Well, thankfully, it looks like things are (so far) going not-to-suckily in the four states holding their primaries today. Sadly, it may be days or weeks before we become aware of anything wrong. Likewise, here in LA county we've only now discovered that 12,000 independent voters who failed to indicate which party we were going to vote for *on top* of which candidate, will not have their votes counted.

The above screencap comes from a post from today at BradBlog.com (here: http://www.bradblog.com/ ) that reports: "As we wait for the next round of thousands of disenfranchised voters to emerge from OH, TX, VT, RI or beyond, Los Angeles County has finally finished counting its infamously disastrous "Double Bubble" ballots from the Feb. 5th Super Tuesday Primary in California.

The final numbers, in just in time to meet today's local certification deadline, are supposed to hearten us because the county Registrar's office chose to only not count some 12,000 valid, legally cast votes in the state's open Democratic Primary."

See, the ballot was designed so that certain circles were reused for different parties' candidates. So, in my case, I checked off the circle for Obama, right? If I were to pull that ballot out and slide it into the American Independent ballot "machine" I'd see it already filled in for one of their guys.

(I don't vote for American Independent party candidates because I'm independent, not American Independent.)

ANYway, so in order for ballot machines to tell the difference between a vote for Obama in the Democrats and a vote for Mr. Nochanceofwinning in the AI party, the machines must check to see which circle I filled in for which party I voted for. Only then does it know whether circle #8 filled in means Mr. Obama or Mr. Icecubeschance.

Yep, for some reason the ballot, with all those damn circles on it (there were easily more than fifty or sixty and too many to really estimate beyond that), they just HAD to make candidates share circles on independent voter ballots.

This is clearly a case of intentionally treating indy voters as 2nd class citizens. If it wasn't 100% intentional, it was 100% incompetence, then.

Either way, I have no way of knowing if my vote was counted. I could very well be one of those 12,000 people. So, in a sense, there are a lot more than 12,000 of us who have been alienated from the system because not a single indy voter who *may* have missed that first circle can know for sure if their vote was counted.

If you missed it, you can see just why it was so easy to miss that first ballot in a video of me not filling in the circle where I should have here:


What's worse is that vote tallies are all over the place, according to the BradBlog post:

"Unfortunately, unlike all the other results from L.A. County [PDF], the "supplemental" tallies are posted only by Congressional District, not by precinct, so the specific numbers of ballots which were thrown away wholesale, are impossible to see.

Where the final "supplemental" totals (Clinton 51%, Obama 42%) are reportedly in line-ish with all of the previously reported results for the entire county (Clinton 55%, Obama 41%), various Congressional District results from the "supplemental count" are way of proportion from that.

For example, while some of the CD results are in line with the overall totals, most are proportionally out of whack. Here's just a few to give you an idea...

29th CD: Clinton 59%, Obama 24%

31th CD: Clinton 68%, Obama 26%

34th CD: Clinton 61%, Obama 31%

35th CD: Clinton 27%, Obama 67%

36th CD: Clinton 62%, Obama 31%

Of course, there could be perfectly legitimate reason for such imbalanced numbers, in an otherwise close over-all election. The more likely reason, however, for the imbalance is that Logan chose to simply toss out votes for any candidate listed on the #8 to #10 bubbles in most precincts (if there were any Non-Partisan voters who chose to vote in the American Independent Primary in that precinct, since that party was assigned the same bubbles for their own candidates), while choosing to count the votes for any Democratic candidate who happened to have the good luck of being assigned the #11 to #15 bubble on the ballot."

So, even the numbers representing the ballots that were counted seem to be inconsistent. Lovely system we've got here.

I'm glad I'm moving. Of course, New York has had it's problems too (http://www.bradblog.com/ ).
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