Candidate for Winnebago County Board chairman questions ballot counting
Editor’s note: Mike “C” Castronovo, Republican candidate for Winnebago County Board chairman, sent The Rock River Times the following e-mail Wednesday, March 21, the day after the March 20 primary election.
The Winnebago County Clerk’s Office announced March 20 that a vendor error with some of the county’s ballots prevented electronic tabulation by machines at polling places. Some county ballots were too large to fit in the scanning machines. County Clerk Margie Mullins’ office said in a press release March 21 regarding the counting of the flawed ballots: “The ballots were returned to the clerk’s office after the polls closed at 7 p.m., and a number of volunteers began tabulating votes manually as they came in. The ballots were secured in the Clerk’s Office.”
Hi. With 46 percent (about 21,000 votes total) so far counted and 54 percent (about 25,000 ballots) still uncounted, this is NOT a sour grapes letter. This race could change leaders two or three times still.
BUT!!! Does anyone think it “strange” that the non-readable ballots are being “hand re-copied” by people who are often members of the campaigns of names ON THE BALLOTS??? AND the media are not allowed in the room to verify what’s happening! (Even in Florida [in 2000], media viewed the “chad” problems.)
I have called the state Board of Elections personally, and they said they expected such a recount to be done ONLY by election judges.
As election judges, we couldn’t even touch the ballots, let alone re-copy the ballots by hand. And I’ve been told that after the ballots are copied, the originals are marked “spoiled” and might not ever be able to be counted, even IF they are properly trimmed.
Win or lose, I question the legality of this “hand-copying process.” I wouldn’t want my ballot re-made by someone else, without my presence or permission, then marked “spoiled,” would you?
Thanks for being a champion for our community. Please stay on top of this issue. It is important to everyone.
Mike “C” Castronovo
Posted March 21, 2012
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