February 26, 2010

Avoid a Tampering of Ballots on March 2: Vote in your Ward!

Vermont Election Laws

§ 2590. Securing and storing ballots, tally sheets and checklists

"Ballot bags or containers shall not be removed or tampered with in any other way, except under COURT ORDER, or by ORDER OF ANY AUTHORIZED COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
I am convinced that City Hall is so concerned about the Repeal IRV vote that they'll do anything to keep IRV in the city elections, even fraudulently!

When you vote in the March 2nd City Election, I urge people who want to repeal IRV to vote at their ward polling station. Don't vote at City Hall or by Absentee! The ballots are stored at City Hall and can be opened and changed!

(Remember, in March, 2008, it was ward 7 ballots boxes that Jonathan Leopold ordered Ben Pacy to break, three times, and all he got was a slapped wrist!)

Cross posted at Blazing Indiscretions.


Anonymous said...

Those were sealed ballot boxes from the ward that were broken in to. Vermont had better tighten up their election laws. They are pretty lax. Sec of State's office has no enforcement power. AG office said, regarding a recent complaint, that it wouldn't be heard until after the election. It's too late then, and makes it worthwhile for out-of-state groups to ignore our election laws since as soon as the election is over their job is done. VPIRG should spend their money lobbying for btighter election laws in VT instead of opposing a citizen initiative to repeal IRV.

Lea Terhune said...

Experts on the subject share your concern -- IRV violates core principles of election integrity, whether using optical scan voting systems or Direct Record/Touchscreen machines. IRV increases reliance on more complex technology, making audits and recounts more prohibitive, further eroding election transparency. Because IRV is not additive, no matter what voting system is used, the ballots, (electronic or optical scan) have to be hauled away from where they are cast to a central location to be counted. This increases the chance of fraud or lost votes. The tallying software utilizes a complex algorithm that makes the process even more opaque. http://www.instantrunoffvoting.us/

Kevin Hurley said...

I agree with the concerns over electronic processing. No one hates the idea of using Diebold machines more than I do. But I do also think that the IRV method is a more fair way of determining the will of the people.

Is there anyway we could stick with the IRV method while addressing these other concerns?

I do see a lot of anti-IRV videos and such, but no matter how many ways I look at it, it still looks better than the old way. What am I missing?

I also see that the American Society for Political Sciences considers it to be the gold standard of voting and it is what they use for their own elections.

rbj said...

one other thing to add is that although precinct summable is a nice thing, it isn't an absolute requirement for ballot integrity. the paper ballots get stored at a central location the city has anyway. and the paper ballots are *not* what the official City Clerk computer counts anyway, but electronic copies. i think there's a disk or thumb drive or something that the ward clerks take to city hall. what is necessary is that there are multiple paths and a solid paper trail. that protects IRV as much as it protects any other election system.

you see, the electronic copies of those ballots are public, but we weren't necessarily able to get that information (a file that has every ballot ranking in that ward) from the ward level and the city should find a way to do that if it hasn't.

just to try to nail that shut. while IRV isn't nicely precinct summable, even more information can be made public from each precinct so that any particular race can be recounted by any interested party. IRV is no risk in that regard. pushing the point that it is is pushing a politically motivated myth, IMHO.

oh, i case anyone is wondering, i gotta be clear that i continue to be No on 5.