Tuesday, January 19, 2010

AP Reports Scott Brown bests Coakley

80 percent of the vote was in at the time Fox News Sean Hannity reported the AP reported Scott Brown claimed the Massachusetts Senate seat held by Ted Kennedy.

Notice the following article featuring breaking news was updated from the original (original 8:22 pm)

In epic upset, GOP's Brown wins Mass. Senate race
By GLEN JOHNSON and LIZ SIDOTI Associated Press Writers © 2010 The Associated Press
Jan. 19, 2010, 8:22PM


The updated full article (9:51 PM) doesn't reference the earlier version.

In epic upset, GOP's Brown wins Mass. Senate race
By GLEN JOHNSON and LIZ SIDOTI Associated Press Writers © 2010 The Associated Press
Jan. 19, 2010, 9:51PM


We caught the announcement of Brown's win reported on Fox News Network Sean Hannity program at 9:20 PM, then switched to other networks reporting the AP release.

Bev Harris' Black Box Voting org website warned of the media calling the election before all the votes were counted.



but with the use of electronic tallying, the national media has immediate access to unofficial election results instantaneously when the state and localities release the results at super speed.

Everyone should realize of course all of the initial results are released by election officials as 'unofficial' results. The certification process ensues over a period of days, also allowing for 'military' and other protected absentees some potential for additional time to arrive to be counted.

Provisional ballots are also set aside after polls close and are to be dealt with within the time period allowed by law.

However, statistics on uncounted absentees and uncounted provisionals are available immediately as well. If these are projected to be more than the percentage needed to alter the unofficial results, the media usually reports this fact and the election officials will clarify.

The updated AP article contains this matter for our consideration.

Galvin, who discounted sporadic reports of voter irregularities throughout the day, predicted turnout ranging from 1.6 million to 2.2 million, 40 percent to 55 percent of registered voters. The Dec. 8 primary had a scant turnout of about 20 percent...


We'll track a few sites for your information. What kind of voter irregularities? did the predicted turnout match the actual turnout? What were the statistics concerning military or other absentees and provisionals? When was the voter registration deadline? How many independents in comparison to registered Democrats and Republicans?

What is telling, if Coakley early on charged actual, not potential, voter irregularities, why did she concede the election based on reports she couldn't believe? It's not as if there is any hurry to certify the election, right?

We are always wary of unconfirmed reports as well placed on google's service. Some news outlets simply extract a portion of the original news feed, and then other news comment outlets might leave out or be unaware of the full news release before posting commentary.

For instance, the headline making google search results is Mass. Sec. of State (Discounts) Voting Irregularities...


Get the subliminal message? Discounts = diss-counts?

For instance, the headline makes the top of this news feed, but the body of the article is wholly misleading...

A spokesman for Secretary of State William Galvin says ballots already marked for Republican Scott Brown could not be verified.


what could not be confirmed is in a few instances, the voting irregularities were intentional, and thus could not be verified as fraud. The potential existed for voter error, possibly leaving the poll place without casting the paper ballot. In any case, the paper ballots were deemed spoiled and voided.

Another headline making the net rounds

Mass. Sec. of State dismissed reports of vote problem


Washington Post headlines baed on the same AP article

Mass. secretary of state dismissed vote problems
The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 19, 2010; 6:55 PM

BOSTON -- The Massachusetts secretary of state is discounting reports of voter irregularities in the state's Senate special election.

A spokesman for Secretary of State William Galvin said Tuesday two reports of spoiled ballots could not be verified or found to be widespread.

In one case, someone voting in Cambridge claimed a ballot had already been marked for Republican Scott Brown. There was no way to verify the claim, but the ballot was destroyed.

In another case, a person in Boston reported finding a ballot inside a privacy folder also marked for Brown. Officials say it may have been left inadvertently by an earlier voter.

Aides to Democrat Martha Coakley called a news conference to raise voter awareness..


Meanwhile, making the charges is the losing Democratic candidate's spokesman.

Coakley campaign alleges voting irregularities


Read down into the article/s which could be incomplete, and it's found the charges of irregularities stem from a couple of paper ballots being found already marked, one in its protective folder, for the Republican candidate.

