Monday, September 22, 2008

Standards of assertion

CNN and John King take sides. It's subtle when they do, but look who they believe.

Here's the Democratic concern:

For 2004, the county switched to touch-screen machines. There were no major issues here. But some local Democrats, including Rep. Robert Wexler, demanded changes because they said the touch-screen system might be vulnerable to fraud and did not, in their view, provide a reliable audit trail.
There are two claims in the Democratic rationale, and both are proven facts, despite King's pose of skepticism. Maybe there were no major problems in 2004, maybe not. No one could tell!

Then comes the Republican claim:
"We could have had nice, reliable computers counting and giving all of us an honest count," [Sid Dinerstein, the Palm Beach County Republican chairman,] said in an interview.
This is well-known to be bullshit. Garbage in, garbage out. You can add up the data as many times as you like and still get the same fraudulent total if the system was hacked. Yet King shows no skepticism toward this claim at all. Such noice computers!

Paper ballots are stable. It takes a lot of effort to dummy up a lot of fake ones. The evidence lives on. Bits, not so much.

Elections are serious business. Republicans want to "protect the vote" with ID measures that we already know will exclude legitimate voters. Democrats want a fair election that will exclude only fraud, and we're willing to take a little more time if needed to get it right. For Republicans, and maybe Florida Democrats, as in 2000, the deadline is what matters most.

It's mind-boggling.

No comments: