Re: Ms. Tobi's overheated rhetoric

From: Arlene Montemarano <mikarl_at_starpower_dot_net>
Date: Sun Nov 11 2007 - 18:56:11 CST

Dear Arthur,

Thank you for your response.

Think of the millions and millions of dollars spent in the last few
years on this complex technology using electrons.

Had even a large chunk of that been spent as pay for vote counters,
people would behave as they do with any other fairly paid job. They
would hold up their end. Why rely on volunteers or near volunteers,
when, if there were sufficient compensation, plenty would step up. And
the money paid out would benefit the community and not the Urosovich
brothers, Wally O'Dell or their like.

The faults you rightly mention are the result of a badly designed and
poorly planned system and not of the concept.

I am including an on-the-ground analysis of actual systems used for this
by Sheila Parks, in case you have not seen it.

It addresses your concerns in a way that I see as being completely
workable. And so does the information provided by Nancy Tobi on the
website,
> http://www.democracyfornewhampshire.com/
After the application of these methods, any electronic verification
would be fine, if there is money for it.
=========
Original Content at
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_sheila_p_070718_on_site_observations.htm

------------------------------------------------------------------------
*July 18, 2007

**ON-SITE OBSERVATIONS OF THE HAND-COUNTING OF PAPER BALLOTS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION OF 2008

*/By Sheila Parks

/*ON-SITE OBSERVATIONS OF THE HAND-COUNTING OF PAPER BALLOTS AND
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION OF 2008

*
Copyright 2007 by Sheila Parks, Ed.D.

  *_INTRODUCTION

_*Between May 2, 2006 and November 7, 2006, I observed the hand-counting
of paper ballots in three elections in two New England states. The
purpose of these observations was to gather first-hand data concerning
the feasibility, effectiveness and accuracy of the use of HCPB. These
elections were as follows:

(1) Rockport, Massachusetts (MA), on May 2, 2006, Town Election

(2) Hudson, MA, on May 8, 2006, Town Election

(3) Acton, Maine (ME), on November 7, 2006, General Election

All three hand-countings of paper ballots were conducted smoothly and
were finished in a timely manner. This paper describes the various
protocols used and presents recommendations for the use of hand-counted
paper ballots (HCPB) in the upcoming elections of 2008. Absentee
ballots, provisional ballots and chain of custody of the ballots are not
dealt with in this paper, although they are also crucial elements of an
HCPB system.[1]
 

Much has been written about the fraud and error associated with the use
of electronic voting machines -- both Direct Recording Electronic
(DRE'S/touchscreens) and Optical Scan (op scans/opti scans).[2]
Because of this fraud and error, HCPB have been put forth as an
alternative to electronic voting machines.[3] The use of an HCPB
system will ensure that each vote is counted as intended and as cast by
the voter. Although HCPB do not address the egregious suppression of
the vote (mostly of people of color, elders and low income people),
partnering a solution to the elimination of this suppression with the
use of HCPB is the only way to have honest and transparent elections.
 

The jurisdictions that I observed were not selected randomly. They were
places that I could drive to comfortably from my home in Boston, MA.
Moreover, I was interested in observing an election in Acton, ME because
the Town Clerk had told me that after the first hand-counting, the
ballots would be hand-counted a second time.[4] I received permission
to observe the elections from each Secretary of State, or their
assistants, and from each Town Clerk. For full transparency, I
introduced myself as an advocate of HCPB, who wanted to observe an HCPB
election. I was very well received and felt comfortable in all places.
All three Town Clerks were very generous with their time and expertise.
 

In each of the three elections observed, number two pencils were used by
the voters to hand mark their paper ballots. In each of the elections,
the counters worked in teams of two. In addition, the counters were
told that it was the intent of the voter that was to be counted, and
when in doubt, the counters called over the Town Clerk or Warden[5] to
ask questions about specific ballots and how to count them. Finally, in
each of the elections, the counters were able to hand-count the paper
ballots in a short time (see specifics below).

 _A*CTON, ME, NOVEMBER 7, 2006, GENERAL ELECTION*_

I will first describe the HCPB election in Acton, ME on November 7, 2006
because this protocol used a procedure that would produce the most
accurate count of the votes - namely, a second hand-count was done
immediately after the first hand-count.

