Even More voting app, um, “goodness”

I’ve heard from an elected official I know and trust.  He and his wife attended this weekend’s debacle in Greensboro. Both were delegates from their county. His wife, not long before the vote for chairman, left the floor to use the restroom.

As it got close to time to vote, my official friend called his wife and warned her to hurry back.  She tried, but convention officials locked the doors to the convention floor — keeping, according to my source’s reports, about two dozen delegates from returning to the floor.

Despite protests from the delegates attempting to return and vote, the convention reps would not budge.  According to my elected official source, the locked-out delegates were even told that people off the convention floor cannot vote.

We NOW know that was 100 percent FALSE. 

The folks at We The People have also added some interesting observations about this weekend’s vote:

[…] The Establishment was hell-bent on using their Voting App, and proponents of the App told those who wanted to use/count paper ballots to “get over your fear of electronics”. It would take hours to hand count, they said, if we voted on paper ballots. However, one race with two candidates (the French ballot) takes about 1-2 seconds per ballot to count (tested in Missouri and in many other states now planning to hand count ballots in public elections), so Wake Co’s ballots cast for NCGOP Chair at the State Convention could have been counted by a team of two people with oversight on the floor in about 6 minutes, plus the time for each individual to mark their ballots, plus the time to tally the votes and walk those tallies to the front. All told, Wake County, the largest county, could have been finished hand counting paper ballots in 15 minutes, tops […]

The delegate who offered the amendment to the amendment to use paper ballots was Angela Hawkins, current member of the Wake County Board of Elections. Ms. Hawkins’ amendment was to take the paper ballots to be counted at a central location, rather than by the counties on the floor. She’s the person who said it took the Wake Co GOP 5 hours to hand count their paper ballots for the leadership positions at the Wake GOP.

That’s just so y’all have a little info on the Voting App and the amendment to the amendment to hand count. Moving on…

  • The number of delegates on the floor, counted by each county, has not yet been revealed. Had paper ballots been used, we would already know this information.

There could have been 8,951 delegates at the NCGOP State Convention. But only 1,863 delegates registered to attend, which is about 21%.

  • The number of delegates who registered and checked in at the State Convention in Greensboro has not yet been revealed.

Of the 1,863 delegates who registered, only 1,644 actually voted (according to the Voting App). So, either 219 delegates paid but didn’t show up to the State Convention at all, or they did show up and abstained from voting.[…]

  • Two counties had more votes than registered delegates. Also, only one delegate from Granville County voted for Kane, but the Voting App registered three votes for this county, split between Whatley and Kane. It’s unknown how many other counties had discrepancies such as this without canvassing every delegate who was on the convention floor on Saturday.[…]

    • Delegates left the convention floor without voting at all because the Voting App was not functioning. Now if their pen wasn’t working to mark a ballot, we guess that could have been resolved immediately. (This is what’s known as Voter Suppression.) The 219 undervotes, or lost votes, are one source of major concern.[…]

WTP also posted images of the state party’s spreadsheets for the chairman vote.

A Wake County blogger posted his observations on the whole fiasco:

Back in early spring when I was running for a leadership position in Wake County GOP, I discovered that the party was planning on using an electronic voting system designed by CardinalGPS, a shadowy political consulting firm founded by Johnny Shull and based in Wake County. I was concerned for several reasons:

  • There is no audit trail with electronic voting.
  • Unlike with paper ballots, it is very easy to commit election fraud; just tinker with the code. We have to take the word of whoever is running the software that everything is fine.
  • The managing director of CardinalGPS is Amy Mulligan, and her mother Karyn Mulligan was running for the Vice-Chair position in the election (some have reported that Amy Mulligan now owns CardinalGPS). Talk about a conflict of interest!
  • Given these points, I was worried that if the slate opposite Mulligan’s lost, many party members might believe the election was stolen.

As a candidate, I had access to county delegate emails, so I mounted a public campaign for paper ballots by emailing everyone and encouraging them to email the Chair and Vice-Chair of the county party. Wake GOP eventually backed down and used paper ballots at their convention last March. Everyone who lost (including yours truly) accepted the results, because we used paper ballots.

I thought about pushing the state GOP to use paper voting, but due to conflicts I could not attend the convention. Oh well, I thought, I’ll just sit back and enjoy the chaos from afar. But I must admit, I never dreamed it would be this bad! According to reports:

  • The CardinalGPS voting app kept crashing, over and over again. It would kick people out in the midst of voting.
  • From a colleague who is a tech expert: “My guess is TCP/IP software stack crashed with so many sessions at once.  That could mean that some votes got counted twice some didn’t get counted. That is exactly what some counties reported.”
  • You read that correctly: apparently there were multiple counties that had more electronic votes cast than delegates! That right there is enough to invalidate the election.
  • Because of the CardinalGPS snafu they ran out of time and never elected a Vice-Chair![…]Why did NC GOP pay CardinalGPS to develop an electronic voting app when trusted third-party solutions, such as Election Buddy, already exist?

    I’ve heard reports that the party paid $300k for the app. And this is not a one-time fee – the app and server software need to be constantly updated for security. This seems like a tremendous waste of money, even if the app had functioned properly.

    Why did they choose CardinalGPS, a political consulting firm whose revenue stream depends on staying in the good graces of NC GOP, instead of a neutral tech firm?

    CardinalGPS focuses on North Carolina elections; it’s how they make their money. If NC GOP told candidates “Don’t use Cardinal,” the business would disappear overnight. CardinalGPS doesn’t have the tech background to develop a secure and stable voting app, as evidenced by the chaos at the convention. So why choose them over countless more qualified tech firms?

    It’s difficult not to conclude that NC GOP wanted an app that they could completely control. And they wanted a software vendor that would do ANYTHING they requested (and keep their mouth shut about it), such as designing the software to allow the state leadership to rig party elections.

    In a way I’m glad this happened because it shows that electronic voting is a terrible, terrible idea. And I’m certain we’ll be able to use paper ballots in the next leadership election. If you’re an NC Patriot and reading this, please reach out to me. It’s never too soon to get organized for the next convention.

    What surprises me is the silence of the Wake County GOP leadership. We have the largest number of Republicans in the state, and a majority of our county delegation voted for Kane. You would think they would be calling for an investigation into the CardinalGPS fiasco.

    Oh, that’s right, I forgot. Karyn Mulligan holds the number two position in Wake GOP leadership, and her daughter runs CardinalGPS.[…]