Thursday, August 02, 2012

Stanart chokes again

As of 9:15 p.m.(Election Night), Harris County still had not posted any voting data from Election Day on its website; only early voting data was available.

Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart said the delay appears to be due to technical problems in relaying the data via phone lines from Reliant Park, the drop-off location for all Election Day data, and the clerk’s election hub in downtown Houston.

“It’s a connectivity issue between here and Reliant,” Stanart said. “We’re trying different phone lines. Apparently Reliant gave us some garbage phone lines out there. That’s what it looks like right now.”

Stanart said, at this point, he’s not sure of the specific problem or who in particular is to blame. ...

Reliant never gave anyone garbage phone lines when Beverly Kaufman was the county clerk. Besides, I thought AT&T was in the phone line business, not Reliant. The morning -- or maybe afternoon -- after...

Stanart blamed delays in posting results on a Reliant Park contractor, saying his office had been given "garbage" phone lines over which to securely transfer voting data downtown.
He said the equipment had been tested, but the Reliant phone lines had not because they were not activated until Tuesday.

Reliant's phone line contractor got it wrong, then. At least that's not as cheesy as blaming the Democrats, as Stanart did in May after the primary election. 'Garbage phone lines', however, doesn't resolve the confusion in the Precinct 2 contest.

The discovery of an error in which some votes were counted twice appears to have changed the result of the Harris County Precinct 2 constable’s race.

County Clerk Stan Stanart said this afternoon he will know more detail about what happened, but said an updated report that went online at 10:12 p.m. displayed incorrect vote tallies for Democratic candidates. One batch of precinct data appears to have been counted twice, he said, while stressing that the final tallies posted at 12:43 a.m. are correct. 

So now we have computers tabulating votes that can count them twice. And the King Street Patriots are worried that Mickey Mouse or the Dallas Cowboys might try to vote.

“When we merged the databases there was an error that was not caught by my people and was not caught by the election judge. We ended up with a double count of one of the databases,” Stanart said, adding he has met with (Precinct 2 Constable candidate Zerick) Guinn and assured him they’ll have a meeting to go over the situation in more detail.


Guinn said Stanart had no answer when he asked why the number of total votes in the race appeared to drop by 478 between 10:12 p.m. and 12:43 a.m. while his person vote total dropped by 634 votes. 

More on this clusterf:

Stanart said he saw problems in a not-yet-published report of GOP results shortly before midnight, and began running both parties' results from scratch. Stanart said he initially thought the problem was isolated to the report he had just run on the computer he was using, and, thus, did not pull the faulty numbers off the county website and did not inform Democrats because their numbers were being generated by a different computer.

By late Wednesday, Stanart said, he had learned both parties' results online from 10:12 p.m. until at least 12:43 a.m., were wrong, though he stressed only the outcome of Guinn's race had changed.

Do you believe him?

"The Republican Party keeps screaming about voter fraud, but it seems the mistakes, year after year, are happening in the tax assessor's office and the county clerk's office," (HCDP chair Lane) Lewis said.

Stanart and tax assessor Don Sumners, whose office botched the boundaries for the department of education primary, are Republicans. Sumners maintains the department was required to notify him of the boundary changes; the department disagrees.

Stanart said voters should have faith in his office, adding he is going to develop software to verify that the numbers coming from the counting machine and the reporting machine match.

"Election night reporting is just a small portion of the process that goes into ensuring the integrity of the final count," Stanart said. "I understand the importance of having an accurate count for the public. This will never happen again."

Do you believe Stanart? If so, I've got some teabags to sell you. They're only a little rotten around the edges. And to the core.

My friend Keir Murray, FTW.

"You're talking about an election with essentially nobody voting," said political consultant Keir Murray. "If they can't handle this, what's going to happen when we have 1.2 million people voting in November?"

No comments: