2004 Ballot Recount: Observer Report
- December 16, 2004:
Report by Green Party Observer
"[A Union County Board member] told us the day after the election that the hard drive on the machine, a Triad systems machine, failed and had to be replaced. They took the old hard drive with them when they replaced it but he sent a subpoena to them and got the old hard drive with a statement it had not been tampered with."
Green Party Observer
December 16, 2004:
Report by Green Party Observer
Observer K. went in for the Libertarian party and I went in for the Green party. Observer R. and Observer G. were there already (thought they were to just come). The board agreed to let them stay as observers and Observer K. and I were to be official witnesses.
The director, Bonnie Sprigs, first ran a test to show the machine was clear. She gave us a copy of the printout, showed all zeros. Then ran a test of 57 new cards, 1 with slot one punched, 2 cards with slot 2, 3 cards with slot 3, continuing up to 9 cards with slot 9 punched, 1 card with a overvote and 1 with no vote, the hand count and machine count matched. I have a printout of this.
The director had picked precincts Marysville 11 and 13, and Allen 1. I was told by someone named Teresa when I called November 14 that there was 1 counting unit but actually there were 3 sets of 1 Dem and 1 Rep. In the polling book for precinct 13, we counted 874 signatures, 22 provisional and 42 absentees (they explained in the polling book that these numbers meant that 42 were sent out, per their records 2 were not returned, so 40 actually were cast). We matched this to the hand count and machine count and the numbers matched to 936 ballots, but 7 of these showed no vote for president.
Board member David Moots suggested they hand count another precinct that hadn't been selected, they chose Marysville 11. The poll books showed 330 signatures, 67 absentee, and 5 provisional, for a total of 402. This matched the hand count and machine count, but 2 of the ballots showed no vote for president.
There was a slight dispute over our right to go through the poll books. The director Bonnie Sprigs gave Mr. Parrot on the board a directive sent from Mr. Blackwell saying we could inspect poll books but not touch them. I talked to the other observers and told Mr. Parrot they would need to turn pages for us then. The Board agreed (with encouragement from board member David Moots) that we could touch the books to inspect them, while 2 of the board members observed us. We asked about provisional ballots discarded and were told they are kept, still in the envelopes, that each one was inspected by the 2 Dems and 2 Reps on board before being disqualified.
There were some problems with the automatic counter because the humidity had warped the cards and they would stick. They did run through smoothly when a new header card was put in. David Moots told us the day after the election that the hard drive on the machine, a Triad systems machine, failed and had to be replaced. They took the old harddrive with them when they replaced it but he sent a subpoena to them and got the old hard drive with a statement it had not been tampered with.
I felt the people we worked with at the board of elections were cooperative. Anytime we had a question they would answer it, and even the dispute about the poll books was more because of the directive from Mr. Blackwell. Mr. Moots said he had told them they could only have one poll watcher there on Election Day, even though there were several precincts. I will bring this and additional info down Thursday.