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Citizens Publicly Recording Election Results on Election Night

By       Message Allegra Dengler       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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Citizens Publicly Recording Election Results on Election Night

On Election night a team spearheaded by the Voting Rights Task Force in California will be helping to monitor the election results in Ohio. We will be systematically taking and saving screenshots of the vote counts reported by the counties from their websites every 15 minutes, and posting the numbers in spreadsheets on this public website. What we hope to find is that everything is correct. Historically, anomalies do happen. The number of votes for a candidate can drop over time. Or there can be more votes cast than registered voters. Other things happen. If they do, we will have a hotline to election integrity advocates in Ohio such as Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis, who will immediately send certified observers to any county where the anomalies need further checking.

Since the counts will be public, we invite everybody to monitor this website on election night.


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We are looking for 20 to 40 volunteers to help with this effort. Volunteers should contact WatchTheCounties2012@gmail.com. We will not have time to train people or answer many questions. They should be ready to:

"  Start at 7:00 PM, Ohio (eastern) time.
"  Finish when their county closes for the night, hopefully by midnight.
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"  Each volunteer will be assigned 2 selected counties. You must be able to use the Internet to find the web page(s) where the counties will be posting results.
"  You will need to set up an account with Google, as the data will be entered into Google Docs. You do not need to have a gmail address. You can use your normal one..
"  We will ask you to join a new Google group for communication purposes.
"  Every 15 minutes, you will take screenshots of the counties' Web pages, and immediately save them. You will then enter in the data for all the candidates for the races for president, senate, and 1 other Ohio contest (yet to be determined) into the Google Docs spreadsheets for each county.
'       "  Then, time permitting, you will upload a copy of the screenshots to dedicated folders on Google Docs.
"  For spreadsheet skills, you will need to enter and change results into the cells, and add and remove rows. You will not need to write formulas. You should plan on 15 minutes before Tuesday night to practice this, to get used to using the Google's cloudware.
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"  We will have more detailed instructions soon.
You can see a sample spreadsheet which will contain data as reported by Ohio counties every 15 minutes here:https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Aq6e7Ok4DKAbdDJCamU5R3VCYk0wd2gxcHlGNXBheGc

This spreadsheet is duplicated below. We will have a separate public page on this website showing the spreadsheets for each of the counties we are reporting.

The point of this work is that experienced political scientists and election integity advocates will look at this data as it comes out, see where the anomalies are, and what needs attention first. This kind of information has not been readily available in one place so quickly before, and they tell us it's very valuable.

To our knowledge, this is the first time this kind of systematic, public recording of results has ever been done, at least in the US. It's a new, and exciting step for fully public and open elections. For the latest information, go to https://sites.google.com/site/watchthecounties/

To volunteer, email WatchTheCounties2012@gmail.com


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Allegra Dengler is a voting activist in New York State.

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