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Is there a title for the position of vote counter?

 
 
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 10:10 am
I read a thread below mentioning a particular machine brand used only in 2 states, and it's made me curious about just what the process is: how the type of machines are selected, why some places had punchcards and others have paper ballots and others have electronic ballots... Confused And I am wondering who counts the votes? Is it a voluntary position, or are you elected to do it, or are you a federal employee? Or just what/who does the actual counting? Is it a good system, or a bad one, do you think? How does it differ from other countries' systems?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 939 • Replies: 10
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cannistershot
 
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Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 10:12 am
Good questions! I wonder the same thing.
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Joe Nation
 
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Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 10:29 am
Each State is different. (yeah, non conformity is the rule.) Most States regulate their elections through the Office of Secretary of State (ie . Katherine Harris' former office in Florida) That person is usually, but not, always appointed by the Governor and confirmed, again usually but not always by one or more of the State Houses/Senates.

That person forms Board of Elections, some positions paid, others not, who oversee the nuts and bolts of the State's elections whether it be Federal election of the President or the most recent sewer bond issue in accordance to the Laws of the State.

The Board of Elections is responsible for a myriad of things from making decisions on who is eligble to vote under the present State laws to who is eligible to run for office and what the process will be. (Petitions, Filing, Filing Fees etc.) They also design the ballot, choose the companies who maintain the voting machines (if any) and defend all their decisions in Court should a suit arise.

It's not fun and it's very expensive to do it right.

This is not an exhaustive answer, I'm sure I have left some things out, some of them I left out on purpose.

Joe
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Steppenwolf
 
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Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 10:31 am
They're called "votelators." They're very small people with tiny hands and pointed ears. They typically hide in attics during the off season.
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blueveinedthrobber
 
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Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 10:40 am
CEO of Diebold.....Senator Harris...they go by different names.....
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princesspupule
 
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Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 10:42 am
Steppenwolf wrote:
They're called "votelators." They're very small people with tiny hands and pointed ears. They typically hide in attics during the off season.


Heh, heh! Laughing

Thanks, Joe Nation!

Does anyone know why there isn't a uniform system? Confused
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Steppenwolf
 
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Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 10:44 am
Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
CEO of Diebold.....Senator Harris...they go by different names.....


Senator Harris looks enough like a transvestite that she might actually be Walden O'Dell... not that I hold anything against transvestites; I open my arms to the Floridian manwoman.
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cannistershot
 
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Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 10:58 am
Does anyone know why there isn't a uniform system? Confused[/quote]

Probably a states rights issue? Rolling Eyes
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Ticomaya
 
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Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 11:09 am
cannistershot wrote:
Quote:
Does anyone know why there isn't a uniform system? Confused


Probably a states rights issue? Rolling Eyes


It is a states arena, so the states laws control.

In my state, the Secretary of State is in charge, but the actual vote counting is done by County Election Commissioners, appointed by the SOS. I'm not sure exactly who all were counting votes, but I know many were county employees who volunteered for the job.
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cannistershot
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 11:14 am
Ah good guess on my part.
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Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 11:33 am
Quote:
And I am wondering who counts the votes? Is it a voluntary position, or are you elected to do it, or are you a federal employee? Or just what/who does the actual counting?


I neglected this part. Overseeing the process at every voting place is an election supervisor whose job it is to make things go smoothly. (It seldom does.) That's paid state position. Under the supervisor there are sometimes dozens of volunteers whose only job it is is to direct confused voters to the right table, the right machine and get them gone.

I have voted in places here in New York where twenty precinct voting booths are lined up and I have been to an election in Concho County, Texas where there were just two little old ladies handing out paper ballots for people to check off and put in the big box in the center of the grammar school's gym. They greeted people by name as they came in out the cold.

Polls are open here in the city from six am until 9pm. That's a long day. Everyone should call their local League of Woman Voters and thank them for finding volunteers for this thankless job.

Finally, after the doors are closed come the vote counters. They are the tabulators and they are, for the most part, your fellow citizens who are taking a day out of their life to make democracy work.

Depending upon the area, tabulators have to count every paper ballot or just push a button to get a final tally. They have to cross check that the number of votes matches the number of voters. Then the result is certified by the precinct supervisor and in many places posted on the door of the voting place. (That's how stringers for the papers get their numbers, they read them off the sheets and phone them into their editors.)

Finally, the votes are transported, first to the County Election Board and then on to the Office of the Secretary of State for certification or in case of a court challenge, a recount.

whew.

Joe
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