04/27/2016 A Voice from the Gallery

A Voice from the Gallery



Human Error

def. “person’s mistake rather than on the failure of a machine…”

(“Human Error.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web 27 April 2016)

Mayor Tom Glas convened the April 18, 2016, meeting of the Alcester City Council at 7:00 p.m. for the purpose of canvassing the April 12, 2016, vote.

Canvas of the votes began for the council person position 107 ballots were cast for councilperson, Mark Dykstra received 91 votes while Vickie Larsen received 16 votes. Keep in mind the number-16 votes. It is to be noted that 10-15 households would have lost their Ward III vote had I given up and let the council “make their decision” as Mayor Glas indicated in the April 4th meeting. It was determined on Friday, April 8th the map the Finance Officer sent to the Union County Auditor was incorrect and did not match the written description of the Ward III boundaries set out in Revised Municipal Ordinances of August 6, 2014. On Saturday, April 9th, I made contact with as many residents on East Park Avenue as I could find home, to let them know that they were indeed in Ward III with confirming telephone calls from the Alcester Finance Office on Monday, April 11, 2016. It is unknown if all East Park Avenue residents were home to be notified by the Finance Office. Mayor Glas and the Alcester City Council were wrong and failed to correct their defect! It is unknown how many absentee ballots may have been affected!

Canvas of the curbside recycling vote began with an announcement by Finance Officer Pat Jurrens. It is important to note here that the City Finance Officer is in charge of the municipal election. As I understand it, the Election Board works during the day at the polling locations and the Finance Officer would need to be available to offer assistance with any issues that would arise. Such as any questions concerning the boundary issues. And all election materials are to be delivered to the Finance Officer after the election. Remember those 16 votes. As the council began the canvas of curbside recycle count, Alcester Finance Officer Jurrens announced there was a 16 vote discrepancy and the 16 votes were not counted due to “Human Error”!   The 16 votes were clipped together and were not counted when the curbside vote ballot box was opened. The ballots were returned to the ballot box and it was sealed. Remember those 16 ballots? Yeah, well those 16 ballots that were clipped together? They failed to make it into the ballot box, were not sealed in the ballot box and went unsecured and vulnerable over night in the finance office and consequently were rendered invalid. Human error? These materials would have been handed to the Alcester Finance Officer per protocols and who ultimately should have noticed those orphan clipped together ballots outside of the ballot box. H-m-m

Human Error- Harmless Error… synonymous? Harmless error is a legal doctrine found in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, rule 61. Simply explained an error made during a trial which upon appeal is examined to determine if harm has been done. Begs the question, did the uncounted ballots affect the outcome of the curbside recycling question? The spread was 98 against curbside recycling to 83 for curbside recycling, with 16 votes invalidated. Was harm attached to 16 uncounted votes?

How important is your vote? Is this how we reward those who fought and died for our Constitutional freedoms? If the job is worth doing, it most assuredly is worth doing completely and correctly. Was it harmless error East Park Avenue voters were close to losing their vote? No it was not! Alcester Mayor Tom Glas and the Alcester City Council were told not once but twice the boundary was incorrect and they did nothing to correct the error prior to election day. Councilman Mark Dykstra most certainly, “had his butt in his council chair” when the council was told of the error, he failed his sworn duty to his constituents in Ward III and threw them under the bus with his failure to act!

   Only time… will bear out the truth!