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Category — paper ballot paper trail

Paper Ballot! Paper Trail!

Re-run from 02.08.07
******

You know…It isn’t as if it hadn’t occurred to me to write Deb Markowitz about “Paper Ballot! Paper Trail!” before. I’ve hesitated to do that because I was afraid of what her answer might be.

Anyway, I finally did write to her yesterday. Her response was helpful and somewhat reassuring, but not entirely satisfying. She said it was already written in Vermont Law which she gave me:

CHAPTER 51. CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS
Subchapter II. Ballots
§ 2478. Number of paper ballots to be printed and furnished
(a) For primary elections, the secretary of state shall furnish each town with a sufficient number of printed ballots based on the history of voter turnout in the town and in consultation with the town clerk.
(b) For general elections, the secretary of state shall furnish each town with a number of printed ballots approximately equal to 100 percent of the number of voters on the checklist for the primary election.
(c) If necessary due to unusual growth of the checklist, a town clerk may request additional ballots from the secretary of state at least 40 days before the election.
(d) For local ballots, the town clerk shall cause such number of ballots to be printed and furnished as the board of civil authority shall designate.
(e) No voting shall occur in any general election which does not use printed ballots. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 48; 1981, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; amended 1985, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.); 1991, No. 127 (Adj. Sess.); 2003, No. 94 (Adj. Sess.), § [emphasis added]


That’s great! Thank You to the state reps, senators and governor who made that happen- whoever the hell you happen to be! I love you.

The thing is Deborah Markowitz, I believe, is a genuinely nice person. I think because of this she tried to take an extra step to reassure me, that unfortunately had the opposite effect. She said even if we put the paper trail issue aside, she didn’t believe electronic voting would make sense in Vermont because the “efficiencies” that make it “attractive” in other states are not “relevant” here because they are too expensive.

Um…ah, yeah…(I’m doing Bill Lumbergh ) See, the thing is- it doesn’t matter how efficient it is or how attractive that efficiency may make it for an elections officer- paperless voting is worthless. It cannot be audited and that is a fact. Look it up- or better yet, just use your common sense. When you use a touch screen and the program inside the machine records the vote falsely, the voter does not know. Nobody knows, except perhaps the hacker responsible for the flipped vote. How can you recount that? What are you counting? Ether? Finger Prints? That vote is in there baby, and that race is over. Look at Florida-13 for crying out loud! Touch screen machines produced an election with 18,000 undervotes under highly dubious conditions. That baby is still in court and Florida is returning to paper. Hallelluya!

And get it straight. A “paper trail” is meaningless unless it consists of a “paper ballot” The vote must be recorded on something physical, AKA, real, AKA paper- and it must be verified by the voter before it cast. It is true that a touch screen voting machine will produce a printed receipt, but as they say “garbage in, garbage out.” If a bug or glitch flipped a vote, that receipt would just mimic the flipped vote. It doesn’t tell us squat about the intent of the voter. Nobody can verify a vote if no physical record of it exists.

So although I’m glad the Secretary of State has at least some reason to oppose the scourge of e-voting, I’d prefer it if her primary reason for opposing electronic voting had more to do with the bedrock principle of sound, verifiable elections- and less to do with some false ideas about cost and efficiency. If an election is meaningless it isn’t efficient and it’s a total waste of money. Not only that- it cuts at the heart of democracy.

In any event, Deb was very gracious to respond to my email so quickly and provide me with the text of the Vermont Paper Ballot Law. I like her. She didn’t get more votes than Jim Douglas or Bernie Sanders for nothing.

BradBlog on This

The Techie Part

October 2, 2009   Comments Off

IRV and Election Integrity II

So I went to the election training for poll workers at city hall last night. I knew Shay wasn’t going to be able to cover it, and I didn’t see any other press there. I only stayed until I got the information I wanted, which only took about ten minutes. The meeting was led by assistant administrative officer Ben Pacy, with backup by the city’s I.T. guy “Dana”. They answered questions from those present including me.

So here’s how the election will work as I understand it. Each ward will get two machines. One for the IRV mayoral ballots and one for all other candidates and ballot questions. Ballots meant for one machine will not fit in the other.

The tabulators for the IRV machine will arrive at the wards in black bags closed with zippers and the zippers will have seals. Poll workers will confirm the seal number, break the seal, open the bag and then confirm the serial number on the machine. Then they will turn the machine on and a tape will print indicating that zero ballots have passed through it, and each mayoral candidate has zero votes. Poll workers will have to sign that tape.

