I observed for several hours on Sunday. Initially, we encountered a lot of hostility. I came with a group of 7 folks and as soon as the officials saw an influx of Democratic volunteers they made a stink about trying to limit the number of observers allowed in the recount area due to "space constraints". This wasn't challenged and argued vociferously against by the Green and Dem reps. and a compromise of 7 total observers on the floor for each candidate was made. After the initial chaos, counting proceeded (slowly but steadily). I did observe tabulators talking chummily with observers from the Trump campaign but they were much more reticent towards Stein and Clinton observers. I watched one full ward being counted by machine. The particular tabulator I watched was very good about allowing us to see the actual ballots while they were being fed through the machine. The final sticker tape counts were within 1 or 2 of the numbers for the candidates the Green observer and I recorded. I did not witness it but I heard reports that Trump observers touched ballots and that there was talk of continuing the count after observers left.
Per the online schedule I signed up for, I arrived shortly before 2 p.m. for a 6 hour shift. It seems there had been alot of confusion in the morning and things were moving slowly. Once I divested myself of all the "no, no's" (water, purse, pens, folder for my papers & note pads) and got into the room, I could not identify anyone with the Stein Campaign - yes, I did spot a guy with a green shirt under a brown sport coat but wasn't allowed to go into that part of the room. Finally, a deputy said I could stay outside the red line and move closer to where the green shirt guy was. When I got his attention, he managed to get me into the room but was being asked questions by people at various tables; so I just stood between the yellow lines, as instructed and tried to figure out what was going on. Continue reading