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View Diary: First 6 Brookfield Ballot Bags "appear to be improperly sealed", Counted Anyway (220 comments)

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  •  I'm not stating that all votes in the bag (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DollyMadison, VClib

    are legit.  I'm saying that they will be counted unless there is some evidence that they aren't legitimate votes.  

    •  you are saying that each ballot in the bags... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tommymac, elwior, khereva, 3goldens a vote.

      That's a presumption, not a fact.

      It appears that some of the folks involved have failed to follow the mechanisms that lend credibility to that claim, as such for now it remains a unverified claim. Perhaps the claim may be essentially unverifiable.

      Maybe you're just being imprecise in your word choice.

      I agree that the contents of the bags should be assessed. Those assessments should be compared with previous assessments.

      Whether the ballots are "counted" - as in effecting the outcome of the election - should remain to be seen.


      •  Actually, I do think that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DollyMadison, VClib

        as a practical matter, they are going to assume that a ballot in the bag is legit.  

        They -- correctly -- are taking evidence as to why, for example, the seal was broken.  But if they end up with a situation that is much the same as they have now -- a situation where the answer could be incompetence/laziness/stupidity -- they are then going to give the benefit if the doubt to counting the ballots.  So, as a practical matter, they begin with the presumption that what appear (on their face) to be ballots are, in fact, ballots.  Someone who says that what appear on their face to be ballots are not, in fact, legitimate ballots is going to have to have more than questions, suspicion, or "could be" type arguments.  

        As a practical matter, nobody is going to take the risk of disenfranchising people who legitimately and properly cast ballots based on questions, suspicion, or "could be" type arguments.  If all they are presented with are questions, suspicion, ,or "could be" arguments, then yes, I think they are going to err on the side of counting the ballots, because the constitutional rights of voters are at stake.  

        •  no one would be disenfranchised by throwing out... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, grrr, khereva, JVolvo

          ...the mess and having a do-over. That is, if it's as bad a mess as some reports suggest.

          It seems that you may be disallowing some critical issues and steps in the process.

          There were ballot counts made on election night and afterward. There are documentation trails as well as custody trails.

          As you are so concerned about the constitutional rights of voters, I'm sure you'll understand that voters' rights include the right to have real votes counted.

          The number of "real votes" may be different from the number of ballots in the bags.

          That's not so difficult a concept.

          A critical assessment is due before presumptions are accepted as facts.

          And a critical assessment doesn't violate anyone's constitutional rights.

          Tho' presumptions may do so.


          •  True. A "do-over" would be more (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buckybadger1988, VClib

            equitable than simply tossing votes based on the failings of the people who handled the ballot bags.

            it's just that many statutes do not allow for a "do-over."  Just by way of example (not justifying that vote-counting fiasco in any way) federal law does not have any provision for a "do-over" in a Presidential election.  An 1845 statute said it has to be the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.  There's no legal way to have a "do-over."  So ballot counters -- and courts -- have to make do the best they can.  And they generally give the benefit of the doubt to the voter, and will count ballots unless there's evidence the ballot is fraudulent.  

            As for a critical assessment, that's what they are doing by taking testimony.  The Court will decide if there's evidence that ballots were forgeries or ballots were fraudulent.  But no court is going to make that decision in the absence of evidence that goes pretty clearly toward fraud.  

            •  you seem to keep advocating consistently for... (0+ / 0-)

              ...some set of foregone conclusions.

              Your advocacy is what it is.


              •  I'm not "advocating" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                it's just that some here seem to think that if there are irregularities in the chain of custody of ballots, that means that you throw out ballots.  that's not what it means.  If the visible signs of chain of custody are irregular (like seals being broken) then you must take evidence and testimony to establish that the ballots are, or are not, legitimate ballots.  When you've got a bag of ballots and somebody saying under oath, yes, I know the seal was broken, but those are ballots from the election, here's how I know that, then you're going to count those ballots unless there's evidence that those ballots are not legit.  

                That's pretty much the standard in any election.  Chain of custody problems do not mean you throw out the votes.  It means that you take evidence to establish that they are ballots from that election.  if the chain of custody is all in line, you don't need to take that evidence.  

    •  How can anyone tell if they are legit or not? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buddabelly, elwior, grrr, khereva

      Is there any way to do that if the seal is opened? Isn't that why the bags have to be sealed?

      •  If they can't tell either way (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DollyMadison, VClib

        from the bag, they are going to do what they are doing -- take other evidence and testimony.  If that other evidence and testimony points to ballot forgeries, they will toss those ballot forgeries.  If it doesn't, they will count the ballots.

        The seal, and the chain of custody things, do not in and of themselves determine if the ballots will be counted.  If the seal and chain of custody are all above-board, they don't go into that other evidence and testimony.  If they aren't, then they have to start taking evidence to see if there's any proof of fraudulent ballots.  

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