At the end of voting, poll workers will print a new tape that will indicate the number of ballots that have passed though the tabulator, and that the mayoral candidates still have zero votes. The reason that the tapes won’t show the candidates’ vote totals, is because the voting machine can’t interpret IRV votes. All it does is “take a picture” of them and count how many ballots there were. How many ballots pass though the machine is the only information the printed tapes will give us, but it’s very important.

I asked Dana and Ben Pacy how we could be sure there aren’t already mayoral votes in the tabulator’s memory card before voting begins. They told me that the machine would not turn on if there are any votes on the memory card. I asked Ben how they know that and his reply was not reassuring. “That’s what they tell us” he said. Great.

So we really can’t be sure there aren’t already votes on the cards before they go out to the polls, but at least we will get the number of votes that should be coming from each ward at the end of the night. So if 500 ballots go through a ward’s machine, the vote total from that ward’s memory card should be 500, not more.

Unfortunately the memory cards from all the wards are all fed into one machine (the “VTS” system) at city hall which will give us a “ballot soup” from all the wards. I’m not sure how we could parse out which votes or how many came from a given ward once they all go into the soup.

In fact there are two machines at city hall the ballots are likely to be fed into. The “VTS” system will “consolidate” the votes (Dana’s word) into a giant soup pot (my analogy) and if no candidate has a majority of the soup, then the soup will get strained through yet a third machine (after the voting machine tabulator and the “VTS”)- the “Choice-Plus Pro” software that calculates the IRV and picks a winner.

I’m hoping at the very least we can get the ballot totals from all the wards and add them up. That total should equal the combined total of first choice votes for all mayoral candidates. If it doesn’t, there’s a problem. Of course in order to do this basic check, someone would have to personally, physically see all seven signed tapes showing ballot totals from all the wards.

Frankly I hate how complicated IRV has made counting the votes. Simply put, IRV makes our mayoral election results less trustworthy. I hope there’s a recount so the paper ballots get counted by humans.

Call me paranoid all you want. If asking smart questions and being concerned about election integrity makes me paranoid, then I don’t want to be sane.

February 25, 2009   Comments Off

IRV and Election Integrity

Ward clerk for ward six Owen Mulligan wrote to Seven Days reporters Ken Picard and Shay Totten last week, expressing concern about the removal of a process designed to safeguard the integrity of elections in Burlington. He said that in the past ward clerks would start election day by printing tapes from the electronic memory cards in the voting machines that would indicate no votes had been cast yet. Says Owen,

City Hall does a check on each memory card before they are sealed just like every election before they are delivered to each polling location, the difference this time is we are not able to do that print out at each polling location and check the “electronic ballot box” to make sure the races are pre-set at zero. There is nothing for us to sign off on and we are supposed to blindly trust the memeory card that City Hall has provided us.

Someone who should know tells me the machines at the polling places are incapable of counting IRV votes and would produce tapes showing zero votes, regardless of whether there were votes on them or not. The software in the voting machines can’t interpret IRV ballots. Only the Windows-based “Choice Plus Pro” software at City Hall can.

Unless you run those memory cards through “Choice Plus Pro” before they go out to the polls, there would be no way to be sure they didn’t already have votes on them. That didn’t happen in our first IRV election three years ago. Although there is no evidence whatsoever that there was any funny business last time around, it’s clear that the integrity of the our mechanisms here merit improvement and serious public scrutiny.

In a comment string on this issue at Blazing Indiscretions Terry Bouricius, THE original Progressive city councilor of 1981, and a partner in the company that consults on our IRV said…

At my request, Dana Baron, the city’s IT person working on the election, double checked with the voting machine vendor, LHS Associates, and found out that what the poll workers were told at their training about the running of zero tapes was NOT correct. The tabulators WILL indeed run meaningful tapes before voting commences that will show if any ballots have been fed in. The tape will be printed again at the end of the day that will show how many ballots the machine read.

Hmmm. I guess.

Owen mentions that he will be questioning Ben Pacy about this at election training.
Feb. 24th 5-6:30pm Contois @ City Hall. There is never a bigger or more important election story than one that deals with how the ballots are handled and counted.

