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again... it is my contention that if you want a post of your own to really resonate with anyone not paying attention, you need to provide a paragraph (or 4) or the relevant or hardest biting prose within the story you're pointing to...
i would put the percentage of posters who actually click a link and read a story another poster provides here somewhere around 25%...
1-29-08: Citizen's Guide to Following Vote Transport Vehicles
By Bev Harris - Black Box Voting
Vickie Karp - Vote Rescue, Austin TX
with Tom Courbat - SAVE R VOTE, Riverside Calif.
If you live in Florida or any of the Super Duper Tuesday (Feb. 5) states, your votes are soon going to be toted around the county. Who's transporting them? Is the chain of custody secure? What we found in New Hampshire proves you should take nothing for granted, and you may be stone cold horrified at what you see.
Now's the time to get in gear and track your own local chain of custody. Here are some tips:
TRACK BALLOTS, MEMORY CARDS, AND CARTRIDGES
The most interesting locations are the county (or in New England, Town/City) election headquarters, and the depots, drop-off centers, and other consolidated locations set up to receive multiple precincts at once before toting them downtown.
In Florida, we found some of the most interesting anomalies clustered in the Daytona Speedway drop off site. Here, poll workers from dozens of Volusia County polling places had been instructed to drive through a Daytona Speedway drop-off site, hand over their poll tapes and memory cards, and drive away.
In California, Tom Courbat and the SAVE R VOTE group tracked the memory cartridges from polling places to the county elections office.
In King County, Washington Kathleen Wynne stationed herself at one of the depots, drop-off sites, what have you, where she observed optical scan machines being tossed around and memory card handling in the dark of night.
In New Hampshire, we followed a van driven by "Butch and Hoppy" as they careened around the state picking up ballot boxes, delivering them after dark to a state archive building.
Don't even bother if you don't take video of this. Collect evidence, not anecdotes.
1. Get at least one video camera for each vehicle and practice with it before you need it. Get the best zoom lens, remote audio and night vision adjustments you can, if you have a choice. Otherwise, just get any video camera and go.
2. Get enough recordable media -- mini DVs, disks, or whatever your camera takes. Plan for enough to capture 3-5 hours worth of video.
3. Bring your charger cord. Bring full batteries.
4. Get a converter. This will let you plug in your camera, charge it, whatever while in the car. The converter plugs into the cigarette lighter and gives you ordinary electrical outlets to plug in cameras, laptops, cell phone chargers, what have you. Available at Radio Shack for about $79... More
(From BBV admin): At issue, as always -- when they trot in there with replacement machines, or replacement memory cards, there is usually a bypass of the L&A testing process, making these machines more suspect (even) than the others.
Herald Tribune - Tuesday, Jan. 29 BY ROGER DROUIN
LATEST: Problems with voting machines
A total of six optical scan voting machines had to be replaced this morning because they were not working.
“They were all tested before and for various reasons they just went bad,” said Kathy Dent, Sarasota County supervisor of elections.
Some machines had problems with the memory card, while others had a faulty scanner.
Dent said backup machines are located downtown and in south Sarasota County, and crews are on standby to rush the new machines to precincts where problems are reported.
“They are replacing the scanners as soon as we get the call,” Dent said.
In the case of a machine failure, poll workers are collecting voters’ ballots and placing them in an “auxiliary” bin on the side of the scan machines.
Those ballots will be entered into the system via the scan machines at 7 p.m. tonight after the polls close.
Dent said she was not sure how many ballots would be counted tonight.
12:20 p.m. (Sarasota)
At precinct 125, at Colonial Oaks Park in Sarasota, Amendment One, didn’t have strong support Tuesday morning among voters questioned at the polls.
Andy Cappar, 35, of Sarasota voted for the tax cut, but he said the amendment was a “compromise” at best.
“It’s going to help with the bigger homestead, but I know I’ll have to pay in a different way, or they’ll take the money out of school programs or other services.”
Gail Pettit voted against Amendment One. “I am voting for my grandchildren,” Pettit, who has lived in Sarasota for 26 years. “You can’t have services without taxes.” Pettit is a former teacher and her daughter is also a teacher. The mother doesn't is concerned the amendment would decrease tax revenue to the school system
10:30 a.m. (Sarasota)
Problems were reported with two optical scan machines this morning as voters went to the polls.
At Precinct 125, in Colonial Oaks Park, an optical scanner was out of order from 7:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., according to voters at the precinct. A precinct supervisor would not confirm how long the machine was down, but said the problem was caused by a paper jam, and that poll workers fixed it. He declined to elaborate.
Dent said the ballots cast during the two-hour period when the machine was down have been set aside and will be scanned in tonight at 7 p.m. She did not know how many ballots were affected.
Gail Hoyt was standing in line at 7:15 a.m. when the machine stopped working. "They didn't know what to do and finally one of the volunteers made a call and took all of the ballots and put them in a pile."
Dent said the volunteer had accidentally opened the bottom of the machine, causing some of the ballots to fall out.
Those ballots, along with those handed in by voters while the scanner was not working, will be counted tonight at 7 p.m.
