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Location: Germantown, Wisconsin, United States

I am a simple country boy transplanted from the Piehl Township in northern Wisconsin to the Milwaukee metropolitan area who came down "sout" in 1980 for college and have stayed in the area since.
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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Canvassing of Districts 1 and 3

The canvassing of Germantown districts 1 and 3 was remarkably different than the canvassing of Milwaukee City Wards 188 and 189.

I arrived at the school in Germantown at about 8:55 pm after being shown the door at the Lyon’s Park Pavilion at 8:21 pm. I will neither confirm nor deny whether I was exceeding the speed limit.

Election workers for both districts were still there. District 1 was in the west half of the gymnasium. District 3 was in the east half. The machine in district 1 screwed up again. There is more on that later. That is not why the canvassing was ongoing at 8:55 pm.

In both districts the following steps were taken.

Step 1The numbers of electors between the poll list were reconciled. (I did not see this). There were 1617 electors for district 1 and 1024 electors for district 3.
Step 2The numbers of ballots cast reported by the machines was compared to the number of electors. For district 3 these numbers matched perfectly. For district 1 the machine reported 1614 ballots cast. This corresponded with the 3 jams reported in the incident log.
Step 3The election workers split into two groups of 2 and 5.
Step 4aThe ballots were removed from the lock box and examined for write-ins. The group of 5 examined for write-ins. In district 1 I saw a ballot with no marks (ovals) for the trustee race, but a name clearly written in. This ballot was counted by the machine as no vote cast for trustee. But, this ballot was sorted out by hand for later tallying. In district 1, 41 ballots had at least 1 write-in. In both districts each ballot was checked for any write-ins the machine may have missed. ( I did not see this for district 3. I saw some of it for district 1)
Step 4bThe 2 poll lists were reconciled. This was done by having one of the 2 inspectors read off each number on each page. The second inspector would follow along in his poll list. Except for one swap in District 3 (same address), every page of both poll list agreed exactly for both districts. (I saw the end of this for both districts)
Step 5The whole group of inspectors (7 per district) then tallied the votes on the ballots with write-ins.
Step 6There was much signing of paperwork (Machine tapes, incident logs and ballot bags)
Step 7The ballots were secured in the bags and sealed with plastic cable ties


District 3 was done by about 9:40 pm.

District 1 had an additional step between steps 4b and step 5. They counted every ballot in the box. This was done by separating the ballots into groups of 50 and then counting the groups of 50. This was done 3 times as several groups did not actually have 50 ballots in them. But the machine lock box did indeed contain 1617 ballots. The machine failed to tally the votes on 3 of them. District 1 spent at least 40 extra minutes in this process. The counting was aided and supervised by the village clerk, Jane Wilms.

Given the diligence with which the poll inspectors reconciled the ballots, tapes and poll lists, it seems almost spiteful to point out that 1617 ballots were tallied by the machine as 1614 ballots cast. Is it not reasonable to assume that the 731 votes tallied for Burmaster may be off by 0, 1, 2, or 3 votes? This is why I say the 1614 tape tally is enough to throw out the tape numbers under 7.51(2)(h)

This error was propagated upward to the county canvass. The election results published by Washington county for Germantown District 1 show the incorrect number of ballots cast as, 1614, not the correct number of 1617.

Even here in Germantown we are Eloi's to the voting machine Morlocks.

2 Comments:

Anonymous steveegg said...

So close, yet so far...

Thu Apr 07, 08:44:00 AM CDT  
Blogger John Washburn said...

Technically, the numbers published by the county are clearly marked as unofficial. I fear the raw tape numbers will become official reasults by next week.

Thu Apr 07, 02:18:00 PM CDT  

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