Thursday, February 07, 2008

Voting Problems, thousands not counted in LA, New Mexico problems

Which election debacle do you want to read first - LA, or New Mexico?

In Los Angeles thousands of Independent voter's ballots in the Democratic Party primary have not been counted:
After speaking speaking to poll workers and voters, and combing media reports, there may be just about as many "real clear" explanations for how those DTS were supposed to have a) asked for, and then perhaps have received the correct ballot to vote in the Dem Primary and then b) fill out a special bubble at the top of the ballot, which supposedly instructs the optical-scan machines to read the ballot as a Dem primary vote, on the premise that the machines will end up counting the vote accurately.

If independent, non-partisan, DTS voters were lucky enough to not be auto-registered with the "American Independent" party instead; and if they knew to ask to vote in the open Democratic Primary; and if the poll worker knew to give them a non-partisan ballot anyway; and if they were properly instructed to vote on that ballot in one of the booths marked as "DEM", with the Dem candidate InkaVote machine template booklet in it; and if they were told by the pollworker to be sure to fill in the bubble above the Presidential candidates names to specify that this ballot should be counted in the Democratic Primary; and if they remembered to do it; and if their ballot was accurately counted by the optical-scan tabulators, then chances are good they may have successfully voted in the election.

If on the other hand, as we're hearing from many voters and pollworkers, those voters were incorrectly handed a Democratic ballot, as opposed to a non-partisan one, then it sounds like they will also stand a good chance of having their vote counted (accurately, or otherwise) in the Dem Primary.

That's a lot of "ifs", of course, and the latter scenario relies on pollworkers getting the proscribed process wrong, in order for the vote to have a chance of being counted right.
New Mexico - thousands not on voter rolls, lines of up to three hours, paper ballot boxes kept overnight at homes of election officials. New Mexico has a history of ballot problems. In 2000 the presidential race was decided by 366 votes but years later it was discovered 678 votes were lost due to a programming snafu. There was no way to recount the missed votes. They were simply gone.

Now in 2008:
I want to make sure this point is emphasized: Roughly half the votes from Rio Arriba County spent the night in the privacy of the home or homes of one or more election officials in boxes those officials may have had the ability to open. All the county party chair had to do last night to report the results was make a phone call. That never happened.
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