Kent, Ohio - The Portage County TEA Party today released a letter it has sent to the Portage County Board of Elections which documents specific voting machine problems observed by its members in Portage County on election day, November 2, 2010. The group recruited regular citizens to volunteer to be poll watchers this year and observe the election process, in an effort to assure Portage County voters that their votes are counted accurately and that the process was secure.
Portage County TEA Party Executive Director, Tom Zawistowski, said “After observing this election in an up close and personal manner, our members have a tremendous respect for the challenges that the workers at the Board of Elections, and at the actual polls themselves, face before, during and after election day. Running an election is no easy task. Though the vast majority of votes take place without incident, we were surprised by the number of problems with voting machines documented by our members, which is why we wrote this letter.”
Zawistowski went on to say, “Based on the reports we documented, we think that the issue of votes not being registered correctly is significant and needs to be addressed. Particularly when the race for the 11th District Appellate Court is so close that right now it is being decided by less than one vote per precinct. The problems with voting machines in Portage County literally could decide that election. In our letter, we are asking the Board of Elections to provide data as to how many reports of voting machine problems were made to them by voters on election day. We are also asking the Board of Elections to take several steps to help avoid these problems in future elections. Those questions and recommendations are outlined in our letter.”
The TEA Party is not a political party but a political movement. It is loosely based on the Boston Tea Party of 1773 in which American Colonists rebelled against the “Taxation Without Representation” of the King of England and the English Parliament by dumping tea into Boston Harbor. The initials TEA are today used to show that many current American citizens feel that they are “Taxed Enough Already” by the U.S. Government as well as state and local governments. The movement is attempting to motivate common American citizens to take a more active role in selecting and electing representatives that are committed to representing the people who elected them, instead of their own political parties and other special interest groups. The group asks citizens to take ownership of their government at all levels and live up to their responsibilities as citizens.
Some of the issues they are seeking answers to and how the issues were resolved were:
- 8:16 AM EDT – Streetsboro 4A
My daughter and I just voted in Streetsboro 4A at St. Thomas Church. She voted ALL Republicans and the summary page came up ALL Democrats. She back spaced and voted again and it corrected. She told the workers, but they just asked if it got corrected. Some people might not read over the summary and not get the vote they think they cast. (Susan Malyuk)
- 12:14 PM EDT – Franklin Township B
He voted ALL Republican and the completed ballot had one changed to a Democrat candidate. He went back and changed it, but then four our five others were changed from Republican to Democrat. After multiple attempts he got the ballot to come out the way he wanted. (James Kearns)
- 12:37 PM EDT – Suffield Church
The same problem with voting for Republicans and the machine is putting in Democrats. Had to repeat the process several times and needed the help of a poll worker to get it to work. (Gino Calcei)
- 12:30 PM EDT – Streetsboro 4A Again
I vote at St Thomas Church on 43. It was around Noon-1pm last year and this year. I go at my lunch. I think I might have had one other area that had a problem last year but I can’t really remember. But I know the school levy was the problem both years. Last year I voted no and it kept saying yes. I had to press it about 5 or so times and if finally accepted NO. Then, this year I voted NO for issue 3 (the school Levy) but it kept saying yes. I did it 3 times and then called the poll helpers over and they said they had to have One Dem and one Rep. They told me to press YES and then click NO and it finally accepted my no vote. I just find it very strange that 2 years in a row I had the same problem for the same issue. If you have any other questions please let me know and I’m more than happy to let you know. (Michelle Hushion)
- Time and Precinct Unknown
My friend, Albert Hanni, had the same experience at the polls as many others. At first, I was relieved that it was corrected. Now I hear that his experience was not an exception. He tried numerous times to vote for Jim Graham and Tim Ryan kept coming up. After 5 times and the help of a poll worker, his vote did get changed for Jim Graham. If you would like to verify this, I will give you Albert’s phone number. (Pat Haupt)
- Garrettsville Polling Location
Voted Kasich, came up Strickland, had to try multiple times to fix it (Sandy Pelphrey)
- Brimfield Central Elementary
Voting for J. Kasich and Todd McKinney – had to push screen 4 – 5 times. Vote kept going to opposing candidate. (Lori Rochelle)
- Brimfield Central Elementary
Pushed Kasich — Strickland kept coming up. Poll worker said it was because her hands were cold. (Dolores Wischt )
Those interested in talking with the Portage County Tea Party director can contact Thomas R. Zawistowski by calling 1-800-846-4630 Ext 104.