Saturday, December 16, 2017

Illegal Ballot Destruction In The Midst Of A Law Suit Means Wasserman Schultz Stole The FL-23 Primary Election Afterall

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Donna Edwards became a member of Congress-- one of the best members of Congress-- in 2008. But, truth be told, her constituents elected her in 2006... only to see the victory snatched out of her hands on election night with last minute stuffed ballot boxes from corrupt conservative Al Wynn and his Machine. Donna got to work on the 2008 campaign the next day and after Donna eviscerated him in the primary-- 59% to 37%-- he resigned to become a corporate lobbyist.

Last year Tim Canova ran a similar grassroots progressive race against the female counterpart to Wynn-- Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the same crook who, as DNC chair, was fired for fixing the primaries for Hillary Clinton. She fixed the election for Hillary; did she fix her own election against Canova? He always thought so but the media and DC establishment went bonkers when he mentioned it and nearly drove this good man out of politics with all their vitriol and venom. Polling was showing him ahead but on primary day Wasserman Schultz beat him 28,809 to 21,907 in a very low turnout election.

Friday, Marc Caputo broke the a story at Politico about how Brenda Snipes a crooked Wasserman Schultz crony and ally and the Broward County elections chief broke the law by destroying ballots cast in the tight primary election between Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova after Canova sued to get access to the ballots. Canova, according to Caputo "wanted to inspect the optical-scan ballots cast in his Aug. 30 primary race against Wasserman Schultz because he had concerns about the integrity of the elections office."
Under longstanding federal law, ballots cast in a congressional race aren’t supposed to be destroyed until 22 months after the election. And under state law, a public record sought in a court case is not supposed to be destroyed without a judge’s order.

Snipes’ office, however, destroyed the paper ballots in question in October-- in the middle of Canova’s lawsuit-- but says it’s lawful because the office made high-quality electronic copies. Canova’s legal team found out after the fact last month.

“The documents were not destroyed because they were maintained in an electronic format,” Snipes’ attorney, Burnadette Norris-Weeks, told Politico. “They have the documents... They did a two-day inspection of the ballots.”

But Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, and his attorney say they wanted originals to make sure they weren’t tampered with. Digital copies can be altered, they said.

Seven election-law lawyers interviewed by Politico do not share Snipes' attorney's interpretation of the statute. Nor does the Department of Justice’s voting division, which is in charge of enforcing the federal law.

“If it’s a federal election, i.e., there is at least one federal candidate on the ballot, the custodian must keep the ballots for 22 months,” Brett Kappel, a Washington lawyer with Akerman LLP, said in an email to Politico. “State law may require a shorter time for retention, but federal law would pre-empt any such state law with regard to ballots cast for federal candidates.”

Kappel said evidence in an active court case should never be unilaterally destroyed. He said actual paper ballots are superior to imaged copies, and he pointed to the legal wrangling over Florida’s now-discarded punch-card ballots that were banned after the disputed 2000 presidential elections in Florida.

...Hans von Spakovsky, an elections expert with the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the ballots must be preserved in paper form for 22 months. He said there’s a simple reason that original ballots are superior to an electronic image: “These electronic systems can be hacked.”

According to Snipes’ office, however, the ballot copies are of high quality for a review. Her attorney also dismissed Canova as a sore loser who’s trying to create a name for himself as he challenges Wasserman Schultz a second time.

“Mr. Canova lost this election,” she said. “He’s been all over Washington and has been trying to do a documentary because he’s upset he lost the election.”

In one hearing, Norris-Weeks insisted that she “certainly could get [a sworn statement] from Debbie Wasserman Schultz” to say that “she knows that they're preparing a documentary, and they're running all around talking to different people trying to do that.”

But Canova said the accusation was false.

“I’m not working on a documentary,” he said. “It is unfortunate that counsel for the Supervisor of Elections has to make things up to somehow justify the office’s illegal actions.”

Wasserman Schultz’s office declined to comment, but she has said she looks forward to again facing Canova, whom she beat by 13.6 percentage points last year.

Canova didn’t want to comment about his specific motivations for the suit, but acknowledged he has concerns about the race against Wasserman Schultz. Canova’s interest in the ballots was piqued by Lulu Friesdat, a documentary filmmaker and activist with a group called the Election Integrity network, which filed the first records request to inspect or copy the ballots in March.

