Monday, May 7, 2007

Today's 9am Board Meeting & on Election Day at 1pm

I will soon post film and discussion of today's swearing in, and board meeting.

Secretary of State Brunner stayed throughout and offered support where necessary, allowing the new Board and Interim Director, however, to proceed and make decisions very apparently on their own. In her introductory remarks, you will see when posted, that she is already predicting and planning for her removal from oversight of the CCBOE, originally slated through December, 2008, but now being hopefully looked at after next year's March primaries.

Also today, the new board did decide to extend the search for a new director. They will be advertising for a new Director and Deputy Director almost immediately, and will set a deadline of not less than 10 days from the date of reopening.

More pertinent to right now, and unlike the schedule presently posted on the BOE website, there will be NO Board meeting at 9 am tomorrow. Today's 5/7/07 meeting stands merely in recess, as the day before an election's meeting "continues", and allows the Board to be virtually in meeting, or in effect, "on call", during the time of an election, as is required by law.



However, the new Board WILL be gathering at 1 pm tomorrow, as per the recommendation of Interim Director Platten that a new process of determining when a ballot should to be "remade ( for instance if the ballot was "spit out" by the scanner, because it has stray marks, was soiled, or the the voter used X's or check marks instead of filling in the oval bubbles"; and how to determine "VOTER INTENT" on a "wrongly" marked ballot, including determining such things as whether or not it can be counted, (or if it was an an actual "over vote") - one that had too many choices for a particular race.
In November,'06's counting, while I was at the CCBOE as an official observer for the 5 Statewide Candidate Consortium watching the counting for about 2 weeks, after Mr. Vu eventually appeared to supervise, ( Dillingham appeared the last evening of the 2 weeks of counting) I noted large inconsistencies in how the workers were handling voter intent. There was no written policy. After he did appear, he ordered remakes of large numbers of remakes (!) Many workers appeared to strongly disagree with some of Mr. Vu's remake decisions - including at times that if a voter crossed out one vote, and filled in another bubble, and even if s/he wrote notes next to each one accordingly saying no and yes and intialling, Mr. Vu told workers to consider that as an uncounted overvote (ie. not fill in a ballot so it would go through the scanner, and thus, those not be counted.)

After bringing the matter up to the CCBOE, and then to Platten, she has decided she and an R Manager, (probably Mike DeFranco, manager of the Candidate and Voter services department,) would together direct voter intent decisions. Today, the board decided to join the decision.
Thus the meeting was set for tomorrow, election day, at 1 PM.
This is a public process, the public may attend. Again there will be NO 9 AM CCBOE meeting.

This video from the 11/27/06 November review of absentee and provisional ballots meeting, (which took place the day before the final vote certification meeting on 11/28/06) shows problems I observed while watching the counting of paper ballots in November.
You'll hear Vu and Dillingham claim they oversaw the process, but neither one was there for most of the time, as decisions were being made and ballots were being counted and discounted. You'll hear about how voter intent was being handled differently by about 25 teams of people, and more. This cannot happen for every vote to count!

Instead of lying or shutting people out from seeing, these are some of the problems that Platten is attempting to actually solve in this May 8 election, and going forward.

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