READER COMMENTS ON
"'Daily Voting News' For March 01, 2008"
(28 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 12:35 am PT...
"Los Angeles Co election officials owe it to the voters to count every ballot possible. They don’t seem to understand that simple premise for some reason."
You know, if you want to have a discussion of the problems with the LA County 'double-bubble' ballot problem, the issues surrounding the different possible methods of counting, the legal aspects, etc., that's great. I'm all for it.
But don't impugn peoples' motives, or their intelligence. It's bush-league, and it is beneath you guys. And it just annoys the hell out of me.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 1:41 am PT...
Seems to me, Robert, that election officials who don't want to count every ballot possible cannot possibly have a good motive. Period. And stating that they don't seem to understand that it is their duty sort of flows naturally from their exhibiting a reluctance to do it. Plus, there is the possibility that when this is pointed out to them by their fellow citizens, they will get with the program.
What righteous motive for not counting everyone's vote can you think of? Other than that there was just no way to tell the voter's intent, there isn't one. That it's an issue at all is still completely unbelievable to me, and I'd really like to hear what you think could possibly be a motive for this that is above reproach.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 7:07 am PT...
We're in Cuyahoga county and aren't answering the phone until Wednesday. One can't sit in the liberry without getting a robo- or volunteer call. Leave me the hell alone to poop in peace!
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 8:53 am PT...
Agent 99 -
"What righteous motive for not counting everyone's vote can you think of?"
I can think of two, though they are essentially related to the idea that Mr. Logan is trying to run a government office, with a limited budget and limited resources.
First, I'd guess that the review of the 'Roster of Voter' books alone has taken at least 1000 man-hours, smack in the middle of trying to put on two primaries in a single spring - for the first time ever - *and* with a re-design (we hope) of the ballot and voting mechanism between the first and second primary. That is, the Registrar's office probably have very little time and very little money to expend on a process that just about everyone agrees will have no ultimate effect on the allocation of delegates.
Second, I suspect that they share my opinion that, should a court challenge ever come to the ad hoc counting plan they are implementing, or the one Brad has put forth, they would lose. And prior to losing, they would have to expend further time and money defending their ad hoc processes.
I know count-the-vote purists don't like to think about stuff like that, but it exists nonetheless.
You yourself gave a sound reason, which I will slightly restate: there's just no way to tell the voter's intent that will survive a court challenge.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 12:03 pm PT...
Robert Earle #4, I'm just wondering since the last election when these double bubble oil and trouble ballots were used how long has it been? The excuse of not enough time or money after how long ago this problem was discovered, seems rather lame in light of original problems were understood and then nothing being done until after a second election. Don't you think? Poor mr logan, he didn't review the processes that are required of him upon taking his position, and now there's just no way to do his job and count votes. I have sympathy for election officials who actaully try to do their job in a timely manner, not for those who stall and whine after the fact the voters get SCREWED!
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 12:11 pm PT...
Logan was named acting Registrar on December 11th. If I remember correctly, he didn't become acting Registrar until after New Years.
And at that point, four weeks before the primary, sample ballot booklets and absentee ballots were already being mailed out. What exactly would you have had him do at that point? I really want to know. What? EXACTLY what would have had him do?
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 12:36 pm PT...
How long had logan worked in the office, not just taking over the position?
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 12:40 pm PT...
He joined the office sometime in 2006.
But I don't see how that makes any difference. Connie McCormack ran the office. If McCormack didn't want to change things, they didn't get changed.
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 12:43 pm PT...
And as for what EXACTLY I would have had him do...there was the chance to warn every nonstated voter of the problem before allowing them to cast their vote! Poll workers could have done this, LARGE POSTED signs could have done this, and Mr. Earle just how much would that have cost?
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 12:52 pm PT...
Well sometime in 2006 would have been an excellent time to review any back up system that could be used in the event the contentious dre's were finally decertified as they in fact became! I'd say that should have been a 101 level decision upon assuming his position!
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 1:00 pm PT...
What kind of a man is he, that he went along without a peep with the all powerful connie?
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 1:01 pm PT...
