NRCC gears up for recounts and election challenges

posted at 2:55 pm on November 10, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, Yogi Berra famously advised, and that’s as true in elections as it is in baseball.  While the Senate race in Alaska gets most of the attention in the post-midterm press coverage, several House races are yet to be concluded as well, including one that had been called for the GOP in North Carolina.  The NRCC has now started to press donors to provide them resources to give assistance to the following races in its new website campaign, “Still Counting“:

  • NY-01: Randy Altschuler leads by 393 votes
  • NY-25: Ann Marie Buerkle leads by 659 votes
  • CA-11: David Harmer trails by 628 votes
  • CA-20: Andy Vidak leads by 145 votes
  • IL-08: Joe Walsh leads by 437 votes
  • KY-06: Andy Barr trails by 649 votes

The NRCC is also highlighting the case of Renee Ellmers, our friend in NC-02, who beat Bob Etheridge by 1600 votes on Election Day.  That number had been over 2000, but as Renee told us last week, three early-voting ballot boxes didn’t get counted as part of the total due to a clerical error, which when corrected gave Etheridge a boost of about 450 votes.  Ellmers isn’t yet sure that her race will go to a recount but is preparing for one nonetheless, assuming that Etheridge will insist on one if the absentee ballots narrow the gap.  She has her own website for recount donations, and it’s good to see the NRCC highlighting the standoff as a priority along with the rest of the recounts.

The NRCC also lists TX-27 as a race that will need resources, but as Seton Motley reports, this should end up in the Republican column as a takeaway:

Provisional ballots are usually cast if someone shows up to vote and is not on the books.  It could be a clerical error and he/she should be; it could be voter error – either he/she is at the wrong precinct or didn’t register to vote.  Regardless, in most cases the vast majority of these ballots are not properly cast and are therefore not counted.  An average of only about 10% make the final tally – the rest are people voting who should not have been voting.

Very Democrat Cameron County’s Election Administrator Roger Ortiz (we’re not sure if there’s any relation to the flailing soon-to-be ex-Congressman) said Monday that the number of provisional votes cast in his neck of the woods had magically increased from the 89 initially reported to 110.

*Poof*

In Nueces County – which Farenthold carried – there are 144 provisional ballots cast and 12 military/overseas ballots to be reviewed and counted, Nueces County Clerk Diana T. Barrera said.

But here’s the rub – there are in total in the entire district 735 remaining provisional and overseas votes cast by mail awaiting review and counting.  Ortiz, Inc. trails by 792 votes.

Which means if every single provisional vote is legitimate, and every single one of them AND the mail-in ballots are ALL cast for Ortiz – which would be David Copperfield-esque – HE STILL LOSES THE RACE.

That looks as though Ortiz is trying to drag this out as long as possible to demand a further recount, but the numbers aren’t with him.  That is, they aren’t with him now.  The NRCC’s interest in this race is well founded.

Some criticized the NRCC for not directing post-election resources to these contests immediately, but based on information from my contacts within the NRCC, they didn’t have the resources to give.  The NRCC spent everything it had before Election Day, and needs to get more resources now in order to protect its candidates in these recount processes.  People can also donate directly to candidates, as the previous campaign limits don’t apply to recount fundraising, but the NRCC can act as a conduit for those efforts as well.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

I contributed more $ to Renee Elmers as soon as I heard about Etheridge fighting her victory!

CatoRenasci on November 10, 2010 at 3:05 PM

The problem I have with the NRCC is when they told Renee Ellmers initially that she wasn’t “ready for prime time” and helped other candidates in N.C., all of whom lost.

Then they refused to help Renee with the recount, until their phone lines were blown out with angry callers. I know, I was one of them.

Renee is good people. She needs all the help she can get!

gary4205 on November 10, 2010 at 3:08 PM

I contributed more $ to Renee Elmers as soon as I heard about Etheridge fighting her victory!

