It might surprise those who think the word "Diebold" appears only in liberal dictionaries, but there was a time when it was conservative Republicans who passed around books like Votescam and murmured darkly of the dangers of electronic voting. So I got a nostalgic kick yesterday when I read that Maryland's GOP governor, Robert Ehrlich, had cited Diebold's problems as he declared he "no longer [has] confidence in the State Board of Elections' ability to conduct fair and accurate elections in 2006."
How have the local Democrats reacted? Like national Republicans, of course. They say Ehrlich's just upset that he's trailing in the polls and that he hasn't been able to replace the state elections administrator with someone more to his liking. One legislator claimed the governor "wants Florida and Ohio to happen in Maryland." If it weren't for the fact that Ehrlich hasn't lost yet, you can be sure they'd be shouting "sore loser."
Believe it or not: It's possible for some or all that to be true, and for some or all of Ehrlich's stated concerns to be valid, both at the same time!
Elijah Cummings gets the best line in the Baltimore Sun's account:
When Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. delivered a stunning vote of no confidence in the state's voting system last week, he raised the specter of this fall's election ending in disarray.
To some Democrats, he also began to lay the foundation to challenge the outcome—if he winds up losing.
"That's the first thing I thought about," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat who served with Ehrlich in Congress. "I don't put anything past my good friend."