From the sample ballot booklet sent to every non-partisan voter:
What touched off this whole thread was my objection to John's impugning of Logan and the Registrar's office motives and intelligence. So what we have is a guy who inherited a potential mess, and who took steps to avert the mess. When the mess came to be anyway, I presented non-malevolent reasons why he might resist legally problematic methods to deal with the mess.
So my objection remains: disagee with their actions if you like; agrue alternatives; but why impugn their motives or their intelligence?
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 1:11 pm PT...
"What kind of a man is he, that he went along without a peep with the all powerful connie?"
See, that's exactly what I'm talking about! Do you have any first-hand, second-hand, even third-hand knowledge that "he went along without a peep"? Because if not, why assume he did so? Why impugn his motives, his integrity yet give no evidence whatsoever?
Arguing the merits of his actions is fine. Questioning his manhood - whatever the hell that means - is just wrong, and doesn't belong here. Just stop it.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 1:28 pm PT...
Neither of those reasons is righteous. They're both feeble.
We don't have the time or money to count you is not democracy.
We'd count you if nobody could challenge us is not democracy.
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 1:30 pm PT...
Okay, what kind of a person would go along without a peep? As far as no evidence, I'm an election worker, and that notice that was sent out looks about as helpful as dirt. When people come to the polls is when you make sure they understand the instructions. And this brings us right to John's point, to have allowed the mess to go on without making damn sure people knew how to avoid it does call his competence and integrity into question.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 2:40 pm PT...
Oh yeah, one more thing he could have done, he could have had it announced on local news days before the primary for several days? You know, local news channels that are suppose to inform people of just this kind of CRAP!
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 3:17 pm PT...
Robert Earle -
Responding to a number of your comments above, since I just noticed this thread...
the Registrar's office probably have very little time and very little money to expend on a process that just about everyone agrees will have no ultimate effect on the allocation of delegates.
By that "process" you would mean the process of counting the votes of voters?! Tens of thousands of them?? Who else should be responsible for that duty? The Dog Catcher Commission?
Need I remind you of Article II of the California Constitution which states:
"A voter who casts a vote in an election in accordance with the laws of this State shall have that vote counted."
...I notice no "only if it will have effect on the allocation of delegates" clause there.
I know count-the-vote purists don't like to think about stuff like that, but it exists nonetheless.
"Count-the-vote purists"?! Are you seriously writing that phrase with a straight face, Robert?
there's just no way to tell the voter's intent that will survive a court challenge.
Bullshit. Who's your legal authority for that, Robert? The ones I've consulted with do not concur with you.
You're playing as much the apologist for Logan at this point, as he earlier played for the irresponsible Conny McCormack who knew damned well about this problem for years but chose to do nothing about it, only to literally pull a Condi Rice and say "who could have forseen it?" after the public found about it.
She knows damned well for could have forseen it. Her.
Apologizing for her, as Logan did, was pathetic. Apologizing for him, as you are now doing, is equally as pathetic.
What exactly would you have had him do at that point? I really want to know. What? EXACTLY what would have had him do?
For a start, while I was originally fully prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt (as I did) because it was Conny's scheme, not his, I would NOT have blamed voters and pollworkers, as he did. I would NOT have tried to justify the disaster by claiming an extensive education program that didn't occur. I would NOT have claimed the voter intent of most of the ballots was "impossible to determine" as he did.
I would have thrown Conny under the bus, where she belongs, taken full responsibility for the problem, and counted every damned vote possible instead of doing everything I could to do everything but that.
So what we have is a guy who inherited a potential mess, and who took steps to avert the mess.
No, we have a guy who inherited a potential mess, got hit with that mess, and did everything he could to avoid having to clean it up. Including the number one sin: Having the temerity to blame both poll-workers and voters for his office's own complete and utter failures.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 6:04 pm PT...
Some interesting information re: TX election systems. By my good friend ms in la.
THE TEXAS ELECTION SYSTEMS:
Texas has a very wide diversity of voting systems, including many paperless DREs. Over 100 counties have both DREs and optical scanning equipment systems.
