May 24, 2005
Chelan County Auditor on the Stand

Chelan County Auditor Evelyn Arnold is on the stand. Her department uses the same DIMS system as King County. She explains that her department credits voters to help prevent repeat voting. They also reconcile their various numbers. My favorite quote:

"We want to make sure that all of our numbers match"
The only remarkable thing about that statement is that King County officials have so lowered our expectations of what an election official would do, that we now think that it's remarkable for an election official to adhere to some sort of common sense standards.

UPDATE: also said that by reconciling the numbers, was able to identify that one ballot was missing. So they went to look for it, found it and counted it. Would have been nice if King County had done the same thing, wouldn't it.

UPDATE 2: Democrat lawyer Jenny Durkan scored an own goal a moment ago when she asked Arnold to explain why more absentee voters can sometimes be credited than ballots counted. Arnold explained correctly that voters who return their ballots late are credited without getting their ballots counted as are voters who return an empty envelope. The only thing this proves is that if the process is managed corrected, the Number of Voters Credited MUST NECESSARILY be GREATER THAN OR EQUAL TO the Number of Ballots Counted. It only heightens concerns about a situation where the Number of Voters Credited is LESS THAN the Number of Ballots Counted. Thanks, Jenny!

UPDATE 3: In response to question from Jeff Even: How does Chelan County report number of ballots returned? Hand count envelopes and also credit every envelope. Those numbers must match. Accumulates those numbers daily. Imagine that.

UPDATE 4: Foreman: Have you ever had more votes cast than voters? Would that be a problem? What would it mean if you did?
Arnold: No. Yes. "It's easy to accidentally run through ballots twice... It happens. that's why we do the reconciliation... If you don't have the number you're shooting for, you could make a big mistake"
[indeed, I'm more inclined to believe that that's what happened at King County MBOS as opposed to outright stuffing]

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at May 24, 2005 09:45 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Good on her! She just set the bar at what normal should be, and it's waaay out of reach for KC.

Posted by: starboardhelm on May 24, 2005 09:49 AM
2. normal means "you count the ballots and you ascertain that the numbers match."

Posted by: steve matlock on May 24, 2005 09:51 AM
3. This is awesome... The contrast with King Co. is going to be veeerrry interesting.

Posted by: MrBeach on May 24, 2005 09:51 AM
4. Here comes the spin...

Posted by: MrBeach on May 24, 2005 09:54 AM
5. Dim lawyers making case that Mail ballots are much more accurate and easier to process. Also seems to be making the case that Chelan Co. can afford to do a better job because they have fewer voters. Poor King Co... they just have too many voters to do a good job. It is unreasonable to expect the same quality as Chelan Co.

Posted by: MrBeach on May 24, 2005 10:00 AM
6. Poor King Co... they just have too many voters to do a good job

That's a good argument to split the county!

Posted by: Stefan Sharkansky on May 24, 2005 10:01 AM
7. MrBeach - Looks like the MSM won't have to go any further than the Dem lawyers to get their spin for the day.

Posted by: Orange Robyn on May 24, 2005 10:02 AM
8. More voters AND more money, more election "officials", more resources . . . more excuses.

Posted by: starboardhelm on May 24, 2005 10:03 AM
9. Dim lawyer seems to be making a list of excuses for numbers being off.... The one I love the most is "Its the militaries fault", they don't have to pre-register and can really mess up the system

Posted by: MrBeach on May 24, 2005 10:05 AM
10. The honor system?
Well that explains alot

Posted by: Jim L on May 24, 2005 10:18 AM
11. Q: Have you ever had more votes than voters?
A: No
Q: Would you consider that a problem?
A: Yes

Posted by: MrBeach on May 24, 2005 10:26 AM
12. It is absolutely a 'shocking' cooincidence that this would only happen in Rossi precincts in King County and no where else in the state.

Equally shocking that the oppositte happened in Gregore precincts in King County and no where else in the state.

It's all just human error.

Posted by: Andy on May 24, 2005 10:30 AM
13. Durkin just asked about the confidentiality program, and whether those could throw the totals off. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a record of how many of those votes there are, and hasn't that already been taken into account by the Rossi folks?

Posted by: Mike H on May 24, 2005 10:31 AM
14. We keep hearing from King County how bad the DIMS system was. How did Chelan county manage to get a count when they had the same system?

Posted by: pbj on May 24, 2005 10:32 AM
15. Dim lawyers setting up the excuse that the excess ballots are from those people in some confidentiality program.. King Co. must have alot of those and we can't credit them for voting but we get ther ballots just the same...

Strange defense!

Posted by: MrBeach on May 24, 2005 10:34 AM
16. King County may have more voters to process but they are also by far a richer county and have more resources per capita available for vote processing.

Next argument.

Posted by: pbj on May 24, 2005 10:34 AM
17. pbj,

I think I heard that the DIMS system in King County was an upgraded version of the one in Chelan...

Posted by: VaCSProf on May 24, 2005 10:42 AM
18. Yes Mike H.

Posted by: Al on May 24, 2005 10:55 AM
19. There is this quote in the P-I from Judge Bridges. This certainly doesn't sound good for Dino. Is there something more to it than the PI is saying?

"The court does not believe there is a fraud causation element to this case, for whatever that's worth," Bridges said "I am not saying that the evidence is not admissible."

