Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What Can You Say?

I can't begin to express my disappointment at the alleged outcome of tonight's vote. What is really troubling me is the complete disconnect between the flash results I reviewed earlier this evening from a number of precincts across the county. Across the board, Republican Jon Elrod won precincts a Republican congressional candidate never wins. In Washington Township, it was quite evident there was a big cross-over vote for Elrod, particularly in precincts with significant numbers of Jewish voters. Downtown precincts which traditionally voted Democratic flipped for Jon Elrod. Irvington, often a bell weather, went overwhelmingly for Elrod. In the south and out in Warren Township, Elrod racked up huge winning margins.

I can tell you that the flash numbers Republicans were working off of tonight showed it to be a nip and tuck race. Yet I'm looking at 99% of the vote counted and Democrat Andre Carson winning 53%-43% over Elrod, a margin of less than 8,000 votes. So how could Andre under-perform his grandmother's numbers in precinct after precinct and come out winning by a margin better than some of her own races? Were the GOP's flash results that far off? I spoke to a number of people who worked Democratic-leaning precincts and arrived tonight at what they expected would have been Elrod's victory party, proud that their precincts had surprisingly voted for Elrod. I'm reading the election results on the county's website, but I hope you understand if I'm having a little trouble believing those results right now. Can someone explain to me why some precinct ballot boxes didn't arrive at the central voting center at the convention center until several hours after the polls closed? Something just doesn't add up.

31 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

Actually it's quite normal for the results to dribble into Election Central all evening. There are always some stragglers. In some elections a few "stray" precincts don't get counted until the following day!

Tonight the vote reporting was delayed by the counting process actually happening downtown instead of at the polls.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you Gary. This whole thing makes no sense. I was hearing the same thing all night.

indyernie said...

Gary I helped with the process of feeding the votes into the counters. One batch had two sets of broken seals without initials on either set.
Beth White may have handed this election to Carson on a silver tray.
The voting and counting was a joke. Why we agreed to the paper ballots amasses me.

Anonymous said...

When Beth White dines with Sheriff Anderson and Bill Crawford in the middle of the ghetto on the day of the election, she inspires no confidence in me that she is running a fair election. Black votes were counted twice today, cancelling out the overwhelming white vote for Elrod today.

Anonymous said...

Gary, we felt the same after the Dickerson election, there is NO WAY she got the majority of the votes.

When are the republican precinct leaders going to realize that the republican "party" is allowing the democrats to cheat, whether intentionally or incompetently is irrelevant?

They don't even have republicans at most of the polling places in center--which is exactly where the cheating occurs. The republican party doesn't help them cheat, they just turn their heads.

We need to select new leaders for both Center Township and Marion County, David Brooks and Tom John. They all work with the Carson Machine. Does anyone know how these position are filled, especially in Center Township, to replace Dave Brooks. He needs to be replaced. He refuses to work the polls in center township, place calls or have volunteers there.

How do we get rid of him, it by vote from the precint committepeople?

Is it appointed?

Is anyone convinced NOW?!

Jon Easter said...

All I know is that in my generally 66-33 Republican precinct in Decatur Township, André Carson pulled in his third of the vote...about the same percentage-wise than Mayor Bart Peterson did in November. You figure if Elrod were to knock off Carson in a Congressional district where Peterson beat Ballard he'd need to beat Ballard's percentage. He did not...falling behind by one percent.

I know that doesn't sound like much. There were no shenanigans at my precinct.

If no widespread countywide and rampant shenanigans (by both parties I might add) show up in this vote that will give Jon Elrod a full 10 percent of the vote, just move on to the General Election. Jon Elrod should have time to raise lots of money now while André battles in a tough primary.

Look at it this way, you have a few months to continue to spew your best against André.

Finally, Carson actually performed around where the district rates. It's a D+9 according to Cook.

Anonymous said...

Nobody was expecting or believes this big a gap between Jon and Andre.

Money77guy said...

This should make the Democratic primary a lot more fun! The Democrats will all have their stooges hanging around the polls. No paper ballots in November.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please fllks...this was a fair election. (And I voted for Elrod).

I worked at the polls. The paper ballots were used because the large, gray scanners and their programming abilities could not be turned around quickly enough for May 6's primary.

