READER COMMENTS ON
"Filling in the Ovals on LA County's Super Tuesday 'Double Bubble' Debacle"
(44 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 1:00 pm PT...
This is as bad as them talking about letting Michigan and Florida delegates count when Obama wasn't on the ballot in Mich. and didn't even campaign in Fla. with name recognition going to Clinton because the state is jammed with ex New Yorkers ? SHEESH
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 1:45 pm PT...
There are plenty of sources of confusion, including the terminology used in California elections.
The LA county pollworker Brad quotes says, "...we all thought that a voter registered as non-partisan who requested to vote as a Democrat was to be given a Democratic ballot and sent to the Democratic booth."
But in California, no one is registered as "non-partisan." Voter registration cards, which are the same throughout California, give you the option check a box next to the party you want to register with, or you can check a box next to the phrase, "Decline to State an affiliation with a political party." As Brad states, what is called "Independent" or "Non-partisan" in other states is called "Decline to State" in California. The Secretary of State and news accounts say California does not use the term "independent" because of possible confusion with the American Independent Party, and the term "non-partisan" in California elections specifically refers to offices in which candidates are not allowed to state their political party, as in the case of certain elected judgeships. This is confirmed on Debra Bowen's website (http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_decline.htm ) where, addressing Decline to State voters, it says "You may request, from your county elections official or at your polling place, the ballot of a political party if authorized by the party's rules and duly noticed by the Secretary of State. If you do not request such a ballot, you will be given a nonpartisan ballot, containing only the names of all candidates for nonpartisan offices and measures to be voted upon at the primary election."
Read that again, "you will be given a nonpartisan ballot, containing only the names of all candidates for NONPARTISAN OFFICES and MEASURES..." not the ballot of the democratic or republican party.
If the picture you show labeled "Tale of Two Ballots" is correct, I do not know why the ballot reads "Non Partisan Official Ballot." More confusion.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 4:22 pm PT...
All I have to say, is I hope both candidates want all the votes counted. If votes are cast but not counted it's a travesty. Count ALL VOTES. If for some reason Obama cuts 4% of her lead and she loses 10 delegates there should be no complaining, and vice versa.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 4:48 pm PT...
Wasn't it Einstein who said "Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler"?
Sounds like this was a violation of that principle which led to confusion.
If bigwigs choose at the convention, all this bullshit is a waste of money anyway.
Raise your purple finger ... invade other countries and bring them this wonder ... those who are left after the killing fields that is ...
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 5:27 pm PT...
I am growing sick of all this organized crime running our government.
At least most counties in California have learned about the electronic ballot issues and reverted to paper. Now if they can make the next step, open hand counting instead of those tamper prone electronic counting machines. Your freedoms have been stolen by organized crime.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 5:32 pm PT...
Brad, You know how you blew the whistle on the Drudge Report disinformation when he ran the headline, "The board of elections failed to deliver voting equipment to polling places ALL OVER LOS ANGELES..." on 2/5/08? One of the first indicators of a problem with the story was the fact that in California counties do not have a "board of elections" they each have a Registrar of Voters or a county clerk who is responsible for running elections (The title in LA county is Registrar, County Clerk/Recorder). There is no "Board of Elections" anywhere in California.
So, looking at today's quote from the pollworker above, "...we all thought that a voter registered as non-partisan who requested to vote as a Democrat was to be given a Democratic ballot and sent to the Democratic booth," I am not aware of any California county that has polling places with "Democratic Booths" and/or "Republican Booths." They just have booths. Can someone verify that in Los Angeles county, or any other California county, polling places have "Democratic booths." ? Thanks.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 5:53 pm PT...
OT "Choose who you would like to be the next President of the United States"
Look at Obama's!
"Please note the results of this online poll are not scientific"
Maybe that disclaimer should mandatory on machines and scanners in the US.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 6:20 pm PT...
Confabulator #6 said:
There is no "Board of Elections" anywhere in California.
True enough. But that was the least of Drudge's sins, since he's writing for a national audience and "Board of Elections" is close enough for him...and that particular audience (that particularly audience being the entire Rightwing and the entire MSM, of course)
Can someone verify that in Los Angeles county, or any other California county, polling places have "Democratic booths." ? Thanks.
They do. I'm in LA County, and can attest to it. At least for the primary, where there are different ballot templates for the InkaVote device.
Of course, they are not "booths", but rather partitions up on stands/legs, where you can mark your ballot in relative privacy.
