Or, Counting Voters' Ballots in American Elections, and Other 'Conspiracy Theories'
Or, the Mainstream Media and the 'Progressive' Blogworld...One Big Happy Family...With Liberty and Democracy for None...
-- By Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG
Counting ballots is not done to find out what went wrong, but rather, to assure the results are right.
ATMs are fairly reliable. But I have a feeling if you get $300 from one of them, you'll likely count, by hand, all three hundred dollar bills to make sure they are there. Right? You'd be an irresponsible fool to do otherwise.
But with election results? Um, not so much.
Mahjoun at "Drunkard’s Lamppost" --- a blog which brands itself as "Politics with a spreadsheet and a calculator" --- offers a concise and easy to read summary of the results, as reported, in Diebold vs. Hand-Counted precincts in New Hampshire, along with a very sober analysis (notable for such a "Drunkard") of what may, and may not, be taken away from such an analysis.
There are so many variables in an election result that to put Hillary’s win down to jiggery-pokery without any real evidence is over the top.
We concur. Although earlier in his piece, perhaps inadvertently, Mahjoun does a bit of "jiggery-pokery without any real evidence" himself, by stating:
In the end, Clinton won because she was more popular in the large precincts which happen to be tallied by Diebold machines.
Did she? Is there any evidence for that?
As they like to say over at Daily Kos, after all, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." But that only seems to work one way. So, what exactly is the "extraordinary evidence" for the "extraordinary claim" that for the first time in United States history, a woman has won a Presidential Primary Election, while staring down the barrel of dozens of independent pre-election polls, all predicting she would take a thumping?
Mahjoun's point might have been more accurately stated as "In the end, Clinton won because Diebold machines reported having tallied the ballots more in her favor in large precincts."
That can be proven, after all. The Diebold machines did report, after they, and they alone, counted the paper ballots, without examination or independent verification, that Clinton received more votes in enough precincts to be announced the winner of the election. But unless there's something I'm missing, that's the only thing in this whole matter which can proven.
Some democracy, huh?
In conclusion though, Mahjoun gets it dead right, by pointing out what is, perhaps, the most important take-away from this entire mess, unless you are the sort, unlike me, who enjoys seeing these nightmares and questions repeated over and over again, in election after election in this country:
For democracy to work, the system must be transparent and maintain the confidence of its participants. Proprietary voting machines fail both these tests. Americans, as far as I know, are still capable of counting, so should return exclusively to the paper ballot.
Bingo. Buy that drunkard another drink!
But such responsible coverage, from the mainstream media --- or, more disappointingly, the supposedly-Progressive blogosphere, which has had no shortage of new epithets for The BRAD BLOG and its founding father, Brad Friedman, over the past week --- has not been easy to come by.
Rigging the Coverage...
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