Grumpy Editor finds it interesting that when a female Las Vegas casino host attempted to vote a second time last week --- during an early voting period --- it made the main front-page headline, with art above the fold, in Saturday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal but no such similar space was given two years earlier when Sen. Harry Reid’s name already was checked off for voters on some electronic machines.
The Senate majority leader in 2010 was in a close battle with Republican Sharron Angle. She said she lost because of fraud.
A 2010 post-election Associated Press story noted, “Reid’s win was a surprise in a race where a succession of polls showed a dead heat and he acknowledged he was in trouble.”
At midyear 2010, AP pointed out, “Reid appeared headed for defeat as Nevada suffered with the nation’s worst unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates.”
Electronic voting machines are in the news again this election season.
The Republican National Committee declares voting machines, again in Nevada, plus Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado, Missouri and Kansas, are flawed and improperly showing votes cast for President Barack Obama when GOP candidate Mitt Romney had been selected.
That action also brings fresh quotes from Larry Lomax, Clark County (Nev.) voter registrar, in a state where high rates continue in unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy.
His explanation: “The machines work just fine. It is possible for a machine to get out of calibration. That simply means if you touch somewhere, it may read the touch in a slightly different place.”
Electronic voting machines move around a lot in the Las Vegas area. Early voters cast ballots in supermarkets, malls, libraries and trailers in parking lots. Some voting sites are operational for as little as two days before moving to other locations.
In 2010 when Reid was up for reelection, Lomax pinned complaints at that time on faulty electronic machine action by seniors, noting, "Especially in a community with elderly citizens (they have) difficulty in (casting their) ballot.”
This year in Marion, Ohio, for example, voters charge that when Romney’s name was selected on electronic voting machines, Obama’s name lights up.
“Because of the issue,” says Sophia Rogers, board of elections director for Marion County, “we had that machine recalibrated.”
Frequent recalibration appears to be necessary with electronic voting machines.
During early voting, says Lomax in Nevada, electronic machines in Clark County are calibrated every morning and sometimes twice a day.
In an earlier election, pre-marked electronic ballots appeared in New Jersey. Most troubling were numerous reports of “vote flipping,” in which voters select a candidate only to see the voting machine record votes for the opposing candidate.
With the 2010 election that saw Reid returned to the Senate, Washington Examiner writer Mark Hemingway said, “It is worth noting, the voting machine technicians in Clark County are members of the Service Employees International Union.”
The SEIU is a heavy contributor to Democrats.