Court Delays Calif. Recall Vote

Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 04:09 pm
For the complete article, read Appeals Court Delays California Recall Vote

Court Delays California Recall Vote
9th Circuit Allows One Week for Appeal to Supreme Court

By William Booth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 15, 2003; 4:00 PM

LOS ANGELES -- Three weeks before voters are scheduled to go to the polls in California's historic recall, a federal appeals court today postponed the Oct. 7 election, ruling that the use of older punch-card ballot machines would disenfranchise poor and minority voters.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the American Civil Liberties Union that the use of punch cards in six urban counties would subject voters there to a greater likelihood that the ballots would be misread or discarded as happened during Florida's election fiasco in the presidential vote in 2000.

In its decision, the judicial panel relied in part on the Supreme Court ruling that decided the hotly contested race between then vice president Al Gore and then Texas governor George W. Bush. The court wrote today, "The choice between holding a hurried, constitutionally infirm election and one held a short time later that assures voters that the 'rudimentary requirements of equal treatment and fundamental fairness are satisfied' is clear. . . . These issues are better resolved prophylactically than by bitter, post-election litigation over the legitimacy of the election, particularly where the margin of voting machine error may well exceed the margin of victory. The Supreme Court's admonition in [the Florida case] bears re-quoting: 'The press of time does not diminish the constitutional concern. A desire for speed is not a general excuse for ignoring equal protection guarantees.' "
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Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2003 05:20 pm
I guess we're going to find out whether Scalia's good-for-one-use-only opinion in Bush v. Gore really was good for one use only.
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 09:45 pm
I think our political system is doomed if it doesn't find a way out of the chaos.

Appeals Court to Reconsider Calif. Recall Vote

Tuesday, September 16, 2003; 2:58 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said on Tuesday that it would reconsider a controversial decision by a three-judge panel of the court to postpone the Oct. 7 California recall election.

The appeals court said that a fuller group of judges than the three-judge panel that ruled on the case on Monday would rehear it.

The three-judge panel delayed the unprecedented October recall vote against Gov. Gray Davis, saying punch card voting machines still used in six California counties had an unacceptably high rate of error.

A clerk at the 9th Circuit said the judges had voted to hold an en banc hearing of 11 judges to reconsider the case and had asked for lawyers to file briefs on the issue.

© 2003 Reuters
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 09:57 pm
Tanglenet, occurring.
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Reply Tue 16 Sep, 2003 10:10 pm
Hmmmm. These same machines were OK for Davis' last election...
(cough*partisan judges*cough)
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Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2003 03:49 am
(California) right-wing radio was cranked up, crackling with accusations of a coup, cronyism and crass political maneuvering.

"Clinton comes to town and a day later two of his appointees on the appellate court decide to nix the election," said Roger Hedgecock, an influential radio personality in San Diego.

"I'm struck by the similarity between California and Venezuela," Hedgecock said. "Last week there was a recall attempt on Chávez down there. The signatures were turned in and his committee throws them out as invalid. That's what you had today. This is the stuff of a banana republic"...

"This is definitely a left-wing conspiracy," said Melanie Morgan, the host of the KSFO rush-hour program in San Francisco. "The court has stolen Californians' right to vote. It's partisan, bald-faced theft"...

Twist in Recall Brings Anger from Right

I guess one of the things I'm struck by is the inability of the conservatives to see the irony in their situation -- done in by the most liberal of the federal circuits, citing the very same opinion used to put George W. Bush in the White House. Double crossed by their own double-cross, so to speak.

It's a wonderful field test of that academic study of the conservative personality type-- inflexible, intolerant and authoritarian -- that gave the talk radio types such a hissy fit recently. I suppose we can now add "completely humorless" to that list of personality traits.

And because I've been reading a bit about the Old South lately, I came across a story that Shelby Foote, the Civil War historian, tells about a runaway slave who joined the Union army and ended up guarding a bunch of Confederate POWs. Supposedly, the man found his former master among the prisoners.

"Bottom rail top now, Massa," the soldier supposedly said with a smile.

Of course, karma is rarely that quick -- or perfect.

Which is why this is such a delicious moment, and the Republicans have barely a clue as to why.
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Brand X
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2003 07:03 am
Two respected institutions, The California Institute of Technology and MIT, conducted a study of error rates with various voting machines. Would any of you care to guess the results? Well, you don't have to ... because I have them right here. Here are the error rates .. the percentages of votes cast with errors, using different types of machines:

Optical scanners have an error rate of 2.3%
Touch screen systems have an error rate of 3.0%
Data Vote systems have an error rate of 3.2%
Punch Cards? They have an error rate of 2.5%

Kind of debunks things doesn't it?
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