Fellow Democrats! We need to be better about ensuring the INTEGRITY AND TRANSPARENCY of our election system at the local level! The image above about sums up how people feel about the election process right now.

Yesterday, I felt I was unfairly removed as a ballot counter for the California Democratic Assembly District 76 election after refusing to do what I considered to be highly unethical. I questioned why we couldn’t finish count the votes right there and then. I was interrupted and repeatedly told to just sign a document containing the just the tallies — (in other words, sticks (||||)) for the candidates which someone could easily modify later; I was asked to verify a document with NO NUMERICAL TOTALS!

Because of the blatantly obvious problem, I simply refused and was dismissed from my position as a vote counter. My thanks after spending nearly 6 straight hours trying to making sure everyone’s vote counted! :/

I don’t understand why we were not permitted to finish the unofficial vote count at our site?? We could have completed it in less than 5-10 minutes and everyone would have had a very good idea about the results.

Earlier in the day, I had noticed the long lines because of really good voter turn-out and asked an official if we could get extra volunteers. I received permission, but was later overruled by another official (although I voiced my objection) – and the extra volunteers were sent home. We were left with a minimal amount of staff to manage the large numbers of people coming to vote.

I hate to mention it, but I feel like I was treated very badly in my role as a volunteer. We worked some incredibly long and tiring hours – beginning at 10:30AM and ending a little after 9PM, with very short and few breaks! Additionally, when I explained the problems I was seeing and offered solutions to fix them, I was interrupted or ignored. Despite my objecting, I was continuously denied in helping to make the process run more smoothly.

By the way, vote counting is hard work! Whew… I have a new respect for the job. It is difficult, precise, and painstaking work! But again, totally worth it to ensure our adequate representation of our democratic process.

The essential point is that we need better accounting of our own election processes and complete transparency! We need to get this stuff straightened out so we can move forward as a unified party as soon as possible.

I don’t want to end on a sour note despite my terrible experience. I am encouraged by how well the other districts did with their voting process – most people were able to get in, listen to the candidates, vote, and get out – all in time for dinner. I think there are a lot of EXTREMELY dedicated people out there – willing to fight to make the election process more fair and transparent.

However, taking the ballot boxes away from a place where they can be independently verified and monitored by candidates and interested voters is simply wrong and calls into question the results of the election. We can do better by standing up in the face of injustice and refusing to take actions we feel are unethical. We must do better than this!

Check out this video occurring immediately after I was removed:

AD76-ADEM Elections

BREAKING NEWS for AD76: Why our convener (Richard Duquette) didn't TOTAL the Tallies for the Assembly District Delegates? for then, we never got RESULTS posted on the Board.BTW: he is running as a Vice-Chair for the San Diego Northern Caucus this Tuesday, January 10th at 7:00 PM @ Oceanside Library Community Room. As an ALTERNATE I will be there to vote for the best candidate that I can trust and could be TRANSPARENT: Melinda K Vásquez#Fixin76 #AdemGateSD#ADEMs#DemEnter#DemEnterCA#BallotExit#NoBSMedia

Posted by Marggie Castellano on Saturday, January 7, 2017

If you disagree with the way the election was conducted or had issues, contact the California Democratic Party make your voice heard. Let’s get this fixed so we can start working together as soon as possible. We need true grassroots-level participation to make a difference. We are counting on you to be the voice of the future.

(Photo at top – “Voting concept with ballot box over toilet bowl – 3D illustration.” Photo by Mipan)