6th Worcester District Recount Update

Following up on my prior post, Oxford’s recount, just like the other towns other than Southbridge, came up with the same exact result as election night. Alicea’s going to bring the election to court. The main issue is an absentee ballot in Southbridge that was in the “spoiled ballots” envelope, marked for Alicea. The spoiled ballots envelope is for if one is at the polls and makes a mistake marking one’s ballot, one can bring it back to a poll worker, who puts it in the spoiled ballots envelope and gives you a new ballot. There’s no reason for an absentee ballot to be in that envelope. The ballot in question is marked as having been run through the voting machine, but rejected by it. So, did a poll worker write out a new ballot for this person and put it in to let the person’s vote count, and thus this person’s vote has already been counted? Or did the poll worker just put the ballot rejected by the machine in the spoiled pile, and thus it still needs to be counted? Nobody seems to know, and it seems that the Board of Registrars in Southbridge decided just to not count it and let the courts figure it out (2–1, on party lines, of course).

Even if the courts do accept and count the ballot, there are other votes that Durant lost in the recount that he thinks might end up in his favor, plus there were all the ballot box issues in Southbridge. My father, who attended several recounts on behalf of the Durant campaign, said that Southbridge was just “chaos” compared to the other towns, and that Southbridge took 7 hours to count less ballots than Charlton counted in 3 hours.

So, it should be an interesting court case to watch.

Related news articles and commentary:

A Recount Timeline

A saga of the election in the 6th Worcester District of the Massachusetts State House, between challenger Peter Durant (R–Spencer) and incumbent Geraldo Alicea (D–Charlton). The district is composed of all of Charlton, East Brookfield, and Southbridge, two of the four precincts in Spencer, and one of the four precincts in Oxford.

A Keyboard Timeline

  • July 9, 2003: I purchase the FingerWorks TouchStream LP, for a total of $343.89 including tax and shipping. I purchase the one with QWERTY printing on it, figuring I’d learn to use it first and learn the Dvorak layout later.
  • Vague Time after that: I do learn to use it, and I fulfill my life goal of learning Dvorak.
  • September 23rd, 2004: I lose connectivity between the halves (the right half plugs into the computer, and the left half connects to the right half through a ribbon cable that’s not designed to be user serviceable), so only the right half of the keyboard works. Presumably, they didn’t test people folding the keyboard and bringing it back and forth to work often. However, I sent it back and they fix it, although it’s annoying to deal with not having it in the meantime.
  • Q2 2005: FingerWorks goes out of business, as Apple gave the owners a deal too good to pass up. Apple hired the brains behind the operation and bought up the IP, which they’ve since slowly been putting to good use (from the iPod wheel, through to the iPhone/iPad and Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad).
  • February 15th, 2007: Once more, the left half of my keyboard doesn’t work. I think that it’s more than the ribbon cable this time, as I think I shocked it with static electricity before it died. So, I sadly put it away hoping to fix it one day, and get used to working with terrible mechanical keyboards and mice again.
  • October 20th, 2008: I try fixing a broken Dvorak-printed TouchStream keyboard (that the owner had managed to remove the ribbon cable from) by buying the ribbon cable and putting it in. Amazingly enough, I’m successful, and manage to purchase the keyboard from the owner for $200. (Fully working ones have been going on eBay for over $1,000, and a couple have gone over $2,000.) Happiness ensues.
  • November 13: 2010: I finally decide to try seeing if I can repair my old keyboard, and see if it’s just the ribbon cable. I extract the cable out and test it, and not all the wires have connectivity. I order a new cable.
  • November 17, 2010: Cable arrives. I insert it. Amazingly enough, the keyboard works and passes diagnostics completely. I now have a working TouchStream at home and one at work. I feel thrilled that it all works, and somewhat silly that I hadn’t tried it much much earlier.

I know that I could get well over $1,000 if I sold one of them on eBay, but I just can’t imagine selling one. They’re just so wonderful to use, and I spend a lot of time in front of a computer.