2004 Ballot Recount: Observer Report
- December 14, 2004:
Report by Green Party Observer
"Precinct 11 was pre-chosen to be counted. The reason for choosing this precinct was due to its being only 4 votes above the 3% number..."
"No two runs were alike and no run equaled the hand count, however the machine did operate and produce a count each time according to Mr. Rodefer..."
"They knew the problem was in the machine at this point; Triad called, to send repair person immediately (4 or more hours to arrive) to fix or bring new machine."
"BOE [Board of Elections] did not proceed to full hand count, but voted to suspend the recount and 'continue meeting' tomorrow (Wednesday 12/15) at 9:30 AM with fixed machine or new machine from Triad."
Green Party Observer
December 14, 2004:
Report by Green Party Observer
Summary The 3% hand-count failed to match machine count, a repairman from Triad was summoned to bring new machine, and recount was suspended & reconvened for Wednesday at 9:30 AM
I am the Recount Regional Coordinator for the Eastern Ohio / PA Border Region for the Green Party's Cobb/LaMarche Recount Effort. The following was relayed to my by Observer R., who was the Cobb observer today (Tuesday 12/14) in Monroe County. Mr. Rodefer spoke with me via cell phone as he was driving from the Wheeling, W.V., area, shortly before 4 PM.
Monroe County Board of Elections (BOE) convened a "meeting" Tuesday 12/14 for purpose of Recount. 6 BOE people present. Director Margaret Hansen, Deputy Director Ann Block, 4 Directors. Also present: Observer R. representing David Cobb, Herman representing John Kerry, and one person (unknown name) representing George Bush. Thomas Waters, a volunteer observer for Michael Badnarik, had credentials sent to Monroe BOE via fax (which they said they would accept). Mr. Waters did leave for Woodfield, but he did not arrive, possibly due to bad weather in the area.
Precinct 11 was pre-chosen to be counted. The reason for choosing this precinct was due to its being only 4 votes above the 3% number. The following took place, in this order:
- Test Deck: Mr. Rodefer has no recollection of any test deck being run before the recount began or prior to running the 3% hand-counted ballots.
- Inspection of all Ballot Cards
- Hand Count of Precinct 11
- Machine Count of Precinct 11
- Machine count did NOT equal hand count
- Pat-down of cards, flex cards, etc., to improve feed followed by at least two additional machine runs of the hand-counted ballots
- No two runs were alike and no run equaled the hand count, however the machine did operate and produce a count each time according to Mr. Rodefer
- Did not proceed to full hand count, suspended recount, contacted their "supplier" near Xenia (Triad?) for a repairman to bring a new reader and/or "fix" this machine
- They knew the problem was in the machine at this point; Triad called, to send repair person immediately (4 or more hours to arrive) to fix or bring new machine
BOE did not proceed to full hand count, but voted to suspend the recount and "continue meeting" tomorrow (Wednesday 12/15) at 9:30 AM with fixed machine or new machine from Triad. Decision that because this is "continued" meeting, ONLY those observers present today may be present tomorrow. (Basically if anyone can not come back that candidate will have no representation.)
I also called the Monroe BOE and spoke with Deputy Director Ann Block. She basically confirmed the above, except that she stated that the recount was suspended due to "broken reader", and said that a repairman is on the way from the Cincinnati area to "swap out" the broken reader for a good one. As of approximately 4:10 PM the repair person is still coming and is still enroute.
Ms. Block also stated that K. Blackwell's office was called after the machine "broke" and that the decision to not allow any change of observers was the SOS office's decision (as per conversation with Blackwell's legal counsel.) To her knowledge all observers present today can and will come back tomorrow.