Friday, November 06, 2020


The Democrats believed they had an election stolen from them in 2000.  They would point to things that looked bad:  George Bush's brother was governor of the disputed state of Florida. Well, yes, cause for heightened suspicion, but what is it do you think he did wrong?  How did he game this?  What was the cheating? Similarly with Katherine Harris, it was considered significant that she was a Republican who had campaigned for Bush.  Okay then, that would be an explanation for why* she was doing something wrong, if it could be shown that she did something wrong. What illegal thing do you think she did? There were arguments that Florida should have laws that demanded a full recount.  Hmm, maybe it should.  But it didn't.  If you think that there is a fundamental fairness requirement that all the ballots be recounted by hand, then take that to court to overturn that law. (You will notice that was not attempted.) But, but...The US Supreme Court justices voted 5-4 along the lines of which party had appointed them. Well, that wasn't quite true.  They decided two issues, and the more important one was decided 7-2. What do you think was wrong about those decisions, other than the result?  There were arguments about confusing ballots, and the eligibility of a large batch of military votes that weren't postmarked, and the infamous "hanging chads." In all cases the requirement was, as is true with all accusations in America, to provide some evidence of wrongdoing, not just evidence of suspiciousness. 

We should expect the same standard to apply to Trump and the Republicans, and that's fine.  Is it ironic that Democrats are now defending themselves with the same arguments they have been rejecting for 20 years, and that they are oblivious to this?  Of course. 



Sam L. said...

"We should expect the same standard to apply to Trump and the Republicans, and that's fine. Is it ironic that Democrats are now defending themselves with the same arguments they have been rejecting for 20 years, and that they are oblivious to this? Of course."

No, I think they're just ignoring that, sticking their fingers in their ears, and chanting, nyah, nyah, nyah, I CAN'T HEAR YOU. That's my take on it.

Unknown said...

I once made a comment in a discussion of authentication for IT purposes that it was parallel to authentication for voting, where you want to be sure that the person arriving at the poll to vote is who they claim to be. I was immediately slammed for suggesting such a thing, and that in voting it is obvious that proof of ID by signature-match or photo-id document are certainly not needed because no-one has proven that imposters have in recent times been a problem -- other than the odd whacko.

So I asked (A) if that meant we should only implement authentication of users on our systems if we have evidence of unauthorized users? and (B) what would that evidence be, without us implementing authentication?

What I learned from their responses in the conversation is that I'm apparently stupid and don't understand these things. I still wonder about it though.

What I'm seeing in social media and right wing news sources the last few days is a lot of Republican party people saying of various situations "This looks hinky and needs to be be investigated", with the local poll supervisors saying essentially "get stuffed", the opposing politicians and officials saying "we shouldn't investigate unless you have proof of someone's malfeasance".

I've been following the returns on the liveblog, and most of those posting there are pretty firmly in the camp that a lot of stuff that might look hinky actually has quite logical explanations. For example
- sharpies didn't invalidate ballots, but many people who had requested mail ballots but then voted in person (using sharpie) found a "cancelled" flag on the state's ballot tracking. This was because the system noted that they voted in-person (ballot status not checkable on tracking) and the system noted correctly that the mail-in ballot should therefore go uncounted.
- poll counters will 're-make' ballots that can't be read by the scanning equipment, being more careful than the original voter to color within the lines, but marking exactly the same votes. So when it is reported that people in counting centers are observed 'filling in ballots', it is quite likely to be for this innocent reason, so that a real person's votes can be entered into the count via the scanner.

So it pains me that I can see twitter and facebook disappearing posts and purging users who post videos saying "this looks like election fraud", as often the 3rd or 4th comment would be the innocent explanation of what's happening. Instead it looks like they are facilitating a cover-up.

I'm tempted to say that all of the things warned-agianst in the Carter-Ford and Carter-Baker election integrity commissions for having consequences that would cause citizens to lose confidence in the integrity of elections, seem to be the very policies that are lately pushed most heavily for improving ballot access.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yes, the Jimmy Carter Center was opposed to mail-in ballots for that very reason. I guess the elder statesman is only listened to when he says what they want to hear.

Texan99 said...

This argument that no one should ever investigate until wrongdoing has been conclusively proved is a new one this year.

james said...

Maybe it's more explicit now. For years we've been told ad nauseum that voter fraud doesn't exist and attempts to investigate it are racist voter suppression in disguise.