Who Really Won?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"I can't believe I'm in the United States of America"

(AP/CBS4) DENVER City election officials apologized Wednesday after computer problems created long backups at polling places and left thousands of ballots uncounted a day after the polls closed.

Weary election workers were still trying to tally an estimated 40,000 ballots in Denver and another 20,000 in Pueblo County. Denver Election Commission spokesman Alton Dillard said it could be Friday before all votes are counted.

Both Denver and Pueblo are Democratic strongholds. A Denver measure to fund preschools hung in the balance, and the race for secretary of state was still too close to call.

Long lines kept some Denver voters waiting to cast ballots hours after polls closed at 7 p.m.

Delays and breakdowns also hampered voting in Montrose and Phillips counties, and several other counties were unable to provide complete results well past midnight.

Some people in Douglas County were waiting to vote until about 1:45 a.m. The Westridge Recreation Center in Highlands Ranch was packed all night.

More than 100 people waited between 5 and 6 hours to cast their vote. When midnight passed, the voting machines shut down because the date changed. That forced election workers to switch to provisional ballots.

Elections officials across the state struggled Tuesday with new machines and new procedures, delaying vote counts, angering party officials who worried their supporters would give up and go home, and turning a civic rite into an ordeal for many.

"I can't believe I'm in the United States of America," said Sean Kelly, a Denver resident who gave up and went home after waiting three hours in line at a polling place.

Zero Votes

Randy Wooten figured he'd get at least one vote in his bid for mayor of this town of 80 people even if it was just his own.

He didn't. Now he has to decide whether to file a formal protest.

Wooten got the news from his wife, Roxanne, who went to City Hall on Wednesday to see the election results.

"She saw my name with zero votes by it. She came home and asked me if I had voted for myself or not. I told her I did," said Wooten, owner of a local bar.

However, Poinsett County results reported Wednesday showed incumbent William H. Wood with 18 votes, challenger Ronnie Chatman with 18 votes and Wooten with zero.

"I had at least eight or nine people who said they voted for me, so something is wrong with this picture," Wooten said.

Poinsett County Election Commissioner Junaway Payne said the issue had been discussed but no action taken yet.

"It's our understanding from talking with the secretary of state's office that a court order would have to be obtained in order to open the machine and check the totals," Payne said. "The votes were cast on an electronic voting machine, but paper ballots were available."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Nostalgia Trip

Yep, Florida again. Katherine Harris? Check. Same old stories that only in certain areas do huge numbers of voters decide to come to the polls and not vote, but only in selected contests.

The touch-screen voting machines Katherine Harris championed as secretary of state after the 2000 presidential recount may have botched this year's election to replace her in the U.S. House, and it's likely going to mean another Florida recount.

More than 18,000 Sarasota County voters who marked other races didn't have a vote register in the House race, a rate much higher than the rest of the district, elections results show.

Florida Secretary of State Sue Cobb sent a team to Sarasota County on Thursday to observe the expected recount and audit the county's touch-screen voting machines. The county's elections supervisor, Kathy Dent, had requested the team after one of the candidates reported complaints about voting machines malfunctioning.

Earlier, Dent defended her staff and the machines, arguing that the thousands of voters must have either overlooked the race — which was pushed to a second screen by a glut of minor U.S. Senate candidates on the ballot — or simply decided not to vote for either candidate in a race marked by mudslinging.

"My machines have recorded accurately for 40 elections," Dent said.

But she couldn't explain why the undervote rate in her county was so much higher than in the four other counties in the district.

Republican Vern Buchanan declared victory in the race with a 373-vote lead over Democrat Christine Jennings — less than 0.2 percent.

"Sarasota voters have been victimized by not having their votes count," Jennings said Wednesday.

Buchanan's campaign said a recount would confirm their candidate won.

"We want to ensure every vote is counted as well," Buchanan spokeswoman Sally Tibbetts said.

Florida law requires a machine recount if the difference between the top candidates is less than half a percent. If the machine tallies find a margin of less than a quarter percent, a manual recount is conducted.

To do a manual recount for touch-screens, officials go back over the images of the electronic ballots where the machine didn't register a choice. But state rules essentially say that if the machine doesn't show that a voter chose a candidate, the voter is assumed to have meant to skip the race — it would be tough to prove otherwise.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November 2006: Who Really Won?

Fair And Balanced: Bizarroworld

Now KDKA has learned that the Republican State Committee has sent a letter to the Secretary of State asking that voting machines in 27 counties that have been accused of being malfunctioning – be impounded tonight

The issue has to do with reports that some of the electronic voting machines were not working properly.

Pennsylvania GOP officials claimed there were reports that some machines were changing Republican votes to Democratic votes. They asked the state to investigate and said they were not ruling out a legal challenge.

According to Santorum's camp, people are voting for Santorum, but the vote either registered as invalid or a vote for Casey.

Asked if the party would consider legal action, state Republican executive director Scott Migli said, "We've got all options on the table at this point. We feel like the electoral system has been left up to computer technicians.

To see the way too many voting 'glitch' stories, Google news search has the scoop.