A primary has distinct difficulties. Here's why:

Because of school boards being on the ballot, and the multi-district-vote prohibitions/possibilities, all kinds of potential voting matrixes must be programmed. To avoid ballots being invlaidated, I believe there are over 700 different voting combos on a typical ballot May 6. And that varies by legislative district, township, State Senate district, school board district, state convention delegate district...get the picture?

If you l.ive in Center, for instnace, and take a Republican ballot, you can vote for school board district races, state convenion delegates by district, and state legislators by district, and the (ridiculous) Center Township board by districts. To ensure that you don't vote for more candidates than you'r eentitled to in any one of thos district,s multiple orograms must be written and installed into all 1300 scanners. And I'm told the scanning programs are not typical computer programs--they're much more difficult.

We own the machines which scan ballots. They were purchased by the former clerk, who was warned that the ability to program them was not a quick proposition. And there is ample national evidence that the machine company was complicit in multiple vote snafus. And they're huge Republicna donors. And we sued the company, reluctantly, only to see that clerk settle for a paltry amount of money.

Ask anyone who worked the polls yesterday how the election went. At the end of the day, we were required to pull all the ballots out of the box in the presence of both parties' watchers or workers. We then counted the number fo blalots for each person, and reconciled that number with: starting count, spolied ballots, absentees. We came up one ballot "long" and it took six persons an hour to find the simple human error. Our results got turned in at about 8, I think...and at the time, we were less than 50% of the precincts in.

For my money, one central, large hall to turn in votes and ount them, was a bright move. Travel time was a tad longer, but wait time at the check-in was less, and it was remarkably well-run.

Stop the Beth White bashing. Ask the governor why he ordered this Special 7 weeks prior to the primary, and didn't try it on Saturday, or another date. We had a chance to try some real innovative thigns, and we didn't take it.

I have no freaking idea with whom Beth White dined yesterday at lunch. And I couldn't care less.
There were no silver platters here--just a lot of hard work by a couple thousand poll workers and counting station workers. All of whom wanted the correct result reported.

Anonymous said...

Get over it! Blaming Beth White on every Republican loss is getting old!

MIkeOles3 said...

getting lectured about election fraud from republicans is a complete joke.

remember florida in 2000? or What about Ohio in 2004?

or what about the idiotic voter id law that republicans had to get passed at the indiana statehouse to address a problem that wasn't a problem?

don't you think if beth white was able to swing an election 8,000 votes, she would have been able to pull it off in the much more important mayor/city council elections?

good luck in November because you guys will need it. from the iraq disaster to the economic meltdown, there is nobody to blame but republicans.

MissouriDemocrat said...

Electon thievery is not new unfortunately. At least the next go round for Elrod will have real voting machines in each precinct unless of course Ms. Incompetent Clerk can find a way to rig that too. As a lifelong democrat I am beginning to wonder where my great old party of Jefferson went, vacation or dead?

SARGE said...

I went to vote in Eagle Creek and was told that I lived in the 4th
Congressional District. Only after
repeated calls to down-town was I allowed to get a provisional vote.
I understand that I was not the only case of this in Eagle Creek.
However, to her credit, the inspector at Wind Drift Apartments
on 38th Street tried all she could do to resolve it.
What it took was some old fashioned
Master Sergeant growling at the County Clerls office.
This was so starnge - I recieved a card the night before stating that
m y poling place had changed - along with a vote for me card from
Andre Carson. He knew I lived in the 7th District....

Anonymous said...

1) Turnout seemed disappointing.
2) Does someone from both main political parties (and from the libertarian party if someone's
available) drive in the
same vehicle to the downtown
turn-in site for each precinct
with the paper results?
3) How much $$ does Andre have
on hand now? Orentlicher is expecting to spend half-million
before primary. Andre had better develop a real thick skin
because he's going to be ripped
apart by at least 5 now, instead
of just one.
4) Who's going after Andre's
CC slot now?

Anonymous said...

Mikeoles,

Asking someone for ID to vote isn't "stupid." It makes complete sense. Rather what is stupid is the notion that someone should be allowed to vote by simply showing up and signing their names. You know how many of those signatures in the book look little like the signature people are signing? My signature in the book is from a Social Security card I signed when I was 15, over 30 years ago! I don't sign that way.