The ballot box was a plain, wooden box with a slot into which voters put
their ballots. There were six teams, of two counters each, doing the
hand-counting. The counters came in specifically to count; they had not
worked at the polls earlier in the day. Each team consisted of a
Republican and a Democrat. The teams first counted the ballots into
batches of 50, and then these batches of 50 were counted again.
 

The teams then hand-counted the votes cast in each contest for each
batch of 50 ballots in the following manner: One member of the team
would read out loud the name marked off for each contest; the other
member of the team marked the vote on a tally sheet that corresponded to
the ballot. A voter's entire ballot was tallied for all of the contests
before the counters went on to tally the next voter's ballot. The
talliers counted each vote by making a hash mark (small, straight
vertical line).[6] After four vertical lines were made, a fifth line
was made diagonally through the first four marks. For each person
running for office (and for each initiative), the tally sheet was marked
off into five columns vertically and two rows horizontally, providing 10
rectangular spaces in each of which five hash marks could be written --
a total of 50 hash marks - i.e., votes - per contest or initiative. A
dark horizontal line separated the names in each contest. At the end of
the counting of all of the races in a batch of 50 ballots, the counters
totaled the hash marks for each race on the tally sheet and entered that
number on the tally sheet in the "TOTAL VOTE" column. There was a
special sheet for write-ins.
 

Immediately after the first hand-count of a batch of 50 ballots, a
second hand-count, on a new tally sheet, was done of this same batch of
50 ballots by these same counters. Again, the entire ballot of each
voter was tallied before the counters proceeded to the next voter's
ballot. This time, the person who had read the names out loud marked
each vote on the tally sheet, and the person who had tallied read out
loud the ballot choices. After the votes on all 50 ballots in a batch
were marked on the tally sheet, the totals for each contest were
obtained and written on the tally sheet. If the totals for the
candidates in any contest or for any initiative were not exactly the
same on the first and second tally sheets (i.e. on the first and second
countings), these contests or initiatives were counted a third time. I
observed such a situation two times.
 

The HCPB election in Acton, ME demonstrates that paper ballots can be
hand-counted immediately a second time, at the precinct on election
night, before the results are posted at the precinct, in order to ensure
an honest and transparent count in a timely manner. The election in
Acton, ME also indicates that paper ballots can be hand-counted in a
very short time. With seven races and two initiatives, the six teams of
two people each were able to hand-count twice 944 ballots in four hours.

*_ ROCKPORT, MA, MAY 2, 2006, TOWN ELECTIONHUDSON, MA, May 8, 2006, TOWN
ELECTION_*

The elections in Rockport and Hudson will be discussed together because
they were similar in various respects. Both counted the votes cast only
once,[7] and both used the same kind of tally sheets provided by the MA
Secretary of State. In both jurisdictions the ballots were counted into
batches of 50. The tally sheet was a large piece of paper that was
marked off into a grid with horizontal and vertical lines forming small
rectangular boxes (similar to the squares of graph paper). The vertical
columns were marked with a heavy line at each multiple of five columns.
There were 50 rectangular boxes across each horizontal line. At the top
of the tally sheet, each vertical column was numbered from 1-50. On
both the left hand and right hand sides of the tally sheet were the
names of the people running in that particular race. One tally, as a
hash mark, was put into one box, beside the name of the person voted
for. A voter's entire ballot was tallied for all of the contests before
the counters went on to tally the next voter's ballot. After the 50
ballots were tallied, the totals for each contest were entered into the
"Totals" column at the end of the 50th box. Blanks and write-ins were
also marked on this sheet. Four or five teams of two poll workers did
the hand-count. One read from the ballot, and the other person placed
the hash mark in the appropriate box on the tally sheet.
 

Rockport, MA used an old wooden ballot box.[8] A poll worker turned
the brass handle on the box as each voter put her/his ballot into the
box. Numbers on the front of the box automatically changed as ballots
were placed in it, counting the cumulative number of ballots placed in
the box. The machine marked each ballot with the precinct number down
the center of the ballot as it went through the machine. The preceding
characteristics of the ballot box provided a measure of security for the
ballots, minimizing the danger of stuffing the ballot box, a criticism
often leveled at the HCPB process. As noted earlier, this paper does
not examine in detail issues of security such as chain of custody, but
rather deals with protocols for HCPB.

