Thursday, November 06, 2008

How closely are other counties looking at their ballots?

The best story I've seen so far on this is from Laura Snider at the Boulder Daily Camera. Or maybe I'm biased since she called me and put in a quote or two 8-)

From the limited information I have, it seems to me that the magnitude of the problem is relatively small and might not be noticed by counties that don't look closely at their ballots via a good audit or the sort of screen images that the BallotNow system provides (despite its many flaws, that is an interesting aspect of the Hart system).

So how closely are other counties looking at their ballots, from systems known to have problems?

Snider writes:

Last winter, Secretary of State Mike Coffman de-certified all Hart scanning equipment because the scanners "failed to count votes accurately when there are extraneous marks on the ballot."
Coffman's testing board recommended that he institute regulations requiring county officials to review every ballot, looking for the stray marks. Instead, Coffman chose to re-certify the machines, which are used in 47 Colorado counties, without the extra regulations.

That creates the possibility that some counties using the Hart scanners may be having dust problems and not know it.

Improved audits were required by the conditions of use imposed by the Secretary of State. But who besides Boulder in Colorado is really doing good audits of mail-in ballots?

What is your county doing?
Neal McBurnett

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