The recount was reconvened at 9:05. There were four table set up with a total of 11 tabulators present. Two tables were cutting the paper rolls into individual ballots, one table was reconciling the poll lists and one was counting absentee ballots. At 9:25, I discussed my concern about the Sand County Township DRE that misrecorded my son’s and daughter-in-law’s votes for president (here’s an e-mail he sent to the Hillary for America recount: “My wife (Anna Pearson) and myself, (Seth Pearson) live in Sand Lake Township in Burnett County WI. My wife voted at approximately 7:30 am. When she voted for the President she pushed on Hillary Clinton’s name. When she did this she noticed that it highlighted Donald Trump. She pushed on Hillary Clinton again and it switched off of Donald Trump. When she got to work she informed me of what happened so I was aware.
When I voted at 4:15 pm I chose Hillary Clinton as my presidential candidate. When I got to the last screen, which summarizes the votes, I noticed that it said that I voted for Donald Trump. I had to click back a few times and do it all over. This time when I pushed on Hillary Clinton and got to the end it was correct.
I thought it was odd that both of us had similar experiences.”
After much discussion among the Board, it was decided that I could look at (but not touch – one of the tabulators paged through for me) all of the Sand Lake Township ballots from the paper roll to look for unusual evidence of vote-splitting that might indicate a mistaken vote for Trump. There ended up being 11 Trump/Feingold splits and 14 Trump/Hoeft splits out of 185 ballots. Looking back at the election night results, I saw that Trump won by 157 to 118 over Clinton while Duffy and Hoeft were neck and neck at 136 and 135 respectively. It was hard to conceive of anyone voting for Hoeft and Trump together as apparently 21 people did overall (this count included the absentee ballots). It also surprised me that Trump won by such a large margin in a township where a large number of the voters were Native American (a part of the St. Croix Band of Ojibwa reservation is in that township) who had historically voted pretty heavily Democratic.
At 11:10, it was announced that Wanda Hinrich, the County Clerk and member of the Board of Canvass, went home ill. She was replaced by one of the tabulators, Romey Nelson.
At 11:50, Melissa Malen, a Green Party observer from St. Paul, arrived.
At 12:00, they broke for lunch, returning at 12:30. At the conclusion of my shift, they still didn’t have any final recount results from the remaining towns and villages. I’m assuming that Melissa Malen got those results.
I was informed by the local Democratic Party chair, who was there til the end yesterday, that they finished the vote counting yesterday, but she hadn’t seen the final totals.
Rusk Township had lots of incidents of stuck voting machines paper. Votes being tallied from a digital report of some kind. Wondering if volunteers are trained to do this accurately? Do these count?
People have complained that lots of split tickets (Trump president and a Democrat for another seat) occurred as a mistake in the vote machine. Observers are sitting in a roped off area, not next to work tables. Township votes packets and reconcile forms are lined up against a wall. All employees are working. Hand counting is happening in view but we cannot sit close enough to see the ballots and writing on the ballots.
On 12/2, they once again convened at 9 a.m. This time, all the tabulators were present as well as the 3 members of the Board of Canvass. Tabulators were shown how to cut the DRE paper rolls. None of the DRE machines were present, but the rolls from each township and village were in their respective bags. Tabulators were told to save everything, even blank portions of the paper rolls – “Nothing gets thrown away.” There were four tables set up, two for cutting paper rolls, one for reconciling poll lists and one for counting absentee ballots. As a result, they utilized a “division of labor” approach rather than doing all facets of each township at one time. Ballots were counted and sorted in groups of 25. All workers seemed to be busy most of the time, but there was some wasted effort until they sorted out tasks and became more efficient. By the time I left at noon (prior obligation), they seemed to be working quite efficiently. I touched base with the Democratic party volunteer at the end of the day; she said they’d completely finished five townships. There were no irregularities observed, though some of the paper rolls were quite mangled – apparently the scrolling function on the printer portion of many machines was less than adequate.
The date box won’t allow me to put multiple dates. I observed on 12/1, 12/2 and 12/5. The times for each day are listed above. On 12/1, the Board of Canvass convened and then immediately recessed because they didn’t have ballots from all the municipalities yet.