What went down in the basement of Burbank City Hall on the night of the Municipal General Election, Tuesday, April 12, 2011? Inquiring minds want to know. The recount request for the City Council race in that election has B-town buzzing and even folks in Sacramento talking, Oh, City Hall officials are apparently worried about something and are trying to sink the recount at every turn.
Here’s the latest on the election recount drama. The recount request was filed jointly by Burbank resident George Marciniw and the election watchdog group, Protect California Ballots , on Wednesday, April 20. That night, the first media report about the recount appeared on this blog. The next morning, Marciniw suddenly got cold feet and not only wanted to withdraw his name, but axe the entire recount request.
Retired UCLA Professor and founder of Protect California Ballots, Judy Alters, picks up the rest of the drama, in this Q and A.
1. What happened to George Marciniw?
ON THURSDAY MORNING HE CALLED ME TO SAY THAT, FOR PERSONAL REASONS, HE DID NOT WANT TO GO THROUGH WITH THE RECOUNT “PROTEST” REQUEST. HE HAD ALREADY CALLED MS CAMPOS WITH HIS DECISION AND SHE ASKED HIM TO SUBMIT HIS WITHDRAWAL REQUEST IN WRITING. I ASKED HIM TO WAIT AN HOUR UNTIL I COULD FIND ANOTHER BURBANK CITIZEN TO STEP UP AND SUBSTITUTE FOR HIM SINCE I, WITH PROTECT CALIFORNIA BALLOTS, WAS PART OF THE REQUEST. WE DID NOT WANT CANCEL THIS RECOUNT.
2. The formal recount request was submitted to the Burbank City Clerk on Wednesday, April 20, 2011. How long do city officials have to respond and give you a date for the start of the recount?
THEY HAVE 7 DAYS TO RESPOND TO US AS TO WHEN THEY WILL CONDUCT THE RECOUNT. THE RECOUNT DATE IS UP TO THEM.
3. In order to keep the recount request alive three Burbank residents stepped up, right?
YES, YOU AND KEVIN AND LINDA MULDOON STEPPED UP TO SUBSTITUTE FOR GEORGE IN REQUESTING THE RECOUNT.
4. Why do you believe this substitution is legal? You contacted state officials, right?
I CALLED AND SPOKE TO CA DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE LOWEL FINLEY WHO VERIFIED THAT WE HAD 24 HOURS TO SUBMIT A SUBMIT SUBSTITUTE NAMES. WE SUCEEDED IN FINDING THE PEOPLE AND MEETING THE DEADLINE.
5. Why do you believe a recount of the Burbank City Council race of April 12, 2011 is a good idea?
BACKGROUND: IN AN ELECTION IN A DEMOCRACY, BALLOTS AND THE VOTES ON THOSE BALLOTS MUST BE COUNTED IN PUBLIC. EVERYONE MUST SEE AND KNOW THAT THE VOTES ARE COUNTED ACCURATELY.
ANY ELECTION RESULTS, ANY VOTES COUNTED ON A COMPUTER ARE NOT COUNTED IN PUBLIC. NO ONE CAN SEE IF THE VOTES ARE COUNTED CORRECTLY OR KNOW IF THE TOTALS ARE ADDED CORRECTLY. THE SOFTWARE IS PROPRIETERY =SECRET. THAT IS IRRELEVANT SINCE BALLOTS MUST BE COUNTED IN PUBLIC!!!!!!
WE IN PROTECT CALIFORNIA BALLOTS WANT AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAND COUNT ONE ENTIRE RACE TO CHECK OUT THE ACCURACY OF OUR ELECTRONIC MACHINE COUNTED VOTES. WE HAVE STUDIED THE ACCURACY OR BETTER STATED, INACCURACY, OF OUR BALLOTS IN LA COUNTY. THE “AUDIT” FOR OUR ELECTIONS IS 1% OF PRECINCTS SO MS CAMPOS HAND COUNTED ONE PRECINCT. NO CITIZEN WITNESSED THE HAND COUNT OF THAT ONE PRECINCT. MS CAMPOS SHOWED ME THE TALLY SHEETS FOR THAT PRECINCT AND TOLD ME IT MATCHED THE MACHINE COMPLETELY.
BURBANK USES THE SAME COMPUTER COUNTING SYSTEM USED IN LA COUNTY. WHEN WE WERE ASKED TO RECOUNT THIS BURBANK CITY COUNCIL ELECTION OUR GROUP SAID YES. WE KNOW NOTHINNG ABOUT THE CITY OR ITS ISSUES. IT IS PART OF OUR WATCHDOG FUNCTION. OUR PREVIOUS RECOUNTS WERE FOR ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE PRECINCTS IN SAN DIEGO AND LA COUNTIES. HERE WE CAN OVERSEE A RECOUNT OF ONE ENTIRE RACE.
For more information on Protect California Ballots and/or to donate to the cost of this Burbank City Council race recount go here.