liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Ohio and 2004 election

The Institute for Public Accuracy has a clear and timely webpage entitled, "Was the Ohio Election Honest and Fair?" It is dated November 3, 2004, and provides a comprehensive summary of the problem.

We'll find out soon whether or not there will be a solution to the problem, but since denial is such a contagious disorder among voting age adults in this society, it seems unlikely there will be any recognition of the problem, let alone a solution.

There is a nice list on DU about compendiums that I ran across today. The book on this thing is writing itself!

Up from the underworld this Daily Kos diary by Major Tom encourages us to trust our best judgment and not to be shy about it. We have a right, an obligation to make a stink about this election. There's historical precedent for such behavior under the circumstances, and it will likely serve the interests of the public very well.

More specifically, Tom says:

"Res Ipsa Loquitor," What It Means:

There is something else that I should discuss at this point. There is an old legal doctrine on the books known as "Res Ipsa Loquitor." It is a Latin phrase which basically means, "Let the object speak for itself."

Where's the Burden of Proof?

How is Res Ipsa Loquitor applicable here? Well, in theory, when something goes awry concerning an object or instrumentality which is in the exclusive control of a person or persons, be it equipment or the like, and that failure does not normally occur without fault or without negligence, then the burden to prove that the object or the machine did not malfunction in a certain way then legally shifts to the owner or exclusive possessor of that very object or machine.

Respectfully, under the principles of this specific, time-tested legal doctrine, I would contend that Diebold, et al., should be required to prove how any of its vote machines malfunctioned in any given instance, or put another way, they should have the burden of proof to demonstrate that all of its machines functioned properly, just as they were intended to function. You know, when you really think about the fact that our democracy itself happens to be at stake, that isn't asking a whole lot.

I hadn't heard anything about Cleveland v. Hancock in fifteen to twenty years. Maybe we're coming around to the end of one of those cycles in history where we have a chance to get things right if we're willing to do the work.


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