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Can You Stand it? - MORE Open Ballot Bags in Milwaukee County...

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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 03:35 PM
Original message
Can You Stand it? - MORE Open Ballot Bags in Milwaukee County...
Edited on Sat May-07-11 03:52 PM by eowyn_of_rohan
I drove to Milwaukee Co. to help with the recount Thursday.

On the way there, I saw this sign in a yard....Prosser for Freedom? Exactly how does that work?



At the recount I took photos of several bags that were improperly sealed. I counted at least 6 like this. There may have been more, but you couldn't tell because they were stacked in front of each other. Note these bags were open on the LONG end - meaning there were huge, 7-8" gaps on each side of the zip-ties. All these bags were from Wauwatosa.





Note the properly sealed bags on the bottom:



I stopped in Waukesha County to see what was happening. For some nonsensical reason the gatekeeper at the courthouse told me to go to the County Clerk's office to find out if they needed help. YIKES I thought, this is the office of Kathy Nickolaus... I went in and actually had to talk to her, which was creepy. She had an extreme deer-in-headlights look on her face. LOL.

You can see Nickolaus in the background here - look under the "Support our Troops" sign. :eyes: I dropped my camera on the pavement at a protest last month and it isn't working quite right - sorry for the blurry photos!



I was directed to the counting room, where they said they had enough volunteers, but thanked me and were very friendly! This is a VERY small room and the Public observation area goes right up to 2 of the tables, so you have a clear view of the procedures, and of Ramona Kitzinger and her fellow canvass board members. There were various problems going on re vote list reconcilation and a couple other issues I wasn't clear on.

Quite an interesting little trip...


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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. It sounds like there are beginning to be a lot of reasons for a lawsuit
and a carefully monitored revote in that particular county.
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 03:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. Waukesha is moving out of that small room and to the cafeteria on Monday.
Edited on Sat May-07-11 03:44 PM by PeaceNikki
They are bringing in many more tabulators (which is why you were asked to help) and will be doing more than one reporting unit at a time. We will need a lot more help tabulating AND observing. I was asked by the clerk from Brookfield to help tabulating.

Thanks for all you're doing, eowyn_of_rohan!
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Yes, I had read they were moving to a cafeteria in an administration building
I was offering to help at the time I was there - didn't ask about helping there in the future. I asked the gatekeeper where the recount was taking place and she sent me to Nickolaus's office.
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ermoore Donating Member (474 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. Meh . . .
I'm sorry, I know I might be in the minority here, but I don't think there's much to this. The lady that didn't add in the votes in wherever-that-was is an idiot and should be fired, but that's the nature of people so I can buy her story, especially with other local Dems backing her up. Plus didn't the final "left out" vote tally match up with what was initially reported?

Maybe I'm missing something, if so please enlighten me, but I just don't believe in these voter fraud conspiracies for the most part.
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. I remain skeptical and pragmatic.
I will say what I've said before: those bags SUCK and are very difficult to seal properly. They also split/tear/rip far too easily and are manhandled in metal containers when transported. They should be replaced with a much better solution. They are especially difficult for older poll workers with arthritis and such. We need better bags that are easier to seal, less prone to tear and more tamper-evident. Those things suck ass.

We have two board members who re-seal ballots after count and one of them REALLY has a hard time. Ramona, the Democrat, is VERY careful, VERY precise and always gets it right. The other lady's have had to be redone because she makes the same mistake that results in "seals" like we see in the Brookfield (and several other) bags.

I personally *wish* that there was clear evidence of fraud. As of now, there's clear evidence of slop that there COULD have allowed for fraud, which is different. We're only about 25% done in Waukesha so it could shake out differently in the end. We'll keep watching and keep objecting and keep entering into evidence.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #5
26. You should check into the bags USPS uses for registered mail.
Damn things are indestructible, zip shut, and have a steel lock with a number ticker. Every time the lock is opened the ticker advances by one. There's no access to the inside of the lock, so if the numbers don't match, you are immediately 100% certain it's been opened.

Awesome bags. Sad that we treat our money as being more secure than our votes, though.

(I can personally, as a postal employee, 100% guarantee you that these are being used daily by USPS in the same area these pathetic voting bags are.)
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #26
36. I will bring this up to my representatives.
If one thing comes out of this recount, I would like these bags replaced with a better solution.
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Lefta Dissenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-11 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #26
43. Occulus,
Have you been bugging my home? The USPS bags, the money comparison...

