Monday, July 24, 2006

Alaska's Super-Voters!

One story about voting 'discrepancies' is the fascinating tale of the Alaska Super-Voters. Perhaps due to the bracing weather, the mighty voters of our northern-most state cast their votes so powerfully that the voter turnout in 16 of 40 house districts came out to more that 200%! Now, that's what I call enthusiasm. Say what you will about disaffected voters and low turnout - not in Alaska!

BradBlog, the go-to guys for all thing vote-a-licious, reports that the sore losers of Alaska's State Democratic Party, instead of being encouraged by the engagement of Alaskans in the political process, want to look at the election data from the (surprise!) Diebold machines and the state has 'flip-flopped' on whether they would release it or not. This resulted in claims by the state that any data they released would be proprietary and would belong to Diebold Elections Systems Inc. (DESI).

The above led the state Democratic party to file a lawsuit to get the data they have been requesting.

The following is from an email from Rich McClear of KUDO1080, the Air America Radio affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska:

The State of Alaska website shows 16 of 40 house districts with more than 200% voter turnout, Also, if you add up the vote totals from each district they come to more than 100,000 votes for state wide candidates than the summary reports show.

More than 7 months ago the Democrats asked for an explanation. The state said it could not release the data files because they were proprietary to Diebold.

Diebold gave the state permission to release the files.

The state still refused. The Democrats went to court, the state asked for extension after extension. Their final extension expired Thursday and they replied to the Court, in a 200 page document, that since it is a month from the primary election, they can't release the database without compromising the primary. There is not enough time to rebuild the central tabulator file if they release the data before the election.

The Democrats have to respond to the court Monday. To respond to a 200 page document would usually require the Democrats to ask for an extension but they are working throughout the weekend to get the filing in Monday. Right now I have the Democratic Spokesperson scheduled for my show Monday Morning.

The State stalled for 7 months and when they ran out the legal clock they claim it is too late to release the information because it is too close to the primary. I find it interesting that this has not been picked up by the local press yet, save KUDO.

What I want to know is, why the hell is there a 'proprietary format' for data from a public election? Why is there private software for public data? Why is public voting, the cornerstone of our democracy, privatized? And to an obviously partisan company? This is the single most important issue on the table. This issue controls everything else in our country! Our votes are what supposedly put this gang of thugs in office! We have to be able to trust our voting system. We have to be able to check the results.

What just blows me away is that we allow this to happen. I have a knot in my stomach just thinking about November.


Jay Allbritton said...

Boy the evidence is really piling up. You'd think the Republicans would see the writing on the wall and send in Brutus and Cassius.

DivaJood said...

My god, talk about voting early and often.

Voting in a totalitarian regime is largely ceremonial anyway, so of course, hire it out to a Private, Repblican company. Make it look all shiny. Let the people THINK their voice is heard.

GreenSmile said...

Bush has a great solution for Alaska's democrat problem: extend the Iraq tour for the units called up from Alaska by yet another 4 or 6 monthes. body bags ought to shut 'em up.

Unknown said...

I agree, Alicia. What galls me is that the Dems pussy-foot around it. The voting issues only recently achieved non-tinfoil hat status, so I guess that's progress in a way. At least it's being talked about... at the VERY least. I still don't hold out any hope that things will be corrected by November, though. Quite the opposite. Look at all the laws bumbleshrub is breaking on a daily basis. If those glaringly obvious scandals aren't prosecuted, why would the Diebold scandals be?

Diebold also makes the new crappy ATMs at the BofA down the street. I always grimmace when I have to use one.