More photographs, from the election odyssey

Franklin Jiron, one of the two Caltech undergraduates who went with me to the Alpine Recreation Center for the close of the polling place there (Franklin is pictured at the far left of the picture I posted on Friday of their observation efforts), and who went to the Los Angeles County Registrar/Recorder’s office in Norwalk Tuesday evening to learn more about their efforts to tabulate cast ballots, has put his photographs up on his website. It is an interesting perspective to see, through the eyes of a newcomer to studying election administration, what the process looks like.

Just navigate to Franklin’s website, and click on the link to “California Special Election 2005.” Thanks to Franklin for distributing his photographs!

There are some really excellent images of Alpine Recreation Center and of the Norwalk operation in Los Angeles County. Don’t miss the two short movies that Franklin has of the tabulation of ballots on the third page of photographic documentary.

I especially like the photograph of the ballot boxes that have just arrived in Norwalk (this is image “DSCF0021” in Franklin’s set of images, the twenty-first of twenty-three). What has happened is that the sealed ballot boxes (the red boxes) arrive at Norwalk in fire-proof bags; the bags are opened, and these sealed red boxes are scanned with a barcode reader, and then are placed in these cardboard boxes into this huge wheeled container. Periodically these containers are wheeled over to an elevator, then taken upstairs to the area where the boxes are unsealed, ballots inspected, and ballots sent for tabulation.

What is really interesting about this photograph is the box that has the yellow seal on it. This is a ballot box that for some reason was not sealed, or the seal was broken, when it came out of the fire-proofed bag. We saw a number of these re-sealed ballot boxes that evening, and they typically were taken to a special location for detailed inspection.