26 January 2007

of the people, by the people

in ballot access news:

After the November 2004 election, the presidential nominees of the Green Party and the Libertarian Party jointly requested a recount of the presidential vote in New Mexico and in Ohio.

Both states had relatively nominal fees for requesting a recount. But elections officials in both states were determined to thwart the requests. In New Mexico, the state retroactively increased the fee ten-fold and a lower court said that was OK. The two candidates couldn’t afford the $1,400,000 new fee for the recount, so they dropped their request, and the voting-counting machines were then reprogrammed so that any recount would be impossible. Later, on May 16, 2006, the New Mexico Supreme Court said the two candidates should have received the recount they had requested after all, but, of course, by then it was too late.

In Ohio, the recount supposedly went ahead. Under the law, a few precincts were supposedly to be randomly chosen. A hand count of these randomly-chosen precincts was then to be compared with the machine total. If they matched, no further recount in that county was needed. On January 24, a jury convicted two Ohio elections officials of rigging the recount. Instead of randomly choosing precincts, they first identified a few precincts in which the hand-count and the machine-count matched. Then they claimed that those precincts had been the randomly-chosen ones; and since totals matched, no further recount of other precincts was needed. As in New Mexico, it is too late to do anything about it.

now that is a truly responsive gubmint. if we give them more money, maybe they'll get betterer.

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