This is a straight news story from The Tennessean, Nashville’s far-left daily newspaper. What’s peculiar is that this reads pretty much like those “conspiracy theories” about Dominion’s voting system that I’ve read at conservative news sites.
Williamson County [suburban Nashville] will use new voting machines in its 2022 election cycle following vote tabulation discrepancies found during the October election.
Oh really? Vote tabulation discrepancies? What voting system were they using?
In August 2021, Dominion Voting Systems programmed machines for the county's upcoming elections. But the company did not account for the new voting centers, so the Williamson County Election Commission asked Dominion to reprogram the machines.
Hold on just a moment here. I’ve been reliably told – ad nauseum in fact - that it’s a paranoid right-wing conspiracy to believe that Dominion voting machines can be programmed in any way that might not properly count and tabulate ballots.
Following the election that October, vote tabulations on the printed tapes from seven of the 19 scanners used did not match up with the tabulations that were electronically transmitted.
Wow. So votes in Williamson County were cast on Dominion machines, the printed read-out of votes cast at each machine were all totaled up, and that grand total did not match the grand total that Dominion’s system reported from its electronic tabulation of vote totals.
Election reviewers attempting to replicate the error suggested that the seven faulty election machines were running on older firmware, which likely caused the error.
I wonder if any of those massive, middle-of-the-night, rounded-to-the-nearest-100,000 ballot dumps we saw on Election Night 2020 were simply caused by “older firmware.”
Meeting minutes show commissioners were concerned Dominion had not been forthcoming about why seven of the 19 voting machines were not fully updated, with Election Administrator Chad Gray saying the company was "evasive and unresponsive in identifying the root cause.”
Maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t be allowing an “evasive and unresponsive” company with a flawed voting system to tabulate ballots.
Yes To Paper Ballots, But They Open The Door To Voting Suppression
With the risk of fraud associated with electronic voting, and the accompanying lack of actual ballots to hand count if necessary, there is an emerging consensus on the right that we need to move back to 100% paper ballots. I agree.
But that doesn’t mean there should be any less diligence in fighting ballot fraud. Paper-only ballots invite the possibility of voter suppression by not having enough ballots.
Until early voting and electronic voting machines came along in the late 20th century, it was effectively a policy in Travis County, Texas (Austin) that the Democrats who ran the county wouldn’t provide enough ballots for conservative precincts.
If you recall, this was the same corrupt Travis County political machine that had its District Attorney regularly bring bogus indictments against prominent Texas politicians who were adversaries of the state’s liberal Democrat establishment. Republicans Kay Bailey Hutchison, Rick Perry, Tom Delay, and Democrat Jim Mattox (an adversary of Ann Richards) were all indicted, without any convictions. But the process was the punishment. Those bogus indictments had a political impact on every one of them.
The way the vote suppression in Travis County worked was that the county elections administrator was only required to provide enough ballots to each precinct in accordance with historical countywide turnout. So, if countywide turnout averaged 50%, a Republican precinct that averaged 70% turnout would only get enough ballots for 50% of its registered voters. Meanwhile, a South Austin precinct that only averaged 30% turnout would have an abundance of excess ballots.
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but that should not be happening in our elections.On election day, the TV stations would consistently report on Northwest Travis County precincts running out of ballots due to “unexpectedly” heavy turnout in those precincts. Those voters still in line would have to wait hours into the night until some more ballots arrived. A great many simply gave up and didn’t vote.
Another technique that was employed to suppress Republican votes was to provide too few voting booths. I recall one time in the late ‘80s waiting hours in line to vote, because there were only four voting booths at my precinct. Watching the news that evening, a local TV journalist reported on light voter turnout, while standing in front of a Democrat-leaning polling site with about a dozen voting booths in the background.
This Republican voter suppression was routinely discussed on at least one morning drive-time radio show at the time, and plenty of people wrote letters to the editor about it, but it persisted until early voting and electronic ballots came along, making it impossible to run out of ballots any longer.
Don’t misunderstand, I am strongly in favor of paper-only ballots, and also eliminating the fraud-riddled mess of mail-in ballots for those who can vote in person, but there is still plenty of opportunity for fraud with paper ballots. The good news is that Democrats can suppress fewer votes with paper ballots than they can create with digital ballot box stuffing.
Speaking Of Republican Voter Suppression in Democrat-Controlled Texas Counties
The elections administrator in Harris County, TX (Houston) found many ways to suppress Republican votes in the recent primary election.
The Harris County GOP said this was the most "egregious" and "mismanaged" election process ever and blamed it on Longoria, the county's elections administrator.
Some of the issues the GOP point out, according to their lawsuit, include:
• Issuing of incorrect ballots to certain polling locations, preventing voters from being able to vote
• Providing ballots on the wrong size paper
• Failing to complete the counting of the ballots within 24 hours of the polls closing
• Failing to deliver the required number of working voting machines and adequate supplies
The good news is that the lawsuit (along with viral posts on social media) have resulted in Ms. Longoria’s resignation.
Longoria came under fire after her office took more than 24 hours to tally votes, and missed 10,000 mail-in ballots in the final unofficial count. Longoria has also been sued by the county GOP.
How in the world was this person in charge of an election? But of course:
The Democratic majority on Commissioners Court created the Elections Commission, which appointed Longoria.
(buck.throckmorton at protonmail dot com)