Saturday, September 23, 2006

Okay Recount Response from Bill and Tom

While it is extremely unlikely that the Second Suffolk Senate recount will change Dianne Wilkerson's primary victory, it is very likely to produce incremental elections improvements.

In a minor thrill here, Secretary of State Bill Galvin and Boston Mayor Tom Menino did do as we hoped -- support the recount. They are playing by the narrow rules, which means candidate Sonia Chang-Diaz still has to scramble over the weekend and Monday workday to produce enough signatures. That would be a minimum of 50 each verifiable voters in each of the 10 wards affected.

From here (and with Secretary of State candidate John Bonifaz in mind), one would think that Galvin and Menino would have gone a step farther. They did recount the 8 totally uncounted wards' write-in/sticker votes, but with witness' allegations of incompetence and avoidence of counting at numerous polls, Galvin at least should have jumped on this.He should have required the recount regardless of signatures or whether any candidate request it.

A piece in today's Boston Globe notes that Galvin did investigate Boston elections three years ago. Then, "In 2003, he found numerous violations, including understaffing of polling places, campaigning too close to the polls, and inadequate provision of privacy for voters as they cast their ballots...Last year the US Justice Department sued the city, alleging that election workers improperly influenced and coerced Hispanic and Asian-American voters with limited English skills."

So you can also see Da Mare's motivation here. He supports Galvin's lead or saddles his city with minor scandal and outside supervision even longer.

Bonifaz' losing primary bid has put the Secretary's role in the light. If there is a justifiable set of circumstances for an active government role, this is certainly one.

I'd have a very high expection that my vote count. Right now, I have only a moderate belief that this will happen in my city. Show me, Tom and Bill.

Incidentally, the poll workers and managers who seemingly didn't bother to count the Wilkerson/Chang-Diaz/Kelleher/Diaz votes all fell under the new rules. Each received one to three training sessions on write-in/sticker procedures. Clearly this investigation needs to go beyond saying they need training.

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1 comment:

Cos said...

I'm very glad Sonia's campaign chose to pursue a "recount", because we never had a full count of the votes in the first place, and this "recount" will actually be the first count for many precincts. I'm disturbed, on the other hand, that it seems we had to depend on one of the candidate's campaigns going to a lot of effort, or we might never have gotten a full count of the votes. Very disturbed.

Who looks out for the voters' interests?

We obviously can't leave this sort of thing to the discretion of elections departments or the Secretary of State. They may do the right thing, but they may not. The right thing, in this case, would be to require a full count of the votes - and if that doesn't happen on Tuesday night, it needs to happen afterward. We need new election law, mandating that.

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