*****

Brainstorm: Integrity and other Concerns about Burlington’s IRV

*The transportation of memory cards from the polling places to city hall increases the likelihood of their compromise. Under the old system, results had to be read at the polling places and usually were known in minutes. No more.
*Process for establishing votes total zero before ballots are cast needs improvement
*Having a single, Windows based program decide the mayor is disconcerting. The program could be hacked or manipulated.
*An election manipulated to produce a wide enough margin of victory is unlikely to be audited against the paper ballot.
*In a real runoff, if you voted for the top vote getter the first time around, you could change your mind and pick another candidate when you came back to vote in the runoff. In ranked voting, it isn’t the same. If your first choice is the top vote getter in the first round, other people’s second choice will likely decide the winner. You don’t get to participate in the runoff.
*The Chief elections officer who can establish election procedures, improperly injects himself into politics.
*The Chief elections administrator thought a time crunch justified breaking into a ballot box last year, and has yet to run an election without an obvious flaw.
* A manual recount in the mayors race this year would be a good idea regardless of the winner or his margin, just to make sure we can do it.
*Maybe we should scrap IRV. It solves a problem that never existed. There had never been a mayoral runoff before 2006 that I’m aware of.

February 17, 2009   Comments Off

Same As It Ever Was

Politicians are risk averse. They don’t like to answer questions. Dan Smith was willing to leave a comment here explaining why he looks like a ski bum in a picture I posted, but not willing to follow up by answering serious questions in writing. His campaign manager wrote to me privately and said Dan would talk to me in person instead. Hopefully I will get around to meeting with Dan and the other three announced candidates, especially if I get a tape recorder for Christmas- but there is a larger issue here.

We’re in the middle of a paradigm shift in communications and in politics. Obama was able to defeat Clinton and McCain, two powerful establishment pols largely through a more dexterous use his website, YouTube and blogs. The internet is revolutionizing politics and not just on the national level. Here in Burlington, BurlingtonPol and others have been revolutionizing politics too. This blog does have influence, and so does She’s Right, Blurt and Local Action Works.

Local pols cannot ignore the local blogosphere. My thesis is that, as powerful as blogs have become in our national discourse, local political blogs have the potential for even greater proportional influence on local discourse. Many of you reading this now know me or have met me personally. In itself that lends to a kind of credibility that’s impossible on a national scale. I know my Google rankings are high for many local political names. I know darn well many local politicians are reading this right now. You cannot escape it and you ignore it at your political peril.

Almost a month ago Andy Montroll promised Owen at Local Action Works by email that he would answer their mayoral questionnaire “in the next couple of days” yet he still hasn’t…

From: andy montroll (andym@montrolllaw.com)
Date: Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 12:19 AM
Subject: Re: Mayoral questionnaire for Burlington Democrats caucus
To: Owen Mulligan (ombreath@gmail.com)

Owen,

Thanks for sending me this questionnaire. I hope to get to finish up my responses in the next couple of days and then I’ll get it back to you.

Thanks
Andy

Unfortunately that’s not acceptable. The questions on this particular questionnaire aren’t even that difficult…

1. Why are you running for Mayor?
2. How will your administration differ from the Kiss administration?
3. What is your vision for Burlington?
4. What are the three biggest challenges facing Burlington?

A blogger would have replied with the answers in about three seconds. That’s the way blogging works. It’s interactive and it’s instant. And the politicians who don’t catch up to this reality will be left behind. There is absolutely no reason all four candidates could not jump into this post’s comment thread and respond to these questions in writing right now. Whoever does first will force the hand of the others.

As I mentioned, I posted a series of questions for Dan Smith in a recent post. I’ve also sent a similar set of questions to Democratic Ward 7 city council nominee Eli Lessor-Goldsmith. Just as Andy promised Owen forthcoming answers, Eli also promised he’d work on (but not necessarily answer) my questions…

Haik,

sorry for the delay on this email.

I am finally recovering from Thanksgiving.. it was long at work and then lots of eating yesterday.
Let me work on the answers to your questions.
Happy holidays.

Eli

In Dan and Eli’s defense, I asked more and perhaps tougher questions than Owen, but they shouldn’t be too tough for local office seekers to address…

*How would you move city employees from pensions to private retirement accounts? By attrition or in one fell swoop?

*Are you in favor the Public Works department absorbing the Parks Department and firing Wayne Gross?

*Are you in favor of Burlington Telecom offering a remote control with a pager in it so you can hear it beeping from under the couch cushions?

*Are you in favor of Burlington Telecom selling its bandwidth capacity to other municipalities?

*In light of mistakes made in all three elections run by Ben Pacy so far, what would you do as mayor to ensure election integrity?

*Can paperless electronic voting devices ever truly be audited? (hint: no.)