At my polling place, there were some 9 booths or so. Appx. 3 each marked with handmade signs that read "DEM" or "REP" or "Non-Partisan" (as I recall...I can probably check the video if you really need me to.)
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 6:28 pm PT...
No need for further confirmation on "Dem" and "Rep" booths. A friend in LA confirms your observation. Thanks.
BTW, many republicans throughout the state are miffed when they found they could not vote for a republican because they were, correctly or incorrectly, registered as Decline to State. They have been yelling at registrars who quietly inform them of the Republican Party rules.
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 6:32 pm PT...
Confabulator #2, you wrote: "But in California, no one is registered as "non-partisan."
They may not register as non-partisan, but in our county, we had ballots labelled "Non-Partisan" for these voters. Hence, I posit that the terms "Decine to State," "Non-Partisan," and "independent" are interchangeable, with "independent" not to be confused with American Independent Party.
You may already know this, but in case you don't, in my CA county, voters registered as non-partisan were given the ballot they requested, be it Democratic, American Independent, or Non-Partisan. For this reason, there was none of the confusion such as that which we are dealing with in LA County.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 6:40 pm PT...
Brad #8, right there is an unbelievably stupid logistical mess, having separate booths for Democrats, Republicans, and Non-Partisans. Later when this is all cleared up, I would be interested to learn how they did this. Were the programs they were operating on different? If all machines were hooked up to the same computer, then why differentiate one booth from another for party purposes?
So in LA County, is it true that whatever electronic voting machine you had to use was determined by your party affiliation? If yes, what is the purpose of that? That is just one more way to mess up. It serves no reasonable purpose I can think of.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 7:00 pm PT...
Linda,#9 and #10
I have a high regard for your comments and questions. You actually work at the polls, you see that registrars have limited resources to train and equip thousands of essentially "volunteer" pollworkers and temporary election-day help to carry out the election. And you know that after months of planning and preparing for contingencies, the effort has only one chance to get it right on election day. You may also see, I am sure, that most the folks involved want to run a good, fair, accountable election and that very few, if any, seem willing to risk a felony conviction by committing election fraud in order to attempt to elect their favored candidates. You ask intelligent questions and respond in a civil, respectful way. I admire that. So, let me ask you this, in a "Devil's Advocate" sort of way.
Given that the equipment and software used to count Sonoma County's optical scan ballots, the Mark A Vote system, have never been federally certified nor has the equipment and software ever been examined in Debra Bowen's "Top-to-Bottom Review" of election systems and, thus, she is unable to state that Mark A Vote is free of the flaws she found in each of the other systems she examined, are you willing to accept Sonoma County's final vote count? If "yes," why? If "no," why not? (Please understand, I am not trying to play "got ya!" I am truly interested in your answer.)
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 8:05 pm PT...
...come on now, where is the government troll when you need him? Shouldn't DE be here somewhere or the two brothers in crime? I kinda miss your bullshit, and there was an article today all about you.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 8:56 pm PT...
Excuse me? Logan will make some kind of political judgment as to whether HE thinks it will affect "delegates" and THAT will control if votes get counted according to the voters' intent, or not?? He is obligated to uphold the California Constitution, and that very significant document clearly states:
CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION ARTICLE 2 VOTING, INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM, AND RECALL SEC. 2.5. A voter who casts a vote in an election in accordance with the laws of this State shall have that vote counted.
Logan is clearly unqualified to be involved in elections because a public servant that acts unconstitutionally is clearly unqualified and unfit. There is no law requiring a double bubble but, in any event, the gross incompetence and mismanagement in ballot design with or without the forewarnings he had is additional and ample grounds for immediate dismissal --- at a minimum.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 9:16 pm PT...
There’s quite a blog here on the LA election problems:
McCormack thinks Logan is just swell:
Must have been this review that cinched the job in LA for him:
Logan added to woes of election staff, panel says
By Keith Ervin
Seattle Times staff reporter
“King County's election office is in worse shape than it was before County Executive Ron Sims hired Dean Logan two years ago to reform the problem-plagued operation, a key member of Sims' election-review panel said yesterday.”
Really, no one in LA did any due diligence on this guy? If I can Google this stuff, anyone can. That last article on the review is the clincher. No way was he qualified based on past performance and certainly not up the ladder.
