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(Photo of manipulated "Vote" sign via Dean Terry.)

In case you were wondering whether there is any line that the Republican political machine might be unwilling to cross in order to manipulate things to get their message out and improperly influence the vote?  The answer is no:

Though the original report said that among experts “there is widespread but not unanimous agreement that there is little polling place fraud,” the final version of the report released to the public concluded in its executive summary that “there is a great deal of debate on the pervasiveness of fraud.”…

A number of election law experts, based on their own research, have concluded that the accusations regarding widespread fraud are unjustified. And in this case, one of the two experts hired to do the report was Job Serebrov, a Republican elections lawyers from Arkansas, who defended his research in an e-mail message obtained by The Times that was sent last October to Margaret Sims, a commission staff member.

“Tova and I worked hard to produce a correct, accurate and truthful report,” Mr. Serebrov wrote, referring to Tova Wang, a voting expert with liberal leanings from the Century Foundation and co-author of the report. “I could care less that the results are not what the more conservative members of my party wanted.”

He added: “Neither one of us was willing to conform results for political expediency.”…

“Methodology concerns aside, we commissioned the reports with taxpayer funds, and I argued that they should be released,” he said, referring to the delay in the release of the voter ID report. “My view was that the public and the academics could determine whether it is rigorous and if it wasn’t then the egg was on our face for having commissioned it in the first place.”

In recent months, the commission has been criticized for failing to provide proper oversight of the technology laboratories that test electronic voting machines and software. The commission is also responsible for conducting research and advising policy makers on the implementation of the Help America Vote Act, the federal overhaul of election procedure prompted by the 2000 Florida debacle.  (emphasis mine)

There is a reason that real oversight is required constantly in government, and it is to prevent just this sort of manipulation of mathematics, statistics and science for political ends. That this issue was one of the main thrusts of argument for the USAtty firings? I'm sure that's just a coincidence, just like that prosecution in Wisconsin was based on very, very thin evidence was just a tiny little error in judgment that wasn't politically motivated at all.  Nope.  No siree.  No politics here, moving right along. 

Is it me, or are the GOP CYA excuses getting harder and harder to buy these days?  Here's to a whole lotta sunshine.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com