Judd: no transparency and integrity in transcribed Barre ballots

To the editor:

I implore Barre citizens to call the Barre City Clerk to find out exactly what these technical difficulties were in Our March 1 Barre City Elections. Were there problems with a particular vote tabulator or tabulators used for Ward 2 paper ballots? 

Why were 133 Ward 2 paper ballots transcribed? 

It would have been faster to keep feeding the ballots into the vote tabulator and eventually have them be accepted after 1-3 rejections or count the 133 paper ballots by hand. They did not have to be transcribed. It would have been faster to hand count the paper ballots! 

Where are the original paper ballots that were transcribed to new paper ballots? Who was doing the transcribing? Were Cambel and Stockwell and Waszazak three of the people who transcribed these ballots, three supporters of Hemmerick?  

I do not believe Hemmerick won the race for Barre City Mayor! We need a complete re-vote of our election. Because of the transcribing of 133 Ward 2 ballots, a hand count of the paper ballots will not suffice. There is no transparency and integrity in transcribed ballots. Those 133 people lost the sanctity and privacy of their vote. We need to repeat last Tuesday’s election. 

Brian Judd, Barre City

Editor’s note: a Q & A between Judd and city officials is scheduled to be published in tomorrow’s edition. 

3 replies »

  1. They can only win by cheating. Morey should challenge, if he doesn’t, he was never serious about being mayor. As far as the cheaters go, we have a State House full of them as well as the White House. Installed communist/marxist, neo-fascist take over here and every where. God will prevail – until he does, the suffering will be beyond anything we have seen before. The Great Depression will look like the roaring 20’s in comparison to what these Demons have done to our Country and the fallout is just getting started.

  2. Hi Carol,

    I’m confused by the decision you or you and others made to Transcribe approximately 133 Ward 2 Paper Ballots. Unless I’m missing something, it would seem it would have taken Less time to count these paper ballots by hand then it would have to transcribe approximately 133 Ward 2 paper ballots first and then count these Paper Ballots through the Vote Tabulator(s). It just doesn’t make sense. I have several questions to ask you here in this email and I hope you will answer them if you can. Thank you.

    1) At what time Tuesday Night did you make the decision that you were gonna transcribe these approximately 133 Ward 2 paper ballots to new paper ballots and then feed them through the Vote Tabulator(s) ? I had teams of election workers scheduled in three shifts to process absentee ballots. The intention was to have each shift handle one ward’s worth of ballots. The first shift successfully got through the ward 1 ballots, but the second shift had problems with the ward 2 ballots, as I mentioned in my previous email. When we moved into the third shift (approximately 3PM) and it became apparent that we were falling behind, I made the decision to move to transferring the ballots, and had the absentee ballot team move on to the ward 3 ballots.

    2) Was this your decision alone ? Did you contact any sitting Barre City Councilors and or our sitting Mayor at the time before making your decision ? Did you contact Director of Elections Will Sennings or anyone else at the Secretary of State’s office before or after your decision to transcribe the approximately 133 Ward 2 Paper Ballots ? As the presiding officer (17 VSA sec. 2452), I made the decision myself. I didn’t contact any members of the Council, or anyone at the Secretary of State’s office.

    3) Currently, where are the original approximately 133 Ward 2 Paper Ballots that you transcribed ? As per the Elections Procedures, they have been placed in a “replaced ballots” envelope and sealed in a ballot bag. That bag is stored under lock and key with all the other ballots in the election storage room in City Hall (see #14 & #15 below).

    4) How were the approximately 133 Ward 2 Paper Ballots divided up to be transcribed ? There was no system to the division – each team took a stack of the ballots, and continued to take stacks of ballots until all were transferred.Brian: So 3 teams of 2 people transcribed all the Ward 2 Ballots until process was complete ? Correct.

    5) Once you made your decision either by yourself or with others input, who was made aware that this was going to take place ? Were all the sitting City Councilors at that time made aware of this ? The election workers and BCA members working at the polls were aware of my decision. As I mentioned above, I was not in contact with the Council.Brian: waszazk was one of the people transcribing ballots so you were in contact with sitting City Council members correct ? I was in contact with BCA members and non-BCA people who were working at the polls, including Teddy Waszazak and Lucas Herring. They were not there in their capacities as Councilors, but as Board of Civil Authority members.

    6) Was the sitting Mayor made aware of this ? Lucas Herring was working at the polls that day, and was aware of my decision.

    7) Once the decision was made to transcribe the approximate 133 Ward 2 Paper Ballots at what time did the transcribing begin ? Were there teams of 2 ? One to read off the selections of the original ballot and one to transcribe the selections of the original ballot to the new ballot ? Who were these people who participated in this process ? There were a few ballots that needed transferring earlier in the day, but the process began in earnest at approximately 3:00 PM. There were three teams of two, with the members of the teams changing as needed to complete the task, based on election worker shifts. The process is laid out in the Tabulator Guide, which calls for one person to read off the votes while the other person marks the ballot. The pair then reviews the votes to ensure accuracy. Upon completion they sign the ballot that was transferred from and place it in a “replaced ballot” envelope. Those participating in the transfers throughout the day were BCA members Lucas Herring, Teddy Waszazak, Patti Bisson, Amanda Gustin, Tess Taylor, Peter Anthony, and non-BCA election worker Herb Hatch.Brian: so is it legal in the State of Vermont and or Washington County and or Barre City for someone like Herb Hatch who is Non BCA to participate in this process ? The process as laid out in 17 VSA sec. 2493 calls for “two election officials”. Mr. Hatch was one of 21 non-BCA people who were sworn in as election officials that day.

    8) Approximately how much time did it take to transcribe the approximately 133 Ward 2 Paper Ballots ? As mentioned in #7 above, there were a few ballots that needed transferring earlier in the day – sometime after the polls opened at 7AM – with the bulk of the transferring happening after 3PM and finishing at about 7:20 PM.Brian: So it took at least 4 Hours and 20 minutes to finish this process ? Approximately.

    9) Approximately how much time did it take to count the approximately 133 Ward 2 Transcribed Paper Ballots using the Vote Tabulator(s) ? It takes 2-3 seconds per ballot to feed them into the tabulators, so the total time would have been approximately 5-8 minutes.

    10) How many times were the approximately 133 Ward 2 Transcribed Paper Ballots rejected by the Vote Tabulator(s) ? To my knowledge, none of the transcribed (transferred) ballots were rejected by the tabulators. The ballots that required transfer were rejected many times – I don’t know exactly how many times each of the ballots was rejected. We worked on them for quite a while (3-4 hours +/-) attempting to flatten them out enough to be read by the tabulator, but were unsuccessful.Brian: So, is the 3-4 hours trying to flatten out Original Mail In Paper Ballots of Ward 2 part of the 4 Hours and 20 Minutes it took to transcribe and feed new ballots into Vote Tabulator or is it in addition to this time period ? There was some overlap – perhaps an hour or so.

    11) Were there any people overseeing the people who were transcribing the approximately 133 Ward 2 Original Paper Ballots ? If so, who were they ? There was nobody specifically overseeing each team while they transferred the ballots. I made trips around the room to check up on the teams to see how they were doing. They were conducting their work in plain view of everybody in the auditorium.Brian: Under the VT Vote Tabulator Guide and or State and or County and or Barre City Laws is it permitted for transcribing of ballots without any overseeing of each team ? The process as laid out in the Tabulator Guide references two election officials. There is no reference in the guide, state statute, or Barre City charter or ordinance that requires additional oversight beyond what it called for in the guide. I’m not familiar with any Vermont County laws related to elections.

    12) At what time on Tuesday Night, March 1, 2022 was the process of transcribing the approximately 133 Ward 2 Original Paper Ballots and the counting of the New approximately 133 Ward 2 Paper Ballots using the Vote Tabulator(s) completed ? The transferring was completed about 7:20 PM. Ballots were fed into the tabulators in batches as they were transferred, so all ballots were counted by the tabulators by approximately 7:25 PM.

    13) Once the approximately Original 133 Ward 2 Paper Ballots were transcribed to new paper ballots and then these newly transcribed approximately 133 Ward 2 Ballots were counted by the Vote Tabulator(s) what was done next ? The election was closed on the ward 1 and ward 3 tabulators. As I wrote in a previous email, the ward 2 tabulator would not close the election, and after consulting tech support, I moved the memory card from that machine to another machine. After confirming the number of ballots recorded on the memory card, I closed the election for ward 2 and printed that tabulator tape. Once all the tabulator tapes were generated, the unofficial results were posted. The BCA members then reviewed all the ballots and tallied the write-in votes and sealed the ballots in ballot bags for storage.Brian: Who was the Tech Support you consulted ? Election on Ward 2 was closed at 7:20 pm ? Have the memory cards been erased ? I called LHS Associates, and spoke with whomever was on call at the time. The Ward 2 election closed following the transfer of the memory card to a different tabulator – I would estimate the closing time to be approximately 7:35 PM. The memory cards have been returned to LHS.

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