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Absentee ballots 'smudge' snafu needs erasers

Original post made on Nov 2, 2010

Hundreds of thousands of Santa Clara County mail-in ballots must have an ink smudge hand erased before they can be counted, in a major mail-in ballot snafu. The glitch could affect up to 80 percent of the county vote, officials said this morning.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 2, 2010, 11:44 AM

Comments (9)

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Posted by Thom
a resident of Jackson Park
on Nov 2, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I know this isn't funny, yet it is. Another simple case of poor business practices. Why wasn't this "smudge" noticed? No proof reading? This is every day life for most of us buying crap product from people peobably using "cheap" labor.

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Posted by OldPrinter
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Bet they (peobably) didn't use spell check either.
They were ProForms in another life, out of San Jose.

- 30 -

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Posted by kurious
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 2, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Does anyone know what happens to a "rejected" ballot? (is it re-input by someone else or is it tossed?). Earlier today I talked to friends who voted in person about whether they used "one thin line" to connect the arrow and pick a candidate. They "colored in" the line so it looked like a thick arrow (I have to say, this seems natural to do even though the instructions say "one thin line"). I tried to get info from the county on whether their votes would count, but no luck getting through. It would be awful to study & take the time to vote only to have these stinking paper ballets thrown away because of the thickness of the line to connect the arrow.

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Posted by fixiegirl
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm

"The registrar's office could not be reached Tuesday morning about whether there would be any delays in the vote count.

Despite the glitch, Kniss said she is confident that the count is correct."

Earlier in the article it states that 80% of the ballots are affected.

How can we be confident a count is correct if so many ballots are affected?

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Posted by E. Galli
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 2, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Doesn't anybody edit this stuff? "ProVoteSolutions, a Porterville, printed the ballots, Calif. firm."

Maybe the ballot "smudges" are a step toward more-efficient, less-costly, elections. Next steps:
1. Pre-marked ballots are sent to voters, saving time of making decisions.
2. Pre-marked ballots are sent from printer directly to Registrar, saving voters time and the expense of mailing.
3. Electronic versions of pre-marked ballots are sent from printer to registrar, saving the costs of printing, mailing, polling places. Overall, a much "greener", more-efficient, technique.
4. "Voting" is done entirely in the Registrar's office, via computer-generated random numbers. No more electioneering, with its junk mail, junk phone calls, etc. A clean, efficient, cheap way to run a government.

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Posted by Cathy
a resident of Castro City
on Nov 2, 2010 at 6:07 pm

"It is undetermined whether the snafu will delay the announcement of election results tonight."

Oh no! They seem to be prizing accuracy over speed. The newspapers will not like this...

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Posted by GH
a resident of The Crossings
on Nov 2, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Can't they count the votes manually? Is it faster to erase something and feed it into a machine or to actually read the ballot like people did for most of the history of democracy.

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Posted by chas
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 2, 2010 at 7:10 pm

It would be nice to have more information about the smudge. Was it in the same place on all ballots or did it move around? If it is in the same place then which position or initiative was being affected?

While a lot of ballots were rejected what is the probability that the smudge might have actually been accepted as a vote on some ballots that were not rejected?

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Posted by curious
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm

There was another major screw-up with the ballots in the Central Valley where Moonbeam Brown's totally biased description of Prop. 23 was used instead of a slightly less biased description ordered by a judge.

"I don't think the voters should have any lack of confidence," says Kniss.

Hell, we lost that a long time ago. The election laws here are tailor made for fraud. It is ILLEGAL to ask for ID before voting. Anyone can register vote when paying their DMV fees.

I was going to say we are like a banana republic but we do not reach that. Mexico has a list of voters with their pictures at every polling place. Here in CA, the crooks in the government give themselves 30 days to certify the election. In Brazil, they do it in 5 hours!

Maybe we need to have Jimmy Carter send in his election observers to CA. But Carter only dies that to certify elections of Communists like Chavez in Venezuela. As a second thought may be he will considering the politics of the ruling Democrats in this state.

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