September 20, 2005
Polling place recap
Here is a recap of my first day as a poll judge:
Only about 200 people in all voted in the 8 precincts that we covered. This is very light turnout. It was a long slow day. I brought a book with me, but having woken up at 5am to get to the polls by 6, I was too tired to read very much. The day mostly went okay. The other pollworkers were good people. I enjoyed fulfilling a civic duty and helping my neighbors vote. There were also some noteworthy incidents --
* One of the other poll judges discovered that her late husband was still registered to vote in our precinct -- even though he passed away 11 years ago. She then filled out a form asking the county to cancel his registration.
* The person who set up the Accuvote this morning made a mistake in the assembly, which caused ballots to jam. I heard reports that a lot of other polling places had similar assembly and jamming problems, attributable to confusing or incomplete documentation. Fortunately, this problem was corrected early in the morning after the first few votes were cast, but not before the polling place inspector and the county roving "troubleshooter" gave incorrect instructions on dealing with the jammed ballots, dismissing my strenuously expressed concerns about their advice, thus causing at least one vote (my own!) to be counted more than once. At the end of the day we provided a detailed explanation on the ballot accountability sheet, instructing the canvass crew to retabulate the tainted precinct. I wouldn't be surprised if this problem was widespread throughout the county.
* The county provided the judges with an incorrect oath in violation of state law, ignoring the judge's duty to guard against illegal votes. True to the Sims/Logan unwritten policy of encouraging illegal votes, the inspector insisted that we allow a self-acknowledged unregistered voter to cast a provisional ballot. More on this later.
* The Accuvotes were programmed to reject any ballot where the voter did not select a party for the partisan primary races -- even when the voter only wanted to vote in the non-partisan contests and did not care to vote in any partisan contest. This would be especially common in the lion's share of the county where there is no seriously contested primary race. This caused needless frustration to both the voters and the pollworkers who had to open up the Accuvote machine and manually override the default behavior in order to cause the party-free ballot to be accepted. This also violates voter privacy, because everybody in the place knows when there's a voter who chose not to vote in a party primary. There are better ways to allow voters to opt out of participating in a party primary.
* There were inconsistencies between the ballots and the poll books, with all of the ballots at our polling place labeled "Ballot Code 21" and all of the poll books indicating that all of the voters required "Ballot Code 22". This was a county-wide problem.
This mismatch might not have had a significant practical impact this time, although it led to confused pollworkers from all over the county who were trained to make sure that voters received only a ballot that matched the code in the poll book, and a lot of time wasted on phone calls to resolve the matter. In other elections where there are more ballot types to keep track of such a programming error could be significant.
* The Accuvote machines were programmed incorrectly county-wide, causing ballots with write-in votes to be tossed into the same pile with all other ballots. Normally, the Accuvote is programmed to separate ballots with a write-in vote from the other ballots to make it easier for the canvassing crew to tabulate write-ins. Now, the canvassers will have to inspect every ballot for write-ins, a more time consuming process.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at September 20, 2005
11:48 PM | Email This
Thanks Stefan for your hard work at the polls today!
My God! It sounds as though King County learned nothing from last November as far as how to run a smooth machine and having a clear interpretation of the laws and policies!
Looking at how staggered some race counts are verses others in the King County website...it looks as though they are manipulating again.....sigh...
2. Stefan - excellent recap of your long day. Thank you so much for your service to your country. You are a man among men.
3. I spent most of today trying to get a LEFTIST PINHEAD incumbent unelected in the Primary....unsuccessfully. Oh well!!! Close...but no ceegar.
Stefan...you did a good job of QUESTIONING what was happening. That is extremely important to improving the system. Unfortunately, a lot of Poll Judges pretty much just sit there oblivious to stuff like you observed.
4. You would think this is rocket science or something! We can put a man on the moon, we can split the atom, we can make machines fly and swim, but we can't count stupid bits of paper correctly? SHEEESH!
Correction: Don't want to count stupid bits of paper correctly.
Might I add a note... I went to review my voters pamphlet today, that I received in the mail, before going to vote ... and it was the wrong county!!! King County didn't even send me one. sigh Still can't get it right.
7. For the first time in 26+ years I did not get a voters pamphlet either - inside Seattle city limits
8. Gee, Sounds like bussiness as usual! Another reason I'm thankful to live in Pierce County!!
I hope Irons is able to put Sims on unemployment!!
I spent my day yesterday as a poll worker. It was even slower - 175 ballots for 8 precincts. The one issue I noticed was other poll workers asking for photo ID, which is what the law really requires, but doesn't. When a voter provided their voter registration card, they also asked for photo ID as well, which is wrong.
It was amazing how many people dropped off their absentee ballots - the side of the machine was full with them. I think we had more absentee ballots dropped off than poll voters. For November, there's no way the machine is going to hold all of them if the numbers go up like they should, which is going to create another problem.
I agree with Stefan that there should have been a way to accept a ballot with no party voting without having to unlock the accuvote machine and pressing a button. One voter in our polling place was extremely upset about being singled out like this.
No one asked for my id when I voted absentee.
We need to be all one way or another. IMO, it should be all poll voting except for emergencies and you show id.
