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« Pre-Emptive Election Strike | Main | Holtzman Seems To Fall Short On Signatures »

The Loyal Opposition Replies

In response to my posting below, Jeffrey Sherman, a plaintiff in the case, has sent the following reply:

I am a longtime reader and admirer of your blog, but I think you are incorrect in your post on the DRE lawsuit. I am one of the plaintiffs. I am a registered Republican. I consider myself a hard-core conservative (I can't call myself a Christian conservative because I am Jewish). I voted for and contributed money to President Bush (though not enough money to be disclosed). I became aware of this suit because a friend, whom I would describe as a very serious conservative, is the lead associate at Wheeler Trigg working on this matter.

There is no question that there are liberal-left participants in this suit, too. Perhaps they think there is some short-term advantage to having accurate elections. I can't say I know with certainty what motivates them. I do know that I joined as a plaintiff because I think the accuracy of elections is of critical importance (hopefully this is why my liberal-left co-plaintiffs joined this suit, too). Because I believe conservative ideas are ultimately more persuasive, I want to make sure that the votes of those people who vote for conservative candidates will be counted. Conservatives have been victims of election fraud for too long--dating back to the days of machine politics up through John Thune's (probably fraudulent) loss in 2000 against Tim Johnson in South Dakota. Further, the bogus nonsense about the "stolen" 2000 presidential election does no one any good. It is clear from the media recounts that President Bush would have won whether the Supreme Court stepped in or not. Having new DRE election systems that are subject to tampering and not easily subject to audit will only increase the incentive to cheat or to claim that elections were "stolen."

I was initially skeptical of participating due to the nature of some of the other participants. But, after some research, I think the proposed systems are too badly flawed and fail to meet statutory standards. Further, based on the information I have been given, the Secretary of State's office has patently failed to take the steps required under the Colorado statutes to validate the machines. I am not naïve enough to think that a lawsuit (or even legislation) can eliminate voter fraud, which has probably existed since elections have existed, nor do I favor an active judiciary that legislates voting methods. I simply want the state to abide by its own statutory mandate.

Those of us who are plaintiffs in the suit entered into a joint representation agreement that contains a Statement of Principles Regarding DRE Voting System Litigation. The principles state, inter alia, that "The fundamental right to vote means that each Colorado voter has the right to cast his or her vote in private and to have his or her vote fairly and accurately recorded and counted in a free and open election...The fundamental right to vote means that the methods, machines or systems used to record, compile, count, audit or recount votes shall be secure, accurate, verifiable and accessible to all Colorado voters." This seems to me to be not particularly controversial or partisan in nature.

Finally, I agree with you regarding requiring voters to present identification.

I sympathize with Jeffrey's position, and believe that his desire for an accurate count is clearly, indisputably correct, as far as it goes. My contention is that it doesn't go nearly far enough in order to avoid the impression that there's more at work here on the part of Mr. Finley and his attorneys.

I believe that this lawsuit is an attempt to discredit voting systems in an attempt to preserve a "margin of litigation," within which Democrats can file lawsuits challenging the results of close elections which they lose. Given the role that Democrats have played in opposing ID requirements, for instance, my faith in their desire for accurate elections is, shall we say, faint.

I would point out that it is not merely "some participants," but the organization sponsoring the various state lawsuits, and the firm leading the charge are well to the left of liberal. I don't have time to discuss all the points of the lawsuit right here, but will try to do so on Sunday, after Shavuot.

It's significant that the Florida 2000 case is best dealt with not by joining lawsuts such as this, but rather by arguing the facts of the case, which clearly support Bush. If the basis of this suit is the Myth Of Florida 2000, joining such a suit perpetuates, rather than refutes, that myth. It's also significant that it was a paper-ballot, punch card system, a "old-style" system with a theoretically verifiable paper trail, that led to election officials searching the surface of ballots with laser beams for dimples in order to determine "voter intent."

It's also true that the statement regarding the "fundamental right to vote" omits any mention of the equally fundamental right not to have my vote diluted by illegal voting. It's an open secret in Colorado that nursing home employees "help" their charges fill out their absentee ballots without the required dual-party supervision of the process. That this is the time-honored method by which the Democrats have stolen elections in the past (See Washington State Governor 2004, South Dakota Senate 2000, New York City Mayor 1989, Chicago any year) would suggest that a conservative should insist on equal billing. If that's not the basis of the suit, conservatives should be willing to file their own lawsuits demanding suitable precautions.

I understand why the need for an accurate count is a bipartisan issue. I just don't think this is the suit that will ensure fair elections.

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