DC Election Fun

So the DC elections did have this weird write-in candidate event, where the database of votes stated that there were a lot of write-in votes across the election.  The original theory put forth by the Board of Elections was that a single cartridge from an opscan tabulator did this.  However, the votes were for numerous precincts (not just the precinct where this cartridge came from) and the write-ins crossed both races on the ballots and party affiliations.

Here are two interesting things from today’s Washington Post.

First, this seems to have been a user problem, exacerbated perhaps by the close of polls procedures.  Someone should have noticed the problem because comparing the write in numbers with write in’s on the ballots should have triggered a check.  This is pretty standard in many jurisdictions, where write-in’s trigger a review of ballots at the precincts.

Second, parallel monitoring of votes can be very helpful, as shown below.

Confusion muted victory parties Tuesday night after candidates and their supporters took note of unusually high numbers of write-in votes in several of the primary races, including the contentious reelection bids of council members Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Carol Schwartz (R-At Large).

Jeff Coudriet, committee clerk for Evans, volunteered on Evans’s campaign Tuesday and conducted a periodic check of ballots at some precincts, including Precinct 141.  At 10 a.m., 110 voters had trickled in, and by 6 p.m., 256 voters had cast ballots, according to the notes he took on his iPhone.

According to the election results that the board is maintaining, 326 ballots were cast by the close of the polls at 8 p.m., which would correspond with Coudriet’s accounting.   So something happened after the polls closed. But what?