"Mystery Pollster" Mark Blumenthal follows up his recent post on the matter of the extraordinarily questionable results of Ohio's November 8th, '05 Elections. All four of the Election Reform initiatives on the ballot that day mysteriously and spectacularly failed to win approval in stark opposition to the pre-election polling by the historically accurate Columbus Dispatch which had predicted most of them would win by large margins.
That they lost by large margins instead, has been the subject of some controversy. We've blogged about it (here and here) and responded (here) to Blumenthal's analysis of tweaks in the Dispatch polls methodology that he feels "might" have skewed their findings this time around. Despite the major changes in the "methodology" used to gather the actual Election Results in Ohio this year (44 of Ohio's 88 counties installed all-new Touch-Screen Electronic Voting Machines for the first time ever) Blumenthal's presumption is that it must have been the tweaks in the Dispatch poll's methodology rather than any problem with the Election Results as gathered by these all-new, untested, unaccountable, untransparent and demonstrably prone-to-failure Electronic Voting Systems.
In his latest article on the matter, he follows up by suggesting that citizens in Ohio take advantage of Public Records Laws in the state which --- according to Blumenthal's information gathered from the Ohio attorney general website --- allow for the examination of "paper ballots" 60 days after Election Results have already been certified by the state. Says Blumenthal:
While Blumenthal later calls for "more formal routine audit procedures with far more transparency," he stops short of accepting my previous invitation that he join those of us calling for a truly transparent democracy by ending the use of Electronic Voting Machines employing secret software protected by the Voting Machine Companies who have claimed that examination of their source code by the public would violate "proprietary trade secrets". So the privatization of our Public Elections by private (and partisan) corporations, paid for with our tax dollars is presumably just fine for Blumenthal. Which is good, because billions of tax-dollars are now being given to those corporations to do exactly that, even though millions of us agree with the non-partisan GAO that reported recently on how all of this is a threat to our democracy.
Beyond that, there are apparently a number of points the Mystery Pollster mysteriously doesn't seem to understand about all of this, or that he simply does not wish to acknowledge when he calls for "an enterprising voter or investigative reporter" to "check the ballot paper trail" in Ohio. For example...