January 31, 2005
More fascinating revelations from Snohomish County Elections which admits to counting hundreds more ballots than voters. Bob Williams of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation has been following up on some of my Public Disclosure Requests with more detailed requests of his own and and here is some of what he learned.
1) The Secretary of State apparently failed to do his duty to verify whether Snohomish County actually documented its errors and discrepancies prior to certification.
2) Snohomish claims that it never learned about the SoS "emergency rule" issued in August that required poll site ballot reconciliations, which could well explain why such reconciliations were not performed. But why would they not have heard about the "emergency rules"?
Williams' Question to Snohomish:
“A State law requires Snohomish County elections to send the Secretary of State (SOS) “a copy of the written narrative documenting errors and discrepancies discovered and corrective action taken shall accompany the abstract if applicable…. WAC 434-262-080. Snohomish County did not provide this written narrative!”
WAC 434-262-090 specifically states: “The secretary of state shall ensure that all material required to be submitted pursuant to state law and these regulations has been included in the certified copy of the auditor's abstract of votes transmitted to his or her office. ... In the event the certified copy of the official abstract is illegible or in improper form, the secretary of state shall return that abstract and require an immediate resubmission of the abstract in proper or legible form.”
Washington’s Secretary of State has not notified Snohomish County that the abstract of the 2004 General Election was incomplete. Therefore, Snohomish County has no identifiable public records responsive to this request.
Williams Question to Snohomish:
WAC 434-253-203 requires poll site reconciliation. Each precincts reports are sent to the canvassing board and must include “all steps to reconcile each precinct shall be documented, including any discrepancies that cannot be resolved.” We have been unable to obtain these precinct reconciliations. Of your 149 poll site accountability sheets, how many were unable to do a 100% reconciliation and how can I get a copy of these attempts to reconcile?
Snohomish County is unable to locate the Washington Administrative Code referenced in this request. Therefore, Snohomish County has no identifiable public records responsive to this request.
If a Secretary issues an administrative rule in the middle of a forest, does it make a sound?
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at January 31, 2005
11:57 PM | Email This
1. "Snohomish County is unable to locate the Washington Administrative Code referenced in this request." It took me 5 seconds to google WAC 434-253-203 and find it in the Washington Register -- issued by SoS Aug 24, 2004. Somebody's got a lot of CYA to do.
2. Thanks NCC. I was trying to find this thru the Washington Access website with little luck. Here's a link for those searching,
3. Good Lord...talk about stonewalling "...Therefore, Snohomish County has no identifiable public records responsive to this request."
Some time ago those with knowledge of the rules related to establishing the precinct results made it clear that procedures should have been in place to provide an account of any discrepancies occurring at the precinct level. Now the evidence accumulates that with a few exceptions, notably Jefferson County, this has not been taken seriously. The impression is left that a lot of County Auditors have been pretty lax in the observance of the law--Snohomish County even denies knowing about the laws they are supposed to be following though they were issued by the SOS just prior to the election.
The current election is proving to be an eye-opener to abuses that is long overdue. The point I'm trying to make is that we may not only get a governor we can respect, we may wind up with a hugely improved opportunity for democratic elections in the bargain. This more than justifies the extra time and trouble needed to contest this election.
These guys don't deserve to be called "auditors".
Maybe "seat warmers" would be a more appropriate title.
Re: Not following SOS's emergency rule on reconciling ballots at polling place..
Ah, yes! Ignorance of the law is no excuse.......unless one is a democrat or a government official and then it is an excuse.
Maybe a citizen should ask that the Snohomish County Auditor be brough up on charges of violating state law?
7. I think perhaps when the time comes for my next installment of property taxes, Snohomish County will get the following note from me:
Scott is unable to locate the funds referenced in this invoice you sent me. Therefore, Scott has no identifiable checks to send responsive to this request.
:) Ahhhh, if only....
Good heavens. If these people are not competent enough to fulfill their appointed duties, then pray tell me what on earth they are doing in public office?
Can we please get somebody in there who knows what he or she is doing?
You have the tiger by the tail now. If Terwilliger, Logan, and the others are allowed this time to get away with selective observance of voting law and stonewalling FOIA requests then their actions in the future will become more egregious and arrogant. The lesson will not be lost on them that the state and counties have no interest in enforcing election laws designed to ensure a fair and honest election. They and their cronies will progressively degrade controls and audits until we have all of the election reliability of Venezuala.
Until now, these elections officers could not be absolutely certain that the criminal justice system would merely wink at their misdeeds. With that uncertainty removed, abusive distributed vote fraud will only get worse. And, as usual, to the benefit of the democraps.
10. What a crock.
11. I'm still wondering why the possible violation of election laws in Milwaukee gets the benefit of an investigation by local and federal law enforcement, but we don't. I guess we're just too nice for that kind of thing here.
