Monday, July 02, 2012

Hensley Report on Election Now Available - Form Over Substance

The Municipal Attorney's office has released Judge Dan Hensley’s review of the April 3, 2012 Election.   It's structured nicely and touches on many of the issues, but doesn't tell us anything new and doesn't take any kind of serious stand on anything.  He does say there is an additional addendum still to come on the Data Processing Review Board that used to monitor the voting machines but was eliminated. 

I've got the whole report posted (thanks Scribd) below.  And then a few thoughts of my own at the end.

From the summary:

1.    Nothing intentional was done
2.    The Deputy Clerk in charge made mistakes
3.    The Clerk should have supervised more carefully
4.    They should make changes in the rules.

In the body it does discuss the Minnery email (but doesn't mention names) and the broken seals on the ballot boxes, but just says, they happened.  For the seals, it says to tell election workers to follow the rules next time.

While he says he did some interviews, "The information I learned in my interviews did not differ in any significant respect from that contained in the Commission's summaries.  For this reason, in addition to my own interviews I relied on the Commission's summaries." But we don't know how many interviews, who, or what he asked and what they said.  And we know the Commission told the Assembly no seals were broken.  (Hensley does recognize that there were broken seals.)

Hensley Report on Anchorage Municipal Election July 2012

When the citizens group that originally called for (and ponied up $1500 to have 15 precincts recounted) met with the Assembly's Attorney and turned in a very detailed report of problems, I suggested in that post that it would be interesting to compare what they presented to the Assembly for free to the $30,000 report this retired judge presents.

The Assembly eventually voted to refund the $1500.

The contrast between the two reports raises serious questions about how money is spent for 'experts' rather than for good quality products.  This new report doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know and has none of the details that the Citizen group provided.   It would be interesting to know exactly how much time Hensley actually spent on this and who he interviewed.   As an outsider he seems to have gone over all the information that was already known and summarized it.  This is a great example of form over substance.

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