Saturday, November 25, 2006

It Gets Worse

Yesterday upon my arrival at the CCBOE, at around 3:30p, I found that in fact, Mr. Vu DID create a document about observer "rules" in response to my request - but not quite as asked for.
Dated 11/24/06, it was directed to the Guards ONLY. I never got a copy. They would not give me a copy.Now they watch me like a hawk the entire time I'm there - not just "shake me down" at access. I got to see the document briefly. They say they have "protocols". It lets them know what I - observers - of which I'm the only one - am NOT allowed to do:
  • not allowed to talk to anyone - but himself - who is rarely there (while workers are there 12-16 hours a day) and 2 others (who also see how nonsensically and "shitty" he treats me.)
  • I'm "confined" to "the pink room" - though I need to be other places to do my job ( with always requested BY ME escorts - see below... )
  • that I always need an escort (like it's his idea - and though he does not realize, (because not there) that the few who can escort me are already ultra-busy doing his job, the workers's job, and trying to supervise a by-now completly chaotic ballot handling process, which HE has given NO thought
  • that I am allowed a cell phone for calls only - see previous post discussion
  • and on....

He apparently reserves the "right" to utterly abuse his "power"with me.... to declare that if I, for instance, open my eyes, I'm infracting his "rules"

He was called yesterday to see if I was allowed to go escorted from pink room to check rejected provisionals on a public computer another had set up for me last week. I got the list I needed to check with late Wed. Was told at first yesterday, I could not use the computer for which someone needed to enter a password - because it was after hours - 5 pm and the woman had left, and she lost her cell phone. If this makes no sense to you - it's because as usual for the CCBOE, it makes no sense. Others were there working until 7:30 - Coordinators until ????

He called the BOE employee back... an hour later - to say??? But he gave his "permission" (I'm told only what others are allowed to tell me.)

That's what it's like at the CCBOE.

I guess maybe I too, would try to hide what's going on if I were him. But if I were him, it would not be... It is - as mentioned above - unauditable chaos.

For instance:
1. AFTER the "absentee "remakes of Sat/Sun (see below) - Vu appeared and decided that all those ballots that had been remade because of overvotes, had to be remade again.
  • Before, clear overvotes had been left blank on the remade ballots- so the scanner could read them the second time through.
  • Those where voters had crossed one vote off, and marked another - even where they said "yes" or "No" and initialed - clear voter intent - had been marked per intent. Vu later decided they were to be considered non-counted overvotes.
  • Before, those where confused voters had also filled in the bubble on the last blank line that was unexplained, but to be used for write-ins but also who wrote nothing in - (just indicating that they had voted that race in their minds ) - were after first remade, to be remade again, and to be considered, according to Vu - non-counted overvotes.
So according to Vu - all those votes had to be remade again..... and many less would count

2. Piles of previously unopened provisionals showed up - I estimate about 250 - ( they should have been opened in their process to get to that point) - unclear if they were OK'd or rejected. They were just put into the process.

3. Tired people, with only a tiny slice view of what they were to be doing were leaving ballots in piles all over the place.
(Have not been able to get an "escort" ( and I know why) to see downstairs and upstairs, where I imagine and understand that voted and unused ballots lay all over the place - with anyone having access.)

4. Someone had re-entered the first early at-BOE votes into DRE's yesterday - because the first week of early voting, (on DRE's) an activist had found mistakes on the first ballots, (wrong party designation for certain candidates was one mistake) which had to be reprinted/"restyled". Don't know if those "remakes" done yesterday were done with voter consent on proper ballots or not.

5. They were trying to get all paper ballots into precinct order - because the (central count, not precinct count) GEMS server that only has 2G of memory cannot handle much more. The ballot style itself takes up alot of memory - not the ballots.
So they were gathering into precincts - ballot styles, so there could be only one style at a time - already counted absentees, remaking remakes, opening newly found provisionals, sorting already handled but not counted provisionals, opening curbside votes... etc. A huge mess, with exhasuted people trying to control it. It's beyond that.

6. When I got to the computer, found some major questions in some provisionals discounted for missing info. They were active, had often voted in many recent elections, etc. Have them marked, but want to emphasize that I don't want to spend the board meeting going through the few I spot checked. I need to see those envelopes, thus reserve the right to amend the count AFTER certification.

7. Registrations given on voting day (changes of address and name, or move into county from another) attached to provisional envelopes were being tossed...until I mentioned something to one person I'm allowed to talk to -which started another whole team of workers going through piled provisional empty envelopes (kept in NO order). (Most departments, actually rightfully, with no overall guidance, think another department is going to take care of certain things - that no one is assigned to take care of...)

8. And there appears SO MUCH LEFT TO BE DONE... and redone and redone.... that finishing even this process by TUesday really looks questionable - unless someone says the heck with it, makes up counts, shoves stuff into the scanners - and says at 5am Tuesday morning, "Look we, finished!" - and Vu claims - while Bennett affirms to the denouncement of anyone who objects - everything was done absolutely correctly!

Will have more later... MUCH MORE! Unbelievable things... but not quite yet.

Most regulars there continue to tell me - as they tell each other - "just hang on" - change is coming soon.

That's not good enough. Each election changes history for us - and the candidates. (If I were a candidate and have seen what I've seen - I'd be screaming for another election - with an actual, auditable counting process - overseen by a competent, not weasley vindictive, incompetent one.

I really do wonder if Vu, after all the millions he's directed unquestioned to Diebold, whom he calls his "partner", not even a high-profit-seeking vendor, and the complete authority over our elections he's given them - except for the paper ballots about which he knows so little - will go to Diebold when he soon leaves. They do say that "like attracts like" - but one would think that even Diebold might draw a line somewhere - as low as that line is.

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