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Ohio County Defies Blackwell, Will Begin Early Scanning of Absentee Ballots

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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:36 PM
Original message
Ohio County Defies Blackwell, Will Begin Early Scanning of Absentee Ballots
Hamilton County elections officials said they will defy a state order and scan absentee ballots before Election Day. Early scanning of absentee ballots is needed to prevent a delay in election results November 7th, said Hamilton County Board of Elections Director John Williams.

(This promises to be a smackdown between Blackwell and this county. If Hamilton County's bravery gains a foothold, maybe other counties will do likewise.)

More:
http://wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=5602598
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Greeby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. Bravo! All of Ohio should be telling Blackwell to piss off
:applause:
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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
2. Is Hamilton County more blue or red?
nt
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mtnester Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Hamilton has Cincinnati
and its suburbs, so it is Red (for now)
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. Blackwell's home stomping grounds.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. results could be delayed by 48 hours or more,
Hamilton County expects 45,000 to 50,000 absentee ballots.

"This does not in any way, shape or form mean that in any way we are going to tabulate or count, or however you want to put it," Williams said. "We are just going to lift the paper image into a digital medium."

If the county had to wait until after polls closed, results could be delayed by 48 hours or more, Williams said.

Ballots scanned early would be kept under lock and key and stored until voting was completed, he said.

Posted by PJS
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hpot Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Get a copy !
Which also likely means anyone can request a copy under public records laws. There is optical recognition software available online to help conduct an independent count.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
20. What's wrong with delay?
I don't give a damn if accurate and proper counting takes a month. Feeding the TV news cycle is NOT more important than counting every vote accurately.

And I want those ballots stored beyond the vote count.....I want it stored thru the challenge.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #20
47. The problem is that they announce results on election day without counting
all the ballots, and those results "become reality". In san diego, in june's special election, for example, they announced the win with thousands of ballots till uncounted, swore in brian bilbray illegally, and refused to do a recount when doubst were cast as to the counting. Absentee ballots are a large percentage of the ballots. And the RNC likes to avoid counting all of the real votes.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. Cincinnati is Blackwell's hometown and the Cinci Enquirer endorsed Blackwell.
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shirlden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. Where the hell is my tin hat ??
Hamilton County would never, but never defy Blackheart or any rethug. My tin hat is zapping and zinging. This has to be a setup for some devious purpose. Perhaps to speed up the stealing process. If they count the absentee ahead of time that should give them an excellent look at how many votes they have to change to win one for the perverts. Bet, Blackheart is behind this.....he is after all a homeboy there.
:yoiks:



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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. They're not the only county wanting to do this ...
What we need is a list of those counties and what their leaning is.

I really do think it's just a matter of handling the number of absentee ballots that are coming in. It's the first time everyone is allowed to vote absentee. It used to be governed by such things as not being in town on election day, or being of a certain age.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
21. I didn't wanna mention that.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
48.  unfortunately, I agree. I recall my yeah!!!
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. They ought to hand count them also
Just to make sure the machine is accurate.
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Ouabache Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
24. Handcounts of sample precincts would be enough
to know if it was working for all of them.
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aggiesal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
9. Blackwell wants to create chaos ...
because he banks on this to steal the election.
The more counties that defy his order, the harder it
will be to steal any election.

Then of course, Blackwell will simply not certify the
elections from those counties tha defy him.

I hope Blackwell gets indicted for election fraud.
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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Yeah, I wondered if he'd try to disqualify all the absentee votes in counties that defy him
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #9
22. I hope he gets convicted.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
13. He must have gotten millions to do their dirty work nt
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4nic8em Donating Member (382 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
14. I hope I'm not
getting paranoid...this just scares the hell out of me.
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
15. hah. and how will bLackwell justify creating chaos out of order by
disqualifying these votes? bwahahahaha. he's being set up to make himself look overtly like he's part of a conspiracy.
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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. In my fantasy, here's what Blackwell says...
"But I can't possibly mess with the voting machine totals in all 88 counties if I don't have that extra 48 hours."
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:43 AM
Response to Reply #15
34. If it's a red county, that works against him
Especially if it's his stronghold!
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
16. Well done. No one trusts Blackwell to make objective decisions.
How dare he hold back the vote?
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
18. John Williams runs a pretty professional BoE...
I worked on the '04 Recount in Hamilton County. Maybe Williams wants to do his job effectively. He came on board at the BoE in '03 or '04, I think. Tim Burke, the chair of the Hamilton Cty. Dems also works at the BoE.

