Election Commission liveblog

The downstairs gallery is pretty full; I’m upstairs.

Walter is liveblogging this as well.

6:03 – Mohieldin is presenting the revised instructions to poll workers, approved by Secretary of State and city law department.

Michelle Tassinari approved it.  Lapierre wants some confirmation that she has — they believe an email was copied to all commissioners.

Lapierre asks city clerk about how we got to that point.

Lapierre – we spent a lot of money to train people…

He’s talking about how the clerk did not accept the training (from the secretary of state’s office?)

Clerk – question concerning protocols about observers.  Conversation with secretary of state’s office; waited 7-8 weeks for response from them with follow up calls.

Protocols at time were requested by commission.  Call to secretary of state’s office was 9 weeks after request for them to come to assist training.

Secretary of state’s office said they wanted to participate; they wanted to set schedule, but the city’s schedule had already been set.  Clerk told secretary of state’s office that they were using the 2010 materials from the secretary of state’s office.

6:08 – Lapierre says he wants documentation.  The secretary of state’s office has provided him with emails.

Lapierre – “I’m just looking for clarification”

Clerk – “I just gave it to you.”  “We don’t document every phone call that takes place.”

Lapierre thinks that the actions taken were unacceptable.

Clerk asks which actions.

Lapierre – not keeping him or secretary of state’s office in the loop.

Clerk reviewing emails Lapierre is talking about.

6:10 – Clerk says this email is confirming the conversation he had.  Secretary of state’s office refused to conform to city’s schedule.

No response from secretary — embargo on returning calls to city/town clerks until October 17.

Lapierre wants this reviewed after election.

Dube – much of what Mr. Rushford is talking about, he reported at a commission meeting.  Takes issue with Mr. Lapierre communicating with secretary of state’s office without informing the rest of the commission.  Should have told us.

Lapierrre said he didn’t want to violate the Open Meeting Law.

Dube says she does not think he was acting as a member of the commission.

Mohieldin says the commission all voted for the changes.  When they did not receive an answer from the secretary, they had already scheduled training, we trained all poll workers consistent with what commission decided unanimously.

Lapierre has a problem with interrupting people.

Lapierre – “It was a mute [sic] point” and we never voted on it.  Clearly a communication issue that needs to be resolved.

He was kept out of the loop regarding the secretary of state offering training.

[Except — as you may recall — those are not at the time the city needed them to be; tough to schedule police training]

They will discuss at next scheduled meeting.

Goggins asks whether deputy city solicitor has reviewed the document and whether it conforms to the secretary of state’s memo.

6:20 – Bonnie Johnson wants to talk.  From Boylston.

Regarding ballots: one of the poll workers called her confused.

It’s a two page ballot, and said worker was told he was supposed to count it twice.  What do people have to do with the ballot box?

Clerk – if Bonnie gives them the poll worker’s name, they will communicate so that nothing is lost in translation.

Bonnie – “That didn’t answer my question.”

Chris Robarge – if new protocol is short, can it be summarized?

They will make copies available on the second floor after the meeting.

6:22 – An inspector comes forward.  She comments on page 9 of the poll worker handbook.  Is that accurate as to observers?

Clerk confirms yes, they are older protocols.

6:24 – Linda Brosnan – poll worker, first year – but second time – is confused about “two ballot voting thing”.

Clerk – Both cards need to be submitted into the machine, and there will be a double count.

Veronica Ward – will be a poll worker.  Question about phone calls – was told that was ok.  Not sure why people are allowed to talk on the phone while voting.

Clerk – question came up at training.  Question is if a voter is allowed to use a cell phone while casting a ballot.  They cannot find a reason why the voter would be disallowed by the law.

Ward is concerned that they would disturb other voters and that people would be conferring with someone else.

Clerk – if someone is talking on the phone loudly, that’s a different story.

Ward asks whether there’s a ballot in Spanish.  “Hispanic people” asked for help, but why if there’s a ballot in Spanish.

Goggins – this is America, if you want someone to help you vote, that’s your right.

THANK GOODNESS!

[editorial – Ward obviously has little inclination to know what the actual law is regarding voting]

Donna Winant – concern is for clarification.  Even she has had some confusion, on front page of T&G, there’s a city councilor spouting off.  Adds to more confusion.

Mohieldin says that all poll workers should take their instructions from the clerk’s office and the commission, and not from political parties, papers, or airwaves.

Jacqueline Norton – regarding Automark system – now using for those unable to read the ballots.  Don’t question why.  There’s no reason for anyone who cannot read a ballot not to vote.

Clerk – when the election commission requested funding for poll workers, first opportunity to train ALL poll workers.  Do not assume that just because someone does not have a visible handicap that they do not need the Automark.

6:33 – Mayor Petty approaches to thank the commission.

Ron Motta, my favorite member of Activate Worcester [no joke] – only request he has is that clerks are involved and inspectors in and out.  Next Tuesday, potentially chaotic.  Asks that the communication be sent to inspectors as well.

Clerk – “no chaos that exists in the polls in Worcester … Mr. Motta runs an excellent ship.  … There won’t be chaos of any nature.”  They can send it to everyone if that’s the commission’s wish.

Next meeting date – November 20 at 6:15pm

This year, approximately 4575 absentee ballots.

…and we’re done.

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