Thursday, November 15, 2012

State Elections Officials Helping to Shoe-Horn West back into congress

There is very little doubt in my mind the governor, and the state division of elections are working together to shoe-horn Allen West back into congress.

I've seen enough now, once again, and as an honest concerned citizen, I render my own judgment. I also use their past behavior. The division is colluding with West at the behest of the governor. I don't know if the local elections super is in on the deal. But can someone be this inept? Can an office be in this much disarray? Can the office be this vulnerable?

The state, the Rove hacker hit squad, and the governor are using the St. Lucie County Supervisor of elections office as their point of attack.

Florida Transparency: classic example
As I type here in a McDonald's down the road from the office, the attorneys for Patrick Murphy have been trying all morning to get a straight answer from the State Division of Elections and the Supervisor of elections. They are getting nowhere.

Round the back of the building I was able to look inside the room where the audit proceeds slowly. Chief of elections systems and certification, David Drury can be seen marking sheets with a yellow highlighter, aided by one other person. Going through lines and lines of totals from poll tapes.

Going through the motions, I would call it. The elections supervisor saunters around the office, totally unconcerned. There is quite literally a mountain of S to sort through. They are taking their sweet time, as though waiting for a punch clock to chime.

Here are the problems with the election that have been reported to me. This is just a start.

* Precinct 89, in the trendy, planned community of "Tradition", saw the total lapse in chain of custody procedures when an optical scan machine and the memory card sat in a bin until the early morning hours of Nov.7, only rousted by the awakening of the poll worker who was supposed to bring it into the office. The votes had been uncounted.

* Six of 18 memory cards failed from early voting. This required the rescanning of 26,400 ballot cards.

* 3635 votes from early voting were double counted.

*1900 votes from precincts 1-40, were not counted

*As the mess was being sorted, Congressman Allen West gained net 500 votes on Patrick Murphy in the count which brought him just outside the 0.5 percent difference requiring a machine recount. No explanation.

* And, in a recount over the mayoral race for Fort Pierce, there now appears to be a 201 vote discrepancy the Murphy people have found, and they are not getting anywhere but stonewalled.

The empty office separated by wallboard from the  tabulation room.
It is not above this governor, to complete at least one job he was likely assigned out of many during this election, and shoehorn West into office, over Murphy, in the 18th Congressional district.

Now about 100 tea party folks march back and forth in front of the office demanding "justice" and "fairness" in the election, which to them is just give the race to Allen West. The only opposition they face are friends and supporters of Gertrude Walker with signs which read "Save Our Supervisor." Presumably because of this botched election, someone means to fire her.

In Florida we have to be vigilant and forward leaning. People in other states gawp at hard assumptions such as "the state government isn't only incompetent it is run by criminal people who would sooner steal elections than let them carry through fairly."

But when your suspicions are NEVER proved wrong or overreaching and keep materializing over and over as solid fact in the end, what other position should you take?

Turning to the security of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office, tucked haphazardly inside something formerly known as "Orange Blossom Mall". On one side of the office is an empty space the size of a Gap store and for all I know it might well have been exactly that. This cavern has all appliances stripped out of it, no ceiling tiles, and nothing but bare wallboard seemingly separates it from the guts of the supervisor of elections office.

Knowing something as to the workings of hacking surveillance and so forth, it would be a trivial thing for a hacker to tuck himself inside that dark space and remotely tap into the supervisor's systems, or otherwise by climbing into the ceiling work. A ladder, a laptop. Time.

On the other side is the room where the audit progresses, sealed from view, despite the comical sign which reads "public viewing area" with long white blinds. On the other side of this room is the warehouse type room where the voting machines are stored. No video cameras immediately evidence from a first glance. On the very back door, opening to the mall walk there is a simple lock you might find on your side door to your garage.  An open access on the other side of this room leads to an exit hallway used in better days for employees and store walkers to exit the building by other means.

Two doors leading to the supervisor's office here, are card swipe. In this hallway, are boxes and boxes of election supplies. What are they? Are these boxes where they keep the voting machines?

Why is the office of supervisor of elections in a run down shopping mall? Screams you, to yourself.

Because its vulnerability is useful.

Think of the grass in your yard. Do you control the grass, or does it control you? Think about it. Consider the odd but equally valid way of considering that the grass, actually controls the human species in this country. What do we do? We make houses, bull doze woods, make room for our masters: blades of grass on lawns, golf courses, breezeways, football fields etc.

Look at things differently for once. The media is focused on a two sided billboard: poor Ms. Walker under attack for having to make do with too little, on the one side, maybe not doing her job too well; and those on the right who assume Walker works on behalf of a cabal run by the democratic party.

If this is true I can tell you the democrats are confused as hell and scared they are going to lose this seat. Where are West's people today? Curiously, confidently not present at all. They aren't concerned in the slightest about this audit that could remove West from congress if it is found that 0.58 percent prevents any further action and he lost; just like the state law says. No no. West's people aren't even here today. What do they know that Murphy's people obviously don't?

Money, like grass, is green.

The way I see it, those trying desperately to hold on to power in the U.S. House of Representatives, hold the inside track through Rick Scott here. And they could see the way the new district map was drawn: Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie counties. And they checked them out.

From the get go, St. Lucie was a plum on a tree waiting to be picked. Out of the way county, hurting for resources, staff ill-trained, a supervisor of middling skills. And a building with all the security attributes of Swiss cheese.

Ms. Walker, if she isn't feigning incompetence, now seems resigned to whatever in hell the state wants to do with her office. She's tired.

And now in comes the Fox in the form of Drury and the state division of elections, to inspect the chickens, to see "what went on here."

The rescanning - shades of the Rick Scott election which I believe could have been rigged - and in the confusion and recounting, West who had been totally out of it, not even close, gains relative 500 votes on Murphy: now it's 0.58 percent. Plausible. And the complete cock-up of an election makes it something worth looking at.

Now, Murphy's team trying to get information they need to battle West's legal challenge and what happens? The state feigns cooperation while it stonewalls, benefiting West: in any other setting that's prejudicial favoritism, taking sides with, conspiring with.

And West shall have a day in court and a recount of some sort will proceed...after the fox has left the hen house.

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