Stefan, Thank you for all of the hard investigative work you have done and are still doing on elections. Even though you were tired and bored to tears, you provided a valuable community service.
Swatter, You are correct. Imagine your spouse had died and their ballot arrives in the mail. You fill it out and sign the envelope. Several weeks later you receive a letter from the elections office telling your spouse to update their signature card. You sign your spouse's card and mail it back and voila, your now own and control TWO votes in every election! When you can register to vote online and by mail, and complete all of the transactions without ever being seen and showing ID, the fraud will never stop.
Have a nice Day!
Yes, worse than Social Security fraud in that manner.
I still have the story where an elderly family member died but still voted. The younger family members were livid they weren't allowed to vote because of screwups in the elected auditor's office. They decided to vote. This was in the last election.
Deborah writes: My God! It sounds as though King County learned nothing from last November as far as how to run a smooth machine and having a clear interpretation of the laws and policies!
Calm down and stop alarming your deity. Actually, you'll note that every mistake from last November was corrected. All of the problems/mistakes that Stefan mentions are new ones. Whether this is worse than is typical of elections operations nationwide, I can't say, but they clearly corrected the previous problems (as well they should have).
sgmmac writes: Imagine your spouse had died and their ballot arrives in the mail. You fill it out and sign the envelope. Several weeks later you receive a letter from the elections office telling your spouse to update their signature card. You sign your spouse's card and mail it back and voila, your now own and control TWO votes in every election! When you can register to vote online and by mail, and complete all of the transactions without ever being seen and showing ID, the fraud will never stop.
"The fraud will never stop" implies this is a common scenario. Do you have any evidence of that? Sure, a few people may vote an absentee ballot of someone who died just before the election -- and there is no excuse for that -- but how many people really repeatedly commit a felony just to get one additional vote? If you were going to commit a felony, wouldn't you choose one that rewarded you better?
My wife and I were among those that had their ballots initially rejected because we refuse to associate with a party (more accurately, refuse to associate with either of the two major parties). When we got to the Accuvote machine there was nobody in line ahead of us. By the time they got our two ballots through there were about ten people in line behind us.
I like the idea that the machine is checking for possible errors, letting the voter know, and requiring an override. However, there should be a "none of the above" option so that the voter could override before ever getting to the Accuvote.
Personally, I would like to see that option on every race/initiative/measure. In some of the races I could not bring myself to support any of the candidates and so I checked the write-in box and wrote "none of the above".
I'm glad someone was in there to get the real story.
The lazy-ass media of Seattle was hailing the election as a vindication for the KC elections department. I doubt they based their assessment on much more than a press release from the KC elections department.
16. "Calm down and stop alarming your deity. Actually, you'll note that every mistake from last November was corrected. All of the problems/mistakes that Stefan mentions are new ones."
First of all...Quit trying to OPPRESS my rights and freedoms of expression and religion! You liberals are the most OPPRESSIVE beings on this earth! You just do not get it...( Just *tolerate* me baby!)
Second - King County has INDEED engaged in mistakes of the past - while creating new ones yesterday! Perhaps you should take a moment to review last November's election history....A good search in our archives should enlighten you!
As Stefan pointed out in his recap:
* Dead voters are STILL in the voter database and poll books!
* Errors are STILL made in the accuvote machines!
* Poll Judges are STILL misinterpreting the rules regarding Provisional ballot acceptance!
These were all problems last November......Obviously - King County has not corrected them! AND King County has again managed to find new ways to screw up our elections process! Sims is toast!
Bruce, The elections offices send letters when there is a signature mismatch telling the voter to provide a new signature. Those letters do NOT say provide a copy of your driver's licence or other PHOTO ID.... I did see the perfect example of it last week...... and Stefan has several pictures below. Do the people doing this think they are committing fraud? Absolutely not, they think it's their right! Do the over-domineering husbands who fill out their wife's ballots along with theirs think they are doing anything wrong? Absolutely not, they think it's their right, because they are the "man of the house." Did the over 40,000 double voters in NYC and Florida think they were doing anything wrong by voting in two states because they own homes in both states? Absolutely not, they thought it was their right also! Is it common, who knows? I wasn't inferring it, but the fact is that there isn't any safeguards in the absentee balloting system, voting by mail is where most of the fraud occurs. It is difficult for dead people, non-existant people and registered pets to go to the polls and cast a ballot.
We as citizens are so damn lazy now compared to our parents, it's ridiculous. We expect our governments to bend over backwards to give us everything NOW, RIGHT NOW, AND MORE TOMORROW!
I want responsibility and accountability back in our elections - nationwide. I don't want black people in Chicago standing in line for hours to vote or Florida either, but I want one vote per person to count. Nor do I want someone to fill in my bubbles for me, if I made the decision not to vote that race.
I was a poll judge in Kenmore.
I listed my observations here:
- We still had dead voters on our roles. We had people who no longer lived in King county. If KC has the same rate as our polling place, there would be 15,000 dead/stale voters still on KC rolls.
- There's basically nothing to stop you from voting on behalf of somebody else as often as you'd like, and with no penalty to yourself.
- The ballots themselves are insecure (looks like they're made at Kinkos). They appear easily copyable and you could submit your own copies directly to the vote machines.
