Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The dog ate the homework

Two readers have brought this story to my attention: It seems that fifty-six counties in Ohio (out of 88) have lost or destroyed their 2004 Presidential election ballots. This despite an order from the secretary of state and a federal court.

The story is a bit complex, and rather than go through the gory details, I suggest you read it for yourself, here.

Regular readers will know that I am skeptical of conspiracy theories, although from what I have seen in the past, a reasonable person could believe that Bush's margin in Ohio (a little more than 120,000 votes) was manufactured through a combination of voter suppression in Democratic areas and outright fraud, theft or corruption in others. This is a matter of moment, because had Bush not won Ohio, John Kerry would be President.

(There would have been great irony if Kerry had won; for the second election in a row, the candidate with the largest number of popular votes would have been denied the Oval Office.)

Given the multiple instances of criminality, venality, incompetence and outright scurrility to which the Repubs have subjected America over the past seven years, it's tempting to dismiss this latest example with a "what did you expect?" shrug. But manipulating elections strikes at the heart of democracy.

The missing ballots probably means that there will never be a definitive answer to whether the 2004 election was stolen. But given the weakness of the excuses offered by some county officials--one reported, "Our staff unintentionally discarded boxes containing Ballot Pages...due to unclear and misinterpreted instructions"--there will be a powerful tendency to believe that something nefarious must have been going on. After all, we're talking about 56 counties, not one or two. A cover-up is likely to insure that history judges that a theft occurred--a crime that led to thousands of deaths and injuries, together with numerous other crimes and offenses.

2 comments:

TheRiver said...

After all, we're talking about 56 counties, not one or two. A cover-up is likely to insure that history judges that a theft occurred--a crime that led to thousands of deaths and injuries, together with numerous other crimes and offenses.

Thousands of deaths - I'd say more like hundreds of thousands of deaths.

From the Washington Post:
A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have died if the invasion had not occurred. ...

... The survey was done by Iraqi physicians and overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings are being published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/10/AR2006101001442.html

The researchers involved have impeccable credentials so it's relatively hard to just dismiss the results. So the lost election data might hide a crime that leads to a over half a million deaths.

Think about it - over a half a million deaths. How many did Hussein kill?

The Old New Englander said...

I stand corrected--but remember that the invasion occurred 18 months before the 2004 election, and as we're seeing now, extracting American forces is going to be a complex and lengthy undertaking no matter who is in the White House. Which is a long way of saying that many, many of those people would have died no matter who had won (or perhaps I should say, "was declared elected") in 2004.