Sunday, April 10, 2005
On this day:

Siegelman: I Got "Snookered"

Looks like Don Siegelman still isn't willing to concede the last election.

Siegelman did, however, have something to say about how he lost the 2002 race to Gov. Bob Riley. He said conspiring Republican officials in Baldwin County "snookered" votes away from him that would have given him the election.

Baldwin County officials initially provided a media summary sheet that showed Siegelman had 19,070 votes in the county and put him ahead in the narrow statewide tally. But officials changed that number, subtracting more than 6,300 votes from Siegelman's tally for the county and giving Riley a 3,117-vote win.

County officials attributed the initial total to a software "programming glitch." Siegelman tearfully conceded the race after challenging Riley's victory for two weeks.

Tommy Stevenson of the Tuscaloosa News has more:

“Let me say this -- I wanted to be re-elected, I think I was re-elected, I think we got snookered down in Baldwin County."

Siegeleman, warming to his subject, talked of vote-count irregularities around Mobile in the wee hours of the morning after the election. He saw his lead in the county, and thus the state, turn into a 6,000-vote deficit.

“I have no doubt in my mind that those votes were stolen after we won the election. They closed the election, they posted the results, they gave them to the reporters, they gave them to the chairman of the Republican Party, they gave them to the chairman of the Democratic Party -- keeping in mind all these are Republican election officials in Baldwin County.

“After the lights go out in the courthouse, one light goes on in the sheriff’s office, and they recount the voters, and oddly enough the only votes that are changed are taken from me and given directly to Bob Riley -- no other candidate was affected by this shift in [6,000] votes," he said, his voice trailing off for a few moments in frustration.

Do the math, Don. And quit lying. "No other candidate was affected by this shift in votes?" Tell that to John Sophocleus! The first summary report of vote totals in Baldwin County showed him in second place with a total of approximately 13,000 votes. That got cut to 937 in the final certified results.