 

There were two crews of poll workers, morning and afternoon. One crew
came in at 6:30AM and worked until 12:30PM. The second crew came in at
12:30PM and worked until 6:30PM. At 6:30PM, the second crew went home
for dinner until 8PM, when they came back to hand-count the paper
ballots. The morning shift came back at 6:30PM to work at the polls and
then to hand-count the paper ballots. The polls closed at 8PM. The
paper ballots were hand-counted by five teams of two workers each.
 

In Hudson, the ballot box was an old box made of gray wood. The ballot
box rang when the voter put in her/his ballot, and the poll worker
turned the crank of the box, moving the ballot from the slot of the box
into the box. When the poll worker cranked the ballot into the ballot
box, each ballot was inked with "Town of Hudson, precinct 6."[9] This
ballot box also provided a degree of security for the ballots.
 

The Clerk could hire eight people per precinct, not including the Warden
and Clerk, who were also present for the hand-counting. There were two
shifts of poll workers, 7AM-5PM and 5PM-8PM, which was when the polls
closed. The second shift did the counting. Poll workers had to be
registered voters in the town of Hudson. Although it was preferred that
the counters lived in the precinct where they worked, it was not
necessary.
 

The elections in Rockport and Hudson again demonstrate that paper
ballots can be hand-counted in a reasonable time. In Rockport, it took
about one hour to hand-count 522 ballots; there were six races and no
initiatives. In Hudson it took about one hour to hand-count 59 ballots;
there were 14 races and no initiatives. As noted, both communities used
ballot boxes that provided a degree of security for the ballots.

*_RECOMMENDATIONS TO BEGIN WITH THE 2008 GENERAL ELECTION (WHICH
INCLUDES THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION)

Recommendations Based on My Observations_*

(1) Based on my observations in Acton, ME, this paper recommends the
hand-counting of paper ballots followed immediately by a complete second
hand-counting and a reconciliation of the two counts, if necessary, by
additional counting.[10] A second hand-counting is crucial to check
the accuracy of the first hand-count. If a discrepancy is found between
the two countings, counting should continue until the counts are
reconciled. This paper also recommends the procedure used in Acton of
counting the ballots into batches of 50, counting a batch of 50 and then
immediately counting that batch of 50 again. Some critics of electronic
voting machines have pointed out the need to obtain a second count,
called an audit, after the first original tabulation of votes; however,
there is no consensus as to how such an audit should or could be done.
The second counting of ballots recommended in this paper goes beyond the
concept of an audit to a comprehensive process encompassing a second
counting of every vote and a reconciliation of the two counts.
 

(2) From my observations of these three hand countings, I prefer the
tally sheets used in Acton, ME over the graph-like grid used in both
Rockport, MA and Hudson, MA. During my observations, it appeared that
the Acton tally sheet was easier for the counters to use. With the
grid-like tally sheets, care had to be taken by the counters not to lose
their place.
 

(3) Because HCPB require careful attention to and scrutiny of the
ballots, it is recommended that people who have not worked at the polls
all day come in to do the counting, as in Acton, ME.
 

(4) As noted, this paper does not deal in detail with the issue of
security of the ballots. However, it is recommended that research be
done concerning the cost of manufacturing ballot boxes with the
characteristics described for Hudson, MA and Rockport, MA.
*_ _*

*_Additional Recommendations
_*

The present author has been involved with voting rights for the last
five years. Based on her previous work,[11] she also further expands
the use of HCPB to include the following recommendations:
 

(1) In addition to the four recommendations presented above, it is
recommended that an HCPB protocol also have the following
characteristics: (a) Ballots would be counted at the precinct by
registered voters in that precinct. (b) The counting would be done in
full view of the public. (c) The counting would be videotaped. (d) The
results would be posted at the precinct immediately after the count.
(e) To be manageable, precincts would be no larger than 1000 registered
voters. (Because the concept of HCPB operates at the precinct level,
even large communities can adopt such a system.) (f) In each precinct
there would be at least 10 teams of two counters each (a Democrat and a
Republican).[12] These teams would count the ballots, one counter
reading the name and the other counter making the mark on the tally
sheet. For the second counting, the counters on each team would switch
roles. (g) Whether or not there would be observers as part of the team
of counters, and if so, how many, needs more research and is beyond the
scope of this paper.
 

