Update from Washington state

From: Fred McLain <mclain_at_zipcon_dot_net>
Date: Fri Nov 19 2004 - 11:39:36 CST

It's official, there will be a recount in Washington. Unfortunately we
missed the required hand recount in the governor's race by, (at last
count), 11 votes. In Washington an election has to be within 250 votes
to trigger a hand recount. I'm a bit bummed about all of this since I
live in a district that uses the Sequoia touch screen systems. If there
was a hand recount it would not be possible here and might trigger legal
action requiring paper ballots.

I had an interesting experience on election day. As I noted before on
this list, I did use the Sequoia DRE during the primary. I heard on NPR
from Sam Reed our SoS that a paper ballot could be requested when
voting. On election day I requested a paper ballot and the election
judge said in a rather loud voice "why do you want one!?!". I explained
that it was because Sam Reed said I could. I then spent the next 1/2
hour explaining what a DRE was, why I wanted to do a paper ballot etc.
Only one of the poll workers understood what a DRE was even though that
is what they were using. This created a great deal of confusion and
discussion at the elementary school library where I cast my vote. In
the end I was told to vote on a provisional ballot even though I was
registered at that polling place. My vote still hasn't been counted. I
was given a slip of paper with a code and a phone number to call *at
least 30 days after the election* to verify if my vote was ever
counted. This means I'm not one of the 11 voters that determined if the
hand recount was to take place. The vote probably will be certified
well before my provisional ballot is counted. Something is seriously
wrong with this picture. Non-DRE voters in Snohomish County were not
allowed to participate in determining if a machine recount or hand
recount was required here. This is very disturbing since we use the
ES&S systems for counting over 70% of our vote (absentee) here in
Washington and a lot of the rest is on the Sequoia DRE.

I'd like to hear suggestions on how to take action on this.


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Received on Tue Nov 30 23:17:36 2004

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