Thanks Paul, for finding the law about counting ballots. That arrogance rankles me as much as not bothering to count ballots left out of the original count "unless they will make a difference."
EVERY ballot must be counted and WHO decides what "making a difference means?"
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 10:10 pm PT...
Linda #11 asked:
I would be interested to learn how they did this. Were the programs they were operating on different? If all machines were hooked up to the same computer, then why differentiate one booth from another for party purposes?
The "booths" have no "machines" or computers at all. Rather, that have a booklet template into which your blank, paper ballot is slipped into. You then fill in the bubble in the template book which shows you who you are (supposedly) voting for. It's like the old punchcard ballots, but with a marker pen, instead of a punch stylus.
The card is then taken out of the booklet, and dropped into electronic ballot checker (ES&S' InkaVote Plus) which is supposed to warn of overvotes but NOT count the vote. Though it turns out the thankfully-former Registrar Conny McCormack, who dreamt up th ecurrent nightmare, actually had those machines tabulating and used the numbers for her instant snap-tallies at the end of the night without telling anyone.
So the different booths, "DEM", "REP", etc. each had the different ballot in it it's paper InkaVote booklet template. Make sense? Hoping so. Wish it was easier to explain (and to vote!)
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 10:13 pm PT...
Badger #15 -
Not sure if Logan was hired by the Board of Supes, or if Conny McCormack herself was the one who brought him on. But apparently, in the election business, past poor performance is no strike against you.
Just ask Cuyahoga County, OH's former disaster of an Election Director who now works for San Diego County.
These people either don't give a damn who they hire for these jobs, or they do, and they choose these folks on purpose.
Take your pick.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 2/7/2008 @ 11:56 pm PT...
The current excuse, as stated by Logan, is that the extra bubble is there so that votes will not be counted for decline-to-staters in party central committee races. Except there were no party central committee races on the ballot, for any committee. Thus, there would have been no problem to just hand the voter a Democrat or American Independent ballot, and would have been a lot easier to boot. The statistics of crossover voters can be calculated from the signatures in the voting book, as they are only relevant once the final canvass is completed.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 6:18 am PT...
Good god. You mean to tell us the republicans were right in 2000 after all ? The democrats can't even color the right bubble ? Hello chad. Maybe next time we should have our candidates just draw straws or spin the bottle or as Bill said roll the dice. I have been a lifelong democrat but now I am beginning to think we are the party of dumbasses. Signs of the time I suppose.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 7:38 am PT...
And a great from drake question on the Facebook thread (no Facebook account required to view): is there an email we can send to our local media to encourage them to cover this story?
I've been really disappointed by how little coverage this has gotten ... but maybe we can change that!
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 7:43 am PT...
he-he #19 the oldest bullshit in the book
"I am a lifelong Democrat" my ass.
You see this Big Dan ?
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 7:50 am PT...
Wow, this mess would seem to have had a simple solution. Instead they decided to try to outdo the butterfly ballot princess Theresa LePore.
How about just asking the voter which primary they wanted to vote in, then giving them a clearly marked REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRATIC, or INDEPENDENT marked ballot. They could then add a bubble for the voter to identify their party or dts affiliation for statistical purposes. Problem solved, right? Instead we get a ball of confusion designed by persons I wouldn't trust to walk my dog.
The newspaper's review of the overvotes found 5,330 Palm Beach County residents invalidated their ballots by punching chads for Gore and Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan. The hole voters punched for Buchanan was located just above Gore's on the two-page ballot.
The ballots showed another 2,908 voters punched Gore and Socialist David McReynolds, whose hole appeared just below Gore's. Buchanan's and McReynolds' names appeared on the right page of the ballot, while Gore's was on the left.
The confusion hurt Bush, too: 1,631 people punched Bush and Buchanan, whose hole was below his on the ballot. But Gore was the bigger loser: the two Gore combinations, minus the Bush-Buchanan votes, totaled 6,607 lost votes for Gore, the Post found.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 8:00 am PT...
I'm not a lifelong Democrat but it's pretty clear that ballot turned a lot of elderly Republican voters into "dumbasses" too. Not to mention the dumbasses who actually intended to vote for Bush and had their votes counted.
Keep digging my friend. We have another few months to make things even worse.
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 8:50 am PT...
