Election judges must be vigilant

March 12, 2014

Once again, I am taking an opportunity to remind voters and candidates for office in next week’s election that comfort zones for election judges can take precedence over protecting ballot boxes from being tampered with by voters, which I witnessed while working as an election judge in the 2012 presidential election.

I had already been manning one post for nearly six hours, in itself a violation of election board rules for the amount of time an election judge is supposed to remain at any one station, but other election judges were complaining that it hurt their feet to stand that long. That didn’t seem to bother the assistant election board executive director, who knew I had been tabulating voter ballots since early on, and even stopped to help me when it was obvious that I was overwhelmed with ballots to be counted. She left shortly after, walking past the person who was supposed to be in charge of the polling place without so much as a word to him that an additional judge was needed to assist with the tabulation of ballots. It was shortly after that I looked up in time to see a voter pulling on the recording tape for the tabulating machine that was left largely unattended.

I just wanted to see how this worked,” he pleaded when I yelled at him.

After the polling place closed, some judges joked that the assistant election board executive director would believe whatever they told her about the incident.

I fail to see how voters tampering with tabulating machines is a joking matter and believe I have a responsibility to alert poll watchers of both parties to be aware that such things as I’ve described do happen. As stated previously, I am prepared to give sworn testimony as to the truthfulness of my accusations where this matter is concerned.

Tim Hughes

Rockford

Posted March 12, 2014

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