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Monday, Nov 8th: My day at the Suffolk County Board of Elections

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Audrey Capozzi. Photo by Kimberly Wilder.

 

Kimberly BOE

Kimberly Wilder. Photo by Audrey Capozzi.

 

Today I spent a few hours at the Suffolk County Board of Elections. I am a registered “blank”, who supports the rights of all third parties. I went with a pollwatching certificate from the Libertarian Party. And, I worked with Audrey Capozzi, who is the Vice Chair of the LPNY (state Libertarian Party) and Secretary of the LPSC (Libertarian Party of Suffolk County).

Our main goal is to make sure that all the votes for Libertarian Governor candidate Warren Redlich are captured. And, we got some information on that issue. Though, with all the tight races and recalls, it was fun just to be at the Suffolk County Board of Elections and see what was happening.

The two big races being contested at the Suffolk BOE are the Tim Bishop/Randy Altschuler race in the 1st Congressional District and the Marc Alessi/Dan Losquadro race for State Assembly.

While I was in the lobby, I saw a news organization doing an interview with a rep from the Tim Bishop campaign. The big message from them is: Since Altschuler wanted to make sure all the votes were counted on election night, when it seemed like he was down, Tim Bishop hopes that Altschuler still wants to make sure all the votes are counted. And, the Bishop people are hoping that the Altschuler people will join them in requesting a hand count of all ballots. (Last I heard in the news, I think Bishop’s people went to court today to ask for a hand recount of all ballots. That will be a pretty exciting event with the voting system and voting machines so new.)

Audrey Capozzi and I got to sit in the back room where Board of Election workers were doing the mandatory 3% audit process. The BOE is basically asserting that the audit is their own audit of their process. So, they had all observers – pollwatchers, press, etc. – on the other side of the room from where the work was being done. Only the court-mandated personnel or lawyers were allowed anywhere near the people doing the work, anywhere near a view of the ballot. This is not how a recanvass usually works. And, this audit requirement is a new process. So, I guess we shall see if this system is how it will always works: Practically no scrutiny of the audit.

Kimberly at the BOE on 11/08/2010

We were told that the recanvass might yield more results for what we were looking for – possible extra votes for Warren Redlich, the Governor candidate for the Libertarians. If Warren Redlich can “find” more votes, and get up to 50,000 on the Libertarian Governor line, then the Libertarians will gain automatic ballot status in New York State (like the Green Party did years ago with Al Lewis, and this time with Howie Hawkins.) The recanvass will deal with affidavit ballots, emergency ballots, and all paper ballots.

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Audrey Capozzi at the Suffolk BOE

Audrey Capozzi also filed a request for information. The way the ballot was set up in New York, the Libertarian Governor candidate Warren Redlich, was put in on the same row/column, “H”, next to another candidate — next to the Freedom Party candidate Charles Barron in some regions and next to Kristin Davis on the NYC ballot. One of the NY Governor candidates were stuck in a second row, to the side of the other candidates. So, Audrey Capozzi asked the Suffolk County Board of Elections to let her know in writing how many votes were discarded because a voter made the mistake of voting for both candidates – (ie: in Suffolk County, that would be Charles Barron and Warren Redlich). And, Audrey Capozzi asked me to quote her as asking rhetorically, “Was it by design or incompetence that the NY State Board of Elections put two Governor candidates on Row H?” Capozzi says, “It wasn’t in line with the rest of the ballot.”

11/08/2010: Sign at Suffolk County BOE

So, hopefully, Libertarians throughout the state will be watching the recanvass in their local counties. And, maybe the Libertarians will get an answer about the bad ballot design. And, the big hope…hopefully, by the end of the weeks long process of the recanvass, the Libertarians will end up with 50,000 votes on the Governor line, and automatic ballot status. Last I heard, they were at about 45,000 votes.

The focus today seemed to be on the Alessi/Losquadro race, I noticed there were a lot of people from the Alessi* campaign observing.

News organizations we saw in person, or signed in at the front desk: Channel 55, CBS News, FIOS.

-end of report

*Correction – I had the wrong campaign listed in the first publication of this article. I noticed a young pollwatcher and several observers from the Alessi campaign.

One Response

  1. Kimberly, Thanks for a great writeup of the day’s events.

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