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)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

DIMS wasn't the problem

Earlier – here and here – I had said that the new computer system in King County wasn’t the cause of the absence of absentee ballot reconciliation information and suggested questions to ask Nicole Way.

In a roundabout way, the answers appear to have come from Dean Logan in his testimony today.

On the TVW archived audio recording, at 1 hour and 23 minutes is this exchange between Logan and the petitioners’ attorney:

Q. One of the other deficiencies that you talked about are the lack of data reports and backup information that support the data on the Mail Ballot Report. Is that right?
A. That’s right.
Q. That’s a deficiency – a lack of backup information for the data that’s on the Mail Ballot Report?
A. Yes, in the respect that I think that they – that that data actually exists and that ability within the system exists to create that data – I think – was just not referred to, or used as a resource effectively in completing that report.

Apparently, Way didn’t have any DIMS reports to use in preparing the false Mail Ballot Report other than, possibly, the number of voters credited with casting a valid absentee ballot.

It seems that Logan was saying that King County has since learned how to use the computer system which was installed in May and June of 2004 – and, the election management and voter registration computer system (“DIMS”) can do what one would reasonably expect of it. That is, the system can apparently produce reports to show how many absentee ballots have been issued, received, and accepted or rejected.

Despite Nicole Way’s efforts prior to and during the canvassing of the general election returns to get the needed reports, they weren’t produced – but they apparently could have been, if her superiors (Fell, Huennekens and Logan) had directed that it be done by the people whose job it was to make it so.

I wonder if the canvassing board will ask about it when they are next presented a Mail Ballot Report that purports to be a reconciliation of the ballot totals.


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