"Actually, you'll note that every mistake from last November was corrected"
Actually, if your reading skills were better, you'd see that, not only wasn't "every mistake" corrected, but not even every mistake was addressed.
But I do see your point - "As long as we continue to prevail, let's just let 'r slide!"
Last election all it took was 130. So yes I think there are enough people that would do that to get a second vote.
I voted in Snohomish county; snazzy stylus on a high-tech touch screen; problem? yes--no receipt for the voter; it's just launching your vote into the vast beyond;
after the polling place, I purhcased a pack of bubble gum--cha-ching! a dated RECEIPT for the gum with all the critical info printed on it that i needed;
Aesop's lesson: Blowing bubbles can be documented with accuracy; voting documentation is akin to blowing smoke;
STOP THE PRESSES!
Stefan -- you have uncovered TOTAL ELECTION FRAUD!
Invalidate the election IMMEDIATELY!
Republicans -- SUE right now to stop this perversity!
STEFAN - Your yeoman's effort triumphs again -- with you we will be saved from evil, fraudulent elections! Thank you!
It's All For Nothing Anyway
Both the PI and the Seattle Times ran stories this morning with headlines indicating that the elections were relatively free of flaws. Once this "election fraud" issue is dead, what will King County republicans have to run on? It's time to branch out and focus on broader issues with real substance, rather than continually harping on the minutae of elections administration. It's a bit like the situation dems find themselves in on the national level with Iraq. They can complain about the way the war is run, but they can't come up with any solutions.
24. Those headlines are premature. It took weeks + months to uncover the problems in KC's '04 election.
Regardless, BarryL is right that Elections is just 1 issue of many. I don't a candidate will not win on that alone.
Fortunately for David Irons, that's not his only advantage.
25. What do you wanna bet lou was mumbling to itself in a funny mimicking voice as it was typing out that devastating sarcasm?
One of the other poll judges discovered that her late husband was still registered to vote in our precinct -- even though he passed away 11 years ago. She then filled out a form asking the county to cancel his registration.
If that woman has been a poll judge previously, she's had dozens of opportunities to cancel hubby's registration. And why didn't she act any of the times that his updated voter registration card came to her house? I've lived here less than 5 years and have already received new cards three or four times.
There you go, blaming the system (more to the point, the Democrats) for something this woman had 11 years-worth of opportunities to rectify.
27. BarryL; i would hardly/never look to Times or PI to report the truth on this. They failed last time, and have a partisan view of things; hence their demonstated bias.
This minutea, as you call it, is incredibly significant. Firstly, if it had been a clean election last Novemeber, Dino would be governor. That minutea would have led to a very significant difference in state policy and direction.
I wouldn't sluff it off quite so easily. Nevermind the importance of having confidence in the election system, and consequently in this country's democracy.
Stefan, I think you hit upon something that leaves a door open for fraud: for the party primaries, you must select a party then vote only that party, but if you don't vote in a party primary, then you have to leave everything blank - no party selection, no votes in the partisan races.
What's to keep a dishonest someone from filling in the party primary part of these blank party primary ballots later on in order to influence the end results of a close race?
They really need a 'Nonpartisan Only' option in the party selection area. If Nonpartisan is marked then any choice in the partisan areas would be nullified, shutting off potential fraud.
"but how many people really repeatedly commit a felony just to get one additional vote? If you were going to commit a felony, wouldn't you choose one that rewarded you better?"
There's a risk-reward scenario here, and you're making the mistake of looking ONLY at the reward. What's the RISK? Nothing! Who is ever prosecuted for such a thing? Nobody!
There are plenty of people who would choose the REWARD of one extra vote, for NO RISK whatsoever. And it only took 130 last time!!
Republicans have two options:
1 - Correct the system
2 - Take advantage of the system
It looks as though they are not able to do either at this point in time. Taking advantage of the system goes against most Republican's values. Correcting the system is difficult if not impossible, since the Democrats and their allies (i.e. the media) are protecting the system.
I'm hoping that at some point Real ID and electronic voting will make our elections more honest, reliable, and accessible nationwide.
The government stonewalling and the media propaganda are doing an effective job of keeping Stefan's efforts from bearing any fruit.
I agree with Stephan's remarks, and will add my observations. This was my first time at being a judge. Overall the experience was pleasant, with everyone quite nice (except one judge, which refused to check ID's, was quite rude to every voter, refused to verify addresses, and when one person noted that his son was still on the registration list when he has lived in Arizona for the last several years, she objected to our giving him a card to remove him from the registry. She instead insisted on giving him a Voter's Registration form and have his son fill out the change of address so he isn't removed all the way.)
We had a total of 95 voters from 7 precincts, with the highest turnout of 22 people from one district. Out of the 564 voters in the two precincts I was handling, I had 39 voters. We had 2 provisional ballots, and I'd say 20 absentee ballots dropped off. VERY slow turnout!
The most prevalent comment was how stupid they thought it was having to pick a party to vote in a partisan race. The second most comment was why we didn't FORCE everyone to show a picture ID. In fact one lady absolutely refused to allow me to continue until I asked her for her photo-id (she had given me her voters card which is enough according to the current law.) I went ahead a asked her :)
Our Inspector basically did nothing, it was a friend who did most of the decision making when that was needed. In talking with them, I found out that the Inspector's friend had only put down that she was a Republican so she could accompany her friend in dropping off the ballots. In reality she was Democrat. I was surprised that I held my tongue at this information, but not surprised at the fact that this was the case.
