Flawed absentee ballots in Gwinnett

There’s flawed absentee ballots in Gwinnett and lots of ’em:

Gwinnett County elections officials will have to hand-copy votes from at least 10,000 absentee ballots onto new ballots that can be read by a machine.

The original ballots, designed to be filled out by hand, are flawed because of a printing error. The circle beside the candidate’s name is too thick and somewhat misshapen, and consequently an optical scanning machine won’t be able to read the votes on Election Day.

The county discovered the problem last week during routine testing.

Gwinnett had already mailed out 19,700 flawed ballots before it realized the problem.

Of those, 10,000 have already been marked and sent back by voters, said Lynn Ledford director of Voter Registration and Elections for Gwinnett County.

The printing mistake was not apparent to the naked eye, Ledford said.

Here’s how the ballots will be counted:

Votes on incorrect forms will be counted using a manual process observed by a representative of each political party and a monitor from the Secretary of State’s office. Non-partisan candidates will also be allowed a monitor. State law requires that all participants be sequestered with no outside contact until after polls close on Election Day in order to prevent information leaks.

Unreadable ballots will be duplicated in accordance with state law so they can be scanned and the copy will then be stored with the original in case a recount is necessary.

Voters submit absentee ballots in two envelopes, so the identity of any individual voter will not be known once the outer envelope is removed. Election workers will tabulate and post the votes as usual after the polls have closed on Election Day. No delayed results are expected.

6 comments

  1. This is a trick that is known and suspected to have been used in the past when using optical scanning ballots. The way it works is one makes the oval for the “preferred” candidate thick enough to be read as a vote regardless of whether someone fills it in or not. If someone votes for the other candidate it spoils the ballot due to being read that a person voted for two candidates in the same race.
    Of course, you don’t want all the ballots to have the thick oval. The result would be no votes for the opponent. To make this all believable, you just need enough of these ballots to flip the election in the “preferred” candidate’s favor.

    It looks to me that someone may have over done it. I wonder what the total number of mailed ballots there were in Gwinnett . The article just mentioned the total number of suspected flawed ballots. Also, one has to wonder how many other counties haven’t detected their “flawed” ballots.

  2. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    That’s really interesting info Daniel. I’ve come to believe that the concept of free elections has run its course.

  3. Non P,

    Here’s the way it use to be done:
    Double marking. A corrupt election official will conceal a piece of pencil lead underneath his fingernail, in which he covertly marks an unvoted box in an area where the maximum number of votes has already been cast. Since this ballot is then considered overvoted, it is discarded, effectively throwing out the voter’s vote.

    Here’s more :
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_fraud

    Reading doesn’t require tin foil, but if it makes you more confortable, as a libertarian, I believe to each his own.

  4. Here’s the way it use to be done:
    Double marking. A corrupt election official will conceal a piece of pencil lead underneath his fingernail, in which he covertly marks an unvoted box in an area where the maximum number of votes has already been cast. Since this ballot is then considered overvoted, it is discarded, effectively throwing out the voter’s vote.

    Here’s more:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_fraud

    NonP,
    Reading doesn’t require “tin foil”, but if it makes you more confortable, as a libertarian, I believe to each his own.

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