Legal Resources Being Gathered by National Party to Challenge Close Elections Where Dems Currently Trail
Other Candidates, Citing Concerns About Voting Machine Failures, Also Refusing to Concede Until All Votes Can Be Verified...
By Brad Friedman on 11/14/2006, 3:22pm PT  

Just off the phone from a DNC insider --- very much in a position to know --- who says the following races are being considered, as of this afternoon, to still be very much in play by the DNC (* = Incumbent, Results shown latest reported by state websites as available):

NC-8: Larry Kissel (D) 60,016 / Robin Hayes (R)* 60,481
CT-2: Joe Courtney (D) 121,321 / Rob Simmons (R)* 121,151
FL-13: Christine Jennings (D) 118,739 / Vern Buchanan (R) 119,116
NM-1: Patricia A. Madrid (D) 103,376 / Heather Wilson (R)* 104,863
OH-15: Mary Jo Kilroy (D) 98,100 / Deborah Pryce (R)* 101,636
OH-2: Victoria Wulson (D) 112,952 / Jean Schmidt (R)* 115,817

The source believes that all of the above races, each of them currently very, very close, are winnable and the feeling is that they "could easily win three of those six."

In each --- except for CT-2, where Courtney is leading --- the Democratic candidate is currently trailing in the reported results as absentee, provisional, and paper ballots are still be canvassed. As well, challenges and recounts are underway in some of those races (we hope to have more detail shortly here on a couple of those races).

(UPDATE: Several readers have written to ask if other races beyond those mentioned above --- such as the U.S. House race in Washington state's 8th Congressional district between Democrat Darcy Burner and Republican Dave Reichert --- are now off the table as far as the DNC is concerned. The races reported above are the only ones named explicitly to us by the DNC sources. However, two different sources there have confirmed that they are largely driven by the folks on the ground in the states, and would urge that noise be made locally --- and loudly enough that higher-ups might hear it at the DNC --- in order to gain more attention from the national party to other such races still of concern.)

The source also adds that the DNC is considering whether or not to ask for contributions from the public to a legal fund to assure they will have the funds needed to provide full legal resources to thoroughly challenge each of those races.

As well, The BRAD BLOG has also learned the DNC is still keeping their eyes on the Colorado Secretary of State race between Ken Gordon (D) and Mike Coffman (R), given the problems revealed in Colorado's disasterous certification procedures for voting machines prior to the election, and their massive meltdowns on Election Day in Denver and elsewhere which caused thousands of voters to be turned away from the polls due to machine malfunction.

AP is reporting today that Coffman's lead is beginning to look insurmountable, though given the fact that Gordon's numbers in Denver alone outpace Coffman's by some 70 to 30 percent, the fact that Denver voters, specifically, were disenfranchised at such an alarming rate due to equipment failure on Election Day, certainly "exemplifies," as the source put it, the need for Election Reform across the country and the importance of Secretary of State races.

The six U.S. House races named above, of course, are just the federal races that the DNC considers "still in play," but there are innumerable local races and initiatives being challenged around the country, as another DNC source told The BRAD BLOG this morning. As well, there are a number of Congressional races where the candidates have, honorably, refused to concede until every vote is counted and accounted for.

Clint Curtis, the vote-rigging whistleblower who ran against Tom Feeney, the man he claims asked him to create vote-rigging software in 2000 (as The BRAD BLOG originally broke back in 2004 and whose story we've been following closely ever since) has issued a press release this morning saying that he will not concede in the race until every vote is accounted for.

"The right to vote and to have that vote counted accurately is the very foundation of our democracy, and I owe it to the voters in my district and the state of Florida to continue to push for accurate, honest elections," Curtis said in the news release. He points out that as a candidate, he "now has the legal standing to pursue an investigation into the anomalies," which he claims were reported during his race.

"I can accept that the citizens across the state of Florida were out of step with the rest of the country," added Curtis, "as long as we know that this election truly reflects their intent." The Florida Secretary of State's website currently shows Feeney leading Curtis 58 to 42 percent.

In California's 50th Congressional district, Francine Busby (D) has still refused to concede in her race against Brian Bilbray (R) in which she reportedly trails 54 to 43 percent. We applaud Busby's refusal to concede given the outrageously bad administration of the election across the entire San Diego County as overseen by Registrar Mikel Haas, one of the country's worst.

A Zogby poll taken on Election Day (and shortly thereafter) shows an unexplained 6 point disparity with the final results as we reported last week.

As reported earlier today, Haas's resignation was called for on Election Night by San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Jess Durfee after voters were disenfranchised across the county when Diebold touch-screen systems failed to work and not enough paper ballots were made available for voters. Many of those voters ended up voting on Spanish language paper ballots after English ballots had run out by 9am on Election Day; others simply gave up and went home or to work without being able to cast a vote at all.

We echo Durfee's call for Haas to step down immediately. San Diegans deserve honest and accurate elections in which the voters may have confidence in the reported results. Haas has, disgracefully, provided none of the above during his irresponsible tenure.

We originally reported that the Democratic candidate was trailing in the reported results in each of the six DNC-named races. In fact, Democratic candidate Joe Courtney in the CT-2 race is currently ahead in the results as reported so far. We've corrected the original misstatement in the article above. Further, AP is now reporting Courtney as the winner after a final canvassing of the ballots.