(2) This paper recommends that poll workers who participate in the
process of HCPB be paid at a rate that will be respected by the
community. This will be possible because a large amount of money will
be saved with the elimination of electronic voting machines. The Help
America Vote Act (HAVA) paid states hundreds of millions of dollars to
buy electronic voting machines, both DRE'S and/or op scans.[13] One
machine can cost anywhere from $3,000 - $5,000[14] and that amount does
not include storing, maintenance, and upgrade. In contrast, for an HCPB
election, the cost for the counting could be $2400.00 per precinct for
each election, with ten teams of two workers each, as described above,
and paying each worker $20/hour for six hours ($120). HCPB by
registered voters from the precinct would also keep the money in the
community. As is true for op scan electronic voting machines, money
would also have to be spent for the cost of printing the ballots.[15]
If hundreds of millions of dollars had not been spent for the purchase,
storage and upgrade of electronic voting machines, imagine the money our
communities could have used for health care and education.

 *_EPILOGUE_*

On January 4, 2006, I had the good fortune to watch on TV the voting in
Congress for Speaker of the House. One at a time, each representative
called out orally her/his choice for Speaker, and that vote was tallied
by hand. This hand counting of oral votes was done by two Republicans
and two Democrats, all of whom had been appointed by the Clerk of the
House. The Electronic Board that usually counts the votes of the
Representatives was not used for this count; the official vote was
tallied by hand. I could not help but wonder how the Representatives
would have felt had their votes not been recorded accurately, or not at
all, as voters throughout the USA experienced in recent elections. For
voters in each precinct in the USA, hand-counting of paper ballots would
assure that each of our votes is counted as intended and as cast, as the
oral votes of our Representatives, were hand-counted, as intended and as
cast, in the House of Representatives.
 

*_ENDNOTES

_*[1] For a beginning discussion of chain of custody, see the present
author's paper /Hand-Counted Paper Ballots Now./ A version of this
article first appeared in the April 2006 issue of /Tikkun,/
http://www.tikkun.org/magazine/specials/article.2006-04-10.1693298872 ,
retrieved from the Web February 28, 2007. An updated version can be
found at http://electionfraudnews.com/News/HCPBNow.htm, retrieved from
the Web February 28, 2007. "Ballot boxes must be clearly marked and
visible in plain view. Ballot boxes will be sealed and locked whenever
they contain ballots and are not being actively used. Ballot boxes are
secured from the beginning of voting until the end of counting by a
chain of custody procedure. Ballot boxes never leave the polling place
until after the vote is counted, audited and certified. Each time
ballot boxes move from the physical control of or visual contact from
one person to another, a duplicate record signed by all counters and
observers must be made relinquishing and gaining control. There will be
a documentation process wherein each ballot box will have a record of
its handling from the beginning of the day to the end of counting. On
the web site of computer science expert Professor Douglas W. Jones,
there is a very clear and detailed protocol for "Ballot and Ballot Box
Transportation" and "Ballot Storage." The reader is referred
specifically to these two sections (the last two on this link):
http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/~jones/voting/paper.html
<http://www.cs.uiowa.edu/%7Ejones/voting/paper.html>

