Trusting the Election Process - TribPapers

Trusting the Election Process

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Buncombe County – After the widespread problems reported with voting in 2020, the Tribune has chosen not to stick our heads in the sand, as most mainstream media have regarding reports of voting irregularities.

Take the case of Michelle Long Spears in Decatur, Georgia. Spears came in third in a three-way primary for the DeKalb County Commissioner District 2 seat, which forced a runoff between the top two vote-getters. As Spears started checking the counts, she saw there were precincts where she did not even get one vote. What was more unusual was that she didn’t even get one vote in her own precinct after she and her husband voted. Spears asked for a recount.

According to Fox5 Atlanta, Spears became the number one vote-getter after days of hand recounting. What happened? Fox5 reported, “Spears notified DeKalb County officials who believe” another candidate’s “withdrawal from the race triggered some sort of electronic tabulation issue.” So voting machines can have issues.

This is why when Kay Olsen, a precinct captain for early voting and chief judge on election day in the Leicester area, came to the Tribune with a report of a “glitch” in Buncombe County’s voting system, and she also had emails discussing the problem with a Buncombe County Board of Election staff member, we took notice and decided to look into it further (see article page 1).

Please understand I can’t tell if the last election was stolen, but I think citizens and news outlets should have the right to ask questions and not be called conspiracy theorists. I believe when the vote counting is stopped in the middle of the night with one candidate ahead and the following morning, the other candidate takes an unrealistic, statistically impossible jump ahead, then people have the right to know why. Vote counts should always be observed by the public and the news media. If Spears hadn’t asked questions, where would she be?

Buncombe County Board of Elections Director Corinne Duncan told the Tribune, “I am not aware of that glitch,” said Duncan. “It’s not something that happens here.”

Huh? So did Kay Olsen make the whole thing up by fabricating the email from Neggy Fox, Election Preparation Specialist at the board? I don’t think so, but there is an easy way to find out. A request for Fox’s email from that date should be able to solve the question.

Asked about a more detailed explanation of the “checks and balances,” Duncan said she could do a “two-hour talk on how the board audits elections,” but summed it up by saying, “There are things that happen prior to the election. There are things that happen during the election and things that happen after the election. After the election is the canvassing period, and that’s a really important part. That’s why when you get the results on election day, those aren’t the official results. She said the paper system has to match the computer system, which has to match the number system, adding they also sample audit, which is open to the public.

These measures go a long way in helping provide assurances that the system, especially the electronic machines, can’t be manipulated and has to match the paper ballots. However, according to Olsen, there would have been two paper ballots to match two electronic votes. Duncan says the voter count has to match the number of ballots, so it might catch the problem that way.

If you think about all the votes cast during early voting and on election day and the measures election boards take to ensure that all votes are counted and that no one has voted twice or no funny business has been perpetrated in the election, well, I’ll just say those that would pervert the system, whether as a voter or as an election poll worker, deserve a stiff jail sentence.

Lillian Govus, Director of Communications & Public Engagement, said in her last email before the deadline for this week, “If you were to publish an article that there was a glitch that allowed people to vote more than once, that would not be factual.”
Trusting the election process is at the core of our Republic. Questioning the process is the duty of its citizenry.