Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Update on Provisional Ballots from 2006 General Election

I'm in the midst of getting the provisional info, but right now running down to observe absentee scanning, and to check some provisional rejects. Our provisional department, after my own reasonable meetings with reasonable managers , (certainly not because of a cooperative or informing director) have been wonderful in the list they supplied me. They even broke down rejected because of "missing info" into what was missing.

The managers understand, however, that even just having that list is not sufficient to find if these votes should havebeen counted, and if it may have been lack of poll worker understnading that prevent them from counting. There are often interesting little notes also written on the outer envelopes which shed more light on why some information may be missing, but there has been no OK for me to review the envelopes themselves. Right now, though I've asked to see them,and the department manager checked for me, this has been denied in writing by Prosecutor due to HAVA "privacy"conditions - ability to see whose vote was whose, he infers.

My report on Monday morning to the board at their meeting to, in part, accept or reject the provisionals as put forth, (though they have NOT been there observing the process of validation so are likely to just blindly accept the suggestions of the department under current limitations) will be to reserve the right to check provisional ballot envelopes - after certification, and for me to seek to ammend certified results within the 80 day window allowed for such changes.

Will check some rejects today as they've put up public registration check computers for me - also arranged in manager meetings - again, not director cooperation - though this probably still will not get me the info I still need.

My goal at Monday's meeting will also be to emphasize the need for better poll worker training re: provisionals - with some additional specifics gleaned from overwhelmed and trying hard provisional department - with which I heartily agree , or getting rid of provisionals altogether.
I will emphasize same day registration too - no need for current 30 day wait. It causes disenfranchised voters, and MUCH more work for BOE's.

I have some specifics to demo from own observation - though I could not touch envelopes to see enough notes on them on my own.

Our Candidate and Voter Services department manager, even gave me the provisional report as of yesterday - which is pretty well done, just possibly a very few off here and there - on disc, broken out by precinct, and failure reason. It's BIG file.

Right now we have a total of 15,872 provisionals

12,374 are OK'd.

3,497 failed - a 22% failure rate.

1,335 were determined "not registered"
1,665 - "voted in wrong precinct"
116 - a number which may have changed since
44 - "no signature"
301 - missing ID - no anything, including birthdate nor "10T affidavit"
25 - bad address, but good could not be found
11 were labeled VAV - had already voted an absentee ballot

I feel pretty good that given the remaining mess of our registration system, the workers checked a few different ways to see if they could find people not registered- and did - about 60 - by cross checking birthdates.

No comments: