First some context: A special election to replace criminal congressman Duke Cunningham in San Diego was held on June 6, between Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Francine Busby.
In the offical count, Bilbray won by several thousand votes. But in the aftermath of the election it has become evident that the election was run on machines that should have been decertified.
The district voted on Diebold optical scan machines that read Scantron-like fill-in-the-bubble ballots. The only problem? These machines have been shown to be easily hackable, meaning that the chain of custody of the machines is vitally important if ballot security is to be maintained.
However, in San Diego, election officials sent the machines home with poll workers to then take to the district’s polling places. Meaning that dozens of individuals had unfettered access to the machines for hours and days before the election. Some of the machines were even stored in the poll workers’ cars.
A reasonable reading of applicable statues suggests that these “sleepovers” immediately decertified the machines. This has led nearly a dozen political groups to declare “no confidence” in the Busby/Bilbray results.
The DNC strikes just the right tone on this. Was there monkey business? Who knows? But it’s in everybody’s interest to prove that the will of the voters was accurately reflected in the official count, and you do that by manually counting the ballots.
As Greg Moore, head of the DNC’s Voting Rights Insitute put it:
This is no longer about whether or not Busby or Bilbray won the election on June 6th. This is about the need to ensure an accurate count of all votes cast in this election so that the electorate may have confidence in the announced results in future elections.
[Major Hat Tip to Brad Friedman of BradBlog, who has almost single handedly kept this issue alive with his relentless blogging.]