Blog for Iowa: Iowans for Voting Integrity July Update:
Excerpted from this post at Blog for Iowa
This is from a new group with great analysis of the Pottawatamie voting problem. You can check them out in the future at www.iowansforvotingintegrity.org later this month.
Lessons from the Pottawattamie Election!
The primary election last June 6 has come and gone, but it should not be forgotten. A problem that has marred elections across the United States came to Pottawattamie County, and offered our state an unforgettable lesson in the need for verifiable and auditable elections. On election night, as county election workers watched absentee ballots tabulate, they noticed odd results in the race for County Recorder.
John Sciortino, the popular incumbent of 23 years, was losing to a 19-year-old college student named Oscar Duran. Auditor Marilyn Jo Drake quickly suspected something amiss, and ordered a manual check of the paper ballots.
Her suspicion proved correct: the ballot scanners had not been programmed to recognize that in different precincts the paper ballots rotated the candidates' positions. Ballot rotation is a measure commonly used to reduce the chance of voter fraud.