Opinion » Shredder

Hanging chads redux?

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The good news is the vote count continues in the SLO County election. The bad news is the vote count continues in the SLO County election. I guess it's one of those "best of times; worst of times" deals.

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As of June 17, the percentage of registered voters who bothered to vote was up to 35 percent, but there were still 24,000 or so ballots to count, which might get us up to a disrespectable 48 percent turnout. Ah, American voting apathy. Ain't we grand?

So what's taking so long? Mail-in ballots for starters. Only 2,366 SLO County citizens actually went to a polling station and filled out a ballot on-site. Apparently, most conservatives accept mail-in voting as legit, eh?

Some of you waited until Election Day to drop off your mail-in ballot. Each mail-in has the signature confirmed before opening. Each ballot is two double-sided-sheets-long, which needs to be fed into the evil, untrustworthy, and easily hackable Dominion voting machine that the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recently reiterated has never been exploited even in 2020, and some of you jokers used a black Sharpie to fill in the bubble, which bled through to the other side and now requires a double check. Sigh.

Then there's California's 1 Percent Manual Tally rule, which "is the public process of manually tallying votes in 1 percent of the precincts, selected at random by the elections officials, and in one precinct for each race not included in the randomly selected precincts. This procedure is conducted during the official canvass to verify the accuracy of the automated count."

Depending on your faith in government, this all makes perfect reassuring sense. It means county Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano is thorough. On the other hand, if you have a tinfoil hat under your red MAGA hat, you no doubt see conspiracy afoot.

Take, for instance, a public commenter named Nancy, who had a few nits to pick at the June 21 SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting. She's worked at polling places in Kern County and here, and like all poll workers, she was required to take a class beforehand. But wait a cotton-picking minute! The required class—this time—was taught by Cano, who's on the ballot to retain her position!

"She had a captive audience for about two and a half hours of several dozen people, and it did not seem right," Nancy huffed.

Hm. Well, she is the clerk-recorder. Would you have been happier if it was taught by a subordinate? Was she explaining the responsibilities of overseeing a polling precinct or did she give a long speech on why she should be elected? Also, is tinfoil itchy?

"It was a captive audience, definitely," Nancy reiterated.

Really? You literally couldn't get up and leave? Were you cuffed? Chained? Zip-tied? Oh wait! As you noted, to be a poll worker, you're "required" to take a class, and you wanted to be a poll worker more than you wanted register your outrage at the impropriety of the clerk-recorder—who's in charge of elections—giving a class on how to run a polling station. Why again? Was it because you were positive something shady was going to happen?

"I heard on the radio yesterday that Monterey County is twice as big as SLO County and had their votes counted in four days," Nancy said, positively sure that she was having a Perry Mason moment that proved Cano is up to no good. "Most believe this is a planned strategy, and it is not an accident."

"Most" believe? Maybe among your tRump knitting circle, Nancy, but I think we're going to need a hand count on your assertion that "most" people think Cano has a planned strategy to stretch out delivering election results. Also, Monterey County posted its updated semi-final election results on June 17, when it was done counting the ballots from the 64,000 or so people who voted in its primary. So, it sure looks like our neighbor is on the same timeline as we are.

Our friendly neighborhood gerrymandering mapmaker Richard Patten also got up to offer his two cents: "I've been observing the 1 percent tally of the batches counted in our county ... by my calculations, we're not doing a 1 percent tally. We're doing a half a percent tally."

Um, Richard, not all the votes have been counted yet. I don't want to sound reasonable or explain how math works, but how about we all wait until Cano has finished her count and certified the local election before we argue it's inaccurate? I mean, what if your candidate wins? Still want that hand count?

"I'm sure you're all aware the capability of the Dominion machine has the ability of fractionalizing whole number ballots and distributing the decimal point to whichever candidate has requested it," Patten continued. "That has to stop."

Please raise your hand if you're a candidate who requested the distribution of the decimal point of the fractionalized whole number ballot ... or if you have any idea what Gerrymanderin' Patten is talking about.

Several more people got up to demand a hand count, express their distrust of Dominion, or complain that we don't require Voter ID, which is why I'm investing in tinfoil stocks. The stuff must be flying off the shelves. Δ

The Shredder is not amused. Send home remedies to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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