Monday, November 08, 2010

Who Elected Kitzhaber as Oregon's Governor?

After the election, Oregon Republicans are at a loss, their dreams dashed in Multnomah County
For the third time in the past decade, Oregon Republicans went to bed on election night thinking they might have finally ended Democratic dominance of statewide races.

But like a recurring bad dream, they awoke Wednesday to see the ballots from heavily Democratic Multnomah County seal a close victory for Democrat John Kitzhaber over Republican Chris Dudley in the governor's race.

"No matter who the Republican is, there is going to be a huge spread there," Bob Repp, a West Linn attorney and Republican volunteer, said with a sigh. "There just seems to be a real rigid dogmatism that has set in in Multnomah County." [...]

It goes into a bunch of reasons to explain "why". I read elsewhere, that the largest employer in Multnomah county is government jobs. Unionized government employees could explain the vote, too.

Portland, not Oregon, elected Kitzhaber
Kitzhaber was elected by a plurality, not a majority, of Oregon's voters.

He received approximately 49% of the ballots cast. Approximately 51% of Oregon's voters supported the Republican candidate (49%), the Constitution Party candidate (1%) or the Libertarian Candidate (1%).

Only seven of Oregon's thirty-six counties were carried by Kitzhaber. The other 29 counties voted for Mr. Chris Dudley.

Kitzhaber was elected by a minority of Oregon's voters. His support was concentrated in Portland and his campaign's funding came primarily from government employee unions.

Will Kitzhaber prove that he is something other than Portland's governor and the agent of the government employee unions? [...]

I have to wonder too, about the potential for voter fraud, especially in pivotal Multnomah county. I've posted about vote-by-mail's vulnerability to fraud.

The whole of Oregon votes by mail. It seems that the main safeguard against fraud is checking the signature on the ballot envelope with a signature on file with the voter registrar. How reliable is that?

When I was a bank teller, I once had customer, a sweet little old lady, who wanted to cash her social security check. Most folks want to deposit those, but she wanted hers all in cash.

Because of the large amount, I had to get my supervisors approval. The sweet LOL gave me her valid photo ID, and I had her sign the check in front of me. I then pulled the customer's signature card from the banks files, and it looked good.

I brought all three items to my supervisor, Helen. She saw the woman at my window, looked at her I.D., verified that the customer had signed the check in my presence, then looked at the signature card. Everything seemed in order, so she approved it.

A few days later, Helen comes to me with some paperwork from the main office. It turned out that the check had been stolen, and we cashed it for the thieves.

Helen told me: "Neither you nor I are in trouble for this, because we did follow all the bank procedures. I just wanted you to see it, as a reminder of why we do all this checking. But it's all too easy for some people to forge signatures".

A signature can look good, and still be fraudulent. Vote-by-mail makes it even easier; the fraudster doesn't even need to be a good forgerer. Signatures can be collected on petitions, and then "traced" onto ballot envelopes. Of course they would then match the signature card. And the fraudster never has to risk being caught by appearing in front of another human being to cast a vote, making it easier for the fraudster to cast multiple fraudulent ballots.

A computer scan is supposed to check for repeated names. But in a close election in a heavily Democrat county dominated by unionized government employees, what guarantee do we have that the scanning was done? The fox is in charge of the hen house.

And lets not forget the votes from the graveyard, which Democrats are famous for. Apparently many years go by without updating the lists of deceased voters. And even if they lists get updated, how do we know they were even checked against the ballots, especially in a close election?

If a Republican won, I'm sure they would be checking everything. But when a Democrat wins, nobody even asks these questions. Why not? Who checks the checkers?


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