If you remember the days after Iowa, when Mitt Romney “won” the state, and all the media outlets took the Iowa state GOP’s word on the matter (rather counting votes), you might be a little wary of when the next state GOP announcement from Maine also declares Mitt Romney the winner.
In fact, you might be a little skeptical about everything going on at the state level, especially when results are actually announced before votes are tallied, counted and reported.
In the case of Maine’s 2012 caucuses, a laundry list of questions still remain. In fact, it’s awfully similar to the Iowa results, because the state GOP called the race before the votes were even officially counted. And in a close race, you just don’t do that … unless you’ve got a motive.
Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight highlights the issues. From counties not being counted to the bare 6,000 total participants in the entire state begs a question that reminds me of Iowa.
In Iowa, as you remember, Mitt was declared the winner by some arbitrary tally of votes, even as news media in the state actually got wind of a hand-written mistake in Iowa’s count. In Nevada, the entire state GOP went to bed instead of counting the votes, because they already knew Mitt won.
That’s a strange way to conduct elections in my view.
In Maine, an entire county hasn’t even voted yet. With 83.7% of precincts reporting, Mitt Romney does have a 194-vote lead. But is that enough to call it a done deal? 98 precincts have yet to report, and it doesn’t take much to erase 194 votes. It’s hinky at best, but moreso telling when the state GOP simply ignores its voters in making their call, just like Iowa.
You can actually get the results yourself (pdf), and see a missing county of voters, thanks to the Maine GOP’s apparent decision to ignore Washington County.
More than that, this result is specifically cosmetic. For Ron Paul, he already takes half the delegates minus one in the state. Paul will take either 10 or 11 delegates from the state, so the results are specifically cosmetic, and that’s why we should be curious here.
Winning Maine would benefit any candidate, but what if you went 0-3 last week?
Who would benefit from winning anything today:
A. Mitt Romney
C. La Mitta Loca
I wish I could be making this up. But when 6,000 Maine GOPers decide the fate of an entire state that houses 258,000 Republicans, you should be concerned with enthusiasm and general malfeasance right now. Heck, forget the candidates for a minute. What happened with the voters?
Where are the people who still care if their vote counts, no matter the partisanship?
I think if Romney won in the end, it would be fine. The voters, at least those who showed up, have a preference, and should be honored. But we deserve accurate results.
But who gets the right to decide that preference before all votes are counted? And with a specific narrative in mind to prevent more rural and likely Paulesque voters from taking part?
The picture at the top is real.
0,0,0,0,0. Your votes matter to the Maine GOP.