County election boss claims there's no deadline for manual count of e-voting 'paper trails'
State SoS seems to disagree...
By Brad Friedman on 1/31/2009, 2:26pm PT  

We know what the excuse is in MN, but what's the excuse in Riverside County, CA?

Seems there is none, other than County Registrar Barbara Dunmore's hope to ensure the county remains one of the absolute worst places to cast a vote in the entire nation (and there's some stiff competition there!)

Though Dunmore certified the results of last November's election on Dec. 2 as "full, true and correct" --- 28 days after the election, as per state law --- it turns out she's still counting votes, months after the election. In secret...

Incredibly, while every other county in the state finished on time and didn't need to lie about "full, true and correct" totals, Dunmore failed to complete the state-mandated hand-count of "paper trail" votes cast on touch-screen voting machines.

So they are still counting, the Sec. of State's office is flummoxed about it, and Dunmore is claiming the state law that requires hand-counts of Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) paper trails (due to concerns about security and accuracy of such devices) doesn't require her to actually do that count before certifying the election.

According to Julia Glick's excellent coverage in the Press-Enterprise the CA SoS office, at this time, has no explanation for what's going on and seems to disagree with Dunmore's assertion that she can take as long as she wants to hand-count the DRE paper trails...

"At the end of the 28-day canvass, counties confirm to the secretary of state's office that their totals are, in fact, true and correct, which allows the secretary of state to then confirm state's results," [SoS spokesperson Kate] Folmar said, adding that votes must be counted and verified in accordance with state laws and regulations. "It would be alarming for a county official to certify results to Secretary of State Bowen if they were not."

According to a complaint filed by Riverside Election Integrity advocate Art Cassell, apparently Dunmore also doesn't feel the counting, now months after the election, needs to be done in public view, as per state law, either. Amazing.

As long-time BRAD BLOG readers may recall (and as other may search for, if they wish), Riverside County has a storied history of massive e-voting disasters and embarrassments since becoming the first county in the nation to go all touch-screen back in 2000. They were subsequently forced to go back to (mostly) paper ballots after CA SoS Debra Bowen's landmark "Top-to-Bottom Review" of e-voting systems found them, um, lacking.

How it is that Dunmore still has a job defies explanation at this point.

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