At the close of Tuesday evening's election tally, Russ Carnahan was leading his three conservative opponents with almost 49% of the vote (99,016). Ed split the 51% of the voters that sought to return sanity to DC with the Constitution Party's Nick Ivanovich and Libertarian Steven Hedrick. Ed was a close second to Russ having garnered the support of nearly 47% of voters. Still, he trailed Russ by almost 4,500 votes.
That's a lot of votes to make up and Ed acknowledged that Friday morning on Jamie Allman's radio show on 97.1. You can listen to Ed's remarks from the third hour of Jamie's show. Ed comes on at about 3:45 and speaks for about five minutes:
(If the MP3 player above doesn't work, try this direct link.)
Ed's in a difficult position. Obviously, he doesn't want to be the next Al Gore, but as someone who worked to end voter fraud in St. Louis city, Ed feels an obligation to ensure a clean election. He's made three claims about Tuesday's election, but before we get into those claims, it is important to note that Russ Carnahan's sister, Robin Carnahan, is Missouri's Secretary of State. As such, she's ultimately responsible for election oversight and obviously has a conflict of interest in this instance.
Ed's first claim is that the seven-hour outage of the Secretary of State's voter verification system may have allowed ineligible voters to cast ballots. This allegation is supported by statements Jen Ennenbach of the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition made to the Daily Caller:
“We are also calling for an investigation into the Secretary of State’s office because we had an election judge come into the St. Louis Tea Party headquarters just to vent his frustration and let us know what was going on,” Ennenbach told TheDC.And there's no dispute about the verification system being down. Missouri.WatchDog.org reported:
Ennenbach said the election judge, who she wouldn’t name, came to her after having witnessed busloads of mentally handicapped service workers, who are ineligible to vote per their medical condition, cast ballots during the timeframe when the verification system was down.
“The judges could not strike the vote because the verification system was down,” she said.
A piece of computer hardware failed on Election Day, preventing poll workers across Missouri from being able to access the central electronic database designed to verify voter registration information for part of the day.That's an odd thing to have happen.
One of the load balancers — a piece of computer hardware that manages Internet traffic by determining how requests are sent to servers — is to blame for the problems with the system, said Laura Egerdal, spokesperson for the Missouri Secretary of State.
Ed's second claim is that it was inappropriate for recently appointed St. Louis City Board of Elections Democratic Chairwoman, Eileen McCann, to hire a security company with close ties to Congressman Carnahan. The only way that I see this as a problem is if they security company was hired to transport ballots. In the audio from Jamie Allman's show above, Ed mentions some politics within the Board of Elections that may be relevant.
Ed's third claim is that a late at night dump from seven city precincts delivered an astounding number of votes for Russ Carnahan; however, Ed has since backed off of this claim. Daily Caller article mentioned earlier also has this:
On Wednesday, Martin’s team originally said a last-minute surge of Democratic votes from seven precincts looked suspicious, especially after he was leading most of the night. Now, though, after further investigation, his team discovered that the Democratic surge was from more than just the seven precincts – and he said that surge looks reasonable.With that acknowledgement, it's hard for me to see how Ed can claim victory. Nonetheless, voters who have been disenfranchised or whose votes have been diminished by fraudulently cast ballots need someone to stand up for them. That person has to be Ed because the voters lack standing in court.
In addition to those three, other claims have emerged including Ennenbach's claim above that a St. Louis election judge witnessed fraud. On Wednesday, 24thState.com revealed some details about ineligible voters casting ballots in Missouri:
That said, we did identify 31 cases of registered voters who were possibly ineligible. And we know 8 that voted, at least one of which was not eligible to vote and should be taken from the rolls. That was based on just two locations. Because we had no villain, we held off reporting the information until after the election, as our plan was to work with cooperative election authorities rather than making a scandal out of what was really a systemic problem.Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this is the indifference shown by Missouri's Secretary of State. As 24thState reported this past Thursday:
Robin Carnahan has stated in federal court that it is not her responsibility to clean the voter rolls, despite the violence done to honest elections during the time Missouri ACORN was active. Well, if Robin won't do it, then the people will do what government can't or won't do.Conservatives obviously see this as a dereliction of duty on Robin Carnahan's part. I guess Robin could make the argument that she's saving tax payers money by outsourcing her job. It turns out that a MissouriWatchdog.org report has linked the deceased in Kansas and Missouri to active voter lists; however, Robin still hasn't scrubbed the voter roles.
That's not surprising when you consider Mindy Mazur, Robin Carnahan's campaign manager and former chief of staff. Between those two stints working for Robin Carnahan, Mazur worked for the progressive America Votes where she advocated for, among other things: election day registration, allowing 16 or 17 year olds to pre-register, removing proof of citizenship requirements, removing registration barriers for felons, etc. According to Wikipedia, America Votes has offices in twelve states and the District of Columbia, including Missouri. If you're conspiratorial, you wont be surprised to learn that Robin Carnahan was backed by George Soros's Secretary of State Project in her 2008 campaign. Maybe George was looking for some early dividends on this investment in the form of a Russ Carnahan win.
Perhaps Ed Martin's complaints about voter fraud will amount to nothing. That would be the best outcome. Due to our legal structure he's the only person with standing to bring these complaints and hopefully force greater scrutiny. To those that would nay-say his challenge, I would respectfully point out that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.