DEC 12, 2016I was in Waukesha each and every day of the recount from 8 a.m. until Midnight from the first day through Friday, December 9, 2016. I was a primary observer each day. Waukesha County was 1) secretive 2) extremely reluctant to disseminate information 3) extremely disorganized 4) very partisan to the Republican Party 5) treated primary observers with inequity 6) had many tabulators who were extremely partial particularly against 3rd party candidate observers 7) and their Board of Canvassers were not consistent in their inspection and discussions as well determination of which votes counted or didn’t count with each team (6 different variations of teams) contradicting the other. They also did not follow state statutes several times. All of this I objected to. I personnally observed every questioned or reviewed ballot. A public records request should be filed. It is my opinion they would not pass a Wisconsin Audit of this election. Also, the Green Party observed election material removed from the secure area and taken into the main office. I have the following documents: 1) All of the Recount Report Sheets for each and every ward ward of Waukesha County. 2) The summary sheet for Waukesha County with vote totals for Trump and Clinton with + and – tallies. 3) A journal notebook of anecdotal notes of each day of the recount. 4) A list of all of the volunteers I procured to work shifts.
DEC 11, 2016Pete (Milw. attorney) and I observed the final reporting to the Board of Canvas from the clerk’s office. Pete made a request for the programming information for the computer that programs the voting machines and the corporate attorney has my number to get back to me with that inform.
DEC 10, 2016A canvass official stated in-session to others during a lull, “In Jefferson County they didn’t open the originals to compare them. I didn’t see them do it.” Another higher up canvass official also on record stated that, “Tabulators were ‘fresher’ during the recount than the night of the election…which is why” they found more of the write-ins [esp McMullin for ex] during the recount process. Also: my apologies, I used the forms I had downloaded as best I could, then used forms provided by a lead/point person Green observer, Greg later. I collected as much info as I could as accurately as possible. Around 5pm, the canvassers were going very quickly and not speaking loud enough (even from 3-4 ft away), but they may have been getting to wards where there were no changes/challenged ballots at that time? It appeared to be the case…
DEC 10, 20161)Bd of Canvassers voted to move bd table to a different room from where tabulations were being done.rn2)I observed the opening of ballot bags #s 11351,11354,11353,11352,11355 from City of Pewaukee Wards 1,2,3,4rn3)I observed the closing out of ballots from City of New Berlin Ward#2 – everything was accounted for and no objections.rn4)I also observed the closing out of City of Waukesha Ward #22 – the envelope with questionable / damaged ballots was opened by the B/C and after inspection it was agreed that the “voter intent could NOT be determined”.I apologize for not being able to report more but it was very difficult to hear and follow what was being said – I hope the Primary Observer who was allowed to stand closer was able to get more info. I do not have any photos/documents to upload.
DEC 09, 2016The process was moving very slow. Spent most the time observing the process.
DEC 09, 2016Things were going extremely slow.I did call the Madison office to report that it was going very slow on 12/2/16.
DEC 09, 2016[x] entered to zen desk Lisbon 1) Remakes out of 260 old 250 Ran out of ballots. 2) Did not have proper signature. 3) Did not want to open bags
DEC 09, 2016Some irregularities noted: Hartland District 14 – 52 absentee ballots were missing. Pollworker commented “I guess they’re in here somewhere” Issue was going to be brought up to the canvassing board.Fast vote tabulator machine from ESS which was brought in from another state was experiencing problems. While it counted ballots quickly, the time to print out a report for each batch was becoming progressively slower. The tech who was operating it (Damian) reported this to Waukesha County Election Captain and recommended trying to reboot it. This issue was then taken to the canvassing board. A discussion ensued and the decision was made by the Waukesha County Canvasser to reboot it. Before this could be done, however, a tech from the company operating the machine (Kyle from Milwaukee) advised that rebooting would not correct this as the reports were expected to take longer, as ballot totals increased. When I finished my shift, machine operator and county staff had gone to lunch and I am unsure of what, if anything, was done about this situation.My greatest concern of the day was in the seemingly arbitrary way that decisions were being made about which ballots were being accepted. Case in point:: A person counting votes asked a captain if he should count an absentee ballot that did not contain a signature. He was told that a decision was made by the Waukesha County Board the previous day (well into the recount week) to accept absentee ballots without signature. It is my understanding that these were not accepted during the election night counts. I asked if all counties were accepting these and was told that the decision was made on a county-by-county basis. This county-by- county basis seemed odd to me. If Waukesha County (the “reddest” county in the country) was accepting these ballots but Milwaukee or Dane Counties (blue) were not, this could make a signifcant difference in the vote totals. Similarly, the decision was made by canvassers to accept votes for president on write-in ballots on which there was no vice president selected or on which the presidential and vice presidential candidates did not match. I took my concerns to the Green Party leader who passed them on to the the attorney representing the Green Party. I also called the “Boiler Room” in Madison and relayed this information.There were many additional discrepancies with ballots – some that contained one or no initials, one in which the same number appeared on two ballots, absentee ballots that were previously accepted but were now being disqualified due to lack of zip code for address of witness, lack of street number, lack of signature of witness.Most recount workers were polite and answered questions when asked. A few were somewhat hostile and did not answer questions. One pair of women counting ballots conversed non-stop and turned over the ballots they had counted but forgot to write the total on the report and had to request the ballots and report back.I may return to observe again tomorrow if I am able to clear my work schedule.
