Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Eight Days After Election, Write-in Tallies For Dertinger Campaign Still Unavailable

On election night, Northampton County Democratic Chair Joe Long bragged to both papers that Charles Dertinger, his last-minute write-in candidate, had garnered over 3,000 votes in Northampton County alone, three times the number he would need to be placed on the ballot for U.S. Congress.

On Northampton County's election results website, however, there is no write-in tally. Yesterday, I asked to see the write-in results, and was told they were not yet available. "Unofficial results" aren't ready, either.

"Check again in a week," is what local voting officials tell me.

Part of the reason for the Help America Vote Act, which requires use of touchscreen voting machines, is to restore confidence in our voting system. But how can this happen when local voting officials are still unable to produce, even unofficially, a vote tally for the county's 160 precincts? Results in war-torn Iraq are quicker.

Techonological advances like the Internet and touch screen voting do not improve our system if local and state voting officials fail to do their job. By the way, how does Joe Long know that Dertinger has over 3,000 write-in votes in Northampton County? Why was Channel 69 displaying numbers on election night if it is impossible to do so 8 days after an election? When elections officials tarry in a vote tally, suspicions will arise.


Anonymous said...

Joe Long knows what the Morning Call knows. The Morning Call reports 3,210 write in votes. This was also reported on elections night. We get tallies and the like, but lets be real we all want to be careful the first time around. Would it not be worse to declare the number as official and then have to take it back. Everyone wants to know the official number and everyone wants to know the state of things. Remember this is new and we are all learning as the process goes a long. Cut everyone some slack. If anything Dertinger should be commended for not claiming the nomination before the results are finalized.

Anonymous said...

Yeah true, but how is it the morning call has an unoffical vote tarry when the voting officials don't even have one?? By the way how long does it take you to set up a brand new computer (new technology right...) 8 days? Now how about a computer used soley for counting in which you can display vote counts with the push of a button, 8 days? Seems odd to me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

On election night, the MC reported on the web that Dertinger had 2646 votes w/ 82% of the votes tabulated. The question is - how did the MC know that? And if the MC knew that much on electiuon night, why have 8 days gone by without so much as an unofficial tabulation of the write-ins? The results listed on the web and printed in the papers for other races are still unofficial. If those unofficial results are known, why withhold unofficial results for write-ins?

I would not expect Dent to do well in a Democratic primary and he is definitely weakened by everything that Team Bush has manged to screw up over the past 6 years. But that is why the Dems should have produced a candidate or two to run in a primary instead of a last-minute afterthought.

Thanks for your comments. They are appreciated. But I don't think election results should be delayed any more than is necessary. Government needs transparency, not back rooms. "Democracy dies behind closed doors." And it really makes me suspicious that Joe Long or MC knew something on election night that has not been revealed to the public at large.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason not to have final, not just "unofficial," results in 48 hours. While the machines are new to this area, the technology has been in use elsewhere for years. So, let's not blame it on a new program. That said, I didn't take notice as to which manufacturer made the machines. If it was Diebold (yes, the same company that makes the ATM machines for banks), there has been a lot of grumbling around the country over their product. Some of it is certainly "conspiracy theory" bullshit (because Diebold management tends to support Repubs). But, not having the tally within a reasonable time frame will do nothing to bolster confidence in the process.

Anonymous said...

Well Dennis the numbers are overwhelming and Dertinger will be on the ballot overwhelmingly. As a matter of fact you can take out Northampton County. Deibold is only in Lehigh County and there is a Republican Chief Registar in the Voter Registration Office. I think at last report on the unofficial numbers Dertinger had well over 1,000. So Dems want him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't dispute that Dertinger hgas the necessary votes. And I don't think that Dennis does, either. My point is that, if these figuresd could be unofficially available to the MC on election night, why the hell aren't they unofficially available now? If the other results, which are still unofficial, are avaialable on the Internet, why can't Elections officials release the write in figures as well?

This is precisely what leads to mistrust and suspicion. And Dennis is right. If we're usiong electronic votiong machines, the official results should be available much more quickly.

Thanks for your comments. If the MC is right, Dertinger will probably have about 4,000 write-ins, an indication that some Democrats want him. I'm not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Well, now it's 2 WEEKS and we still don't have write-in results from either Lehigh or Northampton.

This insults the voters who took the time to vote for a write-in candidate.

Voters Registration in BOTH counties should be carefully examined by the respective county executives.