It figures. They already have a lot of the registered voting taken care of (screwed up).
This past Wednesday's Georgetown Current details the job Sequoia Voting Systems recently did on long-time registered voters in DC's Ward 2, the very heart of Georgetown, where recent homeowners have included the Washington Post's publisher, Katherine Graham (R.I.P., Ms. Graham, but please get up and vote anyway).
The article, "Council airs city election weaknesses," by Elizabeth Weiner, runs on pages 1 and 30 of the Georgetown Current's 37th volume, October 8, 2008, issue. The PDF file of this issue can be downloaded and read or printed.
The salient points:
For the recent city council primary election on September 9, 2008, a cartridge from Sequoia that recorded the vote at one Ward 2 precinct "produced over 1,500 'phantom' write-in votes--'a total completely out of whack, so anomalous it should not have been released'...."
Sequoia staffers have not come up with any reliable or credible explanation for their equipment's egregious malfunction. One person suggested the carpet in the voting room created electrostatic discharge that caused the cartridge to produce the 1500 phantom write-ins. Another suggested the cartridge malfunctioned because "someone jiggled it." As quoted in the article, Sequoia also said that "city's voting equipment is old and the air conditioning as well as the thick carpeting in the board's computer room could cause problems."
City Council representative David Catania asked Sequoia why they hadn't insisted the District upgrade its systems. He said, "Sequoia should say, "If you don't upgrade your equipment, we won't work with you." As to the computer room, Catania also said, "Why didn't you say, 'Are you nuts? You're tabulating results in a static-filled room.'"
Uh huh. The solution for the next election in Ward 2 on November 3, 2008, will be to have TWO identical systems counting the votes. If they're not identical, then what? The last two paragraphs of Wiener's article read,
Earlier in the hearing, Cheh (Ward 3) displayed a printout of unofficial returns for the Democratic at-large council race, where Kwame Brown ran unopposed. She added up votes for Brown, write-ins, "under-votes " (where no vote was cast), and "over-votes" (where the voter chose more than one name).
The total was several thousand off from the total number of Democratic ballots cast. None of the witnesses could explain the discrepancy.
As old Frank Pacer, the retired pulp cutter holding up one end of the bar in the town tap in Elcho, used to say, "Holy Jumpin' Jesus!"