DEC 09, 2016Are all wards with over votes being reported?ie Does the recount reporting system report each ward that has over-votes?I observed one ward in Waukesha County with 127 over-votes.I read one report on FB for one upstate ward with 85.The question is, is it worth over-vote in just 200 wards? I say yes, see below.I’m worried by the math associated with over-votes.And there are many wards with over-votes.When over-votes are detected, a random “draw down” takes place.Thus if a ward was stuffed with 100 ballots, at random 100 ballots will be drawn and discarded before votes are counted.Thus = If a ward had 1,400 ballots and only 1,300 certified voters, 100 ballots will be discarded.Math – A ward vote assumed to be 50%/50% = 700/700.BUT, should have been candidate ‘C’ 700 / candidate ‘D’ 600;”Random “draw down” would discard 50 votes for candidate ‘C’ and 50 for candidate ‘D’. (again assuming 50%/50%)Leaving ‘C’ with 650 and ‘D’ with 650, RATHER than 700 for ‘C’ & 600 for ‘D’.Remember ‘C’ should have had 700 and ‘D’ only 600 but now it’s 650/650 after the result of the prescribed “draw-down”..Possible end result in just 200 wards = ‘C’ loses 10,000 votes AND ‘D’ gains 10,000.A 20,000 VOTE SING.Thus a 20,000 vote swing is easy by not being vigilant.
DEC 09, 2016This is an addendum to an entry on Carol’s behalf on 12/8.Photos.
DEC 08, 2016Many absentee ballots not signed.
DEC 06, 2016Three primary problems observed:Poll lists are not being reconciled, except when the number of ballots exceeds the number of voters. Thus, they are playing favorites with some poll lists.Votes are not being rejected where the voter did not sign the poll list. They are finding very few of these because they are not doing poll list reconciliations.They are accepting absentee votes where the envelope was not witnessed. If the ballot originated with the city, per a slight difference in the voter’s name label, they are accepting these as “witnessed.”
DEC 06, 2016This is a report from the hotline in Madison. An observer called in to report that the municipality of Oconomowoc provided to the Waukesha recount many ballots without election officials’ initials on the ballots. The observer I spoke with had not noted the ward(s) in which this problem occurred, or whether it affected only absentee ballots, only regular ballots, or all ballots. I don’t know whether the observer objected. She asked a recount worker and was told that the Waukesha recount was following statutes on voter intent and counting the votes on the uninitialed ballots. Ideally, we would know the extent of this problem (uninitialled ballots), and whether election officials were failing to initial ballots in only one Oconomowoc reporting unit or many. Ideally, someone would investigate to determine the possibility of ballot substitution, though it would be truly inept fraud to fail so obviously to make the fraudulent ballots look like real ones.
DEC 05, 2016There is one machine on site where observers are not being allowed access to observe. All day there appears to be issues of resistance to accommodate the observers. They would like legal assistance. I did speak with — and she said that legal has reviewed this issue, and unfortunately it is legal as long as observers have been given access to the ballots prior to the machine count.
Susan, Waukesha County
See uploaded documents
Observers at the 2016 Waukesha county recount were asked to stand behind yellow tape that had been placed on the floor. This request made it impossible for observers to see presidential candidate votes on ballots. The rule forced people to stand too far away from the tabulators and the Waukesha Board of Canvassers to effectively hear relevant conversations. The distance also made it unrealistic for public observers to be able to follow the recount of the presidential votes because they could not see tge fine print on the ballots accurately if at all.
1. The county added (comparing to Sunday) restriction to the number of representatives. It is impossible to go to bathroom without signing out, and when I was back I was told no more representatives are allowed.
2. Tabulators have stopped answering questions. They did answer on Sunday, but stopped on Monday, referring to board of canvassers.
