-- Brad Friedman
I had the opportunity to ask an important question of both the legendary Leon County (Tallahassee), FL, Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho, and Los Angeles County's no-longer-interim Registrar of Voters, Dean Logan, last week here in Los Angeles.
Readers of The BRAD BLOG will remember Logan from his poor showing, as acting Registrar, in the handling of L.A.'s Super Tuesday "Double Bubble" ballot debacle, in which at least 12,000 mostly-perfectly-countable votes from the Democratic Primary went completely uncounted, as well as his handling of the failure I encountered myself, in the more recent state primary in June, when four of my own votes were printed incorrectly by the county's ES&S electronic voting system.
Sancho was in town for press avails, in advance of the opening of Dorothy Fadiman's new documentary Stealing America: Vote-by-Vote (opening for week-long runs in NYC on Aug 1st, and in L.A. on Aug 15th - DISCLOSURE: I appear briefly in the film). Logan, to his credit, was kind enough to show up, with his deputy Peter McNamara, for a screening of the film held by PDA last Thursday.
After the screening, Sancho, a compelling presence in Fadiman's film, as he was in HBO's landmark 2006 documentary, Hacking Democracy, answered questions, and the activists in the crowd managed to shoehorn Logan onto the stage to speak to a number of local concerns as well.
I took the opportunity to ask a few questions of both men, as captured by Alan Breslauer, with answers, on the video posted at the end of this article.
Of most important note, I wanted to know if either of them would commit to a hand-count of ballots in a handful of precincts this November, on an experimental basis, on Election Night. The count, in such a "pilot program" as I described it, needn't be the official count, but could later be compared to the results as reported by both counties' optical-scanners, since both L.A. and Leon County use paper ballots for their non-disabled voters.
As I've advocated to a few other election officials in the past, hand-counting in this small, experimental way would help us all to begin to compile data about the effectiveness --- or even, lack thereof --- of transparent, polling-place based HCPB (Hand-Counted Paper Ballots) on Election Night, as many Election Integrity advocates have called for...