“Hanging chads?” Guam vote recount

What we learned from the 2008 Senate race in Minnesota between Al Franken and Norm Coleman is that, when the results between candidates are very close, you must recount and recount and recount the votes until the Democrat wins.  If the Democrat hasn’t won yet, then it’s not yet time to stop recounting.

If there’s any scorn for Al Gore within the Democrat party, it’s because he stopped recounting too soon in 2000, and he should have called for progressives everywhere to march on the Supreme Court and burn it to the ground unless SCOTUS allowed recounting in Florida to continue until the Democrat won.

Guam, one of the 57 states of the USA (if you’re Obama, but it’s a territory of the USA if you aren’t Obama), also held its elections last Tuesday.

The following information was gleaned from Guam Pacific Daily News.

Guam Democrats are thankful to both Al Gore and Al Franken for the vote recount blueprint.  Because of Al Franken, they know that they have to keep recounting until the Democrat wins, and because of Al Gore, they know that any imperfection on any paper ballot creates ambiguity, requiring the best psychics to be assembled to channel the spirits to reveal the intent of each voter.  Luckily, Democrats have the numbers needed on the 7-member Guam Election Commission Board if, after all other attempts, gaming the system is the only other way to thwart the will of the people.

The Republican ticket for Governor and Lieutenant Governor appears to have defeated the Democrat ticket by 583 votes. That, indeed, sounds like a very small margin, but the voting population on Guam is smaller than that of any state in the USA.  In many states, automatic recounts are triggered only when the vote margin is within one percent or within less than one percent (in Ohio, it’s one-half of one percent).  In many states, recounts in races with larger vote margins must be paid for by the candidates’ campaigns or political parties.  In Guam, however, the Guam Election Commission can widen that vote margin for an automatic recount however they see fit, and, in this particular case, they’ve decided to stipulate that within a 2 percent margin the territorial government will pay for the recount.  Perhaps if they manage to overturn election night results, the Commission will be emboldened enough to call for recounts in future elections if the vote margin is within 3 percent (why stop there . . . maybe 5 percent).

The ballots will have no hanging chads, as HAVA (Help America Vote Act), passed in the wake of the Florida recount of 2000, required supposedly more reliable voting methods.  Guam uses optical scan ballots, which are the preferred ballot option for Democrats because electronic voting machines are hard-wired to rig elections in favor of Republicans.  Optical scan ballots provide more opportunities for Democrat quibbling because they are filled out by hand, and, as anyone knows, you can assert that anyone who failed to fill out such a ballot perfectly would be a voter trapped in poverty, possessing a poor education, thus unable to follow simple directions.  Anyone knows that the intention of every impoverished voter is to vote Democrat.  Only millionaires and billionaires who want tax breaks to move jobs overseas would intend to vote for Republicans.

The tabulating machines involved in the recount are programed to halt if an optical scan detects any irregularities, so that the ballot that causes the halt can be examined by humans.  There is a contingency plan if not enough ballots are irregular.

Democrat Party Treasurer Joey Duenas hinted at the pretext for continuing with recounts.  Machines, he argued, would not halt for ballots that contained votes for write-in candidates in which the bubble isn’t filled in next to the line where the candidate’s name is written.  In the past, the Guam Supreme Court has ruled that such write-in votes do not count unless the appropriate bubble is filled in.  That might not daunt Duenas, who patriotically declared,”Every vote is sacred to me.”

Perhaps if the shoe were on the other foot, with Democrats leading election night results, the votes might not have been sacred enough to call for a recount.

Press release: Incoming Republican majority in the Ohio House of Reps to seek greater transparency

Editor’s note:  The Republican Caucus of the Ohio House of Representatives issued this press release on 11/4/2010.  Republicans have been in the minority of the Ohio House for the past two years, but, as the election results show, they will form the majority in the upcoming session commencing in January.


COLUMBUS—House Republican Leader William G. Batchelder (R-Medina) today issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to announce that our caucus has asked Representative Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) to begin crafting the House Rules for the 129th General Assembly. Previously, Representative Gardner served in this capacity in 1994, when he successfully brought an unprecedented level of transparency to the House of Representatives.

With Ohio facing such large challenges, it is more important now than ever before that the House operate in a way that will encourage the public to be fully engaged with the work that is done here.  It is with this in mind that we are honored to have Representative Gardner provide his experience and knowledge as we move forward in designing our operational framework.”

Rep. Gardner issued the following statement:

“I am honored to have been asked by my colleagues to produce this necessary function for a successful 129th General Assembly of the Ohio House of Representatives.  Our new Rules will ensure an effective, efficient House for both sides of the aisle and will promote a thorough, diligent work ethic by lawmakers to benefit Ohioans. There is no question that we must restore a minimum two-day waiting or reading period before final votes are taken on our state budget bills. The people of Ohio and all House members must be provided time to know what’s in the bills before we vote.”

In the 128th General Assembly, House members were forced to vote on the final version of the state budget bill with approximately 2 ½ hours to read the Conference report before voting on the measure. The bill included more than 500 changes in the 3,000 page document.