Sunday, November 12, 2006

Board of Elections Meeting on Monday morning, 10 am

As the vice-chair of the Allegheny County Libertarian Party, I'm going to go to the Allegheny County Board of Elections meeting slated for Monday at 10 am.

An invalidation of our letter seeking a represenatative for the vote tabulation happened. What's up with that?
To the Various Dignitaries of Various Political Parties

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Allegheny County Board of Elections meets Monday, November 13th, at 10:00 a.m. We members of VoteAllegheny will be presenting various reports (mostly in draft form pending incorporation of further information) to the BoE at that time. (We do not know whether we will be granted time for comment on the agenda.)

It seems to us that as a practical matter it would be efficacious for each political party to have some representation at this meeting, and at the subsequent Board of Elections meeting scheduled for November 27th at 10:00 a.m.

As there may be issues contained in our reports which may concern the various parties, we shall deliver copies to each of you by email. If someone other than or in addition to you should receive a copy, please let me know.

Thank you.

Audrey N. Glickman, Secretary/Treasurer, VoteAllegheny

The Board of Elections meets in conference room A of the County Court House which is on the 1st floor (up one level from ground) next to the county manager's office.

Dave's questions: What should be the game plan then? Anybody have specific questions/issues? Any chance anybody (Rich King?) can get me references to the relevant law(s)? I'd like to have them in my hand. Any specific legal priciples/issues/vocabulary I should be familiar with?

Allow transparency and access into the election process. Transparency has radidly disappeared with the arrival of electronic voting. The administration has denied access, avoided, deferred and delayed communication, erected barriers, misrepresented and played dumb to avoid transparency and access in the process of choosing our system of elections and in the accountable running of our elections.

Department of State Directive (PDF)

What constitutes a "session of board" includes the "logic and accuracy testing"... where no member of the Board of Elections was ever expected to be present prior to the election. The County Solicitor maintained, off the cuff that sessions of board did not include the central tabulation as the DOS directive specifically refers to. Also, they said that the portion of law referred to by the state was not the relevant portion of law.

Bottom line: the judge agreed with the county solicitor. That is what they tend to do. The Board (and the Dept. of State) must get the county to agree to the DOS directive.

Any viable party has the right to have three observers at sessions of the board (including all preparation, testing, tabulation, and computations before, during and after the election.)

Memo from Monday, November 7th, 2006

To: Mr. Mark Wolosik, Manager, Divison of Elections, Allegheny County

Dear Mr. Mark Wolosik:

In accordance with PA State Law Section 25 P.S. 2650 which states:

(a) Any party or political body or body of citizens which now is, or hereafter may be, entitled to have watchers at any registration, primary or election, shall also be entitled to appoint watcher who are qualified electors of the county or attorneys to represent such part or political body or body of citizens at any public session or sessions of the county board of elections, and at any computations and canvassing of returns of any primary or election and recount of ballots or recanvass of voting machines under the provisions of this act. Such watchers or attorneys may exercise the same rights as watchers at registration and polling places, but the number who may be present at any one time may be limited by the county board to not more than three for each party, political body or body of citizens.

As Chair of the Libertarian Party of Allegheny County I duly authorize Richard King and Chad Dougherty to be qualified watchers on our behalf for all election procedures including tabulation of the vote, sessions of the county board. This authorization intends to allow them access to all preparation, testing, and tabulation relevant to the election in Allegheny County on November 7th, 2006, and with specific reference to and including parallel testing. I encourage all parties concerned to review the attached directive of the Department of State regarding Watchers

Sincerely and Respectfully,
Dave Powell, Chair Allegheny County Libertarian Party.

Notes: Reference is made in the DOS Directive: "Regarding the Rights of Watchers, Candidates and Attorneys" link

1 comment:

Mark Rauterkus said...

Dave E, fellow Libertarian Board Member, wrote to an email to me, saying, in part:

The LP issue is that the County and the Secretary of the Commonwealth differ on how many people the LP can appoint to watch vote tabulation on Election Night (and other Board of Election activities). Richard plans to ask pointed questions involving a letter from Harry VanSickle, who works for the SoC.

The letter is available here:

The outcome of this process should be a clarification of what rights the LP will have in the future and what steps we should go through to exercise them. We don't have anything in particular at stake right now, but this is an investment toward the future.

It may separately make sense for you to weigh in as a former and future candidate on how much you'd like a paper trail, but if time is tight you might want to save that for another day.