Category Archives: Vicky Nguyen Journalist/Reporter
San Mateo County Sheriff Deputy Heinz Puschendorf will be filing for a RECOUNT of all the ballots for Measure W in the November 6, 2018 election.
San Carlos Councilman Mark Olbert was the first Elected official to call for a complete Audit of the Elections Office.
Mark Simon the self proclaimed “genesis” of Measure W and a personal friend of Kevin Mullin and now a contributor for the Climate RWC stated clearly 271,704 was the number of ballots received by the absolute deadline.
Tonight the number has grown to 286,247.
Did Measure W pass using the 271,704 ballots.
It looks like Heinz Puschendorf is going to find out, a recount was going to happen no matter who won, I think this will be a much more transparent process for the average taxpayer who might have just got obligated with the Supervisors and SamTrans using $650,000 of taxpayer money against the taxpayers to pass Measure W.
Next step recount
By Michael G. Stogner
We’ve become people who stand in front of a microwave oven, muttering, “Hurry up.”
Not an ideal mindset for an electoral process that requires patience.
Patience. What a concept. It comes in handy when you’re waiting in traffic or standing in line at Disneyland or, say, counting ballots.
Such as counting ballots in San Mateo County’s November 6 election, which is taking much longer than some people seem to think it should.
In a world of instant gratification, elections often are neither instant nor gratifying, although often not for the same reasons.
And for the sake of the permanent record, I want to state unequivocally that they should take their time and make sure to count all the ballots, even if it means waiting for the final outcome.
Yes, we’re used to election results on election night, but it’s not like that. Not this time. Not anymore.
COUNTING THE REASONS: There are a number of reasons why the count for this election is taking a while, most of them valid, some of them worthy of further question.
First, a lot of people voted in this election. As of 10 p.m. last Friday, the absolute deadline, a total of 271,704 ballots had been received by the county Elections office.
That’s a voter turnout of nearly 68 percent, higher than the 65 percent projection from Elections officials. That’s more than 20 points higher than the turnout in 2014, the last gubernatorial election. That’s higher than the 65.3 percent turnout in 2010, when 226,000 voters cast ballots.
That’s also more than 20 points higher than the statewide turnout. When all the votes are counted, San Mateo County will be among the highest-turnout counties in the state, and among the top five highest in urban counties.
As of yesterday’s 4:30 p.m. update, Elections staff already had counted 144,000, nearly as many as the total number of votes cast in 2014 – and they still have another 127,000 ballots to count.
In other words, there was a huge turnout. The more ballots, the longer it takes to count them.
We are used to knowing the results right away. And why not? The run-up to the election took months of ads and mail pieces and all kinds of conversations. Why should we have to wait to know what happened?
And the answer is that this isn’t sports – we don’t always know the outcome the instant the clock runs out. To quote Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
And there’s another reason – it’s not just a huge turnout, but many of the local races are close.
Back in the days of all-machine voting, under the most normal of circumstances, some of these races were so close that we didn’t know the outcome until the end of November.
And these are hardly the most normal of circumstances.
AND BY THE WAY, WE DON’T DO THAT ANYMORE: The county has been shifting steadily away from voting by machine to voting by mail, or what used to be called absentee voting.
Then, we switched to this election’s all-mail balloting experiment.
Far from a great leap forward technologically, in reality, we went to a technology that more closely resembles voting in the 19th century, when voters made a mark on a paper ballot and stuffed it in a box.
In other words, we went from voting by machine to voting by hand.
When we voted at our local fire station, we slid our ballot into the machine and it was counted – right there, on the spot. We signed a book and no one checked the signature to make sure we were us. At the end of the evening, someone hit a button and the totals were instantly available.
Now, we vote by hand in our homes, sign and seal the envelope and deliver it, by mail or in person, to the Elections officials and we can mail it on Election Day.
Then, the mail has to be delivered, and someone has to open the envelope, cross-check the signature, and then manually slip the ballot into a machine that counts it.
It’s not quite that laborious – a lot of it is done by machines and scanners. But someone has to do the work we all used to do ourselves when we went to our precinct voting place.
It takes time to do it right.
THE BIG TRADE-OFF: The trade-off is more and better voting.
The evidence is plain, a huge number of voters turned out this year in the June and November elections. By any measure, that’s more voting and the assumption in elections is that more is better. Period.
Better voting comes in the form of a better-informed electorate.
Even with the shortened window of time during which the ballots were available in this election, voters had time to go over the ballot, research the often-confusing measures, find out a little more about the candidates and make deliberate, unhurried decisions.
If the cost is that it takes longer to tally all the ballots, it’s a trade-off worth making.
WE CAN DO BETTER: Still, there are some lingering questions about whether the San Mateo County Elections Department was prepared for the onslaught of ballots.
Interestingly, on the Peninsula TV election night show, Chief Elections Deputy Jim Irizarry brought some slides for his interview and one of them shows staffing levels in the Elections offices of the nine Bay Area counties.
San Mateo County is eighth, ahead only of Solano County.
There has been a lot of turnover in the Elections Department. Let’s be generous and assume it has been due to retirements.
I know from talking to people who have worked in the department that it takes two or three election cycles before a newcomer really has a handle on how it all works.
I don’t know if Elections Chief Mark Church failed to make a pitch to the Board of Supervisors, which includes his predecessor, Warren Slocum, for more funding for the Elections Department.
I don’t know if the Board failed to fund the department sufficiently, either at Church’s request or on its own initiative.
And I don’t care.
Moving forward, the department can do better and it needs to have adequate funds to hire the right number of people and to bring on board people with a level of experience that our elections system demands.
Contact Mark Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of San Mateo County Elections Division
*The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Climate Online.
SamTrans, Fraud, Retaliation against Whistleblower Accountants, Mark Simon, Al Serrato, Steve Wagstaffe, Abuse of Authority, Corruption, Conflict of Interest, Service League, Carole Groom, Hanson Bridgett LLP, Lies.
These are just a few of the topics and names I think about when I think of SamTrans.
SamTrans spent $300,000 of Taxpayer money for “Education” Measure W 2018. I think Jim Hartnett and the Board should pay that back. The public never asked to be educated. Same goes for the Supervisors who spent $350,000 of Taxpayers money.
Yes on W San Mateo County Neighbors for Congestion Relief raised $882,369.74 through 10/20/2018. That is all private funding and that is fine.
The No on W raised about $5,700. The measure is failing at this moment.
Update 11/9/2018 Without knowing how many ballots were mailed it is impossible to have confidence in this election. As of 9:00AM there are at least 146, 378 ballots to be tallied.
The elections office has just posted it’s official update at 4:30PM today. Mark Church is still refusing to say how many ballots were mailed out. He is only saying that he has received 215,480 and counted/tallied only 111,637 that leaves 103,843 ballots remaining to be tallied.
Total Yes Votes 69,132 = 65.65%
Total No Votes 36,173 = 34.35%
The Yes on Measure W Campaign with total reported funding of $1,500,000 of that $650,000 of Taxpayer money used against the Taxpayers.
The No on Measure W Campaign with a reported total funding of $5,700
Thank You to Jack Hickey for warning the public.
The Elections Office should be Audited.
By Michael G. Stogner
You would think Judges, and Sheriff Deputies would know the law. Why would Judges care that the public is outside in a public area. This is just one of the reasons I support videos of all court cases. Why would the SCC Sheriff Deputies even go out and communicate to Vicky Nguyen a very well known and respected Journalist/Reporter.
The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
What is the name of the person who contacted the SCCSO? That is a story.