Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

VIDEO: Gay Snipers Attack Marriage In West Virginia Campaign Ad

Posted in Uncategorized by allisonkilkenny on February 16, 2009

Jason Linkins

s-gay-sniper-largeVia Christy Hardin Smith comes this new advertisement from an organization from Georgia called Campaign Secrets — yes, that is their real name — that has decided to wade into electoral politics in West Virginia with a website: wv4marriage.com. That’s where you will find this bonkers ad, designed to scare the bejeezus out of everyone about gay marriage. The moment that already has the blogosphere blowin’ upcomes about a minute in, when a nuclear family of dedicated, bubble-blowing West Virginians get targeted by THE GAY SNIPERS.

That’s not the only good part of the video, though! I also love how gay marriage has brought America under attack from a rain of terrorist push-pins! And how can anyone refute the logic that’s presented when they prove the evils of gay marriage through MATH. Same Sex Couple + Affordable Air Fare To San Francisco + ACLU Attorney + Nice Lunch At The Auberge du Soleil + Drive Through Wine Country + Remembering To Save Time To Visit Amoeba Records + Uneventful Return Flight = NIGHTMARE FOR WEST VIRGINIA!!

Anyway, I guess the economy in West Virginia is just killing it, if this is what they are seriously going to worry about this year.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

(more…)

More W.Va. Voters Say Machines are Switching Votes

Posted in voter disenfranchisement by allisonkilkenny on October 20, 2008

Charleston Gazette

Three Putnam County voters say electronic voting machines changed their votes from Democrats to Republicans when they cast early ballots last week.

This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for “Barack Obama” kept flipping to “John McCain“.

In both counties, Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections. Both county clerks said the problem is isolated.

They also blamed voters for not being more careful.

“People make mistakes more than machines,” said Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright.

Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.

“I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican,” she said. “I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.

“I asked them for a printout of my votes,” Ketchum said. “But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way.

“I heard from some other people they also had trouble. But no one in there knew how to fix it,” said Ketchum, who is not related to Menis Ketchum, a Democratic Supreme Court candidate.

Ketchum’s son, Chris, said he had the same problem. And Bobbi Oates of Scott Depot said her vote for incumbent Democratic Sen. John D. Rockefeller was switched to GOP opponent Jay Wolfe.

“I touched the one I wanted, Rockefeller, and the machine put a checkmark on the Republican instead,” Oates said of her experience Thursday.

She said she caught the mistake, called over a worker in the county clerk’s office and was able to correct her vote. But she worries other voters may not catch such a mistake.

When asked if she is sure she touched the box for Rockefeller, she said, “I’m absolutely positive.”

Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood said on Saturday that he is upset there are “so many negative stories out there and not enough positive ones. We want people to vote. People need to know the facts.

“But we haven’t had any major issues. We try to explain to voters how the machines work then they come in,” Wood said.

In Putnam County, early voters have the option of asking for either touch-screen machines or optical scan ballots — paper ballots on which people mark in their election choices.

Wood said some voters might not realize that touch-screen voting machines may take a few seconds to record their choices.

“The reaction time [on the machines] may be different. And when you hit the screen a second time, it cancels your vote,” Wood said. “When you get in a hurry, if you go to fast and hit it again, you can cancel what you just did.

“The main thing people need to remember is that when you are done voting, make sure everybody you wanted to vote for has a check mark beside them,” Wood said.

Ketchum said, “I am educated person. I know what I wanted. I am anxious to see who wins.

“My son Chris said, ‘Mom, I didn’t vote for the people who came up on that machine. I wanted to go back and vote again. I called the lady at the polls and she said it was my fault because of the way I was punching the buttons.’

“I want a paper ballot. I think it was very bad when they did away with paper ballots. I wish you had something in your hand that is a record of how you voted.

“I never felt that way before. It was early voting, so we went over there to get it over with. We won’t do that again,” Ketchum said.

Last week, three Jackson County residents said they experienced similar problems when they cast early ballots at the county courthouse in Ripley.

Virginia Matheney, one of those voters, said Friday, “When I touched the screen for Barack Obama, the check mark moved from his box to the box indicating a vote for John McCain.”

