Not a Confidence-Builder

One last word on this year’s election, before I forget. (I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, and never seemed to get around to it.)

There’s been a lot of rumbling about possible vote fraud and other malfeasance in Ohio since the election. Personally I tend to be skeptical of these allegations. It would have taken fraud on a massive scale to tip the balance of the election, and it would have been awfully hard to pull that off without somebody finding out about it. (Verified Voting agrees with me, saying “[s]o far, we have not seen convincing evidence of either fraud nor of a major error in the Presidential election.”)

However, that’s not to say that the people running elections in Ohio are totally on the ball. A few days after the election, I received this e-mail from the office of the Ohio Secretary of State, Kenneth Blackwell:

E-mail from OH Secretary of State

Um, Ken? I haven’t been an “Ohio Voter” for quite some time now. In fact, I’ve been a resident and registered voter in Virginia since 2002, and voted in Virginia in both the 2002 and 2004 election cycles.

But hey, I guess once an Ohio Voter, always an Ohio Voter.


Sandy Smith

December 5, 2004
10:37 pm

That may be a “don’t blame me” message delivered as widely as possible with possibly a “and consider me as a viable senator or governor or congresscritter” addendum. It just smacks of self-promotion (no mention of the governor or other state official).
That being said, I hope nobody gets complacent. Even though I’m also skeptical of vote fraud (indeed, I’m skeptical that significant vote fraud was engineered in 2000, at least any more than is in every election) the rise of electronic voting makes me very glad there is a nice horde of people waiting to jump on election officials if they screw up. I fear the greater election problem is incompetence, and fear might be a motivator to provoke a little attention to duty among Diebold and its customers.