CatoRenasci on November 10, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Who’re yew? Tell me, who’re yew? Tell me who yew are! Who’re yew?!

cartooner on November 10, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Ortiz paid the recount fee to the state yesterday.The rats are doing an Al Gore and making sure that “Every vote counts.”

docflash on November 10, 2010 at 3:10 PM

You know when they stop attacking the Tea party as being the cause of thier “loss” maybe i’ll think about giving. And Ed your information is wrong the NRCC put out a press release before the election saying how they were prepared for the recounts….

November 1, 2010
Partisan armies amass for recounts
With dozens of potential squeaker races across the country, Republicans and Democrats have been quietly preparing for weeks t…

By Politico Writer
Politico.com
Advertisement – Your ad here
With dozens of potential squeaker races across the country, Republicans and Democrats have been quietly preparing for weeks to assemble and quickly dispatch squadrons of staffers in the event of a nightmare scenario of multiple recounts.

National party committees have put together lists of lawyers who will be used for the recounting — and who can handle themselves in different states, each of which has different rules — and of press and political staffers who can help spin the narratives to the media.

One GOP operative relayed the story of getting a call two weekends ago asking about the operative’s availability to be deployed, on a moment’s notice, to a possible Senate or House recount locale.

Several Republican operatives said that after studying recounts and their aftermaths over the past decade — starting with the most famous, Florida in 2000 — it’s become clear that the PR war is just as important as the legal one.

And that war is usually won within the first 48 hours, according to several Republicans.

unseen on November 10, 2010 at 3:11 PM

but the numbers aren’t with him

Not yet anyway. But just you wait until all those other ballots are suddenly “found” in some poll workers car. You know, that big HUGE bag that’s been sitting on the passenger seat the last week or so. Totally un-noticed.

Worked for Al Franken.

GarandFan on November 10, 2010 at 3:12 PM

The rats are doing an Al Gore and making sure that “Every vote counts.”

docflash on November 10, 2010 at 3:10 PM

When did Gore ever want *every* vote to count?

malclave on November 10, 2010 at 3:12 PM

the real question Ed should be asking is how stupid does the NRCC think the base is?

unseen on November 10, 2010 at 3:12 PM

it is really a testament to the Left that this country is now riddled with fraud. Motor Voter, voting for weeks, absentee ballots…combined with the old fashioned ballot stuffing of the Dim Machines has pretty much contaminated the whole country.

r keller on November 10, 2010 at 3:15 PM

You know when they stop attacking the Tea party as being the cause of thier “loss” maybe i’ll think about giving. unseen on November 10, 2010 at 3:11 PM

C’mon. You can give straight to any candidate’s recount effort and cut out the snakes middlemen NRSC and NRCC. You just have to look up the right site.

Western_Civ on November 10, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Has anyone heard anything from the Republicans on how they intend to stop vote fraud? The Repulicsns have lost so many races due to the Dems cheating and they don’t do a thing about it. Raise your hand if you do NOT believe that the union who serviced the electronic machines in NV didn’t cheat for Reid! How many illegal aliens voted? This has got to stop!

CCRWM on November 10, 2010 at 3:24 PM

I already donated to Farenthold & Ellmers when I found out they were heading toward recounts, I’ll donate now to the rest of them, though I do it directly, thank you very much.

lizzie beth on November 10, 2010 at 3:24 PM

I hear Al Franken has offered to help them resolve this sticky mess.

abobo on November 10, 2010 at 3:26 PM

NY-25: Ann Marie Buerkle leads by 659 votes

For what it’s worth

The NRCC website has the current tally at Ann Marie ahead by 659 votes, but the tally is actually that she’s ahead by 687 votes,”

MeatHeadinCA on November 10, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Joe Walsh was the Republican in the race at that very recent debate where the moderator was found to be a longtime Obama freak who did not want to allow the Pledge but the crowd did anyway to her “Excuse me! Excuse me! Excuse me!”. Glad to see he won.

Marcus on November 10, 2010 at 3:31 PM

C’mon. You can give straight to any candidate’s recount effort and cut out the snakes middlemen NRSC and NRCC. You just have to look up the right site.

