September 01, 2005
My column in this week's The Stranger is up!
"Our goal this election is to build voter confidence," exhorted instructor Barnaby Dow at the outset of my poll-worker training session last week. After chronicling last year's fiasco of illegal voting on my blog, I volunteered to spend two days this fall as a poll judge, doing my own bit to restore integrity to the system. Building voter confidence is a goal for County Executive Ron Sims too, being that he is chiefly responsible for the collapse of voter confidence in the first place. But judging from my training session, Sims's team still has a ways to go.
And what do you know:
I later discovered that Barnaby Dow isn't an experienced elections person. He's a member of Sims's own staff and enough of a team player to have donated $700 to Sims's recent campaigns—even though he's only here on a temporary engagement and still votes back home in Alaska. Read the whole thing
Barnaby Dow is listed in the King County directory as an "Executive Fellow", reporting to chief-of-staff Kurt Triplett. The "fellowship"s seem to be a kind of internship for up-and-coming high-level civil servants, who, say, complete a mid-career Master's Degree program at the Kennedy School as Dow did. His main duties have had nothing to do with elections, but apparently with public communications for DDES. Dow apparently still considers Sitka, Alaska to be his primary residence, as he votes there but is NOT registered to vote in King County. So I find it interesting that he would care so deeply who we King County residents choose for our Executive. I have no indication that his various donations to Sims campaigns are any kind of a quid pro quo, but I will observe that all of the other Executive Fellows have made contributions to Sims' campaigns. On the other hand, I can't find any record of any other campaign contribution made by Barnaby Dow in Washington, Alaska or anywhere else. Dow is also listed on Ron Sims' campaign website as an endorser. Now I'm sure anybody who takes a high level internship in any administration must have to admire their boss. But it strikes me as a little unseemly to stack the pollworker training with Sims loyalists who have little elections experience ("we wanted to beef up the pollworker training, so it's all hands on deck" a Sims spokesman told me) but not bring in, say, more experienced poll workers who aren't necessarily Sims camp followers.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at September 01, 2005
04:34 PM | Email This
1. Stefan, the Elections Office muck you uncover everyday is astounding. We truly are living in a Banana Republic county---or a Robert Mugabe County. So the lesson is Democratic stake the moral high-ground to get into power then abandon all ethics, fairness and morality one firmly ensconced in running things. Washington State must wake up!
If their goal were to run a clean election, they'd hire an election expert.
Since their goal is merely to "build voter confidence"--that is, to make people think they're running a clean election--a PR guy is the right hire.
3. Maybe there is more than 1 Barnaby Dow???
After all, it's a VERY common name.
I must have met 200 or more Barnaby Dow's in my lifetime.
4. that IS just plain wierd. And I think a better goal for the elections department this year would be to 'have the most accurate ballot accounting ever'. Have that and you WILL get the confidence of the people back. Don't snow them with BS and expect anything, Mr. Dow
5. "Now I'm sure anybody who takes a high level internship in any administration must have to admire their boss. But it strikes me as a little unseemly to stack the pollworker training with Sims loyalists who have little elections experience ("we wanted to beef up the pollworker training, so it's all hands on deck" a Sims spokesman told me) but not bring in, say, more experienced poll workers who aren't necessarily Sims camp followers."
Gee! Sounds a lot like Spokane Mayor West's little "internship" programs! Did Sims meet his Interns on the internet? In a certain "Chatroom" maybe?
So let me get this straight....
Ron Sims has some guy - who's residence is in Alaska - running training here for *our* elections - and this guy has no election experience?
No experience and a non-resident - working for Ron Sims and his only qualification is that he donated to Sims campaign?? Hmmmm...
Is this some slick form of outsourcing? Is this preferential treatment to his supporters? Did Ron Sims or Triplett meet this guy in a gay chatroom ?
Inquiring minds want to know......
This article is hugely significant! Some may read or hear about it and not recognize the subtle con job that's going on with KCE and its 'training' of judges.
The message clearly is that poll judges are NOT to perform their primary job--safeguarding an honest vote up front ('prevent ineligible votes and make a true and honest return of the election'). Clearly, they did their best to gloss over the state law which 'requires judges to safeguard against illegal votes'
And what's up with Dean Logan barring Republicans from their rightful traditional place at the elections office to help fill vacant poll-worker positions!?? This is just plain abusive and corruptly transparent as heck!
Where is the old media in all this?? This is clearly corruption and I defy any Dem to explain it all otherwise. Those 'training' sessions are clearly subtle attempts to subvert the law by omission.
Dean Logan's move is just plain corrupt. I can't believe this. It's beyond contemptible. It's just plain wrong, no matter what party anyone reading this may belong to. It's wrong and has to be stopped. Thank you, Stefan, for a hugely important article. I'm calling KCE tomorrow and complaining. This is outrageous.
gotta love that PDC database-
Brendan Williams, rep Olympia 22nd district.
75% bought and sold from everywhere BUT the 22nd.
voters are such SUCKERS!
8. Great article Stefan!