The Republicans’ next tactic to delegitimize the election

And so it begins.

If they can’t get their way with Voter ID laws designed to suppress Democratic votes, Republicans are setting the stage to blame what is shaping up to be Mitt Romney’s loss on the voting machines.  And as is usually the case when the Republicans start screaming about vote fraud, there is no there there.

The Republican National Committee alleges voting machines in Nevada and five other states are flawed and improperly showing votes for President Obama instead of GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

In a letter sent Thursday to state election officials, the RNC’s chief counsel says a “significant number” of cases have been reported of votes being placed for Obama when a voter cast a ballot for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Here’s the thing: Even if this were true – glitches do happen sometimes – this isn’t a problem in Nevada. We use voter-verifiable, paper-trail voting machines. In fact, the machines provide a two-step double-check, the first being where the voter reviews their ballot on the large touchscreen, and again, a second time by viewing the print-out that scrolls under the plastic window to the left of the touchscreen.  At both of these verification points the voter has the opportunity to go back and change or correct any of their votes before officially casting it.  If any person casts a vote for the wrong candidate after being given TWO chances to correct it, well, I’m sorry, but that’s on them.

And it appears, that hasn’t happened at all.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said his department has had about four complaints of the 400,000 ballots cast this election. In every instance, the issue was corrected before the voter cast his or her ballot, he said.

Four out of 400,000.

Hardly the “significant number” the RNC letter alleges.  And each vote was corrected before it was cast.

The Republicans are also trying to imply that the machines are not well-maintained and glitchy.

The RNC asks that machines be recalibrated and voters be reminded to double-check their choices before their votes are recorded.

Lomax said it is possible for the machines to fall out of sync, but the county recalibrates the voting machines at least once a day.

As far as demanding that “voters be reminded to double-check their choices before casting their votes,”  as I mentioned above, that process is already built into the voting process.

Did they run this by Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) before going down this road?

In 2003, when the state decided to go completely to the touchscreen voting machines, there was a hue and cry from all sides of the political spectrum about the need for voter-verifiable machines and that meant a paper trail. I remember going to town halls and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, and Non-Partisans who were determined that the integrity of their votes would be protected.  It was so loud and so bipartisan (poli-partisan?) that county clerks and registrars across the state were set back on their heels by the people of Nevada.

From an article in the Reno Gazette-Journal in December 2003:

“A paper trail is an intrinsic component of voter confidence, ” Heller said in explaining why he insisted that Sequoia–which already has nearly 3,000 machines installed in Clark County– include the receipt printers on new machines for the upcoming elections. The printers must be added on existing machines by 2006.

Heller mentioned the Florida elections in 2000, saying, “The Florida debacle and the chaos created by the’hanging and pregnant chad’controversy clearly demonstrate the need to move forward with advanced technology.”

While the printers add to the cost of the voting systems, Heller said “money takes a back seat to accuracy, security and voter confidence.” The printers let voters see their ballot choices before finalizing their votes.

The decision to go with Sequoia machines was based in part on a review by the state Gaming Control Board’s slot machine experts who issued a report saying the Diebold machine that was analyzed “represented a legitimate threat to the integrity of the election process.”

Marc McDermott, the GCB’s electronic services division chief, said the Sequoia machine”represents a much more secure option.”

From USA Today in 2004:

[Secretary of State Dean] Heller purchased the equipment in December, after his staff conducted town hall meetings and solicited comments from voters. The feedback came after voting activists discovered security breaches and conflicts of interest among executives at voting equipment companies, particularly Ohio-based Diebold Inc.

Voters were very vocal in their concerns about paperless electronic voting,” Heller said at a Carson City community center where voters received red, white and blue “I voted touchscreen” stickers as they left the polls. “Diebold’s controversies were on the leading edge of voters’ minds.”

Voter advocates praised Nevada’s system, in which paper records will be kept in county election offices for 22 months and used in case of a recount.

For the RNC to come in now and try to pull this shit just shows how desperate they are.

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