Nothing to see here, folks. Just a human error, technical glitch, or “we caught it in time”. Those are the excuses we hear every single time. Every time. Antrim County, Dekalb County, Williamson County, Windham, NH. The list goes on and on and on of jurisdictions that have some “human error” or “technical glitch” that causes votes to flip, change or swap.
Enter our latest example: Cherokee County, Kansas. Not to be confused with Cherokee County, GA that recently went against the will of their constituents by refusing to conduct a hand recount and sided with highly questionable legal guidance from a conflicted attorney who used to work for the Secretary of States Office that is being called into question.
Cherokee County, KS’s election was held last Tuesday on August 2nd. During a post election audit, they discovered that the thumb drives used in the election flipped the votes cast for District 1 County Commissioner Myra Frazier and instead gave them to her opponent, Lance Nichols, who was initially declared the winner.
“Upon discovering the improper programming, I immediately contacted representatives of Atchison, Kansas-based Lockwood Elections, who is responsible for programming the thumb drives used in our elections. The company recognized their error, and my office has since re-tabulated the ballots by a hand count audit, which resulted in Commissioner Frazier retaining her party’s nomination for the November General Election later this year. The Commission race was the only one impacted by the company’s error and I have already visited with both candidates impacted,” said County Clerk Rebecca Brassart.
“This is a good example of why we verify the accuracy of election results by conducting a post audit of election results, regardless of what the unofficial election night numbers might indicate. I again want to assure the citizens of Cherokee County how important election accuracy is to me and reiterate my commitment to ensuring every valid vote is properly counted,” she concluded.
While it is unclear if other races were counted or not, there is a major problem with the statement above:
It was literally the “needle in the haystack.”
Kansas Revised Statute KSA 25-3009 states:
(2) The audit will review contested races as follows
(B) In even numbered non-presidential election years:
(i) One federal race;
(ii) one statewide race;
(iii) one state legislative race; and
(iv) one county race.
And since the only race alleged to be impacted by this questionable explanation of a “compromised thumb drive” was a county commissioner race, it is a pure fluke that that was one of the races selected to be audited. Had any other race been selected, the results of this race would have gone unaltered and entirely against the will of the People of Cherokee County, KS. Much like Antrim, where it was picked up the next morning by a local constituent who voiced his concern. Or Dekalb, where it was only caught because the candidate showed zero votes in her own precinct. Or Williamson, TN where a poll worker was keeping a tally of the ballots counted on a pad of paper and realized the tabulator tapes at the end of the night were way off.
Another words: How many races go unchecked? How many races have one of these “human errors” or “glitches” and somehow slides under the radar?
And perhaps the most relevant question of all, especially with the lawsuits in Colorado regarding the 53% adjudication in El Paso during the recount:
Officials say the drives worked properly during testing, however, the malfunction was detected after the voting process.
Can these machines be programmed to act appropriately during a Logic and Accuracy Test? Last week, we saw a small county in Michigan have major discrepancies with the ballots. It was, once again, chalked up as <insert lame excuse here>. But the real question that should have been asked, and should be asked in all these examples:
How do they pass the Logic and Accuracy Test?
Or is the L&A test just smoke and mirrors to give us a warm gooey feeling that the machines are doing exactly what they should be.