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Monday, November 5, 2012

Emergency! Emergency!

The allegations of ballot tampering in Clackistan are disturbing, to say the least, but we get a real kick out of watching Oregon secretary of state Kate Brown and county chair Charlotte Lehan posturing around, calling emergency meetings and sending multiple monitors to watch over everything. Both Brown and Lehan are up for re-election themselves and facing significant opposition, and if tampering did occur, it was reportedly done to favor their opponents, among others. The sudden crisis mentality of the two incumbents coincides with their desire to impress undecided voters and get as much screen time as possible. The media is certainly cooperating.

If there's been ballot tampering, we hope that everyone involved goes to jail. But we also hope that the grandstanding about the allegations falls on deaf ears.

Comments (43)

Since it seems to be republicans, uniformly, who have a penchant for ballot-rigging, I think we can all be reassured that we have a secretary of state who, while occasionally inept, has an interest in doing her job and protecting the integrity of the election against this sort of criminality.

Greg Palast has a free download (hoping for donations) of his book "Billionaires and Ballot Bandits" today.

Can we assume they have people filling in the boxes that are incomplete weeks in advance of the deadline? The whole process reeks.

Any comment in all of this hand-wringing about tightening up vote-by-mail to reduce fraud?

Of course, we all know there is never any fraud with vote-by-mail - Especially if you never bother to investigate.

BTW - You forgot to throw in Kurt Schrader in the piling on and overly-histrionic camp:

"That is absolutely the worst crime against humanity in this country that I can think of," Schrader said. "That person deserves the worst penalty that could possibly be given under the judicial system."

Meanwhile, according to the news this morning, Kate Brown is seriously concerned that the Post Office is delivering ballots with insufficient postage, crying that it is a violation of Oregon law for the PO to do that. She has requested that the PO cease delivering ballots with less than first class postage affixed to the envelopes. Doesn't seem to me that our chief elections official has her priorities straight, though that's no surprise.

The PO responds that they disagree, and believe their responsibility is to deliver all possible ballots in furtherance of the democratic process. Which side are you on, Allan L?

Any comment . . . about tightening up vote-by-mail to reduce fraud?

Well, there are lots of webcams and microphones around that could be activated for government surveillance. But, really, is it worth it? Onesey - twosey ballot games are unlikely to have any real consequences. Even in a close election, every recount will yield a different number, and many factors will contribute to making the outcome no more statistically significant than a coin toss. Republican sources are now starting to come clean and own up to the fact that voter fraud is a red (and I use that color advisedly) herring. The real story is official vote-rigging.

A single rogue person sneaking with a Sharpie pen, regardless of the party, could tamper with 200 ballots at most. Lehan will lose by far in excess of 200 votes, but will still try to get the results tossed out. What are the odds?

Which side are you on . . .?

I don't think the state gets to tell the post office which mail to deliver. The Post Office is not thinking straight about this either, since they are creating a moral hazard by delivering ballot envelopes without sufficient postage. They could have returned them. Doesn't every ballot's outer envelope have the registered voter's address printed on the back? Mail involvement is one of the central flaws in a vote-by-mail system.

Why doesn't the Post Office take the unstamped and insufficient postage envelopes and toss them in a ballot drop at the library or downtown?

If I were the Elections Office, I would count all the ballots that make their way in, expecting litigation if I didn't. Passing the buck, though, to the Post Office seems lame.

Passing the buck and grandstanding seem to be perfect recipes for helping a media full of writers block.

Am I the only one that thinks Kate Brown SOUNDS and ACTS remarkably like Claude Rains' in the role of Captain Renault when she says:

" I am SHOCKED, SHOCKED to find the has been FRAUD going on in here, Rick:.

("Your winnings, sir...)


Rick always allows Renault to win in order to keep his casino going...

Charlotte Lehan actually said, in the open meeting today, something so monumentally revealing of her ignorance: "How do we know a janitor is not filling out ballots at night?"

For Lehan to be so ignorant of the process of ballot security (or to pretend to be that ignorant) is reason enough to vote her out of there.

What an idiotic and irresponsible thing for the chair of the county commission to say.

"Since it seems to be republicans, uniformly, who have a penchant for ballot-rigging ....."

You certainly have a penchant for cocksure outrageousness, don't you.

Sally, find me some comparable mischief perpetrated by democrats and I'll be happy to acknowledge it. The reality-based truth is that vote rigging and voter suppression are uniquely republican hobbies.

find me some comparable mischief perpetrated by democrats and I'll be happy to acknowledge it.

Isn't that what this blog is largely about, i.e, mischief in Portland City Hall, or are you that blind of an apologist?