[2] Listed here are some of the outstanding articles about the fraud and
error resulting from electronic voting machines; some are from the
mainstream media, others from scholarly sources, and yet others from
technical groups: (1) The public hacking of electronic voting machines
by Harri Hursti, working with Black Box Voting,
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/2197/6847.html, retrieved from
the Web February 21, 2007. (2) The U.S. Government Accountability
Office (GAO) in its nonpartisan September 2005 report on elections
states in its conclusions: "Numerous recent studies and reports have
highlighted problems with the security and reliability of electronic
voting systems ... the concerns they raise have the potential to affect
election outcomes ... Federal Efforts to Improve Security and
Reliability of Electronic Voting Systems Are Under Way, But Key
Activities Need to be Completed.",
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05956.pdf, retrieved from the Web March 7,
2007. (3) Article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in Rolling Stone (Issue
1002, June 15, 2006),
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/11717105/robert_f_kennedy_jr__will_the_next_election_be_hacked/print
, retrieved from the Web February 21, 2007. (4) Report of the Brennan
Center Task Force of NYU, on June 27, 2006,
http://www.brennancenter.org/press_detail.asp?key=100&subkey=36345
<http://www.brennancenter.org/press_detail.asp?key=100&subkey=36345> ,
retrieved from the Web February 21, 2007 and
http://brennancenter.org/dynamic/subpages/download_file_38150.pdf,
retrieved from the Web February 22, 2007. (5) Papers by Ed Felton et
al. from Princeton University in Sept. 2006,
http://dubiousprofundity.com/hackthevote.pdf, retrieved from the Web
February 21, 2007. (6) Problems that occurred with electronic voting
machines in many states in the General Election on November 7, 2006,
especially the 18,000 undervotes in Sarasota County, FL,
http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2006/12/20/cq_2056.html, retrieved from the
Web February 20, 2007. (7) NIST discussion draft, December 1, 2006,
http://vote.nist.gov/DraftWhitePaperOnSIinVVSG2007-20061120.pdf,
retrieved from the Web February 22, 2007. (8) The annotated
bibliography by Rady Ananda, http://tinyurl.com/2gwlve , retrieved from
the Web May 11, 2007.

[3] On August 4, 2006, Nancy Tobi posted this article about HCPB in NH,
http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_nancy_to_060804_the_granite_state_de.
<http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_nancy_to_060804_the_granite_state_de.htm>
htm
<http://www.opednews.com/articles/genera_nancy_to_060804_the_granite_state_de.htm>
, retrieved from the Web March 12, 2007. An editorial first carried in
the _Ketchikan Daily News_, December 1, 2006, written by Editor Terry
Miller, called for HCPB for the president and vice president,
http://www.ketchikandailynews.com/, retrieved from the Web January 12,
2007. (Thanks to John Gideon of Daily Voting News for pointing out the
Ketchikan editorial.) On December 7, 2006, the editorial was then
picked up by the _Juneau Empire_, http://juneauempire.com/smart_search/,
retrieved from the Web January 12, 2007. Rady Ananda wrote an HCPB
Implementation Strategy for 2007 on January 3, 2007,
http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_rady_ana_070102_evoting_exit_strateg.htm
, retrieved from the Web March 13, 2005. In February 2007, in Missouri
(MO), Show Me The Vote, led by Phil Lindsey, introduced an initiative to
go on the ballot that, if passed, would mean that MO would not use
electronic voting machines in their elections, but would use HCPB. This
initiative must first get enough votes from the public to appear on the
ballot, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0702/S00271.htm , by Michael
Collins, retrieved from the Web March 12, 2007. (To contact Show Me The
Vote, email Phil at galloglas@sbcglobal.net
<mailto:galloglas@sbcglobal.net> .) Another HCPB initiative, led by
Kathleen Wynne, is in the form of a petition from the American People to
Congress, urging Congress to reintroduce the Paper Ballot Bill of 2006,
http://hcpbnow.org/petition.html , retrieved from the Web July 13,
2007. In June 2007, at The DFA (Democracy for America) Democracy Fest
in New Hampshire, in a telephone call to the attendees, Representative
Dennis Kucinich stated that he will introduce The Paper Ballot Bill of
2007, mandating HCPB for all federal offices. Kucinich has changed the
bill from his 2006 version, H.R. 6200, which had mandated HCPB for the
offices of president and vice-president only,
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:h6200ih.txt.pdf
<http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:h6200ih.txt.pdf>
, retrieved from the Web, March 30, 2007.
[4] I observed one of the three HCPB methods authorized by the Maine
Secretary of State, called "The Reading Method": "The team counts each
lot together; 1 member reads and the other member tallies. The team
members then switch roles, so that the tally is done a second time. If
they agree, that count is completed. If there is a discrepancy, the
team must recount the race or races where the count was off. ...." From
Maine Revised Statutes Annotated (MRSA), CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS, Chapter
9, page 3, (Title 21-A 695).

