March 16, 2006
Seeing Double

Deanron says he "are serious about cleaning the voter rolls and protecting the integrity of the elections process". No, really. October 12, 2005:

"Bottom line is that it is a felony to vote twice and we have safeguards like signature verification in place to keep people from voting twice. If someone has evidence that a voter has voted twice, we would like to have that information to forward to the Prosecuting Attorney.
If that's what Deanron wants, that's what Deanron will get. Here is a list of 154 people who appear to have been credited with voting twice in King County in November 2004. Yes, 154. I'm shocked that the number is so high. It seems a little, well, late to be bringing this up now that Mrs. Gregoire has been prancing around the Capitol for an entire legislative biennium. But it's only now with the combination of the partial transaction log I received in December and the most recent statewide voter database that I have enough information to pull this all together. This now brings the number of known ineligible votes that Deanron unlawfully counted in 2004 to nearly 700, or more than 5 times the margin of Mrs. Gregoire's (don't laugh) "victory". Appallingly, none of these 700 bogus votes tabulated because of election office "mistakes" were mentioned at the contest trial. Deanron had to have known about many if not all of these irregularities, but chose not to share any of this information with the litigants. And the various blue-ribbon task forces that were obsessed with Deanron's management "culture" were all too lazy and/or partisan to look at his actual workproduct. So much for transparency and voter confidence.

Asst. Secretary of State Steve Excell has also encouraged the users of the statewide database to report suspected cases of double voting. So here it is, the names of the 154 individuals who appear to be credited with voting twice in 2004. And, by the way, 56 of them were still registered twice as recently as two weeks ago.

Not all 154 will turn out to be double voters. A few might turn out to be amazing coincidences of individuals with identical names and birthdates. Some of them will have been credited in error. Some may have had a ballot stolen and voted by another person. One was credited twice even though he mailed in one of his ballots, unused, along with this note asking that only his other, separately mailed and completed, ballot be counted. (His second registration wasn't cancelled until the next October after they mailed him two ballots for the November 2005 election). But out of 154 people credited twice, I suspect that a substantial number will turn out to have voted twice. Indeed, I found a number of these ballots even when I had a much smaller list of ballots to look for. These 3 pairs of double votes are on the list (Salaam, Hong, Benazouz/Boucenna)

I'm skeptical that anybody in authority will actually do anything about these 154 doubly credited voters. The Secretary of State, the King County Prosecutor and especially Deanron are all highly motivated to sweep under the rug the 2004 debacle in which they all had a hand. Indeed, I already reported some of these suspected double voters nearly a year ago. On April 28, 2005 I sent the King County Prosecutor this email with a list of 28 pairs of individuals with identical names and addresses both voting absentee. I cc'ed a member of Deanron's staff. I didn't have birthdates back then, and as I acknowledged at the time the list probably contained a few false positives (e.g. parent/child pairs). But 13 of the pairs of suspected doubles on the list turned out to have mattching birthdates and are almost certainly the same person. One of these was Patricia Levesque, who continued to return two ballots in both the Primary and General elections of 2005. 5 of the final 13 are still registered twice (Click on the "Still Duplicate" links in this PDF file to see for yourself). But hope springs eternal, Norm Maleng and Deanron keep protesting that they'll enforce election laws, so maybe someday they really will.

The number of double votes is important not only because it could fairly discredit the result of the bungled 2004 election. It is also important because it highlights the importance of keeping clean voter rolls. And it is especially important as a window into Deanron's integrity, competence and commitment to honest and transparent elections. The facts don't look good for Deanron.

It appears Deanron took some exceptional measures to relax integrity checking during 2004. In order to save time in processing the flood of Presidential year registrations, any time a voter submitted a registration form, even intending only to update an existing registration, a brand new registration was created. Presumably nobody knew how close the ensuing election would be. But Deanron's staff knew this was a bad idea and it was implemented over their objections.

This boneheaded policy appears to have created 10,000 extra duplicate registrations, which predictably caused thousands of voters to receive extra absentee ballots -- some of which turned into redundant votes. If you look at the voter id columns in the spreadsheet, I've highlighted in pink the ones where at least one of the registrations was created in 2004. More than 3/4 of the double voters were using at least one 2004 registration.

Deanron had to have known the consequences of the redundant registrations soon after the election was certified. On January 14th, barely a week after the contest lawsuit was filed, Deanron's people ran a duplicate registration report. (It was released in response to a GOP records request last July). It's 824 pages resembling this one. They had to suspect that some of the duplicates had doubly voted in November. Indeed, they started deleting the duplicate registrations in mid January. If you look at the spreadsheet list of the 154 double voters, the righmost "DELETED" column indicates when the redundant registration was deleted. It seems implausible to me that the elections staff could research the duplicate registrations thouroughly enough to be satisfied that the registration they were about to delete was redundant, without noticing that both registrations in the pair had just voted.