Posted by: Fred on May 24, 2005 10:56 AM
20. That confidentiallity excuse should not be a surprise to you.

Recently there was a story of a guy getting sent to yakima from KC jail because he had been accused of domestic violence. No proof, no conviction, just an accusation.

Some of you recall my rant with danw on the cost of fraudulent DV accusations???? Well here it is unfolding. Remember that tax on divorce decrees and marriage licenses- here's our just desserts for laying down and giving more money to a busted program.

Some TABS (Taking Action Against Bias in the System) members have been digging into KC jail records to see how many of the inmates are there because of DV. I'm awaiting tally, but the number is large.

Granted many are legit, but DV accusation is the trump all on crying wolf and totally fleecing a defendant of his constitutional rights while awarding tons of tax payer reimbursed privelidges to those who cry wolf- with absolutely no repercussions for fraud. I guess the fraud has spilled over to the elections department.

Posted by: Andy on May 24, 2005 11:00 AM
21. Systematically blowing every Horses Ass argument (if you can call them that) right out of the water.

Crediting is not important. LOL. Numbers don't always match. LOL. Who needs to know the total. LOL. Wasn't fraud when Way, Fell and Hunnekens chose not to disclose. LOL. Bridges won't allow Republican's new points based on Way, Fell and Huennekens depositions. LOL.

Posted by: Jeff B. on May 24, 2005 11:14 AM
22. I was listening to John Carlson yesterday and a lady called and said that she was a very conscientous voter that voted absentee, but that even she forgot to vote at time. Her point was that with over 900,000 absentee voters in the state, it would seem like we should have had fewer absentee votes submitted that requested as a general rule. So, if there were more absentee ballots returned than requested the descrepancy is actually larger than the difference of requested vs. received by those who requested by never returned the absentee ballot at all.

The size of the descrepancy is likely bigger than is showing.

Posted by: Steve U on May 24, 2005 12:13 PM
23. You are being very generous with benefit of the doubt, Sharkie. I would bet on ballot stuffing. There is to much carefull "management" of the issue by everyone all the way to Gregoire for it to be an honest mistake.

Posted by: DeadManVoting (aka Iguana) on May 24, 2005 12:26 PM
24. Deadman - The question is whether the ballot stuffing was done in house or whether it was outsourced. I think that the KC apperatchiks knew that if they left the door open, fraud would happen by itself, through willing accomplices (MoveON, etc.) That keeps their hands relatively clean, and still gives them assurance that they can affect the outcome. Ballot stuffing by KC officials? Probably little to none. Ballot stuffing by allies (wink, wink)? Duh.

Why were almost all of the precincts with more ballots than voters within a 5 mile radius of Lenins' statue?

Posted by: Dogbert on May 24, 2005 12:34 PM
25. Steve -

I heard that call. And it sounded like Carlson was not following her logic well. Or was distracted.

Her point was indeed that fewer absentee votes should have been returned out of the whole issue. She asked him to canvass to see how many people did not return the ballots for some reason.

I was left hanging, for I honestly think she was confusing numbers. I have not seen or heard a situation where someone claimed that more ballots were returned than printed and sent. What I have heard is that there were more ballots returned than voters credited with voting absentee.

I suppose in a functioning and integrity based election organization, a quick check of the sworn and submitted reconciliation final report would answer the first question. Actually, it would answer the second as well.

Intriguing thought on her part, but I think she's confusing some of the numbers along the way.

Posted by: Patches Pal on May 24, 2005 12:49 PM
26. Didn't we hear in the 2nd count that a King County elections worker was caught feeding the same Gregoire ballot through five times? I remember hearing a report like that.

Posted by: Michele on May 24, 2005 01:08 PM
27. Thanks for some clarification Patches.

I don't really know much about the reconciliation process, but I requested and got 3 absentee ballots on behalf of my adult children who are out of state. I sent them out to them and all three were sent in, but only two were counted (according to the database linked on SoundPolitics.com). The one from out of the country (it was mailed from Mexico) was not counted. I don't know if it didn't make it or if it was late, or what. But, if it didn't make it back for some reason, or if in someone else's case, an absentee ballot that was requested but never filled in and returned, then if they keep track of how many ballets were requested, they would likely see fewer than that returned.

I don't know if that means much or not.

Steve

Posted by: Steve U on May 24, 2005 01:10 PM
28. //Democrat lawyer Jenny Durkan scored an own goal a moment ago when she asked Arnold to explain why more absentee voters can sometimes be credited than ballots counted. Arnold explained correctly that voters who return their ballots late are credited without getting their ballots counted as are voters who return an empty envelope.//

Even when that happens, though, I would hope that there would be a count of such ballots, so as to allow everything to balance precisely. Otherwise every such ballot envelope received would represent an opportunity for a phony ballot to be generated at any time without being detected. If a precinct is known to have received an empty ballot envelope and yet the number of ballots still equals the number of envelopes received, something would seem fishy.

Posted by: supercat on May 24, 2005 04:37 PM
29. hmm, chelan's total hick county population equals a rounding error in king county's population... not hard to go searching for a ballot when you only have handful to start with. comparing two totally unlike counties is not the best defense. while king county may appear to have more resources at its disposal then a place like chelan county, king county spends a lot of its money subsidizing hick counties, rather then being able to spend it locally.

Posted by: rob on May 25, 2005 12:51 PM
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