A month later, Snipes’ office responded to the records request by saying it would cost $71,868.87 to sort and produce the ballots for inspection. Canova soon got involved with his attorney, Leonard Collins, and eventually they negotiated a price reduction that brought the cost down to about $3,000. But relations soured, and Canova sued in June.

Snipes’ office, meanwhile, is involved in two other lawsuits and has been plagued by errors and controversies over public records and paperwork.
Goal ThermometerOne of the reasons Donald Trump is in the White House is because the Democratic Party was saddled with a corrupt party head, Wasserman Schultz, whose entire career, going back to her days in the Florida state legislature, have been marked with blatant and persistent corruption. She has long been the poster child of everything plaguing the Democratic Party. She has smeared and slimed Canova non-stop from the moment he dared to challenge here reelection. And now its getting closer and closer to the day when she will be, not just fired as the worst DNC chair in history but fired from Congress itself. Please consider helping Canova's campaign by clicking on the Blue America thermometer on the right. Meanwhile, this was the statement he issued after Caputo's explosive report yesterday:
In ordering the destruction of ballots, the Supervisor not only violated federal law requiring ballots be maintained for 22 months. Snipes also certified that the ballots were not subject to a pending lawsuit, which she knew was a complete falsehood given that Snipes had been personally served as the defendant in our lawsuit nearly three months earlier and even though we had already made public records requests and pre-trial discovery demands to inspect the ballots.

The ballot destruction raises serious questions:  Why engage in this blatant lawbreaking? To cover up something worse? What has the Supervisor of Elections been hiding? We demand state and federal investigations into the ballot destruction and prosecution of illegal wrongdoing.

Destruction of ballots prevents any reliable audit of the election results. We are left dependent on scanned ballot images created and sorted by scanning software that requires inspection by software experts. But the scanning software is considered proprietary software, owned and controlled by the private vendors, and often protected from independent inspection and analysis.

This destruction of ballots undermines people's faith and confidence in the integrity of our elections and this election in particular. To restore confidence, Congress must investigate and hold public hearings on the circumstances of my primary, including inspection and analysis of the scanned ballot images and the scanning software. Congress should also investigate the relationships between the vendors that control the electronic voting machines and software, their officers and directors, the Broward Supervisor of Elections office, Democratic party officials, and candidates for public office.
The Democratic Party will never be a real alternative to the Republican Party nor a welcoming home for good government reformers, with people like Wasserman Schultz exercising leadership roles in it. This person isn't even the lesser of two evils, which is all the Democrats can claim half the time anyway. She is what makes contemporary politics disgusting and she is the embodiment of what keeps decent people from wanting to get involved with politics.


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5 Comments:

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The law means nothing to corporations. All they need do is pick up the phone and make four phone calls to the party leaders in Congress. Problem solved, and four "campaign contribution" checks get sent out within the week.

 
At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Wow, Howie. You really say it. DWS is just as bad as the criminal Republicans who are trying to rob the American people blind.

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger Alan Parker said...

Hmmm, Who Put Debbie WaWa Shitz As The Head Of DNC?! Yeah Corrupt Rahm Emmanaul's Buddy Wall Street Crony, One Barack Obama

 
At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sentence is absolute truth on its own. Qualifying it only detracts from its absolute truth:

"The Democratic Party will never be a real alternative to the Republican Party nor a welcoming home for good government reformers.."

I wonder if your BA slate reads this stuff? IF so, why are they democraps?

 
At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This (random specific act) undermines people's faith and confidence in the integrity of our elections and this election in particular."

Anyone who has confidence in the integrity of ANY of our elections is an idiot.

It is plainly obvious that the reason the 2009 congress refused to act to make elections fair and verifiable (after being ratfucked in a myriad of ways in 2000-2008 in many states) is because they were reserving the right to rig their own elections whenever it amused them to do so. Well, that plus the money didn't want fair and verifiable elections.

Either way. They refused to fix it just like they refused to fix finance, health care, torture, war, prisons, schools, debt, taxes and everything else.

 

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