[5] "Warden" is the name used in Massachusetts for the poll worker in
charge of the election in that precinct. Different names are used in
different states. The person is not an elected official

[6] In April 2004, Teresa Hommel described some hand-counting methods
used in Canada and New York City,
http://wheresthepaper.org/CountPaperBallots.htm , retrieved from the Web
January 13, 2007.
[7] Another method of hand-counting paper ballots is the sort and stack
protocol, http://www.sos.nh.gov/FINAL%20EPM%208-30-2006.pdf (pp
144-146), retrieved from the Web May 11, 2007. In this method, used by
the state of New Hampshire, the ballots are first sorted into stacks for
each candidate, and then the stacks are counted. In email
correspondence, December 2, 2006 and December 4, 2006, with Nancy Tobi
from Democracy for New Hampshire, Tobi states that NH uses the sort and
stack method for both election night counts and for recounts. She says
that it is used primarily for "... single member races -- where there is
a yes/no choice...." and for straight ticket votes. Sort and stack is
not usable in all situations. With this protocol, as with those used in
Rockport and Hudson, votes are counted only once; the manual recommends
a second count if there is a "close race." A "close race" is not
defined. A mandatory second count for all ballots could be added to
this protocol.

[8] The ballot box said "Town of Rockport, Precinct 2" and was dated 1922.

[9] The ballot box was made by S. Ralph Cross and Sons, Inc., 120
Mayfield Street, Worcester 2, MA, now out of business. The box was
dated 1971.

[10] Joanne Karasak has recommended a first count followed by "an
immediate second 'blind' count (blind count meaning that the second team
of counters do not know the total on the first count)." Email posted
June 26, 2007. Based on my observations in Maine, I think it would be
too confusing to change counters.
[11] See Sheila Parks, /What Went Wrong in Ohio & Black Box Voting/,
http://www.tikkun.org/magazine/reviews/article.2006-01-06.7975946864,
retrieved from the Web March 18, 2007; Sheila Parks, /Hand-Counted Paper
Ballots Now /(see endnote 1); Roy Lipscomb and Sheila Parks,
Hand/-Counted Paper Ballots: Frequently Asked Questions/,
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0705/S00261.htm , retrieved from the
Web May 20, 2007.

[12] If there additional parties on the ballot, representatives from
these parties should also participate in the counting.
[13] Thanks to my good friend Lucius Chiaraviglio, HCPB activist, for
his help with this endnote,
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ252.107
<http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ252.107>
, retrieved from the Web March 13, 2007.

[14] Thanks to Paul Letho for sending me this information. See Appendix
A, http://www.votersunite.org/info/SequoiaContract.pdf, retrieved from
the Web March 18, 2007, for the contract between Snohomish County,
Washington and Sequoia Voting Systems, Inc. for a detailed example of
what electronic voting machines cost. This contract was for more than
$5 million dollars. Appendix A is contained in his lawsuit against
Sequoia Voting Systems, Inc., www.votersunite.org/info/lehtolawsuit.asp
<http://www.votersunite.org/info/lehtolawsuit.asp> , retrieved from
the Web March 18, 2007.

[15] Email correspondence, March 6, 2007, with Chief Legal Counsel,
Election Division, Office of the Secretary of State, MA. In MA in 2006
there were 71 precincts using HCPB. For the MA State Primary election
in 2006, the cost was $444 per precinct (which included two parties) for
ballot printing, which included absentee ballots, specimen ballots and
instruction cards. For the General Election in 2006, the cost was $391
per precinct.

Authors Bio: Sheila Parks, Ed.D., is an Organizing Consultant who lives
in Boston, MA. She is a long time feminist and peace & justice
activist/organizer on many issues and has been involved in the current
wave of voting rights for five years.
========
*Thank you for your openness.

