The state mandated retabulation of results from the March 18, 2014, General Primary Election will occur Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at 9:00 AM in the Champaign County Election Supply Building, 202 South Art Bartell Road, Urbana, Illinois. The retabulation will be open to candidates, the press, representatives of political parties, and the public.
In past years this process has found no serious issues, but this will not be the case tomorrow. Examination of the Unofficial Results reported on Election Night revealed implausible results for five positions on Democratic ballots: State Central Committeeman (13th & 15th Congressional Districts), State Central Committeewoman (same districts), and Precinct Committeeperson (all precincts). It is now acknowledged that these implausible results are indeed incorrect. The errors were not detected during the routine tabulation process on election night. They will not be detected tomorrow during the initial phase of the retabulation procedure. Only when we attempt to reconcile the reported results with the actual paper ballots from selected precincts (see below) will we “discover” the discrepancies. The fault is so pervasive that it affects election results throughout Champaign County.
The County Clerk explains that the errors are the result of a synchronization failure between the layout of the paper ballots and their electronic counterparts in the tabulators. This caused the tabulators to associate some votes/undervotes with the wrong candidates/races in many precincts. This was not the fault of the voters, the election judges, the tabulating equipment, or the state-certified software which aggregates and reports the votes. The invalid results are entirely due to the failure of Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten to properly synchronize the paper ballots with their tabulator ballot descriptions.
To correct these unofficial results before they are certified, the Clerk proposes to correctly synchronize every tabulator with the ballots it processed, and then use those machines to recount all Democratic Ballots in Champaign County. I concur with this procedure. He has also agreed to employ a more comprehensive system pre-test for the November, 2014 election. That test, used in the past but discontinued as a cost-saving measure, would have detected this fault before election day.
This unprecedented county-wide retabulation will commence tomorrow afternoon at the Election Supply Building, and will continue from 8 – 11:30 AM and 12:30 – 4:30 PM each workday until the job is completed. I or my representative will be present with our election judges, and I invite any interested Democrat in Champaign County to drop by and observe the procedure. We will proceed in alphabetical township-precinct order, and I would expect “City of Champaign Township” and perhaps “Cunningham Township” (City of Urbana) to be reached sometime Wednesday.
For those who wish to attend tomorrow’s official re-tabulation, the precincts and machines randomly selected by the Illinois State Board of Elections are: Champaign 5, City of Champaign 19, City of Champaign 29, Kerr, Ludlow 1, Rantoul 6, and Voting Machine #1 at the Brookens Early Voting Center. Use East Main Street to Art Bartell Road, turn South, park behind the METCAD building, enter the Election Supply Building from the north door.
The Champaign County Democrats intend to slate a candidate for County Clerk in May for the November general election. If you wish to be considered, or if you know someone who should be considered, contact me or any local Democratic official, or write Info@ChampaignCountyDemocrats.org.
Alvin G Klein