Thanks! :hi:
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Improperly securing bags is surely at least in part due to naivete or incompetence
There are rules and procedures that are to be followed in sealing these bags to ensure a proper and verifiable chain of custody. These rules are in place to help keep ballot bags from being tampered with. If ballot bags can be accessed like these can, there is always going to be the possibility that the ballots inside are not the original ones- Hardly conducive to fostering trust in our election system. Ballots in the open bags could be switched to match the tallies gained from hacked or altered counting machines, through the soft or hardware. If done through the hardware with a sleeper program, as someone reminded me of the other day, there would be no way to find out if the machine was hacked.

I wonder how these bags would be treated if Prosser's team were the ones trailing in this election? Also, to my knowledge all the objections to these open ballot bags have been filed by Kloppenburg's team. Why is it that Prosser's team is not concerned about what is in them?
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. If it were Dane County, they would be. This is a Republican stronghold, it would be silly if they
objected.

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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I'm not just talking about "your" county - this has happened in a number of counties
Edited on Sat May-07-11 04:13 PM by eowyn_of_rohan
blue and red. The Republicans didn't object to the counting of the Verona ballots (unsecured) in Dane County either. Funny thing - Prosser votes outnumbered Kloppenburg votes by 2 to 1, in a county that favored Kloppenburg by that margin.
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Interesting, indeed. Thanks! Why did you put "your" in quotes like that?
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. because it is not really yours but you live there
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Weird. I pay taxes here, work here, volunteer here, shop here and play here, too!
It's mine. Warts and all. :)
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. I hear ya!
:)
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demgrrrll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #9
23. I have a question. Were there open bags all over the state
and if so in what counties and how many in each county.
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Here is a thread that deals with that issue - I just kicked it
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RagAss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. What the....
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
12. There needs to be a good answer to these open bags
other than simply accepting that Nickolaus is incompetent. If this were the other way around and she were a Democrat the Republicans would be screaming bloody murder that something was rotten in Denmark.
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. It will be very difficult to prove fraud, as others have been saying
But this is at least proof that proper procedure has not been followed. Not following procedure to protect ballot integrity should in itself carry more weight, IMO. There ought to be a penalty of some kind if bags are left open for tampering. There is always the possibility that some of them have been left open intentionally for nefarious reasons. Or that the mistakes of mis-trained election workers could be taken advantage of by those who wish to commit fraud. There are a number of possible scenarios...

And we shouldn't think all little old ladies (or men) are necessarily innocent and Pure ;)

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karnac Donating Member (495 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Nickolaus is not involved in the recount.
Edited on Sat May-07-11 04:42 PM by karnac
She recused herself in the beginning.

these six bags come from a town that is only mildly republican. almost dead even. if you you disallowed all of them it would come out a wash. Little or no change. about 100 votes or so
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karnac Donating Member (495 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
17. One for conspiracy theorists...
Most towns have wards that are from the rest. I.E. a poor part, an area close to a university. Thus their votes are somewhat predictable.

what would happen If the bags were purposely torn, opened or otherwise made suspicious.

The very people that would challenge them might very well dissallow the votes they would normally want.

Interesting how this game could be played.

and totally undetectable.
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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
18. Thank you for everything you are doing, eowyn!
I am not the only one who appreciates your photos and comments.

Keep up the good work!
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 08:24 PM
Response to Original message
19. Anybody care that multiple open ballot bags have been found in Milw Co?
Which, unbelievably only went 56% for Kloppenburg?
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #19
29. I like the fire in your belly, eowyn! You've got a healthy mixture of that plus sketicism.
One point I'd like to make about the older generation: arthritis would not likely prevent an older poll worker from doing the job correctly, providing, of course, that person is trustworthy. An older person with a high work ethic would, at the very least, ask another person to secure the bag while he/she watched. I don't buy the "arthritis" excuse, because older workers weren't cut from the "oh well, this is the best I can do" cloth.

For such a high-profile election, being that it basically represented a referendum on Walker's fascist rule, the conditions of the bags & the reckless mismatching of numbers are very questionable.

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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. To be clear, the bags are difficult for anyone to close properly, it's happened at the recount
Edited on Sun May-08-11 07:08 AM by PeaceNikki
We have two board members who re-seal ballots after count and one of them REALLY has a hard time. Ramona, the Democrat, is VERY careful, VERY precise and always gets it right. The other lady's have had to be redone because she makes the same mistake that results in "seals" like we see in the Brookfield (and several other) bags. It's not an excuse, it's the truth. It's happened a few times in full view of the public at the recount when they reseal the ballots.

