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Uncounted ballots found from November election

Original post made on Apr 19, 2013

San Mateo County election officials said Thursday that 65 uncounted provisional ballots from November's election were found April 12 in a vault at the department's headquarters.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 19, 2013, 8:07 AM

Comments (15)

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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm

While misplacing ballots is totally unacceptable, I was also taken by this comment: "The 65 ballots, which came from the Redwood City voting center, included 35 from eligible voters, with the other 30 coming from people who were ineligible or had already voted in the election."

Of the 65 ballots, only 35 were from eligible voters! Seriously?

I wonder if this reflects the overall voting profile where so many ballots are either repeats or from ineligible voters. That ratio is alarming.


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Posted by Michael G Stogner
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Of the 65 ballots, only 35 were from eligible voters! Seriously?

That's Huge how does that happen.


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Posted by vote early
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:38 pm

They're provisional ballots. As I understand the system, Provisionals usually exist because of oddball circumstances such as someone showing up at the wrong precinct, or other unique reasons. They are not allowed to vote due to the descrepency, and offered a provisional ballot, and the voter's 'validity' is judged afterward. Therefore, the likelihood of a batch of provisional ballots having some that are judged or ruled invalid may seem high.

Curious to know specifics on the batch: how many invalid, in broad terms the reasons for such and in even larger terms how many the county ruled as invalid overall, vs the total number of provisional ballots, etc..

IMO, to cast a suspicious light on the whole system is inappropriate. If ineligible voters were required to use a provisional ballot at the polling place, which was later judged to be a valid vote, or not, is good. That's the way the system is designed to work.

And apparently worked correctly.

Voting early eliminates some of this, as I imagine does absentee.


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Posted by vote early
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

I'm a little surprised at the reaction from two posters I would have assumed understand the system better than most. Perhaps I am in error.


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Posted by Electioneer
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Poll workers have to accept votes and it is up to the election board to sort out. Often, people from a different county would drop off vote by mail or demand to vote in SM County although they had moved out of county. If people would vote electronically, which has a paper verification, lost envelopes would be a thing of the sixties.

Given the millions of votes collected and properly counted, it is a miniscule amount. However, credit goes to Mr. Church and staff for the transpareancy.

Noteworthy is that many of the poll workers are volunteers that receive barely minimum wage for hours worked. Let's have positive support for the system and constructive comments for improvement.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm

No, I understand the system pretty well and I know perfectly well what a provisional ballot is. But thank you for the poorly worded tutorial.

My point is that 30 of 65 ballots were either ineligible or duplicates. I think any reason person would be alarmed to discover that nearly half (46%) of the ballots cast in an election were either duplicates or ineligible.

That seems absolutely extraordinary to me... but it may explain how we end up with the cast of characters that we have in Sacramento.


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm

* reasonable


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Posted by vote early
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Apr 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm

"But thank you for the poorly worded tutorial." You are welcome, it was poorly worded, due to lack of education and limited time available this afternoon to reread and edit. You are so kind to share your thoughts.

Speaking of poorly worded - Pogo: "I think any reason(able) person would be alarmed to discover that nearly half (46%) of the ballots cast in an election were either duplicates or ineligible."

What a pile of you-know-what, though 'worded' well. Casting suspicion on all ballots based on a ridiculously small sample that by it's very definition is riddled with questionable ballots, is disingenuous, at best.

For example: let's take a sample of adults who are in a rehab facility, find out that half are in for boose, and declare that half the county are alcoholics.

Golly, I'm not, and since one of two are....

Yes, your point borders on the absurd.

Please, continue to point out my deficiencies with the written word if it makes you feel better. You should see what it looks like before the spellchecker.




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Posted by Palmer
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 19, 2013 at 7:17 pm

" that nearly half (46%) of the ballots cast in an election were either duplicates or ineligible."

@VoteEarly - you are quite generous to label that as only 'disingenuous'


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Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Apr 20, 2013 at 7:51 am

There was nothing in the article that indicated that these 65 ballots were a skewed sample.

I would think that the percentage of ineligible or provisional ballots would be in the low single digits. I'm not going to do a survey but I stand on my statement that I believe a reasonable person would be alarmed to learn that nearly half of the ballots fell into that category.


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Posted by Palmer
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 20, 2013 at 10:52 am

They were provisional ballots, of course they are a skewed sample. Perhaps Pogo can give us an elegantly worded tutorial on the very nature of provisional ballots.

That request outstanding, it is nice to see Pogo amending (slightly) his original statement from

"that nearly half (46%) OF THE BALLOTS CAST IN AN ELECTION were either duplicates or ineligible."

to

"that nearly half of the ballots fell into that category."

Soon, he will have completely modified it to an accurate statement, such as - that nearly half of the PROVISIONAL ballots fell into that category.

One could have chalked it up to a simple misstatement, if pogo were not so vociferously defending his misstatement.


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Posted by Hattie
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Maybe absentee voting is only going to be the HONEST way!


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Posted by 46% votes wrong
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Apr 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm

361,486 votes in November 2012. That makes about 150,000 of the ballots cast in an election either duplicates or ineligible.

150,000 duplicate and ineligible voters. We have to do something!

Doesn't anyone understand?!?

This is ridiculous!How come people are not up in arms!

46% of votes are wrong!


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Posted by 46% votes wrong
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Apr 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Nevermind.

I looked at the national results for November, 2012.

Turns out 47.2% of the votes cast were wrong.

oops.


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Posted by provo man
a resident of Woodside High School
on Apr 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Thats funny, 46% defective ballots for the 47% for Mitt 47% Romney. Too bad he doesn't pay closer to 47% in taxes, rather than the 13%.

If the description above is wrong, what then is a provisional ballot?


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