Something's rotten in the state of Denmark

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Indiana update

First, Indiana news: the Franklin County, Indiana glitch has spurred Democrats to push for a Congressional recount in the 9th Congressional District race -- a district that, no, does not include Franklin County. In the Indianapolis Star article, Mary Beth Schneider writes:

Democrats are seeking a recount of the 9th Congressional District race in which Republican Mike Sodrel apparently defeated incumbent Baron Hill... Hill, a three-term Democratic member of Congress, conceded defeat to Sodrel the day after the Nov. 2 general election. The latest results show Sodrel winning by 1,485 votes.

This week, the state learned the new voting machines in Franklin County had mistakenly given Democratic votes to the Libertarian candidate. While Franklin County is not in the 9th, the same voting machines are used by three counties in the southeastern Indiana district -- Ripley, Scott and Switzerland.

Given the glitch in Franklin County, Democrats decided to file a petition for both a recount and contest in the 9th District race on Friday, only minutes before the noon deadline.

In a Louisville Courier-Journal piece on the same story, Hill, the defeated Democrat, says "We ought to err on the side of caution." Right! Admittedly, he probably also finished that sentence with, "when it blatantly helps me out," but hey, I can't blame him, given the glitch that happened in Franklin and a 1,485 margin.

Seems more than a little tenuous, but it's clear what's happening: the growing number of stories of glitches in the electronic voting machines and the machines that tally the optical scan ballots is resulting in a lack of confidence (or an abundance of opportunism) when it comes to the vote.