Since Wednesday afternoon we have learned that the votes were not from three to seven precincts in the City, but rather included unreported votes from the northwest precincts of St. Louis County encompassed by Missouri’s Third Congressional district. In light of this new information, the implausibility factor evaporates along with my concerns about voter fraud in that late surge. And, although I have concerns about other incidents and improper conduct on election day, I no longer believe these concerns are sufficient to continue our review of what has occurred or delay agreeing that this election is over.Of course, Ed Martin knew this since last week, so as FiredUp notes he obviously waited until Monday to get his name in the news a few more days.
However, Martin is still spreading conspiracy theories about election day. Here's what he says about the security firm, Special Services, hired by election officials:
As the facts have become public about misconduct by the chair of the St. Louis City Board of Elections, an accounting of why a private security firm was hired needs to be forthcoming. The city of St. Louis has many things it needs to spend its resources on. If the election board needed additional security why was it not procured from the police department. There may be a good explanation for this. I, and many voters in the city, would like to hear it.But, as noted by KWMU, the firm's roll consisted in nothing more than two security guards standing outside the Board of Elections:
But Republican election commissioner Carol Wilson said only two security guards worked at the Board of Elections ...headquarters, where they guarded the front door.Martin also complains about the verification systems being down,and of course tries to tie this in to his inevitable smear campaign against Robin Carnahan (he's rumored to be considering a run against her in 2012 for Secretary of State):
As to the central computer system that failed on election day making it very difficult to validate a voters eligibility to vote, I do think it is important that Secretary of State Robin Carnahan explain this failure. In particular, Carnahan owes an explanation to the voters who were inconvenienced – some to the point of not being able to vote – by a registration database system that is tasked just a few times a year and was wracked with issues on election day. A critical system such as this at a critical time ought to be managed and maintained in such a way that confidence in free and fair elections is not compromised. A great deal of goodwill has been built in the last few years regarding elections, and this single blunder has unraveled at least some of that.But this was debunked in the RFT:
In Martin's press release today, he claims that there were computer glitches on election day. This is true, but not in a way that would've seriously affected the outcome, according to Laura Egerdal, spokeswoman for the secretary of state.Finally, Martin pretends he had nothing to do with the tea party chants of "Voter Fraud:"
"For almost all eligible voters, there wasn't an issue," Egerdal says. The issue arose when a tiny number of voters showed up and discovered their names were not in the poll books (for whatever reason).
At that point, local election officials trying to verify those voters' registration online through the state website could not, due to heavy traffic.
However, Egerdal points out, this did not affect the 3rd congressional district. Authorities in Jefferson County and St. Louis County used palm pilots to verify such voters, and St. Louis City quickly transitioned to verifying via databases that had previously been downloaded onto laptops.
While it would be irresponsible to make accusations that exceed the evidence, there was at the time ample reason to be concerned.However, as I demonstrated quite clearly, the people who stood behind Martin at his press conference "asking questions" were the exact same people who were screaming "VOTER FRAUD!" outside the board of elections thirty minutes earlier.
In other words, Ed Martin is still running a smear campaign against a Carnahan, only this time he's shifted from Russ to Robin.