Washburn's World

My take on the world. My wife often refers to this as the WWW (Weird World of Washburn)

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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, August 16, 2006

I Need Actual November 2, 2004 ballots

I need 7,000 to 10,000 or more actual November 2, 2004 ballots.

I would like to know one way or the other if this sort and weigh proposal will work:


Does this work? Work fast enough? Work with multi-race ballots? Have sufficient check and balances and security to minimize fraud? 

I want to get real world, empirical evidence of the viability of this proposal (or lack therof).  I want to video record the whole 6-7 hours to DVD.  The availability of the raw video as well as 30 second, 1 minute, 10 minute, and 30 minute versions is to blunt claims I have presented this in an out of context way.

I have a scale company here willing to lend me a $1500 high capacity, high sensitivity counting scale for nothing more than prominent product placement in the resulting video.

I have a film crew available (camera, lights, sound, and director) willing to donate the equipment and time in exchange for the copyright to the result and credit toward there film degree.

What I don’t have is a set of realist ballots to sort, weigh and count.  I have 60 pound card stock and I could print a couple thousand mock ballots to test with.  But, I thought I could use real ballots. The 22 month retention period for the November 2, 2004 election materials expires on September 2, 2006 .  What is more realistic than actual ballots as marked by actual voters?

Unfortunately, my county clerk is adamant that no original ballots from any municipality in Washington County, Wisconsin will be released to any private citizen, let alone me. I am contacting the clerks of other counties.  But, I thought I would throw the request out further.

What I need:

1)      7,000 or more ballots from November 2, 2004.  The ballots:

a)      Need not all be from the same jurisdiction.  I was going to combine the ballots from the 4 polling locations in Germantown for a total of 11,557 ballots.

b)      Must have the same ballots structure; i.e. the same set of races with the same set candidates printed in the same order.

c)      Must be printed on discrete, uniform pieces of paper; the heavier the better.  Optically scanned ballots would be best.  But ballots from a Populex systemor Proofs of votes from an AccuPoll system would work as well.  VVPAT toilet paper (Not discrete) or cut and dropped VVPAT will not work (not cut to uniform lengths).

d)      Have at least 8 races on it.

e)      Be interesting.  I settled on GTown because it had 5 parties for party preference voting, 10 partisan races (some unopposed) and 4 non-partisan ballot referenda.

Can anyone help me find a jurisdiction with ballots from polling places which meet my selection criteria? On September 3, 2006 ballots from jurisdictions all across the country will be in dumpsters.  I would like to rescue some of this trash and put it to good use.

Add a comment if you know of jsut a jurisdiction.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good timing on the request!
A couple of weeks before the ballots are suppose to be distroyed. And of course the County Clerks Offices have nothing better to do.
You have no idea what the Wisconsin Clerks are currently trying to work through. Trying to follow mandated policy from the State Election Board, getting ready for the up coming primary, and trying to complete the State Voter Registration paperwork with a system that is totally insane just to name a few.
How about trying to lighten up a little on the clerk. The Clerk(s) are just soldiers with limited resourses and their hands tyied. The State Elections Board is the true demon here. I have been doing some research on my own and they are beginning to look like a group of total misfits. Oh yeah, one last thing, I must say I've been treated very well with all the government folks I've been recently in touch with regarding voter related topics Maybe you need to take a Dale Carnegie course or two :-)

Fri Aug 18, 12:07:00 PM CDT  
Blogger John Washburn said...

Well I don't have a lot of sympathy for my county clerk at the moment. She pressed the State Election Board to approve a crap system she will unlike to be able to use in November. And she'll be the loudest whiner about having to conduct an election without election machinery.

Ms Jaszewski, tried to calim the destruction of the ballots was mandated by state law. A position she has since acknowledge was incoorect. She has no stated the withholding of trash (the November 2, 2004 ballots) from me is merely the capricious policy of the Washington County clerk and nothing else.

I suppose there is some solace in that. But I would rather have the ballots for my research project.

Tue Aug 29, 10:08:00 PM CDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sent you two e-mails Please, check. Thank you

Wed Aug 30, 11:36:00 PM CDT  

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