Loose Lips

Gray: “How Many Voters Have We Lost?”

More and more reports are trickling in about problems with voting machines around the city this morning—and Vincent Gray isn't happy about it.

"I am fired up about it," he tells LL, riding around the District with the Gray convoy as the D.C. Council chairman visits polling places. The situation is teetering on the edge of "abject incompetence" by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, Gray says. "How do you not check everything the day before? ... How many voters have we lost as a result of this incompetence?"

At Davis Elementary School—where Precinct 105, in Ward 7 near the District line, casts its ballots—about 50 people were turned away this morning, Gray aides say, either because of problems with voting equipment or because the polling place simply didn't open. Gray is now at Precinct 104, J.C. Malle Elementary School, also in Ward 7. Aides say they've heard of difficulties there, too.

Gray's lawyers have been in touch with the BOEE, and they're mulling over what they should do about the reports.

UPDATE: Here's video, from LL, of Gray talking about the problems:

  • Indeed

    This is not good.

  • http://www.congressheightsontherise.com The Advoc8te

    Touch screens were not working at Martin Luther King Elementary in Congress Heights this morning. Still was able to vote with a paper ballot.

  • Flernty

    Cuts both ways. Fenty supporters have jobs, appointments, and children just like Gray supporters do. I voted early on Saturday at Turkey Thicket and they were having problems then. So it isn't as if this is a surprise. It took forever.

    Some Gray supporter's intimations that this is somehow only to do with Ward 7 & 8 (in the other post) is ugly and, if the machines are as touchy today as Saturday, unfounded. Plus these machines are ALWAYS breaking. They broke when I voted in California, they break here. Is it perfect? No. Should BOEE have done a better job? Yes. Are some Gray supporters apparently not as cocky as they were yesterday and looking for a scapegoat should a majority of Democrats come to their flipping senses and favor results over insults? You betcha.

  • WondermachineNE

    Yeah Flernty. Except there were pre-voting sites in every Ward except -- wait for it -- Wards 7 and 8. Makes it even more important that the machines work well and are pretested in the Wards where no one has had the chance to vote yet.
    This isn't about cockiness. This is about fairness in voting.
    Saying that, I voted at Turkey Thicket too with no problems.

  • Native JD

    Vote for Brewster - None of the Above!

  • skizzle

    Re: electronic voting machines, we don't need technological solutions for everything in life. Those machines are black boxes controled by their programmers and the potential for unseen fraud is great. Paper ballots are fine, Florida 2000 notwithstanding. If we have to use electronic voting machines then at the minimum there should be two separate systems for each vote, one paper and one electronic so that a comparison could be made.

  • SEis4ME

    Flernty, er, what Gray supporters are you referring to because i don't see any on this site with those complaints as of yet. Morevoer, if the only complaints about the voting machines are coming from Wards 7,8, then it quite understandable why the pecerption exists. So you can't say that it happens everywhere and criticize an "intimation" if there are no current reports of it happening anywhere else BUT in those Wards.

    I refuse to believe that you are even bothered by Gray's supporters insults when you insult the rest of the democrats in DC who may not agree with you. This high-minded view of Fenty supporters as "the ones" knowing what's best for [those people in] the city is what I consider insulting. I'm educated just as I assume you are. You do what works for you and I'll do the same. I don't need to come to my senses.

    I voted for results. That's why I cast it for Gray..notwithstanding your approval.

    FYI, I believe there was an early voting site at the Tennis/Learning Center on MS. Ave in Ward 8. Could be wrong though.

  • Flernty

    SEis4ME: What results? Be specific? Vince Gray is all about tearing Fenty down personally when the facts don't support him being Mayor. Results when he was the head of HMS? What results?

    And the intimation is clear on the earlier LL post "Gray has Problems Voting", and now, here.

    "Unbelievable, these problems are happening in Wards leaning Gray. FBI, where are u?"

