Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Friday, May 20, 2005

What's DIMS got to do with it?

Nicole Way claimed during her deposition that the “DIMS” computer system didn’t accurately state the number of ballots returned, but it seems that she simply didn’t understand the DIMS system.

Appended below is an excerpt from pages 29 – 31 of the deposition transcript, which indicates that the DIMS system was doing exactly what it was designed to do.

DIMS is supposed to provide an alert to the employees who are processing returned absentee ballots when there is a reason to set aside a ballot for further investigation before tabulating the votes on it.

For example, if a voter requested and was issued a second absentee ballot, the first ballot issued to that voter (which can be identified by the bar code on the return envelope) must be set aside to ensure that only one of the two ballots is accepted as valid.

The second example Way gave involved a situation in which one would hope the computer system would place barriers in the way of any elections office employee who wanted to accept the ballot as valid: It involves the receipt of a second ballot from the same voter.

It seems apparent that the computer system was functioning just fine, but Way and the others seem not to have figured out how to maintain a cumulative total of all ballots returned by voters – even though they had that information in their database as a result of scanning the bar codes on the return envelopes. (Mistakenly skipping an envelope’s bar code would not result in rejection of the ballot by the system, since the system wouldn’t even “know” the ballot was in the possession of the elections office.)

Nicole Way seems to be making excuses for what she did when she submitted a false mail ballot report to hide the fact that more ballots had been counted by the GEMS vote tabulating system than the number of voters credited in the DIMS database as having voted.

It was a material discrepancy that needed to be resolved before anyone could know whether the abstract of votes was a full, true and correct representation of the votes cast.

Way and her immediate superior, Garth Fell, couldn’t resolve it, so they had the duty to bring it to the attention of the canvassing board.

They chose to lie rather than bring the matter to the board.

Their choice constituted fraud, since their false mail ballot report was presented to the board as an authentic statement of ballot reconciliation upon which the board was expected to rely in certifying the official canvass report.

That fraud makes the (almost but not quite) certification of King County’s election results by the canvassing board a meaningless act unworthy of belief.

The certificate of election issued to Gregoire by the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate was issued in reliance on that meaningless King County certification, and thus was issued in error.

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Pages 29 – 31 of Nicole Way’s deposition:

[Page 29]
Q. What kinds of problems would occur in uploading the information that would make the data in DIMS with respect to the number of absentee ballots returned unreliable?

A. DIMS would automatically reject some voter ID’s.

Q. Were there particular voter ID’s that would be rejected?

A. No. There was a number of reasons why it would happen.

Q. What are the reasons?

A. If the ballot was reissued, the first ID number was suspended, and the voter was given a new ID number, so that suspended ID would be rejected. If the voter had already returned a ballot. If the ballot was from a wrong election. If the voter had been inactivated for some reason after we mailed the ballot. I think there was others, but I don’t remember.

Q. Were those categories referred to as Wanda rejects?

A. Yes.

Q. What happened to Wanda rejects after DIMS automatically rejected them?

A. We tried to sort them to their different reject reasons. Then they were put aside until the end.
[Page 30]
Q. And what happens to them at the end?

A. They’re looked up to see if that ballot should be counted.

Q. And by the end, you mean, before certification of the election?

A. Yes.

Q. Wanda rejects that aren’t later counted don’t appear anywhere in the DIMS system?

A. Right.

Q. If it’s later determined they should be counted, will they appear in the DIMS system?

A. Yes.

Q. How about for the Wanda rejects that are never brought back into the – to be counted pile? Are they accounted for in DIMS?

A. No.

Q. Are they accounted for anywhere?

A. They are counted as a challenged uncounted ballot, but there [Page 31] is no record of that voter.

Q. Does somebody do a hand-count of those ballots?

A. Yes.

Q. When is the hand-count done?

A. Shortly before certification.

Q. Is it only done once?

A. I’m not sure.


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