Monday, December 15, 2008

Richard King reports on phantom ballots in Allegheny County with its election machines

Last week I heard the public comment from Richard King, Ph.D., concerning the recent election. He has seen strange results from a couple of polling places from the November 2008 election. In two places, there were more votes than voters. He only was able to check on ten places, so far.

For instance, in Wilkinsburg, one place he checked, the other is in the east end too, there were 10 extra votes beyond what could have happened. These are not the right numbers, but lets just use this as an example: The vote totals could have been 90 for Obama, 9 for McCain and 1 for Barr. That's 100 total votes. But, only 90 people are reported to have approached the polls to cast a vote. Something is goofy.

To get to the bottom of these numbers that don't add up, the public officials, the county, needs to unlock the machines and work with the citizens in a trustworthy manner to investigate and resolve the problem. There is only so much a volunteer from the outside can do.

Hence, the people need to be aware and turn up the heat -- as so far -- the county folks are not cooperative, as usual.

We apparently have voting machines casting phantom e-ballots in Allegheny County... please read on.

"Phantom e-ballots" were cast by Allegheny County's iVotronic voting machines in this past election. When more ballots were cast on these voting machines than there were voters allowed to approach the machines, its a problem. As many as 10 phantom ballots were cast in one polling place - and an initial review of 12 "problem reported" precincts has found 3 polling places which had cast phantom e-ballots.

In the "10-phantom ballot" precinct the voting machines were reported to be fading out and blinking back on all day and eventually two machines shut down in the afternoon. If a printout of this polling place's ballots finds that 10 ballots were cast without containing any votes, then the situation is reconcilable and not a big deal. However, if all the ballots have some votes on them, then we have a great opportunity federal funding for new voting machines with paper ballots and verifiable voting. Generally, we would also like the county to be transparently reporting on the voting machine problems, such as the prevalence of these phantom e-ballots.

County Council Meets Tuesday, at 5pm



If this link doesn't work, please email or call JOHN MASCIO, CHIEF CLERK : 412-350-6495

County Courthouse
436 Grant Street
4th Floor - Gold Room
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Councilman Chuck Martoni has offered to schedule a sense of council motion for
Tuesday Dec. 16th's meeting at 5PM:

County Council Resolves that the BOE (Board of Elections) and the Division of Elections should:
1) Print a hardcopy of the ballots stored in iVotronic memory in Wilkinsburg 1-6, under witness by election integrity and party observers as provided by PA law, (see Section 3154 of Purdons, PA Election Code).

2) Provide meaningful routine and standard reporting on election problems and lessons learned each election, to include items addressed in the 15 questions.

3) Make available for review, without resort to records requests or legal assistance all election reporting documents identified in the 15 questions.

4) Make public the report on the November 2007 election.

Election Report Questions for Allegheny County
1 - How many and what precincts have more iVotronic ballots than voters accessing the iVotronics?

2 - How many and what precincts have reports of machine problems by voters?

3 - HMAWPs have reports of machine problems by pollworkers?

4 - HMAWPs have machines which required service calls by rovers during the election?

5 - HMAWPs have lost or found voting machine equipment this election?

6 - HMAWPs still have outstanding lost equipment from previous elections?

7 - Were any irregularities reported at the warehouse regarding the iVotronic sleep overs at precincts?

8 - Were any irregularities reported at the warehouse regarding the security procedures for the iVotronics?

9 -Has any effort been made to talk with other iVotronic counties to correlate experiences?

10 - Is there a comprehensive list documenting the problems encountered in the canvass?

11 - Is there a comprehensive list documenting the problems encountered in the returns board?

12 - Is there a log of phoned in complaints to the county regarding election problems?

13 - Is there a log of "walk in" complaints registered at the Division of Elections Office?

14 - Is there a comprehensive list of percentage undervotes for each race?
- By iVotronic voting?
- By Absentee voting
- By Provisional and Emergency Ballot Voting?

15 - If more ballots were cast than voters present, were the individual ballots printed out? (and were they cast empty or filled)?

I've just made my call to John, the clerk, to put my name on the speaker's list. If I can't make it, so be it. But, I've put my name on the record as a citizen who cares and is watching. I will try to attend.

Due to some building troubles, the Allegheny County Office Building is closed today, Monday, Dec. 15. So, you might not get an answer if you call.

No comments: