NBC Political Director Chuck Todd ridiculed election machine critics at a major conference of vote-counters last weekend — thereby underscoring how Washington works.
Todd told the National Association of Secretaries of State that their critics must be paranoid to fear that anyone would deliberately alter results. Allegations against Karl Rove, below, are among the most common.
“That’s just stretching the bounds of reality,” NBC’s chief White House correspondent said in response to my question asking him to amplify his Tweet last fall on vote-tampering claims. “That’s feeding the conspiracy.” Todd had Tweeted: “The voting machine conspiracies belong in same category as the Trump birther garbage.”
Todd won a round of applause for his response, the only such interruption during his enlightening and entertaining Jan. 26 address and Q&A. Audience members were mainly state secretaries of state at their mid-winter conference, plus sales reps for voting machine and software companies.
The rest of this column examines why those involved are so reluctant to discuss election machine fraud publicly except to deny its existence. Hint: Silence is golden.
Suspicious Elections Prompted Study
The secretaries of state, the voting machine companies, and a traditional media benefitting heavily from campaign ads do not want voters thinking about election machine software. But Karl Rove, a longtime consultant to the Bush family, long ago discovered the possibilities. Let’s retrace Bush-Rove footsteps. Three elections beginning in 2000 helped create an “election integrity” movement in reaction. Opponents of software fraud advocate paper ballots and similar protections for the public.
First was the 2000 presidential race. Greg Palast’s reporting for the BBC and The Guardian documented how the Florida administration of Gov. Jeb Bush used the ChoicePoint subsidiary Database Technologies Online (DBT) secretly to remove some 91,000 eligible voters, mostly Democrats and minorities, from Florida’s rolls just before voting began. This helped the Bush-Cheney ticket to eke out a victory by a little over 200 votes in the recount.