Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz has sent a letter to King County Council members, urging them to approve Executive Ron Sims proposal to purchase additional ballot tabulating machines, and in it he makes an important point about the integrity of elections in King County and throughout the state:
In 2004 ballots were tabulated by the existing Diebold-based system. Subsequently there was a machine recount, followed by a manual hand re-count – the ultimate possible audit. In each case the accuracy of the present Diebold – based system was confirmed. While the vote did change between the original tally and the machine recount and the hand re-count, changes in the vote totals were always attributed to ballots added or subtracted to the mix, such as the “voter intent” ballots ruled on by the Canvassing Board. In fact, the current system has experienced numerous recounts over the years, with no identified failures by the hardware or the software.
I wouldn’t trust Diebold touch-screen voting machines as far as I could spit, but even the most paranoid election watchdogs must admit that our statewide hand recount was indeed “the ultimate possible audit” of the paper ballot tabulating machines. And the audit found that there was absolutely, positively no tabulating fraud.
Read the full text of Pelz’s letter here. (And check out my nifty new plug-in.)