    "Funny thing. This particular incompetence on Mayor Fenty’s watch may actually help Mr. Fenty keep his current day job."

    "I’m sure the Fentys didn’t have any problems. Another scam?"

    As you say, we are presumably both "educated," so don't try to flim-flam me about why many people are supporting Gray and why, if Gray somehow loses (unlikely), it'll all be chalked up to "The Plan".

    So you say you are supporting him for results... do tell...

  • Kitty

    I was able to vote early last Friday in Ward 7. It went smoothly...no complaints.

  • Stam

    I had problems with voting at Ward 8. A lot of people did. This is ridiculous and shame on Fenty and the BOEE.

  • Flernty

    Stam, Gray is the Chairman of City Council with oversight on BOEE, and not incidentally, he voted to confirm all of the current board members.

    So this is his fault too, right?

    Vince Gray complaining about BOEE, or any city agency, is like Captain Renault in Casablanca exhorting "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" while collecting his winnings.

    This irrational Fenty hate would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

  • Isn’t It Obvious

    @ Flernty, do you have any idea of what you are talking about or do you just like to see your comments posted on this site? Do you understand the concept of "Separation of Powers"?

    Gray having oversight of the BOEE is not the same as being the Executive in charge of making sure it runs and operates properly; nor is he in charge of selecting the members (again the resposibility of the Mayor - Fenty) he does not bear resposibility for confirming the Mayor's selcections because it is the responsibility of the Legislative Branch (for which Gray was the Council Chairperson) to "advise and consent." The Mayor should have done a better job vetting his selections.

    Please place responsibility on the proper person. In this case, the Mayor - Fenty (soon hopefully to be the former Mayor).

  • Isn’t It Obvious

    Correction: should have been "responsibility", not "resposibilty". Please excuse the typos.

  • SEis4ME

    Yes Results! Contrary to this notion Fenty supporters have, Gray ran an agency, headed a nonprofit, became councilman and now chair. Throughout that time, he has proven results. That explains why none of those who object to him can point to any deficieny in his resume outside of his time at DHS, in the 1990's. This man is 67 years old and the only thing you can point his three years during the 90 when I was in high school and Fenty was a recent high school grad.

    Re: ,"these problems are happening in Wards leaning Gray. FBI, where are u?” I'll ask you, are there reported problems in nonGray leaning wards? If not, then I don't understand your issue with the statement. Is it not a fact?

    To your other points, I'll repeat what I've said already, if there are NO reported problems in other nonGray Wards, then it isn't a matter of "itimating" anything. Rather, it's a statement of fact. If you think this presumed fact is ugly, then oh well. So is life.

    Yes I am supporting him for results, those seen and unseen. Which are you referring to? The things,(like Fenty 06) he plans to do as mayor OR those things he has accomplished up until now? I actually doubt you are interested in seeing me post any results because as far as what he plans to do as mayor, that information is on his website.

  • Flernty

    Ain't it Oblivious: Nice head fake, but you still can't deny that Gray has (a) oversight; (b) voted to confirm the picks; and (c) didn't give a tinkers until this AM about this problem even though it was happening last week (and over the weekend) when early voters, who overwhelmingly favored Fenty in the polls, were voting.

    Gray supporters would have us believe that these electronic voting machines, machines that never, ever have been a problem in the past anywhere, are now part of some evil Fenty plot! Not only does Fenty control the weather with his mind - he's a master compter hacker whose gonna steal the election! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

  • Skipper

    The Board of Elections has to deal with all sorts of new voting requirements thanks to Mary Cheh's voting law.

    Mary Cheh endorsed Vince Gray.

    Therefore, Mary Cheh is part of the conspiracy against Gray.

    Or something.


  • Flernty

    Results that are appearntly "unseen", I guess. Either that or you don't understand the word "specifically".

    Nice try though. It's okay to vote for Gray just because you think Fenty's a jackhole. That's why most people are voting for him. I think it's a bad reason, but that's why we have elections.