*Are you in favor of the Moran redevelopment as it’s proceeding?

*Would you have put that huge school bond on the ballot?

*Whom did you vote for for president?

*Would you like to see stairs leading from Battery Park to the waterfront?

*If the candidates for mayor were Dan Smith, Bob Kiss, Kurt Wright and Andy Montroll, who would be your 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th choices?

I want the answers to these questions and my readers do too. I want them in writing and I want them in an interactive, dynamic discourse with local pols on the internet. We the people are sick of meaningless platitudes and slogans from politicians. Don’t assume big signs and slick mailings that don’t say anything are going to carry to you anymore. Elevate your discourse. Get specific. Learn to write and stand behind your thoughts like bloggers do.

And if institutional lag renders our local pols kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century, be aware that traditional media types like John Briggs at the Burlington Free Press and Shay Totten at Seven Days are probably reading this too. I expect them to pick up on the questions here and press the pols to answer them. You are reading this and your opponent probably is too. This town isn’t that big. Don’t hide behind platitudes and promises to answer later.

Elevate the discourse local politicians. I’m warning you.

December 12, 2008   Comments Off

Should Burlington Count Votes by Hand?

Owen Mulligan has written an informative piece about Diebold optical scan vote counting machines like the ones we use in Burlington. Apparently they aren’t always reliable:

“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.”

I used to feel pretty good about the opitical scanners, probably since I’ve been trained since birth to fill in little circles with a number 2 pencil. But Owen’s story makes me wonder…


“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…”

I don’t like the sound of “memory card.” That just seems like trouble. But now I’m wondering, why can’t we just count votes by hand? It’s rare that any ward in Burlington has more than 2000 ballots on any given election. I don’t think we really need those machines. Couldn’t a bunch of folks count 2000 ballots in an hour? Sure they could. They did it before electricity.

March 30, 2008   Comments Off

Confusion in Ward 7 Vote Count II

Confusion in Ward 7 Vote Count II: Jean O’Sullivan sues Jonathon Leopold!

Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water, there’s trouble right here in River City. On March 7 I reported that 50 extra ballots were found beyond those counted by the machine in Ward 7 on March 4. The machine count was originally reported to be 971-958 in favor of Decelles, but is now reported by the city to have been 979-964. The recount March 10 was 979-965. That’s not 50 more, but whatever.

Then suddenly The Free Press reports today:

O’Sullivan’s lawsuit maintains the actions by Leopold and the aide were so egregious that the Ward 7 City Council contest results should be thrown out. The case will be the subject of a hearing in Chittenden Superior Court at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Leopold, who was served court papers in the case on Tuesday, did not respond to a request for an interview. Ben Pacy, the aide who allegedlyactually [sic] broke the ballot box seals, referred questions to City Attorney Ken Schatz, who said Pacy’s actions were legal and justified.

It’s Ken Schatz’s job to say the actions were legal and justified, but that doesn’t necessarily make it so. I wonder who is alleging Ben Pacy broke the seal? I guess we’ll find out Wednesday. Philip Baruth has already blogged in support of O’Sullivan’s lawsuit. I don’t like the sound of seals being broken and all that sort of thing, so I’m very curious about what the heck is going on in my ward.

While I’m thinking about it- I heard IRV might be against the City Charter because it supposedly says votes are to be counted at the wards, and IRV forces the votes to be tabulated at one central location. Anybody know about that?

March 28, 2008   Comments Off

Electronic Voting Not OK

People are starting to catch on about these stupid electronic voting systems. Trouble is we spent all this money on them already. Would it be irresponsible to just junk these new machines? No. It would be irresponsible not to.

Releated Post: Paper Ballot! Paper Trail!

March 24, 2008   Comments Off

Paper Ballot! Paper Trail! II

Anonymous said…
It’s all semantics, isn’t it? I mean, Vermont law requires a paper ballot.
So what are you worried about?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Haik Bedrosian said…
No. It isn’t all semantics. Law is fluid. I’d feel better were “Paper Ballot! Paper Trail!” imbedded in the VT and US Constitutions and the UN Charter for that matter, but it isn’t. All we have is one little regular state law.

This is not a joke. This is urgent. As recently as last November, the congressional election in Florida’s thirteenth district was stolen using paperless touch-screen “voting” devices. There is no recourse or possible way to audit the results. The result stood and the district will vote on paper next time. Paper.