Western_Civ on November 10, 2010 at 3:16 PM

I have given to ellmers. I meant giving to the NRCC. The NRCc already had money set aside for this. they didn’t “spend it all before the election”. this is an attempt by the NRCc is fundraise for their organiztion by playing on the hearstrings of the base.

the NRCC had a plan, and funding and lawyers ready to go. this is nothing but a flimsy attempt to milk the base.

unseen on November 10, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Etheridge is already calling for recount when the vote hasn’t even been certified yet. What does he know that we don’t? Thank god for Johnston County (booming Raleigh suburb county) which really put Ellmers over the top.

SouthernGent on November 10, 2010 at 3:36 PM

When are we going to have elections with integrity? If people can work the ATM machines, they can work digital voting machines. you cannot cash a check without some sort of ‘legal’ ID. Enough of this ****!!!

red131 on November 10, 2010 at 3:37 PM

I don’t think there is any way Vidak wins here in California.

trigon on November 10, 2010 at 3:38 PM

This is one reason why I hope the new Republican legislatures really hammer the redistricting schemes the democrats have put in place with gerrymandering.
It keeps races close in a worse case scenario for Democrats – who then proceed to amazingly “find” ballots.

jjshaka on November 10, 2010 at 3:39 PM

the NRCC had a plan, and funding and lawyers ready to go. this is nothing but a flimsy attempt to milk the base.

unseen on November 10, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Ed, did you not do any research on this. The NRCC is using you or you are misrepresenting them. One or the other someone is not telling the truth. the NRCC had $8million in reserve.

Clowns indeed. In a Politico report just three days earlier, the NRCC is cited as a ‘partisan army’ gearing up for multiple recounts.

“With dozens of potential squeaker races across the country, Republicans and Democrats have been quietly preparing for weeks to assemble and quickly dispatch squadrons of staffers in the event of a nightmare scenario of multiple recounts,” the report reads.

Those preparations included lists of lawyers, political operatives, and press people working in tandem. An NRCC source is quoted as saying, “We’re just ready to go anywhere and everywhere.”

A spokesman for the group, Tory Mazzola, proclaimed, “To ensure that every eligible vote is counted, we’ve prepared staff who can help if there is a recount in any region of the country.”

Unless it costs money. Apparently, “ensuring every vote is counted” is a priority only if there is no cost attached.

The question is: Why would a tab of $50,000 be too steep for the NRCC to cover? In late October, the group secured a $20 million line of credit in an attempt to seize the majority. Eight million dollars of that was to be kept in reserve. Would this not be a situation in which reserves should be employed?

http://dailycaller.com/2010/11/05/nrcc-refuses-to-pitch-in-for-conservative-candidates-recount-bid/

unseen on November 10, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Thank god for Johnston County (booming Raleigh suburb county) which really put Ellmers over the top.

SouthernGent on November 10, 2010 at 3:36 PM

hey now chatham county did its part too. elected all the GOP county commissioners and helped ellmers out:)

unseen on November 10, 2010 at 3:40 PM

I think there should be a Vote Integrity Law that stating once the polls close, no more ballots. Ballots found after that time are garbage. Do it right or suffer the consequences for ‘disenfranchising’ voters.

red131 on November 10, 2010 at 3:54 PM

In a time when there is absolutely no room whatsoever for compromise on 90% of the issues currently being voted on by Congress, why do so many elections come within less than a tenth of a percent?

logis on November 10, 2010 at 3:56 PM

logis on November 10, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Amazing isn’t it? What are the mathematical odds of this happening sooooo often???

red131 on November 10, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Re CA-11 and David Harmer, here’s one for Taranto’s ‘what could go wrong’ file: SEIU Members Are Counting the Ballots in Hotly Contested US House Race

Re what can Republicans do to stop democratic voting fraud, -one of our problems is that states run the elections. Actually that’s good, the diversity of control ensures that a federal government can’t steal the entire election. It forces the democratics to steal multiple elections in the purple states.

