Dan Schnieders, Jefferson City,
This is response to a commentary in the NT on 11/16/2022 entitled "Tucker Carlson goes on incoherent rant" by the editorial board at the St Louis Post Dispatch. The Post's commentary suggests Carlson is unhinged over the time it takes to count ballots, particularly in Maricopa County, Arizona. Right now, eight full days after the election, several congressional seats are still uncalled.
Carlson is supposedly a real lunatic because he allegedly wants to get rid of the very automation that could make vote counting happen faster. Carlson can defend his own claims about automation, but I would offer some numbers that might give you an idea of what is going on. Maricopa County is important because 60 percent of all Arizonans live there. On Nov. 8, 60 of the county's 223 voting centers had tabulating machine malfunctions. They could not read printed ballots; ostensibly because printers were not making dark enough markings on the ballots. Still to be verified, most of these tabulators were in conservative-leaning precincts.
Before noon, there were 40,000-plus social media posts speaking of the problems. Stories of people waiting hours to vote, searching for a different precinct to vote or abandoning the desire to vote because they simply couldn't wait any longer were abundant. Late on Election Day, a Superior Court judge in Maricopa County denied a Republican National Committee lawsuit that sought to keep polls open for three additional hours; the suggestion being that a malfunction of more than 20 percent of the county's tabulators was a disenfranchisement of voters.
Rather than rail on Carlson, wouldn't a prudent journalist ask why it takes seven days to count votes for a modest-sized, well-funded county in 2022? Why wouldn't the journalist ask why weren't machines adequately tested to ensure they were ready for a major mid-term election? Further, why wouldn't the journalist point out that Maricopa was also ground zero for delayed ballot counting in 2020 and ask why lessons-learned weren't implemented? Lastly, most of the facts in this letter came from an article in the NY Times, which was very helpful, but disappointing in one aspect as the Times writes the "glitches.......rekindl(ed) embers of baseless voter fraud claims in the right-wing media and politicians."
At this stage, how does the Times know it's baseless?