Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Counting the Votes

So as we all know our primary election in Maryland was a mess. There still isn’t a final result for the Democratic primary in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, where Congressman Al Wynn is only ahead by about 2900 votes with thousands of provisional ballots yet to be counted in Montgomery County and massive irregularities in the turning in of the Prince George’s County voting machines (including a truckload of machines and memory cards arriving 21 hours after the polls closed on September 12):

So with voting irregularities in Al Wynn’s base in Prince George’s County he had the follow exchange with Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) during a House committee meeting Tuesday:

BARTON: Down in Texas, we had a Democratic primary about 50 years ago that Lyndon Johnson won by 54 votes. And he got the nickname "Landslide Lyndon." We have Mr. Wynn next. He had a little bit of a tussle last week, but he did win. And so, I want to recognize "Landslide Wynn" for any opening statement that he wishes...
WYNN: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. In fact, they're still counting, but we're quite optimistic. And I did take a couple pages out of Lyndon's book, so if I win, it can be attributed to Texas know-how.
(UNKNOWN): Did you (inaudible)?
BARTON: I hope not. I hope you win fair and square.
WYNN: A win is a win.

For the record Lyndon Johnson stole the 1948 Texas Democratic Primary by 87 votes not the 54 votes Joe Barton thinks, but even the notion that someone would say they took “a couple pages out of Lyndon's book” and “A win is a win” regardless of whether it is “fair and square” should be sending up warning flags to everyone. There will always be politicians like Mr. Wynn who will try to commit fraud to say in power, but the problem is made worst by our current voting machines that make it a lot easier for elections to be stolen. With paper ballots the stealing of elections takes more manpower and leaves a trail of forensic evidence that can be tracked back as was done with Lyndon Johnson’s stealing of the 1948 primary. With computer voting that does not include a voter verified paper trail there is no way to know how or if a vote is recorded as a voter cast it.

Delegate Liz Bobo got a bill to require a voter verified paper trail unanimously passed by the House of Delegates, but it was blocked through legislative maneuvering by state Senators Paula Hollinger and Mike Miller.

As noted below Delegate Bobo will be speaking on this issue at the Democracy for Howard County meeting next Tuesday, September 26th at 7pm at Elkridge Library.

Also if you want more info on Lyndon Johnson’s stealing of the 1948 primary a great history of it can be found in Robert A. Caro’s Means of Ascent, which is one of the best political campaign history ever written. The Howard County Public Libraries have a copy unabridged on booktape (with all of my driving I am a big fan of the libraries great collection of unabridged booktapes).


Anonymous Dave Wissing said...

Amen on the Lyndon Johnson book's by Robert Caro. I actually read the three books back-to-back-back shortly after the third book came out and have been awaiting the fourth book from Caro.

In fact, those chapters about Johnson's race against Coke Stevenson are some of the most amazing chapters I have ever read in a political history book and still rememebr them to this day. He had every detail from that race you could imagine in that book.

It is one of those points in history where you have to wonder how different America would be if Stevenson was declared the winner in that race instead of Johnson...

8:15 AM  
Blogger Evan said...


It is one of those amazing points in history. The play "Copenhagen" which does a superb job looking at another such point in history.

But back to the Caro book, it is the best political campaign history I have ever read and as you might gather that is my type or reading. The only think that comes close is the coverage of the 1948 presidential race in Truman by David McCullough.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I truly think you need to grow up. You seem to like pointing fingers when things don't go your way. Paula Hollinger has defended her position, time and again, for fair and accountable elections. Yet, you continue to blame her for destroying the voter verified voting legislation. Like me, you have never been a legislator -- so I wouldn't be so quick to place blame.

Grow up.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Evan said...


I know exactly how Paula Hollinger used two faced legislative maneuvers to kill the voter verified paper trail bill that passed the House of Delegates unanimously.

As was well decribed in a previous post by someone who follows what goes on in Annapolis very closely emailed be the following rundown of how Hollinger killed Liz Bobo and Shiela Hixson's Voter Verified Paper Trail bill resulting in us still having these Diebold machines where the voter has no idea if their votes are being recorded for the same candidates they marked their ballot for. It really demonstrates what type of character or lack there of Paula Hollinger has:

"Hollinger is technically accurate in saying she passed the bill through her committee this year. She DID pass a bill with the same name and bill number, but that's about all it had in common with the bill passed by the House. She amended it by striking through everything from the middle of pg 2 onwards, replacing all of that carefully crafted language with provisions so weak they would have done very little except put us on a fast track to retrofitting our currect machines with Diebold paper trails. And then she held the bill in her committee until she knew it would be too late for a senate vote.

She was very sneaky in protecting herself by actually passing the bill in a way that she could point to later and say that she had sponsored and passed it, while at the same time making sure that it wouldn't come to a vote. And just in case it did, she first made sure that it would have very little effect in verifying our elections, but would be a windfall for Diebold.

It's her duplicity that I find so incredibly evil. If she had said she disagreed with the bill and given solid reasons, or even if she had said that we would need to compromise on some provisions get it through, I would respect her honesty. But to say one thing while doing the exact opposite shows how completely corrupt she is."

I think that Paula Hollinger is one of the most two faced, despicable people I have ever met. She has personally lied to my face, when we both new she was lying a half dozen times. These are the facts. There is no lies that Hollinger can say that will change them and they are a large reason she lost her race for congress. She needs to stop trying to spread her lies and reflect that her actions lost her a chance to be in congress. Actions have consequences even for two faced liars.

10:07 PM  

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