Monday, July 16, 2012

Paper Ballot vs Machine Count in Rock County Match.

You might remember the group Wisconsin Wave, who wants to compare ballot counts with machine provided data. Well, there's been another count to consider. 

This comment appeared in the Janesville GazetteXtra:
Special thanks to our ROCK CO. CLERK LORI STOTTLER … It is very significant that Stottler was forthcoming in responding to the request of the Wisconsin Citizens for Election Protection to verify the Recall Election votes by examining the paper ballots to compare with the machine vote counts. This resulted in our Rock County being the first of WI’s 72 counties to be audited by WCEP not officially involved with the RECALL ELECTION of June 5, 2012.

Bottom-line: No problems found with ballot counting machines! Only errors identified were human errors and then only one anomaly: “Two ballots marked for use in one Janesville ward were given to voters from another ward at the same precinct.”
I've never heard of WCEP before this story, so check out their site at the above link. According to the GAB's opinion of the group:

If the request to view or photograph individual ballots will disrupt the canvassing process, distract inspectors from their duties, or delay completion of the process, we would discourage inspectors from granting the request of WCEP to inspect individual ballots on Election Night.

In addition, if a public records request is made to inspect ballots, such requests should be directed to the clerk as custodian of those records, not to election inspectors. Also, clerks should keep in mind that ballots must be secured until the time allowed for filing a recount petition, or appealing a recount, has expired, pursuant to §7.23(2), Wis. Stats. Absent a recount request or a pending public records request, ballots involving a federal office may be destroyed after 22 months, and ballots without a federal office may be destroyed 30 days after other elections. §7.23, Wis. Stats.

We suggest that you consult with your municipal attorney to use the balancing test for any public records request. However, because the election process is not completed until all recount deadlines have expired, it is the Board’s opinion that public access to ballots should be denied prior to the expiration of any applicable recount deadline in order to preserve the integrity of the election.

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