Ballot tampering? Who, me?
With any luck, there will be some real results tonight to turn national tension into relief or disappointment. In the meantime, tension is in the news with video of a malfunctioning voting machine in Pennsylvania turning an Obama vote into Romney one, and fallout from an investigation in Oregon of an election worker for altering ballots in Romney's favor.
MSNBC reported that two NBC reporters managed to track down the voter in Pennsylvania who had problems with the machine. He told reporters that he eventually found a way to cast his vote, but he said that, as a professional software developer, he was appalled that the machine had been put into service in such poor shape. The network also reported that the Romney campaign had raised concerns about voting machines functioning improperly.
Here’s the video he shot:
The Oregon worker under suspicion tearfully told Willamette Week that she had only altered two ballots, which were made into straight Republican tickets. She has worked as a temp off and on since 2000.
State vote squabbling
And then there’s our mellow (sure) state, where the tension will really rise if the governor’s race turns out to be as close as predicted. The Herald in Everett reported both parties have been watching closely during the processing of votes.
State Republicans’ efforts to turn out the vote for Rob McKenna and collect ballots prompted a midday letter to both parties from Secretary of State Sam Reed, demanding that they provide detailed information about all votes they collect. We were going to call McKenna campaign manager Randy Pepple for comment, but decided not to aggravate his tension after reading the comment he made to The Seattle Times: “This is just tactics by the Democratic Party to waste my time to distract from the fact their candidate’s going to lose.”
Umm, Reed is Republican. Breathe, Randy.
And then there's a Seattle Police Department investigation into an overnight break-in at the state Democratic Party headquarters. The initial police statement doesn't give much indication of anything serious but says Burglary Theft detectives responded and it is "unknown what was taken."
Since you're reading this on Crosscut, the odds are astronomical that you have already voted; a survey showed that 99 percent of our readers are registered voters and some very small percentage – I forget the number — miss elections. But just in case, you can still get ballots postmarked today and King County has a map of ballot drop-off boxes and vans (its own, not partisan ones) here.
Score one for Bellevue College
After a lengthy search (two searches, actually, one a failure), Bellevue College has finally managed to land a new president: David Rule, the current president of Portland Community College's Rock Creek Campus. Trustees at Bellevue, which serves more community college students than any other institution in the state, sounded genuinely excited about Rule in a Seattle Times' story. The chair of the board of trustees, Paul Chiles, said, "We spent some time on Dr. Rule's campus and we were really blown away by some of the initiatives he's put together." Rule has a tough act to follow; Jean Floten, a legendarily effective leader, left in the summer of 2011 to start the Washington branch of the Western Governors University.
No recall of school board member
A judge has tossed an effort to recall Seattle School Board member Sherry Carr, The Times reported this afternoon. The King County Superior Court judge, Palmer Robinson, said that there was nothing that met the criteria for recall in Carr’s actions in voting related to the plans for establishing “creative approach schools.” The plans for the schools include exemptions from some district and union rules.
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