Friday, November 10, 2006

Elrod Up By 9 Votes

After the Marion County Election Board got permission from the state's election commission late this afternoon, it immediately obtained vote totals in the 97th District House Race between State Rep. Ed Mahern (D) and Jon Elrod (R) from two touchscreen machines used in precincts which included the Firehouse Square neighborhood and Barton Towers. Those new vote totals shrank Elrod's lead from 65 votes to just 9 votes. Democrats had spoken confidentally prior to these vote tabulations that those two machines with about 156 votes on them would give Mahern the lead in the race. A recount in this race is now a foregone conclusion.

AI wondered why there were so many votes cast on these particular machines when in most precincts only a handful of voters were cast on the touchscreen machines, which are designed for disabled voters. Apparently, election workers in these two precincts allowed both disabled and non-disabled voters to cast ballots on these machines. What is particularly troublesome about these machines is that they provide no paper trail, unlike the optical scanning machines.

These were the same machines so many workers had trouble starting on election day. AI also learned what the source of this problem was. In order to activate the machines, election workers were required to input a precinct number into the machine. Election workers assumed it was the precinct number assigned to a voter's registered address, which helps a voter find his/her precinct location on election day. ES&S actually has a different identification number for each precinct that is used specifically for this purpose, which is posted on the side of each machine. An inspector tells AI that the training class made no mention of this identifier, and the instructions given to election workers on election day did not explain this. As a consequence, election workers were flooding the election division with calls to find out why they couldn't get the machines activated. Making matters worse, ES&S programmed the machines to shut down based upon Pennsylvania's closing time for polls, which is 8:00 p.m., creating another nightmare for election workers who struggled to shut the machines down and delaying the vote count on election night.

The problems experienced in this election aren't over yet. Election workers wrapped up their work at 5:00 p.m. today and will not return until Monday to complete tabulating the thousands of votes yet to be counted, including a handful of votes in the 97th House District race. It is simply inexcusable that so many votes in Marion County remain uncounted three days after the election and won't be counted until nearly a week after the election is over. The city-county council should formally censure Marion County Clerk Doris Ann Sadler for the abysmal job she did in her final election as county clerk. If Republicans are smart, they will never afford her an opportunity at public service again.


Anonymous said...

Doris Ann Sadler could be on the Dems payroll since the Party didn't let her run again. Too many unexplained problems with this election that a little more planning would have solved. She has been in charge of four elections, and each one has gotten worst. I don't think she learned anything from the other three.

Good bye Doris Ann!

Anonymous said...

Well, Gary, when you're right, you're right.

She screwed up every facet of this election, and it isn't the first time.

This is what happens when you try to manipulate voter intent, to suppress get too cute and it bacfires on you.

The Republican powers-that-be are not about full voter participation. They see boogey men everywhere. It's silly.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Sadler had no ill-intent. She's just incompetent.

Wilson46201 said...

A 4 year Clerk like Doris Ann Sadler has a crack at screwing up six elections - didnt she have a perfect record?

I understand some absentee votes havent been tabulated yet - and what about the provisional votes? Will there be a skirmish over each and every one of those in the 97th District?

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see how the democrats handle the polls since they can't even fill boards outside of Center Twp. I have a feeling next year Doris Ann will look lots better!

Doug said...

9 votes here; 26 votes in the Lehe/Sutton race. Pretty tight. 51-49 could've pretty easily been 53-47. (Too bad my wife & I moved to Lafayette before election day -- we could've given Sutton 2 more votes.) I saw a story reporting that the state police had secured the voting machines and whatnot for a potential recount in that race.

Anonymous said...

7:34--what the hell are you talking about?

All over the northside Tuesday, boards were filled.

Except for many Republican slots in southern Washington Twp.

There are too many precincts in Marion County. Look for Beth White to study reductions in the's just too hard to find workers any more.

Anonymous said...

I also doubt Doris Ann had ill intent this time around AI.

But when she has had the opportuinity to make bitterly partisan decisions or do the right thing, she chose the partisan route in two lawsuits. She could've backed down, because each cause was lost. But she didn't.

It's just time for a breath of fresh air in election administration in this county. Way past time.

By the by--a good friend was down there this afternoon, as an official observer, and says the Elrod lead shrank to four votes.
And evidently there are a couple of machines to crack yet.

Why is this even an issue, four days after an election? Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Heck, the fix is already in, Mahern will win and it isn't Doris Anne's fault. It's too bad she wont't be around anymore. She's hot!

Anonymous said...

Doris Anne Sadler asked the Mayor repeatedly in 2005 to reduce the number of precincts. He is the only one that can redraw and reduce the number of precincts. Mayor Peterson refused to act.

Wilson46201 said...

About four years ago the Peterson crew tried to reduce the precincts - the GOP blocked it at the State level as I recall.

Anonymous said...

she may be hot Big Willy but she's completely partisan and incompetent.

And this is a strange blog on which a man mentions the hotness of a woman. Just sayin.'

Total number of precincts needs decreased. On Ditch Road in north Washington Twp., there are about 12 precincts voting at four different sites within about 1.2 miles. It's nuts. All those voters could easily go to a school gym in the middle of the mile point two.

In Lawrence, near 71st/Shadeland, a similar situatione exists.

I think there are 612 voting places, or something similar. I'm betting you could get that down to 325-400 real easily, and not harm turnout.

There might be some lines at times, but I don't thionk it'd affect turnout. And how about some discussion about early and online voting under certain circumstances?

If there were one early [olling place in each township, open all day Saturday and Sunday, one month out, it wouldn't take a huge staff, and it would undoubtedly increase turnout. Of course that's not what Republicans usually want, and they control the Senate, one-half of the process needed to change this.

Anonymous said...

You've got to give the devil her due, she is an attractive woman, law degree and all. Elections will be worse under White. Just you wait. After all, the dumbest republicans are smarter than your average democrats, plus, Dick Tracy, et al, will have no trained inspectors. Things will be ugly. But not to fear democrats, the fix will really be in for republicans, who, will never win another election in Marion County. I hope I'm wrong, but, a decline is about to hit the Circle City like no one has ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Big Willy, Beth WHite is a smart cookie. She has fogotten more about how to run a good election than DOris Ann Sadler ever knew.

Which is sad. We all deserve better.

And if the county Demo chair comes to the Election Board and wants to support a stupid lawsuit about ballot access or something, don't expect Beth as clerk to support spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend less ballot access. Won't happen.

Sky is falling, sky is falling...Chicken Little you're not.

That whine I hear is the sound of an elephant dying. A good 2-party system is needed here. Keeps both sides honest.

Willy wants it all one way. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

A good 2-party system is needed here. Keeps both sides honest.

That's not what occuring here. The masses are voting dem because those who typically vote GOP are getting the hell out of Marion County before everything REALLY hits the shitter and the folks in Detroit and Gary will be saying "Whoa! look at that craphole down in Indy!!"