At Precinct 46 in Nokomis, an optical scanner had to be replaced with another machine because of a problem with a memory card, Dent said. The machine was replaced with a backup machine. Dent said elections officials expected some problems with the 156 machines and had several backups available.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel - January 29, 2008, By Robert Nolin
South Florida voters took to the polls in force Tuesday, setting the stage for what may be a record turnout for a primary election, deciding a make-or-break race for Republican presidential hopefuls and the fate of a property tax overhaul measure.
Early reports showed few problems at polling precincts. All polls in Broward County opened on time but two, said Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes. One opened five minutes late, another 10 minutes late, she said. In Palm Beach County, officials reported mostly smooth openings at most of the 780 voting precincts Tuesday morning.
On the ballot: Democratic and Republican candidates for president and a controversial property tax amendment to the state's Constitution that needs more than 60 percent of voters' approval to pass.
Palm Beach County elections officials resolved some glitches Tuesday.
"There were a few issues that have had to be taken care of, but as far as we know, things are moving smoothly," said Kathy Adams, a spokeswoman for Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson.
At Kings Point west of Delray Beach, voters faced delays because a poll worker mistakenly shut down the voting machines, Anderson said.
"Someone accidentally turned them off," he said during a visit to H.L. Johnson Elementary School in Royal Palm Beach, where voting was occurring normally.
The clerk in charge of the polling station in Kings Point has been replaced, and elections machines there have been reprogrammed, according to Adams.
Adams and Anderson said that they don't expect the voting difficulties there to force an extension in the 7 p.m. voting deadline. Anderson said anyone in line to vote by 7 p.m. will be allowed to cast ballots.
Meanwhile, at the South Florida Fairgrounds off Belvedere Road west of West Palm Beach, some voters are mistakenly showing up at a closed voting site.
While the fairgrounds is a traditional voting location for about eight precincts, Adams said voting is not occurring there for this election. Adams said residents in the affected areas were sent letters two weeks ago advising them of the changed voting location.
At Precinct 5014, a fire station west of Boynton Beach on Jog Road, voters faced a delayed opening of a polling station, according to Adams.
"That is where equipment was delivered to a neighboring precinct yesterday, and so it was late in getting set up," said Adams, noting that the location opened at 8:15 a.m. instead of the normal 7 a.m. opening.
Palm Beach County has 800,000 registered voters. Anderson predicted a turnout of about 40 percent or higher. He said the closely contested presidential race and the public attention being paid to the property tax measure on the ballot is likely to keep interest high in a primary election that, he said, would normally draw fewer than a third of the registered voters.
Anderson made visits to several voting precincts early Tuesday, including a stop at H.L. Johnson Elementary School in Royal Palm Beach. There was a light turnout at the precinct. And with at least seven poll workers on duty there, at times, the number of workers exceeded the number of people waiting to cast ballots.
Broward supervisor Snipes said more than 55,000 people voted early, dwarfing any other year in Broward history. In Hollywood, with its contentious races for mayor and commission, between 300 and 400 people voted early, more than any other city.
Tuesday's primary will cost about $2.7 million in Broward, and more than 10,000 volunteers will have worked on it, including preparation and early voting.
"It's exciting, and so far we really haven't had any problems at all,'' Snipes said about three hours into the vote. "There is a lot of pressure in Broward, because of the spotlight and what's gone on in the past.''
A handful of problems were reported by voters.
Rabbi Richard Yellin said he was first in line at the polling location at Congress Avenue and Woolbright Boulevard in Boynton Beach, but that did him little good when it came to casting his vote.
"There has been a major failure of the voting, at least at this precinct," he said.
He said he tried five times to use the voting machine but it would not allow him to vote. About a dozen people were also at the precinct to vote, Yellin said. "None of the machines worked," Yellin said.
Poll workers were attempting to obtain help from the main elections office, but were still struggling to activate the machines when Yellin said he had to leave to attend to his duties at the synagogue.
"They took the names and said come back later."
On Fort Lauderdale beach at a polling station near Galt Ocean Mile, Joe Sanches complained he was forced to vote on a provisional ballot because of a problem with an absentee ballot. Sanches said he requested an absentee weeks ago and it never arrived.
He said he was frustrated when he tried to vote today and poll workers would not allow him to cast a regular ballot. He was given a provisional ballot instead because records showed he was sent the absentee.
"I was told I had voted, which I hadn't," Sanches said.
The elections office requires voters to vote on provisional ballots when questions arise about the status of the voter. The provisional ballots aren't counted until officials can sort out the status of the voter and the validity of the ballot cast.
An upset Sanches called the problem "a disaster."
In northern Coral Springs, near the Sawgrass Expressway and Coral Ridge Drive, David Nirenberg arrived to vote as an independent. Nevertheless, he said poll workers insisted he choose a party ballot.
"He said to me, 'Are you Democrat or Republican?' I said, 'Neither, I am independent.' He said, 'Well, you have to pick one,''' Nirenberg said.
In Florida, only those who declare a party are allowed to cast a vote in that party's presidential primary.
Nirenberg said he tried to explain to the poll worker that he should not vote on a party ballot because of his "no party affiliation" status.
Nirenberg said a second poll worker was called over who agreed that independents should not use party ballots, but said they had received instructions to the contrary.
"He said, 'Ya know, that is kind of funny, but it was what we were told.' … I was shocked when they told me that." Nirenberg said he went ahead and voted for John McCain