Monday, December 22, 2008

Election Machine, Firmware Verification Meeting at 9 am

Original posting at 8:50 AM. Update(s) below.

I just sent this letter via fax to the Allegheny County Election Department to insure that the Libertarians are going to be present at a firmware verification event at 9 am this morning on the North Side.

Mark Rauterkus
Libertarian Party of Allegheny County
924 Chislett St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 661-1135 = chair
(412) 298-3432 = vice-chair’s cell

Mr. Mark Wolosik
Manager, Division of Elections, Allegheny County
604 County Office Bldg., 542 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2953
(412) 350-4500
Monday, December 22, 2008

Dear Mr. Wolosik:

As Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Allegheny County, I write this letter to inform you that we authorize Ronald Bandes, a qualified elector of Allegheny County, to observe on our behalf the verification of voting-machine firmware which will be carried out today. As you may recall, in the November 2008 general election our party fielded several state-wide candidates and also a candidate for the General Assembly, David Posipanka of Homestead.
Sincerely and Respectfully,

______________________________, Vice-Chair

Allegheny County

This letter was also faxed to the Allegheny County Department of Elections before 9 am today.

Update at noon.

At 12:15 PM I got an alarming call from our designated watcher, Ron. He was asked to leave the firmware validation meeting. He was there for a while, perhaps 90-minutes. But then when the task of getting into the process began in earnest, he was sent packing. The Libertarians were not invited, so it seems, according to the election official.

Nobody wants to go to jail on the eve of Christmas Eve.

Golly, what the hell are they hiding?

First point of keen interest. The process was described to those at the meeting. Then a chip was pulled from the board. And, according to Ron, the chip that was pulled was not the chip that they had talked about in the pre-process description. Another, different chip was pulled for the first test. Then it was time to show Ron the door.

So, I just called Dan Onorato.

Courthouse 436 Grant Street Dot Room 101 Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: (412) 350-6500 Dot Fax: (412) 350-6512

I'll call the Election Department next. Then I'll call the media.

Mark Wolosik, Division Manager County Office Building 542 Forbes Avenue Room 604
Fax: (412) 350-5697 Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Phone: (412) 350-4500

Called the Allegheny County Election Department. They got my letter. They faxed it to the North Side warehouse where Mark W, Director, was working. He got it. I understand it was Mark W, director, who asked the guy to depart.

Voiced displeasure and said that I'd like to have that decision reversed and would accept an invite and apology. And, said my next call was to the media.

Called the Post-Gazette, Rich Lord and then the Pittsburgh City Paper, Chris Potter. Both are looking into the matter, so I was told.

Getting kicked out of places is not so fun. This is worth a photo.

Older photo. Election Protection volunteer and Mark Rauterkus.


Anonymous said...

comment notes via email to here:

Ron's thoughts:

I think the operative word in Dave's remark was "today." Of course this is an issue that the County should answer for.


Anonymous said...

I think the thing for the LP to do is for Dave to send Mark a letter
pointing out that we had both state-wide and Allegheny County
candidates and asking what the rule is. We want a rule claim in writing,
and a letter is the way to do that.

Dave, you have a link to a copy of Mark's letter to the people he
invited. I probably won't have time today to write a letter.