I do not want my secretary of state contemplating any perceived “efficiencies” vis-a-vis paperless “voting.” That’s like considering the aesthetic improvement from rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

It is impossible to audit (truly audit) elections held using touch-screen or paperless devices. If it can’t be audited, it can’t be trusted. If it can’t be trusted, the people can’t have confidence and democracy is destroyed.

That’s what I’m worried about.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

July 11, 2007   Comments Off

Paper Ballot! Paper Trail!

Re-run from 02.08.07
******

You know…It isn’t as if it hadn’t occurred to me to write Deb Markowitz about “Paper Ballot! Paper Trail!” before. I’ve hesitated to do that because I was afraid of what her answer might be.

Anyway, I finally did write to her yesterday. Her response was helpful and somewhat reassuring, but not entirely satisfying. She said it was already written in Vermont Law which she gave me:

CHAPTER 51. CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS
Subchapter II. Ballots
§ 2478. Number of paper ballots to be printed and furnished
(a) For primary elections, the secretary of state shall furnish each town with a sufficient number of printed ballots based on the history of voter turnout in the town and in consultation with the town clerk.
(b) For general elections, the secretary of state shall furnish each town with a number of printed ballots approximately equal to 100 percent of the number of voters on the checklist for the primary election.
(c) If necessary due to unusual growth of the checklist, a town clerk may request additional ballots from the secretary of state at least 40 days before the election.
(d) For local ballots, the town clerk shall cause such number of ballots to be printed and furnished as the board of civil authority shall designate.
(e) No voting shall occur in any general election which does not use printed ballots. (Added 1977, No. 269 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1979, No. 200 (Adj. Sess.), § 48; 1981, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), § 15; amended 1985, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.); 1991, No. 127 (Adj. Sess.); 2003, No. 94 (Adj. Sess.), § [emphasis added]


That’s great! Thank You to the state reps, senators and governor who made that happen- whoever the hell you happen to be! I love you.

The thing is Deborah Markowitz, I believe, is a genuinely nice person. I think because of this she tried to take an extra step to reassure me, that unfortunately had the opposite effect. She said even if we put the paper trail issue aside, she didn’t believe electronic voting would make sense in Vermont because the “efficiencies” that make it “attractive” in other states are not “relevant” here because they are too expensive.

Um…ah, yeah…(I’m doing Bill Lumbergh ) See, the thing is- it doesn’t matter how efficient it is or how attractive that efficiency may make it for an elections officer- paperless voting is worthless. It cannot be audited and that is a fact. Look it up- or better yet, just use your common sense. When you use a touch screen and the program inside the machine records the vote falsely, the voter does not know. Nobody knows, except perhaps the hacker responsible for the flipped vote. How can you recount that? What are you counting? Ether? Finger Prints? That vote is in there baby, and that race is over. Look at Florida-13 for crying out loud! Touch screen machines produced an election with 18,000 undervotes under highly dubious conditions. That baby is still in court and Florida is returning to paper. Hallelluya!

And get it straight. A “paper trail” is meaningless unless it consists of a “paper ballot” The vote must be recorded on something physical, AKA, real, AKA paper- and it must be verified by the voter before it cast. It is true that a touch screen voting machine will produce a printed receipt, but as they say “garbage in, garbage out.” If a bug or glitch flipped a vote, that receipt would just mimic the flipped vote. It doesn’t tell us squat about the intent of the voter. Nobody can verify a vote if no physical record of it exists.

So although I’m glad the Secretary of State has at least some reason to oppose the scourge of e-voting, I’d prefer it if her primary reason for opposing electronic voting had more to do with the bedrock principle of sound, verifiable elections- and less to do with some false ideas about cost and efficiency. If an election is meaningless it isn’t efficient and it’s a total waste of money. Not only that- it cuts at the heart of democracy.

In any event, Deb was very gracious to respond to my email so quickly and provide me with the text of the Vermont Paper Ballot Law. I like her. She didn’t get more votes than Jim Douglas or Bernie Sanders for nothing.

BradBlog on This

The Techie Part

July 9, 2007   Comments Off

Craig Hill Responds to Kevin Ryan

VT Green Co-Chair Craig Hill sent this like, a week ago. Sorry it took so long to post. It got lost in my inbox. (Craig’s words below the row of stars.)

*****
As a friendly as well as honest observer of the meeting Kevin as usual mis-describes in his letter to you, i draw your attn to the following:

- Because the Green Party is oriented by principle to grassroots democracy, we must follow certain guidelines, which includes the fact, unfairly as usual omitted by Kevin, as reiterated several times during the discussion of Steve Ekberg’s de facto abdication and subsequent sabotage of the town committee he so dearly clings to chair, that once a meeting is posted, as this one was at the end of the prior meeting on Jan 7, a chair cannot willy-nilly cancel it because he knows there will be topics discussed, i.e., him and his behavior, he doesn’t want any Greens to discuss. When he announced the meeting was canceled, i wrote him a few emails telling him (1) he can’t do that, that if he doesn’t want to attend a meeting or can’t, the vice-chair takes over in his stead, which is the point of the existence of the vice-chair, right? and (2) that rather than run and hide and deprive all Burlington Greens from their democratic meeting he should organize his recruits to defend him at it. Sounds fair all around, oui?

- Steve’s response a few days before the filing deadline instead was to refuse to sign some of the forms instructing the town clerk, Jo la Marche, to put certain Greens on the ballot for March 7, due solely to the fact that they included Green candidates, duly endorsed at the Jan 7 meeting Ekberg chaired, mind, who opposed his continued leadership due to his alienating behavior. So this is the guy who wants so badly to remain town chair he intentionally sabotages his own candidate slate out of pique. What a great chair, eh? After a series of phone calls to La Marche and the town atty Kevin Shotz (sic?) it was determined, by them, mind, that if an observer to the meeting that endorsed our slate could sign the forms Ekberg refused to sign, with a signature from one of the state Green co-chairs, who in this emergency was myself, the slate would appear on the ballot after all.

Owen Mulligan, who Kevin feigns was not an officer but who in fact was installed as Executive Director of the Burlington Greens at the Ekberg-chaired Jan 7 meeting, tho not present at it due to illness, tracked down the town committee treasurer and elicited her signature on the form. I then signed below her, the papers were filed in the absence of the uncooperative chair, and our slate officially was confirmed. Kevin’s selective omission of all this, and more, and his pretense the actions of Owen Mulligan at the subsequent meeting on Feb 4 were illegal, is belied by the fact our slate was recognized by Burlington city officials despite Ekberg’s refusal to sign as well as his instruction to the treasurer who did sign to withdraw her signature, which she attempted to do on the day of the filing deadline, but which was not accepted for the fact that her signature 3 days earlier put the issue in cement. Amazinger and amazinger.

- Ekberg then instructed his slate of officers not to attend the Feb 4 meeting Kevin decried as virtually empty of officers, duh, as if! a warned meeting could not go forth, which it must for the fact it was warned, as was explained to the satisfaction of all at the Feb 4 meeting but not explained to your readers thanks to the selective dishonesty of Mr Ryan. Vice-chair Jim Glade did attend, tho refused to officially participate. Owen Mulligan, the next ranking officer present, chaired. Ekberg’s behavior was discussed, all sides had their unlimited say, including Kevin, till he refused to stop interrupting others and insisted on raising issues that were not the topic under discussion, the behavior of Chairman Steve. Despite my reiteration that a chair who would sabotage his own slate of candidates had, by those actions, as far as i was concerned, abdicated, literally, his reponsibilites, which of course was fine by the omnipresently interfering infiltrator Bush-supporting Republican Kevin Ryan, Kevin pretends it is the behavior of Owen and the action taken at the Feb 4 meeting officially stripping Steve of his position that is at issue. I ask how detached from reality can one get and still be considered an honest player?

- Finally, the abdication of Ekberg, the attempted sabotage of the slate by the treasurer, the refusal of the vice-chair to participate, and the no-show recidivism of the secretary and asst treasurer lead to the de facto conclusion that Ekberg’s officers had designed that in order to save the village they had to destroy it, and deprive Burlington Greens from meeting. Ever. Ever again. Unless Chairman Steve were back in charge. So we were told. Lunacy. The type which Kevin fosters, constantly, as Steve’s Karl Rove. Luckily sanity broke out, the meeting went on, Jean was elevated to acting secretary to take the minutes in the absence of Steve’s secretary, who rarely showed, and the committee will be resurrected for the physical abdication and non-participation of the “oifficers” who Kevin insists are still running the committee. Hilarious.

As was the scene when Kevin refused to speak to the issue and began as he does raising filibustering and draining non-sequiters. The librarian was called to help, she asked Kevin whether he was a Green and if not what the hell he was doing there, and lead him out by the hand to the unanimous applause of the participating Greens present, sine die. Kevin Ryan, once again, BUSTED. ~ Craig Hill / Green Party of Vt co-chair

February 21, 2007   Comments Off