Sunday, November 23, 2014

Nov 2014 In Progress

Project volunteers finished scanning the last of Humboldt's 38K ballots on Friday, the day after the last set of ballots was provided to us by the county elections office.  Ballot images have been sorted into precincts for anyone who wants to count off the images, and I'm running software to generate an independent computer result, which ought to be available before Thanksgiving.

This election is notable for the narrow lead in one Eureka city council race, where the lead flipped between election night and the count of the last ballots.  This sort of close race highlights the importance of being certain that every vote was properly counted.  It also shines light on the oddness of election night "horse race" coverage, since, among other things, many ballots remain sealed inside envelopes for days after election night, awaiting the slow, ballot-by-ballot process of envelope signature validation.

It should also highlight the importance of allowing a citizens' group direct access to the cast ballots to allow them to create images, with non-elections equipment, digitally sign them, and confirm the elections office count.  Elections only work well when the loser is satisfied that the count was fair.