We also had the problem with the accuvote machine in not seperating the write-in ballots, however it was handled differently than Stephan's. The Inspector's friend insisted she go through every ballot and manually seperate them then and there. I commented that we were NOT to view or inspect ANY ballots as we did not have the authority (in fact when the accuvote judge wants to handle a voters ballot when there is a problem, they must use a privacy folder to hide the voting information.) However, she was adamant that it was our responsibility, so it was done. I made sure that at least two others were watching closely.
The next problem was in the closing. Since the Inspector really didn't do anything, there was no Inspectors list of closing procedures, so we had to guess. When it came time to seal up the black bag (The one that holds ALL the voted ballots,) the snap was just shut. I commented that there was supposed to be one of the red "locks" put on the snap so it can not be undone. The "friend" again insisted that in all the years she has done this, there has NEVER been a need for a lock. I pointed to the Judges workbook where it states a lock is to be put in there, but that was completely refused. So, our black bag with all the voted ballots are completely unlocked, with no way to know if they have been tampered with (There is a paper seal around the cardboard box that the ballots are in, but that is very easily defeated and is not marked with any kind of number that is noted.)
One last point, noted by one of the judges was the possibility of defeating the party selection requirement. Let's say you are a democrat, but want to select a weaker republican for a particular race (or a republican wanting a weaker democrat opponent), but want to vote for Democrat in other races. Since Write-Ins are allowed for every race, all you would have to do is:
1. Select Democrat
2. Choose your democrat candidate selections.
3. In the race you wish to "seed" a weaker republican candidate, you just Write-In the republican candidate!
This if it works, will completely invalidate the entire vote by party system. That is IF it would work. I have no way of knowing how that would be tabulated back at KCE. Anyone have that information?
You know actually had Republicans been thinking... they could have all "registered" as democrats and voted Sims out of the primary!
What a missed opportunity!
You need to change your post to read:
"You know actually had Republicans been thinking... like DEMOCRATS, they could have all "registered" as democrats and voted Sims out of the primary!"
35. A perfect election...dream on.
36. Still like those purple thumbs. It is tough to cheat.
YOU are right, that was exactly what I was thinking!
38. Dear LEFTIST PINHEADS---
I understand you are not too prone to cheat in the primary. Bully for you.
It makes sense to save it all for the main event in November.
It's like in the NBA--
Would Shaq get 2 technical fouls in the warm-up drills??? Of course not.
Besides with such a low, low turnout....cheating would be easy to detect. No chaos, dontcha know.
In response to your question as to how a write-in vote cast on a Democratic ballot for a Republican candidate printed on the Republican part of the ballot (or vice versa), the short answer is:
That vote wouldn't count, and the voter would have wasted their vote.
The long answer has two parts:
First, under state law, write-in votes are only tabulated by name in the event that the write-in votes may be outcome determinate, that is, when the number of write-ins is high enough that a write-in candidate could possibly advance to the General (in the case of a primary), or be elected (in the case of a general election).
A candidate can also file as a write-in candidate, and pay the filing fee, for the priveldge of having their write-ins pulled and individually tabulated, regardless of the number received. Such filing must be made before election day. It is very rare that the write-ins are reported as anything other than the aggregate total for the contest.
The second step, assuming that the first step is met, is to tabulate the write-in votes cast, broken down by name. For any write-in candidate to be qualified to receive write-in votes, s/he has to be otherwise qualified to run in that contest, just as if they had filed to run for that office.
To be qualified, the candidate must be a registered voter in the jurisdiction for which the office serves. They must be an actual person (as opposed to Mickey Mouse.)
To receive tallied votes, they must meet any special requirements of the office, such as being a licensed attorney with five years' experience for a judgeship, or to be 21 years of age for a seat on the County Council.
And, if the office is partisan, and the election is a primary, the person must be a nominal member of the party for whose nomiation they are running. As we don't have party registration in this state, this can be complicated to determine, however, in the case of a candidate who is already running as the printed candidate for one party, it can be safely determined that they are not a member of the opposing party, and are thus not qualifed to receive any write-in votes on the opposing side of the ballot.
So the vote is void, and cannot be counted.
40. Also a poll judge, great groop of volunteer people, great personalities. Most seemed to agree that there were some fixes from the last election but that the poll books still had alot of purging to do. Extremely low poll turnout from our perspective, the calm before the Nov Storm when hotter issues and candidates will be in big races. Hopefully more will vote their and the system will be tested further.
someone--"There you go, blaming the system (more to the point, the Democrats) for something this woman had 11 years-worth of opportunities to rectify."
Boy, are you missing the point.
The system is key. If we rely on the honesty and goodwill of others, we invite fraud.
42. Susan B...thanks, was wondering about that.
43. I worked at a polling place in Snohomish County that had only one issue on which to vote. The director of elections (auditor) insisted on a full complement since the budgeting was already in place. There were two judges, a ballot box judge ( who simply handed out "I voted" stickers) and an inspecter. There were 48 votes cast during the entire day 6:00 A.M to 8:00 P.M. Is something wrong with this picture? Are there unintended consequences here??? I am just a lowly clerk, so I don't have any answers. Please advise.
