Monday, November 24, 2008

Recount captivity day 6

Yippee, we probably only have one more day of recounting left. Tomorrow we tackle the town of Algoma and the city of Omro. The rest is finished.

The atmosphere is definately becoming more partisan as the recount goes on. Some of the Republicans are becoming kind of insufferable in their annoying qualities. I think it's kind of rude to start trying to tell the county clerk how to do her job and telling the poor guy who's feeding ballots through a balky optical scan reader to do it faster. Who does he think he is?

In a nutshell, here's how a recount of a district usually goes down:

Reconcile tag numbers on zip ties of bags containing ballots with paper record.

Open bags and start to sort ballots to check for clerk signature on absentee ballots and poll inspector signatures on polling place ballots. Sort out ones without signatures or anything else weird on them.

Open boxes containing absentee ballot envelopes and count and check for all signatures. Sort out ones without signatures.

Get lawyers involved in fighting about ballots and envelopes that are not signed correctly, etc.
This step might take a while and involve phone calls to the Government Accountability Board in Madison.

When everything above is sorted out, go through piles of ballots with observers from each side telling canvass members which ballots they would like to be hand counted because of weird stuff on them.

Run ballots through machine to count them, with observers from both sides watching.

While this is going on, count numbers of votes on touch screen voting machine tapes. If there is a problem, get lawyers involved again to fight some more.

Hand count ballots that cannot be run through machine.

Make sure numbers match up with what happened on election night. Sometimes more disagreements with lawyers present will happen here.

Start over with another district.

Just imagine being one of the people on the canvass board who suddenly have 20 or more supervisors. Ugh. I give those folks a lot of credit for hanging in there. We have made friends with a lot of them and even try to help them, without touching any of the election materials, of course. That's the most frustrating part. I really want to help some of them, but I can't just hand them a poll book or pile of ballots. It's almost embarrassing in a way.

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