Milias can’t get it right

Dear Editor:

In her recent letter criticizing my response to accusations she made at a recent public luncheon, Elizabeth Milias takes her own words out of context. While it is not surprising that a person called out for false accusations would allege that the false statement was misquoted or misinterpreted, it is troubling and almost comical that she would compound her misstatements by inaccurately representing her own words.

Ms. Milias has now provided and published a copy of her own speech claiming the following about the logic and accuracy test performed before the 2009 municipal election:

“This precipitated some late-night, last-minute software changes in the wee hours before the election. City Attorney Jim True tested this software alone, in secret, in his office.”

I stand by my response. There is no other reasonable way to interpret her statement other than as a false accusation against me for changing and testing election software. A charge that is again laughable. However, even if you wish to interpret this as only suggesting that I merely “tested” the software, alone, in secret in my office, without the help of punch cards, it is still untrue, and Ms. Milias knows that it is untrue.

Let’s be clear as to what happened for it has never been a secret. Consistent with my technological capabilities, I did count test ballots by hand. Fortunately, I learned to count way before I went to Georgia Tech and believe that my count was accurate. What Ms. Milias fails to tell you is that the test ballots were created and tested by the software in public before numerous candidates and issue representatives and other members of the public the day before the election.

She is quick to tell you that there was an error in the initial computer test. What she fails to tell you is that it was immediately fixed. That is why you perform the test, to catch errors. Ms. Milias is quick to criticize how the test was run and that she thought that the hand count should have been done first. What she fails to tell you is that as a member of the Election Commission she was present for this test; she knew then that I was going to count these ballots by hand and that no one wanted to stay to assist in the hand count. She also fails to tell you that had she wanted, she could have counted them herself or at least observed my count. She chose not to.

Although she acknowledges that the clerk reported the hand tally to her on Election Day, what she fails to tell you is that the results of the hand tally were identical to the computer tally. What she also fails to tell you is that she observed the second logic and accuracy test of the same test ballots on Election Day and that there were no discrepancies between my hand count and the computer count. And, she fails to tell you that as a member of the Election Commission she could have counted the test ballots herself right then; but, she chose not to.

Finally, Ms. Milias fails to tell you that she or anyone else can count the test ballots today and compare them to my total and the computer totals. Such a count would prove little other than that my counting skills exceed my programming capability. But, they are public records available to everyone.

I will agree with Ms. Milias on one thing. The facts are the facts. But, Ms. Milias, you are not entitled to your own set of facts. Shakespeare aside, one can never protest too much the continued perpetuation of false statements.

James R. True