Arlene
*

Arthur Keller wrote:
> Dear Arlene,
>
> Suppose we had a system for hand-marked and hand-tallied ballots.
> Should we avoid using forensic techniques to determine if ballots
> were fraudulently altered because many people don't understand the
> science behind the forensics. Or should we avoid using statistical
> techniques for detecting ballot stuffing in a post election audits
> because many people don't understand the statistics?
>
> I served as a Precinct Inspector in the November 2007 election in
> Santa Clara County. One of my assigned poll workers dropped out a
> few days before, and I was told there was a shortage of poll workers.
> I was the only poll worker who was there the entire day. I had three
> poll workers for the first half of the day, one poll worker for the
> second half of the day, plus two spare poll workers who showed up mid
> morning and stayed for the rest of the day. This shortage was for an
> election that was run in only small parts of the county.
>
> Advocates of hand-counted paper ballots often claim that there will
> be plenty of vote counters to do the job. I can tell you that poll
> workers who start at the polls at 6 a.m. are not able to do the job.
> (I had one of the "spare" poll workers count the signatures on each
> page of the roster index and then transcribe the numbers onto the
> summary sheet in the back of the roster index. The poll worker
> missed some signatures and counted as voters the entries I had
> hand-marked as vote-by-mail. The hand-marked entries were the list
> of people who had been sent vote-by-mail ballots after the roster
> index was printed, and the Precinct Inspector marks those voters as
> "vote-by-mail" so they are to vote provisionally if they do not
> surrender their absentee ballots.) Given the shortage of qualified
> poll workers, I wonder where the ranks of vote counters will come
> from.
>
> Here's my challenge to the hand-count paper ballot advocates. Don't
> wait until hand-counting is adopted to demonstrate the size of the
> cadre of vote counters. Get them to volunteer now as poll workers.
> Poll worker experience is most useful to be a vote counter.
>
> Also, please tell me how you will avoid vote counters who are
> "bi-partisan in name only" and who count fraudulently or alter or
> stuff ballots in the precinct. (Oh, you'll rely on statistical
> post-election audits or electronic surveillance?)
>
> We will have a real problem with the February 2007 Presidential
> Primary Election in California. Turnout will be huge. Many counties
> will use hand-marked paper ballots with just one DRE per precinct.
> Take the ten or so parties, each of which will have its own
> candidates, and multiply that by the number of languages (minus 1,
> because English and Spanish are on the same ballot), and you get lots
> of stacks of ballots for poll workers to juggle. In the days of
> punched card ballots in Santa Clara County, the multiple languages
> were handled by different sets of instructions for the common ballot.
> For last week's election I had 4 stacks of ballots (English/Spanish,
> and smaller stacks for English and the other 3 languages in my
> county). Even with Democratic, Republican, and Green, that's 12
> stacks of tabloid sized ballots. For 10 parties, that's 40 stacks of
> ballots to handle.
>
> No wonder Registrars of Voters are pushing vote by mail. Fewer
> voters at the polls means shorter lines for poll workers.
>
> About voter preference, 106 voters cast ballots in my polling place.
> Each of them was offered a choice of "paper or plastic (i.e.,
> electronic)" ballot. Fifteen chose paper ballots, and 91 chose
> electronic ballots. Three voters surrendered their vote-by-mail
> ballot and voted electronically. Some people were reassured because
> our electronic ballots were accompanied by a paper trail.
>
> In a few days, I will write up more of my experiences as a poll
> worker this time. My report on the November 2006 election (where the
> paper trails ran out) was posted to this list last year.
>
> Best regards,
> Arthur
>
> At 7:48 PM -0500 11/8/07, Arlene Montemarano wrote:
>
>> Mr. Cherlin, we will never agree. I had my say and you don't
>> agree. I think your approach is probably wonderful, but if people
>> like me cannot comprehend what you are doing, it is not appropriate
>> for voting.
>>
>> So let us not proceed with this exchange. It is already becoming testy.
>>
>> Thanks though, for all your hard work on the issue. It is apparent
>> that you are dedicated to the effort.
>>
>
>

_______________________________________________
OVC-discuss mailing list
OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net
http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss
By sending email to the OVC-discuss list, you thereby agree to release the content of your posts to the Public Domain--with the exception of copyrighted material quoted according to fair use, including publicly archiving at http://gnosis.python-hosting.com/voting-project/
==================================================================
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain
==================================================================

Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:14 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Nov 30 2007 - 23:17:31 CST