Among the 15 most populous counties in the state, county Clerk's offices have confirmed that at least 8 use DREs exclusively in early voting. These include Dallas, Bexar, and Hidalgo counties, which use the iVotronic in early voting, and El Paso County, which uses only the Premier TSx [otherwise known as Diebold touchscreens] in early voting. Tarrant, Nueces, Galveston, and Montgomery use the Hart eSlate in early voting. A great deal of the votes in the Texas primary will be cast on paperless DREs, and will not be verifiable.
25 counties use the Hart eSlate as the primary system
40 counties have the Hart eSlate/eScan combination
19 counties use the ES&S iVotronic touch screen with ES&S central-count equipment.
95 of the state's 254 counties use optically scanned paper ballots (AutoMark by ES&S)
Please read the article linked below from Verified Voting on the problems with the Hart systems used in Texas:
It seems that the Hart Intercivic voting system used in Harris County allows anyone with access and a passcode to modify vote totals from an election without leaving any record of the modification.
But it gets worse. According to Dan Wallach of Rice University's Computer Security Lab, who served on the task force that recently studied the Hart system as part of the California Secretary of State’s electronic voting system review, the "encryption key" code can be extracted from voting equipment at any precinct.
Computer expert John R. Behrman, who observed the vote adjustments, said he was “shocked” when he saw German use a series of passwords and an "encryption key" --- a series of numbers on a nail file-size computer memory storage device --- to reach a computer program that said "Adjustment."
[...]The design of the Hart system is entirely insufficient to prevent such attacks, should a competent attacker wish to make them. Professor Wallach notes that as a result of the review of Hart’s system, the California Secretary of State (Debra Bowen) imposed a variety of conditions on the use of Hart systems, but that in Texas, such procedures are far behind the California standards – and in his opinion are unacceptably error-prone and insecure.
TEXAS REGISTRATION DATABASE ISSUES:
Ohio and Texas have had problems getting their registration databases up and running, creating fears that it may take days to tally votes from these important contests.
In rural Henderson County, for instance, election officials opted for a privately run database rather than use the state's system.
According to Texas figures, 39 of 254 counties use their own databases.
The state system was "forever going down, having glitches. We couldn't deal with it and operate, too," said registrar Carolyn Craig. "We got tired of dealing with it."
TEXAS CAUCUS SYSTEMS (for one third of the delegates)
The caucus — officially dubbed a "precinct convention" — begins at 7:15 p.m. or when the polls close, whichever is later. People who work at night are effectively excluded from the Texas caucuses. John Blevins, a professor at South Texas College of Law, said caucuses also exclude people who cannot afford baby sitters, the elderly and the sick.
Caucus-goers arrive and put their names and presidential preference on the "sign-in sheet." Ideally, they should show proof of having voted in the Democratic primary, but it is not absolutely necessary, according to the Harris County Democratic Party.
One unknown is how caucus leaders will confirm that each attendee voted in the Democratic primary. Voters should have received a stamp or receipt after they cast their ballots, but some did not get one. Heavy turnout also meant poll workers ran out of the receipts at times, Roppolo said. Some voters may forget their receipts...
"If you didn't get anything, don't panic," Roppolo said. "Go ahead and participate, and party workers will check that you voted over the next few days."
The group first elects a chair and secretary. Those two then take a count, noting the total number of people and how many are for Obama or Clinton. Delegates then are distributed proportionally.
Though the basic principles are simple, some fear that massive turnout and a tight race could create unforeseen problems at the 874 caucuses throughout Harris County.
"They're not well-understood, they're not well-documented, and the rules have been followed quite loosely in the past," said April Lloyd, assistant primary director for Harris County Democratic Primary
TEXAS NOVEMBER 2006 GLITCH
In Texas,(November 2006) election officials recounted ballots after an ES&S computer glitch incorrectly showed long-shot Constitution party candidate Ron Avery ahead by a large margin in the race for a House of Representatives seat. The winner was really Democratic incumbent Henry Cuellar.