Re: "Given that the equipment and software used to count Sonoma County's optical scan ballots, the Mark A Vote system, have never been federally certified nor has the equipment and software ever been examined in Debra Bowen's "Top-to-Bottom Review" of election systems and, thus, she is unable to state that Mark A Vote is free of the flaws she found in each of the other systems she examined, are you willing to accept Sonoma County's final vote count? If "yes," why? If "no," why not? (Please understand, I am not trying to play "got ya!" I am truly interested in your answer.)"
I am not willing to simply accept that Sonoma County's final vote count is accurate, because of the Mark A Vote situation here. And I thank you for your clear and thorough explanation to me earlier of this situation. God knows we would never know this from reading our local newspapers.
This is what I have done so far:
(1) I sent letters to the editor about this to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Petaluma Argus Courier. None of them chose to print my letter. I get a lot of letters printed, so I understand how this works. They print letters that they feel their readers will be interested in. You have to just keep sending them letters, and not give up, because they pay attention to who's reading their paper and what these readers are interested in.
(2) I contacted the director of an organization called Mainstreet Moms that works on election issues. They are who contacted me in the first place during the summer of 2006 and asked me to become involved in my local elections process. At that time, they had a chat situation in which they connected members in the same voting areas who were interested in this issue. I am now actively looking for other voters/citizens in my voting area, through this organization, to form a committee that will approach our local ROV to learn more about how our votes are registered and counted. It would not be effective for me to do this as a maverick. I know this from past experience. A committee is the way to go. I have not yet heard back from Mainstreet Moms' director, but it has only been a day.
I fully intend to address the problem with the not-yet-certified counting process here. Thank-you again.
One thing we have going for us here in my county is that there are no indications that our ROV is politically motivated to kowtow to the electronic voting machine cartel or to one particular political party, like what is happening in LA and elsewhere. However, we should NEVER base EI on our lack of bad feelings about our ROV. Furthermore, during my most recent training, a different official conducted the training, with the original ROV sitting on the sidelines, which indicates we may be getting a new ROV. My sense of this new one is not as confidence-building as my sense of the old one.
Of course, I am completely making all of this up. I don't really know. This is only my sense.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 8:56 am PT...
Calwatch #18, what you wrote makes complete sense. Please consider becoming involved in your local elections process. We need citizens who can actually think and problem-solve to become involved. Not only are a lot of elections officials apparently unable to think, they actually CREATE problems when they attempt to do so.
I am not being sarcastic here. I am being honest.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 9:10 am PT...
Lonestar #19, I realize you are just trying to be funny, and I do appreciate your humor. However, not knowing who you are or what your background is, I have to say that you seem a little out of touch with the general over all population. Scapegoating the voters for a stupidly designed and executed ballot makes no sense. Many, many people who are intelligent in many other ways, may lack the ability to fill out a form like the one presented to them on election day by LA County. Filling out forms is something that those of us who grew up doing so take for granted, but you have to understand that it requires a developed skill set that some may not have, and this does not mean that those who do not are dumbasses. You may also have this skill set at one point in your life, and then lose it due to various reasons such as the normal aging process.
I did some of my growing up in the Deep South. The tone of your post reminds me of how the whites in the Jim Crow South viewed their black citizens prior to and during the Civil Rights era.
As a fellow human being who recognizes you to be an intelligent individual, I strongly urge you to not provide any momentum to that way of thinking.
There is no reason whatsoever for a complicated balloting process. The goal of our ROVs should ALWAYS be to keep it as simple, as clear, and as thorough as possible. Let's work on accomplishing this, rather than ridiculing those voters who have difficulty navigating an unnecessarily complicated ballot. Even an extra bubble to fill in, if not essential to the process, may throw a voter off his/her feet. All voters should have to do when they come into the polls is to vote. Everything else that involves their checking in and verification and making sure they are given the appropriate ballot should be up to the poll workers.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 9:14 am PT...
Jim H #22, that is exactly how my county did it. Hence, we did not experience any of the problems LA is going through today. Please get involved locally. Your elections system needs you!
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 9:34 am PT...
#22 JimH, "1,631 people punched Bush and Buchanan, whose hole was below his on the ballot." I have so many lines for that sentence that I won't even touch it.
Don't you think that "they" are trying to make paper ballots look bad just like "they" did in 2000. Remember this,
Dan Rather interviews Sequoia whistleblowers. That way "they" can say, SEE DRE's are much better...blah blah blah.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 9:42 am PT...
Well, the InkaVote has got to go sometime.