It's very disingenous to say that the ID requirement solved a problem that didn't exist. The fact is we had no way of catching or preventing voter fraud before with only having a signature requirement.

Anonymous said...

The only thing more disgusting that Carson getting the most votes is the pathetically-low voter participation (whether that's 'typical' or not). The election was 'handed to Carson' not by any election official, but by those voters who failed to invest 5 minutes in the process and cast their vote.

These same people would probably wait 15 minutes in line to save 5 cents per gallon of gas even though that amounts to just $1 on a 20 gallon tankful. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

7:58, this isn't a Voter ID thread...although that ridiculous law was a solution looking for a problem. Go back and peddle some other ridiculous Rokita drivel.

7:14, I was an inspector: we were insructed to offer the Republicans the opportunity to drive with me to deliver the ballots downtown.

The response? "You ran a fair precinct. We trust you. We're tired. Go ahead."

I worked hard to get Certificates of Error issued for three voters yesterday, who were not on the polling books for whatever reason. I never asked their politics or their preference of candidate. I did not know any of them. I advocated strongly for their right to vote. My record? 2-1. The one loss didn't transfer in a timely fashion and was instructed to return to the former poll place, with plenty of time to get there.

My advice to all voters: check with the Voter Registration Office (327-5040) now, or long before the next election, to be sure you're properly registered. Record the name of the person to whom you speak and the time. Hold onto that information and use in on the next Election Day if you ened help: find your inspector and insister (s)he call downtown to solve your problem. There is still time to corerct errors for the next election. Take some time and responsibility--these kinds of random errors have happened for every election sicne I moved here in 1980. Nobody woke up this morning and said "How do I screw so-and-so out of their vote." Get real.

If you've done any of the following in the last six months, I'd be particularly concerned, based on 3 elections in a row where there have bene these difficulties:

1. Registered, re-registered, transferred, whatever, at ANY BMV branch. These folks must type with their toes. Seriously. It's uncanny--almost every single registration proboem for 3 elections has been a BMV error. Amazing.

2. Moved.

3. Married, changed name, whatever.

4. New registrant.

Election workers of both parties, at the counting center and in precincts, did not conspire to cheat anyone. It's a long day and if we can somehow find a way to cut even more precincts, go for it.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: a Republican precinct committeeman actually asked me yesterdya to let his 38-year-old daugher, who's lived in Calif. for over ten years, vote in her "home" Indy precinct. Because she's never voted in hew "new" home, and re-registered last summer at dad's address in Indy. Her last vote in Indy? 1994. Seriously.

When party officials of either party actually ask, with a straight face, to bend the rules this badly, how do we expect rookie or novice voters to be anything but cynical?

(PS: She didn't vote. Her absentee was challenged...successfully).

Anonymous said...

Mikeole3 is an obvious idiot, and if he lives here, it's no wonder Carson won. Recount after recount in Florida gave the state to Bush, even after the national media prematurely called it for Gore. What the U.S. Supreme Court did was stop the Florida Supreme Court reversing the will of the people of Florida. Get over it!

Anonymous said...

The local GOP did very little to support Elrod, as they did very little to help Dickerson or Ballard. In November 2006, 90 precincts' votes were missing. These were from predominantly Republican precincts. Tom John worked out a deal with the Dems to give have the votes to Julia Carson and half to Eric Dickerson, as long as Elrod would win the seat. We all know what happened.
The source for this information was in the room when the deal was made. Check it out, Gary!
The local GOP is impotent and corrupt for not fighting for this seat. I will be resigning my position as a GOP precinct committeeman.

Anonymous said...

I told you the Democrasi would steal the election and they did!
another Andy Jacobs and James Beatty special.

Anonymous said...

"We need to select new leaders for both Center Township and Marion County, David Brooks and Tom John. They all work with the Carson Machine. Does anyone know how these position are filled, especially in Center Township, to replace Dave Brooks. He needs to be replaced. He refuses to work the polls in center township, place calls or have volunteers there.

How do we get rid of him, it by vote from the precint committepeople?

Is it appointed?

