Continuing from where I left off yesterday in part 1. The voting problems that occurred in Orange County did not go unreported. Early in the day as problems were discovered the Registrar seemed to respond positively to reports from the Democratic Party of Orange County. That was the morning; the afternoon and evening were a different story.Â
The Democratic Party of Orange CountyÂ tried to contact the Registrar of Voters aboutÂ lines at the polling station located at 2030 S. Flower in Santa AnaÂ as well as other stations on Tuesday afternoon and evening as they received reports, but no one answered the hotline number they were given, as well as the alternate numbers. I found it quite surprising that the Registrar’s spokesman was quoted a couple days after the election in the LA Times saying that there were some minor problems, but no complaints.
This all brings me to the real problem that we will be facing in February 2007. It looks like there will need to be a special election to fill Supervisor Correa’s seat and possibly seats on the Santa Ana City Council and School Board. We need some solutions and we need them quick.
First, the Board of Supervisors, or Secretary of State should require the Registrar of voters to have a sufficient supply of paper ballots to meet the needs of all voters who report to a polling location to vote. The number of ballots should be at least 25% of the registered voters for each precinct included in the polling station.
Second, the Registrar should ensure that the number of electronic voting units available for use at a polling location is sufficient to reasonable meet the voting needs if 50% of registered voters reported to that precinct to vote.
Third, the Registrar of Voters shall provide sufficient voting stations to permit voters who vote on paper ballots to cast a secret ballot. This is of particular concern because as I watched the poll workers finally distribute their remaining supply of paper ballots around 8:30 p.m. the votes had nowhere to vote privately. In addition to looking for something to mark their ballots with they were forced to complete them on window sills, or side by side on a banquet table placed against a wall.
Fourth, and most important form my point of view, REPLACE NEAL KELLEY as Registrar of Voter. I’m sorry, but if scheduling a special election day on a religious holiday was enough to end his predecessor’s career, then the mess Neal Kelley has made surely warrants his replacement.
On October 3, 2006 Assistant Secretary of State sent a memo to all Elections Officials stating all county elections officials shall have an adequate supply of paper ballots available at the voting locations for use in the event of a temporary loss of the ability to use the electronic equipment, or if a voter chooses to not vote on electronic equipment. Clearly 25 paper ballots in English per precinct could not have possibly been enough to handle the breakdown of entire groups of machines, the requests for paper ballots, or to relieve long lines at the polling place. Click Here for the memo
I know that one of my co-bloggers was refused access to a paper ballot when he requested one. He was shown the paper audit printer on the electronic machine and told that’s your paper ballot and there was no other way to vote but on the electronic machines. This fits with the information given to me by a poll worker in Santa Ana that they had been told to not offer paper ballots to voters and issue paper ballots as only a last resort. No wonder paper ballots were not offered to relieve the long lines of more than two hours. No wonder there were not enough paper ballots to issue in an emergency. It appears that the Registrar was doing everything possible to maximize the votes cast on the electronic equipment.
Now I really don’t want to go too far down the road of conspiracy theories, and I do have my tin-foil hat securely in place, but this information sure makes me wonder when I see a staffer insert a jump drive into the tabulating machine in the supposedly secure tabulating room. Click Here for Video.
I cannot categorically say that Neal Kelley deliberately acted, for partisan reasons, to suppress the vote in this election. I simply do not have direct evidence to prove it. What I do know is that whether it was with deliberate intent of simply gross incompetence, Neal Kelly failed in his duty to ensure that all individuals eligible to vote had the opportunity to do so free from intimidation. His failure to do his job effectively caused people to be denied the right to vote, to not have access to a paper ballot upon request, and to wait for hours in line to vote.
No matter how much lipstick you put on this pig, the fact remains
Neal Kelley Stumped the Vote.
CLICK HERE for (part 1)