David Harmer: “We received numerous reports of malfunctioning voting machines.” But he doesn’t have a single example. And election officials have received no complaints.
This is Harmer’s third congressional election. He lost in Utah in the 1990s and again last year to Democrat John Garamendi in neighboring Congressional District CA-10.
Now he’s losing to incumbent Jerry McNerney (D) in California’s 11th Congressional District.
As a political junkie, ex-Mormon and fan of the only member of Congress with a Ph.D. in Mathematics, I’ve been following this race pretty closely. My latest tally shows a +568 lead for McNerney (based on county tallies as of this posting: Contra Costa, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Alameda).
All that’s left now in CA-11 is to get the remaining votes counted, but it seems that David Harmer is still in campaign mode and trying to sow doubts and cast aspersions on both the vote counting and the counters:
If David had one shred of evidence, that would be one thing. But he doesn’t. He’s just crying wolf and insulting all the civic-minded, honest folks who do the real work of processing and monitoring our ballots, folks like this blogger who, unlike Harmer, actually live in District 11:
What I did on election night: I went to my county registrar’s office and watched ballots being counted. It was eye opening and really satisfying. Without sounding clich, I was watching democracy in action. There were more than a handful of observers there, including journalists, volunteers and employees of various campaigns, a candidate and his friends, and a few concerned citizens. The amount of logistics and planning involved is breathtaking.
Compare the above sentiments and on-the-ground observations to David Harmer’s untethered scaremongering spin as reported by ABC7:
… Harmer sent an e-mail to supporters saying, “As of 4:09 a.m. pacific time, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting, we led by 23 votes then. In the preliminary final count, the incumbent suddenly jumped ahead. If that sounds suspicious, it is. We have reason for serious concern about the integrity of the count and the security of the ballots in some areas.”
“We received numerous reports of malfunctioning voting machines, for example, and we’ve asked people to forward those to the appropriate authorities,” Harmer said.
But beyond that, Harmer doesn’t have an example.
[Contra Costa County Clerk Steve] Weir says he hasn’t heard of a single complaint that would justify Harmer’s concern for the integrity of the vote count.
If Harmer was attempting to raise fears, it wouldn’t be the first time that tactic has been used to motivate supporters. The e-mail went out as a pitch for campaign contributions.
It’s suspicious that you lost a sliver-thin lead of 23 votes, David? Seriously? Nearly 300,000 ballots were cast in this same 11th district contest in 2008. But apparently somebody must be cheating in 2010 when you go from being up by 23 votes to down by a few hundred?
Get a grip, man.
And kudos to Michael Cabanatuan over at the San Francisco Chronicle for his original reporting on Harmer’s alarmist antics, excerpted below:
Election day may be past, but the race is not over in the sprawling 11th Congressional District, where Rep. Jerry McNerney, the two-term Democratic congressman targeted by Republicans, holds a tiny lead over conservative attorney David Harmer.
Early Wednesday morning, when Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Joaquin counties completed their vote counts, McNerney held a 121-vote lead over Harmer. But tens of thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots probably remain to be counted, and that’s not likely to occur before the end of the week at the earliest.
But that didn’t stop Harmer from issuing an e-mail bulletin to supporters implying irregularities in the vote counting …
Your FUD just went THUD, David. Better luck next time.