Friday, September 15, 2006

Possible Voter Fraud in Wynn-Edwards Race?

I was just watching the evening news, and NBC4 is reporting that Donna Edwards has filed court papers challenging vote counts in Prince Georges County after it was discovered that some precinct officials had failed to remove the memory cards from several voting machines which were left unsecured at polling sites overnight. According to the report, County officials responded that "any accusations that voting cards or machines were unsecured are unfounded because they are tamper-proof."

Hmm.... Tamper-proof? Somebody should send them this video.

On a possibly related note, Matt Stoller over at MyDD received a tip that a truckload of electronic voting machines, with memory cards still inserted (which is a violation of election regulations), was delivered to the Prince Georges Board of Elections around 5:00pm Wednesday. That's a full 21 hours after the polls closed.

Apparently, the ballots tallied from the missing machines showed a significant increase in percentage of votes for Al Wynn over other precincts even though the machines came from a precinct that was heavily targeted by the Edwards campaign.

Edwards has been careful to say that she is not accusing Wynn of fraud, but is simply fighting for the "integrity of the election."

Stoller followed up with more information in another MyDD post.

Voting equipment goes missing for nearly a day.... That equipment shows an unusually high vote for a particular candidate.... Officials claim there is no problem because the equipment is tamper-proof, yet it has clearly been shown to be anything but tamper-proof....

Here are the questions I want answered: Can it be proven that somebody (perhaps a corrupt election judge or someone familiar with the operation of the voting machines) did not gain access to the machines during the time they were "missing" and simply cast additional ballots for a candidate? Does the voter tally from the machine correspond to the tally in the electronic poll book? Was the poll book also left unsecured with the machines for nearly a day? Do the signatures on the login forms match those of the voters? You see what I'm getting at here.
Until there are answers to those questions, I think Ms Edwards is well within her rights to demand an injunction and detailed inquiry. In fact, I think it's her duty (and ours) to demand that the integrity of the election be upheld!

I am beginning to think MoCo Progressive may be right - if everything is counted fairly, there may yet be enough votes out there to elect Donna Edwards to Congress!

Update (9/16): The Post and Examiner cover Edwards' legal filing, but seem to miss some key points.

Hat Tip (for MyDD links): jorndorff on Daily Kos
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