Weekly Standard

Coakley Holds Presser Over 'Irregularities'
Accusations on both sides.
BY Mary Katharine Ham
January 19, 2010 6:50 PM

The Coakley campaign held a conference call this evening to allege "voting irregularities" reported several supporters, who claimed they got ballots pre-marked for Brown.

The Sec. of State William Galvin, talked to the Boston Herald about two such instances:


It's surprising there are no reports as in past election years of the direct recording electronic voting machine malfunctions, at least none we've come ac/sross as of yet.

Bev Harris is conducting an analysis of numbers of election results in each Mass. precinct, but then we're wary as the site has in the past supported and been a proponent of use of paper ballots exclusively and only hand counted.

What's often disturbing is the idea over at Harris' BBV forum is that district election officials may have exclusive access to voting machines before and after an election and the potential exists for 'insider' voting tampering out of the eyesight of the public.

If that's believable, then why not as believable to have precinct election officials hand-counting paper ballots right in front of pollwatchers who still cannot 'view' the actual paper ballot so the observer cannot prove a particular ballot was counted wrongly or accurately.

As long as voter registrant numbers match the hand-counted paper ballots who is to know that pollworkers intentionally miscounted or misapplied ballot totals?

If the paper ballots are never run-through a scanner, with its resultant digital image stored in memory, there is no way to determine which ballots were counted correctly as cast and which weren't hand-counted as cast.

And then let's say the hand-count is done first with the scanner used as an additional record. Who is to determine then whether the scanner counted incorrectly for the record or the hand-count was counted incorrectly?

Meanwhile, websites and blogs may post a portion of the article or only the headline, leaving an impression not only were voting irregularities charged, but actually found to have occurred and confirmed as such.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Ballot irregularities charged in MA, IL election officials prepare for undervote warning, Google hack post-mortem continues


And more anecdotal stories are continuing to crop up.

The discussion is fascinating, and one member posts video related to 'absentee ballots'

why is this woman handing out absentee ballots?


Weekly Standard points out the myth of the absentee ballots being filled out on election day...

...The Coakley campaign's press release about the alleged irregularities was dated yesterday. The date has since been corrected, but I grabbed a screen shot. It was either a typo, once again demonstrating the incompetence of the Coakley campaign, or in the more cynical reading, evidence that Coakley's camp planned to bring forth such allegations before voting even started. I'd bet on the former, but the Brown campaign goes after them for trying to pull a pre-emptive strike.

Brown supporters were noting a YouTube video today in which a woman appears to be giving out blank absentee ballots on Election Day, but the Sec. of State expresses doubt about whether it was shot today:

The Brown campaign said there is a YouTube video of a woman displaying an absentee ballot in Lawrence, according to Galvin. He said there’s no evidence the video was taken today.

“We don’t think of it as something that’s going to affect the count,” Galvin said.

Lawrence City Clerk William Maloney said he spoke with the woman in the video, who he identified as Isabel Melendez. Melendez is a well-known figure in Lawrence and program director at the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. and hosts a local radio program.

Maloney said Melendez told him the video was shot yesterday and the ballots she is seen holding are actually samples.


Finally, though, the loser in any contest can call for a recount of the entire election if foul play is suspected. Why didn't Coakley if the candidate believes something was truly and systematically amiss?

Discussion at Democratic Underground


Net the Truth Online

In epic upset, GOP's Brown wins Mass. Senate race
By GLEN JOHNSON and LIZ SIDOTI Associated Press Writers © 2010 The Associated Press
Jan. 19, 2010, 8:22PM

In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in a U.S. Senate election Tuesday that left President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in doubt and marred the end of his first year in office.

The loss by the once-favored Coakley for the seat that the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy held for nearly half a century signaled big political problems for the president's party this fall when House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot nationwide.

More immediately, Brown will become the 41st Republican in the 100-member Senate, which could allow the GOP to block the president's health care legislation and the rest of Obama's agenda. Democrats needed Coakley to win for a 60th vote to thwart Republican filibusters.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.


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