Sue, Waukesha County
Photos of tabulators at the 2016 presidential recount in Waukesha, WI counting New Berlin absentee ballots. Many of the New Berlin absentee ballots were processed incorrectly on the night of the 2016 election. There were at least 4 tables along the windows in the Waukesha recount room where tabulators were recounting the absentee ballots and finding numerous errors for various different reasons. These are close-up shots of some of the New Berlin Ward tabulators…
Sue, Waukesha County
These photos and videos show the high speed ESS DS850 machine being set up, used to count ballots, or discussed at the Waukesha County recount location on 12/05/16. It’s important to note that it was physically impossible to read any of the content (including presidential candidate votes) on any of the individual ballots when they were actively running through the DS850 machines. Furthermore, there was never an opportunity to view individual ballots prior to them being inserted into the DS850 machine. Rather, ballots were often stacked, placed face-down so presidential candidate votes weren’t visible, and/or moved too fast through the machine to be reasonably read by the human eye even when standing within 2 feet of the DS850. Conversations about how the DS850 machine specifically counts ballots (especially “over” and “under” votes) was particularly confusing. In my opinion more conversations and informative exchanges between the ESS company, the Waukesha Board of Canvassers, and other experts could be needed to clarify how the mechanics and data collection used by the DS850 could be impacting final ballot counts.
DEC 04, 2016I gave report to –. There wasn’t a lot of recounting going on, much lag time…Generally, I found Waukesha to be an inhospitable place to us. Other than that, I did experience ballots going in upside down. After questioning about it, the tabulator said “These machines are great, they read them either way” His fellow tabulator said “You’re not supposed to be seeing the ballots anyway, are you?” I answered that I believe I was, that this is a process for the public. This was the county to cut your teeth on…quite eye- opening. –, the clerk, and her team appeared quite disorganized, hostile at times, annoyed with us. There were many hours during which the tabulators were sitting, waiting. The machine I was at waited almost two hours to get its final count read. I am a beginner, coming from Illinois, but even so, I am feeling very suspicious about this place. Thank you to –, and the other wonderful observers I met.
DEC 04, 2016I observed for several hours on Sunday. Initially, we encountered a lot of hostility. I came with a group of 7 folks and as soon as the officials saw an influx of Democratic volunteers they made a stink about trying to limit the number of observers allowed in the recount area due to “space constraints”. This wasn’t challenged and argued vociferously against by the Green and Dem reps. and a compromise of 7 total observers on the floor for each candidate was made. After the initial chaos, counting proceeded (slowly but steadily). I did observe tabulators talking chummily with observers from the Trump campaign but they were much more reticent towards Stein and Clinton observers. I watched one full ward being counted by machine. The particular tabulator I watched was very good about allowing us to see the actual ballots while they were being fed through the machine. The final sticker tape counts were within 1 or 2 of the numbers for the candidates the Green observer and I recorded. I did not witness it but I heard reports that Trump observers touched ballots and that there was talk of continuing the count after observers left.
Susan, Waukesha County
WI Recount Election Observer Records for 12/04/16 from volunteers attached
Per the online schedule I signed up for, I arrived shortly before 2 p.m. for a 6 hour shift. It seems there had been alot of confusion in the morning and things were moving slowly. Once I divested myself of all the “no, no’s” (water, purse, pens, folder for my papers & note pads) and got into the room, I could not identify anyone with the Stein Campaign – yes, I did spot a guy with a green shirt under a brown sport coat but wasn’t allowed to go into that part of the room. Finally, a deputy said I could stay outside the red line and move closer to where the green shirt guy was. When I got his attention, he managed to get me into the room but was being asked questions by people at various tables; so I just stood between the yellow lines, as instructed and tried to figure out what was going on.
At some point, a lady came by & gave me a little rundown on what was going on with a couple of tables near me. She said she was leaving shortly and I could take her spot observing this one table. The green shirt guy came by with a clip board and asked if I could work Friday. He had 3 shifts to choose from and I signed up for the “midday” shift.
I tried to be more info on what was happening tonight but he was being paged by other observors. I observed two tablulators sorting absentee ballots from regular ballots for the Town of Delafield, Wards 7 & 8. Once they had that done, they noticed some of the absentee ballots had two sets of initials while some had only one. They asked a county clerk staff & she said to separate them; so they did. Then, they started counting the absentee ballots. One of the tabulators said there was supposed to be 235 – I asked how he knew that and he said that’s how many envelopes they had counted earlier in the day. Their ballot count cam to 231; so they counted again and found one absentee in the regular ballot stack, for a total of 232.
After re-counting again, one tabulator opened a brown envelop and found 2 more ballots for a total of 234. About that time, the Clerk or head Canvasser announced that everyone could take a break because the room had to be cleared. We could return at 5 p.m. and work until midnight. I had been standing for 2 1/2 hours and my feet and legs were killing me. I asked the green shirt guy if they needed me to stay until 8 pm – which is the shift I had signed up for – he said they needed everybody but if I couldn’t stay, he understood. I reminded him he had my phone # and could call me if they were running shorthanded. Page 1/2 I still don’t know his name and if he or the Head Observor is the person who is leading the Stein Team.
I will return for tomorrow’s 4-hr midday shift. I hope that I am helping somehow. Some tables/muncipalities had problems that had to be decided by the Board of Canvassers. There were people surrounding that table so I couldn’t hear what was going on. I tried to focus on the table I was observing. The regular ballots have not yet been counted and I’m afraid I’ll miss that procedure tonight. With best regards, Linda