Retired factory worker Calvin Thomas of Ripley said he experienced the same problem.

“When I pushed Obama, it jumped to McCain. When I went down to governor’s office and punched [Gov. Joe] Manchin, it went to the other dude.

“After I finished, my daughter voted. When she pushed Obama, it went to McCain. It happened to her
the same way it happened to me,” Thomas said.

Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright, a Republican, said 400 other people voted without reporting any problems.

Wood said he and Waybright are both very careful to guarantee people’s votes are recorded properly.

Wood said, “Voting machines are very reliable. I hate the fact that stories like this are printed. It makes everybody get scared.

“That is not good for anybody. Where the fault is, I don’t know and the voter doesn’t know. There needs to be good communication between the voters and the poll workers.”

Wood offered this advice to voters: “The best way to solve this whole problem is that before you leave the voting booth, make sure on the review screen that everybody you want to vote for is checked.”

More than 1,000 voters from 48 local precincts in Putnam County cast early ballots in the past three days, Wood said. Putnam County has 36,000 registered voters.

West Virginia Early Voters Cry Fraud

Posted in voter disenfranchisement by allisonkilkenny on October 18, 2008
Charleston Gazette
At least three early voters in Jackson County had a hard time voting for candidates they want to win.

Virginia Matheney and Calvin Thomas said touch-screen machines in the county clerk’s office in Ripley kept switching their votes from Democratic to Republican candidates.

“When I touched the screen for Barack Obama, the check mark moved from his box to the box indicating a vote for John McCain,” said Matheney, who lives in Kenna.

When she reported the problem, she said, the poll worker in charge “responded that everything was all right. It was just that the screen was sensitive and I was touching the screen too hard. She instructed me to use only my fingernail.”

Even after she began using her fingernail, Matheney said, the problem persisted.

When she tried to vote for candidates running for two open seats on the Supreme Court, the electronic machine canceled her second vote twice.

On her third try, Matheney managed to cast votes for both Menis Ketchum and Margaret Workman, Democratic candidates for the two open seats.

Calvin Thomas, 81, who retired from Kaiser Aluminum in Ravenswood in 1983 and now lives in Ripley, experienced the same problem.

“When I pushed Obama, it jumped to McCain. When I went down to governor’s office and punched [Gov. Joe] Manchin, it went to the other dude. When I went to Karen Facemyer [the incumbent Republican state senator], I pushed the Democrat, but it jumped again.

“The rest of them were OK, but the machine sent my votes for those top three offices from the Democrat to the Republican,” Thomas said.

“When I hollered about that, the girl who worked there said, ‘Push it again.’ I pushed Obama again and it stayed there. Then, the machine did the same thing for other candidates.

“Why didn’t she [the polling clerk] tell me before I even used the machine that might happen? And how many people, especially my age, didn’t notice that?

“Jackson County is a Republican county. I am a registered Republican, but I have been voting Democrat since the 1990s.”

Thomas, who brought his daughter with him to the polls, said she had the same problem.

“After I finished, my daughter voted. When she pushed Obama, it went to McCain. It happened to her the same way it happened to me. If the poll worker knew that, why didn’t she tell me before I even pushed the button?”

Deputy Secretary of State Sarah Bailey said, “When we received a call about this, we immediately called the county and told them to recalibrate the machines to make sure the finger-touch [area] lines up with the ballot.

“Sometimes machines can become miscalibrated when they are moved from storage facilities to early voting areas,” Bailey said Friday. “We get a couple of calls about this each election year.”

Most voting machines in most counties do work properly, Bailey added.

Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright said, “After we got a call from the Secretary of State’s Office, we recalibrated the machine. We had already voted over 400 people with no problems.”

Voting problems occur when voters touch the screen, Waybright said, but do not put their fingers inside boxes for their candidates.

Waybright blamed the problem on voters.

“People make mistakes more than the machines,” he said, “but I went in yesterday and recalibrated the machines. We are doing everything we can not to disenfranchise anybody.”

Matheney remains concerned.

“Leaving the polling place,” she said, “I wondered how many voters might not have noticed that their vote was switched on the machine.”