KER Politics – Wed 14 Nov, 2018

Insight in counting votes

What’s wrong with Florida elections?

BY CAL THOMAS Tribune Content Agency



Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., had the best line when it comes to the latest Florida election in which contests for governor and the U.S. Senate are still undecided.

Rubio tweeted: “Bay County was hit by a Cat 4 Hurricane just 4 weeks ago, yet managed to count votes & submit timely results. Yet over 41 hours after polls closed #Bro-ward elections office is still counting votes?”

With lawyers descending on the state in what looks to some like a replay of the 2000 “hanging chad” presidential election, an automatic recount has been triggered for both contests.

President Trump and other Republicans are crying foul and accusing Democrats of trying to “steal” the election. Given the history of voter fraud in this country and the heavily Democratic makeup of Broward and Palm Beach counties, their suspicions may be justified.

Vote-stealing isn’t new. After the initial vote count in the 1948 Texas Senate race, which saw Lyndon Johnson losing to his opponent Coke Stevenson by 20,000 votes, previously “unreported precincts” and other “adjustments” were made in the vote totals. Johnson came out the winner by a mere 87 votes, earning him the derisive title “Landslide Lyndon.”

In the 1960 presidential race, which saw the tightest popular vote margin since Grover Cleveland defeated James Blaine in 1884 by just 23,000 votes, Republicans claimed Richard Nixon was robbed. As Politico reported in a 2016 article, “In Illinois, (John F. Kennedy) won by just 8,800 votes, largely due to margins in Chicago, where Mayor Richard Daley – a Kennedy stalwart – tightly controlled the Cook County organization. In Texas, home of his running mate, Lyndon Johnson, the Kennedy-Johnson ticket won by a margin of 46,000. Had Nixon carried both states, he would have won the Electoral College, 270 to 252.”

In the 2008 Minnesota Senate race between Republican incumbent Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken, Coleman won the election by the narrowest of margins. According to CNN, “The initial count from the November 4 election put Coleman, a first-term senator, 215 votes ahead of Franken.” The slim margin triggered an automatic recount. The canvassing board finally determined that Franken “won by 225 votes.”

After Franken was sworn in, a conservative group called Minnesota Majority began investigating claims of voter fraud. The group found 1,099 felons, all of them ineligible, had voted. As John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky note in their book “Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk,” most felons favor Democrats when they can vote.

Which brings us back to Florida. With vote margins in the races for governor and Senate so tight, Republicans are worried that history will repeat itself.

Brenda Snipes, the supervisor of Elections in Broward County, has held her job for 15 years. Her history, to put it charitably, has been checkered. Last May, a judge ruled that Snipes violated federal and state election laws when she destroyed ballots in the 2016 congressional race in which Tim Canova lost a primary contest to incumbent Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

In August, a judge ordered Snipes to stop opening mail-in ballots in secret. Snipes has engaged in other behavior that has raised concerns about her competence and non-partisanship, including again in 2016 when she “accidentally” posted election results 30 minutes before polls closed.

The recount process will be anything but pleasant. Snipes and others who are responsible for this dysfunctional, incompetent and possibly criminal behavior should be replaced, the sooner the better for Florida and for the country.

Readers may email Cal Thomas at

Al KorelinTim Howe

  1. On November 14, 2018 at 1:41 pm,
    CFS says:

    Illegal action under title 5 of USC, associated with voting manipulation carries typically carries penalties of 2.5 year in jail + $10K per infraction.
    Charged under conspiracy she could get life.

    • On November 14, 2018 at 3:43 pm,
      Al korelin says:

      Yeh,but it will never happen

      • On November 14, 2018 at 7:13 pm,
        CFS says:

        Big Al, have faith, Brenda Snipes is small fry.

        I believe within the next three years we will see great changes to reform corruption in the voting system.
        Trump tried starting in 2017, by setting up an election commission, to look into vote fraud, but has been thwarted at every turn by blue states….actually most states.
        Initially 43 out 50 states refused to hand over election rolls.
        If the same name appeared with the same birth date in different states, there is clearly potential for double voting.
        If the birth date indicates the age of the voter was considerably over 100, there is a high probability that name is being used for cast a fraudulent vote.
        e.g. in Broward County I believe there are several voters listed with pre-civil war birth dates.

