Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December 7


“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”  -- Elie Wiesel

On December 5th, at 10:30 am, we got email saying the recount was starting at noon in Ingham and Oakland counties.  We went to Ingham, and spent 7.5 hours watching ballots and votes be counted.  (It was a three-step process -- count the ballots (and compare to records kept on election day), sort the ballots according to the presidential vote, count each candidate's votes.

One of the most mind-numbing jobs on the planet.  It was good to have many eyes on the work, to catch inadvertent errors.

There were two people working for the county clerk at each table, and then some number of observers, from 0 to many.  Each party could have up to two observers at a given table. Only the workers were allowed to touch the ballots.

On December 6th, we went to Ann Arbor's location (in part because I wanted to be able to go to yoga that evening).  We watched the same set of processes all afternoon.  One of the workers at my table was an efficiency expert.  The ballots were counted into stacks of 25, for the first count.  He laid them out on the table in sets of five, arranged so you could tell at a glance where each five began and ended, so a critical look at that 25 would show you five fives, before they were gathered up and stacked with other sets of 25.

A sanity check on the count, without having to re-count.  Brilliant.  (The day before there had been multiple times when someone had a question about the count, and the 25 got counted over.....)

I commented on the excellent system, and he said it was a Japanese counting method (and named it, but I don't have the name for you).  Then he said he got paid $1200 a day to go talk to businesses about how to do things efficiently...........  When he wasn't working on the recount, that is.........

On the 7th, we went to Jackson.

Getting gas, before heading to Jackson.

The reality shot -- I-94, late morning on a Wednesday.  Lots of traffic, including LOTS of trucks......

The pretty shots -- working to avoid all the vehicles.

We left Jackson at about 6:15pm.

When we exited the county building, we discovered the trees were all lit up.

That evening we discovered the recount had been halted.

If there truly was nothing wrong, then why did they want it stopped?  I wonder..........................

We had heard during the day that the ballot containers in Detroit were a huge mess.  Hundreds of containers were no longer properly sealed (if they had ever been properly sealed....).  We also heard that a very large number of the machines that read the ballots at the polling places in Detroit had been inoperable on election day.................

WTF?   I have written to all three of my elected representatives in Lansing (representative, senator, governor), asking when the investigation into what on earth happened in Detroit, and WHO WOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE would be known.................................

Michigan votes on paper ballots, and the ballots are a bit different from place to place.  It would be difficult to subvert the whole state.  But ... the election was so close.  If the way the voting was done in Detroit was crooked, that would make the result of the election different.............................

We had hoped to be part of finding the truth about the election in Michigan, but since the recount was halted, that hope was dashed.

The good news is that we went to three different counties, and observed the process, and we saw no hint of evil desire on anyone's part to hinder, obfuscate, or de-rail the process.

Everyone seemed to be on the side of accuracy and completeness.  Paid workers/counters, and observers for all sides.



Jeanie said...

I am sick the recount was halted. I didn't expect it to change anything -- that wasn't the point. The point was to be accurate, to be sure each vote was counted and for the correct person. I've heard something on the radio about a new look at Detroit but I was in a sleepy fog. Will have to check more!

I applaud your being a volunteer -- especially at this crazy time of year.

I need orange said...

Agree 100%. It's important to have validation, when the vote totals differ by only .2%!!!

Thank you for the kind words. It felt like we were DOING something. Something important. So for the dark side to shut it down.................. Depressing.