Saturday, November 20, 2010

Shennanigans in Attorney General Election - Suspiciously High Number of Provisional Ballots Belie Massive Voter Disenfranchisement

The Secretary of State's website must be getting more hits than its ever seen before, as anxious followers of the Attorney General election log on hourly to get the latest results.

As of  4:14pm today, Friday, November 19, 2010, Kamala Harris holds a seemingly unassailable 43,050 vote advantage as Steve Cooley's election night lead has gradually been chipped away by a record number of "uncounted ballots," often referred to as provisional ballots.

Uncounted ballots arise in four situations:
  • Vote-by-mail ballots handed in at poling places instead of being mailed in,
  • Provisional ballots issued to voters whose name does not appear in the electoral register,
  • Write-in ballots where the written-in name has to be verified, and
  • Ballots damaged or unclear due to failures with the "Ink-A-Dot" system.
Typically, those uncounted ballots do not change an election as they are not numerically significant and tend to follow the general trend of the votes counted. However, in this year's election there were an unprecedentedly high 2,342,664 uncounted ballots statewide and, significantly, 411,960 came from Los Angeles County. Why?

Last night, KRLA 870AM talk show radio host, Kevin James, was the first to report that sources close to the Cooley campaign were focusing their attention on Los Angeles County, where what appears to be a disproportionately large number of uncounted ballots will likely hold the key to this election.

An observer at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's Office in Norwalk, where the uncounted ballots are being verified, reported seeing some disturbing trends amongst the ballots being processed.

The observer (who spoke on condition of anonymity) said that he saw numerous Provisional Ballots issued to elderly voters who indicated in the "comments" section of the Provisional Ballot Envelope (see below) that they had voted many times in the past, yet their name was "not in Roster."

This is the envelope that has to be fully completed by persons who either
hand in a Vote-By-Mail Ballot, or whose name cannot be found in the roster.
The trend was troubling because, coincidentally, about a month before the election, the observer's mother had asked him why she had not received any information about the election, despite the fact that she was a registered voter and had voted "religiously" many times previously, but she had not received a Sample Ballot and Voter Instructions (see below), as she normally did.

Many elderly voters reported that they
did not receive their Sample Ballots.
 The observer checked his mother's status on the LA County Registrar-Recorder//County Clerk's website: and found that his mother was not registered to vote. He advised her to go to the local office and register a complaint and insist on being re-instated on the register of voters. He also advised her to obtain some explanation for her removal, however, the mother related that the clerical officer she spoke to could offer no explanation.

There being no earthly reason why a person who votes regularly, indeed, "religiously" should be summarily removed from the register of voters, coupled with the observation that there seemed to be many elderly voters who were in a similar situation, can only lead to a number of possible explanations. A conspiracy to remove elderly voters, who are typically Republicans, or some massive failure by the Registrar-Recorder's computer system leading to the deletion of many elderly voters.

Conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen, so we doubt (hope) that this was not an intentional act. However, the possibility must exist that something like a computer crash corrupted information, and caused the deletion of voter records, and that there was a cover up.

The resulting disenfranchisement of voters must surely cast doubt as to the validity of this election. If indeed many elderly voters were somehow removed from the register of electors, it is highly likely that many may not have persevered to assert their right to vote and gone to a poling place to cast a provisional ballot. Equally, there remains doubt that their provisional ballots will be counted if their records have been expunged and their signatures cannot be verified.

Another troubling trend in this election is that many voters were forced to Vote-By-Mail as, for some unknown reason, there was no poling place for them to vote.

This is not a matter of voters living in some remote area of Los Angeles County, but we know of at least one central Los Angeles area where voters who bothered to check when they failed to receive their Sample Ballots, found this:

The man responsible for administering this election is LA County Registrar-Recorder Dean C. Logan.

LA County Registrar-Recorder, Dean C. Logan was appointed by the LA County Board of Supervisors
despite grave fears as to his abilities following his performance in a similar role in Washington State.
 To say that Logan is a controversial figure is an understatement. He came to Los Angeles from Washington State where his performance as Registrar-Recorder was questioned by Protect California Ballots when he was being considered for appointment by the LA County Board of Supervisors. More recently, the Wall Street Journal posed the pertinent question about Logan "Look Who's Counting Votes in California."

There was a time when elections were "fixed" by phantom voters and union thugs producing ready stuffed ballot boxes to order. Times have changed and perhaps Los Angelenos need to ask some pertinent questions of Mr. Logan as to why so many elderly voters disappeared from the register of voters, and why so many poling places disappeared?

One thing is certain in this election. Whether Steve Cooley is elected as Attorney General or not, he is the one man who will not let this apparent massive voter disenfranchisement go unquestioned. He will find the answers to the questions that need to be asked. If Logan covered up some computer glitch, he will rue the day he accepted that $175,826 salary, as will those on the Board of Supervisors who appointed him.


Anonymous said...

The investigation should start at Mr. Logan's office, and then the office of whichever of the Board of Supervisors nominated him. Why would the the most populous county in the nation hire a guy with a track record of incompetence and disenfranchisement? Oh, wait a minute, now I get it. They wanted someone who could manipulate the election to favor Democrats. I hope Cooley's Public Integrity people are on to this.

Anonymous said...

Not all conspiracies are theories, but I think this is a stretch. Bottom line here is that until Meg Whitman started smelling like bad fish, rotting meat and dog shit all rolled up, Cooley was doing ok. He was dragged down mostly by Whitman and to some extent by Fiorian too. But mostly it was Whitman. End of story.

Walter Moore said...

It not who votes that counts.
It's who counts the votes.