Summit Daily columnist attacks Democrats for math errors but his own figure is wrong

UPDATE: Luddick responds below saying he obtained his incorrect figure from a Denver Post story that originally contained the figure he used but was subsequently corrected by The Post.


In a Summit Daily column last week, Morgan Liddick argues that the Democrats are cheaters.

Liddick sounds like a grade-school kid in a fight during recess.

“They are going to cheat,” he whines, echoing Secretary of State Scott Gessler who’s said Democrats want to “game the system,” by passing legislation requiring county clerks to send mail ballots to registered voters who otherwise would not receive them because they didn’t vote in the last election.

The whining is bad enough, but then he gets his facts wrong in the column when presenting his “evidence” of Democratic cheating.

He writes that Dems want “push forward their plan to mail more than 400,000 ballots to inactive voters.”

The actual number is 135,000.

I’m okay with someone getting their numbers mixed up. I’ve done it. But the funny part is that Liddick goes on to say Democrats can’t do math! Whoops, it seems he can’t do it himself.

Later in the column, in a discussion of Medicare, Liddick levels another school-yard taunt: “Which is worse, the inability to do simple sums, or the inability to tell the truth?”

Liddick needs to answer his own question.

And he says it’s President Obama who hurls “vicious, inaccurate” attacks. Trouble is, he could again be describing himself.

Honestly, I forgive Liddick for the error, but I hope he’s more careful next  time.

In response to an email this morning, Liddick wrote, “My figures were taken from The Denver Post, repeated on several occasions.  I suggest you contact them regarding any such error.”

I wrote Luddick back, thanked him for responding, and pointed out that The Post used the 135,000 figure.

He responded:

No thanks necessary.  But I fear you will not like the discovery;  it’s a curious excursion into what George Orwell referred to as the “memory hole.”

At  [this Post web page] one may see the story, originally published on April 5, 2010, which gave the figure of 439,560.

The electronic version has subsequently been corrected without comment, to give the lower figure as shown by the quote at the end of the article, given below:

(begin quote)

This article has been corrected in this online archive. The bill would require counties to send mail ballots to about 135,000 inactive voters who would not receive them under current law, instead of 439,560.

(end quote)

As a comment, it matters little to the thrust of the argument if the figure is 439,560 or 135,000 or 439.  “Landslide Lyndon” Johnson was elected to the US House by 87 votes in 1948 – the slightest margin ever in Texas history, and well within the number of dead and other nonvoters  who “voted” in the district that time around.

Soliciting the votes of those whom one cannot prove are even alive introduces considerable latitude for error, unintentional or otherwise.  Both are troubling, the latter more so.  And it is instructive that one side of the table strives continually to enlarge this area of possibility.



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