Thank you very much for the insightful response. I hadn't even considered those possibilities, but they make complete sense to me. I will assure the other judges come November of this.
I think you should team up with the WSRP (or another good organization that has the resources to assemble and motivate large groups) and help to educate large groups of volunteer poll workers to know what to look for in the King County elections department. We all know how much effort you have put into this over the past year, and sharing your insights and lending your name at this level would compound your effectiveness.
someone--"There you go, blaming the system (more to the point, the Democrats) for something this woman had 11 years-worth of opportunities to rectify."
Boy, are you missing the point.
The system is key. If we rely on the honesty and goodwill of others, we invite fraud.
Exactly backwards, Bos. I was pointing out that Ms. Poll Judge had had numerous opportunities to have her late husband's name stricken from the voter rolls, then (according to Stefan) appears to be shocked, shocked! to see that his name was still there. How is that "the system"'s fault?
Or are you arguing that Big Brother in King County Elections should be able to access vital statistics databases around the world looking for dead people to purge? After all, Washingtonians could be dying in other states, even other countries. Hell, let's give KCE entree to look at Social Security files, in case a resident works elsewhere. Or the deeds filed in every state and country, because those dastardly Seattle voters might buy a house somewhere else.
you mean like with a felon who commits the crime out of state and still votes in Wa?
Of course we should just leave it up to the felon to purge his/her own name from the rolls.
Why should we waste our precious resources trying to get it right? As long as Democrats keep winning, it must be working good enough
Vote early and often so we have time to count EVERY vote or hide some we don't like in the back of the lock box.
**Or are you arguing that Big Brother in King County Elections should be able to access vital statistics databases around the world looking for dead people to purge? After all, Washingtonians could be dying in other states.**
The Social Security Death Index is available for FREE on two web sites. The SSDI is updated monthly. It usually only takes two to three months for someones name to appear.
In my opinion it should be a fairly easy job to run the King Co voters data base thru the SSDI.
http://www.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=3693 --- Social Security Death Index
http://ssdi.rootsweb.com --- Social Security Death Index
49. I had two problems with voting. First I did not receive a pamphlet, called and asked for one and it arived in the mail today. Second, I went to the place on my voter registration card and there was no pole there. Came home looked on county web site and found it was some were else. When I got there one pole worker was on the phone with elections office because a lady was at her second location and still had not found her pole. Kudos to the pole worker for picking up the phone and getting the lady pointed in the right direction. After chatting with pole workers I found out they were not told of location change and were late getting pole open. This all happened in E Renton
50. Stefan thank you for your service!
Voting yesterday was certainly no worse than the many times I have voted over the past 30 years.
A couple of interesting observations though.
I was in line behind my wife and since we were chatting the lady at the poll assumed we were married. She only checked whether we had voter cards and did not check if it was signed (I had deliberately NOT signed mine to see if they would notice). Apparantly that is not required. Oh, and she did not ask for mine - I just showed it after I signed.
The other thing was that I was told you HAD to chose a party or vote wouldn't count. I was planning on choosing NP, but was forced to choose. I see from Stefan's description that she was wrong and that it was only that the the machines were not propoerly programmed.
Wow. Good report. Proud of you, Stefan.
I am absolutely against this business of letting self-acknowledged non-registered people cast ballots. There is NO excuse for this county policy. But it happens. I keep thinking that when it takes so long for them to process ballots anyway, why add the extra unnecessary work of going through this guy's dead-on-arrival ballot? But of course, we know what the hidden motives are. It's outrageous. There has to be a law against this. Toby Nixon, can you make that happen? Hoping so...
Amazing how much goes wrong in just a primary.
they were lucky to have you, though.
53. Deadwood, I am not surprised, Ron Sims needs the votes and his people did the training for the poll workers....... instead of elections staff!
Sam Reed has a column in the Olympian about how well the election went yesterday!
I hope he has some competition next time he is up for election and I hope that they can breathe so that I will feel justified in voting for them over Reed.
And just how did Nick Handy get his 80,000 grand job???? Cronyism? He certainly isn't qualified!
I was an accuvote judge for five precincts (172 total votes) as well as the Chinese language interpreter which I thankfully didn't need to use--my Mandarin is quite rusty and it's not like I learned much election-related vocabularly in Nanjing in the late-80s. I also was the depot judge as the only GOP of the bunch (one independent who, as it turned out in discussions, was too far left to consider himself a Democrat, and the others all registered Dems). We also had an older lady who joined us at about 9am who really shouldn't have been working--she was quite feeble and seemed to have some issues with both comprehension and speaking, so we would make sure we covered all of her work for her.
Addressing Stefan's points: There weren't any dead voters that we found on our rolls, and in fact we had one person comment how previously there were four other people with her last name on the rolls that had died that were now removed, so while I am critical of KingCoElections there has been some housekeeping and that should be applauded.
We also didn't have a problem setting up the Accuvote machine, but I do agree that the documentation left steps out that you would miss if you didn't read the checklist as well, especially on closing out the machine. We managed to get through it but it took longer than we anticipated.