I hope all the other counties go along with Hamilton...there has to be a large amount of absentee votes this election.

And the writing is on the wall for Blackwell....he's not going to be elected to anything!!! Lots of repugnants don't particularly like him...they don't agree with his disenfranchisement of citizens. Maybe they think they can do what is best for the voters and NOT for Blackwell! I'm going to look at this optomistically until I hear otherwise.

Anyone from Cincy talk to folks at BoE? There are some good Dems who work there.
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stepnw1f Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
19. Blackwell Should See Jail Time
The shit he pulled is disgustingly unamerican.
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DoYouEverWonder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
23. None of the ballots should be counted
until the election is OVER.

If ballots are counted before that there is a danger of the results leaking and that would have an impact on the outcome. In order to have fair and free elections, certain basic rules still need to be followed.

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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. This isn't about counting; it's about scanning. Counting would be after polls close.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Then how does it delay the results by up to 48 hours?
If they aren't scanned?
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Doremus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. Because they have to manuallly feed them one by one into the scanner. n/t
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Process in Indiana to count Absentee Ballots
Processing Returned Absentee Ballots
To be counted, an absentee ballot must be returned to the county election board before the close of the polls on election day. IC 3-11-10-3. Absentee ballots received by mail after the county election board has begun final delivery of the ballots are considered to have arrived too late and need not be delivered to the precinct polling locations, IC 3-11-10-14.

Therefore, the county election board should establish a delivery schedule that will permit a final check at the post office and still allow for delivery of any absentee ballots to the precinct polling locations with ample time for the precinct officials to process those ballots,IC 3-11-10-11 and IC 3-11-10-12.

If a voter does not receive a mailed absentee ballot, or if the ballot is spoiled or destroyed, the county election board may issue a replacement ballot, IC 3-11-4-17.7, 3-11-4-17.8 and 3-11-10-1.5.

Upon receiving an absentee ballot, the county election board or the absentee voter board in the clerks office, must first examine the signature of the absentee voter to determine its genuineness. The county election board should compare the signature that appears on the envelope containing the absentee ballots with the signature that appears on the voters absentee ballot application. The county election board may also compare the signature on the ballot envelope with any other signature of the voter that is considered genuine. If an absentee voter board member questions whether or not a voters signature is valid, the question is referred to the county election board, IC 3-11-10-4.


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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Process in Ohio to count Absentee Ballots
3509.06. Counting of ballots.

(A) The board of elections shall determine whether absent voter's ballots shall be counted in each precinct, at the office of the board, or at some other location designated by the board, and shall proceed accordingly under division (B) or (C) of this section.

(B) When the board of elections determines that absent voter's ballots shall be counted in each precinct, the director shall deliver to the presiding judge of each precinct on election day identification envelopes purporting to contain absent voter's ballots of electors whose voting residence appears from the statement of voter on the outside of each of those envelopes, to be located in such presiding judge's precinct, and which were received by the director not later than the close of the polls on election day. The director shall deliver to such presiding judge a list containing the name and voting residence of each person whose voting residence is in such precinct to whom absent voter's ballots were mailed.

(C) When the board of elections determines that absent voter's ballots shall be counted at the office of the board of elections or at another location designated by the board, special election judges shall be appointed by the board for that purpose having the same authority as is exercised by precinct judges. The votes so cast shall be added to the vote totals by the board, and the absent voter's ballots shall be preserved separately by the board, in the same manner and for the same length of time as provided by section 3505.31 of the Revised Code.

