Re: 7000 Orange County voters given bad ballots

From: <dr-jekyll_at_att_dot_net>
Date: Wed Mar 10 2004 - 17:05:28 CST

Here come my 2 cents:

I think this shows why everything about elections should be done openly. How much of this confusion could have been averted if the equipment and how it worked hadn't been shrouded in secrecy?

As Jeff mentioned, the poll workers are typically under-trained, under-paid, over-worked on election day, etc. In my experience as an Election Judge, I found that to be true.

Also, the poll workers typically don't read the manuals. I was one of the few Election Judges, if not the only one in my area, to study the Election Judge's manual. I once got a soft deal. Due to a sudden death in the family of the regular Election Judge, took another Election Judge's place at a very slow election in Denton. The people working for me that day had many years of experience and, at least at first, were a bit resentful of working for an Election Judge from another precinct. So, I handed them a copy of the Election Judge's Manual and started a game of Stump the Election Judge. In addition to proving my worthiness, I introduced them to a foreign concept -- Read the manual. Most of them had just relied on their years of experience. That attitude needs to be changed.

Another attitude that needs to be changed is the "close enough for government" attitude. Many elections people have allowed things to slip because the problems that have occurred didn't change the outcome of the election they administered. In the 2000 Presidential Election, I filled out the election paperwork honestly and accurately and was nervously questioned by my poll workers. When we added up the voted ballots, the spoiled ballots, and the unvoted ballots, we came up 1 short of the total number sent to us by the county. We checked a few times. Instead of making one number equal the other, I had the audacity to record the exact number of each and said "Maybe one ballot got lost. Maybe one voter took home a souvenir." The people around me were nervous. They had never seen that done before.

Kurt

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Received on Wed Mar 31 23:17:05 2004

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