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Wayward Ballot Found

12/7/07   8:25 PM
By Marc Garman

Shortly after 5 PM today Cloutier campaign manager Pam Keith was contacted by Solano County Registrar of Voters Ira Rosenthal.  She was informed that a ballot containing a vote for Gary Cloutier had been discovered.  Apparently Osby Davis had already been informed. This brings the new tally to:    Davis-5,718 votes     Cloutier-5,716 votes.  

It seems that this ballot was in an unopened envelope containing a cover sheet and the one ballot.  Considering the supposedly meticulous recounting of the votes, this certainly raises some questions.  Why was this oversight not noticed when the precincts were reconciled?     Was this part of the 10 ballot shortfall of the hand recount attributed to machine overfeeds?     Are there any more votes that have been overlooked?

With such a razor thin margin this has done much to shake voter confidence. Clearly the likelihood of a challenge has been increased.

Many people VIB staff have spoken to feel there is a need for a full audit of the Registrar of Voters as well as a challenge and recount.

When Pam Keith was asked if this discovery has caused the Cloutier campaign to more seriously consider a challenge she said, "We're seeking advice on this and looking into what options are available.  In light of this recent discovery it reinforces our thoughts that we need to look into this further."

The one thing Vallejo needs at this point is resolution and the ability to feel that the vote tally is correct and fair.  Without this confidence it is hard to imagine a city council that can move forward with the urgent matters facing our city.

Regardless of who you favor for mayor of Vallejo, we can all agree there is a need to feel confident in the veracity of the process.