Manually Not Counting: A Voter Describes In-Person Disenfranchisement, Busby Campaign Ignores Situation


Dear Ilene Proctor,

There were no electronic machines in our district, the heart of the Busby-Bilbray district. they were instead very fragile, tacky, old cardboard election boxes in which you dropped your traditional ballot. Inexplicably, the machine refused to accept my husband's completed ballot. I tried mine as well, but the same thing happened, though the woman before us had had no trouble. A poll watcher rushed over, adjusted the machine and said it was working again. We expected to slip our ballots into the box then, but the man stopped us, saying our votes had already rung up. I said I didn't care, my vote was not in the box yet and I was going to insert it. The man literally grabbed our ballots out of our hands and shoved them into another box, which he said was the one containing the absentee ballots. I protested but he claimed they would be counted along with the absentee votes.

I said I was very angry about this. But it was already done and he said he couldn't open it to remove our ballots.

He had literally grabbed the ballots out of our hands so quickly that I remember thinking that that would be how a mugger might have grabbed our wallets on a supermarket line, the element of surprise making us ripe for the plucking.

I have used absentee ballots on occasion in the past. There are very strict rules about the envelope protecting the enclosed ballot, how the voter must sign his or her signature only, etc. At the least sign of non-compliance, the ballot would be eliminated from consideration. Was it possible that 2 naked Democratic Party ballots without envelopes would be counted when they were found in the wrong box? Hardly. I was furious and shocked to have been so blatantly disenfranchised. I called the Busby headquarters as soon as I got home. They took down the information, said they would get back to me within the next few days, but we
never heard from them again.

Please look into the older system as well as the newer electronic system. I am still angry about what happened to us. These are people who will stop at nothing to manipulate our electoral process.

We have decided to only vote absentee from now on. This is unfortunate since we enjoy the act of voting in person.

Eleanor Antin
San Diego, CA.