Allan, voter fraud is not one of my pet issues. I do know that that there is considered to have been a fair amount of it in Kennedy's 1960 election; it is of more debate whether it won him the election or not.

More to the point, your claim that Republicans "uniformly" engage in it is outrageous. Is "uniformly" another word you need to look up?

Allan, are you sure you want to raise the ghosts of the 1960 Kennedy victory say just in Chicago...

But to be nice we'll keep it current:

Almost forgot voter suppression. Are you so historically dishonest that you forget or omit which party was in power in the South who suppressed the black vote for almost the entire first two thirds of the 20th century?

Come on, Allan you make it to easy.

Does anyone know how the ballot tempering was discovered?

Who informed Kate?

Was it Sherry or a system she put in place?


Mr. Grumpy, I don't understand your point. This particular thread is about the integrity of tomorrow's election. How is City Hall affecting that?

Pelep and Sally, yes, I understand that there have been long past instances of people in the south, who were then democrats (who now, incidentally, are mostly republicans), who engaged in the kind of behavior that this year is perpetrated and embraced by republicans across the country.

Sally, please reread the context for the use of "uniformly" in my earlier. It doesn't mean what you seem to want it to.

And exactly where has this outraged been for YEARS when there has been the ACCEPTED practice of "Ballot enhancement" or "signature invalidation" by untrained but partisan staff?

Stacks of surplus blank ballots, duplicate counting, trays of "recently discovered" ballots at the recounts, and early opening and counted ballots are all reason to abandoned vote by mail.

Fraud is just too easy to accomplish, too hard to detect, impossible to correct and making voters even more cynical.

1. The solution is simple - require a vote for EVERY race. If you don't want to vote for any candidates you can vote "none of the above" which is a vote of no confidence in any running candidate; if "none of the above" wins then a new election must be held with a new slate of candidates; or "no vote" meaning you are simply sitting out the race. THUS - there is no way someone can fill in a vote on an undervote as it would result in an overvote.

2. Re: the Post Office scandal: Why isn't the state paying for the return postage? So it costs an extra million dollars in postage per general election. The state could find the money by ending the odd-year elections, the odd-month elections (any election NOT in November), stop the mass mailing and printing of the Voter's Pamphlet (which by itself would more than pay for it), and force the political parties to pay for their own Primary elections.

Allan, the NC multi-voter is THIS year. Can you not read for comprehension?

No they are not now Republicans they are Blue Dog Democrats or Columbia County Democrats (hey CC kid!).

Show me where Republicans are suppressing the vote or tampering with ballots?

According to the initial investigation only two (2) ballots were tampered with. While that is two too many it is not the electoral mudslide everyone on the progressive side is huffing it is. Also, who said the still unidentified tamperer is a registered republican when we still don't know her name. She could be an ACORN member for all we know.

Show me where Republicans are suppressing the vote or tampering with ballots?


I read for meaning, Allan. If you meant "exclusive," the post would be stupid; "uniform," meaning at the very least "normal," is outrageous, as is your reiteration that Republicans "across the country" embrace and perpetrate this or any other sort of vote fraud.

Show me where Republicans are suppressing the vote or tampering with ballots?

Follow the links Allan provided. Or use Google. Or WaPo's David Beard has been compiling a list for easy reference here:

Allan, the NC multi-voter is THIS year. Can you not read for comprehension?

Are you really going to insist a highly partisan blogpost based upon an alleged FaceBook post by someone from the other party proudly announcing that they committed a felony, is proof positive of voter fraud? If so, you shouldn't criticize others' critical thinking skills.

And wasn't a highly partisan blogpost? Please.

Sally, I guess "exclusively" comes close enough. I can't find (and you haven't offered) any examples of comparable activity engaged in by other than Republicans. For such activities "across the country" I offer Florida's "purges" of registered voters from its rolls, its limitation of early voting, and the long lines being endured now by early voters in key districts. The latter two issues arise in Ohio as well. Stringent new voter ID laws in many states, including Indiana, Ohio and Iowa, constitute vote suppression, as do the false official statements in Pennsylvania about the ID requirements for voting that are promulgated despite court orders suspending application of their law. The Ohio Secretary of State has imposed new requirements for provisional ballots that are contrary to state law. The Texas-based "True the Vote" movement is partisan and has an ugly racial component. In Arizona, robo-calls from candidates and official publications are sending Spanish-language voters to the wrong voting places on the wrong dates.

I second the "none of the above option," all the way up to the presidential race.

And wasn't a highly partisan blogpost? Please.