The best way to fix it is direct attack in those states where democratics do the cheating. We need our own SoS program, and to push clean election laws in purple states. Even if a majority of a state is democratic, a big majority of the citizens still want clean elections. They’ve only been snookered by the liberals and their media arm to think that they are clean when they are anything but.

slickwillie2001 on November 10, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Joe Walsh was the Republican in the race at that very recent debate where the moderator was found to be a longtime Obama freak who did not want to allow the Pledge but the crowd did anyway to her “Excuse me! Excuse me! Excuse me!”. Glad to see he won.

Marcus on November 10, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Great! I really liked his work with The James Gang back in the day.

james23 on November 10, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Can anyone remember when one of these ‘count all the vote’ fraud events didn’t result in the dem winning, even when a good bit behind?

JIMV on November 10, 2010 at 8:27 PM

As the Election Judge of the Early Ballot Board in my county in Texas, I can attest to the statement that about 90% of provisional ballots in Texas are not counted. Many provisional ballots are the result of voters whose registration has lapsed or who were told that they were registered in another precinct but insisted in voting in the precinct in which they showed up.

If there are 735 remaining ballots in the TX-27 election, and all of them were provisionals, I would be surprised if more that 50 were valid. Out of that, the Democrat Solomon Ortiz would be lucky to get 25 votes. This race should be over now.

RUDYJ on November 10, 2010 at 10:02 PM

three early-voting ballot boxes didn’t get counted as part of the total due to a clerical error, which when corrected gave Etheridge a boost of about 450 votes.

“Clerical error” is the new euphemism for fake ballots.

YehuditTX on November 10, 2010 at 11:55 PM

I don’t think there is any way Vidak wins here in California.

trigon on November 10, 2010 at 3:38 PM

According to the CNN figures, there’s something strange about the Vidak race. Most competitive House races have a total of about 200,000 votes cast (within a few tens of thousands), and the winner usually gets over 100,000 votes. In the Vidak race, neither candidate got over 40,000 votes.

Was this an extremely low turnout, or is there a huge stash of absentee ballots somewhere?

Steve Z on November 11, 2010 at 10:16 AM

I think there should be a Vote Integrity Law that stating once the polls close, no more ballots. Ballots found after that time are garbage. Do it right or suffer the consequences for ‘disenfranchising’ voters.

red131 on November 10, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Sounds great in theory, but you need honest people to enforce it. In Bridgeport, CT, ten polling places ran out of ballots midway through Election Day, because a local election supervisor had ordered only 20,000 ballots for a city with over 70,000 registered voters, supposedly to save State money (based on less than 30% anticipated turnout?).

So, lots of people lined up to vote, couldn’t get ballots, and were turned away. Since Bridgeport is a Democrat stronghold, the Democrat campaigns (Blumenthal, Malloy) sued, and won an order from a judge to keep those precincts open an extra two hours beyond normal closing time, while election officials scrambled to print more ballots and transport them to those polling places.

In the Governor’s race, Foley (R) led by over 8,000 votes two days after Election Day, but the Bridgeport returns came in late, and put Malloy (D) in the lead by 5,000 votes.

The question becomes, did the ballot snafu in Bridgeport, which was all over the local TV and radio news shows, which may have “disenfranchised” some voters in the middle of the day, encourage a greater turnout than normal during those extra two hours, and thereby tilt the Governor’s race to Malloy? Did anyone count how many voters were turned away earlier due to lack of ballots, and how many showed up between the normal poll-closing time and the extended time?

I agree with “red131″ that ballots “found” away from polling places and officially authorized counting areas should be banned, and never counted, because a few dishonest people could be “voting” them en masse without the consent of real voters.

But in order to avoid what occurred in Bridgeport, a “Voter Integrity” law would have to require that enough ballots be printed and distributed to each precinct for EVERY registered voter in the precinct, meaning that in a typical election about half the ballots would be unused. At best, this would be a waste of paper and taxpayer $, at worst, an unscrupulous partisan poll-worker could steal blank ballots, vote them en masse, and sneak them into the pile of legitimately voted ballots. It’s true that such people could be caught by “election observers” from the other party, but the penalties for election fraud need to be severe enough to frighten people away from stealing elections for their preferred candidates.

Steve Z on November 11, 2010 at 10:56 AM