Friday, December 08, 2006

THIS Could Be Interesting

From the St. Petersburg (FL) Times:

Republican Vern Buchanan might be the official winner in a messy Sarasota-area congressional race, but Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean says the Democratic-controlled Congress should not seat Buchanan without another election...

On Wednesday, Democrat Christine Jennings said she will ask the U.S. House to take the extreme measure of conducting its own investigation into the election.

Though Jennings has filed a lawsuit asking for a revote, a little-known provision in the U.S. Constitution gives the House the final decision on who sits in its chamber.

Her decision could set the stage for a volatile political showdown at the start of the new Democrat-led Congress. Though Democratic leaders, include incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, say all options are on the table, others privately say they hope to avoid the partisan warfare.

The issue?

Buchanan led Jennings by a few hundred votes on Election Day and in subsequent recounts. But Jennings is challenging the result because touch screen voting machines in Sarasota County recorded that more than 18,000 people, or 13 percent of all voters, did not vote for either candidate, a rate much higher than in other counties in the district.

Completely missing from this story, though, is the reason they're using electronic voting machines in the first place. The reason? Why, Bush v. Gore in 2000. Hanging chads, anyone? It's the Democrats who wanted these machines in the first place, saying such machines would be the savior of democracy.

How many times are Democrats going to challenge votes that don't go their way? Gore in Florida and Gregoire in Washington State come to mind. If anything subverts democracy, it's attempts like those, and like this one. Fortunately:

The House plans to swear in Buchanan, along with other new members, on Jan. 4, according to House Administration Committee spokeswoman Salley Collins. The House could unseat him later, if it chose.

Let's see what happens.


Anonymous said...

Hey, even some Sarasota Republican Executive Committee members are openly calling for a revote. Most of the town knows someone who witnessed a machine malfunction (hell, it happened to over ten thousand people and the county isn't that big to begin with - it's been the talk of watercoolers around town for more than a month now). Something really did go wrong there. Maybe it's a good thing that the House is gonna seat Vern, but I hope that he's the one that the voters really did want to choose, because know.

Darren said...

I never had a problem voting with California's old punch card system. It had the advantage of not needing electricity--I guess there *could* be a storm and power outage in November! Now we use something along the lines of a Scantron form. It's good, too, and has the advantage of a paper trail.