12. Interestingly enough, however, if you go to the legislature's website, click on the WAC link and follow through the WACs online, there is no 434-253-203. The WACs there skip from 200 to 210. This is how I always find WACs when I need to do research so in fairness to them, they may have been looking here. I find it hard to believe that the legislature's website, the public repository of all laws and administrative codes hasn't caught up after five months.
From one of the co-authors of the Lehto/Hoffman study on Snohomish County elections:
Good work gentlemen. In my opinion, Snohomish County likely had (for example) specific knowledge of possible problems with the electronic voting that it didn't want to open up a can of worms on. Thus they might dread reporting problems, and this can often lead to memory loss. I know I sound sarcastic, but this is true at least once in a while.
Stefan call me at home at 425-259-3687 as I may have some more information to give you if you are willing to work with me somehow on the issue of getting rid of the proprietary/secret vote counting software on the electronic touch screen side.
The idea of reconciling signatures of voters and numbers of ballots is an old one. Look at the Hill v. Howell
The petitioner lost on the merits --
pg. 608: "On the merits of the controversy, we are of the opinion that the petitioner has not shown sufficient cause to warrant us in setting aside the returns of the canvassing boards."
Note well this aspect of the evidence --
pg. 611: "By the statute, poll lists are required to be kept by the election officers, and the returns of the election should show a name of an elector for each ballot in the ballot box. There is no claim that there was any discrepancy in the returns in this respect, and this fact precludes the idea that the ballot boxes were tampered with during the absence of the election officers."
The "voterless ballots" in Clark County obviously don't fit with the idea expressed back in 1912 -- when Hill v. Howell was decided. Clark and King County both have substantial discrepancies in their returns.
The use of computer databases to process such information should make it easier to accomplish what has always been a required reconciliation.
The auditor's feigned ignorance is neither plausible nor an excuse.
Oops -- still stewing over Clark and King counties -- should have said Clark, King and Snohomish counties all have substantial discrepancies in their returns.
Snohomish county feigns ignorance of the specific rule and denies a request for their precinct reconciliation records. Does that mean they didn't do any precinct reconciliation before certifying their returns? Probably.
When is someone going to order the county auditors to do that reconciliation? Only when it is done can we know how big the problem is and which precincts were affected by the stuffed ballot boxes -- or perhaps had their precinct totals increased by ballots stuffed at the counting centers.
"Ignorance of the law is no excuse.......unless one is a democrat or a government official and then it is an excuse."
It seems that another exemptive population to this requirement is to be a convicted felon... I can't believe that no charges will be brought since they "didn't know"...
The fact that felons voted does not necessarily mean they broke the law, prosecutors explained. They must be able to prove that the felons knew they didn't have the right to vote — but voted anyway.
17. I suppose using Snohomish County's "official" explanation/excuse, my not having a copy of the Property tax WACs means I don't have to pay them?
SO, what happened during the primary election in September? Were there reconcilliations then in Snohomish County?
Why didn't Mr Reed include changes in the law for this election in the election packets that are normally distributed to the county boards of elections?
Jefferson County Auditor, Donna Eldridge, has a list of 18769 names of voters credited with voting PLUS 3 Address Confidentiality Program voters ======= 18,772 VOTERS identified
She counted 18,772 Votes.
Votes and Voters reconcile 100%.
IMPOSSIBLE?? The hell it is! Eldridge did it with only 2 Election staff members!
Micajah and others have nailed it...
Many of these County Auditors did not take this seriously, were inept OR BOTH!!
Now it has come back and bit them squarely in the Horse's Buttock!!!
The lame Democratic Party excuse is these non-reconciling Counties did a great job of controlling what goes in on the front-end therefore we should feel confident the totals are 100% correct. YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!!!!!!
I'm a CPA. Auditors "AUDIT" to validate or give assurance that "front-end" controls are working as designed. The purpose of the reconciliation of votes and voters is fundamental....Election 101 for the love of GOD!!!! Obviously the so-called "front-end" controls are a disaster as evidenced by the irregularities exposed by Stefan and others RIGHT HERE!! If you are an Auditor, these problems are what we call a "RED FLAG" begging for further investigation.
If one or more County's can reconcile, it makes the Logan point that it's impossible MOOT, doesn't it. What Logan & Huennekens should have said is it was impossible for them because they failed to take this requirement seriously!
20. Guess not!
21. Aren't we as citizens held to the standard that "ignorance of the law is, not just ingnorance - but it is also, no excuse!" When will these "public servants" be held accountable to the same standard?
Yeah. I think the problem was quite simple.
Mr. Rossi didn't steal the election by enough votes.
He stole plenty in Snohomish county, but if he had just stolen a FEW hundred more, he wouldn't have to go to court.
Darn. Underestimated how much people hated him.
That must suck.
23. "...Therefore, Snohomish County has no identifiable public records responsive to this request."
Does this remind anyone of Al Gore "There was no controlling legal authority." Meaning 'Neener, you can't catch me.'
I guess for Snoho county it just depends on what the meaning of the word 'was' was. Democrats are (almost) all the same: crooks.