Yes, it's good that Deanron at least started to clean up the duplicates. But the way they went about it is disturbing. Most of the duplicate registrations were not cancelled, but deleted. Meaning that they were wiped out of the database, instead of put on the "cancelled" list which creates a clean record and is supposed to be retained for two years (and if a registration is cancelled in error, it can be later reinstated). A deleted record is gone. The only way I know about the deleted records is by discovering the trace of their removal in the partial transaction log. Even more disturbing is that Deanron kept quiet about the large number of duplicates, let alone the double votes. If he had a shred of integrity he would have volunteered this information to the public which was seeking to understand what really happened in the election. But he didn't offer this information to the public or the litigants in the contest lawsuit. By covering up his own negligence, he effectively prejudiced the court to procure a partisan outcome.

By October 12th of last year, when the GOP filed its challenges of duplicates, Deanron had already deleted 8,700 redundant registrations. But thousands more remained on the rolls and were still eligible to vote twice in November 2005 (including some of the people on the list that I sent to the PAO back in April) Deanron's pissy reaction to the GOP challenges aside, the challenges did prompt him to properly cancel 900 duplicate registrations after their absentee ballots had been mailed out. At least 1,500 additional duplicates were deleted or cancelled by the end of the year. But thousands more King County voters remain registered twice, even some who have voted twice and were reported to the authorities last year.

UPDATE: The original version of this post reported that 156 possible double voters had been identified. That number was reduced to 154 after I received information that some might have been on the list in error.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at March 16, 2006 03:41 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Stunning! Looks like the smoking gun has been found. When does this turn into evidence turned over to whatever authorities have the gumption to do something with it?

Posted by: katomar on March 16, 2006 04:11 PM
2. Where's the HA crowd who continually post the same text from the Bridges trial as their "proof" that there was absolutely nothing wrong with that election?

Posted by: Palouse on March 16, 2006 04:19 PM
3. Palouse: they're all listening to Goldy on the John Carlson show today. What a joke!

Posted by: katomar on March 16, 2006 04:49 PM
4. What is the breakdown of illegal votes in King County, as you see it Stefan? As far as the reason for the votes being illegal, and the number in each category.

Posted by: Richard Pope on March 16, 2006 04:50 PM
5. To put the final nail in the coffin would only require comparing these names with the campaign contributors to the Democratic Party, one of it's candidates or PAC funds.

Posted by: Larry from Everett on March 16, 2006 04:53 PM
6. To answer Richard Pope's question above --

(and these are all best estimates based on imperfect data)
155 double votes from multiply registered voters
200 "fatal pend" provisional ballots
150 voter cast both an absentee and a provisional, both counted.
120 federal write-in ballots from individuals who did not properly request a ballot in advance of the election
60 provisional ballots from unregistered voters
---
685

These are only the largely unreported invalid votes attributable to election office errors. This does not include the unidentified provisionals that went through the accuvote, the still unexplained discrepancy between votes and voters, or the ballots that should have been counted, but were not.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on March 16, 2006 04:57 PM
7. Does the "deleted" column indicate the date on which some sort of "corrective" action was taken in the data base?

If so, it might be interesting to know why 20 were deleted in Jan.-March 2005, and the others were deleted after the judge ruled in the election contest.

I recall Deanron decided to stop trying to reconcile his records and explain all those voterless ballots. Was that decision made in late February? Only one appears as having been deleted in March.

Posted by: Micajah on March 16, 2006 05:13 PM
8. Micajah -- the Deleted column is the date at which the redundant registration of the pair was nullified. If the column is blank, then both registrations are still active (or were as of Feb. 28). If the Type column says "cancelled", the redundant registration was kept on the books, but officially designated as "cancelled". If it says "deleted", the registration record was wiped from the rolls.

The pattern of deletions is interesting. For some reason they cancelled 2,100 in January - March of 2005, only 7 in April, 0 in May and then 4,500 in June, commencing on June 9, after Bridges' ruling. Perhaps they were too busy with depositions, discovery and watching the trial on TVW to get any real work done.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on March 16, 2006 05:26 PM
9. Any chance that the Pulitzer folk will recognize the accomplishments of Stefan?

Posted by: ExUnifliter on March 16, 2006 06:18 PM
10. "To put the final nail in the coffin would only require comparing these names with the campaign contributors to the Democratic Party, one of it's candidates or PAC funds."

Actually, both political parties have lists of voters in their districts who have been polled and surveyed for their party preferences over the years...
The Republican and Democrat party leaders in this state probably have these names on their lists and know exactly which way they vote!