Want to bet that McCormack and Logan will argue for DRE's? After all, it's the fault of that darn paper, as inanimate as it is.
(Assume McCormack will be hired back as a consultant)
Goal: DRE's (Or Online)
Method: Create fiasco after fiasco in the paper voting system. It has nothing to do with the paper, of course, but the MSM will dutifully print that it is.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 10:16 am PT...
Look who apparently sponsored the task force McCormack and Logan participated in, as mentioned by McCormack in one of my posts above:
Election’s old “friend”, the Election Center
Logan has also been through the Election Center’s training course, that CERA designation after his name:
How about election officials with a degree in accounting, first? Maybe a minor in business administration although I have never thought government can be successfully run like a business per se- it’s just not the same animal.
So, with all of this alleged training, wouldn’t you think a prime requirement would be to make ballot design simple, not only for citizens of all kinds but also for the systems that must allegedly count them?
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 10:35 am PT...
Badger # 29
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is conducting a nationwide search to fill the position of Registrar/Clerk/Recorder for the county. Before she retired, McCormack hired Dean Logan as her #2 person. Logan is now the temporary acting Registrar. He wants to be appointed to the full time position. He is a candidate under consideration. McCormack wants him to win that position. But he already has one strike against him because he does not have a college degree and this double bubble fiasco virtually guarantees he will not get the position. The Board of Supes hates negative publicity. The Board is predominately democrats and this episode negatively affected democrats. There is no way, just no way, Logan (or McCormack) would intentionally "create fiasco after fiasco in the paper voting system," because Logan wants the job and McCormack wanted him to get it. But, because of this, his chance is gone.
BTW, ain't no CA county going "Online" or spending the money on new DRE's. It's gonna be opscan for the forseeable future. Paper.
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 11:52 am PT...
Thank you for your thoughtful response to my question. May I suggest these steps:
First, talk to your Registrar. Because you can clearly convey to her that you understand this is not her doing, she is likely to not feel threatened and will give you an honest answer and assessment. Talk to Debra Bowen. She may have some really good reasons. Finally, if those responses do not satisfy you, next step is to talk to your state assemblyperson and state senator, followed by congressional representatives.
You are absolutely right when you told Lonestar that the voting process must be made as simple as possible. When you are dealing with all voters you are dealing with the whole range of human capacity and behavior. It's not just Democrats. There's a bunch of angry, frustrated Republicans who forgot that several elections ago they registered as "Decline to State" and, thus, were unable to vote for a republican in this primary election, because of republican party rules. Not because of Registrar incompetence or their own stupidity. The voters just forgot that years ago they changed their registration.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 12:11 pm PT...
In my precinct in Illinois, we had 16 paper ballots to distribute to voters...And guess what? 0 problems.
Infact each and every one of the 730 ballots cast, required a signature and a written declaration of party selection.
Illinois has a Consolidated Closed Primary, but any voter can request any party's ballot at the time the ballot is distributed. Infact we had to ask every voter which party ballot they wanted - 730 times - my voice is still abit rough.
Of the few voters who were a bit confused about the process of stating a party, a quick 15 second explaination sufficed.
Folks, this is an organized plan to disenfranchise voters. The level of incompetance shown, is not by chance, but by plan.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
Knife in the back
said on 2/8/2008 @ 12:37 pm PT...
MrBill123 do you think that method would scale well? It certainly sounds more accurate than all the other crap going on right now.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 3:23 pm PT...
I've lived in LA for almost 15 years and have been registered as an independent since I got here. I've never had this kind of thing happen to me before, but luckily, I'm crazy for documenting everything, so I actually shot footage of myself voting and managed to capture the exact moment I blew past the double bubble, leaving it un-inked. Check it out here.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 4:19 pm PT...
ThePete #36, watched your video. I have to say, when you see what the ballot actually looked like, and how the instructions told you "not to vote," it's plain that the whole voting situation in LA County was very confusing, very messy.
You commented that provisional ballots are not counted unless there's a recount. Not true. They are counted just as regular or mail-in ballots are counted, except that they have to be cross-checked to make sure the voter didn't vote fraudulently, such as in double-voted.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 5:52 pm PT...
Another reported problem in LA County is many people who had re-registered in the Republican Party in order to vote in their primary, were still listed on the precinct voter rolls with their previous party.
They had to file provisional ballots in order to vote for their candidate of choice which likely, will never be counted.
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 2/8/2008 @ 6:19 pm PT...