Is anyone convinced NOW?!"

You can go to the Indiana State Party website and download the rules in PDF format. The procedure for voting on a party officials is spelled out there. The next election for party officials is March 2009.

Anonymous said...

What was up with those ballot boxes? That was the first thing I noticed when I walked into the polling place. Flimsy cardboard boxes that weren't all that secure looking. You know some of those ballots didn't make it back down on their car ride to the convention center.

Anonymous said...

"Tom John worked out a deal with the Dems to give have the votes to Julia Carson and half to Eric Dickerson, as long as Elrod would win the seat."

Tom John wasn't in charge at the time. Mike Murphy was. Sorry to spoil your story.

Anonymous said...

The Marion County Republican organization appears to me to be very incompetent. They ignore volunteers offers to help, they raise little support for their candidates, and they have poorly organized precinct leaders. I wonder if they even care about winning elections. They do almost nothing to get people excited or even informed about their candidates. I am almost ready to begin just trying to pick the best democratic candidate in the primaries so my vote might mean something. I believe if the county GOP had had their way Peterson would still be mayor.

Anonymous said...

10:12, I hate yo burst your bubble, but I commend to your attention two facts. Not opinions, but facts:

1. First, the book by Jeffrey Tobin. "Too Close TO Call." If it doesn't make you almost vomit you have no soul.

2. My personal experience. Granted, I'm anonymous here, but I was in Fla. as part of the DNC recount team. There are tens of thousands of ballots in two counties which were never ever counted in 2000.

Always inda hate to bring up the 2000 thing, but thw fact is it was stolen.

Plainly and simply.

I saw Jim Baker's team do it with my own eyes. Two critical words: "Voter Intent."

Which are now part of the federal lexicon, thankfully.

Anonymous said...

Response to Anon 11:47,

Yeah, the rules might be on the website, but it doesn't reveal that those rules are rigged. in the early to mid 1980s, the Indiana legislature changed the statutes governing the election of PCs and the Township Chairmn. It used to be the PCs were elected every 2 years and then 2 months later the party's elected PCs appointed the County Chairman, who then appointed the Township and Ward Chairman.

Now, they are on 4 year terms and the election of the county chairman takes place over 3 years after the election of the committeemen. That gives the county chairman ample opportunity to appoint committeemen to vacancies whose sole purpose is to re-elect the committeemen. It's a sweet deal. The county chairman can pick the very people who will be voting for him or her.

Also, the names of the PCs eligible to vote are kept a very dark secret. The law only says there name has to be disclosed a few weeks befor the county convention where the chairman is elected. They're disclosed without any contact information at all. In a county of Marion County's size, that's a problem.

You are implying that the selection of party officials is an open and democratic process. That's far from true.

Anonymous said...

12:22 Please explain how you saw tens of thousands of voter ballots not counted? Would they all these ignored ballots have been for Gore and how do you know? If you don't know - and I would like to know how you would - how can you claim it was "stolen"? I was not there but would like to understand how tens of thousands of ballots were ignored and why and how did James Baker manage what you claim you saw? Please go into detail. Thanks.

Jon Easter said...

MY GOD...you win the Mayor's race in the fall and you're a hero for putting the Republicans back in power. You lose to a Democrat in a Democrat district, and Tom John is now ready to be run out on a rail. You folks truly are teetering on the edge of reality.

Anonymous said...

If anyone thinks the voter I.D. requirement is anything from silly to shameful, they should do what I did yesterday: refused to show my I.D. so that those who don't have one will have the system primed for them and not be afraid to vote.

I voted at the 3-7 precinct a few minutes after a long-time voter came without his I.D. and said he wasn't going to bother making the precinct people go through the process which they really weren't trained to do.

So when I heard the story, I simply refused to show mine and made the precinct people go through the process. The next time, they'll be more open to the guy who didn't have his and didn't know better.

Actually, I'm going to do this every time. If there's a close vote, I'll go have my vote counted.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Easter,

If you seriously think that Tom John had anything to do with any Republican victory in November 2007, then I question Your grasp of reality.

On a more pertinant note, the local, state and national GOP's leadership needs an enema as far as their total incompetance or lack of leadership regarding running a campaign.