Guest Blogged by John Gideon
The following shocking information just came in to "Train Wreck Central" from Brad who is on the road, lord knows where. A special hat tip to Thom Hartmann and Rich McClear of KUDO1080, the Air America Radio affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska.
As readers of The BRAD BLOG know, Diebold and the State of Alaska have been doing all they can to keep the State Democratic Party from looking at the data from the machines used by the voters to register their choices and by the local officials to tally the votes. The BRAD BLOG has reported that questions began to arise about results from the 2004 election, including the reported revelation that "district-by-district vote totals add up to 292,267 votes for President Bush, but his official total was only 190,889." The Democrats asked for election data from the 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:
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.
So the state and Diebold have stalled, flip-flopped, obfuscated and misled while they kept the Democrats from proving that there were huge problems with the election results in 2004. One can only hope that the court will decide that the stall needs to stop now, but it might be best not to hold your breath.
UPDATE 11/28/06: Alaska is at it again. They're refusing to release the 2006 election database despite a court order to do so. Details now here...