Default Doublespeak – Update on Machines Defaulting to Republican Ballots

Black & White Googly EyesIn a Tennessean follow up to the story that the electronic poll books in Davidson County were set to default to the Republican ballot during the August 2 primary,  state election coordinator Mark Goins said “default” is not the right term to use. He explained:

“…the Republican primary…was highlighted, and poll officials either failed to ask voters if they wanted to vote in a primary or, if they did ask, they failed to highlight the Democratic primary once voters expressed that preference.

As a result, those voters received a Republican ballot.”

So, what he is really saying is that “default” is exactly the right term to use.

Later, Albert Tieche, the man in charge of elections in Davidson County, issued a statement that the electronic poll books “performed well” and that he was “pleased with the results.” He added:

Did we remove every opportunity for human error? No. Was it possible for the poll official to incorrectly issue a ballot without asking what primary the voter wanted? Yes. Would it issue a Republican ballot if the poll official failed to ask which primary? Yes. We are sorry for the error.

The question now is, who made the decision to have the Electronic Poll Books set to default to the Republican ballot in the first place?


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