Wednesday, March 08, 2006
As a rule, I try not to reflexively, unthinkingly scream "Diebold!" every time an election result doesn't go the way I'd like it to go. Besides, it looks like Henry Cuellar may be an old-fashioned election rigger, eschewing the Dieboldish manipulation of electrons in favor of those old reliables, the graveyard vote and the easily-manipulated absentee (or "early") ballot. (Note that Webb County, a Cuellar stronghold, has a high number of "early voters", much higher than anywhere else in the district.) It's been reported at DailyKos and elsewhere that lawyers for Ciro Rodriguez' campaign have tried to impound the ballots in Webb County. This may well end up being decided in the courts. UPDATE: A diarist at DailyKos made the following observations this morning (emphases mine):
As of 7:26 CST (none / 0)
Here is where things stand, from the SOS numbers: ALL COUNTIES 23,546 2,893 18,217 44,656 274 276
Early 12,772 1,334 7,923 22,029 ... ...
WEBB 12,265 720 1,470 14,455 29 30
Early 8,145 454 789 9,388 ... ... Note that ~70% of the early votes are from Webb County (29 of 30 precincts reporting), and ~70% of Webb County voted early. Nowhere else did even a majority vote early. No, not airtight evidence of fraud, but definitely weird, and given those "glitches" that held up reporting, definitely evidence justifying the utmost investigation of Webb. I hope that indeed "the ballots have been impounded." Does the whole county even have paper ballots to impound? I have to get ready for work. Other folks, please check this out when you can.
We have no reason to have confidence in elections. No states have come forward and said, "You know, if people have reason to doubt elections, then-- even if they're completely off-base-- leaders have lost the consent of the governed. That is so serious that we *must* take the necessary steps to restore confidence."
Consent is not just 50% of the votes plus one. It is the agreement by the loser of an election to abide by the result voluntarily, out of respect for the opinions of his/her neighbors. When consent is lost, a nation is on the road toward unrest. Since the loss of respect generally works both ways, the outcome can be dictatorship by the majority or insurrection instigated by the minority.
If people feel their vote may have been tampered with, they should scream. It's far better than letting such a serious matter fester.
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