addressing any claims that they have,” said Linda Lattimore, head of elections for DeKalb County, where much of the 4th Congressional District lies. “We’ll investigate and respond to each claim.”

The statement from Lattimore’s office addressed other issues raised by the McKinney campaign, claiming they were immediately rectified when brought to officials’ attention.

Some voters who wanted to vote in the runoff did not realize congressional lines were redrawn by the state Legislature in 2005, Lattimore said. So some voters accustomed to voting in the 4th District were perplexed at not being able to do so.
Which MIGHT explain why some people did not find McKinney's name on the ballot (and MAY have assumed that the remaining name was McKinney's opponent). We don't know since the article was lacking good follow-up, but it is a highly plausible scenario. Especially so since the make up of McKinney's supporters seem to be the chip-on-the-shoulder everyone-is-against-us types...whose poor attitude and disconnect leads to self-fulfilling prophecies.
Lattimore said some voters who were told to wait while a poll worker investigated a problem misinterpreted it as being turned away from the polls. “We ask a voter to wait a second and suddenly [they think] we turn them away.”
Like I said...they are chip-on-the-shoulder everyone-is-against-us types...whose poor attitude and disconnect leads to self-fulfilling prophecies.

McKinney, please do the world a favor and stay away from politics. It is people like you on both sides who cannot bring yourself to admit your own side's faults or that the opposition is made up of people (not monsters or demons) and thus think up every conspiracy possible to take down your opponent. This leads the state of discourse into a place that does not reflect people and gives politicians who are not interested in people...only Party. McKinney is an example of why this country's politics are in sad shape. She is representative of politicians...just a little more brazen about it is the only difference.

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Blogger bobby_b said...

Our election system has, I think, now been irreparably damaged - not by voting problems, or counting problems, but by the Dem's new tactic of claiming, in every loss, that they really won, but that the election was stolen.

What they've accomplished, in the name of bitter partisanship, is to remove the feeling of legitimacy that has always been granted to election winners in our American system, and which so frequently has been absent in other countries - the sense that, like or dislike the winner, s/he's our new Pres/Sen/Rep/whatever, and so let's move forward and do what we can.

Now, instead, there will almost never be a pulling together after an election (except, maybe, in truly landslide wins) to work for the common weal. The losing side will always simply claim that the officeholder is illegitimate, that they will not work with him/her, and the two sides will drift further and further apart, and will harbor more bitterness towards the other.

Watch Mexico. They've learned from our Dems. They're now going to hasten the slide into increased polarity just like us.

August 09, 2006  
Blogger Tony Garcia said...

I agree wholeheartedly...in fact I did a post a while ago about that.

Here it is.

August 09, 2006  
Blogger bobby_b said...

Missed than one. Nice post.

August 09, 2006  
Blogger bobby_b said...

Gud speling iz impurtent.

August 09, 2006  
Blogger Tony Garcia said...

Did I spell something wrong again?

August 09, 2006  
Blogger Marty said...

Codified spelling is relatively new in the English Language, having only existed the last two hundred years or so. Considering the near 1000 year history of English as a written language I don't take spelling errors very seriously.

It says "chuse" not "choose" in our Constitution, and darnit I'm sticking with the founding fathers on this.

August 09, 2006  
Blogger bobby_b said...

I spelled "that" wrong. It's always the hard ones that trip me up.

August 10, 2006  

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