Thanks for clearing my confusion up, Linda. You hear so much from so many different sources these days it's incredibly hard to know who is telling the truth, who is accurate and whether or not what they're saying even applies to you.
You're right when you say it's very confusing and very messy. I'd go further and say it's intentionally so.
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 2/9/2008 @ 9:35 am PT...
Oh, I know that California is supposed to go to all paper but with McCormack and her ilk fighting it, I bet one of their "solutions" to the bubble mess (That she helped create) are DRE's. That they use this mess to keep pushing for paperless voting.
You would think if McCormack wanted Logan to get the job, she would have not helped create the "bubble" mess.
I hope she has no influence with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors after this.
Any election integrity people out there with the credentials for this job? Most of them would be more versed in law, procedure, and hardware now than any Election Center trained candidate.
Prior election experience might be useful but I think ability to organize, think ahead, and hire the right people is more important.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 2/9/2008 @ 3:24 pm PT...
I absolutely agree with you: Election Integrity folks should apply for the position of Registrar/Recorder for Los Angeles County. Folks have strong credentials and strong opinions on how things should work. They should put it all to good use and run elections for the largest elections jurisdiction in the US. 4 million registered voters, around 5,000 polling places. It's gonna pay somewhere around $175,000 to $200,000. Get the job, get to work, and show 'em what you can do.
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 2/9/2008 @ 8:51 pm PT...
So do any of you Californian's know if they have gotten through all the cross checking on the provisonal ballots, figured out the intent of all the voters and summed up the delegates for a final count?
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 2/9/2008 @ 10:57 pm PT...
California law requires the counties to complete their final "Official Canvass" and issue a Statement of Vote within 28 days following the election, which looks to be March 4.
The final statement of vote results are, by law, presumed to be correct. If someone challenges the election results in court, the burden is on the challenger to provide evidence strong enough to convince a court to overturn the election results.
So, while anyone is free to say to the Registrar, "prove that your vote count is correct," the court will say to a challenger, "provide convincing evidence that the vote count is not correct." While one may not like it, that's the rule of law in California.
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 2/10/2008 @ 11:09 am PT...
Confabulator #42's comment underscores that citizens/voters really need to become involved in the process, and then approach their ROVs as allies in an effort to provide productive input re making the process better. This is in contrast to approaching their ROVs as accusers.
You don't have to have a lot of "extra" time in order to become involved. To be a poll worker in my county, all you have to do is attend one 3 to 4 hour training, which can be on a Saturday or not (the ROV is very accommodating), and work election day all day long. That is one day out of your regular life.
I would NOT characterize the work as "fun." It is SATISFYING, which, in our culture, is vastly underrated. Work that is SATISFYING provides us with a sense of accomplishment, of participation, and of meaning. It makes us a part of a larger picture. Please become involved in your local process.
Not everyone who does this is "elderly," or retired, with nothing else to do. And in defense of the "elderly," my 4-member team has two women who are at least in their 70s and possibly in their 80s. They are BOTH very sharp, very clear about procedures, and very quick to get the job done, even after the polls close and we've been working since 6 a.m. Our society is so mistaken about our expectations for our so-called senior citizens.
Lecture over. You may all go home now.
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
Andrea Sea Namaste
said on 2/14/2008 @ 5:02 am PT...
From all that I've read about electronic voting machines, and now that I know even Ink-a-Vote or Mark-a-Vote tabulations can be hacked, I am convinced that we need to go totally simple and straightforward.
1) Vote in Private, Count in Public. This means citizen observers representing all major parties should be involved in all counting, and press and media representatives should be watching for any monkey business.
2) No machines, only Hand Counted Paper Ballots.
If machines are involved in any way, there must still be paper ballots, and those ballots must take priority over machine counts. There must be stringent requirements for spot audits of machine counts (count by hand to make sure machine counts are correct) in statistically sufficient numbers to make sure that any abnormalities are caught. If you read what some statisticians estimate, this means more than one percent audits, it means at least five percent, and randomly done. There must also be exit polls in statistically significant numbers to make sure any abnomalities are caught. Then, if hand audits do not match machine counts, or exit polls do not reflect machine counts, there must be more hand-count audits, and if necessary, paper ballots will allow for a complete hand count. That's how we did it in the old days, and it works. It will irritate the TV news producers that they can't call the election the same night votes are cast, because it may take a day or two to finish counting. They'll just have to get over it.