Posted by: Deborah on March 16, 2006 06:54 PM
11. Stefan--
And these are the EASY illegal voters to identify. I say "where there is smoke, there is fire"! This was so easy for all these people to get away with this. What about the illegal votes which surely exist that are covered up more sinisterly?? When a system like this exists with so few internal controls...and you can smoke out this many obvious ones....what about the REAL CHEATIN'!!

Posted by: Mr. Cynical on March 16, 2006 07:04 PM
12. Stefan, do you think some of these newly discovered errors could explain why we had 336 additional ballots counted in the machine recount, and another 59 additional ballots counted in the manual recount?

Some errors were committed on or before election day, and would be hard to attribute to a desire to change the results of a close Governor's race. For example, several hundred provisional ballots went directly into Accuvote on election day, including at least 100 from ineligible voters. The multiple registrations and some 156 resulting multiple voters also resulted from errors made on or before election day.

On the other hand, some errors most likely resulted from a desire to tip a close election. The 60 provisional ballots that were counted (in the 500 4th ave precinct) after it was determined the voter wasn't registered. The 150 provisionals counted after it was determined that the absentee ballot had already been counted. The 200 "fatal pends", where policy was changed to allow the provisional ballot signature to substitute for signing the original voter registration form.

Posted by: Richard Pope on March 16, 2006 07:22 PM
13. 23 Days until the promised delivery of the Transaction logs...The other Birkenstock is about to drop in Seattle.

This double voter issue might give AG McKenna a little something to do until KCE turns over the books.

Posted by: Roscoe on March 16, 2006 08:35 PM
14. why am I still reading about this guy Logan? not fired? did he get his performance eval since the last election? he's a walking embodiment of prickly heat--which is his only acheivement--well, er, maybe some nice pension bene's racked up and a good salary that's well-earned by you taxpayers;

Posted by: Jimmie-howya-doin on March 16, 2006 10:03 PM
15. Yeah, Logan's job at KCREALS is now dead man walking. Sims is going to find that no matter how much he wishes it, no matter how many commissions he commissions, no matter how much Joni Balter and David Goldstein try to help him and his image, that Logan is a huge liability that won't go away. And if McKenna even thinks about an inquiry, you can kiss Logan goodbye faster than he can count a fatal pend.

If nothing else, Stefan should take this post to the talk radio airwaves. And get it over to Malkin. Everyone in Washington and beyond should be asking why Logan was not more forthcoming with the altered registration procedures and the subsequent duplicate registration problems in the 2004 election.

Almost a year ago at a townhall meeting in Kent, I asked Logan why he was not more forthcoming with problems which lead to the 2004 debacle which then created a climate of public distrust. He did not have a good answer then, and as usual with a coverup, it only get worse as time goes on.

Posted by: Jeff B. on March 17, 2006 12:31 AM
16. Funny, actually pathetic, how the liberals scream "count all the votes," then don't give a rip about sloppy counting. I guess they only want to count until they win.

Posted by: Obi-Wan on March 17, 2006 07:17 AM
17. 156 voted twice?

Now show us exactly who they voted for!

::rolls eyes::

***Idiot Judges***

Posted by: Jack Burton on March 17, 2006 10:34 AM
18. I still wonder about the revoting itself. To think that the recounting of confidential votes is actually posted on a web site by the Secretary of State as it is reported, just seems wrong. The last county to cast it's final number (King County in this last case), no matter who it is, has the opportunity to decide the winner. By knowing up front what count is required to change the outcome, the last county can turn in whichever numbers are required to meet their goals.

The recounts in each county should be held confidential within the Secretary of States office until ALL COUNTIES have turned in their numbers. Once this is done, the final results should be posted.

The way it is done now stinks of dirty politics.

Posted by: Ben Dover on March 18, 2006 07:53 PM
19. Someone told me I was on this list so I checked it out. Not that anybody cares but I live with my twin brother. Same last name, same birth date, same address. Imagine that. Nobody from the county has contacted me about this list, nor has the Shark, so I'm guessing it isn't real reliable. It was just typed into some database looking for the same names with same addresses. You're going to get a lot of family members who vote that way. Probably a high percentage of the 156. That's not a huge margin of error for all of King County. Not really good enough research for even a blog entry. So don't get too worked up, its obviously not even interesting enough to merit further investigation. You'll notice none of the names in this entry were contacted or allowed to comment on any accusations. Keep in mind this isn't journalism, with fact checking and editing and oposing views, it's just one person's tilted opinion.

Posted by: david Badders on April 5, 2006 11:47 AM
20. David Badders -- Thanks for letting me know. I apologize and acknowledge my mistake in your case. There is some manual checking involved and I should have caught that the two D. Badders had very different first names and were likely twins. I've removed your names from the spreadsheet.

You and other readers should feel free to report any other mistakes on the list.

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on April 5, 2006 12:24 PM
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