January 10, 2005

Better Living Through Bloggers

We're all aware of the tremendous impact the blogosphere has had on our society in recent months. Now, the beat goes on in Washington State. From John Fund:

"In his new book, "Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation," radio host and law professor Hugh Hewitt calls the new media a form of "open-source journalism" in which gatekeepers can no longer control what reaches the public. Readers and listeners interact with bloggers and talk show hosts so that a free market of ideas and information can emerge. "Blogs analyzed the Washington state election shenanigans in a more sophisticated and comprehensive way than the mainstream media," he told me."

And what has been the result? "A poll taken last week by Seattle's KING-TV found that by a 20-point margin state residents back a new election, and by 53% to 36% they don't think Mr. Rossi should concede."

The rest of the column is good stuff, detailing some of the voting "irregularities." For example, "At least 1,200 more votes were counted in Seattle's King County than the number of individual voters who can be accounted for." And worse. Take a look.

Posted by JohnGalt at January 10, 2005 08:38 AM

John Fund's book on election fraud is fantastic (I haven't bought the Hugh Hewitt book).

I can't get behind the idea of a do-over. As I mentioned, you prosecute fraud where you can, but at some level you admit that the vote counters were elected once themselves.

I think the GOP wuz robbed in Washington State. But maybe they need to be voted in by a wide margin, to clean house.

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2005 04:48 PM

Did you also think the Ukrainian re-vote was a mistake?

I understand your principled position that after we follow the complete, established process, the results are final and binding. The problem with that approach is that it institutionalizes cheating by those who have the chutzpah to do it in plain sight and then say "it's unfortunate, but it happens." This is the mother of all slippery slopes.

The "wide margin" you speak of is reflected in the poll data showing residents back a new election by a 20 percent margin. But how can they vote in the GOP by a "wide margin" if they can't get in in the first place to remove dead and fictitional Democrats from the voting rolls?

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2005 01:13 PM

No, the Ukrainian revote was proper because the vote counters were not legitimately elected.

I hate to seem sanguine about this -- it is a crime that the world's best democracy (and its States) find it so difficult to stage a fair election. And I do NOT think it fair if Gregoire wins, considering the "infelicities."

If fraud can be proven, the election should be challenged. I would like to investigate different ways to isolate the "fishier" ballots in Washington State, and perhaps recount.

Yet I do not support a new vote unless it somehow called for in the state constitution, which it seems not to be.

If there is no way to better count the ballots from the election, then we must let the vote counters decide.

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2005 02:41 PM

The unverified provisional ballots were counted (in King county) and the mystery ballots were counted (also in King county) and it matters not whether those doing the counting were elected or not. It is still illegal. The fact that the courts (in King county) declined to take heed of that little fact in their decisions to allow the "process to proceed" means that the Democrat machine in the greater Seattle area stole the election, "fair and square."

No objective observer can condone this merely because the vote counters were elected, legitimately or otherwise.

I agree that a re-vote may not be constitutionally justified, but if that is the only recourse to achieve an HONEST and LEGAL count of verifiably REGISTERED voters then so be it.

Posted by: johngalt at January 12, 2005 01:20 PM

Do you know if there is a recall procedure in WA? That would be a good outcome.

The lead WSJ Editorial today comes out against a revote. Few are more partisan than I, but I like the stories of Nixon's not challenging Illinois in 1960, and the county office a few years ago where the participants tossed a coin.

On one hand, do everything possible to improve the accuracy and legality of elections. On the other hand, keep all the civility and humility that the process of elections is more important than the outcome.

Posted by: jk at January 12, 2005 02:19 PM
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