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Missing The Point

The Seattle Times reported yesterday (once again) on the number of voters that the King County Republican Party incorrectly challenged this last election. The article was titled “Voter-challenge errors mount.”

Inside the article we read “Most of the challenges appear to be valid.” Yet the emphasis is put on to hear-tearing quotes like

Harvey Hart said that when he received Logan’s letter informing him of the challenge, his first reaction was, “Why vote anymore?”

Well, I say, if thats all it takes to stop you from voting, I’m surprised you go to the trouble to leave your house to do it.

Again, the article:

Vance said Sotelo and other King County GOP officials now are reviewing each challenge “with a fine-tooth comb,” and expect to withdraw more. There won’t be many, he added — 40 tops. “The vast majority of our research has proven to be accurate,” Vance said.

But county Democratic Chairwoman Susan Sheary said the GOP had threatened the civil rights of the voters it challenged mistakenly. “Why didn’t they go through it with a fine-tooth comb before the fact?” she said.

Maybe they didn’t have time to use the fine-toothed comb before, because, um, there was an election coming up? And why does the King County Republican Party have to do this? Doesn’t it seem that maybe the elections department should be policing the elections roles? Where’s the article titled “Illegal Registrations at Elections Office Mount,” hmmm? And once again, isn’t the Democrat Chair missing the point — every valid voter’s civil rights are threatened for every illegal voter out there. On the other hand, the voting process of a few people got a little more complicated because of this challenege. Doesn’t the good that will come from this process far, far outweigh the hinderence? Or is the integrity of the system not important to you and your party? Well, we know its not the former…

An attorney for county Democrats sent a letter to Logan on Monday arguing that all remaining challenges should be thrown out because Republicans hadn’t provided all the information or used the forms that state law requires. But Logan has decided the challenges will proceed, elections spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said.

I think Logan may be technically incorrect here, but he probably made the right decision, because, after all, most of the challeneged voter registrations probably are illegal and something should be done. After all, the voters didn’t follow the procedures when signing up, so why should someone else have to follow a procedure when un-signing them up? Besides, dragging this out creates more bad publicity (like the Seattle Times article) about the Republican Party, and certainly that fits Logan’s operating instructions.

Once again, “The office doesn’t know how many of the challenged voters voted, [elections spokeswoman Bobbie] Egan added.” Well, thats reassuring. If they don’t know that number, doesn’t that imply that the elections office didn’t remove their votes? Has nothing been fixed from the last go-around?

6 Responses to “Missing The Point”

  1. Daniel Marsh Says:

    Well, what has stood out to me from this and recent past elections is some of the “spoiler” tactics that the Republicans, in particular, have been using.

    For example, sending out people to register voters and have each voter register on a new blank page. While registering them, chat them up about their views and if they are a democrat, discard the page after they walk away. That person goes to vote come election day and finds they aren’t registered…

    Another example I heard from the last presidential election was that Republicans were going to overwhelmingly democratic districts and posting signs and handing out leaflets encouraging people to vote on election day … only the wrong day was listed.

    I am not saying Democrats don’t do the same. I think we need to be more aware, as a populace, of election fraud tactics. We should be both aware as individual voters, but also encourage systemic protections such as paper/audit trails.

    The most embarassing thing I have heard about the sad state of democracy in America was a comment to the effect of “Jimmy Carter does such a great job monitoring elections in 3rd world countries, maybe we could get him to oversee our’s.”

  2. Ben McElroy Says:

    When election officials can’t keep the election rolls clean in any consistent way and avoid doing so out of fear of “disenfranchising” voters (illegal or not) it is a bad day for democracy and signs of impending failure. Just a warning to you all. Make sure to get people to understand that their right to vote is cheapened when those who are ineligible to vote by law vote anyway. Citizens *should* have more rights, benefits and responsibilities than non-citizens.

  3. Ryan Says:

    Which is why I think Dean Logan made the right choice by allowing the bulk of the contested registrations by. Because most of the contests are valid, and this is a start to getting the rolls in line with reality.

  4. Ben McElroy Says:

    Yeah, I agree. And at least it now looks like he’s doing his job as opposed to the last election’s fiasco…

    BTW, what’s up with my site’s contact page? it’s like seriously messed up! Unfortunately I don’t have web access on the weekends to fix it but if you could cover the mess up I’d appreciate it! Further digression and way off topic, I must say, iProvo fibreoptic looks mighty tempting with its 10 Mb up and down speed for about 40.00 a month. I may break down and get it just so I can update my web site! My site needs some work I admit.

  5. Ryan Says:

    And still missing the point

  6. Ryan Says:

    Dan, I’ve heard the same stories. If true – and at least some likely are – it is indeed sad that some would be dishonest as such. But its really not any worse than lying about your opponent in a campaign ad or any of the thousands of other dirty things that go on in poltics. And as you said, I am also sure it is a two-way street. However, I find the government screwing this up as somewhat more concerning than dishonest partisans throwing out voter registrations.

    After all, it is not the duty of the people throwing out the voter registrations to get people registered. They are doing it out of their own time, of their own free will, not using my money or yours to do so. If they hadn’t shown up at all, the people whose registrations they threw out probably wouldn’t have signed up anyways.

    On the other hand, Dean Logan and company are paid to ensure that the elections process is fair, at least thats the theory. Instead, they have to have groups like Sound Politics and the King County Republican Party breathing down their necks to even give a durn about thousands of illegal voter registrations.

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