Report on WI SEB Meeting (20070912)
Most of Paul's comments were to convert MAY's to SHALL's and to include ballot bags as something that should be sealed with numbered, tamper-resistant seals. All of his suggestions were excellent and the board directed the staff to consider incorporating the proposed changes into the new regulation. [Update: Here are the complete ammendments proposed by Fair elections Wisconsin]
A non action item was presented by Kathy Nickolaus asking the Board to propose legislative change so that poll workers can be drawn from the same county instead of the current requirement from the same municipality.
On the matter of my complaint the board's findings were:
- My contention that failing to canvasses votes correctly three times does not rise to the level of "willful negligence". No prosecutions of poll workers will happen.
- This matter needs further study by the staff. The Board directed the staff to come back with a recommendation for detecting and correcting such procedural omission in the past.
Bullet points on the discussions regarding my complaint:
- I did win over the point that my complaint was not just about Milwaukee nor was it just about the November 2, 2004 election. My specific complaint covered two other municipalities and 2 other elections.
- Susan Edman was put in an uncomfortable position in have to answer the points of my complaint when she was not around at the time of the events under discussion,
- I stated to the board and repeat it here election administration under Susan Edman is significantly better then it was under Sharon Robinson, Lisa Artison, or Julietta Henry.
- I still think there is room for improvement as the report from the Board Staff on the single ward audited from the November 7, 2006 election shows. Beneath the focus on the machine tapes and uncertain marks for Green is the fact that 3 ballots were not secured on election night, no write-in tally was done, and the inspectors' report was not properly signed. But, this is a fantastic improvement over the blank inspector's reports from wards in Madison and Milwaukee from the November 2004 election.
- It is the position of Kevin Kennedy that 7.51(2)(h) is only relevant in a recount or other election contest. So, if you PROVE the optical scanner miscounted some of the statistics printed on the end of day report (as Germantown district #1 did for November 2, 2004 and the City of Milwaukee did on September 12, 2006 for every polling locations with one scanner and more than one ward), then every other number printed by the miscounting machine is to be accepted as if correct on election night. Once the election inspectors document the machine's inability to count their statutory duty ends. it is up to a candidate or elector to contest the correctness of the machine-generated numbers.
- Kerry Dwyer of the board seemed a bit dismayed with a policy of Ex Machina Ex Cathedrum est. But the question then is what should be done and who should do it? Should the poll workers count all races by hand (my position), should the matter be brought to court and a hand recount only done when a court orders it (Mr. Kennedy's position) something in between (e.g. routine audits)?