Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Voter Confidence Committee Secures Greater Election Transparency For Humboldt County

On Thursday night we got a major announcement from Humboldt Registrar Carolyn Crnich in support of a 10% manual audit of Tuesday's election. Late Friday afternoon, County Elections Manager Lindsey McWilliams left a voice message for public interest attorney Daniel J. Kosmal stating that a memo would be sent to poll workers instructing them to post the precinct poll tapes outside their polling places in accordance with CA election code 19384. These announcements would be welcome news at any time but especially in these crazy final days prior to the "election." The following was just sent to the VCC e-mail announcement list.

Monday morning at 10am the Voter Confidence Committee of Humboldt County will hold a press conference in front of the County Courthouse in Eureka. We'd love to have your support if you can be there but what is more important is that you know about these items we'll be announcing...

1. With the support of Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich, Humboldt will likely expand its manual audit (hand recount) for double checking machine accuracy from 1% to 10%. While the VCC has hoped for a 100% hand count, the 10% audit has been our fall back position based on this paper from the Election Defense Alliance: Official confirmation of the expanded hand count will come Tuesday morning when we invite you to join us at 9am for the Board of Supervisors meeting, also at the County Courthouse. Let's make sure they are convinced that the community requires this degree of verification for our election results, that we are willing to do the work to count the ballots, and that the extra expense (~ $10k) is money well spent.

2. Just before Monday's press conference we will be confirming in writing a verbal message from Elections Manager Lindsey McWilliams stating that, in accordance with CA election code 19384, poll tapes will be posted outside each polling place immediately following the close of voting on Tuesday night. If we are unable to secure Lindsey's written commitment, our paperwork is all ready to go to court. Join us at the press conference to see which way it goes!

3. Our big volunteer project hinges on our ability to access the precinct vote totals that appear on these poll tapes. All citizens are encouraged to observe the poll closing procedures at their polling place at 8pm Tuesday night. Please visit our website at for a list of things to watch for. You can also let us know which polling place you'll be at, and when you've collected your info, you can also use our site to submit what you've learned. If you prefer, you can call in your report to our new hotline: 707-709-VOTE. Use that number if you observe anything improper throughout election day.

Mon 10am @ Courthouse - press conference
Tues 9am @ Courthouse - Supes meeting
Tues 8pm - monitor the closing of your polling place and contact the VCC with info

Listen to KGOE 1480 AM all night on election night for Peter B. Collins and Brad Friedman reporting on election problems in Humboldt and across the country. If necessary, the Voter Confidence Committee will provide real-time updates to organize a united community response.

The Voter Confidence Committee


Posted by Dave Berman - 8:35 PM | Permalink
Comments (3 So Far) | Top of Page | WDNC Main Page

Read or Post a Comment

Newsweek ran an editorial about election integrity today that featured the Maryland "before and after" versions of the SAIC assessment of Diebold.

Posted by Blogger Kathryn @ Nov 8, 2006, 1:53:00 AM
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I checked a couple of polling places in Arcata (City Hall, HSU dorms) for poll tapes. Didn't find any poll tapes.

Also, I noticed we already have the poll tapes memo, so I'm not going to bother transcribing the one in my photo. I can burn a CD of my pictures if you like.

I know things were kind of hectic (to say the least) lately, but if we already knew the memo said to put the poll tape where the roster was, why is this a surprise tonight? Ditto for his orders to post it unsigned. (Maybe I should've taken the time to read it... I was just glad he'd agreed to post them and didn't consider the possibility he would tell them to post it somewhere it wouldn't be seen.

Posted by Blogger Kathryn @ Nov 8, 2006, 1:59:00 AM
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I think our Elections Manager is either very obstinate or has a tragic reading impairment.

[Elections Code Section] 19384. The precinct board shall, before it adjourns, post conspicuously on the outside of the polling place a copy of the result of the votes cast at the polling place. The copy of the
result shall be signed by the members of the precinct board.
If the machine is provided with a recording device, the statement of result of votes cast produced by operating its mechanism may be considered the "result of the votes cast" at the polling place.

I'm completely mystified how "post conspicuously on the outside of the polling place" got transformed into "inside the polling place where the voter roster was displayed."

Likewise, I don't understand how the second bold paragraph would not describe a poll tape printed by an Accuvote-OS.

Posted by Blogger Kathryn @ Nov 8, 2006, 2:07:00 AM
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