Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Saturday, April 30, 2005

173 of 785 clearly illegitimate provisional ballots found in King County's vote tabulation

According to the deposition of Bill Huennekens, superintendent of elections for King County, their continued efforts to figure out how many of the illegitimate ballots in polling place ballot boxes were provisional ballots have resulted in finding evidence of 437 in addition to the 348 reported in January.

That’s a total of 785 – and it isn’t necessarily the final total. Huennekens testified that they looked at polling places with discrepancies greater than one or two ballots, so there could be more provisional ballots that were unlawfully inserted into the ballot boxes at the other polling places.

Of those 437, King County has been able to identify 355 people who were registered voters and apparently unlawfully inserted their provisional ballots into the ballot boxes.

That leaves 82 of the 437 which wouldn’t have been accepted as valid ballots, if the 437 ballots had been cast as required by the law – that is, in sealed, signed envelopes for later verification that the person casting the ballot was an eligible voter.

Of the 348 illegally cast provisional ballots admitted by Dean Logan in January, King County had identified 252 people who were registered voters, who had not voted more than once, and who probably were among the people who broke the law by inserting their provisional ballots into the ballot boxes.

That left 91 of the 348 ballots which wouldn’t have been accepted as valid ballots, if the 348 ballots had been cast as required by law. (One ballot was noted as “name change” on their spreadsheet. Perhaps they would have figured out that the voter’s name had changed and accepted that ballot – if it had been lawfully cast. So, I have omitted it from the total of ballots which wouldn't have been accepted. King County simply omitted 4 of the 348 from their spreadsheet, so I haven't included them in the total either.)

The arithmetic puts the number of clearly illegitimate provisional ballots illegally cast by ineligible voters at 173.

That’s above the Pretender’s purported margin of victory (129), so naturally The Seattle Times found the arithmetic too difficult to get right:

Republicans have cited 785 mishandled provisional ballots in King County, and of those, 122 were cast by people not properly registered.

Maybe reporting a number higher than 129 would be too painful for them to bear.

Their reporter – or the editor, if an editorial change was made – apparently chose the figure from King County’s spreadsheet which stated the number of ballots cast by people who had been credited with voting already (40). Added to the 82 among the newly announced 437 which were cast by ineligible voters, the sum is 122.

The reporter's euphemism for "unlawfully cast provisional ballots" is nice: "mishandled provisional ballots." They weren't mishandled: They were inserted into the vote-counting machines in violation of the laws enacted to ensure the validity of each vote counted.

The reporter also chose a delicate way of describing the ineligible voters: "people not properly registered." They weren't registered voters. Or, if they were registered, they were voting more than once. That's a violation of the laws enacted to protect the integrity of our election process.

P.S. -- Huennekens claimed during the deposition not to know what "validity of each vote" meant, and couldn't bring himself to admit that the canvassing process is vital to ensuring the integrity of our elections. He is a graduate of Western Washington University, with both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in political science. I wonder what kind of politics he studied that left him unable to understand or accept the concept of a valid election.


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