Saturday, April 13, 2013

Under The Hood Of Democracy - Counting Absentee Votes UPDATE

[UPDATE 7:00am:   I couldn't find an update on the Muni website when I was getting ready for bed last night so I sent an email to the Municipal Clerk if I was looking in the wrong place.  This morning when I got up I found this response:  
No, sorry.  We finally decided to call it quits.  We got through the absentee, but didn’t finished the questioned, so no results tonight.  We’ll start the hand count at 8:30 and then get restarted on the rest at 10. 

Barbara A. Jones]

Sorting and Counting Absentee Ballots
I stopped by City Hall about 4pm this afternoon to see how the absentee ballot counting was going.  Basically, they were separating the form on the outside of the absentee ballot envelopes and then they would go to the voting machine.

They were not going to announce the results until it was complete and there were different estimates about when that would be.


Absentee ballot - One sent to you and mailed back.

Absentee-in-person - When you vote at one of the voting places open before the election.  I've been calling this 'early voting' but in the election office they're 'absentee-in-person.'

Things were pretty cordial and in the video below you'll see and hear a staffer for Nick Moe and a staffer for Ernie Hall.  The Clerk was going to order pizza for the election workers and the Moe and Hall staffers were planning to eat together.  Really, a very pleasant thing to see in modern politics.

) If you listened to the end of the video, you'll have learned a little info about your blogger.  The election office called this week to say they needed another election worker to to help with the hand recount of District 3 on Saturday.  I did point out that I was blogging and they said they knew.  Working on election day certainly gave me insights I couldn't have gotten any other way.  This is a new world of journalism.  So, I'm not sure whether I'll have time to give any updates tomorrow.  My election worker job takes precedence over the blog.  Perhaps they believe that by letting me into the center of things they are telling the world they believe in transparency.  I have to be at City Hall at 8am.  Ugh.  Come by and take a look.  It's open to the public.  Bring your kids so they can see under the hood of democracy.  We'll be doing a hand count, as I understand it, of District 3, the race between Assembly Chair Ernie Hall and write-in challenger Nick Moe.  (Staff members from both camps are on the video above.)  This is the race that was 93 votes apart when the votes were counted right after the election.  So now they have to look at all the ballots to see who all those "write-in" votes had written in and to add the questioned ballots.  The results from the absentee ballots they counted today should be known before we start.

Observers watching how the ballots are handled

Perhaps they've already announced them, but I couldn't find anything online.   KTUU does say there should be active aurora tonight and tomorrow night and it's clear so I'll go outside and look. 

[UPDATE March 12, 2014:  Viddler video replaced with YouTube]


  1. Please post aurora pics!

    My dad has been working at the polls and has made friends with the other guys who do the work. He started doing this after one of the women working there had noticed that he had written in candidates to vote for and said to him "Oh, you changed your votes!" What was she doing looking at his ballot?! That pissed him off, so he got active. This past year, my sister has also helped at the polling place.

    One of the women I've worked with made both her son and daughter work in the polling place when they were about 19-21 years old so they would get a chance to see what elections are like and to get them to be active instead of not voting. From talking with the daughter, I think it's helped.

  2. Didn't see any aurora last night. I checked before I went to bed. But they come and go and I didn't stay out long. It was in the teens and I didn't have much on. And I had to be up early this morning. I'll have more time to check tonight.


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