Demand prompt vote counting

2012-11-19T19:26:00Z 2012-11-19T19:26:26Z Demand prompt vote counting Napa Valley Register
November 19, 2012 7:26 pm

As voting citizens, we should be horrified that Napa County is the new Florida when it comes to election (mis)management.

John Tuteur has once again defined himself as an incompetent administrator when it comes to his elections department responsibilities. How can we allow such poor performance to continue election after election?

Under his control, the county has suffered lawsuits for mismanaging election ballots and district boundaries. His ballot instructions seem plagued with one or more mistakes.

Now we have a new problem: getting ballots counted promptly. It’s disgraceful that 28,000 of the projected 61,000 ballots cast, or 46 percent, have gone uncounted, especially with so many races hanging in the balance, such as the mayor of Calistoga (25 votes), Calistoga City Council (8 votes) and the Mark Luce-Mark van Gorder, District 2 race (255 votes) to name a few.

As citizens, we want our leaders to move forward immediately after an election, but they can’t, if they don’t know who they are.

Having only 45 percent of the votes counted is shameful. It is mystifying that Tuteur will release the final results only after Thanksgiving, even though he promised he would have all ballots counted within a week.

His commentary that the uncounted votes could not alter an outcome is arrogant and disrespectful of the hard work by candidates and proposition workers. Also, it is simply untrue.

It’s clear the (Tuteur) has too much on his plate. The next time someone runs against him, we need to make sure he is voted out of office.

In the meantime, contact your supervisor (if you know who he or she is, before all of the ballots ever get counted) and require Mr. Tuteur to release the results daily. The Board of Supervisors should also review why things continually go wrong in the Napa County elections department and get it fixed.

Write to urge integrity and transparency: It’s the only way we can ensure no one can steal a Napa County election.

If you’re as angry about John Tuteur and the elections department, as I am, let your voices be heard.

Kathleen Herdell / St. Helena

Copyright 2015 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(10) Comments

  1. Arnie
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    Arnie - November 19, 2012 10:55 pm
    I agree with Ms. Herdell and urge Napa County residents to contact the Supervisor. Enough is enough. It is time for a change in leadership for the elections department in this county.
  2. napa1957
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    napa1957 - November 19, 2012 11:07 pm
    The mail-in ballots seem to be the big hang up. I realize that the signatures need to be verified, but am baffled that there is not an electronic method available to do so. Many folks have been forced into mail-in ballots, and we were told that it would save money. I don't see how it can save any costs, and even if it did, it does so at the expense of the voting public's right to have their vote be meaningful.
  3. rocketman
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    rocketman - November 20, 2012 5:22 am
    There are approximately 9 million ballots yet to be counted, so if you are going to target Tutuer, get in line with the rest of the State's voters:

    “California has more registered voters than any other state in the nation. It’s understandable some people want election returns immediately, but it’s more important than ever to get results right rather than get results fast,” said Secretary of State Debra Bowen, California’s chief elections official. “Voting by mail has increased significantly in recent years and with many people returning vote-by-mail ballots on Election Day, county elections officials need the full month to finish their important work.”
  4. nightwatchman
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    nightwatchman - November 20, 2012 9:27 am
    But every other county in the state is releasing results as they are counted, Rocketman. Tuteur refuses to release them until they're all done.
  5. publiusa
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    publiusa - November 20, 2012 10:38 am
    Petty bureaucracy and despotism can be an ugly thing.
  6. DHuffman
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    DHuffman - November 20, 2012 10:44 am
    I have to agree with many of the readers and certainly the author of this letter. I believe John has the best intentions of every voter in Napa County, but the delay is just unacceptable. There are plenty of best practices available to county recorders to make this process reliable and still timely. Something needs to be done.
  7. rocketman
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    rocketman - November 20, 2012 11:15 am
    .......and still people won't be happy until there are FINAL results........I personally don't care who is in the lead at the moment. There is no more voting taking place. I just want to see an accurate final count. That is what Mr. Tuteur is working on........
  8. glenroy
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    glenroy - November 20, 2012 11:23 am
    “John Tuteur has once again defined himself as an incompetent administrator when it comes to his elections department responsibilities. How can we allow such poor performance to continue election after election?"... Reality is what you see is not even close to what you get...and isn’t just elections it is everything he thinks he manages....his ‘office’ reassesses property values without any evidence of change, or effort to communicate with the property owner, doesn't even consult the building dept to pull plans or costs, arbitrarily adds value when secondary notes are paid off (seller carry). He is in fact an ultra-liberal out to dismantle Prop 13…he'll demand copies of Family Trusts to determine the intent...which is nuts and arbitrary and arbitrary means he as a political agenda.
    There are an untold number of property owners who've taken it in the shorts and they need to file a complaint.

    He may be a nice guy but he has no management skills outside of his enormous ego.
  9. kevin
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    kevin - November 20, 2012 5:38 pm
    Didn't the State recently spend HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars to buy electronic voting machines such as the rest of the country uses?

    Oh that's right, Debra Bowen threw them all away...
  10. rocketman
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    rocketman - November 20, 2012 6:54 pm
    ......well Kevin, that doesn't automatically make it Tuteur's problem.......
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