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Why Ion Sancho ROCKS! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brett Brewer   
Tuesday, 07 November 2006
As someone who has voted in Leon County, FL. for over 10 years, I can honestly say that we are incredibly lucky to have Ion Sancho for a Supervisor of Elections. Never have I met a government official that is so willing to talk to individual voters and to go out of his way to help people.  I have contacted his office on several occasions over the past 10 years and every time I come away with a feeling that he really cares and that he is totally forthright and honest. Today I witnessed yet another example. My girlfriend showed up to vote at her polling place today and here is a description of what happened in her own words....
"So, I go to precinct , get my ballot...which is torn at bottom. I ask : "will be a problem for the machine" I am told "no, it will go in just fine" I fill in my scan tron sheet like a good citizen. I feed my ballot into machine...and the little window at the bottom left of machine says: "unable to read ballot, rescan" However, the machine did not spit out my ballot (so that I could rescan it), like it was supposed to if unable to read. (or so I was told) The very old man beside the machine mumbles: "Fred we got another one" so Fred gets on the phone....with someone? I am told I may go, as they have a paper record of my vote. To which I reply: "and we all know what happens with those." Meanwhile, there are now 15 people behind me...no doubt on their lunch break. They are NOT happy with the hold up. Old man tells them to go ahead and vote. At which point, admiting defeat, I say: "well atleast we're not in Ohio.." Exit Laura, (had to go let puppies out) So I give up on this country, the hell with it. Hope you are having a lovely grey day...."
Well, it's times like this that having a great supervisor of elections really makes a difference. Knowing that this problem would be taken seriously, I took a copy of the above message to the Supervisor of Elections' office when I went to drop off my absentee ballot. A gentleman at the desk there read the message and then called for an assistant supervisor to come talk to me. To my surprise, Ion Sancho appeared within 30 seconds and asked how he could help. He listened as I explained what happened and then assured me that in 99% of cases, if the machine does not spit the ballot back out, then it was most likely properly scanned despite the message. He mentioned that if we had noted the specific error code, that he would be able to tell for sure, but since we didn't know the error code, he said that her ballot could be manually verified since in Leon County, we use optical scanning technology that leaves a very good paper trail, specifically the actual ballot is saved. So he told me that if I could give him the precinct number and her name, that he would make sure that her vote was counted and if necessarry he would rescan it. He gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him back with the precinct number, which I did. I have absolutely no doubt that he will follow through on this issue. It turned out that he was leaving his office via the same route I was, so as we waked, we spoke briefly about the recent HBO special in which he was prominently featured. I asked him how he felt about the special and his comments indicated that he was quite happy with it. He asked me what I thought, and I agreed. I told him I was particularly shocked about what the people in Palm Beach county were caught doing with the voting machine tapes (throwing them out and providing fake tapes to the auditors). He quickly corrected me and said, that was Volusia county, not Palm Beach, and yes it was shocking. I asked him if anyone could be prosecuted for the fraud that was caught on video in Volusia County and he basically said no, at which point we both agreed that there should be a way to prosecute voting officials for this kind of crime. I believe he mentioned that he thought it should be a 3rd degree misdemenor, but I'm not positive on that. At any rate, he seemed generally happy with the HBO documentary and I was left once again with a feeling that we are very lucky to have Mr. Sancho as a public servant. I only hope the criminals who control the rest of our government don't use their dirty tricks to hurt him in some way because it would be a tragedy to lose him.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 November 2006 )
 

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