        Moving control of the elections to Homeland Security, part of DHHS, as happened recently will facilitate scrutiny.

        Various Executive Orders and Proclamations, combined with intelligence information will put teeth into investigative actions, but it will not be quick.
        Most of the tools are now in place to proceed.
        In the interim, it may also be that there will be a clamor for voter IDs in Congress.

  2. On November 14, 2018 at 1:46 pm,
    CFS says:

    Meanwhile in California….
    Waters is in the hot seat over the multiple ways she chose to raise money and the money she has paid to her daughter. Waters raises money by charging other California Democrats big bucks to be listed on the sample ballot of candidates she supports that she sends out with her mail own pieces. Over the past 14 years, Water’s campaign committee, Citizens for Waters, has allegedly paid over $750,000 to Waters’ daughter, Karen Waters and her daughter’s PR firm, Progressive Connections.
    Here is more via Fox News:
    “The first complaint alleges Waters broke federal campaign finance law, and also names the California Democratic State Central Committee and Sen. Kamala Harris, a likely 2020 Democratic presidential contender.
    The conservative National Legal and Policy Center is still drafting a second broader complaint focusing on the sources of money going to the Waters campaign and flowing to her daughter—and the accuracy of campaign finance reports, said Tom Anderson, director of the group’s government integrity project.
    Rep. Waters, first elected in 1990, has been in the headlines lately for her calls to impeach President Trump and statements urging public confrontations with his Cabinet officials.
    Well before her current political fame, though, she mastered this somewhat-rare form of fundraising in slate mailers. California’s top politicians as well as local office-seekers have given far in excess of legal contribution limits to her campaign to be on her slate of endorsed candidates. The campaign then pays Karen Waters and other firms to produce, print and mail the sample ballots. The FEC approved the practice by Waters in 2004.
    “Maxine Waters found an old provision and turned it into a cottage industry,” Anderson told Fox News.
    However, the FEC complaint filed on July 25 states that the California Democratic party paid $35,000 to the Waters campaign in 2016 to include the endorsement of Harris’ Senate candidacy on the mailer. The FEC complaint, which cited an October campaign finance report, contends a third party is not legally allowed to pay for the mailer of a candidate without a reimbursement under the 2004 FEC advisory opinion.
    A separate report shows that the Harris campaign paid $30,000 to the Waters campaign earlier in 2016 for a primary slate mailer, but no subsequent payments.
    “The Democratic State Central Committee of California’s $35,000 contribution to Citizens for Waters violated campaign finance limits,” the complaint states.

    • On November 14, 2018 at 3:48 pm,
      Al korelin says:

      You watch,CFS, Waters will never be punished and neither will be any of her brothers and sisters. We now have a significant of reverse discrimination which is sad but true.

      • On November 15, 2018 at 6:04 am,
        OOTB Jerry says:

        I agree with OWL……….Waters will never be punished……

  3. On November 14, 2018 at 1:55 pm,
    CFS says:

    Interestingly in California there was an announcement that electricity would be cut at 4:00 a.m. on the morning of the start of the Camp wild fire, made to residents of the area by Pacific Electricity and Gas, the utility in that area, because of proected high winds.

    At approximately 6:00 a.m. one resident called in to fire (tape broadcast on KFSFO), stating there was a fire, AND asking why electricity had not been turned off as she had been informed by flyers.

    48 dead so far. Cadaver dogs now being used to search fire wreckage of over 1000 homes.

    • On November 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm,
      Al korelin says:

      Only one of the reasons we do not live in your fair state.

  4. On November 14, 2018 at 2:19 pm,
    AJ says:

    President Trump cites conspiracy theory to demand Florida stop recount with Republicans ahead

  5. On November 14, 2018 at 2:33 pm,
    irishtony says:

    Talking of votes..
    May & her cabinet have just told the British exit voters , that their vote is not worth a “W++K”, we will do what we want , not what you want.
    In other words….NO BREXIT.

  6. On November 14, 2018 at 4:55 pm,
    Al B Korelin says:

    That is amazing Mr. Irish. “We will do what we want” If a vote is required, and I don’t know if it is or not, that would seem to be against the law.

  7. On November 14, 2018 at 4:57 pm,
    Al B Korelin says:

    How did this happen to get on c-span? Seems like more of an advertisement.