Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recount at the First Break

Here is the recount as it stands so far:

All of the Common Council Candidates agreed to accept the results of the election except for the Peck/Hall race.  This means the board of canvas can declare Poeschl & Allison-Aasby as elected. 

We set out the guidelines for the recount, and they were agreed to by both Pech & Hall after some discussion.  They include:

 - We are only looking at ballots w/ votes for Hall, Pech or both.  If a ballot seems as though it may not have registered on an OS (scanner) machine, but did not contain a vote for Hall or Pech, it will not be seperated for hand-count.

 - We are only going to recount paper ballots.  I have (and the City Clerk agreed) never seen a recount where the tape totals of a machine were different than the memory card.  While I do have problems with these machines, it is in the use of them and the tapes blackening, crumpling, or being lost.  Also recording differently on the tape than voted.  As I stated and the OshNW quoted: “The problem I have with that machine is not the (results) tape, but what happens between the voter and the tape.”

 - There was a discussion about the wards to be counted.  I did not submit a list of wards to be counted.  I wanted that to be a discussion between Mr. Pech & I.  I would have been OK with a sample of wards including 2 each of the wards with the highest and lowest percentage of TSX (touchscreen) use.  as well as 2-3 with average use.  This would have given us an idea if there were discrepancies.  Mr. Pech stated:

“If you’re asking for a recount, I would assume … your concern is to have all of the votes counted. You can’t be a little bit pregnant,” Pech said. “Do you want a recount? Or you don’t want a recount. To pick and choose wards, I find that a little strange.”

If we would have chosen a few wards, I could not have asked for more as I understand.  However, Mr. Pech could have if the totals changed.  It was an idea to save some money potentially. 

I did find it odd when you compare touch screen use to ballot use - the number of votes for council candidates per vote for a mayoral candidate is different, with a higher proportion with the TSX machines.  this does suggest that there are votes run through the OS machines that do not get counted.  And we have seen ballots with check marks or incomplete ovals filled in to see why this happens.

We are not quite done with District 1, so an update will be coming in a bit.  It is a large district with about 8% of all the votes to be re-counted.