Here's where that critical thinking comes in. Upon what, are the posts - all from arguably partisan blogs, yes - based? One is based upon a single, alleged, FaceBook post. The others (from ThinkProgress and literally thousands of other sources) are based upon undisputed facts of what is actually happening on the ground in a number of states. Which evidence do you think would stand up in court?

Here you go, Allan. Democratic voter fraud a couple of weeks ago.

That report also contains information about problems on voter rolls nationwide. Almost three quarters of both whites and Latinos support Voter ID laws (check Pew Research center). That these laws "constitute vote suppression" is sheer partisan rhetoric; that's a conclusion in lieu even of an argument.

I personally experienced a bit of "voter fraud" in downtown Portland a few years ago when I was solicited to register. I actually wanted to change my registration (from independent) in order to vote in a primary so I engaged the fellow. In chatting with him, he ended up telling me that his headquarters threw away any Republican registrations and turned in only the Democratic ones.

My husband and I find it appalling that even couples would fill out each other's ballots, but we figure it probably happens a lot.

Dragging his thread back to topic, to wit, Clackistan:

Do I correctly understand the KGW TV 8 noon news report?

THe Great Clackamas Vote Robbery involves precisely two (2) ballots?

And of this, Kurt Schrader has opined that a "...crime against humanity..." has been perpetrated.

Holy Over The Top Hyperbole, Batman.


It looks like it could be just 1 maybe 2 and even that may have been something less than the ballot tampering first suspected. Rumors fly, but with no arrest yet speculation has been heard about no charges being possible.

This may end up to be a lovely bunch of not so much.

Sally, thanks for furnishing some information I didn't have about the guy in Virginia -- that's one out of 23 specific instances summarized in the Washington Post report, and I overlooked it.

I'm also encouraged to see you acknowledge that there is a "partisan" impact from voter ID laws, which principally affect the poor and the elderly. After all, we're talking about additional formal requirements for people who have already registered as voters -- whatever proof of ID, etc., that requires -- and can identify themselves at the polls by signature or even by being personally known to election officials, but will be prevented from voting if they don't have a picture i.d. issued by a government agency. There is much more here than rhetoric. Not only are the voting requirements new and different, the obstacles to getting such an ID post-9/11 are substantial.

You're all taking Allan's bait. His comments over time have repeatedly demonstrated that he's a religiously devoted apologist, possibly a deliberate agitator. Give up all hope for discourse.

The downside is so large, the upside so small....what an idiot. Of course what can you say about a political party that A, rigs ballot boxes, B pushes for "voter id laws", C find it in their best interest that fewer people vote and D, send their Tea Party goons to try and intimidate voters at the polls. I think the Republicans think this is one of their banana republics.

Voter suppression is uniformly a Republican strategy because the national Republican candidates generally lose when voter participation parallels the current demographics of the national voting population. It has nothing to do with any meaningful statistical impact on election outcomes resulting from voter fraud. The simple math is that the more people participate in the democratic voting process, the more likely it is a Democrat gets elected. It's a perversely appropriate reality for a democratic republic.
A six or seven hour wait to vote is our current poll tax, and a hardship that generally (if not "uniformly") only appears in low income urban areas with higher concentrations of non white voters. Republican controlled state legislatures are uniformly responsible for such calculated voter bottlenecks. To believe otherwise is simply to stick your head in the sand and wait for the next hurricane Sandy.
That's not to say any of it is currently illegal, or inconsistent with our history of ruthless politics about this time every four years. But there's also no denying that lines like those reported at polling places in south Florida this past weekend create an unconscionable inequality with respect to the ease or hardship of exercising the fundamental right to vote. Or that they do so along economic and racial divides.

Allan, I did not acknowledge a "partisan impact" from Voter ID laws; I referred to "partisan rhetoric" in your claiming that. Surely you knew that. Do you ever speak straightly on anything?

That is a rhetorical question, by the way. Which means you do not have to answer it.


A little club soda will get those Kool Aid stains out.

A little club soda will get those Kool Aid stains out.

Yet another content-free "argument" from the right.

Word is that the perp modified as few as two (2) ballots. Touched up undervotes with a pencil, where the voter used a pen. What a maroon! Glad they got caught before they could do more damage. Throw the book at 'em.

Looks like my wild guess of 200 ballots was a bit off. Two. Those Republicans sure must be a bunch of putzes. A grand conspiracy and all they can pull off is two?

You want two? Dad-gummit. I'll give you two.

Latest word is that she modified a total of six ballots. They were all repaired, so no legal votes lost, and no illegal votes cast.

Still, this is six too many. I hope they throw the book at her. Even if caught, it dangerously undermines the process.


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