The article “Public Durand Bond Vote Recount Reveals Broken Ballot Box Seal” in the Sept. 6 issue leaves many unanswered questions. And they lead to more questions.
First question: were the seals on the ballot boxes verified when they were turned over to the board of canvassers? If not, why not? When I pay my taxes, it is always verified before I am given a receipt. That is only a few hundred dollars. Here we are talking about $28 million dollars. Isn’t a verification process mandated?
Second question: if the answer to the first question is yes, then wouldn’t the seal have been tampered with after they were received? I use the term “tampered with” because, while it is possible to break the seal accidentally, it is virtually impossible to tie a “zip tie” accidentally. The article says that it was unknown when the seal was broken, but shouldn’t the seal have been verified at each hand off?
Third question: did the people in the room know what was revealed in the first box? If it was revealed to them, why not reveal it to the public? Were discrepencies found? Could it have changed the vote count?
Fourth question: was a “human error” made in the hour of adjournment? It just seems odd that with different people handling the boxes and the difference in the seals being so obvious, that no one noticed until the afternoon. Were the boxes left unsecured during this time? Did everyone leave the room? How did they return?
Fifth question: how did the board of canvassers logically come to this conclusion so fast? “While the Shiawassee County Board of Canvassers does not believe there was fraud, wrong doing or a violation of the law, it is believed that human error was made.” Does this mean it is not a violation of the law to tamper with the seal on a ballot box? If the seal was accidentally broken, it should have been reported and not retied as if nothing had happened. Is there a report?
No one had to change any votes. All that was needed was a broken seal to make sure the count could not be verified and it would stay the same as first reported. No wrong doing? Twenty-eight million dollars is a lot of money.
Wayne Emmerling, Durand