Regarding the Alabama special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ vacant US Senate seat, I believe there should be an emergency meeting of the governor and state legislature to order a new election, as a thorough audit of the election results is not possible since Alabama uses a corruptible, hackable electronic counting system which has led to questionable results in the past, and now the Alabama Supreme Court has ordered that electronic ballot results cannot be preserved. What!?
With military votes still due in, an expected Republican advantage, the final results appear to be close enough to consider a recount, which isn’t possible. Currently, the margin of victory for Jones is 1.7%. VERY close!
Alabama election rules require a state-funded recount within 72 hours of election certification if the final result is as close as half a percentage point. Additionally, a candidate may request a recount if he or she pays for it.
Alabama Secretary of State John “Merrill told CNN the rules state that election will be certified no earlier than December 26 and no later than January 3. ‘We’ve got to make sure that occurs the way the code prescribes it to occur.’ Merrill said there’s “always a chance of a recount because any candidate can ask for a recount” if they pay for it.”
The problem is the Alabama Supreme Court has already ruled in favor of NOT preserving electronic ballot records. For what possible good reason? This smells very fishy….
From The Guardian: Controversy swirled over the mechanics of the Alabama Senate election after the state supreme court intervened at the eleventh hour to give election officials a green light not to preserve electronic ballot records that could form the basis of a recount.
A court in Montgomery, the state capital, issued an injunction on Monday afternoon ordering election officials around the state to preserve digital images of the ballots cast by Alabama voters in the hard-fought contest between controversial Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.
But the supreme court stayed that injunction almost immediately following a protest lodged by Alabama’s chief election official, the secretary of state, John Merrill. Voting rights experts denounced the ruling as a blow to transparency in a state that already has a flawed vote recount procedure and a somewhat checkered history of questionable election outcomes that the state’s senior officials and courts have allowed to go unchallenged. “There’s no legitimate reason not to preserve ballot images,” said Christopher Sautter, a veteran Washington election lawyer who helped the plaintiffs in the case. “It’s neither expensive nor inconvenient. It amounts to flipping a switch.”
Priscilla Duncan, the lead plaintiff in the case, noted with some amazement that the secretary of state’s protest was lodged with the supreme court at 4.38pm and the justices came back with their ruling at 5.18pm. “It’s just unbelievable that they examined the pleadings and got eight judges to concur in half an hour on a Monday afternoon,” she said.
“We have reason to believe those machines can be compromised. Whether intentionally or through error, there can be some false results, and there have been some tests around the country where there have been some rather sizeable discrepancies.” Theoretically, election officials could go back to the paper ballots as cast by the voters and recount them by hand – a method that many voting rights advocates believe to be the most reliable.
Why does the Alabama Supreme Court not want there to be a verifiable recount? What possible argument could there have been in favor of that?
The court’s ruling is only one justification to call for an emergency session of the governor and state legislature to order a “new” election as a proper recount is not possible. If even one case of voter fraud is uncovered, and I guarantee there was plenty, then a new election should be automatic.
The emergency session should order the following:
- A new election, since a proper recount is not possible.
- Strictly enforced voter id requirement. No picture id, no vote! Alabama currently has an unenforced voter id “request,” not “requirement.”
- Paper ballots. No corruptible electronic machines whatsoever! Alabama currently uses corruptible, hackable electronic machines.
- Hand-counting of paper ballots at the precinct level with representatives of both parties present to monitor and certify a fair count.
- Absentee ballots strictly regulated and to include a copy of photo id.
That’s it! That should prevent voter fraud. How difficult is that?