  • SEis4ME

    And I have to follow-up, yes Flernty, do you have any idea what you are talking about?

    Is it the council chairmans job to ensure that all voting machines are working? Of course not. That's why your attempted stab @Gray re: this one is strange to say the least.

  • Isn’t It Obvious

    @ Flernty, again, there you go posting statements that are not supported in fact. What do you mean the electronic machines have never ever had problems? Do you remember the elections of 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2008. Many counties and states reported problems with the electronic machines. That is why many of the states and counties using them had to redevelop procedures for addressing the problems, including but not limited to, having a paper ballot back up system.

    Flernty, I no longer have the time or interest in continuing to educate you on the structure of government in the US or on the electoral process over the last 10 or more years. I would suggest that you attend some high school civics class and get a refresher course or something; instead of continuing to post information on this site which have no basis in fact or history.

  • Truth Hurts

    Yeah, Fenty and his cronies are conspiring to steal the election. PASS IT ON!!

    I hear Nickles, Lanier and Rhee rigged the balloting machines just after midnight. Call in the FBI! Start investigating!

  • SEis4ME

    Well no, I asked you results as in when? As the challenger to Linda Cropp, Fenty ran on a vision of where he wanted the city to go, not on what he had done to warrant being mayor.

    He is now running on what he has done and not much on what he will do.

    Those are two distinct set of "results." So yes, I asked you which set of results are you referring to. That isn't rocket science and I've clarified (once again) what I meant when asking you to distinguish the two. Hopefully you will do the same.

    Yes, I think Fenty is an a-hole. I also think Rhee is bad for DCPS and the city does not benefit from having Fenty's personal, longtime confidant, as the city's attorney general. I also think attaching himself to the hip of those like former criminal, Ron Moten (whose organization spent roughly 99 of 100k contract on bullshyt). I also don't give Lanier "full" credit for a reduction in crime when the WPost highlights the national downward trend this country is currently enjoying.

    So again, I think he's an a-hole. I've also had bosses who were very effective a-holes. If most of my colleagues had the choice, we would vote them out as well. Yes, this is why we have elections. Hillary clinton had proven results. But the country voted Obama. Same thing.

  • Flernty

    Ain't It Oblivious: That's my point, genius, these machines ALWAYS mess up. Blaming this on Fenty is like blaming rain on the weatherman. Sure, BOEE should do a better job, but this ain't Fenty's fault.

    And BTW, given the low turnout in Fentyland, Vince Gray oughtta just be quiet and savor his victory.

    SEis4ME: Look pardner, it's okay to vote -against- Fenty. It's abundantly clear you got no damn idea what Gray stands for (none of us do). It's also abundantly clear that you're touting his experience and results without having any clue what they might be. Again, not your fault, since said results are hard to come by from a campaign focused on (1) dividing this city and (2) pointing out that the Mayor is obnoxious as a plan for the future. I'm just saying I disagree with that analysis in this race. Results vs. who the f@ck knows isn't even close in my book. If Fenty didn't show progress on intractable issues like school reform AND was a dickface then I'd consider voting for Grandpa Vince - but that ain't the situation.

  • SEis4ME

    @Flernty, look patna, I doubt if you can find any post from me soliciting your approval on whom to cast my vote for, even if it against your choice. What's abundantly clear is that I asked you several times to clarify, making clearly the ONLY thing I was asking, and you consistently fail to deliver on that basic premise. I have not skirted the issue, attempted to engage you, but to no avail, your talking points are set in cyber. Fortunately for me, I faced the same level of slaps from those who questioned why I would support a candidate whose political and professional experience seemed to pale in comparison to his opponent Hillary. Like then, Clinton supporters rabidly argued that he was an empty suit w/o a shred of experience. Of course, we all know that it was a lie in the same vein that you are perpetuating here. You clearly dont' want to talk issue and would rather present these specious arguments to save face. Ok, cool. I'm fine with that. But let's call it what it is.

