Oneida Election Board Rents Wrong Electronic Voting Machine For SEOTS & Oneida Machine Rejects Ballots [UPDATE]

Word is that the electronic ballot machine at SEOTS in Milwaukee is not working and the Oneida machine is rejecting ballots.

Your Oneida Eye investigative team filmed a Tribal transit vehicle headed north on I-43 being driven above the speed limit by SEOTS Director Mark W. Powless. There was at least one other passenger on board.

In Oneida Mark pulled into Tsyunhehkwa to pick up seed orders (?) and confirmed that when he voted at SEOTS this morning the electronic ballot machine was not working. He said he did not know how long the machine was down or if it had worked at all today, nor if anyone from Oneida was going down to Milwaukee to address the problem.

[Somehow SEOTS can make a special trip for seedlings… but not for prescriptions?: Is Political Season Causing Unnecessary Ills? By the way, when & how were Oneidas in Milwaukee informed that SEOTS would make a special trip to pick up seedlings? It doesn’t seem to have been posted on the SEOTS Facebook page.]

UPDATE: According to Election Board Chair Vicki Cornelius the Election Board rented the wrong electronic voting machine for SEOTS which was incompatible with the Tribe’s memory cards, and SEOTS ballots would be hand counted. When asked if the hand counting would be on camera, Cornelius said no, but that there were seven Election Board members and a police officer to observe. Cornelius confirmed that both police officers at the Oneida and SEOTS polling places are on duty. While voting, the Oneida Eye Publisher overheard an Election Board member saying they had officially reached over 1,000 votes. Why the Board thinks it’s necessary to use a machine to count less than 2,000 votes but can’t be bothered to ensure beforehand that the machine functions properly for Primary Election Day is cause for question if not Election Board resignations and/or removals.

As Election Board Chair Vicki Cornelius has stated, it is possible for the election results to be tampered with using an electronic voting machine which would seem to be a great way for political shenanigans to take place.

The second voter in Oneida, Fran Brigham, reports that her ballot was rejected two times by the electronic voting machine because the machine smeared the markings on her ballot using the pen provided by election officials. Fran was then given a second ballot to fill out. Others have reported multiple rejections of their ballots by the electronic voting machine in Oneida. If the machine smeared ink on the ballot, wouldn’t it have also smeared ink on the machine? Were the optical scanners ever cleaned?

Perhaps this is all the evidence necessary to reaffirm that a hand counted ballot in the presence of a camera (which the Legislative Operating Committee and the Election Board wants to eliminate) and uniformed officers (rather than mere security guards which the LOC and the Election Board wants to settle for) to assure integrity of the polling site and the transportation of the votes is something GTC must insist in going forward as the Oneida Eye Publisher stated at the May 8 Public Meeting on propsed amendments to the Election Law.

The 2011 Election saw around 1,700 voters total. Are electronic voting machines truly necessary for that small of a number of voters? Brandon Stevens, the BC member attending the May 8 Public Meeting regarding proposed amendments to the Election Law, said the LOC and Election Board wanted to remove the requirement of filming because the cameras were too “expensive,” and yet somehow a vote of less than 2,000 people requires electronic machines that can be rigged, and then the Election Board misuses its limited budget by renting the wrong machine? Puh-leeze.

Oneidas in Milwaukee have reported that there were election observers asking to see their filled-out ballots claiming that they wanted to make sure they voted for the right number of people. Uh-huh. Sure.

Anyone who suggests that Oneida Eye is overreacting to the possibility of Election Board shenanigans and deviation from protocol should remember what happened in 2008:


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