Free invisible hit counter ProfShade: S_RE L_SER : I'd like to buy a vowel?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

S_RE L_SER : I'd like to buy a vowel?

The ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, plans to ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a county prosecutor in Ohio today to explore "inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering" in at least one and perhaps several Ohio counties. The request for an investigation, made in a letter that was also provided to The New York Times, includes accounts from at least two county employees, but is based largely on a sworn affidavit provided by the Hocking County deputy director of elections, Sherole Eaton.

All well and good. The article in the NYT ('natch) goes on to assert that Ms. Eaton was present when the vote counting machines were calibrated prior to the initial recount sample. Here's what she claims:

Among other things, Ms. Eaton says in her affidavit that a representative of Triad Governmental Systems, the Ohio firm that created and maintains the vote-counting software in dozens of Ohio counties, made several adjustments to the Hocking County tabulator last Friday, in advance of the state's recount, which is taking place this week. Ohio recount rules require that only 3 percent of a county's votes be tallied by hand, and typically one or more whole precincts are selected and combined to get the 3 percent sample. After the hand count, the sample is fed into the tabulator. If there is no discrepancy, the remaining ballots can be counted by the machine. Otherwise, a hand recount must be done for the whole county. Ms. Eaton contends that the Triad employee asked which precinct Hocking County planned to count as its representative 3 percent, and, upon being told, made further adjustments to the machine.

AHA! Something sounding mighty fishy here! Must be an evil vote-stealing Republican toying with that there machine, don't you think??? Mighty suspicious, right? Asking which precinct would be counted then making more changes? I mean, c'mon...Triad Governmental Systems? Very similar-sounding to that Trilateral Commission we hear about. Did this guy show up in a black helicopter? But wait, it gets better...

County officials decided to use a different precinct when the recount was done yesterday. No discrepancies were found.

Um..O well...nevermind....In typical NYT fashion this particularly salient and contraindicative factoid is buried at the very end of the story. It's the type of simple fact, an errant thread that you just have to pull, that completely unravels this sloppily knitted conspiracy theory.
Meanwhile the head of the company says bring on an investigation. The recalibration is needed on every machine for accuracy, just as the 'no discrepencies' result confirms. Elsewhere in this non-story, Conyers points to these 'allegations' as evidence of outrageous vote tampering. Right. No discrepancies=tampering. I'm glad I didn't take algebra with this guy. Buy a vowel, Rep. Conyers. Or better yet, pick a lucky Buckeye.

Read the whole breathtakingly-asinine article yourself and tell me if I'm missing something...I mean, other than 20 minutes of my life that I'll never get back...