Vote Count Scrutinized
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County Elections workers are getting used to having someone looking over their shoulders. This panel of three is verifying, or attempting to verify the signatures on absentee ballots, while observers from election campaigns look on intently.
The workers are comparing signatures on absentee ballots with the signatures on voter registration cards. The County Clerk wouldn't let us show you the signatures, but there were some obvious discrepancies that these workers did their best to sort out.
"It says Alicia or maybe Jesus."
In this panel of three, two must agree whether a signature is valid, or not. If not, it's stamped as "challenged," and placed in a bin, where the Deputy Clerk will try to make a final determination of whether it will be counted or not. Most of those looking on were representing the candidates in the District 20 Congressional race between Democrat Jim Costa and Republican Andy Vidak and they are expected to further challenge some of the results.
Robert Lung an observer for Vidak said, "We're challenging from both sides and it's going to be a close one. A lot of challenges are gonna take place here today."
Across town at the elections office warehouse, thousands of ballots are still being counted and closely watched. Most are absentee ballots that were damaged. One elections worker reads off each vote on each ballot, while another inputs it into an electronic touch screen voting machine. It's a time consuming process, and observer Liz Kolstad said it's enough to convince her not to vote absentee.
"You gotta make sure you vote the right way and it gets counted and the only true way to do it is to vote in person."
jim costa, andy vidak, fresno, fresno county, 2010 u.s. house race 20, local, gene haagenson
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