Few surprises were in evidence Tuesday at the hearing on Sec. of State Scott Gessler’s request that he be allowed to obtain the ballots for the 2010 Saguache General election to conduct a hand review with citizens present.
Four witnesses testified for the state, two of them Secretary of State (SOS) election officials Michael Hagihara and Wayne Munster. Labor and Employment inspector Drew Durham, a former SOS elections official, also testified. El Paso County election manager Liz Olsen was the final witness called by SOS attorney Maurice Knaiser.
As 12th Judicial District Judge Martin Gonzales listened. Hagihara and Munster went over much of the same ground covered in past public appearances, SOS reports and e-mails.
Hagihara told Knaiser that the logic and accuracy pre-election test was run properly except for the fact that test ballots were used. He also said Myers asked the SOS to come to Saguache to review the November 2010 election after discovering “votes cast didn’t match votes counted.”
According to Hagihara, when the SOS came Nov. 15-16 to run the ballots back through the M650 (only the number of ballots, not the votes themselves were counted), the totals that were recorded were the correct totals, even though a commissioner’s and the clerk’s race were overturned. This determined that the Nov. 5 retabulation, not the Nov. 2 totals was the correct result.
… Gibbons then questioned County Clerk Melinda Myers concerning the election process and her dealings with the SOS. Myers said Munster was the official who told her to do the retabulation. She again blamed ES&S for scanning problems with the M650 voting machine because they misprinted the ballots, making it more difficult to count them properly.
When asked by Gibbons about judges marking on ballots and covering overvotes with whiteout and sticky dots, Myers said SOS official Amy Wilson told Republican election judge Linda Stagner not to follow directions given by an ES&S trainer to use the whiteout and sticky dots to cover votes, but “Stagner didn’t stop or warn other [judges.].”
Full Article: Center Post Dispatch Judge hears Gessler ballot request.