Friday, February 29, 2008

It's been a long time, but video that hints the near future of Ohio's elections

The following is the 1 1/2 hour video from Secretary of State Brunner's Town Hall meeting held in Akron on 2/27, about her December Recommendations that were attached to the EVEREST report. It's in two parts, each about 45 minutes.

The 4-stop "town hall" series seem very different from the "college tour series." The one I attended from the latter, held in Cuyahoga, the county needing to make the most dramatic and costly changes for the March Primary, featured Chris Nance, Assistant Sec. of State and Patrick McDaniel, PhD. one of lead scientists/academics who conducted the almost $1.9M EVEREST testing. He did a wonderful job of explaining the test findings. (I may upload video of that in the near future.) The former series, with SoS Brunner focused on her Recommendations, and near future plans for Ohio's elections.

Some of the many things you'll hear include:
  • mentions of "random" sampling in recounts (also see this and this.)
  • more on the old unstable software needing complete re-engineering found in all electronic systems, (DRE's, Op Scans, and both's tabulators) and relating that mostly to Diebold/Premier's former servers in Cuyahoga or just to DRE's
  • the 3 other counties going to central count systems, (theirs seemingly a choice, and with no midday pickup of ballots) in addition to the change she made for Cuyahoga
  • explanation of plans and pilot plans for multi-precinct locations, which the SoS is calling "MP3's" (a quite catchy name for their concept of their "moving OH into the 21rst century")
  • a discussion about her recommendation for every county to buy electronic poll books to serve the future "MP3's"
  • (Also see SoS Advisory 08-01 about electronic poll books, which both allows her selected 3-election officials, Board of Voting Machine Examiners to test and certify electronic poll books, and declares 3 of them - all Diebold - certified in Ohio - from the one of the same DRE and Optical Scan manufacturers whom McDaniel and the test findings show to all create grossly substandard equipment. McDaniel also said in his talk at least one of these Diebold models works very badly.)
  • a the plan for moving all "Vote By Mail" forward in Aug. '08- letting counties vote on it - a plan which sounds good to most people who normally vote, having a ballot just sent to everyone (no application necessary) but one that has been shown to promote buying and selling of votes and suppressing participation of low income voters, and in OR and WA, also not in the end, raising voter participation to any significant degree.
  • a plan to send more of these recommendations directly to the OH legislature 6 days after the primary to be made OH law (two rounds have already passed, with few even knowing it was happening, though the public is told that if we have concerns we should tell the legislature. They do not have a history of listening to the public.)
  • SoS conclusions on what various election-interested groups want, and what's most important to voters (I personally don't think a sticker rates that highly....)
in Part 2,
  • views and current activities on Hand Counted Paper Ballots, and staff consideration of a directive on how to hand count ballots
  • about views/plans for posting results at the precint ( though with plans for 15-day early voting, the process and validity of such remains unclear)
  • about open source electronic voting systems
  • the one interim audience applause when she talked "Transparency" (not an interest listed on previous charts)
  • about a process called audit, and her consideration of the VRI-AC Audit White Paper submitted to her office
  • more about views on voter education/educated input; the process of taking actions to legislature & the passing of recommendations; testing of poll books, etc.
  • and more.
For full understanding, it's best to watch the whole at some point, listen closely, think about how it all fits together, and have some knowledge of actual EVEREST findings.
86 page Executive Summary
and/or the film of the Cleveland meeting of "college tour" already uploaded by Jeff Kirkby (see and click on (SOS 2-21-08) You need the latest version of Adobe Flash Player Plug-in version 9.0.115.

Part 1