Our inspector, who worked full time for KingCoElections, really did work hard to ensure that everything was fair. She, along with all the coworkers, was a very nice gal and seemed well-meaning. Whenever there was a question on how to fill out a ballot that required her to look at it she made sure that I was with her, which is following procedure to a T. She is also new returning to Seattle (she graduated from college on the East Coast recently after studying election science or something similar, and was very interested in the reform process and was quite interested in speaking to our GOP precinct to learn more about what upset the GOP folks in the last elections, although she could have been paying lip service).
We had the same oath that Stefan had, so no suprise it didn't mention anything about illegal votes. I wasn't aware this was an issue, but I will bring it up with our inspector later this week when I contact her again.
We had the same issue with people voting no preference on the partisan races. It was compounded by the Accuvote machines using the same error code that they used if someone filled in the ovals but neglected to select a party, which upset one person when I questioned her to try to help her ballot get accepted. It just creates confusion where none is needed that they use the same error codes and reject those ballots when people elect to not vote in those.
Also, we had the same issue with the blending of write-in vote ballots and other ballots. I wonder if they are planning on just ignoring them?
As far as allowing a self-acknowledged voter to cast a provisional ballot that does conform with the instructions which basically said "let everyone cast a vote and KingCoElections will sort it out." In fact, the poll training book specifically says "you are never justified in denying a voter the right to vote." The procedure is to issue a provisional ballot, which is what the inspector did in this case and this definitely followed procedures, but are these procedures legal? Also, if someone specifically is not registered and says so, are you obligated as a poll worker to note their information for prosecution if they insist on voting or even notify them that they are breaking the law? I would think there is room for refinement in this procedure.
Anyway, it was a long day but quite rewarding and I look forward to doing it again during the general election.
56. Latest results show that Sims has 77,586 votes out of 196,233 (19.4% of all registered voters) or 39.5% of the vote and David Irons has 65,872 votes or 33.6% of the vote. Last night - Sims had between 43 and 44%, so his total is slipping. There is definite hope that King Sims can be toppled in November and not too soon ! I would like to encourage the David Irons campaign to crank it into high gear and I'll try to contribute some service there...Hopefully, Stefan and other watchdogs for fair elections will be out there protecting the citizens from voter frauds and phonied-up canvassing boards that only would serve King Sims - the King must fall !
57. I am an inspector for the Snohomish County elections, and I, too, amm appalled at the way unqualified people are suppossed to be allowed to vote. I don't think voters, let alone "pseudo-voters" are aware of how much leeway they have been given by the stupid "help America vote Act, and I do everything in my power not to let them find out. I have told people many times that they cannot vote if they are not registered. This has always been accepted, and almost always with good grace. I also strongly encourage people to go to their own polling places, to go home and get their absentee ballot and use it, and to call Everett if they do not know where they vote. I do everything I legally can to limit provisional ballots. Of course, I am a Rebublican inspector in a polling place where they cannot get a democrat, and all my co-workers are republican, although some of us have been forced to call ourselved independent or non-partisan in order to be allowed to work. How can we stop ourselves from being disenfranchised by illegal voters? This is a very infuriating, frustrating, and outrageous situation. I have not used my real name or email, as I am paranoid and want to keep my job!
58. I am an inspector for the Snohomish County elections, and I, too, amm appalled at the way unqualified people are suppossed to be allowed to vote. I don't think voters, let alone "pseudo-voters" are aware of how much leeway they have been given by the stupid "help America vote Act, and I do everything in my power not to let them find out. I have told people many times that they cannot vote if they are not registered. This has always been accepted, and almost always with good grace. I also strongly encourage people to go to their own polling places, to go home and get their absentee ballot and use it, and to call Everett if they do not know where they vote. I do everything I legally can to limit provisional ballots. Of course, I am a Rebublican inspector in a polling place where they cannot get a democrat, and all my co-workers are republican, although some of us have been forced to call ourselved independent or non-partisan in order to be allowed to work. How can we stop ourselves from being disenfranchised by illegal voters? This is a very infuriating, frustrating, and outrageous situation. I have not used my real name or email, as I am paranoid and want to keep my job!
59. I am an inspector for the Snohomish County elections, and I, too, amm appalled at the way unqualified people are suppossed to be allowed to vote. I don't think voters, let alone "pseudo-voters" are aware of how much leeway they have been given by the stupid "help America vote Act, and I do everything in my power not to let them find out. I have told people many times that they cannot vote if they are not registered. This has always been accepted, and almost always with good grace. I also strongly encourage people to go to their own polling places, to go home and get their absentee ballot and use it, and to call Everett if they do not know where they vote. I do everything I legally can to limit provisional ballots. Of course, I am a Rebublican inspector in a polling place where they cannot get a democrat, and all my co-workers are republican, although some of us have been forced to call ourselved independent or non-partisan in order to be allowed to work. How can we stop ourselves from being disenfranchised by illegal voters? This is a very infuriating, frustrating, and outrageous situation. I have not used my real name or email, as I am paranoid and want to keep my job!
60. Interesting recap. Thanks. Did you see any illegal behavior, ballot stuffing, that kind of thing? What was the average age of the poll workers?
