At start of day it was announced that a third room was to be set up to start sorting Madison ballots, absentees....etc. to speed things along for later. No tabulating was to occur. One person stayed in that room for their shift (MJ) No counting or tabulating was reported. We were spread a little thin at first.Edgerton was completed from the day before. I didn't observe the previous work but they said it reconciled. Next was Mazomanie, Roxbury and Springdale and Dunkirk. All totals reconciled. Roxbury had to do a draw down. Two Clinton votes were drawn.
I was able to be there for the 5:0-8:30 shift, which was fortunate because then we had 3 persons to monitor all 3 rooms. I was in the room handling Ward 37 of City of Madison, while in the second room they could not find one bag belonging to Ward 32, when there were supposed to be 3 bags. Several piles were begun in our room against the wall for incomplete wards. The missing sacks are expected to be found at the very bottom of the pile; there are nearly 120 wards in Madison.The 3rd room is dedicated to pre-sorting regular from absentee ballots. This saves time , for the other 2 rooms; however it is not perfect and much trading between regular and absentee teams still happens before the first count is taken. Previous observers didn't send a person to 3rd room as no counting takes place there, but some of us feel it also needs monitoring and many creative things can be done to change ballots/ counts at that stage. Continue reading
They have added a third room and hired more people. This is because they're counting Madison now. The city of Madison had a wonderful idea this year, an idea which I hope will inspire mayors all over the country. .EVERY library in the city was an early voting site. While this was wonderful for voters, the huge volume of absentee votes and the fact that people voted in libraries that were not in their wards made it possible for things to get a little messy. So I believe the county clerk has people in the third room sorting absentee from regular ballots, and making sure ballots are bundled in their correct wards.... In the elevator, as we were all leaving, the county clerk thanked me for being an observer. He said, "We need observers. If we didn't have observers, it would be like a tree falling in the woods. Nobody would know. Nobody would know what we've been doing." . Continue reading
Dane county has been running roughly 8:30AM-8:30PM with 2 rooms working the recount. Our staffing has tried to target getting 4 people per shift. There is talk now of going to 3 rooms as early as mid_AM tomorrow (Tuesday 12/6). This is to ensure that counting of Madison city votes is completed on schedule. In addition, there MAY be a need to schedule a late shift (running something like 6:30PM - 11PM maybe starting Wednesday) if deemed necessary. To point out, staff has been very open and helpful so this should not be seen as a secret way to circumvent our observation. Further updates on the possibility of 3rd shift would presumably be available on Tuesday 12/6.
I covered 2 shifts (8 hours) in one of the 2 recount rooms.I was able to see the Township of Madison 3rd bundle sorting and count. Nearly half of the batch were absentee ballots. There were several overvotes which had to be subtracted. Overwhelming for Clinton, 11 to 1 vs. Trump. Also 70 votes total for Jill! Continue reading
I observed one of the Fitchburg recounts. Seals confirmed by the Board of Directors. Absentee ballots were separated out. The count was done 4 times before they found 2 blank ballots had been included in the total stack of ballots. Candidates totals were: Clinton 3037, Trump 970, Stein 27, Johnson 136, Castle 5, McMillan 9, write-in 28, blank 19
I observed Cross Plans recount. The seal on the ballots was confirmed by the Board of Directors. The absentee ballots were not separated from the regular ballots, so that was done first. The 1st count was missing 2 absentee ballots, but the 2nd count found them. By the 3rd count, the total ballots matched. Total counts were Clinton 1345, (-1, no signature), Trump 697 (-2, no signature), Stein 23, Johnson 79, Castle 5, McMullin 14, write-in 19, blank 7.
I observed the recount for wards 1-4 of the City of Fitchburg.Most important was 23 absentee ballots which had not been opened until today, due to clerical error. These ballots were added to the other absentee ballots today, resulting in at least 10 more votes for Clinton and 4 more votes for Trump. Not sure what the other votes were. Nobody announces these types of things; observers have to notice that this is happening and ask about it. I couldn't hear the counts for candidates other than Clinton and Trump; final votes for Clinton were 1839 and Trump was 377.
I attended the recount from 2 pm to 5:30 pm today, December 2, 2016. I was in Room 357 observing the recount for Town/City of Verona, Wards 1 - 5. Here are my observations and comments regarding what I observed both before entering the room and while watching the recount process: Continue reading
The clerks and tabulators were amazingly organized, polite and professional. Everything was sorted, marked, and counted twice per pile (without telling the second counter what number the first counter came to). In the first 5 wards of Waunakee, only three absentee or provisional ballots were rejected. One was a provisional ballot where the person had not brought proper id to the polls. The lady never returned. Another rejected ballot was an absentee ballot with no witness address. The final rejected ballot was from someone who was not a registered voter and hadn’t filled out a provisional ballot. I did not see who these votes would have been for. Continue reading