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Confusion in Ward 7 Vote Count
Friday, March 07, 2008
Obviously the best place to get information is the grocery store.

Per Kurt Wright today in the coffee aisle- When the voting ended at Hunt School in Ward 7 Tuesday, Incumbent first term councilor Paul Decelles (R) had apparently beaten Democratic challenger Steve McIntyre 971-958- a mere 13 votes

... But... according to veteran poll worker Leo Grennen there were 50 ballots that our beloved Diebold optical scan counting machines had kicked out as unreadable. Leo, along with Linda Deliduka and one other lady whose name I can't remember counted them- and told Kurt that Paul had picked up 36 votes as a result, making the new totals 1007 for Decelles, 972 for McIntyre

... But...Kurt says, nobody phoned the new result to channel 17 or John Briggs at the Burlington Free Press. Briggs reported the same results I did on election night (possibly because he gets his copy straight off BurlingtonPol) and when Kurt asked whoever it is who's filling in for Jo LaMarche now about the extra ballots, the person didn't know anything about it. Regardless, McIntyre has asked for a recount which the city council will perform Monday. All city councilors should plan on attending the meeting to help count. It sounds like the spread after the recount will be closer to 30 votes than 13.

Speaking of Jo LaMarche... Did you know that I was paraphrased in a "whereas" clause in the resolution, sponsored by Wright and unanimously passed by the council in recognition of Jo's years of service? Here's proof from the North Avenue News.
...Jo Ultimately became assistant city clerk, this title recently changed to that of Director of Elections, although as former city councilor Haik Bedrosian has said that whatever her title he has always regarded her as the city clerk, a sentiment shared by many...
Apparently Peter Potts, the Republican staff person who helped draft the language is the person who included the attribution. Where did he get the quote? I wish I could claim it was from BurlingtonPol, but actually it's from a comment I left at the bottom of this page at iBurlington. That means a small piece of iburlington has been passed into law. Is that a first? Did iBurlington creator Brian Brown just make blogging history in absentia and without knowing? Fascinating stuff.
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 7:43 PM  
  • At March 07, 2008 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No link, you law-makin' crazy...

  • At March 07, 2008 11:22 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Try now.

  • At March 08, 2008 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is an interesting and great post once again. This is the second time I've heard of problems with our Diebold machines in Burlington elections. I'd like to know more about what actually happened over there in that ward regarding these ballots, etc.

    If it was a fault of the machine, it needs to be reported to VotersUnite and Black Box Voting as that keep an excellent record of malfunctions, etc. with electronic voting machines that has become very useful for folks working for voting integrity.

    A voter in Ward 6 had told me when I was working at the polls this past Tuesday that last year the damn machine wasn't even working...

    Owen Mulligan, Ward Clerk elect (Ward 6)

  • At March 08, 2008 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I miss Linda Ayer.

  • At March 09, 2008 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why we need random mandatory audits
    By Owen Mulligan

    Many Vermont municipalities currently use machines designed by Diebold Election Systems, Inc. to count their paper ballots. But can these machines, known as optical-scanners, be completely trusted? Here’s how they work: each machine has a memory card which is like an electronic voting box where all the votes from the paper ballots are recorded and tabulated. Before each election, these memory cards must be programmed to reflect all the races with the candidates names, party affiliation, etc. This is done by a private company, LHS Associates, based in Massachusetts. On election day, these memory cards are inserted into the machines and then the machines ‘scan’ the paper ballots. This is certainly convenient for election officials and voters alike but it is important for Vermonters to know that these optical-scanners are by no means perfect.

    On June 28, 2006, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University (NYU) School of Law released a report by its Voting System Security Task Force on the security of electronic voting machines. The Task Force spent over a year analyzing three of the most popular voting machines, which included the Diebold AccuVote optical-scanners used in Vermont elections. The Task Force was composed of internationally renowned government, academic, and private-sector scientists, voting machine experts and security professionals.

    The Task Force concluded that the optical-scan machines, even though they use paper ballots, are just as prone to errors and software attacks as the controversial Touch Screen Voting machines. The Task Force also stated in their report that, "Almost everything that a malicious attacker could attempt could also happen by accident."

    It was a local election in 2006 when our neighbors over in Grafton, New Hampshire, who use the Diebold optical-scanners as well as LHS Associates for the memory card programming, experienced the Task Force's findings first hand. The state's Attorney General seized two vote tabulators after they malfunctioned during elections held on March 14. The incident was a faulty equation on a warrant article vote with 193 "yeas" and 198 "nays". But the vote total recorded by the machine was 369. Obviously, that did not add up.

    It doesn't end there. Incidents with the Diebold optical-scanners have been reported in towns located in Massachusetts, Washington, Michigan, California, North Carolina and Arizona.

    This may be why Diebold recently changed its name to Premier Election Solutions, Inc. after they failed to find a buyer for their elections division.

    These incidences with Diebold’s optical-scanners are enough to make one wonder why Vermont has not experienced any malfunctions when almost every other state that uses optical-scanners has.

    The reality is Vermont may have had incidences that either were not reported or were not discovered because rarely do our election officials do a manual hand count of the paper ballots. While Vermont did conduct a statewide audit and recount in recent elections with no abnormalities reported, it still does not change the fact about the vulnerabilities of these machines and what numerous independent studies have shown.

    Because of these proven vulnerabilities, independent studies, including the Brennan Report, highly recommend random mandatory audits of all elections. Currently, there is no law requiring random mandatory audits in Vermont. Audits are at the sole discretion of the Secretary of State. A law requiring mandatory audits would certainly be in the best interest of democracy and would be a small price to pay to make absolutely sure every vote is accurately counted.

  • At March 10, 2008 3:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You know you grew up in the New North End of Burlington when...

    *You remember bowling at Ethan Allen Lanes for your school field trips.

    *You live in a ranch house

    *Your family bought all their groceries at P&C, then Price Chopper, then Grand Union

    *You dodged the bullets at the Grand Union

    *99 cent movies at the theater in the shopping centre

    *You took the neighborhood special even though you lived around the corner from school

    *Donuts at the Ethan Allen bake shop were the best thing ever

    *There are other beaches than Leddy and North?

    *Every day after middle school you went to Lucky Lances

    *You went to Lyman C. Hunt

    *You remember 05401

    *You had Mr. Pecor and Ms. Gadue for 5th grade

    *Mrs. Tetrault was your kindergarten teacher

    *your 5th grade class raised money for bottle drives and brought the bottles to the Spring

    *You brought your bottles to the spring because they give you more money for them

    *All your friends live in either Villiage Green, Lakewood Estates, Shore Road, or North Avenue

    *Public skating at Leddy

    *all your class projects were made with things from Ben Franklin's

    *Skating at the ice rink at Hunt

    *You went to either CP Smith or Flynn

    *You know the bike path is there but you never use it

    *The lighting of the Elks Club Christmas tree got you more excited for Christmas

    *it seemed like forever to get downtown on the bus even though it's not

    *You went to mass at Saint Marks every Sunday

    *The annual bike ride to Oakledge

    *You dodged the bullets at Hunt

    *Your entire childhood doesn't exist anymore because it's all been changed

    *You went sledding at Marble Island

    *Mr. Weaver used to chase you through C woods when he caught you smoking there

    *You always had to go to school even if there was nine feet of snow

    *You had at least one drink at the Pinnacle or the Tower

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