With Waukesha County’s plodding recount in the Supreme Court now over and with Justice David Prosser’s statewide win almost certain to be certified as early as Monday, the state’s top election official said lessons from the recount will not be ignored.
“This isn’t something you do and just put it on the shelf,” said Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the Government Accountability Board. The detailed recount record serves a public purpose as an opportunity to evaluate clerk training and election procedures and to make changes where needed.
“We will devote a lot of energy to that between now and this fall’s elections,” he said.
… Among the most publicized objections raised have been ballot bags that are torn or partially open. Complaints about possible fraud prompted the Government Accountability Board to report on its website a detailed explanation of cross-checks in place to prevent election fraud. [View photos of insecure bags]
“Even if the container or bag is somehow opened later, or if the chain of custody is broken, election officials have the original printout tape from the (counting) machine, as well as the electronic memory device from the machine. This enables election officials to determine the election night vote count,” the statement said.
…”If you have more ballots than voters and you can’t figure out why, then you have to ‘draw down’ ballots, and that disenfranchises voters,” he said.
In a draw down, blank ballots are first discarded, but if more are needed, ballots with actual votes are randomly drawn and discarded.
The next most common problem was when a voter makes a mistake and asks for a new ballot, but poll workers fail to thoroughly document what happened. In one ward, there were as many as 14 spoiled ballots not well-explained.
“It’s an opportunity for some type of abuse,” he said.
… Waukesha County Corporation Counsel Thomas Farley, who’s observed much of the Waukesha County recount, said despite the still unidentified cost of the process, it’s been worth it.
“Everyone involved in the process will all be better voters, better observers, and it will help ensure that we have a better process from beginning to end,” he said.
Full Article: Recount in Supreme Court race to serve as tool – JSOnline.