The county's top election official discovered the mistake when early voting results in House District 28 put the Constitution Party candidate ahead of popular Democratic incumbent Henry Cuellar by almost 2,000 votes with roughly 2,200 tabulated.
(From the AP)
The problem was not in the touch screen voting machines, nor the cartridges that record the totals, but in the specific software program written to compile the totals, Navarro said.
(note: they can never say the word "tabulator" - the T word)
The machines and cartridges correctly recorded votes and election officials were able to manually add votes based on the totals from each of the county's 500 voting machines.
"It was a coding-slash-programming error," Navarro said. "I can tell you the programmer is devastated."
Election Systems and Software provides voting equipment to 145 of the 254 counties in Texas, according to the secretary of state.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 7:00 pm PT...
Thanks Brad, I feel much better now!
And no doubt Jen, that's how they've stayed so red for so long.
How are we not suppose to think the whole system isn't gamed, if during their own elections candidates still won't touch election integrity issues?
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 7:25 pm PT...
One more note to feed the general paranoia here...for the last hour or two, the Registrar's web site has been down.
Clearly, they are up to no good.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 9:01 pm PT...
Well, well, well, I'd say constantly shifing your claims and not successfully defending even one shows you for what you are. The preponderance of now available expert evidence does not equal paranoia. You see, just because someone is not a blind faith patriot does not make them paranoid. Quite the reverse, with trillions of missing dollars and billions of wasted election dollars, I'd say people who are asking the hard questions are much more patriotic and SANE!
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 10:09 pm PT...
Ancient, you said before that you were a pollworker. What precinct did you work at? I'd like to look you up and see how you did (in the current precinct reports, and whatever final reports they publish Tuesday (or whenever).
I worked at precinct #7150098D, Power Ford on PCH in Torrance.
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 11:05 pm PT...
Robert, I'm from PA, but I've been reading Brad, John Gideon, Vote Trust, Black Box Voting, Vote PA, and an Allegheny group for a long time, so am well informed as to what happened out there. Look at the evidence and his actions, think for yourself. How much clearer can it be that he did not do everything he could have and is putting himself above YOUR LAWS BY NOT COUNTING THE VOTES! TRUE DEMOCRACY DEMANDS IT!
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 11:11 pm PT...
You know Robert your sounding defensive. As Brad pointed out this is not the all the pollworkers fault, ultimately the guy you have been defending is responsible. If he can't stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen.
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 3/2/2008 @ 11:38 pm PT...
Ancient - Ooops, I assumed you meant that you were a pollworker in Los Angeles. My Mistake.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2008 @ 12:15 am PT...
That's okay Robert, but please consider what's been said. Our democracy has been out sourced. Our only way to get it back is to nonviolently fight for it. Yeah I'm angry and my tone is harsh more often than I'd like it to be. That's one of the reasons I come here, people get how important all this is, and incredibly still maintain a sense of humor to help get you through it all.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2008 @ 7:32 am PT...
I still think that the system we imposed on Germany and Japan in the aftermath of WWII, a system that was designed to enable the birth of true, transparent democracies, was brilliant! Paper ballots, hand-marked by the voters, and hand-counted by volunteers in front of any interested members of the public who cared to show up - in Canada they use the same system and they have the results in the morning, and recounts can be done just as quickly and cheaply, if necessary. Why the heck do Americans want everything to be computerized? What is electricity? Come on, admit it, you only know you don't want to touch a lot of it! Shoot, even here in the "formerly communist" Czech Republic they hand-mark paper ballots, and hand-count them. With respect to this whole DRE issue, I have to ask, "Cui bono?" And don't say "Sonny" - it's time for straight answers!!!
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 3/3/2008 @ 8:53 am PT...
It all comes back to this question.
Do you want some fat ass sitting in his Lazy Boy raking thousands of votes from non-voting registered voters by going down the states lists and voting for them and also hacking the electronic poll books and electronically signing for them that they did vote ?
Would you like to see the same fat ass running precinct to precinct stuffing ballot boxes and sweating his ass off trying to forge signatures ?
Which would be easier to spot ?
I, at the very least want them to break a sweat if they are going to do it.