Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Olmsted Falls- 18 authentically new ballots. Recount today?

At yesterday's CCBOE meeting it was announced that because of an encoder problem in Olmsted Falls, 18 people who could not not access their school board race on their ballot had to be given paper ballots. AND those ballots also contained the race of for Olmsted Falls council - which is up for recount today. AND those paper ballots from REGULAR voters had been put into provisional envelopes at the polls, with no marking, but because the voters were in the poll book, also had no provisional ID info on the envelope. AND when those envelopes came into the manila-envelope "sea" of provisionals to be verified, they were rejected for lack of the envelope information.

AND one of the people from the council race, called about 18 rejected ballots from same location, and then with BOE also then questioning, checking the poll's incident sheet, where the happenings had been marked, and by calling the poll workers, the entire story was found out.

SO the CCBOE, in meeting recess, will reconvene this am to explain to already-called candidates They probably will accept the 18 ballots. The ballots after acceptance will allow the envelopes to be opened. They will then have be counted/scanned. The board will have to then re-certify the Olmsted Falls election. THEN, if still an automatic recount-qualifier, (for Council) the recount will begin, as scheduled for today.

It is not yet understood what all the sources of the problems were here - bad encoders? mistaken prep of them? poll workers missing a step? lack of policy and tools to keep regular paper ballots from polls visibly separate and different from true provisionals? more attention to "triggers" for checking oddities in the provisional verifying department ( it really is a SEA of manila envelopes....)?

The CCBOE is checking to isolate all sources and to correct. There are various, and pretty easy ways, now that they're aware of the series of problems. They are aware that this should mean checking for other such provisional anomalies in this race too. They are currently in the sea of VVPATs and recounts.

Bottom line, it is very important to keep provisional info public, so the public can work with such willing BOE's to help improve.

And bottom line, these 18 "suddenly appearing" ballots at the CCBOE should truly not be the subject of any rumors inferring insider "ballot-stuffing." This is actually because the CCBOE is truly trying to correct mistakes and to fix them.

Also BTW, as of Monday when Geauga County and Lorain County certified their races, those results determined that Cuyahoga ( the larger county in these sometimes split county contests) will have to hold an automatic recount for Hunting Valley, and for the Strongsville school board, respectively. That makes a total of 6 automatic recounts, and a yet to be determined number of requested recounts for Cuyahoga.

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