There is NO BASIS for Confidence in the Reported Election Results. Period.
ABC News is featuring this AP story on their website:
Okay, AP. Prove it. I dare you. You can't.
Not without a 100% manual, hand-count of all the optically-scanned paper ballots and touch-screen "paper trails" from Tuesday's CA 50th Congressional district race for the U.S. House of representatives. And even then, depending on the margin of difference after the op-scan ballots are hand-counted, you will be unable to prove that the race was decided correctly if it should turn out the number of votes cast on touch-screen machines was more than the margin of difference after the op-scan ballots are actually counted (by hand!)
The deafening, dumbstruck silence after I posted my article yesterday, headlined 'Results of Close Busby/Bilbray U.S. House Special Election in Doubt!,' is deafening.
Yes, I know the headline is unsettling. As are the implications of the piece. I will hope, however, that most of you who know what I report at The BRAD BLOG also know that what I report, I source with independently verifiable information. So you don't need to trust me. And you shouldn't. No more than you should trust the words of San Diego County's Registrar of Voters.
The arguments presented in yesterday's article are airtight. The have been vetted by a number of election experts and computer scientists. So far, not a single human being has presented me with a flaw in my logic or contentions.
Mind you, I have never reported that any election was "stolen." Not even the 2000 Presidential (which wasn't stolen, as much as given away by the Supreme Court), nor the 2004 Presidential Election, which evidence shows would most likely have gone to Kerry had the votes actually been counted. But I have never claimed that election was "stolen" either, because we simply do not know. Until there is evidence, I do not report it as such.
I am not saying, in my article yesterday, that the Busby/Bilbray election was "stolen" either.
Nor have I charged there has been any fraud. This is (for now) about confidence in verifiable results in an American election. So far, there is no basis to have any.
Nor am I one of those who believes that legitimate elections can only be carried out on 100% hand-counted paper ballots.
This one, however, given the specific machines in use, which have been proven to be easilly tamperable and hackable, without a trace being left behind, (and admitted as such by even the company who makes them!) is a different matter. Add to that, security measures were completely compromised by sending the machines home with poll workers, in some cases, for weeks at a time, prior to the election and we've got a no confidence case on our hands.
The burden is now on elections officials --- who we pay to run accurate elections --- to prove the race was counted accurately. Let's see them do it.
I do not champion, nor traffic in, "conspiracy theories," as those of you who know my work likely already understand. What I reported in yesterday's story was not editorial or "conspiracy theory," but plain scientific fact, resting on an enormous body of peer-reviewed, undisputed, scientific evidence. The contention offered in the piece then is summarized thusly --- presuming the integrity of the chain of custody for the paper ballots and the "paper trails" is still demonstrably secured:
Unless every optically-scanned ballot is counted by hand --- and only if the resultant margin after that count is larger than the number of votes cast on the touch-screen systems --- can there be any confidence that the results of the U.S. House race for CA's 50th congressional district are accurate.
I challenge anybody to prove otherwise. Anybody. It cannot be done.
I welcome any and all questions about the logic or accuracy of my contentions. So far, I have received none.
If, after reading yesterday's article in full --- and asking any questions of me concerning the logic or evidence (I will try to keep an eye on comments left here) --- you still do not understand what's going on here, and what's at stake in your elections, then you are simply heading into November while whistling past democracy's graveyard.
That goes for you, AP. (And ABC, since you're running the article on your site and yet have failed to run extremely important stories on American election integrity issues which, unlike AP's story, are demonstrably provable and feature actual evidence.)
Do you both, AP and ABC, stand behind this report? If so, I dare you to prove the contentions made in your article are backed up with any verifiable evidence. You can't. And you won't. The contentions made in my article, however, certainly are. I feel it's my responsibility to be sure of that when I file a report. Why don't you?
Elections should be verifiable and provable. This one, at least as of now, is most decidely not.
UPDATE: SD County Poll workers write in about voting machine sleepovers...
UPDATE: 6/9/06: New numbers reported from San Diego county...