61. Lee-- I enjoyed reading your 3 posts. Did you vote in triplicate too?
Have you deteriorated to *troll* status now?
Teasing a thoughtful poster because his computer burped and caused extra postings?
Sorry, Deborah, I couldn't resist.
Can't y'all take a joke?
64. "Can't y'all take a joke?"
You're still here. I think that speaks for itself ;'}
Don't get your hopes up on unseating Sims. Irons ran unopposed. Sims had at least two opponents who garnered substantial numbers of votes. Even under those circumstances, Sims got more votes that Irons - a lot more. Irons is just not the right man to replace Sims and with the election administration issue fading from the scene, Irons has nothing on which to campaign.
66. Rudy--I'm not so sure about assessing the relative strengths of Sims and Irons based on this primary. Remember, Irons was running unopposed so I'm sure there were a lot of GOP voters who either didn't care to fill in the circles to vote for him since it didn't really matter or, as I did, voted Dems on the partisan races just so I could cast a protest vote against Sims. Yes, Sims has his supporters, but his support was magnified by him facing competition while Irons' was minimized because he had no competition in this particular election. It's hard to say how much of an effect this had on the relative totals, but I would suspect it's fairly substantial since the precincts I worked at had maybe a total of 6% self-identifying as Republicans for this primary which is quite low even by Seattle standards.
Sims will end up with about 43% of the TOTAL vote.
The folks that voted for Sims Democratic Party opponents were either:
a) Republicans crossing over
b) Disenchanted Dems.
Sure Sims will pick up some of these in November.
The question is HOW MANY???
Also, there was a very low Republican turnout...even with crossovers.
This is a horserace....
except Don Ron Sims King has his ace in the hold BUTTBOY Logan who is in charge of counting the November ballots.
If Sims wins, BUTTBOY Logan keeps his job.
If Irons wins, Logan is fired first day on the job.
Does Logan have a huge appearance of fairness problem or conflict of interest???? YOU BET!!!
This conflict WILL be part of this election....a HUGE part!!!
Now Rudy...don't be so sure about Sims having a mortal lock on this race.
Cheating will be more difficult this election!
Thanks for volunteering and 'walking the talk.' No right-wing or left wing platitudes--just action on your part. Leaders lead. Made me feel inspired to get more active.
As a friendly joke, I saw your pic and thought of photo captions from my old (corrupt) home town elections: "Wood you buya car from dis guy?!" (No offense. Made me grin.) Good for you, Buddy. And thanks for all the efforts to get ALL sides out in the local political arena.
My fear is that most voters don't even REALIZE what is going on behind the curtain, and think all's well or that they won't be impacted. Thank goodness for Sound Pol.
69. Dear FASCIST REPUBLICAN ZEALOTS,
Get a grip! Your zealous ranting, and attempts at global oil domination via military power have driven away even the most moderate Republicans - even those of us who supported Bob Dole.
I was a Republican until they got away from the 'live within our means', and 'smaller government' goals of the GOP in the 80's. Allowing Corporations to set the agenda thru no-bid contracts to companies friendly to the FASCIST FRAT BOY REPUBLICANS, while they send jobs to China, and profit on oil prices that RISE during times of war/crisis. Oh, you haven't realized the REAL reason for the war in Iraq by now? Idiots!
Now that the FASCIST ZEALOT fundamentalists have taken over, opinions don't seem to matter - the Republican ELITE has this idea that "they're RIGHT", and... "there are other opinions? That's not right!" Well, the pendulum is swinging back toward the center, morons.
I'm sure anyone who's focusing on finding fault with something can do so - it obviously doesn't take much in the way of BRAINS to do it - just a will to DOMINATE - as this Mr. Sharansky, and the many small-minded comments above show.
"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the American Flag" - Huey Long
Heil Bush! Heil Cheney! Heil Rice! Heil Rove!
Are you drunk AGAIN???
Did you kill an innocent young lady?
Did you get away with murder?
Did you use your dominant position to get the young lady into your car the night you killed her?
Once again the majority of people on this site would rather rant and complain than understand what is required to fix the problems they seem to be so concerned about.
Dead people will stay on the voter rolls until next of kin send in cards (that they have to ask for) to get them removed. On the absentee ballot itself it says to not write anything on the envelope like "moved" or "deceased" because that information more than likely will not go where it is supposed to go.
The woman mentioned in the original post will get her problem solved because she is doing things the right way.
Also, it's fairly common knowledge -- except to the majority of people on this site -- that voter pamphlets are distributed by the post office and they should go to everyone with an address WHETHER THEY ARE REGISTERED OR NOT! If you didn't get one, go to your nearest post office or get one off the King County Elections website.
Unless, of course, you'd rather roll around on the floor and whine like babies and after reading these posts, I can tell which of these you'd rather do.
Any system that involves people will not be perfect.
"True to the Sims/Logan unwritten policy of encouraging illegal votes..."
Nice try, Stefan. Yet another thing you will never be able to prove.
I know someone who works there. The vast majority of registration forms are illegible. Thousands of people move without telling the elections folks and then scream and rail at election time wondering where their ballots are.