(D) Each of the identification envelopes purporting to contain absent voter's ballots delivered to the presiding judge of the precinct or the special judge appointed by the board of elections shall be handled as follows: The election officials shall compare the signature of the elector on the outside of the identification envelope with the signature of that elector on the elector's registration form and verify that the absent voter's ballot is eligible to be counted under section 3509.07 of the Revised Code. Any of the precinct officials may challenge the right of the elector named on the identification envelope to vote the absent voter's ballots upon the ground that the signature on the envelope is not the same as the signature on the registration form, or upon any other of the grounds upon which the right of persons to vote may be lawfully challenged. If no such challenge is made, or if such a challenge is made and not sustained, the presiding judge shall open the envelope without defacing the statement of voter and without mutilating the ballots in it, and shall remove the ballots contained in it and proceed to count them.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Would it be easier to count each absentee ballot in their respective precinct or at a central location. It actually would be easier and in my opinion prevent fraud at a central location if they counted at the specific precincts.

If they are scanning the ballots into the machine they are counting the ballots. Doesn't make sense for them to say it would delay the results by up to 48 hours if they couldn't scan them before the polls open. What are they going to do? Scan them once for imaging purposes (sure they are) and again to have them counted?
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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. Link to audio file in which Williams explains the lengthy process...
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #33
43. The only reason their process is lengthy is because they screwed up
They decided to have all the absentee ballots counted in one location. And apparently they decided and voted to have two different voting systems put into place. One for the regular voting and one for absentee voting. That was a big mistake and irresponsible. Part of the reason for HAVA was to be consistent in voting.

If there was a necessity to have a different voting machine for absentee ballots then they should had purchased enough for each voting location. Then they could have the ballots counted in their respective precincts. That would had been much quicker. There are 1434 precincts with 584 Polling Locations. Those Poll Workers in the 584 would had a better chance of completing the task quicker than counting all of them in one central location.



Previously there was a report by this Williams stating that they were only going to scan the ballots into the machines and not count them. In this audio report, Williams is stating that they are being scanned and counted. Once they scan those votes they will have base vote count that they can manipulate as they see fit. They won't have to go to targeted voting locations throughout the county in an attempt to fixed the election. They can do it right in their office.

Another question I have regarding the absentee ballots... Are those votes going to be tallied in their respective precincts or just added in to the final totals?

A proper audit of the election requires that the number of voters in each precinct matches the number of voters that voted. That can't be done if the absentee totals are added to the totals of all precincts in a candidate's election district.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #33
45. They are cutting the ballot envelopes with envelope knife?
Geesh... Don't they have an automatic letter opener?

With an expected 100,000 plus absentee ballots that should be a good investment.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. I have a problem with ballots being counted before the polls open
I don't have a problem with the absentee ballots scanned into the voting machines when the polls open and when there is a lull in the voting.

To say it will delay the results of the election by up to 48 hours is total bushwacky. I could see it taking that long if all the absentee ballots were counted at a central location. THAT SHOULD NOT HAPPEN. Absentee ballots should be counted in the polling locations that the voter would had voted if not voting absentee. (That is important in the totals matching up and for targeting precincts)
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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. I think the absentee ballots all go back to the BOE via US mail.
I believe that's where they're all counted. People from both parties are there.

I think it must take a long time for ballots to be scanned because when our county did a recount it took several days -- and that wasn't just for a hand count. It involved the machines that read the ballots.

If ballots have to be kept somewhere anyway, I'd rather there'd be this backup system during those days that the ballots are back in BOE hands before election day. If they're scanned early, what we'd have is the physical ballot and the scan in the machine. That way if someone's going to mess with one, they'll have to mess with the other so things would match up during a recount -- right?
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Doremus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #27
42. They can't scan absentee ballots while they're tabulating regular votes
"The Lucas County board's legal adviser, assistant county prosecutor John Borell, reads the law in a more sensible fashion. He says the statute doesn't say ballots can be scanned early but neither does it say they can't be. Thus, he says, election workers should be able to scan the ballots in advance but wait to tabulate the votes recorded on them until the polls close on Election Day.

