Monday, September 15, 2014

Click here for an address given by our Supervisor of Elections on June 28, 2013

The report was given to the Presidential Commission on Election Administration when they came to Florida. The Commission has since issued a report that you can find on their webpage. Below is an infographic of what their goals are:
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher gave a talk on June 28, 2013. The following is the text of the talk she gave to this group a little over one year ago. Parts of the text are highlighted for emphasis, but I encourage you to read the entire text.
After doing some simple math, it turns out the Ms. Bucher gave this talk late during her fifth year in office. I don't know about you, but had I been in a job for almost five years, I wouldn't consider myself "fairly new." This could be in relation to the audience she was talking to, but I think it shows that she feels that she is still learning the ropes after five years. And then she acknowledges that her office is probably one of the "most scrutinized in the country when it comes to elections."

This is the second page of her report.
Here, more than a year ago, Ms. Bucher mentions "off-the-shelf" technology that will be employed soon in the form of "mini ipads." This was the new technology that caused many of the delays, especially early in the day of August 26th. She claims that "a picture will be taken." This means that some sort of electronic record would be available created by those mini iPads. Those pictures and information should be available as a check and balance to see who came out to the polls. So far, people have been told that information is unavailable or will cost $400 to retrieve that data. Furthermore, Ms. Bucher claims that this system "will go a long way in moving our voters more quickly", that it will be less difficult to use and is "a great example of moving election equipment forward using current technology." It seems that she is heavily invested in this new technology.

This is the third page of her report:
Here we find out that the manual process for counting Provisional Ballots is more "detailed and time consuming than absentee ballots." Really? From the descriptions of the experiences we heard from Friday night's special City Commission meeting, it sounded like the process was time-consuming, secretive, and less than detailed in the review of those Provisional Ballots.

Here is a report about Palm Beach County's election process and its standing, compared to other counties in Florida. Many factors are examined and you should really read the entire report. It just so happens that the number of Provisional Ballots taken in and the percent that are discarded are listed. Here are some snippets from the report that pertain to Provisional Ballots: (Data from 2012 election).
Title of Report
"...the high rates at which Palm Beach and Miami-Dade rejected provisional ballots raise questions as to why those counties found provisional ballots to be invalid much more frequently than other counties." Of the provisional ballots issued in Lake Worth on August 26th, more than 80% were found to be invalid, many due to clerk error.

At the bottom of the third page of her report, she briefly mentions the major snafu with the Wellington municipal election that "caused us to call the wrong winners." The blame is firmly placed upon the "vendors." Earlier in the page, she refers to another problem with a printer/vendor that incorrectly printed 25,000 absentee ballots that couldn't be scanned, requiring the hiring of temporary personnel to hand count the ballots. The Palm Beach Post's account of that mishap reported that it involved 60,000 ballots.

Back to Ms. Bucher's talk in June of 2013. This is the final page of her report:
Here Ms. Bucher proclaims that "future voting systems will use more current technology that contains off-the-shelf items, at decreased cost, that allows for improved administration of elections." How is your level of trust related to that prediction? "Finely," (instead of finally), Ms. Bucher concludes with one of the loftiest, and best Ted Kennedy quotes, as if she is of that caliber of public official. Why am I reminded of Dan Quayle?

She ends by sharing her email address, complete with a typo.