[LINK] 'Static' Blamed for D.C.'s Extra Votes Snafu

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Fri Oct 3 21:16:32 EST 2008

'Static' Blamed for D.C.'s Extra Votes Snafu
Wed October 01, 2008 - Washington
News Channel 8

New measures are being taken to make sure irregularities in September's 
D.C. Primary vote don't happen in November. Officials at the D.C. Board 
of Elections say they now know what caused 1,500 extra votes to appear 
in the count.

326 people voted at the Reeves Center precinct on primary election day 
in September. Their votes were captured on a computer cartridge, but the 
Board of Elections says when it put the cartridge into the citywide 
computer to be counted, 1,500 write in votes appeared from nowhere. The 
board completed its investigation of what might have happened and blames 
static electricity.

"One of the many possible causes could be an electric charge or static 
discharge," said Errol Arthur, D.C. Board of Elections. Some city 
residents, like Beatrice Fink, laughed at the explanation. Resident 
Eddie Jewett said, "Could have used a more elaborate one than that."

Council member Jack Evans, infuriated by phantom votes, is calling out 
the board. "You mean if I'm rubbing my shoes on the way to vote, I'm 
going to upset the entire voting process in the District of Columbia and 
then the nation? I hope not so. I hope we can get this thing 
straightened out."

While the September election had one of D.C.'s smallest turnouts, the 
Presidential election is expected to set a record. Board members said 
they realize it and are going to take their time, as their report 
recommends. "We're not going to sacrifice accuracy for speed. We are 
going to do anything we can to make sure what we report on election 
night will be accurate," said Arthur.

Evans said that's not good enough. "There's no excuse for slow results." 
The board promises more workers and better equipment to get the 
situation fixed.

Also, voters wearing paraphernalia, caps, t-shirts and stickers, for 
candidates to the voting precinct, the board of elections said if poll 
workers see it, they will throw people out.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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