Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Like watching sausage get made in the 47th Assembly district

In the comments below, Attorney Mike Maistelman gives an update from the recount in the 47th Assembly district:

We went from 9am to 8:30pm last night and restarted at 8:00am this morning... and the vote counting continues...

Not without some controversy, according to the Baraboo News Republic. One absentee ballot is not getting counted because the voter is not registered to vote. I'll have to check with my election process guru to explain how a ballot gets mailed to someone not even registered. Maistelman objected, arguing the clerk can vouch the voter is a resident. The board also ruled 2-1 against allowing Maistelman to look at the ballot.

The board of canvass also spent several minutes on a discrepancy in the town of Courtland.

"There was one more ballot than there were voters counted at the poll," Moll said, "and I don't know what the reason is."

At the Nov. 6 vote canvass, the board of canvass accepted a provisional ballot from the town of Courtland, cast by a voter who submitted an absentee ballot and later presented the identification required for age and residency verification. However, the ballot did not have the municipal clerk's initials, as is required.

There was a discrepancy between the number of votes cast in the precinct as listed in the poll logs (257) and the number of paper ballots from the precinct that recount volunteers counted (258), Both totals were purported to include the provisional ballot.

According to Moll, the recount total cannot exceed the number of votes cast at the polls, as documented in the poll logs — meaning one ballot had to be removed.

If recount volunteers had found a blank ballot among the precinct's votes, that one would have been removed, Moll said. When that didn't happen, the only ballot that lacked the proper initials from an election official — which happened to be the provisional one — had to be removed from the total to be counted.

If all the ballots had been properly initialed, one random ballot would have been taken out.

Some ballots were counted by hand, because they couldn't be read by one of the five tabulating machines set up for the recount, either because the ballot was torn or soiled or because the voter did not mark the ballot in a way that tabulating machine sensors could read it.

Some hand-counted ballots had been added during the canvass, and some had not.