We understand that state law prohibits counting absentee votes until after the polls close, but scanning the forms is not the same as tabulating the votes and could be completed in advance.

Waiting to scan until Elections Day puts boards of elections in a time crunch. Their computers typically cannot accept information on absentee ballots at the same time they're handling regular election day votes. That could unnecessarily delay the results."

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061...
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. You believe the votes aren't tabulated when they are scanned?
The purpose of scanning IS to tabulate the results.

Marksense (Optical Scan)

Marksense systems employ a ballot card on which candidates and issue choices are preprinted next to an empty rectangle, circle, oval, or an incomplete arrow. Voters record their choices by filling in the rectangle, circle or oval, or by completing the arrow. After voting, the voters either place the ballot in a sealed box or feed it into a computer tabulating device at the precinct. The tabulating device reads the votes using "dark mark logic," whereby the computer selects the darkest mark within a given set as the correct choice or vote. Marksense technology has existed for decades and been used extensively in such areas as standardized testing and statewide lotteries.

Although marksense systems are often referred to as "optical scan," marksense technology is only one of several methods for recognizing marks on paper through optical reading techniques.

Marksense systems were used by 32.2% of registered voters in the United States for the 2004 Presidential election, and their use is on the rise.
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maryallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
32. The Ohio "TEA PARTY?"
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 10:29 PM by maryallen
Somebody's gotta stand-up.
It might as well be where the last Presidential election was stolen.
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:55 AM
Response to Original message
35. good for them
:woohoo:
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LiberalHeart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
36. Toledo Blade editorial takes on this issue -- and Blackwell...
Here's a link:

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061...

They say the machines can't process the info from absentee ballots to count the votes at the same time they're counting regular ballots, so that's another wrinkle.

I love how the newspaper characterizes Blackwell.
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
37. I suspect that many voted absentee to avoid getting their vote stolen.n/t
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LittleWoman Donating Member (217 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 04:01 AM
Response to Original message
38. Tinfoil Hat Time
There is a pending lawsuit regarding the Ohio voter id laws and as of now absentee ballots do not have to have the voter id information required by the law. Columbus Dispatch article <http://www.dispatch.com/?story=dispatch/2006/10/28/2006... > However this could change before the election so I would recommend anyone voting absentee provide the information.

The big problem has been that one of the choices for id is the drivers' license number and there has been some confusion for some voters as to which number to use. The correct number is found below the driver's name and address. The number at the top of the photo is not the correct number. Why is this important? Because as recently as a few days ago it was announced that absentee votes with the wrong drivers' license number would not be counted because the id was incorrect.

As far as Hamilton county is concerned, what are they doing about this id problem if they have started scanning ballots? Are they disregarding those with the incorrect number even though at this point there is a court order suspending the id requirement or are they scanning them? As much as they might like to scan early to as to be able to provide timely results to the media, at this point in time the rules are still not set because there has not been a final ruling by the court regarding the id requirements. My highly developed paranoia tells me that the heavily Republican Hamilton county is up to something and it isn't good.
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 05:21 AM
Response to Original message
39. Damn, the next county over...
Didn't really think WARREN County would defy BlacKKKwell, did ya?
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michreject Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
40. By going against protocol
couldn't the state invalidate the ballots?
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Toots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
41. Good deal, who knows there may be a mysterious power outage or something
when the counting would normally be done... :shrug: It has been known to happen.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
46. yeah!!! The repubs don't want real election results available till way after they've stolen the
election.
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xxqqqzme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
49. who is this guy?
Hamilton County Board of Elections Director John Williams

elected or appointed?

Counting absentee ballots could delay the election results by as much as 48 hours - HIGHLY improbable, unless the envelopes are being opened one at a time and the results are read out loud to someone recording the votes.

Absentee ballots are scanned in CA and tabulated as soon as the polls close....that's how we get those
'early return' numbers
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