Also, so many of you seem to have conveniently forgotten about the GOP nominating convention back in June. 420+ people counting votes and the number of people didn't match the number of people voting (in fact, I believe the two numbers were off by more than 20). How can anyone knock KCE for making some mistakes on a million records when the GOP can't even count to 450?
Honestly, you people act like King County Elections left people stranded on rooftops or in convention centers without food or water for five days...
The hypocrisy here astounds me.
Mister B - I have a notion from your screed that MOST THINGS astound you.
It is Shark's efforts, singly, more that ANY member of the "elections culture" that have made any positive difference in an elections system that has been derailed by corrupt democraps (but I repeat myself).
It is the input (previously and incorrectly alluded to as "whining") that helped fuel the indignation to spur anyone to do anything.
"I know someone who works there"
BFD. So do I. Dissatisfaction within the KC elections community is rampant.
"If you're not a part of the solution, you're part of the problem".
Dead people on the voter rolls wouldn't be a problem except that the democraps want them there! They resist the common sense approach of a complete purge of the rolls, followed by a general re-enrollment. Your scenario fails to mention that people are doing just what you suggest, but the names of the deceased are STILL ON THE ROLLS!
"Honestly, you people...."
Honestly, Have you ever used the term "honestly" honestly?
I think not....
Sharkansky's efforts haven't effected any positive change about anything involving elections. That's just borderline delusional.
Read Logan's letter to the editor in the Stranger. Sharkansky apparently can't even decide from one week to the next whether or not Elections is doing a good job.
His original post above seems to imply that King County polling places were the only places where machines jammed.
Sorry, but you'll have to prove that the "democraps" want to keep dead people on the voter rolls. That comment makes no sense. Why would either party want people on the rolls who can't vote?
And as for any conflict of interest Logan would have if Sims lost, blame Irons for saying out loud he would replace Logan if he won. If Irons doesn't mention who would go if he won, nobody is even thinking about a conflict of interest. Again, the anti-Logan folks on this board can't come up anything other than borderline fraud charges to knock Logan about.
Prove me wrong, people. Show me fraud. Show me conflict of interest. How often did the Democrats win as County Executive before Logan ran KC Elections? Hasn't he only had the job three years?
I have yet to read or hear about a single situation where a person has sent in a cancellation form and still get cards or ballots from those dead people. Everything I read suggests all these survivors are doing is writing on the ballots and cards.
It's also common sense that it takes a signature to get registered and a signature to get yourself or someone else unregistered. A word on an envelope shouldn't be enough because then Elections is cancelling people that have merely annoyed their roommate that day.
The department that notifies Elections about dead people needs to do a better job. I read one article where one of the workers has to read the obits to get names. That shouldn't be like that.
And to answer your question about "honestly", yes I have used that word honestly several times as in, "You people complaining about KC Elections should HONESTLY be more concerned about what went wrong in Florida in 2000 (where people had their registrations cancelled for having the same last name as felons) and Ohio 2004 (where election workers have just been indicted for breaking rules that the Election workers here followed.
Is it really only fraud when your guy loses? That doesn't seem right, does it? Florida and Ohio were worse (and the stakes were bigger) and practically everyone on this board acts like it's Chicago in the 60s all over again.
And one more thing, "Alphabet Soup" at least I'm using an "honest" e-mail address.
Keep up the good work otherwise, though. I'm not impressed, but other people might be.
I guess because you didn't find any fault with my comments about the nominating convention's failure with accurate counting that you agree with me that Republicans aren't any better at matching ballots to voters.
Look up "mistake" in a dictionary". It says nothing about "fraud". Because Chris Vance couldn't prove it, he should've apologized, but it would take adult behavior to do that.
And one more thing for anyone here claiming possible/potential conflict of interest -- besides voter fraud, what else did Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 have in common?
Katherine Harris and Sam Blackwell were not only Secretaries of State during those elections, but they also ran Bush's campaign in those states during those elections. Both states had huge issues with actual disenfranchisement of African-American voters and both states had old machines used in poor or Democratic neighborhoods during those elections.
Sam Reed was trying to avoid acting like Harris (by using his power to subvert state law -- not county law) and many of his fellow GOP laid the groundwork to attempt to get him recalled because of it.
You want to stop a conflict of interest? Fight to make it illegal to be a Secretary of State and a candidate's campaign manager at the same #$%&@ time!
If you don't want to do that, shut the hell up about a conflict of interest because it's already out there and you're doing nothing to stop it because what's already out there helps your guy.
Who is the lawyer heading Bush's "oil price-gouging" investigation? Funny... a former lawyer for ChevronTexaco. I'm sure she'll be straightforward and unbiased.
Funny, but it sounds like some of the 'mistakes' made by people in the election discussion were just that - MISTAKES. Not like the fraud that took place in Ohio where electronic voting machines switched votes, and provided no printed receipt to voters. Why not have the company investigate the software? Oh, I forgot - they got the no-bid-contract to provide voting machines because they were big REPUBLICAN financers.
Hey b-man - Do you mean Kenneth
Show me where he or Katherine Harris broke any laws.
We know that Washington State election officials broke laws - Judges Bridges acknowledged that they did. He just didn't have sufficient authority to do anything about it.
That dog don't hunt
And you're welcome to "shut the hell up" any time ;'}
77. Teddy - Don't you have a carpool to go drive?