It's true whether you "buy" it or not. Has anyone at all EVER sung praises about how awesome the bags are? Has anyone who has ever seen them BE closed said that they are easy to close? No. Because they're not and they suck.
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #29
33. Also, there is quite a variation in these bags from county to county
Edited on Sun May-08-11 08:14 AM by eowyn_of_rohan
And variation in the sealing method. I've seen at least 3 different types of bags and tags. And to me, none of them appear particularly difficult to secure. The method for these Wauwatosa bags is to gather up the opened end in the center, twist it around, and wind the line from the numbered tag around the gather to tie it shut. Not much different than tying a garbage bag shut.

It seems if someone has trouble securing one, or doesn't understand the method, they should ask for help. If it is too cumbersome for one person, they could hold the bag while another secures it.

Maybe some election workers haven't been trained properly to secure a ballot bag. If that is the case, WHY NOT???... The reason for securing these bags should be made clear to each participant. Some people, maybe more in the older generation, seem to believe that election fraud is just something that happens elsewhere -not in THEIR state or municipality- and may not think there is a need to be "overly" careful with these bags.

YOu are so right - The stakes are high in elections - and VERY high in this one. This Supreme Court seat is extremely valuable to the Kochs and Fitzwalkers... Look at how much fraud the RW has committed in gathering recall sigs against the Democratic senators. That should be a clue how far they would go to win this election.
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PeaceNikki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 08:24 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. Here is a picture of a bag that Pat Karcher closed up last Sat that had to be redone
Notice how loose it is near the bottom of the screen. That's because the bunching up like a garbage bag method is tough. It's not as pliable as a garbage bag and securing the twist tie thing tightly is hard.



This bag had to be redone and it was all on record. When the record is released from the afternoon of April 30, you can verify what I am showing/saying.

We've only had one type of bag here, but very different methods on how to close them. Ramona tucks and folds and it looks more like this bag (this is the one from Chenequa that had no signatures):



I agree that they are poorly trained and not checking to be sure it's secure.

My whole point is that this would not be an issue if we had better bags that are easier to secure. I've seen Pat struggle and it looks like it HURTS her to try to pull that thing. It shouldn't be that way.
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #35
37. Reminds me of O.J. Simpson grimacing while "trying" to put that glove on
"If it doesn't fit you must acquit!"...just kidding (in part).

It's true, these plastic bags are stiffer than basic garbage bags and harder to gather up tightly. The USPS bags mentioned upthread sound perfect.

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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. As one who works a lot with my hands, there have been times when I thought I was
getting arthritis when my hands were sore & inflamed, yet I had the determination to do what had to be done. I come from the generation that aims to do a job not only the right way, but as perfectly as possible, always with pride no matter how insignificant the task.

The mention of "arthritis" as an excuse just really rubs me the wrong way.

Again, I'm thankful that you have a healthy degree of sketicism & that you are understanding to those of us who recognize the big picture & are very skepitical of Walker's shenanigans. Keep that fire in your belly!

:yourock:
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Thank you pacalo!
I am glad not everyone thinks I am a dirty conspiracy theorist! ;)
:yourock: TOO!
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. "Conspiracy theorist" is a term coined by those with something to hide.
And it is used very flagrantly by those who are afraid the truth might be revealed about something they are okay with. Delving into very questionable circumstances, then parsing & discussing it, should not enrage anyone who cares about the truth. There's too many questions here about the election & the history made by Walker for anyone to be on credible enough ground to call us "conspiracy theorists".

You go, girl!
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-09-11 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #40
42. I agree wholeheartedly
So glad you are here! :toast: (a little early in the morning for that though :)
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
20. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
 
eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #20
27. Great!
I've been finding my posts linked to Twitter from this site. Thank you. :hi:
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #27
30. This site is publishing your OP for this thread...
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Left coast liberal Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
21. Thanks you so much for going and reporting back!
:-)
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LucasD Donating Member (54 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
22. I drive past that Prosser sign all the time and...
... oh how I've dreamed of plowing it down with my car. I can't even repeat what I said to my wife the first time I saw that sign.

Not surprised about the condition of the ballot bags. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. It is a sickening sight...
I hope someone DOES knock it down. I think we were between Port Washington and Milwaukee when I saw it (?) Man, that town (P.W.) is really repressive... :scared:
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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #25
41. there is a for sale sign next to it....maybe someone will buy the place soon and burn the sign
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
28. K&R. (nt)
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 05:21 AM
Response to Original message
31. Thanks for being there, thanks for posting!!!!
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eowyn_of_rohan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #31
34. Cheers, Scuba
:toast:
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