    I didn't vote for Fenty. However, it's ridiculous for me to say that there is NOTHING he has done or that everything he has done is to benefit of nonblacks than they are for blacks. It's just an infantile argument. Yet, here you are calling a 67-year old man an empty suit when the facts (not spin) suggest otherwise. And I'm ok with that. People were disingenous when Obama ran and the same is the case now with Gray.

    I posit that most of the divisiveness comes from the Fenty camp. This is why the constant references to
    "taking us back," or Jonetta "Aunt Thomasina" Barnes column suggestion that blacks want a revival moment with Fenty, or even the high-minded view of those like yourself, are so crucial to your message.

    If you have any interest in seeing anything about Vincent "Empty Suit" Gray, read his website because like Obama, complaining that nothing is there when the facts are contrary is an intelligent a thought as those who think Obama is was born in Kenya.

    FYI, I don't currently have and kids. So voting Fenty because of the schools really doesn't appeal to me as a voter. Neither does new bike lanes or dog parks since last I checked, neither is in Ward 8.

  • Flernty

    WHAT FACTS? You consistently fail to point out the "results" you talked about way, way, way up at the top. You, not me, suggested that Gray "got results" and I merely asked what those might be.

    To whit: silence.

    Also spending half your time talking about how this ain't about race only to end on bike lanes and dog parks (neither of which I ever use despite my complection) is pretty damned funny. Everyone knows why a whole lotta people are voting against Fenty (and dog parks, and bike trails) rather than voting FOR Gray. The fact you ain't got no idea what his plans are isn't unique - and 'scuse me, but I'm not going to go to his website and help you out with some ideas.

  • Truth Hurts

    @SEis4ME: I worked on Obama's campaign and Gray is no Obama. He's the antiObama.

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  • SEis4ME

    I seriously don't you are void of the necessary mental capacity needed to figure this out. I think anyone watching this exchange clearly understands why you continue to throw these straw men (in this case results) out. You have nothing more in your arsenal than to question other voters intellect. That explains your initial dig at voters "coming to our sense." You are clearly one of the high-minded DC voters and that's ok. Someone has to be.

    I didn't realize I spent half my time talking about race. As we know, you don't believe it either. I'm not particularly sure what's humorous about me stating the fact that there are no dog parks and bike lanes in Ward 8. But ok with that too.

    Personally, I would never ask an anonymous poster or even some journalists for that matter, about a candidate's experience. I spent too much time in school reading and learning to not do my own research. I'm not voting for Fenty but I can assure you, I am not unaware of what he has/n't done. In my world, that's what being an informed voter is about. I'll let you continue to be educated on a message board.

    @Truth, That's great news. I worked on Obama's campaign as well. In fact there are MANY of us who've worked on Obama's campaign that are now supporting Gray. But antiObama?

    Vincent Gray is the antiObama? I compare that tomfoolery to those who call Fenty the devil. It's juvenile.

    AntiObama? How old are you, 12?

  • Truth Hurts

    You made the comparison of Gray and Obama, not me.

    To clarify, I came to believe in Obama and passionately worked (volunteered) for a man I never thought could be elected in my lifetime.

    It hurts when I read a post comparing Gray (who I truly distrust) to Obama. That's all. I retract the "AntiObama" phrase. It was poorly worded and made in haste.

  • Tom Poe

    Takes your breath away, when this idiot speaks. Fact is, proprietary voting systems inherently eliminate public scrutiny of the machines, which, in return guarantees a secret vote count in America. Try to stay focused, Chairman. Incompetence sits in your office for letting proprietary voting systems exist. That is the very reason Australia will not use proprietary voting systems, and makes their source code available free for anyone in the world to download, modify and use. In other words, the idiot of a Chairman might want to trash the voting systems that eliminate voters' right to public scrutiny of their elections and preserve their right to not have a secret vote count, as well as save the city hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years.

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